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Monday, November 29, 2010

Thoughts on College Football after week 13

- As a longtime Florida State fan I would like to share this with the fans of the Boise State Broncos.  This, is why you make kicker recruiting a priority.  You may have had the best former walk-on kicker in the country, but he was still a walk on.  BTW, I will put this out there.  I believe that that Boise State did not make the championship because of their conference, but not for the commonly spoken reason.  Rather than them not being able to prove that they belonged, rather I think that because they were so much better than the rest of their competition, their defense was not conditioned for 4 Quarters of hard play.  Nevada did not get that much better in the second half, Boise's D got tired.

- Speaking of Florida State.  They are, once again, the best team in the state of Florida.  Oh, and they are going to the ACC Championship.

- Texas is not going bowling.   Converse amongst yourselves.  That one just makes my brain hurt.  Oh, and good for the Aggies.

- Cam Newton is incredible.  Alabama is better top to bottom, but if doesn't matter if you can't stop their best player.

- D'antonio is a great coach, but Michigan State is not a BCS level team.  Wins are Wins, but.....at some point you need to really beat someone.  They haven't done that this year.

 - I hate to do it, but I have to agree with Husker nation on one thing.  Colorado has never really been a rival for them.  I wish they would quit whining and looking for conspiracies in the Big 12 though.  Yes, you got some calls against you, so did everyone else.  Yes, you got snubbed by the Big 12 commissioner, but a few thousand of your buddy's threatened him and his staff.  When you act like a bunch of jackasses, you will not get respect.  You are just going to have to find a way to deal with that.  Or, you could learn to teach your buddies how to win with the class that most of you show.

- I would like to thank Arkansas for 2 things.  First, thank you for proving me right about you and LSU.  Second, thank you for making sure that Les Miles didn't sneak his way into the BCS.

- Best. Team. In. The. Big. 10.

- Boy, was I ever wrong about Utah.  BYU is not good this year.  Rivalry game or not, a good team beats them by more than 1.

- This was a great game and I feel bad for the Cowboys.  If they could have played the Sooners a month ago, they beat them.  There is not a doubt in my mind.  That said, the Big 12 championship is what everyone wanted to see, or should have, in the last year that Nebraska will be in the Big 12.

Here are my rankings for this week.  I know a lot of you are going to look at them and wonder if I am off my rocker, but let me make something clear to you.  I don't give a crap what the polls say.  Results matter, and what my eyes tell me matter.  So, you will probably disagree, but outside of a horrible choke my a kicker out in Reno, my rankings have held up pretty well this year.

1. Auburn: They have had some cloes games, but noone has stopped Cam Newton for longer than a quarter yet this year.  Having played South Carolina, Alabama, and LSU, that says a lot.  They have one tough test left in a rematch with the Gamecocks, but if they make it through there will be no doubt about their qualifications.  Their eligibility?  well, that is another question.

2. Oregon: The Ducks were themselves again against Arizona.  They are one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the country, and hopefully that Cal game was just a case of them overlooking a bit.  Oh, and the Cal Bears faking injuries to slow them down.

3. Arkansas: I am wondering something.  If Auburn does lose, can Arkansas play Oregon?  I doubt it very much, but boy would that be a fun game to watch.  You could easy put the over/under at 90.

4. Wisconsin: This is the best team in the country over the past month.  2 games in conference with 70+ points, and they are a running offense.  A traditional running offense even.  WOW.  Oh, but Beilema is still a prick.

5. Stanford: They will not beat themselves and have big time talent.  Andrew Luck, regadless of Cam Newton, should be the favorite for the first overall pick if he comes out.  Also, the defense has shown itself to be much improved over last year.

6. TCU: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, sorry, I was napping.  Is their game against New Mexico over yet?

7. Nebraska:  Please guys, just stop whining about your supposed Big 12 conspiracy and play the game.  You turned your back on the conference that you helped build for more money.  Nobody is going to feel sorry for you.  Oh, and good luck.

