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» FEI Week 13: Undefeated and Unloved

Florida State has yet to lose a game this year, but there's a reason you won't find them at the top of most rankings.

04 Oct 2007

Seventh Day Adventure: No More Misery

by Russell Levine

I like to complain about how much heartache Michigan has put me through over the years -- and I'm not exactly alone. Michigan fans, and fans of any program that is consistently good but rarely great, tend to grow dissatisfied even in victory. Every once in a while it helps to step back and try to gain some perspective as to just how spoiled you become rooting for one of college football's "haves."

Helping me see the light this week is Football Outsiders's own Michael David Smith. MDS (which is all we ever refer to him by over here) has the unfortunate distinction of rooting for both the University of Illinois and the Detroit Lions.

As such, he's become way too familiar with seasons of four or fewer wins. And yet, he comes back each year with renewed optimism. MDS was scheduled to be the guest on this week's podcast long before we knew that Illinois would have a huge game against Wisconsin this Saturday. Is he a Ron Zook believer? Will he take the bait -- and lay the points -- on his beloved Illini, who are actually favored against fifth-ranked Wisconsin?

For the answer to that question, you'll have to listen to this week's podcast. Here are the games we'll be discussing this week:

#8 Kentucky (+3.5) at #11 South Carolina, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Which one of these teams is for real? Both are surprising entries in the top 11; South Carolina is there despite an early loss (a solid showing in a 12-point defeat by LSU two weeks ago).

Steve Spurrier's offenses have been underwhelming in his time at South Carolina, but he's up to his old tricks in one regard: playing musical QBs. Starring in the role of Danny Wuerffel is Chris Smelley, a highly touted recruit who has replaced the erratic Blake Mitchell. (Take your pick: He's either Terry Dean or, more likely, Noah Brindise in this analogy.)

Smelley appears to have given the offense a lift, and it'll be needed because there's no way the Gamecocks can hold the Kentucky offense and Andre' Woodson down enough to win a low-scoring affair. As for Woodson, another big performance here in a rare national-TV start for the Wildcats could be enough to put him firmly in front of the Heisman chase.

With LSU and Florida visiting the next two weeks, Kentucky SEC's East title hopes will take a major hit with a loss here.

#5 Wisconsin (+2.5) at Illinois, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Raise your hand if you thought Wisconsin would be an underdog in this game. I know point spreads are a very weak way to judge teams, but in this case I think Ilinois being favored over the supposed fifth-best team in the nation speaks volumes about the shakiness of the Badgers' play thus far.

Wisconsin has defensive issues and has not looked dominant at any point this season. They barely escaped with a win at home against Michigan State last week.

Illinois should be riding high after earning the biggest win of the Ron Zook era by beating Penn State last week. Is all that blue-chip talent Zook has brought to Champaign about to start paying huge dividends? We begin to learn the answer here.

Kansas at (+3) #24 Kansas State, 12 p.m ET, FSN

Raise your hand if you thought these teams would have a better combined record than Oklahoma and Texas.

Kansas has played a schedule that would make Texas Tech's Mike Leach blush, so the fact the Jayhawks have bombed everyone in their path must be taken with a grain of salt the size of ginormous K-State QB Josh Freeman.

Kansas State whipped up on Texas last week, hanging 41 points on the Longhorns at home. This is a team that is growing in confidence. Their only loss was a narrow one, at Auburn in the opener. And the Wildcats have to be upset that they're still looking up at Texas in the polls despite having the same record and winning by three touchdowns.

Kansas is undefeated and will likely finally get some respect from the poll voters if they can pull the upset. But they'll have to do it in the hostile environment of ... The Power Towel.

#10 Oklahoma (-10.5) vs. #19 Texas (at Dallas), 3:30 p.m. ET ABC

The Red River Shootout certainly took a hit last week as both teams lost in shocking fashion.

Still, Texas's loss had to be less of a surprise, despite the large margin. The Longhorns have been flirting with disaster all year. Nobody saw Oklahoma's fall to Colorado coming, as the Sooners had been destroying everyone in their path.

Oklahoma probably still believes it can get to the national title game by winning out, but it's doubtful given the weakness of the Big 12. None of that will matter if the Sooners don't stomp Texas. With Texas quarterback Colt McCoy banged up, it's entirely possible OU does just that.

#12 Georgia (+2.5) at Tennessee, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

This might be the strangest line of the week. Tennessee has played two teams with a pulse and lost twice, including a 39-point shellacking at Florida. They've surrendered 105 points in those two losses (the other was at Cal to open the season). There are rumors that another loss could seal Phil Fulmer's fate as coach of the Vols, and you just get the sense that the wheels could come off the UT program at any point.

Yet the Vols are a narrow favorite over a Georgia team that appears to be moving in the other direction. The problem for Georgia has been offensive consistency, a somewhat forgivable sin given that Matthew Stafford is just a sophomore and is still maturing. The Bulldogs have had things clicking of late, and have scored 116 points in their last three outings. Stafford and friends must be thrilled at Tennessee's apparent complete lack of defense.

Tennessee has little trouble moving the ball, particularly through the air, and if the Vols get any kind of pass rush on Stafford, they maybe, just maybe, can outscore the Bulldogs. Problem is, Tennessee hasn't shown any ability to do that this year.

#20 Cincinnati (+3.5) at #21 Rutgers, 8 p.m. ESPN2

Rutgers, fresh off a stinging home defeat at the hands of Maryland, better get over its hurt in a hurry. South Florida is getting all the attention in the Big East, where the preseason big three of Rutgers, Louisville, and West Virginia combined for four losses in September. Cincinnati opened some eyes when it dismantled Oregon State four weeks ago, but can really make a splash with its second straight win over the Scarlet Knights.

Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly, is in his first year with the Bearcats, can also make himself a hot name in coaching circles -- and a very wealthy man -- if his team can make some noise in the Big East this season. There could be job openings at some very marquee programs, and Kelly is good enough to be a candidate in places like Knoxville and Ann Arbor.

Greg Schiano of Rutgers could also be a candidate for those kinds of jobs -- don't be fooled into thinking he won't ever jump ship just because he turned down a chance to interview at Miami last year -- but not if Rutgers stumbles this season.

#4 Ohio State (-7) at #23 Purdue, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Back in September, most Big Ten pundits thought the conference had four contenders: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin. Michigan and Penn State have combined for four losses, and though Wisconsin remains undefeated, the Badgers have hardly looked like world-beaters.

That leaves Ohio State, with another suffocating defense and an emerging offense, as the class of what is admittedly a pretty week conference.

Purdue represents the stiffest challenge yet for the Ohio State defense. Will it matter? Purdue should get some yards and points, but the Buckeyes may have a clear advantage on the other side of the ball when their offense takes on the Boilermaker defense.

#9 Florida (+9) at #1 LSU, 8 p.m. ET, CBS

This is now an elimination game for Florida if it has any hopes of defending its 2006 national title. The strength of the SEC -- at least in the minds of voters who barely punished the Gators for losing at home to unranked, two-loss Auburn -- means Florida can win out, presumably sweeping two meetings from LSU along the way -- and get to the title game in New Orleans.

But Florida won't get a sniff of the flesh-and-beads parade in the Big Easy if it doesn't do something about a defense that has real issues defending the pass. It's not just the secondary, either. Florida is giving opposing quarterbacks too much time to throw against its inexperienced cornerbacks. That combustible mix was enough to make Auburn's Brandon Cox look like a seasoned pro last week.

Things will be much worse if the same issues present themselves against LSU. The Tigers' tendency to go flat for long stretches against lesser teams is a concern, but they are monsters on both sides of the ball. LSU wants revenge for a meltdown in Gainesville last season. Get it, and they're halfway to New Orleans.


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The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home MDS Says Russell Says
Kentucky +3.5 South Carolina Kentucky Kentucky
Wisconsin +2.5 Illinois Wisconsin* Wisconsin
Kansas +3 Kansas State Kansas Kansas State
Oklahoma -10.5 Texas Oklahoma Oklahoma
Georgia +2.5 Tennessee Georgia Georgia
Cincinnati +3.5 Rutgers Cincinnati Cincinnati
Ohio State -7 Purdue Ohio State Ohio State*
Florida +9 LSU Florida Florida
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Guest: Dave 4-4-0 (0-1-0)    
Guests Composite     19-20-1 (0-4-1)
Russell 2-6-0 (0-1-0) 18-21-1 (2-2-1)

Posted by: Russell Levine on 04 Oct 2007

223 comments, Last at 08 Oct 2007, 12:51pm by CA

Comments

1
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:38pm

I like the team that's playing Purdue as a Lock of the Week. The Boilers are doing an excellent job of overwhelming a weak schedule, but I fear that this week and next will reveal their true place in the Big Ten.

"Coach Tiller, San Antonio on line 2."

One of these days, I might actually go see them again ... I'm still scarred by the Tragedy in Tampa.

2
by PaulH (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:39pm

I usually say that the SEC is a very, very strong conference, and usually I think that's true. But this year, I'll be honest, I think the SEC is pretty weak.

Seriously, Florida looks so-so right now. South Carolina still doesn't look ready for the big-time. UGA is admittedly still improving. Kentucky is a nice story now, but I'm not sure anybody expects that to hold. Auburn has looked terrible, sans Florida. 'Bama is very much in rebuilding mode. Arkansas is a one-man show, and Ole Miss and MSU are still a long way off.

That leaves LSU, who is everyone's favorite, but I'm not sure they are that great. They looked unstoppable against a very overrated VT team, but aside from that, not much. But who is going to beat them?

And what about LSU jumping to #1 in the AP? To me, that was total BS. They go out and play Tulane -- one of the worst teams in the country -- and give up six sacks, struggled to rush for 100 yards, had 15 penalties, and almost trailed at half-time, and then they get moved to #1 for doing so?

I guess everyone else should just be relieved they didn't really dominate them or otherwise they would have just given them the trophy already.

Seriously, that's some stuff that supposed to happen with Notre Dame. I just wonder if it's all Katrina-related sympathy. I mean the media never had two shits for LSU before that, why the love now?

At this point, assuming that two teams don't go undefeated (and given how everyone has fallen, that seems unlikely), LSU is going to make the national championship game so long as they can avoid two losses. You all know as well as I do that a one-loss LSU will get the nod over a one-loss Florida, a one-loss Oklahoma, etc.

That said, I don't think they can handle USC even if they get there.

With all of the One-peat stuff, the FUSC bumper stickers, Les Miles' typical comments, etc., they just may get the fight that they've been looking for.

