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Archive for November, 2009

College Gridiron 365 Power Rankings

Last week’s biggest shocker signaled the end of the reign of Troy in the Pac-10 Conference. But, look out Oregon. Arizona is anxious to do some shock and awe of their own in November. The biggest game of the week is LSU at Alabama. Both teams control their own destiny and the pathway is clear to the national title game for whichever squad can win their division and the SEC championship game. Another game you won’t want to miss is Ohio State at Penn State. Jim Tressel has never lost to a Big Ten opponent two years in a row, but pulling out a win in Happy Valley ain’t gonna be easy.

1. FLORIDA GATORS/SEC (8-0). Florida manhandled the Georgia Bulldogs, 41-17. Urban Meyer complained about the officiating and got slapped with a $30k fine. Just another routine day in the SEC. Gators entertain Vandy this weekend.
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE/SEC (8-0). Coming off a bye week, ‘Bama has had plenty of time to rest and rejigger their offensive attack for the visiting Bayou Bengals this weekend.
3. TEXAS LONGHORNS/Big 12 (8-0). Well, the Longhorns finally came up with their most impressive win of the season—on the road over Oklahoma State, 41-14. They’ll shift gears for a non-conference tilt against Central Florida this weekend.
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Fourth and inches …

Boise State’s PR campaign lands Yahoo sportswriter Dan Wetzel hook, line and sinker … In his most recent column, Wetzel mimics recent claims by Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier that “nobody” is willing to schedule Boise State in 2011. Really? Funny how neither Wetzel nor Bleymaier actually name any teams that won’t schedule the Broncos.

That’s because it’s a ploy to help the Broncos get into a BCS bowl game this year. Boise State was hoping their one-BCS-game-per-season formula would assure them of getting into the big money game this year but TCU is on track to secure the coveted automatic invite with a much more difficult non-conference and conference schedule.

BSU is facing the cold, hard fact that their formula won’t work when other non-BCS teams like TCU, BYU, Utah, and Houston are willing to schedule 2 or 3 games against BCS opponents each year.
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College Gridiron 365 Power Rankings

More shockers marred the leader board last weekend as Oregon choked at Stanford, Iowa sputtered and lost at home to Northwestern, and Penn State collapsed and handed over the keys to the Rose Bowl Game to Ohio State. Navy knocked off Notre Dame for the second time in three years and Oklahoma fell to Nebraska and tumbled out of the rankings for the first time in eleven years.

1. FLORIDA GATORS/SEC (9-0). The Gators continued their march toward a showdown against undefeated Alabama in the SEC title game with a 27-3 win over Vanderbilt. Florida heads to South Carolina this weekend to take on former coach Steve Spurrier.
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE/SEC (9-0). Another controversial SEC officiating call marred the Tide’s 24-15 decision over LSU, clinching the conference’s Western Division for Alabama. Up next: At Mississippi State.
3. TEXAS LONGHORNS/Big 12 (9-0). Texas handled Central Florida easily, 35-3, and head to Waco this weekend to take on Baylor in Big 12 action. Colt McCoy can tie Georgia’s David Greene for most victories by a college quarterback with the win.
4. CINCINNATI BEARCATS/Big East (9-0). The Bearcats struggled to put away Connecticut and pulled off a 47-45 squeaker to stay perfect and in control of the Big East. West Virginia will prove to be one of Cincy’s toughest tests of the season, especially if RB Noel Devine is healthy.
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Fourth and inches …

Coaching hot seats will only get hotter and the conference championship picture will begin to come into pretty clear focus this weekend … Dan Hawkins is most likely a goner if the Buffaloes can’t pull off a win at Iowa State this weekend. Charlie Weis needs a victory at Pitt to keep his job in play. He needs to get the Fighting Irish into a top paying tier 2 bowl game to stay safe. Rich Rodriguez probably has another year to salvage his sinking ship, but don’t underestimate the Michigan alumni. Another winter without a bowl trip would fuel some serious fires around Ann Arbor to oust RichRod now.

Overview of Division 1-A conference title races:

Big Ten
The winner of the Iowa – Ohio State game will lock up the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl Game berth on New Year’s Day.

Big East
If Pitt and Cincinnati continue winning, the title game will occur on December 5 in Pittsburgh between these two rivals.

SEC
Florida and Alabama are both locked in to the conference title game in Atlanta on Dec 5, regardless of what happens to either team in the next few weeks.
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College Gridiron 365 Power Rankings

The countdown to the bowl season is winding down rapidly with just three weekends of regular season surprises remaining. Pitt officially knocked Notre Dame out of the BCS bowl game picture, and Ohio State locked up the Big Ten’s automatic Rose Bowl Game berth with an overtime win over pesky Iowa. TCU assumed King of the Mountain status in the MWC with a 55-28 thrashing of last season’s non-BCS darling Utah, and the most shocking fall from the elite BCS ranks this season took place in the Los Angeles Coliseum as Stanford pummeled USC, 55-21.

1. FLORIDA GATORS/SEC (10-0). The Gators took on former coach Steve Spurrier in Columbia, South Carolina, emerging unscathed with a 24-14 victory. Tim Tebow was responsible for 225 of Florida’s 339 total yards and two TDs. Up next: Florida International.
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE/SEC (10-0). Mark Ingram rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns and the Tide defense stifled Mississippi State, allowing just 213 total yards and a field goal in a 31-3 beatdown. This week will be a breather with Chattanooga visiting Tuscaloosa.
3. TEXAS LONGHORNS/Big 12 (10-0). Texas reached the ten-win plateau for the ninth straight season with a thorough 47-14 thrashing of the Baylor Bears. They’ll host a Kansas team that is seriously tanking with five straight losses on the books.
4. TEXAS CHRISTIAN HORNED FROGS/MWC (10-0). TCU jumped out to a quick 35-7 lead over defending conference champion Utah, ending up with an emphatic 55-28 smack-down. The Frogs travel north to Laramie this weekend to take on Wyoming in 39-degree weather.
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Fourth and inches …

Toby Gerhart, don’t let me down in your last two games of the regular season because I’m going to rave about why you are the top candidate for the Heisman Trophy … Toby has 1,395 yards rushing in 10 games (5.3 yards per attempt). That’s third in the nation, 96 yards behind the leader in this category. But the two running backs ahead of him have not faced the same level of competition—they both play in the pathetically weak Western Athletic Conference where even the conference’s top dog, undefeated Boise State, ranks 38th in the nation in total rushing yards allowed and 31st in rushing yards per game allowed.

Gerhart averages 139.5 yards per game, third in the nation among all backs with at least 150 rushing attempts, again just a few yards behind the two WAC rushers (Ryan Mathews, Fresno State and Donald Buckram, UTEP).

His 19 rushing touchdowns are second to Navy’s Ricky Dobbs (22 TDs) and he leads in rushing attempts, a clear indication of his durability and impact on the field.
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