TAC College Rankings: Week 10

This post is dedicated to my beautiful wife Shannon. On Tuesday, she gave birth to our son, Benedict Michael. Do you know where she wanted me on Saturday? In Death Valley, watching LSU end Alabama’s dreams of a national title. It need not be said that I love my wife, very, very, very, very much.

With LSU’s glorious victory and TCU’s pasting of Utah in Salt Lake, the national title race has narrowed down considerably. The Big 12, with Oklahoma’s loss to the Aggies and the near loss by the Cornhuskers to freaking Iowa St., will almost certainly not send a team to the BCS title game. I imagine the same will also be true for the Big 10, though I suspect Ohio St. has the best chance of proving me wrong there. Still, the Big 10 will likely get 2 BCS bids, which is not too shabby.

To me, there are 5 teams in contention: Oregon, Auburn, TCU and Boise being the obvious, with LSU still an outside shots. For LSU, they’d need 2 out of the 3 of the Ducks, WarPlainsTigersEagleMen, or Horned Frogs to lose. I don’t think LSU needs Boise to lose. Before you call me a homer, look at the computer rankings. LSU is already above Boise in the computers and we have an opportunity to improve that ranking when we play Arkansas. The human polls may revolt against LSU if it gets close (b/c they really don’t like the idea of LSU playing for the title) but there are plausible scenarios where LSU makes it in-even if LSU doesn’t win the SEC. Of course, if LSU jumps Boise without winning the SEC, there will be a riot. While I expect Oregon to remain undefeated, the other three undefeated have at least one more test left. Auburn, a team weak against the pass, has to face AJ Green and Julio Jones (as well as possible Florida). Boise still has Nevada, and TCU has to avoid the let-down game against a San Diego St. that’s 7-2 and getting some votes in the polls. It ain’t over yet, and it’s so much fun!

This would all be simpler if the NCAA did its job and declared Cam Newton ineligible. Seriously, do you think he decided to not play for Dan Mullen b/c he was impressed with Gene Chizik’s record at Iowa St.? The whole thing stinks, and someone is going to get busted for it. It would be a tragedy if the NCAA waited to finish this investigation until it’s too late (i.e. after the SEC title game).

When on earth did the Big 10 decide to play like the PAC-10? I’m looking at you, Michigan & Illinois. At least the Big 10 has a bunch of bowl eligible teams. Speaking of teams that may not get into bowls, what happened to Texas? We knew it’d be a down year, but losses to Baylor, Iowa St. & Kansas St? At least Texas fans can watch their beloved Cow… oh. Same goes to Notre Dame. They have to win 2 out of 3 against the Utes, USC, and Army. While I’ll be rooting for them against the Utes and USC (yeah, this is the time of year where I root solely to hurt other teams in front of LSU. You do it too), if they don’t get in one perhaps may start considering an Obama curse. Since Notre Dame invited Obama, they haven’t been to a bowl.

Important games of the week:

San Diego St. v. TCU, Georgia v. Auburn, VT v. UNC, South Carolina v. Florida,

I may want to explain the VT v. UNC game. Boise’s big win is against VT; LSU has a win over UNC. If UNC beats VT, VT might fall from the rankings and UNC get in. While the humans may not care, the computers will, and LSU will get even stronger in the computers. Furthermore, a VT team with 3 losses, including the one to James Madison, isn’t going to motivate voters to support Boise. On the other hand, a VT team that goes through the ACC undefeated with only another loss that’s almost excusable (you’re an idiot scheduling a Sat. game after a Mon night game, even if it is James Madison) is a very strong win. Combined with wins against Nevada, Boise would have a very strong case to make it in if people start losing ahead of them.

Alright, let’s get to the rankings!

Just 4 rankers this week. MJ is off doing something important, Tito is on his way to Idaho to see his beloved Vandals try to ruin Boise St.’s hopes. I hope very much that Tito was right about his Vandals, by the way.

Also, I have a paper due tomorrow and a baby in my lap so the rankings aren’t super spiffy looking. All comments are by me, unless otherwise indicated.

