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You've just been awarded an NFL expansion team and must build your personnel department. How would you do it? Matt Waldman takes on the exercise.

26 Oct 2006

Seventh Day Adventure: Don't Call it a Cocktail

by Vinny Gauri and Russell Levine

Russell: Well Vin, kind of a weak slate this weekend. At least we have the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party between Georgia and Florida. Oh, wait. Georgia's terrible, and the PC Police have gotten to that one. I think EDSBS has the right idea.

Vinny: It's a ridiculous attempt by some over-sensitive academic folks to mess with tradition. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised at the demise of the stylish moniker for the rivalry. As a wise man once said: all things end badly, or else they wouldn't end.

Russell: And, as an even wiser man once said: Anything else is always something better.

Vinny: Nicely done.

Russell: A quick standings update. Vin, your utter lack of faith in Michigan's ability to dominate Iowa -- er, make me sweat for about 55 minutes before putting the game away -- helped me edge you by two games last week and grab the overall standings lead by a single game. But the Fred Edelstein Locks are a different story, as my season-long disaster continues, while you continue to be money in the bank despite a slip last week. Most importantly, another week has gone by, and we're both still over .500 for the season, including a solid 23-16 mark on games we agree. Is the curse dead?

Vinny: The luck is gone, the brain is shot, but the liquor we still got.

Russell: I don't even know who you are anymore. Alright, let's see if we can hold off the collapse for another week.

#12 Clemson (-4.5) at Virginia Tech, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: Who put together the Clemson schedule? And have they been fired yet? Just five days after a huge home win against Georgia Tech, the Tigers face a tough road test at Virginia Tech. This isn't the NFL, where the league handles the scheduling. There's no reason for Clemson to have to play a game like this, on the road with short rest.

Vinny: I'm guessing Tommy Bowden and Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips (was Peter Tom Willis unavailable?) had some input with the ACC folks. The Hokies are also dealing with the very short week, but they only had to deal with Southern Miss last Saturday.

Russell: Virginia Tech, meanwhile, is vulnerable having already lost twice this season. The Hokies looked lifeless in losing at Boston College two weeks ago, and worse yet there was some infighting on the sidelines and undisciplined play on the field. Dating back to the Marcus Vick experience, all the extra-curricular stuff is starting to take a toll on Frank Beamer's reputation. But the Hokies can save their season -- and take a blowtorch to Clemson's -- if they can beat the Tigers here.

Vinny: Beamer has owned Thursday nights, but that 22-3 beating at BC a few weeks ago makes me think the magic is over, at least this year. He's planning on playing the more mobile Ike Whitaker along with starter Sean Glennon at quarterback against Clemson.

Russell: Clemson running back James Davis is questionable with a dinged-up shoulder. He's the ACC's leading rusher, but it's not like the Tigers are in trouble without him. Anyone who saw C.J. Spiller tear up Georgia Tech last Saturday knows that. I would say this is a potential trap game for Clemson, but I think the line already reflects that. I'll stick with the Tigers.

Vinny: Even if Beamer's move to dual quarterbacks pays off in this game, it won't help the defense and special teams, which haven't been up to his usual standards. Clemson rolls.

#19 Oklahoma (+2.5) at #20 Missouri, 12 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: Wow, when was the last time Missouri was favored over Oklahoma? And I'm not counting the Howard Schnellenberger era, either. But that's the situation Saturday when the Adrian Peterson-less Sooners visit Mizzou.

Vinny: For pre-kickoff hype, this is the biggest game at Faurot Field in a long, long time. But the Tigers will miss defensive end Brian Smith, who broke his leg in a 41-21 rout of Kansas State last week. Smith is fifth in the country with 7.5 sacks and is Missouri's career sack leader.

Russell: There's a pretty big drop-off from Peterson to Allen Patrick, so this game is going to be on the shoulders of quarterback Paul Thompson. I've been really impressed with his play this season, given that the guy was a receiver until about two weeks before the opener. I think he can come up with a big play or two.

Vinny: Well, Mizzou has had some problems stopping the run in the last couple weeks, yielding over 440 rushing yards. Yes, both games got out of hand early, but you've got to be able to stop the run when you know it's coming. So even though he's only rushing for 3.2 yards per carry, I wouldn't be shocked to see Patrick have a nice day.

Russell: Missouri is a good club, with Chase Daniel (19 touchdowns, 5 interceptions) leading a balanced offense and a nasty defense. Still, I'm not sure the Tigers are ready to win a game like this. This is a big game for Mizzou, but does Oklahoma feel the same way? The Sooners have won 27 of 30 in the series, so something tells me they're not sweating this one that much. I'm taking Oklahoma.

Vinny: The Sooners definitely have some talent at receiver. But I'm curious to see how much Thompson throws away from Mizzou cornerback Darnell Terrell. I can't walk away from Oklahoma and the points.

#9 Notre Dame (-14) vs. Navy (at Baltimore), 12 p.m. ET, CBS

Russell: Hey, it's the oldest continuous intersectional rivalry in the nation! Whoo-hoo! Uh, why do they still play this one, exactly? Notre Dame has won 42 straight in the series.

Vinny: Well, Navy funds a good chunk of its athletics budget with ticket sales from this game. Of course, these teams are heading back to Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland in 2012 -- they played there in November 1996 when Notre Dame rolled to a 54-27 victory. Nothing like reinforcing stereotypes. I actually saw a Gaelic football game at Croke Park last year. Very strange sport to a visiting Yank. Up Armagh!

Russell: Umm, I saw three preschool recitals last year, which is kind of the same thing. Any hopes Navy had of pulling the upset probably disappeared when senior quarterback and leading rusher Brian Hampton was lost for the year with a dislocated knee against Rutgers. Navy lost that game, 34-0, by the way. That's a pretty good example of what happens when a team that likes to pass about as much as Charlie Weis likes to hit the salad bar falls behind.

Vinny: That was sad to see Hampton end his career like that, especially as a first-year starter. Hopefully his cousin, Sir Charles Barkley, has lifted his spirits with some good one-liners or video of his golf swing.

Russell: See, that's the kind of info you can't get in just any college picks column. Meanwhile, I couldn't help but notice that Weis was complaining this week about Notre Dame dropping in the polls. Gee, Charlie, do you think barely beating UCLA at home had anything to do with it? Notre Dame is a legitimate top-15 team, but what do the Irish really have to hang their hats on? A four-point win over Georgia Tech? Maybe after they crush Navy they'll get a little more respect but I doubt it. Weis should stop complaining and appreciate the fact that his club is going to a BCS game for the second straight year without beating anybody good. By the way, I'm laying the points on the Irish.

Vinny: I pity Craig Bolerjack and Steve Beuerlein for drawing the duty of pronouncing Navy backup quarterback Kaip-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada's name. But Notre Dame gets the easy cover this week (my Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week).

BYU (-7.5) at Air Force, 2 p.m. ET, Versus

Russell: What's in the water in Provo? (And yes, I know, the answer is "water.") BYU has the offense cranking, bringing back memories of the Robbie Bosco glory days. These days, it's John Beck at the controls, and he's throwing for over 300 yards a game.

Vinny: Marvin and Velma would be proud.

Russell: Those are three names I enjoy, Marvin, Velman, and Provo. BYU can't overlook Air Force. Yes, the Zoomies lost to San Diego State last week, but this is the same team that nearly shocked Tennessee in Knoxville and almost handled Navy a few weeks back. They're capable of winning, especially at home.

Vinny: Maybe, but Air Force gave Chuck Long's San Diego State team its first win last week. They outgained the Aztecs almost two to one, but still found a way to lose the game.

Russell: BYU probably has too much balance for Air Force. The Cougars are playing well across all facets of the game, and I expect it to continue in Colorado Springs. Air Force will keep up for a while with its option attack, but Beck and BYU will go over the top for a few scores. The Cougars cover (Fred Edelstein Kiss of Death Lock).

Vinny: The Cougars had close losses on the road at Arizona and Boston College, and have mauled every mid-major opponent on their schedule. I think the trend continues. BYU covers.

#3 USC (-12) at Oregon State, 3:30 p.m. ET, FSN

Russell: When all is said and done, it may turn out that USC's season-opening road rout of Arkansas was one of the most important games of the college football season. That result has helped to keep the Trojans, who have been struggling with average teams in recent weeks, near the top of the BCS standings. As it stands, USC will play in the title game if it wins out, especially given that it closes the year with games against Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame, and UCLA. But first, the Trojans need to quit this nasty habit of having to sweat out games against opponents they should bury. This week's contestant is 4-3 Oregon State.