3
by Brooklyn Bengal (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:42pm

It's hard for me to imagine a "greater" team than Michigan has been these past 17 years (the approximate lifespan of my college football consciousness). A national championship in '97? Big Ten conference titles in '90, '91, '92, '97, '98? Three more conference titles so far this decade?Keeping arch-rivals OSU from playing for the national championship in '96(or was it '97?)?

Seriously, what other teams have been competitive for so long? USC had a truly dominant team for the past three years, but where were they in the '90s? Nebraska had a great stretch in the '90s, but where are they now? Ohio State consistently choked in the '90s but has been amazing in the '00s. Michigan has stayed competitive consistently throughout both decades.

So Michigan is arguably one of the top five college football programs over the past 17 years...and this coming from a Buckeyes fan. Yet you're crying about the Wolverines not being "great" enough? "Spoiled" does not go far enough.

But don't worry. You'll have one more loss to lament come November 17th...

4
by Brooklyn Buckeye (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:44pm

Whoops! Meant to change my name for the college discussion. There. Better.

5
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:48pm

This was mentioned in SI's "College Football Mailbag" on Wednesday, but coincidentally I had the same real-life discussion with a co-worker on Monday, which really pointed out to me how things change in the football world and how readily people can manage to hold two opposite positions simultaneously.

Most Monday mornings I have a college football discussion with a friend of mine who is an LSU fan - this week he began the discussion by pointing out that LSU was the new #1 ranked team.

I asked him what his opinion was on USC being co-champions a few years ago (this is something I already knew, but I asked it anyway). He immediately replied that USC is nothing, and that LSU was the only champion, and that the AP national title means nothing - only the BCS matters (we've had the discussion that the BCS acknowledges USC as co-champion, but that's another issue).

To which I pointed out that USC on Monday was handily #1 in the Coaches Harris polls, used by the BCS, while LSU was #1 only in the AP poll that he had just derided as "pointless" and "meaningless", and whose opinion (and champion) should be ignored.

To which he simply said "LSU is ranked #1" and ended the conversation. It made me think of "This is Spinal Tap" and "This one goes to 11." There was a mental block in place, absolutely and completely unable to see any inconsistency between the two positions.

6
by sam (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 6:06pm

3:

Florida? In the last seventeen years (the period you specify)... by the criteria you used...
2006 National Champions
1996 National Champions, defeating instate archrival FSU
2006 SEC Champs
2000 SEC Champs
1996 SEC Champs
1995 SEC Champs
1994 SEC Champs
1993 SEC Champs
1991 SEC Champs

7
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 6:38pm

Are Andre Woodson and/or Matt Bryant for real? I don't watch much college football, but as a Chicago Bears fan, I'm pretty curious about the QB's coming out this year.

8
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 6:49pm

Matt Ryan, sorry.

9
by bradluen (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 7:29pm

Woodson and Ryan are absolutely for real as college players... Woodson has a far better set of physical tools and is the far better pro prospect. I'd take Brennan and Brohm over Ryan.

10
by hooper (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 7:39pm

Well, let's add fuel to this fire...

Since the issue of conference championships in the last 17 years has been brought up as an indicator of team greatness (amongst other things, but I'll focus on this), consider that winning a conference championship is a function of two things:

1) The quality of the team.

2) The quality (or suckitude) of the other teams in the conference.

From an academic standpoint, it would be dishonest to talk about a team winning conference championships as a metric of quality without factoring the quality of the other teams in the conference.

Let the debate about the expected performance of a team randomly dropped in the SEC / Big 10+ / Pac-10 / Big-12 / ACC / Big East / whoever else be a part of the discussion.

(I grew up in WAC - now MWC territory, and have no dog in this fight. I don't really care about the whole issue, but it's fun watching those who stake their manhood on this issue have at it. By all means, fight away!)

11
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 8:32pm

1. Mike Stoops, Arizona. He may not make it through the month.
2. Mark Snyder, Marshall- remember where Marshall was ten years ago? Funny how then-coach Bob Pruett suddenly resigned and promptly vanished. I wonder what went on behind the scenes.
3. Dennis Franchione- I was going to put him at #1 after the newsletter fiasco, but since he hasn’t already been fired for that (as he should have been) he could save his job by winning the Big 12 North, or maybe even by coming close.
4. Houston Nutt, Arkansas- this should be a “good coach, good fit� situation. But Arkansas is crazy- they think they’re something they’re not.
5. Greg Robinson, Syracuse- he beat Louisville. But after losing to Miami of Ohio- a middle-of-the-pack MAC school- he’s reminding us what a disaster his regime has been.
6. Ed Orgeron, Ole Miss- he’s an embarrassment. I would have fired him after last year.
7. Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State- speaking of embarrassing, the SEC hired it’s first black HC in 2004. 2004! But Croom never struck me as a coach that would actually win games, and he’s proven me right- MSU has been a bottom dweller throughout Croom’s tenure.
8. Tommy West, Memphis- I doubt they won’t let him finish the season, but I can’t imagine West leading the Tigers in 2008.
9. Phil Fulmer, Tennessee- he’ll either shoot up or fall off the list after the Georgia game.
10. Dave Wannstedt, Pittsburgh. His recruiting classes are highly rated, but consider this- the last time someone other than Wannstedt was the HC at Pitt, they were playing in the Fiesta Bowl.

More than ten coaches will be fired before now and the end of the bowls, so if there’s a Bill Doba or two missing, that’s why.

12
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 8:33pm

Whoops- #11 is my list of the ten coaches most likely to be fired.

13
by Jon (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 8:38pm

Not even losing to an unranked team can stop the Schiano job speculation! I think Rutgers is going to win, simply because Cincy can't play the game Maryland did last week. They do have a stout defense, and force a lot of turnovers. But they are fairly weak on the OL, so if this is a trench war, Rutgers will run away with the game. I'll be at the game, hopefully it turns their luck around.

14
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 8:41pm

Pick of the week: Kansas +3 over Kansas State. I'm 4 - 1 so far this season, so my luck is bound to change.

15
by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 10:02pm

I'm curious what Lewin's projection system says about Woodson. Based on just the two numbers, Woodson should be insane in the pros - 40 games started (or will have by the end of this year), roughly a 60-61% completion average. That's got to be one of the best projected QBs in recent history. Should I root for the Bears to lose a ton of games so they can draft him now?

Matt Ryan has fewer games started (30ish, I didn't actually count them) and has a lower completion %. But he's still up there with the likes of Brady Quinn. He's probably going to do well.

16
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 10:15pm

I wonder what is more embarassing the SEC waiting until 2004 to hire their first black coach in their history, or the Big Ten and the Big East never hiring one ever in their storied histories.

I still don't think Croom is getting fired. Mississippi State was a terrible job when Croom took over and he has made them somewhat respectable.

17
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 10:48pm

16- Denny Green coached Northwestern in the early 80's.

Ron Cooper coached at Louisville before they were Big East. But yeah, an active BE member has never had a black coach, which is not good.

18
by Just Another Falcon Fan (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 10:51pm

Re: #16

Dennis Green was the head coach at Northwestern during 1982-1985.

19
by Russell Levine :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 10:56pm

Big Ten has never had a black coach?

Dennis Green, NW
Bobby Williams, MSU

come to mind.

Big East's storied history? It's less than 20 years old!

Now, if you want embarrassing, the SEC had a black head coach before the Ivy League.

20
by Russell Levine :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 10:57pm

Anyone else think Mr. Woodson is costing himself some coin tonight? Completely flailing on national TV sometimes has that effect.

21
by navin (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:00pm

Why are people bashing on the SEC? Here are their OOC wins against BCS teams.
Louisville
Oklahoma St.
Virginia Tech
Kansas State

losses:
Cal
FSU
South Florida

22
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:00pm

Dennis Green wasn't who lionsbob thought he was.

23
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:07pm

Damn you Internet and your false truths. And I remember Bobby Williams-sweet lord. I just do not see skin color or something.

I still do not think Croom is getting fired.

24
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:09pm

16- Not to pile on, but Jackie Sherrill had MSU rolling through one of it's most successful runs ever until his last few years. Croom's tenure is every bit as bad as Sherrill's worst years.

22- Lewin predictions aside, I've never even seen Woodson as a first rounder.

25
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:21pm

And Jackie Sherill also got the team on probation-which Croom had to work through as well. Sherill built his team on JUCO players-not saying Croom is not doing that either, but he is doing a lot better getting high schoolers.

26
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:25pm

#20: Yards in the 3rd quarter: Kentucky 155, South Carolina -15. Score in the 3rd quarter: South Carolina 7, Kentucky 3. Unbelievable.

27
by navin (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:27pm

Kentucky also keeps putting the ball on the ground. Three fumbles, two lost in the quarter.

28
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:27pm

And Rafael Little fumbles AGAIN. Somebody get some stickum for him ASAP!

Woodson's looked like just another mediocre dinker and dunker to me. He's better than Russell but not by a significant amount.

29
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:29pm

The Auburn win saved Croom's job for at least one more year, even if his team loses out. And West is now officially safe after the Memphis player murder. Those two aren;t going anywhere. Neither is Orgeron because Ole Miss doesn't want to admit they made a mistake so soon.

I live in west Tennessee, I know these things :-)

30
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:35pm

Oregeron just keeps on giving Ole Miss top 20 recruiting classes (that half qualify for the season) and the people in charge will keep on thinking its progress.

31
by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:38pm

I wonder what is more embarassing the SEC waiting until 2004 to hire their first black coach in their history, or the Big Ten and the Big East never hiring one ever in their storied histories.

They're no longer a Big East member, but Temple hired Ron Dickerson as its head coach for the 1993 season.

32
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:43pm

#30: Not to mention he runs off half the players he recruits by making them play a different position every week in spring camp.

And the Cocks score a TD on their first actual drive of the second half. Game over. Nice knowing you, Kentucky. Good luck getting drafted after this, Rafael Little.

Everyone was talking about Kentucky winning the SEC East, but what about Spurrier's boys? Right now they have as good a shot as anybody, and it's not as if he's never done it before...

33
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:43pm

yeah I hate the internet.

Is Ron Prince the first black coach of the Big 12 or even the old Big 8/SWC (I know the Big 12 is a newer conference)

34
by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:47pm

Re: 33

Bob Simmons was the first black head coach in Big Eight/Big XII history, coaching at Oklahoma State from 1995-2000.

35
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:49pm

#32

I still think Little gets drafted-he is too good not to. Great all-purpose guy. If having a bad game on the national stage was going to not get you drafted, JaMarcus Russell would have been screwed.

36
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:51pm

and now I remember the Blake era at Oklahoma as well. I got to stop watching TV while trying to recall head coaches.

