Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Most Recent FO Features

RiceSid07.jpg

» Sidney Rice: What Could Have Been?

Sidney Rice has retired. Is he the most random single-season DYAR leader ever? One-year wonder? Injury prone? We offer a career retrospective for the second-best wide receiver named Rice in NFL history.

08 Nov 2007

SDA: Rammer Jammer

by Russell Levine

So, this isn't quite the marquee weekend for college football. Need evidence? College Gameday will originate from Williamstown, Mass., home of the Williams-Amherst game. If they wanted to take in D-III football, couldn't Kirk, Lee, and Chris have just gone to Notre Dame?

(Thanks, I'll be here all week. Try the fish.)

But the weekend isn't entirely bereft of quality matchups. And once again, many of them are in the SEC. So it's only fitting that this week's podcast guest has SEC ties.

Warren St. John -- a friend of this column going back a few years now -- writes for the New York Times and is also the author of the classic college football book Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer. More recently, he's penned -- with contributions from EDSBS's Orson Swindle/Spencer Hall, among others -- the ESPN Guide to Psycho Fan Behavior, guaranteed to be the only stocking stuffer that can teach you how to properly torch a couch.

Warren, who also blogs about irrational fan behavior on his web site, has emerged from his post-LSU malaise to help break down the following games:

Louisville (+16) at No. 7 West Virginia, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Louisville's win over West Virginia in a battle of undefeated teams was one of the biggest games of 2006. This year? Not so much.

Louisville's national-title dreams have been done in by a horrid defense that has been largely responsible for four losses. West Virginia saw its championship dreams take an early hit with a loss at South Florida, but the Mountaineers are hanging around the pack of once-beaten teams, hoping for this season's string of upsets to continue so they can sneak into the title game.

Louisville has played better of late, but it's defense could be exposed once again by Steve Slaton, Noel Devine, and Pat White on Thursday night.

No. 12 Michigan (-3) at Wisconsin, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Technically, this game has no bearing on the Big Ten race. By beating its rival little brother Michigan State last Saturday, Michigan assured itself that it will be playing for a berth in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State next week.

Still, a win at Wisconsin means the Wolverines could claim an outright Big Ten title with a win over the Buckeyes. Plus, Michigan still has an outside shot at a BCS at-large berth if it wins in Madison and then drops a tight game against the Buckeyes.

Chad Henne and Mike Hart are expected to play with nagging injuries for Michigan, while tailback P.J. Hill is questionable for the Badgers. Wisconsin typically favors the straight-ahead, no-frills offense that is tailor-made for Michigan's defense, but quarterback Tyler Donovan is mobile enough to keep the unit on its toes.

Hart has been all over the news for that "little brother" remark this week, one that drew Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio into a surprising war of words. Hart is one of those players you can only love if he's on your team. This is not he first cringe-inducing statement to come from his mouth, but the Wolverines feed off his intensity, and it was his guarantee of a win over Notre Dame following the 0-2 start that sparked the Michigan turnaround.

This is my column, so I get the last word on Hart. If he played for Ohio State or Notre Dame, I'd despise him, but I'd like to think I could admire the way he put a struggling team on his back and for how he runs with a fire and intensity that comes from a lifetime of being told "you're too small" and "you're too slow." He will be sorely missed in Ann Arbor.

No. 22 Alabama (-5) at Mississippi State, 12:30 p.m. ET, LFS/GP

Warren's Tide have little time to recover from the disappointment of the last-minute loss to LSU in the Nick Saban bowl, as they face dangerous Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have already beaten both Kentucky and Auburn on the road this season, and now get reeling Alabama at home with a chance to get bowl-eligible.

Sylvester Croom is turning into a poster child for why it sometimes pays to be patient with a struggling coach. He took over a disastrous situation at Mississippi State and had little success his first three seasons. It is only now, in year four, that he is starting pay dividends.

This game should be personal for Croom. A great player at Alabama and a former assistant there, he felt he should have gotten the job over Mike Shula a few years back. Instead, he had to wait for a far worse opportunity in Starkville, making a pittance of Nick Saban's $4 million.

I'm not saying Croom is in Saban's class as a coach, but the whole situation has to eat at him. Expect the Bulldogs to be ready to play Saturday.

Arkansas (Pick 'em) at No. 24 Tennessee, 12:30 p.m. ET, LFS/GP

Darren McFadden, welcome back to the Heisman discussion. Please assume your place at the head of the line.

McFadden, who has a sweet ride and some killer ink, went off against Steve Spurrier's defense last week, just as Matt Ryan was faltering against Florida State.

The player nicknamed "Humanity Advanced" could find the soft Tennessee defense (74th against the run) much to his liking this week.

What a strange year for the Vols. They've lost three games, all in blowouts, yet control their own destiny in the SEC East. Still, you get the feeling one more bad loss could be the death knell for Phil Fulmer.

Florida State (+6) at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Was that the real Florida State we saw against Boston College last week? Was that the real Drew Weatherford?

Speaking of, was that the real Sean Glennon (wearing his Halloween costume, no less) against Georgia Tech last week?

These are two of the nation's more confounding quarterbacks, and Florida State is the nation's most confounding team. They've put together two very solid efforts in a row -- led by Weatherford and the defense -- in wins over Duke and Boston College. Can they make it three?

No. 18 Auburn (+1.5) at No. 10 Georgia, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Speaking of confounding teams, there's a pair in this matchup. You have Auburn, conquerors of Florida, challengers of LSU, yet losers to Mississippi State and South Florida. On the other side, Georgia, which crushed Florida, yet got smoked at Tennessee.

Georgia needs to win out and have Tennessee lose a game to get to the SEC championship. Auburn won't be there in Atlanta, but the Tigers might, just might, be able to grab an at-large BCS bid if they win out.

