Monday, October 31, 2005

USC Back on Top of the BCS

Southern Cal regained the top in the Bowl Championship Series Rankings this week. Texas fell back to No. 2, but still held the to spot among the computers.

Despite three losses, Bob Stoops and Oklahoma make their first apperance in the BCS rankings of 2005 at No. 25. The Sooners are ranked 32nd in the polls, but a surprising 21st in the average computer rankings.

No. 24 Fresno State, No. 23 Cal, and No. 20 Auburn are the only teams ranked in the BCS that are not ranked among the top 25 in the average computer rankings.

The Bulldogs also debut in the BCS rankings for the first time ever.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The State of Tennessee

This year's Volunteer team is one of the most talented ever in Phil Fulmer's years at Tennessee. What has happened? The answers are being said at Voluminous.

I say it is the loss of Brent Schaeffer to the College of Sequoias in Visalia, Ca. I am just being facetious, but Schaeffer's athletic ability might have jump started a Volunteer offense this year that has been rather stagnet.

Does Tennessee need to make a coaching change? The things that are happening on Rocky Top, do not usually happen on well coached teams.

Since winning the national title in 1998, Fulmer and Tennessee have gradually gone down in performance every year. Fulmer has gotten some the best recruiting classes in the nation since 1998, but has only one BCS bowl to show for it.

Peach Bowls and Cotton Bowls are nice if you are a Gamecock, but not a Volunteer. The fans of Tennessee deserve better. There is no reason in the world why Tennessee should lose more than three games in a year, let alone four in the first seven games. With a trip to Notre Dame this week and a potential landmine against rival Vanderbilt, the Volunteers may finish under .500 for the first time since 1988.

Ironically, 1988 was the year Steve Spurrier took an underdog team (Duke) into Knoxville and beat mighty Tennessee, 31-26. History does tend to repeat itself. A 5-6 season would all but seal Fulmer's fate in my opinion, but the guy did win a national title and should be entitled to at least one lousy season.

The problem is Tennessee was not rebuilding this year, nor do they have insurmountable injuries. Riggs just got hurt last week, and UT was already 3-3. The Volunteers are just not getting it done on the football field. Players play and coaches coach, but both work together to win. Tennessee ain't winning, and it is easier to get rid of one head coach than over 100 football players.

Norm Chow is coaching in the state of Tennessee these days. Chow has been itching to get his hands on a college program. I doubt a major program like Tennessee will hand over the reigns to a first year head coach like Chow, but former Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt has done wonders at Georgia in his first head coaching stint.


Week 10 Blogpoll Top 25 Ballot

  1. Southern Cal- (1)
  2. Virginia Tech- (2)
  3. Texas- (3)
  4. Alabama- (5)
  5. Louisiana State- (6)
  6. Notre Dame- (7)
  7. Ohio State- (8)
  8. Penn State- (9)
  9. Miami- (10)
  10. Georgia- (4)
  11. Florida State- (11)
  12. UCLA- (13)
  13. Oregon- (14)
  14. Auburn- (15)
  15. Florida- (21)
  16. Michigan- (24)
  17. Wisconsin- (20)
  18. Fresno State- (17)
  19. West Virginia- (19)
  20. Boston College- (12)
  21. Colorado- (22)
  22. Northwestern- (16)
  23. Texas Tech- (23)
  24. TCU- (24)
  25. Georgia Tech- (nr)

out- Tennessee(18)

just missed- Louisville, Cal, Michigan State, Rutgers

on the radar- Colorado State, Oklahoma, Boise State

last weeks top 25 ballot

last weeks Blogpoll

Games I Watched: Boston College-Virginia Tech(all), Colo State- New Mexico(1st half), North Carolina-Miami(2/3), Georgia-Florida(3/4), Fresno State-Hawaii(all), UCLA-Stanford(on 2nd TV) small parts of: Wisc-Illi, Texas Tech-Baylor,USC-WSU, Wash-Ariz St, UM-NW, Texas-OK ST, Tenn-SC


  • USC is clicking, is anyone going to be the Trojans.
  • Virginia Tech is extremely good on defense and special teams, its scary. The Hokies will not get any respect nationally until they beat Miami on Saturday.
  • Texas' win at Oklahoma State was not pretty, but the Horns did dominant the Pokes in the second half, 35-0.
  • Alabama should win at least nine games, which I predicted, but need to win out to secure a spot in Atlanta.
  • LSU is quietly humming along, a win at Bama will all but secure a spot in Atlanta.
  • Ohio State needs Wisconsin or Michigan State to beat Penn State if the Buckeyes want a shot at the Big 10 title.
  • Penn State is on pace to claim its first outright Big Ten title since 1994.
  • Georgia almost pulled out the win with Joe Tereshinski at qb, but without Shockley, UGA might lose one or two more this season.
  • Florida State needed some late game heroics to get by the Terps.
  • UCLA is going to lose before USC, at Arizona will not be a cake walk. The Cats beat Oregon State in Corvallis, and don't be surprised if they push the Bruins like Stanford.
  • Oregon is hanging around, but if Dixon can not get the job done, the Ducks will drop.
  • Auburn is still in good position to play in Atlanta.
  • Florida has all of sudden gotten back into the SEC title race.
  • Michigan can win a piece of the Big Ten title if they win out and Penn State loses one more.
  • Wisconsin-Penn State winner will be in the driver seat to the BCS.
  • Fresno State's offense, despite over 400 yards output, is not taking advantage of the defense's spectacular play. Hawaii punted only once, and enter FS territory on every drive but came away with only 13 points.
  • Boston College just got embarrassed by the Hokies.
  • Colorado is all but a lock to face Texas again for the Big 12 title.
  • Northwestern was just not quite ready to step up.
  • Texas Tech looked impressive against Baylor, but need to finish 10-1 to considered a top 15 team again.
  • TCU survived a scare in San Diego, and the win sets up a MWC showdown for first place with Colorado State this Saturday.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Cardiac Arrest

Down 24-3 with less than 8 minutes to play in the game, UCLA makes the improbable comeback beating Stanford in overtime 30-27.

UGA Goes Down 14-10!

Urban Meyer keeps the folks in Gainesville happy this week, and maybe the year. No matter what happens the rest of the year, Meyer is the first coach in Florida history to beat two teams ranked 4th or higher in his first season.

Florida was lucky D.J. Shockley was injured because backup Joe Tereshinski almost pulled out the win.

With a tough game left against rival Auburn, when Shockley is expected back, and a road game at another rival Georgia Tech; Georgia's dream season may fall apart sooner than you can "spell" Tereshinski.

Old School Miami

No offense to the Hurricanes, but what is up with the throwback uniforms. There has not been a more dominant college football program in my lifetime, from the early 80's until present, but Miami sucked back in the mid 60's. There is no need to glorify a time in a program when the Hurricanes sucked.

Miami wore green jerseys and gold pants from the 1966-67 seasons and gold helmets adorned with two hurricane warning flags. Not only did Miami suck in the first half, the uniforms sucked just as much.

At least the 'Canes came back from 16-7 at the half to beat North Carolina, 34-16.

Friday, October 28, 2005

More on Moore

DonTrell Moore has just become the 6th player in NCAA history to have rushed for 1,000 yards in each of his four years.

Moore joins college greats: Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh, 1973-76), Amos Lawrence (North Carolina, 1977-80), Denvis Manns (New Mexico State, 1995-98), Ron Dayne (Wisconsin, 1996-99), and Cedric Benson (Texas, 2001-04).

Friday Night Lights

Colorado State and New Mexico are battling for second place in the Mountain West Conference. The Rams walk into University Stadium expecting to win, their only loss in conference play has been at BYU. The home team Lobos have all everything running back DonTrell Moore.