37
by navin (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:07am

ballgame

38
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:08am

What happened to the Kentucky D??? -15 yards for the Cocks in the 3rd, and now two TDs on two drives in the 4th. Yeesh...

39
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:12am

34- Whatever happened to Bob Simmons?

When things were good at OSU his name came up to replace Barry Switzer as the Dallas Cowboys coach.

40
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:13am

#35: I'm still not sure. After the failure of Bush and the utter non-impact of third down scatback types over the years, teams may be off that kind of player for a while.

Then again, if Garrett Wolfe can be picked in the 3rd round, I suppose anything's possible.

41
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 1:19am

I don't know exactly what Lewen's projection of Woodson will be, but I'm sure it will be huge.

I mean somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 career starts, and if he keeps continuing at this pace, he's going to have a career completion percentage of 63.1%.

That's going to be a monster projection.

That said though, Woodson looked terrible tonight. A lot of times he just looked like he was throwing the football up for grabs, and his failure to protect the football was the main reason why the Wildcats lost.

Teams potentially looking to spend tens of millions of dollars on this guy in the next several months no doubt have to be very worried when they watch this game film.

42
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 2:11am

I wonder what Brohm's is going to be. He has missed 4 games the last 2 seasons-so I know he has started 21 games. He did not start as a freshman but had playing time. He will probably start 13 games this season as well. and his career completion percentage is going to be around 67%

43
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 2:36am

I think that Brohm will have around 33-35 starts, and a 65-67 percent completion percentage. That's going to be a high projection, no doubt about it.

And come to think about it, a lot of guys are seemingly going to have pretty high projections.

Matt Ryan of Boston College will have a pretty high projection. He's looking at around 30-33 career starts with about a 60% completion percentage.

Erik Ainge of Tennessee should also have a high projection. He will have started around 35 games and will have a completion percentage of around 62%.

John David Booty makes for an interesting guy. He's only going to start around 26 games, but that was mainly because he was playing at SC behind Leinart. Had he been at Tennessee, BC, Kentucky, etc., he would have been starting all along. He's going to have a completion percentage of around 63%.

Bottom line, it looks like a lot of guys will be getting high projections this year from the Lewen system.

With Woodson, Brohm, Booty, Ryan, Ainge, Henne, and others coming out, it's going to be a QB's draft, apparently.

44
by Lee Casebolt (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 3:01am

Before we get overly excited about Lewin System projections, how many of these QBs are going to be scout-graded as 1st/2nd rounders?

45
by bradluen (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 3:01am

Brennan is going to break the Lewin system: he'll end up with something like 36 starts and 71% completion. That projects, roughly, to demigod.

46
by bradluen (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 3:05am

FWIW, according to NFL Draft Countdown's overall player rankings:

#3 Brohm
#4 Woodson
#7 Ryan
#16 Brennan
#17 Henne
#28 Ainge
#31 Booty
#42 Keller

Unlikely all of them will go in the first two rounds, but most will.

47
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 3:13am

45 is right on Brennan and the Lewin system.

I think you would have to take it with a grain of salt due to the system he's playing in, but I think he's going to be projected as RoboQB.

48
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 3:23am

Bradluen is also right on the first / second round picks.

Sure some of these guys won't be, but you can rest assured that several will. I would imagine that we are going to see five or six guys go in the first and second round this year, and many if not all of those guys are likely to get high projections from the Lewin system.

At the moment, I don't see too many guys on the horizon that are going to be potential first or second round draft picks that haven't had a lot of starts or a low completion percentage.

49
by bradluen (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 3:53am

Sam Keller might only end up with 21 starts and 63% completion, but I don't think he's going in the first two rounds.

Can't see any QB not mentioned above going that early, unless someone like Chase Holbrook misguidedly declares.

50
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 4:42am

I, too, doubt that Keller is a first or second round pick.

At ASU, he was beaten out by both Andrew Walter and Rudy Carpenter -- definite negative -- and while he's doing okay at Nebraska, he's doing nothing special.

Thus far in 2007, his numbers are to worse than Zac Taylor's were a year ago in the exact same system. And considering that Taylor went undrafted, was cut as an FA by the Bucs, and is now playing in the CFL, that's not good for Keller's prospects.

To be sure, I think he may be drafted, but I definitely don't see first or second round coming out of him.

51
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 8:07am

Henne is a fraud. Not trying to pick a fight with our learned Michigan fan here but Chad Henne is not a good quarterback.

Last year he faced three good defenses in Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin during the regular season. He faired poorly in each case. Yes he threw for some yards against Wisco but also got picked off three times and each was a ridiculously bad toss. He certainly didn't impress against USC. Pretty much the same MO in 2005.

The guy is fine for college. But I will be legitimately stunned if he does anything of consequence in the pros.

52
by pete c (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 10:10am

i had kentucky plus five last night. dear God, that was a plain debacle. Can we put something in your projection for the way a bettor feels when he realizes he backed rich brooks against steve spurrier?? kentucky looked like the better team, outgained SC, and still lost by 15

53
by DNW (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 10:20am

Two quick things as a Michigan fan...

#51: I agree that Henne is a fraud, I don't see why he grades higher than Navarre did. I can't imagine him as a starter in the NFL.

#2: The reason Michigan fans are unhappy about (potentially) being a top 5 program over the last few years, is simple... Even if Michigan was the second best program over that timeframe, if Ohio State was better it would still be quite hollow...

54
by James G (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:11am

11 - Since Franhione could save his job by winning the Big XII North, I take it that means there is no way he not going to be fired. OK, I know you meant South and just made a typo, but I thought it had a funny interpretation.

55
by Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:31pm

I do not see why people are so focused on how tan coaches are. Seriously, people!

Some ethnic groups do tend to have slightly different makeups with blacks having a greater percentage of fast-twitch muscles and a lower amount of subcutaneous fat (which makes them more suceptable to frost bite, but less suceptable to heat injuries). This tends to result in faster running (although not faster swimming or necessarily stronger in anerobic activities such as Strongman Competitions). This does not preclude individuals of other ethnic backgrounds from doing well in similar activities.

While Wide Receiver, Running Back, and Corner Back tend to offer more opportunity to those who can run a 4.3 or 4.4 40-yard dash, this is not one of the requirements for coaching. I seriously doubt that Bill Parcells or Bill Bellicheck or any other coach would be unable to win games if he could not run a 4.3 or 4.4 40-yard dash. Many people question why coaching is not more representative of the football playing community. Blacks represent a little over 10% of the U.S. population. People could similarly ask why the college and pros do not have more white or Asian football players. The majority of football players at the highest level do tend to be black and I believe this is large part because of the larger representation of blacks who are able to move quickly (although the culture could also play a factor).

I do understand that a great deal of exposure to football at the highest level can be beneficial to a person's knowledge, so I would not be surprised if a slightly larger representation of the coaches (especially position coaches) approach the representation of the players at the highest level rather than the representation of the general populace or the players (or fans) of the game at lower levels.

56
by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 1:09pm

Re 55:
The point is, with so many former players being black, one would expect that some of them would have the aptitude and inclination to coach the sport they played. It seems a little odd that so few have in fact become head coaches then, especially with all the retreads. I don't think the problem is racism as much as the coaches have a fraternal network and there's a lot of shuffling around without a lot of new blood getting opportunities. I do think it's something to watch and try to understand though.

57
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 1:50pm

you guys seem to be big on road dogs this week. not off to a good start

58
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 2:25pm

I don't really think that Henne is anything especially great either, honestly, and I don't think he'll be an issue in Lewin's projection system because he won't be a first or second round draft pick.

Also something else to keep in mind with Henne is his size. He's only 6'2, and that's just going to be another thing that keeps him a bit down the draft board.

Either way though, his projection won't be that high. He's going to have a ton of start, but his completion percentage is not going to be that high, only around 59% or so.

I don't think he'll be a problem.

59
by David Lewin (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 2:59pm

Woodson is going to have a pretty good projection with 37(ish) starts and completion percentage around 62. Ryan's will be mediocre with 31(ish) starts and 60%. Ainge will likely fall somewhere between the two. Brohm will be pretty highly ranked with 33-35 starts and 66% completions. Brennan is an interesting case obviously, and I will write about him at length after the season. His projection is likely to be the highest in the draft, although he is hurt right now and not playing all that well so there is a chance he drops.

Booty is actually the guy who I think breaks the system because he didn't start many game in college for no fault of his own.

60
by joe football (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 7:16pm

I don't think you have to worry about Booty and The System since he's probably not getting taken in the first two rounds

61
by Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 8:23pm

I have not liked the Florida Defense in the secondary since Stoops (or even Zook as DC? He was better at Special Teams, IMO, and recruiting) left. While I was pleased (as a Gator fan) to finally see a little pressure from the front seven (once or twice without blitzing, finally!), the secondary is even weaker in experience and I have always hated the system.

What system does Florida play in the secondary? It approaches a prevent defense. Covering 3 Wide Receivers it appears that at least 1 (and usually 2) of the cover guys start about 5-10 yards off the ball and are actually running backwards at the snap. I call this the "Holy Grail" defense (Monty Python reference - "Run Away! Run Away!"). This gives up almost a guarantee of 5-8 yards every play and both Auburn and Ole Miss took advantage of it.

The "Holy Grail" defense also depends on good tackling. Last year Reggie Nelson delivered some hard hits and forced fumbles and receivers to drop the ball when they heard footsteps. This year there have been a few missed tackles.

I hope Tebow is able to get some varied throwing. I hope there are more passes beyond the first down line rather than relying on YAC would be good, especially if Cooper and Caldwell are back. More variation could be done on the running (there might some decent running backs other than Harvin in the backfield). Even something simple... when Tebow finally tried to run behind the right guard rather than the left guard he did gain some yards.

62
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 10:09pm

55- I'm not one of those people that thinks that the number of minority coaches must be similar to the number of players. And I'll bet that you, like me, longs for the day when black coaches are just coaches. I can't wait for the day where a hiring is not a cause for celebration, and a firing is "just another coach getting fired".

The NFL has more or less arrived, college...not so much.

Having said that, I think America is about 17% black, but let's go with your estimate of 10%. I still think it's embarrassing that fewer than 10% of the SEC coaches are black, and that there has only been one- ever- and this is only his fourth year.

Remember, this is coming from someone that had no problem with Notre Dame canning Ty Willingham. Plenty of coaches get fired after three years.

63
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:57pm

Florida had a black coach for a game as well...Charlie Strong coached the team for the bowl game between the Zook and Meyer era.

I like Tyrone Nix-not sure if he is head coach material, but he should get a chance somewhere. Randy Shannon deserved the coaching job at Miami. Are there any other assistant coaches in the SEC who have a chance to be promoted?

