Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Nov 2006

Seventh Day Adventure: Garden Party

by Vinny Gauri and Russell Levine

Russell: Well, Vin here we are. Not only are we one week out from potential Football Armageddon in Columbus, but I've got my tickets and I'm getting ready to venture down the Jersey Turnpike to take in an honest-to-goodness Rutgers game with national-title implications. All my Garden State pride is coming out tonight. I'm giddy. "What exit" jokes? Bring 'em on.

Vinny: You're off Exit 15W, right?

Russell: Umm, yeah. Western Spur -- respect. Anyway, I'm fired up for this one, and I didn't even go to Rutgers. I just want to be there to see Rutgers fans experience what you and I and college football diehards all over experience a couple times each fall. It's like being there for the birth of a child.

Vinny: Well, since I haven't experienced that, I'll offer another analogy: it's like you're a sophomore in college, you just moved out of the dorms, and you and your buddies are hosting your first keg party the weekend before school starts. And you walk into the party store and they're having specials on kegs of Milwaukee's Best, Schaefer, Goebel and Wiedemann's. And they're throwing in the plastic cups for free.

Russell: Goebel? (Shudders). I'm going with my buddy Chris, an SDA reader, an RU alum, and a huge sports fan (Mets/Giants/Rangers). You want fired up? This is a direct quote from him: "I have to say that I have not been this excited for a game since Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals and not this excited for a game I am actually going to since the 1986 NFC Championship Game."

Vinny: What about the Subway Series? Wrestlemania I at MSG in 1985? Doc Gooden's first positive cocaine test in 1987?

Russell: Those are three strong entries, to be sure.

Louisville (-6.5) at Rutgers, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: I wrote a preview of this game for Thursday's New York Sun, and as much as I wanted to focus on some rather intriguing matchups -- Ray Rice against that porous-looking Louisville run defense from the West Virginia game, for example -- I just couldn't. This game isn't about matchups. It's about emotion. Rutgers has never played a game like this one. The stadium will be overflowing. National TV. A week off to prepare against a Louisville team coming off a huge emotional game of its own. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Vinny: Yep.

Russell: Emotion is the great equalizer in football. Think of the Saints-Falcons Monday Night game when the Superdome reopened. The Falcons didn't stand a chance that night. Louisville has more talent, and a huge edge at QB, but it might not matter if Rutgers runs them out of the stadium on an emotional tidal wave in the first 10 minutes.

Vinny: But then, the Knights might be so excited that they fumble the opening kickoff, get gashed by a flurry of Brian Brohm screen passes, and dig themselves a deep hole in the first quarter.

Russell: If Rutgers fails to start fast, they could be in trouble. Brohm has a bunch of giant receivers to throw to. Mario Urrutia will have eight inches on the Rutgers corners. Rutgers QB Mike Teel can't throw, and its defense hasn't faced an offense of this caliber since it played Louisville last year (final score, 56-5). I say it doesn't matter. There's no way Louisville can get itself "up" for this game like it was last week. The Cardinals are walking into an ambush. Ray Rice will go nuts. Jersey finally gets a taste of the big time. Rutgers wins outright (my Fred Edelstein Lock) and the New York media suddenly discovers college football.

Vinny: The ease with which West Virginia gashed the Cardinals for 318 rushing yards has to bode well for Rice and Brian Leonard. And I don't think Louisville can count on Rutgers to be as generous with the football as the Mountaineers were. Still, this is the first taste of the big time for Teel and especially Rutgers' heralded defense, and I say it tastes like humble pie. I think Bobby Petrino will have his team ready for the Knight's initial wave of emotion, and Brohm and Kolby Smith slice and dice their way to an easy cover for Louisville.

Russell: If you watch the game, look for an ESPN feature on my 110-year-old neighbor, Walter Seward, whom I wrote about a few weeks ago. He won't be in attendance, but he will be watching.

If you missed the YouTube clips from the mayhem in Piscataway, you can find them here

Vanderbilt (+2) at Kentucky, 1 p.m. ET

Russell: Man, remember when Kentucky's Rich Brooks was easily the worst coach in America? When was that, about five weeks ago? Well look who has his team poised to go bowling. A win here and the 'Cats are eligible, thanks to a home upset of reeling Georgia last week.

Vinny: It was Kentucky's first win over Georgia in ten years. The Wildcats actually have a shot at winning out -- Louisiana-Monroe is next and then a struggling, banged up Tennessee team in the finale -- and finishing the regular season at 8-4. Quarterback Andre Woodson leads the SEC in touchdowns right now with 21.

Russell: Vandy has also had a surprising season. The Commodores can get to a bowl as well, but they'll have to win this game and then beat Tennessee next week to do it. This should be a shootout -- Kentucky's pass defense is awful and Vandy QB Chris Nickson has been getting better. He's coming off perhaps his best two-game stretch of the season.

Vinny: Amassing over 500 yards of offense against Duke is one thing, but Vandy gave Florida fits last week in a 25-19 loss for the 'dores. Nickson was 27-of-44 for 298 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He was 12-of-17 for 153 yards in the fourth quarter. And he can run (seven rushing touchdowns).

Russell: This could be one of those last-team-with-the-ball-wins kind of games. I'm not sure how crazy I am about taking Kentucky in an important game they're expected to win, especially coming off their biggest victory of the season. Call it a pick for Dr. Browning. Vandy pulls the upset.

Vinny: Yeah, reading the press coming out of Lexington, I think the Wildcats will still be basking in last week's win by kickoff. I like the Commodores (and the points) as the more prepared team.

Michigan (-19.5) at Indiana, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: I was doing so well. I hadn't thrown things or screamed in anguish at the TV since Chad Henne's first pass of the Notre Dame game back in September. But the fourth quarter of last Saturday's near-debacle against Ball State almost put me on the ledge. Good thing Brian from MGoBlog talked me down. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr never wanted to play that game in the first place -- he was vehement in his opposition to the 12-game schedule -- and he treated it like a scrimmage. No hitting in practice. Leaving the second-teamers in on defense even after they gave up some big plays to make it interesting.

Vinny: The second half underscored the lack of depth at cornerback for the Wolverines. There's a big drop-off after Leon Hall and Morgan Trent. Starters or not, linebackers coach and quote machine Steve Szabo said the defense "embarrassed themselves" last week. And the lack of execution by the Michigan offense late against Ball State was a little disconcerting. Mario Manningham was back in the lineup but was only permitted to run fly patterns down the field. We'll see if he's allowed to make a few cuts this week on that surgically repaired knee. And tight ends Mike Massey and Tyler Ecker could also be back in action for the first time in a month.

Russell: Indiana is awful tough to figure. Two weeks ago, they bombed Michigan State to get within one win of a bowl berth. Last week, they gave up 63 points to a Minnesota team that nearly lost to North Dakota State a couple weeks back. Indiana does have a dangerous passing attack, and Michigan will see plenty of it since the Hoosiers won't be able to run the ball at all.

Vinny: Hoosiers coach Terry Hoeppner got his feathers ruffled last year when these teams met in Michigan Stadium, claiming that the Wolverines bullied the Hoosiers into a small corner of the field during pre-game warm-ups. Hoeppner sometimes goes a little overboard with his "us against the world" mentality, but when the guy is back on the sideline a few weeks after brain surgery, he's entitled to his methods.

Russell: Phew. I was afraid you were going to start ripping the guy. This is the week Michigan puts the hammer down. They won't do anything fancy, but they should be able to run at will and I expect Henne to find Manningham on a deep ball or two. Michigan will get up big early and coast, unlike last week. For once, I like the Wolverines laying the big number.

Vinny: Indiana quarterback Kellen Lewis has developed some nice chemistry with receiver James Hardy. But I expect Lewis to spend most of Saturday picking himself off the turf. With Total, Utter and Complete Armageddon only a week away, the focus will be back for the Wolverines. Michigan routs Indiana (my Freddy).

Ohio State (-22.5) at Northwestern, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: I didn't see a single snap of Ohio State's 17-10 win over Illinois last week so I can't really speak to whether it was a genuinely tight game or if OSU basically took the same approach Michigan did against Ball State. The stats tell me that Troy Smith and the Buckeye offense were held largely in check, but did they shut things down after halftime and leave it to the defense?

Vinny: Senator Tressel was almost apolitical this week, taking the blame for his conservative play-calling in the second half against the Illini. But Smith was not his usual efficient self, going 13-of-23 for 108 yards and a pick. He admitted to having an injured thumb on his throwing hand and has been wearing a protective wrap the last couple weeks. Meanwhile, Ted Ginn Jr. has been hampered by a broken toe lately, and starting left tackle Alex Boone has been out of action. Just as the Wolverines are getting healthy, the Buckeyes are coming up limping.

Russell: You shouldn't take such joy in the suffering of others. Northwestern is another schizophrenic Big Ten team. The 'Cats lost at home to New Hampshire, yet they are coming off a win over Iowa last week. It's been a tough year, beginning with Randy Walker's shocking death over the summer, but I really admire how 31-year-old coach Pat Fitzgerald has held his team together. They've had every reason to pack things in, but have refused to do so.

Vinny: The Iowa win was definitely a nice feather in the cap for the 'Cats (even if the Hawkeyes were without Drew Tate), and if they can beat Illinois in Evanston next week, they'll go into spring ball with some momentum. They have a young nucleus at the skill positions with quarterback C.J. Bacher, tailback Tyrell Sutton and receivers Ross Lane and Eric Peterman.

Russell: Northwestern may have found its quarterback of the future in Bacher. He really impressed me in their loss to Michigan, standing tall despite absorbing some huge hits in the pocket. He'll make some plays, but I think Ohio State is also going to be all business this week. No more close calls. I'll lay the big number on the Buckeyes.

Vinny: Agreed. The Fighting Sweatervests cover.

Tennessee (+5.5) at Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Russell: Tennesse and Michigan were the redemption stories of the early part of the season, but the Vols were staggered last week by a home loss to LSU in which the Tigers drove for the winning score in the final minutes, wasting a good effort by backup quarterback Jonathan Crompton.

Vinny: Crompton will get the nod again for the Vols as Erik Ainge is still out with a bad ankle. But Tennessee did receive some good news on the injury front as freshman tailback Lamarcus Coker is expected back for this one. Montario Hardesty will get the start at tailback though.

Russell: Don't forget about Arian Foster, who was suspended for the first half after getting arrested with two teammates following the LSU loss. Only the fact that Adrian Arrington has continued to play for Michigan following his legal issues prevents me from making a joke at Phil Fulmer's expense here.

Vinny: Arkansas's Mitch Mustain had completed 52 percent of his passes with ten touchdowns and eight interceptions, which earned him a seat on the bench in favor of Casey Dick last week. You have go give Nutt credit for making a change in the midst of an eight-game winning streak. Dick's back problems seem to be behind him (no pun intended). But the Hogs will also be short-handed for this one, as starting free safety Michael Grant is out for the year after suffering ligament damage in Arkansas's 26-20 win at South Carolina.

Russell: I'm worried about the mindset of Fulmer's club following the gut-wrenching loss and the legal problems. I'm not sure Tennessee can stop that Arkansas running game of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. I think Arkansas gets the cover.

Vinny: Tennessee should be able to muster some more offense than they managed against a tough LSU defense. And the Vols' defense should be up to the challenge against Arkansas's running game. I like Vols and the points here.

Wake Forest (+7) at Florida State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: Talk about lack of respect. Wake Forest is 8-1 and is the school's best team in a generation. Florida State is 5-4 and is the school's worst team in a generation. Yet the line says the Seminoles are a touchdown favorite, and it's been climbing.

Vinny: Reputations die hard. FSU gets to close the season with four straight at home including a Thanksgiving weekend clash with rival Florida. I'm not sure if there's a unit in the country that's been hit as hard by injury as the Seminoles defense, which looks like it now has nine starters out for the year. It didn't matter much against hapless Virginia, who surrendered to the 'Noles to the tune of 33-0 last week. Xavier Lee is expected to start at quarterback again, as Drew Weatherford continues to mend his ankle after injuring it against BC a few weeks ago.

Russell: Wake has also had plenty of injuries this season, making their success (and coach Jim Grobe's impending raise) all that much more impressive. Win this game, and the Demon Deacons are in the driver's seat to reach the ACC title game.

Vinny: The ACC has been disappointing this season, but Wake is in the middle of the toughest stretch in the conference (BC, at FSU, Virginia Tech, at Maryland). And it's hard to expect too much from Wake after its students attacked the goalposts following the big win over BC last week. But I just don't trust this FSU team. If Wake is getting a touchdown, that's good enough for me. The Deacons cover on the road.

Russell: I'm with you. I just can't see laying a big number on a Florida State team that's injured and playing poorly. FSU might win this game, but it won't be a rout. I'll take Wake as well.

Oregon (+8) at USC, 10:15 p.m. ET, FSN

Russell: Finishing this column on Friday gives us some more insight to USC's situation, as the Trojans got the Louisville loss they -- and every other once-beaten team -- needed to get back in the title hunt. USC is a bit further back in the pack after losing to Oregon State a few weeks ago, but this game kicks off a closing stretch that also includes Cal, Notre Dame and UCLA. In other words, the Trojans still have plenty of chances to impress the voters.

Vinny: Pete Carroll's team did seem refocused after the loss. After weeks of close calls against lesser teams, they put the hammer to Stanford last week. Not that that means much, but it was still good to see if you're a USC fan.

Russell: Agreed. Still, USC's defense will get a real test from the Ducks, who have been scoring points in bunches all season. USC needs to generate a turnover or two.

Vinny: The Ducks have really missed Haloti Ngata in the middle of their defense this year, as their biggest weakness has been stopping the run. That's good news for Chauncey Washington and Emmanuel Moody.

Russell: I think USC will seize its opportunity here. John David Booty is playing his best football of the year, and the Ducks' defense can be scored upon. I like USC to cover the big number.

Vinny: Make that two of us. USC is the pick.

Louisiana Tech (+38) at Hawaii, 11:05 p.m. ET

Vinny: Is Hawaii another of those stupid pet teams you have? Is that why we're picking this scintillating matchup?

Russell: You got me. I've been fascinated by the Rainbows (I'm old school, you won't catch me calling them Warriors) since the 80's, when they'd be on ESPN once a year and would always seem to put a scare into some powerhouse team out taking a little vacation in the islands.

Vinny: These days, Hawaii beats up on the poor stepchildren on the WAC. June Jones is no stranger to running up the score; then again when all your offense does is pass, it's kind of tough to call off the dogs.

Russell: Even playing in a league with no defense and throwing the ball on every play, Colt Brennan is putting up numbers that are eye-popping. He's thrown 21 TDs and just one interception in the past four games. The number is huge, but Hawaii scores in the 60s and covers.

