If you haven't read Patrick Stevens' column this week check it out as he is still counting down to the Bowl-Pacolypse.As Stevens documents we are now just three teams shy of half way towards the bowl magic number of 68. We've also got some new editions to the eliminated ranks as three more teams got added to last weeks casualties of the 2009 season.
For this second edition of The Eliminator we can first take the time to review last week's contestants; Illinois, Vanderbilt and Washington State. That's right folks, only the Illini were able to overcome the odds and beat The Eliminator.
Both Vandy and Washington State suffered epic beat downs giving up 56 and 40 points respectively enroute to 25 and 26 point drubbings; +5 on insult scale for Vandy for getting thumped at home and -10 for Washington State for playing the game in relative obscurity in San Antonio where even their own fans didn't watch.
Thus Illinois goes back into the hopper as we take a look at this week's contestants for The Eliminator:
Illinois (round two, they live on the edge)
We're up to five contestants this week and we've got a special treat as two of The Eliminators contestants square off against each other in a massively futile battle to the bowl death. Plus a bonus because we have a five loss elimination pending due to NC States love of Murray State and Gardner-Webb.
It should get mighty gruesome this week in The Eliminator...Read more
NC State (-7), Maryland (+7), Colorado (+3), Illinois (+6.5), Purdue (+5.5)
The first favorite in the brief eliminator history is NC State. This isn't so much because of the Wolfpack's overall prowess but rather a direct result of their opponents inability to do anything correct all season. Still it is a scary thought that with five teams up for elimination no team tops a 10 point spread.
The Eliminator crushes Maryland's hopes and dreams
Texas A&M @ Colorado
Illinois @ Minnesota
Purdue @ Michigan
Maryland @ NC State
None of our trusty quartet face a ranked team this week so there are no obvious beat downs in the mold of Vanderbilt and Washington State. However we do get treated to the first death match pillow fight of The Eliminator; NC State hosting Maryland. With two teams set up to be jettisoned into bowl oblivion Carter-Finley should be mildly electric, like a nine volt battery of fun!
The Eliminator deigns to the Maize and Blue by gobbling up Purdue
As you can see Colorado and NC State play hosts while Illinois, Purdue and Maryland get on the road to stave off elimination. As tempting as it is to pick the Golden Gophers in the dome to dismantle the Illini there really is only one clear "homefield disadvantage."
The Eliminator is a sneaky beast as he strikes down the Boilermakers
The Weekly Intangibles:
Colorado enters this game with a two game losing streak and they play Mike Sherman's squad that enters off of back to back wins. The Aggies are starting to rebound and it looks like Dan Hawkins' ugly tenure with the Buffs will endure their second straight bowl-less year.
Illinois comes off their biggest win of the season as they beat Michigan in solid fashion in front of the Champaign crowd. Minnesota is a joker of a team; they're not great but they're not terrible. Illinois should hang around if they can repeat that strong performance of a week ago, staving off The Eliminator.
Purdue will be entering The Big House after Michigan suffered their most humiliating loss of the season; to fellow Eliminator compatriot Illinois. The Boilermakers got embarrassed in Madison by a physical Wisconsin team; luckily this week Michigan isn't near as physical as the Badgers.
On one hand you have the Terrapins who needed overtime to defeat James Madison, got shellacked by California and have been a train wreck from day one. On the other sideline you'll see the Wolfpack who opened the season 3-1 including beating current #12 Pittsburgh. The Pack has given up 45 points or more in three straight games and while Maryland's offense is inept at times their defense has been decent since the Cal debacle.
The Eliminator goes out on a limb and takes the lone favorite NC State.
The good thing is that at least one team will be officially eliminated because of the NC State-Maryland contest. However for The Eliminator to do his business he must break through to select just one team for sure disintegretation from our bowl picture.
The Eliminator selects Purdue as this weeks tasty treat to devour and whose dreams they will crush for yet another season.
Purdue can take the train home for the Holidays.
Next week there should be plenty of Eliminator fodder as NINE teams enter this weekend within one game of being sent home.