Colorado State head Coach Sonny Lubick is just one win away from his 100th win at Colorado State. Lubick and company have already matched last year's win total and are hoping to return a bowl game this year. The Rams still control their own destiny for a MWC title, but they must win at Albuquerque before they can think about next week's showdown at TCU.

New Mexico has gone to three straight bowl games, and coach Rocky Long has the Lobos headed in the right direction. Whoever wins tonight will be in position to claim one of the three MWC's bowl tie-ins.

It should be one of the better ESPN2 Friday night games. Moore has always had great games against the Rams, and the trend will continue. New Mexico will come out on top.

They have already taken a 3 point lead. Lobos looked good on their opening drive. Justin Holland and Colorado State will respond, no need to worry about that.

Week 9 Picks

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It is the first time this season that a week has such few marquee games. The best matchup was yesterday's #3 Virginia Tech's 30-10 win over #13 Boston College.

The Biggest Games(ranked by significance)

1. Georgia vs Florida- I have asked this question before, is
Georgia that good or is the SEC just really average this year? Georgia beat up on Boise State's worse team in the Dan Hawkin's era, and tore through a so-so Tennessee team in Knoxville. Florida has a win over that same so-so Volunteer team, but got them at home, other than that Florida has not impressed anybody.

Essentially, the neutral site game in Jacksonville is a Florida home game, and will be a huge factor considering their shortfalls on the road this year. Georgia will be without D.J. Shockley at quarterback and will start junior Joe Tereshinski. Tereshinski is a third generation 'Dawg and has been dreaming about leading his team against the Gators at the Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

Georgia does have some questionable injuries on defense and Shockley loss is very big, but it really should not effect the outcome. Florida is not that good. Urban Meyer's offense has not become the juggernaunt so many thought, and the defense has yet to step and take over a game. All that aside, the Gators are still very talented and this could be the breakout game Meyer needs.

Ron Zook pulled the huge upset over an unbeaten Bulldog team his first year, spoiling Mark Richt and Georgia's run at a national title. The 'Dawgs might lose this year, but it won't be TO the Gators. The ground game will take over and the defense will neutralize the spread. Georgia 24, Florida 13.

2. Ohio State at Minnesota- This game should have been bigger if nor for Minnesota's loss at home two weeks ago to Wisconsin. Many Gopher fan are starting to think that the muffed punt at home against the Badgers has started their yearly demise. A blowout loss at home to Ohio State will certainly validate those thoughts.

The Buckeyes still have a shot at the Big Ten title, and so do the Gophers. Ohio State can claim a share of the title just by winning out, Minnesota needs a couple teams to lose besides winning out. Something has to give Saturday. Minnesota has the nations best rushing offense and Ohio State has the best rush defense.

I like the Buckeyes to dominant. Ohio State 34, Minnesota 20.

3. Michigan at Northwestern- Last week's game against Michigan State was supposed to be the offensive shootout, but Northwestern put the beat down, 49-14. Despite 3 losses the Wolverines are a very good team, and if Penn State loses one more game, UM has the inside track to the Big Ten title.

As good as the Wildcat offense has been, their defense has been bad. Michigan should be able to get their anemic offense on track and have their best performance of the year.

Now, this game will be the must see shootout of the weekend, and it is ESPN HD's Saturday prime time game. Michigan 41, Northwestern 37.

4. UCLA at Stanford- Walt Harris was the Cardinal alumni's most hated individual back on September 17 when Stanford lost to I-AA newcomer UC Davis. Since Harris and the Cardinal have reeled off three straight wins over Washington State, Arizona and Arizona State.

I am saying Stanford can actually beat #8 UCLA? Yes, I am. UCLA's offense is one of the best in the country and last week the Bruins dominated a good Oregon State team. But this will be the toughest road game yet for UCLA. At San Diego State and at Washington State are the only times this year the Bruins have ventured out of L.A.

In 2001 UCLA was 6-0 and ranked in the top ten, but suffered their first loss of the year at Stanford. History does repeat itself, but this time it will be a huge upset. Stanford 44, UCLA 42.

5. Washington State at USC- This is on the list because USC is No. 1 and Washington State has a decent offensive team. USC will win and the game will be just another ABC showcase for former Heisman winner Matt Leinart and future winner Reggie Bush.

Bush continues to corner the Heisman race. USC 55, Washington State 28.

6. Oklahoma at Nebraska- What has happened to the great Cornhusker-Sooner rivalry. The Big 12 ruined the annual showdown, putting the game in its conference rotation, but just five years ago, No. 1 Nebraska was playing No. 2 Oklahoma on this very same weekend in October.

Neither team is ranked for the first time in 39 years, and both are in need of a win. Bob Stoops and the Sooners continue their downward spiral this season. Nebraska 35, Oklahoma 21.

7. Fresno State at Hawaii- The
most underrated rivalry in the country will be on ABC for the West Coast, and Gameplan for the rest of the nation, Saturday at 4pm PT. Preview posted on the Fresno State Football Blog. Fresno State 44, Hawaii 24.

3 Potential Upsets.....

What will Happen- Stanford beats UCLA-see above

What might Happen- Baylor over Texas Tech- The Red Raiders better wake up and shake off last week's blow out loss to Texas.

What is unlikely to Happen-Illinois upsets Wisconsin- Ron Zook needs a big win, the Illini are more than capable of pulling it off.

Betting Man? Surefire Picks!

Miami of Ohio (-22.5) at Temple- The Owls are awful even at Lincoln Financial Field.

Nevada (+21) at Boise State- Third straight week I am going against the Broncos, I'm 1-1 so far.

Kentucky (pk) vs Mississippi State- Kentucky should have no problem getting their first win in conference play.

rest of this week's pick at

previous week

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Screw You Trojans, Let the Band Play

When the Fresno State Athletic Department signed the contract to play USC back in February, specific details about the Bulldog Marching Band were not included.

There is recent news that the University of Southern California Athletic Department is not going to allow the Fresno State's Marching Band to play during halftime or at the game at all.

As its stands now, only 60 members of the 250 plus Bulldog Marching Band will be allowed to dress and enter the stadium with their instruments. The rest of the band will be in attendance, but will not be allowed to dress or enter the stadium with their instruments. There is also the possibility those that who are playing will be separated from those who are not.

At this time there is nothing the University or Marching Band can do officially. There has been no official story released about this matter. This information was obtained from a thread on the Barkboard, posted by a member of the Fresno State Band Council.

If this is true, what is up with USC Athletic Department? Come on Trojan faithful fill me in on the details. What is USC trying to prove?

Does the Athletic Department feel the entire Bulldog Marching Band will out perform the Trojan Marching Band? Fresno State's band is improving, but as far as I know USC's marching band is the only one in the US that has earned a platinum record.

I believe this will be the first time USC will not allow the opposing team's band to perform at halftime. I can understand that, but why not allow the band in the stadium?

There will be over 20,000 Fresno State fans in attendance at the 92,000 seat Coliseum. Would the Bulldog Marching Band have made that much of a difference?

Unless USC has some sort of legitimate reason for not allowing Fresno State's Marching Band to perform, the whole thing is just bull shit.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Most Underrated Rivalry in the Country

Fresno State and Hawaii just hate each other (article from 2003). This game has become such a great rivalry (from 2004) and deserves more national recognition. The rivalry has picked up some steam in recent years, but its roots go back to the 1930's and the hate gained momentum on the basketball courts during the 1990's.

After the 16 team Western Athletic Conference split in 1999, Fresno State and Hawaii remained from the original 10 team WAC. In 1999 the two battled in double overtime to determine the conference champ, but in 2001 Hawaii turned this game into a hated rivalry.

