Sunday, October 30, 2011

College Football notes...

Another wild Saturday produced 2 fewer un-beaten teams, but the BCS picture still is a little foggy...

Assuming the LSU-Bama winner wins the SECCG, their opponent will be one of the following:

1) Oklahoma State if they win out (Oklahoma still left, No Big 12 CG this year)
2) If OK St loses, Stanford would be in if they win out (Oregon/ASU in CG)

That is it for the undefeated teams, except Boise...Would Boise get a shot if OSU/Stanford both lose and they are the only other undefeated team? Would LSU-Boise be a game that would get you excited to watch?

So, our controversy will be through the roof if OSU and Stanford win out and the arguments begin for who gets the SEC Champion, or which 1 loss team should move past Boise.

Here are the candidates to possibly move past Boise into the Title Game.

1) The LSU-Bama loser - We've heard all sorts of debate about whether a team that didn't win its division should play for the title. In fact, just 4 seasons ago, Les Miles was very adamant about his stance that a non-conference champion should not be considered. It will be interesting what his comments will be if they lose at Bama and end up in this situation.

2) Oregon - Duck fans will likely support a re-match with LSU if they are the SEC Champion, but will have a tougher argument if Bama wins the game next week.

3) Oklahoma - OU will win the Big 12 title if they win out and knock off OSU. If a 1 loss team has a shot at getting in, the Sooners would have quite a bit of momentum coming off a road win against the possible #2 team in the country.

Lots of computer numbers to run and human poll factors to consider, but if we have a 1-loss team, look for the debate to be through the roof this year. Coaches lobbying for human votes and trying to get to the #2 spot...

As for some of the other teams from yesterday...

Speaking of BCS games, no conference is as wide open as the Big East. Cincy is currently the leader, but could still finish last. The only team that is really out of it is USF, and they beat Notre Dame. I'd pick a winner here, but I have no clue.

You have to give Auburn credit this year, they have a bye week before UGA on 11/12, and if they win are looking at an 8-4 season. With the schedule they faced and the starters they lost, that would be an incredible season, especially considering most experts picked them to win 5 or 6 games.

Also in the SEC, some credit to South Carolina as well. Since getting torched by the UGA offense in Week 2, the Gamecock defense has given up 34 total points in their next 5 SEC games. While the Spurrier offense has been horrendous, the D has kept them in the SEC East race.

Penn State moved to 8-1 with their only loss being to Bama, but look for PSU to struggle to get to 9 wins. They get Nebraska at home next week, then travel to OSU and Wisconsin to close out the schedule.

In that Big 10 Leaders division, look for OSU to beat IU and Purdue the next 2 weeks, setting up that showdown with PSU. That game will play a big role in who wins that division as 5-0 PSU currently has a nice lead over 2-2 Wisconsin and OSU.

A pretty cool story is going on in the Sun-Belt in case you are watching, and I'm guessing you aren't. Western Kentucky joined the conference in 2008 after being an FCS and Independent FBS team and really struggled. They went 0-fer in the Sun Belt in 08 and 09, finally picking up 2 conference wins last year. The Hilltoppers went 2-10 in 2008 (both wins over FCS teams), 0-12 in 2009, and 2-10 in 2010. The 2011 edition of WKU started off 0-4, including a 4 touchdown blowout loss to FCS Indiana State.

But since losing a close game to 1st place Arkansas St on 10/1, the Hilltoppers are on a 4 game win streak, including 2 OT wins and 3 road wins. While they will probably get trounced by 40+ by LSU in a few weeks, if they can win 2 more conference games it could be bowl time for Western Kentucky.

RSM Top 25 for 10/30

1. Alabama
2. LSU
3. Oklahoma St
4. Stanford
5. Boise St
6. Oregon
7. Oklahoma
8. Nebraska
9. Arkansas
10. South Carolina
11. Kansas St
12. Clemson
13. Michigan St
14. Virginia Tech
15. Houston
16. Penn State
17. Auburn
18. Michigan
19. Georgia
20. Arizona St
21. USC
22. Wisconsin
23. Washington
24. Georgia Tech
25. Texas

Sunday, October 9, 2011

RSM Top 25 (10/9)

1. Alabama
2. LSU
3. Wisconsin
4. Oklahoma
5. Boise St
6. Oklahoma St
7. Stanford
8. Clemson
9. Oregon
10. Michigan
11. Arkansas
12. Illinois
13. Kansas St
14. Nebraska
15. Georgia Tech
16. Arizona St
17. Florida
18. Texas A&M
19. Auburn
20. Texas
21. South Carolina
22. Virginia Tech
23. Notre Dame
24. Michigan St
25. West Virginia

Sunday, October 2, 2011

College Football and Braves Meltdown

Braves outlook:

Looking back now at the awful September the Braves had, moving forward there are going to be several big decisions to be made by Frank Wren. Sure, the JJ/Hanson injuries set the team back a bit, but St Louis didn't have Wainwright all year. This offense needs some stability with another bat as it appeared to be too easy for Fredi to juggle the lineup from day to day.

Wren has said that Heyward and Lowe are not guaranteed their jobs, but neither should Prado. I want no part of Jose Reyes, but if the money is there, I would be interested in Prince Fielder (Freeman to RF?). The guy I would look to deal is Beachy...Go with Huddy/Hanson/JJ/Minor/Teheran to start, knowing Delgado/Medlen will have to make plenty of starts with injury concerns for JJ/Hanson and inning limits for Minor/Teheran.

I think Heyward needs to go back to RF to start next season. He is too promising of a talent to demote him to a 4th outfielder at age 22 and I believe he will improve. The guy I would move, as you may have figured out above, is Beachy. He should have good value on the trade market and Wren would be dealing from the team's strength. Maybe a corner outfielder that is an OPS guy? I'd call our trading pals in KC and see what it would take to get Alex Gordon.

College football notes:

What is the deal with Texas A&M? Another week, another 17+ point lead at halftime vanishes. The Aggies were a pre-season top 10 pick by most, now they may struggle to get to 8 wins.

Apparently Bob Griffin is human...The Heisman front-runner threw a late pick that led to a Baylor loss, hurting his Heisman hopes, but adding 5 TD passes to his season stats.

South Carolina's SEC East hopes took a big hit with their slip up at home against Auburn yesterday. After hosting Kentucky next week, the Cocks have 3 straight road tests that will determine their fate this season (MSU, UT, Ark). They need to win at least 2 to stay in the race.

What about Clemson? The high-powered offense was held to 23 on the road, but the D stepped up and got the Tigers to 5-0. Now, 3 weeks against the horrid likes of BC, MD, and UNC before the next test, in Atlanta vs GT.

Speaking of the Jackets, they should be unbeaten as well for the 10/29 game against Clemson as they have MD (crushed by Temple at home), UVA (squeaked by Idaho in OT yesterday), and the U (it's all about them) before the showdown in Atlanta.

The RSM pre-season top 3 teams have all passed their initial tests with flying colors as Oklahoma took out FSU on the road, Bama crushed Florida again, and Wisconsin beat down Nebraska in Madison...Look out for 11/5 in Tuscaloosa when LSU comes in town.

Top 25 for 10/2

1. Alabama
2. LSU
3. Wisconsin
4. Oklahoma
5. Boise St
6. Oklahoma St
7. Stanford
8. Clemson
9. Oregon
10. Michigan
11. Texas
12. Arkansas
13. Illinois
14. Florida
15. Auburn
16. Florida St
17. Nebraska
18. Texas A&M
19. Kansas St
20. Georgia Tech
21. South Carolina
22. Virginia Tech
23. Arizona St
24. Texas Tech
25. Michigan St