Wednesday, September 14, 2011

College Football Rewind - Week 2

One of the great things about College Football is the unpredictability.  When it comes down to it, these are still 18-22 year old men/boys that are the great determinant in victory or defeat.  It is no great shock that after two weeks, some of my pre-season predictions have gone horribly wrong.  I am able to admit when I am wrong, no matter how hard it might be.  So this week, my theme will be who I have been wrong on after two weeks.  More teams will be added to this as the year passes I am sure.

ACC (7-3 for the week, 15-7 overall, 13-5 non-conference, 2-3 BCS non-conf)

I am wrong about:  North Carolina State.  I was under the impression that the Wolfpack defense would help them through the transition at quarterback.  NC State also had a fairly mild September and October schedule.  After the defense surrendered 34 points to a surprising Wake Forest offense, so far I am wrong about the Wolfpack.  I still think they are a bowl-eligible team but no longer a contender for the ACC Atlantic crown.

I am also wrong about:  Wake Forest.  First a tough OT loss to Syracuse.  Then the big upset win over NC State.  I thought the Demon Deacons would win exactly zero ACC games, a total they have now surpassed.  The rest of the schedule is not kind, but at least Wake has shown it will be competitive in 2011.

Bowl Changes: Virginia Tech replaces Notre Dame in the BCS this week.  Either Georgia Tech or Virginia will be bowl-eligible this year.  I am going with the Yellowjackets in my current projection.  North Carolina jumps ahead of North Carolina State in the pecking order.  (See Updated Bowl Projections at the bottom of the page.)

My record: 18-2
This Week: Maryland over West Virginia, Auburn over Clemson, Georgia Tech over Kansas, Boston College over Duke, North Carolina over Virginia, Virginia Tech over Arkansas State, North Carolina State over South Alabama, Wake Forest over Gardener-Webb, Ohio State over Miami, Florida State over Oklahoma

Big East (4-4 for the week, 12-4 overall, 12-4 non-conference, 1-3 BCS non-conf)

I am wrong about:  Connecticut.  While I thought the Big East would be a struggle for the Huskies this year, I predicted a 5-0 non-conference record would get this team to a bowl.  While a road loss to an SEC school is nothing to sneer at, it was Vanderbilt.  Based on what I have seen so far, Connecticut will struggle to reach 6-6 and bowl eligibility.

Bowl Changes: Cincinnati replaces Connecticut as the 5th bowl-eligible Big East team.  South Florida makes a definitive leap over Pittsburgh for the #2 spot in the league.

My Record: 13-3
This Week:  Iowa State over Connecticut, Maryland over West Virginia, Iowa over Pittsburgh, Cincinnati over Akron, South Florida over Florida A&M, Kentucky over Louisville, USC over Syracuse

Big 12 (4-1 for the week, 14-1 overall, 14-1 non-conference, 2-1 BCS non-conf)

I am wrong about:  Kansas.  The Jayhawks doubled my predicted win total by beating Northern Illinois last weekend.  The offense has put up over 40 points in both contests.  The Big 12 will still likely be a harsh reality for Kansas, but there are some winnable home games and a trip to Ames that could get them 4 or 5 wins this year.

I am also wrong about:  Missouri.  My prediction for Missouri had them grouped with the Oklahoma teams and Texas A&M as Big 12 Title contenders.  I was wrong.  They are in the group with Texas and Baylor that are not serious threats for the title.  Arizona State might be really good, but inconsistent quarterback play and defensive injuries will hold the Tigers back this year.

Bowl Changes: Texas and Baylor move ahead of Missouri with the likelihood they will be selected before the Tigers at this time.

