View from the HD: College Football V.2011 - Week 4

You know what makes college football different for me? I would rather watch literally any college football game rather than ESPN's College Game Day. By contrast, I like the NFL, but I'm equally or more excited to watch the fantasy football show or NFL Countdown then the NFL games themselves. I'm not sure why its like that for me, but I can't be the only one. 
Let's get crackin!
I was so ready to crucify Oklahoma State at halftime of their game against Texas A&M. Every year the Cowboys come in firing hot and in their first big game test to prove legitimacy they seem to let it slip. Not this time. State showed character coming from 17 down to win the game and they may actually have a decent defense as they only gave up seven second-half points (nobody counts that safety). Oklahoma State is poised for a really nice year and they get Baylor and Oklahoma at home. I'm now a believer.

Week four and one of the polls finally got it right as the AP has LSU No. 1. USA Today still has them at No. 2.
So my Top 10 looks like this:  
1. LSU - No other unbeaten team in college football has beaten two teams in this week's Top 25, one on the road. They hung 40+ on both Oregon and West Virgina. Enough said.
2. Alabama - The Tide defense has only allowed 32 points in four games. Just eight points per game. Stout!
3. Oklahoma State- Too high? Just ask Nebraska how easy it is to win AT A&M, when you're playing 11 on 12. See Oklahoma's ranking for further justification.
4. Boise State - All they do is win by 20 every week.  
5. Oklahoma - Florida State losing to Clemson takes a bit of cred from the Sooners. They will have plenty of chances to earn it back with Texas, A&M, Baylor and OKSt. still on the schedule.
6. Stanford- Another team known for offense whose defense is better than you think. Just 27 points allowed, yet against three weaker teams. 
7. Wisconsin- Have blown out four cupcakes by a combined 194-34. Week four against South Dakota though? Unfair. 
8. Nebraska - Moves up by sheer attrition. Defense may be improving with the return of some walking wounded. True test is this week at Wisconsin.
9. South Carolina  - They have been winning close games but they won't get tested again until November. By then, they will be 8-0 and a solid Top 10 team.
10. Clemson - Clemson? Yeah, they snapped the longest winning streak in football with the win against Auburn and followed that up by hanging 35 on Florida State, something Oklahoma couldn't do. No big deal.

Teams on Top 25 radar: Illinois (I know some polls have them in, but I'm not quite ready to give them that yet), Kansas State (play Baylor this week), Houston, Auburn, Iowa, Washington. Michigan State.

Games of the week: 
Nebraska @ Wisconsin - Welcome to the Big Ten and Camp Randall, Huskers. Nebraska is 0-8 in their last eight as a 10+ point dog. Nebraska's defensive philosophy is bend don't break, but Badger QB Russell Wilson is breaking everyone. Rumors of the black uniforms coming out to play for the Huskers, and fans will rock black but will the Blackshirts?
Clemson @ Virginia Tech - What looked like a ho-hum ACC game a month ago has BCS implications now. Clemson QB Tahj Boyd is 66% passing, 13 TDs and two picks. Ridiculous numbers, especially for a sophomore. Virginia Tech has a solid run game and usually wins the intangible battle.
Alabama @ Florida - This is the first in a long line of major SEC match-ups this year. This week we get to see if Florida is a pretender. The Gators have rolled on without much opposition but Alabama is battle tested and road tested already traveling to Penn State.

