Wednesday, September 28, 2011

College Football Rewind - Week 4

As most conferences wrap up the majority of the non-conference slate either last week or next, conference play is beginning to heat up.  We have already had some tasty match-ups and Week 5 will be no exception.  On a side note, I also hope that my predictions heat up with conference play.  I was fooled by the ACC.  Maybe even bamboozled.  The SEC and Big 12 are clearly the class of College Football right now, followed closely by the Big 10.  This week, I will go with conference bullet points and the usual bowl updates and picks.

ACC (5-6 for the week, 28-17 overall, 22-11 non-conference, 5-7 BCS non-conf)

  • Seriously Maryland, a 38-7 home loss to Temple?  You have fooled me more than any team this year.  I was blinded by those uniforms.
  • Based on the play of the defense, I am pretty sure Russell Wilson engineered his release from the Wolfpack.
  • My apologies to Georgia Tech, but the winner of this weeks Clemson/Virginia Tech game is the ACC's last hope for a National Title Contender.
  • Sammy Watkins is really, really good.  Check him out if you haven't seen him.
  • Florida State still has the schedule to win the Atlantic, but what happened to the defense last week?
  • Using Miami as a gauge, does that mean Kansas State is better than Ohio State?
Bowl Changes: Clemson grabs the #3 spot this week and can vault into the BCS with a win in Blacksburg.  Georgia Tech slides up to #4.  Maryland falls hard and North Carolina State falls out of bowl eligibility.

My record: 27-12
This Week:  Maryland over Towson, Virginia over Idaho, Miami over Bethune-Cookman, Florida International over Duke, North Carolina over East Carolina, Boston College over Wake Forest, Georgia Tech over North Carolina State, Virginia Tech over Clemson

Big East (5-2 for the week, 21-9 overall, 21-9 non-conference, 4-7 BCS non-conf)

  • Cincinnati is the poster-child for turnover margin.
  • The refs in the Syracuse-Toledo game are the poster-child for glasses, although I saw the extra point was wide without any help.
  • West Virginia should probably re-think any thoughts of SEC membership.
  • If South Florida can conquer a fragile Pitt team this week, they could be undefeated heading to Morgantown in the season finale.
Bowl Changes:  Cincinnati leaps Pittsburgh for the 3rd spot.

My Record: 22-8
This Week:  South Florida over Pittsburgh, Syracuse over Rutgers, Cincinnati over Miami(OH), Western Michigan over Connecticut, Louisville over Marshall, West Virginia over Bowling Green

Big 12 (5-2 for the week, 28-4 overall, 26-2 non-conference, 6-2 BCS non-conf)

  • Arkansas and Ball State are all that stand in the way of an ultra-impressive 28-2 non-conference mark for the Big 12, with the two losses coming against Arizona State and Georgia Tech.  How do you like those apples, SEC?
  • Oklahoma State can now slip up once before the Oklahoma finale and win the Big 12 by upending the Sooners in Stillwater.
  • I am going to over-react to Kansas State.
  • Robert Griffin III would get my Heisman vote after 4 weeks.
  • Wait, when are they going to give me a Heisman vote?
  • One must at least consider that Texas A&M's loss last week was partly karma.
Bowl Changes: Kansas State joins the ranks of bowl-eligibility.  Texas swaps bowls with Texas A&M, if nothing else to avoid a re-match in the Cotton Bowl.

My Record: 23-7
This Week:  Texas A&M over Arkansas, Texas Tech over Kansas, Texas over Iowa State, Oklahoma over Ball State, Kansas State over Baylor

Big Ten (8-2 for the week, 34-12 overall, 34-12 non-conference, 6-5 BCS non-conf)

  • Indiana and Minnesota are awful.  They will both go 0-8 in the Big 10.
  • I finally have to believe in Michigan.  Or over-react.  You take your pick.
  • I hope the Nebraska/Wisconsin game lives up to the hype.  It's rare when Alabama/Florida gets overshadowed by the Big 10.
  • Take a look at Illinois schedule.  No Nebraska, Iowa or Michigan State.  Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State at home.  I re-iterate - sleeper for the Big 10 Title Game.
  • The loser of the Michigan State/Ohio State game is eliminated from Title contention.  Furthermore, they will have a hard time recovering from this loss.
Bowl Changes: Michigan makes a big leap, while the masses below get shuffled up a bit.

My Record: 36-10
This Week: Notre Dame over Purdue, Penn State over Indiana, Michigan over Minnesota, Illinois over Northwestern, Michigan State over Ohio State, Wisconsin over Nebraska

PAC-12 (4-5 for the week, 26-18 overall, 20-12 non-conference, 5-8 BCS non-conf)
  • Oregon State will go winless in 2011.
  • Arizona State must beat Utah to win the PAC-12 South.
  • Arizona must beat Utah to have any chance at bowl-eligibility.
  • Washington and USC have many flaws, but one will play a big spoiler for Oregon or Stanford.
  • The Oregon offense is unstoppable again.  Future scheduling of SEC opponents has been eliminated.
Bowl Changes:  Utah and Washington flip spots based on my game prediction this week.