  1. Oregon (3) – Is anyone in the Pac 10 even going to give the Ducks a game, maybe the game at Cal? (DH)
  2. TCU - If TCU had one more big time game on their schedule, they might be a lock for a title shot (DH)
  3. Auburn – At least Newton will be able to afford a nice trophy case for the Heisman
  4. Boise St. - Like TCU, if Boise had one more big time opponent, they would be sitting pretty (DH)
  5. LSU – The second half proved what Tigers fan knew all year- if the offense could turn it on, this team is the best in the country
  6. Wisconsin - still kicking themselves over their loss to the Spartans (DH)
  7. Ohio St. - Too many wild scenarios must fall in place for the Bucks to be in the title game (DH)
  8. Stanford - Proves lofty academic standards don’t totally exclude you from the big time (DH)
  9. Nebraska – Nebraska is glad they’ll never have to see the Cyclones again
  10. Michigan St. – Could they have one loss and miss the BCS b/c they were the last Big 10 team to lose?
  11. Oklahoma St. – These guys went from scraping by Louisiana-Lafayette to being on top of the Big 12 South.
  12. Alabama – Hey bama! hey bama! We just the beat the hell outta you! Rammer jammer yella hammer geaux to hell alabama! With so many starters returning, being out of the SEC race with a month left hurts.
  13. Iowa – Apparently, an out of conference loss does hurt you in the conference standings. Why conferences allowed BCS standings to decide their title race is beyond me.
  14. Arkansas – Arkansas brings up the question: is the SEC East that bad, or is the SEC West just that good?
  15. Mississippi St. – If they beat Alabama this week, Mullen will have them officially on the map
  16. Utah – When your whole season revolves around beating just one good team, and you get blown out at home by 40 points, your season is a failure.
  17. Virginia Tech – Lose, Hokiewan Kenobi. You’re our only hope.
  18. Arizona – Suddenly, the Wildcats’ chances of upsetting the Ducks don’t look so rosy
  19. Oklahoma – Weren’t these guys No. 1 a few weeks ago?
  20. Missouri – Cheer up. Next year, there won’t be Nebraska in your division.
  21. South Carolina – Florida struggles offensively, but you can’t feel good about the Gamecocks’ chances against Florida after that display by the Hogs
  22. Nevada (TIE w/ SCAR) - Boise needs Nevada to continue to win, but Boise should not dismiss Nevada’s offense (DH)
  23. Texas A&M – We’re finally seeing the competitive team we expected early on
  24. Florida – crushing Vandy may not mean much, but confidence going into the game against SCAR is huge. Meyer would love to get a chance to sneak into the BCS and spoil someone’s national title hopes.
  25. Kansas St. – Crushing Texas after the Horns left KSU out to dry this summer has to feel pretty good.

Others receiving votes: UNC, UCF, and Penn. St.

19 Responses to TAC College Rankings: Week 10

  • I’m wondering if we’re about to see a shift in the balance of power in Texas. Aggies ranked. t.u. not. It was 15 years ago they ended our home field winning streak. And thus began our slide into mediocrity (at best). Is the balance shifting? I guess we’ll see.

    I was particularly impressed by the three goal line stands the Aggies had against the Sooners. That was great stuff. Ryan Tannehill… thank you very much.

  • Oh, and I want the games against Okie Lite and Mizzou back.

  • Important games of the week:

    Joe Pa going for win # 400 in the Horseshoe against the Buckeyes.

  • Oh, and my prediction is that Bama is going to shake things up in a couple of weeks by beating Auburn.

    While that will help LSU’s chances, it won’t be enough unless there’s a combination of losses from two of the other three teams ahead of them: Oregon, TCU, and Boise State.

  • Never mind. I guess Joe Pa won 400 this past weekend. For some reason I thought that was win # 399.

  • First off: Congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your son. May God continue to bless you.

    About football: excellent commentary. I just want to gloat (a little). I picked the LSU win last week in the combox of the Week 9 rankings. Most people (certainly most outside Louisiana) thought ‘Bama was going to trounce the Tigers.

    Here’s another prediction: Cam Newton’s Heisman chances are done, even if an investigation clears him. No way voters are going to take a chance for a a Bush repeat.

    I really hope the NCAA finishes up the investigation in time for LSU to play in the SEC Championship. If the Tigers can get in the title game, they’ll beat any SEC East team, and get into the BCS National Championship game.

    Otherwise, it’ll be Sugar Bowl for LSU. If that’s the case, I think it’ll be Oregon vs TCU in the national championship because Auburn will lose to ‘Bama.

  • I’m wondering if we’re about to see a shift in the balance of power in Texas. Aggies ranked.

    A win over the Sooners is nice, but I think you have to beat UT first before discussing a shift. I do think the Aggies with the new Big 12(?) contract is in a good place to take advantage and make a run at their big brother.

    Joe Pa going for win # 400 in the Horseshoe against the Buckeyes.

    That’s a good game too. In the Big 10, every game is so important b/c everyone is so tight. I don’t quite buy Penn St. as being in a spot to challenge the Buckeyes though.

    While that will help LSU’s chances, it won’t be enough unless there’s a combination of losses from two of the other three teams ahead of them: Oregon, TCU, and Boise State.

    That may be true, though I think LSU could squeak by Boise as long as TCU also loses. Still, LSU certainly needs helps and it would certainly help if 3 out of the 4 (preferably those not Oregon) would lose.

    Here’s another prediction: Cam Newton’s Heisman chances are done, even if an investigation clears him. No way voters are going to take a chance for a a Bush repeat.

    I don’t know. They’re still giving him the nod with little mention of the scandal. If he loses and James in Oregon continues to shine (or Moore in Boise) then he’ll be in danger.

  • Otherwise, it’ll be Sugar Bowl for LSU. If that’s the case, I think it’ll be Oregon vs TCU in the national championship because Auburn will lose to ‘Bama.

    I have no problem with the Sugar Bowl. I’d like to play Boise St if we go. Show those Idaho people a good time and then show them a real football team ;)

  • “If the Tigers can get in the title game, they’ll beat any SEC East team, and get into the BCS National Championship game.”