My Record: 11-4
This Week:  Iowa State over Connecticut, Georgia Tech over Kansas, Texas over UCLA, Texas Tech over New Mexico, Missouri over Western Illinois, Baylor over Stephen F Austin, Texas A&M over Idaho, Kansas State over Kent State, Florida State over Oklahoma, Oklahoma State over Tulsa

Big Ten (7-5 for the week, 17-7 overall, 17-7 non-conference, 2-4 BCS non-conf)

I was wrong about:  Iowa.  Everyone says the Hawkeyes are most dangerous in the years where they are not expected to do anything. Apparently they are very dangerous now because I really don't expect much from this group after losing to Iowa State.  I am giving them the benefit of the doubt with a bounce-back win over Pittsburgh this week, but a team that loses to the Cyclones does not compete for a Legends Division Title.

Bowl Changes: Michigan climbs the ladder in the selection order, while Iowa falls to the bottom of the chain.

My Record: 19-5
This Week: Michigan over Eastern Michigan, Penn State over Temple, Iowa over Pittsburgh, Purdue over SE Missouri State, Indiana over South Carolina State, Michigan State over Notre Dame, Miami(OH) over Minnesota, Nebraska over Washington, Army over Northwestern, Wisconsin over Northern Illinois, Illinois over Arizona State, Ohio State over Miami(FL)

PAC-12 (8-4 for the week, 16-8 overall, 15-7 non-conference, 4-4 BCS non-conf)

I was wrong about:  Arizona State.  Well, kind of.  I had them winning the PAC-12 South.  The Missouri win might vault them to more special achievements this year.  Last year they could not win the close games.  If they reverse that trend, which they started last week, this team will compete for a BCS bowl, which I did not expect.

Bowl Changes: Currently none.

My Record: 19-3
This Week: Colorado over Colorado State, Texas over UCLA, Nebraska over Washington, Oregon over Missouri State, California over Presbyterian, San Diego State over Washington State, Illinois over Arizona State, USC over Syracuse, BYU over Utah, Stanford over Arizona

SEC (10-2 for the week, 20-4 overall, 18-2 non-conference, 4-0 BCS non-conf)

I was wrong about:  Auburn.  The Tigers are better (luckier??) than I thought.  The schedule is still not easy, but Auburn appears good enough to at least win 6 or 7 games and get bowl-eligible.  This weeks game against Clemson is huge, as it might just take one loss to send this ship in the wrong direction.

I was also wrong about:  Mississippi State.  The Rebels seemed poised to be the surprise SEC team this year.  If Chris Relf pitches the ball, they might still be.  This team has the talent to contend, but I don't think they believe they can play with the top tier.  They can prove me wrong this week against LSU, but I doubt they will fool me again.

Bowl Changes: Auburn is added to the bowl-eligible list and leaps over Kentucky, Tennessee and probably Mississippi State in attractiveness.  South Carolina and Arkansas are firmly #'s 3 and 4 behind Alabama and LSU.  Florida and Georgia join Auburn in the middle.

My Record: 19-3
This Week: LSU over Mississippi State, Auburn over Clemson, Mississippi over Vanderbilt, Georgia over Coastal Carolina, Florida over Tennessee, South Carolina over Navy, Kentucky over Louisville, Arkansas over Troy, Alabama over North Texas

Conference USA (6-5 this week, 11-11 overall, 9-9 non-conference, 3-8 BCS non-conf)

I was wrong about:  Southern Mississippi.  The Golden Eagles could have competed for a spot in the C-USA Championship Game.  The loss to Marshall throws them back in the pack with East Carolina, UAB and now Marshall in a struggle for one of the open bowl spots in the conference.

Bowl Changes: Currently None.

My Record: 18-2
This Week: UAB over Tulane, Ohio over Marshall, Memphis over Austin Peay, Houston over Louisiana Tech, Southern Mississippi over SE Louisiana, New Mexico State over UTEP, SMU over Northwestern State, Oklahoma State over Tulsa, Central Florida over Florida International

Mountain West (4-3 for the week, 9-6 overall, 7-4 non-conference, 1-3 BCS non-conf)

I was wrong about:  TCU and Air Force.  Only because I over-reacted to week 1.  I need to stop doing that.

Bowl Changes: Back to the pre-season order.

