Baseball eclipses college football on a Sunday morning: Improbably, the Tigers have coughed up the AL Central lead, falling into a tie with the Twins and setting up the awesome quasi-"play-in" scenario for today's games.
I guess the best-case scenario is that they either both win or both lose, and we get a one-game playoff between the two tomorrow, playing head-to-head for the division title. Credit the Twins for getting past the Royals on a Greinke start day, and rip the Tigers for not really playing as if they want to make the playoffs.
OK, back to college football observations:
*I know Oklahoma could still technically win the Big 12 title (although does anyone really think they can beat Texas, even with a healthy Bradford), but why would Sam Bradford jeopardize his future as a No. 1 overall NFL draft pick to play for a bid to the Cotton Bowl?
*So I know Alabama > VA Tech and VA Tech > Miami -- did Miami just join the first two back in the Top 10? At some point, who you lost to matters (although how you lost should matter, too).
*I'm glad that LSU won, because it makes next week's LSU-Florida game that much more Game of the Year -- but having watched near-complete LSU games over the past two weeks, I'm just not that impressed. One part of me wants to say "LSU on the road during the day isn't the same as LSU at home at night," but one part of me wants to say "LSU is simply not a great team." (Then again, good-not-great teams playing at home beat great teams in one-off situations all the time.)
*Still: Nothing I saw from LSU makes me think that Florida without Tim Tebow (and with John Brantley) can't beat them. They may have to grit their way through, but the Gators can/will win. (Georgia Tech this week beat Mississippi State more impressively in Starkvill than LSU did a week ago.)
*I think I'm going to put Florida over last week's No. 1, Alabama, in my BlogPoll Top 25 -- Florida looked better against Kentucky than Alabama did. (Although Bama looked good.) Is that enough to make up for the fact that Bama still has a much more impressive "affirmative" quality win (over VA Tech) than Florida has against anyone?
*As usual, USC looks terrific -- but they just won't be able to overcome their annual slip-up loss.
*Wow, what a deflating loss for Houston -- UTEP isn't a very good team. I had thought that based on their wins over OK St and Texas Tech, Houston was en route to an unbeaten season and a better-than-Boise case to be the non-BCS team to play in a BCS-level bowl.
*Boise rolls another soft opponent -- but another Oregon impressive win makes Boise look that much better. (I tweeted this earlier this week: If Oregon played Boise today on a neutral field -- instead of the first week at Boise -- Oregon would win.) I still think TCU is the best non-BCS team in the country.
(I have a suggestion for the Mountain West: Broker a "championship game" against the champion of the WAC, to be played the same Saturday in December when the BCS conferences play their championship games. They don't need to actually combine conferences, but couldn't they set this up? There's no precedent, but what -- the NCAA is going to tell the non-BCS teams they can't do a little more to compete with the BCS cabal?)
*That was a very good win for Notre Dame -- anytime ND can (even temporarily) take "transitive property" over rival USC, it's a good thing (although now USC has a huge motivation to crush ND, to mitigate its own loss to Washington).
But non-ND fans could be forgiven for thinking UW got a little jobbed. My particular problem is that the refs didn't automatically review the game-ending play, which featured illegal helmet-to-helmet contact by ND on that poor UW receiver and should have triggered an automatic Washington 1st down.
*I think it's time that AP voters finally put Auburn into the Top 25 (I already had them there). I think that Wisconsin will get into the Top 25 because they are unbeaten (with a decent, if not great, rivalry win on the road at Minnesota), even if they aren't really a Top 25 team. They'll have a chance to earn it next week in Columbus. (And look at that: The Big Ten has a bevy of ranked teams -- Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin. Michigan will probably drop out. Not bad for a not-great conference.)
*Looking ahead to next week, a sick SEC double-header: Bama at Ole Miss -- notwithstanding the Rebels' season-crushing loss at South Carolina, they can still resurrect their season and their chances in the SEC West with a win over Alabama (which would crush Bama's season, btw -- extra motivation) -- followed by Florida at LSU. Other than that, it's a pretty slow weekend of big games. ("Other than that" -- what more could you ask for than two huge games of national consequence running from 3:30 to midnight?)
Give one last check to your fantasy teams...