64
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:58pm

Well, looking up Strong after the post. He was the first black coordinator in the SEC in 1999-when he became South Carolina's DC...

65
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 3:36am

55,

I think if you believe that Booty isn't going to be a first or second round pick, I'd suggest that you don't hold your breath.

Coming out of high school, he was the number one quarterback recruit in the country, and the only reason he didn't play right away was because he basically chose to go to what amounts to QB U at the moment. He's started two years, and looked great. He has great size, a big arm, and is accurate.

If you think he's going to be below second round, you've got a big shock coming. The odds are that he's in the top half of the first round.

66
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 3:46am

About black coordinators in the SEC...

Off-hand the only two I can think off are Reggie Herring at Arkansas, and Tyrone Nix at South Carolina. That's, of course, assuming that you probably already know of Charlie Strong at Florida.

I think all three have a good chance at getting HC jobs soon, but they are likely to have to go to a smaller school and work their way up. You usually don't have too many coordinator promotions to head coach in the SEC, regardless of whether or not you are a black.

John Chavis, the defensive coordinator at Tennessee, is a Native American, the only coordinator in the NCAA or the NFL that is a Native American. I know that's not black, but that's still a minority.

I suppose it's possible that he could get the UT promotion if Fulmer goes down, but as poorly as the Tennessee defense is this year, I figure the odds of that are very low. Plus, like most places, they'll want an experienced head coach if it comes open.

67
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:07am

I come out somewhere in the middle on Henne. I think he's certainly better than Navarre, but I don't see him as a first- or second-rounder. The size will hurt him, as will the completion percentage.

That said, I think there's only a handful of QBs in college football that can make some of the throws he makes. Last week vs. Northwestern on a 3rd-and-11, he looked off the safety and threw an absolute laser for a 16-yard TD on the skinny post. He definitely has NFL arm strength, and the ability to go through a progression. He needs to improve his accuracy to be an elite pro prospect, however.

68
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 12:34pm

Wow...Louisville is so off-the-radar that no one even noticed they lost at home to Utah.

I'm amazed at the impact the Nick Saban hiring has had on the SEC. Despite Saban being only 3 - 2 (yes, it's early) suddenly no other SEC coach is good enough. Tommy Tuberville has done an incredible job at Auburn, yet the Tiger Faithful are now lusting for a bigger name, like Bobby Petrino. Rumors have it that Tennessee has it's eye on- get ready for this- Bill Cowher.

Anyway, Alabama and Nick Saban are going to make a whole lot of coaches rich this offseason.

69
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 12:48pm

Auburn fans who want to get rid of Tuberville are stupid. This is coming from an Alabama fan. It may be about recruiting in-state where right now Saban is cleaning up (probably one of the deepest classes in years for the state-right now Auburn's best in-state recruit is ranked 15th, Alabama already has 8 commits in the top 15.)

70
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 1:04pm

Just to get this on the record, I don't care about the line; I'd take Wisconsin and give you 10 points.

71
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 1:41pm

Re: Tuberville, Don't forget this is the same guy that nearly got run out of town in favor of Petrino the year before he went 13-0. That little episode cost the Auburn president his job after he flew on a booster's jet to go interview Petrino and didn't bother to a) fire Tuberville first or b) ask permission of Louisville to talk to him.

72
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 2:02pm

Re: 68

Wow. I'm going to grad school at UT, and that's the first I heard of the Cowher deal. Most of the locals seem to be waiting for the outcome of the Georgia game before turning their eyes outward, but that's a rumor that could get people talking quickly. Maybe I'll try to stir the muck around here and see how the Cowher thing flies. I'm not a native, so it's always fun to get the dander up a bit.

As far as Fulmer goes; it seems that his fate will have more to do with how the team plays than the actual score of the game. If the defense and special teams are as hideous this week as all other weeks in the season, the end may very well be near. However, the best time to gauge will be the end of October, after the Alabama and South Carolina games are finished.

73
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 2:28pm

North Carolina 27, Miami 0.

Somewhere, Larry Coker is smiling.

74
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 3:13pm

cognet.catch22.net for IRC football chat

75
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 3:28pm

Miami has cut to 27-14 with 5 minutes left in the 3rd. UNC can't blow this, can they? a Miami DB had an INT hit his hands but dropped it.

Illinois up 24-13 on Wisconsin in the 3rd. Maybe Vegas knows something. I don't think Juice Williams will throw a pass in the 2nd half more than 2 yards downfield.

76
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 3:40pm

27-20 UNC after a HUUUUUUUGE TD bomb from Kyle Wright (who looked horrible in the first half. UNC is not making Miami haters happy.

77
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 4:32pm

And we again are shown why Vegas is filled with billion dollar casinos, as Illinois takes down Wisconsin.

78
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 4:36pm

I couldn't be happier to be wrong about my Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week. And I was wrong about Zook, too. I knew he'd attract talent to Illinois, but I didn't think he'd mold it into a good team. He has.

79
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 4:42pm

Congratulations to Illinois.

I give the Wisconsin offense credit. Down two starting wide receivers (Hubbard has been out for several games and Swan today) and they drove up and down the field.

But as everyone and their cousin has predicted, the defense was their undoing. Sure Donovan had two interceptions but he would have had to be have been perfect today for the Badgers to win. Though I do question the playcalling totally giving up on the run early in the 4th quarter down by 5. Yes the team has been moving through the air. But jiminy, keep the defense a bit honest.

Anyway, Wisconsin got outcoached by Ron Zook. If that doesn't open up some eyes in Badger country I don't know what will.

But now I get to hear and read "told you so" over and over and over again. Like this was a huge surprise seeing the Wisconsin defense get steamrolled. I was just hoping the offense and special teams would push them past by a whisker. But the special teams were also a no-show for the most part.

And that was a fumble on the kickoff. WI got a gift there.

Congrats again to Illinois and especially MDS.

80
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 4:52pm

Thanks, BadgerT1000. And I agree with you about giving credit to the Wisconsin offense, especially playing well after losing Swan, who is exactly the kind of receiver who gives the Illini secondary problems. He was off to a great start before that injury (and what a pair of hands on him to hang on to the ball on the play where he got hurt).

81
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 5:21pm

Bottom line, Wisconsin was a team that was just barely scraping by every week and had some incredible luck just to get this far without a loss. I'm not even remotely surprised that, after I saw the Illini run it down their throats for the 31-19 lead late and I switched to the KU-KSU game, Wiscy scored a TD. Knowing them, they probably even got the ball back after that.

Bret Bielema seems like one of those "made a deal with the devil" kind of guys.

The team I'm happy for is KU. I don;t really even know why since I never cared about them one way or another before but after everyone wrote them off this week I guess I'm juyst glad to see a Big 12 team OTHER than OU and Texas that is unbeaten.

Speaking of OU, they just went all sling blade on Texas's secondary on a TD drive that was all through the air. In fact if I was Bob Stoops I'd just throw every down (their run game is going NOWHERE) and get a big lead that way.

Speaking of unbeaten Big 12 teams, if Mizzou can win today their win over Illinois suddenly looks a whole lot better than it did a month ago.

82
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 5:27pm

UT-Georgia:

Not often you see 30 yards of penalties assessed at once (2 dead ball personal fouls against UT).

One of the bands (UT's I believe, but I'm not certain) played Saint-Saens's "Samson and Delilah" after the blocked punt. Message intended? If so, who's whom?

83
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 5:33pm

Damn you "lines too good to be true". I'm looking at you, Wisconsin and you, Georgia.

84
by thestar5 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 5:41pm

65,

Do you really think Booty is going to be good? He looks poor to me. Of course I thought (and still do think) Leinart looks incredibly overrated.

85
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 5:51pm

Re: 83

I'm not sure the UT-UGA game is Georgia's fault for not being anywhere close to the line. You'd almost think that the UT defense was sandbagging the first 4 games, the way they're playing so far. Ainge is finally playing without the finger brace - not that Ainge had been the problem in previous games.

86
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 6:17pm

As a Gator fan and dedicated Vol hater, this is absolutely nauseating. This game literally could not have turned out any worse so far.

At least OU-Texas is good, and one of those teams is going to have two losses (I can't stand either one).

Just a lackluster Saturday so far. It needs a Gator win over LSU to spice things up :-)

87
by morganja (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 6:34pm

Congratulations to Michigan for turning their season around. They didn't melt down and they seemed to have fixed what was wrong.

88
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 6:55pm

Tennessee is really rolling today. It's interesting how up and down many of the SEC teams are from game to game (i.e. Auburn vs. Florida, etc.). You watch some of these games and you think that if a team like Tennessee or Auburn could just play like this every week they might very well be on their way to a national title.

89
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 7:05pm

The bye week was the best thing to happen to Tennessee this year. The extra week seems to have helped the defense and special teams figure out what this "football" thing is that everybody keeps talking about. The Florida loss during the bye gave hope for a division title.

Correction to an earlier post: it's the Georgia band that plays Saint-Saens. It's evidently their "go defense go" riff.

90
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 7:17pm

Texas's pass D is beyond awful. It's amazing the OU has only scored 21 points so far.

91
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 8:05pm

I know they were way the heck away, but Mack Brown deserves the JLS Award this week. OU misses a FG to ice the game, so UT gets possession about their own 20, :19 left, no TOs. Standard end of game situation, pretty hopeless. They complete a pass underneath for 15 yards, get OOB with :14 left. Colt McCoy misses the guy wide open in the middle of the field, but completes another pass for about 18 yards. Only Texas gets flagged for holding. :04 left. The refs re-spot the ball after the penalty, then wind the clock. UT is standing at the line, but doesn't realize an offensive penalty doesn't actually stop the clock like a defensive penalty does, and McCoy lets the clock run out without bothering to snap it. Terrible, terrible awareness by Mack Brown.

92
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 8:24pm

#91: I wasn't aware there's no ten second runoff like there is in the NFL whenever the offense commits a penalty in that situation.

I'm in agony right now. Other than Wisconsin finally getting theirs this day has been a total waste for me. My mom's alma mater FAU had the ball down by only 5 in the 4th and didn;t even come close to generating anything, and then for good measure they give up a TD just to rub my nose in it. The Vols win going away. And I've still got the Gators loss tonight to endure.

What with the Fins' suckitude and the Pats' Bataan Death March to 16-0 Sundays and Mondays were already a lost cause for me, now Saturdays are rapidly turning into the same thing :-(

93
by Gerry (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 8:32pm

Dolfan,

My advice to you is to adopt an NFC team as a backup. Always root for your fish, even when playing that team, but it only happens every 4 years (barring the Super Bowl) so it's not that big of a deal.