    I disagree. By no means is LSU assured of a BCS berth should Oregon, Boise State, and TCU remain unbeaten. This is the year when I believe the pollsters will want to prove that the BCS system “works” by including one of the non-BCS schools in the championship.

    In my opinion, by virtue of their being the defending champs, Alabama was the only SEC team who could have run the table with 1 loss and still made it into the BCS Championship. That 2nd loss kills Alabama’s chances.

    Besides, LSU needs to watch out for the Hogs in that last game. Over the last 5 years, that game has been decided by a grand total of 13 points (that’s less than 3 points per game).

  • “I’d like to play Boise St if we go.”

    That’s the one team I would NOT want to play in a bowl game. There’s simply no upside to it. It’s like the poor guy who had to wrestle a girl in the state playoffs a couple of years ago. If you win, then people will say “Well of course you won. It’s Boise State.” But if you lose, it’s the same sort of shame Oklahoma faced when they lost to Boise State and Alabama faced with they lost to Utah.

    And Boise State seems to bring it in bowl games, so beating them is definitely not assured.

  • By no means is LSU assured of a BCS berth should Oregon, Boise State, and TCU remain unbeaten. This is the year when I believe the pollsters will want to prove that the BCS system “works” by including one of the non-BCS schools in the championship.

    I agree. The pollsters hate LSU and will need to have the same record as TCU, Oregon and Boise to jump them in the computer polls. The computers don’t care too much about Boise, and LSU may be able to stay close enough to Boise to jump them b/c of the computers. Still, LSU is an underdog here and needs plenty of help/chaos to make it in. However, don’t be surprised if LSU gets in and is the impetus for changes to the BCS system.

    If you win, then people will say “Well of course you won. It’s Boise State.”

    Not anymore, I don’t think. While beating them is not assured, I think it’s about time Boise got a real test in a BCS game.

  • A “real test” would include an offense that doesn’t rely on gimmicky game-time calls by the head coach.
    ;-)

    Seriously, LSU plays some awesome defense, but I’m still not sold on their offense. I could see Boise’s offense getting just enough production and making just enough big plays, with their defense getting just enough stops to pull off the upset. Actually WANTING to play Boise State is like playing with fire.

  • <i<The pollsters hate LSU and will need to have the same record as TCU, Oregon and Boise to jump them in the computer polls.

    I disagree. I think that the human voters recognize that LSU is playing in the hardest division in college football.

    Jay, I agree that LSU needs to watch out for Arkansas. I don’t at all think that LSU will have an easy time of it. Let’s not forget that the game will be in Arkansas. That’s why a win over Arkansas will be very convincing to voters.

    If LSU wins out – with a convincing win over Arkansas, then they’ll have more wins over ranked opponents than any other Div. 1 team (6). That counts for something.

    If their offense continues to come around, this is the right time to do it. Voters will recognize that the Tigers are peaking at the right moment.

    I don’t think that an 11-1 LSU can vault into the top 3 without winning the SEC Championship, but I think that voters will like them over Boise.

    It could also be wishful thinking.

    About Cameron Newton and the Heisman: If the NCAA comes out with a strongly-worded report that clears him of any wrong-doing, then he’ll be the winner.

    Other than that, and I think the prospect of taking it back a couple of years from now will have some voters looking at James, who would be a legitimate winner.

    (By the way: I love this blog. I think that it covers the widest ground, in the most depth, with the most authority. Keep up the good work.)

  • A “real test” would include an offense that doesn’t rely on gimmicky game-time calls by the head coach.

    Are you talking about Boise or LSU here? Think of a game between the two: there would be no punts!

    Seriously, LSU plays some awesome defense, but I’m still not sold on their offense.

    Then welcome to Baton Rouge! We’ll see if the Bama games marks a turn of the corner for LSU, but they need to turn the corner still.

    I think that the human voters recognize that LSU is playing in the hardest division in college football.

    But they think LSU has won by luck and gimmicks rather than by playing good football. Pat Forde still thinks Les has sold his soul to the devil-even after admitting Miles outcoached Saban.

  • Pat Forde still thinks Les has sold his soul to the devil.

    Well, Pat Forde is guilty of plaguarism, because that’s exactly what I told my dad – half-jokingly – after the Tenn. game.

  • A win over the Sooners is nice, but I think you have to beat UT first before discussing a shift. I do think the Aggies with the new Big 12(?) contract is in a good place to take advantage and make a run at their big brother.

    Seeing how they are playing, a win over t.u. is more than just a possibility. I see the Aggies getting two more wins (Baylor and t.u.). Beating Nebraska would be nice as well, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • Big Tex: That “Okie Light” team has now owned TAM for three years in a row! Are you sure you want more of that? And it will be four in a row next year with both Blackmon and Weedon returning. I know it wont stop the TAM faithful from getting big heads as usual.

  • I love the trash talking! However, David, you do assume Blackmon isn’t in jail next year.

    Any one have any thoughts on the latest news about Newton?

  • Yeah, I want them. Did you see the game we had against them when we were struggling with turnovers? It was handed to them on a silver platter and was within our reach.

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