Georgia's Knowshon Moreno has had back-to-back career games, but not against the likes of Auburn's defense.

No. 4 Kansas (-6) at Oklahoma State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Kansas has the best opportunity of any of the contenders for the national-title game to make an impression down the stretch. They have this game, which will be shown to most of the nation in prime time, plus games against Missouri and potentially Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship.

Win all of them, and that's the kind of season-closing resume that might make it hard for even the most stubborn of pollsters to keep ranking Kansas behind LSU and Oregon -- particularly if the Tigers keep winning white-knuckle affairs.

Kansas's early schedule was a joke, but we'll know if they're for real by season's end. In the meantime they're a balanced team -- the only school in the nation ranked in the top 10 in both total offense and defense -- which is hitting its stride (76 points against Nebraska last week).

Oklahoma State is completely one-sided: great offense, miserable defense. This could be another high-scoring blowout for the Jayhawks, even on the road.

Fresno State (+17.5) at No. 16 Hawaii, 11 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Much like Kansas, Hawaii has ridden a ridiculously easy schedule to an undefeated record and possible BCS berth. Another similarity: The Warriors have their best opportunity to impress over the season's final month, when they will play the best of the WAC (Fresno, Nevada, and Boise State) as well as Washington out of the Pac-10.

Just as importantly, all four games are schedule to air on ESPN or ESPN2, which means both the poll voters and Heisman balloters get a chance to watch Hawaii, and quarterback Colt Brennan, rather than just read the box scores.

Fresno has a decent running attack and will try to pound Hawaii and keep Brennan on the bench. New Mexico State tried that approach two weeks ago without much success. They possessed the ball for 39 minutes, but lost 50-13.

As Warren says in the podcast, Hawaii kickoffs on national TV are the bane of football widows everywhere. Personally, I look forward to seeing at least one or two possessions before dozing off into blissful sleep on my couch. Maybe I'll wake up in time to catch the fourth quarter.


The SDA Podcast


Subscribe Free for future posts  Add this player to my Page

  Or, alternately, download the MP3 by clicking on the icon below:
The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Warren Says Russell Says
Louisville +16 West Virginia West Virginia West Virginia
Michigan -3 Wisconsin Michigan* Michigan
Alabama -5 Mississippi State Alabama Alabama
Arkansas Pick 'em Tennessee Arkansas Tennessee
Florida State +6 Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Florida State
Auburn +1.5 Georgia Georgia Auburn
Kansas -6 Oklahoma State Kansas Kansas*
Fresno State +17.5 Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Guest: Sam 3-3-2 (0-1-0)    
Guests Composite     39-36-5 (2-7-1)
Russell 3-3-2 (0-1-0) 35-40-5 (4-4-2)

Posted by: Russell Levine on 08 Nov 2007

119 comments, Last at 11 Nov 2007, 9:11pm by Alex

Comments

1
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 6:47pm

How can Darren McFadden, a college kid, afford the roughly $10K it costs for a set of 26" rims and tires? Plus the $5K+ it'd cost to put new suspension on that thing?

Are his parents rich, or are the boosters paying for it?

2
by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 7:03pm

Is Warren really picking Arizona State in the Auburn-Georgia game?

3
by crack (not verified) :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 7:35pm

#1
Too bad it wasn't his lock.

4
by DMP (not verified) :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 7:54pm

If I may add this about Hart, only because I agree with your final words: I loved watching the guy play from the beginning. I say him in person once when I went to Ann Arbor for MSU-UM in 04, when he was a freshman. It was just beautiful to watch the smallest guy on the field refusing to go down, never fumbling, always taking care of business. (And here I was a fan of the other team, and all this was happening while we were squandering a two score lead in the 4th while UM bombed away to their superstar receiver with the wind on their backs -- sound familiar? I want to kill myself.)

I still make that same comment every time I see him play, and it is incredible how he brings it every game. I don't even know if he ever fumbled the ball. His loudmouthing are cringe-inducing, but he is 21 or 22 with a chip on his shoulder. Mouthing off is going to happen. I think it is the rest of us adults who need to take some balance on that. You hear me, Coach Dantonio?

5
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 8:07pm

I love the Michigan State sniping about Hart and Michigan being classless-then showing a clip of Michigan State planting a flag in the middle of Notre Dame' field.

To any team or player that complains about a lack of class or respect...STFU.

6
by Russell Levine :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 8:08pm

Sorry - I butchered the table for the Auburn-Georgia pick. Warren picked Georgia, I picked Auburn. It's fixed.

7
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 8:37pm

And I say this as an Alabama fan about Saban. The price tag may have been outlandish (but they can afford it and it only puts pressure on the Auburns and LSUs) but I think Saban stays for a while-what a while means in Saban world I have no idea, but I say over 5 years. I think he knows his legacy and his name has been tarnished from the job-hopping/half-truths and he knows making Alabama into a national power once again will only seal his legacy and he will be more beloved then ever. I don't think he can afford to go to another school without taking a bigger hit in terms of reputation and I don't see a NFL team trying to get him back anytime soon. and the man loves to recruit, does he ever love to recruit.

And I agree-he has exceeded expectations-Alabama fans I think were expecting a 8-9 win season (same as the year before) but of course it is more then that-we look a lot better as a team then we have ever before. And I agree with the assessment. Alabama has been playing in a 3 man front since last season-though it was more of a 3-3-5 look then a 3-4. Though I think true freshman Rolando McClain looks like a future stud at LBer and Zeke has been playing well as an OLB. Prince Hall is a good tackler, but takes bad angles and is not fast is right.

8
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 10:10pm

I'm 7 - 3 this year vs the spread I'm on a two game skid. This week I'll take Georgia over Auburn.

