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» OFI: SEC Surprises

In an opening week where even the elite teams in college football looked mortal, the SEC had two big surprises in Texas A&M and Georgia defeating their South Carolinian opponents by big scores.

15 Nov 2007

Seventh Day Adventure: Spanning the BCS

by Russell Levine

With BCS conference races and the national-title picture still up in the air, it's time to take a broad look at the state of college football this week.

My guest on this week's podcast is Matt Hinton, better known as SMQ or the Sunday Morning Quarterback. He writes the outstanding national college football blog SundayMorningQB.com. As such, he joins the esteemed line of MQ/QBs, a list that notably includes MMQB Peter King of Sports Illustrated and TMQ Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com.

You won't find anything about barristas, field hockey, or geopolitics on Matt's site, however. (And no, that is not an invitation to begin discussing those topics in the thread here. Let's save the SDA thread for things that matter -- like why my conference is better than your conference. And the fact that Nebraska fans aren't taking this season well. You know, keep it high-brow.)

(Ed. Note: As former music director of WKRO Daytona Beach, I have to remind you not to forget the radio industry magazine "Friday Morning Quarterback." There are a lot of quarterbacks out there in the morning, but none in the evening. Odd.)

Here are the games Matt and I will discuss this week, which run the gamut of teams that are angling for BCS bids. I was warned ahead of time not to bother engaging Matt in a discussion of Hawaii's merits as he is big on strength of schedule, so we left that one out.

No. 2 Oregon (-12.5) at Arizona, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

Oregon gets a rare national-TV game to showcase it's worthiness for title game in New Orleans. Coming off a bye, Dennis Dixon should be at full strength after tweaking his knee against Arizona State.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who could sure use an Oregon loss to help his Sooners, probably still hasn't forgiven the Ducks for *beating* his team in Eugene last season. He has no doubt passed along some tips to brother Mike, the Arizona coach.

Both teams have outstanding offenses, so this could be another of those fun Pac-10 shootouts -- defense optional.

No. 7 Ohio State (-3.5) at No. 21 Michigan, 12 p.m. ET, ABC

So it's not quite the game it would have been had both teams not lost last week. It's still Ohio State-Michigan (you don't see any HBO documentaries about other rivalry games this week, do you?) and it still matters. To the winner goes the outright conference crown and a trip to the Rose Bowl. To the loser, 365 days of shame (and in Michigan's case, a likely trip to Central Florida for the holidays).

There's also the rumor that this may be Lloyd Carr's last game. If so, will the Wolverines be able to send him out a winner, as the Buckeyes did for Earle Bruce in 1987? Unlikely unless Chad Henne and Mike Hart are at something approximating full strength.

The winged helmets should be more than enough for Ohio State to forget its disappointment over losing a shot at the national title against Illinois last week. Hey, at least they took that well.

(You didn't really expect me to get through this game without a dig at OSU, did you?)

No. 5 Missouri (-7.5) at Kansas State, 12:30 p.m. ET, FSN

Lost in all the hoopla over Kansas's success this season is the year that Missouri is having. The Tigers have an explosive offense led by Chase Daniel and their only loss came at Oklahoma in a game they led at the start of the fourth quarter.

This is the strange line of the week. Kansas State is coming off a game in which it gave up 700 yards and 70-plus points to Nebraska, yet is only slightly more than a touchdown underdog against a Missouri team that is rolling.

Does somebody know something I don't? Is there that much strength in Power Towels?

No. 1 LSU (-19.5) at Mississippi, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

It took LSU just four weeks to re-ascend to No. 1 after losing to Kentucky. All the Tigers have to do to play for a national championship now is beat Ole Miss, Arkansas, and the SEC East representative in the conference title game.

The first task doesn't look hard on paper, but Ole Miss took LSU to overtime and master recruiter/psychologist/all around nut-job Ed Orgeron knows this is the rare opportunity to showcase his program on national TV.

LSU doesn't need style points, just to win out. That could be a good thing, if Ole Miss is up to the challenge.

Iowa State (+26.5) at No. 3 Kansas, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

And then there was one -- Kansas is the sole remaining undefeated team from a BCS conference after Ohio State lost last week. What's more, the Jayhawks are three wins from a berth in the national title game.

Though Iowa State would appear to be little more than a speed bump standing between Mark Mangino's crew and next week's monster game with Missouri for the Big 12 North title, the Cyclones do come in on a two-game winning streak after beginning the season 1-8.

Still, the Jayhawks should be able to shut down Iowa State's pop-gun offense and hang plenty of points on the board in their final home game.

No. 17 Boston College (+7.5) at No. 15 Clemson, 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN2

It's been an ugly two weeks for Boston College, and specifically Matt Ryan.

Two weeks ago, the Eagles were No. 2 in the BCS and Ryan was leading the Heisman straw polls after his miraculous comeback in a win over Virginia Tech (never mind that he was awful for the game's first 56 minutes).

Then Florida State happened. And Maryland. Now, some are wondering if Ryan might not be the second-best quarterback in this game, let alone the country. Clemson's Cullen Harper has been on fire during a four-game winning streak, throwing 12 touchdowns with just one interception, while completing 77.1 percent of his throws.

Clemson owned the "late-season meltdown" category last year, so it's tough to trust the Tigers in this game which will decide the ACC Atlantic Division title. But these appear to be teams headed in opposite directions.

No. 6 West Virginia (-6.5) at No. 22 Cincinnati, 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

West Virginia is still alive -- barely -- for the BCS championship, but needs lots of help. Based on last week's sluggish effort against Louisville, the Mountaineer players may not believe they're still playing for such high stakes.

This should be an interesting matchup. Cincinnati is better than the sum of its parts, and feasts off turnovers. If West Virginia protects the ball, they probably win. But they couldn't protect it in their only loss of the season at South Florida.

Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly was generating some buzz before back-to-back losses to Louisville and Pittsburgh torpedoed his team's BCS aspirations. He can get it right back with a win here. If the rumors about Lloyd Carr are true (and the ones about Les Miles are not), Kelly could certainly be due an interview in Ann Arbor come season's end.

No. 4 Oklahoma (-8) at Texas Tech, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Oklahoma is probably the least-discussed of the one-loss teams. They have only themselves to blame. Their loss -- to Colorado -- is clearly the weakest from among the once-beaten clubs, which means they'll need help to get to New Orleans.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach no doubt has his gander dander up this week after getting fined $10,000 for criticizing the officials in his team's loss to Texas last week. America's favorite pirate-loving coach can just reach into one of his treasure chests for a few dubloons to pay that off, no problem.

What he can't seem to buy is a signature win. This is another opportunity, but the Sooners have won six of seven in the series, many by outsized margins.


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The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Matt Says Russell Says
Oregon -12.5 Arizona Oregon Oregon
Ohio State -3.5 Michigan Ohio State Michigan
Missouri -7.5 Kansas State Missouri Missouri*
LSU -19.5 Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi
Iowa State +26.5 Kansas Iowa State Kansas
Boston College +7.5 Clemson Clemson Clemson
West Virginia -6.5 Cincinnati West Virginia Cincinnati
Oklahoma -8 Texas Tech Oklahoma* Oklahoma
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Guest: Warren 3-5-0 (0-1-0)    
Guests Composite     42-41-5 (2-8-1)
Russell 2-6-0 (1-0-0) 37-46-5 (5-4-2)

Posted by: Russell Levine on 15 Nov 2007

218 comments, Last at 19 Nov 2007, 6:08pm by lionsbob

Comments

1
by Mitch (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2007 - 7:25pm

Did I really hear "Computers don't take into account but humans do?"

2
by Mitch (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2007 - 7:26pm

Oops....."it" being "strength of schedule".

3
by Richard (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2007 - 7:29pm

Did you really mean to say gander?

4
by The Boilermaster (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2007 - 7:32pm

judging by the results of the "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" for guests (2-8-1), perhaps Texas Tech is a good bet, no?

5
by Joe (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2007 - 8:24pm

Besides wondering why there are only morning QBs, why aren't there any bloggers for other positions. Maybe I'll start a blog called "Wednesday afternoon defensive tackle".

6
by Mac (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2007 - 8:42pm

Is there any rule against Bob Stoops from coaching up Little Bro during the season?

7
by Bronco Jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2007 - 9:03pm

What, no Duke-Notre Dame predictions?

:-)

8
by Matt (the Clemson one) (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2007 - 10:16pm

Again with the Clemson collapses at the end of the season. That was just last year. Prior to that, Clemson has started slow and finished strong, with the one random choke (see Duke, 2004). In 2005 Clemson started 2-3, but was 5-1 in the second half if I remember correctly. I'm still worried about BC and USC, but Clemson usually does well against quality competition.

9
by Russell Levine :: Thu, 11/15/2007 - 11:44pm

Re: 3

No, I suppose Mike Leach was not really in the mood to awaken a male goose this week.

10
by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 12:35am

Not good for Oregon- Dixon re-injured his knee and is done for the evening. They're now relying on Brady Leaf.

11
by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 12:57am

I don't think I've ever seen a game with this quick a momentum shift. I went from feeling very confident that Oregon would win to feeling very confident that Arizona would win in like three minutes of playing time.

12
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 1:19am

Wow.

Leaf is terrible. Must run in the family.

13
by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 1:23am

12: I believe that gene is called the interceptus homolog

14
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 1:35am

Wow. That should have been a pick-six for Arizona.

Leaf is really, really bad. If Dixon happens to be out for the season, Oregon's season may be over.

15
by Chris Heinonen (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 1:42am

Leaf just goes into instant panic when any rush comes at him. Unless the Oregon line can give him more time in the 2nd half, I really see no way they can come back.

16
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:23am

If Oregon loses*, there may be no BCS controversy- well, some people will seek to create a controversy no matter what- it'll be LSU (if they win out) vs the Big 12 champ. Neither West Virginia nor Ohio State will have reasonable arguments against LSU or (likely) OU.

12- Ryan Leaf was a terrific college QB.

*The game isn't over, and I'm not ruling out a Ducks comeback.

17
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:38am

What was the score when Dixon went down?

18
by Bill (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:50am

17 - 8-7, Oregon (they made it 11-7 one play later).

19
by register_allocation (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:56am

Technically two plays later -- Leaf had a 4 yard completion before the FG. You can see the pbp here

20
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:58am

After winning with Georgia after a two game skid last week I'm 8 - 3. Texas Tech over OU looks oddly tantalizing, but my official pick is Michigan over Ohio State.

I've had a major change of heart- if Hawaii goes undefeated, I want them in a BCS bowl- to see if they're really good, or not. With ten spots now open in BCS bowls, it's not like a BCS Conference school would be getting robbed by being left out.

21
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:58am

74 plays for Oregon, 55 for Arizona so far. That's a lot of plays for Arizona's defense, and would likely be the reason any Oregon comeback could even be possible at this stage.

22
by kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:58am

And then Arizona made it 11-10 one drive later.

Man, this game is HIDEOUS. I have never seen so many "close but no cigar" passes in one game. It seems like every single drive goes like this: pass to wide open WR that is dropped, pass to wide open WR that is overthrown, pass to wide open WR that is underthrown, punt. What do the defenders and the football have in common? Apparently, neither is coming within 5 yards of the wide receivers (and even if they do, they just bounce off, anyway).

