And that's the end of all that discussion of USC as a BCS contender. Thank freaking goodness. Don't you find it refreshing to see an end to USC's stranglehold on the Pac-10? Oh, I'm sure someone will find a reason to promote them for an at-large BCS bowl bid, but at least it won't be the Rose Bowl. (And it will be hard to pick USC ahead of Boise St, given that Boise beat Oregon head-to-head, but USC didn't. Although Boise DID win in Boise, and USC lost in Eugene...)
That's a good segue: In this week's BlogPoll, I'm vaulting Oregon over Boise State. The "head-to-head" argument only holds up until the "complete resume" overtakes it -- and, at this point, Oregon's resume is stronger than Boise's resume, even though Boise beat Oregon head-to-head. (On the other hand, Ohio State hasn't passed USC yet.)
Meanwhile, I think it's fair to say that Florida is back -- and so is Tim Tebow. It still isn't pretty, but it was finally dominating. (It helped that Georgia simply isn't a good team, although Georgia's loss to Tennessee was mitigated by Tennessee's whupping of South Carolina.) For better or worse, I think Tebow goes back to the top of the Heisman list -- those "double-double" (2 TD rushing/2 TD passing) games on national TV help.
Texas will be the No. 1 team on my Top 25 ballot. This was the toughest opponent they will face all year -- and the toughest circumstances -- and they just obliterated them. And if I had to pick the next-best team in the country, I'd stay in-state and take TCU (my No. 1 team last week). UNLV might not be any good, but TCU did exactly what you would want any contender to do to a sub-par opponent: Score a ton of points and shut the other team out. Done and done.
Last big point on college football: What to do about Iowa? I really thought they were going to lose at home to Indiana -- then again, I have thought they were going to lose virtually ALL of these games they go on to win.
Yes, they are winning ugly, but they are winning -- and doing it with the kind of character that if the name on the jersey was "Florida" in 2006 or "Ohio State" in 2002, we would be maintaining them near the top of the rankings. I just can't shake the idea that if they played another national contender, they would get punished. (No, Penn State doesn't count.)
More storylines this morning:
*The Yankees have all the momentum back. The bats are cranking, and they have CC going today on 3-days' rest -- and he's probably going to pitch even better than in Game 1. Cliff Lee will NOT be going on 3 days' rest... and the Phillies will likely pay for it. This games out as a Yankees' win for a 3-1 lead -- even if Lee pitches in Game 5 and wins, the Yankees go back to NYC for 2 games with a 3-2 lead. So maybe Game 3 *did* turn out to be "pivotal."
*NBA Last Night: How about those Rockets?... The Cavs are a much better team with Delonte West (then again, it was the Bobcats)... Brandon Jennings!... What does Gil Arenas mean for the Wiz? They can win games, even without Antawn Jamison AND Caron Butler.
Don't forget to set your fantasy rosters for NFL Week 8 today.