8. Boise State:  They choked.  Their kicker especially, but not just.  Their defense caved in and let Nevada do whatever they wanted in the second half.  It really is sad, becaues I still beleive that this team can beat anyone in the country.

9. Ohio State: One more thrashing of their rival, the Wolverines. It just doesn't taste as sweet as it used to, I bet.  Still impressive though.

10. Oklahoma: Bedlam is always fun, and this year even moreso than normal.  This is a Sooner team that looks to have found its stride.  Are they good enough to beat Nebraska though?

11. Alabama: They had it, they were so close to another shot at the BCS.  Does anyone know the Heimlich?

12. South Carolina: The biggest game in recent history for the South Carolina football program is coming up quick here.  How will Spurrier and his boys respond?

13. Oklahoma State: I can't help but wonder if homefield against either the Huskers or the Sooners might have made enough difference for this team.  They are awfully good, and awfully young.  The remaining Big 12 members had better watch out.

14. Virginia Tech: Well look at that, they almost caught back up to Boise.  All that is between them and a BCS game after starting 0-2 is the Florida State Seminoles.  This is what we all wanted for the ACC when the year started right?  Well, here it comes.

15. Florida State: The Noles are the best team in Florida for the first time in awhile.  They dominate the Gators.

16. Missouri
17. LSU
18. Michigan State
19. Texas A&M
20. Nevada
21. Mississippi State
22. Arizona
23. USC
24. Miami
25. Iowa
26. West Virginia
27. Northern Illinois
28. Maryland
29. NC State
30. Baylor

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thoughts on College Football after week 11

-TCU seems to do this at least once a year.  Iowa has proven itself to be decent but mercurial this year.  Makes you wonder what Northwestern's coaching staff could do at a football school, doesn't it?

-Holy Crap.  I knew Wisonsin was going to throttle Indiana, but they really kept their foot on the gas didn't they.

-So, it would appear that all my excitement about Utah may have been a bit premature.  I am sure there was a bit of a letdown after the TCU game, but I really thought they were better than this.

-The number 3 team in the country should not have this happen against a middling bowl team.  The question is, did they overlook the Aztecs, or were we wrong about TCU?

-I the Florida Gators, but I hate the Florida Gators because of Steve Spurrier.  I am so conflicted whenever this game rolls around.  Can't they both lose?

-To my mind, this knocks the Ducks out of the top 2.  Cal is not good enough for a National Title contender to stuggle like that.  It's about consistency.

-This has to feel good for the OSU Cowboys.  They are the class of the Big 12 South and are on pace for a rematch with the Huskers in the Big 12 title game.

1. Boise State
2. Auburn
3. Oregon
4. Arkansas
5. Wisconsin
6. TCU
7. Nebraska
8. Ohio State
9. Stanford
10. LSU
11. Alabama
12. Oklahoma State
13. South Carolina
14. Michigan State
15. Missouri
16. Virginia Tech
17. Oklahoma
18. USC
19. Florida State
20. Texas A&M
21. Miami
22. Iowa
23. Nevada
24. Arizona
25. NC State
26. Baylor
27. Kansas State
28. Michigan
29. Northwestern
30. Mississippi State

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thoughts on College Football after week 10

Welcome to the meat grinder portion of your conference schedule.  It is weeks like this that reminds us why the BCS teams get so much credit for playing in those conferences.  When someone knows your schemes and personnel inside and out, things get a wee bit tougher.  You don't believe me?  Just ask Alabama, Florida State, OU, South Carolina, Miami, and Nebraska.

Some of those teams were able to hang on, and some were not.  You are not going to surprise these teams that know you, it really comes down to execution and talent advantage.

Because of that familiarity, the teams that lose these match ups won't take as big a hit for these losses as they might have for losses earlier in the year.

There were a few teams who managed to make statements though.  Who stepped up in these tough match ups and said, "Hey, we are not messing around.". 