23
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:01am

Re: 20

After Boise State last year, an undefeated Hawaii seems very likely to get a BCS bid. It's not so much that last year's Fiesta Bowl is likely to happen all over again this year, but that whoever takes an undefeated Hawaii could market things in that direction effectively. The mid-major underdog is now a fresh possibility in consumers' minds, and it could be worth money from advertisers.

24
by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:15am

If there is a flaw with the spread option attack in college football, it's that you need at least 2 mobile QBs, because one is almost definitely going to get dinged up. Florida already lost a game this year because Tebow couldn't run because of his shoulder, now it looks like Oregon may lose one because of Dixon's knee.

Unless you have Vince Young. Because his team can't just win without him.

25
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:23am

91 offensive plays for Oregon so far.

26
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:34am

I would hate to see Hawaii in a BCS bowl, their offense got completely shut down by an average Alabama team last season. If they completely dismantle Boise State or Washington I will change my story

27
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:39am

Yeah, those 3-yard passes are going to get them downfield in no time.

28
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:41am

Maybe the Big 12 championship game loser could play Hawaii in a bowl game. I think that'd be a pretty interesting matchup, personally.

29
by kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:44am

Allow me to amend the sequence listed in post #22. The average drive in the second half has been as follows: pass to wide-open WR that is dropped, pass to wide-open WR that is overthrown, pass to wide-open DB that is dropped, punt.

30
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:46am

That's the 5th second-ranked team to fall in 7 weeks. Not bad. If we're lucky, Kansas or Missouri will somehow move to that slot for the next weekend. :)

31
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:50am

Hey, if LSU happens to lose, could we end up with 3 Big 12 teams ranked 1,2,3?

32
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:50am

#28

All signs have pointed towards Georgia playing Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl-if both teams win out (even if Georgia does not make the SEC championship game).

Arizona apparently loves to play terrible football until a highly ranked team comes into its house late in the season.

Heisman has to go to Tebow, and I cannot stand the dude. But either he or McFadden deserve it and right now I am going with Tebow.

33
by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:04am

I don't think that Arizona played that amazing football. Their offense scored 20 points total against an average defense, and only 3 the entire second half. They got one lucky punt return on a short field (and a huge block in the back at the beginning) and an int return on a really bad throw by Leaf (one of many, many, many). If Oregon can mount any kind of drive in the second half, any kind of offense, they're winning this game.

They can't without some threat to throw.

Just crushed me. With one play, Dixon's Heisman hopes and the Ducks Rose Bowl hopes were erased.

34
by kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:12am

I agree that Tebow deserves the Heisman. To put things into perspective... Tebow has 43 TDs so far this season. That breaks the single-season SEC record of 42 TDs, set by Danny Weurffel in his Heisman season. And Tebow has at least three games left to play. He's rushed for more TDs than Herschel Walker ever had in any one season (in fact, he's already tied the SEC rushing TD record by any player at any position). He's rushed and passed for at least one TD each in every game this season (giving him the longest streak in the nation of consecutive games with a rushing TD). He's on pace to break the SEC record for total yards and the NCAA record for rushing TDs by a QB. In Vince Young's near-Heisman season, he had 4086 yards, 38 TDs, and 10 INTs. In Troy Smith's slam-dunk Heisman season, he had 2746 yards, 31 TDs, and 6 INTs. Tebow so far has 3250/43/5, and he's on pace for 3995/56/6. He's pretty much blowing every other Heisman-winning QB in the history of football out of the water in terms of production, and he's doing it against the consensus best conference in the nation. Yeah, Florida had 3 losses, but don't blame that on Tebow- according to FEI, Florida is 1st in the nation in offense (by a significant margin), but only 82nd in defense. He's been arguably one of the top 5 passers in the nation (2nd in the nation in passing efficiency), and he's been arguably one of the top 5 rushers in the nation, as well (yes, even including RBs). How on earth do you justify NOT giving it to Tebow?

35
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:12am

Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

Not only is this probably the first Pac 10 conference game on a Thursday night in at least 2 years, in what is *always* Big East or C-USA territory, but Oregon loses Dixon *and* Stewart to injury? You have GOT to be kidding me.

Amazing how the Pac 10 team lost just the way the Big 12 wanted them to.

36
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:14am

#34: Because he's a sophomore, that's why.

You just watch, that'll be the reason he doesn't win it. It's silly, but the upperclassmen bias is there.

37
by kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:16am

Re #33: I don’t think that Arizona played that amazing football. Their offense scored 20 points total against an average defense, and only 3 the entire second half. They got one lucky punt return on a short field (and a huge block in the back at the beginning) and an int return on a really bad throw by Leaf (one of many, many, many). If Oregon can mount any kind of drive in the second half, any kind of offense, they’re winning this game.

I thought that initial block on the punt return was a block in the back, too... but on the replay, it was pretty clear to me that the Arizona player blocked from the side with his head and arms around the front of the Oregon player's shoulder pads. Clean block, good no-call.

Also, you can't talk about how Arizona lucked out without talking about how Oregon lucked out, too. Their defense was horrible, and if Arizona's WRs didn't have such awful hands, that game would have gotten hideous in a hurry.

38
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:17am

1997 Rose Bowl Rematch in the BCS CG Checklist:
1. tOSU win out (aUM)
2. Arizona State win out (vUSC, vArizona)
3. LSU loss (SEC CG best)
4. Oregon loss
5. Kansas loss
6. Oklahoma loss
7. Mizzou loss
8. West Virginia loss

Getting all of 5, 6, and 7 to happen may seem like a tall order, but the rematch of that classic Rose Bowl mandates it.

39
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:20am

oh and I don't like Tebow for petty reasons. I chanted his name at the 2005 Florida-Alabama game that he was visiting...and I felt dirty doing it.

40
by Duck in MA (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:27am

That was a sloppy game. And while the Ducks were in it until that late INT, it was pretty clear they were dying a slow death because Dixon wasn't in. I missed him so much it hurt me inside. And if Stewart isn't 100% for the next game, things could be heading even further south. Oh what could have been this season. If only they made Robo-players for every position. Injuries have finally killed this team.

41
by peachy (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:33am

If any sophomore season can beat the upperclassman bias, it would be Tebow's. But as much as it vexes me to admit this, I have to agree with DolFan - I'll believe that the voters can pick a sophomore when I actually see it.

I'm thinking Chase Daniel would be the favourite at this point, IF Missouri wins out - he'll presumably still have competitive stats, but more importantly he'll have the highly coveted 'star of a title contender' tag... and he's a junior. Of course, he's pretty low-profile at the moment, but winning will solve that.

42
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:06am

Someone earlier nailed it. With the loss to Oregon, the national championship game is going to be LSU v. the Big 12 champion. If LSU happens to lose, then it will be the Big 12 champion v. either West Virginia or Ohio State. If both of those teams win it, there could be a BCS controversy in that sense, but that's it.

Oddly enough, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri all control their own destiny. When can you ever say that, with three weeks remaining in the season, that four teams controlled their own destiny in the national championship race? That must be a first.

It also must feel good for OU fans. For one of their own -- Mike Stoops -- to go out and save his job and at the same time put OU back in the driver's seat by knocking off a team that beat the Sooners last year on some screwjob calls by the referees. That must be pretty sweet.

And the Big 12 deserves a lot of credit. A Big 12 team is now essentially guaranteed to play for the national championship, and this will mark the fourth time in five years -- and the fifth time in seven years -- that the Big 12 will get a team in the national championship game. That's impressive stuff.

Not so impressive though, is their 1-3 record in those games. Perhaps they make it 2-3 this year.

43
by aster (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:07am

Why did Brady Leaf look so unprepared in that game? Is it just a matter of royally sucking? Bad coaching?

You have a lanky running QB who sprained his knee last week. You'd think they'd prepare his backup with more of a gameplan than 4 yard passes (many of which were inaccurate) and a general deer-in-the-headlights mentality. Leaf looked like he wanted nothing more than the game to finally end - in the second quarter.

44
by Vince Verhei :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 8:55am

#42: Why is it good for the entire Big 12 to send a school to the championship game? How does, say, Kansas playing in the championship game benefit Nebraska?

Would it have been good for the Pac-10 to get Oregon into the championship game? And if so, does that mean that Arizona should have lost this game?

45
by Nick (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 11:30am

My understanding is that the BCS Championship game is worth more money than the other BCS games and that money gets at least partially distributed to the other teams in the Big-12 conference.

I don't think it is enough money to provide an incentive for Arizona to try to lose, but it probably is enough incentive for the teams (or at least their adminstrators) that aren't in a position to win the conference to be cheering against Arizona.

46
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 11:31am

Re: #44

It would have been great for the Pac 10 for Oregon to be in the NC game, because then the ASU/USC winner, assuming they also won their rivalry games, would almost undoubtedly have replaced Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

Getting two teams into the BCS benefits every team in the conference, financially.

47
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 12:26pm

A 2nd team in a BCS bowl nets the conference an extra 4.5 million to distribute.

48
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 12:45pm

#42: Why is it good for the entire Big 12 to send a school to the championship game? How does, say, Kansas playing in the championship game benefit Nebraska?

Money, money, money.

Not to mention national respect. I'm tired of hearing how weak the Big 12 is.

49
by SoonerHQ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 1:11pm

Russell, Oklahoma may have the "worst" loss among the once-beatens, but they also have the "best" win (Missouri). No other one-loss team has beaten another one-loss team.

#48: Amen. I read another column here on FO complaining about the lack of quality out-of-conference wins from Big 12 teams, citing Mizzou over Illinois as the only decent win. LSU beat Va Tech, but I don't see any other quality OOC victories from the SEC. The twelve SEC teams did manage to beat 9 non-Div 1A teams and 10 from the Sun Belt, though.

50
by Aaron (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 1:15pm

So, with this Oregon loss can we officially rename the Pac-10 to the "Big West," given the similarity to another conference (one consistently competitive team, a couple other teams that flash quality every now and then, a bunch of crappy teams that shouldn't play D-I football)?

51
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 1:56pm

Re #50
Only if we can rename the the Big East the "Eastern Seaboard Athletic Conference," the Big XII the "little xii," and the Big Ten the "Super Mac-10." I actually think that last one is catchy, though it may rile the gun manufacturer. Oh, and the SEC and ACC are fine as is, so long as people recognize they stand for "Southeastern Confederacy" and "Awful Crappy Conference," respectively.

52
by sundown (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:52pm

#50: "a bunch of crappy teams that shouldn't play D-I football."

Welcome to the age of parity, Aaron. The Pac 10 has fewer of those than most conferences. Interesting, though, how when the SEC teams all beat each other it's supposedly a sign of how strong and deep their conference is, but when it happens in other conferences it's a sign of weakness.

53
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:58pm

#49: By my calculation, the twelve teams from the Big XII managed to beat 14 non-Div 1A teams (4 from the Southland, 6 from the Sunbelt, 3 from the Gateway, and 1 from the Big Sky).

