Sunday, September 17, 2006

CFB Sunday A.M. Hangover:
Upshot of Separation Saturday?

There are more than a dozen unbeaten teams remaining, three weeks into the season. There are four with a legitimate shot at the BCS title game.

Wait: How can that be? ONLY four?

Bear with me. Here's how it breaks down (in order of likely BCS ranking):

(1) Auburn-Florida-Georgia survivor*
(2) Ohio St-Michigan winner**
(3) USC***
(4) West Virginia-Louisville winner****

* - With the SEC teams, it's no gimme that the SEC champ will escape the season unbeaten, given the way the league tends to punish itself round-robin style.

** - Presuming that winner comes out of the rest of the season unbeaten.

*** - USC has four games remaining against ranked teams, but all are at home, and the toughest (Notre Dame) suddenly doesn't look so tough.

**** - WVA has one tough game left (at Louisville) and it's so intriguing, because it's 7 weeks from now (with L'ville QB Brian Brohm expected to return from wrist injury anywhere from 3-6 weeks from now. Want to bet that he's ready for a dramatic return at home vs. WVA with HUGE national title implications?)

The "contender" teams with one loss (LSU, Texas, Notre Dame) are in trouble, because they need a LOT of things to break right to even be in the discussion. Other one-loss teams like Oklahoma and FSU are simply out of the discussion.

And then there are the best of the other currently unbeaten teams:

Virginia Tech: Their opening schedule has been so pathetic that no one will respect them until they actually run the table. Even then, if there are two other unbeatens, there's no way this easy early schedule doesn't come back to haunt them.

Iowa: Call me when they beat Ohio St. AND at Michigan.

Oregon: Home-cookin' was obviously nice vs. Oklahoma, but at AZ St, at Cal, at USC? Yikes.

AZ St/Alabama/BC: Aside from rough remaining scheduls, starting too deep in the polls to make it.

TCU: This will be kind of a shame. They totally dominated the previously unstoppable TX Tech offense and will likely run the table -- they have ZERO chance at the BCS title game, even if they're the only unbeaten team remaining. However, it'll be a nice little reward to get one of the slots in that new 5th BCS bowl game that was created precisely for teams like TCU.

Rutgers: Ahh, if only...

What's the upshot of my "Big Four?" The scenario that we could end up with four unbeaten teams, playing for a split national title.

My updated Top 10:
1. Ohio St.
2. Auburn
3. West Virginia
4. USC
5. Michigan
6. Florida
7. Georgia
8. LSU
9. Texas
10. Louisville

-- D.S.

Comments Spin-Off! If you haven't yet, weigh in with your opinion of how I should shape my Top 10. Don't be afraid to offer a little backup for your picks.

15 comments:

The heroin sheik said...

Cmon dan I know you were watching that game last night so how can you pick the gators 6th. They should at least be top five. Granted you have some solid teams in your top ten. Id go with WVU number one because no one is going to touch them. My friend benton is probably so happy he stoppped fucking his sister and switched to his brother after that win on thursday. OHio state is number two but I can feel it in my bones that they will choke against michigan. 3/4 cant decide between the gators and auburn. Auburn looked tough and lucky whereas the gators hung int here when I was sure that leak would mess up like he usually does. The play of the day had to be the head fake the did on that option run in the second half. I can't wait for him to graduate so we can see tebow run the full offense. I can't belive I actually predicted the final score and for once had money riding on it. I think i even predicted this score on my blog but im too hungover to remember. 5 is USC. Just curious but how many booty's have played quarterback in college and are they all related or something. I wonder if there is this little town in LA that clones the original one and the rest are coming to take over football. the rest of my top ten looks like this:

michigan, lsu, georgia, texas and TCU.

You know if florida goes undefeated do you think anyone would have had a tougher schedule than them? Sure we get lsu and bama at home but on the road against UT, Aub, FSU, sec championship game. I only see two more gimmes this season in kentucky and western carolina.

Dan Shanoff said...

Most analysts agree that Florida has the toughest schedule in the country this season.

There's no question: If the SEC champ comes out unbeaten, they should be in the national title game. No more "Auburn '04" b.s. this time. I'd even argue that if the SEC champ is unbeaten, they will have earned the No. 1 poll spot. By far the toughest conference schedule PLUS a conference-title game. (And I went to a Big Ten school...)

I'm too big of a Florida fan to put them more than 6th.

(It's scary, but Urban is right: A half-dozen "big" plays are the difference in SEC games...frankly, in any big game between good teams. And UF got them. Or more of them, at least.)

ChrTh said...

Rutgers. Wake Forest. Undefeated. Playing for the National Championship.

To dream, the impossible dream!

Christian (High Point, NC)

The heroin sheik said...

CHRTH - The impossible sometimes happens. I never in a million years would have thought the gators could win a national title in bball. Every run to the final four was just luck on our part. Yet ladyluck wasn't as fickle this yr. She gave us the breaks we needed and we won it all and we were clearly not the most talented team out there. We just played together as a team. So you never know. Oh wait your talkin bout wake and rutgers and fball not bball keep dreaming.

Dan my fiancee is a diehard NW marrying a gator so I guess you can relate to my household. She still gives gary barnett a free pass because of his one shining moment.

Cody said...

