Results tagged ‘ College Football ’

Leach's Top-10, calm-before-the-storm edition

Looks like a relatively quiet week of CFB before things really start heating up next week. If you want some, you know, BASEBALL, check out today’s tidbits or of course head over to the main site.

On with the top-10. In a couple of weeks I’ll start doing it in SMQ/Matt Hinton/Dr. Saturday style, with votes based strictly on what teams have accomplished. For now it’s a combination of subjective ratings and what they’ve accomplished. I.e., Hinton’s got Bama No. 1 and I just can’t do that.

1. USC. Virginia was overrated last year and not as good this year, but still that was a serious beatdown. Sanchez looked great, and that was my only question. If he’s a stud, they’re as good as anybody.

2. Missouri. I expect to drop them as they play a string of cupcakes, but as of now, they are the only one of my preseason top-10 with a win over a good team.

3. Florida. Sadly, few top teams had a better win than UF’s thumping of a Hawaii team that’s going to fall a loooong way from last year. Gators throttle Miami on Saturday, btw.

4. tOSU. If Wells is OK, I still think they’re the best team.

5. Oklahoma. I overrated them last year, so I could be doing the same. But I think they’re pretty outstanding.

6. Georgia. GSU is a better opponent than you probably think.

7. Oregon. UW is no power, but that looks like a very good win.

8. Bama. Boy was I wrong on Clemson.

9. Cal. Good win over a good team. Pac-10 could be strong again, despite at first looking to me like it was going to be down from last year.

10. LSU. Good win under tough circumstances.

Teams to watch: South Florida, Wisconsin, Penn State, Utah

Game of the week: I’m going to go off the board a little bit and say Wake Forest-Mississippi. Two very interesting under-the-radar teams. And kudos to WF for opening with two teams from major conferences. I’ll take Wake by 10 or so, but an interesting matchup.

FSU comment of the week: I’m very eager to see this offensive line, even against a bad FCS team. The lack of depth is very, very scary, but I think the talent might be very good. IF they stay healthy, it could turn out to be a quality unit.

-M.

Leach's Top-10, Let's Get Started! edition

My 10 best teams in the country, regardless of schedule…

1. Ohio State. So much experience, so much depth on the lines and at the skill positions. Fearsome team.

2. Oklahoma. See tOSU.

3. Georgia. Of course, even if they are the best team in the country, they could go 8-4 with that schedule.

4. Florida. Injuries are a major issue, but at full strength, who can stop them?

5. USC (west). Defense is scary good, and I believe Sanchez can get it done.

6. Clemson. Just beat the teams they’re supposed to beat and they’ll contend for the big prize.

7. Missouri. Color me skeptical, but willing to be won over.

8. Wisconsin. Same as it ever was.

9. South Florida. My sleeper of the year. I like this team a LOT.

10. LSU. Gotta have a QB.

-M.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

So, your faithful correspondent is enough of a sick college football junkie as to be watching Boise State play Hawaii at midnight. And it’s been a pretty good game (though no match for the afternoon’s Arkansas-LSU insanity). But a sign that I just spotted in the Hawaii crowd made it more than worth staying up. It read:

Eat
S
pam,
P
otato
N
ation

How bloody brilliant is that? Generally those ABC/CBS/ESPN/FOX signs are just achingly stupid, not to mention forced. But this one, none of those problems. It’s appropriate, with the whole Spam/Potato Hawaii/Idaho dichotomy. It’s clever and funny. And they didn’t have to resort to using the third letter of any of the words to make the acronym work.

Thumbs up to you, clever Hawaii football fan.

-M, impressed by Hawaii’s speed on defense but still convinced they’re vastly overrated.

Dear college football commentators:

And I’m looking at YOU, Bob Davie, among others:

There is only one viable Heisman candidate now that Dennis Dixon is hurt. Tim Tebow is so clearly better than anyone else, it’s ridiculous. Almost 2900 passing yards, 26 TDs and 6 INTs. 749 RUSHING yards on 181 carries, that’s a little over 4 per carry when many of his carries are short yardage and when sacks count against his rushing yards. TWENTY RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS.