Vinny: Louisiana Tech can chuck it a little bit too, with QB Zac Champion, who sounds like he has a stage name. But Hawaii buries bad teams at home. I'll take the Warriors (sorry Russ) as well.

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Vinny Says Russell Says
Louisville -6.5 Rutgers Louisville Rutgers*
Vanderbilt +2 Kentucky Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
Michigan -19.5 Indiana Michigan* Michigan
Ohio State -22.5 Northwestern Ohio State Ohio State
Tennessee +5.5 Arkansas Tennessee Arkansas
Wake Forest +7 Florida State Wake Forest Wake Forest
Oregon +8 USC USC USC
Louisiana Tech +38 Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Vinny 5-3-0 (0-1-0) 45-35-0 (7-3-0)
Russell 5-3-0 (1-0-0) 46-34-0 (5-5-0)

Posted by: on 10 Nov 2006

251 comments, Last at 13 Nov 2006, 4:02pm by Nick Evans

Comments

1
by Opiwan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 5:13pm

Vinny, you didn't highlight your pick in the last sentence.

2
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 5:50pm

"emotional title wave"

Nice pun.

You experience the birth of a child a couple times each fall? As Brett Favre might say, I would have double-bagged it.

3
by Chris Heinonen (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 6:05pm

I must say I was surprised when I looked online this week to find tickets to the Rutgers game and they were starting at $350 for endzone seats. Work puts me in the same area as the best game of the week and I can't afford a ticket to see it (or even watch on the HDTV at home). As much as I would love Rutgers to win (their rise from the dead reminds me of Oregon State, who didn't have a winning season my whole life until I was 21), I don't see them winning it, but I can hope.

4
by Russell Levine (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 6:25pm

Sorry about the typos folks. I was in a rush to get to Piscataway. Currently on my 3rd of 3 NJ Transit trains wheeling my way there.

If possible I will post some comments on the scene from the game. Or at least when I get home.

5
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 6:43pm

3 trains? I'm having a hard time figuring that one out. Anyway, I'm about to head out to the game as well, and I honestly have no idea what to expect. I really want to predict Rutgers will win, but I can't. They definitely can do it, but will they? Oh well, if Teel blows the game, at least we can't say we were surprised.

6
by The Skeptic (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 9:34pm

"Western Spur--respect." gotta love the turnpike jokes...wonder how many FO readers will get that one.

7
by ZS (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 9:36pm

As a New Jerseyan, I legally must root for Rutgers. No, I'm not kidding, Governor Codey slid it in while he was in office. Gotta love that guy.

The sad part is that Rutgers wins, they'll probably screw everything up for the Big East because then they'll probably lose to WVU and the pundits will once again bring up that whole "BIG EAST AUTOMATIC BERTH?! BULL HOCKEY" thing.

8
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 9:37pm

I, for one, don't really care that the whole preview is coming on Friday, since the Thursday game is up.

I like Louisville, going away. 41-17 sounds like a great score.

9
by Michael David Smith :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 9:49pm

Ugh. The fake reverse kickoff return never works when the kick is that short. The returner needs to know to call off the reverse and just pick up what he can in that situation.

10
by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 9:53pm

Formerly Exit 5. You betta recognize.

11
by Russell Levine (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 11:30pm

Ugh. Ugly first half for Rutgers. They're lucky to still be in the game down 11.

Why go after the punt when tolu stand to get the ball near midfield? That's a potential JLS worthy decision by Schiano.

Good atmo in the stadium tonight, even if I did hear Bon Jovi at least once.

12
by Bronco Jeff (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:18am

Former Exit 5 as well! Near Cherry Hill. Go Scarlet Knights!

13
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:28am

So far, the key play to me is the non-call PI on 3rd down to start the second half. Louisville hasn't done anything offensively since the break, and Rutgers, though down 4, seems like they have the edge.

14
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:29am

Down 4? Down 3, because Rutgers went for 2 late in the 3rd, when many coaches wouldn't. It's the kind of thing few notice when it works.

15
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:33am

Considering how badly Rutgers is throwing, and how well they're running, I don't know why they keep giving Teel chances to piss away this game.

16
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:33am

That occurred to me right after I posted it. I forgot they'd gone for 2. And now, they're tied after Ito hits the FG.

17
by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:46am

I really don't follow college football, but I live in NYC, so what the hell... GO RUTGERS!!!

18
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:02am

Who here would go for it on 4th and 1 inside the 10 after the kicker just missed?

19
by Bill (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:02am

Odds on Schiano pulling a Bielema?

20
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:03am

What would happen if Rutgers pulled a Wisconsin now and ran its entire kick team offsides?

21
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:06am

Holy freaking crap!

22
by admin :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:06am

Wow. Weren't there, like, 100 comments on last week's Thursday night game? No love for Rutgers? Congrats to them, and damn, I feel bad for that Louisville kid who jumped offside.

23
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:07am

RUTGERS WINS!!!

There was a Cal-Stanford moment there with the fans storming the field before the end of the game.

24
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:10am

good job Louisville.

well this should make sure the argument of who belongs in the championship game to never end.

25
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:10am

#22

Sorry for not posting. I'm just too busy being utterly shocked. Now Rutgers needs to win out and nuke-bomb the BCS.

26
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:11am

Practically the entire contents of the grandstands are currently on the field. And Rutgers deserves it.

27
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:12am

R.

28
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:13am

U.

29
by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:14am

I'll say the same thing I said last week: This was a fun game to watch and I think both teams played well, and I think both teams would get absolutely crushed by Michigan or Ohio State.

30
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:18am

In football "character" gets bandied about a lot, and I hate--absolutely hate--the cliched explanation "we wanted it more." But that last drive by Rutgers, culminating a comeback from a 25-7 deficit, was certainly a terrific example of a team almost willing itself to victory. I'd been lamenting the whole game, "why don't they screen to Leonard?" Looks like Schiano saved it for just the right moment.

R.U.!

31
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:19am

(1) The last kickoff was the perfect time for another Bielema moment. I wonder how the officials would have handled it.
(2) Aaron's right; it has to be awful to be Gay, the Louisville player who went offside on the missed kickoff. I remember reading a WashPost piece on the Navy kicker who missed a short FG v. Army; his life turned into hell. I'm sure he feels just awful.
(3) I didn't think Rutgers had a chance in heck of winning the game at halftime. Great credit to them for coming back.
(4) I should have posted this at the time, but I thought Petrino should have gone for it on 4&4 or so from the 42 rather than punt the ball away on the last drive. Ray Rice was fresh, your defense can't stop the run, and your strength is your offense. Win the game with your best players.
(5) Making predictions before the end of the Big XII championship game is chancy, but an awful mess seems likely. The winner of tOSU-UM is in, but the candidates for the other team could include a 1-loss tOSU-UM loser, 1-loss Texas, 1-loss Cal, 1-loss Notre Dame, 1-loss Auburn, 1-loss Florida/Arkansas, 1-loss Louisville, and either 1-loss West Virginia and Rutgers or an undefeated Rutgers team. Anybody feel like sorting out that mess, be my guest.

32
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:22am

#31:

Considering how many SEC chauvinists have been saying that an undefeated Rutgers doesn't deserve the BCS title shot over a 1-loss team, a one-loss Rugters is absolutely out of consideration. Undefeated or bust.

33
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:23am

Re #30
I was yelling at the Louisville D they were going to run the swing to Leonard out of the backfield to the far side. Alas, they weren't listening to me.

Another playcalling note: kudos to Schiano for confusing the Louisville O-line all night, and in particular the last play. Sure, it's not as risky as it would be if they're closing, but he brought 3 guys from Brohm's left and got the sack with the pressure, even with a back in the backfield (in contrast to Wisconsin's sack v. Illinois, when Bielema brought 3 and the DEs met at the QB anyway).

34
by Gerry (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:24am

"and I think both teams would get absolutely crushed by Michigan or Ohio State."

I would not mind seeing Rutgers (if they win out) get a shot against the OSU-Michigan loser. Might be fun.

35
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:26am

Re: 31

1. I'm glad we didn't have the chance to find out, because it would have tainted the game. I couldn't believe they kicked deep, however, because the returner had been killing them all game.

2. At least he was obviously offsides. The officials were inconspicuous tonight (except for the blown PI early in the 3rd quarter).

3 and 4. Same here.

5. It's going to be a complete mess. The two Big East games couldn't have muddled the outcome more - had WVU won, there would at least have been two likely undefeated teams playing in the last week of the season.

36
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:26am

Re 29: Gee, Michael, I bet you are lots of fun at parties!! Let them enjoy the biggest win since 1869 for a little while.
Would I pick Rutgers or Louisville over Ohio State or Michigan? No. Would I have ever thought Illinois or Ball State (Ball State!) could have gotten to the end of a game with Ohio State or Michigan with a chance to win? No way. So your point is right, Mr. Sunshine, but remember the mantra "Any Given Saturday."

37
by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:30am

I guess I can't be surprised to see how utterly helpless Louisville's run defense looked down the stretch. So how high does Rutgers rise this week?

38
by dbt (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:32am

Can we just send the winner of tOSU-Mich to the Rose bowl to play Cal or USC and just call off the BCS this year?

Come on, just for old time's sake. Rutgers is actually playing football! It's old school!

39
by dbt (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:34am

also, let me just point out that an emotionally pumped up rested team with a strong running game against an emotionally pumped up team coming off a huge win and a short week with a lousy run defense seems like a good matchup... in retrospect.

40
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:36am

Louisville notes:
(1) Brian Brohm took a big hit in my book tonight. Bad numbers, and the pressure really got to him. He needed to make a couple plays on his own tonight, and couldn't do it--I'm thinking of when UL kicked the FG and he could have added more touch to get the ball over the LB to the RB for a TD, for one, and a 3rd down play in the 2nd half when the threw the ball too far for a WR on a crossing pattern.
(2) This is the game where the loss of Michael Bush really showed up. Sometimes you just need an RB who can get you 2 yards on 3rd and 1, and Bush was that guy, while Smith, Allen, and Stripling aren't.
(3) Sometimes I wonder if Bobby Petrino can get too cute for his own good. Nothing real specific here, aside from the quick snap on a 3&1 in the first half where the RB ran into 3 RU defenders, and a feeling that the offense may not have adapted to the pressure.

41
by oljb (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:37am

Since this likely puts the Big East champion out the of national title game, the other possible BCS matchups also move around significantly. Because of the relative rankings, this means that WVU now will likely get the Big East BCS berth if they beat Rutgers (and win their other games). So we very well may get to see them (or Louisville or Rutgers, depending) against Michigan/OSU loser, intead of the winner, at the end of the year.

42
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:44am

Re #34/41
The loser of the tOSU/UM game will almost certainly be going to the Rose Bowl, where they would play the Pac-10 champ unless they're in the Fiesta Bowl BCS championship, in which case they could easily be playing the second place Pac-10 team (tOSU-Cal in the Fiesta, UM-USC in the Rose, anybody?).

Ok, I need to go chart my half. Back in the morning or when that's done.

43
by Dennis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:45am

If Rutgers wins out and does not go to the championship game, the BCS should just close up shop. It would be a total farce.

44
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:52am

So I guess Russell gets credit for a correct prediction, even if the whole tidal wave theory was way off.

45
by Daniel (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:57am

Not trying to rain on Rutgers' parade, but there are at least 15 teams in the country that would have had a great shot at going undefeated with their schedule. They've had an amazing season and deserve a BCS bowl if they win out, but I don't see any real argument for a championship bid beyond simply counting wins and losses.

46
by Dennis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:58am

I’ll say the same thing I said last week: This was a fun game to watch and I think both teams played well, and I think both teams would get absolutely crushed by Michigan or Ohio State.

MDS, did you think Illinois would get crushed by Ohio State? What about Ball State against Michigan? Be honest.

Illinois, with a total of 2 wins on the season (one against Eastern Illinois) lost to OSU by only a touchdown. If OSU had to hang on to beat a team like that, surely an undefeated team would be able to stay in the game with them, and dare I even suggest it, have a chance to win.

47
by Kyle, Louisville (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:01am

Great playing by Rutgers, wish that missed field goal would've stayed missed.

48
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:03am

Rutgers beat Illinois 33-0, so Rutgers is clearly better than Ohio State. :) (The only other common opponent is Cincinnati, who Ohio State beat 37-7 and Rutgers plays next week.) Michigan and Rutgers have no common opponents.

49
by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:07am

What I want to know- Russ, did you storm the field? :)

50
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:42am

Yup. Looking more and more like an OSU-Michigan rematch in the National Championship.

Total protonic reversal.

51
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:42am

Explain to me how Louisville is treated different than Rutgers? Won't they both have played similar opponents? If Rutgers is able to beat WVU (still a big "if")... how would they not be deserving to play for the National Championship?

52
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:48am

42
I think that a one loss Florida or Auburn team and maybe even Arkansas (if not competing with USC for the final spot) would have an advantage over a one loss California or USC team.

53
by Russell Levine (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:53am

No storming the field for me from the upper deck.

Much credit to RU. I may have been right about the prediction but as has been pointed out, I was way way off on how the game would go.

I could not believe Rutgers rallied from so Mosby soul crushing type plays. The kick return, the blocked XP for a two pointer, the fake punt, the roughing the punter. Underdogs usually don't overcome mistakes like that.

This game was an absolute blast to attend. Just pure unmitigated joy from the Rutgers fans. And it was loud in there. Very loud.

I have some video from the game that I'll try to youtube and post after I get home.

A great night overall.

54
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:59am

Re: 51

Non-conference opponents:
Rutgers: at 1-8 North Carolina (win came against I-AA Furman, 45-42), 2-8 Illinois, 6-3 Ohio, 3-6 I-AA Howard, at 6-3 Navy

Louisville: 5-4 Kentucky, at 1-9 Temple, 5-4 Miami (FL), at 6-4 Kansas St., at 6-3 Middle Tennessee St. (game played in Nashville)

West Virginia: 4-5 Marshall, 2-8 I-AA Eastern Washington, 7-2 Maryland, at 5-4 East Carolina, at 3-7 Mississippi St.

Rutgers' non-conference schedule was weaker than the other 2 teams', plus they had the only close game of the 15, 21-16 at North Carolina.

Rutgers' previous lack of success also hurts it in the polls. Louisville and West Virginia have had recent 1-loss seasons, and started out the season highly ranked; before last year's 7-5 record, Rutgers hadn't had a winning season since 1992, and didn't break into the Top 25 this year until after its fourth win.

Before last week, Rutgers was actually ranked ahead of Louisville in 4 of the 6 BCS computers and ahead of West Virginia in 5 of 6 (Billingsley, where last year's finish has an impact, was an exception in both cases). I'm not quite sure why, but I think beating the 4th best Big East team (Pitt) on the road might have had something to do with it.

