Thursday, November 09, 2006

CFB Weekend Preview:
Northwestern Over Ohio St! (Uh, Right?)

I was light on posts today and since I'm settling in to watch Rutgers-Louisville tonight, I've got college football on the brain, so I figured I'd post my weekly CFB preview a little early.

Much like last week, the Game of the Week is being played on a Thursday night, leaving Saturday's slate to have interesting -- if indirect, at best -- national-title implications, but by no means dramatic. But there are several games that might hit the other BCS-level bowl games:

Northwestern over 1 Ohio St: NU is going to shock the world by beating OSU in Evanston on Saturday on a 3:30 national-TV game.

OK, does everyone know that I'm engaging in simple wishful thinking here? I don't REALLY think Northwestern will win, though I – and many others – certainly hope they do. But I harbor no actual hope.

21 Oregon over at 7 USC: Wasn't this supposed to be the first of the three "tough" games that USC was supposed to have that could threaten their unbeaten season? So much for that. USC's season is ruined; with that in mind, the Ducks add insult to a mortally injured USC season.

13 Tennessee over at 11 Arkansas: Tennessee's season ended last weekend at home with that very tough loss to LSU. But they can still ruin Arkansas' SEC West hopes. (Actually, one loss won't ruin Arkansas' SEC season. For Auburn to win the SEC West, Arkanasas has to lose TWICE.) But if Arkansas wins, it validates me ranking them No. 5 this week.

18 Wake Forest over at Florida St: If it wasn't for Rutgers, Wake Forest would be the Story of the Season. Wake is having their best season in a half-century. Who doesn't want to see ACC champ Wake Forest vs. Big East champ Rutgers in a BCS Bowl? Best. Bowl. Ever.

Best of the Rest (And see? I didn't even mention the juicy subplot of Steve Spurrier's homecoming to the Swamp. Upsets in bold.)

1 Ohio St over at Northwestern
2 Michigan over at Indiana
4 Texas over at Kansas St
5 Auburn over Georgia
6 Florida over S. Carolina
21 Oregon over at 7 USC
9 Notre Dame over at Air Force
10 W. Virginia over Cincinnati
13 Tennessee over at 11 Arkansas
12 LSU over Alabama
14 Boise St. over at San Jose St.
16 Wisconsin over at Iowa
Tech over at 17 Oklahoma
18 Wake Forest over at Florida St
19 GA Tech over at UNC
20 VA Tech over Kent St.
22 BC over Duke
Miami over at 23 Maryland
24 Texas A&M over Nebraska

-- D.S.


Ingrid and Jim said...

Dan, what's your Rutgers pick?

Mine: Rutgers 23, L'ville 20

Ingrid and Jim said...

Rutgers defense: looks awesome

Rutgers offense: looks bad

Rutgers special teams: unspeakably shitty

john (east lansing, mi) said...

...ok. So, if Louisville is always trying to force fumbles, maybe I was too rough on their performance last Thursday.

But also - their offense doesn't look so epic right now, does it? How about 6 consecutive zero-gain plays, which would have been even worse if it hadn't been helped along by an unreasonable roughing call when the punt was actually blocked (sure, that punter always kicks that short, rotating that fast...)?

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Fuck yeah tie game.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Oh my God.

Did I say, bad penalties?

john (east lansing, mi) said...

It's. Good.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Rutgers students are fucking retarded, huh?

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Oh my god. Sack. Game. Over. I told you bitches.

pv845 said...

OMG! That was awesome!

Ingrid and Jim said...

THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- jim. rutgers college class of 2002.

pv845 said...

Ok. Kirk Herbstreet and the rest of the people that are talking about the depth of the Big East need to hold on. They haven't beaten anyone. You could argue, not that I would, that because Rutgers is undefeated shows how poor the Big East is. I would wait to see some out of Conference games before I would crown the Big East back.

Ingrid and Jim said...

Hey Brendan:


pv845 said...

Why? Because I am raining on your parade. If you would have read my post, I SAID THAT I WOULDN'T SAY THAT. Do they not teach you how to read at Rutgers or do you just stop after the first sentence!

pv845 said...

Like I said, Great game Rutgers! Congrats!

pv845 said...

