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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Put up or Shut up!

Conference play is in full swing, and there were some heavy-hitting matchups among top 25 teams this weekend. A little redemption for Nebraska and Taylor Martinez against Big Ten perennial powerhouse Ohio State. Who cares if the Buckeyes are down this year due to the scandals? The Huskers are trying to hold onto a respectable season after the defense has vastly underperformed so far this year. Also, the Red River Rivalry was not close, and that's why I think Oklahoma continues to be the obvious number 1.

So, without further adieu...

  1. Oklahoma - Offense and defense dominated the Longhorns. To be fair, Texas was receiving the benefit of the doubt at #11 in last week's poll. They  hadn't played a quality opponent, and some of the top dogs kept getting bumped off. Much like Nebraska, Texas will be back where they belong. Meanwhile, Landry Jones is still putting up video game stats, and with the Sooners playing this well, he's solidly in the mix for the Heisman.
  2. Alabama - Slow start for Bama (only up 14-0 at half) but they pulled it together to wallop on Vandy. Oh by the way, it was a shutout. Nothing to report since I didn't watch this game, and there's not much to learn from destroying a team at the bottom of your conference. Not sure a game against Ole Miss next week will either. Expect a similar result to the above.
  3. LSU - Despite dismantling the Florida Gators with another solid defensive effort and strong offensive showing, I refuse to jump Alabama yet. Florida was missing some key players, and they are clearly not the dominating team they have been in seasons past. Much like Alabama, we won't learn much from LSU next week as they should easily take care of business at Tennessee.
  4. Boise State - Kellen Moore got back on track with a great effort over Fresno State. This is the same Fresno State team that gave Nebraska fits in week 2. I think that lets you know how good Boise is, in case you weren't watching or hadn't heard. Here's the problem: an undefeated Boise State team will still be behind undefeated Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Stanford in BCS scoring. In addition, they will fall short of a 1-loss SEC champion, if it comes down to that. Need lots of help to get in the title talk, otherwise, just another year as a BCS buster.
  5. Stanford - It was a week for QBs to make their Heisman statements, and Andrew Luck came to the party. Over 300 yards passing and 3 TDs against Pac-12 newbie Colorado. The Buffs have been trending in the wrong direction ever since Dan Hawkins took over, and new HC Jon Embree inherits a bad situation. The Cardinal should be fine next week visiting Washington State, but pay attention when the Huskies come to town in 2 weeks. Could be a test worth watching.
  6. Wisconsin - Bye Week. At Michigan State in 2 weeks should be fun.
  7. Oregon - Large victory over Cal. Didn't watch this game, don't have much to say. With next week presenting fewer exciting matchups, I think I'll tune in as the Ducks take on the Sun Devils. That should be exciting and I think the winner deserves to stand as #2 in the Pac-12. I keep forgetting that there's a conference championship game to be played, so this could end up as the first of a rematch if Oregon can take down Stanford later this year.
  8. Oklahoma State - As much as I want to jump Oregon because the Cowboys remain undefeated, I haven't seen enough of each team's games to justify it. However, hanging 70 points on a conference opponent is pretty impressive. Though when you find out it's Kansas, the luster is gone. Will Texas coming off the big loss to Oklahoma come out and play against OSU with passion or roll over and die? Tune in Saturday to find out.
  9. Clemson - From preseason unranked to Top 10, the Tigers have it pretty easy for a few weeks. I never pay much attention to the ACC or give them much respect, but they've quietly positioned a few strong-looking teams in the Top 25. Kinda funny how Florida State was the hyped school and they're dropping like a rock after 3-straight losses. Between Clemson, GT, and VT, they could make some noise in the bowls.
  10. Michigan - Hope the sideline official is okay after the heart attack to start the Wolverines vs. Wildcats game. Anyone know why Denard Robinson was on the bench for a little bit? He came back in and finished the game to help his team in the 2nd half comeback, but it's not good when your playmaker is taking hits. Another school that has to prove something against Michigan State. This one is next week. Why is Michigan State the standard for how good you are in the Big Ten? Maybe they are constantly at that "almost great" level. Thoughts?
  11. Arkansas
  12. Virginia Tech
  13. West Virginia
  14. Georgia Tech
  15. Nebraska
  16. Illinois
  17. Arizona State
  18. Michigan State
  19. Texas
  20. South Carolina
  21. Texas A&M (how did I not drop them further after the 2nd loss?)
  22. Baylor
  23. Florida
  24. Penn State
  25. Houston
Heisman Watch List: Landry Jones (QB-OKLA), Russell Wilson (QB-WISC), Kellen Moore (QB-BOISE), Andrew Luck (QB-STAN), Denard Robinson (QB-MICH)
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