Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week Two Analysis

Well I did pretty good this week in the prediction category. 18 wins to 3 losses is not too shabby. Again though a good many of the games were pretty easy to predict with the big programs scheduling down, but still, 18-3 is pretty darn good if I say so myself. Take that to Vegas and make a little coin. The grand total so far for the year is 33-9. There was a lot that was learned this week and their are some major questions remaining.

It looks like Alabama may well be the early front runner when considering the BCS "National Champion." Still very early yet and there is a whole lot of football left to play but the Tide do look pretty good. PSU is certainly not a slouch and may make some noise in the Big Ten but the Tide held them to a field goal. Impressive.
One may think about Ohio State also make a run. The drubbing of Miami was pretty impressive and it looks like the Canes may be a year or so away from making a serious run. If Miami can score when they get in the red zone then they will be much more successful of course. I would not rule out Miami as a factor in in the ACC with a legitimate shot at a BCS Bowl game.
Oklahoma may have dispelled some doubts by dismantling the Seminoles. Perhaps the Noles are not yet a very good team though. I think they are a ways off from competing with the national "big boys" but may yet make some noise in the ACC. Clemson has not been tested yet and I am not sure what type of team they really are. Time will tell.
Nebraska may be a dark horse in the race to the big game. They have not been tested but apparently Pelini is not real thrilled with the offense. The D did keep Idaho off the board for the most part and intercepted Enderle five times. Nathan Enderle may be the second or third best QB in the WAC. I look for Idaho to make it to a minor bowl and bigger programs throwing some money at Akey at the end of the season.
Air Force ended any chance that BYU may have had to sneak into a BCS game. The Cougars did not look very good against a good, but not great, team. So sorry.
Which service academy has the best team? Navy beat a good IAA program this week by a slim margin and lost to Maryland last week in a game they should have won. Air Force was not tested in week one but showed us some things yesterday. West Point came back on a pretty decent Hawaii team but finally found themselves on the short end.
What is wrong with the Big East. A whole lot apparently. WVU had to come back in strong fashion against the Thundering Herd and that is commendable, but they should have never found themselves in that position in the first place. Could Pitt really be the class of this conference? Perhaps. They did hold their own against Utah but came up short in week one. They beat a good IAA squad Saturday. UCONN was not tested by Texas Southern. I wonder what Coach Cole was thinking to bring his boys up there? Must have needed a payday. Rutgers struggled against a lower level Sun Belt squad. Maybe Schiano should have taken a better job when he was in fashion, struck when the iron was hot as it were. Louisville won against a IAA squad but not in convincing fashion. It looked like Syracuse was going to beat a Pac 10 team for a while but they fell short. The Big East is not BCS material this year to be sure.
LSU took down Vanderbilt and that was to be expected. There are still many questions about the Bayou Bengals at this point. The Razorbacks finally started to play some football in the second half and ended up routing an out manned ULM squad. The Hogs have not seriously been tested, but Mallet still has a habit of throwing the rocket too high. He will need to rectify that problem. Auburn edged Mississippi State in a very close game in Starkville. Both teams are pretty good, but are light years away from Alabama. Will they be able to compete with LSU and Arkansas? Probably so.
Mark Richt had better win most of the rest of his squad's games and get into a BCS Bowl or he may well be history. South Carolina edged them in Columbia. I think the Gamecock QB is still a bit inconsistent but he does appear to have improved. Florida started slow but ended up running away from South Florida. This may be a bit of a down year in Gainesville, but the Gators still are a very very good team. Tennessee looked like they could handle the Ducks for a while but Oregon finally caught fire and put them down in convincing fashion. Dooley will probably bring these guys back but it may take a while. The Vols had one year with that Kiffin and that may have set them back a bit. The Ducks actually may be another dark horse for the BCS Title Game. Hard to tell at this point. It is certainly easy to discount the Pac 10, but the Ducks are probably for real.
