Monday, October 16, 2006

Week 8: BCS Rankings, Bullshit, Big Ten Ascendancy

By the way, the BCS rankings seem all out of sorts to me. I just can’t fathom USC as #2 unless historical performance over the last three seasons is taken into account. There’s just no reason for it, they’ve beaten the last three mid-level Pac 10 teams they’ve played by a touchdown each and the wins have seemed eeked-out at that. Meanwhile, Michigan has played superior competition and pretty much kept every team out of the game and is still ranked below the Trojans. Then we have Auburn at #4 (jeesh) above undefeated WVU, Texas and Notre Dame teams that lost to superior talent, and an Arkansas team that beat Auburn head to head. WTF!?!

But the sportswriters have got it right this week, finally elevating Michigan to #2 in the AP Poll, just in time for their final test (Iowa, if they still qualify after this week’s humiliating loss to Indiana) before the lay up lane of games (Indiana, Northwestern and Ball State) leading up to the enormous and much ballyhooed (you can picture the ABC tv execs licking their lips with egegiously early Corso and Herbstreit mention of an undefeated Michigan at OSU) November 18 showdown.

All season long, the #2 ranking has been something of a landmine. Each #2 so far has lost in short order (Texas, Notre Dame, Auburn, Florida) and fallen from National Title relevance. Again, the only test remaining before Michigan/Ohio State is Iowa, who looks to be crumbling right as Michigan is surging. No matter the 17-10 score, going into Happy Valley at night, dispatching the starting and backup QBs, and holding the Lions to -14 yards rushing is a big win. The game was never really in question. Michigan’s on a roll, and if I were Kirk Ferentz I wouldn’t show Drew Tate the tape of this game. The D Line is ferocious. Anthony Morelli can attest (if he even knows what day it is).

Quick Shots

*I for one, am disappointed that Florida lost. Of all the teams out there, they seemed the best competition outside of Ohio State/Michigan for the National Championship. Now, should the winner of Ohio State/Michigan finish unbeaten, who will be left to play that team for the Nat’l Campionship? USC? WVU? Louisville? Gulp. Florida is better than all of those teams combined and it would have been nice to a see a worthy matchup like that in the Championship game. Still I’m getting ahead of myself, and either WVU or Louisville will lose, and I think USC probably will too against Cal or Oregon.

*Switters and I were debating about the fate of John L. Smith after State turned a pretty numb performance against OSU in East Lansing on Saturday. Switters said, fire him on Monday, in the middle of the season. I say, give him a chance to rescue this season. If he can do that, resurrect a team that has basically quit since the 4th quarter against Notre Dame, he’s a miracle worker and must have some coaching promise. Sparty can win out and go 8-4 and make a bowl game, that’s a respectable season and if you look at the state of the program right now, a big victory. So to the Administration at State, give him the rest of this season. If he can make bliss out of this shit, he’s still worth something. If they’re as done as they look now by the end of November John L. gets pink-slipped.

*Iowa and NC State both lost in almost identical fashion on Saturday and not even separated by ten minutes. I was flipping between both games and saw first NC State, then Iowa, throw picks to end promising, last-minute drives and lose the games just when it felt they’d both pull it out. Crazy.

*I think all the rage and frustration that must have been building behind the Zen-like face of Dan Hawkins and his beleaguered Buffaloes, was exercised on Saturday against a supposedly decent Texas Tech team that was rendered helpless against a furious CU team. A win like that is cathartic, and no doubt made up for some of the humiliation they’d amassed in building Colorado’s longest losing streak. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes for the Buffs.

*For the first time in a while, Boise State turned out to be a bad bet, giving up 28 points and 526 passing yards to NMSU. The spread was 26.5. Turns out Boise State's defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox, is a pussy when it comes to pressuring the QB and would prefer to drop his LBs in coverage all day and let a lame team hang around. He's also really young for a DC, so maybe we can chalk it up to inexperience. But please, think about a pass rush. Ian Johnson wasn't bad for the Broncos, notching 192 rushing yards and 4 TDs. With that kind of output, the spread should have been safe. Yet, here I am poorer for my faith.

*Notre Dame had a bye week and I didn’t miss them at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pretty classy move showing pictures of an injured QB on the ground. That's pretty unbecoming of a skunkbear fan, or is it?

Notre Dame missed you last weekend, badly.