The Jerry Tarkanian Fresno State basketball team of the late '90s were always hated by Hawaii fans and that hate soon transferred over to the football field. 18th ranked Fresno State and David Carr strolled into Aloha Stadium on October 26, 2001 as -6.5 favorites, and left 4 point losers. Hawaii rallied for 22 points in the final quarter for the come from behind win.

The media added insult to injury, by writing a story about the Fresno State Football team trashing the charter plane from Hawaii. The following year Hawaii came to Fresno and won for the first time ever at Bulldog Stadium. The Warriors, again, came from behind to win in the fourth quarter.

Then came the mysterious screwdriver. Hawaii coach June Jones claimed that someone from the hostile Fresno State student section chucked a screwdriver from the stands during the Warriors comeback win. Later, several sources said it fell from a Hawaii team manager's belt.

Did Fresno State trash the charter plan? Did a Bulldog fan really throw a screwdriver? Does it really matter, a rivalry was born. Hawaii whipped up on Fresno State on the Island in 2003, 55-28, but the Bulldogs returned the favor last year with an absolute 70-14 massacre.

For everyone on the West Coast I invite you to tune in this Saturday on ABC, after the USC game, to watch the Most Underrated Rivalry in the Country at 4pm Pacific Time. For everyone else in the country you must have access to ESPN Gameplan to watch the game.

Some of you may doubt the truth of the "hate" in this rivalry. That's fine, but the next time you are visiting or vacationing in Hawaii, I encourage you to wear a Fresno State T-Shirt or hat and wait and see what happens. The hate between these schools is felt, even more, off the playing field.

Blogpoll Roundtable X + 1

It has been a while since I have took part in a Blogpoll Roundtable. I always seem to forget. Fresno State is my team, these answers are in reference to the Bulldogs.

1. Name the five teams, other than yours, whose accomplishments you respect / envy the most.

1. Florida State- Bobby Bowden built the other FSU from the ground up.
2. Virginia Tech- The Hokies were a joke until Beamer showed up. He recruited the state of Virginia hard, and focused on special teams. The result, VT has become a national power. Fresno State most resembles VT in their style of play and philosophy.
3. Miami- A virtual unknown prior to the 1980's, the Canes have become the juggernaunt of all major programs.
4. BYU- The first small school from the West to earn national recognition, even getting a national title along the way.
5. Oregon- The Boys from Eugene really know how to market. They have parlayed a few good seasons, with flashy uniforms and big billboards and created a big green monster. Every kid in America recognizes the Ducks, even though they have know idea where Eugene is. It helps that Nike' boss, Phil Knight, is a fan and alum.

2. With regard to Question #1, what is the most damaging criticism of your program that you will admit is a legitimate criticism? That is, what negative trait does the most damage to the overall respect level of your program.

The Western Athletic Conference is a joke. Fresno State will never get national respect playing is such a week conference. What makes matters worse, for all the glory and fame Pat Hill has brought to Fresno State, he has only won one shared WAC title in 8 years. Unless, Fresno State gets into the Mountain West or beats at least 3 "legitimate" BCS teams every year, the Dogs will get no respect.

3. Who do you think is the best player in the history of your program?

Most would think or say David Carr or maybe Trent Dilfer. Lorenzo Neal was a dominant fullback and is one of the best in NFL history. But the best player in the program's history is Henry Ellard. The 1982 AP All-American set the NCAA record for receiving yards in a season, and was an excellent punt returner. He quietly ranks among the top ten in every major receiving category in the NFL, and will be a Hall of Famer soon.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Texas Unseat USC atop BCS

Texas' overwhelming advantage in the computers has pushed the Longhorns into the number one spot in the latest Bowl Championship Series Rankings.

I thought the BCS formula was changed after the 2003 season to give the polls more say in determining who plays in the BCS championship game. Virginia Tech is a distant third, so I doubt there will be any controversy if all three teams finish unbeaten. But.......

I would love to see what the BCS would say if by some weird chance Virginia Tech gained in the rankings and left USC on the outside looking in.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Updated Bowl Predictions

Much has changed in the last two weeks since I last posted by bowl predictions. The SEC still looks to send two teams to the BCS, but as of now I project the SEC to only have 6 bowl eligible teams. D.J. Shockley's injury will hinder UGA's chance at an unbeaten season, but should not keep them out of the SEC championship. Notre Dame will be the first choice for a BCS at-large berth if they win out. UCLA still has a good shot to finish 10-1, but I project the Bruins to lose one other game besides USC. Texas and Virginia Tech are neck in neck for the Rose Bowl, but I still project the Longhorns to lose one game. Call it the Mack Brown syndrome, but until Texas gets it done, I project an 11-1 season.

The BCS Bowls

  • Rose Bowl- Southern Cal vs Virginia Tech
  • Fiesta Bowl- Texas vs Alabama
  • Sugar Bowl- Georgia vs Penn State
  • Orange Bowl- Notre Dame vs West Virginia

    notes- I project Southern Cal and Virginia Tech as the only unbeatens. Since the Orange Bowl has choice to claim either the ACC or Big East as its "home" team, they will claim the ACC. Therefore, the Orange will be able to have the first at-large choice, a 9-2 Notre Dame. I would not be a surprise if Alabama was the first choice, moving Notre Dame to the Fiesta or Sugar. Since the Orange had the first at-large choice, they will be stuck with West Virginia as the opponent no matter what scenario pans out. Texas and Georgia automatically qualify for their home bowls as conference champions, and I project Penn State to go to the Sugar Bowl as the Big Ten champ. UCLA or Oregon could still finish 10-1 and be an attractive at-large team for the Fiesta Bowl, but at the expense of a one loss Alabama. I project Notre Dame to finish in the top 8 of the BCS standings earning the automatic bid. An Auburn, Colorado, or Florida State could screw everything up with an upset in their respective conference championship game.
Major Bowls
  • Cotton Bowl-Texas Tech vs LSU
  • Capital One Bowl- Auburn vs Wisconsin
  • Holiday Bowl- UCLA vs Colorado
  • Gator Bowl- Louisville vs Miami
  • Outback Bowl- Michigan vs Florida
  • Peach Bowl- Tennessee vs Florida State

notes: I project the Michigan-Ohio State winner will go to the Outback, even though the loser might have the better overall record. UCLA or Oregon is a toss up for the Holiday, but with Kellen Clemons injury, UCLA is the more attractive pick.

Middle of the Road Bowls-

  • Alamo Bowl- Ohio State vs Texas A&M
  • Sun Bowl- Oregon vs Northwestern
  • Liberty Bowl- Southern Miss vs Virginia
  • Insight Bowl- Rutgers vs Stanford
  • Champs Sports Bowl- Boston College vs Oklahoma
  • Meineke Car Care Bowl- Clemson vs Minnesota
  • Music City Bowl- Iowa vs Georgia Tech
  • Independence Bowl- Missouri vs Indiana

notes: I project the Liberty Bowl to fill their at-large spot with a southern team. The ACC should have at least 8 bowl eligible teams, two more than their 6 bowl slots. Since I project the SEC to fall short of eligible teams, the Music City and Independence Bowls will have open slots. The Big East will fall short of meeting it bowl commitments, if Notre Dame is selected for the BCS, which I project. That will leave the Meineke open for an ACC or Big 10 team. I project the Big Ten to have 9 bowl eligible teams, with Indiana being a stretch. I project Stanford to get the edge over Oregon State and Cal for the Insight Bowl, since Oregon State and Cal played in Phoenix the last two years, respectively.