55
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:00am

Watching this game on and off, I just had the feeling that there was no way Rutgers was going to lose, even when they were down 22-7 and 25-7. The most impressive part of the game was holding the formerly potent Louisville offense to just 17 points. Once Louisville was stalled offensively after the first 17 minutes or so of playing, you kind of knew how it was going to turn out.

56
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:01am

Oh, and 6-3 South Florida on the road, too (West Virginia and Louisville have played neither).

57
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:07am

Re #31: (5) Making predictions before the end of the Big XII championship game is chancy, but an awful mess seems likely. The winner of tOSU-UM is in, but the candidates for the other team could include a 1-loss tOSU-UM loser, 1-loss Texas, 1-loss Cal, 1-loss Notre Dame, 1-loss Auburn, 1-loss Florida/Arkansas, 1-loss Louisville, and either 1-loss West Virginia and Rutgers or an undefeated Rutgers team. Anybody feel like sorting out that mess, be my guest.

A lot of that will sort itself out. First off, West Virginia and Louisville are out of the running. There was talk about a 1-loss SEC team getting in over an UNDEFEATED WVa or Louisville, so no way a 1-loss WVa or Lou makes it in. Second off, Cal and Notre Dame both still have to play 1-loss USC, so those three will either all sort each other out until only one of them is still standing with National Championship aspirations. I don't think 1-loss Texas is in the discussion, either- their only loss was to the #1 team in the country, but they only have one win against a current top-25 team, and only a game against #24 A&M left, so they aren't going to have the computer support to make it to the big game. As for the SEC... if Auburn doesn't even make the SEC Championship game, no way are they going to the national championship game, so the only way an SEC team is going to make it is if a 1-loss team wins the SEC Championship (most likely Florida, since they're the highest-ranked SEC team and they've already clinched their spot in the game).

So while everything looks like chaos, really here are the only contenders for the national championship:
The winner of the OSU/Mich game, the loser of the OSU/Mich game, the SEC champion, the winner of the Cal/ND/USC trio, or possibly an undefeated Rutgers (although I doubt it). That's 4 teams who'll have a legitimate claim after the season is over. Hardly chaos, although not the best situation for the BCS.

Re #32: Considering how many SEC chauvinists have been saying that an undefeated Rutgers doesn’t deserve the BCS title shot over a 1-loss team, a one-loss Rugters is absolutely out of consideration. Undefeated or bust.
I don't think it's chauvinism. Does anyone honestly believe that if Rutgers played an SEC schedule, it would finish undefeated? Does anyone honestly believe that Rutgers is a better team than Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, Tennessee, or LSU? Rutgers is a great story, but they aren't the second best team in the nation.

Re #43: If Rutgers wins out and does not go to the championship game, the BCS should just close up shop. It would be a total farce.
I disagree. If an NFL team goes 8-0 against Oakland, Houston, Tennessee, and San Francisco (twice each), and another team goes 6-2 against Indy, Denver, Chicago, and New England (twice each), does that mean the 8-0 team is the better team? I mean, what about Boise State? If Rutgers loses, should we have an OSU/Mich vs. Boise State national championship, assuming Boise State finishes undefeated?

The BCS's goal is to match up the two best teams, not the two most undefeated teams. If they were just going to go by record, they wouldn't need all those fancy computer formulas.

58
by Dervin (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:23am

What will really screw with the BCS is NYC & Philly jump on the Jersey bandwagon. RU is going to be on the front page of the NYTimes, NYPost, Newsday, NYDailyNews, PhillyInq, PhillyDailyNews, NYsun, NETimes and every paper in the state of NJ.

Having the 1st and 5th largest TV market follow a team is going to screw the SEC and Big 12 Farmboys beyond their usual fever dreams.

And ND is f*cked.

59
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:23am

The BCS’s goal is to match up the two best teams, not the two most undefeated teams. If they were just going to go by record, they wouldn’t need all those fancy computer formulas.

Except that the computers generally like Rutgers. After today, Rutgers is 3rd in the Colley and Sagarin ratings (both updated; no clue about the other four, but I imagine they would move up significantly). It's the poll voters who would likely keep an undefeated Rutgers out of a BCS championship.

This will probably be moot in the end, because I have serious doubts about Rutgers' ability to win in Morgantown, and next week's game at Cincinnati is a classic trap game. (Cincinnati is the Penn State of the Big East - they've lost 4 games: Pitt, at Ohio State, at Virginia Tech, at Louisville.)

60
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:29am

#57:

No, I don't think that Rutgers is the #2 team in the nation, or even #3. But:

a) I do think this game made a case for them being in the top 10. By merit, I would put all of the top 3 Big East teams somewhere between #5 and #15. The unexpectedly easy nonconference schedules have padded their numbers a bit (remember that Louisville v. Miami was supposed to be a marquee matchup). However, people really underestimate the conference schedule (as you can see by comparing the nonconference schedules of the Big East and the other "power" conferences)- the conference is filled with decent mid-level talent at places like Pitt and South Florida, and doesn't have a single true pushover in the Duke/Stanford vein. And I think that failing to realize that is the SEC chauvinism I refer to. (Also, tricks like the refusal of SEC teams to schedule home-and-homes with Louisville, in what can only be classified as cowardice and fear towards a rapidly improving program.)

b) While I don't think that the two best teams in the country are from the Big East, I also think it would be sheer idiocy to shut them out of a chance at the title should one of them go undefeated. Rutgers hasn't played thee world's toughest schedule, but it is a BCS schedule, and if you subscribe to the "regular season is a playoff" mentality which is the only justification for the bowl system, you have to give them a chance. Just like you had to give the Buffalo Bills a chance in the Super Bowls of the early 90's, even though it was clear that that the real championship game was always going to be the NFC bout.

61
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:54am

Oh, wow, that was fun (except waiting an hour for the buses back to the parking at the RAC).

Russ is right - coming back from all those ugly plays in the first half was impressive. That kickoff return - ye gods.

I agree that Cincy is a classic trap game - I just don't feel this team is going to fall for that. But I have a very hard time seeing them win at West Virginia.

62
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:54am

Re #57
As I noted, predictions of scenarios of doom are common and frequently fail to occur. But all of those results could happen, and there are arguments of varying legitimacy for each of the individual teams. Between a 1-loss Cal and 1-loss Notre Dame, both with blowout losses to good teams and (hypothetically) equivalent victories over USC, who makes the national championship game? If Arkansas loses to LSU or Tennessee, then beats Florida, is it really that unreasonable for 1-loss Auburn to make the championship game? Sure, the listed scenario was a "perfect storm" mix of wins and losses, and I'd be really surprised if things ended up that way, but it could happen. In early November, that's about all you can say. And, personally speaking, I find it more fun to speculate about that than a tOSU-UM rematch of a game that hasn't happened yet.

63
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 5:35am

Re #60: a) I do think this game made a case for them being in the top 10. By merit, I would put all of the top 3 Big East teams somewhere between #5 and #15. The unexpectedly easy nonconference schedules have padded their numbers a bit (remember that Louisville v. Miami was supposed to be a marquee matchup). However, people really underestimate the conference schedule (as you can see by comparing the nonconference schedules of the Big East and the other “power� conferences)- the conference is filled with decent mid-level talent at places like Pitt and South Florida, and doesn’t have a single true pushover in the Duke/Stanford vein. And I think that failing to realize that is the SEC chauvinism I refer to. (Also, tricks like the refusal of SEC teams to schedule home-and-homes with Louisville, in what can only be classified as cowardice and fear towards a rapidly improving program.)

I understand all of this reasoning, and I don't think it's unreasonable, I just disagree with it.

First off, I'll agree that the bottom of the Big East is tougher than the bottom of the SEC. I don't have a problem with that. The thing is, though... the strength of a conference, in my mind, isn't in how mediocre its bad teams are, it's in how many legitimately great teams it has. I mean, would you rather play every single team in the Big East, or would you rather play every single team in the SEC? Do you think a Michigan would post a better winning percentage in 8 games against the Big East, or in 12 games against the SEC? Personally, I think they'd post a better winning percentage in the Big East- they'd probably average 7.5 out of 8 wins, whereas in the SEC they'd probably average 10.5 out of 12 or so. Which of course is a wild scenario involving a bunch of crazy what-ifs, and I realize it. I suppose what I'm getting at is... South Florida might be a tougher team than Mississippi State, but all that really means is that real contenders will only beat then by 10 instead of 24. I think both pose roughly the same chance of winning.

In college football, the strength of your schedule is not decided by how mediocre the worst teams you played were. It's decided by how many truly legitimate teams you played... and by my count, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, and Arkansas are all playing more legitimate teams than a Louisville or a West Virginia. They have more loseable games on their schedule, so even if they're just as good, they're more likely to walk away with a loss. And they shouldn't necessarily be punished for that.

Also, you mention the SEC's refusal to schedule a home-and-home with Louisville, and you call it cowardice. I *strongly* disagree with that accusation. First off, no matter how good you are, if you face enough top-25 teams, you're going to lose. I'm sure you'll agree with that statement, as well as the claim that Louisville is definitely a top-25 team. We'll look at Florida- Florida's schedule this season had games against LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida State- and that's not even counting the SEC Championship! Granted, FSU and UGA haven't lived up to their billing, but Florida didn't know that'd be the case before the season. What sort of IDIOT would look at that schedule and say that the best way to get his team into a national championship game would be to add Louisville, to boot? Heck, why not throw in Ohio State and USC as non-conference games! Why stop there, why not schedule every possible game against a top-25 team!

Since the college football season is often a single-elimination affair, an athletic director isn't a COWARD if he decides that 6 games against top-25 teams is plenty; he's a really smart dude. And I promise you, if Louisville had games on its schedule against 6 preseason top-25 squads, and I called them a coward for not scheduling a 7th, Louisville fans would get every bit as upset. Most SEC schools aren't cowards, they just have enough tough games on their schedule without adding any more. If Florida was cowardly, they wouldn't play FSU every year, as well as Miami in every year they can fit them in, too. And Georgia wouldn't schedule Georgia Tech, and Arkansas wouldn't have scheduled USC. If Arkansas had been smart enough to realize they had enough tough games on their plate with Auburn, Tennessee, and LSU, and had avoided the USC game, Arkansas would be undefeated and in the national championship discussion right now, so you see how well that worked out. Florida's had years where the FSU game cost them (or almost cost them), too (Florida almost didn't even make the championship in 1996 after losing to FSU to end the season).

I understand that it's sort of a vicious cycle- in order for Louisville to be taken more seriously, they'll have to get someone big to play them, but Louisville's already taken so seriously that no one will play them. Sort of a catch-22, and it really suck for Louisville. Don't blame it on the SEC, though- the SEC already has its hands full. Louisville should really be trying to schedule games against the Big 12, ACC, or Big 10- weak conferences with very few power teams. Those teams already have pretty weak schedules against very few legitimate power teams, and so I think it's a little bit more reasonable to expect them to pick up the Louisville game, too. And if they refuse to schedule, then maybe the coward talk is warrented (especially A&M, the biggest College Football patsies I've ever seen).

64
by Gerry (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 9:08am

I agree with Kibbles mostly. The one thing I would add is that there is another problem. Yes, if a team is counting the number of tough games and thinks they already have a large number of them, they might think twice about scheduling Louisville, with it being discretion as the better part of valor rather than cowardice.

But there is also the case where a team is looking to add another marquis game, but wonders if Louisville would actually be one. If they contract for a few home-and-homes, what happens if Bobby Petrino moves on to another program (pro, or a bigger-name college)? Will Louisville roll on, the way you assume an Ohio State would or a Texas would, or would they return to the mediocrity from which they emerged?

65
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:00am

Some YouTube clips are up.

What a scene. I feel sorry for people who don't get college sports. The level of play may be better in the pros, but nearly everything else suffers by comparison.

Great job by Rutgers with crowd control, both in accomodating an overflow crowd, and allowing the celebration to take place. The surrounded the goalposts, and then just let the students go nuts.

66
by Dennis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:01am

I disagree. If an NFL team goes 8-0 against Oakland, Houston, Tennessee, and San Francisco (twice each), and another team goes 6-2 against Indy, Denver, Chicago, and New England (twice each), does that mean the 8-0 team is the better team? I mean, what about Boise State? If Rutgers loses, should we have an OSU/Mich vs. Boise State national championship, assuming Boise State finishes undefeated?

The 8-0 team would be the division winner and the top seed in the playoffs. And that's the key word: playoffs. The deserving teams all get the opportunity to decide the championship on the field.

As for Boise State, if you are going to say that they can win all their games and no matter what else happens they will never have the opportunity to play for the national championship, then kick them down to I-AA and end the hypocrosy.

Louisville should really be trying to schedule games against the Big 12, ACC, or Big 10- weak conferences with very few power teams.

That's exactly what the Big East teams did, and you knocked them for it. Rutgers played Illinois and NC, who were both pretty good about 5 years ago when the games were probably scheduled. Loiuisville played Kansas St., who was good 5 years ago, and Kentucky. West Virginia played Maryland and Miss St. And let's not forget WV beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl last year - but the Big East doesn't have a chance against the mighty SEC.

The bottom line in all of this is it is just more proof that people are biased in favor of the traditional powers. If this was a big name school like Nebraska or Flordia State or Alabama instead of a historical doormat, we wouldn't be having this discussion. It would be a given that an undefeated Nebraska team would be in the championship no matter how weak of a schedule they played.

And it also shows how the preseason polls have a big effect late in the season. If Rutgers was even 15th in the preseaon, they would've been 4th or 5th coming into this game and would move to 3 with the win, no questions asked.

67
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:27am

Re: 10 & 12

Exit 5 Represent! (Mount Holly)

I went to the other RU in Jersey (Rowan), but I have to admit I felt pretty good at the end of this game. A real close buddy of mine (he was in my wedding, I'm going to be in his in April) is a Rutger's alum. He's been pretty geeked up all year.

Don't feel TOO bad for Gay. Go back and watch that first FG attempt. I'm sure it can't be too hard to find. I'm almost positive I saw one of the guys in the middle of Louiville's line flinch, and that's what drew Gay offsides. And with as loud as that stadium must have been, can you really blame a guy that far from the ball for that?

This was the greatest win in the history of the school, but these past 2 weeks couldn't have possibly gone worse for the conference. With Louiville or UWV running the table, they had a legitamate shot at the national championship. But there is absolutely no freaking way Rutgers even enters the discussion (although if they get the tOSU/UM loser in a good Bowl, that'd be a decent consolation game). Like Travis said earlier, with the retarded nature of the preseason polls, Rutger's previous lack of success is what really kills their chances. People were willing to look at UWV or Louiville because they've had a few decent years and have earned some respect. Rutger's hasn't and there no way the human polls are going to give a team that could end up being a one-hit-wonder a shot at the national championship. It's bullshit to deside a national champion with those criteria, but that's life.