My Record: 11-2
This Week: Boise State over Toledo, Bowling Green over Wyoming, Colorado over Colorado State, TCU over Louisiana-Monroe, Texas Tech over New Mexico, San Diego State over Washington State, Hawaii over UNLV

MAC (6-6 for the week, 14-11 overall, 13-10 non-conference, 1-9 BCS non-conf)

I was wrong about:  No teams (yet).

Bowl Changes:  Currently none.

My Record: 20-4
This Week: Boise State over Toledo, Michigan over Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green over Wyoming, Penn State over Temple, Western Michigan over Central Michigan, Miami over Minnesota, Cincinnati over Akron, Wisconsin over Northern Illinois, Ohio over Marshall, Ball State over Buffalo, Kansas State over Kent State

WAC (4-4 for the week, 5-10 overall, 5-10 non-conference, 2-7 BCS non-conf)

I was wrong about:  New Mexico State.  The victory over the Gophers shows this team might be ready to be more than a doormat.  I predicted one win.  3 or 4 is well within reach now.

Bowl Changes: Currently none.

My Record: 13-2
This week: Nevada over San Jose State, Texas A&M over Idaho, Houston over Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State over UTEP, Fresno State over North Dakota, Hawaii over UNLV

Sun Belt (4-4 for the week, 5-12 overall, 4-11 non-conf, 1-9 BCS non-conf)

I was wrong about:  Florida International.  I had FIU grouped among 4 Sun Belt Title contenders.  They are clearly the best team in the league right now.

Bowl Changes:  Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe lose spots to BCS leagues that will now fulfill their tie-ins.

My Record: 14-2
This Week: TCU over Louisiana-Monroe, Virginia Tech over Arkansas State, Western Kentucky over Indiana State, Louisiana-Lafayette over Nicholls State, Arkansas over Troy, Alabama over North Texas, Central Florida over Florida International

Independents (1-3 for the week, 3-5 overall, 1-3 BCS)

I was wrong about:  Notre Dame.  That was fast.  I have thrown out the kool-aid.  I will never drink the golden kool-aid again.  Special teams figure out a way to win.  Forgettable teams find a way to lose.  2011 Notre Dame Football will be forgettable.

Bowl Changes: Army is teetering on bowl non-eligibility.  Notre Dame drops from the BCS.

My Record: 6-2
This Week: Michigan State over Notre Dame, South Carolina over Navy, BYU over Utah, Army over Northwestern

Updated Bowl Predictions
National Championship Game:  Florida State vs Alabama
Rose:  Wisconsin vs Oregon
Sugar:  Oklahoma vs West Virginia
Fiesta:  Oklahoma State vs Boise State
Orange:  LSU vs Virginia Tech

Capitol One:  South Carolina vs Nebraska
Gator:  Florida vs Ohio State
Cotton:  Texas A&M vs Arkansas
Alamo:  Texas vs Stanford
Outback:  Georgia vs Michigan State
Chick Fil-A:  Auburn vs Maryland
Sun:  Washington vs Miami(FL)
Holiday:  Arizona State vs Texas Tech
Champs:  Notre Dame vs North Carolina
Liberty:  Tennessee vs Central Florida
Belk:  South Florida vs North Carolina State
Independence:  Georgia Tech vs Air Force
Music City:  Mississippi State vs Clemson
Pinstripe:  Pittsburgh vs Northwestern
Kraft Fight Hunger:  California vs Army
Meineke Car Care:  Penn State vs Missouri
Insight:  Baylor vs Michigan
Ticket City:  Illinois vs East Carolina
Little Caesars:  Iowa vs Northern Illinois
Humanitarian:  Miami(OH) vs Fresno State
Hawaii:  Hawaii vs SMU
Beef O'Bradys:  Syracuse vs Houston
Armed Forces:  BYU vs Tulsa
Las Vegas:  Utah vs TCU
Poinsettia:  San Diego State vs Nevada  Toledo vs Troy
New Orleans:  Southern Mississippi vs Florida International
BBVA Compass:  Kentucky vs Cincinnati
New Mexico:  Louisiana Tech vs Colorado State
Military:  Navy vs Western Michigan

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