Minor Bowls

  • Houston Bowl- Nebraska vs Fresno State
  • Las Vegas Bowl- TCU vs Oregon State
  • Emerald Bowl- BYU vs California
  • MPC Computers Bowl- Boise State vs Maryland
  • Motor City Bowl- Toledo vs Michigan State
  • GMAC Bowl- Miami of Ohio vs UTEP
  • Fort Worth Bowl- Tulsa vs Washington State
  • Hawaii Bowl- Nevada vs Houston
  • Poinsettia Bowl- Utah vs Navy
  • New Orleans Bowl- Troy vs Memphis

notes: The Houston Bowl has an open spot because of the SEC, and I project that it will be filled by Fresno State. Houston made a similar deal last year with the WAC's UTEP. However, this time I project the Bowl will not have to go behind the conference's back. I project the Big 12 will have only 7 bowl eligible teams leaving the Forth Worth open. Washington State is projected as the 7th bowl eligible team from the Pac 10 and an attractive at-large pick. It is conceivable that the Poinsettia will pursue a Pac 10 team, if Navy decides to go bowling elsewhere.

Week 9 Blogpoll Top 25 Ballot

  1. Southern Cal- (1)
  2. Virginia Tech- (2)
  3. Texas- (3)
  4. Georgia- (4)
  5. Alabama- (5)
  6. Louisiana State- (7)
  7. Notre Dame- (6)
  8. Ohio State- (8)
  9. Penn State- (9)
  10. Miami (Florida)- (10)
  11. Florida State- (11)
  12. Boston College- (12)
  13. UCLA- (16)
  14. Oregon- (14)
  15. Auburn- (18)
  16. Northwestern- (nr)
  17. Fresno State- (17)
  18. Tennessee- (15)
  19. West Virginia- (20)
  20. Wisconsin- (21)
  21. Florida- (22)
  22. Colorado- (23)
  23. Texas Tech- (19)
  24. Michigan- (nr)
  25. Texas Christian- (nr)

out- Michigan State(13), Arizona State(24), Nebraska(25)

just missed- Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Toledo, Cal

on the radar- Stanford, Clemson, Rutgers

last weeks top 25 ballot

last weeks blogpoll

Games I watched: Maryland-Virginia Tech(all), Northwestern-Michigan State(3/4), Tennessee-Alabama(1st and 4th quarter), Fresno State-Idaho(all), Baylor-Oklahoma(OT), LSU-Auburn(most of 2nd half) small parts of: S Miss-UAB, OSU-Ind, USC-Wash, ND-BYU, UCLA-Ore St, Cal-WSU


  • USC, Virginia Tech and Texas all look a step above everyone.
  • Georgia's season hinges on the severity of Shockley's injury.
  • Alabama is just treading water, will lose one to LSU or Auburn.
  • UCLA finally stepped up their game, next week's game at surprise Stanford will be tough.
  • Oregon's chance at a 10-1 season and BCS bowl took a big hit with the injury to Kellen Clemons.
  • Next weeks Northwestern-Michigan game will go a long way in determining the Big Ten title.
  • Fresno State continues to dominate with its defense and special teams.
  • Florida can make a jump back into the SEC East race with a win over Georgia.
  • Texas Tech is a joke? They need to win out to even be considered a top 15 team.
  • Texas Christian will be haunted by the loss to SMU all year.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Week 8 Picks

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Biggest Games(ranked by significance)

1. Texas Tech at Texas- Lets be serious, here! Does anyone actually think the Red Raiders can beat Texas. I could see a possible upset if the game was in Lubbock, but not in Austin. Texas Tech needs to be able to run the ball to beat Texas, something they do not do well.

The Texas defense will dictate the game. Cody Hodges will get hit more against Texas than the previous six games he has played combined. Granted, if the Tech offensive line plays their best game of their careers, and give Hodges time to throw, the game could become interesting.

Texas Tech should have lost at Nebraska, and had a difficult time at home against Kansas. Texas rolls to an easy win. Texas 34, Texas Tech 17.

2. Tennessee at Alabama- All signs point to a Tennessee upset. The Vols looked awful against Georgia, but should rebound this week. Alabama failed to show up last week at Ole Miss, and can not afford to be lackadaisical this week.

Tennessee's chance at an SEC title is all but done, yet big wins against Alabama and Notre Dame on the road could go along way in erasing a disappointing season. I like Tennessee to outplay the Tide and come close to a win, but Tuscaloosa will be too much too overcome. Alabama 16, Tennessee 13.

3. Auburn at LSU- Tiger clash at Death Valley in the evening on ESPN HD. Does it get any better? Auburn has been off the radar screen since the opening loss to Georgia Tech, but have the best shot of all the one loss teams to reach the Rose Bowl.

LSU has steadily risen in the polls, despite less than stellar performances on the field. Coach Les Miles can not afford another home conference loss. Auburn on the other hand, is undefeated in conference play, and host Alabama at the end of the season. Auburn could afford a loss Saturday and still climb back into the SEC title game, but LSU's back is against the wall.

I can see Auburn easily winning this game, but Death Valley is a tough place to play. Home field advantage will be the deciding factor. LSU 27, Auburn 24.

4. Oregon State at UCLA- The Bruins are back in the top ten for the first time since 2001. Karl Dorrell is fighting for his head coaching job this year, and it shows. The Bruins are national title contenders, and finally can be mentioned in the same sentence with their cross town rival.

UCLA's offense is one of the best in the country, but the defense needs major help. UCLA has needed 4th quarter comebacks in the last three games, but that trend needs to stop. Oregon State is the hottest team in the Pac 10, after coming from behind to beat Washington State and winning at Cal in consecutive weeks. UCLA needs to be on upset alert, OSU can beat the Bruins in the Rose Bowl. UCLA 31, Oregon State 30.

5. Northwestern at Michigan State- If you have the chance to watch this game, by no means, do not miss it. This will be a high scoring game with two teams going in different directions.

Michigan State needs to rebound after losses to Michigan and Ohio State. Meanwhile, Northwestern is on a two game winning streak over Wisconsin and Purdue.

Michigan State should win this shootout, and still have an outside shot to share the Big Ten crown. Michigan State 49, Northwestern 38.

6. Michigan at Iowa- The two preseason top ten teams find themselves outside the top 25 to start the second half of the season. Michigan is has lost three games by a combined 13 points, and have wins over then top ten teams Michigan State and Penn State. Iowa is on a roll after early season blow out losses to Iowa State and Ohio State.

The loser of this game might be stuck playing in the Motor City bowl in December. The winner has a good chance to be in Florida in January. Iowa has more at stake, the Hawkeyes are still in the Big Ten race with only one conference loss. Iowa 31, Michigan 26.

3 Potential Upsets........

What will happen- Vanderbilt beat South Carolina- Everyone has jumped off the Vandy bandwagon after they have suffered three straight losses. The Commodores still have a shot at a bowl, but they must beat Spurrier and the Gamecocks.

What might happen- San Jose State over Hawaii- Both of these teams are equally challenged or just plain bad. The Warriors are extremely vulnerable away from the Island.

What is unlikely to happen- Cincinnati upsets Louisville- The Cards need to shake off last week's triple OT loss or could lose their third conference game.

Betting Man? Surefire Picks!
note: last week UCLA let me down and UCF just stunk. SJSU came through at Boise State, and I will go against the Broncos, again, this week.

Virginia(PK) at North Carolina- Virginia is the better team, they can not afford mental mistakes on the road.

Missouri(-1) vs Nebraska- Missouri might not win enough to get to a bowl, but the Tigers got the Huskers number.

Utah State(+18.5) vs Boise State- Utah State could pull the biggest upset in the WAC since Boise State beat #8 Fresno State in 2001.

all my other picks at

previous week

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Will the Fridge get some Revenge?

Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen and his Terps welcome 3rd ranked Virginia Tech to College Park, tonight for ESPN's Thursday Night Football. This will be their second meeting as ACC teams, the first time at Maryland. The Fridge is hoping for a different outcome than what happened at Lane Stadium in 2004.