68
by Rick (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:31am

Now I have as much disrespect for Rutgers as the next guy (more so, since I went there for graduate school in the '90s, when 3 wins was a good season). But if Rutgers goes undefeated and wins the Big East, how can anybody justify keeping them out of the "BCS title game"? I'm not even arguing that they would be one of the 2 best teams. But what more can they do than win all of their games? And all the 1-loss teams on the outside can face up to the fact that any of them could have done more. No, I doubt that Rutgers is as good as USC, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, etc. But so what? The St. Louis Cardinals aren't as good as the Yankees, but they got to play in the World Series while the Yankees didn't because the Cardinals won the games that mattered.

Anyway, I'm really hoping Rutgers beats West Virginia so the ludicrousness of this situation is exposed. Either the BCS would have to put a team in the "Championship Game" that clearly is not one of the top five in the country, or they would have to snub an undefeated conference champion from one of the "BCS conferences". And we'd have, what, the fifth BCS disgrace in seven years or something like that?

College football badly needs a playoff system. Let's get newly elected Rep. Heath Shuler on this issue, pronto!

69
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:39am

But there is absolutely no freaking way Rutgers even enters the discussion (although if they get the tOSU/UM loser in a good Bowl, that’d be a decent consolation game.

There's almost no chance. The Ohio State-Michigan loser will go to the Rose Bowl to play the Cal-USC winner, barring either 1) an tOSU-Michigan rematch in the BCS championship or 2) one of either the Cal-USC/tOSU-Michigan winners going to the BCS championship and the loser dropping out of the BCS entirely. The Big East winner will likely go to the Sugar Bowl to face the SEC winner.

70
by jebmak (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:41am

#54

I know that how you did last year matters because it determines where you start this year, but why should this be allowed, WHY?

I really like that commercial with all of the teams climbing the ladders, but it is BS, some teams start at the top or bottom, and then just hang out there all season.

I'm not saying that Rutgers should be playing in the BSC Champ game, but gees, shouldn't they at least get a chance?

71
by zip (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:46am

#66

As for Boise State, if you are going to say that they can win all their games and no matter what else happens they will never have the opportunity to play for the national championship, then kick them down to I-AA and end the hypocrosy.

Boise State basically does play I-AA. If they want to be taken seriously, why don't they play some top 25 teams?

72
by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:51am

I think there is approximately zero chance that Rutgers will get to the championship game, but that doesn't mean Rutgers won't win a national championship. If the Michigan-Ohio State winner loses the championship game and an undefeated Rutgers wins its bowl game, I think it's quite likely that a majority of AP voters will vote Rutgers No. 1 and we'll have two national champions, one BCS and one AP. Of course, I don't think Rutgers is even going to beat West Virginia, so I'm not saying this is a likely scenario, just that it's possible.

73
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:54am

Boise State basically does play I-AA. If they want to be taken seriously, why don’t they play some top 25 teams?

They're on the cusp of the Top 25, but:

Boise St. 42, Oregon St. 14
Boise St. 41, Hawaii 34

Of course, the rest of Boise State's schedule hasn't been as tough (they're hurt by Fresno State's sudden decline and Utah's slide back to mediocrity.)

74
by ElJefe (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:02pm

To follow up on #72 and #67 ... I can see two possible scenarios for an undefeated Rutgers that isn't in the BCS title game: A game vs. a once-beaten Notre Dame that I think would be the TV networks choice, or a game vs. also undefeated Boise State.

The powers that be in the BCS would probably prefer the latter, since that clearly demarcates the "children's table" at the Bowl feast and allows the pollsters to easily marginalize the winner. Hence, no split national title, which would really make the BCS look silly.

75
by Sam! (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:05pm

39:

Short week for Louisville? What's the difference in going THursday-THursday and going Saturday-Saturday?

76
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:29pm

To follow up on #72 and #67 … I can see two possible scenarios for an undefeated Rutgers that isn’t in the BCS title game: A game vs. a once-beaten Notre Dame that I think would be the TV networks choice, or a game vs. also undefeated Boise State.

Except that, for such a game to happen, a bowl would have to forgo its conference tie-in. Unless they are selected for the BCS Championship Game, the Pac-10 and Big-10 champions go to the Rose Bowl, the Big 12 to the Fiesta Bowl, the SEC to the Sugar Bowl, and the ACC to the Orange Bowl (the Big East champion is an at-large pick).

Thus, the only real way Rutgers could play Notre Dame or Boise State is if Texas goes to the BCS Championship, leaving both Fiesta Bowl slots free. (The Sugar Bowl would certainly take the SEC runner-up, and the ACC champion has no chance of moving up.)

On that same note, can anyone give a reason why a 1-loss Texas deserves to make the BCS Championship, other than the fact that they won it last year?

77
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:30pm

Re 71: If you were a power-conference AD, would you want to schedule Boise State? It's the same issue that Louisville has, although more so for them because they're in the WAC, so their conference schedule is weaker (considerably more so this season), so they need more help. Even if it were a good idea for them to schedule better teams, who's going to accept? Michigan? Tennessee? Maryland?

As mentioned above, teams in power conferences generally don't look for additional top teams to play; sometimes you'll get OSU-Texas or Cal-Tennessee, but for the most part, between their conference schedule and established non-conference rivalries (UM-ND, Fla-FSU), those teams already have enough quality opponents for their liking. Plus it can be difficult to schedule a non-conference team so that they are good when you play them - sometimes the "up" cycle only lasts a couple of seasons, so by the time you play them, they're "down" again.

And if I were in Boise State's shoes, I'd rather be 12-0 against a weak schedule than 9-3 against a strong schedule. A 9-3 team in the WAC will not be playing in a BCS game. (Actually, over on WIS, I am in Boise State's shoes, but that's another story.)

It's all very well to suggest that this is anti-Big East bias, and that an undefeated team in another conference would certainly get a title shot. I can understand why people might think that, and I'd agree if you could find an example of a Big Ten, SEC, or Big 12 team with a schedule comparable to the Knights' schedule coming off a season like they had (which affects the human polls more so than the computer polls).

Sure, Rutgers gambled on Illinois and UNC being good this season (kind of), but Illinois has had one solid season and one decent season in the last 10, along with a lot of bad seasons, and after '97, North Carolina's history was worse, so you could argue that Rutgers' AD didn't gamble very wisely, not with Ohio, Navy, and Howard on the schedule this season. (Ohio and Navy aren't that bad, but Illinois and UNC are ...)

Ultimately, it comes back to the folly of trying to identify exactly two teams to play for the "title." Even if Indiana upsets Michigan, who then beats Ohio State, and both Boise State and Rutgers go unbeaten, they won't play for the title. Would they be the two best teams in the country? Many would argue that they would not be. Would they deserve to play for the title? Well, not many people regard 1984 BYU as legitimate national champions ...

78
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 12:36pm

57: If your statement regarding the two best teams were accurate, there would be no BCS autobids and all of those rules which exist to exclude teams from certain conferences.

71 (and all you other apologists for the BCS cartel): You can only play who's on your schedule, and I contend that SOS is overrated anyway. Think about it from a guts vs. stomps perspective if you want. The analogy that I like to use is this: If I run a 10.5 100m vs. guys who all run 11.0 and higher and you run a 10.6 100m vs. guys who all run in the 10.7 range, who's faster?

79
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:00pm

Let me get this out of the way: I'm not a Rutgers fan. I don't care about them either way. But...LAST NIGHT WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST NIGHTS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY! It was an incredible example of why college football is better than the NFL, and why a playoff would ruin everything.

If Rutgers wins out and does not go to the championship game, the BCS should just close up shop. It would be a total farce.

Why?

The BCS is an evaluational process, and it;s fair to explore and possibly even concede that fact that finishing 12 - 1 in the SEC is simply more impressive than finishing 12 - 0 in the Big East, especially given Rutgers' soft NC schedule.

Here's a thought- let's say West Virginia beats Rutgers in two weeks. WVU would likely win the tiebreaker and get the automatic BCS bid.

Am I the only one that sees Rutgers as a VERY attractive at-large BCS team? They'd be 11 - 1, and their fans and alums would spend big money on tickets.

80
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:14pm

Re 76

On that same note, can anyone give a reason why a 1-loss Texas deserves to make the BCS Championship, other than the fact that they won it last year?

Well, their only loss was to the #1 team. I don't really care about Texas, but that would be a point in their favor. Of course, the loser of OSU/UM will be able to make the same claim, and have a stronger schedule as a possible tiebreaker. And if that team is OSU, they'd have a direct head-to-head win at Texas. So I guess I've done a 180 in one paragraph -- no, there's not a case for Texas.

Re 79

Am I the only one that sees Rutgers as a VERY attractive at-large BCS team? They’d be 11 - 1, and their fans and alums would spend big money on tickets.

From a fan's perspective, it would make sense. But I don't think TV networks want Rutgers, and TV shells out a lot of money to the BCS. It's kind of like when Utah crashed the party. That turned into a "children’s table" situation, like in post 74, because TV people think everyone wants to watch "name" teams like Notre Dame. The difference was that Utah had to be let in because they met the criteria for an automatic bid. If Rutgers doesn't get an auto bid, they're out.

81
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:15pm

It was an incredible example of why college football is better than the NFL, and why a playoff would ruin everything.

Because March Madness is so horrible?

82
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:22pm

Because March Madness is so horrible?

The negative of March Madness is that none of the regular season games matter. I know people that don't watch a single college basketball game until the tournament.

#80- The Fiesta Bowl WANTED Utah, and would have taken them as an at-large selection over 10 - 1 Cal. They knew they were getting stuck with an unattractive Big East champion, and wanted a relatively local team and a great story that would fill the stadium- and Utah did.

As far as TV goes, I'm far from an expert but I could see Rutgers drawing a great deal of viewers, especially in the lucrative NY / NJ market.

83
by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:33pm

Congrats, Russell. Rutgers looked great out there, and last night was a sterling example of why College Football is so great. Seriously, is there going to be a better experience for Rutgers fans in the next 10 years? Just amazing.

This has been a stellar season for CFB.

84
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:34pm

Re 82

I suspect they might have said they wanted Utah, because they knew they couldn't do much about it. If Utah hadn't been an automatic bid, Cal would have. There wouldn't be any way the Fiesta Bowl could have chosen Utah as an at large according to the selection process at that time.

85
by Frick (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:36pm

Part of the problem with college football is that the current standings are based on what people thought back in August or before. Traditional powerhouse teams fill the pre-season polls. While the BCS calculations are released until part way though the season, 2/3 thirds of their weight is on the polls that started prior to the first scrimage. I'm sure that all of the pollsters have a comprehensive knowledge of all 109 programs.

Notre Dame flew up the rankings last year because of their name. Rutgers is moving up with lead weights. The rankings are compromised by the fact that the bowls want schools that travel well, not the best team, i.e. why ND will always get a BCS bid if they are eligible.

Do I think Rutgers is better than Michigan or Ohio St, no. A play-off would generate much more publicity in the long run. What you would you rather watch on December 16th, the Las Vegas Bowl and GMAC Bowl featuring the Big 12s 6th or 7th team vs. a 2nd place MAC team or a showdown slate with Ohio St vs. Cal, Rutgers vs Michigan, Texas vs. Florida, and Boise St. vs. Auburn.

86
by ElJefe (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:42pm

Well, to reply to #76 ...

As of a couple of years ago, I believe the Orange Bowl had its choice of the Big East champion or the ACC champion. (Or more succinctly, Miami or Florida State.) However, that could have changed when Miami/VT/BC went to the ACC. Although why the ACC would give up squatters' rights on the Big East champion (in case, you know, the ACC sucked) is a mystery.

More critically, what TV wants, TV gets. Conference tie-ins can be bought out with a big enough check. Not sure Rutgers-ND is worth the money, but I'm not running a TV network.

87
by ElJefe (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:45pm

Amidst the flurry of acronyms in #86, that should read "why the Orange Bowl would give up ... "

88
by zip (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 1:47pm

I was going to argue some more about this, but it's so crushingly obvious that the best solution is a 4 or 8 team playoff, I just don't have the will to even address the current situation.

If you have 117 D-1 teams playing 11 games each, mostly within their conferences, there just aren't enough beatpaths to come up with an undisputed #1 and #2.

I agree than an undefeated team should get to play for the national title, but I don't think they should be able to displace a one-loss team that played a much tougher schedule. Assuming we're never going to have more than 3 or 4 undefeated teams, an 8 team playoff could easily accomodate your Boise State/Rutgers types and also let a ton of solid 1-loss teams.

Ugh, like this hasnt been discussed a million times before. I'll shut up.

89
by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:07pm

Re 80- Rutgers would be a GREAT at-large if they have an impressive showing vs. West Virginia... the ratings in the NYC area for last year's Insight Bowl were HUGE. NJ transplants are everywhere, and Rutgers fans from NJ will most def travel. This isn't Utah or Boise- Rutgers is from the largest metro area in the country.

Side Note- I was a field stormer last night and it was amazing. I love sports.

90
by jebmak (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:12pm

Re: TV Ratings

I would be way more likely to watch a game with Rutgers than a game between, say, OSU and USC, and I think that most people without an affilation to either team would feel the same way. People enjoy rooting for the underdog (granted, I would pay a lot more to be an advertiser for the first half of the game than the second).

I've seen the football factory vs football factory game too many times, and it holds little interest to me. With Rutgers, however, I would be pulling for them the entire way.

Oh, and, as I say every year, please stop calling it the BCS, it is the BSC.

91
by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:22pm

I actually like the old bowl system much, much better than the BCS. Have each conference tied in to their own bowls, and let's argue about it! Arguments are fun, especially "Team X is better than Team Y", rather than what it is now- "Team X has better qualifications than Team Y according to a set of criteria which everyone agrees is flawed".

Back in the day I remember arguing that Steve Emntman's Washington team was better than Miami, and that Kerry Collins' Penn State team was better than Nebraska. It was fun, and sharing a nat'l title (or finishing undefeated and #2) didn't change my perceptions of those teams one bit.

92
by jebmak (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:25pm

Re #82

I would argue that the reason that none of the regular season matters in CBB, is a combination of two things.

The first is that there are way more games. Compare a regular season NBA game to an NFL game. One of the reasons that I like football more is because the regular season does matter.

The second is that they invite 64 teams, this is considerably more than a football playoff would have. Are you saying that if there was an 8-team playoff that people will lose interest in the regular season?

I'm not sure if this next part is a straw man, and I read it on this site (don't know who to credit). I've heard that a playoff would make games like OSU and Michigan less interesting. I would say that the past few regular season Colts-Pats games have been very popular.

93
by BB (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:32pm

76: I've been saying that for a while -- Texas has no business being in the BCS Championship game given the cases other teams will have if things play out the way people think they will. The only way I could see it is:
1) Michigan loses two straight to finish the year - otherwise their loss @OSU has to be considered a better loss than Texas losing on their home field unless it's something like 45-7.
2) The SEC has no 1-loss teams remaining (tougher conference schedule -- the Big 12 is as weak or weaker than the Big East, to be honest)
3) Rutgers loses a game
4) USC and Cal both lose (you can at least make an argument about Texas above these teams, but USC in particular plays a much tougher schedule overall)

That's pretty much it. Texas probably belongs ahead of Notre Dame in the 1-loss pecking order, particularly if OSU beats Michigan. A one-loss Big East team won't be ahead of Texas either, right or not. But otherwise if you evaluate Texas on its resume and not its name and last year's results, they should by all rights need a heck of a lot of help to be in the Championship.

94
by NF (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 2:46pm

If Rutgers goes undefeated, does it get in one of the top 4 non-championship bowl games?

95
by Kyle (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:03pm

Re 89:
Amen. Storming the field in Piscataway last night was such a surreal moment. To think 50 point drubbings from the football powers was commonplace just 4 to 5 years ago. That game is easily the best sporting event I'm going to see live in my lifetime, and perhaps the most dominating defensive half I'll ever see, too. 5 consecutive 3-and-Outs against the #2 ranked offense in the nation in the second half. 2 first downs in the entire second half. I'm still in disbelief today.

96
by thok (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:05pm

94: As Big East Champion, it would have a guaranteed BCS spot.

I personally think that a better solution than a playoff might be for the NCAA to deal with scheduling reform. A simple rule might be that each team can only play one team from each conference outside their own (treating 1AA as a conference for this purpose). This would prevent power conference teams from loading up on 3 home games from schools from the MAC/WAC/Big West whatever.

97
by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 3:15pm

We're having two discussions- A) what team X needs to do to slip into the title game and 2) how good team X is. I think the second is a more fun argument to have.

A lot depends on how they play at Cincinatti next week (that game scares me), but based on last night and the rest of the season I have no prob with RU being a top 5 team. The defensive line was AMAZING. Eric Foster, Jamel Meekins, and Devraun Thompson should all be NFL players, and good ones. And the offensive line really looked good as the game wore on. Good on the lines, great at rb, and good in-game coaching. With really only two well-rounded, dominant teams this season that should be enough to make them a legit top team.

98
by OmarBradley (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 5:00pm

Congrats to Rutgers. They played a great second half.

They tweaked the BCS formula to take out some of the strength of schedule. Then the weight of the computer polls was reduced. As of two weeks ago, that left us with #3 WVU vs #5 Louisville. That was a joke. Now I read opinions from people that seem to think Rutgers "deserves" a shot at the national championship. Why? Didn't you watch the game? They're just not very good.

West Virginia earned some of their respect from the Sugar Bowl last year. Georgia won the SEC and earned the right to face.... #11 West Virginia? Great. Georgia didn't even show up for that game. They had nothing to gain.

Herbstreit was saying the Louisville was the most explosive offense in the nation! He's on crack.

None of those Big East teams are top 5 quality. If you say they are, then you're either lying, or don't know very much about football.

The final FG sequence last night was typical of the entire night. Rutgers kicker misses a chippy, while Louisville self destructs with another silly penalty.

WVU - LV was ugly as well. Personal fouls all over the place and no defense. Last night it was not nearly as laugh out loud funny, but the level of play was still quite poor.

I have no axe to grind against the Big East. There's no teams in there I hate anymore, like the Canes. I do know that the coaches poll is a joke, Sagarin is a joke, and as of right now everyone's opinion seems to carry some weight, no matter how far off from reality.

A playoff would ruin everything. In a playoff where the games actually matter (unlike a bowl) a team like Rutgers would get beat by a team like LSU by thirty. That would hurt the game, because college football wouldn't have nearly viewership it does without all the delusional fans included.

99
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 5:02pm

I just had a non-Rutgers thought. Good news for Boise State. From the BCS selection criteria --

3. The champion of Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt Conference, or the Western Athletic Conference will earn an automatic berth in a BCS bowl game if either:

A. Such team is ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS Standings, or,

B. Such team is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS Standings and its ranking in the final BCS Standings is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls.

Point B is the relevant part. The lagging conference in question is the ACC.

100
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 5:10pm

The final FG sequence last night was typical of the entire night. Rutgers kicker misses a chippy, while Louisville self destructs with another silly penalty.

Now that's just silly. Didn't you watch the 2006 Orange Bowl? Those small conference teams really screwed the pooch on those final FGs.

101
by Kyle (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 5:33pm

Omar, axe to grind or not, you're just spouting off conjecture about Rutgers, Louisville and West Virginia - not unlike most ESPN pundits. LSU would beat Rutgers by 30, Louisville's offense isn't one of the nation's best, etc.

You even claim that those who disagree with one of your asserstions "do not know football". Yet, at the same time, the level of play last night was "quite poor", in your words. Really? Rutgers defense played poorly? Funny how I thought I witnessed one of the top offenses in the country rendered completely impotent last night.

Going in, Louisville was second overall out of 117 in offense. Regardless of the weight one puts into those rankings, being second overall means they are pretty damn good. Even if you think they should be 10 spots lower, 12th is pretty damn good.

Here is what Rutgers did in the second half:
14:52 -3rd -02:11 - 4 plays - 6 yards - Punt
11:02 -3rd -01:46 - 3 plays - -1 yard - Punt
08:02-3rd-01:45 - 3 plays - 8 yards - Punt
04:30-3rd-01:47 - 3 plays - -1 yard - Punt
14:53-4th-02:34 - 3 plays - -11 yards - Punt
10:08-4th-04:40 - 9 plays - 37 yards - Punt
00:01-4th-00:02 - 1 play - -5 yards - End of Game

102
by Dennis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 5:42pm

Now I read opinions from people that seem to think Rutgers “deserves� a shot at the national championship. Why? Didn’t you watch the game? They’re just not very good.

I watched the Ohio State-Illinois game and Ohio State sure didn't look like a team that deserves a shot at the national championship.

103
by OmarBradley (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 6:57pm

I said the final FG was typical of the whole game, poorly played.

Ohio State was sleepwalking through their game last week. Of course they didn't look good. Neither did Michigan, Florida, etc.

West Virginia will beat Rutgers pretty easily. I still wouldn't say Rutgers has a good defense. LV just played like crap.

I was rooting for Rutgers. They're the lovable underdog. Still, they're closer to a top 25 team than a top 5 team.

I'm not an NFL scout, but I sure didn't see many good players out there on Thursday night.

There's over 100 college teams and each plays about 12 games, so there's no way to know for sure who stacks up where. My opinion is just as invalid as the next guy. Sorry to be a troll in a celebration thread. I'll go back to my bridge now.

104
by Gary (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 9:45pm

Sometimes life is bittersweet. I've had alumni season tickets to Rutgers for four years (RC '00), but due to a number of conflicts I knew of before the season started, I didn't get them this year. So I couldn't attend last night's game, but the six of us watching at a friend's apartment had a wonderful time. Definitely more sweet than bitter.

I don't care about the BCS, or bowls, or even the looming dread of Morgantown. I'm just on cloud nine.

105
by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 10:36pm

Woohoo! You both picked against Oregon! Gogo upset!

106
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 10:49pm

Now, now Kal. Let's go over this again. The Vinny-Russell Remarkable Universe Altering Curse was last season.

This season, we're 32-21-0 when we both agree on a pick. We've been over .500 six weeks running on games we agree.

In FO terms, I'd call it a regression to the mean.

107
by Phil (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:20pm

The other thing I find interesting is that nobody is criticizing the non-conference schedules of the "contenders":

OSU: Texas, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Cincinnati

Mich: Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Central Michigan, Ball State

Texas: Ohio State, North Texas, Rice, Sam Houston, State

Florida: Southern Miss, Central Florida, Western Carolina, Florida State

Auburn: Wash State, Buffalo, Tulane, Arkansas State

USC: Arkansas, Nebraska, Notre Dame

Florida and Auburn's opponents aren't any better than Rutgers/Louisville/WVa's. Michigan, OSU, and Texas only played one good team. USC is the only one playing a tough schedule.

108
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:55pm

The BCS is an evaluational process, and it;s fair to explore and possibly even concede that fact that finishing 12 - 1 in the SEC is simply more impressive than finishing 12 - 0 in the Big East, especially given Rutgers’ soft NC schedule.

Except it's, like, not.

If Rutgers wins out, they'll be #2 in the statistical rankings. The only reason they'll be lower than #2 in the polls is because of the preseason polls. It's just that simple.

Rutgers had a soft non-conference schedule? So what? They're a BCS conference team. BCS conference teams don't need to schedule strong out of conference. Their in-conference schedule is hard enough. Rutgers' combined opponent's records will be very positive by the end of the year, better than Notre Dame's, better than USC's, and likely better than Ohio State's.

Rutgers' final schedule will end up likely being comparable to Ohio State's: OSU will have played Texas (top 25), and Michigan (top 25), and then a few top 50 teams (Penn St, Indiana, Iowa). Rutgers will have played Louisville (top 25), West Virginia (top 25), and then a few top 50 teams (Navy, Ohio, Pitt).

There is absolutely no way to claim that Rutgers' schedule was too weak for them to play in the National Championship. None. Any objective measure of Rutgers' schedule puts it easily on a par with Texas, Ohio State, etc.

It's the same horsecrap argument that people gave about Auburn's schedule in 2004.

I cannot believe that people honestly are considering that letting 2004 happen all over again would be a good idea. With Rutgers, for crying out loud. Just imagine if Rutgers wins. My God, what a game that would be.

Then again, I think Rutgers is going to lose to WVU and the Big East is going to circle-of-death itself, leading to, in all likelihood, an OSU-Michigan rematch in the National Championship game.

109
by Jonas (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:22am

I still believe Princeton got robbed in that 1869 game, just terrible officiating.

110
by Kal (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:28am

Now, now Kal. Let’s go over this again. The Vinny-Russell Remarkable Universe Altering Curse was last season.

This season, we’re 32-21-0 when we both agree on a pick. We’ve been over .500 six weeks running on games we agree.

In FO terms, I’d call it a regression to the mean.

I don['t know about that, but the last time you both picked Oregon Oregon promptly lost a whole lot. So I'm hoping the opposite is true.

Though I don't suspect it will be - Oregon is just too inconsistent.

111
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:45am

uh Drew Tate did play in that Iowa game..went 18 for 27 for 147 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs.

112
by ElJefe (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 1:35am

Heh. To respond to myself in #86,87 ... the Orange Bowl did surrender their claim on the Big East Champion. Hope they enjoy the Maryland/Boise State match-up.

To nitpick on Pat a bit (#108): 2004 was a situation that no non-playoff system could handle. Three undefeated teams from major conferences cannot be resolved in a single game (and recall, there were actually four unbeaten teams that year).

I'm actually looking forward to this train wreck. If Rutgers wins out and the computers put them at #2, then the blame will fall squarely where it belongs: on the purely subjective opinion polls. Of course, folks will still blame the computers ... Computers! I knew it was them! Even when it was the bears, I knew it was them.

However, I'm not sure Rutgers is #2 in the computers even if they win out. A one-loss Cal or Florida (each of whom have a highly-ranked opponent remaining, like Rutgers) can probably remain ahead of Rutgers.

I'm actually even more intrigued by the possibilities in the SEC. If Arkansas loses to LSU (very possible), they still go to the SEC title game, where they'd have at least a punchers chance against Florida. A 2-loss Arkansas (or 2-loss Florida) winning the SEC sets up the spectacle that 1-loss Auburn could be #2 in the BCS without even winning their division in the SEC.

The voters are going to be doing backflips trying to figure who to vote for to get the "correct" national championship game. Look out for teams shifting around for no apparent reason (i.e., win and drop in the polls).

113
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 2:50am

Re 108

I cannot believe that people honestly are considering that letting 2004 happen all over again would be a good idea.

It would be good in that it might hasten the death of the BCS. An undefeated BCS conference team left out, twice in three years would raise eyebrows. A 1-loss team getting in ahead of said undefeated BCS team would possibly be a new low. And as several people have pointed out, this team doesn't come from Alabama; it comes from THE media market.

It's like treating a drug addiction -- until a true rock bottom is reached, change will not happen.

114
by Duck in MA (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:06am

The problem with Oregon hasn't been their defense, which has been fairly serviceable this year (not as good as last year, but not that bad). And the problem isn't the offense putting up big numbers. The problem is that they can't help themselves when it comes to giving the other team the damn ball. There was the college football efficiency ratings put up earlier, and Oregon was considered overrated. I don't know how I feel about that. When the season started, I figured Oregon would finish somewhere in the teens, depending on who/how the losses worked out. But now I know they could have been a whole lot better if they would just stop turning over the ball. So they're roughly where I figured they would be, just that they're there for reasons that seem so correctable, like simplifying things for Dixon so he stops throwing terrible interceptions. IF they can limit themselves to 2 turnovers or less, I think they stand a pretty good shot at USC. But that's been the problem the whole year.

Also, maybe now's the time Russ and Vinny start re-regressing towards the mean...

115
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:12am

Even playing in a league with no defense and throwing the ball on every play, Colt Brennan is putting up numbers that are eye-popping. He’s thrown 21 TDs and just one interception in the past four games.

And that interception actually was of no consequence, coming on a 4th and 11 at the Utah State 32 up 42-10. Heck, Utah State only returned it to its own 27, making it better than an incompletion. (My local cable sports network was unique among all such regional networks last week in carrying the Hawaii-Utah State game. Why, I don't know.)

116
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:29am

Three undefeated teams from major conferences cannot be resolved in a single game (and recall, there were actually four unbeaten teams that year).

There were actually five unbeaten teams before the bowl games in 2004.

However, I’m not sure Rutgers is #2 in the computers even if they win out. A one-loss Cal or Florida (each of whom have a highly-ranked opponent remaining, like Rutgers) can probably remain ahead of Rutgers.

Rutgers will likely be ahead of both Cal and Florida after this week in some of the computer polls (definitely Colley, at least) even if Cal and Florida win against middling teams. In their subsequent games, both play 1 tough opponent (USC, the SEC West champ), 1 ridiculously easy opponent (winless Stanford, 2-7 I-AA Western Carolina), plus Florida has a game with Florida St. I'm not sure if that would be enough to move either back ahead of an unbeaten Rutgers in the computers (Pat?).

117
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 8:27am

I'm 6 - 4 with my picks after taking Lou-UH-ville LAST week over West Virginia.

This week, I'm taking Baylor plus 15 1/2 over Oklahoma State.

118
by Androo (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:42am

No Miami, FL (+3.5) at Maryland? Darn. I have no idea what to expect from the U. Will they rally around Pata's death or mail in the rest of what has been a bizarre (now, tragic) season?

119
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:15am

Re: 111

Good catch. That has been fixed.

120
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 11:58am

Erasmus - Thanks. Tate missed the Northern Illinois game, not NW.

Androo - I'm guessing Miami picks it up a notch today and rallies around the tragedy. But that probably has no relevance to what they do after that (UVa, BC, bowl game).

121
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 11:59am

Anyone else in a Yahoo Pick'em league? Can anyone explain why they drop each person's worst weekly score. It seems absurd that I could actually benefit from not making any picks this week, or by picking only a couple games that I'm absolutely sure of, and skipping the rest.

To explain, Yahoo lists two scores for each person: "Total Points" and "Group Points." The "Total Points" is simply each person's total score- 1 point for every game picked correctly. The "Group Points" is each person's "Total Points" minus their worst weekly score. The standings are based on the "Group Points."

In my league, I have the most total points with 104. My worst week was 7 points, so my "Group Points" total is only 97. The person leading in "Group Points" has 102, but their "Total Points" is also 102, because they missed a week of picks.

If that person hadn't skipped that week, their worst score would probably be around 9, which would drop their "Group Points" to 93.

What am I missing here? Why does it seem like having one really bad week is actually a benefit if you've been picking pretty well otherwise?

122
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:03pm

Re: 121

Your opponent's worst weekly score is 0, in the week he missed. Dropping it leaves him with the same total; 102 - 0 = 102.

123
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:11pm

"And that interception actually was of no consequence, coming on a 4th and 11 at the Utah State 32 up 42-10."

Yeah, but the fact that he's passing on Utah State up 42-10 explains why people aren't too impressed by his big numbers. Does anyone think Brennan is turning pro this year? He's a 23-year-old junior, which makes things interesting. My guess is he'd probably be the fifth quarterback off the board in the 2007 draft, behind Quinn, Stanton, Smith and Brohm.

124
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:21pm

Re:#122

Right, that's what I'm saying. He loses nothing from his "Total Score" because his worst score was zero. That makes no sense. Why benefit from sucking, or missing a week?

125
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:44pm

Re: 1224

It's not really a benefit, it's the way that particular scoring system works. He's now locked in to scoring a 0 in his worst week; if he were to now score 1 point this week, he wouldn't be able to drop it.

Re: 123

All numbers put up by Hawaii QB's have to be taken with a grain of salt, but Brennan is completing a ridiculous 73% of his passes (for comparison purposes, Timmy Chang never broke 60%).

126
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:51pm

Re:#125

Yes, it is a benefit. He's not losing credit for any of his correct picks. If he had made his picks that week, and had an average week, his "Group Score" would be a lot worse.

127
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:53pm

Absolutely, Brennan's numbers are good enough that they can't all be explained by calling him a Hawaii system QB. (You mentioned the completion percentage; I think the biggest difference between Brennan and Chang is in the interception department.) That's why I think he's a legit NFL prospect, whereas I don't think anyone ever thought Chang could be.

Did Lee Corso actually just say that if Arkansas wins out, there's no way they can be kept out of the championship game? That's insane. If there's any way a one-loss USC could possibly be below Arkansas, then there are no words to describe how stupid the BCS is.

128
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 1:02pm

Re: 126

If he had made his picks that week, and had an average week, his “Group Score� would be a lot worse.

No, it would be better or the same, depending if that score was higher than his second lowest score. His best 10 (?, total weeks of the season, minus one) weeks are better than your best 10 weeks. The total scored in either of your worst weeks (0 for him, 7 for you) doesn't change that.

129
by ElJefe (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 1:04pm

Re. #126 (et al) :

Let's say he made picks during the week he missed, and scored Y points. His Total Points would be 102 + Y. If Y was the least number of points he scored in any week, his Group Points would be (102 + Y) - Y, or 102 (just as it is now). If Y wasn't his lowest score his Group Points would be > 102.

There is no benefit to missing a week.

130
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 1:31pm

I hope Brennan stays for his senior year, for a few reasons:

1. The chance to put up some truly ridiculous numbers. With a pass-wacky offense, a weak conference, and 14-game schedule (Hawaii gets an extra regular season game to compensate for the expense of travelling to the mainland, plus the bowl game), a more experienced Brennan could break some of David Klingler or B.J. Symons's single-seasaon records.

2. Hawaii would likely get more nationally televised games (has any Hawaii game but the one against Boise State been telecast to more than 2% of the country?). Good for football fanatics and crazed gamblers alike.

3. Hawaii has a working defense (under the tutelage of Jerry Glanville) for the first time in recent memory. Given that, plus next year's favorable schedule (home games vs. Fresno and Boise; non-conference opponents to be determined other than Michigan St. and at UNLV), there's an outside chance of Hawaii going 13-0. BCS controveresy is always fun.

131
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 1:42pm

Re:#128 and #129

Okay, I think I get it now. It's too early on a Saturday for my brain to be working properly. I think I was forgetting that both scores would be affected, not just the "Group Scores."

Thanks, guys.

132
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:06pm

Wisconsin's defensive strategy today seems to be to leave someone wide open on every play. It's working about as well as you'd expect.

133
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:35pm

Early surprise of the day:
Georgia 17
@Auburn 0

134
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:43pm

Make that 24-0. Goodbye to one national championship contender, and Arkansas' lone big victory is a bit less impressive (though their remaining schedule is certainly tough).

135
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:45pm

Brandon Cox: 1 for 6, negative 3 yards, 2 interceptions. NCAA passer rating: -54.2.

136
by oljb (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:52pm

Clearly, Auburn is soooooooo much better than Rutgers.

137
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:58pm

Auburn scored a quick TD (a celebration penalty on Georgia after its TD helped), then forced a quick 3-and-out, and it looked like they had all the momentum. But, Cox threw his 3rd interception of the day, giving Georgia possession on the Auburn 20. 31-7, Georgia, 29 seconds left in the 1st half.

138
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:59pm

Make that 30 - Georgia missed the extra point.

139
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 4:01pm

Clearly, Auburn is soooooooo much better than Rutgers.

I don't know if it's so clear- Auburn is losing to Georgia.

I'll drop the counter-sarcasm. The rntire point is that Rutgers could play a lousy game and get away with it, while an SEC team can't.

140
by oljb (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 4:07pm

140: Actually, I think it's the opposite. If a Big East team blows a game, even to an excellent team, they're out of contention, period. If an SEC team blows a game, they get a mulligan.

141
by oljb (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 4:08pm

Sorry, that referred to 139.

142
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 4:08pm

However, I’m not sure Rutgers is #2 in the computers even if they win out. A one-loss Cal or Florida (each of whom have a highly-ranked opponent remaining, like Rutgers) can probably remain ahead of Rutgers.

Doubtful. Look at Colley's page, which allows you to add and remove games. Rutgers, winning out, will almost definitely be #2, Michigan/OSU loser #3, Cal/Florida #4, etc. In the other rankings (save the two wackball ones) it's almost a guarantee that Rutgers will end up #2.

143
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 4:15pm

(save the two wackball ones)

I know Billingsley is one; what's the other?

144
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 4:20pm

Wisconsin's Tyler Donovan looks like a young Drew Tate (not that Tate is old).

145
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 4:21pm

Re: 117

Kevin11, I hope you didn't put any money on Baylor. If you did, pray for the huge backdoor cover: Oklahoma St. 38, Baylor 3, halftime.

146
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 4:36pm

Brandon Cox: 2 for 9, 8 yards, 4 interceptions, 4 sacks, 1 personal foul. This might be the worst QB performance I've ever seen.

147
by thok (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 5:18pm

142: You have to be careful to include as many results as possible to get useful things from the Add/Remove, for example a possible USC win over Notre Dame also helps Cal.

(Indirect results can lead to weird things, like a Cal fan being excited by Minnesota crushing Michigan State.)

(Also, has everybody just forgotten about the USC-Notre Dame game?)

148
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 5:22pm

This Illinois-Purdue game has been wacky. Illinois was up 23-14, then Curtis Painter goes 42 yards on a keeper and Rashad Mendenhall fumbles after the Illini have a good kickoff return. TD, Purdue. Turnover, Illinois. TD, Purdue. Turnover, Illinois and TD, Purdue. 23-14 quickly becomes 42-23. Illinois TD, and down 42-31 with a shade under 8 to play, Zook goes for the onside kick. Purdue recovers, but then they turn the ball over. Illinois is now on the Purdue 11, having converted a 4th down earlier in the drive with a rare completed pass. Oh, and Juice Williams is an AWFUL thrower.

149
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 5:28pm

Ok, Illinois faced a 4&7 from the Purdue 9, down 42-31 with 3:58 to play. What do you do: (a) kick or (b) go for it? Considering it's a two score game, you would think (a). If you're [Name Redacted] (EDSBS), you (b) go for it. And fail. Kelly Stouffer and Wayne Larrivee are now dissecting the call--having seen them fail, Stouffer advocates kicking for a while then decides it was smart to go for it, while Larrivee never doubts they should have gone for the TD.

150
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 5:33pm

Final numbers for Brandon Cox: 4 for 12, 36 yards, 1 td, 4 interceptions, 4 sacks. That includes a 34-yard TD pass; his other 3 completions went for a grand total of 2 yards.

151
by BB (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 5:43pm

Apropos of nothing, they just showed a split screen of the OSU and Michigan pregames. My cat stood up on her hind legs and batted at Tressel on the screen to 'claw' him. Good kitty.

Wisconsin looks to be in really good shape for next year, other than losing Thomas. Donovan mostly looked like a serious QB instead of the Wisconsin Special (the guy who gets the job done and doesn't usually lose them games but never really seems like he's all that great). PJ Hill is back. I assume the D will return a lot given they lost a lot coming into this year.

152
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 5:50pm

So Wisconsin turns the ball over twice, once deep in Iowa territory, Iowa gets a gift PI call that even the announcers called absurd, the Iowa defense pinches up the middle on defense holding Hill to 77 yards, starting cornerback Allan Langford goes out with an injury, and Stocco misses the game completely.

Wisconsin still wins AT Iowa.

I will be curious how folks respond. Because everyone and their cousin called Iowa in the upset.

Drew Tate was 10-31 with some drops but mostly awful passes. The Badgers seem determined to only rush four, sometimes three, and take their chances with Tate throwing. Other then a slop pass to the TE for 64 yards and another 30 yarder to a running back out of the backfield that approach worked pretty well.

Why Iowa stopped running the ball I have no idea. They were GASHING Wisconsin in the first half and even down 10 there was enough time to run the ball. Putting the ball in Tate's hands to win the game was an odd approach considering he never once got on a roll.

Same deal last week with Penn State. They have Tony Hunt, they are in the game all day, and they ask Morelli to win it.

The Wisconsin run defense is mediocre. It only looks good because earlier in the year they were out to such big leads teams had no choice but to throw. But in back to back weeks teams have had every opportunity to just punch it out and instead they try to go over the top.

Which is really dumb. Because Wisky's corners and safeties are pretty darn good.

Oh well, works for me.

153
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 5:51pm

Griese only notices it after tOSU scores the TD, but on the "fumble" caused by Laurinaitis, the Northwestern WR was likely down. Bacher wasn't down there, though, when he just fumbled the snap and tried to pick it up instead of just falling on it.

154
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 5:57pm

BB:

Wisky loses Stocco and Thomas on offense. Zalewski, Rogers, and Stellmacher on defense.

Both kickers as well.

So that's the starting QB, starting left tackle, the captain on defense (Zalewski) and both starting safeties. It's not quantity but it sure is quality. Every one of those guys is going to get votes for All Big Ten and Thomas is likely an All-American.

155
by BB (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 6:07pm

153: "likely" down? It wasn't even close, how the replay official didn't even take a look at it, let alone overturn it is beyond me.

I doubt it will make a difference in the result in the end, but it's a big difference in momentum and field position to turn it over on your first drive. Oh well. Northwestern is moving it through the air though, so maybe they'll make a game of it yet if they can get over the butterfingers.

156
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 6:12pm

From the initial play and replay, it looked like the ball could have been coming out before his knee touched the ground. From when they finally bothered to get back to it and show slo-mo, Herbert clearly had possession until after his knee hit the ground and no way should it have been a fumble. There's not a question in the world it should have been reviewed.

Since then, you've had the Bacher fumble lead to a Pittman TD and Brandon Mitchell with a pick-6. Tough start for the Wildcats.

157
by jim kimber (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 6:38pm

The Maryland - Miami game looks quite mad: Miami has had 36 plays to 7 (and 18 mins to 4 mins) but is 14-3 down. Maryland has hit TD passes of 65 and 96 yds, both to the same receiver, Heyward-Bey.

158
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 8:18pm

Kevin11, I hope you didn’t put any money on Baylor.

I didn't. Today's game serves as a good example why betting on sports is a bad idea.

Auburn is out and Florida is struggling against it's old coach. If UF stumbles the debate comes down to the Arkansas if they stay at one loss, Texas if they run the table (likely), the USC v Cal winner, and Rutgers if they get past WVU.

It's truly possible there won't be a strong one loss team for the championship game!

159
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 8:20pm

Re: 158

Good to hear.

And Cal just threw a pick six. Arizona 24, Cal 17, 12:39 to go.

160
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 8:37pm

Maryland beats Miami by 1, in the least exciting fashion possible (2 early touchdowns, and Miami's punt returner fumbling away its last chance), yet the Maryland fans storm the field. I guess they didn't get the news that Miami's 5-5.

161
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 8:56pm

Special teams, wow. South Carolina has a FG blocked, an XP blocked, and then, down 17-16 (see above) with :08 left, has the game-winning FG blocked. Wow.

And Cal might not be in trouble-Longshore TD pass to Jackson currently under review to see if it's a TD or not. He's out, but given what happened in the tOSU-NU game today, I wouldn't be shocked if it stays a TD.

162
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 8:58pm

Credit to the Pac-10 officials for getting a replay reversal correct. Demerits to Mike Stoops, for running a prevent offense and defense up 24-20, giving Cal this one last chance.

163
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:01pm

A few more years like this and perhaps 'Beamerball' will be known as 'Meyerball'...

