Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Most Recent FO Features

HundleyBre15.jpg

» Futures: UCLA QB Brett Hundley

Beyond the immediate considerations of Hundley's potential, the quarterback's tape raises larger questions about the position.

21 Oct 2010

SDA: Who's Next?

by Bill Connelly, Brian Fremeau, and Robert Weintraub

Two top-ranked teams have gone down in two weeks. If the 2007 form holds, another top team is biting the dust this weekend. But who? No. 3 (in the BCS) Boise State is on a bye, so the Broncos are in the clear. Then again, given their remaining schedule, the Broncos are almost always in the clear. No. 2 Oregon hosts Texas killer (and California massacre victim) UCLA tonight in Eugene. No. 1 Oklahoma heads to Columbia, Missouri for Gameday stylings and an interesting Saturday evening matchup. No. 4 Auburn hosts No. 6 LSU in what is, rankings-wise, clearly the biggest game of the weekend. And if none of them fall, will it be No. 5 TCU hosting Air Force? No. 7 Michigan State heading to Evanston to take on Northwestern? Will No. 8 Alabama get upset in Knoxville and lose all hope in a second straight national title? Join us as we walk through the 10 biggest games of a weekend heavy on both big matchups (there are four battles of ranked teams) and potential upsets.

Previews

UCLA +22 at No. 2 Oregon (Thursday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When UCLA
Has the Ball ...
When Oregon
Has the Ball ...
Category UCLA
(3-3)
Oregon
(6-0)
UCLA
Off
Oregon
Def
UCLA
Def
Oregon
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 51 15
2010 FEI Rk 66 1 95 10 62 17
2010 S&P+ Rk 36 38 42 65 30 23
2010 FPA Rk 27 4
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 18 89 49 17
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 105 40 9 35
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 36 56 17 30
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
71.4% Run
(14th)
67.2% Run
(25th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 118 24 25 28
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
42.1% Run
(17th)
50.0% Run
(7th)

Pummel Texas; get hammered by Cal. Whip Houston; get shut out by Stanford. That sums up the unpredictability of UCLA's season. It will require every bit of positivity and some good fortune for the Bruins to pull the shocker at Autzen Field, which is sure to be deafening for a nationally televised night game. The Bruins will be shorthanded as well -- two players are suspended, and several others, including quarterback Kevin Prince, are battling injuries. Meanwhile, the Ducks moved up into the BCS title game terrain without even playing last weekend. They're sure to be primed to build up some style points on ESPN. Quarterback Darron Thomas is reportedly at full strength after suffering a shoulder injury in the Ducks win over Washington State. If he is feeling any twinge, LaMichael James, the nation's top back at 170 yards per game, will surely pick up the slack.

No. 7 Michigan State -6 at Northwestern (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Mich. St.
Has the Ball ...
When Northwestern
Has the Ball ...
Category Mich. St.
(7-0)
NW'ern
(5-1)
Mich. St.
Off
NW'ern
Def
Mich. St.
Def
NW'ern
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 9 70
2010 FEI Rk 7 60 15 85 4 57
2010 S&P+ Rk 9 82 18 105 15 66
2010 FPA Rk 64 21
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 16 109 11 91
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 23 89 18 39
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 27 99 13 89
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
64.0% Run
(33rd)
64.0% Run
(34th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 18 83 63 54
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
38.6% Run
(35th)
35.9% Run
(53rd)

Against all expectations, Michigan State is in the driver's seat for a Big Ten championship and could even be a national title contender. Most impressive? The only real squeaker was the thrilling overtime game against Notre Dame. There aren't many believers jumping on the Spartans bandwagon yet, but they've looked stronger than expected in three straight weeks. Based on opponent-adjusted drive data, the wins against Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois were their best three defensive games of the season. Northwestern's offense has played a very weak slate of defenses to date, and they haven't been particularly prolific against anyone. The Wildcats have churned out long drives (10 plays or more in 27 percent of their possessions), which would at least keep the possession count low and the ball away from Sparty. Northwestern is always a pesky upset threat, but do they have enough to disrupt what appears to be a dream breakout season in East Lansing?