Last year's game got off to a bad start for Maryland and never got better. Four first half turnovers by Maryland were converted into 24 points and Virginia Tech had three other first-half scoring drives en route to a 41-3 halftime lead and an ultimate 55-6 win at Lane Stadium.

At the end of the first half, with Tech already leading 38-3, coach Frank Beamer called a timeout to set up a field. Friedgen was vocally upset about the Hokies adding on to an already insurmountable margin, but maybe his frustration had to do with the fact Maryland could do nothing on offense.

The Terps turned the ball over five times in the game (four interceptions, one fumble) and did so mostly in its own end. The Hokies' average starting spot in the first half was the Maryland 46-yard line and for the game, its own 48.

Will the Fridge get some revenge for the butt whipping put on by Beamer and the Hokies? Probably not, but tonight's game should be the best of the Thursday nights to date. Hokies win a hard fought battle, 31-20, and continue their march towards Jacksonville.

More Hurricane Trouble

I remember when the hurricane season effected like one, two at most, college football weekends, but this season is disastrous. Hurricane Wilma might be the most devastating yet, and Miami-Georgia Tech, West Virginia-South Florida, and poor Tulane's game against Central Florida all have been moved or postponed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Midseason Review

Southern California and Texas have yet to move from number 1 and 2 in the polls, respectively. There are only seven unbeaten teams left in DI-A, and only three will meet head to head. There could be as many as four unbeaten teams lobbying for a spot in Pasadena.

USC and Texas are the huge favorites to stay unbeaten and meet in the Bowl Championship Series championship, but each must beat a hated rival that is unbeaten, as well, along the way. Texas is first up with their battle with in-state rival Texas Tech. The game is in Austin, and the Longhorns are more than a two touchdown favorite. USC ends its season with rival and current 6-0, UCLA. Unfortunately for Texas Tech and UCLA wins over the top two teams in the country might not vault them into the race for the Rose Bowl, but open up the door for Virginia Tech or an unbeaten Georgia-Alabama SEC champ.

Quick breakdown on the remaining seven:

Southern California 6-0 (3-0)
BCS rank: 1 Coaches: 1 Harris: 1
Toughest remaining games: at Cal, Fresno State and UCLA
Projected record: 12-0 (8-0)
Projected Bowl: Rose
Most believe USC has the toughest part of their schedule out of the way, but the last three games could be just as tough as at Oregon, at Arizona State, and at Notre Dame. Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush are the best college football players on the planet and Pete Carroll has his team mentally ready every week.

Texas 6-0 (3-0)
BCS rank: 2 Coaches: 2 Harris: 2
Toughest remaining games: Texas Tech and at Texas A&M
Projected record: 11-1 (8-1)
Projected Bowl: Fiesta
Texas could easily run the table, but Longhorns have always found a way to stumble under Mack Brown. Whether it is an upset at the hands of Texas Tech or in the Big 12 championship, Texas has not been able to finish when the ball has been in their court.

Virginia Tech 6-0 (3-0)
BCS rank: 3 Coaches: 3 Harris: 3
Toughest remaining games: Boston College, Miami, at Virginia
Projected Record: 12-0 (9-0)
Projected Bowl: Rose
Virginia Tech's road is far from easy, while Texas' might be considered the easiest, Tech’s could be the toughest. Every game left on their schedule, with the exception of North Carolina, is above .500. It doesn't matter, the Hokies are real good, and might have the best shot of any team in the country to beat USC.

Georgia 6-0 (4-0)
BCS rank: 4 Coaches: 4 Harris: 4
Toughest remaining games: Florida and Auburn
Projected record: 11-1 (8-1)
Projected Bowl: Sugar
Is Georgia that good or is the SEC just really average this year? Georgia plowed through Tennessee and should to the same to Florida. All that might stand in their way to an unbeaten season could be the SEC championship.

Alabama 6-0 (4-0)
BCS rank: 5 Coaches: 5 Harris: 5
Toughest remaining games: Tennessee, LSU, and at Auburn
Projected record: 10-1 (7-1)
Projected Bowl: Fiesta
The Crimson Tide need to avoid the close calls against lower level of competition. A huge win against Tennessee is needed. Florida is slowly looking as an above average team, not great; it would not be a shock if Bama lost three of its last five.

UCLA 6-0 (3-0)
BCS rank: 9 Coaches: 9 Harris: 8
Toughest remaining games: Oregon State, Arizona State, and at USC
Projected record: 9-2 (6-2)
Projected Bowl: Sun
UCLA's offense has been spectacular, but the Bruins have needed three straight fourth quarter comebacks to pull out wins. UCLA can not keep playing like that if they have aspirations of playing at “home” for the national title.

Texas Tech 6-0 (3-0)
BCS rank: 7 Coaches: 8 Harris: 9
Toughest remaining games: at Texas and Texas A&M
Projected record: 9-2 (6-2)
Projected Bowl: Cotton
The computers love the Red Raiders. If they upset Texas and continue to blow out their competition, Tech could rise high in the BCS rankings despite a weak non-conference schedule. However, Texas Tech has never lost less than four games during the Mike Leach era. Tricky road games against Baylor and Oklahoma State come before and after big games.

The Best of the Season so far...

Player- Reggie Bush, Southern California
Team- Southern California
Coach- Mark Richt, Georgia

Surprises so far.....

Player- Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
Team- West Virginia
Coach- Charlie Weis, Notre Dame

Disappointments so far....

Player- Ted Ginn, Jr., Ohio State
Team- Texas A&M
Coach- Joe Tiller, Purdue

Outlandish scenarios to look for in the second half of the season....

Auburn- The only blemish on the season was the season opening loss to Georgia Tech. Of all the one loss teams, Auburn has the best chance to jump back into the national title race. They are 15th in the polls, but have big games remaining against top 10 teams LSU, Georgia, and Alabama. It is not far fetched to believe Auburn could win out and find themselves
in the top two of the BCS rankings, as long as Virginia Tech and Texas lose along the way. Could it be? Auburn missed last year's BCS title game despite a 12-0 regular season, how funny would it be for them to play in this year’s game with a worse record.

Oregon State- The Beavers have won back to back games against Washington State and Cal, after being embarrassed early in the season against Louisville and Arizona State. They have only two games left against teams that are above .500, UCLA and Oregon. However, those two are a combined 12-1 and the Beavers are must win on the road. OSU face UCLA this week, and the Bruins are ripe for the upset, and the Beavers could ride that win all the way to Autzen November 19. OSU whipped their Fowl rivals last year, and wouldn't be outrageous if they pulled out another win this year. Oregon State could finished second in the Pac 10, but miss the conference's best team, USC. Every fan in Corvallis would be calling for a Pac 10 championship game. The Beavers would probably lose to the Trojans, but we will never know. It will be the last time this will ever happen. The Pac 10 goes to a full round robin format beginning next year.

Fresno State- Every fan in Fresno, including myself are hoping for the impossible, for the Bulldogs to beat the Trojans in the Coliseum. Is it too far fetched to believe, considering Fresno State lost at Oregon by 3 and USC won by 32 at Oregon. If the Bulldogs did win, they would have a case for an at-large BCS berth. As long as the Trojans finish only with the one loss, and Fresno State wins out.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Week 8 Blogpoll Top 25 Ballot

  1. Southern Cal- (1)
  2. Virginia Tech- (2)
  3. Texas- (3)
  4. Georgia- (5)
  5. Alabama- (4)
  6. Notre Dame- (8)
  7. Louisiana State- (10)
  8. Ohio State- (9)
  9. Penn State- (7)
  10. Miami- (11)
  11. Florida State- (6)
  12. Boston College- (12)
  13. Michigan State- (13)
  14. Oregon- (17)
  15. Tennessee- (14)
  16. UCLA- (15)
  17. Fresno State- (18)
  18. Auburn- (23)
  19. Texas Tech- (21)
  20. West Virginia- (25)
  21. Wisconsin- (nr)
  22. Florida- (16)
  23. Colorado- (19)
  24. Arizona State- (nr)
  25. Nebraska- (nr)

out- Cal(20), Louisville(22), Minnesota(24)

just missed- Iowa, TCU, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland

on the radar- Oregon State, Clemson

last weeks top 25 ballot

last weeks blogpoll

Games I watched: Clemson-NC State(1st half), UTEP-Tulane(1st half), Minn-Wis.(1st half, part of 2nd), Ole Miss-Ala.(2nd half), USC-ND(all), FS-USU(all-live) small parts of: Cal-OSU, LSU-Fla., Kan.-Okla.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Week 7 Picks

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Biggest Games(ranked by significance)

1. Southern California at Notre Dame- If Notre Dame had pulled out a win against Michigan State at home, then this game versus USC would have been the biggest game of the decade. As it stands it is the biggest game of the season.

For all those nay sayers, stating that USC had an easy schedule, this is the Trojans third straight road game against a ranked team. USC is a
-11.5 favorite, and Reggie Bush is probable. Bush will play and this game will be a great offensive matchup.

USC can not afford to start slow again this week, or can they? Arizona State is just as potent on offense as Notre Dame, and the Trojans spotted them an 18 point lead at the half. I do not see Brady Quinn throwing five interceptions against USC, and the Irish faithful are going to be loud.

For the first time this season many are doubting USC. The Trojans will thrive on that and come out with their best performance of the year. Notre Dame will trade punches with USC, but the Trojans defense is better than the Irish. USC 41, Notre Dame 28.

2. Florida at LSU- Florida needs to win this game, no ifs, ands, or buts. Alabama exposed the weak links of the spread offense, and the Gator defense looked average against the Tide. Last week Florida came out lethargic against Mississippi State, they can not do that against the Tigers.

LSU's loss to Tennessee looks worse and worse every week. LSU must win out at home, considering they have to travel to Bama. JaMarcus Russell might not have the same success against Florida as Brodie Croyle, but should be able to do enough to pull out a win. LSU 21, Florida 16.

3. Colorado at Texas- Back in 2001 Texas blew away a one loss Colorado team in October only to get beat by the Buffs in the Big 12 championship in December. Will history repeat itself? Texas is playing as good as any team in the country, and Colorado is coming off a impressive win over Texas A&M.

This would have been a tougher game for the Longhorns if it was in Boulder. The post Oklahoma excitement will effect Texas some, but not enough for them to lose at home. Texas 34, Colorado 26.

4. Michigan State at Ohio State- If they want to catch Penn State, they must win this game. Ohio State and Michigan State are playing a Big Ten title elimination game. The winner still has a chance to capture the conference crown. The loser should start making reservations for San Antonio or El Paso.

Michigan State's offense is the best the Ohio State defense will see all season. Troy Smith and the offense need step up their game, otherwise, the Spartans will blow the Bucks away. Ohio State will rebound and pull out the big win in Columbus. Ohio State 31, Michigan State 27.

5. Penn State at Michigan- Michigan has lost three games, and are in danger of losing their fourth. What has happened to the Wolverines? The losses have been close, but if not for the win in overtime against Michigan State, Michigan could face the reality of losing four straight games, and fifth overall.

These are desperate times in Ann Arbor, and Penn State coming to town does not help. Granted Penn State is not an offensive juggernaunt, that will exploit a weak Michigan defense. However, Penn State might not have to score all that much considering how much Michigan's offense has struggled this year. Special teams will be a huge advantage for the Wolverines, but it will not be enough. Penn State 23, Michigan 17.

6. Wisconsin at Minnesota- These two one loss rivals that are still in the thick of the Big Ten race. Wisconsin needs to rebound after their loss last week against Northwestern, while Minnesota can not become complacent after their groundbreaking win at Michigan.

Minnesota should be able to gain plenty of yards rushing against the Badgers, but this game could become a shootout, favoring Wisconsin's more balanced attack. Minnesota goes to 6-1 and becomes bowl eligible. Minnesota 34, Wisconsin 24.

7. Louisville at West Virginia- This is an upset special, per se. Louisville has been less than spectacular on the road this year, and Morgantown is about as nasty as they come for road trips. West Virginia does not have the offense to keep up with Louisville, but the Mountaineers have the ability to grind it out on the ground and control the clock.

I see this game two ways. Either Louisville shakes off the road blues and runs away with a twenty point win, or West Virginia controls the tempo and the home crowd is a huge factor in a close win. My pick, West Virginia 28, Louisville 27.

3 Potential Upsets.....

What will happen- Northwestern beats Purdue- Joe Tiller's most promising season is starting to become his most disappointing.

What might happen- Kansas over Oklahoma- The game is at Arrowhead, the Jayhawks are not that bad, while Oklahoma is.

What is unlikely to happen- Virginia upsets Florida State- Ten years ago Virginia pulled one of the biggest upsets in college football history, will it happen again?

Betting Man? Surefire Picks!

San Jose State(+31) at Boise State- Boise State only beat I-AA Portland State by 7 last week.

UCLA(-6) at Washington State- Could be trap game for UCLA, but Washington State has yet to recover from their second half collapse at Corvallis.

Central Florida(+8) at Southern Mississippi - The Eagles got manhandled last week at home by Tulsa. UCF is getting better each week, they could win this one straight up.

all my other picks at

previous week

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thursday Night Football

College Football's answer to the NFL's Monday night is always great to watch. North Carolina State has finally showed some life closing the gap at 21-7 versus Clemson. Clemson does not look like the 2-3 team that lost to Wake Forest. The Tigers could easily be 5-0 and in the top 10, but Tommy Bowden could be shown the door if Clemson does not win out.

Clemson is now up 28-7, how can the last place ACC Atlantic division team be doing this to one of the top defenses in the country. Clemson could not even score that many points last week against Wake Forest. NC State is threatening again after another great Blackmon kickoff return, but must convert another 4th down to have a chance to score. Wolfpack did, first and ten at the Clemson 11, under a minute to play.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blogpoll 7 is Out

Fresno State almost cracked the poll for the first time this season, coming in at number 26. For the first time this season I won an award for my participation as a blogpoll voter.

The Coulter/Krugman Award was awarded to me for having the highest bias vote.

The CK Award goes to Fresno State blogger MDG, who has the unranked-at-large Bulldogs at #18. Personally, I left Fresno State off my ballot without really considering their body of work, which is worthy of consideration. They nuked a decent Toledo team and dropped a very close one to #20 Oregon. I think there's a case for the Bulldogs if they continue to win before their matchup with (gasp) USC. -MGOBLOG

Can not wait for November 19.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bowl Predictions

For the first time since the preseason, I will post my bowl predictions. They are a little crazy, considering I projecting the final regular season record and it is only October 10. I am predicting some conferences will not have enough bowl eligible teams to fill their slots. I am filling those slots with some scenarios that may seem outrageous, but I save seen crazier in years past. Without further question, the week seven bowl predictions.

The BCS Bowls

  • Rose Bowl- Southern Cal vs Virginia Tech
  • Fiesta Bowl- Texas vs UCLA
  • Sugar Bowl- Georgia vs West Virginia
  • Orange Bowl- Penn State vs Alabama

notes: I am projecting Texas to lose one game, while VT and SC go unbeaten, its a stretch, but its October. Since VT is #2 in the BCS, the Orange Bowl(ACC home Bowl) will have first at large choice, I am predicting projected Big Ten Champ Penn State(will sell tickets). Texas goes to home bowl Fiesta, and Georgia goes to home bowl Sugar, both as projected conference champions. Fiesta and Sugar will both submit bids for their #1 choice as its at large pick. Notre Dame will be very popular, but I am projecting UCLA and Alabama will have one loss seasons, while ND will have two losses. UCLA is a natural fit for the Fiesta, and Alabama vs Penn State is a renewal of a classic rivalry in the Orange. West Virginia is left over as the projected Big East champ, and will be slotted in the Sugar.

