No Sleep Till Football

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2011 Week 11 – Power 15

YEAH BABY! HOW IS THIS FOR TIMELY! The Power-15 has some pretty significant changes this week especially with Stanford & Boise St. dropping from the list of the unbeatens. I’ve said this before, but we are really looking at LSU & Oklahoma St. unless one team gaffes which opens up a slew of possibilities. Let’s get to it.

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 LSU had a little hangover from beating Alabama last week, only beating Western Kentucky 14-7 after the first half. The Tigers settled in & outscored WKU 28-2 in the 2nd half for a 42-9 victory. It was a solid victory as WKU isn’t horrible & LSU did a pretty good job on RB Bobby Rainey. Rainey typically runs over everyone. Also Jordan Jefferson started & looked pretty good. This is the no question #1 team in the nation, but the season isn’t over. LSU still gets Arkansas & likely Georgia in the SEC Championship. Not exactly easy.
#2 GOOD GRIEF! Remember that Oklahoma St. just beat Texas Tech 66-6 in Lubbock, the same Texas Tech team that went into Norman and beat Oklahoma! You have to think that HC Mike Gundy got it across to his team that this was a statement game because everyone would look at this game to get a gauge on how OSU will play OU. If this was any indication, you can be sure that Oklahoma St. is going to give Oklahoma all they can handle in Stillwater. The 66-6 win was so dominant that I had to move the Cowboys to #2. Wow!
#3 Like LSU, Alabama had a little bit of a letdown game after the loss to LSU last week. Beating Mississippi St. 24-7 doesn’t seem dominant, but I still believe the Bulldogs are a decent team & Bama was in Starkville. Also consider that Alabama only gave up 7 points, 9 first downs, 131 total yards & 12 rushing yards. Offensively Trent Richardson ran for 127 yards while Eddie Lacy chipped in 96. Basically this was the very definition of dominance. Given how the LSU game went, I still have the sneaking suspicion this is the best team.
#4 That was an outstanding win going into Stanford & beating the undefeated Cardinal with Andrew Luck by the score of 53-30! Remember that Stanford’s defense was a top-10 unit & the Ducks put 50 points on them! If LSU is the #1 team then Oregon can make a serious case for being at least #2 or #3 behind Alabama. This offense looks absolutely unstoppable, and really the defense played the star role against Stanford picking off Luck twice while forcing 5 total turnovers! This looked like a championship level team.
#5 Oklahoma is coming off a bye week, but they can’t be happy taking a look at the Oklahoma St. team beating Texas Tech by 60 points! That’s insane! Oklahoma finds themselves in a tremendous position. If they can manage beating Oklahoma St., they might find themselves in the national championship game simply because people might not want to see an LSU/Oregon or an LSU/Alabama rematch in the championship game. If that does happen & Oklahoma wins a national title, won’t it be weird having their one loss come to Texas Tech?
#6 The 53-30 loss hurts, but you can’t beat yourself up over losing to Oregon. Right at this minute you can easily argue that Oregon is the best team in college football. On the other hand, you can’t turn the ball over 5 times & be -3 in TO margin & expect to beat the Ducks. Stanford also had a pretty difficult time containing LaMichael James. Stanford still has a shot at memorable season. If Oregon gets to the BCS then Stanford still likely gets into the Rose Bowl. For the most part, Stanford should end the year 12-1 & in the top-5!
#7 Does beating Tennessee 49-7 show us how dominant Arkansas can be or how far Tennessee has fallen on the national stage? I’m going to guess it’s 75% the latter & 25% the former. There is a perception that the SEC is only LSU & Alabama with the rest of the conference being a little weak but Arkansas is tremendous. Even if they lose to LSU they’ll be 10-2 & likely 11-2 after a bowl win. What’s wild is that Arkansas could be the best team in the SEC heading into 2012. Can they shock the world in two weeks?
#8 The Arizona St. loss looks awful now that the Sun Devils just lost to Washington St., but you can’t ignore how well the Trojans have been playing. Hammering Cal & Notre Dame before losing to Stanford in OT only to follow that loss up with dominating wins over Colorado & Washington. They may lose to Oregon & finish the season 9-3, but imagine what could happen next season if Matt Barkley decides to return!? USC is a top-10 team right now. Another year of experience could put them in the national title picture.