Notre Dame -7 at Navy (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, CBS)

OVERALL When Notre Dame
Has the Ball ...
When Navy
Has the Ball ...
Category N.D.
(4-3)
Navy
(4-2)
N.D.
Off
Navy
Def
N.D.
Def
Navy
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 26 52
2010 FEI Rk 38 42 61 24 46 36
2010 S&P+ Rk 23 65 35 61 11 81
2010 FPA Rk 53 84
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 33 39 13 73
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 36 91 12 85
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 37 64 25 84
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
46.7% Run
(114th)
88.2% Run
(1st)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 51 55 4 56
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
26.7% Run
(91st)
56.1% Run
(4th)

If the Midshipmen weren't solely responsible for the end of the Charlie Weis era in South Bend, they certainly delivered some of the most damning evidence against him. The Irish seniors are 1-2 against Navy, and an annual matchup that was extraordinarily lopsided in favor of Notre Dame for decades has become an upset trap. Navy's Offensive FEI ratings have been steadily dropping since Paul Johnson left (No. 5 in 2007, No. 14 in 2008, No. 22 in 2009, No. 36 so far in 2010), but the defense is getting better. Navy doesn't have the size or speed to shut down an opposing offenses (they are allowing 75 percent of opponent drives to achieve at least one first down), but they have been serviceable on passing downs and kept SMU in check last week. Notre Dame brings a battered team into the Meadowlands and will start a number of backups at the skill positions. Brian Kelly has a chance to build some confidence after rolling off three in a row.

No. 13 Wisconsin +6 at No. 15 Iowa (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN)

OVERALL When Wisconsin
Has the Ball ...
When Iowa
Has the Ball ...
Category Wisconsin
(6-1)
Iowa
(5-1)
Wisconsin
Off
Iowa
Def
Wisconsin
Def
Iowa
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 17 19
2010 FEI Rk 15 20 5 8 27 59
2010 S&P+ Rk 16 15 16 9 40 40
2010 FPA Rk 51 59
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 13 1 31 50
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 16 22 46 29
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 3 9 57 21
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
71.6% Run
(10th)
63.8% Run
(35th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 35 15 89 90
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
39.4% Run
(33rd)
39.6% Run
(29th)

The Badgers had last weekend's game circled on the calendar for months, and the euphoria in Madison after knocking Ohio State from the ranks of unbeaten still hasn't died down. Perhaps it can be channeled on Saturday in a very difficult trip to Iowa City against the Hawkeyes, but a letdown seems more likely. The Badgers top rusher, John Clay, has six 100-plus yard rushing games this season, but Iowa has been very stingy and ranks No. 1 against the rush according to S&P+. The Hawkeyes are also forcing three-and-outs on 45 percent of opponent drives and giving up only 34 percent of available yards. Offensively, senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi has been stellar (No. 3 in pass efficiency rating, 13 touchdowns, two interceptions), though that success has largely come against weak defenses. A Big Ten championship isn't officially on the line, but this game will have a big impact on that title chase.

No. 6 LSU +6.5 at No. 4 Auburn (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

OVERALL When LSU
Has the Ball ...
When Auburn
Has the Ball ...
Category LSU
(7-0)
Auburn
(7-0)
LSU
Off
Auburn
Def
LSU
Def
Auburn
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 13 5
2010 FEI Rk 6 2 26 11 3 2
2010 S&P+ Rk 20 8 31 46 24 1
2010 FPA Rk 3 14
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 15 30 22 2
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 74 54 25 1
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 16 26 16 5
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
71.6% Run
(11th)
78.2% Run
(5th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 84 34 13 2
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
38.3% Run
(38th)
42.3% Run
(15th)

