Week Three: Tuesday
Karl Dorrell, UCLA
The Bruins are playing Oklahoma at home this Saturday afternoon. This was a huge game for UCLA all offseason, and the game they have been pointing to. Of course, now that Oklahoma has underperformed like it has, the Bruins have become favorites in this game. UCLA? Favorites? Against Oklahoma? How many people thought that would happen in August? Dorrell is widely bashed by UCLA fans. Suddenly, this game, which looked like it could save Dorrell's job in the preseason, becomes a must win. If UCLA loses, then it will be because Dorrell didn't have the team ready. If UCLA wins, then it will be because Oklahoma is no good this year. This game has become almost as dangerous as playing a team like...like...like TCU or something. But don't bring that up to Oklahoma fans. Dorrell had better win if he wants to keep the fans happy in Los Angeles.
Chris Leak, Florida
Leak has not beaten Tennessee in two tries, and has shown a strong dislike to get hit. The Vols will bring the kitchen sink at the Gators quarterback. For the third consecutive year, the Gators are favored against Tennessee. The previous two were both losses. Leak was the quarterback of both teams. Rightly or wrongly, the quarterback is the single player most readily praised or blamed for the record of his team. Urban Meyer has come into Florida looking to change this team into a title contender. His first task has been trying to turn Leak into a quarterback that can work in his system. Obviously he has tweaked the system to fit Leak's talents. Those other two games were just sideshows. Now we find out whether or not Urban's experiment with Leak is working or not. Meyer will be given another chance by the Gainesville media and the Gator fans. Leak may not be so lucky. That's why Leak needs to win this game so badly.
College Gameday Site
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
In a little bit of a surprise decision, ESPN has decided to go to Boston College for their first ever ACC game against Florida State. With the Seminoles dramatic win over Miami on Labor Day, this game became a huge ACC game. In a game matching the #8 team in both polls (Florida State) against the #16 or #17 team (Boston College), this game is expected to decide the ACC Atlantic title. Of course, Clemson, North Carolina State, and maybe even Maryland could have something serious to say about that. This ought to be an electric atmosphere for a football game, as Boston College has been pointing to this game all offseason. ESPN will not be disappointed with their first trip to Chestnut Hill.
Thoughts on Rankings
Raise your hand if you think Oklahoma should be ranked #17 and Arizona State #22 in the latest Coaches Poll? How about Iowa at #21 and Iowa State at #32 (in others receiving votes)? Did these pollsters even watch SportCenter and see how Iowa State dominated Iowa? Did they see how much time was left when Oklahom was up 17-15 on TULSA (a team that got beat 41-10 at home by Minnesota just last week)? That was less than four minutes left and still a two point game.
Where is UCLA? Come on voters! Give us UCLA! After all, Alabama has not looked great either week yet, why not bring us UCLA, who has dominated two lesser foes? If you're going to rank Oklahoma, might as well go ahead and rank UCLA to give us one more ranked match-up this week.
Note to voters- I hope you guys are picking Tennessee this week at Florida since they are ranked ahead of Florida in both polls this week. I know you could base that on who would win on a neutral field and things like that, but the fact remains, I would vote Florida ahead of Tennessee right now simply because the Gators should win in Gainesville this Saturday night.
The one piece of good news: VANDERBILT! Check down in the small print of "Others receiving votes" on the AP Poll, and you will find this: "Vanderbilt 1." That means that someone has voted Vanderbilt #25 in their poll. They deserve all the love they can get, as the Commodores have produced two shocking, fourth quarter, come from behind, road victories. Amazing. Vanderbilt may be easing towards the Top 25 in the coming weeks. Ole Miss is at Vanderbilt on Saturday, followed by home games against Richmond and Middle Tennessee. Anyone up for the SEC must see David vs. Goliath Game of the Year with 5-0 Vanderbilt taking on LSU in Nashville on October 8? It may be early to talk about this, but that might be the biggest Vanderbilt game in the history of Vanderbilt football if it gets that far.
You say I can't complain about rankings? You say that because I'm not publishing any rankings. Well, I plan on putting my rankings out here beginning on September 26. Right now, I am busy getting rid of preseason notions and misconceptions and watching as many games as possible. Beginning September 26, I will rank the teams based on what I have seen so far this year. I take the names off the front of the jerseys and decide who the best teams are. I did this last year and enjoyed it much more than previous seasons when I moved teams up and down from my preseason rankings, which really are nothing more than predictions on where the teams will finish.