I looked through the entire Big XI schedule and I don't see any other quality wins outside of Mizzou over Illinois, unless you count OU's thrashing of Miami, or Nebraska beating Wake Forest.

Aside from LSU destroying Va Tech, Georiga beat Oklahoma St (though not a "great" win, it's a win against your conference) & Auburn beat Kansas St (ditto). Also, many of the SEC teams still have their rivalry game against a non-SEC team: Florida plays Florida St, Georgia plays Ga Tech, and South Carolina plays Clemson. Clemson is currently # 15 in the BCS rankings, and Florida St is #34 in the Sagarin rankings, and Ga Tech is #43. So there is still some opportunity for SEC teams to get a quality OOC win.

I don't like that the SEC plays cupcakes, for the most part, in their OOC schedule, but don't paint it like the SEC is the only conference. The Big XII does it too.

54
by DD Ohio (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:05pm

Wow. The fact that tOSU could somehow still wind up in the national title game blows my mind.

This is just sinking in: tOSU lost to a then-unranked Illinois team AT HOME, but only fell to #7? The historic Appy State loss sent the Wolverines into a different zip code, ranking-wise.

If the Ducks' loss last night drops them down below OSU (and it should- the voters are allowed to consider Dixon's injury when reranking the team), that means there are only 4 teams standing between between the Buckeyes and New Orleans. That just doesn't seem right to me.

Michigan could make this whole point moot tomorrow, but that doesn't seem likely.

55
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:06pm

At least the SEC beats the Sun Belt teams (see Iowa State-Florida Atlantic and Oklahoma State-Troy) and non-1A schools (see Iowa St.-Northern Iowa)

All of the SEC non-conference losses have been to BCS schools-no other conference can say that.

56
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:10pm

I'm a big SEC fan (Roll Tide), but admittedly the SEC does not look particularly strong this year.

My beloved Tide lost to an average-at-best FSU team, on a neutral site, in a very ugly game. Auburn lost at home to a South Florida team that has been proven to be not particularly good. Tennessee was beaten soundly by a Cal team that is now barely .500 and they are likely to win the SEC East. Mississippi State -- despite being bowl eligible with wins over Auburn, Kentucky, and Alabama -- was absolutely embarrassed by West Virginia. Ole Miss squeaked by Memphis (23-21), lost to Missouri, and squeaked by lowly Northwestern State after the Demons mounted a huge second half comeback. South Carolina barely survived a 3-7 North Carolina team in Chapel Hill.

You get the idea.

LSU's win over Virginia Tech is really the only semi-impressive out-of-conference win the SEC has had all season, and I'm not sure how impressive that is. The margin of victory was certainly impressive, but the win itself was nothing special because Virginia Tech, as I see it, is nothing special.

The SEC is usually very strong, but that certainly does not seem to be the case this year. LSU is likely the best team in the conference, but even I wonder how good they are. This is very much a down year for the conference, and even with that LSU has lost one conference game already, and they've trailed in three others in the final two minutes. They are playing a weak conference slate -- especially considering their schedule did not include Georgia and Tennessee -- and it's not like they are dominating. They are lucky as hell to be where they are at.

I will say, though, that the SEC looks to improve next year. LSU will take a step back because they lose a ton, particularly on defense, and Arkansas / Kentucky will likely take a step back because of the loss of Woodson and the expected loss of McFadden. Aside from that, though, the rest of the conference should improve. Alabama, Georgia, and Florida all return a ton of starters and have great incoming recruiting classes. Ole Miss should take off a bit next year when everyone returns and Snead takes over at QB. Mississippi State returns essentially everyone. Auburn, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt may not improve, but they are likely to be as good as they are this year.

So, for 2008, that looks like three teams that will drop off, six teams that will improve, and three that should stay about the same. It's very much a down year for the SEC, but next year we'll see a bounce-back.

57
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:22pm

LSU’s win over Virginia Tech is really the only semi-impressive out-of-conference win the SEC has had all season.

Whoa..."semi-impressive?" Va Tech is currently 10th in the BCS standings. If there is a better OOC win all season, please name it.

58
by Mitch (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:23pm

Oregon's coaching staff has got to get some blame for last night.

How do you have a a run-option offense that is totally dependent on having a fast, atheltic qb and make the backup a Leaf brother?

Also how where they not more prepared for having to replace Dixon mid-game? This was not some random unpredicatble injury.

59
by Aaron (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:25pm

#53 Yes, everyone plays cupcakes in OOC. You would too if you were making the schedule. The BCS money to be gained means you shouldn't take unnecessary chances with tough opponents early. Where's the payoff? There's none. College basketball is different. If you aren't scheduling tough games there that's just dumb as it would be good practice for the tournament. But one loss in football is just too much when undefeated and 1 loss teams play for the title most every year.

60
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:32pm

#59 -- I'm not arguing your point. I agree with you. My point is: don't paint the SEC out to be the only conference that does it, as posting #49 attempted to do. EVERY team/conference plays cupcakes in the OOC schedule. Even Michigan, who held out forever in scheduling a true cupcake, played a D-I AA team this year (regardless of the outcome).

61
by SoonerHQ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:34pm

#53: Thanks for your response. If you are going to count Ga Tech and Florida St (who haven't actually lost to Georgia or Florida yet), I can certainly count Wake Forest (same overall record and better conf record than Ga Tech) and Miami (one game behind Fla St, but beat them in Tallahassee). So that leaves you with a potential win vs. Clemson to hang your hat on. Not exactly a slam dunk. I also noticed you didn't mention Missouri's win over Ole Miss. Not a "great" win, but it is a win against your conference.

The Big 12, esp. Kansas, has been ridiculed all year long for their cupcake OOC schedule. I have never defended the practice, but was merely trying to trying to point out that the all-powerful SEC does it too. Thanks for conceding my point.

If the three SEC teams you mention can win all three of those games against their ACC rivals, I will concede that the SEC has won more "significant" (whatever that means) OOC games than the Big 12, FWIW. I am hoping for a Big 12-SEC matchup in the title game, and we'll see who comes out on top when all is said and done.

62
by Nick (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:35pm

#54 - do you really think a loss to a 1AA team is equivalent to a loss to a 8-3 Big 10 team?

63
by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:39pm

#37: Yeah, Arizona got lucky. Don't talk to a Duck fan about dropped passes, or did you actually forget about Dixon's interception in the end zone? Cause that wasn't about the Arizona defense making a good play.

You may be right about the block in the back; I didn't watch a good replay of it. But it happened because of a short field, and that happened because Dixon was gone. The officiating was horrible (the two noncalls on the face masks were just ridiculous) but Arizona got lucky.

And they were never more lucky than when Dixon went down.

I do hope Dixon gets to play again for the Ducks. I also think that Oregon can actually go to the Rose. If they know Dixon's going to be out, they can scheme a bit differently. Against UCLA they'll be playing a team as devastated by injury as the Ducks are. And against OSU, they've always got a shot at home. If we have Stewart back, I think we have a real shot; all we need is ASU to lose against USC, and that should be the likely outcome.

And then we need to win two games with Brady Leaf. Gah.

64
by SoonerHQ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:44pm

#55: Very good point re: the SEC losing only to other BCS schools. I won't attempt to defend the Iowa St losses, but Troy is leading their conference and averages a 46 in the BCS computer rankings. At least Oklahoma St was brave/foolish enough to play @ Troy, unlike the three SEC schools who paid for a sacrifical lamb to come to them.

#56: Careful, you could have your SEC fan privileges revoked for being too objective. ;)

65
by SoonerHQ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:50pm

#63: Oregon fans are *never* allowed to complain about the officiating when Sooner fans are present. ;)

66
by Eddo (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:54pm

54: "This is just sinking in: tOSU lost to a then-unranked Illinois team AT HOME, but only fell to #7? The historic Appy State loss sent the Wolverines into a different zip code, ranking-wise."
While I agree with you that Ohio State ( I refuse to use the "The" in front) doesn't belong in the title game, likening their loss to Illinois in the same class as Michigan's loss to Appalachian State is not an apt comparison.
Illinois was ranked as high as #17 before the loss to Iowa (granted, a terrible game by the Illini) dropped them from the top 25. They were still consistently in the "Others receiving votes" group, and if they take care of Northwestern in Champaign on Saturday, will finish 9-3 and should be a serious contender to win the Big Ten in the coming years.

67
by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:02pm

#63: No, I'm saying the officiating was just in general bad. There were bad calls both for and against Oregon, and a lot of entirely missed calls. The Pac-10 reffing sucks and it needs to get fixed. This isn't saying that the Ducks lost because of bad officiating; the Ducks lost because their Heisman QB got injured in the first quarter.

This is saying that Pac-10 refing is subpar.

And is this the point where we talk about Oklahoma forfeiting all their wins because they took money from boosters? I always forget if I say that before or after the "I was unaware that a recovered onside kick scores points" argument.

:)

68
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:02pm

#61 -- And you're going to hang your hat on Mizzou beating the only winless SEC team?

Ga Tech and Wake basically have the same resume and are 3 spots from each other in Sagarin's ratings, so that's pretty much a wash. Point conceded.

But Florida St is # 34, whereas Miami is #71 (and by the way, if there is another decent place to find rankings of all D-1 teams, let me know...I'm just using Saragin's b/c it's the only one I know). FSU actually has some good wins this year: Alabama and Boston College. Miami, on the other hand, is a terrible team. I'm not sure how they beat FSU, but I'm chalking that up to a rivalry thing. Three of Miami's four other wins came against Florida Int'l, Duke and Marshall. Of course, this is predicated on Florida beating FSU, and if that doesn't happen, I'll eat crow.

And by the way, Kansas should be ridiculed for their OOC schedule. B/c these schedules are made years in advance, you can't control how good a team will be when you schedule them, however, you can at least schedule other BCS schools. And if you look throughout the SEC's OOC schedule, at least their teams are scheduling BCS schools. Arkansas is the only SEC team who did not play an OOC game vs a BCS team this season. Four Big XII teams did not play an OOC game vs a BCS team this season: Kansas, Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor.

And by the way, just for the record, Clemson is going to destroy South Carolina.

69
by SoonerHQ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:30pm

#63" Touche, although the forfeited wins were from 2005, when we beat the Ducks in the Holiday Bowl (thanks to a late int thrown by none other than Brady Leaf). Not sure what you mean with the "recovered onside kick scores points" comment, since the Sooners were ahead 33-27 at that point and would have run out the 1:12 left on the clock had the refs not lost track of the ball and/or actually watched the replay that clearly showed the Oregon player touching the ball early. But I digress....

#68: According to Jerry Palm's collegebcs.com, the average BCS computer ranking for FSU is 40, Miami is 63. When we start discussing teams well outside the top 25 with below .500 conference records, I don't think we can count them as quality wins for either conference.

My original point was that the lack of decent OOC wins isn't limited to the Big 12, or the SEC for that matter. unfortunately there are just too few inter-conference games to make a statistically valid comparison.

Click on my name for a link to all of the computer rankings you could ever want.

70
by SoonerHQ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:33pm

The first comment in my previous post was in reference to #67, of course.

