Predominant thought: They are playing some pretty good football in the State of Oregon. The Ducks flexed some defensive muscle in dispatching a hot Arizona team and cementing themselves as the team to beat in the PAC-12. For the Beavers its two games and two upsets over ranked teams. For Oregon it was expected, but the rise of Oregon State has been a surprise.
3 Quick hits:
- My apologies to Colorado for putting an 0-12 season in ink after 3 weeks. They showed some heart in rallying from behind to beat Washington State. Mike Leach has his work cut-out for him as well. Turning around a culture of losing is hard work.
- It will be interesting to see if USC's offense can sleepwalk through an entire season. Aren't there supposed to be like 28 first round draft picks on this offense? Wake up Robert Woods, the 2012 season has started and teams have figured out you are not very fast.
- Arizona State continues to impress. Maybe this Todd Graham guy can coach despite his fear of commitment. A close loss at Missouri isn't terrible (although the Tigers are desperately mediocre in the SEC world) and this weeks thrashing of Utah is impressive because that doesn't usually happen to the Utes.
1. Oregon Ducks (BCS National Title Game)
2. Stanford Cardinal (Rose Bowl)
3. USC Trojans (Alamo Bowl)
4. UCLA Bruins (Holiday Bowl)
5. Arizona State Sun Devils (Sun Bowl)
6. Washington Huskies (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl)
7. Oregon State Beavers (New Mexico Bowl)
8. Arizona Wildcats (Las Vegas Bowl)
9. Utah Utes
10. California Golden Bears
11. Washington State Cougars
12. Colorado Buffaloes
Predominant thought: The good news is that one of these teams gets to play in the Rose Bowl. The bad news is that with all the tie-ins against the SEC, this is going to be an ugly bowl season for the Big 10 if things don't change. I usually am a Big 10 defender, but I have nothing to defend in 2012. Maybe the Penn State karma has rubbed off on the whole league. Thank goodness for Northwestern and Minnesota.
3 Quick hits:
- What is going on with Iowa? The Hawkeyes are in danger of missing out on the Big 10 bowl-slaughter, now needing a 4-4 conference record to do this. The crossover schedule is workable, but not if the Hawkeyes are just plain bad.
- If the performances of Illinois and Indiana against legitimate competition are any indication, the Leaders Division berth in Indianapolis is going to be decided by Purdue and Wisconsin and could be won with a 4-4 record. How is that for another black-eye?
- Notre Dame is 3-0 in the Big 10. Maybe they should play in the Rose Bowl this year.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (Probation Bowl)
2. Nebraska Cornhuskers (Rose Bowl)
3. Michigan State Spartans (Capital One Bowl)
4. Michigan Wolverines (Outback Bowl)
5. Wisconsin Badgers (Gator Bowl)
6. Northwestern Wildcats (Texas Bowl)
7. Purdue Boilermakers (Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl)
8. Iowa Hawkeyes (TicketCity Bowl)
9. Minnesota Golden Gophers (Little Caesars Bowl)
10. Illinois Fighting Illini
11. Penn State Nittany Lions
12. Indiana Hoosiers
Predominant thought: Keep in mind as Alabama rolls through the SEC that they do not play Georgia, South Carolina or Florida in crossover games this year. Similarly, Georgia avoids Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State. Yes, the middle of the SEC is better than other leagues, but tell me an undefeated Big 12 team will not have beaten a stronger group of teams than Alabama or Georgia.
3 Quick hits:
- Have you heard of Johnny Manziel yet? You will soon.
- Arkansas, unfortunately I don't think you have hit rock bottom yet. I will let you know when you do.
- Speaking of dangerous teams...with all the issues South Carolina keeps having at quarterback, the team continues to chug along below the radar. The spotlight will come as the SEC games begin, but the ol' ball coach has his team right where he wants them, except maybe health at quarterback.
1. Georgia Bulldogs (BCS National Title Game)
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (Sugar Bowl)
3. LSU Tigers(Capital One Bowl)
4. South Carolina Gamecocks (Cotton Bowl)
5. Florida Gators (Outback Bowl)
6. Tennessee Volunteers (Gator Bowl)
7. Texas A&M Aggies (Chick Fil-A Bowl)
8. Mississippi State Bulldogs (Liberty Bowl)
9. Arkansas Razorbacks (Music City Bowl)
10. Missouri Tigers (Independence Bowl)
11. Vanderbilt Commodores (BBVA Compass Bowl)
12. Auburn Tigers
13. Ole Miss Rebels
14. Kentucky Wildcats
Predominant thought: Kansas State's win over Oklahoma is just the start of a wild ride in the Big 12. This conference goes 9-deep and will have 4 great match-ups each week. Teams will look forward to the Kansas bye on the schedule.