I would recommend my Giants for you, but despite us being better than we seemed at first this year, we are a very difficult team to root for due to some irritating personalities and a whole lot of bone headedness.

Cheers!

94
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 8:35pm

Arrghhh, Alabama tried to piss the game away. Ole Miss might beat them next week.

95
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 8:40pm

#93: Actually I have and have always had backup teams. In the early 90s the Cowboys were my backup team, not because I was a bandwagon jumper, but because they kept beating the Niners and Bills and keeping the two teams I despised more than any other at that time from winning a title.

Then JJ left, Switzer came along, the team turned into a bunch of thugs seemingly overnight, and so I adopted the Packers as my backup team. When they won the Super Bowl life was good.

Then I went through a ten year stretch where no team I liked won the Super Bowl until the Steelers in '05, and I couldn't even feel that great about it because of the whole refs thing. FINALLY last year a team that I liked other than the Fins won a title without making me feel like I needed to take a shower afterwards.

Ah well, at least I have the Gators' national title from last year, and the Vols can;t win the title this year even if they win out, that's something anyway.

96
by Gerry (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 8:49pm

True. But Vol Peyton Manning *did* win the Super Bowl, and just might again.

(not sure why I felt like being mean right there, but I had to get it out of my system)

97
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 9:01pm

Actually it's the damndest thing, but after a couple of years away from the roiling pit of evil that is Knoxville, I actually started to like Peyton, and now I think he's my favorite NFL player. So no offense taken. I'm mature enough to distinguish between a player in college and that same player in the NFL. After a while, it really doesn't even matter where a player went to college, except for certain purposes like "most Big 10 RBs turn out to be busts" etc.

98
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 9:04pm

Actually, the Cowboys back in the day prevented Chris Berman from having multiple orgasms on national TV due to his two favorite teams ever facing off in the Super Bowl. And did ANYBODY really want to see that?

99
by witless chum (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 9:45pm

Being a Spartan fan builds character. Arrgh.

100
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 9:46pm

I wonder if VT really thinks they can win the ACC without an offense. Their o-line is bad, Branden Ore is hurting and hesitant, and Taylor is learning on the job. I know that the ACC offenses aren't that good, but they can't expect the defense/special teams to handle everything, can they?

101
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:18pm

This is a night when I need more than one dual-tuner Tivo.

Trying to watch Florida-LSU, keep an eye out Cinci-Rutgers, Ohio State-Purdue, and what the hell, Stanford's hanging in with USC at the moment.

Love Florida's game plan tonight. Don't just assume you can't run on LSU, take it right to them.

102
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:27pm

I could be staring at the first 0-8 week in the history of SDA. 0-5 already with Florida, Ohio State and Cincinnati still to go. Argh.

103
by ol\'jb (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:41pm

I don't think that penalty against LSU for the Tebow hit was correct. Tebow wasn't out of bounds when he was hit. To my knowledge, there's no rule that says you can't hit a running quarterback if he slows to a walk before stepping out of bounds.

104
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:43pm

Re: 103

Maybe by the letter of the law, but that's going to be called 1000 times out of 1000, and Highsmith knows it.

Tebow was actually headed away from the line of scrimmage and he dove at his ankles from behind. You're just begging for a flag if you do that.

105
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:46pm

The VT-LSU game is approaching 4 hours long. It's making me wish we had the timing rules from last season.

106
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:51pm

Rocco -- among all the stupid things the NCAA has done, abandoning the effort to shorten games ranks right at the top.

Of course, if they hadn't used such an idiotic set of rules to accomplish the goal the first time, the rules might still be in place.

107
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:54pm

103:
I agree with you. I'll take it a step further and say that I think you have to allow those kinds of hits (where a guy gets there just before the QB steps out) when you have a QB who runs as much as Tebow. I mean, how often do we see running QBs go towards the sidelines only to turn upfield at the last second because everybody is afraid to make a sideline tackle? It feels like teams want to have it both ways, with a QB playing like a RB but being protected like a QB. I don't think that call gets made if it's a RB running out along the sidelines.

108
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:58pm

It's still really early, but it looks like LSU may go down tonight. They don't look good at all so far. With USC barely beating Stanford, I'm starting to wonder if there are any great teams this year.

109
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:58pm

Russell-

Part of the problem has been the number of instant replay reviews. I like replay, but it's been ridiculous tonight. The NCAA needs to use the NFL's system- give teams a number of challenges to use. The refs are using it as a crutch to review every close play.

Hopefully in the off-season the NCAA tries again to shorten games, only this time thinks it through a little better. There's no reason for the clock to stop on every first down.

Also, I think the Buckeyes may save you from a winless evening. How does it feel to be potentially relying on your least favorite team?

110
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:01pm

Stanford kicks a figgie to get within six with 5:43 left.

That game is on Versus if anyone's looking for it. It has moved to channel 603 on DirecTV this year.

111
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:04pm

Re: 109

I've given the Bucks the Freddy treatment two weeks in a row. I've got nothing against them when it comes to pointspreads.

112
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:06pm

Russell-

Given how your Freddy picks usually work out, I thought you were trying to whammy them. :)

113
by oljb (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:08pm

oooo.... Stanford pick!

114
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:09pm

Booty throws a horrendous pick, and it's Stanford ball at the USC 45 with just under 3 minutes left.

115
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:09pm

Wow, USC is only up 6 with 5 minutes left against Stanford! USC was a 40 point favorite in this game. I think after last week's performance (and given the demise of Nebraska) this team may not be nearly as good as everyone thought. Having watched parts of all of their games, John David Booty just doesn't seem like a very good QB to me. I'm a huge USC fan (mostly because I'm from the West Coast and I now live surrounded by SEC fans) but I think they don't deserve their ranking right now.

116
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:18pm

Stanford just converted a 4th and 20, it's first and goal.

117
by oljb (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:19pm

Stanford 1st down at the 9, 1:39 to go.

118
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:29pm

HOLY CRAP

119
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:31pm

24-23 Stanford,49 seconds left, no TO for USC.

If Harbaugh squib kicks here, he's an idiot.

120
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:32pm

I wish I got Versus, I'd love to see the Pete Carroll Face right now.

121
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:33pm

Stanford takes the lead with 0:49 to go! What a weird day for college football - again!

USC has looked terrible today. I knew they looked bad against Washington, but I figured Carroll would fix that up in practice. They look awful.

And USC gets a good return, and a 15-yard face mask penalty on Stanford on top of it.

0:45 to go. USC needs a figgie, no timeouts left.

122
by EorrFU (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:34pm

Holy Crap Indeed. What is going on in college football?

123
by oljb (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:35pm

Booty Picked! Hooray!

124
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:36pm

It's over.

Holy cow. Stanford was a 41-point dog at kickoff.

Booty was brutal. Took a sack and threw a pick to end it. Four INTs.

Methinks despite all the crap he said this summer, Jim Harbaugh just made himself a candidate for the Michigan job again.

125
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:36pm

Unless LSU wakes up, we're looking at Cal being the #1 team in the country. I can't believe I actually wrote that.

126
by ZSGhost (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:39pm

Holy living fuck.

If LSU loses too... mother of Michigan.

So, next week, will all the Top 25 teams lose, just to keep with the pattern here?

127
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:39pm

I told a couple of friends last week that I am guarenteeing Ohio State in the national championship game....I think I should have put money on it.

128
by thok (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:41pm

So, a couple weeks ago the story was that the national title was going to one of USC, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, or West Virginia.

Assuming Florida holds on against LSU, after this week the top four in the AP will be Cal, Ohio State, USF, and BC.

Crazy year.

129
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:42pm

Tell me I wasn't hallucinating from the USC-Stanford result, but did Bob Davie not just say he'd put Rutgers' WRs up with anybody in the country? Seriously, Rutgers with the best WR corps in the country?

130
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:42pm

oh god LSU is being loud is so overrated.

131
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:44pm

This is much stranger than last week. ND is up 7.

132
by CA (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:45pm

If nobody else is going to say it, I will: That was blatant but uncalled OPI by Bradford on the 4th and goal from the 10 game-winning TD. I've watched the replay six times now in DVR super-slow-motion, and I'm sure he pushed off. If I were a USC fan, I would be utterly furious right now.

133
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:46pm

Come on LSU celebrate on the sideline some more....god I hate this team more then I thought...its hard to go to this school sometimes...

134
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:48pm

Did the refs watch the OPI play in super slow motion?

135
by Ryan (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:50pm

I think it's official....There will be no undefeated team this year. Anybody could win this thing.

136
by EorrFU (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:50pm

Re #132: Watch a Giants game I see that move half a dozen times a games from Plaxico.

137
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:50pm

Re: 132 No question, the WR got away with a little space-clearing, but he didn't get the arms fully extended and that's probably why he avoided the call.

Re: 133 How freakin weird was that? LSU is getting beat at home and their players are jumping up and down on the sidelines .... because USC lost? WTF?

138
by Omar (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:50pm

re #132

PI or not, USC should be ashamed for that performance against a bunch of future bankers, politicians, and dentists.

Complaining about a non call there would be like a grown man crying cuz a six year old girl beat him in a fight by scratching...

139
by oljb (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:50pm

132- If I was a USC fan, I'd be even more pissed that the team put itself in a position that a single uncalled offensive PI would result in a loss to STANFORD.

140
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:51pm

Maybe they should announce the USC score again in Baton Rouge.

141
by Omar (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:51pm

Re # 135

Cal has a very good shot at going undefeated...

142
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:52pm

LSU's defense has been horribly exposed tonight. I think the fear factor is gone now. Luckily for them, I'm not sure if there's anyone else on their schedule that can hurt them.

143
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:52pm

Not only did USC lose, but it looks like UCLA is going to lose to Notre Dame. So much for the Pac-10's reputation. All I've got to say is that Florida had better hang on against LSU (I can't believe I'm reduced to rooting for Florida!).

144
by CA (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:54pm

The offensive pass interference was just as obvious in regular speed. My point was that I made sure to watch the play very closely multiple times just to make sure before I called the refs out. Sorry, but that was textbook offensive pass interference. The only reason Bradford was in position to make that play is that he illegally pushed off to create separation. It was a bad no-call in any situation, and it has already changed the course of this college football season.

145
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:54pm

Yeah it was weird LSU was celebrating a USC lost. I guess because if they might win this game they would be #1 in the poll that matters or something. LSU hates USC for the 2003 "shared" championship-and I think they rather have everyone them and USC were undefeated (so I thought).

146
by Alex (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:56pm

#132: Did you check every other play six times to make sure USC didn't get away with OPI at any point? That's the problem with just looking at the last few plays and concluding that one team got robbed.

147
by Omar (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 11:56pm

Re #144

Um...yeah, but that was Stanford...

