Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 8 of College Football

1. LSU is loaded, and corrupt.  3 players fail a drug test and we are expected to believe that it's a coincidence that they will back, just in time, to play Alabama?  Now, don't get me wrong, I want to see this game with both teams at full strength so I can see these 2 defense shred two very flawed offenses, but that's one hell of a coincidence.

2. I might be a bit down on the Stoops defense, so I will admit that biased.  That said, it was amazing to see what the Wildcats did when they were put into an aggressive alignment and told to make plays.  That soft, complicated zone crap that they like to run just doesn't fit at the college game, if anywhere. 

Arizona just showed what it can do without it, and Florida State's defensive struggles show it every week.

3. I remember the talk last year before the Pinstripe Bowl about how K-State and Syracuse didn't deserve to be in a bowl game.  You know, right before they went out and played one of the best games of the year showcasing both team's future NFL running backs and solid defenses and a sheet of ice.  Yeah, that's the game.

Well, turns out that those bowl people knew what they were doing.  The Wildcats and the Orange are on their way up in a big way.

4. The fans in Oxford Mississippi have got to be sick.  Their team dominated the first half against the favored Razorbacks.  They played tough defense, found a balanced offense, and went in with all the momentum and a lead.  and then didn't score again till garbage time.  Atta way to be scared to lose guys.

5. Strangest score of the day......Oregon 45, Colorado 2.  The spread is not a surprise, the Ducks holding down a putrid Colorado offense is not a surprise.  The surprise is how a team that dominated the score board could let themselves give up a safety.  Man, that Duck defense has got to be pissed to lose a shutout on a safety. 

Cliff Harris is such a knucklehead.

6. One thing I can't figure out.  Why does the Florida State DEFENSE play better when EJ Manuel is on the field.  Tricket put the same or better stats, but the defense would give 30 and 40 points.  They face a team with a high powered offense, with Manuel back, and they shut them down.  Really weird stuff.  Oh, and the Noles still haven't beaten anyone with a winning record.

For numbers
With Manuel Starting 65pt/5games = 13 points per
Without Manuel Starting 70pt/2games = 35 points per

I know you have Clemson in there for one of those, but Maryland and OU are both comparable offenses to Clemson.

7. I really just don't get Brian Kelly's struggles at Notre Dame.  He was a mastermind at Cincy, and has proven himself to be a great recruiter, but he just can't string wins together.  Course, Tommy Rees is no Matt Barkley either, which may have something to do with it....This time.

8. Well, the Sunflower Showdown was a dud.  Then again, it was exactly what we expected, and you just knew there was no way that Bill Snyder's team was going to come out flat and give their in-state rivals a chance in this one. 

Another fun stat...Collin Klein has his best yardage passing game of his career in this game, with 195 yard.  Think about that.  The star QB for a top 10 team has never passed for 200 yards.

9. OU scores 21 points in the 4th quarter, at home.  And loses.   Can anyone tell me the last time that happened?

10. Well, I promised you that the TRS rankings would make more sense as we got more games played, so here is the first update.

  1. LSU Tigers (8-0) SEC - no change
  2. Clemson Tigers (8-0) ACC -no change
  3. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) SEC - +1
  4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-0) Big 12 - +1
  5. Boise State Broncos (7-0) MWC - +1
  6. Kansas State Wildcats (7-0) Big 12 - +1
  7. Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1) ACC - +5
  8. Stanford Cardinal (7-0) Pac-12 - +3
  9. Houston Cougars (7-0) C-USA - no change
  10. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1) Big 10 - +4
  11. USC Trojans (6-1) Pac-12 - +4
  12. Cincinnati BearCats (6-1) Big East - +11
  13. Oklahoma Sooners (6-1) Big 12 - -10
  14. Oregon Ducks (6-1) Pac-12 - +6
  15. South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1) SEC - -5
  16. Michigan State Spartans (6-1) Big 10 - from out of rankings
  17. Wisconsin Badgers (6-1) Big 10 - -9
  18. Arkansas Razorbacks (6-1) SEC - +4
  19. Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-1) Big 10 - +2
  20. Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (6-2) ACC - -7
  21. Syracuse Orange (6-2) Big East - from out of rankings
  22. Illinois Fighting Illini (6-2) Big 10 - -4
  23. BYU Cougars (6-2) Independent - from out of rankings
  24. SMU Mustangs (5-2) C-USA - -8
  25. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-2) Pac-12 - +3
  26. Auburn Tigers (5-3) SEC - -9
  27. Michigan Wolverines (6-1) Big 10 - -8
  28. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (6-1) C-USA - from out of rankings
  29. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-2) Big 12 - from out of rankings
  30. Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2) Big 10 - from out of rankings
SEC: 5
BIG 10: 7
PAC-12: 4
BIG 12: 4
ACC: 3
C-USA: 3
MWC: 1
Independent: 1

Now, before you Big 10 people get too excited about leading the pack, it's important to recognize that you have noone higher than 10 and that is your only team in the top 15.  The big 10 looks to be the results of parity allows teams to hold onto decent records.  Contrast this with the SEC and Big 12 which have teams at the top which have been choking the life out of people, and you have the disparity explained.

