Back at the Chateau and slowly recovering from the Heels beat down of the Canes. I've got plenty of ruminations on the weekend and a ton of commentary to provide for the events of the last Saturday. Notre Dame appears to be saying adios to Chah-LEE and the Bearcats are welcoming in the BCS pundits. They're undefeated and proud of it as TCU, Cinci and Boise just lie in wait for Bama, Florida and Texas to stumble.
In related news the Yellow Jackets slowly make their case for one loss teams and the biggest UGLY of the week, USC, is definitely an issue. In related news Toby Gerhart is becoming a national player in the Heisman Race and if he isn't then he should be. Between the USC surprise, the Steve Addazio dive game and the Buckeye's seventh Big Ten title in a row things got crazy.
No sense in waiting around we'll get right into The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of week 11.
The Pac 10
The Good- Stanford is for real. In back to back weeks the Cardinal have beaten down the Oregon Ducks and the USC Trojans. They've handed both of them serious whippings and their efforts have pushed Jim Harbaugh, Andrew Luck and Toby Gerhart squarely into the national spotlight. Harbaugh is getting a major extension from Stanford while Gerhart is getting some Heisman run.
The Bad- Southern California's defense is bad. They're just downright bad. They Cardinal and Gold gave up embarrassing numbers to Oregon then two weeks later go out and get smashed by Stanford. The Cardinal were more physical than Carroll's squad, they were hungrier and they were definitely playing harder. When the Trojans have complained about the possibility of going to a bowl besides the Rose Bowl I doubt they had the Sun Bowl in mind.The Ugly- Roll Bama Roll produces one of my favorite segments every week; their It's Meltdown Time is just classic. Well the Southern Cal segment was epic and the fact that their are Trojans fans out there who truly believe its time to fire Pete Carroll shows a lot of the ugly in college athletics. Here's a man that has had a stranglehold on the Pac 10, has won every BCS Bowl game but one and has USC at the front of every major high school recruits list and fans want him axed because of a bad year (3 losses).
The Big XII
The Good- The Longhorns are peaking at the right time in two fashions. First of all their peaking just as the league as a whole is tanking it. After several prosperous years of eating fat the Big XII is slumping mightily. Two because of the Longhorns need to play well heading into a title game where they'll likely be underdogs.
The Bad- Speaking of the league's slump outside of Oklahoma State and Texas their are no solid teams. None of the league's other ten teams are ranked and all of the teams have at least four losses. It will be an interesting bowl season for those making selections as the Big XII additions look less than favorable.
The Ugly- Much like Pete Carroll, Big Game Bob is having a rough go of it. The Sooners faithful are quite restless; despite losing their starting tight end, Heisman winning quarterback and much of their offensive line. The rumor of Bob Stoops to Notre Dame has received mixed reviews but the fire that Stoops is under is very real.Its a dog eat dog world out there but if Sooners don't see the positive of Stoops they might be losing out on the man who resurrected their program.
The Big East
The Good- Pittsburgh is taking of business now and that is the best thing that the league could ask for. Sure the Panthers lost to a deplorable NC State team but Wannstedt has righted the ship and is handling their league games and escaping with quality wins. He's a week away from setting the stage for a Top 10 Big East battle between Cincinnati where both teams could walk away with BCS bowl bids.
The Bad- Cincinnati's hopes of jumping TCU are slim and none. The Horned Frogs body of work is relatively equal to the Bearcats and if the Clemson Tigers win the ACC they'll get a boost that beating Pitt won't offset. It is a bad position to be in, especially with the school fighting to try and hang on to Brian Kelly being unable to leap a non-BCS school does not help.
The Ugly- The Box Score from the Syracuse-Louisville Contest. Enough Said.
|FG||08:51||Ryan Lichtenstein 42 Yd||3||0|
|FG||03:54||Chris Philpott 31 Yd||3||3|
|TD||12:58||Delone Carter 3 Yd Run (Two-Point Conversion Failed)||9||3|
|TD||01:24||Josh Chichester 15 Yd Pass From Adam Froman (Chris Philpott Kick)||9||10|
|Team Stat Comparison|
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
The Big 10
The Good- Sending the league's best team is going to the Rose Bowl seemed like quite a coup just a few weeks ago but now the Buckeyes have righted the Big 10's ship. Sure the suspense and drama of Iowa and Penn State were great stories but truly Ohio State is the cream of the Big 10 crop and putting them in the Rose Bowl puts their best foot forward.
The Bad- The Wolverines have six losses. They've got one more game left against the Buckeyes. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that in year two Rich Rodriguez will be staying at home for the hays yet again. Not what the Maize and Blue had in mind when they hired RR and most definitely not what they dreamed when they crept into the rankings after beating Notre Dame earlier this season.
The Ugly- Over the last few years Greg Robinson has become Schleprock. It started at Syracuse but now his cloud has shifted to Michigan upon his arrival. He's taken a Michigan defense that was mediocre a season ago and made them into a monument to ineptitude. They're absolutely horrible and lack the ability to stop anyone. They've given up 1,463 yards in the last three games; losses to Purdue, Illinois and Wisconsin.
The Good- Clemson is sitting in the catbird seat and for the first time since the Ford Era they look comfortably ready to close the deal. CJ Spiller is gaining Heisman notice, Kyle Parker is growing up and that Kevin Steele defense is crushing the souls of the opposition. Tommy never ushered in such confidence and its interesting to see the Tigers walk into the Valley with a trip to Tampa in their hands.
The Bad- The collapse of Wake Forest has been one of the most under-documented events of this past season.The team that in just three years removed from an ACC title, sent several players to the NFL and had one of the hottest coaching commodities in recent history has fallen back to earth. They're now out of bowl contention for this season and for guys like senior quarterback Riley Skinner, they've fallen from the ACC title to a 5-7 senior year at best.
The Ugly- The league's bowl picture looks grim. Just a season ago the ACC had ten teams bowl eligible and put ten teams into bowl games, a record. This season Virginia, Wake Forest, Maryland and NC State are already locked out of the bowl picture leaving just 8 teams possible. Throw in the fact that Duke is 5-5 with Miami on the schedule and the league is looking at a mere seven teams going bowling. And FSU is not a given either.
The Good- Florida and Alabama are staying the course. They took care of business in obvious trap game scenarios and are still keeping their squads on the straight and narrow. December 5th should live up to the top billing between #1 and #2.
The Bad- Chris Todd has looked good in spots for the Tigers but this play was just bad. There is no other way to describe this play besides bad. Unless you say hilarious, because it is that too.
The Ugly- LSU has got to be slowly starting to realize how ugly this season's end is going to be. The Tigers are #8 in the BCS right now, will likely in prove my a spot or two before the season's all over. That sounds great except they will be barred from a BCS Bowl Game.
Sure, in theory the top 2 teams go to the BCS National Title Game, then the automatic qualifiers from other leagues assume their positions in their respective bowl games and leave the at-large bids to teams ranked 3-14 in the BCS Poll selected by the bowl committees.
Well here is where LSU is about to get absolutely livid; Alabama and Florida will make two SEC teams in the BCS. There's a cap of two teams from a league appearing in BCS games, ergo LSU will be sitting at #8 or higher but will be barred from a BCS game. With all due respect to Boise State, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State and any other team in that area; LSU is better than you.
Let the hatefest begin.