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ALABAMA, TEXAS TECH SEPARATE FROM THE REST
November 11, 2008

SCS.comAlabama and Texas Tech are trying their hardest to avoid a BCS controversy. Both teams are taking care of business. Both are undefeated. However, both have huge tests ahead. Tech has Oklahoma in two weeks before finishing with Baylor. If they manage to win both games, they will likely play Missouri in the Big 12 championship game. Texas Tech just rolled over Oklahoma State 56-20, but Oklahoma is a different type of monster. They are arguably playing the best offense in college football. OU has scored 58 points or more in its last three games. Tech and OU will be coming off byes before the game at Norman, Oklahoma. I am done doubting Texas Tech. I did not think they would beat Texas or Okie State. I have changed my tune. This team is for real. Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree make up one of the best QB-WR combinations in college football history.

Alabama won a slugfest, not a shootout, this past weekend. Their 27-21 overtime win over LSU was just as impressive at Tech’s win over OSU. Death Valley was rocking, probably because Nick Saban, former LSU coach, was on the sidelines for the Crimson Tide. Alabama forced LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee to throw four interceptions, including one in overtime. Alabama has enough playmakers (Julio Jones, Glen Coffee) and leadership (John Parker Wilson) to win big games like this. They should dominate Mississippi State and Auburn before they meet Florida in the SEC championship game, a national title semi-final game. Then again, when has everything worked out perfectly when it comes to deciding who plays in the BCS championship game?

There are several fan bases that are hoping for chaos. Florida, Southern California, Texas, and Oklahoma are all hoping to find a way to sneak into the BCS top two. Florida will get its chance when they play Alabama in the SEC title game. However, the other three can only keep winning. Southern California has looked impressive against teams like Washington and Washington State, and not so impressive against fairly good teams like Arizona and California (USC‘s defense has never looked unimpressive). They also have to hope that Oregon State loses one of its next three games (Cal, Arizona, Oregon), or USC will not win the PAC 10 outright. In my opinion, USC is the team with the worst chances of sneaking into the national title game.

Oklahoma and Texas have been far more impressive this year. Their defenses are not as good as USC’s, but their offenses are the most dynamic in college football only behind Texas Tech. The issue is, if OU beats Tech, who goes to the Big 12 title game? Texas, who beat OU but lost to Tech, or OU, who beat Tech but lost to Texas. Oh my head. I am going to drop this subject before I start screaming for a playoff.

Hits:

  • Utah struggled to move the ball all game against TCU. However, down 10-6 the Utes drove 80-yards in 2:01 to take the lead 13-10. Utah is now 10-0 with only San Diego State and BYU standing in their way of a BCS bowl.

  • Ball State, who is not likely to be rewarded with a BCS bowl, is still unbeaten. They beat Northern Illinois 45-14 on Wednesday. After Miami (OH) next week, they have their two extremely tough games against Central and Western Michigan.

  • Boise State is 9-0 after crushing Utah State 49-14. Only Nevada and Fresno State could stop Boise State from another undefeated season and a BCS bowl.

  • The Big East is still very much in the air. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati both got huge wins this weekend. Pitt dominated Louisville and Cincy held off West Virginia in overtime. Rutgers and WVU are not out of it, but Cincinnati is looking like the best team in the conference.

  • I do not want to attempt to breakdown the ACC this week because there is no stability in that conference, but Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Florida State got huge wins in conference play.

    Misses:

  • Illinois got beat by Western Michigan 23-17. The Illini could not stop QB Tim Hiller, who threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Speaking of embarrassing losses, Tennessee lost to Wyoming, who was 3-6, 13-7. Lame duck coach Phillip Fulmer could not rally the troops. This is a crushing loss for the UT football program.

  • Penn State’s loss to Iowa kills their hopes at a national title. Daryll Clark struggled mightily and PSU settled for three red-zone field goals, a losing recipe.

  • Vanderbilt is 0-4 since starting 5-0. Vanderbilt must beat Kentucky, Tennessee, or Wake Forest if they want to avoid starting 5-0 and not going to a bowl for the 2nd time this decade.

  • Notre Dame has lost three out of their last four games. The latest came by the hands of Boston College. They were shut out, losing 17-0. Jimmy Clausen’s four interception is a major setback when it seemed as if he was making huge improvements this season.

    BOWL PROJECTIONS

    EagleBank Bowl - Navy vs. Virginia
    New Mexico Bowl - UNLV vs. San Jose State
    Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl - BYU vs. Oregon
    St. Petersburg Bowl - South Florida vs. Memphis
    R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Troy vs. Rice
    Sheraton Hawaii Bowl - Hawaii vs. Buffalo
    San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - Air Force vs. Nevada
    Motor City Bowl - Central Michigan vs. Illinois
    Champs Sports Bowl - Miami (Fl) vs. Minnesota
    Emerald Bowl - Boston College vs. California
    Meineke Car Care Bowl - Georgia Tech vs. Cincinnati
    Texas Bowl - Colorado vs. Houston
    PapaJohn’s.com Bowl - West Virginia vs. Southern Miss
    PetroSun Independence Bowl - Kansas State vs. La. Lafayette
    Alamo Bowl - Nebraska vs. Northwestern
    Pacific Life Holiday Bowl - Oklahoma State vs. Oregon State
    Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl - Maryland vs. Boise State
    Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - TCU vs. Marshall
    Sun Bowl - Arizona vs. Missouri
    Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl - Wake Forest vs. Rutgers
    Chick-fil-A Bowl - North Carolina vs. Kentucky
    Insight Bowl - Kansas vs. Wisconsin
    Outback Bowl - Iowa vs. South Carolina
    Konica Minolta Gator Bowl - Virginia Tech vs. Notre Dame
    Capital One Bowl - Michigan State vs. Georgia
    AutoZone Liberty Bowl - Tulsa vs. Mississippi
    AT&T Cotton Bowl - Oklahoma vs. LSU
    International Bowl - Connecticut vs. Western Michigan
    GMAC Bowl - Ball State vs. ECU
    Rose Bowl presented by Citi - USC vs. Penn State
    Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Texas vs. Utah
    FedEx Orange Bowl - Florida State vs. Pittsburgh
    Allstate Sugar Bowl - Florida vs. Ohio State
    FedEx BCS National Championship - Texas Tech vs. Alabama

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