11. I needed one more to WISCONSIN choked.  They put up 14 in just minute to start the game, looked dominant at the end....and lost?  They are the best team in the Big 10....but that's the thing about looking good on paper.  HEIMLICH AT TABLE 6!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week 7 of College Football

Yes, yes, I know....I missed a whole week.

I was depressed.....damn you baby Stoops.  Just retire now, I am tired of watching my Noles suck.  My imitation, "Hey, let's go recruit some of the best corners and D-Ends in the country so we can play a soft zone....yeah, they'll never see that coming".  Damnit.....get out there and rip someone's head off.

thanks, I needed that.....Now, that Manuel is back and we have restored order to my universe by trouncing the Dukies, I have my normal modicum of focus, what do I think about the current state of the Football Bowl Subdivision?


1. I think A&M was mad at Baylor.  I heard something about a court case....but Damn.

2. Uhm, South Carolina is screwed.

3. LSU is good, Tennessee will be, but what the hell is Synthetic Marijuana?  Seriously though, if this is what derails the Tiger's season, these players are going to get run out of town on a rail....all the way to a couple pro-bowls.

4. Good for you Virginia.  I don't know where the hell this came from, but good for you.

5. How about that, OKState can run the ball...who knew?  Seriously though, the Big 12 is pretty salty top to bottom, and I am a bit of a homer, so I am biased......but even I looked at this article with a dubious eye.  Interesting thought though.

6. OK, let's get this out there.  Auburn is not all that good this year, and should probably not be ranked in the top 20, but ignore that for a second.  The bigger question from their game last week was....WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE GATORS?  Yeah yeah, Brantley's out, but 6 points?  With the backs and receivers they have, they should be able to score more than that calling a belling option from the standard shotgun on every. damn. snap.

7. Well, Clemson has done a lot this year, but there are 3 things they haven't done.
      1. Stopped anyone
      2. Lost
      3. Earned a top 10 ranking.  That said, I don't know who would you would put in front of them at this point **I have shame.  I had not really looked at the numbers.  Now that I have, while building the inaugural TRS Poll, I much correct myself.  Clemson has played a tough schedule and deserves credit for the wins they have.**

8. Uhm, guys.  K-State is going to run the ball, so we are going to load the box.  Sounded like a good plan, problem is.....Snyder has some athletes now, and it could be that Klein can throw the ball a wee bit better than people though.  He's not going to light it up, but that fade to the corner of the end zone was as good as you can throw it, and they are rolling.  10 wins is still an ambitious dream, but they are proof that attention to detail and discipline still goes a long way in this game.  Having Arthur Brown in the middle of your defense helps too.

9. Arizona State is the most talented mediocre team in the country.  Oregon is in trouble with these injuries.  I know they are loaded, but you can't lose starters like this and ....oh wait, that's right.  They're in the Pac-N.  Wish Stanford well on their way out the door to the Rose Bowl guys.

10. My version of the Poll (as it should be).  I say as it should be, because teams deserve for credit for things they have done.  They can have credit for evidence of quality play in their recent past, and they can have credit for quality play this season.  I will not give them credit for what we expect them to do.  This should change nothing for the end of the season.  Think of it this way, it's like the BCS without the regional bias that leads teams to be "born with a silver spoon" so to speak.

If you are familiar with my re-alignment concept, this is along the same lines.  Teams get credit for a combination of winning % and winning % against teams that performed well enough last year to be in the top half of their region.  I give that credit because it encourages scheduling tough games.  If you think that would give an automatic advantage to the BCS conference schools, you should work on your math a bit.  1 and 0 is a 100% winning % so it behooves the "big" schools to go beat the small schools.  Not to hide from them.

Anyway, here is the first edition, going into week 8 of the 2011 season.

1.    LSU Tigers (7-0) SEC
2.    Clemson Tigers (7-0) ACC
3.    Oklahoma Sooners (6-0) Big 12
4.    Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0) SEC
5.    Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-0) Big 12
6.    Boise State Broncos (6-0) MWC
7.    Kansas State Wildcats (6-0) Big 12
8.    Wisonsin Badgers (6-0) Big 10
9.    Houston Cougars (6-0) C-USA
10.  South Carolina Game Cocks (6-1) SEC
11.  Stanford Cardinal (6-0) Pac-12
12.  Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1) ACC
13.  Georgia Tech YellowJackets (6-1) ACC
14.  Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1) Big 10
15.  USC Trojans (5-1) Pac-12
16.  SMU Mustangs (5-1) C-USA
17.  Auburn Tigers (5-2) SEC
18.  Illinois Fighting Illini (6-1) Big 10
19.  Michigan Wolverines (6-1) Big 10
20.  Oregon Ducks (5-1) Pac-12
21.  Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1) Big 10
22.  Arkansas Razorbacks (5-1) SEC
23.  Cincinnati Bearcats (5-1) Big East
24.  Washington Huskies (5-1) Pac-12
25.  Rutgers Scarlett Knights (5-1) Big East
26. Louisana-Lafayette (6-1) Sun Belt
27. West Virginia (5-1) Big East
28. Arizona State (5-2) Pac-12
29. Michigan State (5-1) Big 10
30. Georgia (5-2) SEC