The world continues to be amazed that LSU remains unbeaten. Last week, the Tigers managed all of 103 passing yards against McNeese State, a team which isn't exactly packing defensive backs like LSU's Patrick Peterson. Auburn gave up a bushel of passing yards and touchdowns to Arkansas' backup quarterback. If LSU quarterbacks Jarret Lee or Jordan Jefferson were ever going to make plays, Jordan-Hare Stadium would be a good place to start. Equally compelling will be the matchup between Auburn's ultra-potent offense, led by Heisman candidate/freak of nature Cam Newton, and LSU's sturdy, hard-hitting defense. LSU's only realistic chance to stay undefeated is to get a big game from the defensive 11 while avoiding mistakes on offense. Of course, strange things usually happen when these two programs get together, and the bizarre power of The Lester cannot be ignored.

No. 16 Nebraska -6 at No. 14 Oklahoma State (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When Nebraska
Has the Ball ...
When Oklahoma St.
Has the Ball ...
Category Nebraska
(5-1)
OSU
(6-0)
Nebraska
Off
OSU
Def
Nebraska
Def
OSU
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 11 22
2010 FEI Rk 10 22 27 25 7 18
2010 S&P+ Rk 10 31 26 67 14 13
2010 FPA Rk 29 50
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 23 53 51 12
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 40 78 1 21
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 13 36 18 6
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
78.0% Run
(6th)
50.4% Run
(104th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 50 78 3 26
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
50.0% Run
(7th)
35.4% Run
(56th)

Last weekend, a South division team went on the road and wrecked what was supposed to be a "We're back, and now we're gone!" tour for Nebraska in their its Big 12 campaign. Now, the Huskers have the chance to do something similar to undefeated Oklahoma State's hopes at conference title contention. While most people will be touting the "Can Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez bounce back after last Saturday's miserable showing?" narrative, you should follow a different one. If you get a chance to watch this game, you should do so because of the likely matchup of Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon and Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara. Blackmon has been incredible this season -- he has 57 receptions for 955 yards and 12 touchdowns in six games. He has caught at least 10 balls in four of six games and has scored at least one touchdown every Saturday. Amukamara, meanwhile, is a likely Top 10 pick in next April's NFL Draft. He is the impetus behind Nebraska's top-ranked pass defense (and nearly top-ranked passing downs defense). The Huskers' defensive line has regressed quite a bit from last season, but the secondary has been so good that it has hardly mattered.

Georgia -3.5 at Kentucky (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

OVERALL When Georgia
Has the Ball ...
When Kentucky
Has the Ball ...
Category Georgia
(3-4)
Kentucky
(4-3)
Georgia
Off
Kentucky
Def
Georgia
Def
Kentucky
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 39 34
2010 FEI Rk 43 26 30 74 55 23
2010 S&P+ Rk 32 39 29 37 35 32
2010 FPA Rk 7 13
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 45 38 20 46
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 22 16 61 27
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 14 63 19 31
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
58.3% Run
(76th)
57.3% Run
(80th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 40 17 43 33
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
44.0% Run
(13th)
25.6% Run
(98th)

Somehow, both teams are alive in the hunt for the SEC East title and a trip to Atlanta in December. The Wildcats may just be the favorites after last week's stirring comeback defeat of South Carolina. Quarterback Mike Hartline and do-everything athlete Randall Cobb are in top form. The Bulldogs are felling a little better about the season after destroying Tennessee and Vandy by a combined score of 84-14 (good news for deflated fans in the state of Georgia -- matters are worse in the Volunteer State), but are still seeking out the first conference road win of the season. It will interesting to see how the fans react after the Twitter dissing they took from Cobb after the SC game. Will Commonwealth Stadium be rocking like it's Derby Day, or will Aaron Murray and the Georgia offense find plenty of quiet time to make plays?