Major Bowls

  • Cotton Bowl- Texas Tech vs LSU
  • Capital One Bowl- Auburn vs Ohio State
  • Holiday Bowl- Oregon vs Colorado
  • Gator Bowl- Miami vs Notre Dame
  • Outback Bowl- Iowa vs Florida
  • Peach Bowl- Tennessee vs Florida State

notes: Notre Dame is considered a Big East selection.

Middle of the Road Bowls

  • Alamo Bowl- Wisconsin vs Texas A&M
  • Sun Bowl- California vs Michigan State
  • Liberty Bowl- UTEP vs Iowa State
  • Insight Bowl- Arizona State vs Louisville
  • Champs Sports Bowl- Boston College vs Kansas State
  • Meineke Car Care Bowl- Rutgers vs NC State
  • Music City Bowl- Vanderbilt vs Minnesota
  • Independence Bowl- Nebraska vs Georgia Tech

notes: The Big 12 and ACC will have excessive teams while the SEC will be short. Iowa State will fill the at-large slot in the Liberty. Georgia Tech will fill the SEC spot in the Independence.

Minor Bowls

  • Houston Bowl- Oklahoma vs Houston
  • Las Vegas Bowl- TCU vs Fresno State
  • Emerald Bowl- BYU vs Oregon State
  • MPC Comp. Bowl- Boise State vs Maryland
  • Motor City Bowl- Toledo vs Michigan
  • GMAC Bowl- UAB vs Bowling Green/Louisiana Tech
  • Fort Worth Bowl- Baylor vs Tulsa
  • Hawaii Bowl- S. Miss vs Louisiana Tech/Bowling Green
  • Poinsettia Bowl- Utah vs Navy
  • New Orleans- Troy vs Central Florida

notes: I project CUSA to have excessive bowl teams, and I project Houston will go outside the CUSA tie-ins and sign a deal with the hometown Houston Bowl. The LVBowl projection is a stretch, the Pac 10 sends its 5th place team there, but I project the WAC will strike some sort of a deal with the Pac 10, with some dough involved. The Pac 10 will then send Oregon State to its 6th tie-in in San Francisco, therefore freeing up the Las Vegas for a mega TCU-Fresno State matchup of projected top 25 teams. The GMAC Bowl has a clause to select a WAC team over a MAC team, but the WAC must take a MAC team in return in either the MPC or Hawaii Bowl. Navy's drawing power is a no-brainer for San Diego's Poinsettia Bowl's at large spot.

other teams I project to be bowl eligible: Kansas, Colorado State, New Mexico, Wyoming, UConn, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Akron


Ken Dorsey used to bunk with one of offensive lineman, but not Matt Leinart.

Petros Papadakis of KMPC-AM in Los Angeles reports that Nick Lachey, who has reportedly split with wife Jessica Simpson, is probably now going to be moving in with Leinart.

Leinart has been fast friends with Lachey for some time. And the pseudo-celeb was seen with Leinart Tuesday at USC's weekly football press conference.

Sports by Brooks

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Week 7 Blogpoll Top 25 Ballot

  1. Southern Cal- (1)
  2. Virginia Tech- (2)
  3. Texas- (3)
  4. Alabama- (5)
  5. Georgia- (9)
  6. Florida State- (6)
  7. Penn State- (14)
  8. Notre Dame- (8)
  9. Ohio State-(4)
  10. Louisiana State- (10)
  11. Miami (Florida)- (12)
  12. Michigan State- (13)
  13. Boston College- (16)
  14. Tennessee- (7)
  15. UCLA- (21)
  16. Florida- (15)
  17. Oregon- (nr)
  18. Fresno State- (23)
  19. Colorado- (nr)
  20. California- (18)
  21. Texas Tech- (24)
  22. Louisville- (nr)
  23. Auburn- (nr)
  24. Minnesota- (nr)
  25. West Virginia- (nr)

out- Arizona State(11), Wisconsin(17), Michigan(19), Texas A&M(20), Georgia Tech(22), Nebraska(25)

just missed- Baylor, TCU, Iowa

on the radar- UConn, Maryland

last weeks top 25 ballot

last weeks Blogpoll

Games I Watched- Troy-North Texas(1st half), Miami, O-N. Ill(1st half), NC St-GT(all), Texas-Oklahoma(2/3 of game), Tennessee-Georgia(3/4 game), USC-Arizona(flipping on 2nd TV), Nebraska-Texas Tech(flipping on second tv), Penn State-Ohio State(all), Fresno State-NMSU(all), Oregon-Arizona State(on second tv)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

In the Hunt, Penn State is Back

Last week it was Alabama, this week its Penn State. I was all over Alabama to roll last week to a win, this week I be behind another of my preseason surprise teams, Penn State.

Tony Hunt needs to have a big game against the vaunted Buckeye defense, if Penn State is to reach a 6-0 start. ESPN Gameday is live from Happy Valley, and the excitement of Penn State football is at its highest this decade.

Maybe, my bowl prediction might come true after all?

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Week 6 Picks

Biggest Games(ranked by significance)

1. Georgia at Tennessee- Georgia can take control of the SEC East with a win at Neyland, but it won't be easy. Georgia should play up to its competition for the first time since the big win over Boise State, but the Broncos were overrated. Close wins over South Carolina and Mississippi State are nothing to brag about either.

Tennessee's offense looked a step slow again against Ole Miss, but after the short week it could be excused. Gerald Riggs needs to carry the load for the Vols to win. Fulmer can not shuffle the quarterbacks either. Rick Clausen is becoming the leader of this team, and a big win over UGA will only solidify that.

I think defense will dominate early, and the team that can run ball effectively will have the best chance to pull out the win. UGA has a ton of backs, but none as good as Riggs. The game is in Knoxville, the home team wins 24-14.

2. Ohio State at Penn State- What a matchup. In my
preseason Big 10 preview, I called for the Penn State upset over Ohio State as the biggest of the year. I am not going to shy away from it now. Penn State did have the huge win over Minnesota, but are still not playing up to their potential. While Ohio State, despite the loss to Texas, is playing better than I thought with Troy Smith behind center.

Logically, I think I would pick the more talented Buckeyes. Emotionally, since I already predicted the upset in the preaseason, I have to stick with it. Penn State wins a close one at home, 26-24.

3. Oklahoma vs Texas- Is this the year of the Longhorn? Oklahoma is down, but is Texas ready mentally? Oklahoma showed some life last week against Kansas State, and Texas took care of Missouri after some first half struggles. On paper Texas should win by 20+, easily, but it is not outrageous to think Oklahoma will come in prepared and beat the 'Horns.

Adrian Peterson has been medically cleared to play Saturday, but if Oklahoma expects a win, Rhett Bomar needs to have the game of his life. If Texas can clear this mental hurdle, it could clear sailing until Thanksgiving weekend.

I am tempted to take Oklahoma in a huge upset, but the Sooners have showed nothing yet this year that proves they are a top 25 team. Texas, on the other hand, has been anything short of spectacular. Texas 34, Oklahoma 21.

4. Cal at UCLA- For the first time since 1944, Cal and UCLA enter their game with each other without a loss. Cal has played an easy slate to start out 5-0. UCLA's is not much better, but the Bruins have beaten Oklahoma along the way to a 4-0 record.

UCLA had trouble beating Washington last week, were the Bruins looking ahead to the Bears? Cal has yet to be tested, and at the same time have yet to be exposed. UCLA is the more talented team, and should beat their fellow UC from the north. UCLA has played well early on in the season this decade, it is late in the season where the Bruins seem to struggle. Karl Dorrell gets his biggest win as head coach, and the
BruinsNation celebrate the 31-27 win.

5. Texas Tech at Nebraska- Nebraska faces a second straight unbeaten top 25 conference foe. Texas Tech finally played a DI-A team last week in Kansas, and won 30-17. Kansas is good, but Nebraska is better. The Sea of Red will be loud and proud. The Cornhuskers will avenge last year's embarrassing 70-10 loss. Nebraska 30, Texas Tech 21.

6. Texas A&M at Colorado-
Colorado beat up on a bad Oklahoma State team last week, while A&M struggled with Baylor at home and needed overtime to pull out the win. OSU is really bad, and Baylor is better than in years past. Colorado is the favorite at home, but I still think Reggie McNeal and the Aggies could finish the season in the top 10. A&M 24, Colorado 19.

7. Oregon at Arizona State- Does Arizona State have a let down after giving up a 18 point lead to USC in the 3rd quarter? Oregon can score some points, but so can ASU. The Sun Devils should pull it out. ASU 41, UO 31.

3 Potential Upsets....

What will happen- North Carolina beats Louisville- It's a stretch, but NC has two good wins in a row at NC State and home vs Utah. Louisville blew out Florida Atlantic last week, but the Cards are still reeling from the loss at Tampa.

What might happen- Vanderbilt over LSU- Yeah, Vandy lost to MTSU, but the Commodores could have been looking ahead to this week's big home game with LSU.

What is unlikely to happen- Northwestern upsets Wisconsin- Wisconsin is on a roll at 5-0, the game in Evanston is the classic trap game.

Betting Man? Surefire Picks!

Marshall(+35.5) at Virginia Tech- the Hokie defense looked mortal last week, 35 points is a bit much versus a decent Marshall team.

Navy(-1) vs Air Force - Navy is at home and should take the game straight up.

Michigan(-7.5) vs Minnesota - With Hart, the Michigan offense has heart. Wolverines roll.

all my picks at
Previous week

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bowl Predictions

I have been making bowl predictions every week since my preseason picks. I have not posted them because they just look ridiculous this early in the season. Maybe I should reconsider after reading the bowl predictions at

I won't go into detail on all the question marks, but Vanderbilt in the Peach Bowl. We all love the feel good story of the Commodores, but come on they lost to Middle Tennessee State last week. At 4-1, Vandy has to win two more games just be bowl eligible. Kentucky and at South Carolina are the easiest games. I doubt they can upset LSU or Georgia at home or win at Tennessee or Florida. Peach Bowl goes to the 4th place team from the SEC. Vandy might make to the 6th spot at the hometown Music City Bowl, or maybe the Houston Bowl, where the 7-8th place SEC is destined. Wait, has top ten LSU playing in Houston, and have Clemson and South Florida filling the SEC's spots in the Independence and Music City Bowls.

Yes, the SEC has an agreement with the Houston Bowl, but have yet to send a team to Houston in the first two years of the agreement. The Music City and Independence have first pick of an SEC team before Houston, and this year should be no different.

Oklahoma State sucks. I have no idea how cbssportsline believes the Pokes will win six games and make it to the Fort Worth Bowl.

I will release my bowl predictions Sunday morning, they can not be any worse than the crap over at cbssportline.

2 for 11

Georgia Tech is playing awful in tonight's home game against North Carolina State. The Yellow Jackets are a mere 2 for 11 on third downs, and NC State is neutralizing Calvin Johnson. Tech does not look like a top 25 team, while the Wolfpack look like they have shaken off their early season troubles. An NC State win will put the Pack back in the ACC Atlantic division race, but a loss will end all hopes of a division crown.

This is what I waited for, a 10-0 NC State lead at the half. I have been bored with the overload of Mountain West Thursday night football in the month of September. I am not bagging on the MWC, but besides the Utah-TCU game the others have been forgettable. Tonight's game makes me beg for Colorado State-Air Force.

Reggie Ball is a dismal 6 for 25 in the first half, and either team can mount a ground game. Hopefully, things will pick up in the second half.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sugar in Atlanta

Katrina's aftermath has forced the Sugar Bowl to move to the Georgia Dome. There was hope to keep the game in Louisiana at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. However, with insufficient hotel rooms in Baton Rouge and the uncertainty of hotel conditions in New Orleans for the January 2 game made the move necessary.

The Georgia Dome crew will have their hands full New Year's weekend. The Peach Bowl will be played Friday December 30, the Falcons have a home game Sunday January 1, and the Sugar Bowl is the day after.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tuesday Night Football

Troy at North Texas a nice matchup of Sun Belt teams, but last weeks Fresno State-Toledo game was a HIT!

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The Real Easy Road to the Big Ten Title

The hype all summer long was the Purdue Boilermakers had an easy road to the Big Ten title. Purdue did not have to play Michigan or Ohio State, and got another Big Ten favorite Iowa at home. No one gave the three game stretch of at Wisconsin, at Penn State, and home against Michigan State a second thought as being a tough. Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa are a combined 10-5, while Wisconsin, Penn State, and Michigan State are 14-1 and very close to being undefeated.

The real easy road to the title starts in Madison, Wisconsin. The Badgers miss Ohio State and Michigan State this year, have already beaten Michigan at home, and Purdue and Iowa must travel to Madison. The only two roads are difficult, at Minnesota and Penn State.

Barry Alvarez has a very good chance to retire at the top of the Big Ten. Dare I say on top of the country?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Week 6 Blogpoll Top 25 ballot

  1. Southern Cal- (1)
  2. Virginia Tech- (2)
  3. Texas- (3)
  4. Ohio State- (5)
  5. Alabama- (11)
  6. Florida State- (7)
  7. Tennessee- (8)
  8. Notre Dame- (12)
  9. Georgia- (10)
  10. Louisiana State- (9)
  11. Arizona State- (13)
  12. Miami (Florida)- (14)
  13. Michigan State- (6)
  14. Penn State- (25)
  15. Florida- (4)
  16. Boston College- (17)
  17. Wisconsin- (20)
  18. California- (18)
  19. Michigan- (nr)
  20. Texas A&M- (19)
  21. UCLA- (21)
  22. Georgia Tech- (22)
  23. Fresno State- (nr)
  24. Texas Tech- (24)
  25. Nebraska- (nr)

out-Minnesota(15), Purdue(16), Clemson(23)

just missed- Minnesota, West Virginia, Auburn, Oregon, Louisville

on the radar-Baylor, North Carolina, Maryland, Oklahoma, TCU

last weeks top 25 ballot

last weeks blogpoll

Games I watched: Fresno State-Toledo(all), Miami(O)-Cin(1st half), Colo St.-AFA(1st half), Rutgers-Pitt(1st half), VT-WVU(all), Florida-Alabama(all), USC-ASU(on 2nd TV), Notre Dame-Purdue(3/4 of game), UCLA-Wash.(1st half)

any comments, feel free to rip on my poll, I 'm no expert

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Roll Tide Roll

Not since Bear himself, has Alabama beaten a top 5 team in Tuscaloosa. The 5th ranked Florida Gators have a big win over Tennessee at home, but have yet to go on the road. Urban Meyer has won 20 straight games as a head coach, including ten on the road, but his spread offense will face a huge test in the speedy Bama defense.

I liked Alabama in the preseason to win this game on its way to a 9 win season, and there is no reason for me to change my mind, now. I gave a prediction in My Picks, and Herbstreit is on my side. I like the Tide to roll to victory.

The State of Michigan

The Wolverines came out swinging. Michael Hart has rushed for over 200 yards, but Michigan missed a field goal with :53 left in the game. Michigan State gets near midfield at the end regulation, but a bad play call and costly penalty send this game into overtime, 31 all.