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.


Blogger Nico said...

I agree with you about Auburn. They're quietly sneaking up the polls.


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