|TOP TEAMS KEEP WINNING; RACES TIGHTEN
November 17, 2008
Matt, SCS.com Staff Writer
Alabama, Southern California, Florida, Penn State, and Texas were all favored by 13 points or more. They all won by double digits. Some of the games were close at halftime, but the finals were blowouts. I am beginning to wonder when the BCS chaos will start. As of right now, everything is going as expected. Where is the Stanford over USC upset? Illinois over Ohio State? Kentucky over LSU? Am I crazy to think that the BCS is going to work out perfectly this year? Big XII South champion vs. SEC champion. The argument for a playoff would be dead until further notice.
There might not have been huge upsets this weekend, but there were some great games and fantastic stories. Letís start with Vanderbilt, who is now bowl eligible for the first time since 1982. Cornerback D.J. Moore played on offense, defense, and special teams. He had two interceptions and two touchdown catches in Vandyís 31-24 win over Kentucky. He has to be the favorite for the Thorpe award, just ahead of Vontae Davis (Illinois) and Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State). Vanderbilt can now take a huge sigh of relief. The bowl monkey is off their back. They can focus on beating Tennessee and Wake Forest without worrying about becoming bowl eligible.
The ACC is still a cluttered mess, but two teams control their own destiny. Marylandís 17-15 win over North Carolina moves them to 4-2 in the conference. If they can beat Florida State and Boston College, they will go to the ACC championship game. However, FSU, Boston College, and Wake Forest can still win the Atlantic Division. The Coastal Division, on the other hand, is in Miamiís control. . Their upcoming game with Georgia Tech is monumental, mostly because Georgia Tech is in 2nd in the division. I have faith in Miami to win out. Maryland, on the other hand, has two very tough games they must win. I think Boston College is the best team in the conference and will eventually win the conference.
The Big East is as tight as a pickle jar lid. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are both on top of the Big East. They play each other this upcoming Saturday in a huge Big East battle. If Cincinnati wins, all they have to do is beat Syracuse to win the Big East. If Pittsburgh wins, they have to beat West Virginia and Connecticut to win the conference. Cincy is playing top-notch football. They get the Panthers at home for their biggest game in school history.
Yes, the Texas Tech/Oklahoma game is going to be huge. But one could argue that Ball State/Central Michigan is a bigger game. Okay, that is not really true, but is a very important game nonetheless. Both teams are unbeaten in conference play. Ball State is 10-0 and ranked in most top 20s, but Central Michigan has won the MAC two years in a row. This Wednesday night game is going to have a huge impact on the outcome of the MAC West.
Buffalo got an important win over Akron to take the lead in the MAC East. UB is lead by senior quarterback Drew Willy, who has thrown 18 touchdowns and four interceptions. Running back James Starks has run for over 1000 yards and 11 touchdowns. If they get past Bowling Green, they will win their division.
Rutgers dominated South Florida 49-16. The win on the road says a lot about the Scarlet Knights, who have won their last four games.
Oregon State beat California 34-21 to remain atop the Pac 10 standings. If they manage to beat Arizona State and Oregon, the Beavers will make an unlikely trip to the Rose Bowl.
Nebraska is turning their season around under Bo Pelini. Back to back wins against Kansas and Kansas State have them 2nd in the Big 12 North. Joe Ganz is having a solid season, although it was the Nebraska running game that got them the win over Kansas State. They ran for a season high 340 yards.
Both Utah and BYU won this weekend, setting up a huge Mountain West battle at Utah November 22nd. If Utah wins, they will lock up a BCS bowl bid. If they lose, there will be a three-way tie between TCU (As long as they beat Air Force), BYU, and Utah. If TCU loses and BYU wins, they will win the conference again.
Notre Dame is hard to watch. They turn the ball over constantly, make undisciplined decisions, and they could not finish Navy on the road. They lost two onside kicks to give Navy hope before finally sealing the 27-21 victory. All those four and five star recruits are still progressing. However, eventually they will need to start producing.
LSU was losing to Troy 31-3 in the third quarter before they came back to win 40-31. These type of games do not make the SEC look as strong as they are portrayed.
Houston annihilated Tulsa 70-30. Tulsa has lost two straight since starting 8-0. Their chances of winning Conference-USA took a big hit with this loss.
Wake Forestís loss to North Carolina State will likely seal their fate and keep them from returning to the BCS for the second time in three years.
EagleBank Bowl - Navy vs. Virginia
New Mexico Bowl - UNLV vs. San Jose State
Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl - TCU vs. Oregon
St. Petersburg Bowl - South Florida vs. Southern Miss
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Troy vs. Rice
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl - Hawaii vs. Buffalo
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - BYU vs. Nevada
Motor City Bowl - Central Michigan vs. Illinois
Champs Sports Bowl - Florida State vs. Minnesota
Emerald Bowl - Boston College vs. California
Meineke Car Care Bowl - Georgia Tech vs. Pittsburgh
Texas Bowl - Colorado vs. Tulsa
PapaJohnís.com Bowl - West Virginia vs. Southern Miss
PetroSun Independence Bowl - Rutgers vs. La. Lafayette
Alamo Bowl - Nebraska vs. Northwestern
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl - Oklahoma State vs. Oregon State
Roadyís Humanitarian Bowl - North Carolina vs. Boise State
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - Air Force vs. Marshall
Sun Bowl - Arizona vs. Missouri
Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl - Wake Forest vs. Kentucky
Chick-fil-A Bowl - Maryland vs. Vanderbilt
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 - Houston 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 - Miami (Fl) vs. Cincinnati
Allstate Sugar Bowl - Florida vs. Ohio State
FedEx BCS National Championship - Texas Tech vs. Alabama