North Carolina +6.5 at Miami (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

OVERALL When N. Carolina
Has the Ball ...
When Miami
Has the Ball ...
Category UNC
(4-2)
Miami
(4-2)
UNC
Off
Miami
Def
UNC
Def
Miami
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 21 14
2010 FEI Rk 23 24 13 9 26 55
2010 S&P+ Rk 29 6 21 2 38 38
2010 FPA Rk 108 62
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 38 4 27 56
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 18 6 49 28
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 9 1 30 29
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
59.2% Run
(69th)
58.6% Run
(73rd)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 21 33 36 69
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
31.2% Run
(72nd)
32.3% Run
(68th)

Both teams are 4-2, but the tidings among their respective fan bases are miles apart. Miami continues to underperform despite worlds of talent, getting whipped in big games against Ohio State and Florida State, while struggling to beat Duke last week. On the other hand, Tar Heels fans are surprised there are enough players to take the field, given the suspension hurricane that blew through Chapel Hill. So 4-2 and a foot in the door of the ACC title game feels like found money. But the problems are mounting. Star tight end Zack Pianalto blew out his knee and is done for the season, and stud linebacker Quan Sturdivant is hobbled by a hamstring. Quarterback T.J. Yates has done it with mirrors so far, but he faces a stout test throwing on the Canes, who are fourth in the nation in passing yards allowed (150 per).

Air Force +19.5 at No. 5 TCU (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET)

OVERALL When Air Force
Has the Ball ...
When TCU
Has the Ball ...
Category Air Force
(5-2)
TCU
(7-0)
Air Force
Off
TCU
Def
Air Force
Def
TCU
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 47 8
2010 FEI Rk 29 11 12 5 42 35
2010 S&P+ Rk 55 5 53 5 73 33
2010 FPA Rk 70 9
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 42 32 91 14
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 54 5 45 62
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 43 23 93 34
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
83.3% Run
(4th)
70.7% Run
(16th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 32 6 47 23
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
72.5% Run
(2nd)
41.6% Run
(21st)

Can Air Force finish off the upset they almost pulled last season? The Falcons gave TCU's Horned Frogs potentially their biggest regular season scare in 2009, falling just short in Colorado Springs, 20-17. This season, Air Force is doing TCU some favors in the strength-of-schedule department -- they were 5-1 and ranked until a tight, upset loss at San Diego State last week -- but that doesn't really matter unless TCU manages a win. There should be interesting matchups at play Saturday night. TCU's stout defensive rankings are powered by an impenetrable pass defense, but Air Force doesn't pass. They are going to run until you make them stop, and then they're going to run some more; 17 different Falcons have carried the ball at least once this year. But even if they do move the ball, they still have to stop TCU. After a small, late-September slump, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton has moved back toward amazing in the last two weeks. He completed 38 of 53 passes (72 percent comp) for 543 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions against Wyoming and BYU. Air Force is more vulnerable on the ground than in the air, and TCU's Ed Wesley could chew them up there. Clearly every game is a must-win for TCU's BCS title game chances, and they might need to even score some style points against the Falcons and their funky style of ball.

No. 1 Oklahoma -3 at No. 11 Missouri (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When OU
Has the Ball ...
When Mizzou
Has the Ball ...
Category OU
(6-0)
Mizzou
(6-0)
OU
Off
Mizzou
Def
OU
Def
Mizzou
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 10 6
2010 FEI Rk 8 12 8 1 18 7
2010 S&P+ Rk 11 5 12 8 21 9
2010 FPA Rk 24 41
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 32 46 15 3
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 6 3 36 30
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 22 6 2 15
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
60.8% Run
(51st)
47.1% Run
(112th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 5 52 40 16
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
23.5% Run
(108th)
24.8% Run
(105th)