If, Mr. Davie, the only argument you can make against him is "He’ll have his chances, it’s too early," that’s just absurd. This guy dominates games. He changes games like nobody else. This is not a "wide-open year." There is one clearly dominant player in college football. Ignore that he’s a sophomore. He is the guy.

And I’m a Florida State fan!

-M.

(oh, and one other thing — THIRTY-SEVEN TO SIX!)

Leach's Top-10, World Series edition

1. LSU. Look at it this way — the team that beat them, Kentucky (on the road, in triple overtime), is better than anyone that BC, Ohio State, ASU or Kansas has played all year. So, yeah, those guys are undefeated, but seriously, based on performance record, LSU has done the most. And they’re the best team in the country. No way you’d pick anybody else against them on a neutral field right now.

2. Oklahoma. Their loss is worse than LSU’s loss, but they’re building a nice assortment of wins. Basically I’ve just reassessed the values of the one-loss teams versus the undefeateds. I reserve the right to reassess again every week (like if BC wins in Blacksburg this week).

3. Ohio State. Same deal as last week with the undefeateds. I can’t tell their resumes apart, and I think tOSU is the best team. Play somebody, already.

4. Arizona State. They get a chance to really make some noise, starting this week against Cal. The Pac-10 is going to be fantastic over the next several weeks.

5. Boston College. Some of their wins get less impressive with time; who knew NCSU would be this bad? I still like this team a lot.

6. Oregon. Maybe the third best team in the country, honestly. They’re really impressive; finally got to watch them some in the UW game, and they’re excellent.

7. Florida. They almost beat LSU, then they handled Kentucky. Dismantled Tennessee. They’re extremely good.

8. Missouri. That was a really good win this past week. I’m consistently a Mizzou doubter, but there’s just not much not to like about these guys this year.

9. VaTech. Schedule gets interesting from here.

10. Kansas. In a nod to my former associate reporter, whose team notched a pretty good win this week.

There were a lot of teams that it was hard to keep out, and they’re all somewhat indistinguishable. USC, South Florida, West Virginia — I could have put them all in the 8, 9 or 10 spot.

Other teams to watch: Michigan, Alabama.

Game of the week: VaTech-BC, no doubt about it. But to pick a Saturday game, I’ve got to go with USC-Oregon, which kicks off the finishing derby in the Pac-10. SC can get right back in the title picture, or Oregon can validate itself even more. I’m picking the Ducks.

-M, in the media workroom at Fenway.

Leach's Top-10, Miami Week edition

It is Miami Week, which means six days of excitement followed by one day of absolutely excruciating agony. Losing to Miami is much more painful than beating Miami is good. Then again, this year FSU-Miami is probably relegated to ESPN8, The Ocho, anyway…

1. South Florida. Easily the best resume of any undefeated team, with wins at Auburn and over W.Virginia. Those are two wins better than anything that either BC or tOSU has.

2. Ohio State. More a power vote than a resume vote. I just can’t really distinguish what they’ve accomplished from what BC and ASU have accomplished. Since I think they’re the better team, they get the spot.

3. Boston College. I remain really high on this team. We’ll see how they fare in eight days when they go to Blacksburg. Win that, and they’re legitimate contenders.

4. Arizona State. Like BC, a week off and then the schedule gets grueling. Like BC, if they win out, they have every argument for playing in the title game.

5. LSU. Easily the best resume of the one-loss teams, having beaten South Carolina and VaTech, two teams that are otherwise undefeated, as well as a UF team that is far better than its two losses indicate. If everybody ends up with one loss, LSU should play in the title game. And in fact, if LSU wins out from here, with Auburn, at-Alabama and the SEC title game still to come, they might deserve to be there anyway.

6. Oklahoma. I believe LSU and OU are the two best teams in the country, but OU doesn’t quite have the number of good wins that LSU has, and OU’s loss is a little worse.

