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Power 15 – Week 13

Once again it seems the BCS got it right. There was quite a bit of talk about what would happen should 3 teams from AQ schools go undefeated. Michigan St. cured that problem with a loss to Iowa. Then it became a question of whether or not Boise St. & TCU deserved a shot should Oregon go undefeated but Auburn wind up 12-1? Boise St. blew that up with their loss to Nevada. In an odd way it hurts TCU because I’m not sure that TCU gets to the BCS title game even if Auburn loses to South Carolina. They might. It’s just not guaranteed. One thing that is for certain however is that if Oregon beats Oregon St. & Auburn beats South Carolina, then the national championship game will be between the Tigers & Ducks.

Let’s just hope that whatever outcome between the two schools stays that way…….I’m talking to you Cameron Newton! I’m going to mix it up this week & state a likely bowl for each team.

Just Missing Cut (in no particular order): Florida St., South Carolina, Missouri, Texas A&M, NC State, Notre Dame, Utah, Nevada, Mississippi St., Maryland

#1 Likely Bowl: BCS Title: The win in Tuscaloosa is a program defining win. Auburn has always been a good football program, but to walk into Tuscaloosa with Nick Saban on the sidelines of the defending national champions, get down 24-0 & then come back to win 28-27 is nothing short of amazing! Could Chizik beat Saban if both were running for governor? This really is a destiny season for Auburn & unlike 2003, they’ll get their shot at the trophy possibly even with a loss to South Carolina which isn’t going to happen. The only problem here is if the hammer comes down on Cam Newton. It has to happen now or after the BCS title game.
#2 Likely Bowl: BCS Title: I don’t think anyone is going to beat Oregon. If Stanford pasted Oregon St. 38-0, I simply can’t see Oregon losing. This is a different Ducks team under Chip Kelly. They are virtually unstoppable on offense & no matter how far they get down, they are coming back you can be sure. I don’t care if the Beavers are playing at home, it’s just different this season. Kelly is going to make a play at being the best coach in college football & frankly I’m not sure Oregon falls off that much next year. I think Oregon beats Auburn. If Oregon gets down you can be sure they are coming back, but if Oregon gets ahead, Auburn can’t outscore them.
#3 Likely Bowl: Fiesta Bowl: Stanford put an exclamation point on their season by THUMPING Oregon St. 38-0 to finish the year 11-1. The Cardinal get a bit lucky with Boise St. losing as it definitely puts them in the BCS which means a big payday for the school. I’ve been pimping Mike Gundy for coach of the year which will likely go to either Chizik or Kelly depending on who wins the national championship, but Jim Harbaugh has to be in the discussion as well. Stanford is better this year than they were last year with Toby Gerhart. They’ll lose Andrew Luck to the NFL Draft, but Stanford can only hope they don’t lose Jim Harbaugh as well.
#4 Likely Bowl: Rose Bowl: Are you serious? Wisconsin put 70 points on Northwestern? GEEZ! I can understand putting 83 on Indiana, but 70 points on a Pat Fitzgerald led team? That’s INSANE! The crazy part is that Wisconsin did that easily! They didn’t even score in the 4th quarter, but had they the Badgers were on pace to score 93-94 points! The Badgers defense is that good. DE JJ Watt is practically unstoppable while QB Scott Tolzien has almost forgotten how to throw incomplete passes. With a 3-headed monster at RB named Montee Ball, John Clay & James White, I don’t see how Wisconsin gets beat. They have to be kicking themselves with losing to Michigan St., because I’m not sure anyone in the nation can beat the Badgers right now. It’s the best offensive line in the game.
#5 Likely Bowl: Rose Bowl: TCU got it done. They finished 12-0 by beating on 1-11 New Mexico 66-17. With Boise St. out of the mix, TCU definitely gets to play in the Rose Bowl. They could also find a way into the BCS title game should Oregon or Auburn stumble down the stretch. It’s hard for me to get excited about the MWC. I’m not overly impressed with Utah. Air Force has lost a few games as has San Diego St. The win over Oregon St. doesn’t look great which is really a shame. If somehow Auburn & Oregon get beat then TCU is likely to be in the title game & I’m certain that a Stanford & Wisconsin is better than the Frogs are now.
#6 Likely Bowl: Sugar Bowl: Outstanding win in Little Rock over LSU 31-23. HC Bobby Petrino said this could be a program defining win & I think it is for the Razorbacks. At 10-2 & the #2 team in the SEC, they are headed to the Sugar Bowl which is the first BCS bowl in Arkansas history. A win gives them their first win in Arkansas history along with a great 11-2 record that could see the Hogs finish in the top-5. Theoretically Arkansas could have everyone back next season which would put Arkansas on pace for a potential national championship. Ryan Mallett however is likely to jump to the NFL so Petrino will have to replace the most important player. I’m hoping they finish 11-2!
#7 Likely Bowl: Sugar Bowl: The Sugar is going to get their pick of the litter when it all settles out & Ohio St. is going down to New Orleans! The Buckeyes left no doubt to their BCS worthiness by finishing 11-1 with a beat down of Michigan 37-7. The win might have cost Rich Rodriguez his job. For the most part though there has to be a semblance of disappointment for the Buckeyes. They came into the season as the heir apparent to Alabama, but an untimely loss to Wisconsin has them going to the Sugar instead of a Rose Bowl. They could be very good to great offensively next year but they’ll lose a lot on defense. Can 11-1 be disappointing?
