View from the HD: College Football V.2011 - Week 1

The heavens opened up and angels rejoiced on Thursday as the summer doldrums ended and life began anew with the kickoff of college football. I finally bought an HDTV for this reason.
Now, down to business. Top 10, Observations, Conference breakdowns and Week 2 predictions all found below.

Allow me to go on record as saying I hate preseason rankings. Ranking teams on last season's performance in anticipation and potential is fundamentally flawed logic. For example, without preseason polls, Notre Dame is Purdue. After last week, who honestly thinks the Domers are a Top 25 team? Forget nostalgia and lets call a 7-of spades a 7-of spades. Not a real powerful piece of the puzzle, but necessary to complete the deck.

Then again, when in Rome ... so here's what my Top 10 would look like.
1. LSU - Dominated a team that is nearly the same team that went to the title game last year.
2. Oklahoma - They are just flat out good.
3.  Boise St. - Hate on me if you want, but Boise has played "neutral site" games to open the last two seasons and won, this time against an SEC team.
4. Alabama - Second best in the the best conference
5. Stanford - Luck for Heisman!
6. Nebraska - If Taylor stays healthy, only Wisconsin can stop them.
7. Texas A&M - Defense is good, offense is better than expected so far.
8. Wisconsin - Could have hung 80 on UNLV. Defense a bit suspect against the tricky pistol.
9.  Oklahoma State - They are going to play a lot of 56-27 games, but they are going to win them.
10. Virginia Tech - Slaughtered to 1-AA darling Appalachian State. May rise to the top out of sheer attrition and a weak ACC.

What about Florida State? If they beat Oklahoma, I'll put them in the Top 5, until then, they are Notre Dame to me.

Teams on Top 25 radar: Baylor, Maryland, Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan, Houston.

Observing the Obvious

-My wife is among millions of women who do not embrace the start of football season. Count Mother Nature in with that group. Storms ravished the college scene this weekend causing two games to be shortened and a couple more to be delayed, with the Notre Dame game lasting an agonizing six hours. She's a vicious mistress ... Mother Nature, not my wife.

-Notre Dame is overrated. Seriously who do they pay to get ranked each year ? The Irish have been irrelevant for years.

-Poor Tulsa. Their September schedule is something no team would survive. Open with Oklahoma, at Tulane, then Oklahoma State and Boise State. Three Top 10s to start. Ouch. Good news is Conference USA is so weak they could still easily get bowl eligible.

-Boise State is no joke. They come better prepared out of the gate than any other team. Wins over Va Tech and Georgia in the last two opening weeks, both games held in the opponents back yard. Their resume in the last five years now includes a 61-5 record with two wins over Oregon and Oregon State, and wins over TCU, Va Tech, Georgia, Utah and Oklahoma. Time for respect.

- I know I'm jumping ahead a week, but Nebraska will lay waste to Washington for three reasons: 1.The Husker offense should have its legs by then. 2.Washington is nothing without Jake Locker and proved that by nearly losing to Eastern Washington. Their QB threw for just 102 yards. They did win the turnover battle 4-0 a bigger spread than the final score, but couldn't take advantage. 3.Revenge! It will be so sweet.

Conference Break Down

The Pac 12 is soft. There is no sugar coating. The only legit team is Stanford who will run away with the title. Oregon has lost to SEC teams back-to-back in their only shots to prove themselves. USC can't overcome itself and barely overcame a watered-down Minnesota team (pun intended), Washington barely beat Eastern Washington, Hawaii pounded Colorado (the WAC's only win on the week) and Oregon State lost to Sacramento State, who I didn't even know had a team.

The SEC is typically known as a defensive stalwart, but don't expect a ton of 20-10 games this year. The conference put up an average of over 40 points per game, and that includes two teams that put up less than 15 points. Three teams put up 50+.

Say what you want abut the much maligned Big XII, but the 10-team league escaped week one undefeated. That being said, this includes wins over overrated TCU, Eastern Kentucky, Northern Iowa and Miami-OH by a combined 17 points. The gap from top to bottom is immense, and Texas fits somewhere in the middle, despite their off-season entitlement complex.

The Big Ten started out the season strong going 10-2. The schedule however was weak. Northwestern (win) and Minnesota (loss) were the only two teams to play BCS-caliber opponents. Michigan State and Illinois were underwhelming and Indiana lost to Ball State. But the conference is top heavy and has two or three teams that have a shot at the BCS if they don't get in each other's way.

The other undefeated conference in week one was the Big East. The flagship win was South Florida at Notre Dame but few people think a true contender will arise this year. West Virginia should have no problem representing in the BCS this year.

Predictions - My favorite part of the blog
High Score for the week: Last week's winning team was Virginia Tech with 66.
This week's prediction: Wisconsin, at home against Oregon State. Florida State and Stanford also both candidates.
1. Oklahoma State vs. Arizona over. Nick Foles will carve a defense already made of Swiss and the Cowboy offense is good for 45 points at minimum.
2. Wisconsin over Oregon State - and I don't care if the spread is 100.
3. Houston over North Texas. Keenum to Carrier is a Top 5 battery in college football.
Upset Alerts
1. Central Michigan over Kentucky. Scoring 14 points against a team that has won 4 games in three 1-A seasons? Not good enough Wildcats.
2. Georgia over South Carolina. Georgia got much better prep for week two than the Cocks did.
3. More - Michigan over ND, Utah over USC, Middle Tenn covers Georgia Tech.

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