7. Cal. Two good wins, one not-good-but-not-inexcusable loss.

8. South Carolina. They beat…

9. Kentucky.

10. Missouri. Hanging with OU in Norman is not a bad loss at all.

Teams to watch: Florida, Auburn (getting better and better), Texas Tech (one dropped pass from being undefeated), Michigan.

Game of the Week: For me it’s FSU-Miami. For everybody else, how about TT-Mizzou, which should be extremely entertaining and will tell a good bit about just how good TT is.

-M, with Radiohead’s In Rainbows playing on the speakers.

Leach's Top-10 returns

1. LSU. No comment needed here, right? These guys are ridiculous.

2. Cal. I don’t know that they’re better than tOSU, but their resume is better, with wins over Tennessee and at Oregon.

3. Ohio State. Not sold on Purdue, so I’m not sold on that win. Still, no doubt this is a good squad, and the schedule means they have a better chance to go 12-0 than Cal does.

4. South Florida. 4-5 are much like 2-3 for me. I think I’d pick BC to beat USF on a neutral field, but USF definitely has a better ledger thus far thanks to the wins at Auburn and over WVU.

5. Boston College. I like this team a lot. They’re very complete. But they really don’t have a win to hang their hat on. Get back to me after they go to Blacksburg.

6. Missouri. Undefeated, and some good wins. The Illinois win looks better every week, and winning in Oxford is worth something. If they win at Norman (and I do not expect they will), they’re a title contender.

7. South Carolina. The best resume of any one-loss team, with their only loss at Baton Rouge and wins at Georgia and over Kentucky.

8. Oklahoma. I still think on a given day this team might be the second-best in the country.

9. Oregon. If Cal is my No. 2, then I can’t dock them too much for their only loss coming against Cal.

10. Illinois. PSU and Wisconsin were probably both overrated, but they’re both good wins, and their only loss is to an undefeated club.

Teams to watch: ASU, VaTech, Tennessee, Kansas, FSU.

Game of the week: I’ll go with the obvious one, OU-Mizzou. I do think LSU will have a tough time in Lexington, but this will probably be the most telling game. If MU even hangs close in Norman, it indicates that they’re legit. If they win, look out. If OU destroys them, that says a good bit too. Plus it makes for a rare week where I’m glad to be a CFB fan in Big XII country.

-M, with iTunes shuffling.

Leach's Top-10

Let’s tee it up! Tonight is a night for burgers, beer (OK, gardenburgers and Bud Select, because I’m dieting, but still) and college football! Color me extremely excited. I’m still not a BlogPoll member, so in the meantime, I’ll be trying to provide weekly top-10s.

The reminders: 1, this is not a prediction. I don’t factor schedule in on my preseason poll. 2, I don’t believe in inertia. Just because SC is No. 1 this week, doesn’t mean they will still be in 3 weeks even if they keep winning. If somebody else is more impressive, they get bumped up.

1. USC. Unbeatable? Of course not. Best team in the country? Absolutely, to my eye.

2. Michigan. Deep, talented, experienced. I believe they’ll be reloading on defense; lot of bodies gone but a lot of talent returning. This is a very good team.

3. LSU. Very, very good. And probably a betterbet to make the title game than the team I have ahead of them,
because they only have one daunting road game (Alabama). If Flynn is good, these
guys are awesome.

4. Virginia Tech. The more I look at this team, the more I like them. Experience in all the right places (lines, QB) and deep at the skill positions. This is a scary team.

5. Oklahoma. The QB situation is the only thing that keeps me from putting this team as high as No. 3. So much talent coming back, a big-time D, and they were better last year than anyone realized — thanks to the Oregon loss. If Bradford is even pretty good, this team is a serious title contender. I’ll take Stoops over Brown any day.

6. Texas. People love this team, but some things about them really scare me. Lots of turnover on O-line and in the secondary, and those are two places where learning on the job can be tough. A&M is the only scary road game, plus of course the OU game in Dallas, but the sked is pretty friendly.

