Wednesday, October 5, 2011

College Football Rewind - Week 5

5 weeks are complete and there are 15 unbeaten teams remaining.  The Big 12 leads the way with 5 undefeated teams and will be down to at least 4 after this weeks tasty tilt between Oklahoma and Texas.  The Big 10 has 3, ACC and SEC have 2, and the PAC-12, Mountain West and Conference-USA each have one.  Of these 15, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia Tech and Houston are not yet considered National Title contenders. 
We are also still waiting for upset Saturday, a week where there are multiple shocking results that shake-up and shape the rest of the College Football season.  Contenders beware as October progresses.

ACC (8-3 for the week, 36-20 overall, 27-11 non-conference, 5-7 BCS non-conf)
  • Outside of LSU, no one can argue 3 more impressive wins than Clemson (Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech). 
  • Maybe Virginia Tech should play a quality non-conference game.  It might not have made a difference, but Clemson was obviously more battle-tested than the Hokies.
  • Things will not get easier for the Tigers, with 4 out of their last 6 on the road, including trips to Georgia Tech and South Carolina.
  • Boston College is terrible!!
  • The Wake Forest watch is on.  With winnable games against Duke and Vanderbilt, the Deacons would need just one upset to reach bowl-eligibility. 
  • ACC Game of the Week - Maryland at Georgia Tech - Despite the Terps not living up to expectations, this could be a dangerous game for the Ramblin' Wreck.

Bowl Changes: Welcome to the BCS Clemson.  My Current Bowl Order:  Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami , Maryland (tenuous)

My record: 32-15
This Week:  Georgia Tech over Maryland, North Carolina over Louisville, Florida State over Wake Forest, Clemson over Boston College, North Carolina State over Central Michigan, Virginia Tech over Miami

Big East (4-4 for the week, 25-13 overall, 23-11 non-conference, 4-7 BCS non-conf)

  • South Florida is winless on Thursday's since joining the Big East after last week's loss at Pittsburgh.  It just happens the season finale vs West Virginia is also on a Thursday.
  • After two losses, Pittsburgh showed some moxie with their win over the Bulls and still has to be considered a Big East contender.
  • Louisville's offense is horrible.  Good thing the defense is good enough to keep them in almost every game.
  • Connecticut is just plain bad.  They might win one more game this year.
  • Big East Game of the Week - Pittsburgh at Rutgers - An early showdown for first place in the conference.  For the Scarlett Knights, a chance to show they belong in the conversation.
Bowl Changes:  Rutgers moves into bowl-eligibility.  Syracuse holds on for now, but is teetering on the edge.  My current Bowl Order:  West Virginia, South Florida, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse (tenuous).

My Record: 22-8
This Week:  North Carolina over Lousiville, West Virginia over Connecticut, Pittsburgh over Rutgers, Syracuse over Tulane

Big 12 (4-4 for the week, 32-8 overall, 27-3 non-conference, 6-3 BCS non-conf)

  • A 27-3 finish in non-conference, with the losses coming to Arizona State, Georgia Tech and Arkansas.  Pretty impressive, but the measuring stick game of Texas A&M and Arkansas leaves the advantage still to the SEC.
  • I am going to continue to over-react to Kansas State.
  • Robert Griffin III would no longer get my Heisman vote after 5 weeks.
  • Wait, they still aren't going to give me a Heisman vote?
  • While Texas A&M got a welcome to the SEC message, they did go toe-to-toe with potentially the 3rd best team in the conference.  They didn't finish, but they showed they can compete.  Unfortunately, competition medals were only cool in 2nd grade.
  • Missouri could be in trouble, just sayin'.
  • Big 12 Game of the Week - Oklahoma vs Texas - A battle of unbeatens in this annual showdown for Big 12 supremacy.  Oklahoma is the conference favorite, but Texas might have the best defense they will face all year.
Bowl Changes: My current Bowl Order:  Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Baylor, Texas Tech, Missouri.