#8 Likely Bowl: Fiesta Bowl: Phil Steele had Oklahoma playing Ohio St. in the BCS Championship game. Both are going to fall short, but both do make it into the BCS as potential conference champions. Oklahoma still has to dispose of Nebraska to do so, but my hunch is that the Sooners get it done & finish the regular season 11-2. The win over Oklahoma St. in Stillwater was impressive in that Oklahoma got a HUGE win on the road after losing big games on the road to Missouri & Texas A&M. Those aren’t bad losses by the way in any measure. The Sooners have become an unstoppable force on offense with the defense only needing a stop or two to win.
#9 Likely Bowl: Capital One Bowl: You have to love the way Sparty ended the year. Not only did they finish 11-1 & co-champions of the Big 10, they also beat Penn St. 28-22 on the road for the first time since Joe Paterno was HC for the Nittany Lions! As much as I talk up guys like Mike Gundy, Jim Harbaugh or even Doug Marrone as coach of the year, Mark Dantonio might be the most deserving of all. The guy suffered through a heart attack & made quite a few gutsy calls to get the Spartans to 11-1. They are certainly getting screwed by the BCS because both Ohio St. & Wisconsin are also 11-1, but it’s hard to think Michigan St. isn’t an elite football team in 2010. Mark Dantonio is fully responsible.
#10 Likely Bowl: Outback Bowl: I don’t think anyone was going to assume LSU would finish the year 10-2 with their only losses coming on the road to a couple of top-10 teams in Arkansas & Auburn. Those two losses were by a combined 15 points. It’s easy to bag on Les Miles, but part of me wonders if it is merited. LSU’s defense ranks 9th in the nation in scoring defense while their offense ranks 50th. I almost think Miles got himself into a situation at QB with Jordan Jefferson & Jarrett Lee that he can’t find his way out of. Neither player is good enough to be a championship QB in the SEC & yet the Tigers have to suffer through another year of them under center. They need to get rid of their QBs. And fast.
#11 Likely Bowl: Cotton Bowl: It’s a disappointing year because last season Alabama finished 14-0 & national champions. This year they are finishing 9-3 & in 4th place in the SEC West! That’s amazing but also a testament to how great the SEC West actually is. A lot of people had concerns about how well Alabama’s defense would hold up after losing a lot to the 2010 NFL Draft, but it was 5th best scoring defense in the country! So it was the offense right? Not quite. Alabama actually scored more points this year than last on average. Their average point differential in 2009 was +20.4. This year it as +20.5. What gives? The rushing offense. In 2010 the unit ranked 37th. This year it ranked 12th. Nobody could have seen that coming.
#12 Likely Bowl: Cotton Bowl: The Huskers finished the year off beating Colorado 45-17 to end the year 10-2 & Big XII North champions. Nebraska is not trying to go out with a bang in their last year as Big XII members. A win over Oklahoma ensures the Huskers get to the Fiesta Bowl & they certainly have some unfinished business after they pretty much got screwed last year in their loss to Texas. You have to be pretty happy at Nebraska, but in retrospect the losses to Texas A&M and Texas are egregious. They lose those 2 games by a total of 10 points. They are this close to being 12-0.
#13 Likely Bowl: Humanitarian Bowl: If Boise St. really does end up in the Humanitarian Bowl (very likely) then it is a travesty. Their likely opponent is Ohio which would be a joke of a game for Boise St. The real problem the last few years is seeing Boise St. & TCU being in bowl games against each other the last 2 seasons. This year TCU gets a shot against Wisconsin to show it truly belongs. Boise St. doesn’t and that’s a shame. The loss to Nevada is a tough one, but to be honest the alternative was likely playing Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Boise St. has already been there. Done that. Beat the Sooners. No, a better opponent would be a HUGE name opponent like Alabama, Ohio St., LSU or Nebraska. Keeping Boise St. in Boise in the Humanitarian Bowl seems cruel. Boise St. has a lot coming back next season.
#14 Likely Bowl: Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech destroyed Virginia in the regular season finale 37-7 to finish with a perfect 8-0 ACC record & also to increase their winning streak to 10 games. The Hokies rank #15 in the BCS which means the stink of losing to Boise St. & James Madison early in the year still hasn’t worn off. It probably won’t but this isn’t a bad team. It ranks 21st in the nation in scoring offense. It ranks 13th in scoring defense. Tyrod Taylor has had a helluva senior season. If the Hokies beat Florida St. & then beat the Big East champions in the Orange, they’ll finish 12-2. How in the world did James Madison happen?!
#15 Likely Bowl: Alamo Bowl: Like Michigan St., Oklahoma St. gets screwed when it comes to the bowls. The projection now is for them to take on Arizona in the Alamo Bowl. It’s not a bad game, but one I think OSU wins & finishes 11-2. The loss to Oklahoma reminds me of the Jimmy Johnson situation when he was coaching Oklahoma St. before jumping ship to Miami-FL. The prevailing thought was that Jimmy would never win a national title in Stillwater because he’d always be competing with Texas & Oklahoma. This year was definitely the year the Cowboys could have made the jump. Instead they just miss out. Then again, NOBODY expected OSU to finish the year 10-2. NOBODY!


