College Football

There’s Alabama and then, um, everyone else? – Week 7 College Football Recap

saban-shrug

Don’t get me wrong.   I still think that Bama will cough one up during the regular season (I will get to that later) but at this point is there any team that is realistically even close to the Crimson Tide?  I would argue there isn’t.  I will be honest here: I watched very little of the Tide-Vols game.  I had it on the PVR.  As soon as I saw Alabama go up 21-7 I knew it was over.  And how about that?  I was right!  I do wonder about their games against Texas A&M and Auburn and they do not want to overlook LSU if they have a healthy Leonard Fournette.  They have a tough schedule but they will be favoured from here on in and possibly by double digits each game.

Alright, a little different format this week.  Just want to shake it up.  More out of boredom than anything.  We will go through the Top 25 and then highlight any other games that took place. Here we go!

#1 Alabama & #9 Tennessee – This was outlined above.  Why go through it again?  I just want to see Saban yell at Lane Kiffin again.  I smile when that happens.  OK I guess I should talk about the Vols a bit.  They’ve put Florida back into the SEC East race.  There you go.

#2 Ohio State & #8 Wisconsin – The Badgers sure put a scare into the Buckeyes.  A great game that went to overtime and ended with a thud for Wisky.  The Badgers won’t fall too far in the rankings but there is little chance for tOSU to pass Alabama in the polls the rest of the season unless Bama loses now.

#3 Clemson – Arguably the best game of the day was an early game with the Tigers narrowly beating NC State.  In all honesty, Clemson should have lost.  NC State outplayed them and if it wasn’t for their poor kicker missing another field goal, Clemson would have been out of the Top 5 (and possibly out of the Top 10 as well).  That’s college kickers for you.  There are only a few out there who you would trust in a real pressure situation.  The rest you just hope they don’t screw up.

#4 Michigan, #5 Washington, #6 Texas A&M – All these teams were idle and hoping for at least one of the three teams above them to lose.  It didn’t happen.

#7 Louisville – Many people said it was a horrible game that the Cardinals played at home against Duke on Friday night.  I disagree a bit.  Duke is a good team; underrated for sure.  Also, Lamar Jackson still had a pretty damn good game.  I guess expectations are REALLY high in Louisville and anything less than a College Football Playoff spot would be a failure.

#10 Nebraska – Other than Bama, no team in Top 10 seemed to have it easy this weekend.  That includes the Huskers who came oh so close to blowing a lead against Indiana and losing in what would have been a massive upset.  Their win, combined with Wisconsin’s loss sets up a huge showdown in two weeks in Madison where we see if the Fighting Rileys are for real or not.

#11 Baylor – They beat Kansas.  You don’t get a trophy for that.

#12 Ole Miss & #22 Arkansas – Another pretty good back-and-forth affair that overshadowed a good part of the Ohio State-Wisconsin game.  Plus with Joe Tessitore calling the game, there was that distinct possibility that something crazy might happen.  And it looked like it might when Chad Kelly scrambled for the first down very late in the game to come up just short.  Both teams essentially are eliminated from the SEC West race anyways so they are fighting for better bowl games at this point.

#13 Houston – They shouldn’t have been that close with Tulsa.  No offense to the Golden Hurricane but if the Cougs want to say they are a big-time team they have to show it.  This wasn’t the way to do it: by stopping Tulsa mere millimetres short of the goal line on the last play of the game to preserve a 7-point victory.

#14 Florida State – You know there was a point that I thought Wake Forest might actually pull this one out.  Their defense is easily one of the best in the ACC and it showed here.  Too bad their offense isn’t anything to write home about.  The Noles survived and are headed for a showdown with Clemson two weeks from now to see if they can shake things up in the ACC Atlantic.

#15 Boise State – Style points count for Group of Five teams.  The Broncos didn’t gain any here by allowing an improbable Colorado State comeback.  They need to put the rest of their Mountain West conference foes away early for them to look good in the eyes of The Committee.