9
by Russell Levine :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 11:23pm

Nice to see West Virginia wearing its pajamas tonight. I dare say that is worse than anything Oregon has worn.

10
by Rocco (not verified) :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 11:52pm

Russell- Let's not go quite that far. WVU's unforms aren't nearly as offensive visually as some of Oregon's uniform choices.

Only 21 points so far? Wow, defense.

11
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 11/08/2007 - 11:57pm

I agree with you, Russell. I believe those are the worst uniforms I've ever seen. Nothing Oregon has worn is anything near as bad in my eyes.

12
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 12:07am

West Virginia's defense has been underrated this whole season.

13
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 12:38am

Has Louisville had a single game where they've completed 3+ passes 10 or more yards downfield in any game this year? I missed the first quarter and the first part of the second, but I don't recall a single pass thrown 10+ yards downfield. To me, that looks like the biggest effect Kragthorpe has had on the team, and it doesn't look like a very good one.

14
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 12:40am

Nice to see West Virginia wearing its pajamas tonight. I dare say that is worse than anything Oregon has worn.

Who have believed four years ago, when Oregon introduced their all peasoup vomit unis, that ridiculous uniforms would become a trend?

I actually like Oregon's unis when they stay away from the yellow.

And the whole WVU is COOL, since the crowd is so into it.

15
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 12:45am

My Thursday nights just would not be complete without Lou Holtz's pep talk. That was outstanding.

16
by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 12:55am

14- His pep talks leave me both confused and motivated. I'm usually ready to tackle the neighbor after Lou's done.

17
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 1:07am

You know...WVU's unis are silly and fun.

Louisville's are just stupid. They need to get rid of the gold and de-emphasize the black.

18
by Fire Millen? (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 1:36am

Mike Hart is a great football player and a genuine person, no artifice. He loves playing and plays like it and talks like it. He is also the best running back at picking up D-lineman/blitzers I remember seeing in college ball

19
by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 2:39am

Well, that was an interesting last-gasp drive from UL. That's always a good time to break out the Captain Checkdown offense.

20
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 2:44am

hey let's have an after game interview with the concussive QB.

21
by oljb (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 5:18am

I just got back home from Morgantown having attended the Louisville-WVU game. I have a question for the more impartial observers of the game. It seemed, from my perspective, that the refs were calling a lot of holding penalties against the Mountaineers, but not on the Louisville O-Line, whose entire pass protection strategy seemed to rely on holding. I'm inclined to blame horrid Big East officiating in general, since they obviously haven't done the Cardinals any favors earlier in the season. What were you guys' observations about the officiating in this particular game?

Also, since depending on the outcome of the game, Pat White was going to get the credit or the blame (because of pretty solid general play marred by repeated fumbles), I'm glad he did what was necessary to come out on top. The game was way more exciting than I anticipated, which is good and bad I guess.

22
by MRH (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 2:22pm

It is only now, in year four, that he is starting pay dividences.

Are dividences tax-free? ;-)

23
by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 2:49pm

Re 20, I also thought it seemed like the officials had a more stringent definition of "holding" for West Virginia than for Louisville.

24
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 3:35pm

Re: 21

Only if you route them through an off-shore conglomerate. (fixed).

25
by Jon (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2007 - 5:16pm

With Rutgers playing tonight, I thought I would preempt the "they're 5-4? What happened to them?" posts.

The chief culprit this year is the defense. Skeptics wondered whether we would be able to maintain that high level of play with an undersized 260-lb front line, and they were right to an extent. The defensive line has been gashed by power running games. The linebacking corps lost a lot of experience to graduation, and Schiano still has little confidence in the CBs to not give opposing WRs large cushions. These were all problems in 2006 to some extent, but the difference then was that the team generated enough pressure up front, and forced enough turnovers that it was as a whole effective.

The team couldn't stop Maryland from running down their throats. Cincy's no huddle attack quickly tired them out. And they were far too undisciplined to stop West Virginia's two-headed monster.

Following closely behind has been the special teams play. Jeremy Ito has been very ineffective in his role as a rugby-style punter. The coverage units have really struggled, giving opponents excellent field position (a killer last week vs. UConn).

The offense hasn't been that bad. Some will point to Mike Teel's inconsistent play, but his troubles mainly owe to a lingering thumb injury. We've had very good play at WR this year for the most part, with Kenny Britt really breaking out, but more recently, Underwood has had trouble making catches. There were some personnel problems at TE, RG, and FB earlier that have been addressed. There's also the issue of Schiano running Rice into the ground. Kordell Young, the top backup, being out for the year has exacerbated that problem.

It's hard to see many positives from what's happened. The fans did have high expectations this year, and maybe it's healthy that they were tempered. The only other thing I can think of is that the market for Greg Schiano's services won't be very strong, compared to hot candidates like Brian Kelly and Randy Edsall. Now the world knows what we have long been aware of: he's a great recruiter, and a great program builder. But he also has plenty of shortcomings as a gameday coach, and is probably overextending himself in the defensive coordinator role.

26
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 12:58pm

I went to the Rutgers game last night. Don't know what it looked like on TV, but the weather was really miserable. A cold lingering mist/rain/snow that had everyone soaked to the skin, no matter how many layers you were wearing, by halftime.

It's a shame, Michie Stadium is as good a setting for college football as there is. I have to give it to the corps of cadets -- their enthusiasm (mandatory or not) -- is really amazing.

27
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 4:20pm

Wow, Michigan just got a huge break. An interception was ruled as a simultaneous catch (meaning the receiver reached around and got a hand on the ball the DB had cleanly caught), resulting in a 30-yard gain instead of an INT. Next play, touchdown, now the evil ones are only down 17-7.

28
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 4:40pm

Yeah, I agree, that was not simultaneous possession. I think I've seen more simultaneous possession calls this year than I had seen in about 25 years of watching football before this year.