#12 Texas A&M Aggies: It was either Michigan St. or Texas A&M and I simply couldn’t leave an 11-1 Michigan St. team out of the Power-15. At 9-3 this is a good season for the Aggies. They are likely to take on Washington in the Holiday Bowl which means they are likely to get a win pushing their season to 10-3. It’s probably enough for Mike Sherman to keep his job so maybe things are on the upswing at Texas A&M. There situation is a little bit like Oklahoma St.’s in that this was definitely a year they could have made some noise given that Texas was a disaster & Oklahoma was carrying a couple of losses. They came up just short although A&M did have wins over Oklahoma & Nebraska. It’s somewhat ironic that the only team in the nation to have beaten both Nebraska & Oklahoma doesn’t get a shot at the Big XII Championship game even though Oklahoma & Nebraska are the two teams playing for it. Crazy stuff there.


November 30, 2010 - Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Boise St., LSU, Michigan St., Nebraska, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 15, Stanford, TCU, Texas AM, Virginia Tech, Week 13, Wisconsin


  1. I don't understand why you have Auburn #1 if you think Oregon would beat them in a head to head match up. It sounds like you think that Oregon is the better team so why not flip you first and second rankings?

    Comment by BigTimber | November 30, 2010 | Reply

  2. I think if Oregon played Auburn head to head like we are likely to see in the BCS Championship game, Oregon would win for reasons I've written. Both teams have had an ability to get down these past few weeks. Both teams have come from behind on both accounts.

    I'm not sure Auburn could beat Stanford or Wisconsin right now or possibly even TCU, but all we have to go on are the 13 weeks we've seen. From that perspective you have to give Auburn the #1 spot right now because they got through the SEC (the SEC West no less) perfect at 12-0.

    I love me some Pac 10, but right now I don't see how I can rank Auburn at #2 based on what they've gone through to get to 12-0. Do I think Oregon would beat them? Sure. But right now based on resume alone I have to give the nod to Auburn at #1.

    I do think Oregon beats them just from what I've seen. Maybe I'll be right. We'll have to find out!

    Comment by College Football Mafia | November 30, 2010 | Reply

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