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Season wrap-up…final facts, figures and frustrations

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I probably should have written this last Friday, Saturday or even Sunday.  I hope you will forgive the tardiness of this article as I have been letting the disappointment of the lost championship drain away.  It seems 2009 was just the season destined to see the University of Texas as the #2.  They lost the College World Series finals, the volleyball national championship and the BCS National Championship.  Second place in three sports speaks of a school’s great talent and diversity, but it really would have been nice to see them bring home at least one of those titles.

But I digress.

I just wanted to wrap up the season with a few things.  Some house cleaning items, if you will, along with some thoughts on the national championship game.  First off, if you haven’t seen them, these are the final rankings:

AP USA Today
#1 Alabama (60) #1 Alabama (58)
#2 Texas #2 Texas
#3 Florida #3 Florida
#4 Boise State #4 Boise State
#5 Ohio State #5 Ohio State
#6 TCU #6 TCU
#7 Iowa #7 Iowa
#8 Cincinnati #8 Penn State
#9 Penn State #9 Cincinnati
#10 Virginia Tech #10 Virginia Tech
#11 Oregon #11 Oregon
#12 BYU #12 BYU
#13 Georgia Tech #13 Georgia Tech
#14 Nebraska #14 Nebraska
#15 Pittsburgh #15 Pittsburgh
#16 Wisconsin #16 Wisconsin
#17 LSU #17 LSU
#18 Utah #18 Utah
#19 Miami (FL) #19 Miami (FL)
#20 Mississippi #20 USC
#21 Texas Tech #21 Mississippi
#22 USC #22 West Virginia
#23 Central Michigan #23 Texas Tech
#24 Clemson #24 Central Michigan
#25 West Virginia #25 Oklahoma State

No major differences between the two major human polls.  #1-#7 is the same.  Though I’m trying to figure out why they put TCU ahead of Iowa when Iowa actually won their BCS bowl.  Nebraska seems kind of low considering how they dismantled a ranked opponent.  I’d say the same for BYU.  And how on earth does the Coaches poll still have Oklahoma State ranked?  Did they see how they played against Mississippi?  It was pathetic.

Biggest Winner: Aside from the obvious answer of Alabama for winning the national championship and being a unanimous No. 1, I’d have to call it a toss-up between Boise State and Ohio State.  Boise State manged to finish with its second top-5 finish in school history and continue to build momentum for non-BCS conferences by making this the fourth time in the last six years that a non-BCS team has finished in the top-5.  And Ohio State made one of the bigger poll jumps, moving three spots to put an exclamation mark on a great bowl season for the Big 10 with a top-5 finish.

Biggest Loser: Navy.  They totally dominated a solid Missouri team and still didn’t break the top 25.  They were hosed after an impressive season with plenty of impressive wins.  I can’t believe the voters overlooked Navy, especially when they managed to put Central Michigan in the top 25.  The Pac-10 is a very close second for biggest loser and is worth mentioning.  Oregon State, Stanford and Arizona fell out of the rankings in both polls after two of those three were absolutely throttled in their bowl games.

Here’s how the bowl season played out by conference:

Conference Schools Record Percentage
Independents Navy 1-0 1.000
MWC AF, BYU, TCU, Utah, Wyom 4-1 .800
Big East Cincy, Pitt, Rut, UConn, USF, WVU 4-2 .667
SEC Ala, Ark, Aub, Flor, Geor, Ky, LSU, Miss, SCar, Tenn 6-4 .600
Big 10 Iowa, MichSt, Minn, Nwstern, OSU, PSU, Wis 4-3 .571
Big 12 ISU, Mizzou, Neb, OU, OklaSt, Texas, TxA&M, TTech 4-4 .500
WAC Boise St, FresSt, Idaho, Nev 2-2 .500
Sun Belt MidTen, Troy 1-1 .500
ACC BC, Clem, FSU, GT, Miami, UNC, VT 3-4 .429
C-USA ECU, Hou, Marsh, SMU, SoMiss, UCF 2-4 .333
Pac-10 Ariz, Cal, Ore, OreSt, Stan, UCLA, USC 2-5 .286
MAC BGreen, CMich, NIU, Ohio, Tem 1-4 .200

Biggest Winner: Mountain West Conference.  Even though lots of conferences put on great performances, the MWC was the buzz of the bowl season.  Its only blemish was TCU’s close loss to Boise State…a very respectable loss to have on the record.  Meanwhile, Air Force, BYU, Utah and Wyoming all came up with huge bowl wins that left pundits asking if the MWC should be in the mix of conferences that receive an automatic bid.  I want to be on the record as saying that I’d have no problem with the MWC taking the ACC’s automatic bid, as the ACC fell to 2-10 in BCS bowls (second-worst is the Big 12, still way ahead at 7-10) and posted its third losing bowl season in a row.  They haven’t had a winning bowl season since 2005.  Time to stop treating that mess like a major conference.

