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Archive for October, 2007

Week Ten Preview

It’s Wednesday,   and time to look at the upcoming weekend’s games for week ten.  As the season moves into the month of November, key crucial games come into focus. Many of these tend to be late in the season, but some start as early as this week.  All rankings listed below are based on the most recent BCS positions (not mine!).

#21 Wisconsin  at #1 Ohio State.
The Badgers started the year with so much promise, and have just plain failed to really seize the day when it was absolutely necessary. Back to back road losses against Illinois and Penn State  have really put UW in a terrible position having to play the games of their lives against Ohio State and Michigan back to back.  Not an enviable position!  And worse, they must go to the Shoe to play the Buckeyes , who happen to be playing the best ball of any team in collegiate football, and getting stronger every week.  I think the Badgers could put up a fight,  but they’ll need a really elevated play from a defense that has been spotty.  OSU rolls again, by 17.

Florida State  at  #2 Boston College.
Simply stated, the Seminoles just dont have the firepower to overcome BC’s defense. However, BC showed against VT that they are vulnerable, and if FSU can put a solid game together, control the ball and put pressure on Ryan, it could be competitive – and look for the Easter Bunny to be hopping down the bunny trail too.  BC by 21.

 #3 LSU  at #17 Alabama.
This is a very important game for the Tigers, and a big test for them on the road.  LSU is at 7-1 and Alabama at 6-2 in the SEC West. A win by LSU puts them in the driver’s seat for the SEC Championship (barring collapses against La Tech, Ole Miss and Arkansas).  Furthermore, and MORE importantly, LSU really needs to beat Alabama soundly, to change the minds of some of the pollsters and get the needed BCS bonus points to close ranks on Boston College to get to the National Championship. With the Northeast bias in the polls, that will be hard without really making a statement in Tuscaloosa by 28 or more.  I honestly dont think they’ll win that big, as Alabama has a stubborn defense. I’m sure Les Miles wishes now he hadn’t gone for the 1st down in OT against Kentucky.

#4 Arizona State  at  #5 Oregon.
The game of the week.  At stake?  Most likely the Pac 10 Championship, a trip to the Rose Bowl and maybe more who knows.  The Sun Devils have proved that they are no fluke. They have a potent offense with an aggressive defense to match.  Oregon, with QB Dennis Dixxon is equally potent and I believe that the extra dimension that he brings to this game will make the ultimate difference. Playing at home doesn’t hurt the Ducks either.  I like Oregon by 10.

Texas A&M  at  #6 Oklahoma
OU is probably the weakest top 10 team in the bunch and unfortunate for them, they’ll play absolutely no one to help them climb higher than where they are now.  The remainder of their games are with non-ranked teams (with no hope of being ranked), so no matter what they do, they wont get a break unless someone above them loses.  Thats at least going to happen this week cuz either #4 or #5 will lose.  The Aggies are hopelessly lost with a coach that still plays 1970’s Big 10 footbal in a 21st century world.  OU by 17 or more.

Nebraska at #8 Kansas
Poor Nebraska.  Their season is shot as the program seeks to reinvent itself for next year. It’s even money whether Bill Callahan will finish the season or not, but the fact that the University brought back Tom Osbourne as a consultant bodes no good. Not helping things, starting QB Sam Keller is now out for the season, but to be honest, the offense hasnt really been the huge problem. Three-year backup Joe Ganz will start on Saturday against a Jayhawk team that specializes putting numbers up.  This is not good news for a very poor Cornhusker defense thats averaging giving up 38 points per game in the 4 straight losses.  I dont know why, but I look for a resurgence by Nebraska- they did well against Texas, and almost came back to win the game, so I think Kansas may win this, but maybe by less than 10.

#9 Missouri  at  Colorado
Here’s a very dangerous game for the Tigers, as all the forces are lining up against them. First, they come off an easy victory over Iowa State (doo dah). Second, they are on the road. Last, they go up against a strong, fast defense.  When did this happen last?? Against Oklahoma and they lost.  They had just come away from trouncing Nebraska 41-6, went on the road against a fast OU defense and got outscored 41-31.   Let’s add one more thing – Missouri lost starting safety Cornelius Brown to an Achille’s tear.  This is ripe for an upset.

 #12 Michigan  at  Michigan State
Well well well.  And were you one of those that wrote the Wolverines off after an 0-2 start?  This is a really key emotional game for  Michigan.  It wont be easy either.  Its a rivalry game to begin with, but add the fact that Michigan is just now trying to adjust without Mike Hart.  But also consider that when most people were writing this team off, they have risen from the ashes and are 2 spots out of the top 10. If Ohio State maintains, Michigan could have an inside track to the Rose Bowl.  That level of excellence needs to be on display in Lansing on Saturday. I like Michigan to rise to the challenge and win by 6.

Rutgers  at  #13 Connecticut
This is still a big game, but not as big as it would have been had the Scarlet Knights not  been destroyed by West Virginia last week.  UConn will have a very tough challenge against a potent running game and a strong, fast defense.  However, they got that test against South Florida earlier and prevailed.  This one is too close to call, but I might err on the side of the Huskies just because they are playing at home.

Thats all the significant games I really have to report on for this week. One other of mild note, Texas could slip yet again when they have to travel to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State.  Watch this game closely, as if the Longhorns cant handle the OSU offense, it means they might have similar problems with Texas Tech the following week. Texas is still very precarious.

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Week Nine: Quiet and Sane.

For the most part this week, everyone did what they were supposed to do and the #2 team stayed put for more than 1 week (albeit barely).

Trivia Question: Have you been taking note? How many traditionally basketball-oriented schools this year are already bowl eligible? We’re talking schools that traditionally have been major round-ball powerhouses, but never real football ones. Answer at the end of the blog.

I managed to watch most of the main games this week, at least some good portions of them, and began to get an idea of which teams really have the talent to stay around and battle, which teams can cause havoc, and which team have just been too hyped the first nine weeks.

Teams that seem to have what it takes to be around at the end of the season: Ohio State, Boston College, LSU, Oregon, West Virginia, Missouri, Virginia Tech, Gerogia, Oklahoma.

Causing havoc: Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Auburn, Cal, Arizona State

Overhyped: USC, South Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia

Understand that a “Causing Havoc” team could move up possibly, but look for the overhyped teams to stay put or fall the rest of the season. With that, here’s my top 25 with comments.

1. Ohio State (9-0). Defeated Penn State 37-17. Next Week: Wisconsin at home.
It was my first time to watch OSU in a game situation, but a good game to watch them. Hostile crowd, a potentially dangerous Nittany Lion team, National audience. The Buckeyes are definitely the best team in the land right now. Fast. solid defense, and an offensive machine. I really dont see anyone close to them. The only way they lose is if they just shoot themselves in the foot.

2. LSU (7-1). Idle this week. Next Week: At Alabama.
The Tigers find themselves in a bit of a worrisome situation. Though they have a solid 7-1 record, their only loss coming at the hand of Kentucky, they are in no way in control of the SEC West. They are currently tied with Alabama for the lead (4-1 in the conference), and a loss at Alabama next week, drops them in a tie with Auburn for second. However if they get by Alabama, it should be smooth sailing to the SEC title game (only Arkansas remains as a possible bump).

3. Oklahoma (7-1). Idle this week. Next Week: Texas A&M at home.
OU should have a waltz into the Big-12 Championship, as they have only Texas Tech and Oklahoma State left that could be worrisome bumps. I still get the idea there is a big gap between 2 and 3.

4. Oregon (7-1). Defeated USC 24-17. Next Week: Arizona State at home.
QB Dennis Davis controls the Ducks, and he has so many talents and abilities that you wonder where the potential ends. The Duck defense might be the only slight flaw. But tell me, when was it that you noticed that two Pac-10 teams were in the top 10? The Rose Bowl qualifying game might just be played next week.

5. Boston College (8-0). Defeated Virginia Tech 14-10. Next Week: Florida State at home.
I got my first detailed look at BC this week, and was not that impressed. Alot of media hype was made over Matt Ryan “winning” the game in the last 2 minutes, but the REAL story was that the Hokies just plain choked. BC was outplayed 58 minutes, and if it wasnt for a blown on-sides kicks, we’d have a new #2 this week in the BCS. So, I still think #5 for them is about right. Unfortunately they have a NOTHING schedule (Maryland, Clemson, and Miami) after FSU, so the world just might have to suffer through Boston College in the National Championship game. How sad.

6. West Virginia (7-1). Defeated Rutgers 31-3. Next Week: Idle.
The Mountaineers get a week off after dominating the Scarlet Knights. Where did WVU get that defense by the way? They shoud easily walk into the Big East Championship and a BCS bowl if they can get by Louisville and UConn.

7. Arizona State (8-0). Defeated Cal 31-20 . Next Week: At Oregon.
Again, my first detailed look at ASU this year and I was positively impressed with their character. They got down 13-0, and battled back to get close and the win decisively. Next week looms huge for the revitalized program under Dennis Erickson, as they take on Oregon most likely for a trip to the Rose Bow.

8. Missouri (7-1). Defeated Iowa State 42-28. Next Week: At Colorado.
These Tigers worry me a little, as they show a strong defense one week (against Texas Tech) and a pretty porous one against lowly Iowa State. However, they are an offensive juggernaut that can really put up points and control a game. The Big-12 North championship will come down between them and Kansas in late November.

9. Kansas (8-0). Defeated Texas A&M 19-11. Next Week: Nebraska at home.
Well last week I said the Jayhawks didnt deserve to be in the Top 10. Well, as odd as it seems, they are undefeated through 9 weeks, and its just really hard to put them below other teams at the moment. Im not at all sure they can maintain however with games against Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Missouri. However, if they run the table…this is where they belong!

10. Georgia (6-2). Defeated Florida 42-30. Next Week: Troy at home.
Matt Stafford maybe had the game of his life against Tebow and company, and Georgia seems to be on the cusp of really good season. But this has happened before unfortunately. They still have Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia Tech left, all of which are NO walkovers. For now, Im ok letting the Bulldogs sit here a couple of weeks, but I kinda doubt they’ll be around too long here.

11. Virginia Tech (6-2). Lost to Boston College 14-10. Next Week: At Georgia Tech.
If ever you want to give a team points and kudos in losing, the Hokies get them this week. They truly kept a VERY tough Boston College under wraps for 58 minutes and if not for a botched on-side kick, they win. The Hokies have a reasonably favorable schedule out, so they only need to beat their cross-state rival Virginia to get a shot at the ACC Championship, and maybe a rematch against BC.

12. Hawaii (8-0). Defeated New Mexico State 50-13. Next Week: Fresno State at home.
Man it really must suck to have to be Fresno State and go on the road to Hawaii! Anyway, the meaty part of Hawaii’s schedule begins next week with the Bulldogs, followed by a visit to Nevada then home to Boise State and Washington. Certainly this is one of the more challenging ending schedules in College ball. We’ll see how long the Warriors last.

13. Michigan (7-2). Defeated Minnesota 34-10. Next Week: At Michigan State.
Seven straight for the Wolverines after their horrible start. The road gets much tougher, however, with Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State over the next 3 weeks. Barring some massive Buckeye collapse, they are going to the National Championship which means that its a 3 way battle for the Rose Bowl seat with Purdue (who they’ve already beat) and Wisconsin. That’s right folks, the terrible memory of Appalachian State might be wiped completely away with a trip to the Rose Bowl. En route, they could ruin OSU’s National Title hopes 🙂 But if they do that, they will be out of the Rose Bowl.

14. Auburn (6-3). Defeated Ole Miss 17-3. Next Week: Tennessee Tech at home.
Auburn gets to be one of the 3 loss teams in the top 25. But they are in the hunt in the SEC West, albeit an ambitious thought at this time (they’d need alot of help). However they must still play Georgia and Alabama and those might cause them to make a quick exit from the T25.

15. Connecticut (7-1). Defeated South Florida 22-16. Next Week: Rutgers at home.
The Big East could come down to the Huskies and the Mountaineers (West Virginia) in late November. I watched them against South Florida and they are every bit the tough nosed team.

16. Alabama (6-2). Idle this week. Next week: LSU at home.
This is the same Crimson Tide team that annihilated Tennessee 41-17 last week. Better for them to get the Bayou Bengals in Tuscaloosa than on the road. This will decide, in all likelihood, the SEC West. Should be interesting if Alabama can post some consistent offense.

17. Florida (5-3). Lost to Georgia 42-30. Next Week: Vanderbilt at home.
The defending champions are all but out of consideration for a repeat visit this year. The loss to Georgia really hurts their SEC East hopes, but its not out of the question. Consider that after Vanderbilt, they have South Carolina, FAU, and Florida State. Thats a doable 9-3. Georgia on the other hand must finish with Auburn, Kentucky and Ga Tech. So, its really possible for Florida to STILL make the SEC Championship Game. If so, it would be the first time that a 3-loss team made it there.

18. South Florida (6-2). Lost to UConn 22-16. Next Week: Cincinnati at home.
And to think that just a few weeks ago the Bulls were #2. Can you say OVERrated? However, they are bowl eligible and should be able to notch a good post season bowl game. They could feasably win out and end up 10-2. But with West Virginia playing well, alot of things have to happen to get the Bulls into a BCS.

19. California (5-3). Lost to Arizona State 31-20. Next week: Washington State at home
Can you believe that only a few weeks ago, Cal got 1st place votes? Now they are sitting on 3 losses and not bowl eligible yet. They should become so next week, but the year has to be considering a flop considering the potential there,

20. Kentucky (6-3). Lost to Miss State 31-14. Next Week: Idle.
The Wildcats are bowl eligible, but the loss here to Miss State really is disappointing. They need to finish against Vanderbilt, Georgia and Tennessee, which could be a problem in bettering their season.

21. Texas (7-2). Defeated Nebraska 28-25. Next Week: At Oklahoma State.
Probably Texas has been the most disappointing team in the BCS division this year. They struggled the entire game against Nebraska and thanks to Jamal Charles 290 yards and 3 TDs late, they held on to win. The road is tough for the Longhorns with back to back games against offensive juggernauts Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Then they must end the year on the road against A&M. I dont think things get better for them. The loss to OU sealed their fate in the Big-12 South.

22. Boise State (7-1). Defeated Fresno State 34-21. Next Week: San Jose St. at home
The Smurfs keep winning with a potent offense that is almost impossible to stop. Unfortunately BSU doesnt seem to have alot of defense. They are gunning for a showdown with Hawaii for the conference title in late November.

23. Wisconsin (7-2). Defeated Indiana 33-3. Next Week: At Ohio State.
The Badgers get #1 Ohio State and then Michigan back to back, which really sucks. This is a team that seems to do very well when they get ahead. They are not a come-from-behind team. While the Badgers are here this week, I doubt they will be next week.

24. USC (6-2). Lost to Oregon 24-17. Next Week: Oregon State at home.
Its pretty much all over this year for the Trojans. While they are bowl eligible, they’ll have a really tough time finding a decent tier bowl. With games left with California, Arizona State, and UCLA, Its very possible they go 7-5.

25. Purdue (7-2). Defeated Northwestern 35-17. Next week: At Penn State.
Actually things tilt Purdue’s way for the remainder of the year ending with PSU, Michigan State and Indiana. With a break they could end up in a Championship Bowl game.

Dropped out: Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia, South Carolina

Most Impressive: Ohio State, Oregon, Arizona State

Least Impressive: Boston College, South Florida, Cal, South Carolina

Answer to trivia question: 6. Wake Forest (6-2), Kansas (8-0), UConn (7-1), Cincinnati (6-2), Arizona State (8-0), Kentucky (6-3),

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In this topsy turvy season of 2007 college football, it has seemed that no one was safe. Mighty invinceable teams have somehow found a way to let their guard down one week and thrown all of the pundits into confusion. Its very possible we might be headed for such a breakdown again this week, as some key matchups provide the possibility for stirring the top ten around yet again. Four of the top five teams could be in very iffy games, LSU being the lone exception having a week off.

The mahem begins Thursday, as BCS #2 Boston College travels to Blacksburg to play the Hokies of Virginia Tech (BCS #8).  Va Tech has steadily made improvements since its week two 48-7 blowout by then #2 LSU.  The Hokies are now 6-1 possibly headed for a Nov 24 showdown with ACC Coastal rival Virginia.  Boston College (7-0) comes to its first real test of the season.  The Golden Eagle defense is the best in the country against the run (around 46 yds/game) but in all honesty, they’e played a pretty cushy schedule, and in fact was scared last week by a Notre Dame come back. Matt Ryan, the Heismann candidate could bolster his bid with a good performance, but the Hokies are particularly tough on defense and always have a superior special teams unit.  This could be a great game and BC might be looking up from #10 next week if they dont prove out.

The next night, Friday, brings a key WAC game between a 5-2 Fresno State and 6-1 Boise State.  Historically you might be inclined to blow this game off in favor of BSUm but not so fast.  Fresno State’s coach Pat Hill has got the Bulldogs playing at peak performance as they pounded San Jose State into submission last week 30-0, while BSU on the other hand needed four overtimes and a 2 point conversion to get by Nevada 69-67 (yes thats no typo).  So attendees to the game will want to possibly bring a sleeping bag and breakfast, since its liable to be a good 5-6 hour game with all the passing that will happen. However, Fresno might mix it up since their QB,  Ryan Matthews has over 1000 yards rushing and watched Boise State surrender 463 yards to Louisiana Tech last week. Look for this to be entertaining and a possible upset!

On Saturday we have a bevvy of top 25 matchups that are sure to cause some shifting around. Some teams are likely to find themselves out of the BCS hunt at the end of this week for sure.  Nowhere can this be seen better than in the key matchups in the Pac-10.

#12 USC  at #5 Oregon – this might have been the most anticipated matchup of the season had both teams not slipped up early on (especially USC against Stanford).  USC hasn’t shown themselves to be BCS quality this year in moving to a somewhat misleading 6-1 record. The offense has not gotten on track, and the defense has been anything but stout.  The prospect of meeting Vince Young look-alike Dennis Dixxon IN Oregon really must have the Trojans sweating blood. Add to this that with all the fires in Southern California being a distraction, I think Oregon wins this handly, and relegates USC to a non-BCS bowl for the first time in many years.

#21 California  at  #4 Arizona State – Maybe the most important game in ASU’s recent history.  Cal has done a great job again this year not living up to expectations (something they seem to do year after year). After racing out 5-0, they have lost back to back games losing to unranked teams Oregon State and UCLA. Now they have to travel to the desert lands and play a well-oiled and well-rested ASU team.  However, ASU suffers a bit from Boston College disease, posting their 7-0 start against mostly the lower half of the food chain. Unfortunately, RB Ryan Torain for ASU is out for the season with a toe injury, and QB Ryan Carpenter hasn’t done well against Cal in the past (4 interceptions last year).  I think this one could go either way, but will depend on the defenses, and I think Cal might be a tad better there. However, if ASU walks away here, look out! They are already #4 in the BCS.

Moving elsewhere, other top 5 teams will have tough going also.  BCS #1 Ohio State, also the beneficiary of a rather pedestrian opening schedule, must travel to Beaver Stadium and take on a much improved Penn State sqaud that has only lost one game in its last 20 at home. OSU hasnt gone up against a defense like PSU.  However, the Nittany Lions’ offense has been inconsistent and they will be going against an OSU defense that might possibly be the best overall in the nation. Without a doubt this is a good test for OSU and a key must-win for PSU to stay in the thick of things in the Big 10.

Moving South, we gear up for the seasonal classic pitting BCS #11 Florida and #18 Georgia. Florida is probably ranked a bit lower than they should be considering their talent level.  Playing in the Swamp (Jacksonville, FL) will make an already tough situation for the Bulldogs, much harder. Consider that the Gators have beaten their rivals 15 of the last 17 times, and you have the makings of a possible blowout.  I think Florida wins this one big.

In a huge game in the Big East, BCS #7 West Virginia travels to New Jersey to play AP#25 Rutgers.  This might be an interesting game, but I’d be surprised if it is. Pat White and Steve Slayton should be able to work their magic against the Scarlet Knights, but Rutgers was able to hold South Florida down and win last week throwing the conference up in the air. WVU needs the win as they still have Louisville, Cincinnati and UConn left on the schedule. Rutgers must win to stay in the thick of things, since they, too, must face tough games ahead (Louisville and UConn). I see no reason to think that WVU doesnt prevail here with ease.

The Big 12 offers a few matchups worthy of note:

BCS #9 Kansas at Texas A&M – How good are the Jayhawks? Thats the question on everyone’s mind. They come into the game undefeated, and against an Aggie team that seems to do very well at times, but at other times can’t find their way to the sidelines. Kansas hasnt beaten the Aggies since 1974, but that might change. The Jayhawks have a potent air attack, and Texas Tech lit the Aggie Defense up for 38 points in their shutout, so this really plays well for Kansas.  However, the Jayhawks only put up 19 points in their win over Colorado last week, but admittedly, the Buffalo defense is far superior.  The game is at Kyle Field, so that should keep it somewhat close, but Kansas prevails in the end. Aggie coach Dennis Franchione needs to begin looking at what his next career move will be.

Nebraska at BCS #19 Texas – Ugh – two teams playing that seem to live up to their underachievement.  I dont like either team very much here. The Nebraska program is falling apart with National calls for Callahan’s resignation and protests over allowing over 40 points in 3 of their 4 losses. So unless Nebraska has some kind of gut check this week, Texas probably wins this game in a battle of who can play worse than the other. If Texas does win,  the coach and AD need to polish their resumes and start making calls for their next job.

