No Sleep Till Football

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2011 Week 6 – Power 15

What is this? A Power 15 on a Monday! Take that time management!

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 I know it’s just Vanderbilt, but Alabama flexed dominance on the Commodores in a 34-0 route. I don’t really mind what Bama did on offense, but the defense held Vandy to 1 of 10 on 3rd downs, picked off two passes & held Vanderbilt to 41 rushing yards on 19 carries. QB AJ McCarron was flat out perfect going 23 of 30 for 237 yards & 4TD without throwing a pick. Vanderbilt has actually been an excellent team in TO margin this year & the Tide never game them a chance. This looks more & more like the 2009 Alabama team that won a national championship except there is no Julio Jones type receiver. I wonder if that will become a problem when teams clamp down on the Alabama rushing attack?
#2 Les Miles simply can’t help himself. At some point you have to assume that Jordan Jefferson is going to start at QB for the Tigers. I’m not saying Jefferson is a bad player or even a bad quarterback, but in his reign as starting QB in Baton Rouge, the feeling has always been that LSU has underperformed just a tad. To me Jarrett Lee has a little feel of Matt Mauck & Matt Flynn which makes me wonder if LSU might be in store for another national championship. It didn’t really matter. LSU literally ran over Florida en route to a 41-11 win. The Tigers rushed for 238 yards & 3TD while Florida couldn’t do anything offensively. This is hands down the #1 team in the nation without question, but I drop them to #2 because the Mad Hatter will figure out a way to blow it and the difference between LSU & Alabama is non-existent while the difference between Miles & Saban is intergalactical!
#3 The Badgers were on their bye week, but nothing happened that made me consider dropping Wisconsin from their perch at #3. Something interesting to think about is the talk that Wisconsin might need help if they are one of 3 undefeated teams at the end of the year. Essentially if one of the Oklahoma schools & Alabama/LSU wind up undefeated along with Wisconsin, it might be the Badgers who get to go to the Rose Bowl, but DO NOT get to play for a BCS Championship! Sort of like when USC & Oklahoma played for a national championship but Auburn was still undefeated and was left out. This of course is interesting for playoff purposes because maybe War Eagle didn’t have enough juice to hammer the BCS for leaving them out, but a Big 10 school might have enough pull. Either way, Wisconsin had to have been happy to see Nebraska come from behind & beat Ohio St. The win over the Huskers would have been diminished quite a bit had they lost.
#4 Anytime you hang a 50-burger on the Longhorns en route to a 55-17 pasting of your rivals, it’s a big deal, but I don’t know. This didn’t feel as dominant as it maybe should have. Oklahoma really didn’t run the ball and they had 3 turnovers directly lead to TDs which makes it 34-17 instead of 55-17 when you take away the 21-points. Let’s assume Texas gets FGs on those 3 possessions and it’s 34-26 which seems more respectable. People are going to go on & on about Landry Jones here, but he threw 50 passes completing just 31 of them. Sure it’s 62%, but that seems low when talking about a top-5 NFL Draft pick. Those 50 passes also led to just 367 yards which is 7.3ypa which isn’t crazy high. When you think dominance you think of defense hammering away & running the ball down your opponents throats. The win over Florida St. looks average at best now while Texas might be the 5th or 6th best team in the Big XII. I’m still buying, but unless that HAMMER Oklahoma St., I’m going to have a hard time believing an undefeated Oklahoma team is better than an undefeated Wisconsin squad.
#5 The Cowboys were everything the Sooners weren’t on Saturday. Sure Texas is MUCH tougher than Kansas, but Brandon Weeden LIT IT UP going 24 of 28 for 288 yards & 5TD! Backup QB Clint Chelf even came in and dominated going 14 of 21 for 206 yards & 2TD! Just a ridiculous display of offensive firepower! Kansas actually took the lead in this game 7-0 before Oklahoma St. scored 56 UNANSWERED POINTS……IN THE FIRST HALF! That’s simply ridiculous. You could argue that Kansas completely sucks & that Oklahoma St.’s defense gave up entirely too many yards and I’d agree with you, but beating a conference opponent 70-28 is simply incredible! OSU now has back-to-back road games against Texas & Missouri to see if it can keep the good times rolling, but they already won a HUGE road game at Texas A&M so they won’t be intimidated.