Missouri fans could hardly imagine a better weekend than the one they experienced. They romped Texas A&M (to a degree that surprised even the most optimistic fans), Nebraska lost, and Kansas got humiliated. What could top that? How about Mizzou's first win over Oklahoma since 1998, when Corby Jones lined up behind center for Mizzou and John Blake charismatically and incompetently roamed the sidelines for Oklahoma? How about Gary Pinkel getting the Stoopsian monkey off his back and beating BCS No. 1 Oklahoma for the first time? To do the deed, the Tigers will need to take advantage of the opportunities Oklahoma gives them. These Sooners have plenty of explosive moments, with rugged running back DeMarco Murray and under-appreciated receiver Ryan Broyles, but they have made games closer than they needed to be with occasional defensive lapses, particularly in the passing game. Mizzou has done the same at times. Both teams make livings off of horizontal passing and screens tossed by star quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Landry Jones (he has been less effective on the road in his career). Teally, this game will simply come down to who executes better. Since Bob Stoops took up residence in Norman, that team has been Oklahoma almost every time.

Storylines of the Week

Rob Weintraub: It's a little strange to see Oklahoma treated like Boise State, but the loud "really?" that greeted the initial BCS rankings was surely heard by all in Norman who are used to getting the benefit of the doubt. That makes the game against Mizzou rather intriguing beyond the dual "0"s on the right side of each team's balance sheet. The Sooners are used to coming up short in title games, not having their bona fides questioned by the rabble. So Saturday's showdown in Columbia is more than a big game in the Big 12 -- it's a referendum on the ongoing idiocy of the BCS rankings. Reason enough to root for Missouri right there, no?

Brian Fremeau: It's about this time of year that everyone starts rooting for their own version of BCS chaos, but I'm having trouble deciphering what would be most chaotic. We've already had multiple years in which too many teams appear qualified for one of the two BCS title game spots. Would there be a movement to blow up the BCS if Boise State doesn't get in this year? Would there be a movement to blow up the BCS if Boise State does get in this year? It's too early to worry about those scenarios, so I've got a less controversial one that I think everyone can rally around: A team with a losing conference record can win the SEC this year. The SEC West is dominating the SEC East (10-2 so far), and the West is capable of winning the six remaining regular season games between the divisions. If that happens, it is possible for there to be a five or six-way tie for the SEC title at 3-5. Whatever team emerges from that tie-breaking morass would then be able to grab a BCS bowl game spot by knocking off the SEC West champion. On board? Here's what to root for this weekend: Alabama over Tennessee, Vanderbilt over South Carolina, and Kentucky over Georgia.

Bill Connelly: To pile onto what Brian was saying, you should also be rooting for Cincinnati or Pittsburgh to win the Big East at 6-6 or (more realistically) 7-5. A Kentucky-Cincinnati Sugar Bowl would do as much or more damage to TV ratings than the Wake Forest-Louisville Orange bowl did in 2006. And that's what this is all about. As Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel said earlier this week, the only true doomsday scenario for the BCS involves fewer people watching. They have no actual motivation to change a thing if ratings continue to rise and rise. It's hard to root for that scenario -- because even in this "unfair" world of college football, wonderfully entertaining and fascinating games are played every week and in bowl games. But that is what it will take. The money and ratings are just too good right now to change what they are doing. If you want BCS doom, you need people to stop paying attention. So if that's your cup of tea, then root for Pittsburgh over Rutgers and Cincinnati over South Florida.

Picks

It was another week of hovering around .500 overall for the F/+ picks and another week of struggling mightily in the 10 SDA games. Granted, last week's 3-7 performance was a step up from the incredible 0-9-1 from Week 6, there is still quite a bit left to be desired here. It might be back to the drawing board this offseason, eh?

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Rob F/+
UCLA +22 Oregon Oregon UCLA
Michigan St. -6 Northwestern Michigan St. Michigan St.*
Notre Dame -7 Navy Navy Notre Dame
Wisconsin +6 Iowa Iowa* Wisconsin
LSU +6.5 Auburn Auburn Auburn
Nebraska -6 Oklahoma St. Oklahoma St. Oklahoma St.
Georgia -3.5 Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky
N. Carolina +6.5 Miami Miami Miami
Air Force +19.5 TCU TCU TCU
Oklahoma -3 Missouri Oklahoma Missouri
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
Week Seven
Season Total
Rob: 5-5 (0-1) 31-36-3 (4-3)
F/+: 4-6 (0-1) 28-39-3 (1-6)

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 21 Oct 2010

22 comments, Last at 25 Oct 2010, 7:24am by Bill Connelly

Comments

1
by zlionsfan :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 4:47pm

hey! For the first time in four weeks, I post picks before the Thursday-night game. And it's a good thing too ... I need the extra game to help. Last week, I was perfect: 0-9 (0-1), 28-35-3 (3-3) overall.

