View from the HD: College Football V.2011 - Week 8

Let me first apologize for my absence last two weeks. Had something very important to accomplish at work. Thanks to my readers for pressing me to write again this week.

I was really upset to see two unbeatens fall last week. I'm a big proponent of a playoff and the chaos that six or more unbeaten teams would cause would really provide a great new argument. But alas, we're down to eight now, a couple of which play each other. But can you imagine the uproar if unbeaten Clemson and Stanford don't get a title shot, let alone Boise.

This is the week we start to see what garbage the BCS rankings are really. I don't have much issue with the top three, which mirrors mine. Where I start to see holes is Boise at No. 4. You all know I love Boise, but Clemson's resume with back-to-back-to-back wins over Auburn, Florida State and Va Tech should speak louder than Boise's one notable win over Georgia. True that we now know FSU was, as I said week 2, overrated. So Clemson, should be four, Boise five. Its a nit pick.
Stanford had played nobody but sixth is fine. Kansas State is finally getting some love and really should be ahead of Oregon (for now, more on them later). After all they did beat the Texas Tech team that just ruined the Sooner's season.
Things get very strange after that. Oklahoma loses to Tech, yet remain ranked above Arkansas (who's only loss is to Alabama), above Michigan State (who just beat Wisconsin), and above Va Tech (who's only loss is to Clemson).
Wisconsin loses on a last second bomb to a very good Sparty squad and falls from No. 4 to No. 15 BEHIND a Nebraska team that they slaughtered and a South Carolina team who lost to Auburn and has won three other games against lesser opponents by three points or less.
Last comment and its about undefeated Houston. The only difference between Houston's schedule and Boise State's schedule is basically Georgia (unless you consider Boise's resume over last five years, in which case proves the flaws of the BCS in a vacuum). Either Houston should be higher or Boise should be lower. Did you see Case Keenum last night? In just over three quarters he threw for 534 yards and NINE touchdowns ... in a driving rain.

That being said, here's my Top 10 this week:
1. LSU - Two-thirds of the way through their regular season and they have yet to be tested. Outside of a 6-3 halftime score against Mississippi State they have impressively blown everyone else away. Their season begins or ends next week against Alabama.
2. Alabama - Like LSU, they have yet to really find relevant competition. The one thing Alabama has to worry about against LSU is that they start slow sometimes. Tied at half against Tennessee, trailed Florida early and failed to ever really put Penn State away.
3. Oklahoma State- The Cowboys are still being underestimated. Only a seven-point fav at Mizzou and killed that number, winning by 21. They host Baylor this week, which should really teach us something about their defense. Vegas says 80 points and if it goes under its because Baylor was held under 30 points.
4. Clemson - Great story. From unranked to a shot at the title. Tough test against the funky Georgia Tech offense this week, but Georgia Tech is sputtering lately. In it's last three games the Ramblin Wreck has been a wreck only scoring 16.33 points per. Not enough to stop Tajh.0.
5. Boise State - After laying waste to Fresno on national TV a couple weeks ago, they were sloppy against Air Force and their ironic iconic ground attack. They might however hang 100 on UNLV, even if Kellen Moore doesn't play the 2nd half.
6. Stanford - Moves up because of the Oklahoma and Wisconsin losses. They are however 2nd in overall points for and 4th in points against, which has made them a home-gamer darling. I think they have covered every week so far. A bit of a test at USC this week.
7. Kansas State - Wins in consecutive games over Miami, Baylor, Missouri and Texas Tech. Mini-feature after Top 10.
8. Oregon - Been humming along since the loss to LSU. The defense is either better than people think or the Pac-12 offenses really do suck. Date with Stanford looms big time, but I think Oregon is relegated to spoiler at this point.
9. Michigan State - Very gritty win over Wisconsin, with a little luck thrown in as well. The defense and special teams were amazing for the middle 40 minutes of the game. Watch out for the let down at Nebraska this week, though.
10. Wisconsin - Their season may have been ruined last week as I don't think enough obstacles can be over come by year end. They may have a chance for redemption in the Big Ten title game, but now they know how it feels to be Ohio State last year.