#6 Another week another absolute beat down for Stanford, this time hammering new Pac 12 member Colorado to the tune of 38-7. The amazing thing about watching Stanford games is the play of their offensive line. Andrew Luck doesn’t need 10 seconds in the pocket, but he virtually has all the time in the world to make his throws making him easily the most deadly QB in college football. Stanford also ran for 161 yards on 35 carries. It’s not a gigantic ypc average, but it keeps the chains moving, the time going and the Cardinal winning. Defensively Stanford of course was once again dominant even without MLB Shayne Skov tearing up opposing runners. if LeMichael James is hurt & can’t perform up to 100% for Oregon moving forward, the Skov injury might not hurt Stanford as much as I initially thought. Luck is a BEAST! Could you imagine a 13-0 Stanford team taking on a 13-0 Wisconsin team in the Rose Bowl & it have NOTHING to do with the national championship?
#7 The big story here is LaMichael James dislocating his elbow in Oregon’s 43-15 win over California last Thursday night. Apparently he may be able to play this week against Arizona St., but I’m not sure I’d risk it if I were Chip Kelly because I don’t think Oregon will need James to eek out a win over the Sun Devils although Arizona St. is a pretty good team. Oh by the way, all James did against Cal is rush for 239 yards on 30 carries & 1TD! I think Kenjon Barner & Darron Thomas are more than capable of carrying the rushing load if James were to miss a game. What is interesting is that right now James is on pace to rush for 2,045 yards & 20TD over 12 games. If Oregon were to somehow run the table, finish 11-1 & get to the Pac 12 championship game, it would be difficult to think he’s not the Heisman Trophy winner considering that 11-1 record has to include a win over Andrew Luck & Stanford. His injury sort of puts that into question.
#8 Boston College absolutely sucks so a 36-14 home win over the Eagles isn’t that fantastic in the grand scheme of things, but you have to love how Clemson simply keeps the pedal to the metal & wins games. The FSU victory doesn’t look fantastic and really Auburn is going to come down A LOT in the coming weeks, but that doesn’t really matter. What really matters is apparently QB Tajh Boyd will be able to play next week against Maryland. After suffering an injury that forced him out of the game, it would have been very tough for Clemson to weather a Boyd injury. With Maryland up next, the Terps are just the kind of team to ruin a dream season to date. Now the worry is Boyd aggravating the injury at a later date which could crush Clemson’s chances. I’d like to see Clemson succeed to be honest. It seems Georgia Tech is the only team in their way.
#9 Boise St. went on the road to Fresno & absolutely humiliated a Pat Hill led team 57-7 in their own backyard! I know Fresno St. isn’t exactly your older brother’s Fresno St. team, but wow! I’ve dropped Boise again in the rankings & I’m not exactly sure what to do with them. The win over Fresno St. was great, but they also gave up 5.5ypc to the Bulldogs. That’s not going to get it done and if another team can run on them like that while preventing Boise from scoring 40 quick points, it shows a weakness that Boise might not be able to overcome. I’m not exactly sure what to do with Boise St.. The novelty of this team has worn off & basically it’s a team playing well underneath their ability. I don’t know how they would fare week to week in a Pac 12 or SEC atmosphere, but their scheduling simply has to get better because a neutral site win over Georgia isn’t going to stand up to anything even if they do finish 12-0.
#10 You go into Tuscaloosa and lose, but in the next two weeks you take on Texas A&M at a neutral site & then a home game against Auburn, win both & now stand 5-1 heading into your bye week! Keep in mind they didn’t beat Auburn, but hammered them 38-14. They came back from a big deficit against Texas A&M & showed the will & endurance to get a big victory. The box score shows that Arkansas got run over yet again, but as great as Mike Dyer was for Auburn, Arkansas came up big on defense when it had to especially forcing 2 picks. Auburn QB Barrett Trotter looked awful while Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson is making people say “Ryan who?” Arkansas’s rush defense is flawed, but this team can score on ANYBODY outside of the most elite of defenses. With their upcoming schedule, the Hogs should roll into Baton Rouge at 10-1.
#11 We might have to start accepting the fact that this defense is for real. Last week, Northwestern’s Dan Persa LIT UP a top-15 defense in Illinois in guiding the Wildcats to a near win 38-35. This week, Persa had a big game throwing for over 300 yards, but he never connected for a score & also threw one interception. NW had a decent game rushing the ball, but it wasn’t overly fantastic. Will Michigan see a better offense? Absolutely. Wisconsin has one, but who else has as explosive of a team as Northwestern when Dan Persa is under center? Keep in mind the word “adjustments” too. At halftime Northwestern had a 24-14 lead. All Michigan did was win the 2nd half 28-0! Holding Northwestern to ZERO POINTS in the 2nd half was no easy feat. Hats off to Michigan DC Greg Mattison. This week at Michigan St. will be very telling because of Michigan wins in East Lansing & takes care of business at home, the Wolverines could easily put together a 12-0/11-1 season heading into the Big 10 championship!
#12 West Virginia only had a 10-9 lead at halftime over UConn, but exploded in the 2nd half for 33 points on their way to a 43-16 conference win. Geno Smith was a beast completing 27 of 45 passes for 450 yards & 4TD! WR Stedman Bailey caught 7 passes for 178 yards & 2TD while Ivan McCartney caught 6 passes for 131 yards! McCartney is a beat at 6’3/180lbs while Bailey is establishing himself as one of the most elite receivers in the nation. For whatever reason it took the Mountaineers a little while to get going, but I’m guessing the team is starting to gel under Dana Holgorsen and his offensive genius. With Pittsburgh & South Florida looking like they absolutely suck, I don’t see how WVU doesn’t run the table and win the Big East. The defense isn’t overly fantastic, but it doesn’t have to be either.
#13 SEC fans will cry blasphemy when I say this especially considering that the Irish did give up 500+ total yards & 33 points to Air Force, but I have to admit that as I watched Notre Dame play defense on Saturday, I was really reminded of an SEC type of defense. The players were flying towards the ball & playing very disciplined defense against Air Force’s extremely dangerous triple option. Plus, ND simply cruised after they got up on Air Force 59-19! A couple of garbage drives ran the score up to 33 points & 500+ total yards. The offense has turned a corner now that Tommy Rees has decided to quit giving the ball to the opposition. LB Manti Te’o is a 1st team All-American that Irish fans are praying stays on for his senior season. There are weapons everywhere & unfortunately Irish fans are going to look back on this season wistfully as ND had NO BUSINESS at all losing to South Florida & Michigan. Sure Notre Dame is 4-2 now, but it should be 6-0 with their only real test coming on the road against Stanford. ND should finish 10-2/9-3 & will get to double digit wins this year whether it be 10-3 or 11-2.
#14 A lot worse can happen than going into Baton Rouge and losing to LSU 41-11 when you lost your starting QB the week prior! With no QB, LSU simply decided to not let the Jeff Demps/Chris Rainey combination beat them and it worked like we all knew it would while watching the game. Florida has problems under center, but there is definitely talent on the team. I don’t know what is going to have to happen to get them playing a more physical style of football, but it needs to happen in a hurry. It’s interesting to watch Florida & Texas. Both teams are as talented as LSU, Oklahoma & Alabama, but the difference is that Florida & Texas simply didn’t have the next QB step up after Tim Tebow & Colt McCoy left. Those guys were legends even before they left and Jeff Brantley & Garrett Gilbert simply couldn’t fill their shoes. It sets the programs back a year or two, but both programs need to figure it out. As for Florida, they lost to Alabama & LSU. So would every other team in the nation.
#15 I love Paul Johnson, but a 21-16 win over Maryland at home? What the heck happened? It’s almost as if the Yellow Jackets are regressing a bit. They put up over 700 yards on Kansas & followed that up with a very impressive win over an athletic North Carolina defense. They then travel to Raleigh where they give up 35 to the Wolfpack in a 10-point win. Coming home to Maryland to only win by 6 seems disappointing. Then again, a win is a win and GT showed it could win a game when everything was going right for them. They still ran for 272 yards & 3TD but their yards per carry was only 4.5 which seemed a bit low and after getting up 21-7, Maryland kind of owned the 4th quarter in trying to get back into the game. Back to back road games against Virginia & Miami-FL lead up to the Clemson showdown.



DROPPING OUT

#14 Nebraska Cornhuskers: They ended up beating Ohio St. in Lincoln, but Ohio St. was up 27-3 midway through the 3rd quarter! Nebraska needed a miracle to beat the Buckeyes & they got it, but that can’t be considered anything other than a miracle. Last year’s Ohio St. team puts the hammer down on Nebraska in a game like this. In fact, I’d gather than any type of experienced team probably salts this game away. That isn’t a knock on Luke Fickell or Braxton Miller, but the Buckeyes have turmoil surrounding the program in the WORST WAY and that also brings about transition. All of that & Nebraska still almost loses? Wisconsin showed the country how to beat Nebraska. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them lose a couple more games.

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October 10, 2011 - Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Boise St., Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 15, Stanford, West Virginia, Wisconsin

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