-K-State came out and dominated Texas.  I realize that Texas is not as daunting an opponent as they have been in recent years, but Texas was never in this game.  The Wildcats took the air out of the ball with their backup QB in.  However, when that QB was a Wideout last year, that's not all that bad a thing.  Texas could not force the Wildcats to throw the ball, and the Cats defense had 5 interceptions.  The Cats are not a top 10 team, but they are on their way back and they will hit you in the mouth.

-Arkansas needed a statement win, and beating the Gamecocks counts.  It was the usual Arkansas offensive output, it being no great surprise that this explosive offense got it going early and often.  The surprise continues to be the upswing on the performance of the Hogs defense over the past few weeks.  Giving up 295 yards of offense is not an incredible performance, but a couple of picks to give their offense a couple more possessions is big.  If they can do that, they are going to win more often than not.

-TCU is the class of the MWC.  Utah hadn't played anyone since Pittsburgh early in the season so we didn't know how much of their flash was substance.  Well, it turns out, not much.  Now mind you, they are a good team, just not top 10 good.

Annnnnd, now for this week's rankings.  There were a whole lot of moves and couple of teams clawing their way back into the rankings after being away for a few weeks.

1. Oregon: Until someone beats them.
2. Boise State: Boise will be rooting for Alabama because Auburn running the table is the only way I see them comint out of the #2 spot.  You can say what you want about their level competition.  This team has athletes that are serious matchup issues.
3. Auburn: They are good, and they are starting to look like a team of destiny.  That said, you aren't the team of destiny until you win.
4. TCU: WOW.  This team is for real.  Top to bottom, this might be the most balanced in the country.
5. Arkansas: The Hogs are rolling right now, and their offense can run with anyone.
6. Wisconsin: They just hit you in the mouth, over and over and over and over and over and......yeah, you'd give in too.
7. Stanford: Andrew Luck is the man.  Ok, so maybe not since Cam Newton is hanging around, but Luck is a future franchise QB and Stanford is solid around him.
8. Nebraska: A win is a win, but they moved down after squeaking by an average Iowa State team.
9. Ohio State: They could easily be in the national championship conversation, but they seem to playing their best ball in years with the pressure off.
10. Iowa: Ferentz can coach.
11. LSU: The Mad Hatter strikes again.  The guy is crazy, but he can recruit and his teams play hard.
12. Alabama: The SEC is tough, huh boys.
13. Oklahoma State: Top 3 offense in the country along with Oregon and Arkansas.  They'd be higher, but you can't outpoint everyone.
14. South Carolina: Arkansas is a buzz saw right now and they cut right though the GameCocks.
15. Michigan State: Another hard nosed Big 10 team hanging around for a nice pay day
16. Missouri: A tough conference loss, but Missouri is solid and can beat anyone on a good day.
17. Va. Tech: They just keep climbing back up the polls don't they? 
18. OU: Landry Jones should be worried about his job
19. Arizona: They are handling their business in the desert this year.
20. Utah: Can they get back up off the canvas?
21. USC: A tough win against ASU was still a conference win.  This is Barkley's team, but the next couple years will be interesting.
22. Mississippi State: Finally, someone knocked Kentucky out of the rankings.
23. Nevada: Big time offense.  They are waiting on Boise.
24. Florida State: Been a tough couple weeks for the Noles.  Their defense needs to find its way back.
25. Baylor: This is the best Bayor team you have ever seen......well it would be is you would watch their games.
26. Kansas State: They DOMINATED the Longhorns, on the ground. Seriously, 39 points with 9 yards passing?
27. Michigan: They need a Defense, but they sure can score the ball.
28. NC State: This team is improving, but they are still awful young.
29. Florida: This might be the best defense in the country.  They problem is, the Gators need every bit of it.
30. Texas A&M: The Aggiest are showing a little something.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thoughts on College Football after week 9

- What is the hell has happened to Texas?  You look at the turnaround in Austin when he showed up, and the consistency over the past 12 years (128 wins, never less than 9 in a year), and you can't put this on Mack Brown's coaching ability.  He knows how to win, but has he gotten spoiled by having Vince Young and Colt McCoy back to back?  This team needs a leader and accountability.  Garrett Gilbert is not that guy, not yet anyway.

