Friday, September 15, 2006

CFB Set-Up: Shakedown Saturday

Be sure to check out (and comment on) the rest of today's coverage:
*Simmons vs. Colbert!
*Yahoo vs. Reggie Bush!
*Friday A.M. Quickie!

Now, on to Saturday's CFB mayhem:

Seven games between teams in the Top 25 is a rarity (one other time since the AP poll started in '89), but there's only one that is a true "knock-out" game, regardless of who wins:

LSU at Auburn. It's a de facto SEC West title game. It's a de facto SEC title game. And, if you get down to it, it's a de facto BCS title-game play-in. Not quite Ohio State vs. Texas, but close:

The Auburn-LSU winner has the inside track on the second-best unbeaten season in the country -- and that second spot in the BCS title game:

It's very simple: If the SEC champ goes unbeaten, there isn't another unbeaten team in the country (except Ohio St) that can stake as strong of a claim to one of the two title-game spots.

(Put it this way: The loser is definitely on the outside looking in. The winner gets my No. 2 poll ranking, no questions asked. However, that winner still has a hellish remaining schedule. But as long as they keep winning, they get the inside track that Ohio State is on. In the parlance of the TV folks: The LSU-Auburn winner controls their own destiny.)

So the pick? Tigers. Ha ha, just kidding: I'm taking Auburn with the home-field advantage, winning in the type of defensive slugfest that has typified the SEC over the last 12 months.

As for the rest? Well, if Michigan or Nebraska or Tennessee or Miami or Oklahoma/Oregon lose, it's not like anyone gave them a shot at the BCS title game anyway. All were ultimately going to lose later this season even if they pulled upsets tomorrow.

HOWEVER, if any pull an upset (Mich over Notre Dame, Nebraska over USC, Tennessee over Florida or Miami over Louisville), now THAT would seriously crimp the BCS hopes for the losing team. I just don't see any of those four upsets happening:

Notre Dame over Michigan: Charlie Weis owns Lloyd Carr. (He won't own Rich Rodriguez, when Double-R is coaching Big Blue next year.)

Florida over Tennessee: It's the beginning of the end for Phil Fulmer, as Vols fans get an up-close look at the Gators' sick team speed.

USC over Nebraska: The Huskers might be trying to do their best impression of a West Coast Offense. Here's the real thing.

Louisville over Miami: Wow, Miami dropping to 1-2 after 3 games? Louisville's offense will show Miami what they're missing.

I like The M Zone's coverage. Very clever to compare the 7 games to the 7 deadly sins. I like that a lot.

The rest of the Top 25:

(1) Ohio St over Cincy (Beatdown)
(8) Texas over Rice (Yikes)
Clemson over (9) FSU (UPSET SPECIAL!)
(10) Georgia over UAB (Stafford Era!)
(14) VA Tech over Duke (Double-Yikes)
(16) Iowa over Iowa St. (Trap?)
(18) Oregon over (14) Oklahoma (OU's luck runs out)
(21) Cal over Portland St. (Finally, schedule relief for Bears)
(22) Arizona St over Colorado (0-3 for Hawkins' Buffs?)
(24) Texas Tech over (20) TCU (Best game of the day?)
(23) BC over BYU (Eagles ride last week's mo)
(25) Penn St over Youngstown St (PSU takes out ND frustration)

Update! (2:21 p.m.): We will absolutely be talking college football all day tomorrow (Saturday) right here. I'm going to put up a post to talk about all the games, and then we can use the Comments section as a sort of running, live-bloggish, real-time, post-when-ya-wanna, check-back-frequently, keep-it-open-next-to-the-TV, "Quickie-Surround" (LOL) type experience. So check back tomorrow!

-- D.S.


Brien said...


You forgot *the* marquee matchup of the weekend as the University of Buffalo Bulls (ranked in ESPN's "Bottom 10") come to DeKalb to take on the also-0-and-2 NIU Huskies.

I envision Garrett Wolfe (the best back no one knows about) puttin' up three bills this weekend ...

Brien "Forward, together forward ..."

TJ said...

Come on Dan, why did you have to pick Florida? I'm serious about this--we lose and I blame you.

Also, did you happen to read Fowler's column this morning on I can't believe he actually called ABC/ESPN out for the 'synergy rules all' decision to have GameDay at USC this weekend. I loved that he was honest about it (and that he threw massive amounts of love to the SEC.)

ToddTheJackass said...

Dan, you're an absolute beast doing 4 posts in a day. Gabe must be a really well behaved baby, oe you must just be really bored. Either way, keep it up man.

Hope you're right about my BC Eagles winning. Matt Ryan is the best QB in the ACC after all (yes, the ACC is that bad).

-Todd (Boston)

Jake C said...

Missing one thing Dan...Ohio State might not be the beatdown everyone is expecting. Both coaches are good friends, and Tressel was heard to say he wouldn't embarass Cincy. If he sticks to his word, look for his starters to be gone in the 3rd and only score in the 30's.

CorrND said...


I know it's hard to believe (given their run since joining 1-A), but Buffalo is actually NOT in the bottom 10 right now! They've been supplanted by new upstate NY bottom-feeder Syracuse.

marcomarco said...

The sublinking is a great idea. Overview for the day on top, expanded (feature) stories linked below.

Rock on Danny

Unknown said...

LSU at Auburn is an absolute no-brainer for game day to go to... Which explains the ESPN brass.