This post is dedicated to my beautiful wife Shannon. On Tuesday, she gave birth to our son, Benedict Michael. Do you know where she wanted me on Saturday? In Death Valley, watching LSU end Alabama’s dreams of a national title. It need not be said that I love my wife, very, very, very, very much.
With LSU’s glorious victory and TCU’s pasting of Utah in Salt Lake, the national title race has narrowed down considerably. The Big 12, with Oklahoma’s loss to the Aggies and the near loss by the Cornhuskers to freaking Iowa St., will almost certainly not send a team to the BCS title game. I imagine the same will also be true for the Big 10, though I suspect Ohio St. has the best chance of proving me wrong there. Still, the Big 10 will likely get 2 BCS bids, which is not too shabby.
To me, there are 5 teams in contention: Oregon, Auburn, TCU and Boise being the obvious, with LSU still an outside shots. For LSU, they’d need 2 out of the 3 of the Ducks, WarPlainsTigersEagleMen, or Horned Frogs to lose. I don’t think LSU needs Boise to lose. Before you call me a homer, look at the computer rankings. LSU is already above Boise in the computers and we have an opportunity to improve that ranking when we play Arkansas. The human polls may revolt against LSU if it gets close (b/c they really don’t like the idea of LSU playing for the title) but there are plausible scenarios where LSU makes it in-even if LSU doesn’t win the SEC. Of course, if LSU jumps Boise without winning the SEC, there will be a riot. While I expect Oregon to remain undefeated, the other three undefeated have at least one more test left. Auburn, a team weak against the pass, has to face AJ Green and Julio Jones (as well as possible Florida). Boise still has Nevada, and TCU has to avoid the let-down game against a San Diego St. that’s 7-2 and getting some votes in the polls. It ain’t over yet, and it’s so much fun!
This would all be simpler if the NCAA did its job and declared Cam Newton ineligible. Seriously, do you think he decided to not play for Dan Mullen b/c he was impressed with Gene Chizik’s record at Iowa St.? The whole thing stinks, and someone is going to get busted for it. It would be a tragedy if the NCAA waited to finish this investigation until it’s too late (i.e. after the SEC title game).
When on earth did the Big 10 decide to play like the PAC-10? I’m looking at you, Michigan & Illinois. At least the Big 10 has a bunch of bowl eligible teams. Speaking of teams that may not get into bowls, what happened to Texas? We knew it’d be a down year, but losses to Baylor, Iowa St. & Kansas St? At least Texas fans can watch their beloved Cow… oh. Same goes to Notre Dame. They have to win 2 out of 3 against the Utes, USC, and Army. While I’ll be rooting for them against the Utes and USC (yeah, this is the time of year where I root solely to hurt other teams in front of LSU. You do it too), if they don’t get in one perhaps may start considering an Obama curse. Since Notre Dame invited Obama, they haven’t been to a bowl.
Important games of the week:
San Diego St. v. TCU, Georgia v. Auburn, VT v. UNC, South Carolina v. Florida,
I may want to explain the VT v. UNC game. Boise’s big win is against VT; LSU has a win over UNC. If UNC beats VT, VT might fall from the rankings and UNC get in. While the humans may not care, the computers will, and LSU will get even stronger in the computers. Furthermore, a VT team with 3 losses, including the one to James Madison, isn’t going to motivate voters to support Boise. On the other hand, a VT team that goes through the ACC undefeated with only another loss that’s almost excusable (you’re an idiot scheduling a Sat. game after a Mon night game, even if it is James Madison) is a very strong win. Combined with wins against Nevada, Boise would have a very strong case to make it in if people start losing ahead of them.
Alright, let’s get to the rankings!
Just 4 rankers this week. MJ is off doing something important, Tito is on his way to Idaho to see his beloved Vandals try to ruin Boise St.’s hopes. I hope very much that Tito was right about his Vandals, by the way.
Also, I have a paper due tomorrow and a baby in my lap so the rankings aren’t super spiffy looking. All comments are by me, unless otherwise indicated.
- Oregon (3) – Is anyone in the Pac 10 even going to give the Ducks a game, maybe the game at Cal? (DH)
- TCU – If TCU had one more big time game on their schedule, they might be a lock for a title shot (DH)
- Auburn – At least Newton will be able to afford a nice trophy case for the Heisman
- Boise St. – Like TCU, if Boise had one more big time opponent, they would be sitting pretty (DH)
- LSU – The second half proved what Tigers fan knew all year- if the offense could turn it on, this team is the best in the country
- Wisconsin – still kicking themselves over their loss to the Spartans (DH)
- Ohio St. – Too many wild scenarios must fall in place for the Bucks to be in the title game (DH)
- Stanford – Proves lofty academic standards don’t totally exclude you from the big time (DH)
- Nebraska – Nebraska is glad they’ll never have to see the Cyclones again
- Michigan St. – Could they have one loss and miss the BCS b/c they were the last Big 10 team to lose?
- Oklahoma St. – These guys went from scraping by Louisiana-Lafayette to being on top of the Big 12 South.
- Alabama – Hey bama! hey bama! We just the beat the hell outta you! Rammer jammer yella hammer geaux to hell alabama! With so many starters returning, being out of the SEC race with a month left hurts.
- Iowa – Apparently, an out of conference loss does hurt you in the conference standings. Why conferences allowed BCS standings to decide their title race is beyond me.
- Arkansas – Arkansas brings up the question: is the SEC East that bad, or is the SEC West just that good?
- Mississippi St. – If they beat Alabama this week, Mullen will have them officially on the map
- Utah – When your whole season revolves around beating just one good team, and you get blown out at home by 40 points, your season is a failure.
- Virginia Tech – Lose, Hokiewan Kenobi. You’re our only hope.
- Arizona – Suddenly, the Wildcats’ chances of upsetting the Ducks don’t look so rosy
- Oklahoma – Weren’t these guys No. 1 a few weeks ago?
- Missouri – Cheer up. Next year, there won’t be Nebraska in your division.
- South Carolina – Florida struggles offensively, but you can’t feel good about the Gamecocks’ chances against Florida after that display by the Hogs
- Nevada (TIE w/ SCAR) – Boise needs Nevada to continue to win, but Boise should not dismiss Nevada’s offense (DH)
- Texas A&M – We’re finally seeing the competitive team we expected early on
- Florida – crushing Vandy may not mean much, but confidence going into the game against SCAR is huge. Meyer would love to get a chance to sneak into the BCS and spoil someone’s national title hopes.
- Kansas St. – Crushing Texas after the Horns left KSU out to dry this summer has to feel pretty good.
Others receiving votes: UNC, UCF, and Penn. St.