My Record: 27-8
This Week:  Oklahoma State over Kansas, Baylor over Iowa State, Texas A&M over Texas Tech, Kansas State over Missouri, Texas over Oklahoma

Big Ten (5-6 for the week, 39-18 overall, 34-13 non-conference, 6-5 BCS non-conf)

  • Indiana and Minnesota are still awful.  They will both still go 0-8 in the Big 10.
  • I don't think I am over-reacting to Michigan.  They are legitimate Legends Division contenders.
  • Speaking of the Legends Division, it looks like a delicious race with Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska and Iowa.  Northwestern will play spoiler.
  • So much for the hype.  Wisconsin's balance was too much for a Nebraska team that cannot pass enough to win big games. 
  • Russellmania 16 is great, but has anyone noticed Montee Ball?
  • Going to leave this one up - 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.
  • Ohio State will be 0-4 in Big Ten play.
  • Big 10 Game of the Week - Michigan at Northwestern - tricked you here.  Ohio State is too much of a mess right now.  The Wolverines have a tough road test that will prove if they are for real.
Bowl Changes: Current Bowl Order:  Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State, Northwestern.

My Record: 42-10
This Week: Purdue over Minnesota, Illinois over Indiana, Iowa over Penn State, Michigan over Northwestern, Nebraska over Ohio State

PAC-12 (5-5 for the week, 31-23 overall, 20-12 non-conference, 5-8 BCS non-conf)
  • Leave this one up - Oregon State will go winless in 2011.
  • Leaving this one too - Washington and USC have many flaws, but one will play a big spoiler for Oregon or Stanford.
  • Welcome to the PAC-12 Utah.  Apparently the PAC-12 is tougher than the Mountain West.  And BYU is not very good.  The Utes are staring at 0-3.
  • Kudos to Washington State, stunning Colorado with two late TD's to get their 3rd win.  A win at UCLA this week and (gulp), we will start talking bowl for the Cougars.
  • PAC-12 Game of the Week - Arizona State at Utah - This is the Utes last chance to stay in the South race.  And with USC on probation, Arizona State all but locks up the South with a win.
Bowl Changes:  Current Bowl Order:  Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, Washington, California, Utah.

My Record: 37-6
This Week: Oregon over California, Arizona over Oregon State, Arizona State over Utah, Stanford over Colorado, UCLA over Washington State

SEC (7-4 for the week, 41-17 overall, 28-4 non-conference, 6-2 BCS non-conf)
  • Still leaving this one - LSU or Alabama will lose to someone other than LSU or Alabama.
  • Is South Carolina quietly a National Title Contender?  And what about Marcus Lattimore for Heisman?  No and No.  13 points on Auburn?  C'mon guys.
  • All of a sudden, Georgia is the hottest team in the East.  This should be a great race between South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
  • OK Auburn.  I get it.  You are way better than I thought.  Now the new guys play with confidence. And you win every close game.  Fool me again this week?
  • Kentucky is not good.  Not good at all. 
  • Boise State, Clemson, BYU and Louisville remain the 4 non-conference losses for the SEC.
  • SEC Game of the Week - Auburn at Arkansas - There are 3 good ones in the SEC this week, but this will be a good measuring stick for 3rd best in the conference.
Bowl Changes: Current Bowl Order:  Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State

My Record: 36-9
This Week: Mississippi State over UAB, South Carolina over Kentucky, LSU over Florida, Arkansas over Auburn, Alabama over Vanderbilt, Georgia over Tennessee

Conference USA (5-6 this week, 26-30 overall, 18-22 non-conference, 5-14 BCS non-conf)

  • The 5 BCS wins is currently tops of any non-BCS conference.  No one can fault them if the victims have been UCLA, Virginia, Boston College, Purdue and Louisville.
  • Leave this one - Despite Central Florida's recent slide, I think they still play for the C-USA Title against the Houston/SMU survivor.
  • UAB is staring at 0-9.  I thought their offense would be way better.
  • SMU with the statement win vaults back into favorite status.  That game November 19th at Houston is going to be funnnnn.
  • C-USA Game of the Week - Marshall at Central Florida - The conference opener for the Golden Knights gives them a chance to prove their pre-season conference favorite tag is legit.
Bowl Changes:  Marshall in, East Carolina out.  Current Bowl Order:  SMU, Houston, Central Florida, Tulsa, Southern Mississippi, Marshall.