Biggest Loser: Pac-10.  And it’s not even close.  Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  This time last year, the conversation was about the colossus that is the Pac-10 as they closed out an undefeated bowl season.  That seems a distant memory as the Pac-10 posted a 2-5 record, including humiliating losses by Oregon State and Arizona.  The conference’s only victories were USC (topping Boston College in a virtual home game at San Francisco) and UCLA (which beat Temple…not impressive).

Speaking of unimpressive, did anyone say anything about the picks Jon and I made for bowl games?  My record was completely pathetic.  Jon’s was only mildly pathetic.

On BCS Bowls:

Austin: 2-2

Jon: 1-3

Final for bowl season:

Jon: 10-14

Austin: 9-15

Final season total:

Jon: 220-76

Austin: 213-83

I think it’s clear who the big winner and the big loser is on this one.  Congratulations to Mr. Castano on a great season.  I very much look forward to next season and going out on a limb less with those Vanderbilt picks.

Lastly, I just have some thoughts on the national championship that I want to share.

1.  Those were two of the best defenses that I’ve seen square off in college football in recent memory.  I thought Alabama and Texas both deserve huge credit for what they did defensively.  And, since nobody is really talking about them in the wake of Alabama’s performance, I want to say that Sergio Kindle and Lamarr Houston were awesome and deserve just as much credit as anyone on Alabama that’s getting all the love right now.  The two Texas defensive linemen combined for 18 tackles (14 solo) and three sacks.  There’s no way those two didn’t improve their draft stock with how they played.

2.  Mark Ingram is an absolute beast.  Not that you didn’t already know that, I just want to give credit where it’s due.  After watching Greg McElroy this year and watching what happened when Ingram went out with cramps in the third quarter (Texas held Alabama to 3 yards of offense), I think it’s very easy to say this team wouldn’t be much without Ingram.  Even though I still think Toby Gerhart deserved the Heisman.

3.  The NCAA needs to take a serious look at how games are being officiated, especially in the SEC.  Alabama came into the championship having gone 34 quarters without having a holding call on their offensive line.  That is literally impossible.  I subscribe to the saying that there is a holding call on every play, it’s just a matter of whether you want to call it.  I think that’s true, and that means that SEC officials chose not to call the Tide for holding for eight and a half games.  That’s insane.  And if they played every game like they did against Texas, the idea that it’s just disciplined ball is a myth, because they held all over the place.  I’m not making excuses for the Longhorns…that’s just a fact.

It’s also a fact that there was a false start on Alabama’s first touchdown that the refs didn’t call.  Go back and watch it, and keep an eye on Terrence Cody.  He rocks before the play starts and they missed it.  The officiating in that game was suspect, as it seems to have been all season in Alabama games.  Again, not making excuses for the Longhorns.  These are just facts.

4.  The Texas coaching staff absolutely did not earn their pay in that game.  I know it’s never easy when your two-time Heisman-nominated QB goes down, but the coaching staff flat-out froze in that game.  They showed no faith in Garret Gilbert, running predictable running play after predictable running play, making it easy for Alabama to bunch the line of scrimmage and forcing Gilbert to throw on a third and 12 and a third and 15 in the first half.  Before D.J. Monroe broke a 28-yard run on an end around, Texas ran eight running plays, mostly up the middle, for a total of only 22 yards.  They gave Gilbert no chance in the first half.  But, what’s more, when you saw him on the sidelines he was all by himself.  Nobody coaching him up, encouraging him or even making him feel like he was so much as a part of the team.  They treated him like a pitcher working on a no-hitter in the 8th.

And that was just the most egregious of the mistakes by the coaching staff.  The shovel pass at the end of the first half was a bad call.  They rugby punted with Justin Tucker when they should have been punting it straight and they punted it straight with John Gold when they should have been rugby punting.  Their whole strategy was backwards.  I spent the entire night wondering what Texas could possibly be paying these guys huge sums of money for.  That performance was an embarrassment.

5.  Even with all the losses on defense and offense, Texas will be right back next year with Gilbert.  His 37.5 completion percentage, four interceptions and a fumble, and 73 QB rating is hardly exemplary.  But he showed resilience getting his team back into the game in a hopeless situation.  He fought and showed flashes of brilliance even as his wide receivers let him down repeatedly with numerous dropped passes, including ones on third downs and one in the end zone, all of which could have completely changed the complexion of the game.  Gilbert showed some guts that night, and I think Texas fans will be very happy with what he produces these next three years.


Written by Austin Swafford

January 12, 2010 at 9:00 am

Orange Bowl paves way for historic BCS season

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Iowa’s dominating win over Georgia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl last night paves way for an interesting historic note that I’m stunned nobody is talking about.  But, before I get into that, big kudos to the Big 10 for breaking their stigma as BCS chokers in a big way.  Ohio State and Iowa both put up dominant defensive performances en route to breaking the Big 10’s six-game BCS losing streak and locked up the conference’s first bowl-season winning record since 2002.  That was a great game last night.  Much better than I expected and, for my money, the best BCS game so far this season.