Oregon, Michigan State (lock), Navy, Wisconsin, Auburn, Oklahoma State, Georgia, Miami, TCU, Missouri.

19
by zlionsfan :: Sun, 10/24/2010 - 12:14am

woo! 9-1. Now I just need to figure out the difference between the 0-9 and 9-1 weeks ...

2
by dbostedo :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 6:10pm

"...but I'm having trouble deciphering what would be most chaotic."
Would Utah, Boise State, and TCU all being undefeated, and all other conference champs having at least two losses be the most chaotic? Would a Boise State/TCU national championship game with Utah complaining about not getting a shot be the most chaotic? I'd certainly like to see it, although I don't want a playoff.

5
by Alternator :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 6:35pm

Utah and TCU play each other, so no chance of those three unbeaten.

11
by dbostedo :: Fri, 10/22/2010 - 9:20am

Whoops....my bad. OK, what about :

1) Same thing without Utah undefeated. Pundits claim that SoS and/or margin of victory need to be given more weight.
2) All the AQC teams have at least two losses, and BSU, TCU, and Utah all have 1 loss, and the BCS picks BSU and TCU for the national title game. Cries of "there's something wrong with the computers" abound.
3) One AQC team goes undefeated - say, Oregon - and plays BSU in the title game and loses badly. Everyone now thinks the AQC list is crap.

Add something like Pitt winning the Big East with a large number of losses and things can get crazy. And fun.

3
by bsharp :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 6:22pm

Grouping Jarrett Lee's success with Jordan Jefferson's is a mistake, IMO. He's getting 50% of the snaps lately and has done well. In the last two games:

On drives that Lee started: 11 drives: 75 plays 462 yards (6.16 yards per play) 8 TDs

On drives that Jefferson started: 12 drives: 62 plays 206 yards (3.32 yards per play) 3 FGs

note: In some of Lee's drives, Jefferson comes in for short yardage situations.

4
by Jeff Fogle :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 6:27pm

I was tourist-weary, sleep deprived, largely internet deprived last weekend in Rome, Italy...but even I know the records weren't 3-7 and 4-6 last week. F+ had 4 winners with West Virginia, Missouri, Auburn, and Oklahoma State. Rob had 5 winners with West Virginia, Michigan State, Iowa, Oklahoma State, and Kentucky. Unless my jet lag is so severe back in the states that I've miscounted...though I did double check.

Got the Texas score more than a day after it happened. Shame, shame to both of you for not trusting the Horns as a big dog! Shame, shame on me for figuring there was no rush to get that score the way things had been going (though it was 18 euro's for a day of internet at our hotel...which meant it was worthwhile to space things out a bit). Was at the Coliseum that day...paying tribute to an early incarnation of a sports cathedral. The thrill of gathering in a crowd to cheer is transcendent...

BC, what's the overall game-by-game record for the full season that you keep referring to thus far this season?

6
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 7:41pm

Just Thursday for now, since I'm not sure I'll have another chance before gametime... 22 points, seriously? UCLA.

Will update with record and other picks later.

7
by Brian Fremeau :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 8:26pm

22 seems too high? It's actually up to 26.5 right now. For the record: FEI says 41-3 Ducks.
http://bcftoys.blogspot.com

FEI ATS picks:
Oregon
Michigan State
Navy (cover, ND win)
Wisconsin (cover and win)
Auburn
Oklahoma State (cover, Nebraska win)
Kentucky (cover and win)
North Carolina (cover, Miami win)
Air Force (cover, TCU win)
Missouri (cover and win)

10
by Kal :: Fri, 10/22/2010 - 2:54am

Apparently 26.5 was significantly lower than it should've been.