148
by Omar (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:00am

Re #144

If your team has USC's talent and gets a 4 int performance from your supposed Heisman candidate QB, and gives up a 4th and 20 conversion w under two minutes then you really didn't deserve to win.

149
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:03am

Re: 146 Did you check every other play six times to make sure USC didn’t get away with OPI at any point? That’s the problem with just looking at the last few plays and concluding that one team got robbed.

It's clear that my "six times in super-slow-motion" comment is not being interpreted as I intended, and I regret even mentioning it. As for your point, if the correct call is made on that play, it is highly likely that USC wins. Because the officials failed to throw the flag, it became highly likely that Stanford would win, as they did. There was no other play in the game in which a penalty or lack thereof had the potential to swing the probabilities of the outcome so violently.

150
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:04am

LSU's run defense is getting exposed. I'll say it again: it seems like SEC teams are really feast or famine this year (i.e. they play great one game and then lose the next one). If this were a "lesser" league (like the Pac-10), I'd say the wild variations in quality from game to game are because no team in the SEC is all that good this year. But of course this is the greatest conference ever, so it's because every SEC team is so awesome that they're all BCS bowl worthy. Yes, I am a bit bitter about the fact that I'm going to be hearing all year about how overrated the Pac-10 is.

151
by FJ (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:04am

Re: 143.

To be fair, UCLA is down to their 3rd-string quarterback who basically gave the Irish the 14 point lead (pick leading to a TD at UCLA's 2-yd line, and a defensive fumble recovery TD).

And the Irish's problems have mainly been offensive this year.

Ugh, I hate Stanford and I hate USC, but I think I wanted USC to win, just because it would have been better for the Bears to be the "underdog" in their matchup with the Trojans....

Now, everyone will expect the #1 or #2 Bears to win vs. the Trojans.....

F

152
by Ryan (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:06am

149. Well remember all the articles about guts, stomps, and skates; A truly superior team would not even be in a position to have a single play change the tide of a game against a bumbling 1 win team. Skates/Guts are roughly as worthless as close losses to inferior opponents.

153
by oljb (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:08am

So now in the USC-Stanford game and the Mizzou-Nebraska game, commentators have said after offensive 5 yard penalties that it can actually be beneficial for the offense to have more space to work. Is it actually true that a touchdown pass is more likely from the 10-15 yard range than the 5-10 yard range? Or more announcer balderdash? By the way, Stanford got a TD, Mizzou was held to a field goal.

154
by flounder (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:10am

Re: 149 you can't possibly know that. There is no way to know what the ultimate consequence of some other missed call could have had, such as keeping a drive alive that leads to a touchdown. Or keeping a drive alive but then the drive turns into a pick-six for the other team. The argument you just put forth is utterly without merit.

155
by EorrFU (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:10am

I don't think the voters will have the cajones to make cal #1. I could see alot of people talking themselves into OSU as #1 because they can't "see" Cal as a #1.

156
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:11am

Way up in the thread David Lewin was talking about the possibility of John David Booty breaking the QB projection system. I think we can probably put that talk to rest, as I can't see any way this guy gets taken in the first two rounds. Leinart or Palmer he most definitely isn't.

157
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:12am

Les Miles is the Mack Brown of the SEC.

158
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:14am

As for your point, if the correct call is made on that play, it is highly likely that USC wins. Because the officials failed to throw the flag, it became highly likely that Stanford would win, as they did. There was no other play in the game in which a penalty or lack thereof had the potential to swing the probabilities of the outcome so violently.

If one of USC's two passing TDs were called back due to OPI, then Stanford wouldn't have needed that last TD to win. The timing is irrelevant. Points scored in the first quarter count just as much as points scored in the fourth. USC has nothing to complain about.

159
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:15am

155:
I was gonna say the exact same thing. I think Ohio State will be #1 tomorrow if LSU loses. To be honest, it might even be the correct call. I haven't watched much of Ohio State but I've seen a bit of Cal and I just can't seem them as a #1 team. In fact, I have a strong feeling that Cal will lose to somebody they shouldn't in the next few weeks.

160
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:17am

What a bizarre year. I can't remember anything like this. Maybe 1990, when Michigan was ranked #1 with a 3-1 record after a bunch of early upsets.

161
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:18am

Of course, if LSU wins this discussion of who's #1 is a moot point...

162
by oljb (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:21am

How far does USC fall now? 5 spots? 10? 15? A loss to Stanford is worse than most of the other top 10 losses of the past two weeks.

163
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:23am

Les Miles just burned his final timeout to try and gain about 12 yards.

I have no desire for this man to coach my alma mater.

164
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:24am

LSU is about to be without timeouts with 10 minutes to go in the 4th quarter.

165
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:25am

Re: 152 Well remember all the articles about guts, stomps, and skates; A truly superior team would not even be in a position to have a single play change the tide of a game against a bumbling 1 win team. Skates/Guts are roughly as worthless as close losses to inferior opponents.

"Guts and Stomps," a great piece of work though it is, is very specific to the NFL and thus limited in its scope. The same results may well hold for college football, but "Guts and Stomps" itself is virtually irrelevant to any college football discussion. That said, I'm not saying that USC is the best team in the country or even that they outplayed Stanford. I'm just saying that they were on the wrong side of poor officiating on that play, and it probably cost them the game.

Re: 154 you can’t possibly know that. There is no way to know what the ultimate consequence of some other missed call could have had, such as keeping a drive alive that leads to a touchdown. Or keeping a drive alive but then the drive turns into a pick-six for the other team. The argument you just put forth is utterly without merit.

Exactly. It's very hard to know the ultimate consequences of most bad calls, so while they may have a large actual impact on the outcome of a game, the expected impact is generally small. The play in question is the rare case of a play in which the expected impact of a bad call is very large, and that's why I'm picking on it. The refs didn't screw up any worse because they failed to make the right call there than if they had failed to make the right call on a similar play earlier in the game.

166
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:27am

I know I'm in a tiny minority, but I just hate replay. This LSU-Florida game was so exciting...until this stupid review of a play where there's a camera angle that shows the runner's foot and the sideline perfectly. This review should have taken 30 seconds, tops.

167
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:27am

162:
Who knows? Poll inertia will probably keep them around 7 or so, especially with how many other teams have lost lately. Of course, even as a Trojan fan I'd be the first to admit that USC should probably be around 15 or so, given that they barely beat Washington, they lost to a bad Stanford team that was starting a backup QB, and their best win is against a wildly overrated Nebraska team that almost lost to Ball State.

168
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:28am

Wow, that replay review sucked. Where was the indisputable visual evidence? And why does it always take forever and a day to review these plays?

169
by flounder (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:29am

Oh come on, expected impact? You're grasping at straws. Unless your name is Scott Bakula, you just can't know.

170
by MC2 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:34am

#152,165:
I would be very surprised if the "Guts and Stomps" thesis holds true for college football, due to the extreme disparity between the very best and the very worst teams, a problem that doesn't exist in the parity of the NFL. Any win (or even a close loss) against a top team would be more impressive than blowing out Duke, for example. Of course, I don't have any numbers to back up that claim, but it certainly seems intuitively true.

171
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:35am

166:
I agree completely. At a minimum, I'd say they need to go to the NFL system or have some sort of a rule that limits what kinds of plays are reviewable (i.e. only review change of possession and other really major plays). I hate these replay reviews where the difference is 5 to 10 yards of field position. Not to mention the fact that half the time the officials seem to take forever and end up making the wrong call.

172
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:38am

It's looking like LSU is going to pull it out here. Florida has kind of self-destructed this quarter. LSU is now 4 for 4 on 4th downs.

173
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:40am

Tim Tebow has ruined college football. I think they mention his name in every non-Florida game 10 times. In games he is playing-its probably about 500 times-even when the other team has the ball.

174
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:42am

Les Miles is crazy! They got the first down, but that call was something else.

175
by Ryan (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:43am

RE: 165,170. Well USC didn't nearly lose to or beat a very good team. They lost to a bad team. I'm sure a close win over a top ten program is very valuable, and I should have left off the Gut part of my argument. But a skate or a loss to an inferior team is pretty significant evidence of problems and should never happen to a top program no matter how horrible the officiating is unless the refs are calling holding on your team every single play. I guess the question would be, is Stanford considered inferior enough for this under-skate to be significant evidence of USC's non-superbaddassness?

176
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:43am

oh and the obligatory Nick Saban mention. Lets wait until Les Miles gets LSU in a SEC championship game first.

177
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:44am

Florida needs to be calling timeouts here. What the heck is Florida thinking?

178
by flounder (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:46am

and then they called it after a bunch of time ran off. Bizarre. Perhaps JLS worthy

179
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:46am

Meyer finally calls a timeout after letting a good 30 seconds run off the clock. If Florida loses, Meyer definitely deserves the JLS trophy.

180
by oljb (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:47am

Down 5 points, Teel pick in the red zone. Cincy will seemingly win this one.

181
by Bill Barnwell :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:48am

SF paper predicted USC 1000-0 Stanford, BTW. Really.

182
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:55am

Les Miles has balls, I got to give him that. He is a good coach, I still think they lose a game though.

183
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:56am

Yeah, Urban Meyer has got to be the JLS trophy winner this week.

184
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:01am

Re: 158 If one of USC’s two passing TDs were called back due to OPI, then Stanford wouldn’t have needed that last TD to win. The timing is irrelevant. Points scored in the first quarter count just as much as points scored in the fourth. USC has nothing to complain about.

Re: 169 Oh come on, expected impact? You’re grasping at straws. Unless your name is Scott Bakula, you just can’t know.

It’s unfortunate that we have to have this discussion in the “Seventh Day Adventure� comments section, where emotions often run high and the tone of discussion tends to be less civil and reasoned than in many other comments sections (I admit that I am among those who tend to be a little less rational than usual here), but this is where the issue arose, so this is where I’ll address it.

Consider the following thought experiment: There are two teams thought to be of roughly equal quality playing in a close game on a neutral field, and there’s no instant replay. It’s the second quarter, and Team A trails Team B by 4 points and has the ball. Team A is going for the TD on 4th and goal from the one. The rusher for Team A is clearly stuffed on the play before getting into the end zone, but the officials incorrectly rule that Team A did in fact score the TD. Now team A leads by 2 in the 2nd quarter before the PAT attempt and subsequent kickoff. If the play had been officiated properly, Team B would lead by 4 in the 2nd quarter with a first and 10 from their own 1. What is the probability you give that Team A wins the game given the incorrect call? Perhaps, I don’t know, 55%? What is the probability you give that Team A wins the game if the correct call had been made? Perhaps 45%?