- Randy Shannon is not a good coach.  You hear much ballyhoo about his level-headed approach, but this team needs emotion.  They are built like the old Miami teams that snowballed on teams with their speed and aggression.  If they want to be more than also-ran, they need some of that.

- It's time for a little "I told you so"
1. #6 will beat #8 at home.
2. Michigan State was not #5 in the country.
3. Cam Newton is the best player in the country right now.

Thanks, I needed that.
And now, for an updated set of rankings.

1. Oregon: USC was a game opponent, but someone has to prove that they can stop this offense before they are going to move.
2. Boise State: See above minus USC.  You can say what you want about the level of competition.  They are drilling everyone into the ground, and they have athletes that are hard to match up with. 
3. Auburn: If they could move the ball a bit better through the air, they would by top 2 for me.  That said, no one has forced them to throw the ball yet.
4. TCU: TCU looks to be getting better as the year goes.  That's kind of scary considering where they were ranked when the year started.
5. Nebraska: A huge statement win against a hot Missouri team.  Nebraska was forced to find some balance after losing to UT, and they have.  They are the class of the Big 12.
6. Alabama: They are the champs till someone takes it from them.  The Iron Bowl is going to be huge this year.
7. South Carolina: They scare me a little bit, but they are winning.  They have big time athletes and have figured out how to use them.  Going to be a tough out for anybody.
8. Arkansas: These guys can really score, and their D has been better since the Auburn game.
9. Utah: Are they this good, or is their schedule that bad?  Hmmmm, I think the former.
10. Missouri: They didn't play bad in Lincoln, but they just aren't quite a top 10.  Blaine Gabbert definitely has a top 10 arm though.
11. OU: The Sooners are loaded, and the south is theirs to lose.
12. Iowa: DAMN, they just beat the snot of Sparty.
13. Stanford: I don't know how impressed to be by their shellacking of Washington because you don't know which Husky team is going to show up, but they needed a bit number after last weeks snoozefest against Wazzu.
14. Wisconsin: A bye was much needed after the past few weeks.
15. Ohio State: This should be the best team in the Big 10
16. LSU: I really wish they would just lose one more so we could stop talking about them.
17. Michigan State: Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, the air comes out of the balloon.
18. Oklahoma State: A nice win against the fighting Bill Snyders in Manhattan without the best receiver in the country. 
19. Virginia Tech: They had a week to rest up for the stretch run, let's see what they can do with it.
20. Florida State: It's a fine line in college football.  They had a comeback win on the road in conference if Christian Ponder turns to throw just a hair quicker and doesn't have a fumble caused by friendly fire.  This team is on its way back, but they are not quite there yet.
21. Baylor: They just beat Texas in Austin.  Really....it really happened, I swear
22. Arizona: I really wanted to be sold on this team when they beat Iowa, but something is missing. That killer instinct maybe.
23. USC: You can see that lack of depth late in games.  The kids who stayed sure are fighting through this though.  They were a tough out for Oregon.
24. Syracuse: This team is not the most talented, but they are playing the best football in the Big East right now.  Welcome back to the top 25.
25. Mississippi State: Everyone wants to fall in love with this team and move them higher, but I am not there yet.  Good coach, great scheme, but he still needs to stock the shelves.
26. Oregon State: This is a scrappy little team.
27. Nevada: They are quietly having a heck of a season out west with a looming battle against the boys from the blue turf coming up.  The upside to that game?  It's not on the blue turf.
28. North Carolina State: A great comeback against one of the better D's in the country and a little luck got them a win against the Noles.  This is a talented young team who is still learning how to win.  Russell Wilson can flat out sling it though.
29. Michigan: The O needs some help from the D, but they aren't bad.  Give RichRod a year or 2.
30. Kentucky: Just another talented SEC club.  They hang around in a lot of games don't they?  I have a feeling that Joker Phillips will win him some games before he is done..