No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

2011 Week 10 – Power 15

HAHA! Getting this one out early baby! This week obviously reflects the fall out from the Alabama/LSU game in which the Bayou Bengals won a 9-6 defensive thriller in OT! Because of the nature of that game, nothing really changes for me as to overall rank. I don’t see how you can drop Alabama that far behind LSU when Bama probably wins the game if they hit a couple of their early missed FGs. Let’s take a look!

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 LSU has pretty much left no doubt they are the #1 team in the nation. They went on the road to beat Alabama. They beat Oregon on a neutral field. They beat West Virginia in Morgantown. This team simply doesn’t care if it plays at home or on the road. I think the road game against Mississippi St. was a good win too. An interesting aspect of watching any football game really is the amount of nicks & injuries a team suffers. You can tell which team is the tougher & more physical team by seeing which players are down throughout the game. I might be missing something here, but last Saturday night, it seemed as if every player who got hurt was on Alabama’s side. My memory could be selective because LSU won, but it seemed like LSU “out-physicaled” the Tide throughout the contest. You could argue that if Bama hits their FGs then LSU loses this game, but Alabama didn’t hit their field goals. LSU has nothing left to prove. The defense is absurdly freaky, maybe the freakish I’ve ever seen. They are that good.
#2 Field goals matter. I could not understand in the least Alabama’s decision to pass the ball 3 straight times in OT. The first two passes were incomplete passes to Trent Richardson & the 3rd attempt resulted in an AJ McCarron sack. In contrast, when LSU got the ball they simply tried running and wound up with a 9-6 victory. Nick Saban has to be kicking himself over this one. Alabama did everything they needed to do to win that football game. If the field goals are made, then Alabama wins that game 15-6. A couple of other head scratchers was the Marquis Maze pass that ended up a pick in the endzone and Alabama’s decision to send Maze out there for a punt return even though his ankle was completely screwed up making his mobility almost non-existent. It’s weird in a way. Going into the game you would have though Nick Saban had a clear coaching advantage over Les Miles, but the Alabama coaching decisions seemed a bit lacking. I can’t move Alabama down past #2. The defense will stop ANYBODY & if LSU is #1 then Alabama can’t be lower than #2.
#3 Another week another win for Oklahoma St., but this one wasn’t so pretty beating Kansas St. 52-45. In opposition over the last couple of weeks, Oklahoma St. pretty much abandoned the run & Joseph Randle & let QB Brandon Weeden go pass nutty en route to 4TD passes & a whopping 502 passing yards! WR Justin Blackmon caught 13 passes for 205 yards & 2TD himself! That’s crazy. It’s great that Oklahoma St. is averaging 50ppg, but they aren’t putting up 50 on Alabama or LSU. I’m not sure they put up 50 against Oklahoma which will be problematic because the defense can’t stop anyone. Kansas St. was never really out of the game & the Wildcats were actually in the lead with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter. No lead is really safe with an offense like OSU trots out, but this was the first week where I felt Oklahoma St. looked vulnerable. Kansas St. did a great job running the football & keeping the Oklahoma St. offense on the sidelines. A little bit better defense by KSU and Oklahoma St. probably loses that game. Something to think about is that Oklahoma beat Kansas St. the week before by 41 at Kansas St.! Oklahoma St. could only manage a 7-point victory at home.
#4 Stanford needed a quarter up in Corvallis to get going, but the Cardinal finally found their stride & ran the ball down the Beavers throat, dominating the line of scrimmage & holding the ball for 40+ minutes of the game en route to a 38-13 road win. Oregon St. is a pretty tough opponent when it comes to playing ranked opponents so I’m more impressed with the win than I might be considering Oregon St.’s record. You might think that going 20 of 30 for 206 yards & 3TD would be a great day, but according to Passer Rating, the game against Oregon St. was Andrew Luck’s worst game of the season excepting the opener this year when Luck was 17 of 26 for 171 yards & 2TD in Stanford’s 57-3 win over San Jose St. Stanford is still suffering from the computers not liking them very much in the computers, but that will all be put to rest this weekend if the Cardinal beats Oregon. As of right now nobody knows what to do with Stanford because of schedule. We’ll know after Saturday!
#5 The Texas Tech loss looks all the more incredible as each week passes & also is clearly an aberration. Since losing to the Red Raiders, the Sooners have won 2 games by the score of 99-42! Keep in mind that the last two games were against Kansas St. & Texas A&M and not Iowa St. & Kansas! Somewhat like Andrew Luck, Landry Jones had his worst game of the season this past weekend in Oklahoma’s 41-25 win over Texas A&M. Jones was 18 of 38 for 255 yards & 2TD! That’s all! Unfortunately the Sooners lost stud WR Ryan Broyles for the season in the A&M win, but that might not matter significantly if the offense keeps humming like this. Kenny Stills & Jaz Reynolds will have to step up, both those guys have shown some big play ability this season. You simply can’t replace a receiver like Broyles, but Oklahoma gets Baylor & Iowa St. in the next 2 weeks to figure their passing game out before having to go to Stillwater. Oklahoma still has a shot to get to New Orleans if they can find a way to replace Broyles & take care of business against the Cowpokes.