Now, take the exact same situation except with 1 second left in the 4th quarter. Team A scores the TD on the bad call, and now there is no time remaining in the game. What is the probability you give that Team A wins the game given the incorrect call? 100%. What is the probability you give that Team A wins the game if the correct call had been made? 0%. In the second quarter, the bad call, while still significant, produces a relatively minor expected impact on the outcome of the game. A fan of Team B can complain about the call, but he can’t reasonably necessarily say that the bad call cost his team the game, because the bad call reduced the chances of his team winning the game only relatively slightly. At the end of the 4th quarter, the bad call produces an enormous expected impact on the outcome of the game. A fan of Team B can reasonably say that the bad call in fact cost his team the game. There is great uncertainty about the impact of the early bad call, but there is great certainty about the impact of the late bad call.

185
by Ryan (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:01am

Too bad...No more chaos tonight.

186
by Ryan (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:08am

RE:184 I would back you on that argument if not for the fact that USC should never have been in that situation in the first place. If this had happened against Notre Dame...wait..I mean California, that play would have meant a lot more, but since it came against Stanford, USC deserves no pity whatsoever.
On another note, pretty eerie how Illinois is one fourth quarter TD away from a top five ranking.

187
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:12am

Re: 184

I don't find the SDA threads less civil. Highly emotional, yes, but I usually it stays pretty far in-bounds.
'
Anyway, glad to see things take off tonight, certainly no shortage of subject matter.

Anyway -- the eight o'clock games allowed me to pull out a 3-5, 1-0 week. Still scuffling, but it's a hell of a lot better than 0-8.

My only regret on a college Saturday like this one is that Hawaii isn't on GamePlan this week.

188
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:15am

I guess the question would be, is Stanford considered inferior enough for this under-skate to be significant evidence of USC’s non-superbaddassness?

Well, they were 1-3 coming into this game. Considering that USC also had a very close win over a Washington team that was beaten (by double digit scores) by OSU and UCLA, I'd say yes. USC's superbaddassness has been disproven.

I think Ohio State will be #1 tomorrow if LSU loses. To be honest, it might even be the correct call. I haven’t watched much of Ohio State but I’ve seen a bit of Cal and I just can’t seem them as a #1 team. In fact, I have a strong feeling that Cal will lose to somebody they shouldn’t in the next few weeks.

Thing is, I'm having trouble seeing Ohio State as a #1 team. And believe me, I want to see Ohio State as a #1 team. But honestly, after watching that closer-than-the-final-score Washington game, and then Boeckman having a 3 INT meltdown against Purdue(?!), I'm just not seeing it. I honestly don't know if Ohio State is even a top 10 team, although I guess I can't think of too many others I'd put higher.

...aaaaaaaand it's all moot, because Florida loses to LSU, who will remain the #1 team until someone beats them. I see four reasonably loseable games on LSU's remaining schedule, including their next three. Kentucky, Auburn, and Alabama, I'm counting on you, don't suck.

189
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:17am

Hawaii plays tomorrow at least though...why? I have no idea.

190
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:20am

Damn, Missouri just ran a fake FG with a 34-6 fourth quarter lead over Nebraska.

Karma'a a bitch, ain't it? Tough to have sympathy after Nebraska ran up the score on the entire Big 8 except OU for about 25 years.

191
by Ryan (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:20am

Re: 187, Just please don't pick Illinois next week as your lock of the week.....Better yet, don't even cover them...It'd be easy to pick them too; they'll probably only be 6 point favorites or so and Iowa's looking pretty toothless.

192
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:22am

Boise plays tomorrow. Hawaii's playing right now -- you might have been thrown by the fact that it was a 12:05 a.m. ET start.

When I worked my first job at an all sports newswire, we used to always have to enter all the Hawaii start times as 11:59 p.m. ET to avoid all hell breaking loose with our databases. You still see that on score crawls, etc., sometimes and it always makes me smile.

193
by nick (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:22am

thinking way in advance: so what if LSU runs the table and there's no plausible 1-loss team [ie, one that was top 10 preseason] to face them--then what?

194
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:22am

Ugh. Florida played about as well as they can for the 1st three quarters but those long, time consuming LSU TD drives in the 4th just wore out the Gator D, and Moore's fumble was a killer b/c Florida was up 10 and driving. Florida can definitely still win the SEC East, so we may see a rematch in Atlanta in December.

195
by Ryan (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:22am

Re: 189...Yeah they do play tomorrow..at 12:05 a.m. e.t. You know, 17 minutes ago.

196
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:30am

p.s. I don't see LSU running the table. I don't see any team running the table. Is this the year a two-loss team will have a legit argument to be in the BCS title game?

197
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:30am

Re: 187 I don’t find the SDA threads less civil. Highly emotional, yes, but I usually it stays pretty far in-bounds.

Fair enough. That's just more poor word choice on my part. I didn't intend that comment as criticism, believe it or not. I prefer college football to the professional variety in large part because of the greater passion that the former engenders. I follow the NFL more closely, but I don't travel hundreds of miles just to watch NFL games at bars in the cities in which they're being played, as I've been known to do for college football games. I merely meant that I expect the people reading these comments to be less receptive to a long explanation of an unpopular opinion than they would be if they hadn't just watched multiple hours of intense college football.

198
by bradluen (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:57am

It still seems likely to me that someone (besides Hawaii) will finish the regular season undefeated.

Assuming Hawaii wins tonight, we'll have 11 undefeated teams after 6 weeks:

LSU
Ohio State
Cal
USF
Arizona State
Boston College
Missouri
Kansas
Cincinnati
Hawaii
(this is funny) UConn

You might bet against any one of these teams, but all of them?

For comparison, after 6 weeks last year, we only had nine undefeated teams:

Ohio State
Florida
Michigan
USC
Missouri
Louisville
West Virginia
Boise State
(we thought this was funny at the time) Rutgers

199
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 2:07am

It’s unfortunate that we have to have this discussion in the “Seventh Day Adventure� comments section, where emotions often run high and the tone of discussion tends to be less civil and reasoned than in many other comments sections

Nobody's been uncivil towards you in this thread. But until you address the issues relevant to the situation, we're not going to agree with you.

First, if USC had scored one of their TDs due to an officiating error, and Stanford did the same, then both teams had a net gain of 0 points due to officiating errors, and can't blame the officials for the outcome of the game, regardless of when those errors occurred.

Second, USC shouldn't have even let Stanford get close enough for something like that to matter. This is Stanford, for crying out loud!

Third, there's no way to know that Stanford wouldn't have scored a TD anyway, even if OPI had been called. You can't just assume that they would've failed, and conclude that the officiating gave them the game.

200
by Craig G-Stunna Yetsko (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 2:14am

Penn State, baby! Gittin 'er done!

201
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 2:34am

Man oh man. I am SO glad I quit watching TV just before the Florida-LSU game because I sensed which way the wind was blowing early. Ever wake up and know right away that it is NOT going to be your day?

I can;t imagine what I'd be doing right now if I'd actually WATCHED the Gators and USC lose.

This has got to be the worst Saturday, football-wise in my 25 years of watching football. Sort of fitting since this is the worst season football-wise, both college and NFL, from my perspective. Seriously, this is some why do I want to keep watching any more games this year territory for me.

At least Mizzou won. I like them now because one of my friends does and I feel bad for them because of all the stiff they've had to endure in the past (5th down, kicked ball TD VS Nebraska, etc.) but I was so depressed, disgusted, demoralized and despondent that it took me half an hour to even realize they'd won.

At least Bill Simmons knows how I feel. It's the height of irony that I read his new updated Levels Of Losing last night.

It's definitely going to be LSU and TOSU (THE Ohio State University) playing for the title. They've got the two best D's by far. That game is set in stone. Everyone else is just playing for pride at this point.

202
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 2:54am

Re: 199 Nobody’s been uncivil towards you in this thread.

Agreed.

First, if USC had scored one of their TDs due to an officiating error, and Stanford did the same, then both teams had a net gain of 0 points due to officiating errors, and can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game, regardless of when those errors occurred.

That's not really how it works. See #184 and make USC Team A in the first scenario and Team B in the second scenario, and assume both scenarios happen in the same game. We still can't say that the early bad call was significant, but we can say that the late call was.

Second, USC shouldn’t have even let Stanford get close enough for something like that to matter. This is Stanford, for crying out loud!

I really don't care who the teams are or how good they are supposed to be, except to the extent that the stakes are higher from a national championship perspective because the top-ranked team was involved. I am no USC fan or Stanford hater. I'm just talking about a bad no-call, and I'd be saying the same thing if the teams were reversed in the same situation. Fine; USC should never have been in that position. That has nothing to do with my point that a bad no-call probably cost the Trojans the game.

Third, there’s no way to know that Stanford wouldn’t have scored a TD anyway, even if OPI had been called. You can’t just assume that they would’ve failed, and conclude that the officiating gave them the game.

I didn't say that USC would have won, but I do think USC was highly likely to have won, and, frankly, I think that's not reasonably disputable. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know the college football penalty for OPI, as it is called so rarely. In the NFL, I believe it is 10 yards from the spot of the foul. I was thinking that it was the same thing in college, but it may be 15 yards and loss of down. (I'm having a surprising amount of trouble tracking this down in a quick Google search). If it's the latter, then USC would have gotten the ball at its own 25 with roughly 40 seconds left, and Stanford had at most one timeout, so I'd give USC a nearly 100% chance to win the game. If it's the former, then the chance of Stanford winning essentially comes down to the chance of Stanford converting a 4th and goal from the 20 against a very good defense. I don't know what that chance is, but I am positive that it is well below 50%. Similarly, the chance of Stanford winning the game after it scored the TD most likely went to above 50%, although the fact that USC was getting the ball back with about 40 seconds left and needed only a field goal means that USC still probably had a decent shot to win the game.

203
by bradluen (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 2:55am

Since we're complaining about our bad days: the hot favorite All Blacks got knocked out of the Rugby World Cup by France in the quarterfinals. We have to wait four more years before we can put this right.

204
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 3:29am

I propose a new Level Of Losing for Simmons--the Groin Kick. This is when on one day or weekend nearly every single team you like loses and every team you hate wins all at the same time. Seeing your team lose one game is bad, but seeing it happen multiple times in several big games in the span of 24 hours or so? There's GOT to be a category for this.

Okay I'll stop whining now :-) I know we've all been there before.

205
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 4:29am

Hawaii was playing on Sunday-that is what ESPN.com told me. Long hours of tailgating before the LSU game also makes you not compute the times any differently.

206
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 5:24am

You have to give credit for LSU for pulling it out, but this national championship race is nuts. There has, literally, never been one like this before.