Nice 52-yard field goal at the end of the first half for Clemson. Isn't that kicker the guy who shuttles back and forth between soccer and football?

29
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 4:49pm

Granted, Hart and Henne are out, so I expect Michigan to struggle offensively.

But the defense has been awful. Shawn Crable is a great athlete but he's too undisciplined, whether its bad penalties or constantly losing contain. Our LBs are getting lost in coverage and we can't tackle at all.

Glad to see that Carr and staff realize they have nothing to lose. Mallett has been throwing nearly every first down, pretty much the polar opposite from the approach Michigan took when he had to play against Illinois.

Oh, and I agree, I think Michigan got a break on that simultaneous possession call. Then again, I think the second personal foul on Crable was a phantom call. The QB is running an option and Crable tackled him high. But he didn't grab the facemask and didn't hit him late. Why should a QB running the option get the same protection as if he's passing from the pocket?

30
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 5:00pm

cognet.catch22.org for IRC football chat, channel #FO

31
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 5:03pm

J.P. Wilson just made a horrible play at the 2. Pass picked off in the endzone by State to gave Mississippi State the lead at halftime 10-9. Alabama gets the ball after halftime....but man we cannot let State in the game....

32
by CA (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 5:25pm

Wisconsin kicks a field goal to go up by 16 with a 4th and goal from the 1. Bielema struck me as an aggressive coach last year (especially with the brilliant multiple intentional offsides on the kickoffs against Penn State), but this year he has been a classic wimp, consistently punting or kicking on 4th and short.

33
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 5:33pm

Alabama doing the one thing they cannot do against Mississippi State...turn the ball over-a 100 yard INT return for a TD and then another one on the opening drive after halftime and State takes advantage....State up 17-9

34
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 5:40pm

If current results (Northwestern over Indiana, Michigan State over Purdue, Iowa over Minnesota) hold, every Big 10 team except Minnesota will be bowl eligible.

35
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 5:43pm

Don't you go for 2 there, to make it an 8-point game?

36
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:09pm

Re #35
You do if you're trying to win the game, but you don't if your main priority is avoiding overtime, so you're as ready as possible for next week's game. Let's face it, the Wisconsin game means nothing to Michigan. If they win and lose to Ohio State, they're not getting a BCS at large. If they lose and beat Ohio State, they're going to a BCS. And I bet the Capital One Bowl picks second place Michigan over third place Wisconsin.

37
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:23pm

Late first quarter, after a defensive TD when the RB never gets control of the handoff and the ball launches into the air, right to the DE: Air Force 10, Notre Dame 0. No Irish Commander in Chief's Trophy this year!

38
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:30pm

Good decision by Michigan to let 'em score there. It's still a 2-possession game, and they have two timeouts and over two minutes left.

If I was Wisconsin, I would've knelt twice to burn the timeouts, then run it twice.

39
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:35pm

And Michigan concedes, punting while down two scores late.

40
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:46pm

Saban gets Croomed!

41
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:49pm

Ugh.

OSU scores easily on their first possession, everything's looking good. Then they outsmarted themselves. Major overreaction on a running play, and a simple inside counter goes for about 70-some yards. Then someone's asleep at the switch and doesn't call timeout to challenge - the RB clearly lost the ball on the way down, a challenge would've given it to OSU at the 20. (I don't blame the official for missing it - his view would've been shielded.) Next play, easy touchdown.

42
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:52pm

Illinois got an enormous break there, essentially a free seven points. Clearly fumbled into the end zone, should have been Ohio State ball at the 20.

43
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:53pm

Ok, I like replay. I think the game is better with it than without it. I like that college isn't limited to a couple plays a game like the NFL, and teams might lose a game on a bad call because they'd already called their TOs.

Why the HECK wasn't that Illinois call reviewed? Illinois player (Mendenhall, I think) had a long run down inside the 5. As he went down, the ball came out and went forward into the end zone, where it was recovered by tOSU for a touchback. The ball was ruled down on the field, and and Illinois ran a bootleg pass for a TD on the next play to tie the game. I know it's early, 7-7 2 minutes in, but that call absolutely has to be reviewed. It's a major strike against college football that a supposedly comprehensive replay system misses major calls like this one.

44
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 7:05pm

Kiss of death by footballoutsiders and J.P. is broken.....he needs to be benched, but I don't think we have anything better.

45
by CA (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 7:14pm

Jack Ikegwuonu was the best player and best pro prospect on the Camp Randall field today.

If Michigan loses to Ohio State and Penn State and Wisconsin win next week, don't be surprised if the Nittany Lions and Badgers leapfrog them in bowl position and the Wolverines end up in the Alamo Bowl or Champs Sports Bowl. Yes, Michigan would be second in the Big Ten standings, but they would have one more overall loss than Penn State and Wisconsin and two losses in a row to end the season. They also would have a pathetic three home losses, and both the Lions and the Badgers would be ranked, while the Wolverines likely wouldn't be. Then there's the fact that Penn State and Wisconsin are among the best travelling teams in the country, while Michigan does not travel particularly well, particularly in a disappointing season.

46
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 7:22pm

I thought the Rose Bowl has a contract to take the Big Ten champ or the #2 in the conference if the champ is in the National Championship game.

47
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 7:27pm

If Nebraska doesn't win the all time award for the "weirdest football team over an eight day period"...

And to think, Kansas just barely got by Kansas State.

Indiana may have blown it's chance for it's first bowl in forever.

48
by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 7:31pm

46: The Big Ten won't have a second team BCS eligible (i.e. in the top 14 of the standings) if Michigan loses next week, so no Big Ten team in the Rose this year unless Michigan beats OSU next week.

Oh, or if OSU loses today and then wins next week. That would put them in the Rose.