Vinny: The Beavers notched two road wins (at Washington, at Arizona) in the last two weeks. They shut down Arizona's offense to the tune of 183 yards, although the Wildcats were down to their third string quarterback. We'll see if that develops some confidence and momentum this week for Oregon State.

Russell: USC has had a week off since barely surviving against Arizona State, and that's critical for receiver Dwayne Jarrett, whose injured shoulder should be close to 100% after the bye. Without Jarrett stretching defenses, USC has had to grind it out, but he is a difference-maker for this offense, particularly against an Oregon State team that excels against the run and will load up to stop Chauncey Washington and the USC ground game.

Vinny: I can't remember the last time Mike Riley had a defense this serviceable (26th in the nation in total defense). Of course, Cal and Boise State lit them up earlier in the year, so that bodes very well for the Trojans.

Russell: Bad news for Oregon State: Top running back Yvenson Bernard has an ankle injury and will not be at full strength even if he does play. Besides being another contender for the all-name team, Bernard keeps the pressure of Oregon State QB Matt Moore. But if Moore has to put the game on his shoulder against USC, the Beavers are in real trouble. Jarrett will have a big day and USC will look more like a championship team after routing the Beavers and covering the big spread

Vinny: I second that notion. USC cruises to the cover.

Georgia (+14) vs. #6 Florida (at Jacksonville), 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Russell: A few weeks back, this looked like it would be another of the Games of the Year in the SEC, aka the greatest conference in the history of mankind. Don't get me wrong, I'd still rate the SEC the top conference in the nation, but just because there are a handful of teams that could win it, doesn't make them all national title contenders. Georgia has been exposed the last several games, getting bombed at home by Tennessee and then losing to Vandy.

Vinny: Chris Leak was in Sanford Stadium last week to watch Georgia edge Mississippi State 27-24 (Florida had a bye week). He witnessed an ugly game, but every Georgia game has been lacking in aesthetic qualities this year.

Russell: It would help if Georgia actually had an offense, but the Dawgs are terrible on that side of the ball, and things only get worse this week with top running back Thomas Brown out. Matthew Stafford gets the call at QB, but without a running game, and with a receiving corps that can't seem to catch the ball, I'm not expecting much in the way of points.

Vinny: Mark Richt is supposed to be an offensive genius (especially when compared to his successor as offensive coordinator in Tallahassee, the embattled Jeff Bowden). The Bulldogs do have great depth at the tailback position with Kregg Lumpkin and Danny Ware around to pick up the slack for Brown. Ware has had some nice games against the Gators the last few years.

Russell: Florida has had two weeks to prepare for this one, and Urban Meyer knows his Gators need to have an impressive showing if they're going to maintain their place near the top of the one-loss teams hoping to sneak into the BCS championship. I'm confident the Gator defense will shut down Georgia, and I think Leak will be given enough time to throw to cover the big number. I like Florida.

Vinny: Agreed. I am staying as far away from that awful Georgia offense as possible. I expect Florida to clobber Georgia in this one. The Gators are the pick.

#25 Washington State (+1) at UCLA, 7 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: Look out, Bruins. This is a bad time to be coming off a tough loss and catching a team that's hot. UCLA was of course on the other end of that Notre Dame miracle last week, but the Bruins can't feel sorry for themselves against Wazzu, a team that's coming off a stunning upset of Oregon.

Vinny: The Bruin defense took a lot of heat for allowing Brady Quinn to march the Irish offense right down the field at the end last week. But UCLA's defense is much improved compared to last season's sieve-like version (113th in the nation in total defense at 468 yards per game). Of course, with Cal and USC coming up, we'll see if they're for real.

Russell: The Washington State defense has been even more impressive, holding three of the Pac-10's top offenses in check -- neither Cal nor USC broke 30 points against the Cougars. Since offense is not UCLA's forte, you have to like this matchup for Wazzu.

Vinny: Cougars quarterback Alex Brink continues to improve. He went 20 of 23 last week in the 34-23 win over the Ducks. But he hasn't been able to find stud receiver Jason Hill with the long ball as much as Wazzu fans would like.

Russell: UCLA might be the better team top-to-bottom, particularly if everyone was healthy. But I don't like a team coming off a heart-breaker playing an up-and-comer, and that's exactly how this one shakes out. Washington State pulls off the upset in the Rose Bowl.

Vinny: Under the circumstances, sophomore quarterback Patrick Cowan has been fine on the road the last few weeks, but the Bruins would have liked to have had Ben Olson obviously. Olson is still out for this one. I like Wazzu as well.

#11 Tennessee (-4.5) at South Carolina, 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: The two-week stretch in the Tennessee schedule with Alabama and South Carolina has got to do wonders for Phil Fulmer's self esteem. A week after taking care of the Tide, whose supporters probably list Fulmer only slightly above Osama bin Laden on the likeability scale, the Tennessee coach gets to match up with his personal nemesis in Steve Spurrier. It was Spurrier who owned Fulmer even when he had some of his greatest teams, and it was the Old Ball Coach who came up with the phrase, "You can't spell Citrus without UT" when the Gators were constantly relegating the Vols to that second-tier bowl. What's worse, Spurrier continued his mastery of Fulmer, winning in Knoxville with South Carolina last season.

Vinny: My favorite Spurrier line is still his one-liner when there was a fire at Auburn's football dorm that claimed 20 books: "But the real tragedy was that 15 of them hadn't been colored in yet."

Russell: Tennessee bares no resemblance to the team that went 5-6 last year. Erik Ainge has morphed from skittish sophomore to one of the nation's most efficient passers as a junior, and the defense has been dominant. Spurrier, on the other hand, hasn't seen quite the growth from his squad in year two in Columbia, although things have been a little better since Syvelle Newton took over at quarterback. .

Vinny: Vols tailback Lamarcus Coker is out with a knee injury, which gives Arian Foster a chance at redemption. Foster fumbled at the goal line in the second quarter of last year's Gamecocks' 16-15 victory in Knoxville. Montario Hardesty will also get his share of carries in the Tennessee backfield.

Russell: It's tough to ignore Spurrier's history against Fulmer in picking this one, but South Carolina is just not that good a team. Sure, they'll have the home crowd working for them, but the Vols are better top to bottom. I like Tennessee to cover here.

Vinny: Yeah, I think the Vols are at least a score better than South Carolina. Okay Russ, we agreed on every pick this week (first time ever?). That can't be good for anybody. Unless you're betting against us.

Russell: Ugh. Excuse me as I put on my tin-foil hat and have a cocktail while I watch the Georgia-Florida game.

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Vinny Says Russell Says
Visitor Spread Home Vinny Says Russell Says
Clemson -4.5 Virginia Tech Clemson Clemson
Oklahoma +2.5 Missouri Oklahoma Oklahoma
Notre Dame -14 Navy Notre Dame* Notre Dame
BYU -7.5 Air Force BYU BYU*
USC -12 Oregon State USC USC
Georgia +14 Florida Florida Florida
Washington State +1 UCLA Washington State Washington State
Tennessee -4.5 South Carolina Tennessee Tennessee
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Vinny 3-5-0 (0-1-0) 35-29-0 (6-2-0)
Russell 5-3-0 (0-1-0) 36-28-0 (3-5-0)

Posted by: on 26 Oct 2006

177 comments, Last at 31 Oct 2006, 2:18pm by Pat

Comments

1
by zip (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 6:37pm

Whoa, I hit page down, and was rudely reminded that I should be working. That sucked.

2
by Matt (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 7:18pm

My company thinks I should be working too, but they need to learn that tailgating (or, as the case may be, spending the entire afternoon looking up every single article on Clemson, checking our 2007 commitments, and trash talking on VT's message boards) takes precedence on days with a Thursday night game.

I miss the good old days on campus when I didn't need to keep an Excel file open to switch to.

3
by JonL (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 7:26pm

Short rest on the road is tough, but I have a feeling that if Clemson had scheduled, say, Alcorn State, they'd face some criticism.

4
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 7:32pm

As good as Clemson looked last week, I'm taking Tech in an upset tonight.

However, that's not my "real" pick. My record dropped to 5 - 3 after Pitt went down in flames as a 6 1/2 point dog against Rutgers, who have proven to be for real.

This week's pick...South Carolina covers as a five point home dog vs Tennessee.

