Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bye Week This and That

In no particular order:
-Raise your hand if you wrote down Missouri, Oregon, Auburn and Michigan State at the start of the year as the last remaining unbeatens from the BCS conference. Liar.
-If there are any Rich Rod critics out there who still believe that his offense "won't work on a big stage", please note that three of those four teams run versions of his offense. That and the fact that Northwestern has run the offense successfully for ten years with less talent than just about anyone in the league. His problem ain't offense, it's everything else.
-I didn't see any of the MSU/Northwestern game, and only heard a few minutes of it on the radio as we were running errands, but it seems to me that road wins against winning conference teams where you come back from a 17-0 deficit are one of the requirements for a championship season.
-MSU can almost print their tickets for Pasadena. With Iowa's loss to Wisconsin, the spartans can afford to lose one of their remaining four games and still win the league title. Even if they lose to the Hawkeyes next week, they can still win the title if OSU beats Iowa, or if MSU, Iowa, & Wisconsin all finish with one loss. Even if you throw OSU in there and make it a four way tie, MSU still gets the Rose Bowl bid. All the Spartans have to do is beat Purdue and Minnesota at home and Penn State on the road and they get their first Rose Bowl in 23 years. It would take an epic collapse to miss out on a BCS bowl. While "epic collapse" and "Michigan State" have gone together like the Captain and Tenile for the better part of the last 40 years, that trend has reversed itself the last three years, as they have found a way to win important games down the stretch in each of Dantonio's first three years.
-Of course, if they win in Iowa City on saturday, they may miss the Rose Bowl by getting invited to the BCS championship game. They may get to play Boise State sooner than they planned.
-It seems that the best LSU QB changes from week to week, depending on who's starting, with the best player always being the guy who comes off the bench.
-What the hell has happened to Texas? I understand them having an off year (they've won ten or more since 2001, and haven't won fewer than 9 since 97), but losing to Iowa State? At home? Maybe Mack Brown has checked out, but you'd figure they have enough talent to overcome whatever is ailing them against Iowa State in Austin. They might be an underdog this week at home against Baylor. I'm pretty sure that's one of the signs of the apocalypse.
-The SEC East is starting to look like a typical year in the ACC, where all teams finish between 5-3 and 3-5 in conference. I wonder if Urban Meyer is regretting his decision to come back. Can they fire Mark Richt if he wins the SEC East at 5-3? I think Derek Dooley had more wins over SEC teams when he was at La Tech then he does at Tennessee.
-Like offense? Try watching the Cal Golden Bears. So far this year they've scored 52 against UC Davis, 52 on Colorado, given up 52 to Nevada, scored 35 on UCLA, given up 48 to USC, and just this week scored 50 on Arizona State. They're scoring 35 points per game and haven't played the two worst scoring defenses in the Pac Ten, Washington State and Oregon State. They haven't played the top two offenses, Oregon and Stanford, either.
-This weekend was about as bad as possible for us on a bye week. All five of the teams we've beaten this year were beaten this week, some in blowout fashion - IU by 30 to Illinois, Notre Dame by 18 to Navy, UConn shutout at Louisville, 26-0, BGSU losing by 24 to Kent State. Strength of schedule really doesn't matter too much to a team nowhere near the BCS, but the fact that Umass was beaten 39-13 by a 5-3 New Hampshire team really doesn't me a lot of confidence about the season going forward.