Time to review this past week in college football.
Music to listen to: Temperature by Sean Paul
Here’s my top-25 with analysis of the top-five squads:
1- Auburn: I’ve had Oregon as the top squad for the past few weeks but after coming from behind at Alabama on Friday afternoon, the Tigers are the top squad heading into the SEC title game against South Carolina.
2- Oregon: The Ducks should handle business at Oregon State on Saturday but stranger things have happened.
3- Stanford: I’m torn on whether the Cardinal or TCU should be in this spot but I’m taking Stanford because they have the better overall squad with arguably the top NFL talent in all of college football.
4- TCU: I’m not going to knock the Horned Frogs too hard for struggling at the start of the New Mexico game but when you look at the overall resume of TCU in comparison to Stanford, you have to take the Cardinal.
5- Wisconsin: Yes, Michigan State beat Wisconsin earlier in the year but I think the Badgers are playing better at this moment.
6- Michigan State: It’s a bummer for Sparty that they weren’t able to go to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988. I’m not a fan of using the BCS as the deciding factor in a three-team tie but I guess that’s the best alternative.
7- Ohio State: How about E. Gordon Gee trying to stir up trouble. I remember him as the chancellor of Vandy when I was an undergrad there and have some opinions of him. I’ll stick with football. Gee should be careful making those statements when the Buckeyes played FOUR MAC schools this year and avoided Michigan State on the schedule. Glass houses, Mr. Gee, glass houses.
8- Arkansas: It makes you wonder if the Razorbacks had the rushing attack of Knile Davis right now, would Arkansas been able to beat Alabama or Auburn?
9- Boise State: Nice squad, Chris Peterson is an excellent coach, but Boise has been a top-10 squad the whole season and not a top-three team. The loss to Nevada, even with the missed field goal kicks, showed this.
10- Oklahoma: Another season, another Big 12 South title for Oklahoma.
13- Virginia Tech
16- Oklahoma State
17- South Carolina
19- Florida State
20- Texas A&M
21- Mississippi State
23- West Virginia
24- Northern Illinois
– Man, nothing like waking up on a Saturday morning and having the head coach of your alma mater quitting before the final game of the season.
Vanderbilt’s football effort this season has been disappointing. The fact that the Commodores won only two games this season isn’t the bad part, believe it or not. Vandy won only two games in two separate seasons while I was an undergrad there. I’m used to the losing…only to a certain point.
I can talk about the limitations of the resources that Vandy has, the difficulty of playing in the SEC, the struggles of getting elite talent to come to Nashville and a bunch of other stuff but you don’t want to hear that as a reader of this post because your school of choice probably has issues of its own.
The thing that disappointed me most about this season was the lack of effort and fielding a competitive squad.
I’m sure that there were some players on this year’s squad who gave a their maximum effort and gave their complete commitment to the team.
However, it wasn’t enough.
I don’t expect Vandy to win the SEC East anytime, let alone a conference title or a national title. I don’t expect us to be debating which BCS bowl the Commodores are going to appear in.
What I do expect is to not get blown out by Florida and Georgia. I don’t expect to have competitive first halves against LSU, Arkansas or South Carolina and then look so inept in the second half.
I love Vandy. Its my alma mater. My nephew asked me why I keep following Vandy football despite the lack of success on the field and I responded that I’m a Commodore for life. I believe that.
However, its disappointing to tune into a night game on Saturday night against Wake Forest that you stayed in for and watched the majority of the contest to only see your squad get dominated by arguably the worst team in the ACC this season.
I’ll continue to watch the games, take pride in many attributes of the university but its not as enjoyable of an experience as it used to be.
Oh, who should be the new head coach at Vandy, that will deserve a separate post.
-If Auburn wins the national title this season, the win at Alabama this past Friday will be considered the most memorable. I’m still trying to figure out how the Tigers were able to pull out the victory.
The victory was also a major win for the SEC because if Auburn does finish the season undefeated, it would be the fourth different squad along with Florida, Alabama and LSU to win a national title in the current BCS-era and you can even stretch it out to Tennessee if you go with the old Bowl Coalition format of the late 1990’s.
No other conference can claim more than two.
-TCU joining the Big East has less significance than you would think.
The Horned Frogs are already going to make the BCS this season and if Oregon or Auburn loses this weekend, they’re going to play in the national title game. Joining the Big East doesn’t change that.
What this move shows is more desperation by the Big East to include a school that is hundreds of miles away from the nearest member, decreases its value in Olympic sports, doesn’t have a good basketball program, etc.
The only two benefits are a top-national baseball program and the Dallas-Ft. Worth media market for television purposes.
The Big East feared that it would lose its automatic qualifier spot in the BCS and picked the best available squad.
-Its good that Stanford will probably get a spot in the BCS if expected results happen this weekend, because if the Cardinal got left out, that would be another indication that the system is flawed.
-There was a time that the USC and Notre Dame game would have been my top subject but how times have changed.
I actually think that the Irish will be a consistent 8-win squad that will sometimes win 10+ games once every four or five years and make the BCS. Brian Kelly will do a good job for them if he’s given a chance.
You already know my feelings about Lane Kiffin, head coach of USC. He doesn’t make it past the 2012 season.
-Florida State looks like its one season away from being a consistent top-10 squad again after its domination of Florida.
The days of finishing in the top-five for more than ten years in a row are over, for everybody honestly, but a run of conference titles isn’t outside of the realm of possibility for the Seminoles.
-Until the Gators figure out their quarterback situation, things won’t get better in Gainesville.
-If I was the athletic director of Michigan, I would relieve Rich Rodriguez of his duties as head coach.
The Wolverines aren’t winning on the field and have had some embarrassing moments off the field, particularly violating NCAA rules with practicing the players.
When you lose the fans, administration, alumni and violate rules, its probably time to move on.
-One underrated rivalry contest I would like to attend is the Holy War between BYU and Utah and this year’s contest looked fun as Brandon Burton of Utah blocked BYU kicker Mitch Payne’s field goal attempt as time expired to give the Utes the victory.
-I really wanted Kentucky to end its 25-year losing streak to Tennessee on Saturday for obvious reasons (the day I root for those hillbillies in that east Tennessee community college will be the day I stop being a sports fan), but it was also because I don’t like seeing one team have such domination over another one.
That being said, Tennessee is one squad that can certainly take advantage of the struggles of Florida and Georgia because the Vols to have the resources to make it interesting.
Getting six wins this year despite all of the Kiffin drama in the off-season and hiring Derek Dooley who was perceived to not be the first choice as head coach is an accomplishment.
-My final thought will be on Randy Shannon.
Despite doing everything right off of the field, at a place like Miami, you have to get wins on the field. More on him in the future.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?