5
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 7:33pm

this could be a serious trap game for Clem(p)son--they can look like world beaters like they did against GaTech, but they can also look remarkably befudddled, like in the first 3 quarters against Wake.

And VaTech probably won't hand them the game back like Wake did

6
by ZS (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 10:16pm

It's worth noting (albeit a little late) that since I live in the same state as Rutgers, I was recently christened a Rutgers fan by NJ State Law.

Seriously! It was all over the news!

BTW, I'm a draftnik, and I must know: Does Virginia Tech have anyone of note for me? At all?

7
by Nate (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 10:26pm

ZS - Aaron Rouse, Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi should be worth a look.

8
by NF (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 10:48pm

Does anyone think the USC WR Steve Smith will be a starting NFL WR eventually? If he does, who gets their middle name initialed?

9
by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 11:21pm

Wow, VTech is looking much better than they have all year and Clemson doesn't look at all like the powerful team of the past few weeks.

24-7 and it looks worse than that.

10
by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 11:24pm

In Clemson's 5 home games this year (includes neutral site game vs. Temple in Charlotte), they've has outscored its opponents 251 to 29. On the road, they've trailed or been tied in the 4th quarter in all 4 games and have been outscored 95 to 94 (as of right now).

11
by Rocco (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 11:52pm

As a VT fan, I'd like to thank you two for picking Clemson. You guys still have the magic. :)

12
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 3:38am

I was bored tonight and maybe this is obvious....but I am completely amazed how much slower this game was than the NFL. They looked like the were playing in molasses. Even on the long runs it looked like Jamal Williams or Stroud or whoever would have caught the RB from behind easily. Maybe it was something about the camera angles or something, but slow slow slow.

13
by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 3:48am

Rocco - I can't speak for Russ, but I seem to be coming (crashing?) back to Earth of late with the picks. And you're welcome. I worked late and missed the game, but from the brief highlights it looked like Clemson fell apart after the first quarter. And apparently Beamer was all talk about playing Whitaker with Glennon at QB.

14
by Craigers (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 10:21am

Does anyone think the USC WR Steve Smith will be a starting NFL WR eventually? If he does, who gets their middle name initialed?

Hopefully, one of them can be christened Stephen A. Smith, allowing the current Stephen A. Smith to be made into meat pies with no one being the wiser.

15
by andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 10:31am

Ouch, so much for Clemson. I'm already doomed in my fantasy college match, I had the Tigers RBs (who had preformed so admirably in the past few weeks) while my opponent had the Hokies RBs...

16
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 11:23am

The full column is now posted. Sorry for the delay.

And in response to Vinny's comment, yes, I'm just waiting for the roof to cave in on our picks. Agreeing on all eight games this week cannot be a good sign.

17
by navin (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 11:36am

Vegas also thinks SC will cover the five points against Tennessee, as the line has dropped down to 3.

18
by Justanothersteve (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 12:27pm

#8 - It'll be just like the days when there were two WRs named Gene Washington (Minnesota and San Francisco).

19
by Chris Heinonen (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 12:33pm

I'd say you're safe on the USC pick. OSU is a wonderful 1-30 in their last 31 games against USC (and I've been there in person for a lot of those losses), and it's going to be around 60 and clear for the game unfortunately. We came close a couple years ago due to heavy fog that slowed down the passing game, but there's no rain or fog to do that this year. Given how badly Cal lit us up, and with Bernard hurt, USC losing would be more surprising than Notre Dame losing, IMO.

20
by BB (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 2:57pm

18: Still, nothing will beat the 2000 Mets, during which they had two pitchers named Bobby Jones.

21
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 4:02pm

I love EDSBS, and not just because they correctly predicted Texas to beat Nebraska because of ... oops, family site.

What, no Big Ten picks this week? I was looking forward to "Why You Can't Just Use Records to Compare Teams" in at least one of three installments:

4-4 Michigan State at 4-4 Indiana (well, at this point, they might be about equal in strength)
5-3 Penn State at 5-3 Purdue
5-3 Garrett Wolfe at 5-3 Iowa

22
by dbt (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 4:49pm

There was a brief shining moment when David Terrell (WR-Bears) was being covered by David Terrell (SS-Redskins) in 2001.

Good times. Of course one washed out of the league after another two seasons (one of which was with the first post-gruden bad raiders team) and the other one turned into another all-time bears 1st round busts.

23
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 5:35pm

I love Weis complaining. I love even more DJ Gallo's total mockery of him (linked).

Three weeks, gentlemen. Three weeks.

24
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 5:57pm

Re #22
Don't forget Josh Scobee kicking to Josh Scobey!

25
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 8:42pm

I love even more DJ Gallo’s total mockery of him (linked).

Holy burial, Batman. Gallo was brutal!

26
by Towens (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 11:55pm

What's to love about the Gallo piece? Seemed beyond stupid to me.

27
by Pete (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 10:12am

What is the new name for the cocktail party? I agree that it was not as relevant, since a cocktail party sounds too dignified. Since there are far more beer than cocktails, perhaps the "world's largest keg party?"
Georgia has had serious problems holding onto the ball against Florida in years past (losing at least 3 games out of the past 5 or 6 as a result). Georgia has had more trouble dropping bullets from Stafford, so maybe they will be concentrating on overcoming this?

28
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 10:41am

For some reason, it never occurred to me, but the college guys are more than welcome to use IRC for saturdays.

29
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 2:03pm

Um, how is Wisconsin down 21-3 to Illinois? Does Wisconsin know that there's a game going on?

30
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 2:18pm

Illinois' defense is dominating the game, but it won't last.

31
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 3:12pm

what, is Mich St trying to set up another record-breaking comeback?

32
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 3:14pm

I guess Michigan State expended whatever they had left in them last week...

Or, they're just trying to duplicate last week.

33
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 3:15pm

Re:#31

Hah. Beat me to it.

34
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 3:17pm

Ah, curses. ND is starting to pull away.

35
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 3:25pm

If C.J. Bacher was having a better game, then Northwestern would probably be tied with Michigan right now, early in the 4th quarter. But he's C.J. Bacher and just threw an INT in the end zone after a Michigan turnover to keep the score at 17-3.

36
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 3:37pm

Drew Stanton has thrown 55 passes. And thre's 8:20 remaining in the 3rd quarter. The record is 83 by Drew Brees. If they're going to come back from 37-7, Drew's gotta do it. C'mon, let's go, history!

37
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 3:45pm

Tony Hunt is really, really good. Imagine if PSU had an actual QB with him this year (although to be fair to Morelli, he's been hurt by drops today).

38
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 3:48pm

Mich St. is gettin'there--down 37-7; so they gotta give up 6 more points, then start the comeback

39
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 3:59pm

Man, Brady Quinn must be raw from all the sucking he's getting...

40
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:01pm

OK, they done it--now down 46-7; time to start the comeback, boys

(uh, boys?)

41
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:04pm

raise your hand if you think Auburn may be overrated

struggling with Ole Miss

(Missi-friggin-sippi!)

42
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:15pm

Watching the Wiscy-Illinois game (Wiscy is going to win after Illinois turned it over on downs trialing 24-30 with less than 2 minutes left), and Mike Gottfried declares that Texas is the best 1-loss team in the country and that they are far better than Auburn and Florida. Thoughts? I realize this is Mike Gottfried talking.

43
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:17pm

I spoke too soon, having switched over and assuming that Zook blew all his TOs. The Illini just used their last one, and should get the ball back with 1:35 remaining.

44
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:19pm

BTW, Mel Kiper Jr. Draft Guru's top 3 for the 2007 NFL Draft (shown during the Wiscy-Illini game): 1. Brady Quinn, 2. Joe Thomas, 3. Gaines Adams.

45
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:22pm

Vinny- I'd chalk that up to Mike Gottfried talking out his arse.

46
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:28pm

I think it's possible, though I'd rank Florida ahead of Texas.

IL just got sacked on the Hail Mary try. If a mobile QB like Williams can't avoid the rushers when you have 5 blocking 3, you really deserve to lose. Naturally, this also deprives Brett Bielema of any shot of a JLS for calling a timeout to set up his Hail Mary defense after IL committed a penalty on a play that ended with :01 left. Maybe I'm wrong, but doesn't the clock start after the reset then?

47
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:30pm

Temple may actually win a game today!

48
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:44pm

How do you get sacked on a Hail Mary? Wouldn't you just chuck it up as soon as you realized you were going down?

49
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:46pm

The pocket absolutely collapsed on him and he tried to scramble outside so he could step into the throw and chuck it the 50-60 or so yards downfield necessary to win. The IL O-line in the late game was just putrid.