It's crazy that S&P ranked these teams close to each other. And while the score was different, the game was essentially decided at 39-3. That's some awesome prognostication work!

15
by Tom Gower :: Sat, 10/23/2010 - 12:17pm

So, how bout that pick of UCLA to cover? I'm sure that'll go down in the annals as my finest ATS pick ever. As a reminder, there is absolutely no money involved in these picks, and not necessarily any sense either.

Whoops, almost forgot about this. Michigan State, Notre Dame, Iowa, LSU, Nebraska, Kentucky, Miami, Air Force, Oklahoma. LSU, Nebraska, and Air Farce are the counter-consensus picks, and I'll hang my hate on the Huskers with a good bounceback game.

16
by Tom Gower :: Sat, 10/23/2010 - 7:26pm

Record update: I went 4-6 (1-0) last week, so 34-33-3 (3-4) on the year. Only 1-1 counter-consensus last week, 10-6 overall, and all Rob-F/+ consensus picks are 15-23-1 through last week.

8
by mm (not verified) :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 9:34pm

The name is the only thing about the BCS that bothers me. It generally produces good bowl matchups (less so since it went to 5 games) and I don't want a playoff system.

It is tiresome that it seems some people are incapable of writing much about college football without complaining about the BCS. Can you guys take a few weeks off from BCS complaining this year and just write about college football? You can still talk about all the bowl possibilities, etc.

9
by Bill Connelly :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 10:40pm

Actually, just last week I talked about how I didn't mind the bowls and thought that raging against "the BCS" was a bit misguided. I don't think either Brian or I were "complaining" at all -- just making recommendations. In a week where the first BCS rankings just came out, and an anti-BCS is near the top of the sports bestsellers list, it would make sense to address the fact that a lot of people do not like the BCS and are rooting for it to fail. Closer to bowl season, we can talk about bowls.

13
by TV_Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 10/22/2010 - 3:15pm

Care to start a thread every year where people can whine about the BCS or Bowl selection or even send suggestions? Then point people to it at the start of most college football threads.

Of course, the BCS sure does have a lot of people talking about it. Isn't that a good thing?

18
by zlionsfan :: Sun, 10/24/2010 - 12:14am

Given that the BCS is being openly criticized this year (in print and on air - even Verne Lundquist had a couple of words to say about it today, and they weren't kind ones), and that this may be the season that provides the tipping point for the current system, in that if a non-AQ school doesn't play for the title this season, it may never happen, it would be unusual for writers in general not to comment on the BCS, and extremely odd for writers on this site. At least here we can expect reasoned discourse and alternatives ...

As for the comments, well, I would imagine there are also people tired of hearing that the current system works fine and doesn't need to be changed. There aren't that many of us who comment regularly on the CFB threads; if we can't talk about controversial topics, there won't be much left, except perhaps things like "some schools really have this spread offense thing down" and "yeah, those announcers are pretty bad."

As long as it doesn't devolve into That Thread, it shouldn't be a problem ...

12
by TV_Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 10/22/2010 - 3:13pm

For my BCS:

I would like for margin of victory to be included for computer rankings. Right now the accuracy of computer rankings is around 50-55%. Allowing margin of victory for Sagarin (or FEI, etc. I suspect) increases the predictability by about 20% or more. Winning the game by 20 points is significantly stronger and leaves less in doubt than a win by 2 points where a single play or call decides the game.

Combine this with the "Classic Bowls + 1". The bowls play all of their classic match ups (SEC in Sugar, PAC-10 against Big 10 in Rose Bowl). However, all of these games would be included in the rankings and a week or so later the 2 top teams would play in the championship.