#16 Miami – Talk about looking bad.  And at home even.  Even though the score looked close, the Canes were never really in their game with North Carolina.  It is going to be an interesting fight to the finish in the ACC Coastal since no one really seems to want to win the division.  I guess it could have been worse for The U though.  Just ask…

#17 Virginia Tech – Now this was a shocker.  I honestly thought Syracuse would struggle to win a single ACC conference game this season.  They looked pretty good against the Hokies.  Perhaps BabersBall is starting to catch on there.  As for Tech, it’s been an up and down season.  Has to already be considered a success for Justin Fuente but the division was theirs for the taking (and still can be if they win out).

#18 Florida – Quietly, the Gators are moving back towards the Top 15.  Also, now that their game against LSU has finally been rescheduled (what a gongshow that was), it may be the game that Florida needs to win to go back to the SEC Championship for a rematch with Bama.

#19 Oklahoma – Why do I have this feeling that the Sooners will somehow run the Big XII table and someone is going to wonder why they weren’t included in the College Football Playoff?  We are in that kind of season people.  Last year had it’s funny times but this feels a lot more like 2007 as each week passes (except for the Bama domination).

#20 West Virginia – Speaking of quietly moving up the board, the Mountaineers are playing well and Drunk Uncle Dana is looking like a coach of the year candidate.  They still have the tough part of their schedule coming up (this Saturday they get TCU) so I don’t see them going undefeated but you never know.

#21 Utah – Somehow the Utes had a tough time with Oregon State.  So now the Pac-12 has become Washington and everyone else.  Ridiculous.  If the Huskies lose even one game, even if it’s close, the Pac-12 may be left out of the CFP.

#23 Auburn – They were idle but may move up because quite a few of the teams above them in the rankings didn’t play that well.

#24 Western Michigan – What they did against Akron is what they will have to do the rest of the way.  Their CFP hopes are razor thin but they could catch Houston and Boise State for the New Year’s Six spot if they just keep blowing opponents out (although something will have to happen to the other Broncos for the chances to come true).

#25 Navy – Their game with East Carolina was postponed into November.  This caused us to have to suffer through the only non-college football Thursday of the season.  They have the inside track to ruining Houston’s chances for the New Year’s Six as long as they win out.

Other Notes

  • Vanderbilt won their first SEC conference road game under Derek Mason by shocking Georgia Between The Hedges. Vandy won’t be bowl eligible or anything but man does Kirby Smart look like the wrong hire in Athens (Do they miss Mark Richt?  The answer is yes.).
  • Man is Michigan State ever bad. No one, and I mean NO ONE, would have thought that Sparty would struggle to make a bowl game.  They looked pathetic against Northwestern.  Well their defense looked pathetic.  Their offense looked fine.  Won’t be enough to compete in the Big Ten though that is for sure.
  • Purdue lost to Iowa and Darrell Hazell lost his job. You should see the lack of shock on my face right now.
  • Uh don’t look like now but Colorado has flashed back 25 years and are a bit of a force again. They almost have the inside track on the Pac-12 South after their win over Arizona State.  They have shocked everyone (including myself) with how good they have been so far this season.
  • New Mexico and Wyoming look like the best teams after Boise State and San Diego State in the Mountain West. No, this is not a misprint.
  • If you think Colorado is shocking everyone, try Eastern Michigan. They are one win away from bowl eligibility.  ONE!  If they were in the MAC East, they might have ended up winning it.