50
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:49pm

UF puts up 7 on its first drive against UGa.

What's with all the fadeaway jump shot follow-throughs for TD/sack celebrations lately. I've seen the NYGiants D-line do that after sacks, and now I've seen it done a couple times today in college football. Now uncommon for the college kids to copy the pros, I guess. I remember seeing Tony Gonzalez do that his first few years in the NFL just so he could remind everyone he played basketball.

51
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:56pm

Miami up ten early against Georgia Tech. If the Canes win this afternoon, they're very likely a win away against Boston College from a BCS bowl.

Wow.

52
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 4:56pm

Ok, maybe I misread the ESPN graphic. Stanton ended today with 21 attempts. Why did it say he was 33-55?

53
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:00pm

Wow, JD Booty throws a bad pick at the goal line, and it's returned to midfield. Beavers already up 7-0.

54
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:01pm

I know WI will get reamed by the experts for this game, but the wind was a LOT more of a factor then the TV guys let on. I was texting about a dozen folks who were at the game and they wrote that it was gusting all the time.

Stocco did noting unless he had the wind at his back. In the 4th quarter Badgers have a senior at QB and they wouldn't let him really try anything out of concern that the wind would cause a turnover.

That and the refs let them play. Again, folks told me both sides were holding on offense and interfering in the secondary with no calls. Zook was going CRAZY on the sideline.

55
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:12pm

I'm really starting to get the feeling USC this year is like UCLA was last year: undefeated, but really ripe for a beating. Oregon State is beat enough it probably won't happen today, but they have not looked like the third best team in the country at all this year to me.

56
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:18pm

To David Norrie: the reason the officials "didn't give" an explanation for what happened on the official review of the Chris Wells fumble is because YOU IDJITS were talking about the replay and didn't realize the officials had already finished their review and gave the explanation while you were still looking at the play.

57
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:20pm

Another big game, another chance for GT to fall flat on its face. Chan Gailey well on his way to coaching a team to 7 wins.

58
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:21pm

Oregon State is coached by Mike Riley right? Or Dennis Erickson?

If they aren't coached by some loser coach, they will win today... I'm going to call the USC loss now.

Pete Carroll has had the easiest job in the world... recruiting for USC...

59
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:27pm

I was bummed to see UVA's 7-0 score didn't hold up all the way through the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters... at least they won.

It's a great place to watch football if you love watching football and don't care about the losers who wear ties to the game. It's also fun to watch the drunk girls try to navigate the hill-side in their sundresses. No one shows up until 5 minutes into the 1st quarter and everyone leaves at halftime.

60
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:29pm

...this is our country...

61
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:31pm

Does college have a forceout rule? Jarrett lept to catch a pass and then was carried out of bounds by the OSU player.... like 4 yards I don't know what they are reviewing it.

62
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:34pm

The Fox Sports Net announcers and production crew have to be the most clueless among college football broadcasters (and that's a tough competition). They first failed to realize that there's no forceout rule in college (the USC receiver was carried about 5 yards in the air, but the first thing to hit the ground was his foot out-of-bounds), then the announcers misinterpret the replay, then they miss airing the referee's replay reversal announcement.

63
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:35pm

When Illinois led Wisconsin 24-10 at halftime, I told a friend the final score was going to be 31-24 Wisconsin. I was off by a point.

64
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:35pm

There's no forceout rule. You need to get one foot in, no matter what.

I love the announcers in the OSU game. They've been going on and on about how OSU has their backup offensive line in, then thirty seconds later they talk about what a good job Minnesota's defense is doing, how few teams have been able to get a decent pass rush like they are. Ummm.... can we connect the dots here, please?

65
by chris (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:36pm

Petros is in the house. (See: Last year's Fresno State game.)

66
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:36pm

Travis,
Those are also the FoxSports USC Homer TV announcers as well. One of them is a former USC RB.

I didn't realize college doesn't have a forceout, so a great play by the DB to undercut/carry Jarret out of bounds... kind've bizzare.

67
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:40pm

Petros Papadakis is the white Michael Irvin!

68
by Towens (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:43pm

"Tony Hunt is really, really good."

I agree, and I'm a Penn State fan, but he does tend to fumble at inopportune times.

69
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:46pm

The OSU-Minny announcers are Mark Jones (sans Jame Posse) and Ed Cunningham. Unbearable.

The World Hamburger Eating Champtionship is on ESPN2 now. Forget about the OSU-Michigan rivalry, let's talk about Kobayashi-Joey Chestnut. In a related story, I think I'm going to skip lunch today. Ugh.

70
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:50pm

Can't help but notice the "Breaking News" on ESPNews... Berbeck was found with "chop wounds to the head"? Is that like... someone hit him with an axe or something?

71
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:51pm

Pete Carroll has had the easiest job in the world… recruiting for USC…

Yet no one else could do it.

72
by chris (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:55pm

As cited by Furtek, the Tompkins-Papadakis combo is giving Team Jones-Cunningham a run for their money.

Amen on the #71 comment.

73
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:55pm

Booty fumbles. OSU ball! It certainly looked like he had possession and "down by contact" when the Beavers took control of the football... but the officiating booth was asleep.

Mike Riley displays why he not in the NFL. Why didn't you call a QB SNEAK at the 1 FOOT line?!

74
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:58pm

Oregon State has 2nd and goal on the about 6 inch line, calls one of TMQ's famous "sprint backwards 8 yards" plays, sacked at the 10. 3rd and goal at the 10, sprint backwards another 8 yards, sacked at the 14. Field goal attempt coming up.

It certainly looked to me like Booty jumped on the ball after that fumble. Fumbles always annoy me. A player can have possession, and what looks like fairly evident possession, but the referees always wait for 14 players to pile on before deciding which team gets the ball. And this is the case at almost every level.

75
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 5:59pm

I think the NFL forceout rule should incorporate the college rule - need two feet in, or one if you're forced out. None of this no-feet-in catches.

76
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:01pm

Tarrant,
I think if Booty complained more it would have been reviewed, but he didn't seem to care about losing a fumble on his own 30 yard line.

77
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:08pm

And another USC fumble, in USC territory, and the USC defense pushes OSU back to 3rd and 18, and now 4th and 5. OSU 53 yard field goal attempt, and it's good. And would have been good from much longer.

Serna is going to be an NFL kicker some day.

USC has a minute left. Another fumble? Will they try to move down the field?

78
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:10pm

MDS:

Were you that sure about the Wisconsin defense improving, the Illinois offense imploding, or both?

'Cause the Illini defense played ok, particularly against the run.

Though special teams for U of I were pretty bad wind or no wind.

Just curious.....

79
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:11pm

After Alexis Serna's first game at Oregon State (3 missed extra points, including one in OT), who would have expected that he'd still be their kicker at all?

80
by Towens (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:19pm

I agree about forceouts. Why not make them get a foot in?

That's way down on the list though. Getting rid of instant replay at both levels should be top priority.

Berbick's chops to the head sound like a machete to me.

81
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:21pm

Towens,
The only way you can get rid of instant replay is until we can make ROBO-official.

It would be better if they just adhered to the rules. If it takes you more than 1 minute and 30 seconds to reverse a call on replay, isn't that "inconclusive"?

82
by Towens (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:26pm

"It would be better if they just adhered to the rules. If it takes you more than 1 minute and 30 seconds to reverse a call on replay, isn’t that “inconclusive�? "

Word. But it just struck me watching old games on ESPN Classic how much more enjoyable it was than watching games today, for me anyway, because I knew that the call made then and there was THE CALL. No sitting around waiting for a maybe-overturn.

83
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:27pm

Once again USC is ripe for the taking...

OSU should have scored at least 20... with another FG made when a holding penalty brought back a run.

I don't know why USC didn't run on their las possession @ the 13. The RB had just ripped off 2 successful runs, followed by a long pass to get them there...

84
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:36pm

Fla scores a defensive TD

(writes in notebook: "game over")

85
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:49pm

OSU (the other one) 23-10 over USC.

86
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:51pm

Re; 79, I remember watching Serna in that LSU game. He may have received a few Code Reds from his teammates after that one. I guess he just needed some experience and some mental toughness, which he appears to have now.

87
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:52pm

Matt Moore is having a helluva game for the Beavers. The OSU players are yukking it up on the sidelines.

88
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:56pm

Papadakis is making fun of the shades being sported by OSU's defensive coordinator. "Oakley Blades! I haven't seen those in a while! They still sell 'em in Corvallis!"