49
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 7:44pm

re 34: If current results (Northwestern over Indiana, Michigan State over Purdue, Iowa over Minnesota) hold, every Big 10 team except Minnesota will be bowl eligible.

I'll have to update my thesaurus. I didn't realize "bowl eligible" was an acceptable way to say "mediocre."

50
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 7:53pm

#48: I too completely fail to understand what the big deal is about getting into a bowl game when all a team has to do these days is win half their games. I'm a fan of Memphis, whose defense is as bad as anybody's and THEY still have a chance to get 6 wins and be "bowl eligible".

The really sad part is, there will be so many teams this year with 6 wins thanks to more week to week inconsistency than I've ever seen that there will still be a lot of 6-win teams left out of bowls, which of course will fuel the cry for even MORE bowl games than the 40 or so they have now. Lord help us all.

51
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 7:59pm

Beautifully executed triple pick by Illinois. I understand that OPI isn't called a whole lot, but when you have two receivers actually tackle defenders in the end zone, it's gone a bit far.

52
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 8:02pm

Illinois takes the lead on tOSU right before halftime, aided by a 4th-down conversion and a pick on the DB that could have easily been called OPI on the TD pass.

53
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 8:36pm

Remember all that stuff I said critical about Todd Boeckman last week? Yeah, I meant it. You can't do stupid stuff like that and cost your team 3 points.

54
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 8:37pm

What kind of pro prospect do people think Todd Boeckman is? I was pretty surprised to see that Mel Kiper lists him as the No. 1 junior QB.

55
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 8:42pm

North Texas 49, Navy 45.

At the HALF!

56
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 8:45pm

Impressive drive by Illinois after the interception. And no OPI needed on that TD pass.

Though one of the Illini receivers almost screwed up the play by bringing his man into the area where the intended receiver was otherwise wide open.

57
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:15pm

Re #54
I don't think Boeckman is much of a pro prospect. He's 23, so he's a little older, but it's because he's redshirted and been injured, not because he did something like a Mormon mission or played baseball. From what I see, he's much more effective early in the game when you script the plays, has trouble making multiple reads (deep, else dumpoff, or look over the middle for the open crossing guy). If he's not 6'5", I don't think he gets drafted. Since he's 6'5", he'll get a shot, but he looks more like a 5th-7th round pick to me. For comparison's sake, I think Henne is a better pro prospect.

58
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:16pm

Who is the fool who called for a timeout when Illinois was ready to punt, when they obviously should have been going for it??? Why give them time to re-think it?

And of course, they pick it up easily. Ugh.

59
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:17pm

I might be depressed right now, but at least I am not a Notre Dame fan.

60
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:19pm

I also don't think much of Boeckman's pro prospects. He has the prototypical size, decent mobility, and an OK arm. But he makes horrible decisions, such as throwing it deep when the safeties are lining up 20 yards deep and dropping at the snap (like last drive, for example). I just don't see him doing well in the NFL. Maybe with another year as the full-time starter, he might turn out OK, but if he hasn't picked it up by now, when will he?

61
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:23pm

The fact that Boeckman's Kiper's #1 junior QB might have more to do with a lack of NFL prospects in that class. What other junior QBs are out there?

62
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:24pm

58:
Think Tressel might be second-guessed a bit on that one? I said when he took that timeout that Illinois would go for it after getting the chance to think it over. Illinois has now run close to 4 minutes off the clock since that 4th down and they're almost in field goal range.

63
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:26pm

Memo to OSU - they are running the QB draw on every third down. You might want to pretend like you're defending it occasionally. Here's another hint - when the O-line doesn't even drop back pretending to pass block, it's going to be a run. When the guards fire out downfield, stop the pass rush and tackle the ballcarrier. My goodness.

Now, I do think Illinois is doing me a favor here. I've not thought too highly of OSU this year, and we all know they ascended to #1 basically by default. So if they won this week and next, they'd go to the title game, and probably have a maybe 25-35% chance to win. They'd be like Oklahoma a few years ago, when they kept waltzing through the regular season, getting whooped in the title game, and nobody takes them seriously yet. (Of course, they could always pull the upset, and we could all celebrate a "can you believe they actually won?" championship.) Now, they can beat Michigan and go to the Rose Bowl, which is about where they belong. And I don't think any of us could really complain about that result with this team.

But seriously, I know they deserve to lose today, but I'm still furious.

64
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:27pm

I can't believe Illinois pulled this one off! Who said this was a weak weekend for college football?

65
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:28pm

What the heck was Jooce doing on that kneeldown? Why did he have to stand there so long instead of just kneeling, inviting a cheap shot... oh hey look, a fight broke out! How completely predictable.

66
by oljb (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:31pm

Trogdor,
I think he was making sure that the clock ran down enough that they could end the game before 4th down.

67
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:32pm

They just got done saying that OSU's chances for a National Title are dead.

Are they really? If either LSU or Oregon were to lose again, shouldn't a one loss OSU team at least be in the discussion?

I thought Ron Zook was a terrible hire for Illinois. I was wrong.

68
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:32pm

65, I think he was making sure the clock would run out without a 4th down play.

69
by CA (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:38pm

Michigan is now looking at a probable fifth place bowl game if the likely favorites win next week (Ohio State, Illinois, Penn State, Wisconsin). If they had beaten Wisconsin, they were looking at the Capitol One Bowl at worst and possibly even the Rose Bowl even if they lost to Ohio State. By losing to Wisconsin, they are now looking at a probable Champs Sports Bowl or Alamo Bowl. Who said the Michigan-Wisconsin game didn't matter?

70
by CA (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:39pm

Re: 69 That would be Capital One Bowl.

71
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:40pm

#47: If and ONLY if Oregon and LSU both lose. Because remember, KU is unbeaten.

