On a national note their are two things that I'll chalk up as immediate "Goods" from this past Saturday; Iowa and Notre Dame going down. The Hawkeyes had a shot at crashing the BCS title party by remaining undefeated but alas the Wildcats squelched this bid. As for the Golden Domers; we escape seeing them over-matched in a BCS Bowl due to Navy's surgical running attack and glutinous feasting on Irish turnovers.
Another good is ESPN's college football gameday travelling to the good 'ol town of Ft. Worth for the TCU-Utah game Saturday. Their second trip to the MWC in as many weeks and this time its for the day's biggest game. With TCU narrowly clutching that #4 spot this game is a huge tilt that could help the Horned Frogs waiting game.
There's plenty of Bad and Ugly so don't worry all you fans of the gruesome; there are ample train wrecks in the story that follows.
The Big XII
The Good- Kansas State is for real. Bill Snyder's team is playing solid football, they stop the run and they force their run down people's throat. No offense to Colt McCoy but Daniel Thomas should be leader for the Big XII offensive player of the year. Yeah I Said It.
Read More for the rest of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly...
The Bad- Oklahoma's offense. More specifically their run offense. Sure they've gone from a team that was putting up close to 50 points a game to a team with 5 interceptions, 80 rushing yard and only 3 points this past weekend. Those stats are telling but no where near as telling as the fact that the same two backs who gained over 1,000 yards each last season only have 1,072 yards combined with three games left.
The Ugly- Football in the Big XII has taken a massive step back. Just year ago Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Texas Tech and Oklahoma were all flirting with the Top 25 in some facet. From TTU and OU being top ten teams to the Huskers, Tigers and Jayhawks swimming around the bottom fifth of the rankings. Now just Texas and Oklahoma State carry the league's flag; the tables have turned.
The Big East
The Good- Cincinnati did the league a favor. By sacking the Huskies' quarterback on the two point attempt the Bearcats not only saved their bid for a league title and national title shot but they kept the Big East in the Top Five for yet another week. That's more than the ACC, Pac 10 and Big 10 can claim.
The Bad- Cincinnati's shot at cracking into the top two. Texas' schedule is pure cake at this point and the Bearcats don't have enough time or marquee match ups to unseat an undefeated perennially powerful Longhorns team. Bama and Florida may eliminate each other but barring nuclear holocaust below the Mason-Dixon Line both won't fall for the Bearcats to move up.
The Ugly- Syracuse gets a nod here. Not only did the 'Cuse lose their number one receiver last week to "quitting" but they also have lost Arthur Jones and Jonathan Meldrum for the season to knee injuries. Heading into the Louisville game this week they are setting up for the Pillow Fight of the Season.
The Pac 10
The Good- The race for the Pac 10 title is heating up. As it stands now there are five teams within a game of being Pac 10 Champs in some capacity. Of those teams Oregon State, Arizona and Oregon control their own destiny while Stanford and USC need a little outside help to grab a share of the title. It is the type of "down to the wire" battle the league has lacked since Southern Cal assumed their death grip on the west coast.
The Bad- Southern Cal's offense. They're pedestrian in the nicest terms, putrid and grotesque if you want to be more realistic. They were stagnant, uninventive and inept against Sparky's defense. This once great juggernaut has fallen upon hard times; for all the talent they possess they were only able to muster three plays on the positive side of the Sun Devil fifty and only could muster the Damian Williams long score.
The Ugly- Oregon Ducks' defense. They held the Trojans in check but when faced with a focused and committed attack in Stanford they were exposed. Toby Gerhart ran roughshod through their linebacking core and secondary; daring the Ducks to tackle him. He and quarterback Andrew Luck torched the Ducks defense to the tune of 51 points. Perhaps the hype machine for Oregon got started a little too soon.
The Big 10
The Good- The league's one true consistent power has, yet again, risen up to the top as the Buckeyes beat down Penn State. The one team that has shown themselves to be the cream of the Big 10 is once again in the drivers seat to get to the Rose Bowl.
The Bad- Greg Robinson is battling Jon Tenuta for the title of worst defensive coordinator among BCS caliber schools. His Michigan Wolverine defense has allowed both Illinois and Purdue, the Big 10's worst two teams, to pile up 994 yards of total offense in two weeks.
The Ugly- Iowa's dreams of being in national title contention have fallen flat on their face. Ricky Stanzi was the only thing willing them to victory and with the ankle sprain in the first half of the Northwestern game their Big 10 title hopes went straight down the drain. They may make another appearance next week as the Buckeyes are looking to dismantle the Hawkeyes.
The Good- The Yellow Jackets escaping from the Demon Deacons. Paul Johnson showed he's got a set on him in going for the first down and the win, not the tie and in turn he saved the league a lot of grief. With the Jackets sitting in their at #7 they've got an outside shot at keeping an at large bid, regardless of if they win the ACC Title.
The Bad- Florida State's defense is almost as pathetic as NC State's unit. The Seminoles have the dubious distinction of being one of the few defenses capable of turning an 11 point first quarter lead into a 16 point loss; including a 19 point fourth quarter. With Christian Ponder out for the remainder of the season the Noles defense doesn't get the offensive boost they relied on in their four wins.
The Ugly- Al Groh has been on the hot seat for quite some time and each time, like Rasputin, Groh has returned to keep his job. Keeping his job might be a tougher task this off-season as he's already reshuffled his staff and still managed to lose all goodwill with UVA. It didn't help that Saturday Randy Shannon and his team proved that they don't ever forget. The last time Virginia was in Miami they closed out the Orange Bowl with a 49-7 drubbing of the Canes. Shannon and his boys putting up 52 against the Cavaliers was not an accident.
The Good- Bama and Florida have clinched their respective SEC titles and have set up the marquee match up of the season. I might be wrong but this is probably the first non-BCS game that matches up #1 vs #2 (if it stands) since the 2006 Michigan-Ohio State game.
The Bad- South Carolina's posturing that the late season swoon is a figment of the media's imagination. They've lost so many games in November over the last few seasons that it is commonplace. In the last quarter of their last two seasons (8 games over 2 seasons) they've lost six games. It is not a trend when it happens at a 75% clip. This season is shaping up to be no different as they're already 0-2 in the last quarter with Florida and Clemson on the schedule.
HT: LSU Freek
The Ugly- SEC conspiracy theorists just got plenty of more juice as the Bama-LSU game got to its waning moments. The Tigers were still in the game and defensive back Patrick Peterson made a heck of a play on a McElroy pass to intercept the football. However, officials called the pass incomplete and a couple plays later the Tide scored on a long Julio Jones touchdown. Things that make you go hmmm...