89
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 6:57pm

Punt return TD... that first block was SWEET!... no one else touched him.

90
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:02pm

USC is going down... finally... I bet they never recover... at least I hope so...

91
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:06pm

USC is going down… finally… I bet they never recover… at least I hope so…

it's now 33-10 so that makes the final score, umm..lessee

38-33

(book it)

92
by Towens (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:21pm

And the football gods take revenge on BG for trampling Temple 70-7 last year.

93
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:25pm

Oh brother... a dropped punt attempt and a dubious PI call... ingredients for a comeback...

94
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:42pm

OSU runs The Incredibly Surprising Draw on 3rd and 13 and manages to get 9 yards. Of course, Serna's kick doesn't move right at all and ends up wide left. A bit over 6 to play, and USC's still within a score at 33-25.

95
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:43pm

Now a missed FG for Oregon State (which the announcer somehow thought was perfect, even though it was clearly wide left). Oregon State should start picking out their two-point conversion defense now.

96
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:48pm

Miami, down 7 and with 1 timeout left, kicks deep with 2:37 remaining. Best case scenario (assuming no fumble), they get the ball back with 30 seconds to go.

97
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:48pm

USC really needs to work on their defense on Incredibly Surprising Draws. OSU just converted 3rd and 8 easily, less than 4 to play.

98
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:49pm

Love the color guy talking about what a great playcall that third down draw was, 95% of the time that gets stopped and a coach is ripped for being conservative

99
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:50pm

Georgia Tech goes 3 and out, and takes a timeout before the punt with 29 seconds left. Way to go, Larry Coker.

100
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:52pm

Miami fumbles the punt, game over.

101
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:53pm

Nice... Miami muffs the punt and GaTech recovers. Coker Watch continues.

102
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:53pm

Go for it here, obviously

103
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:54pm

Go for it... or you could punt and pin them in...

104
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:55pm

Wow. FG try got bailed out by a false start... kicker missed it wide and short anyway...

105
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:55pm

If I'm a college coach I never let a kicker try from 50+

106
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:56pm

USC has a ton of time... they better mix in some runs.

107
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 7:57pm

Re: 105

College coaches are more likely than NFL coaches to try 50+ yard FGs, because the ball goes back to the line of scrimmage if the FG is missed in college, not the spot of the kick like in the NFL.

108
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:01pm

Fun fact, but the main reason I'm not doing it is because college kickers are abysmal and I have 0 faith in them to hit from 50+

109
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:01pm

Great, it's going to come down to a replay official in the state of Oregon.

110
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:02pm

Prepare for Pac-10 whining. Steve Smith's foot on 4th and 2 comes down out of bounds, called complete on the field, and it's in replay now. Commentators are sure it's inbounds, unless they're sure it's out of bounds, or inconclusive.

111
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:02pm

You can't overturn that catch... too close to call... to me it looks out by a micro-meter.

112
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:03pm

I'd say his foot was pretty obviously on the chalk there, it was 'close' in the sense that only a small part of his foot hit out of bounds, but it was out of bounds

113
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:05pm

From the end zone sideline angle, it looks clear the side of his foot is out of bounds. It was close enough the refs could punt on the issue, and they did.

Good PI in the end zone by OSU, or maybe the DB just misread the play. No big deal, though.

114
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:05pm

Re: 108

The kicker made from 53 earlier in the game, hit from 58 during the year, and won the Groza Award last year. If it were an SEC kicker, fine, don't go from 50+, but Serna on home turf when a FG basically ends the game?

115
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:06pm

Horrible play there, you have to be absolutely mugging the WR on every pass play until there's one where they obviously can't catch it

116
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:08pm

Who cares if they rush the field? The game is over with the new clock rules... no?

117
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:08pm

USC scores the TD, but the 2-pt try is batted down. USC down 2, kicking off from the 50 after Unsportsmanlike, 7 seconds left. Yeah, it's over, I hope.

118
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:08pm

The clock doesn't run between the try and the kickoff, so the game isn't over.

119
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:09pm

Now the game is over. :)

120
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:12pm

Yeah... so they could get the onsides kick and then hope the clock doesn't tick out on them... hehehehe just like Washington could run another play 3? weeks ago.

It seemd the OSU defensive strategy was "mug the receivers" and hope time keeps coming off the clock. They nearly had a blizter free on Booty, but he bit on the play... that could've ended the game...

The officials had a good non-call on #6 of OSU. He was smack talking with Jarrett and an official put his arm on the player, and he swiped the officials arm away... it could've gotten made into a bigger deal than it was.

No doubt the NFL would've been far harsher on them.

121
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:13pm

I'm not a USC fan, but I was pulling for them. Why?

This leaves the door wide open for the Big East champion to play for the National Championship, and with all of Louisville's injuries that looks like West Virginia- a team with an incredibly weak schedule.

122
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:13pm

To me it looked like the foot was out on the 4th and 2 and the FSN replay crew was pausing it a fraction before it hit to make it look as though the foot wasn't on the line. By like a cm or something...

123
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:13pm

Big hidden winner today: Boise State, who beat Oregon State 42-14 earlier in the year.

Big hidden loser today: Notre Dame, who now has no claim on a national title game berth even if they upset USC>

124
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:19pm

This leaves the door wide open for the Big East champion to play for the National Championship, and with all of Louisville’s injuries that looks like West Virginia- a team with an incredibly weak schedule.

West Virginia's schedule hasn't been hard, obviously (though their stomp of 5-2 Maryland is better than any ACC win this year), but:

1. Their schedule gets a lot harder, including games against 2 unbeatens (Louisville and Rutgers) and the Backyard Brawl at Pitt.

2. They've won all their games by 17+ points, and haven't been seriously challenged in any game.

I'd have no problem with a 12-0 West Virginia in the BCS title game.

125
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:21pm

Imagine: unbeaten Rutgers visits unbeaten West Virginia Dec. 2 for a chance to play tOSU the tOSU-UM winner for the national championship.

Texas Tech up 7 on Texas early. No, I don't expect that result to hold any more than I expect the first para above to came to pass.

126
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:33pm

In GT-Miami, why didn't Coker onside kick at the end? There was 2:37 left, and Miami had one TO left. Was he not able to do the math and figure out he wouldn't have enough time to get anything done if they kicked deep and tried to get a stop? And is that JLS-worthy?

127
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:36pm

Re: 126

I don't think Coker realized how little time would be left. The new clock rules surely will be gone after this season, but that's not an excuse for not understanding them now.

Texas Tech 14, Texas 0. Way too early.

128
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:48pm

Coker Watch continues.

Eh, CokerWatch ended this afternoon. If Miami were able to win the ACC- and they had a legitimate shot coming into today- it would have been hard to fire Coker, and impossible if Miami won a BCS bowl.

Coker is officially finished.

129
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:52pm

21-0. Still too early?

130
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:54pm

Texas in a lot of trouble right now. Where's VY when you need him?

131
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:59pm

#127- I knew how much time would be left. You knew it too. How could Coker, who's paid to know and understand this stuff, not know it? It baffles me that a coach wouldn't know this by now. Even under the old rules, you're looking at ~50 seconds left, which isn't a lot of time for Miami's less than explosive offense.

132
by BB (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 9:02pm

Looks like the Good Texas Tech showed up this week instead of Evil Texas Tech (the one that somehow can't score at all).

133
by BB (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 9:08pm

By the way, Ball State's QB might want to watch out next week -- this is the 3rd week in a row Michigan has injured the other team's QB (2 against PSU, Tate sat out this week with a broken finger, and they knocked out N'western's QB with a few minutes left today).

134
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 9:09pm

21-7 now, early 2nd quarter. I wouldn't be worried yet.

135
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 9:35pm

Red Raiders fumble, Colt McCoy goes up top on the first play, Limas Sweed gets it about 55 yards later for 6. Longhorns still down, 24-21, 2:15 to go in the first half. No, definitely not worried now.

136
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 9:40pm

First to 50 wins!

137
by Towens (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 10:01pm

"Big hidden loser today: Notre Dame, who now has no claim on a national title game berth even if they upset USC>"

I'm not certain this is necessarily true.

138
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 10:09pm

Who's doing this Texas-Texas Tech game on TBS with Ron Thulin? The ghost of George Plimpton? He just mentioned something about TTU "playing with alacrity."