But if that doesn;t happen TOSU is out, and they should be. Thanks to Michigan's loss TOSU's SOS also took a hit so they don't even have that going for them.

I'm not going to kick Trogdor when he's down though because if I did I'd invite the same kind of karma that might--MIGHT--have been in play today :-)

BTW don't let Zook fool you. He still sucks. Every now and then he'll pull off a win like this (he beat LSU in their title season don't forget) but ultimately he's still the same old bumbler he's always been. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Illinois loses next week, regardless of who they're playing.

Meanwhile stupid UCLA is about to cost their conference any chance at an at-large BCS bid after rolling over for two conference bottom feeders. Typical Bruins.

72
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:42pm

Or maybe not.

73
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:42pm

#61

Chase Daniels, Graham Harrell, Rudy Carpenter, Cullen Harper....yeah its more about the guys after that (Tebow, Stafford, McCoy, others I have forgotten)

74
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:47pm

BTW #63 was one of the best non-homerish posts I've ever seen. Trogdor's still angry, but he doesn't let it skew his realistic outlook.

The warning signs were there though when they struggled early against Wisconsin and they also only beat the Illini by 7 last year. But still, even this season it's still mind-blowing that they actually lost. I kept switching back and forth to that game just waiting for TOSU to score the typing TD and every time I looked Illinois had the ball. NOBODY runs the last 8 minutes of the game off with a one-score lead, it's just not done.

75
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:49pm

BTW Navy is now leading North Texas 65-56--in the 3rd QUARTER. That's right, North Texas could score over 60 and LOSE.

76
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 9:53pm

71- Let's say Oregon, LSU, and KU lose. The winner of Missouri vs Oklahoma would likely be #1.

Who is #2? Should West Virginia *automatically* get in over OSU?

They probably will, for no other reason than OSU lost most recently. The polls stink and the computers should have at least have 1/2 of the weight in the BCS.

77
by Jon (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 10:04pm

Neither has played the best OOC schedule. Based on the App. State loss, I honestly can't see a 1 loss Big Ten team in the MNC game now.

78
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 10:04pm

Remember that playoffs or no playoffs discussion about a week ago? I'd say this season has just convincingly won the argument for us pro-playoff advocates.

Seriously, how can the BCS decide this year's champion with any sort of authority? It couldn't be more obvious that the top 8 teams just need to play it out. The anti-playoff people keep saying every game counts but what they don't realize is that every game counting is actually destroying their position at the moment.

What will people say if KU and Hawaii are the only two unbeaten tams after the regular season and neither is even considered to play for the title?

79
by oljb (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 10:15pm

If KU goes undefeated and wins the Big 12 championship, they will almost certainly play in the NC. I would have to think that their SOS would strengthen pretty significantly considering who they'd have to beat, as well as poll perception.

Kevin11- I think the fact that Michigan lost to App St early in the year and got back to TWELFTH by today is an argument for WVU's earlier loss giving it an advantage over OSU's recent loss. But of course there are other factors. Assuming WVU wins out, (which isn't a given in reality), its computer rank should increase since UConn and Cincy have more wins than the Big East teams they've played so far, thus backloading its SOS. The Miss St win is looking better as well.
But lord only knows what will happen between now and then.

80
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 10:21pm

Remember that playoffs or no playoffs discussion about a week ago? I’d say this season has just convincingly won the argument for us pro-playoff advocates.

Wow, you thought you were right all along? Shocker. Seriously, did 2005 convincingly win the argument for the BCS for you?

The season is far from over, and there's still a good chance there will be a gap between #2 and #3 when the season is over.

81
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 10:27pm

Through 10 games, the Navy Midshipmen are scoring *and* giving up over 40 points per game (through the last five games, it's *50* per game). Has that ever happened before?

82
by Dennis (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 10:43pm

Remember that playoffs or no playoffs discussion about a week ago? I’d say this season has just convincingly won the argument for us pro-playoff advocates.

I totally agree. If this season doesn't start a big push towards a playoff system, nothing will.

Who is #2? Should West Virginia *automatically* get in over OSU?

Yes. Aside from the factor of when the loss occurred for each time (which I don't think should matter but it does), WV played a tougher schedule. The Big East is much better than the Big Ten this year and Miss. St. is much better than anyone OSU played non-conference.

83
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 11:39pm

North Texas scored 62, and LOST. In regulation.

They missed the record for most points scored in 1A in a losing effort by one point. Rice scored 63 and lost to San Jose State in '04 in a game I completely don't remember.

84
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 11:47pm

Re: 78

If KU is unbeaten after this year is over, that will include beating Missouri and Oklahoma - 2 late-season top-10 teams. I would venture that an undefeated record capped with those victories would put KU in the championship game.

As for Hawaii, the "didn't-play-a-tough-team" argument works as well as the theoretical weeding-out that would occur in a playoff format.

In my mind, the Ku-Hawaii undefeated argument is a push.

85
by flounder (not verified) :: Sat, 11/10/2007 - 11:51pm

Re: 70 It's the Citrus Bowl damn it :)

86
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 12:15am

This season will have nothing to do with creating momentum for a playoff.

Whether or not we get a playoff (and we will -- eventually) has nothing to do with anger over muddled championships. There is only one factor that matters: money.

Right now, the 6 BCS leagues control all the money in postseason football. No matter how controversial the BCS is every year, all those schools still get paid. You think the president of Vanderbilt cares if somebody gets screwed by the BCS?

A prediction: This year two of a four-year rotation of the double-hosting model. When this rotation is complete, they'll turn the extra BCS game into a one-game playoff, picking participants from the other four games. That will solve nothing, but it will last for at least one four-year rotation before they try something else.

At the very earliest, a playoff won't happen for another six seasons after this one.

