The season officially got started this past week, as
1) Alabama took it on the chin, making it the first #1 or #2 team to lose this season, but probably not the last. I am sure it is of no coincidence that last week in this spot I anointed Alabama as unbeatable. It shows how tough it is to navigate the schedules in the major conferences, and why the non-BCS conference schools have little to stand on at the end of the year after beating up all the directional Idaho's and New Mexico's of the world.
2) I usually lead with Bucky, but they get the second spot this week after a ho-hum victory over the lame-duck Gophers. Wisconsin did what it had to do, although giving up those two 4th quarter touchdowns left a little sour taste in my mouth. They have done that several times in the Bielema era and they need to just complete the football game on the defensive side of the ball.
3) The biggest topic of the game was the 2-point conversion attempt at 41-16 with 7:00 left in the game. I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I lean toward it being an unnecessary move that Bret probably should have eschewed. Five minutes earlier he did not attempt the conversion at 34-9 - same point differential and "the card" would have read the same thing. Now, if Coach Unemployed of the Gophers wants the other team to stop scoring, take out your starters and stop throwing on every play. I don't like an opposing coach on the losing side who complains about this type of stuff. I am of the belief that the onus is on the losing team to wave the white flag.
4) The weekly Boise State (and TCU) watch - both teams blew out their respective opponents and took care of business. By the way, the TCU defense has been awesome as of late. Here is the oddity that happens because of perception. The opponents of these two teams last week, Wyoming and Toledo, were actually rated ahead of Washington State and Indiana on the computers. Yet both Boise State and TCU lost ground on Ohio State and Oregon in the polls. The human element gave more credit to beating two of the worst BCS conference schools you can play. Time for a playoff yet??
5) I picture Boise State and TCU as Charles Martin, former DE of the Green Bay Packers who had his "hit list". Alabama was crossed off the hit list last week. Remaining on the list - Ohio State, Oregon, Nebraska, Oklahoma, LSU, Auburn, Michigan State and of course, Utah and Nevada, who each team must personally take care of in November.
6) Not many complaints with the pollsters this week - including kudos to the coaches for jumping South Carolina, who beat 'Bama, over Arkansas, who did not. I would have moved the Tide down one more spot and put LSU ahead of them, but that will be settled on field on November 6th. As requested, Sparty leaped over an idol Iowa team - those two get to settle their debate on October 30th. I don't like a 2-loss Florida team ahead of a 1-loss Michigan, but neither is going to be a factor in the end.
7) Not much change in the Heisman race, although Denard proved human against a decent team with his 3 picks. Terrelle Pryor and LaMichael James have elevated their status, and Kellen Moore stays in the race as well.
8) This weeks Jabesblog rankings - 1) Oregon 2) Ohio State 3) Nebraska 4) Boise State/TCU 5) Auburn
9) On tap for Week 7 - The Game of the Week might very well be in Madtown, where the #1 Buckeyes come calling Saturday Night. Recent history suggests these teams will play a close, low-scoring game. Wisconsin outgained OSU considerably last year and the scoreboard was all Ohio State. 2 years ago, Terrelle Pryor dashed in for the winning score at Camp Randall. Wisconsin has a punchers chance, but they must run the ball, control pace, avoid turnovers and avoid any big negative special teams plays. Sounds like a lot, but Ohio State is #1 for a reason.
10) Other big games - #12 Arkansas invades #7 Auburn - the Tigers/War Eagles have remained undefeated, but have lived on the edge. #5 Nebraska hosts Texas, which should have been a bigger game, but might be the last test for the Huskers before a Big 12 Championship Game (as Boise and TCU sob). #15 Iowa travels to Michigan before hosting every other Big 10 challenger the rest of the way. Finally, I will keep my eye on Lubbock, where an undefeated Oklahoma State teams will light up the scoreboard with the Red Raiders.
See you next week...