71
by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:41pm

#69: the "I'm unaware that an onside kick scores points" means that Oregon was absolutely gifted that call by horrible refs, but the score was still 33-27 Oklahoma at the time. Oregon could still have been stopped. Getting that call meant that Oregon didn't lose the game right then, but Oklahoma didn't lose the game just because of that call.

72
by SoonerHQ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:54pm

#71: OK, I see your point. OU would have won had the correct call been made (barring a fumbled snap or something), but even after the blown call they still could have won by stopping Oregon (or making the last-minute FG). In other words, if the OU players and coaches had immediately forgotten about the worst call in the history of televised football and concentrated on defense, they might still have won. True enough, although if I were a Duck I would feel a little dirty making that argument.

I think we can all agree that the Pac 10 refs sucked last year and continue to suck this year, and the conference doesn't seem to be doing anything proactive to fix the problem. Suspending the officials after the fact doesn't really help much.

73
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:03pm

Whoa…�semi-impressive?� Va Tech is currently 10th in the BCS standings. If there is a better OOC win all season, please name it.

My point was that I didn't see how beating Virginia Tech was particularly impressive because the Hokies are not particularly impressive.

I understand that they are 8-2 and 10th in the BCS, but what have they done? They have won eight football games as a result of a very weak out-of-conference schedule sans LSU -- East Carolina, Ohio, and William & Mary -- and a very weak ACC. The truth is that the ACC, with Miami and Florida State both struggling greatly, is nothing is a very weak conference. Moreover, in a crazy year like this in which even the top teams have been beaten by some pretty mediocre teams, being 10th in the BCS is nothing particularly special. And it's also meaningless. As weak as the ACC is, they will only get one BCS spot (the guaranteed spot for the ACC Champion), so it only matters if they win the ACC or not. Where they are at in the BCS is wholly meaningless.

I just don't see how they've done anything special. The biggest win they've had all year long was when they beat Clemson, and those Tigers are nothing special in their own right. And they won that when Clemson had a meltdown of turnovers and special teams breakdowns. All in all, the Hokies are a team with a bad offense, a good but not great defense, and a good special teams unit. Put it all together and you have a pretty good team that is nothing particularly impressive.

They've played one team that was particularly good all year long, and that was when LSU killed them. And that loss really looks terrible at the moment. 7-3 Kentucky beat LSU, 7-3 Florida led LSU in Tiger Stadium for 59 minutes, 6-4 Auburn led LSU in Tiger Stadium for about 50 minutes and led until LSU won with a touchdown pass with one second left, and 6-4 Alabama led LSU the entire second half, including with well under five minutes to go. It is clear, considering how much they've struggled with all of those teams, that LSU is not that good. Yet that same team that has struggled with all of those opponents made an absolute joke of the Hokies. Aside from the Sisters of the Poor -- Louisiana Tech, Tulane, etc. -- LSU had an easier time with VT than just about anyone on the schedule.

The LSU win over Virginia Tech may be the most impressive out-of-conference win in the country this year, but I think that speaks much more to the lack of out-of-conference games that pit good teams versus other good teams.

74
by Mitch (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:15pm

The officials from last night should never be allowed to use replay again.

75
by Alex (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:18pm

This is just sinking in: tOSU lost to a then-unranked Illinois team AT HOME, but only fell to #7? The historic Appy State loss sent the Wolverines into a different zip code, ranking-wise.

Seriously, there's unranked, and there's unranked. "Unranked" Illinois was 7-3, and had gone on the road against Missouri and played them closer than any other team except for 1-loss Oklahoma. All three of Illinois' losses were close in the fourth quarter, so it's not like they were getting blown out by anyone. They've been a very competitive team this year, even against highly ranked opponents.

Losing a close game against a team of Illinois' caliber isn't proof that a team isn't very good. I mean, LSU lost to 7-3 Kentucky, and they're ranked 1st. Oklahoma lost to 5-6 Colorado, and they're still ranked in the top 5.

76
by DD Ohio (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:34pm

#62 do you really think a loss to a 1AA team is equivalent to a loss to a 8-3 Big 10 team?

#64 likening their loss to Illinois in the same class as Michigan’s loss to Appalachian State is not an apt comparison. Illinois was ranked as high as #17 before the loss to Iowa (granted, a terrible game by the Illini) dropped them from the top 25. They were still consistently in the “Others receiving votes� group

The current standings do reflect that Illinois is no cupcake- they're now #19.

So no, I don't think the two losses are truly on a par- so I'm not suggesting that Ohio State should go from #1 to #20.

What I am suggesting is that OSU shouldn't still be within spitting distance of a #1 or #2 spot. Especially since they only have one more game left, and that against a weak Michigan team! Does the BCS really want a repeat of last January, with OSU playing the role of the Washington Generals for whomever is left at #1?

At the very least, #8 Arizona State's road loss to Oregon should make their 9-1 record "prettier" than Ohio State's 10-1.

I guess the bottom line for me is that I think all of the Big Ten is overranked this year, and if OSU's 7-1 record in that conference (coupled with their wins over Akron, Kent State and Youngstown State) propels them to the 2008 title game, I think it will be yet another BCS travesty.

77
by scott (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:43pm

Using tellshow's bcs rankings (and considering only i-aa losses--and ranking that in the last category).

VS 1-20
SEC: 1-2 (W-#10, L-#5, #6)
P10: 2-1 (W-#18, #20; L-#7)
B12: 1-3 (W-#19, L-#8, #9, #11)

vs 21-40
SEC: 0-3 (L-#27, #33, #34)
P10: 2-3 (W-#21, #49; L-#22, #25, #31)
B12: 2-2 (W-#29, #36; L-#28, #33)

vs 41-60
SEC: 7-0
P10: 3-2
B12: 4-1

vs 61-80
SEC: 4-0
P10: 2-1
B12: 7-2

vs 81-100
SEC: 5-0
P10: 6-1
B12: 6-1

vs 101-120
SEC: 11-0
P10: 3-0
B12: 7-2

78
by Will (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:46pm

"signature win"? gag

Leach has beat A&M consistently and has mixed in an ocassional win against UT and OU.

The Holiday Bowl win over a Cal team that thought they deserved a BCS game also comes to mind.

79
by Sanjuro (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:54pm

Let's face it. There really has not been a dominant force in college football this year. Two teams will probably wind up backing into the championship game.

LSU has been nowhere near being a dominant team since VT. They have scratched and clawed to have only one loss. Kansas no doubt has produced the most lopsided contests and have the benefit of no losses so far. However their schedule is an absolute joke (even the Big 12 one without OU or UT). They will get exposed by Missou next week and hopefully fall out of the top ten so we don't have to worry about seeing them in a BCS bowl game. If by some stretch they get incredibly lucky and manage to knock both Missou and OU out, then they have the makings of a true championship game.

The BCS games overall this year will be a joke. If OSU beats Michigan and Hawaii falls, then what will be the second team to come out of the Big 10, ACC, or Big East for those games?

80
by Eddo (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 6:00pm

76: Fair enough. But of all the one-loss teams BCS conferences, Ohio State is ranked second-to-last (ahead of only Arizona State).

LSU (BCS #1)
Oklahoma (BCS #4)
Missouri (BCS #5)
West Virgina(BCS #6)
Ohio State (BCS #7)
Arizona State (BCS #8)

Still, to make it to the title game, Ohio State would need ALL of the following to happen:

LSU to lose (likely twice).
Kansas to lose.
Oklahoma to lose.
Missouri to lose.
West Virginia to lose.

If all that happens, Ohio State would still only be ranked ahead of two one-loss teams: Arizona State and Kansas, both of whom haven't really beaten anyone either. So at what point are we only punishing Ohio State because of a game that happened last year, with a different starting QB, RB, WR1, and WR2?

81
by Eddo (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 6:11pm

79: "The BCS games overall this year will be a joke. If OSU beats Michigan and Hawaii falls, then what will be the second team to come out of the Big 10, ACC, or Big East for those games?"
If Hawaii loses to Boise State, it will likely be the Broncos, for the second year in a row. If Hawaii loses to someone else, then it's anyone's guess. Right now, teams 14-20 in the BCS standings are:

14. ACC - Virginia
15. ACC - Clemson
16. WAC - Hawaii
17. ACC - Boston College
18. WAC - Boise State
19. B10 - Illinois
20. SEC - Tennesee

Under your scenario, Hawaii loses, so we drop them. Only one of the ACC teams (Virginia Tech (#10), Virginia, Clemson, and Boston College) will likely be ranked in the top 16 after the ACC championship, so it looks bad for an ACC at-large bid. Tennessee is irrelevant unless it wins the SEC, as Georgia and Florida are likely much more attractive as at-large teams.
So that leaves Boise State (if they are the ones who beat Hawaii) and Illinois, which could conceivably move up to #16 if they beat Northwestern on Saturday and Virginia Tech wins the ACC (as expected). But it's probably likely that Boise State or Hawaii only loses to the other, so I'd say the likelihood goes:

Hawaii/Boise State winner
Illinois
best remaining ACC team

82
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 8:05pm

80,

I'm not a Buckeye fan, but I think you are grossly overstating what Ohio State needs to do in order to get to the national championship game.

You talk of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas, but two of those three teams will be eliminated. At the end of the day, the Big 12 Champion, whomever that may be, is headed to the national championship game.

The other team will be LSU, assuming the Bayou Bengals win out. If they lose, however, it's going to come neck and neck between West Virginia and Ohio State. The Buckeyes currently trail the Mountaineers by a small margin, but they could make that up with a win over Michigan, and let us not forget that WVU has two games remaining against currently ranked opponents -- Cincinnati and UConn -- plus a rivalry game remaining with Pittsburgh. It's far from a given that they'll win out, they still have 25% of their schedule remaining.

Again, I'm not a Buckeye fan, but I think you are grossly overstating the case.

At this point, it seems that if Ohio State can just get LSU to lose one game -- and not two, an 11-1 Ohio State team will be guaranteed to go above an 11-2 LSU team in the BCS standings -- to either Ole Miss, Arkansas, and the SEC Championship game, and then take care of business against Michigan, they're headed to NOLA.

Seemingly all the Buckeyes need is to beat Michigan and have LSU lose once in the final three games.

83
by Eddo (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 8:48pm

82 (PaulH):
Yes, I did overstate what needed to happen for Ohio State to make the title game. However, my main point is the same: a one-loss Ohio State team shouldn't be disregarded simply because of what happened last year. (In fact, some people are making the same ridiculous argument against Oklahoma beating out other one-loss teams.)
You present two scenarios: (1) both LSU and West Virginia lose and (2) just LSU loses.
Scenario 1:
Big XII champ in (I don't disagree) and all other Big XII teams not in the running for national title.
One-loss BCS teams:

Ohio State
Arizona State
I don't see the problem. Arizona State hasn't really beaten anyone, either, so I see no problem with Ohio State vs. Big XII champ in the title game.
Scenario 2:
Big XII champ in (I don't disagree) and all other Big XII teams not in the running for national title.
One-loss BCS teams:

Ohio State
West Virginia
Arizona State

Above, I acknowledged ASU, so I won't here. As for West Virginia, if they win out, I don't see how OSU's win over Michigan would be considered more impressive by the computers than WVU's wins over Cincinnati, Connecticut, and Pitt. If both WVU and OSU win out, all the teams they beat will end up being unranked anyways, and WVU is already ahead of OSU.
I've don't mean to defend OSU, and I really don't want to see them in the title game again (they're not that good), but it would be hard to place Arizona State ahead of them, and I really don't think they pass West Virginia unless the Mountaineers lose.
And to be honest, I'm really hoping that enough ACC schools lose so that the BCS has no choice but to take Illinois as an at-large team :)

84
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 9:05pm

83,

I think you pretty nailed it there. I'm not necessarily saying that Ohio State will pass WVU if both win out, but I think it's possible, especially if they beat Ohio State convincingly.