#9 Had to be a bit tough on Clemson losing to Georgia Tech & then having to go on bye. Wake Forest isn’t horrible as they beat Florida St. and played Notre Dame tough so Clemson might have been a little dazed getting down 28-14. They settled in to tie it up 28-28 before a last second field goal gave them the 31-28 victory. Keep in mind too that Tajh Boyd didn’t play that well & Clemson was -3 in TO margin. Clemson has to be kicking themselves for the loss. With Stanford & Boise St. going down, Clemson’s chances looked great.
#10 I almost thought it impossible to outplay Kellen Moore in a game, but TCU’s Casey Pachall did just that throwing for 473 yards & 5TD to Moore’s 320 yards & 2TD! The loss hurts as Boise loses 36-35 missing a last second FG for the victory. To be fair, it’s probably best that Boise St. did lose. I think they get blown out by LSU in a championship game, but they weren’t going to get there to begin with which means we’d have to listen to Boise St. arguments for the next year. Was Boise good enough? Bottom line is they weren’t..
#11 With a home game against Kentucky in their SEC finale, Georgia had to take on Auburn to ensure an SEC East title. This was a game some thought UGA might lose, but the Bulldogs left no doubt in humiliating Auburn 45-7 in a huge statement game! There doesn’t seem to be any doubt UGA is going to finish 9-2 (7-1) & win the SEC East. Georgia’s offense was outstanding as Aaron Murray had as many TD passes as he did incompletions. Isaiah Crowell & Carlton Thomas both ran for 100 yards. Don’t count them out.
#12 The Hokies put on a solid road performance beating Georgia Tech 37-26 to ensure they’d get to the ACC Championship game for a rematch against Clemson. For as much talk as Georgia Tech’s rushing attack gets, it was Tech’s David Wilson who had a massive day rushing for 175 yards on 20 carries. Logan Thomas was also excellent rushing for 70 yards & 2TD while passing for 209 yards & 3TD! VT is a tough team. On the one hand their schedule hasn’t been great, but on the other they are 9-1 & could be 12-1 by the end.
#13 Houston has simply decided that scoring 50 points is too easy so now they’ll go for 70 points! The 73-17 win over Tulane was the 2nd time Houston has scored 73 points in the last 3 weeks! Houston has to be THRILLED with Boise’s loss as now the Cougars are likely to get to their first ever BCS Bowl. The BCS bowls could be VERY interesting as we might get Oklahoma St./LSU & Houston/Alabama. That would give us the best two offenses in the nation going up against the best two defenses. Talk about thrilling match-ups!?
#14 The Spartans didn’t let Iowa pull a stunner the way they did against Michigan the week prior. Kirk Cousins passed for 260 yards & 3TD, Le’Veon Bell ran for 112 yards & 1TD, BJ Cunningham caught 2TD passes while the Spartan defense forced 3 turnovers. The Spartans are now 8-2 & should easily get to 10-2 with Northwestern & Indiana on the slate. They are likely to get Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship game & they’ll have to watch out for revenge. This is a very good football team so it’s Rose Bowl or disappointment.
#15 The two losses are nearly forgotten now that Wisconsin has won their last two games by the combined score of 104-30! They absolutely bulldozed Minnesota with Russell Wilson going 16 of 17 for 178 yards & 4TD while Montee Ball & James White combined to rush for 253 yards & 2TD. Wisconsin has to be kicking themselves for the two losses they shouldn’t have lost, but if they win out they’ll get to 10-2 with a shot to avenge the loss to Michigan St. A win there puts them at 11-2 in the Rose Bowl. A win there would be sweet.

DROPPING OUT

#13 PENN ST. NITTANY LIONS: I sort of expected Penn st. to be out after this past week against Nebraska. Although PSU made it close & for a second I thought the Lions might pull off the stunner just to spite everyone and show the program could move forward even amidst scandal. At 8-2, Penn St. could still win out, get to 10-2 & play Michigan St. for a chance to get to the Rose Bowl. My guess is that they lose out, finish 8-4 and wish the season would end as quickly as possible. I wonder if Penn St. loses out will the team decide not to go bowling simply to get away from football for awhile? I’m really interested to see what coach takes this program over in 2012.

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November 13, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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