There were some very good games last week and some of the conference races are starting to shape up. I actually got to see a game live and in person over at ancient (but still nice) Rice Stadium. Well, I guess to be honest the stadium is sort of a dump when one compares it to the large school venues' but it does have a lot of history and charm. Allow me to tell you that the NFL or MLB does not have anything over college where the price of burgers and dogs are concerned.
This week I am 16-4 with a season total of 84-38. Now that is where one needs to be if one has aspirations of doing analysis on a "professional" basis.
It looks like that only Clemson and Va. Tech play ball over in the ACC. (It is sort of easy to forget Ga. Tech and North Carolina but they are moving along rather quietly). The Hokies did escape the 'Canes and Clemson won again. The Tiger QB may be out for a while though. Hard to say at this point. Initial reports are conflicting on his condition. I knew that FSU was not up to their pre season ranking. Perhaps in time, but certainly not this year. 2-3 at this point? The Seminole faithful are rather patient as far as such things go, but they better start winning or the new staff will begin to feel the heat. Miami should be a very good team but they seem to be snake bit. The "troubles" may be proving a distraction and taking a toll. No one else is worth mentioning..
WVU is the only team in the Big East really playing ball. That Graham did lose to Schiano's club and that does a heart good. Schiano is a classy guy and pretty good coach. Todd Graham? Not so much.
The Big East is in flux to say the least. There is no telling how things will shake out. No, not the conference race. That is WVU's to lose. I am talking of the survival of the league, or at least the football playing portion.
The Aggies of Texas Agriculture finally held off a decent opponent in the second half. It looked for a while there that they would "do it again." They Aggies should be very good but something is sure missing.
KSU is quietly proving to be a pretty good team. There are always some doubts about the Wildcats but it is hard to argue with no defeats at this time of year. Oklahoma State is also a bit under the radar but are a very good team. The Sooners exposed the Longhorns. I expected a better game. Mack Brown needs to get some better play behind center. Baylor beat a better than usual Iowa State squad and can't be ruled out in the Big XII race.
Oregon and Stanford are the only teams in the PAC XII that matter this year. It is hard to take either Arizona team very seriously. Sorry. We will see how the Ducks respond if James is out for a while. They still should be able to do well in the moribund conference. Stanford is the real deal and could be a dark horse in the national race. No one else is worth mentioning at this point.
The MWC is the Broncos' to lose. They won't though. No one else in that league has the talent to keep up with the quick strike offense that the Broncs sport. Their defense is not too shabby either. TCU and SDSU are the best of the rest. I thought that the Aztecs would be able to put another dent in the finish of the Frogs but they fell short. Air Force did not show up against the Irish. Could it be that Notre Dame is righting the ship? Let us hope not.
The MAC Championship game will be a rematch of Toledo and Temple. I will eat your hat if it is not so. Ohio and Ball State were exposed. WMU still may have a shot. They are playing pretty good ball.
The Cajuns have beaten two of the best teams in the Sun Belt. Wait? Does that mean that ULL may have the best squad in this conference? That thought seems a bit strange, but it just may be so. Still a lot of football to be played though.
I have been paying some attention to the Aggies of Utah State. They have lost some heartbreakers and are a better team than their record. They proved that somewhat with a rout of Wyoming yesterday. They may be a factor in the WAC race. That league is wide open at this point. Most teams in the conference have a legitimate shot. I will say it is probably between Fresno State, Hawaii, and the Aggies though. Speaking of Fresno State; I would have thought that Pat Hill's squad would have at least kept it relatively close against the Broncos. They did not.
It was kind of hard to watch five games at the same time last evening. UH/ECU; TTU/Texas Agriculture; Arkansas/Auburn, and Nebraska/Ohio State. It was done though with a lot of channel flipping.
Arkansas looks to be a very good team. Just under LSU and Alabama. Should either (or both) of those teams falter then the Hogs could be right there. Georgia has the benefit of a rather "easy" schedule the rest of the way and may well be a factor in the SEC East. They are not in the same universe as LSU, Bama, or likely the Hogs. South Carolina may have had a chance to work out their kinks in the scrimmage with Kentucky. Florida is done. They will reach a bowl game sure, but this will be considered a "bad" year by the Gator faithful.
I thought for a moment that the Buckeyes were wearing Texas Agriculture gear the way they let the Cornhuskers come roaring back on them. Ohio State certainly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Michigan survived a scare and was pretty lucky they were not upset by the Wildcats. Illinois continues to quietly build a good season and Wisconsin was idle. The Badgers just may be the best team in the land. There is certainly a case to be made.
The Houston Cougars finally won in convincing fashion. They may get into the top 25 this week. Their schedule is too light for them to be a BCS buster I think but they certainly have a chance to run the table in conference play. USM, Tulsa, SMU, and UCF are the best of the rest and any of them have a legitimate shot of winning this mediocre but rather interesting conference.
Have a good week.