Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The college football season just keeps rolling on, and things are getting tense. The Big 12 and the SEC appear to be ready to go down to the wire. However, there are plenty of other schools from around the country who are ready to put their stamp on the title hunt as well. Let’s take a look at where everyone stands in the Walker-Sports Top 25 Poll after another week of action.
1) Texas Longhorns: The Longhorns has their first true test of the season and they handled it well. Oklahoma State game at Texas with everything they had, but in the end, Colt McCoy and company proved to be too tough to bring down.
2) Alabama: On the road in the SEC, no problem for Nick Saban’s crew. Alabama made the trip to Tennessee and they put together a solid performance. With LSU getting knocked off, the SEC West should be all Bama’s for the taking.
3) Penn State: Great game on the road in a hostile environment that has dominated Penn State since the 1970’s. To this point it has been the Penn State spread offense that has been the talk of the town. However, Saturday night PSU showed they still have a dominate defense. The Buckeyes had no where to run and were shut down all day long.
4) Florida Gators: Kentucky was supposed to be a test and the Gators beat them 63-5. Do you think that Urban Myers was looking to get some extra love from the pollsters by running up the score? It wouldn’t be the first time he tried such an act.
5) Texas Tech: Texas Tech just might be real… maybe. Saturday they went on the road to Kansas and destroyed them. Granted, Kansas does not appear to be as good as we originally thought, but the Red Raiders are a team that must be respected. The schedule will not get any easier with top ranked Texas coming up next weekend.
6) Georgia Bulldogs: The Georgia Bulldogs are legit. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the 52-38 thumping they put on LSU, the worst home lost the Tigers have ever suffered. Georgia is legit and they are going to make a strong play to win the SEC. A rematch with Alabama could be huge.
7) Oklahoma Sooners: The Oklahoma Sooners are doing everything right. But time is running short on them if they want to get back into the National Title hunt. As long as Texas is winning, the Sooners will continue to be locked out of the Big 12 title race and as a result the national title as well.
8) USC: I keep getting this sneaking feeling that USC is going to back their way into the BCS scene. USC was not impressive in their win over Arizona but then again Arizona is not ranked. Nonetheless, USC is still doing their thing and waiting for Oregon State to lose.
9) Utah: Not a whole lot to see here. Utah keeps trucking along and as long as they can avoid a pitfall Utah will keep their invitation to crash the BCS party in January.
10) Boise State: The kings of the WAC continue their reign at the top. Playing on random nights also helps to give this team plenty of national exposure. They will need to continue to impress and do it big time if they want back in on the BCS hunt.
11) Oklahoma State: A tough lost on the road for Mike Gundy and company. However, the Cowboys are still a stacked team. Saturday they get Iowa State and even though they dress like USC, they have a very long way to go before they can come close to playing like them. Oklahoma State will get their program back on track Saturday.
12) Tulsa: Undefeated and just rumbling along. Tulsa is a team that many have not seen, but they may run the best spread attack this side of Florida. Tulsa most likely won’t figure into the BCS scenario but they are a great team to watch and you can bet they’d give any WAC or Mountain West team a run.
13) Ball State: Much like Tulsa Ball State is just a good story. Jason Whitlock has been all about this team all year. Granted, that actually hurts this team in my book, but I can overlook that and see a good team in Ball State. Perhaps there should be an one off game were Tulsa and Ball State can meet up in since they will just miss out on the BCS but are far too good to play in their conferences respective bowls.
14) Missouri Tigers: Missouri snapped a two game losing streak by destroying Colorado. Mizzu is likely out of the Big 12 title hunt, but they are in prime position to make a repeat trip to play in the cotton bowl.
15) Florida State: Seemingly this team has come out of nowhere. Florida State has not done any very well all season, but they have not done anything poorly. Right now they have to be considered odds on favorite to win the ACC Championship.
16) TCU: TCU continues their winning ways with their beat down of Wyoming. The only blemish on the TCU record is a lost to a then top ranked Oklahoma Sooner’s team. It will be interesting to see where TCU lands when all the dust has settled.
17) BYU: Back to their winning ways, but t has to seem a little deflated with the hopes of a BCS game gone. One has to think that the BYU vs. Utah game will be huge with BYU’s goal to upset Utah’s season.