3 Quick hits:
- Did Maryland provide a blueprint to slow down West Virginia or was it just an off week? I am still excited about the Mountaineers, but I also know this team lost 2 Big East games a year ago.
- Which team is most likely to fall in my current reset? Probably TCU if the offense does not find its stride.
- We will now find out how good Texas is. At Oklahoma State, vs West Virginia, at Oklahoma, vs Baylor. That is a four-week stretch the SEC would be proud of.
1. West Virginia Mountaineers (Fiesta Bowl)
2. Texas Longhorns (Sugar Bowl)
3. Kansas State Wildcats (Alamo Bowl)
4. Oklahoma Sooners (Cotton Bowl)
5. TCU Horned Frogs (Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl)
6. Baylor Bears (Holiday Bowl)
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Texas Bowl)
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Pinstripe Bowl)
9. Iowa State Cyclones
10. Kansas Jayhawks
Predominant thought: Meet your 2012 ACC Champions the Florida State Seminoles. This team might lose one game, but they are too good to lose any more than that (injuries not withstanding).
3 Quick hits:
- What is the deal with Georgia Tech? They can look so good at times, but with two ACC losses another mediocre season awaits.
- Kudos to Miami for being better than I thought. After Kansas State took them to the woodshed, the comeback against Georgia Tech would have seemed impossible.
- Oh by the way, Clemson is still a really good football team.
1. Florida State Seminoles (Orange Bowl)
2. Clemson Tigers (Chick Fil-A Bowl)
3. Virginia Tech Hokies (Russell Athletic Bowl)
4. North Carolina State Wolfpack (Sun Bowl)
5. Miami Hurricanes (Belk Bowl)
6. Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (Music City Bowl)
7. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Independence Bowl)
8. North Carolina Tar Heels (Probation Bowl)
9. Virginia Cavaliers (Military Bowl)
10. Maryland Terrapins
11. Duke Blue Devils
12. Boston College Eagles
Predominant thought: And then there were three contenders? South Florida appears fraudulent again in 2012, so Rutgers, Louisville and Cincinnati are the remaining contenders. Maybe Pitt can get back in this discussion.
Big East Reset:
1. Rutgers Scarlett Knights (Orange Bowl)
2. Louisville Cardinals (Russell Athletic Bowl)
3. Cincinnati Bearcats (Belk Bowl)
4. South Florida Bulls (BBVA Compass Bowl)
5. Pittsburgh Panthers (Pinstripe Bowl)
6. Connecticut Huskies
7. Syracuse Orange
8. Temple Owls
(currently not filling Beef O'Brady's Bowl slot)
Predominant thought: I can't keep Notre Dame out of the BCS any longer. The Irish defense is making up for quarterback shortcomings. Their ability to maintain this will be the difference from here on out. Elsewhere, Louisiana Tech is really good and if Boise State finds an offense, they could run the table. BYU failed their test miserably and Conference-USA is a disaster.
Other Conferences/Independents Reset:
1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Fiesta Bowl)
2. Ohio Bobcats (Little Caesars Bowl)
3. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
4. Boise State Broncos (Las Vegas Bowl)
5. BYU Cougars (Poinsettia Bowl)
6. Nevada Wolfpack (Poinsettia Bowl)
7. Utah State Aggies (Hawaii Bowl**)
8. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Liberty Bowl)
9. Northern Illinois Huskies (GoDaddy.com Bowl)
10. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (New Orleans Bowl)
Other Projected Bowl Eligible Teams:
SMU Mustangs (Armed Forces Bowl)
Marshall Thundering Herd (New Orleans Bowl)
East Carolina Pirates (Beef O'Brady's Bowl)
Western Michigan Broncos (Military Bowl**)
Toledo Rockets (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
Ball State Cardinals (Beef O'Brady's Bowl**)
Fresno State Bulldogs (Hawaii Bowl)
San Diego State Aztecs (New Mexico Bowl)
Air Force Falcons (Armed Forces Bowl)
Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns (TicketCity Bowl**)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (GoDaddy.com Bowl)
San Jose State Spartans (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl**)