But one thing that nobody is talking about is that this season is well positioned to be the first time ever that every underdog in BCS games have won.  No. 8 Ohio State started it by knocking off No. 7 Oregon.  That same night, No. 5 Florida crushed No. 3 Cincinnati.  Then, No. 6 Boise State topped No. 4 TCU.  Last night, No. 10 Iowa took down No. 9 Georgia Tech.  No. 2 Texas has a chance to complete the sweep and make history tomorrow night in the BCS National Championship against No. 1 Alabama.

Previously, the best performances by underdogs were the ’07-’08 and ’08-’09 seasons when the underdogs won three of the five BCS bowls.  Underdogs have never before come this close to sweeping the BCS.  In two previous seasons (’00-’01 and ’04-’05) the favorites swept the BCS.

I wonder why this little historical note seems to have escaped everyone’s attention.  Is it perhaps because people are caring less and less about these matchups as they buck for a tournament?

Could it be that people forgot that some of these teams were underdogs?  It’s pretty easy to forget that Florida fell from No. 1 to No. 5 after losing to Alabama and that, despite expectations, they weren’t technically the favorite in the game.  And with the huge layoff the Big 10 has before BCS season, it can be easy to forget where Iowa and Ohio State were ranked, let alone that they were even playing in BCS bowls.

It might be that the teams are more evenly matched than perhaps any previous season.  This is only the second time that every team in a BCS bowl has been in the top 10.  In fact, in five previous seasons, there has been one team outside the top 15 in the BCS, three of which have been teams outside the top 20.  This is also the first time that every matchup has been between two teams that are separated by no more than 2 spots in the polls.  One could say that this is the best demonstration of how the BCS should work that we have ever seen.

So, maybe it is the fact that nobody was facing a “real” upset.  After all, how much of an upset can you call it when No. 8 tops No. 7?  Nevertheless, Texas does have a chance to make history tomorrow night, and nobody seems to be noticing.

Written by Austin Swafford

January 6, 2010 at 5:33 pm

BCS Computers place far too much on SOS

with 2 comments

BCS computers are not meant to evaluate teams based on how they play.  The computers eliminate human bias by using cold calculation and the human polls add the element of actual evaluation by being able to watch teams play and determine whether Florida beating Charleston Southern by 59 is of equal or greater weight to Alabama beating LSU by 9.  It’s a balance that many, including myself, have defended for years.

I can say definitively that I’m done defending the computers.

Of course computers who don’t watch games aren’t able to evaluate the talent on the field.  But what we’re seeing this year is a ridiculous bias towards strength of schedule that seems to put more weight on playing a tough schedule regardless of the outcome than on actually winning.

Don’t get me wrong – strength of schedule definitely has its place.  A team that plays a very hard schedule and wins some close ones deserves, in my opinion, more consideration than a team that plays a bad schedule and crushes everyone.  Unfortunately, what we’re seeing this season is a system that rewards teams that play a tough schedule even if they lose.

What brought this so strongly to my attention was this week’s BCS Rankings.  You may have noticed that after losing to No. 2 Alabama, LSU actually moved up one spot from No. 9 to No. 8.  While they got some help from two top-10 teams losing to unranked opponents, the biggest thing that helped them was the computers, which moved them from No. 9 to No. 8.  They  moved up in two computers, stayed the same in three computers and only dropped in one.

Can anyone honestly say that a team deserves to move up after a loss, regardless of who they play?

And LSU is only the latest example of a team that’s benefited from playing a tough schedule regardless of the actual outcome.  The computers place two teams (LSU and Oregon) who have two losses in the top ten.  USC is just outside at No. 11.  Just behind USC is Miami and then Ohio State, also two-loss teams.  This is where these two-loss teams stand in terms of strength of schedule (according to Jeff Sagarain):

LSU 17
Oregon 6
Miami 11
OSU 46

While it’s commendable that they’re out playing tough schedules, in some instances, their rankings seem to ignore whether or not they’re actually beating the tough teams they play.  Their records against top-30 opponents:

Team Wins Losses
LSU 0 2
Oregon 3 2
USC 3 1
Miami 2 2
OSU 2 1

LSU, the highest-ranked team among them, has played the 17-toughest schedule in the country but has yet to defeat a top-30 team.  Houston, on the other hand, is 8-1 against the 94th-toughest schedule in the country.  That includes a 1-0 record against top-30 teams.  Yet, computers have them at No. 16, a full eight spots behind LSU.  They have a better record than LSU and more wins against top-30 teams, yet they are eight spots lower.

Jeff Sagarin’s rankings, which place particular emphasis on schedule, has the biggest disparity between the two teams’ rankings – a 13-spot gap between No. 6 LSU and No. 19 Houston.

Does it seem like there might be a problem with that calculation?

In Sagarin’s power rankings, