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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Week 14 TRS College Football Rankings

We are nearing the end of the road as the regular season is set to wrap up in some leagues, while others prep for conference title games.

The picture is getting clearer, but there is still a lot in flux.

1. Oregon Ducks
The Ducks blew out their in-state rivals, which is just what the doctor ordered in their quest to keep the top spot.  This team has now won 7 in a row with 3 ranked teams among those opponents since being upset by an Arizona team that has managed to win the PAC-12 south.

Now we get the rematch, and if Oregon wants to play in the tourney, they need to win that game.

2. Florida State Seminoles

The Noles had another tight one, narrowly escaping an upset bid from a spirited Gator team which was playing its last game under 'Boom'.  The margin wasn't great, though Florida State stayed in the lead after scoring their second touchdown halfway through the second quarter.  One interesting note.  Watching the game, the only player who seemed to not be ready to go, was Jameis.  It was his 3 early picks that gave the Gators hope, thought the Noles defense played very well holding them to 9 points after those picks, and then answered with Terrence Smith's 94 yd pick-6.

Now, Georgia Tech is on deck for the Noles in the ACC title game.  This is a scary game for the Noles.  Not only is Georgia Tech a very good team, coming off a win over a good Georgia team, but they run a scheme on offense which has given FSU trouble in the past.  I expect a lot of points in this game.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tide played in one of the most exciting games of the weekend, but that's not really a great thing when you are trying to stay in the top 4.  That said, a win in the Iron Bowl is a win in one of the biggest rivalries in college football, and they got it.  The concern here is that they gave up 456 yards passing (to Nick Marshall!!!) and 44 points to Auburn.  Bama is supposed to be about defense.  The numbers look good with Blake Sims throwing for over 300, Amari Cooper closing with over 200 yards receiving, and T.J. Yeldon rushing for 127, but Sim threw 3 picks and only one player other than Cooper caught more than 1 ball.

Now comes the SEC title game and Mizzou, in which Bama will be a heavy favorite.  They need to handle business in this game.

4. Wisconsin Badgers
This probably looks odd as the Badgers have 2 losses to Ohio State's 1.  These two teams are separated by a hair, and right now the Badgers get the nod for a slightly tougher SoS.

They are coming off a win over a up-and-coming Minnesota team, and get to settle it on the field with Ohio State in the Big 11/10 title game.  It will be interesting to see what the Buckeyes can put on the field with their #3 QB taking snaps.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 13 TRS College Football Rankings

What did week 13 leave us with?

The Big 12 has a logjam that is going to come down to the very end of the regular season.  On top of the glorious tension that fans are rewarded with from having Baylor, TCU, and Kansas State still in the running, it may offset some of the affect of there being no Big 12 conference title.  It is likely that the Big 12 championship will come down to the Wildcats and the Bears in Waco on the 6th.

There wasn't a lot of excitement in the SEC as most of they are in the midst of their late-season round of cupcakes.  Arkansas's demolishing of Ole Miss did not have a positive effect for their conference.  Arkansas is getting better, but Ole Miss is really not the same team since losing LaQuon Treadwell, and the game, to Auburn.  Simply put, they are good, but not great, which damages the reputation of the SEC West this season.  That said, it is still the best division in football.

Out west, in the PAC, there is still a battle to see who will face off with Oregon for the conference championship.  The thumping that UCLA put on the Trojans in L.A. announced their intentions to contend for the conference title.  It is going to be a very interesting weekend as the Bruins face off with the always-dangerous Stanford Cardinal and Sun Devils go to war with the Wildcats out in the desert.  If the Bruins win, it is theirs, as they hold the head-to-head against both of the Arizona teams.

As for the top 4, Bama rolled over Western Carolina, Florida State escaped again, and Oregon rolled over Colorado, the Vanderbilt of the PAC-12.

So, here is the latest standings:

1. Oregon Ducks: 
The Ducks have not been challenged since getting their starting offensive line healthy again.  If they can avoid an upset in the Civil War against Oregon State and beat whoever comes out of the logjam in the PAC-12 south, they will be a shoo-in for the playoff.  That however, requires 2 more wins over quality programs.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide: 
The Tide will be in the playoff for sure if they win out.  However, they have the Iron Bowl and the SEC championship between them and the playoff.  It will be interesting to see what would happen if the Tide happens to drop one of these games, giving them 2 losses on the season.  Would they jump ahead of all the 1 loss teams, or would they simply give their spot to the Mississippi State team that they beat so soundly a few weeks ago.

3. Florida State Seminoles: 
This team is infuriating to watch.  They are talented, they are clutch, and they insist on proving the latter each and every week.  Mind you, winning a close game against a solid, physical, BC team on a water-logged field is no great shame, but they need to learn how to start a game.  Closing is good, but every now and again, they should whoop someone.  As for the future, they have a rivalry game for with the Gators coming to town before the ACC championship game.  That title game is set against Georgia Tech, which is a scary game for the Noles.  Tech run the triple option which has given FSU trouble in the past, and the YellowJackets have the talent to make the most of it.  If they lose one of these, they will be missing the playoffs.

4. Ohio State Buckeyes: 
People can say what they want about the Buckeyes lettings Indiana hang around, but they have making an impressive run through the Big 10(1).  Now, they have the Big Game against their rivals to the north before lining up for the Big 10 championship.  The west has an interesting situation with Minnesota facing off with the Badgers, with the winner taking the Division.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week 12 TRS College Football Rankings

Well, what did week 12 teach us?

Well, Alabama is still good, and Mississippi State was over-rated, but good.  In my opinion, it looks like the SEC is proving itself to be a bastion of Parity this year.  It is full of many very good teams, without an excellent team to run away.

That is pretty much the description for any team rankings that you can find.

Florida slept through the first quarter again, but game back to beat an up-and-coming Miami team.   I am sure, by now, that sounds familiar.  That leaves them as the only unbeaten outside of West Virginia.

Oregon is rolling, TCU survived a trap game against a Kansas team that seems to have found new life....but Kansas?

Oh, and Ohio State suddenly has life again in the national picture.  They are looking awfully damned good right now.  But, not quite good enough to get them back in my top 4 yet.

One interesting thought though.  What is LSU holds on to beat Alabama, then turns around and loses to Arkansas while Bama knocks off the Bulldogs.  Where does that leave the SEC?The only team they would have left with 1 loss would be the just beaten Bulldogs.  There is no way that you could put the Bulldogs in the playoffs in front of Bama, but can a team with 2 losses make with so many good 1 loss teams?  Damn, that would have been fun.

1. Oregon Ducks
The Ducks had a fine showing against Bye Week, whose porous defense was not match for Mariota and the rest of the Ducks.  They have the weak-sister Colorado Buffaloes this week with the Civil War in 2 weeks before a spot in the Pac-12 championship.

2. Florida State Seminoles
The Noles started slow again, spotting the young Miami Hurricanes a 16 point lead to start the game, before getting a break on Karlos Williams' tip touchdown reception.  That seemed to wake them up and then their scholarships took over.

This team is so damned talented, that they should be the missing dominant team that everyone is looking for.  They need to mature and come out aggressive to start game from here on.  Boston College is a tough, physical, team that will shorten the game.  They are up next, and they would love to spoil the party.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide
That was a big win for the Tide, which was nowhere near as close as the 5 point spread would indicate.  Bama is loaded, as usual, and look like the class of the SEC.

That the upside.

The downside?  They are playing Western Carolina this week.  Seriously......Western Carolina of the Southern Conference.  These patsy games this late in the season is shameful.

4. TCU Horned Frogs
The Frogs did their best FSU imitation, though they started the comeback a little late.

That said, a conference road win, is a conference road win.  However, they had better play a little better against a hot Texas team when they go to Austin this week or their Cinderella dreams will be over.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Week 11 TRS College Football Rankings

I love this time of year.  The list is being whittled down as the late-season conference game separate the wheat from the chaff.  The Cream Puff games are over, unless you are Mississippi State apparently......really guys UT Martin?  In November?  You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Per that, you have dropped a spot in the rankings and if I hadn't committed to the formula, you would have dropped further because scheduling that game as an extra bye week is !$##$%@#$%.

Sorry, as you can see, that bothered me a little bit.  Oh wait, maybe it's a state of Mississippi thing.  These teams were a great story early in the season, but the excuse of an SEC schedule to put in an extra Cream Puff game late in season just doesn't work for me.  You can't brag on the strength of your conference making you more worthy and then toss in a game like this.  If Oregon, Ohio State, or Florida state scheduled that game in November, they would be crucified.


On to the rankings.

1.  Oregon Ducks
The Ducks have been rolling and showed what makes them so dangerous this week against a good Utah team.

If you missed it, early in the game the Utes had the momentum and hit a long pass that looked to be a TD to put them ahead by 2 scores.  But....the receiver pull a DeSean as he went into the end zone and the alert Oregon defense picked it up and took it back 100 years for an equalizing TD.

Which, led mr. MO to switch teams and it was pretty much over from there.  Mariota as this team clicking, and they never take an inch.  They take the whole damned mile.

2. TCU Horned Frogs
Let me say this up front.  Kansas State is a very good team.  They have a very good QB in an excellent scheme with great weapons on the outside and a good offense line.  They can even boast of a serviceable rushing attack with a collection of back filling the various roles.

That said, they got rolled in Dallas last weekend.

TCU was demonstratively better than the Wildcats and Trevone Boykin exploded onto the Heisman ballot.  TCU always has a good defense, and this year is no exception to that rule.  Their offense, however, is the best I have seen it since a particular ginger was leading them who now resides in Cincinnati.  If they and Baylor win out, it's going to be an interesting argument to see which one resides in the top 4, because there should be no way that the Big 12 is out in the cold in that situation.

3. Mississippi State Bulldogs 
The bulldogs beat a patsy.

They get no love this week.

4. Florida State Seminoles
The Noles won another ACC game.

The Noles won another game where they were down early, once again due to uncharacteristic mistakes by Jameis Winston.

However, this not a game in which they were ever scared.  Even though they turned the ball over on back to back posessions, allowing Virginia to grab 2 TD's off of short fields, they were never scared.  Once Winston started taking better care of the ball, the scholarships took over for their offense and they walked right over a very good Virginia defense.

On the defensive side of the ball, this is about as good as they have looked his season.  They gave up 3 TD's but all 3 of them were off of turnovers and 2 were when Virginia started on the wrong side of the 50.  When it was time to shut it down, they did.

Friday, November 7, 2014

What did Eligwe do?

Over the last few years, Jimbo Fisher's version of the Florida State Seminoles has repeatedly come under the scrutinizing eye of the national press's moral compass (Yes, that was a joke).

Full disclosure, I have been rooting for the Seminoles since I was a child.  That said, there has been some cause for scrutiny.  A sexual assault accusation.  An assault accusation.  Public mischief.  All of these things were handled in the public eye and many have stated publicly and loudly that they believe that the FSU program has sold its soul.

We will ignore the face that suddenly ESPN is convinced that FSU is committing more transgressions than any other program.  I say suddenly because how much have your heard out of the SEC, which was in the spotlight several times over the past few years.  Suddenly, they are all running squeaky clean programs.  Admittedly, this does not remove any guilt from FSU, but it does explain the magnifying glass that has been put upon them.  Simply put, the network has a financial interest in the success of the conference that they have gotten into bed with and hold forth as the flagship for the college football.  However, I have no proof of transgressions as my other job prevents me from traveling to the south and investigating, so I will get back on task.