The old ball coach has still got the magic. And no, I'm not talking Steve Spurrier. This time, we're talking Bill Snyder of Kansas State. Fresh off his 72nd birthday Snyder is leading Kansas State back to the prominence they has in his previous tenure. The Wildcats are 7-0, battle-tested and hungry to prove themselves as a top tier team. Collin Klein is a machine that hasn't been stopped yet. Against Baylor, he out-Griffin'ed Griffin running for 113 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown that put the Cats in position to just need a field goal the next drive to win. Klein has thrown for nearly 1000 yards and eight touchdowns, but has run for almost 700 yards and 14 scores. And the defense isn't bad either. Ranked 23rd overall in points against, they held both Texas Tech and Baylor to 35 points or less. The 35 points from Baylor sounds like a lot until you figure their previous season low was 48 against SF Austin, when they shut it down late. And the 34 allowed against Tech is impressive given the vaunted Oklahoma defense allowed 41.
Put this in perspective: If Kansas State runs the table, they will have beaten six, maybe seven teams ranked in the Top 25 this season. If they can beat Oklahoma and Oklahoma Stat in back to back games, they could find themselves No. 2 in the BCS come November 6. The next four games are all against BCS Top 25 teams, so the season is just getting started for Kansas State. Its a real shame Oklahoma lost last week or GameDay would be at the Little Apple this week.

For the Homers: Michigan State at Nebraska preview - Nebraska grew up as a team and may have entered a new era in the comeback win over Ohio State. Last year's Huskers, hell the last six Husker teams, would not have won that game. They thoroughly dismantled Minnesota in the first half and shut it down. The true test of whether they are back or not comes now. Michigan State is coming off a very emotional win over Wisconsin. The difference in the game was their special teams. That blocked punt touchdown changed the whole game and Wisconsin didn't get traction back until it was too late. The Huskers offensive special teams is better than the Spartans with Abdullah returning kicks. However its when Nebraska is kicking or punting that the Spartans are superior. Sparty may have an emotional let down after last week and coming into Lincoln. This game is now bigger for Nebraska than the Wisconsin game was because if the Huskers fail to win this one, all their goals to start the season became all but unattainable. William Gholston coming back for Michigan State makes it harder for Burkhead and unless Quincy Enunwa can become Nick Toon and fast, the Husker pass game might have trouble hauling in the rainbow heaves of Martinez. Every match up points to Michigan State, yet Nebraska is favored. Early kickoff may mean a long hangover for Husker nation. This is a barometer game for Husker Nation.

Starting Fresh This week:
1. Clemson over Georgia Tech - The Jackets are reeling. After a perfect start they have dropped two disappointing games against Virginia and Miami. This is not the game is looked like two weeks ago and Clemson is not the team you get back on track against. Clemson by 14.
2. Texas A&M over Mizzou - The Tigers are not the team anyone thought they would be and the A&M defense will be the hardest they have faced so far. A&M is looking for a statement game. This is it.
3.Iowa over Minnesota - I usually don't like double digit road favorites, but Minnesota has been gold to pick against. The Hawkeyes got correct against Indiana and the Gophers rank 109th or worse in passing, points for and points against.
***Bonus over*** Oklahoma State v. Baylor is tempting, even at 79, but realize that means we gotta get 21 per quarter in this one. W could also consider SMU at Tulsa. But for overs gold, look for gold helmets ... Notre Dame v. Navy. When ND played a similar type of offense in Air Force, the two combined for 92 points. Navy and AF combined for 69. Navy is top 40 in points for, 83rd in points against.

Upset Alerts:
1. Undefeated Kansas State is a 14 point dog at home against a down Oklahoma team. I'm not coming out and saying KSU wins, but last time they were a double-digit home dog was Baylor and they won that one outright.
2. Coming off a big win over West Virginia, Syracuse has an extra day and are getting points heading into Louisville, who is 114th in points for, averaging just over 16 a game. There is no explanation other than home field that Lou is favored.
3.Oregon State got off to a rocky start, but has put up 36 points a game the last three. Utah has struggled against aggressive passing teams, Washington and Arizona State.

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