87
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 12:32am

Wow, I can actually picture Russell cackling evilly after making that post. "You'll never get your precious playoffs, do you hear me? NEVER!!! MUAHAHAHA!!!"

BTW the president of Vanderbilt doesn't even really care about their own teams, since Vandy made the decision to drop the AD position altogether, so that was a bad example.

88
by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 12:32am

82: How is the Big East so clearly better than the Big Ten? South Florida has gone into the tank, Cincy is OK but nothing special, Louisville is meh, Rutgers is wildly inconsistent, and UConn, who until today was tied for first, needed a HORRIBLE ref call to beat Temple. TEMPLE. The team that's mired at about 140 in the Sagarin ratings (for comparison, that's 70 behind Appalachian State and Stanford).

I fail to see where that's a group so much better than Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin and Illinois.

89
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 12:33am

Wow, I can actually picture Russell cackling evilly after making that post. "You'll never get your precious playoffs, do you hear me? NEVER!!! MUAHAHAHA!!!"

Do at least try not to act like a James Bond villain the next time the playoffs are brought up, will ya? :-)

BTW the president of Vanderbilt doesn't even really care about their own teams, since Vandy made the decision to drop the AD position altogether, so that was a bad example.

90
by navin (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 12:40am

Since you cited Sagarin, I'll provide his conference ratings.

CONFERENCE CENTRAL MEAN SIMPLE AVERAGE TEAMS

1 SOUTHEASTERN (A) = 80.69 80.36 ( 1) 12
2 BIG EAST (A) = 78.48 77.64 ( 4) 8
3 BIG 12 (A) = 77.90 77.67 ( 3) 12
4 PAC-10 (A) = 77.44 78.11 ( 2) 10
5 ATLANTIC COAST (A) = 76.86 76.68 ( 5) 12
6 BIG TEN (A) = 76.13 76.12 ( 6) 11

91
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:00am

#87: The top and bottom look just right to me, but the Pac 10 is the second best conference this year IMO.

92
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:13am

Wow, Navy beat North Texas 74-62 (in football, not basketball!), which set the D-I record for most points scored in a game. The teams combined for over 1300 yards of offense, including Navy racking up 572 yards rushing with 8 rushing touchdowns.

93
by Alex Altman (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:13am

58:
Think Tressel might be second-guessed a bit on that one? I said when he took that timeout that Illinois would go for it after getting the chance to think it over. Illinois has now run close to 4 minutes off the clock since that 4th down and they’re almost in field goal range.

He called the timeout because there were 12+ men on the field, so it would've been a penalty anyway. He apparently sent the punt returners out without taking any of the defenders off the field first.

Memo to OSU - they are running the QB draw on every third down. You might want to pretend like you’re defending it occasionally. Here’s another hint - when the O-line doesn’t even drop back pretending to pass block, it’s going to be a run. When the guards fire out downfield, stop the pass rush and tackle the ballcarrier. My goodness.

Honestly, I have no idea what they were thinking. It absolutely astounded me that I didn't once see Juice Williams face a stacked box. Even when they lined up with 4 WRs, you knew they'd run the ball, so why not just put 8 guys in the box and force Illinois to use more than two pages of their playbook for the final two drives? It would've been better to give up a deep pass for a TD right away than let Illinois run 14 minutes off the clock in only two drives!

And why weren't there more blitzes? It doesn't matter that you would potentially give up another TD. If you never get the ball back you're going to lose anyway!

Just a stunning departure from sanity by a normally very intelligent coaching staff.

Now, they can beat Michigan and go to the Rose Bowl, which is about where they belong. And I don’t think any of us could really complain about that result with this team.

You hit the nail on the head. Really, how much has there been to complain about for the last three years, anyway? We've gotten at least a share of the Big Ten title each year, and if we beat Michigan, that'll be three in a row, too, with three straight BCS bowls.

And we've had, what, 4 losses in the last three years? That's nothing. In 2004, we had as many losses before our bowl game, and they were pretty ugly losses, too. Overtime against Northwestern, 33-7 against Iowa, and then that Purdue game where Troy Smith threw 3 INTs. I mean, it could be a lot worse than a close loss to a good team after a 10-0 start. Just ask Notre Dame.

93
by Dennis (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:13am

Re 86: Illinois, Wisconsin, and Penn State are not that good, and I say that as an Illinois fan. Michigan has been playing well, but they still lost to a I-AA team. OSU's non-conference schedule was as laughable as anyone's.

95
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:15am

Georgia might be one of the best teams in the country right now...I hope someone beats Tennessee so Georgia can be in the SEC championship....

96
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:21am

I forgot to mention the craziest stat from the Navy vs North Texas game:
In the course of scoring 74 points and gaining 680 yards, Navy faced just 5 third downs! This is probably a result of the fact that Navy averaged over 10 yards per play.

97
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:25am

I really wish I could watch an Oklahoma State game without having to hear from Boone Pickens.

98
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:32am

#91: Georgia should've beaten the Vols when they had the chance instead of getting rolled by them. It's their own fault if they can't get into the SEC title game.

#93: THAT was the legendarily rich T. Boone Pickens I've been hearing about? That old geezer?

99
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:39am

Ah, that disciplinarian Randy Shannon. No names on the unis, a no-nonsense coach, etc.

Virginia 48, Canes 0. Unimaginable five years ago.

Last year they said Coker lost the players, and he may have. But Shannon has hardly been the answer.

I thought he was, and I thought Miami would be a major player this year.

100
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:02am

94: I'm sure, somehow, it's all Ty Willingham's fault.

Ah! That's what I should've done earlier! Why didn't I think to blame everything on John Cooper? Or even better, Earl Bruce? Man, that guy really screwed things up today!

100
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:02am

Don't look now, but OK State is coming back hard against KU, two straight TDs to cut the lead to 5 with plenty of time left.