139
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 10:20pm

Re: 137

Notre Dame plays 3 awful teams (North Carolina, Air Force, and Army, a combined 7-17) the next 3 weeks, which won't help their computer or poll ratings any. Teams that play harder schedules, with more premier games, will jump them, and a Notre Dame win over USC is no longer as impressive as it would be if USC were undefeated. Further, that game is before any of the conference championship games, and the West Virginia-Rutgers game. To make the BCS title game, Notre Dame thus needs:

1. To win out, impressively.

2. To have USC win out, including beating Cal the week before, except for their loss to Notre Dame.

3. (Not necessary or likely) A Michigan or Ohio State loss in the next two weeks.

4. All of the 3 undefeated Big East teams to lose, or to be punished in the polls for perceived mediocrity.

5. To not have a 1 loss team come out of the SEC.

Does that seem likely to you?

140
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 10:21pm

Who needs VY? McCoy has some wheels. Granted this is Texas Tech, but that was impressive. Under review though.

141
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 10:23pm

Did McCoy get hit in the lip during this game or during practice this week? Otherwise, it looks like he's been touring with Spinal Tap...

142
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 10:26pm

Re: 139

Also:

6. To have Texas lose a game.

143
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 11:55pm

Re #140
And Colt sealed the win with a 34 yard run on 3rd and 6 or so. 35-31, but it wouldn't have been so close without two second half fumbles by Texas RBs (IIRC, both Young and Charles had one).

144
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 12:09am

South Carolina's last-minute drive, starting from their own 9 down 7 with 1:06 to play, may have been the sorriest last-minute drive I've ever seen. First, they blow 8 seconds because a player didn't coming onto the field with his teammates. On first down, they throw underneath to Sidney Rice, who gets tackled after a 9 yard gain. No TOs left, so the clock keeps running. They eventually manage to spike the ball with 36 seconds left. So, they've blown 32 seconds to move 9 out of 91 yards. Newton tries a relatively quick pass on 3rd down, but a TN D-lineman bats it into an SC o-linemen, who stupidly catches it and loses a couple yards. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick on 4th and 3. They do manage to get off a 4th down play with about 6 seconds left, but Hail Mary's from 84 yards away don't work. Especially those that end up hitting a DB in the chest. Ugly, ugly, ugly all the way around.

145
by navin (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 12:27am

Well, it didn't help South Carolina when the referee stood over the ball for about 30 seconds and wouldn't let them snap it. Horrible, horrible officiating at the end. I guarantee an NFL ref would have had that ball placed in under five seconds.

146
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 1:17am

Re 78, it's just the intuition I have from being an Illinois grad.

Re 145, I've always believed one of the most overlooked aspects of late-game scenarios is the way different officiating crews take different approaches to spotting the ball. Some always set the ball immediately. Some take their sweet old time. Some will do it quickly if the team that's losing has the ball and do it slowly if the team that's winning has the ball. But a difference of two seconds per play, which wouldn't seem like a lot to a casual observer, can make all the difference if a team is trying to drive with a minute left in the game.

147
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 1:19am

When a decidedly mediocre Maryland team beats Florida State and it's not a story, it's a sure sign that it's not the 90's anymore.

Or the early 00's...

FSU is dead last in the ACC Atlantic standings behind Maryland, Wake, Clemson, BC, and NC State. If someone had told you this would be the case 5- 10 years ago, you'd swear FSU had been been put on the harshest probation imaginable.

148
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 1:42am

#139:

Actually, it's not that crazy. It does raise an interesting problem, though: if Notre Dame wins out, and the only real one-loss teams they're competing with are Texas and Michigan (assuming Michigan loses to OSU), that's almost a nightmare situation for the BCS, because it's almost a guarantee that it'd force a rematch for the BCS title game, when there's a non-rematch that you could make a (crappy) argument for.

I'm still wondering what will happen if the loser of the OSU-Michigan game somehow manages to stay at #2. Michigan's hold on the #1 spot in the computer polls is ridiculous - a loss to OSU by the end of the year wouldn't move them past the #2 spot at all.

As far as I can tell, there is absolutely no provision for altering the NC game no matter what. The top two teams will play. Period. So if Michigan loses to OSU, and somehow manages to stay at #2 in the BCS rankings, which is feasible, they'll rematch the game. And I have no idea how in the hell they'll justify that.

149
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 1:50am

Oh, and Levi Brown had yet another bad game for Penn State. He had TE help on almost every pass play, and he needed it... to stop one guy. For the life of me, I don't understand why he's listed as a first round draft pick. No way. Absolutely no way. At least by the end of the game, the announcers were saying that this'd be a game he'd want to forget. For two false start penalties, of course - they didn't notice that he was having a god-awful time pass protecting.

150
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 3:12am

The only way that an Ohio State-Michigan rematch could be justified in my mind is if there was a controversial, Oklahoma-Oregon-type ending.

There are so many possible matchups for the BCS title game, and almost all of them would be controversial and unsatisfactory, including scenarios with:

1. Any regular season rematch. The road team won Ohio State-Texas and Michigan-Notre Dame handily.

2. Any one-loss team making it over an undefeated Big East team.

3. Cal (ahead in the computers) making it instead of Tennessee, who crushed Cal in the season opener (35-18, but 35-0 late in the 3rd quarter).

4. An SEC team that doesn't make the conference championship game (Tennessee or Auburn) (unlikely).

5. Notre Dame getting in due to a huge poll jump with a win over USC, and not being jumped itself the next week.

6. Any non-Michigan or Ohio State one loss team getting in over another.

7. Louisville or Rutgers getting in after some Big East squeakers.

The only truly uncontroversial matchup I can see would be the Ohio State-Michigan winner vs. an undefeated West Virginia team that beat Louisville and Rutgers by fairly wide margins. Any others?

FWIW, Hawaii passed on all 18 of their offensive plays in the 1st quarter against Idaho. On their first play of the 2nd quarter, they ran. It lost 3 yards.

151
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 5:14am

Why is Michigan's hold on #1 in the computer polls any more ridiculous than if anyone else held it? Regardless, I just don't see the UM-OSU loser getting into the BCS game, b/c the human voters will drop them below at least one or two other one-loss teams. I know there are some exceptions, but you generally can't lose that late without a conference championship game to regain some status with human voters, esp. with this many closely bunched one-loss teams.

152
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 5:35am

The best situation for a 1 loss team is to lose early. If the loss comes later, the 1 loss team is normally sent to the back of the 1-loss team line.

Aren't we always teased by an undefeated Louisville/smaller conference team only to see them get upset late in the season?

153
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 8:33am

Aren’t we always teased by an undefeated Louisville/smaller conference team only to see them get upset late in the season?

Warning: long post ahead. I blame daylight savings time.

1. There's no reason to consider the current Big East a smaller conference, except in size and perception. However, the Big East is hurt by its lack of marquee non-conference wins this year. (There was a dearth of such games in all conferences - Ohio State-Texas, Michigan-Notre Dame, Tennessee-Cal, USC-Arkansas, USC-Nebraska, and Oregon-Oklahoma have been the only non-conference games involving two currently ranked teams; note the lack of Big East, Big 12, and ACC wins.)

Current rating (before this week) of the Big East in BCS computer ratings:
Colley: 1st
Sagarin: 3rd (central mean); 4th (simple average)
Wolfe: 2nd
Massey: 4th
Anderson & Hester: 3rd
Billingley: NA

2. Louisville themselves have not made it close to this far without losing a game in recent years (their previous best was 4-0, in both 2003 and 2004), and there's been little pattern to whether undefeated teams lose late in the season. 2004 saw 5 teams make it through the regular season undefeated, whereas no team did so in 2003.

Undefeated teams after 7 games, modern BCS history (teams in bold finished the regular season without a loss):

2006: Ohio State, Michigan, West Virginia, Louisville, Rutgers, Boise State
2005: USC, Texas, Virginia Tech (8-0), Georgia (7-0), Alabama (9-0), UCLA (8-0)
2004: USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Wisconsin (9-0), Utah, Boise State
2003: Oklahoma (12-0), Miami (7-0), Northern Illinois (7-0), TCU (10-0)
2002: Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma (8-0), Virginia Tech (8-0), Georgia (8-0), Notre Dame (8-0), NC State (9-0)
2001: Miami, Oklahoma (7-0), Nebraska (11-0), Maryland (7-0), Washington State (7-0), BYU (12-0)
2000: Oklahoma, Nebraska (8-0), Virginia Tech (8-0), Clemson (8-0), TCU (7-0)
1999: Florida State, Virginia Tech, Penn State (9-0), Kansas State (9-0), Mississippi State (8-0), Marshall
1998: Tennessee, UCLA (10-0), Kansas State (11-0), Ohio State (8-0), Wisconsin (9-0), Arkansas (8-0), Tulane

154
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 8:42am

Oh, and Notre Dame-Georgia Tech. USC-Notre Dame is the only such game scheduled for the next 5 weeks.

