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October 10, 2006

SCS.comSix weeks into the season, the bowl picture is starting to become more clear. Many things will change in the upcoming weeks, but take a moment to bask in the clarity. Are you done yet? Take your time.

While you are resting, I will get you caught up on the week that was. If you did not hear, North Texas and Florida International played in a record-tying seven overtime game. North Texas won the contest 25-22. Illinois had 22 points in one quarter. They also lost, to Indiana.

In top 25 action, Auburn was knocked out of national title contention, for the time being that is. The top 6 has never been more clear. Ohio State, Florida, Michigan, West Virginia, USC, and Louisville should be in everyone's top 6 (though in no specific order). Texas, Cal, Notre Dame, and Tennessee are the best one-loss teams in the nation. This separation may not last long. By next week, the picture may be more fuzzy than Matthew McConaughey's beard.

Dec. 19 Poinsettia Colorado State vs. Navy
Dec. 21 Las Vegas Washington vs. BYU
Dec. 22 New Orleans UTEP vs. Middle Tennessee State
Dec. 23 New Mexico Air Force vs. San Jose State
Dec. 23 Birmingham SMU vs. USF
Dec. 23 Armed Forces Utah vs. Tulsa
Dec. 24 Hawaii Hawaii vs. Washington State
Dec. 26 Motor City Northern Illinois vs. Michigan State
Dec. 27 Emerald UCLA vs. Florida State
Dec. 27 Independence Texas A&M vs. Kentucky
Dec. 28 Holiday Oklahoma vs. Cal
Dec. 28 Texas UAB vs. TCU
Dec. 28 MPC Computers Idaho vs. Miami (FL)
Dec. 29 Champs Sports Boston College vs. Wisconsin
Dec. 29 Music City South Carolina vs. NC State
Dec. 29 Sun Oregon vs. Texas Tech
Dec. 29 Insight Michigan State vs. Kansas State
Dec. 30 Alamo Purdue vs. Nebraska
Dec. 30 Liberty Houston vs. Alabama
Dec. 30 Meineke Car Care Rutgers vs. Wake Forest
Dec. 30 Chick-fil-A Georgia vs. Clemson
Jan. 1 Gator Virginia Tech vs. Notre Dame
Jan. 1 Cotton Missouri vs. Auburn
Jan. 1 Outback Penn State vs. LSU
Jan. 1 Capital One Arkansas vs. Iowa
Jan. 1 Rose [BCS] Michigan vs. USC
Jan. 1 Fiesta [BCS] Boise State vs. Texas
Jan. 2 Orange [BCS] Florida vs. Georgia Tech
Jan. 3 Sugar [BCS] Tennessee vs. Louisville
Jan. 6 International Central Michigan vs. Pittsburgh
Jan. 7 GMAC Southern Miss vs. Kent State
Jan. 8 *BCS TITLE* Ohio State vs. West Virginia


  • Erik Ainge - If Ainge is missing from your Heisman list, go back and pencil his name in. Leading Tennessee to 51 points against the highly-touted Georgia defense earned him respect around the country. The Volunteers are right back in the SEC East chase.

  • NC State - When NC State opened the season with a 1-2 record, many Wolfpack fans were calling for Chuck Amato to be fired. They are now 3-2, and 2-0 in the ACC, and they have very winnable games ahead (Wake Forest, Maryland, and Virginia). I did not think I would saying NC State is an ACC contender this year, but I am.

  • Florida's two quarterback system - Rarely in college football does a two quarterback system work. However, Chris Leak and Tim Tebow of Florida compliment each other perfectly. The senior Leak has the arm and a possible future in the NFL. True freshman Tebow has speed and has matured very quickly. Tebow's two touchdown passes against LSU make him even more of a threat.

  • California - Cal has recovered from a tough season opener with five straight wins. They obliterated Pac-10 frontrunner Oregon 54-24 this past weekend, and a matchup with USC is the only thing that stands between them and a BCS bowl.

  • Arkansas - The Razorbacks upset highly-ranked Auburn, doing it with their star running backs. Felix Jones and Darren McFadden both had rushing touchdowns and 100-yard games. Arkansas now controls its own destiny in the SEC West.


  • Georgia defense - Before Georgia played Tennessee, UGA has the best scoring defense in the country, allowing only an average of 6.8 points per game. Let's just say giving up 51 points did not allow them to hold that position. (Ohio State now leads this category.) Maybe the defense was slightly overrated due to the weak offenses they faced previously.

  • Mid-Major hopes of a BCS bowl - The hopes of a BCS bowl now lay on the shoulders of Boise State. Every mid-major team has played itself out of contention for a BCS bowl, excluding BSU. With a fairly easy schedule ahead, do not be surprised if BSU finishes the season undefeated. However, this does not guarantee them a spot in a BCS bowl.

  • Bad endings - This does not mean I was upset by who won the game, but two games this weekend ended unfairly. Firstly, Minnesota and Penn State were playing in the Metrodome. After missing an extra point, Minnesota took a 27-21 lead in the first overtime. On a 4th and 9, Penn State threw an incomplete pass after it was swatted down by defensive back Trumaine Banks. However, pass interference was called. When I saw the flag fly I was shocked. After I saw the replay, I was even more shocked. This gave Penn State a free first down, as they marched on to beat Minnesota 28-27.

    Elsewhere, Washington was on the verge of upsetting Southern California, down by six late in the 4th quarter. At the 15-yard line, Washington had two seconds to get the play off. They should have had more time, but 2 seconds ran off the clock after a Washington first down. The refs then delayed the running of the clock, confusing both teams. When the ball was set and the clock began to run, it was to late for Washington to get set. USC won the game, but I found it unjust. Washington was deprived of a chance to win, a victory that would have been a program builder.

  • Big Ten depth - Ohio State and Michigan are easily the best two teams in the Big 10. Iowa, Penn State, and Wisconsin are on their way to bowl bids. However, the rest of the Big 10 lags behind. Purdue has fallen back to earth after starting 4-0. Minnesota is 0-3 in conference play. Michigan State is imploding after their loss to Notre Dame, while Northwestern, Indiana, and Illinois are as bad as they come. If you hear someone say that the Big 10 is the best conference in football, tell them this isn't last year's Big 10.

  • Wake Forest imploding - Wake Forest is a good team, and should get a bowl bid. However, they had a chance to move to 6-0 with a win over ACC foe Clemson. WF was up 17-3 going into the 4th quarter, but a botched field goal returned for a touchdown started the choke job. WF gave up 24 4th quarter points to a determined Clemson team. The Deacons need to get back on track before they play NC State this week.

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