7. Wisconsin. Not sure what to make of this team, but I expect that Donovan will be another in the line of steady, "game-managing" Wisconsin QBs, so they won’t see much dropoff from Stocco.

8. West Virginia. I’m not sold on them, even at
this position. They’ll score a lot of points, but I think they’ll give
up a lot too.

9. Florida. By the end of the year, I think they’ll be extremely good. At the start of the year, all the turnover makes me nervous. As exciting as Tebow is, we still don’t know whether he can actually run an offense. Maybe the hardest top team for me to figure.

10. FSU. Yeah, I’m a fan. But hey — SMQ had them higher than this at one point this month, and Phil Steele has them No. 8. They’ll stop the run, they should run better, they have their best secondary in ages, and, well, the QB play HAS to be better with actual coaching, right?

Just missed: Louisville, Penn State, Alabama, Cal, Oregon

Sleepers and/or much improved teams (ie, the football version of M’s I-Have-A-Feeling teams): UCLA, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami

Deep, deep sleeper: Vanderbilt. Really interesting team with tons of experience. It’s now or never.

Game of the week: Cal-Tennessee. I really like the Pac-10 this year, and I expect Cal to handle them. But we shall see…

-M, with Ryan Shaw playing on the speakers. Lucky Seven still to come today.

Leach's Top-10

Top 3 are easy…

1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. Louisville

For what it’s worth, I don’t think there should be an OSU-UMich rematch, basically no matter what. It’s not fair to the winner — shouldn’t have to beat the same team twice in a row.

4. Florida — The best résumé of the pack of 1-loss teams, but tough to put here for two reasons. I think Texas is a better team, and Auburn, who’s also in this mix, beat them.

5. Cal — A bad loss at Neyland, but since then they’ve been incredible. Maybe playing as well as anyone right now. If they win out and UL loses, they’ll have a really strong case .

6. Auburn — I know they lost to Arkansas, but even with that, I think their body of work is stronger.

7. Texas — Head to head, I think they’d beat Florida or Auburn, maybe even Cal (though wouldn’t that be a great bowl matchup?), but they don’t have the quality wins of those teams. And they were thumped on their home field, even if it was by the No. 1 team in the country.

8. USC — I had Arkansas here, but you just can’t ignore 50-14 on somebody’s home field. SC can rise or fall quickly. Beat Cal and ND, and their case is arguably the strongest save a 1-loss SEC champ. Lose to Cal and ND, they’re a non-factor. Huge stretch for them.

9. Arkansas — Like SC, they can climb or fall a lot. Tennessee and LSU both come to their house, so they have a legit shot at 11-1 and an SEC title game trip.

10. LSU — Yup, SEC bias here. Their two losses are on the road against outstanding teams, and they have a great win at Neyland Stadium. If you think ND should be in this spot, I have no problem with that. Wisconsin and WVU are a step down to me.

Other teams to watch: Rutgers of course; that’ll be a fun game tomorrow night… Oregon; can’t wait for the late game vs. SC… Maryland… Texas A&M.

Still shuffling iTunes,
-M.

Two Weeks to Go

Sadly, only two more weeks of college football remain before bowl season. I hate how quickly the season disappears. However, if you watched this weekend, you saw why those of us who are fanatical about the game feel the way we do…

* Reggie Bush isn’t human, and that SC-Fresno game was incredible stuff.

* GT-Miami was a tremendous game with enormous implications, the kind of game that shows off the every-week-is-huge nature of college football.

* And of course Harvard-Yale, where the mighty Crimson triumphed for a fifth year in a row. Congrats to Brown on that Ivy League title, but don’t get too comfortable with it.

* Don’t forget the two great finishes, OSU-Michigan and Oklahoma-Texas Tech.

Just great stuff. Here’s to one more wonderful weekend, and then a memorable day of conference championships in a week and a half.

-M.

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