Speaking more of the PAC 10; did you see the drubbing that the Golden Bears put on the still Big XII Buffs? Will Hawkins even make it till the end of the season? Probably so, but don't look for more than four wins in Colorado. USC edged a rebuilding Virginia squad but it does not matter what the Trojans do this year. They are a non factor regardless of the win/loss record. Washington State had a scare from Montana State and were very capable of losing that game. If State had played the University of Montana instead of Montana State the outcome would have been almost a foregone conclusion. Stanford beat UCLA which showed something I suppose. I am not familiar at all with either of these teams but predict that Stanford will be in a decent bowl game while UCLA will not.
The ACC does not look like it will be a power this year. Not sure what Clemson will do though. Miami is a good team but greatness will elude them this year. The Seminoles are probably a fairly good team. Boston College was not impressive in their game with Kent State and of course Virginia Tech was taken down at home by James Madison. Now JMU is a very very good IAA squad capable of beating a good many BCS conference teams, but they should probably not have been able to take the Hokies down. They did though and that further damages the reputation of the Gobblers. Not sure what that says about Boise State at this point. They (VA. Tech) still has the talent to make a good deal of noise in the ACC and I would not rule them out making a pretty good run. Maryland won in convincing fashion against a IAA squad and edged Navy in week one. I don't think they are a serious contender though. Georgia Tech was beaten by the Jayhawks. The same Jayhawks who were embarrassed by a IAA team in week one. A fairly new IAA team at that. That group is not too far removed from D2. What does that say about the Yellow Jackets? Nothing good to be sure. Still I would not rule them out for making some noise in conference. Wake Forest beat Duke in a conference game but neither of these teams are likely to make much noise. NC State edged UCF but CUSA does not have the best of luck against BCS conference teams.
The Big Ten looks pretty good. Ohio State is probably the only team to be a contender for the BCS Championship though. PSU will improve as the QB gains more experience and will be a pretty darn good team before it is all said and done. Michigan edged Notre Dame. Rodriguez should have stayed in West Virginia though. Iowa may be a pretty good team, but it is hard to tell at this point. They beat down their in state Big XII rival with ease. Minnesota is pathetic. They really should be 0-2 at this point but as luck would have it, they are 1-1. Another one of the Dakota schools taking down a BCS school. Something must be going on in North and South Dakota. Not sure if Purdue is very good. Really do not know much about them yet. Illinois was victorious against a good IAA program. Zook had better win this year or he is gone.
Texas did not have too much trouble with Wyoming but let them hang around for the entire first half, or at least until the last two minutes of the half. I don't think the Longhorns have what it takes this year to get to the Big Game. Somebody will find a way to beat them. Perhaps more than once. Oklahoma redeemed themselves to a good extent. They struggled against Utah State in week one, but not against FSU. Go figure. The Aggies may be better than I thought. Still too early to tell. Texas Tech handled New Mexico but not in convincing fashion. Baylor, KSU and Mizzou were not tested. Colorado looked foolish. Kansas had a very very good win against Georgia Tech.
U of H handled UTEP. I think they can score on anyone but their defense may still be suspect. I would not rule out ECU. They are 2-0 in conference play already. SMU needs to be watched also. They are probably one of the most improved teams in the nation. It will be another long season in New Orleans to be sure. I thought that Tulane may have been able to compete with the Rebs but that was not the case. Rice was victorious in Denton against the Mean Green. That may not seem like much but we are talking about Rice football here.
The Sun Belt gets better and better every year to be sure. Middle TN should have beaten MN in week one, Troy looked pretty impressive against the Cowboys of Oklahoma State, and both FIU and FAU held their own against BCS opponents. It is a shame that at least one of them did not find themselves in the win column. The Cajuns handled Steve Roberts Red Wolves with relative ease. I did not predict that. ULM was handled by the Hogs but were allowed to hang around until the fourth quarter. WKU has a long way to go but Willie will probably prove to be a good coach and I think WKU is a destination for him. He was an exceptional QB for them when they were a IAA power.

That is about all the analysis I can handle for one evening. I will get week three predictions up as soon as time allows.

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