Last Update (11:27 p.m.): Wow, that Gators win over the Vols was g-r-i-t-t-y. But huge, establishing UF as the team to beat in the SEC East and, of course, on "Shake-Out Saturday" (or whatever it's called) keeps them among the BCS title-game contenders... for one more week. That's more than can be said for Notre Dame and FSU.The Top 10 this week is going to be VERY interesting. Or, at least, it SHOULD be. The media and coaches have a way of turning their polls into farces, even with the best material to work with. And so I leave the Comments section with this final question that we can talk about all day tomorrow:
What does YOUR Top 10 look like? Use the Comments section to have your say. Here's my first crack, but I reserve the right to change it, based on your input and opinions, before Monday morning:
1. Ohio St.
3. West Virginia
This is after 3 games, not forward-looking. Without Brohm, Louisville wouldn't make my Top 10, and I fully expect them to lose to WVA -- but what a testament to the strength of their offense that they can probably come out of '06 as a one-loss team even WITHOUT Brohm and Bush.
So if you ask me to project, I'd take out L'ville and I'd probably have Notre Dame as No. 10, begrudgingly. (But if I had any guts whatsoever, I'd say No. 10 should be Oregon's spot ahead of Notre Dame.)
Why not some of the other still-unbeaten teams? VA Tech has played absolutely no one. Iowa is still too iffy. TCU actually had a pretty awesome day, defensively, vs. Texas Tech. Arizona State? BC? Still too far away.
Great work today. Keep commenting on this through the night -- and all day tomorrow.
Update (8:59 p.m.): For some really really good comedy, check out Deadspin's day-long "Hugh Johnson Project." (Though they don't seem to have gone past 5 p.m. -- we're still cooking over here!) And keep those comments coming. We've gone into triple-digits. This has been a great experiment today. Love your work today/tonight, everyone. I'm in awe. But not as in awe as I am of Tim Tebow.
Update (8:54 p.m.): Think the Reggie Bush thing has gotten into USC's head? What else could account for being down 3-0 at the end of the first quarter? Yikes, I'll say one thing: USC does NOT look like the No. 2 team in the country. Or No. 3. Or No. 4. Or No. 5.
Update (8:33 p.m.): In my house, the day doesn't really start until the Gators start playing. And that last TD drive was exactly what Florida needs to do more of: Use frosh backup QB Tim Tebow to freak out the D a little, then let senior starting QB Chris Leak use a roll-out to buy just enough time to hit a WR deep for a TD. I tackle my wife on the couch. Whee. OK, that's my last Gators-partisan update of the night. (Maybe.)
Update (7:57 p.m.): Comment Question! While we're waiting for the 8 p.m. games to kickoff and heat up, here's a question for the Comment page:
Where do you think Notre Dame will be ranked in the next poll? (What's their best-case scenario? What's their worst-case scenario? And, remember: That is the opposite of how the haters will see it. I think their best-case is 5th -- I'm retching -- and the worst-case -- realistically -- is 10th. And that's probably a stretch, unfortunately. They shouldn't be in the Top 10. Not after today. Your thoughts? Post in the Comments area on it.
Update (7:43 p.m.): Uh, one of the least-heralded of the ranked-vs-ranked games provided the best finish of the day. WHAT A FINISH!
Oregon with the TD drive (1)!
Oregon with the onside kick!
The refs blowing the replay call...horribly!
Oregon with the TD drive (2)!
The refs blowing ANOTHER replay call!
Oklahoma with the wild runback!
Set up for a game-winning FG!
Blocked! Blocked! Ducks win!
What a game! Not to be trite, but this is why we watch.
By the way, the biggest storyline of the game: How the replay system could have failed so horribly...not once but TWICE! I'm sorry: Can't they get the official in the replay booth a 60-inch HD TV for the clearest picture possible? But I don't have an HDTV and I still saw that onside kick was touched early by Oregon AND that the PI call was wrong, if the rule is "If the ball is touched first..." because the ball was clearly touched first. How did the replay official miss not just either, but BOTH?!?!See my updated item below: Oklahoma should stay in the Top 20, because the refs probably robbed them of the game. But we rank by what HAPPENED, not what SHOULD have happened. Put the Ducks in (or very very near) the Top 10, too. Whew!!
Don't forget: Join in the Comment Tailgate! 60-plus comments already. As long as you're just sitting there watching football on TV, add your analysis and respond to others.
