Monday, September 13, 2010

College Football: Week 2

There's lots to say about the most recent weekend of college football, but let's see if I can round this up in three main points.

The ACC and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Saturday
In the preseason coaches' poll, Florida State was ranked #20. On Saturday, they lost to Oklahoma (a team that struggled against Utah State--not Utah, Utah State--in Week 1) by a score of 47-17. And seven of FSU's points came in garbage time. They are now "receiving votes" in the polls.

In preseason, North Carolina was ranked #18, and it seemed like this might really be Butch Davis's year. UNC is now under very serious investigation by the NCAA, and it might really be Butch Davis's year to get fired. They're 0-1 and receiving fewer votes than FSU.

In preseason, Georgia Tech was ranked #17. Then they got beaten by a KU team that had opened the season getting beaten by a team from a Dakota. They're now receiving three more votes than UNC.

In preseason, Miami was ranked #13. They just got beaten by Ohio State, although to be fair, OSU is regarded as the second-best team in the country, and Miami was expected to lose. They probably weren't expected to have their QB throw four interceptions or to score over half their points on kick returns, though. They've only dropped to #17.

In preseason, Virginia Tech was ranked #6. In Week 1, they lost a great game to Boise State, which dropped them a bit, but hey, Boise State is good. This week, they lost to James Madison, an FCS team, and became only the second ranked team ever to lose to an opponent from that level (the first was of course Michigan losing to Appalachian State in 2007). It's an utter disaster for A) Virginia Tech, which is now 0-2 to start the season and totally embarrassed B) the ACC, which has seen its most likely national title contender go down in flames and C) Boise State, whose supposed "quality" win might now count for very little. Virginia Tech is now receiving exactly four votes in the coaches' poll (none in the AP), and keep in mind that Frank Beamer gets to vote and may well have put his team at #22 on his ballot.

I'm not even joking. I sincerely think that's what happened.

"Monster" Saturday: the Wrong Kind of Monster
ESPN promoted Saturday heavily as a day of clashes between titans (and presumably, good, close games). But Florida State got stomped by Oklahoma. Miami-Ohio State wasn't as close as the final score would make you think. Alabama throttled Penn State and perhaps would have throttled harder if not for Nick Saban's respect for Joe Pa. In other blowout news, I was pleasantly surprised when Tennessee and Oregon were tied at the end of the first half, and then unpleasantly unsurprised when UT did nothing in the second half, unless you count allowing Oregon to score 35 points "something." (Fun* fact: Oregon has scored 120 points in 120 minutes of play.)

*Fun, depending whether your team of choice plays Oregon or not.

On the other hand, there were plenty of games that should have been blow-outs that were not. I already told you my feelings about West Virginia's near-loss to Marshall, so suffice it to say it's ridiculous that they climbed a spot in both polls, regardless of who else lost this week. Florida's final score against South Florida looks OK, but they looked bad in the first half. Conference play will not be kind. Similarly, Wisconsin's victory margin over San Jose State doesn't seem too bad, but the Badgers had some sloppy play that would not go unpunished in Big Ten games.

This was another week with two FCS upsets over BCS-conference opponents, for besides the James Madison takedown of Va Tech, Minnesota managed to lose to a team from a Dakota. This is the second time Tim Brewster has done that, so don't expect him to keep his job for long. Oh, and speaking of coaches who will soon be fired, with a 52-7 (fifty-two to seven!) loss to Cal, Dan Hawkins. Per usual.

How 'bout them Aggies?
Apparently, the Ags started sloppy, but I'm not going to complain about a score of 48-16. (If I were going to complain, I'd ask why La Tech scored double digits, or why the Ags turned it over so many times, but I'm not going to.)

And in an interesting development, as Stuart Mandel has pointed out, Arkansas is now WILDLY overrated. They've beaten Tennessee Tech and Louisiana-Monroe by 41 and 24, which is absolutely nothing to get excited about, considering it was Tennessee Tech and Louisiana-Monroe. Considering their mediocre performance last year, rankings in the low teens are just stupid. It's really too bad they play Georgia and Alabama before they play the Aggies, because if you lose to a highly ranked team, oh well, they were highly ranked. If you beat them, which is easier if they shouldn't be ranked, it gets you ranked. Hopefully, enough luster will stay on Arkansas through Week 5 that the Ags can benefit from it.

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