And honestly, I think there is a much better chance that West Virginia loses once in its final three games than the chance of Ohio State losing to Michigan. The Buckeyes aren't great, but Michigan sure as hell isn't and they've owned the Wolverines as of late.

That said, though, if LSU wins out it's all going to be a moot point.

85
by Eddo (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 9:50pm

84: I agree totally about West Virginia's chances; I feel like, of all the top ranked teams, they're the one most likely to lay an egg at the worst time and look like crap against UConn or even Pitt.
In fact, coming to the realization that Ohio State still has a decent shot at the national championship is depressing me. It really seems that if West Virginia loses (now the pessimist in me is seeing this as a near certainty :P) and either LSU loses or Oklahoma loses before the Big XII title game and then wins the Big XII title, OSU will play for the national championship yet again.

86
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 10:14pm

#59: That's funny, I seem to recall Texas playing TOSU (THE Ohio State University) in Columbus early one season and winning the title, followed by the rematch in Autin and the Buckeyes getting to the title game and being heavily favored. So much for the argument that playing tough OOC opponents keeps teams from the title :-)

I'm every glad that others see what I've seen about LSU for at least a month--that they're in fact one of the luckiest college football teams I've ever seen and their unearthly 4th down conversion are simply isn't sustainable. And even with all their incredible luck they still have a loss (by rights they should have three). Mark my words, they will barely scrape by Ole Miss and lose to the Vols in the SEC title game.

Are the Sooners going to be #2 now? If so, I'd watch out for a loss by them to Okie State. It's happened twice before...

87
by Diane (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 11:40pm

Dixon had torn his ACL two weeks ago, but was cleared to play???

"The quarterback tore his anterior cruciate ligament during Oregon's Nov. 3 victory over Arizona State, according to coach Mike Bellotti, but he had rested it and felt like he was ready to play Thursday night against the Wildcats."

88
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 11:51pm

Wow. The fact that tOSU could somehow still wind up in the national title game blows my mind.

This is just sinking in: tOSU lost to a then-unranked Illinois team AT HOME, but only fell to #7? The historic Appy State loss sent the Wolverines into a different zip code, ranking-wise.

Ohio State was 10 - 1 after their loss, Michigan was 0 - 1 after theirs. Ohio State's body of work for 2007 is still impressive.

24 hours Dennis Dixon was looking at a probably Heisman and a trip to the National Championship Game. Ouch.

89
by Mitch (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 12:32am

WOW.

So Dixon had a torn ACL going into the game and Oregon kept it a secret. And they played him. And they had no plan whatsoever when he predictably went down.

I bet people who bet on Oregon last night are not too pleased with that program.

90
by Kal (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 1:37am

I don't think all of Oregon knew. I think it was Belotti, Dixon, and the medical staff. I can understand Dixon wanting that too.

But wow, does that suck.

91
by dbt (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 1:53am

Heck, if Michigan wins and Illinois takes care of the wildcats as expected, doesn't that make the Illini the #2 team in the big 10?

92
by Joefan (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 2:04am

Re 88

What's impressive about beating a bunch of crappy teams?

93
by Yamahachi (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 2:06am

#86 That’s funny, I seem to recall Texas playing TOSU (THE Ohio State University) in Columbus early one season and winning the title, followed by the rematch in Autin and the Buckeyes getting to the title game and being heavily favored. So much for the argument that playing tough OOC opponents keeps teams from the title :-)

Of course the losers of those games were pretty much eliminated from the championship right away. If you win a game against a tough OOC team, it doesn't keep you from the title, but if you lose a game it sure can.

94
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 3:02am

So much for the argument that playing tough OOC opponents keeps teams from the title.

I don't think anyone is arguing that you cannot play in the national championship game if you play a tough out-of-conference opponent. The argument is that playing tough out-of-conference opponents makes it much more difficult to get to the big game. You can still do it, but it's a lot tougher to do.

Obviously it's a lot tougher to go through Ohio State than it is Ohio, and the odds of you making the big game obviously goes up if you take the creampuff route. But that's not to say that you cannot do it the other way, only that it makes things tougher.

95
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 3:51am

Tennessee is not beating LSU in the SEC championship. I am hoping Vandy or Kentucky knocks Tennessee off so Georgia can get in there.

96
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:15am

95,

I don't know, at this point anything could happen. On the surface LSU should be the favorite, but if Tennessee plays them like they did Georgia or Arkansas, LSU is likely going down. On the other hand, if Tennessee plays anything like they did against Cal, Florida, or 'Bama, LSU will blow them out of the water.

I guess the point is that with there being no truly great teams this year, nothing is a given. There is a lot of parity, and the real world effect of that is that, especially among the better teams, seemingly anyone can beat anyone on any given day. If you're LSU I think you have to hope that you play Tennessee, but a win is not guaranteed.

Don't forget, Tennessee led LSU last year in Knoxville until they lost on a touchdown pass with 9 seconds left. Anything can happen.

97
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:21am

Speaking of LSU... I cannot ever remember a team winning more close games at the very end than they have the past couple of years.

Last year they beat Tennessee on a game-winning touchdown pass with nine seconds left. They forced overtime against Ole Miss with a touchdown pass as time expired, and beat them in overtime. Earlier this year they beat Florida with a last minute touchdown pass after trailing for 59 minutes. They beat Auburn after trailing 50 minutes with a long touchdown pass with one second left on the clock. They beat Alabama after trailing the entire second half on a touchdown with about 1:30 to play.

Exactly what does FO research say about that? After reading all of the stuff about guts and stomps, etc., you would expect them to come back down to Earth a bit, but they keep on winning close game after close game. Oh sure they drop one occasionally -- see Kentucky -- but they seemingly win 3 out of 4 close ones they play.

Any thoughts?

98
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:56am

#95: I hate the Vols, so I don't want them winning the SEC title either, but they are going to win the East and they way LSU is walking the tightrope, I can easily see them losing. Plus there is some history, as a few years back LSU upset a highly favored Vols squad n the SEC title game.

#97: LSU has all the talent in the world, but Les Miles drags them down to the point where he HAS to keep going for it on 4th down late in order for them to barely win, if that makes any sense.

And Hawaii just edged Navada by two on a late FG BTW, as Nevada coach Chris Ault's lame attampt to call not one, but TWO timeouts to freeze the kicker failed, as it should have. I hate it when one timeout is called in that situation, but to call two in a row? I really think that rule should be abolished next year. No more timeouts as the ball is being snapped for the kick, that's just unbelievably lame, and furthermore it hardly ever works to begin with.

99
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 2:28pm

ALERT: If you have HBO, you have to see the documentary on the Michigan vs Ohio State rivalry.

If you don't have HBO, order it for a month just for this. It's that good. You'll thank me.

100
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 3:08pm

cognet.catch22.org for IRC football chat, #fo

101
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 3:48pm

Wait a second, Michigan has an accurate kicker? When's the last time that happened? Oh well.

Going back to the first OSU possession, why throw long on 3rd and 4 from the 37? I would've run it, then gone for it on 4th if necessary/favorable. The long pass set up an all-or-nothing scenario, where you get a long completion or a punt for a probable (and actual) 17 yard net. I think being more conservative on 3rd would actually have been a more aggressive move there.

This time of year the score ticker gets confusing. I just looked up and saw Louisville leading someone 38-22 in the first. Whaaaa....? Oh, yeah.

So did Carr actually quit or not?

I love the coin they used for the toss, with Woody as the head and Bo as the ass. Er, tails.

102
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 3:50pm

Hi, I'm Todd Boeckman. I can't hang onto the ball.

103
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 3:55pm

Awesome, I am down in LSU and a commercial for a politician and it compared Kyle Ardoin (I guess he is a party-switcher) to Nick Saban. LSU fans need to get over it.

I guess I am colored by what I have seen this season: I have seen Tennessee versus Cal, Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina and was never impressed and have seen Georgia vs. Oklahoma State, Alabama, Florida, and Auburn and came away the opposite.

As a Michigan fan growing up that became an Alabama fan after going to the school-I am glad they decided to separate rival week as the last few years have been terrible.

104
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:01pm

A TV first. A QB just ran the draw and they compared him to John Elway not Tim Tebow.

105
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:04pm

103,

Yes, that is a campaign for Steve Carter. He used to be associate athletic director at LSU. Did you see all of his "Beat Bama" campaign signs? They are all over the area. And now he has the Saban commercials.

His opponent also has a commercial saying, big shock, STFU about Nick Saban and Alabama and tell us what you really stand for.

How pathetic is it that in the most politically corrupt state in the union, at the biggest crossroads they have ever faced, they are apparently electing politicians on the volume of their hatred for Nick Saban and Alabama. You'd think they have some more important things to worry about. You know, levees, hurricanes, getting the hell above sea level, destruction of the wet lands, etc.

What a dumbass state.

106
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:09pm

Yes I have seen those signs as well-I did not catch his name during the commercial, but now it does not surprise me.

107
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:21pm

It's never good when your team throws a screen, and you're just hoping it falls incomplete.

108
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:26pm

Tebow just won the Heisman, give it to anyone else and it is a joke. Sorry McFadden.

109
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:28pm

Michigan's punter is named Zoltan? Awesome. I hope to be seeing a lot of him today.

Gholston is showing today why putting the best pass rusher on the blind side isn't always the best way. He's absolutely abusing the RT whenever he lines up there, and is less effective against Long. I'm all for putting on blind side pressure, but I'm even a bigger fan of abusing a mismatch.

By the way, I consider people like Manningham to be dirty traitors, but Gholston is one of many who've seen the light and escaped from the kingdom of darkness.

110
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:30pm

Hello, my name is Todd Boeckman, and my coach doesn't want me to lose the game.

111
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:37pm

Boeckman should listened to his head coach.

112
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:37pm

$&$&!$*&$!!!!!

113
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:39pm

OK, why is that not intentional grounding? Henne just threw it straight to the ground, with nobody within 10 yards.

114
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:40pm

WR ran the wrong route.

115
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 4:52pm

Michigan needs to get some help on Gholston. They also need to throw some safe passes on first down to give Hart better chance to run on second/third and short.

This going to be a slog the whole way unless the weather really improves. Henne is clearly struggling with his accuracy, don't know if it's the gloves, the weather, his shoulder or more likely a combo of all three.

I think Boeckman has another turnover in him.

This one is going down to the wire.