Update (6:50 p.m.): After the 3:30 round, some thoughts:
Notre Dame is not.
LSU still deserves to be a Top 10 team.
Oregon isn't a Top 10 team, but knocking on the door. (Yes, that used to say "Oklahoma." I jumped the gun, Dewey-defeats-Truman style. Oh did I! What a finish!)
Update (6:48 p.m.): Auburn wins! Amazingly dramatic final drive by LSU falls short! Horrible officiating call ruins LSU season (and saves Auburn season)! Wow...
We still have to see how USC does against Nebraska, but I'm ready to give Auburn the No. 2 ranking for surviving in this one, even though the refs tainted it.
Update (6:46 p.m.): No matter how this LSU-Auburn game ends, LSU is putting up a HELL of a final drive. Where's the Auburn D now?
Update (6:33 p.m.): LSU just got robbed when the ref called off that pass-interference call on 4th down. What a classic example of the limitations of the replay system. Someone needs to explain to me precisely WHY that can't be a reviewable play? Because it was a "judgment call" by the ref? SO WHAT?! Isn't that EXACTLY when a play should be review-eligible? Because if you watch the play, it is OBVIOUS that the LSU WR was interfered with BEFORE the Auburn DB touched the ball. It's even worse, because the ref changed the call from right to wrong. The original call was right; the second-guess was wrong. They just arguably cost LSU their shot at the national title; on Auburn's side, they have to be thinking that's one of those moments you look back on as a key "karma" moment in a title season.
Update (5:41 p.m.): Where was that QB work from Brady Quinn earlier in the game? Meanwhile, 7 points might be enough to win for
Update (5:10 p.m.): Maaaaaaannnniinnnngghaaaammm! (And I'm not even a
Update (4:56 p.m.): If the No. 2 team gets stomped at home by the No. 11 team, that No. 2 team should be out of the Top 10 in the next poll. At least, if the voters know what the hell they're talking about.
Meanwhile, Auburn-LSU may be 0-0, but at least it's going to be close all the way down to the wire. Sure beats a 27-7 ass-kicking.
In the other "Showdown/Shakedown/Shake-Up/Whatever "S"-word-it-is Saturday" games, where's the offense between
Update (4:35 p.m.): 20-7
If the poll was fair (and smart), a flip-flop isn't out of the question:
(Yes, I know I'm jinxing the hell out of
Update (3:49 p.m.): Brady Quinn intercepted for an INT-TD? Someone pinch me. Meanwhile, LSU-Auburn is a slugfest. Two awesome defenses. This could be a 9-6 field-position-rules game. Ugly, but in a beautiful way.
Update (2:56 p.m.):
(On the IA/IASt game, Mike Gottfried has just re-iterated that
Update (1:32 p.m.): The question that's going to keep me occupied until the 3:30 mayhem is whether I'd consider dropping
One problem: I'm not sure who I'd replace OSU at No. 1 with (how wonderful: "No. 1 by default"); to me, the only contender would be
I'm sure OSU will make this a moot argument by throttling Cincy in the 2nd half -- but it's a terrific academic argument: Should a team -- particularly a No. 1-ranked team -- be punished for not winning impressively ENOUGH?
(At the very least, it should be factored in. But I get the sense from the media and coaches' poll that the ruling philosophy is "Inertia Rules." All a team seems to have to do to maintain their poll standing is to win. Sometimes, they don't even need to play at all -- see USC's ludicrous jump from 3 to 2 in the coaches' poll last week.)
ORIGINAL POST: I'm busy getting ready for the wild ride of college football that starts around 3:30 and runs until midnight. (Why are there never any great games between noon and 3:30?) Anyway, here we go:
The Comments area is open for your pre-game analysis, mid-game analysis, post-game analysis, What-It-All-Means analysis, Heisman analysis, Top 25 analysis and anything else you want to discuss. I'll be tracking and jumping in when I'm inspired by either something I see on TV or something commented.
Update: I didn't even do a post for today's biggest headlines. Let's see: Reggie Bush denies the Yahoo story (shocker!)... Papelbon is done for the season AND done as a closer (a switch which should have been done earlier this season)... and there's a must-read in today's WashPost that foreshadows the new NBA/NCAA/ShoeCo attempt to undercut the evil elements of prep/amateur hoops. I have a