Not only was last night's Boise State win over Virginia Tech likely the most important college football game of the season, but (given those stakes) it is unlikely we will see a more exciting game, either.
Consider: A huge game with massive national implications not just living up to the hype -- but actually exceeding it.
But really: Did anyone actually think that if/when VA Tech gave Boise the ball back with 90 seconds left and no timeouts -- hell, if it was 19 seconds left -- that Boise wouldn't march right down the field and score?
(This was the most obvious reality that the game produced, and VT's limp performance on their last possession was only slightly more staggering than Musberger and Herbstreit basically conceding the game on Boise's behalf, when the rest of us knew exactly what was coming.)
And so we have a clear No. 1 team for this week's rankings: Boise State. I can pack away my preseason predictions and mainly rely on a team's resume; no team had a bigger or better win this first week of the college football season than Boise.
Most importantly, it was memorable. And it needs to stay memorable -- even nostalgic. Because when we get to mid-October or mid-November and Boise's schedule stinks and the haters are howling and voters are questioning whether Boise is worth one of the top 2 spots in their poll...
...they need to remember last night's win -- most notable for Boise's unwillingness to see their dream season implode, even against a Top 10 team, basically on the road, only in Week 1.
Here's a preview of my BlogPoll ballot, mulled over late into last night: (1) Boise St, (2) TCU, (3) Alabama, (4) Oregon, (5) Ohio St. (Florida: 20th. USC: Unranked.) It's a mess. Come back at 12:3o today and see for yourself -- comments, critiques, etc. welcome, as always.
I love how people are like "This win could be big for Boise!" and "This win keeps Boise's BCS hopes alive!" Well, of course it does! "Hopes?" Folks can obviously disagree with me ranking Boise State at No. 1 in the preseason, but I can't understand how anyone wouldn't have them No. 1 this week -- you don't have to be a "resume-ranking" purist to credit Boise for presenting the best evidence -- on the field, in the 2010 season, given admittedly limited information -- that they are the best team in the country right now.
(I can already tell this "Boise State vs. Everyone Else" meme is going to be the most annoying storyline of the season. Sincere passions on both sides, but you're not going to convince anyone to switch opinions. It's OK for now, because we're within 12 hours of it being relevant, but is this going to be a "thing" every weekend from here on out? It's wearying, especially on Twitter.)
Here's what Boise State has to root for: That Virginia Tech runs the table. That Oregon State -- who BSU plays in a few weeks -- is a Top 3 team in the Pac-10. And that all the other contenders lose at least once in their conferences...
...And, most importantly, that voters are simultaneously sophisticated enough to recognize Boise's exceptionalism against a relatively weaker conference schedule -- yet stupid enough to merely look at overall records and say "Well, Boise is the only undefeated team!" en route to ranking them 1 or 2. This seeming contradiction is at the heart of Boise's BCS hopes.
*No team in baseball needed a win more than the Padres did yesterday, snapping that (season-killing?) 10-game losing streak. The Giants won, so SD is clinging to a 1-game lead that no one really thinks will hold up over the season's final 20-some games.
*If TJ Housh wanted to play for a contender that could use him, I completely understand how Ray Lewis' case to him was going to be compelling enough for the WR to sign with Baltimore. (The Ravens are the new Jets?)
*Of course, with Revis back, maybe the newer Jets are the new Jets.
*Does anyone really care where Matt Leinart ends up as the backup?
*Will anyone really watch the "T.Ocho Show?"
*In case you missed it over the long weekend, my fantasy baseball team tanked in the final week of the regular season, and not only did I fall out of the playoff field, but I fell into the second division... again.
I had never finished in the top half of my league, let alone made the playoffs. The streak continues. I think I might have to fire the manager for this year's depressing collapse. (Team MVP: Felix Hernandez, who kind of knows what I'm talking about.)
*More fantasy navel-gazing: I had my final football draft last night -- a KSK keeper league in which I finished last in 2009 but keep a solid core of Andre Johnson, Ray Rice and LeSean McCoy. After giving up my keeper draft slots, my first pick was in the 3rd round, and although I needed a QB and a complementary WR, I had decided to reach for either Jahvid Best or CJ Spiller, if either were available. Both were. Personally, I prefer Spiller -- particularly in a keeper league -- but for some reason I can't think of this morning, I took Best. I'm now wondering what the hell I was thinking. (As for my holes at QB and WR, I ended up with the best of slim pickings in Round 5 and beyond by taking T.O. -- ugh -- and getting lucky with Matt Ryan in the 6th.)
*The NFL begins in two days. Don't forget to set your fantasy rosters. My NFL preview is coming tomorrow. (Thursday is Rosh Hashanah and I won't be posting.)