My Record: 33-5
This Week: USC over Arizona, Arizona State over Oregon State, Stanford over UCLA, Washington State over Colorado, Utah over Washington

SEC (7-4 for the week, 34-13 overall, 25-4 non-conference, 5-2 BCS non-conf)
  • LSU and Alabama are pretty darn good.
  • LSU or Alabama will lose to someone other than LSU or Alabama.
  • Lucky for Mississippi State, I was more wrong on Maryland.
  • Is South Carolina quietly a National Title Contender?  And what about Marcus Lattimore for Heisman?  Yes and Yes.
  • Boise State, Clemson, BYU and Louisville...are the 4 non-conference losses for the SEC.
Bowl Changes: Auburn falls to the back of the pecking order.  They are going to have a challenge to go more than 6-6 with the schedule in front of them.

My Record: 32-6
This Week: Texas A&M over Arkansas, Georgia over Mississippi State, LSU over Kentucky, Tennessee over Buffalo, South Carolina over Auburn, Fresno State over Mississippi, Alabama over Florida

Conference USA (4-8 this week, 21-24 overall, 15-18 non-conference, 4-13 BCS non-conf)

  • The 4 BCS wins is currently tops of any non-BCS conference.  No one can fault them if the victims have been UCLA, Virginia, Boston College and Purdue.
  • I still have no idea how good Tulsa is.
  • Despite Central Florida's recent slide, I think they still play for the C-USA Title against the Houston/SMU survivor.
  • Marshall and Rice can make bowl-eligible statements this week.  East Carolina can secure theirs.
Bowl Changes: A little shuffling amongst the teams, but no additions or deletions.

My Record: 32-7
This Week:  Houston over UTEP, Army over Tulane, Louisville over Marshall, Tulsa over North Texas, Troy over UAB, North Carolina over East Carolina, Southern Mississippi over Rice, Middle Tennessee over Memphis, TCU over SMU

Mountain West (4-4 for the week, 18-12 overall, 16-10 non-conference, 2-7 BCS non-conf)
  • New Mexico is the worst team in FBS.
  • Does Boise State have to think about running up the score to improve their BCS Title chances?
  • At 16-10 in non-conference, the Mountain West is by far the best Non-BCS league.
  • Now that's the UNLV team I remember.
Bowl Changes: Wyoming added as bowl-eligible potential. 

My Record: 22-6
This Week: TCU over SMU, Colorado State over San Jose State, New Mexico State over New Mexico, Boise State over Nevada, Air Force over Navy

MAC (6-7 for the week, 23-28 overall, 19-24 non-conference, 2-21 BCS non-conf)

  • Believe it or not, Temple is really good.  They also showed tremendous moxie after the heart-breaker to Penn State.
  • Toledo can't catch a scheduling break.
  • Bowling Green and Western Michigan have a chance at bowl statement wins this week (I think one will get it).
  • The MAC is 17-3 in games against non-BCS opponents.
Bowl Changes:  Miami(OH) is out.  Temple moves to the front.

My Record: 36-11
This Week:  Tennessee over Buffalo, Cincinnati over Miami(OH), Eastern Michigan over Akron, Ohio over Kent State, Western Michigan over Connecticut, West Virginia over Bowling Green, Northern Illinois over Central Michigan, Oklahoma over Ball State, Temple over Toledo

WAC (2-5 for the week, 9-20 overall, 6-17 non-conference, 2-10 BCS non-conf)
  • How bad does that UNLV loss look now Hawaii?
  • The WAC is quietly the worst conference in FBS.
Bowl Changes:  None this week.  Louisiana Tech teeters on the bowl-eligible line.

My Record: 20-6
This week:  BYU over Utah State, Boise State over Nevada, Virginia over Idaho, Colorado State over San Jose State, New Mexico State over New Mexico, Fresno State over Mississippi, Louisiana Tech over Hawaii

Sun Belt (4-4 for the week, 11-21 overall, 8-18 non-conf, 2-14 BCS non-conf)

  • So much for Florida International running the table.
  • Who would have thought North Texas would add one of the BCS wins?
  • I have a feeling this is going to be a wild conference race.
Bowl Changes:  Louisiana-Lafayette is in, Louisiana-Monroe is out.
My Record: 23-6
This Week:  Arkansas State over Western Kentucky, Tulsa over North Texas, Louisiana-Lafayette over Florida Atlantic, Florida International over Duke, Middle Tennessee over Memphis, Troy over UAB

Independents (2-1 for the week, 7-8 overall, 4-5 BCS)
  • The independents are almost impossible to figure from week-to-week.
  • Navy has been the most consistent by far.
Bowl Changes: Army is dropped from bowl-eligibility.

My Record: 10-5
This Week: BYU over Utah State, Army over Tulane, Air Force over Navy, Notre Dame over Purdue

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

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

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