155
by Mike (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 9:20am

#133: Hello, Troy Smith!

156
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 10:46am

Re: 152

Who you lose to matters more than when you lose. Remember the '93 Florida State Notre Dame game? FSU loses a close one on the road and falls from 1 to 2.

With the USC loss, a Michigan-Ohio State rematch in the BCS title game isn't nearly as far fetched as people think. Let's say Ohio State wins by a field goal at home. It's entirely possible that Michigan remains #2 in the polls. It's also possible that voters drop them further because they want to influence the matchup.

The reverse might not be true for Ohio State, simply becuase they're playing at home and will be favored to win.

But Michigan, #1 in the computer polls and with a game against the Buckeyes still to come to boost their SoS, has a real chance to play in the BCS title game if it loses a tough one in Columubus.

While I don't think that's any less fair than any other one-loss team getting in, I (a Michigan grad, remember) think that scenario would be entirely unfair to Ohio State. Why should they need to sweep a pair from Michigan to win the title when all Michigan needs is a split?

157
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 11:02am

There is a good chance that Ohio State-Michigan will be both of the following:
1. A thrilling game between two of college football's most heated rivals, undefeated and ranked No. 1 and No. 2 going into the last game of the season.
2. Utterly meaningless to both teams' chances of winning the national championship.

Personally, I love it. It's yet another illustration of what a sham the BCS is.

158
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 12:17pm

C'mon, MDS. You think there's a "good chance" that the result of OSU v Michigan will be "utterly meaningless to both teams’ chances of winning the national championship"?

No offense, but you're grasping for straws in your attempt to crack on the BCS. It would take a minor miracle to see a Michyigan v OSU rematch for the national championship.

What would make the game utterly meaningless would be a playoff.

159
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 12:56pm

Since Wisconsin and Penn State are playing next week, I thought I would provide some Badger info now so that folks can avoid making comments based on bad information from ESPN or just using the stats page as guidance.

First, PJ Hill will likely not play against Penn State next Saturday. He took two VERY hard hits yesterday and injured and then re-injured his neck. Whatever hopeful comments you may read about Hill it is almost certain that Smith or Rowan will be at tailback next game. And there is a legitimate dropoff from Hill to either of these guys.

Second, Stocco's "go to" guy in the passing game is tight end Travis Beckum. Beckum is a conerted DE who has caused matchup problems almost every game. Faster than most linebackers, much stronger then any db, Beckum has good hands and does the one single thing that any fan can appreciate: he catches the ball and turns upfield immediately. Beckum has no interest in jitterbugging. If he can't run past you he will run over you.

The other receivers have made real strides since the drop fest against Michigan as Luke Swan, Paul Hubbard, and Andy Crooks (another converted defensive player to TE) have all had their moments.

The Badger offensive line is big but can be confused by stunts, twists, and other defensive chicanery. It doesn't help that Stocco, for all his positives, doesn't audible very often. Unless the play call anticipates pressure a blitz or just a clever pass rush has a very good chance of succeeding.

Wisconsin's defensive ends are undersized but both Shaughnessy and Cooper are rounding into form after suffering knee injuries last season. Shaughnessy in particular is showing more and more flashes of the speed off the edge. If he faces a tackle with poor feet expect the opposition QB to have company real fast. Matt is also legitimately smart. He rarely is out of position so end arounds or reverses in his direction better be ready to block.

The tackles are just ok. None of them are in particularly good shape which is why in the fourth quarter most were just playing patty cake against the Illinois line. If not for the Wisky DE's applying pressure and Williams own lack of accuracy things could have gotten ugly for Bucky. It has also helped that Wisconsin has been way out in front and controlling the ball but that applies to about any team.

The linebackers are pretty good but their undoing is that they routinely overpursue. Zalewski is a senior and captain but despite umpteen games under his belt will still run himself out of plays.

The best player on the Wisconsin defense is Ikegwuonu. (And if I spelled that right it's a miracle) "Ike" is a very good cover corner, tackles well, and can run with just about anyone. Stellmacher is a smart kid from a rinky-dink town of Berlin, WI. He is the classic college guy who compensates for natural talent by sacrificing his body and always being in the right place at the right time.

The special teams are bi-polar. Kicker Taylor Mehlhaff and punter Ken DeBauche are very good. But the coverage and return teams are highly suspect. In particular, punt return Zach Hampton has muffed SIX(!) punts but the coaching staff insists HE is the guy. Hampton is a db who got hurt against Illinois so Swan might be back there next Saturday.

As for the coaching staff, it has continued with the Alvarez tradition of pounding the ball on offense and playing contain defense. The key difference is that Bret Bielema will take a LOT more risks then Barry. Bielema routinely goes for it on fourth down, has called a fake punt, and regularly tells his team the need to "go for it". The coaching staff has also been much quicker about getting plays in from the sideline. Some may roll their eyes but Alvarez teams would call 3-4 timeouts a year for the simple reason that the coaching staff couldn't decide what play to call. Wisconsin's offensive pace is much quicker early. Once they get a two touchdown plus lead then they start to grind.

Wisconsin doesn't turn the ball over and doesn't commit many penalties.

Wisconsin isn't a great team by any stretch. Just solid with no gaping holes.

But their single biggest asset is QB John Stocco. He has been through the Big Ten "wars", is rarely fazed even when he gets clobbered, and is athletic enough that should he not have a passing option he will run with some aplomb. Stocco will do some dumb stuff every so often as he allows his desire to make the big play cloud his judgement but mostly the guy has been very good to outstanding. Likely his finest moment in a Badger uniform was last year's game against the Lions. As the team collapsed around him with PSU defenders in his face if not throwing him to the ground STocco stood his ground and threw for over 300 yards. I think he was sacked nine times give or take so the official passing total is likely around 200. But Stocco took the Lions best punch and at the end of the game he was the only Wisky player who could hold his head up walking out of the stadium.

If WI can keep him upright and don't let Hunt run wild the Badgers have a very good chance to win next Saturday.

160
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 1:01pm

#156: I think when you lose matters just as much. In 1998, FSU lost in Week 2 to NC State. They fell from #2 to #11 in the polls. (This all comes from ESPN's College Football Encyclopedia, which I got as a Christmas gift last year and is freakin' awesome.) They ended up in the title game when all of the other unbeatens (save Tennessee) lost, because they lost earlier and bubbled up to the #2 spot. IMO, Ohio St. was more impressive that season, but their loss was in November and they fell behind FSU. I realize that as a Michigan grad, you might not think there's anything wrong with OSU potentially getting the short end of the stick. :) In 2003, USC lost before LSU, and they were ahead of LSU in the final polls.

You and Vinny managed to go 5-3 despite agreeing on every pick this week. The times they are a'changin.' You guys are just good enough this year that the "go against whatever Russ and Vin" strategy isn't viable, but not quite good enough to be reliable. Congrats. :)

161
by Mike (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 2:15pm

Hey MDS, I'm curious why you feel differently than Russell based on merit. After all, this is a website with heavy advanced statistical leanings, and as a regular reader (and also a BP premium user) I know as well as you do that one single game is not nearly testament to whether a team is definitively better than another (especially a close game)

I'll admit that like Russ I'm a Michigan guy (up.net Russ, I'm from up north!), but as teams lose it becomes easier and easier to argue that UM and OSU are truly head and shoulders above the rest of the competition if one wins by a field goal.

Is it really a sham if they end up playing in that situation, and not exactly not a sham wherein we have to completely overvalue a loss on Nov. 18 compared to a loss in September (I'm looking at you, Texas) or October?

I dislike the BCS, but one thing about it that appeals to me is that it mitigates that poll effect, and I think there's a pretty large majority of people who'd agree that either UM or OSU would absolutely hammer any 1 loss team from the SEC, Texas, WV, USC, etc.

Maybe that's my bias talking, but with Manningham coming back, those two really could be the cream of Division 1-A.

And if they are, isn't it more of a travesty if one is deprived a chance at the national title simply becuase they have the misfortune of being in the same conference?

