Archive for year 2009

College Gridiron 365 Power Rankings

We’ve reached the midpoint of the season and Florida and Alabama remain on a collision course to meet in the SEC title game on December 5. Texas shook off what’s becoming typical first half sluggishness to KO Colorado. The ‘Horns face their biggest challenge of the regular season in archrival Oklahoma this Saturday—the last ever Red River Shootout to be played at the Cotton Bowl.

1. FLORIDA GATORS/SEC (5-0). Well, Tebow took the snaps, and like I projected, the Gators took the Tigers by the tail in Baton Rouge last weekend, 13-3. Arkansas visits Gainesville Saturday as 24.5-point underdogs. The Gators will win, but not by that spread.
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE/SEC (6-0). Roll Tide, Roll. And did they ever, to the tune of 22-3, marginalizing Mississippi’s passing game and tossing the Rebs’ postseason hopes onto the now mounting heap of once possible BCS Cinderfellas. Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks come to town with visions of an upset dancing inside their helmets. Won’t happen.
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Fourth and inches …

Don’t expect a shootout at the Red River … Look for a defensive battle. Oklahoma has an outstanding defense. The Longhorns’ aren’t as stalwart on D, but they’ll be tough to move the ball on thru the air. The Sooners will need to get a ground game established, if they hope to be on the victors side of this contest. The Cotton Bowl Stadium is the game site for the last time in this historic rivalry. Next year the Shootout will move to Cowboys Stadium in Forth Worth.

Stop the presses in Boulder: Dan Hawkins benches son. I’m only surprised because I thought it would happen sooner. Cody Hawkins would be a decent back-up QB for most Division 1A schools—even in Boulder. But as a starter for the Buffaloes this year, the younger Hawkins has a 1-4 record, completing barely over 50 percent of his passes for 5.4 yards per attempt, with 9 interceptions and 9 TD passes.

Can Notre Dame escape the Trojan headlock on this series? USC has won the last seven meetings between these rivals—six of the wins came by at least 20 points. This Saturday’s game is the first time in three years where both schools have a legitimate shot to earn a BCS bowl game.
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College Gridiron 365 Power Rankings

And another one bites the dust…say goodbye to longshot Virginia Tech and Ohio State and their BCS national championship game hopes. Texas barely survives the toothless Sooners and Cincy impresses with big road win over South Florida. For now, though, it’s looking like the SEC champ will play either Texas or USC in Pasadena on January 7.

1. FLORIDA GATORS/SEC (6-0). If you haven’t heard about it by now, you can’t say you’re much of a college football fan. The Gators were helped by several bad calls by SEC refs on their way to a 23-20 win over Arkansas. The officiating crew has since been suspended. Next up: at Mississippi State.
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE/SEC (7-0). The Tide prevailed over a feisty South Carolina squad, 20-6, and play host to an improving Tennessee this weekend. The Vols manhandled Georgia 45-19 last Saturday.
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Fourth and inches …

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch renews his ill-advised and embarrassing fight to quash the BCS … considering all the other problems that need to be solved with the economy, domestic security, and foreign relations, there couldn’t be a bigger waste of government time and resources … If Senator Hatch actually had a clue, he would understand that if the BCS was shut down by the government, we’d see a quick return to the old bowl game system that existed pre-BCA (Bowl Championship Alliance) — the organization that preceded the BCS.

Most fans might disagree, but I’m all for it. It beats a playoff, which will never happen anyway. However, the best scenario would be a true Plus-one system, where four or five BCS bowl winners would be re-ranked and the top two teams would play for the national title. That wouldn’t be much different from the system we have now, except we wouldn’t know who was playing in the title game until the dust had settled on January 2nd.
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College Gridiron 365 Power Rankings

Six more weekends to go and it’s time to shed some dead Top 25 weight and shift focus to the Sweet 16 from now on. You can take it to the bank that the SEC champ will be playing in Pasadena on January 7 for the national title. If Texas remains unbeaten, they’ll be the other contender. If the Longhorns falter along the way, then it’ll be Iowa if they keep their record unblemished. A slip-up by the Hawkeyes and you’re looking at USC, if they can run the table the rest of the season. So there you have it: Florida or Alabama vs Texas/Iowa/USC in the BCS National Championship.

1. FLORIDA GATORS/SEC (7-0). The Gators continue to disappoint, perhaps only because our expectations are so huge. They handled Mississippi State on the road, 29-19, but not without protestation about the SEC officials—again—from the opposing head coach. Guess who got fined by Mike Slive? Next up: The Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville this weekend.
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE/SEC (8-0). Alabama struggled to squeak out a 12-10 victory over a Tennessee team that is playing with a lot of heart these days. Despite their 3-4 record, the Vols looked impressive, holding the Tide to just 256 total yards. ‘Bama has a week off to get their offense back on track for LSU on Nov 7.
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Fourth and inches …

What a circus it’s been this season in the SEC … some terrible officiating has been exposed, head coaches complaining and getting fined, and now Mike Slive is imposing what amounts to a gag order on any further grumbling by the conference’s head coaches.

“On rare occasions over the last seven years there were several private reprimands and that took care of the matter,” Slive said in a telephone interview with AP sportswriter Ralph Russo. “On occasion there were public reprimands and that took care of it, but it became clear to me after last week that I was no longer interested in reprimands. We will go right to suspensions and fines.”

Slive has already fined Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, and Bobby Petrino of Arkansas for registering public complaints about the officiating blunders.
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