116
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:04pm

Sorry guys, but the Michigan v. Ohio State game looks terrible. Neither team can throw the ball, or run it particularly well, and they are putting the ball on the ground a good bit and dropping a lot of easy passes.

I know Musberger and company are talking about the "miserable weather" and all, but I've seen a higher quality of football being played at this level in worse weather conditions than this. I just think both teams are playing poorly, regardless of the weather.

And Henne almost just had a screen pass intercepted at their own five yard line. Case meet point.

117
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:06pm

And now we have a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown that is negated by a block in the back foul.

Again, case meet point.

118
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:07pm

game, Ohio State just won this one. Damn Michigan.

119
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:07pm

And then we have a 62-yard touchdown run for the Buckeyes.

Like much of the day, there was some sloppy play -- a couple of huge whiffs on tackles -- but that was a nice run by the back.

Ohio State leads 14-3, and honestly, that might be all of the points they need to win today.

120
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:09pm

Long TD punt return called back by penalty (correctly - and the long return wouldn't happen without the illegal block). Next play, Michigan has nine in the box, Beanie busts it for a long TD run anyway.

Carr is mad at the DC, but it's not like he had a bad defense called. They had two wideouts split to the right, and there were only two defenders over there. The other nine were playing run all the way, the safeties were up and all. They just got whooped at the line, Beanie made someone miss. Not the DC's fault.

121
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:12pm

Watching the safety play patty-cake with the pile, I assume I would be pissed as well.

122
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:13pm

At this point the Wolverines trail by 11 points, and they are punting deep out of their own end.

Michigan currently has under 100 yards of total offense, and Mike Hart just limped off the field. And now they are talking about the return of Mallet.

I know this game still has a ton of time left, but I'm with Lionsbob, unless Ohio State implodes with turnovers and the like, they have it won.

123
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:50pm

Henne, shoulder freshly full of horse tranquilizers, comes back in and throws deep. Then a well-defended end around, and a bad miscommunication between Henne and the center results in a fumble. Punt.

Michigan's offense actually looked better with Mallet. Maybe it was because OSU was so overcommitted to stopping the run, I dunno.

124
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:51pm

Can we give the Heisman to Knowshon Moreno? He's the only guy in the college game this year who gives me the feeling I might see something special on any given play.

125
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:59pm

Good penalty by Russell. Why risk a TD when it's only 15 yards for PI?

Also, that seems to be Michigan's best offensive play today. Chuck it deep, and hope for a catch or penalty. The other traditional plays don't seem to be working so well.

126
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 6:21pm

OK, the Buckeyes can run it out here. But....

Go for it!!! And go for 2!!!

127
by nick (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 6:31pm

ok, nbc is SHOWING THE NOTRE DAME GAME....is there no "embarrassment" clause in their college football contract?

128
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 6:37pm

Hey Trogdor:

Congr .... con...congratu....congraulat...

Nah. I can't do it.

129
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 6:40pm

OK, which game to watch now? Dare I tune in to the Duke Super Bowl?

130
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 6:45pm

Never thought Michigan was going to win this one, so I did not invest my emotions into the game.

Alabama busy pissing their pants. J.P. Wilson doing his best job making sure their will be a QB controversey this season.

and then Bama touches a punt and gives ULM the ball back. Game is tied 14-14. Bama is playing flat and probably about to be embarrassed.

131
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 6:49pm

and a friend of mine called about an hour to go and said that Houston Nutt was out and was being reported by Mark May....not seeing it on ESPN.com though.

132
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 6:51pm

Georgia wins, Tennessee losing 17-9 at halftime to Vandy.

133
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 7:01pm

Does anybody else lose the ESPN HD feed for the late afternoon game? I don't particularly want to see Penn State-Michigan State, but that's better than commercials. Barely.

134
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 7:05pm

Ole Miss returner makes a dangerous decision to pass up the fair catch, breaks a tackle and races down the left sideline for a 44-yard TD. Tied at 7.

135
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 7:08pm

Ole Miss has plenty of athletes on both sides of the ball to make the game somewhat interesting, but I will be surprised to see them make it close....

136
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 7:09pm

And then LSU returns the KO for a TD, thus ending the Rebels' delusions of grandeur.

137
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 7:11pm

24-9 Vandy over Tennessee in the 3rd quarter. Again tell me how Tennessee is going to be in the SEC championship game-even if they come back in this one, I don't see them getting by Kentucky.

138
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 7:28pm

Damn it Duke. While marching down the field for a score to break the 0-0 tie, right before halftime, Duke fumbles, and Notre Dame gets a touchdown a few plays later.

Notre Dame kicks off, Duke fumbles a play or two later, and another Notre Dame touchdown follows.

139
by navin (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 7:34pm

Yes, this is typical Duke. I have the fortune of watching them play regularly.

140
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 7:37pm

Alabama is playing terrible on offense for the second week in a row. Grant is a nice RB but is not an everydown RB. Apparently Upchurch died and Glenn Coffee suspension has been lifted-but for te Auburn game. Lowe is definitely not an everydown RB and Jimmy Johns has been in the doghouse since Saban got there.

and J.P. has went crazy. But ULM is just making plays and Alabama is wondering why the season doesn't end after the Tennessee game for the 3rd year in a row.

141
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 7:37pm

Re 133, yeah, I don't fully understand how the TV contract works, but it's not just you. They black out certain games at certain times for reasons that apparently make sense to the Big Ten and Disney but not to viewers.

142
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:03pm

Re: 133/141

It works like this. The Big Ten has "most favored nation" status with ABC/ESPN. As a result, when there are regional games in the 3:30 p.m. window, they do what's called a "reverse mirror". What that means is everywhere the Big Ten game isn't shown on ABC, it is shown on ESPN. In areas where the Big Ten game is available on ABC, they black out ESPN.

It's a stunningly good deal for the Big Ten, and no other conference has anything like it. It means that ESPN is blacked out to a big portion of the country during the 3:30 game window each Saturday.

143
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:06pm

An ND receiver caught and controlled a pass, landed on his butt and the ball popped out when his elbow hit the ground. Shouldn't that be a catch?

144
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:10pm

#142 Yeah, but I get the regular feed, just not HD.

145
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:14pm

Well, the Rutgers-Pitt game was just brutal. Here's a crazy sequence from the first quarter.

After a Jabu Lovelace fumble inside the 15, Pitt gets a first down at the 1/2 yard line. They try a QB sneak, Rutgers offside. They try another, Rutgers offside again. So it's still 1st down, but now the QB goes back to pass (?), and luckily falls down as he's throwing the ball and is ruled down in the backfield, because the wounded duck was picked off and would have been run all the way back. 2nd down was an incompletion, I think. 3rd down got it back to the 1 on a running play, and then on 4th down they pass for the touchdown. If they hadn't scored I'd nominate Wannstedt for the KCW.

Rutgers wound up holding on after getting an OPI call on what would have been the go-ahead touchdown, but both teams looked useless on offense 90% of the time.

146
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:18pm

The Vols are actually going to beat Vandy after trailing 24-9 in the second half. Unbelievable.

And Ole Miss is showing why they're such a loser team by doing everything in their power to hand LSU the win.

LSU and the Vols are NOT the two best SEC teams, just the two luckiest. Just sickening.

147
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:19pm

Vandy is the Big 10's version of Michigan State BTW--no lead is too big for them to choke away.

148
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:22pm

Alabama is trying their best to sully the good name of the SEC. Down 21-14 Alabama had a good drive going on the 20 and little used Jimmy Johns fumbled the ball. ULM is punting the ball from their own end zone with about 3 minutes to go. Alabama is now on the 27 looking to tie it up.

149
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:31pm

What about Orgeron for KCW? You make it all the way down the field with Shaffer (sp?) playing out of his mind, then you take him out, and pasty boy throws the half-ending INT.

150
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:37pm

#149: Orgeron, or "Coach O" as he's called 'round these parts, is a loser. He's a loudmouthed bully who's got nothing to back it up and making bizarre decisions like that is a way of life for him. It really makes a strong statement that Ole Piss is winless in SEC play while every other SEC team except Vandy (who beat Ole Miss) is bowl eligible.

And yet he's guaranteed a job for at least one more year while the previous Ole Miss coach was fired after one bad season Post Eli when the season before that he was SEC Coach Of The Year.

151
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:38pm

Weis is bucking for another JLS Trophy. Up 21-0 in the fourth quarter, he's still calling passes. Clausen avoids what should have been a sack, fumble and return for a TD and ND ends up punting.

And Trevor Laws is a beast.

152
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:40pm

And what makes it even more idiotic is that at the half Oreron actually said Ole Piss was playing for the FG on that play! You know, because coaches who play for the FG always call pass plays into the end zone that get picked off.

What a doofus.

153
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:42pm

The JLS has to go to Orgeron this week for the substitution of Schaeffer for Adams, and the short kick to start the second half.

That said, it should probably go to Saban for my beloved Tide losing to Louisiana-Monroe.

154
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:48pm

I am not sure how Saban deserves it. It is not his fault that J.P. is Rex Grossman. It is not his fault that this team cannot gain a yard on 3rd and 1 against ULM.

I am not even sure if we will go to a bowl game now. This is bad. A bad loss, I just need to look at the incoming recruiting class again and hope these guys still want to come to Bama....

155
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:50pm

So PaulH we just paid 4 million dollars to a great recruiter? I am need talking down from the ledge.

156
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:51pm

Yeah, I meant JLS, not KCW. My brain is in NFL mode despite the day.

And Schaeffer shows us the key difference in Ole Miss QB's: When he throws a pick-worthy ball at the goal line, he throws it so hard that it just bounces off the DB.

157
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:52pm

Well, Coach O finally got that FG he was playing for at the end of the first half. LOL

158
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:54pm

#154: Bama should've known better. Never EVER hire an ex-Fins coach or even their sons. Just ask Pitt about that.

159
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:57pm

No, Tom, it's my fault. I said KCW back in #145, which is what put it in your head. I'm just forgetful.

160
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:58pm

Saban's first year at LSU had a stunning loss to UAB...but that team went 8-4 and went to the Peach Bowl. I am not sure how to take this loss we came out flat for the 2nd week in a row and have paid the price.

161
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:59pm

Cal's bizarre self-destruction looks to be continuing, down 31-20 to Washington in the 3rd. They're going from the top 5 to possibly missing out on a bowl bid in a few weeks. Incredible.

162
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:09pm

I'm dying to what two SEC teams are better than LSU, and what criteria we are using to determine that.

163
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:12pm

This is why teams like Vandy and Michigan State will always be losers: Down 24-7 MSU closes to within 3, gets the ball back, their punt returner runs backwards and loses 3 yards on the return, and then on the first play they fumble the snap right back to Penn State. Oy...

Even when teams like that have everything going their way they can't win.

164
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:15pm

162,

Who said there were two SEC teams better than LSU? At this point, I don't even think there are two good SEC teams in general.

165
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:17pm

If I'm not mistaken, that was a loss by an SEC team to a non-BCS conference opponent...

166
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:20pm

Yep, one. Still less then any other conference. Still embarrassing as hell.