There are, of course a whole slate of other games, but these seem to be the ones to watch  Oh one more  – South Florida  goes to UConn to try to bounce back after their dissappointment against Rutgers.  They should prevail here, but UConn is much better than people know.

Have a great weekend!

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It just seems this year, that week to week the pollsters take a beating. Almost every week now there’s been a different #2 team, and 10 top 10 teams have been beaten by unranked opponents. But the story that you hear from them is that we have all these “upsets”. I’m beginning to wonder if we have upsets, or has there just been a mass case of not being able to discern who has the better team this year?

Case in point, South Florida was #2. Now really, I love the Bulls and really got a big kick out of seeing them at #2, but deep down, I knew then didnt belong there. Just like I know Boston College doesnt belong there either. Did South Carolina deserve to be in the top 10? Probably not, and so we shouldnt really have been that surprised that they got beat by Vandy. That wouldnt have been nearly as huge a story had So Carolina been ranked down around 14 or 15 where they really belong.

The real issue I think is that the people voting in these polls dont watch the games. They just watch the highlights and gauge the score against the opponents. Now I am sure there are some commentators that vote and do watch the games, but at the same time, maybe their criteria for placement is inconsistent. To me, if a #2 team loses, but they are a good team and didnt lose by much, why is it automatic hat they drop from #2? For example, South Florida was ranked #2, and lost to Rutgers, who played a very good game. But the Bulls almost came back to win, and only lost by 3. Boston College is #3 and didnt play. So you have to ask yourself, before the Rutgers game people thought that the Bulls were better than BC, but now almost assuredly, losing a hard fought conference game to Rutgers translates that they arent better than Boston College any more. My question is Why?

Of course there are counter arguments, but it seems to be defaulted that the higher ranked team that loses must suffer punishment. Couldnt it just be that Rutgers was just a tad better that day? Move them up and reward their effort rather than punishing the Bulls? Of course taken to the extreme this doesnt work. But earlier this year Texas was ranked 5th or 6th and lost to Kansas St. The pollsters punished them by dropping them 12 or 13 places. Yet a few weeks later when Kentucky beat LSU in overtime, LSU only dropped a few places. They dropped South Florida 9 places for losing by 3! This mentality just doesn’t fly except for the reason that the media just wants to get the “right” teams in the right positions to have a good bowl schedule at the end of the year. I can get on board with that, but what that would mean to me, is that we all just have to take a look at the lineup now and really rank these teams the way we think they should be ranked, regardless of their week to week flaws. So, that being said, lets take a look how I might rank them:

1. LSU – vulnerable yes but week after week still I think the best and complete team in BCS land.

2. Ohio State – No, I really dont think they are #1, just because they are 8-0.

3. Oklahoma – They have played good teams and prevailed.

4. Oregon – Yes they are that good, and their loss to Cal becomes less significant each week.

5. Boston College – I hesitate to place them even this high, They really dont play anyone.

6. West Virginia – Flawed in that they must have Pat White at QB or they just die.

7. Missouri – Why not? They’ll win the Big12 North and will give OU a heck of a battle for the title.

8. Florida – Yes 2 losses but in the SEC, the best conference in America, thats nothing.

9. Arizona State – Everyone else barely got by Washington, ASU wins by 21.

10. USC – Not as strong as last year, but still formidable and capable.

11. South Florida – Probably where they belong – admittedly I was hyped up – but really, 11 is good.

12.  Virginia Tech – Yeah well, Im still not totally sold, but this seems about the right place.

13. Kentucky – They lost to So Carolina, but beat LSU.  This is a really good team and watch out.

14. Hawaii – I think this team deserves a break.  They can beat anyone below them, and a few above here.

15. Kansas – No, Im sorry, they dont belong in the top 10.

16. Michigan – Sorry I dont buy them being in the bottom 5 or so. They are MUCH better.

17. South Carolina – yeah they lost to Vandy – it happens,but they are still a good ball club.

18. California – Too good to be down too low.  This is still a very quality team.

19. Georgia – Consistency keeps them from getting much higher.

20. Virginia – Yes 7-1, but Im not sold on their quality yet.

21. Texas – Too erratic to move up. They might have a couple of more lossess this year.

22. Auburn – The best team that barely loses.  They still can have their way in the SEC if they want.

22. Penn State – Well I’ll put them back, lets see how long they last.

23. Rutgers – Powerful defense and Ray Rice makes the argument. Scarlet Knights climbing!

24. UCLA – I havent given up on the Bruins this year. Look for them to be in on some upsets.

25. Boise State – Great comeback win in multiple OTs.  I like the character.

On the Bubble:

Alabama
Purdue
Wisconsin
Texas Tech

Whew.  Lets hope for some sanity this next week.

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 [Author note:  I looked this over on Sunday and noticed that I left out Florida, so those changes were made here]

Ok, trivia question. Of the preseason top 10, who remains as an undefeated team? Answer below.

College Football is amazing. Now for all you stupid media types that say that “parity” is not good for college football, what you fail to realize is the ultimate consideration. It really isnt the media marketing, and who would watch a South Florida-California Championship, its really what is good for the students and the fans in colleges. And that is where I absolutely believe that the media jerks havent got a clue. Each one of them is so upset that we dont have a Michigan-USC or a Texas – Ohio State matchup, that they fail to realize that new football programs cropping up in previously “non-hyped” universities is a good thing.

