Tuesday, November 2, 2010

College Football 2010: Week 9

As expected this Halloween weekend, some teams showed up to play in the costume they've been hiding behind all season, and some proved that they deserved to be where they fell in the rankings (if not higher after some significant losses this weekend). Only five undefeateds remain (Auburn, Oregon, Boise State, TCU, and Utah) and only four could potentially remain undefeated at the end of the season (TCU and Utah play each other next week). If Auburn and Oregon remain undefeated, the BCS is sitting pretty with an easy decision. If one of them loses (like when Auburn loses to Alabama in the Iron Bowl, perhaps?), one would think the BCS would have to chose between Boise State and the winner of TCU/Utah, if those two teams also remain undefeated. And heaven forbid Oregon loses as well; the BCS would fall into complete and utter chaos. But whatever the BCS ends up doing, no one wants to see another game between the unwanteds; it answers no questions and gets us no where. So please don't put them against each other again at the end of the season. Let them play "a real team", as everyone likes to say, and show the country what they're made of.

The Real Deal

While a handful of teams had their masks pulled off, a good portion proved that they were here to stay. Not that this was a big win for the Tigers, but (1) Auburn defeating Ole Miss 51-31 at least shows that unlike some of the other top-ranked undefeated teams, they don't falter under pressure. And by they, I obviously mean Cam Newton. The curse was broken in LA last night when (2) Oregon (No. 1 in the AP poll) defeated USC 53-32, in what was a nail biter until the 4th quarter. Oregon's offense is just unstoppable, no question about it. (4) TCU destroyed UNLV as predicted, with a final score of 48-6. (9) Oklahoma defeated Colorado 43-10, keeping their one loss to the stomping Mizzou handed them last weekend. Not that this is any big feat at all, but (11) Ohio State killed Minnesota 52-10, at least putting up high numbers in the Big Ten if they have to play teams that are 1-8. And (13) Stanford shut out Washington 49-0. Any more questions between Luck or Locker? Stanford is easily my favorite Pac-10 team.

Teams Unveiled

In true Halloween party fashion, some teams came out from behind the costumes and hype and showed their true colors. That all started with (16) Florida State losing to North Carolina State 28-24 when they fumbled on the NC State 5-yard line on the game-winning drive with a minute left on the clock. Oops. 

The failure in Florida continued when (22) Miami lost to Virginia 24-19, who prior to this game was 0-3 in the ACC. Ready for the best part? Miami threw three interceptions with three different quarterbacks. Incredible. Oh, and all three interceptions led to Virginia scoring. Miami rallied and tried to come back in the 4th quarter, but it wasn't enough. Maybe Virginia Tech can win the ACC after all, seeing as how they're the only undefeated team left in their conference.

(6) Missouri fell to (14) Nebraska on Saturday with a final score of 31-17. Nebraska's Roy Helu rushed for a school record of 307 yards, leaving both teams with a 7-1 record at the end of the game. Makes Oklahoma's loss to them not so legit, but I still have faith in the Sooners.

However, my personal favorite game this weekend was the (5) Michigan State loss to (18) Iowa. A lot of the 37-6 final score can be attributed to Kirk Cousins' three interceptions, and the fact that the score was 30-0 at the half. Either way, it was about time that MSU was exposed, and I couldn't be happier with the way it played out. With MSU and Mizzou both losing this weekend, Alabama will easily made it to No. 6 without even playing a game over the weekend.

Michigan's loss to Penn State this weekend was brutal. No one played any defense, and their ugly offense was a little bit less ugly than ours. Awesome. I want to say that it should pretty much be guaranteed that we become bowl eligible against Illinois this weekend, but we started the season the exact same way last year and ended 5-7. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed and not holding my breath.

BCS Rankings: Week 3

With some BCS top-ten losses, the rankings changed a bit:
1. Auburn
2. Oregon
3. TCU
4. Boise State
5. Utah
6. Alabama
7. Nebraska
8. Oklahoma
9. Wisconsin
10. LSU

Perfect. No surprise that TCU jumped Boise, and Alabama is the highest-ranked one-loss team. Wisconsin is in the top ten and Michigan State is not. And Oklahoma is still in the running.

11. Ohio State
12. Missouri
13. Stanford
14. Michigan State
15. Arizona
16. Iowa
17. Oklahoma State
18. Arkansas
19. South Carolina
20. Mississippi State
21. Baylor
22. Virginia Tech
23. Nevada
24. Florida State
25. North Carolina State

I find this mildly entertaining. I think Stanford needs to be above Ohio State and potentially Missouri. I think Michigan State should be below Iowa and Iowa should have moved up more than two. I think it's funny that there aren't enough good teams to be ranked in the top 25 that Florida State managed to stay in and North Carolina State weaseled its way into the 25th position. But the BCS irritates me, so no surprise that something in the rankings does.

Games to Watch this Weekend:
This weekend is a battle of the ranked teams. The rankings couldn't be any closer and the stakes couldn't be any higher, as the furthest apart a team is ranked is four positions.

(3) TCU vs. (5) Utah: The battle of the unbeatens. I think TCU will win, and that's also who I'm rooting for. They've been dominate all season and I don't see it stopping now, even for Utah. [3:30pm/2:30 central]

(6) Alabama vs. (10) LSU: Bama and Nick Saban are taking on the Mad Hatter and his minions in Death Valley. I want to be optimistic, but Death Valley is exactly that. I will be glued to the TV during this game, as I think it is going to come down to the wire. [8pm/7 central, CBS]

(13) Stanford vs. (15) Arizona: A Pac-10 match-up for the ages. I think Arizona could put up a decent fight but Stanford has Luck and Harbough on their side. Doesn't get much better than that. [8pm/7 central, ABC]

(17) Oklahoma State vs. (21) Baylor: Who would have thought this would be a game to watch? Baylor, who is currently sitting at No. 1 in the Big 12 South, playing OK State, who is No. 3. (Yes, that means A&M, Texas, and Tech are 4, 5, and 6 in the South, respectively.) What the hell, go Baylor. [12:30pm/11:30am central]

(18) Arkansas vs. (19) South Carolina: It'd be really awesome if South Carolina won this, considering Bama got pummeled by them. In all honesty though, I'm giving the edge to Mallett and Arkansas (as much as it pains me to say it). By the way, this match-up of mascots is probably one of the ugliest combinations you could put together:

Just thought I'd point that out... [7pm/6 central, ESPN]

Roll Tide & Go Blue. 

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