Week Nine: Tuesday
Jim Tressel, Ohio State
It is not totally shocking that the Buckeyes can't seem to get the ball moving on offense in the vast majority of their games. After all, this is the Ohio State football that we have come to know under Tressel. However, there are starting to be some rumblings about Tressel and some frustration with him over the way he coaches games. In other words, the fans are becoming restless with close games and close to the vest, conservative offense. The Buckeyes showed signs of snapping out of it last week against Indiana, but the pressure gets cranked up a little bit this week at Minnesota. The Gophers are a good team and tough to beat at home. The Buckeye faithful really want to see a win over a top notch team. They've beaten Iowa and Michigan State for their two best wins of the year. This would qualify as another quality win, but their first quality road win.
Joe Tereshinki, Georgia
Yes, Tereshinki played well against Arkansas filling in for the injured D.J. Shockley. However, this week, things get amped up a little bit when he will be playing against Florida's tenacious defense. Florida's defense is good. There is no telling how long Shockley will be out, but Tereshinki needs to step up in a big way and help fill in for him. He is not as fast as Shockley and does not have the playmaking ability. However, he seems to be comfortable dropping back in the pocket to throw the ball. He'll need to do that if the Dawgs are going to beat Florida this Saturday afternoon.
College Gameday Site
The Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators play their annual meeting in Jacksonville, Florida in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. The crew will be going to see a match-up between the D.J. Shockley-less Bulldogs and the upset minded Gators. The Dawgs are highly ranked and in the race for the national title. This is a rivalry game, and there is a lot on the line. A Georgia win would clinch the SEC East for them, while a loss opens up the door for Florida just a crack. Georgia needs to win to stay in the national title race, while the Gators would love to get some good national publicity for a change. This is a huge game, but it might be the second biggest game of the weekend, as the Thursday night game between Boston College and Virginia Tech is really big as well.
Thoughts on the rankings
Texas? Number one? Really? I did not expect to see Texas jump USC this year in any of the major rankings unless the Trojans lost a football game. Yet, here the Longhorns are this week, sitting alone atop the BCS rankings. The margin is incredibly slim, and it means little in the long run because the top two play for the national title. However, wouldn't it be at least a little interesting if Virginia Tech were able to catch USC in the rankings and the defending champion USC, who was ranked number one, would not be able to play for the national title?
The top one loss team is Miami, with LSU and Penn State not too far behind. The top six teams are all unbeaten, but the race for the top once beaten spot belongs currently to the Hurricanes. The Tigers are right behind them. Penn State is not too far back, either. If all the teams start losing, these are teams to pay attention to.
OK, so how about the computer rankings that have Texas #1, Alabama #2, Georgia #3, Virginia Tech #4, and USC #5? Ummm... If you like that one, you'll love the one where Texas is #1, Alabame #2, Virginia Tech #3, USC #4, and Georgia #5. Or how about the one that has Wisconsin and LSU ranked ahead of UCLA and Alabama?
As someone reminded me last week in an e-mail, these things tend to work themselves out. There is no reason to panic at all. We all look at the worst possible scenarios at this time of year and worry. However, things will make a lot more sense come the first Sunday in December.
With what seems like an endless list of teams that only kind of deserve to be ranked, this week is a tough week to rank teams. The last fifteen are basically reserved for all the Big Ten teams you can find, as a remarkable six teams are ranked in those fifteen spots. The number in parentheses is the team's ranking last week.
1. USC 7-0 (1)
2. Texas 7-0 (2)
3. Virginia Tech 7-0 (3)
4. Georgia 7-0 (4)
5. Alabama 7-0 (5)
6. UCLA 7-0 (6)
7. LSU 5-1 (8)
8. Florida State 6-1 (10)
9. Miami, FL 5-1 (7)
10. Notre Dame 5-2 (9)
11. Penn State 6-1 (11)
12. Ohio State 5-2 (12)
13. Boston College 6-1 (15)
14. Oregon 7-1 (16)
15. Auburn 5-2 (14)
16. Florida 5-2 (17)
17. Texas Tech 6-1 (13)
18. Northwestern 5-2 (--)
19. Wisconsin 7-1 (--)
20. West Virginia 6-1 (22)
21. California 6-2 (23)
22. TCU 7-1 (24)
23. Fresno State 5-1 (25)
24. Minnesota 5-2 (--)
25. Michigan 5-3 (--)
Dropped Out: Michigan State 4-3 (18), Virginia 4-3 (19), Tennessee 3-3 (20), Oregon State 4-3 (21).
All four lost. Michigan State's loss was by an embarassing margin. Virginia's was to an average team. Oregon State's was by a lot of points, except for that they won statistically. Tennessee's was a very close game and was their third loss to a team ranked in my top sixteen. However, the Vols just have looked so anemic on offense, they just do not deserve to be ranked right now.
Biggest drop by a team still in the rankings: 4- Texas Tech. The Red Raiders may not be all that bad. After all, Texas has been pounding everybody in their path so far this year. Texas Tech could bounce back and go 10-1, but they probably will not be in the running for an at large BCS bid based on the somewhat weak Big Twelve.
Smallest drop by a team that lost: 1-Auburn. The Tigers went into LSU and played valiantly and lost by a field goal in overtime. If normally reliable John Vaughn had just been able to make a kick, then Auburn probably wins in regulation and they are sitting in the Top Ten. They do not deserve to drop much.
Biggest drop by a team that won: 2- Miami. Admittedly, the Hurricanes did not win last weekend, but rather did not play due to Hurricane Wilma. However, they have not been overly impressive, and they did lose to Florida State. So it makes sense for them to be behind the Seminoles. Plus, LSU just beat a very highly ranked Auburn team. These three are all very close.
Biggest jump by a team that was in my rankings last week: 2- Florida State, Boston College, Oregon, West Virginia, California, TCU, and Fresno State. Of course, Northwestern and Wisconsin jumping into the rankings so high are more impressive than these jumps.
The USC-Texas debate. So it has become increasingly clear that these are the two top teams in the country. The Trojans and the Longhorns at the present time are clearly the #1 and the #2 teams. Virginia Tech is clearly the #3 team. Georgia, Alabama, and UCLA could all be rotated around any sort of way for the #4-6 teams. USC holds onto number one for one more week. I've been thinking for a while about moving Texas to number one, but it just seems like USC still has done a bit more. Texas win over Ohio State is a very impressive win, but possibly no more impressive than USC going into Notre Dame and winning. Texas win over Texas Tech is nice, but so was USC's at Oregon. Then what are you left with? Texas beating Oklahoma? Missouri? Colorado? USC beating Arizona State? Arkansas? Hawaii? It still seems like (as much as people are complaining about USC's schedule) that the schedules are roughly equal.