Random Thoughts
-Why on God's green earth is Texas ranked? Ohhh you beat BYU by a point and you break out against a bottom 10 UCLA team. Let's get real. Reputation has carried them to their current ranking, but pay no mind to that and let me be the one who said "I told you so" when they finish with four losses.
-Don't look now, but Iowa State in undefeated. But they have a month from hell coming up. Texas, at Baylor, at Mizzou, A&M at home. If they go 2-2 over next four, give them some love.
-Who would have thought with all the fantastic games last weekend, we would still be talking about Toledo v. Syracuse. You stand under the pole, parallel with the line to rule a kick in our out, and you screw that up? No wonder the Big East is in trouble. Good win, Toledo.
- Kudos to Wisconsin for scheduling a week four game against South Dakota. That's something you do in week one, not a softie right before Nebraska. The Coyotes, however would like to thank you for showing some discretion by not running up 70+ points like you did three times last year (83 against Indiana).
- Notre Dame v. Pitt was unwatchable. Just sayin.
- Congrats to Minnesota for dropping a game to a I-AA team for the second straight year after surviving a three-point win over South Dakota State in 2009. They aren't the only ones, though. UNLV lost at home by 25 to Southern Utah.
-Sick stat of the week: Baylor QB RG3 has more touchdown passes (13) than incompletions (12).
-Its the verge of UNO hockey season already? Holy crap!

Conference Breakdown
The Big XII is 28-4 with five teams in the top 17 (if you believe in Texas), and seven unbeatens. No other conference has more than four. Two of those losses are intra-conference already, which means a 26-2 non-conference. You can't argue with that. They are heading into conference season and the cream will rise, but the conference has at least two legit national championship contenders.

The SEC actually only has five teams in the Top 25 right now entering the meat of conference play. The SEC has some signature wins but also a couple of unfortunate losses. They are two-team top heavy, but really bad at the bottom. I wouldn't say its a down year because LSU and Alabama are in the conversation until December, but their bottom looks a lot like the bottom of the Big Ten.

The BigTen championship is this weekend. Pay no mind to whatever game in late December, unless its a rematch. The winner of the Wisconsin v. Nebraska match has the inside track to a conference crown. Illinois has been the story of the league so far, however. Allowing only 13 points a game and a win over Arizona State has given them some attention. Can they sustain? 

South Florida is carrying the flag for the Big East and is trying to earn eight wins for the sixth season in a row. Not bad for a "who's that" program before this streak. West Virginia stands in their way in the last game of the season, but look for the Bulls to keep charging forward. I don't think they are a Top 10 team but they may get there if they survive this upcoming stretch of four of their next five on the road.

Do I really have to talk about the Pac-12 the week? Stanford and Oregon are head and feathers above the rest and its not just Luck. Nice try making a name for yourself Washington and Arizona State. Oh and good pick up by adding Colorado. 

1. West Virginia coming off an undressing against LSU will bounce back huge and run through Bowling Green like tissue paper. Maybe by 30. 
2.Northern Illinois over Central Michigan. The Chips may be in the Bottom 10 in football. In their last 10 quarters Central Michigan has been outscored 100-21. The only team NIU didn't score 40 on was Wisconsin.
3. Are the football god's really giving us Stanford at home against a reeling UCLA team? Thank you!
*4. Bonus over - Kansas and Texas Tech - I know a couple weeks ago I picked KU and the Georgia Tech over and that was too easy. Back to KU and Tech. Combined averaging 42.5 a game. Kansas allowing 40+ a game and Tech hasn't played anyone with any offense.
Upset Alerts: I was a week early on calling a Temple win over a BCS school. Huge win over Maryland. Nice job, boys.
1. Intra-state game for my first upset: Utah State to beat BYU. The Aggies hung tough with Auburn and BYU's QB looked lost at times against Central Florida. If USU jumps out early, hard for the Cougs to recover.
2. Watch out this week, Georgia Tech. You lost six games last year, one of them to North Carolina State. The Jackets travel this year.
3.Iowa State at home over Texas. Cyclones did it last year. Both teams are 3-0 and looking to make a statement. Paul Rhodes gets players jacked up for games like nobody else. The guy is genuine and you want to follow him to battle. A win may get them a ranking.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you to my fellow Husker fans on Rivals for pointing out that the Yahoo! article I referred to was talking about the Husker fans in Madison wearing black. Rumors still persist about the team. We shall see tomorrow!