John Roberts College Football

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Week Fourteen: Tuesday

Under Pressure
Mack Brown, Texas

Mack Brown has never won a conference title in all his years. A win in this year's Big Twelve Championship Game against Colorado (a team the Longhorns handled easily earlier in the year) means that he can finally get that off his back and also advance to the Rose Bowl to play for the national title. Sound familar? It is the same storyline that this game had back in 2001 when Florida's loss to Tennessee on that Saturday meant that Texas was in line to get to the Rose Bowl. Now, four years later, Texas looks to get rid of those ghosts. This Texas team certainly appears better than the one four years ago and Colorado certainly does not appear to be as good, or as hot. Still, Texas has to play the game. Mack Brown has to win it. If he can not get a conference title this year, then one may really never come.

Maurice Drew, UCLA

Maurice Drew is one of the most electric players in college football. He does it all, returning kicks, running the ball, catching passes. The problem is that he is going up against Reggie Bush this weekend. Bush is the most electric player in football. The pressure is one Drew to match Bush. If UCLA is going to stay in this game, Drew is going to have make a lot of big plays (and Drew Olson will have to carry his share of the load as well). Playing the counterpart to Reggie Bush is never easy, but Drew has a chance to prove that he is just as good of a player this weekend.

College Gameday Site
Los Angeles, California

The 11-0 Trojans and the 9-1 Bruins square off in LA this weekend, and the gang is going to be there. After all, where else would they be? This game will play a large role in determining who plays for the national title. If USC loses, then it opens the door for Penn State, Virginia Tech, or LSU to sneak in to the game, although the Trojans may still get in. It would also mean that UCLA would be in contention for a BCS spot, and get some people talking about them deserving to be in the Rose Bowl. If USC wins, then the Trojans would play for their third consecutive national title, their second consecutive BCS title, and they would extend their winning streak to 34 games. This is the most important game of the weekend, which is why the Gameday crew is heading out there.

Thoughts on the Rankings

The computers are coming around slowly, as now two computer rankings have USC number one and Texas number two. This is why USC is starting to extend their lead over Texas just a little in the equation.

Notre Dame moves up again in the computers despite their poor showing against Stanford. Why? Because margin of victory is not allowed to be taken into account. I want to hear one person defend why margin of victory should not be considered by the computers. I'm not saying that if Texas beats Team A by 60 and USC beats Team A by 42 that Texas deserves more credit. But up to around 20 points, there is a difference in how bad a team gets beat. Someone want to argue that Notre Dame's win over Stanford was more impressive than USC's beat down of the Cardinal? Well, the computers think it is, because USC beat Stanford at home, while Notre Dame won on the road.

West Virginia is quietly moving up the rankings. They have not played on Saturday in a month and won't play on TV this Saturday more than likely, so they seem to be getting ignored. Don't ignore them. They have moved up to number nine in the computers (margin of victory wouldn't hurt them) and they are up to number eleven in the standings. All of you hoping to get rid of the Big East's automatic BCS bid should be rooting for USF to upset the Mountaineers this weekend and knock them back down. WVU has struggled in bowl games in recent years, but this is one of the most dangerous teams running the football that we have seen in the last five years, which makes them a threat come bowl season.

My Rankings

The rankings are getting more static for a lot of reasons. Still, this Saturday I intend to sit down and really re-evaluate them. After all, four of my Top Five teams are playing this Saturday. I am hoping to really break down the action and see where these teams truly belong. In other words, there may be some changes next week when you see my rankings again. Previous rank is in parentheses.

1. USC 11-0 (1)
2. Texas 11-0 (2)
3. Penn State 10-1 (3)
4. Virginia Tech 10-1 (5)
5. LSU 10-1 (4)
6. Ohio State 9-2 (6)
7. Oregon 10-1 (7)
8. Notre Dame 9-2 (8)
9. Auburn 9-2 (9)
10. Miami, FL 9-2 (10)
11. UCLA 9-1 (11)
12. Georgia 9-2 (13)
13. West Virginia 9-1 (14)
14. Alabama 9-2 (15)
15. Florida 8-3 (16)
16. TCU 10-1 (17)
17. Louisville 8-2 (20)
18. Texas Tech 9-2 (21)
19. Michigan 7-4 (22)
20. Georgia Tech 7-4 (18)
21. Boston College 7-4 (23)
22. Clemson 7-4 (24)
23. South Carolina 7-4 (25)
24. Iowa 7-4 (--)
25. Fresno State 8-3 (12)

Dropped Out: Florida State 7-4 (19)
The Seminoles were crushed by Florida. The 'Noles were a questionable pick to begin with. Now, they have become a very questionable pick to be in any Top 25. If they beat Virginia Tech, they will return.

Biggest Drop by a team still in the rankings: 13- Fresno State. The loss to Nevada was shocking. Still, this team has accomplished a lot. They have lost to two teams ranked in the Top Ten by a combined eleven points and to a team that is 7-1 in conference play. Still, Fresno always seems to find one game where they are not prepared, and that game was Nevada this year. The Bulldogs are closer to being the team that nearly beat USC than the one that lost to Nevada.

Smallest Drop by a team that lost: 2- Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets played Georgia very close in a 14-7 game. Georgia Tech deserves a lot of credit for how they have played this year. Yes, they have four losses and some of them are unexplainable, but they also have seven wins, including wins over Top Ten Miami and Auburn, both on the road.

Biggest drop by a team that won: 1- LSU. The Tigers dropped one for slipping by Arkansas 19-17. The Tigers are one of the most talented teams in the country and they began this season ranked #2 in my rankings behind just USC. But of the Top Five teams, they have the worst loss (to 5-6 Tennessee at home), and they have been playing the most inconsistently (see last week's Arkansas game). LSU can earn a lot of points by beating Georgia soundly, but if they do not, LSU may not belong much higher.

Biggest jump by a team that was in my rankings last week: 3- Louisville, Texas Tech, Michigan. This was elementary, as Fresno State, Georgia Tech, and Florida State all lost to fall behind these teams and they moved up three spots. Louisville and Texas Tech may be slightly overrated. This weeks game against Connecticut sure looks dangerous now for Louisville without Brian Brohm.

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