164
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:01pm

Tipped pass, Longshore intercepted. Barring a Herm Edwards play, Cal has 2 losses. Fiesta Bowl update:
Auburn
Cal

165
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:04pm

Re #164
Oh, yes... Fiesta Bowl BCS Championship Game.

166
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:05pm

Re: 164 Fiesta Bowl or BCS Championship? They're two different games this year.

Florida wasn't getting that much pressure on the blocked kicks; all three were on target, but rather low, and were blockable by players leaping at the line of scrimmage. I fail to understand why SEC teams don't recruit better kickers; Florida's kicker is 3 for 9 and hasn't made a 30+ yarder all year.

167
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:10pm

Hetland was 13/16 last year and earned a scholarship because of it - and from all accounts has been perfectly accurate in practice this year. It isn't as if UF (or other SEC schools) deliberately go out of their way to recruit lousy kickers, you know...

168
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:11pm

What sucks is that were heading closer to a Texas v Ohio State rematch.

I'd rather see an undefeated Rutgers team vs tOSU, assuming each team wins out.

169
by Larry (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:19pm

So. Carolina with some bizarre clock management down the stretch. With 3 timeouts left, they got off only 3 or 4 plays after crossing midfield, ending up with a 48 yard field goal for the win. With a kicker who'd been blocked twice already. And they called a timeout with 8 seconds left for the FG try. Why 8 seconds? It was 4th down, too, so no chance for a spike+retry on a bad snap. Why not wait until the clock goes to 3 seconds? Really weird. As a result, Florida stays in the title chase.

170
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:19pm

Re: 167

But, as you say, Hetland came to Florida as a walk-on. I have no idea how hard it is to identify a good high school kicker, but, given the number of close SEC games decided by missed kicks, I would think finding one would be a good use of 1 of a team's 85 scholarships.

171
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:24pm

Cue John McEnroe:
UConn 46
Wannstache 45 F-2OT

172
by Bart (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:31pm

At the end of the day, the biggest play in the Cal game was the horrible defensive pass interference call against Cal when Hughes intercepted Tuitama in the end zone. No one I've tlaked to saw the PI on that play and Fouts thought it was a bad cal too. 2 plays later Arizona scored the tying touchdown which set the table for the pick-six and the loss.

Cal palyed horribly today, I won't aruge that. BUt they were also victimized by the increasingly dubious Pac-10 officiating.

Incidentally, the San Jose Mercury News had a blurb in the sports page today about how Pac-10 officials might have screwd up 2 replay calls in the USC-Texas game because they had the wrong feed linked up to the review booth. Click my name for the link

173
by Bart (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:32pm

Ugh, so very many typos in my last post. Reminder to all, don't type angry!

174
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 9:46pm

Re: 172

It was a Big Ten replay crew in the Rose Bowl, not a Pac-10 crew.

Here's the original, more detailed article on the Rose Bowl failures and the various college replay systems, from Yahoo.

175
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:02pm

Shula has to show something in this game to stay off the hot seat.

well or beat Auburn.

176
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:11pm

Russell is so awesome at throwing it to wide open WRs....

177
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:12pm

nice to see Alabama gave up on the season.

178
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:25pm

ok now the defense finally saw the offense score perhaps they will play some defense.....

179
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:28pm

Arkansas is pummeling Tennessee. Their #11 ranking demonstrates that the Hogs are long overdue for some real respect.

They have one loss because they scheduled Southern Cal in September. Me thinks Rutgers or Boise State would also have one loss of they scheduled USC.

180
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:36pm

to think 3 missed field goals and a missed extra point is what stopped Alabama from beating Arkansas this year.

Alabama's defense has been good all year and I know LSU gives Bama trouble (they did last season as well)...but this is sad.

181
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:37pm

Potential upset alert: San Jose St. 20, Boise State 12.

Re: 179

Arkansas looks great, but they haven't been playing consistently like this all season (see, their 3 close wins against some of the lesser lights of the SEC). And their conference schedule (before this game) has been relatively easy. They're due a bump after this game, however.

For what its worth, their offense with McFadden looks very similar to that of West Virginia.

182
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:42pm

D.J. Hall is the best WR in college football that no one knows about.

183
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:43pm

Gary Thorne would be more tolerable of a broadcaster if (i) I hadn't listened to him be an annoying hockey play-by-play guy and (ii) he'd stop calling Jevon Snead Colt McCoy. Mind telling those of us who switched to ABC because Arkansas-Tennessee and Texas Tech-OU were at halftime what happened to McCoy?

184
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:50pm

Alabama cannot score offensive TDs against Mississippi fucking State...but LSU...yeah like its nothing.

185
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:50pm

McCoy hurt his shoulder or collarbone scoring Texas's TD. I'm not sure what his current status is.

You know what team played at Kansas State without its starting QB? Louisville, who won 24-6. Let's see if Texas can do the same (I'm thinking yes).

186
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:54pm

holy shit onsides kick and Bama recovers!! Against the best team in the country...or so the announcers said.

187
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 10:59pm

Boise State gets the TD and the 2-point conversion. Tied at 20, 5:22 to go. A lesser BCS bowl bid hangs in the balance.

188
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 11:10pm

Prince Hall is going to be a great LBer for Alabama if he stays healthy.

189
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 11:13pm

A long punt return sets up Boise for the winning FG. Two games to go before the lowest-rated Orange Bowl in history.

190
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 11:14pm

wow they got the audio on the field and you can actually hear what is happening as an injured player is getting tended to...

191
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 11:17pm

189- for some reason I thought it was the Fiesta that was getting stuck with Boise (if they get past Nevada).

192
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 11:20pm

Re: 191
.
You're right. I'm not sure how that was worked out, but both ESPN bowl projections have Boise State going to the Fiesta Bowl.

Meanwhile, Kansas State 21, Texas 14. If only Florida had lost...

193
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 11:25pm

Alabama seemed to end their red zone woes...but noooooo.

194
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 12:32am

I'm surprised I'm typing this, but Andre Ware is doing a good job on the Texas-KSU broadcast. He's called a couple times for KSU going for a big play immediately after a turnover. That's a strategy I like-especially when your team is the underdog.

195
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 12:37am

Oklahoma just had to get that last TD to cover, didn't they? Bastards.

196
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 12:45am

Wake Forest 30
Florida State 0

anyone else surprised...

197
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 12:53am

Wow, K-State is really pouring it on... 42-28

198
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 12:55am

Thorne needs to stick with hockey. He doesn't even know that a dropped shovel pass is incomplete-not a fumble.

199
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 1:16am

#196- Incredibly. I thought Wake would remember they were Wake this week; if they won, I figured it would follow their template of other wins this year (close, making one or two huge plays or having fluky bounces go their way). Can't say I'd ever expected to see the day where Wake killed FSU.

Imagine if Wake doesn't fall apart against Clemson earlier this year.

200
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 1:42am

Is there anyway that Bobby Bowden can keep Jeff Bowden as the OC?

201
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 1:43am

So is Rutgers going to the National Championship game now?

202
by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 1:43am

Just 5 games from a BCS meltdown:

- WVU beats Rutgers
- Cal beats USC
- USC beats ND
- LSU beats Arkansas
- Arkansas beats Florida

203
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 1:57am

Welcome to November:
tOSU-UM winner v.

tOSU-UM loser
Arkansas
Auburn
Boise State
Cal
Florida
Louisville
Notre Dame
Rutgers
Tennessee
Texas
USC
Wake Forest
West Virginia
Wisconsin

The list gets shorter. And it's not just the lesser lights that are leaving the list. Should be interesting the next few weeks, particularly Columbus, Ohio next weekend. Shame if it'd be anti-climactic.

204
by Duck in MA (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 2:06am

Well, we're past a possible OSU-Texas rematch in the title game. Suddenly Rutgers ain't looking so bad if they go undefeated (after this weekend, anything is possible). Although if USC wins out, I would think that they should be getting the nod over any other 1-loss team, including the SEC. They're currently leading my Ducks at the half 14-0.

205
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 2:09am

Well I am thinking it is shaping up like a OSU Michigan rematch in the final. Which is fine. The one loss teams other than USC sure all looked like crap this week.

As for Rutgers. Division 1 REALLY REALLY REALLY needs t move to a soccer style 4 or 5 league relagation system. Each year the top 24 teams and next 24 teams etc. could be organized into different leagues.

Each league could be split into 2 geographic conferences to ease travel and would thus play 11 conference games. Then each league could have a little 8 team playoffs.

At most 15 games a team.
All games competitive.
PLayers at highest levels better prepared for pros.

Top 4/bottom 4 from each league move up or down each year.

Also this way a team like Rutgers could win say league #3 achieve its maximum positive expectation, and recieve a nice reward in moving to a better league.

IDK what could possibly be wrong with this system other than maybe alums would rather watch blow-outs than good games. But I doubt that is actually true.

206
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 2:13am

that was supposed to be at most 14 games...

207
by Zac (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 2:36am

Re: 192. The Fiesta Bowl is the one with the lowest priority this year. They get stuck with whatever team is left, which is Boise State if they get an automatic bid.

Re: 203. No more than two teams from any conference are allowed in the BCS games. The Ohio State/Michigan winner will go to the BCS Championship, and the loser goes to either the BCS Championship or the Rose Bowl.

Therefore Wisconsin can be crossed off your list. They lose the tiebreakers with both Michigan and Ohio State, and therefore can do no better than the Capital One Bowl.

208
by Zac (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 2:42am

Becephalus, it won't happen because of all the history that would be lost. Most teams have important rivalries with at least 3 or 4 teams in their conferences (or have out of conference geographic rivalries, like Florida/Florida State). Most of these rivalries become impossible when one team or the other gets relegated to a lower division.

209
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 3:21am

I take back anything good I've said about Pac-10 refs.

1. Oregon State catches a TD on a tipped pass in the back of end zone; it's called a catch on the field.

2. After a 5+ minute review, the replay officials determine that the catching player had gone out of bounds, then came back in to catch the ball. (The ruling referred to "the first player" touching the ball, but that's what I think they determined. Both the catching player and the player who tipped it had gone out of bounds, but the tipping player had been forced out.)

3. Oregon then challenges the replay reversal. I wasn't even aware they could do that. After another 5+ minute review, the officials overturn the reversal, restoring the original call. I'm not quite sure why - this really needed a long explanation, and not much was given.

210
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 3:24am

Ugh, I don't know why I wrote "Oregon State" in the part 1 above. Oregon, not Oregon State.

211
by FJ (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 3:25am

At the end of the day, the biggest play in the Cal game was the horrible defensive pass interference call against Cal when Hughes intercepted Tuitama in the end zone. No one I’ve tlaked to saw the PI on that play and Fouts thought it was a bad cal too. 2 plays later Arizona scored the tying touchdown which set the table for the pick-six and the loss.

Cal palyed horribly today, I won’t aruge that. BUt they were also victimized by the increasingly dubious Pac-10 officiating.

Incidentally, the San Jose Mercury News had a blurb in the sports page today about how Pac-10 officials might have screwd up 2 replay calls in the USC-Texas game because they had the wrong feed linked up to the review booth. Click my name for the link

It's not a specific conference's refs. Refs screw up all the time.

And I'm saying this as a Cal fan. Yes, it sucks that they made an erroneous call. That's not even close to why the Bears lost.

They lost, because Longshore acted like a sophomore QB (which he hasn't except for the Tennessee game), the Wildcats finally started catching some balls, and the defense got exposed as what happens when the offense isn't clicking.

This is one that the Bears should have put away in the 3rd quarter and didn't (or couldn't), and you have to give some credit to Arizona for that. But in the end they were done in by their own mistakes (dropped passes, bad decisions by Longshore), bad execution (no running game to speak of, bad penalties, poor tackling), and a tenacious Arizona team and their home crowd.

Were there small things which if they had bounced the Bears' way that they could have salvaged a win? Sure (Hawkins not tripping at the 5, phantom PI call, lots of tackling which could have stuffed the Wildcats).

But, in the end, Cal shouldn't have even been in that situation with a lead of 17-3 at the half. There's no excuse for the Bears' play. Aside from Jackson, who was spectacular, they were just crappy all over the field (Ok, the special teams was ok, but offensively AND defensively, they had nothing going. If Arizona hadn't dropped that many passes, Cal could have been in a close game at the half.)

Likely, too much looking forward to USC at halftime. There's just too many problems to say that it's all the ref's fault (especially since, with the replay's help, they got most of the calls right). Screwed up calls favoring the home team will happen (and they'll happen more likely in college football), you should be EXPECTING it and play well enough to compensate for a blown call.

Cal just didn't do that today.

F

212
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 3:25am

Re #207
Good point re Wisconsin--realistically speaking, they needed at least one of tOSU-UM to lose before Saturday's game in Columbus. But if I was being realistic, I wouldn't have listed Boise State. If the Badgers and the tOSU-UM loser are the only one-loss teams with that game a blowout, would you take undefeated Boise State, a rematch, or a one-loss Wisconsin team? Theoretical possibilities, not likely scenarios.

Worst replay-related moment of the year came in USC-Oregon. A fantastically long booth review, which results in Oregon's TD pass on 4&G to Stewart overturned because he stepped out of bounds before he got the ball. An incensed Mike Bellotti then challenges(!) the resultant call of illegal touching resulting in a turnover on downs. After further review, they realize the ball had been tipped in flight by a USC defender, negating Stewart's ineligibility and restoring the TD. I wish I'd paid better attention to my watch, but between 4&G and the resulting PAT seemed to take 10-15 minutes.

213
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 3:35am

Re: 203, 212

Even ignoring the 2-team per conference max, a one-loss Wisconsin should not get in over any of the 3 one-loss Big East teams, unless "Wisconsin" and "Big Ten" have some special power in the voters' and computers' minds. Wisconsin's non-conference schedule is probably the weakest of any BCS-conference school (nicely capped next week with a home game against Buffalo), and their conference schedule, outside of the Michigan loss, included no team even receiving a vote in any of the 3 major polls.

214
by Marko (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 3:57am

Worst replay-related moment of the year came in USC-Oregon."

Really? Tell that to Oklahoma fans. I'll bet they disagree. As for the play in question, I haven't seen it, but I happened to turn on the radio when the USC announcers were talking about the play during the apparently interminable review. The announcers (play-by-play man Pete Arbogast, analyst Paul McDonald, the former USC quarterback who played for a while in the NFL, and sideline reporter John Jackson, who was a receiver at USC) were going on and on about how there is no way the play could be ruled a legal catch because the Oregon player stepped out of bounds and came back in to make the catch. They also said that the ball clearly was tipped but that this was irrelevant.

I heard that and laughed and knew that the play would be called a touchdown because the rule for illegal touching only means that the player who went out of bounds can't be the first player to touch the ball. Since the ball was tipped, the receiver who had been out of bounds was eligible to catch the ball. It was shocking to hear an experienced announcer like Pete Arbogast and two former players who really should know the rule (since they played quarterback and receiver, respectively) be so clueless about the rule.