102
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:04am

#91: Georgia should've beaten the Vols when they had the chance instead of roilling over for them. They have nobody to blame for themselves for not reaching the SEC title game. It's a bit too late to turn it on now, mass endzone celebrations and black jerseys nonwithstanding. All just a bunch of macho posturing if you ask me.

#93: That old geezer was the legendarily rich T. Boone Pickens? Didn't impress me too much.

103
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:08am

#95: You're wrong, it's all Woody Hayes's fault :-)

You gotta love Notre Lame fans blaming this season on Willingham and continuing to cling to the silly notion that Weis is still the smartest man on the planet. Or something.

104
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:09am

Woody is a saint!

105
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:12am

well that and putting it on Auburn and Florida as well. You can posture all you want when you are rolling up 40+ points

I say that because Georgia has a chance of beating LSU, while Tennessee has no chance of doing it.

106
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:15am

95- Not sure where you're coming from there...tell us more. Have something to say? Say it.

107
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:19am

#100: And to that I say, so what? The Vols definitely had a chance of beating Georgia and they did it. Emphatically.

Is it pathetic that a team with three blowout losses has a chance to play its way into a BCS bowl? Absolutely. I'm a Vols hater. But these last two wins by Georgia are basically meaningless. I see no reason to heap praise on a team that has to rely on juvenile gimmicks for motivation after they lost the one game that truly mattered to them badly.

108
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:27am

and what one considers juvenile, someone else considers a head coach figuring out that he needed his team to get their head out of their butts somehow and is doing a good job of it.

Georgia is playing great football....and to say that the Florida and Auburn games don't matter is highly questionable-2 big rivalry games that means a lot to both schools. Sure it does not matter in terms of who is playing in a national championship, but it means a lot to the schools and the players.

109
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:48am

Is it pathetic that a team with three blowout losses has a chance to play its way into a BCS bowl?

Wait- you want playoffs.

A loss is a loss is a loss in every sport. Except college football.

Please name the sport where you would apply such a standard.

110
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:51am

#104: What standard are you talking about exactly? (Scratches head.)

111
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 3:07am

This is some of the most crisp play I've seen out of Hawaii this year. I'm impressed.

112
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 3:15am

#106: I've been pretty impressed so far myself. I expected the Rainbow Warriors to be a lot more ragged.

Of course just as I type that they give up a big again on a middle screen.

113
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 3:49am

104- You referred to "blowout losses".

What other sport takes the strength of a loss into effect?

In theory, a 9 - 7 NFL team could be in the playoffs- eligible for the Super Bowl- with FIVE blowout losses.

So why is this OK in the NFL, but a problem with Tennessee?

114
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 5:05am

#108: Because they're in position to actually play in a BCS bowl, that's why. All a 9-7 NFL team is guaranteed is a spot in the playoffs. Also, there's that whole losses being a lot more damaging in college football thing.

Update: Colt Brennan just took a WICKED shot, we're talking Trent Green VS Cincy from last year territory here. He didn't have to get carted off or anything like that, but he had to have sustained at least a minor concussion and I don;t know if he'll be back. Oh, and Hawaii is now only up by 14 with Fresno having the ball and plenty of time left. Hawaii's offense has slowed to a trickle even with Brennan in there after the first quarter.

115
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 5:30am

Fresno State cut the lead to 7 with a minute and a half left but couldn't recover the onsides kick. Hawaii doesn't impress me much at all, and I'm not sure what Brennan's status will be for Nevada. I'm calling it now, Nevada's gonna win that one.

116
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 8:30am

Congrats to Illinois. Fantastic job.

OSU under Tressel does the "weird coaching decisions" thing every so often. It's inexplicable. They have games where obvious choices are not made. It really is peculiar.

I really doubt a banged up Michigan team can beat OSU. Wisconsin's defense is poor and except for a few broken plays more than held its own against the Wolverines. OSU's defense, the semi-intelligent version, is far superior.

117
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 12:54pm

108- 2006 regular season: Jacksonville 44, Indianapolis 17. Blowout. Yet somehow the Indianapolis Colts were "allowed" to play in, and win the Super Bowl.

The Tennessee Volunteers haven't exactly made it to a BCS Bowl yet. There's a tough game uppcoming vs Kentucky, and a small matter of the SEC championship Game against LSU.

Really, your railing against a system based on hypotheticals. And if UT beats the odds and plays in the Sugar Bowl at 10 - 3, I hardly see any travesty in it.

118
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 1:09pm

My Meaningless Top 25:

1. LSU
2. Oregon
3. Oklahoma
4. Kansas
5. West Virginia
6. Missouri
7. Ohio State
8. Arizona State
9. Georgia
10. Southern Cal
11. Florida
12. Clemson
13. Texas
14. Boston College
15. Illinois
16. Virginia Tech
17. Michigan
18. Virginia
19. Cincinnati
20. Wisconsin
21. Tennessee
22. South Florida
23. Kentucky
24. UConn
25. Auburn

119
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 9:11pm

OSU under Tressel does the “weird coaching decisions� thing every so often. It’s inexplicable. They have games where obvious choices are not made. It really is peculiar.

Yeah. I guess I should at least be happy that it doesn't usually happen against Michigan. And now that I'm not as angry and drunk as I was last night, I can even say this in defense of their decisions:

In their first 8 drives, Illinois called passing plays on 7 of their 8 third downs, so Tressel & co. didn't have a ton of time to recognize the whole "run on third down" thing.

It really only happened in the last three drives, when they called running plays on 7 of their 8 third downs, only passing when it was 3rd-and-17. Those last three drives did take up about 20 minutes of gametime, so it would've been nice if they could've figured it out somewhere along the way, but I can understand how it could go unnoticed.