Conference Counts for those who care about such things
SEC: 6
BIG 10: 6
PAC-12: 5
BIG 12: 3
ACC: 3
C-USA: 2

Now, obviously there are some teams on this list that are going to move, but remember, this is not an attempt to predict what will happen, this is an evaluation of what has happened.  Yes, K-State, South Carolina, Penn State, SMU, and Rutgers will likely either drop or get pushed down, but we are just starting into the conference season where the BCS teams get a chance to build up those quality wins. yelling at the messenger.

See you next week with an upgrade.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Week 5 of the College Football Season

We are really getting into the meat of the conference schedules now, and this is when the herd starts to leave the stragglers behind for the lions.  The pretenders get exposed, the contenders knock people out, and all the fans in the land live a blessed life...or see some great football anyway.

So, what happened week 5?  Well.......

1. The Gators got exposed.  Boom will have them playing well, and they have some great playsers.  What they don't have is the meat up front to compete like they had during the best years of the Urban Meyer run.  They are in big trouble in Baton Rouge this week with Brantley out. 

2. Boise showed the difference between themselves and a mid-major that builds to a big year and then has to start over.  The Broncos reload, they don't rebuilt.  Nevada?  Well, they had a nice couple years, and we'll see them again soon.

3. Once again, Russell Wilson in the man, and the Badgers are the best team North of the Mason Dixon.  Nebraska is a good team, with gamebreaking talent on both sides, and they. got. dominated.  That said, all the quips about "welcome to the Big Ten", hell this ain't much different than what happened with the Huskers played OU or Texas the last few years either.  The scores were closer, but the Huskers were 1-3 in their last 4 games against the flagship teams in the Big 12.  As much as the Big Red Faction (they shall not be called a nation) likes to cry about how they were second class citizens in the Big 12, well hell, they didn't win anything, so of course they were.  That said, the point is, the Big 12 has been better than the Big 10 in football for a quite a few years, and I would not be surprised if the Huskers are a solid #2 in their new league at the end of the year.

4. There was an old-SWC shootout in Forth Worth and I want to see it every year.  Big 12, I know you made the call, again, to TCU ( just shut your mouth unless you are saying welcome to the family, you F'd this one up last time), but can you PLEASE make this a yearly affair.  Come on, they hate each other all over again, and they are in the same damn city.  This could be a huge rivalry.  Oh, and June Jones runs the Run-N-Shoot which is awesome to watch.

5. Minnesota would totally be relegated if this was soccer.  Can we hook that up?  Please, maybe move Northern Illinois into the Big 10?  maybe?  no....damn

6. Speaking of the Big 10 (1 more time), Illinois won again, in another tight one, to move to 5-0 on the season.  They are not a great team, but ol Zook looks to actually be coaching them up a bit.  They could, feasibly, be 9-0 when Denard Robinson comes to town. 

7. Arizona State continues to confuse.  They are pretty damned talented but they just let teams hang around.  Oregon State is not good this year, they should have never been in this game, but ASU kicked it around a little bit and gave them a shot.  Them leading the Pac-12 South is terrible for that conference.

8. Uhm, the Aggies choked......again.  That's back to back weeks with double digit leads that you let get away, and you want to scream that you are a top team and you deserve more consideration?  Hey, have fun in the SEC, I am sure they will be more accomodating to your delusions of grandeur.  Oh wait.....that's right.  It's a meat grinder.

9. Bill Snyder is a great coach.  It's true that he has gotten a lot of high profile transfers to come in and raise the talent level, but not even the Wildcat faithful dreamed that they would be 4-0 after the Baylor game.  There were real questions about whether they could be bowl eligible this year.  Well, looking at it now, they could win 9 games if they can pull one more upset, but 8 is a pretty realistic number.  That said, they are not #20 in the country

10. Right now, the Clemson Tigers are the best team in the ACC, and possibly on the eastern Seaboard.  Just let that marinade a bit.

And for my weekly thoughts on conference expansion.  I LOVE  the Big 12's move to look to expand.  If TCU comes in as expected, and predicted, that gives them real momentum.  It relaces the Aggies with a team that has been better over the past several years.  It brings in a team with natural rivals and shows to the other potential teams that the conference's demise was reported prematurely.  There is talk of them having interest in BYU, Louisville, and West Virginia as well.  BYU and Louisville I could see, but the geographic leap to West Virginia seems a big far with schools like Houston, and Tulsa in the existing area.  That said, how fun would it be to see Dana Holgerson coaching against OSU?  One interesting rumor is them looking at Tulane.  That would actually be a move to expand into what is traditinally SEC country, but it could work.  If Tulane could start being the solid #2 recruiting school in the state of Louisiana, well hell, that would a powerhouse. Very interesting days we live in as college sports fans.