18) Minnesota: They aren’t very good but they are that bad. I liken Minnesota to a poor mans Texas Tech. They have avoided the dangerous chunks of their schedule and won the games they are supposed to win.
19) Michigan State: The Spartans knocked off their instate rivals Michigan on Saturday, but it seems as though everyone who plays UM has done that. Nonetheless, Michigan State has done enough to keep them in the upper part of the Big 10. It looks as though the Spartans will beat out Wisconsin for that trip to the Capital One Bowl.
20) Oregon: Welcome back Oregon Ducks! They’ve only gone through about 15 quarterbacks and there is a chance there are not even the best team in their own state. That hasn’t stopped them from working their way back into the top 25.
21) LSU: Horrible lost at home. That should seal LSU’s fate by knocking them out of the BCS and SEC title races. Now the Tigers will have to play for pride. Also I feel bad for Troy who gets LSU on Saturday.
22) North Carolina: This is a tough ranking for me personally. The Tar heels are a much improved team but I am not completely convinced they are a legitimate Top 25 team. They are alive and well in the ACC competition, so are 9 out of 12 teams. Time will tell with this squad.
23) South Florida: The Big East is horrible. South Florida is the highest ranked team and they are 1-2 in conference. If I was Tulsa I’d be clamoring right now to get the Big East BCS for themselves.
24) West Virginia: See #23 ranked South Florida.
25) Cal: The Cal Bears seem to make the random appearance in the Top 25 here and there, but they can never keep it together for multiple weeks. I have a feeling this trip to the Top 25 will not be any different.
Could there be more of an abject failure at someone's job without any type of ramifications? Could any sport continue in success in spite of its incompetent commissioner (ah, Gary Bettman has ruined the NHL's success...and you thought he was the worst). As any major sporting league's leader ever singlehandedly ruined its all-star game, championship and integrity in one 15 year swoop?
That answer is yes. And that man is Allen Huber "Bud" Selig.
Now sports pundits have come out of Selig's side. Gene Wojciechowski says Bud got it right, no team should win on a rain out. John Kruk and Steve Phillps agreed. But finally Jayson Stark hit the nail on the head. Stark, drawing his on conclusions due to the lack of contact with any prominent Phillie (except Chase Utley), suggested the following reasons for the Phillies and all of Philadelphia (as well as baseball) to be upset:
- They were furious that this game wasn't stopped until Hamels had surrendered the tying run in the top of the sixth, even though the field had begun looking like a veritable Sea World attraction at least a half-hour earlier.
- They weren't happy that it was started in the first place, since glop had already begun falling out of the sky during batting practice and the worsening weather forecast was the No. 1 topic of pregame conversation -- just ahead of how many layers of clothing they were all going to have to wear to avoid frostbite.
- And, most of all, they were incensed by the whole situation -- having their best-laid World Series plans steamrolled by the needless rush to play a game in conditions more suitable for the Iditarod than the most important game of their careers.
- As a complete and utter aside, guess what just came out today. I'm a huge nerd that way, but this is going to be a great way to kill some cold and/or potentially rainy Saturdays.
- Al Sharpton has accused the New York Post of beign racist. Personally, I'd just accuse them of not really being a Newspaper. Anyways, the crux of the issue Steve Serby article regarding Tom Coughlin's actions against Plaxico Burress, specifically saying: "Good for Tom Coughlin. Good for Coughlin for tightening the noose around Plaxico Burress." I think its a loose relation at best. Perhaps collar would have been a better anecdote, but honestly, the fact of the matter is, Burress is really toeing the line and in terms of the Giants relationship with him, I don't really see an issue. Its not racist, because you could have applied it to any player in a similar situation.
- Bizarro World continues: The Titans beat the Colts last night. Now the Titans are undefeated and the Colts are below .500.
- On the good side...The Rays not only left Philly...they left Pennsylvania.
- A.J. Daulerio gives us his insight on Philly Fandom. Highlighted by this: "...the notion that this city's sports teams are perennially doomed to fail [could] reach a whole new level: This isn't a black cat or Bartman or Babe Ruth — this is GOD. Yeah, HE did this to us."
- And finally, EC gives us the 10 Silver Linings for Phillies fans.