This would allow the PAC-10 and Big 10 to not complain about giving up their classic match, while allowing each of them to guarantee what should be a good, tough out of conference game. Because the rankings would include all of the games during the season and the bowls every game would still matter. A 9-4 Georgia team winning the Sugar Bowl would not be in the championship, but a 13-0 Boise State team that beats LSU/Auburn/Alabama in the Sugar Bowl would probably gain a lot more recognition.

Every bowl game would then have more impact, just like during the season. All of a sudden, SEC fans might be rooting and watching their 7th team play against the 4th team of the Big Least in hopes that this affects the rankings. (SEC goes 7-0 in bowl games rather than 1-6 in bowl games)

The downsides that I see:

Quick turn-around for travel and tickets. This is like the Super Bowl, but fans for college may be more rabid for traveling to see their own team's games.

An extra game for 2 teams. However, it would only be a single extra game for 2 teams, so no extra wear on the athlete's bodies of the other teams and not that much for those 2 teams. It also would not result in extra time away from school, since it could fit in the same schedule (championship around the 9th or 10, while bowls finish by the 1st or 2nd).

17
by zlionsfan :: Sun, 10/24/2010 - 12:06am

I don't think you're going to be able to put the cows back in the barn: the BCS bowls are already accustomed to spreading themselves out over the course of a week. You'd be better off putting the +1 game a week after the last one and maybe getting the BCS bowls to bunch up toward the end of the last week rather than all throughout the week. (Also, perhaps, they could push the junk bowls back to or before the 1st. I mean, I like college football more than the average person, but I'd rather watch college basketball or the NHL or something than the International Bowl.)

The extra game doesn't count as a down side to me: obviously a playoff system would also involve extra games. Instead, you might bring up the reduction of teams in the BCS pool (from 10 to 8) ... and again, that's probably not something that can be reversed, given what was happening prior to the pool's expansion (and the change in rules with respect to Rose Bowl participation, both things I suspect that were set up to appease non-AQ conferences).

Also, turnaround is also something that would affect playoffs as well (and also affects conference championship games in some cases). I think you're better off comparing your +1 scenario to a playoff system rather than to the current setup; fewer negatives IMHO.

Travel isn't that big of a deal anyway. I would guess the vast majority of tickets go to bigwigs, not to fans, just like at any other big event, and the fans who can afford to go can swing two games (or more) on short notice if necessary.

14
by Jeff Fogle :: Fri, 10/22/2010 - 5:10pm

Can somebody either confirm that the records from LW are in error...or that my correction is in error (lol)?

22
by Bill Connelly :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 7:24am

Rob went 5-5, F/+ went 4-6. Not sure why I fail to count these correctly every week.

20
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Sun, 10/24/2010 - 8:48am

Northwestern should have won that game. I give a lot of credit to MSU for gutting it out at the end against the wind on the road. But the Wildcats had the ball and the lead at midfield and got stupid. Fitz will be haunted by this game for a long time.

MN is a mess. Penn State just rolled them at home. Good grief.

The WI/IA battle royale is the game of the year so far in the Big Ten. Wow. Just two teams trading haymakers all afternoon. And who would have thought the game would turn on the WI head coach making a brilliant call with the fake punt? The guy is a jack&ss but he put one over Kirk and the boys there. And Iowa better look in the mirror because that front four on defense ain't all that and a bag of chips. It's the OFFENSE, not the defense, that is the clear strength of the team. And WI won the game with what, a half dozen starters out of the game? Very impressive

21
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Sun, 10/24/2010 - 9:28am

I am surprised to read notes that the Iowa defense 'neutralized' the WI running game. This did happen in the second quarter but for the other three the Badgers were making solid gains via running. It was the special teams giving good field position that held down the overall running stats for Wisco.

And whenever WI needed a gain it was on the left side. Repeatedly. Carimi had moments where AC got the advantage in pass situations but on running plays Gabe was winning the battle with Clayboirne. His tackles typically came in pursuit when running was away from him.

But then the Iowa tackles were not holding the point. Cripes, WI had their backup center in the game the last quarter or so and Daniels and Klug were still not getting any penetration.