#6 LaMichael James finally looked healthy for the first time in over a month! Then he proceeded to shred the Washington defense for 156 yards & 1TD on 25 carries! James is simply a force of nature when running the football. It’s ridiculous. The 34-17 win over Washington doesn’t look overly fantastic given how badly Oregon has been blowing teams out, but it was a significant victory to own Washington given this particular rivalry. QB Darron Thomas was OK although he didn’t have a particularly good week, but at least he looks 100%. This past weekend was good to Oregon. The opening week loss to LSU looks fantastic now that the Tigers beat Alabama and are likely headed towards 13-0. If LSU is #1 then Oregon can argue with Alabama all day about who is #2. Another positive for Oregon is they are one-third of the way through their most meaningful 3-game set of the season. They beat Washington on the road & now they’ll take on Stanford on the road before coming back home to USC. If Oregon wins out they’ll be 12-1. Can they rank ahead of an 11-1 Alabama & 11-1 Oklahoma team?
#7 Arkansas isn’t getting much play, but the Razorbacks are 8-1 and playing in the SEC West for crying out loud! Granted, the perception across the nation is that the SEC is fairly weak outside of LSU & Alabama, but I’m not sure I buy into that. Arkansas is fantastic. Georgia & South Carolina aren’t horrible. Neither is Mississippi St. for that matter. You have to give Arkansas some credit here. South Carolina was playing out of its mind defensively for the last few weeks and the Hogs put 44 points on them en route to a 44-28 win. Although I first though Arkansas couldn’t leap over Alabama in the BCS should Arkansas beat LSU, I’ve heard now that it’s at least possible! So Arkansas still has a shot at 12-1 and a BCS Championship! The one caveat in all of this is how well Arkansas does against elite defenses. In their 8 wins Arkansas has averaged 41ppg. In their one game against an elite defense, Arkansas managed 14 points against Alabama. This probably indicates that Arkansas isn’t going to be LSU in Baton Rouge, but also means that there are probably only 2 truly elite defenses in college football. If Arkansas loses to LSU but wins their bowl, they’d be an 11-2 SEC team. That’s top-10 quality.
#8 Boise St. suckered me into watching their game against UNLV because the Runnin’ Rebels had Boise at 14-14 until very late in the 2nd quarter when Boise scored a TD right before half to make it 21-14. Boise made some adjustments at halftime & blew the barn doors off of UNLV in the 2nd half 27-7 to cruise to the 48-21 victory. Boise St. keeps winning & the computers love the 8-0 Broncos, but pollsters have to be getting pessimistic these past two weeks. Boise only beat Air Force 37-26 and struggled with UNLV for an entire half before winning 48-21. They aren’t blowing teams out that are clearly inferior. They should have put 60 on UNLV at least. They scored 37 on Air Force which seems low considering Notre Dame put 59 on the Falcons & San Diego St. put 41. Boise should at least see some uptick this week when they play TCU and the win over Georgia keeps looking pretty sweet especially if UGA can win out & take the SEC East crown. A blow out this week would do wonders for Boise.
#9 USC didn’t waste anytime in rebounding from the crushing defeat at the hands of Stanford. They went on the road to Colorado on a short week and hammered the Buffaloes 42-17. At 7-2, the Trojans are THIS CLOSE to actually being 9-0 which would be amazing considering they wouldn’t even be eligible for postseason play! I want to take a second to mention QB Matt Barkley. Barkley has been amazing all year long, but over the last 3 weeks he’s went wild passing for 826 yards & 12TD on 77 of 119 passing (64.7%) with just 2 interceptions. One of the games was against Colorado, but the two others came against Notre Dame & Stanford. With the way USC & Barkley have been playing lately, it’s got a lot of the Trojans faithful wondering what might be in 2012 when USC can play for a national championship. If Barkley comes back, can USC run the table? Don’t forget how young this team is!
#10 Clemson was on bye this past week which sort of had to suck because they lost to Georgia Tech the week prior, so now they’ve had 2 weeks to stew over a loss rather than the typical one week. It probably won’t matter, but Clemson if Clemson finishes the season 12-1 with an ACC Championship and all the major schools finish with a loss outside of LSU, Clemson should get some serious consideration for a BCS Championship game. They drew the 3 toughest opponents in the opposite ACC division in UNC, Virginia Tech & Georgia Tech. They have two non-conference games against Auburn & South Carolina. They’ll have also played Florida St., Wake Forest & NC State. That’s better than you think. They still have South Carolina on the schedule, but Clemson should be able to win out and go 11-1. All they can do is win the rest of their games & see what happens.
#11 Beating New Mexico St. 63-16 is hardly cause for celebration, but Georgia went out & dominated a team they should have getting ahead 56-3 after 3 quarters before allowing the Aggies to score some garbage time points to at least get into double digits. It’s hard to get a pulse on Georgia. Clearly the SEC East is down this season and Georgia managed to avoid LSU, Alabama & Arkansas from the SEC West. At 7-2, the Dogs have an excellent shot at getting to 7-1 within the conference which would put them in the SEC Championship game where they’ll not be able to escape LSU. Georgia has a top-10 defense when it comes to total defense so they are fine there, but how well will the offense respond to a downright filthy defense led by LSU DC John Chavis? Georgia is averaging 35ppg which is impressive, but you’d have to think Arkansas has a better offense than UGA & we see where that got the Razorbacks against Alabama. It’s hard. This is a 7-2 team on a 7-game winning streak & it’s GEORGIA! What else can you do?