This has been one crazy season and we are only halfway through it.  Other than Alabama, no team seems to want to set themselves apart from the pack.  And if things don’t change, there will be a serious issue with getting enough teams for bowl games.  I have estimated that there will be at least as many teams needing waivers as last season (three) and possibly as high as seven.  That’s nuts.  The MAC East is BRUTAL and we could see an under-.500 team in the MAC Championship (or even a 6-6 team and we know the issues that creates).  Conference USA is a joke this season and Rice could somehow end up winless.  No one wants to win the ACC Coastal Division.  Or the Pac-12 South.  Or even the SEC East.  What does this all add up to?  Chaos!  And to be honest, there is a part of me that loves it because it’s wonky results and crazy seasons that bring about change (and usually for the better).  Oh, and my opinion on Big XII expansion (they have a press conference today at 6:30 to discuss what will happen on that front) is that if the Big XII does not expand, then expect serious rumours in about three years’ time of Oklahoma, Texas, and possibly others looking for greener pastures elsewhere.  The grass isn’t always greener.  I get that.  But the Big XII currently has a front yard that is entirely dirt and unless they plant something there to grow it back into a reputable Power Five conference, then the conference will eventually die off (in about eight years’ time).  Will be interesting to see which way they go with this.

Bossman Top 25

You didn’t ask for it but you’re getting it anyway.  Here it is followed by some random comments:

#1 Alabama
#2 Ohio State
#3 Clemson
#4 Michigan
#5 Texas A&M
#6 Louisville
#7 Washington
#8 Baylor
#9 Nebraska
#10 Florida
#11 Houston
#12 Florida State
#13 Wisconsin
#14 Oklahoma
#15 West Virginia
#16 Tennessee
#17 Boise State
#18 Arkansas
#19 Ole Miss
#20 Utah
#21 Western Michigan
#22 Auburn
#23 North Carolina
#24 LSU
#25 Miami

Random Comments

  • My Top 7 are exactly like the AP’s top 7 teams, albeit in a slightly different order. I believe Bama has gone so far past everyone else that only a loss moves them back down (and it may only drop them to #2).
  • I have Houston at #11, Boise State at #17, and Western Michigan at #21. Boise has the inside track because I do not foresee Houston winning the AAC West Division, let alone the AAC.  The Group of Five spot is reserved for a conference champion.  Boise wins out, they get that spot.  If other crazy things happen, they may sneak into the CFP spot, especially if San Diego State runs the table into the MWC Championship also.
  • I have Auburn and LSU sneaking into the Top 25. I think if either runs the table (this would include a win over Alabama), they will easily be in the Top 10 and possibly, amazingly enough, in line for a CFP spot.

At this point, I see the same four teams that I had last week in the College Football Playoff: Washington, Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama.  I feel quite good about the Huskies and Tide and a bit nervous about the Buckeyes and Tigers.  I also believe Boise will run the table and get the G-5 spot meaning WMU (who I also think will run the table) will be left out (but possibly still in the Top 10).  This is why I believe the amount of conference tie-ins has to drop significantly.  Who wouldn’t want a chance to get an undefeated Western Michigan team into their bowl, especially if it is up against a Big Ten team?  It’s the kind of game fans love to see: a G-5 team getting their shot to overtake a P-5 team on national television.  As I have said before, I think the bowl selection process should change.  I might just do it again for this season (so far) and see how things look.  We could end up with some pretty spicy matchups if they would just LISTEN TO ME!

Alright, tomorrow I will do the slightly truncated NFL recap.  To be honest I will be doing smaller NFL recaps because I really haven’t had a chance to watch the NFL much this season.  I blame it on Roger Goodell.  But to be honest, let’s look at this past weekend.  One game between elite teams.  That’s it.  How many really good teams are there this season?  Very few.  Even gambling on the NFL doesn’t seem to hold the same amount of excitement as it used to.  I stopped doing fantasy football a years ago.  Overall I just don’t have the same affinity for it like I did.  That may have more to do with the fact I watch 14+ hours of college football on Saturdays (if I’m watching it live) and need a break of some sort on Sunday to actually get shit done.  I get that I am ranting but I have to tell it like it is.  I mean you never know when someone may ask why I am not covering something about the NFL.  Now you kind of know…and knowing is half the battle.   GI JOE!

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