167
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:26pm

#166: If Oregon hadn't suffered their ridiculous implosion, I'd have argued that Bama loss to LA Monroe should drop LSU to #2 :-)

But who am I kidding, LSU or TOSU against OU for the title is a foregone conclusion.

168
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:29pm

164- this was from 146:

LSU and the Vols are NOT the two best SEC teams, just the two luckiest.

The SEC is packed with good teams.

ESPN says Lloyd Carr is retiring on Monday, and that Houston Nutt is out at Arkansas. Me thinks LSU and UNC will be looking for new HCs soon.

169
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:34pm

Yeah I said that. LSU should have 3 losses and the Vols should have 4 at this point, but they don't because of sheer luck.

Ah well, sometimes in football the bad guys win. I don't have to tell Russell, that's for sure. And sometimes your team loses *every* game...

170
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:40pm

169- So what two SEC teams are better than LSU?

171
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:45pm

Michigan State up by four with 4:08 to play in the fourth.

172
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:46pm

I'm a big SEC fan, as said earlier, but Dollfan is right, the SEC just isn't very good.

Just look at it... only two SEC teams have fewer than three losses.

LSU lost to Kentucky and lucked out in a few games against teams that aren't very good (Auburn, Alabama, etc). Tennessee is likely to win the East, and they are the same team that had their asses handed to them by a Cal team that may not even make a bowl game at this point.

Georgia would likely qualify as the third best team in the conference, and they were annihilated by Tennessee, lost to 6-5 South Carolina, needed overtime to beat 6-5 Alabama, and needed a time-expiring field goal to beat 5-6 Vanderbilt.

Again, I'm a huge SEC fan, but there's no use in being retard homers about it. This is easily the worst that the SEC has been in years. If you cannot see that, you are just being delusional about it.

173
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 9:49pm

And I'll be damned if MSU doesn't take the lead over PSU by 4 after trailing by 17. Which of course only sets the stage for their D to give up it's patented late-game winning TD to the opponent.

174
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 10:00pm

Dammit, McCullen, get out of my head!

175
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 10:02pm

Iowa lost to a Western Michigan team that is 2 - 4 in the MAC. Ouch.

MSU wins and will go to a bowl.

176
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 10:09pm

Michigan State absolutely blows my mind by NOT choking. I...I'm still in shock. An MSU defense with a 4th quarter lead HOLDING?! Surely that must be a mistake and I was hallucinating. Right?

Iowa losing to Western Michigan does nothing to help the Big Ten break its mediocre rep. I wonder how much it hurts the Buckeyes' SOS?

177
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 10:10pm

BTW Paul Bunyan's Axe is the coolest rivalry trophy ever.

178
by Fergasun (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 10:19pm

Watched the 2nd half of Washington-California, and it was marred by an absolutely horrible call the the referee. It was so bad that Fouts continued to rail on it 2 and 3 series after the fact, and mention that it was a possible 6-10 point swing.

Washington QB dropped back to pass, holds onto the ball too long, and gets hit. As he is being tackled he just tries to throw the ball out of bounds or up (a really dumb play in itself). Needless to say, this isn't accomplished and he ended up throwing the ball behind him by 2 yards. Fouts and whoever the other guy in the booth was correctly called it as a backwards pass and live ball, and there was 1 Washington player running after the ball and 6-7 Cal player's closer, with everyone else mostly confused. Showing the all-22 angle it's not too hard to project that Cal would recover, and potentially take the ball to the house.

However; the referee was so intent on calling the play as intentional grounding that he blew the play dead... I'm pretty sure Fouts called it unbelievable and inexcusable, as well as saying it's not reviewable. I don't think there was any explanation given by the referee... but man it was awful.

The following play was a 3rd and 22 and the Huskies called a "virtual punt" pass play where the QB just chucked it up to a WR running a go, who came down with the ball... and minutes later they kicked a FG.

Now I wouldn't say the game was marred by the officiating because it was marred more by California's goal-line and offensive ineptness the one chance they got (I think they were nearly at the 1 inch line)... and their inability to stop the run. But it was a pretty egregiously bad call. I guess there's $$$ to be made in being the Ed Hochuli of the PAC-10...

179
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 10:48pm

#178: Where did you get to see that game? I can;t get any Pac 10 games today.

There was a very similar call made in the Hawaii-Nevada game, where the Hawaii WR had the ball stripped before his knee touched the ground and Nevada recovered, but the play was blown dead immediately and so not only did Nevada not get the ball, they couldn't even have the play reviewed.

And then on the other end of the spectrum you have Big East refs who never blow the whistle and let people who fair catch the ball run it in for a score.

180
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 10:49pm

Cincinnati "chili" is some nasty shit.

181
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 11:15pm

Looks like Auston English is out for this game - that could be big, he's Oklahoma's best pass rusher by far.

182
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 11:17pm

181,

Of course if you throw the ball over the WR's head and right to the nickel back, who returns it for a touchdown, you don't need much of a pass rush.

183
by DMP (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 11:53pm

To think MSU had it's chance to win against Iowa, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Michigan and bumbled all those games. The Iowa and Northwestern losses are just inexplicable. With the bottom-feeder talent on this team right now, I am moderately impressed. Ok, "moderately impressed" is too strong. I don't know, whatever is one notch below that. Our DBs are either young or untalented or just plain incompetent incompetent. Seems like every crappy Big Ten QB looks great against them. I'm not sure how much I you can blame a first year coaching staff for that.

Hey DolFan 316 #163 and 173: eat my shorts!

Hey DolFan 316 #177: you're damn right there. That giant axe is awesome.

184
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 11:57pm

AMAZING run after catch by Crabtree from Texas Tech. I think every single Sooner had a shot at him, including five who came off the bench and still missed.

I don't know what makes me happier today - OSU beating Michigan, or big bad SEC legendary school getting beat at home by U Directional Louisiana. Well, I do know, but the Bama egg laying was incredibly awesome as well.

Not sure how they ruled him out of bounds there, but it didn't really matter. TD on the next play, QB sneak.

185
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 11:58pm

Well, if Bradford's hurt, this year is over for OU. Halzle is terrible.

186
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 12:18am

Am I the only one who thinks this isn't much of an upset if you account for the fact that Bradford is out? Tech is a good team, and OU really struggles without good QB play (Colorado, Iowa State). Halzle certainly isn't going to give anyone good QB play.

187
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 12:21am

Sooners down by two scores now. And THIS is the team that's supposed to play for the title?! HA!!!

You know who deserves to win the title this year? NOBODY. Just say this year there was no champ since every time a team gets in position to play for it they lay an egg apparently. I still think LSU has another loss in them too.

188
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 12:22am

#185 and 186: Bradford is hurt??? That's obviously some karmic payback for OU fans sticking pins in their Dennis Dixon voodoo dolls Thursday night.

189
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 12:30am

Yeah, he seems to have gotten a concussion tackling a Tech defender after a fumble. By the way, I cringed when I saw Dixon go down on Thursday - the injury looked way too similar to Jason White's ACL tears (he wasn't hit either).

This injury basically turns OU into Miami - good supporting cast, and none of it matters because the quarterback can't get the ball where it needs to go. Halzle fell down on a 3rd and 1 handoff on his second series, and he's sailing throws all over the place. Just a total lack of arm strength.

190
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 12:37am

#189: This is probably neither here nor there but in my NCAA 07 video game dynasty Halzie transferred to Florida Atlantic (who I was coaching at the time) and wound up actually being drafted in the 7th round into my Madden franchise.

Apparently that's not going to happen in real life.

191
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 2:36am

You know...

With Oregon going down and Oklahoma getting blown out, the BCS is so ridiculously fucked up.

And dear god if LSU loses to someone, it's going to be unreal.

It's almost like no one wants to win this damn thing.

192
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 2:42am

#191: My thoughts exactly. Just declare that there will be no champion for this season and move on.

At this point it's almost a certainty that whoever is #2 (it was the Sooners by default after the Oregon loss, no matter what the "official" BCS rankings say) will lose, no matter who or where they play. In all seriousness, if I'm a coach of any one-loss team or KU right now, I am actively campaigning NOT to be ranked #2 going into next week. I don't want any part of it.

The scary part for the Big 12 is, barring an OU miracle for the ages, either Mizzou or Kansas will definitely be #2 after their game next week. And they will still have one more game to go after that...

Playoffs. That's all I'm saying, playoffs.

193
by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 2:48am

Who needs playoffs, this is fun! Right now, you have a very real scenario where Missouri beats Kansas, and then 2-loss Oklahoma beats Missouri. Woo, utter BCS chaos. (For extra ridiculousness, imagine LSU falling to Georgia or Tennessee as well.)

194
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 3:06am

192, Missouri plays Kansas next week. I'm guessing one of them will lose, regardless of whether one of them is #2...

195
by nick (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 3:22am

wow....it seems actually not just arguable but pretty CLEAR that there are no remotely dominant teams this year; no #1 teams.....last season where nobody scared you? anyone?

196
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 3:31am

They HAVE to have a playoff system now within 5 years. HAVE to. because I truly believe this is the way *every* college football season will be from now on.

Either adopt a playoff system or come out and admit the whole idea of a "national title" is a sham.

197
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 3:33am

BTW words cannot express the complete and utter joy I feel at the Sooners losing. Even though Texas Tech damn near blew a 21-point lead with half a quarter to go. OU never should've even been in a position to be attempting an onside kick down only one score. But I'll overlook it. This time :-)

198
by William (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 4:00am

LSU should have 3 losses and the Vols should have 4 at this point, but they don’t because of sheer luck.

LSU has only lost one game because of a combination of talent, some good execution and play calling by LSU at the end of games, some bad play calling or execution by the opposition in the waning moments of games, and perhaps some "luck." In the Florida game, which seems to be trotted out as a prime example of LSU luckiness because of the 4th down conversions, I believe of the 5 successful 4th down conversions, the longest was maybe 4th and 3 (and that was with goal to go) and at least three were of the one yard variety. Converting those is a high percentage play. If LSU had a "lucky" play in the Florida game, it was Tebow hitting his receiver in the back of the head with a pass in the fourth quarter, resulting in an interception for LSU. Yes, LSU has come from behind to win three games it didn't lead until the fourth quarter and I'm guessing that is rare. But the sequencing of the scoring in of itself does not make LSU "lucky."

As to the strength of the SEC overall, putting aside LSU, I think that Florida and Georgia would probably beat the top teams in any other conference at present. Yes, they have both had some ugly losses (Georgia more so than Florida), but they are both playing at a very high level right now. As an LSU fan, I want nothing to do with Georgia in the SEC Championship game and can only hope Tennessee (which does not appear to be an upper echelon team) can beat Kentucky. If there was a playoff this year and the top 3 SEC teams (LSU, Florida, Georgia) could make it in, I wouldn't be surprised if at least 2 of the 3 ended up in the final four.

On the whole, I agree that this year there is clearly no dominant team and it almost feels as if someone is going to win by default. I can't help but think that whoever wins the national championship this year will be the college football equivalent of the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals.