First of all, its good for all the student athletes. Aren’t you tired of mentally seeding that all good athletes come from big schools. Take a look around the NFL rosters. Some of the finest players of all time come from schools that are NOT your main college powers. Tony Romo, from Eastern Illinois, Terrell Owens from Tenn-Chattanooga, Jerry Rice from Miss Valley State, and we could go on and on. Some of the best athletes DO come from the smaller schools, and if it takes those programs to start drawing media attention to their successes, so be it.

Second, think of the sheer impact of the benefits of the new successful football programs. Schools traditionally steeped in round ball (Kansas, Louisville, Kentucky to name just a few) are now packing in lots of kids and alumni (and dollars) into new athletic program budgets. These benefit ALL athletes and funding of these schools. Not to mention the overall college experience for the students that attend.

So, anyway, I think its just great that we are beginning to see more parity in college football. No longer can we just turn on the TV and say .. Oh well its LSU-Kentucky. Its Oh WOW its LSU-Kentucky and this could be a good ball game. And, as a matter of fact, #1 went down today. As well as #2!

Answer to Trivia Question: Ohio State,

Finished with my rant, lets examine our new top 25:

1. Ohio State (7-0). Defeated Kent St. 48-3. Next Week: Michigan St. at home.
Well, interestingly enough the Buckeyes have been playing the best football consistently since the beginning of the season. With LSU and Cal going down, who knows what happens week to week. Its really hard to determine.

2. Boston College (7-0). Defeated Notre Dame 27-14. Next week: Idle till 10/25.
BC just keeps clicking along, though a ND squad gave them some problems today. Do I really think BC should be in the hunt for a National Championship…oh hell no. and I really hope this isn’t the case.

3. South Florida (6-0). Defeated Central Florida 64-12. Next week: Rutgers (Thu)
You just can’t find alot wrong with the Bulls so far. Certainly another big game looms next week at Rutgers, a conference game. They now are in sole possession for the Big East lead. A decent win over Rutgers, tho, wont provide them any huge momentum seeing that they are unranked…so lots of effort needed for not much gain.

4. Oklahoma (6-1). Defeated Missouri 41-31. Next Week: At Iowa State.
The Sooners seems to really be close to cracking the top 2-3 again even after their Colorado debacle. I think its feasible that we could see Ohio State and OU at the end of the season. But honestly, I’m not really impressed with them that much… yet.

5. Oregon (5-1). Defeated Washington St. 53-7. Next Week: At Washington.
The Ducks are still a formidable opponent. I think they are as good as Cal, which means a good tie in the Pac 10. Where they could go in the ultimate standings is unlimited. Are they better than OU, So. Fla, and BC?? Maybe so!

6. LSU (6-1). Lost to Kentucky 43-37 (OT). Next Week: Auburn at home.
I have been thinking that the Tigers would trip up some where in the SEC, and thought it might have been against Florida. However, Kentucky pulled off the upset. This was a bit suprising. Let’s see what happens. Still alot of season left. They could make it back, given that OSU stil must play the powerhouses in the Big 10, and BC just cant stay that high…can they?

7. So. Carolina (6-1). Defeated No. Carolina 21-15. Next Week: Vanderbilt at home.
Lots of trouble with NC this week, but a good sign of a good team is that you play poorly and still win. We’ll accept that at this point. More needed to maintain tho.

8. West Virginia (5-1). Idle. Next Week: Mississippi at home.
Well, the Mountaineers didnt play but actually move up a spot due to Cal losing.

9. California (5-1). Lost to Oregon State 31-28. Next week: At UCLA.
Hard to really make out what happened here. Nate Longshore (starting QB) did not play, so you want to cut SOME slack. Yet you wonder what happened to any of the Golden Bear defense. I think a commensurate drop for Cal like USC is appropriate. Faulty QB decision cost the game, everyone will say, but as the coach said, we could have not put him in that position. Right he is.

10. Virginia Tech (6-1). Defeated Duke 43-14. Next Week: Idle.
Ok well, beating Duke in football is like beating a midget enclosed in a cage, but the fact is that the Hokies are playing very well of late. Kudos!

11. Kentucky (6-1). Defeated LSU 43-37. Next Week: Florida at home.
The road gets harder for the Wildcats, but this day they just were tougher than the #1 team in the nation. Players played tougher, they wanted it, and LSU just didnt. Kudos, but can you come back and beat the Gators next week?

12. Florida (4-2). Idle. Next Week: At Kentucky.
The Gators had no opponent this week, but face a formidable one next week. With two losses, its really hard to justify the Gators this high, but at the same time, they are a great team, so I dont know where they belong at this point.

13. USC (5-1). Defeated Arizona 20-13. Next Week: At Notre Dame.
With starting QB John David Booty on the sidelines with a broken finger, the Trojans run alot and take care of Az. The future doesn’t look bright tho.14. Hawaii (7-0). Defeated San Jose State 42-35 (OT). Next week: New Mexico St at home.
The Warriors had an off game and still came up victorious. I’m really sorry if this offends people, but yanno 7-0 deserves SOME mention. Also 540 yds/game.

15. Kansas (6-0). Defeated Baylor 58-10. Next Week: At Colorado.
Ok so I have to give the Jayhawks some love, cuz no one else will. They are undefeated and playing extremely well. Lets see what happens against the Buffaloes next week.

16. Arizona St (7-0). Defeated Washington 44-20. Next Week: Cal at home.
Next week could be a huge game for the Sun Devils. Beat Cal and you are legit and vying for a Pac 10 crown!