LSU is the unanimous #1, but they looked terrible against lowly Tulane, and Florida beat them for 59 minutes tonight. Good team no doubt, but converting 5 fourth downs to win in the closing seconds isn't exactly what you think of with a unanimous #1.

USC hasn't looked great all year, and they choked big-time tonight. On paper they are likely the best team in the country, but that's meaningless.

LSU is easily the favorite, but I'm not sure that they can go undefeated in the regular season. Again, looked like crap last week and were losing for 59 minutes this week, the odds of them losing somewhere against a schedule consisting of Kentucky, Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, and the SEC Championship Game.

That said, the talk of a two-loss team making the NC game is a bit much. Sorry, but there will be at least two one-loss teams.

With all of that in mind, though, I really don't think there are any truly great teams in college football this year. Someone will win the national championship -- obviously -- but even so from all I can tell in the first six weeks, no one looks truly great. From all I can tell, certainly no one that we'll be talking about years from now. It looks very much like a year where a team that is just "good" may win it all.

207
by Omar (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 6:08am

re CA

...it was STANFORD! Meteors could have have crashed on USC's sideline and there would still be no justifiable excuse for a close game against STANFORD!

208
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 6:13am

That’s not really how it works. See #184 and make USC Team A in the first scenario and Team B in the second scenario, and assume both scenarios happen in the same game. We still can’t say that the early bad call was significant, but we can say that the late call was.

But the late call was only significant because the early bad call happened. If the early bad call had not happened, then the late call would've made no difference at all. That's why the earlier bad calls are definitely significant here.

And honestly, given that it was a close game throughout, USC didn't have a very high chance of winning in the first place. If the game is still close late in the fourth quarter, you're going to lose some games just because of bad luck, even if you're the better team, and there's no sense in complaining about it. And officiating errors count as bad luck, unless the officials are conspiring against a team, which I seriously doubt in this case.

So, if USC wants to complain that a little bad luck cost them a win in a very close game that easily could've gone either way, fine. They can do that. But I'm not going to care. They weren't going to go undefeated anyway, the way they've played in the last few games, so it's not like this game really had a dramatic effect on the BCS title. I remain apathetic towards the alleged uncalled OPI.

I'm much more interested in trying to figure out who's going to beat LSU. Maybe Auburn? They did it last year. Kentucky's done pretty well in the "scrappy underdog" role, maybe they could pull off the upset? You don't think Saban's Alabama team will do it, do you?

209
by R.J. (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 6:14am

As unlikely as it seems, the most impressive unit I've seen all year has been South Florida's defense. I know it's a cliche, but I'll take the best defense to win the BCS championship.

210
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 6:33am

#209: Yeah, but they just had a close game against Florida Atlantic. You're telling me that a defense that gives up 23 points to Florida Atlantic is the best in the nation? It wasn't Florida they were playing, or even Florida State. Florida Atlantic. Sun Belt team. Oklahoma State beat them 42-6. Just sayin'.

That said, South Florida has been impressive. I just don't know if I'd consider them BCS championship contenders. But I guess we'll see in the coming weeks.

211
by flounder (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 10:06am

Re: 202 making the same illogical argument multiple times doesn't make it any more logical. Also, I just finally saw the play in question this morning. I don't think it was a penalty, or really even that close. That sort of minimal contact is routinely not called.
I didn't see the game, but I'll even go out on a limb and say the officials were probably consistently calling the game that way, and let other similar minor contact go throughout the game.

212
by bradluen (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 2:52pm

You can't be too concerned about close wins against inferior opponents. It's rare for even the best teams to play a season without a sleepwalk or two.

In 2006, Florida won five games by a touchdown or less, including one at Vandy.

In 2005, Texas was down by 16 at the half against Oklahoma State.

In 2004, USC snuck past Stanford by 3.

Of course the 2004 Trojans didn't FREAKING LOSE TO STANFORD.

213
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 3:28pm

Re: 211 making the same illogical argument multiple times doesn’t make it any more logical. Also, I just finally saw the play in question this morning. I don’t think it was a penalty, or really even that close. That sort of minimal contact is routinely not called.

Calling a logical argument "illogical" multiple times doesn't make the original argument any less logical. If you're going to criticize my point, you may want to come up with something a little more persuasive than "Oh come on." Bradford illegally and unmistakably pushed off, impeding the defender's progress, creating separation that otherwise would not have existed, and putting himself in position to make a catch that he otherwise would have been unable to make. If that's not OPI, then I don't know what is. If you can't see that, then I can't help you.

214
by hooper (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 3:47pm

One observation from last night's LSU-Florida game:

Tim Tebow's tears do not cure cancer.

215
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 3:55pm

My Meaningless Top 25:

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

**Missouri makes a quantum leap thanks both to it's slaughter of Nebraska, and the fact that it's win vs Illinois is looking better every week.

**Florida proved how good it is by almost winning vs a monster LSU team on the road. That game was a classic.

**Has LSU lost lat night, Cal would be a legitimate #1. I had them #2 last week, and said they had a case for the #1 spot.

Onto other posts:

210- One could do that to any team, including LSU. South Florida is the real deal, and all they're missing is name-brand sheen. They could be the NCAA's answer to the 1997 Florida Marlins. There's NO logic to USF- an unbeaten team that's topped Auburn and West Virginia- being tied at #5 in the coaches' poll with an Oklahoma team that lost to Colorado.

213- If you're argument is that USC would have won a perfectly officiated game vs Stanford, my counter is that USC just didn't play well enough to win.

216
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 5:23pm

210- One could do that to any team, including LSU.

LSU did have a close game, but it came against Florida, not Florida Atlantic.

Florida > Florida Atlantic.

I'm not saying they haven't been impressive, or that they aren't a top 5 team, but I'm just not sure about them as BCS title contenders. But again, we'll see once all the games are played.

217
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 5:47pm

This is shameful. Check out the Wisconsin's head coach comments after the game:

That problem was exacerbated Saturday because for all the grit quarterback Tyler Donovan displayed in completing 27 of 49 passes for 392 yards and two touchdowns, he hurt is team with two critical interceptions in the fourth quarter.

"We had two big turnovers," Bielema said. "The bottom line is to get a victory we needed to be clean in all phases."

This is absurd. The defense lost this game. They got run over for 289 rushing yards. My gosh. How anyone can point the finger at the qub, who was running for his life half the time by the way, defies explanation.

It's moments like this where I pause as to whether this guy is the right man for the program.

Good grief............

218
by Eddo (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 8:14pm

217: Damn, Badger, that's kind of sad. As a proud Illinois alumnus, I was very impressed by Donovan - he seemed to channel his inner Tony Romo at times, avoiding the rush and making a big play downfield. He was the reason the game was even close, and Bielema implies that he's to blame? Sad.
I wonder if his initial success will give Wisconsin fans rose-colored glasses when it comes to his shortcomings; I can't imagine that recruits will line up to play for a school where the head coach feels free to throw players under the bus.

219
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 11:36pm

On the subject of South Florida...

I really don't think that the Bulls are that good, but on the other hand, who is going to beat them? They've already knocked off WVU -- and looked quite impressive in doing so -- and the schedule is weak here on out. Louisville looks terrible, and they might not even make a bowl, so there is a win, and Rutgers doesn't look particularly good either, so there's likely a win. Unless Cincinnati can knock them off, they could very well go undefeated.

So let's say this:

Considering that it looks like such a good possibility now that we have at least one team with one loss in the BCS title game, which one would you support...

A) The other spot in the BCS title game going to a team with one loss (e.g. 12-1 Oklahoma, 11-1 USC, or someone like that).

OR...

B) An undefeated South Florida team that, while having a perfect record, probably haven't played as tough of competition.

Which one would you prefer? Which one do you think the voters will prefer? How do you think the computer polls will handle that?

Keep in mind I'm not saying it should be one way or the other, I just want to get some opinions on the subject.

220
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/08/2007 - 1:34am

#217: Now you know why I think Bielema's a first-rate asshole. The guy just has scum of the earth radiating from him like UV rays from the sun. Has he sold his mom into slavery to win a game yet? Because he's the type of person who would.

About USF: their offense is just too ugly and turnover prone for them to win every game but I'll say this: they are the most mentally tough team I've seen in a long time. It's easy to win when everything goes your way and you have ten times the talent everyone else has and other teams seem eager to give you wins at times but when things go bad for USF, they just shrug it off and keep on playing. Turnovers, multiple missed FGs in a game, it doesn't matter. They just keep coming at you. (I saw the Auburn and WVA games.)

And at this point, if the hypothetical scenario of unbeaten USF VS one-loss OU comes up, the voters will be going with the Bulls all the way. In a season where almost every alleged top team has lost, are you kidding me? If ANYBODY from a BCS conference is unbeaten at the end of this shindig, they're in the title game.

But the Bulls are losing to Cincy so that's about to be rendered moot.

221
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/08/2007 - 9:13am

And at this point, if the hypothetical scenario of unbeaten USF VS one-loss OU comes up, the voters will be going with the Bulls all the way. In a season where almost every alleged top team has lost, are you kidding me? If ANYBODY from a BCS conference is unbeaten at the end of this shindig, they’re in the title game.

Then please explain why that in the Coach's Poll (the one that counts) OU and USF are tied. USF has already played it's name brand opponents, while OU still has Missouri, A & M, Texas Tech, and the Big 12 Title Game.

If USF and OU both win the rest of their games there will, at the very least, be a controversy.

222
by Alex (not verified) :: Mon, 10/08/2007 - 9:19am

Then please explain why that in the Coach’s Poll (the one that counts) OU and USF are tied.

It's early in the season. If it comes down to an undefeated BCS team vs. a one loss BCS team, even OU, the voters will definitely find a way to put the undefeated team higher. They probably have them tied with OU now because they don't think USF will go undefeated.

223
by CA (not verified) :: Mon, 10/08/2007 - 12:51pm

Re: 217, 218, 220 “We had two big turnovers,� Bielema said. “The bottom line is to get a victory we needed to be clean in all phases.�

Um, what exactly is the problem with that statement? Yes, Donovan was responsible for those turnovers, but Bielema didn't use his name or even mention that the turnovers were interceptions. I don't see how anyone can say "he feels free to throw players under the bus" based on those words. And how exactly does that quote make him "a first-rate asshole" or "scum of the earth?"

Are you guys really complaining about this statement?

That problem was exacerbated Saturday because for all the grit quarterback Tyler Donovan displayed in completing 27 of 49 passes for 392 yards and two touchdowns, he hurt is team with two critical interceptions in the fourth quarter.

... because that was not a quote from Bielema but rather presumably the words of the author of the unlinked article.

Am I missing something here?