199
by hooper (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 4:18am

198:

I'm attending UT right now for grad school, so naturally I'd like to see Tennessee play LSU too. However, the best interests of the conference (i.e. no fan loyalties considered) would probably be served by UT beating Kentucky, then losing to LSU. That would leave LSU in the championship game and keep Georgia in the top few slots. In the ideal, you'd also have Florida beating FSU (likely), and probably have 3 top-10 SEC teams before the bowl games. All 3 would be very attractive bowl draws, with LSU obviously being in the best one.

If UT wins out and happens to beat LSU, it either knocks LSU back into a regular BCS bowl, which hurts Georgia, or Georgia still gets a BCS slot and LSU gets left out. Neither choice is pleasant to anybody.

That doesn't mean I'm rooting against UT if they play LSU, but there it is.

200
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 5:00am

#199: I'd root against the Vols if they were playing the Al-Quaeda All Stars.

God that Vandy game was depressing...

201
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 11:16am

My Meaningless Top 25:

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

Ohio State's season is over, and if the season ended today I'd have them at #2, playing for the National Title.

At this point I wouldn't object to Kansas playing for the National Title at #2 IF they win out, since there's not a one loss team other than LSU that is strong enough to rank ahead of an undefeated. Ditto Arizona State- a win vs USC might vault them ahead of Ohio State.

Even if they win out, I'd likely put OSU ahead of West Virginia and Missouri.

Ohio State has had a better season than West Virginia, but the polls will rank WVU ahead only because they lost earlier. That stinks.

202
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 12:15pm

I am hopeful that the Michigan alums panting at the thought of Carr leaving are treated harshly be the football gods. Carr has his flaws, but the guy's record is pretty d#mn impressive overall. Best of luck to Coach Carr in whatever path he chooses to follow.

Jake Long is a great left tackle? Suuuuuuurrrrreeeee. Whatever.

Good for the Spartans. They have been snakebit all season. And good for Indy. The Hoosiers pull it out. Gosh how does Tiller keep his job? This is how many years that some pretty talented Boiler teams play blah football? Nice work Illinois. How this one-dimensional offense beat OSU still baffles me. But the Illini are getting better. Zook is sticking it to his detractors.

Wisky had to scrap down to the wire. I know many think the Badgers are a fraud, but I like the current team more than the one that started the season. Injuries put some young guys on the field who make some horrible mistakes but also bust it from start to finish. WI has vets who simply don't play hard every down. And PJ Hill better get over his need to feel absolutely perfect to play. The Badgers have options PJ. Better s#ck it up.

I applaud BC. That Ryan throw on the last TD reminded me of Favre's throw to win a playoff game against Detroit in 94.

I smirk at OK. Ha, ha. Good for Tech.

203
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 2:06pm

I know the announcers beat this to death (but they were right)--I've never seen a coach who LOOKED more uncomfortable than Tommy Bowden--his demeanor and body language scream "I'm on the hot seat!"

but Clem(p)son fans are crazy--I mean, it's one thing to wax nostalgic about Bear Bryant; but Danny Ford?!

204
by hooper (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 2:31pm

Re: 200

I can't remember if you're a 'Bama fan or a Florida fan, so please remind me and forgive me on that point. It may make you feel better, though, to know that the Vandy game was depressing for Vol fans, too. It was a win that felt a lot more like losing. UT is still alive for the East (Go Vols!), but the talk radio reaction in Knoxville is going to be a lot of fun.

Oddly enough, the team's best games have always come after weeks where they've been roasted in the local media. If that correlation continues, the impending doom and gloom about how Woodson is going to torch the Vols for a kazillion yards would indicate a much better performance than against Vandy. I'll call it 50%.

Either way, I think the Bulldogs are the most deserving team for the East this year, in terms of overall level of play. They only had one true "down" game that may cost them the tiebreaker against UT. Still, UGA is probably better off if UT wins. Though they don't get a chance to beat LSU, it won't matter. They'll still get a BCS bid and the ensuing payout.

One question: if LSU goes to the nat'l champ game and Georgia gets an at-large bid, could Florida also get an at-large bid, now that 10 total teams are taken?

205
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 2:57pm

Re: 202

Obviously I don't speak for the fan base, but I do thing the portrayal of a fan base "panting" for Carr's replacement is a bit inaccurate.

I think most UM fans feel like I do. Carr has been a fantastic representative of the program and a pretty damn good coach. He has done enough to determine his own fate. If he retires, we thank him for his many contributions to the program and wish him well and we hope, hope, hope AD Bill Martin gets this right.

I am frustrated with some of the losses in recent years and I do think the program could probably benefit from a new direction. But it's far from guaranteed (see Nebraska, Notre Dame, et al) that greater success will arrive with a new coach.

Any frustrations I feel would be dwarfed by the outrage I would have if Carr were ever fired or even nudged out.

Of all the stats thrown around about Carr, whether it's his winning percentage or his record vs. Tressel, I think the most important one is this: Michigan has the all-time best winning percentage in college football history. And that percentage improved in 13 years under Carr.

In time, the disappointment of 1-6 vs. Tressel will fade and Carr will be remembered for what he is: One of the all-time greats in Michigan history. He deserves to be held in the same esteem as Bo. I know I hold him there and based on the comments I've read on many of the Michigan sites I read, I think a big chunk of the fan base feels exactly the same way.

206
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 3:17pm

One question: if LSU goes to the nat’l champ game and Georgia gets an at-large bid, could Florida also get an at-large bid, now that 10 total teams are taken?

No. From the BCS eligibility rules:

No more than two teams from a conference may be selected, regardless of whether they are automatic qualifiers or at-large selections.

207
by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 5:07pm

Bingo, Russ. Lloyd won a title. Bo never did that. And he ran the program without even a whiff of NCAA issues. The loyalty to his buddies as coaches has worn thin as they lose all these big games, but I have no idea if the next coach will actually be an improvement.

I do like the idea of Brian Kelly. It's not a foregone conclusion that they'll offer it to Miles, and Kelly feels like the next guy in the Tressel/Meyer line of guys rising up from the lower programs.

208
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 8:20pm

"I am hopeful that the Michigan alums panting at the thought of Carr leaving are treated harshly be the football gods."

I sure am glad I'm not a Michigan alum then :-) Although that sure hasn't stopped me from being punished by the football gods this season.

Carr WAS a good coach--in the 90s. Tressel was his personal Kryptonite but forget the Buckeyes for a second--Michigan has lost its last four bowl games and then there's that whole Appalachian State thing. It's obvious to us non-Michigan folks that the program is now going steadily downhill into complete irrelevance and if Carr had stuck around another 4 years they'd have almost certainly descended into Notre Lame-style ineptitude. Recent players from Michigan have been underachieving busts in the NFL and that reflects on Carr as well.

#204: The BCS doesn't allow more than two teams from a conference to get in (hence, why Wisconsin didn;t get a BCS bowl last season) and so Florida's not getting a bid no matter what. But Georgia surely deserves one, the way they're playing now. That Vols game was an absolute disgrace though, I had to turn it off in disgust after 10 minutes because I knew how it would end almost right away. Georgia just laid down for them.

209
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 8:23pm

Russell:

My perspective is courtesy of the six immediate Michigan fans I know as buds and coming in contact with their "extended Michigan family" on days like this past Saturday.

There was the guy who makes his sizable donation to the U of M with the note, "Please terminate Coach Carr". His wife relayed that story and he shrugged when asked about it. The guy who led a foul curse among the assembled throng every so often directed at Carr. The woman, JD from Michigan, who penned a letter on behalf of X other law school alums asking for Carr to be released from his contract.

And then of course there are the web sites/call-in shows/etc bemoaning Carr's very existence.

You are literally the only Michigan fan I know who has kind words to say on Carr's behalf.

Don't know what else to tell you.

210
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 8:23pm

"But the Illini are getting better. Zook is sticking it to his detractors."

Don't fall for that media line. Gator fans definitely do not feel the least bit chagrined about his firing, I can tell you that. With Zook around there's no way they even sniff 3rd place in the SEC last year, let alone the national title. And Urban would have to lose both the FSU game and the bowl to match Zook's typical 5-loss Gator season.

Nope, Zook's not "sticking it" to anybody.

211
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 8:45pm

Umm, there were folks in the Big 10 who mocked the hiring. Didn't mention FL.

For someone who has no issue you are a tad sensitive.

Just saying....

212
by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 9:29pm

"Recent players from Michigan have been underachieving busts in the NFL and that reflects on Carr as well."

To whom are you referring? I haven't seen any more busts from Michigan lately than other programs. Except running backs, where the bustability extends back to before Carr was even the head coach.

213
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 11/18/2007 - 10:13pm

Who are the recent underachieving bust? Pete Carroll better start worrying about his job.

214
by Pete (not verified) :: Mon, 11/19/2007 - 1:13am

While Tebow has some great stats, I still say that he is the best Fullback in the country who also throws well (not great? His receivers often have to adjust a step on long passes, which may be thrown over the inside shoulder rather than the outside shoulder).

Tebow also has some great skill positions around him (when healthy). Tebow's other limitation is his only starting for a year and being a Sophomore. While some Heisman voters may vote for an underclassman, some (many?) will not.

215
by peachy (not verified) :: Mon, 11/19/2007 - 1:58am

I would have thought that even three games as a starter - much less eleven - would have buried the 'Tebow as fullback-who-throws' meme. Frankly, he's probably a better passer than Leak; they're fairly even on short to intermediate routes, but Tebow has a superior deep ball, and Leak was guaranteed to make at least one ghastly decision every game. Given that the level of surrounding talent is pretty similar to last year, the significant improvement in offensive production (even accounting for the rule change) has to be credited to the QB.

216
by Russell Levine :: Mon, 11/19/2007 - 2:51am

Re: 209

Try reading the threads at places like mgoblog and the M zone ... I'm hardly alone.

217
by Pete (not verified) :: Mon, 11/19/2007 - 10:48am

I think Tebow is a very capable QB, but he runs like a Fullback and that will probably get him hurt, again. If he does not win the Heisman this year, he may be too injured in the future.

My Fullback comment is really more of a projection to the NFL. Right now I think he throws a decent deep ball, but too many of his passes to wide open receivers force the receivers to slow down a step or two (where the receivers are then tackled or the passes are defended). I have yet to see him throw a perfect pass over 30 yards where it lands over the outside should of a receiver, in stride.

I agree that he is probably a better QB than Leak. Leak peaked in his Freshman year and then got "Happy Feet" after getting beaten up by the Seminoles. Leak started to recover by his Senior year, but never reached his potential. I do not see Tebow having the same problem, but I believe Stafford (Georgia) throws a better deep ball when not pressured. Stafford also puts more zip on the ball to the flat (Tebow has almost had several interceptions).

I am a fan of Tebow and I am rooting for him, but I suspect he will not get the Heisman this year. I consider it a a career achievement award, normally. Many Heisman voters may disagree, of course. As competitive as Timmy is I suspect he would rather have a couple wins (and Harvin up for Heisman) rather than the Award (which would be an honor and appreciated, but I honestly believe that he will be happy without it).

218
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Mon, 11/19/2007 - 6:08pm

as a Michigan fan growing up, that is now a bigger Alabama fan, I wish we could have a Lloyd Carr type career out of Nick Saban (or anyone else for that matter).