17. Auburn (5-2). Defeated Arkansas 9-7. Next Week: At LSU.
The score is not indicative really. Auburn has been climbing back for a couple or three weeks now. Outstanding defensive effort tonight. Another scary opponent for LSU next week.

18. Missouri (5-1). Lost to OU 41-31. Next Week: Texas Tech at home.
Tough game against OU, but a very bad game for the Tigers. Sloopy, and not well played. OU plays just well enough to win. The Tigers dissapointed me.

19. Texas (5-2). Defeated Iowa St. 56-3. Next Week: At Baylor.
Big deal. I know high school teams that can beat Iowa State.

20. Texas Tech (6-1). Defeated Tex A&M 35-7. Next Week: At Missouri.
Whoa, where did TTU get that defense? They allow an opening TD in the 1st quarter and then shut down A&M the rest of the game? Where’d this come from? Tech defense averaging 10 pts per game since new Defensive Coordinator took over.. hmmm. If Harrell, Crabtree, et al can come up big against Missouri next week, a lot of eyes might turn toward Lubbock.

21. Tennessee (4-2). Defeated Miss St. 33-21. Next Week: At Alabama.
Ok so the Vols has been improving every week, and seem to have found a semblance of defense in their back to back to back wins. Things are getting better down Orange way.

22. Georgia (5-2). Defeated Vanderbilt 20-17. Next Week: Florida at home.
The Bulldogs hang around here after a mediocre win. I think Fla pushes them out next week.

23. Alabama (5-2). Defeated Ole Miss 27-24. Next Week: Tennessee at home.
Well ok, the Tide seems to making a comeback. Up and down tho. Key game next week against Tenn.

24. Michigan (5-2). Defeated Purdue 48-21. Next Week: At Illinois.
What a great story of character. Started 0-2, and since, have rattled off 5 straight. I was surprised at the big victory against Purdue. Go Maise and Blue! Mike Hart is my choice for Heismann.

25. Virginia (6-1). Defeated UConn 17-16. Next Week: At Maryland.
The Cavaliers make their debut here, not because they are daunting, so much, but they are 6-1 and continue to quietly win. The Terps will provide a formidable opponent next week tho.

Dropped out: Texas A&M, Indiana, Cincinnati, Illinois

On the Bubble:  Illinois, Kansas State, Penn State, Cincinnati

Most impressive: Kentucky, Texas Tech, South Florida, Michigan

Least Impressive: LSU, Cal, Missouri, Wisconsin

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It’s really amazing to see teams each week coming out and playing their hearts out with the passion and athleticism that, frankly, you just dont see in the pros. College Football is just where the best comes out. This weekend was no exception and we were treated to some upsets (with national title hopes implications) and good solid performances.

LSU proved that it deserved to be vaulted to the elite status, as they rallied to beat Florida, but give the Gators their due. In my mind these were truly 2 of the top 5 teams in the nation battling like heavyweights. Perhaps we’ll see them again in the SEC Championship?

USC finally let its balloon bust as they continued a downward spiral of play both offensively and defensively that started in Washington last week. Their National Title hopes are now gone. Texas, too, watched any hopes of a major bowl game disintegrate into the hot Texas sky as OU dominated late.

Wisconsin, as we’ve been hinting all along, finally went down HARD to Illinois, one of my favorite teams this year. I had said last week that Wisconsin has reminded me of Texas in that they were just trying to find a way to lose. Speaking of Texas, they are now gone from the Top 25 with a very unimpressive performance, and loss, against Oklahoma.

More and more it seems that the teams with the best fundamentals are going to win this year. And at the moment, there’s only ONE team..LSU. They ARE the best team and no one is close. With that, here’s the top 25:

1. LSU (6-0). Defeated Florida 28-24. Next week: At Kentucky.
Ok, so they proved finally against a worthy opponent that they are the #1. Fundamentals are the name of the game and when you have athletes with sound fundamentals and good coaching, there’s not much that can stand in the way.

2. California (5-0). Idle. Next week: Oregon St. at home.
Not much to say, except they didnt play and USC lost, so they move up. I dont really like these two for the National Championship tho.

3. Ohio State (6-0). Beat Purdue 23-8. Next Week: Kent State at home.
OSU pretty much the cream of the B10 and in control. Who can beat them? Illinois?

4. Boston College (6-0). Beat Bowling Green 55-24. Next Week: At Notre Dame.
I’m beginning to believe in the Golden Eagles. Their offense is averaging over 450 yards per game and Matt Ryan looks like a QB on a mission.

5. South Florida (5-0). beat Florida Atlantic 35-23. Next Week: Central Florida at home.
It wasn’t a real amazing week for the Bulls, but they played mediocre and still won against a rival. We’ll not punish them too much for that.

6. Oklahoma (5-1). Beat Texas 28-21. Next week: Missouri at home.
Well I’m surprised they are this high too, but with key losses in the bottom half of the top 10, OU kinda defaults here. Good solid effort against Texas, but there is vulnerability here.

7. Oregon (4-1). Idle. Next week: Washington St. at home
The Ducks didnt play but dropped due to other losses and OU winning. I’d love to see a rematch of OU-Oregon this year as opposed to last year.

8. Florida (4-2). Lost to LSU 28-24. Next week: Idle
No shame in barely losing to the top team in the nation on the road. I’m certainly NOT going to put them below these others. Florida really deserves to be higher cuz they played like it tonight.