My Record: 39-9
This Week:  Mississippi State over UAB, Rice over Memphis, Houston over East Carolina, Central Florida over Marshall, Syracuse over Tulane, Southern Mississippi over Navy

Mountain West (2-3 for the week, 20-15 overall, 18-13 non-conference, 2-7 BCS non-conf)
  • New Mexico is still the worst team in FBS.
  • At 18-13 in non-conference, the Mountain West is by far the best Non-BCS league.
  • Losing Andy Dalton was big, but apparently the secondary losses were even bigger for TCU.
  • Colorado State and Wyoming will each be 5-6 heading into their finale against one another, with the winner getting the bowl bid.
  • As good as Boise State is, they will not beat out an unbeaten from a BCS league for the Title Game.
  • MWC Game of the Week - TCU at San Diego State - A tilt for second best behind Boise State in the conference.  I haven't figured out TCU yet, so I am sure they will win (see prediction below).
Bowl Changes:  Wyoming out.  Current Bowl Order:  Boise State, San Diego State, TCU, Air Force, Colorado State

My Record: 25-8
This Week: Boise State over Fresno State, Notre Dame over Air Force, Nevada over UNLV, Utah State over Wyoming, San Diego State over TCU

MAC (5-8 for the week, 28-36 overall, 20-28 non-conference, 3-25 BCS non-conf)

  • I over-reacted to Temple.
  • The MAC is 17-3 in games against non-BCS opponents.
  • Add Connecticut to Maryland and Indiana as BCS victims for the MAC.  Those 25 losses show they are not afraid to play the big boys.
  • Miami(OH) and Northern Illinois.  I now add you to Maryland and Mississippi State.  I have been fooled, but no longer!!
  • MAC Game of the Week - Bowling Green at Western Michigan - These appear to be two of the better teams in the MAC.  Another chance for the Broncos to live-up to my pre-season hype.
Bowl Changes:  Current Bowl Order:  Toledo, Temple, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio.

My Record: 43-13
This Week:  Army over Miami(OH), Florida International over Akron, Temple over Ball State, Western Michigan over Bowling Green, Toledo over Eastern Michigan, North Carolina State over Central Michigan, Ohio over Buffalo, Northern Illinois over Kent State

WAC (3-5 for the week, 13-25 overall, 9-21 non-conference, 2-12 BCS non-conf)
  • Welcome back Hawaii.  You are now a contender in the worst conference.
  • Utah State, San Jose State and New Mexico State are playing above expectations.  Which were really, really low coming into the season.
  • Despite their flaws, Hawaii, Nevada and Fresno State are all 1-0 and tied for first.
  • WAC Game of the Week - Wyoming at Utah State - The Aggies 1-3 record is heartbreaking.  A win over the Cowboys puts them on track for a bowl.
Bowl Changes:  Utah State in, Louisiana Tech out.  Current Bowl Order:  Nevada, Hawaii, Fresno State, Utah State

My Record: 25-9
This week:  Boise State over Fresno State, Nevada over UNLV, Utah State over Wyoming, BYU over San Jose State, Idaho over Louisiana Tech

Sun Belt (4-4 for the week, 15-25 overall, 10-20 non-conf, 2-15 BCS non-conf)

  • Sun Belt Game of the Week - Troy at Louisiana-Lafayette - The Ragin' Cajuns can really stamp their inclusion in the Sun Belt race. 
Bowl Changes:  Current Bowl Order:  Florida International, Troy, Lousiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State

My Record: 28-7
This Week:  Middle Tennessee over Western Kentucky, Florida International over Akron, Troy over Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State over Louisiana-Monroe, North Texas over Florida Atlantic

Independents (3-1 for the week, 10-9 overall, 5-5 BCS)
  • I wish BYU and Navy would play for 2nd best Independent.
  • Notre Dame is sneaking back into BCS range.
  • Independent Game of the Week - Air Force at Notre Dame - The Fighting Irish have lost a few of these Service Academy games recently.
Bowl Changes: Notre Dame, BYU and Navy all remain projected bowl-eligible.

My Record: 14-5
This Week: Army over Miami(OH), Notre Dame over Air Force, Southern Mississippi over Navy, BYU over San Jose State

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

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