215
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 4:06am

208 with all due respect I would rather have competitive games than rivalries. Also are the rivalries really that important. My suspicion is new ones would rise up rather quickly to replace the old ones.

216
by Kal (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 4:24am

Ugh. Oregon, how you disappoint me.

Also, Refs - I knew the rule. Why don't you know the rule? Why does it take you 15 minutes to determine what the rule is? Gah.

217
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 4:26am

Re #214
OU-OU was the worst refereeing moment of the year. It was the fact they got the call wrong on the field, then still got the call wrong on replay, not the existence of replay that was the real error there. OU-USC, by contrast, was a replay fiasco, even more so because the end result was the call on the field being upheld after a quite lengthy delay.

218
by chris (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 9:15am

RE 208 and 215: You have to at least humor those who believe that current rivalries are important, bec, though I appreciate your priorities.

Rivalries are part of what makes sports what they are at all levels, and I'm not sure one can refute that.

That said, rivalries are often made and undone willy-nilly, even some "traditional" ones when it serves the purpose of getting paid. What happened to that hot ND-Miami rivalry of the late 1980s? When was the last time Penn State played Pitt or Maryland? How many Arkansas-Texas matchups since the SWC split?

Don't high school associations in many states engage a form of relegation without damaging rivalries? With different criteria, of course.

As ideas go, I've heard worse. My tweak would be to keep the 12-game schedule. No more than eight of the games are in conference play, and three of your non-conference games have to be within that 24-team pool.

Not sure about the time gaps between changes, but every two years sounds about right. It wouldn't be fair to punish one-year dogs like 2005 Tennessee, but Florida State would be a possible (and rightful) relegation casualty. At the same time, it's not too much for a team to put two solid seasons together (as Rutgers has done) before getting a promotion.

Of course, bowls are an issue that can't be escaped.

219
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 9:24am

well with 5 leagues each with 7 playoff games that would be 35 bowl games?

220
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 10:21am

It's going to be hard to take seriously next week's "Game of the Century" if the only thing at stake is which team gets to wear the home uniform in the national championship game. If, as we hear ad infinitum, the merit of the college system with no playoff is "the regular season really matters," the loser of this game should be dropped from consideration. I don't care if they are, "in the minds of the voters" and in various GIGO computer rankings "the second best team." A rematch just doesn't seem like a satisfactory national championship.

221
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 10:36am

Travis:

I don't understand this clause from a longer comment about Wisconsin:

"and their conference schedule, outside of the Michigan loss, included no team even receiving a vote in any of the 3 major polls."

Because at various times earlier in the year teams like Iowa, Penn State, etc. were ranked. Do you mean to say that when such teams played Wisconsin they were not ranked?

222
by chris (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 11:29am

RE: 221...

Not to speak for Travis, but there's a reason why rankings do change from week to week.

Some wins appreciate (over BYU, Maryland or Arkansas) while the value of others (over Iowa, Penn State or Florida State) have plummeted.

223
by chris (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 11:43am

RE 219

I guess college football could use three more bowls. (No sarcasm at all.)

224
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 11:52am

Re: 222

Yup, that's what I meant. Thanks.

Looking back though, Wisconsin hasn't beaten anybody who was ranked at the time either (at least the AP poll). The only teams to be receiving votes at the time: Purdue, with 1 point (a 25th place vote), and Penn State, with 8 (a 23rd, a 24th, and 3 25th).

I believe the only teams Wisconsin has beaten who were ranked at any point this year were Penn State (ranked 19th in preseason, and never got higher) and Iowa (moved up to 13th, then lost 4 of 6 before playing Wisconsin).

225
by Weekly Journalist (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 12:31pm

You know what's cool? Rutgers plays Notre Dame 7 straight years from 2010 to 2016. Unfortunately, except for two games against Maryland their out of conference schedule until then is pathetic.

226
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 12:39pm

This is turning into a great, great season. Okay, there's no strong Heisman candidate, but with a week and a half left (snif!) we have the biggest regular season game in my lifetime coming up next week (if you disagree, which game was bigger? It'll make for a good discussion), and the #2 spot for the national championship is wide open.

Can't wait to see how it all shakes out.

227
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 12:48pm

Re: 225

Rutgers has 5 non-conference games per year; I can't imagine that they're locked in to all 5 games even next year, not to mention through 2009. (This site purports to show all of Rutgers' future opponents.)

Sagarin-ELO ratings:

1. Michigan (way, way ahead)
2. Rutgers
3. Ohio State

228
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 12:59pm

Does "Rock and Roll is King" play in the bacground when one views the Sagarin-ELO ratings?

In all seriousness, I never liked the results of Sagarin's system.

Here's my very early, subject to change Top 25:

1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. Southern Cal
4. Florida
5. Arkansas
6. Rutgers
7. Notre Dame
8. Wisconsin
9. Louisville
10. Wake Forest
11. Auburn
12. Texas
13. LSU
14. West Virginia
15. Oklahoma
16. Boise State
17. Tennessee
18. Georgia Tech
19. Nebraska
20. Cal
21. Maryland
22. Oregon
23. Virginia Tech
24. Texas A & M
25. Boston College

Numbers 7 - 14 are all but interchangable.

229
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 1:07pm

Re #226
I don't know that I'd go with bigger, but the Nov. 30, '96 game between Florida and Florida State also featured two undefeated traditional rivals ranked #1 and #2. The only thing that may have dimmed the luster somewhat was that Florida still had to play in the SEC Championship Game the next week. Note 3 point win by home team FSU, followed by blowout win by UF in bowl game, combined with one-loss tOSU beating undefeated Arizona State in the Rose Bowl, giving UF national championship.

230
by Zac (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 2:03pm

Re: 215. Becephalus I agree with you. Just letting you know that there are those who don't.

231
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 2:51pm

Re 226: Kevin, as I griped earlier in 220, if the Ohio State-Michigan game just sets up a rematch for the national championship, it is virtually meaningless (in terms of the ultimate outcome of the season--of course it has meaning in terms of conference championship, bragging rights for a few weeks, beating your traditional rival, etc.) Indeed, (not that any coach in his right mind would do this, but...)if the loser knew for absolute certain that it would end up playing the same team for the national championship game anyway, it might consider playing a very close-to-the-vest strategy, then breaking out the firepower in the rematch. OK, I've made this point twice, I'll be quiet now.

232
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 3:14pm

231-

If Ohio State wins, I predict that if the following teams run the table we'll see them vs tOSU before we'll see a rematch vs Michigan. In order:

1. Southern Cal
2. Florida
3. Notre Dame
4. Rutgers
5. Arkansas

If Michigan wins, here's the order:

1. Southern Cal
2. Florida
3. Rutgers
4. Arkansas
5. Notre Dame

You know, if there's a rematch, obviously you're right. But I wouldn't come into the game with the assumtpion that "aww, they're just having a rematch anyway".

233
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 3:59pm

A Michigan-OSU rematch is far from certain. As has been pointed out, USC and Arkansas/Florida are both better shots to get there ahead of a one-loss Michigan.

Also, I think a rematch will be all but ruled out if Michigan wins. Ohio State will be punished further in the polls if they lose, at home, as the favorites.

If Michigan loses a close game, I don't think they drop much below 3.

Of course, the voters could move to avert the rematch over the following two weekends, while the Big Ten teams sit ideal.

And then there's the no small matter that the voters are awful. For evidence, see the coaches poll out today. West Virginia is 7th, Rutgers 8th, and Louisville is 12th. That Louisville 10-point win over West Virginia 10 days ago? Forgotten.

Do the SIDs who fill out these ballots on behalf of the coaches even look at what they're writing down? It's one thing to acknowledge that teams change over the course of a season (example, Arkansas in week 1 vs. USC vs. Arkansas now), it's quite another to ignore a clear result that took place ONE WEEK AGO.

234
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 4:27pm

Oh, we don't give a damn for the whole state of Michigan
The whole state of Michigan
The whole state of Michigan
We don't give a damn for the whole state of Michigan
We're from Ohio!

Very fun game yesterday. I'd estimate the crowd to be rougly 70% OSU. There was one corner of purple, and otherwise it was mostly red. I think it's the first time I've ever seen the home QB need to go with a silent count. I doubt this made it onto the broadcast, but after the fifth TD, some fan ran up to the Wildcat statue behind the other end zone and started humping it. He was probably going at it for two minutes before he left, I don't think security ever came over. Made me laugh very hard.

Great atmosphere, very decent performance as a final tune-up, a complete blowout despite going absolutely vanilla on both sides. Can't wait to see what they're capable of next week when the kitchen sink is in play.

Six days. Six days. Oh, it is most definitely on.

In other news, I don't know how things will shake out regarding Rutgers. But one 'solution' that's always thrown out there is to not have polls before some date, mid-October or whatever. Does anyone think for a second that this would really overcome poll inertia, and that RU would be top-5 now? Where were they ranked in the polls on, say, Oct. 15? How different do you think it would be if that was the first poll? I know we're supposed to believe that without the pre- and early-season polls to bias, voters would magically notice Rutgers and know them to be top-5. Sorry, I just don't see it. I'd guess that before this week, people would look at them the same as Boise - nice little unbeaten team, pretty good, probably not there with LU, WVU, and the best from other conferences. Unless you waited to take the first poll until this week, would it really be very different?

235
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 5:04pm

Trogdor, that song is so witty ... and about as stimulatig as the great "O - H .... I - O" chant.

Humping the Wildcat statue? Sounds like the Bucks' fnas are in fine form. Hope you enjoy martial law in Columbus after the upset next Saturday.

Let the hysteria begin!

236
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 5:17pm

Not starting the polls until October will accomplish nothing. The Harris Poll doesn't start until October - does it seem much different from the others? Of course not - because a good number of voters are almost always going to go and find some existing ranking system to use and base their rankings off that.

In particular, the AP has no incentive to delay the start of their poll, since they have no impact on the BCS Standings anymore. Delaying the Coaches' Poll a month will do little.

And if somehow one managed to get the AP, Coaches', and Harris Polls delayed until October, people have a thirst for rankings - the media and fans will pick out some other ranking that has some credibility (FWAA, perhaps) and start using it as the rankings until such time as the others begin.

237
by Weekly Journalist (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 5:23pm

How the flying frijole is WVA ahead of Rutgers? Same conference, one undefeated, one with one loss, one in first place int he conference, the other in second place...and, the one loss for West Virginia came at the hands of a team that Rutgers just beat.

?!?!?

238
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 5:53pm

What's sad is that there's nothing at all surprising about WVU being ranked ahead of Louisville and Rutgers. The poll is always stupid like that.

The real controversy could be picking between a one loss Florida and a one loss USC.

239
by NF (not verified) :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 9:12pm

Is Wannestedt as bad a coach at Pittsburgh University as he was with the Miami Dolphins? It sure looked like it against UConn. Total defensive meltdown from the 4th quarter on by Pittsburgh. It was ridiculous how easily UConn was moving the ball.

240
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 11/12/2006 - 10:55pm

Well, the new BCS standings are out, and USC was indeed the big winner Saturday. I think they're probably the most deserving of the one-loss teams, in large part due to their scheduling. Can any other contender come within a mile of USC's non-conference slate of @Arkansas, Nebraska and Notre Dame?

241
by Weekly Journalist (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 11:32am

RUTGERS #2 in the computers...

so, this means that if they win out they will be in the Title Game, don't you think? Especially when you consider that winning out would include a road victory at Morgantown. not that that is likely to happen, but if it did...

242
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 11:47am

Wisconsin at number nine. If a team or two loses in the next couple of weeks Wisky could finish the season in the top 8 of the BCS but of course is not eligible for a BCS bowl because no conference can send 3 teams.

No complaint here. I am delighted with Wisconsin's season and any January 1 bowl is well beyond what I ever expected.

But I will be interested at the reaction by the masses if an 11-1 team is left out of the mix.

Of course, I am presuming that the Badgers get past Buffalo. But if they don't shame on them.

243
by antigonos (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 12:28pm

so, this means that if they win out they will be in the Title Game, don’t you think? Especially when you consider that winning out would include a road victory at Morgantown. not that that is likely to happen, but if it did…

eh no...they still would need USC, Florida and Notre Dame to lose. Probably Arkansas as well...

And IF all that happened we'd probably see the OSU/Michigan rematch. They win out they go to a BCS bowl...but i don't think they have a prayer for the National Championship game. Which as an RU fan..is fine by me.

244
by Travis (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 1:04pm

But I will be interested at the reaction by the masses if an 11-1 team is left out of the mix.

If West Virginia beats Rutgers, and the top three Big East teams otherwise win out, an 11-1 Big East team is guaranteed to be left out of a BCS bowl. It's entirely possible that TWO 11-1 Big East teams will be left out, with one dropping all the way down to the Texas Bowl (the former Houston Bowl) to play the 7th best Big 12 team (Oklahoma St., Kansas, or Texas Tech) on December 28, earning a relatively paltry $1.5 million payout (Wisconsin will get $4.25 million for playing the Capital One Bowl).

245
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 1:48pm

Travis:

My point is that given certain losses Wisconsin would be ELIGIBLE for the BCS by likely being ranked in the top 8 of the BCS listing. If Rutgers loses do you believe that they will remain in the top 8? And do you think it likely that Louisville gets back into the top 8?

246
by Travis (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 2:06pm

Re: 245

The "top 8" provision only applies to Notre Dame getting into the BCS automatically; other at-large schools from BCS conferences need only win 9 games and finish in the BCS top 14.

Complete BCS eligibility rules

247
by Travis (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 2:10pm

Slight clarification: the "9 wins and Top 14" provision applies to all schools, not just those from BCS conferences.

248
by antigonos (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 2:11pm

If Wisconsin wins out and Ohio State loses to Michigan. Wouldn't they be tied with no head to head tie-breaker? What is set in place in regards to that to determine who goes to the Rose Bowl? Is it just whoever has the higher BCS ranking?

249
by Travis (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 2:17pm

Re: 248

The BCS doesn't care about who finished tied for 2nd in the Big Ten; the Rose Bowl bid would go to Ohio State, assuming they don't plummet in the human polls.

250
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 2:18pm

Travis:

My error.

251
by Nick Evans (not verified) :: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 4:02pm

Re: 248, even if OSU lose, they're likely to drop no further than 3 or 4 in the BCS. This means that they'll still get an automatic Bowl place (rule 5 or 6 at Travis's link). As Michigan will also have an automatic place, that makes 2 from the Big 10 and so Wisconsin will be out because the teams with automatic berths must be selected.