The 2-0 vs 1-1 split Russ mentions is, to me, the only real argument against it on a fairness basis - as long as it's fair to OSU and UM, I think it's fair to football.

162
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 2:27pm

If it sounds like I was disagreeing with Russ, then I wasn't clear enough in my post, Mike. The "sham" I'm referring to is the way BCS/NCAA apologists say the regular season is just like a playoff. If the regular season were like a playoff, Oklahoma wouldn't have made it to the championship game after a loss, and the loser of Ohio State-Michigan wouldn't be eligible. I personally want the BCS to be replaced with a four-team playoff, and I'm rooting for whatever scenario makes more people call for that, which this year, I think, is an Ohio State-Michigan rematch.

The only area where I disagree with Russ is where he says the situation is unfair to Ohio State. Although I think there are some things that are inherently unfair about the BCS, I don't think it's any more unfair to Ohio State than it is to any other team.

163
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 2:34pm

Vinny:

Why is Michigan’s hold on #1 in the computer polls any more ridiculous than if anyone else held it?

Nono, I didn't mean it that way. I meant Michigan (and OSU, as well) is ridiculously far ahead of any #3 team, and Michigan's well ahead of OSU. Losing to OSU basically just swaps Michigan and OSU. It wouldn't drop Michigan down to #3.

164
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 2:35pm

Oh, and Travis: Please ignore Billingsley's computer rankings. They're awful. They're nominally "in" the BCS, but they get thrown out almost all the time as an outlier. :)

165
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 2:43pm

It would take a minor miracle to see a Michyigan v OSU rematch for the national championship.

It's almost a given that if the season continues to play out, and Michigan loses to OSU, that Michigan will be basically a consensus #2 in the computer rankings. Cal might have to lose one more, but probably not.

Then, all that you need for a Michigan/OSU rematch is for voters to be unsure about who to put #2.

166
by Mike (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 2:45pm

Alright, I just woke up so it's possible that such thing as sarcasm, wit, etc were completely lost on my brain 30 minutes ago also.

I'm rooting for it for a similar reason (though I want it to come after a UM win in november, so the odds are slimmer, I do agree with Russ that a visiting UM is more apt to sneak in as the 1 loss team than a home loser OSU), and I generally root in favor of obscure, odd or just downright silly things in football.

I had the misfortune of not becoming a football fan until I was in my teens, and outside of UM, I was never able to acquire a real rooting interest in anyone - makes watching the NFL pretty dull, since I can't seem to live and die with any team (and living in Michigan, you only die with the Lions).

167
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 2:54pm

Then, all that you need for a Michigan/OSU rematch is for voters to be unsure about who to put #2.

History shows us that they won't be, and that's 2/3 of the poll. All pollsters care about is which team lost most recently, regardless of any other circumstance.

Russ is correct when he says that a Michigan v Ohio State rematch would be unfair to whichever team won the first game. Again, that won't happen.

168
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 2:54pm

#167 should read "2/3 of the formula". Sorry.

169
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 3:03pm

Re: 164

Yup, I know. I don't think I cited the Billingsley ratings as if they were any authority (hell, I mistyped them as "Billingley"), but if I did, let me know.

170
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 3:18pm

I personally want the BCS to be replaced with a four-team playoff

That would have been great in 2004, with four undefeated teams heading into the bowls.

It would have been less desirable any other year.

Let's look at 2005: we would have had #1 USC v #4 Ohio State, and #2 Texas v #3 Penn State. For starters, it was clear that USC and Texas were the top teams, and there was no need for a playoff.

From there, we risk not getting to see the best college football game ever. We run the risk of seeing Texas vs Ohio State or Penn State vs Ohio State rematches.

The “sham� I’m referring to is the way BCS/NCAA apologists say the regular season is just like a playoff. If the regular season were like a playoff, Oklahoma wouldn’t have made it to the championship game after a loss, and the loser of Ohio State-Michigan wouldn’t be eligible.

It's not the same thing. In 2003 the three teams in question were Oklahoma, USC, and LSU. All lost one game before the bowls started. The key difference is that none of the teams in question actually played each other. If they had, the loser of that game would have been on the outside looking in, much the way the loser of OSU v Michigan will be.

171
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 7:17pm

I'm with Kevin on this argument. I don't see the voters keeping the loser of UM-OSU at #2 ahead of an undefeated Big East team, a one-loss SEC champ, or even a one-loss Cal/USC.

I know UF got back into the big game for a rematch with FSU in '96, but they had a conference title game afterwards to help things plus a number of other fateful events (UM beat OSU, Texas beat Nebraska and then OSU beat ASU in the Rose Bowl). It's certainly possible it could happen again, but 10 years later I think the voters will try and avoid that kind of result. (But maybe I'm giving them too much credit.)

172
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 8:54pm

Wanted to add that if the rules we had in place today were in place 10 years ago, in 1996 it would have been Arizona State playing FSU for the title in a battle of a clear #1 vs a clear #2.

The NCAA could solve the potential rematch problem easily by simply saying "no rematches in the championship game".

173
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 10/29/2006 - 11:29pm

Selection committee, decides the matchup for the championship game. Rest is made by the bowls from among the remaining BCS conference champions and all teams.

174
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 10/30/2006 - 12:21pm

History shows us that they won’t be, and that’s 2/3 of the poll. All pollsters care about is which team lost most recently, regardless of any other circumstance.

"History shows us that they won't be"? Why? If all you end up with is an undefeated Ohio State, and a mess of 1-loss teams afterwards, I guarantee there won't be a clear #2.

Right now, if Michigan lost, West Virginia would be the clear #2, but if they lose as well, everything after #1 would be a complete jumble. The clear #3 in the statistical rankings is California, who's #11/#11 in the polls. There's a huge disconnect right now between the polls and the statistical rankings, and that only helps Michigan, which is one of the few teams where the polls and the statistical rankings agree.

Right now, there is about a one hundred and eighty point gap (where point=1/1000) in the BCS rankings between #2 and #3.

I can't stress enough how gigantic that is. There has never been a gap between #2 and #3 anywhere near that large for any week in the past two years where we've had the same format (there hasn't been a gap half as large as that between #2 and #3!). Hell, there has never been a gap that big between any two adjacent teams in the past two years at all!

I don’t see the voters keeping the loser of UM-OSU at #2 ahead of an undefeated Big East team

They don't need to. All they need to be is undecided, and history, if anything, shows that the voters will be undecided about how to rank a bunch of one-loss teams, and the votes will be close. Which means the statistical rankings will cast the tiebreaker, and that means Michigan. By a wide margin.

If a team comes out of the Big East undefeated, it'll be ranked #2 solidly, of course. But is it really so unlikely they circle-of-death each other? And in that case, who would the polls put at #2 if Michigan loses? Auburn? Texas? One of the one-loss Rutgers/Lousville/West Virginia set? There's no way that ends up being a solid #2.

And I haven't even mentioned what happens if Ohio State loses. In that case, OSU probably also would make the NC, because how far would the polls drop OSU if they lose to Michigan, and there are only one-loss teams elsewhere? The statistical rankings would almost definitely have them above other likely #2 teams, except possibly Cal, if Cal wins out. And I don't see how Cal could leapfrog all the way to the #2 spot in the polls unless they demolish UCLA and USC.

175
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 10/30/2006 - 12:28pm

My bad, there was a gap half as big as that between #2 and #3 in 2005 through Nov. 5. But that's the closest one, and it's just barely half as big.

176
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/30/2006 - 11:05pm

“History shows us that they won’t be�? Why?

All the polls do is take a team that lost and move them down a few notches.

Right now, if Michigan lost, West Virginia would be the clear #2, but if they lose as well, everything after #1 would be a complete jumble.

Right- but the polls always go with the one-loss team with the least recent loss. That very likely won't be the Michigan / OSU loser.

177
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/31/2006 - 2:18pm

All the polls do is take a team that lost and move them down a few notches.

Except they don't use the polls like they do the computers. There'll be a lot of uncertainty as to how far to move Michigan, and my guess would be the average would be around 3. But who would move up? If half the people put, say, Texas #2, and half put Auburn #2, and put the other at #4, then they average out to #3. And now you've got Michigan, Texas, and Auburn, all basically exactly the same. Now, a few more might give Auburn credit, and the rankings would end up OSU, Auburn, Michigan, Texas, but the actual values for #2-#4 would be very close.

But the statistical rankings would not, because they don't use the statistical rankings like that. Plus, Auburn and Texas, if they win out, will not be ranked over Florida and California, and probably not even Notre Dame as well.