#12 The Hokies were on a bye this past week so there isn’t much to say about last week’s game. I do find it interesting that the 8-1 Hokies are getting mad love from pollsters! The schedule has been downright awful with their only tough game coming against Clemson & Virginia Tech lost that game in Blacksburg! Beating Miami-FL is OK although the Hurricanes have been pretty inconsistent. The Hokies will get a big bump down the stretch because they’ll play Georgia Tech (7-2), North Carolina (6-4) & Virginia (6-3). Win those 3 games and you are likely playing Clemson who should be 11-1/10-2. Win all those games & the Hokies are 12-1 and it would then make sense to pimp them pretty hard. This is also where ranking teams gets fairly difficult. I have no doubt that Georgia would be 8-1 right now against this schedule. Does that mean Georgia is better than Virginia Tech? It’s tough to say I suppose. Virginia Tech is probably 7-2/8-1 against Georgia’s schedule.
#13 Penn St. is coming off a bye week which is unfortunate because all we’ve been able to discuss lately is former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and his criminal behavior in sexually abusing young boys. It’s absolutely wild something like this would happen at a place like Penn St. with a head coach such as Joe Paterno. It keeps getting worse for Penn St. as now there are talks of a cover up of this horrific event and people inside the Penn St. program calling for Paterno’s resignation. There is no doubt that Paterno is done at Penn St. He might get through this season, but there is no way he’s back on the sidelines in 2012. It also makes one wonder if Paterno has had any direct organizational control for the past 15-20 years or has he just been acting as a figure head alone? It’s amazing that Paterno has this on his legacy now. What’s also amazing is that Penn St. could easily win out and get to 12-1 and lay a serious claim to a BCS championship berth should Oklahoma St. & Stanford falter. The season keeps on getting screwier & screwier for the Nittany Lions.
#14 Another week another humiliation from some poor football team at the hands of Houston. This time it was UAB who took a 56-13 beating. The good news is that Case Keenum didn’t throw for 500+ yards & 9TD the way he did the week before against Rice. The bad news is that he still threw for 407 yards & 2TD while have just 5 incomplete passes in 44 attempts! Crazy! Houston has the best offense in college football averaging 52.7ppg. If Boise St. wins out I have a hard time believing that Houston gets into the BCS, but it would be interesting to see how Houston would fare against an SEC or Big 10 caliber defense. This is why I hope Oklahoma St. wins out because it would be interesting to see how the Cowboys do against that LSU defense. In the same way wouldn’t a Houston/Alabama Sugar Bowl be somewhat interesting? Then again, somebody would have to make sure Nick Saban & the Tide were motivated to put the hammer down.
#15 A last minute change here. I thought about going with South Carolina, but the Gamecocks are so beat up and the offense is so bad that I thought I’d leave them out and go with Michigan St. as the 2nd team represented from the Big 10. The Spartans barely got out of a colossal gaffe when it escaped Minnesota 31-24 this past weekend. The Spartans are incredibly frustrating. That blow out loss to Nebraska looks downright awful now that Northwestern went into Lincoln & got a victory. However, that may have been a blessing in disguise as Michigan St. can win out & win the Legends division. Michigan St.’s defense is superb. The only team better than them in total defense is Alabama! So they aren’t national championship worthy, the defense is and Kirk Cousins is a solid QB. I’d love to see the Spartans get to 11-2 & the Rose Bowl because I think they are the best team in the Big 10. Would love to see them climb into the top-7 or top-5 by year’s end with a Big 10 & Rose Bowl championship.

DROPPING OUT

#11 South Carolina Gamecocks: Losing to Arkansas on the road is hardly something to hammer the Gamecocks for, but this team is beat up something awful and the transition around Stephen Garcia just makes the program look tired. I thought there were some pretty big expectations surrounding the Gamecocks program coming into this season only magnified by the early season win over Georgia. Losing to Auburn was horrible and now losing to Arkansas may have put SC on the outside looking in regarding the SEC Championship. Marcus Lattimore has been hurt. Alshon Jeffery hasn’t been fantastic. Stephen Garcia was dismissed. It’s wild in a way though. SC is still 7-2 despite all this with 2 very winnable home games remaining against Florida & the Citadel before ending the season at home against Clemson. SC could still finish 10-2, but for them to win the East, Georgia is going to have to lose a home game to either Auburn or Kentucky. It’s been a tough year in Columbia.

Advertisements

November 8, 2011 - Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Boise St., Clemson, Georgia, Houston, LSU, Michigan St., Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Penn St., Power 15, South Carolina, Stanford, USC, Virginia Tech

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: