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MONDAY QUICK HITS: 'THE GEEK SQUAD' ATOP SEC EAST
October 6, 2008

SCS.comPocket protector wearing college students rejoice! Vanderbilt, one of the best academic universities not in the Ivy League, is 3-0 in the SEC and will likely find themselves inside the top 15. The Commodores are the definition of scrappiness. Vandy has trailed at halftime against every SEC opponent they have played. They thrive in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Their defense have kept South Carolina, Mississippi, and Auburn to seven 2nd half points. The Vandy offense is based off a ‘run first’ zone-read offense. Somehow, someway, the ’Dores find a way to win. They are now 5-0, with a winnable game next week against Mississippi State. Next time you see a kid get shoved into a locker, or you see your co-worker reading up on Dudgeons and Dragons or the newest computer technology, think of Vandy.

Is the Big 12 better than the SEC this year? I know that this might get me in trouble, but I think that the Big 12 is the best conference this season. They have five 5-0 teams (Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Missouri), and one 4-1 team (Kansas). All the teams mentioned have great offenses and fantastic quarterbacks. Florida, Georgia, Auburn, and Tennessee, the usual contenders in the SEC, have had some ups and downs. Let me propose a Big 12 vs. SEC challenge, like the ACC vs. Big 10 challenge in basketball.

Oklahoma vs. Alabama
Missouri vs. LSU
Oklahoma State vs. Vanderbilt
Texas vs. Georgia
Texas Tech vs. Florida
Kansas vs. Auburn or Kentucky

I know I should never doubt the SEC, but the Big 12 is stacked beyond belief this year. Oklahoma’s, Texas’s, and Missouri’s offenses have looked absolutely unstoppable so far this year. The amount of offensive playmakers is boundless. Whether you agree with me or not, you have to respect what the Big 12 is doing this season.

If you gamble on college football, stay away from the ACC. It has been the most unpredictable and sporadic conference so far this year. Stick with me here. Does this make any sense?

Last week, Clemson, the favorites, lost to Maryland. Maryland, who beat Cal and Michigan State but lost to Middle Tennessee State, lost to Virginia 31-0. Virginia, the week before, lost to Duke 31-3. Duke was embarrassed by Georgia Tech 27-0. Georgia Tech fell to Virginia Tech earlier in the year by three. That makes Virginia Tech one of the best teams in the conference, right? Well, this week they struggled against Western Kentucky. Wake Forest and Florida State have also had their struggles. This conference has no identity. Honestly, North Carolina looks to be the best team in the conference, although they lost a three-point lost to Virginia Tech (UNC was up 17-0 before they starting QB got hurt).

It was nice to see the Miami (FL) vs. Florida State rivalry game rekindle some excitement and intensity that has been missing from recent games. Both programs have fallen, but both appear to be back on the rise. Slowly but surely these schools will become relevant again.

Hits:

  • I thought Boise State would have trouble with Louisiana Tech. I thought wrong. Boise State is head and shoulders the best team in the WAC.

  • Great Thursday night wins for Pittsburgh and Utah. Pitt beat USF on the road. Utah scored 11 points in 1:30 to beat Oregon State, fresh off their upset of USC.

  • Oklahoma and Texas took care of business this weekend. This upcoming Red Rivalry game will be one of the best in recent memory.

  • Congrats to Ball State (6-0), who is still rolling even after the career-ending injury to Dante Love.

  • USC, who was down 10-3 early in the 2nd quarter, scored 41 unanswered points en route to a blowout win.

  • You think Missouri’s, Texas’s, or Oklahoma’s offense is hard to stop? Try stopping Tulsa’s offense. They rank 1st in scoring offense, averaging 56.4 points per game.

  • Terrelle Pryor wrote the first chapter of his career against Wisconsin. Down 17-13 with under two minutes to go, Pryor scored a 11-yard rushing touchdown to give Ohio State the lead. Beanie Wells and Pryor are a deadly combination.

    Misses:

  • Virginia Tech looked unimpressive Saturday, winning 27-13 over Western Kentucky. I honestly have been unimpressed by them all season. They need to get better on offense, rushing and passing, if they want to be a top 15 team.

  • Who had the feeling that Mississippi would lose to South Carolina, after beating Florida the week before?

  • Tennessee snuck by Northern Illinois 13-9. Nick Stephens looked solid at quarterback, but the team is still not performing well.

  • Connecticut looked horrible against North Carolina. They threw three interceptions and had three punts blocked.

  • I am officially throwing Oklahoma’s and BYU’s wins over Washington out the window. That team is just plain bad.

  • Fresno State is now in a hole in the WAC. They lost to Hawaii in overtime 32-29 this weekend. They are now chasing Boise State. Fresno State will eventually have to travel to Boise, Idaho, where the Broncos rarely lose.

  • U.S.A.
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