9. South Carolina (5-1). Beat Kentucky 38-23. Next week: At No. Carolina.
The Gamecocks put together a great plan and executed terrific coaching in beating Kentucky. But with Tenn, Arkansas, Florida and Clemson, the road gets only harder.

10. West Virginia (5-1). Beat Syracuse 55-14. Next week: Idle.
Good comeback after a disappointment last week. The Mountaineers have a a great team they need to just concentrate and put it back together. This was a good start.

11. Hawaii (6-0). Defeated Utah St 52-37 Next week: At San Jose State.
The Warriors deserve to be ranked high with all the losses that occurred. I’m sure that the AP writers (idiots) and Coaches wont bother, but the fact is that they are undefeated and no one has come close to beating them. This week, in fact, they put up 52 pts with a backup QB!

12. Missouri (5-0). Defeated Nebraska 41-6. Next week: At Oklahoma.
The Tigers have very little time to revel in their pounding of B12 North foe Nebraska, since their next team is OU in Norman. Tough schedule. But congrats – excellent team victory here.

13. Va Tech (5-1). Defeated Clemson 41-23. Next week: At Duke.
The Hokies are gradually playing with more consistency, and managed some good offense against a tough Clemson group. I still worry about their offense coming out each game and playing hard.

14. Illinois (5-1). Defeated Wisconsin 31-26. Next week: At Iowa.
Statement made. Ron Zook’s team has made the segue into the higher echelon. Beating a tough Badger team was a testimony to how far this program has come! One of my favorite teams this year.

15. Kentucky (5-1). Lost to So. Carolina 38-23. Next Week: LSU at home.
Ouch, you get spanked on the road and then have to return home to play the #1 team in the nation? That really sucks – but oh well thats life in the top 15.

16. Wisconsin (5-1). Lost to Illinois 31-26. Next week: At Penn State.
A tough game for the Badgers, but they were just beat. It seems that they have been trying to get completely on track and hitting on all cylinders, but the wheels came off against a hot Illini team. They are still in the hunt so we wont write them off just yet.

17. Arizona St (6-0). Defeated Wash St. 23-20. Next Week: Washington at home.
You really can’t argue with anyone right now that’s undefeated being in the top 25. By the way dont look now, but Cal and Az St are tied for the Pac 10 lead. When has that happened?

18. Kansas (5-0). Defeated Kansas St 30-24. Next week: Baylor at home
From bubble to 18 is a big step, I admit. However if you look at what happened this week in the bottom 10, you’ll understand why. Also, I watched this game and think that Missouri-Kansas at the end of the year might be for the B12 North. But they have to get by a few others first. We’ll see.

19. Auburn (4-2). Defeated Vanderbilt 35-7. Next week: At Arkansas.
OK, so laugh at me that a 4-2 team is still in the top 25. Well, remember this isnt about record, but about how the team is playing. Since back-to-back losses at #5 South Florida and Ole Miss, the Tigers have strung together 3 straight wins including the upset last week against Florida.

20. USC (4-1). Lost to Stanford 24-23. Next week: Arizona at home.
We all just have to face it, that USC was on the cusp of a breakdown last week, and haven’t really gelled as a team this year as in the past. This week, they failed to make halftime adjustments to beat Stanford, a team that everyone has been pummeling. I don’t see USC in the top 25 at the end of the year.

21. Texas (4-2). Lost to Oklahoma 28-21. Next week: At Iowa State.
Sadly, the Longhorns put together their best game of the year and it wasn’t enough, so again with all the losses in the bottom here, you can’t drop them too far for losing to a top 10 team. However, it’s very questionable that Texas is around even HERE in a few weeks seeing that they still have to play Nebraska, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, all of which could beat them.

22. Cincinnati (6-0). Defeated Rutgers 28-23. Next Week: Louisville at home.
Very quietly, Cincy has joined the ranks of the “wow the oval ball is as fun as the round ball” club. The are undefeated in the Big East, tied with So Florida and of all people, UConn. Louisville could be a challenge next week.

23. Texas A&M (5-1). Defeated Oklahoma St. 24-23. Next week: At Texas Tech.
Well like it or not, A&M put together an impressive come back against a tough Oklahoma State bunch, and looked pretty good doing it. I hate their style of football, but fact is, Oklahoma might not be safe in the Big 12 South.

24. Indiana (5-1). Defeated Minnesota 40-20. Next Week: At Michigan State.
Ok its time we quit beating around the bush and invite the Hoosiers into the club. They are now just a much in the Big 10 hunt as just about anyone, and only 1 win away from bowl eligibility. In fact, their only loss was a close one against Illinois. Their remaining schedule also does NOT include Ohio State or Michigan. Hmm.

25. Texas Tech (5-1). Defeated Iowa State 42-18. Next week: Texas A&M at home.
Had all-world receiver Michael Crabtree been able to rake in a winning TD pass in the waning moments against Oklahoma State, the Red Raiders would have been in the T25 2 weeks ago. This week, I think they deserve mention. The system is one thing, but when you AVERAGE 52 points per game and almost 600 yards of total offense, you are doing very well, And dont look now, but since the Oklahoma St loss, the Tech defense has averaged giving up only 12 pts a game!

On the Bubble:
Colorado
Tennessee
Alabama

Dropping out: Georgia, Rutgers, Purdue, UCLA, Clemson, Nebraska

Most Impressive Teams: LSU, Missouri, South Carolina, Auburn

Least Impressive Teams: USC, Wisconsin, Georgia, Clemson, Nebraska

Have a terrific week!

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