I agree. I think that you have to rank them up there. Being undefeated in any Conference is impressive. BUT, I would like to see them or WVU or Louisville play someone's conference champ before you crown the Big East THE power conference. They have as much right to lay claim on the BCS championship game as any team.

Anonymous said...

i'd like to point out that this game although not as sloppy as the wvu/louisville game, was not good

exciting? yes
talented players? yes
good football? no

im not saying i didn't enjoy it, and i wanted rutgers to win and they did

but after that game the person who says that these two teams are great teams is kidding themself

pv845 said...

I wasn't saying that you did Pedro, but I think that some on ESPN are trying to make it out that way. Great game. Good, maybe great teams.

Dan Shanoff said...

Rutgers gets my vote for No. 2. I hope that many REAL voters will put them at No. 3, where they've earned. (I wonder how many will not jump them that high simply because they don't like the idea of moving a team from No. 15 to No. 3. Doesn't that sort of expose their own rankings as horribly flawed? Pollsters don't like to admit that kind of mistake.)

Meanwhile, I don't know how you could watch that game and call it crappy. You have to appreciate the insanely good defense being played by Rutgers against an offense that was arguably the most devastatingly effective in college football. RU basically took the "X-Box" offense and unplugged it (if not smashed the game console to pieces). It was a thing of beauty to watch that kind of domination, particularly in the second half.

Dan Shanoff said...

By the way, I don't know why Schiano didn't try the Bielema/Wisconsin kill-the-clock kickoff trick at the end of the game. Why even RISK a return for a TD or a game-ending Hail Mary? (Esp. since they had already given up a 100-yard TD on a KO return. What a totally appropriate and justifiable moment to break that tactic out!)

pv845 said...

I had read that the Big 10 Officials called the head office at half time and told the officials that they could have called an unsportsmanlike penalty for that. Whether that is true or not is for someone else to report, but I know that many of the rules in CFB are not necessarily written ones and the officials have lots of room for judgment.

Christian Thoma said...

"I don't know why Schiano didn't try the Bielema/Wisconsin kill-the-clock kickoff trick at the end of the game. "

Because Louisville would've declined the penalty and there would've been no rekick. The only reason it worked for Wisconsin is because the return was so bad (plus it was the end of the half, not the game).

john (east lansing, mi) said...

cornerguy -

I have been one of the people being rough on the Big East for the last week, last month, last two months, and I was one of the people who actually watched WVU-UL last Thursday and thus couldn't understand why writers kept suggesting that there was great football being played.

I say this only to highlight the fact that I don't just consider every highly-touted game to be very good. But I think good football was being played last night. I missed the first quarter, and thus most of UL's points, but in the second half, RU was playing real, great defense. As my (mildly insane) post at game's end was supposed to indicate, that last-play sack was brilliant, appropriate, and undeniable (has a defense ever gotten to a QB more fully on a play that big?).

I probably won't go so far as to call it great football, since Rutgers dropped more short, easy passes in the second half than Braylon Edwards in the Rose Bowl (i.e., a fucking ton) - in fact, if Louisville had a secondary, there might very well have been a couple picks on those tosses. But Rice put that team on his back, Rutgers engineered consecutive, necessary, beautiful, long drives, and the defense did what it had to. Good game.

TJ said...

Who doesn't want to see ACC champ Wake Forest vs. Big East champ Rutgers in a BCS Bowl? Best. Bowl. Ever.

Ugh. That would be horrible. Shades of Utah over Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl. If Rutgers wins the Big East, then the right thing is to put them up against a real team--like SEC champ Auburn/Florida or Big 12 Champ Texas--and not the team that managed to fuck up the least in the ACC.

But what I really fear is that the Big East Champ will have to face Boise, which will allow everyone next year to play the "they still haven't played anyone card." Again: ugh.

Also, don't let Rutgers' accomplishment last night be diminshed in your mind when USF takes out Louisville next week.

Dan Shanoff said...

I think you're wrong comparing it to Utah-Pitt.

You have to appreciate the historically atrocious records of both programs to appreciate what both reaching a BCS bowl -- and playing each other -- would mean.

I'm not saying it would be a great game. Then again, Ohio St-Notre Dame looked amazing on paper last year, and that was a freaking blow-out -- fun for OSU fans and ND-haters, but a shitty game if you like close games, good endings or competitive play in the least.