Tuesday, September 28, 2010

College Football 2010: Week 4

There is only one word to describe Week 4: ugly.

There were a few decent wins (and they were all in the Big Ten might I add), but (18) Iowa winning 45-0 against Ball State, (21) Michigan beating Bowling Green 65-21, and (11) Wisconsin demolishing Austin Peay 70-3 aren't the most impressive/exciting of games, even if the scores did run high. 

There were only a couple of noteworthy losses...

(7) Texas fell to UCLA on Saturday in a shocking 34-12 final score. Texas clearly doesn't have what it takes to be ranked as a top 10 team if it's losing to UCLA, especially after the season UCLA has been having themselves. And (17) Auburn took down (12) South Carolina 35-27 in what was a battle to the absolute finish. I wouldn't really consider this a devastating or horrible loss; both teams played so well and it was a great game. I really did think Auburn's lucky streak was going to run out, but they proved me wrong and earned my respect.

...and the rest of the country seemed to be hanging on for dear life.

Most of the Top 5 teams didn't play anything like Top 5 teams on Saturday. (1) Alabama had it's first scare against (10) Arkansas (like I knew they would), but 24-20 is a little too much of a scare. Ryan Mallett (who I'm told was in Heisman contention) threw a couple of interceptions at some pretty inconvenient times and essentially lost the game for the Razorbacks. I imagine that loss would have stung for me twice as much had he been throwing the winning touchdown pass (he is an ex-Wolverine, for anyone who's confused as to why that would bother me). (3) Boise State only beat (24) Oregon State 37-24, which seems like it should be enough, but not when you're Boise State and you're trying to prove yourself as a BCS contender. The bus is still moving, but it's going to need a lot more gas to get up the second half of the season in terms of impressing those who matter.  (4) TCU beat SMU 41-24 which again, looks like a lot, but SMU shouldn't be anywhere near TCU on the scoreboard.

But the biggest shock of the Top 5 games, in my opinion, was (5) Oregon beating Arizona State 42-31. Oregon, the same team that put up 189 points in 180 minutes in the last three games, beat Arizona State by 11, and only scored 42 points on top of that. The Oregon defense gave up a total 597 yards in that game, which explains the 31 side of the score. Former Michigan QB Steven Threet currently plays for Arizona State, and I would have also been pretty bummed to see them destroy Oregon's season.

Aside from the Top 5 in the country, a handful of other ranked teams struggled to hold their undefeated positions. (8) Oklahoma continues to make me question why I chose them to play Alabama for the title, especially when they beat Cincinnati by two points (31-29). Really? Cincinnati? They're 1-3. That was just about as bad as (14) Arizona beating Cal by one point (10-9). (15) LSU held off (22) West Virigina by less than a touchdown (20-14) and (23) Penn State managed to keep Temple at bay 22-13. The only game here that should have been (or had a reason to be) this close was LSU/WVU, and I really expected more out of them.

Onto the next one...

Putting this ugly week behind us, here's what I'll be watching at my Bama/Florida tailgate this weekend (besides attending the game itself):

(11) Wisconsin vs. (24) Michigan State: A big game for the kickoff of both teams' Big Ten schedule. MSU is "whiting out" Spartan Stadium, and I honestly think that Michigan State can pull this off. I'm cheering for Wisconsin since it's in my blood, but my bet is on MSU. [3:30pm/2:30 central on ABC]

(18) Iowa vs. (22) Penn State: Another big game for both teams; Penn State coming off a narrow win against Temple and Iowa still trying to prove themselves after their loss to Arizona. Both teams need it; my heart wants Penn State (solely due to my love affair with their campus during Fall Break my junior year), but my head says Iowa. [8:05pm/7:05 central on ABC]

(8) Oklahoma vs. (21) Texas: This game could have been a lot more interesting and left a lot more at stake had they both gone in 4-0, but with Texas losing to UCLA, the stakes are a little less severe. Nevertheless, both teams need this win: Oklahoma to stay in National Championship contention and Texas to redeem themselves and salvage their season. Oklahoma has been playing not-so-great (to say the least) and Texas will be out for blood, but I'm going with the Sooners. [3:30pm/2:30 central on ABC]
(1) Alabama vs. (7) Florida: I'm so happy that both teams are coming into this undefeated, as this is my first true SEC game in Bryant-Denny (where both teams are from the SEC). As promised, I will be wearing a dress to this game (don't get too excited, it's still a far cry from southern belle), but the heels are staying off. Honestly, I think Alabama is going to roll over them, but I hope Florida puts up a fight. [8pm/7 central on CBS]

PS: Michigan's Big Ten schedule starts with Indiana, and I'm hoping Denard's knee holds up for him to play.

Roll Tide & Go Blue.

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