Dan, I know Georgia is undefeated and this is probably the logic that you are using, but how do you have Georgia jumping Texas this week?...because they beat UAB? If Georgia didn't jump Texas last week (that's another argumet) what did they do this week to deserve it?

ChrTh said...

Notre Dame dropped to 12th in the AP! WOOHOO!

rafael said...

The Buckeyes might lose to Michigan this year...but it wouldn't be a choke if it happened. Tressel teams just haven't done that.
My problem with the LSU/Auburn tilt is that we don't really know if the defenses were that good..or the offenses just bad. Certainly, the players are quick and flying to the ball...but great teams still find ways to move the ball.
I have no problem with Auburn at #2...I just won't be shocked when they lose a game.
To re-state my top ten, as I messed it up in the other post:
1 - Ohio State
2 - Auburn
3 - Michigan (Henne finally looked good)
4 - West Virginia (Slaton for real)
5 - USC (but dont think they are that good)
6 - Florida (UT a bit overrated, imo)
7 - Georgia
8 - Texas (Not sold though)
9 - LSU
10 - TCU (Earned it)

Compton Ass Dave said...

(My name changed somehow, still that Omaha corn-lovin' kid.)

My thoughts on the USC game, because I think some coverage on the game should be leaning away from "USC did what they were supposed to":

The game was Nebraska's to lose, and it's very evident that Nebraska lost this game more than USC won it. I'm not taking away from USC's accomplishment because their defensive line WAS a lot stouter than I thought it would be and Taylor was flushed out of the pocket on most of his attempts. Many have criticized that Taylor didn't really have that many attempts to begin with (16), but the gameplan we had made sense (grind the ball, shorten the clock, stay close into the 4th and open it up). We were still only down 14-3 in the middle of the 3rd, and if a play took longer than 2-3 seconds our d. line was usually in Booty's face forcing him to think on his feet. That pressure would have been noticable on the drive immediately after Lucky's fumble, in which Andre Jones and Courtney Grixby each had opportunites to take one away, Grixby's for an easy six. ANdrew Shanle also dropped taht sure INT opportunity on the end around play by Patrick Turner. USC doesn't cough up that many chances for a defnese to capitalize on, and it was dissapointing to watch the backfield throw those away. The only reason USC won by the margin they did was this combination of fumbles and drops in the middle of the 3rd that broke the back of the NU offense and secondary. A lot of media coverage is going to overlook this, however, just like the overlooked the first 2.5 quarters of USC-Alabama, and give USC loads of credit. This team is making a lot of mistakes, their opponents just aren't doing with them what a great team would do. I see trouble down the road for USC if they don't tighten up.

Mark said...

1. Ohio St.
2. West Virginia (give benefit of the doubt)
3. Auburn
4. USC
5. Florida
6. Michigan (no, not a Top 5 team yet)
7. Georgia
8. LSU
9. Texas
10. Louisville

xcdannon said...

top ten:

1) Ohio State
2) WVU
3) Auburn
4) USC
5) Louisville
6) Michigan
7) Florida
8) Georgia
9) Texas
10) Oregon

Ohio State got it done and blew it open against a tough Cincinnati team that came to play.
I watched West Virginia open up against Maryland and was really impressed. I knew they were good, but wow, they really controlled the ball at will.
Auburn beat a tough LSU team...but they couldn't keep up with OSU or WVU.
USC still managed a ton of points, but struggled early at home.
Louisville won't keep the #5 ranking, but for what they've done so far, they deserve it.
Michigan was impressive beating Notre Dame and derailing Quinn's Heisman campaign in South Bend...I couldn't see ND making it through their Sept schedule unscathed though. Michigan had more time to prepare.
Florida is pretty damn solid and I was impressed that they got the win. Their whole season is a streched out version of ND's Sept schedule...but so far, they're doing the right things.
Georgia has posted two consecutive shutouts...gotta give them some credit for that.
Texas gets back on track, drubbing Rice.
Oregon ekes out a win over Oklahoma...they get the nod for defeating a tough team and that comeback they mounted. Are they the first 56 minutes or the last 4??

Jim said...

Go Scarlett Knights! We'll finish the season in the top 25.

Jim, Rutgers '02

SF said...

How is Michigan #5 in your poll? I understand OSU and Auburn, but have USC or WVA beaten a top-five eam on the road? By 26 points nonetheless? Think aobut it bug guy....

Maher said...

As a Buckeye fan I could really care less about arguing over who should be #2, especially since the last two teams to be #2 have lost--if I'm Pete Caroll I'd rather be 3 currently.

What I have to ask is how everyone has Mich jumping up so high after beating a massively overrated ND team? This to me shows why the polls are completely worthless. Pushing Mich into the top 5 makes ND's loss look better than it was.

Instead of ND being a 2 getting blown out by 11 (or whatever depending on the poll you choose for Mich's ranking), now ND looks like they lost to a top 5 team.

Hawkins said...

was there any worse loss than Virginia losing to Western Michigan on Homecoming?

whocares said...

1. OSU
2. Auburn
3. USC
4. WVU
5. Florida
6. Michigan
7. Louisville
8. Georgia
9. LSU
10. Texas (Maybe)

OSU is without a doubt #1.

AU held LSU to zero TD's. LSU's offense scored 45 against Arizona. I'd say they're for real.

WVU doesnt play anyone worthy to be ranked higher than 4.

5-8 are a toss up.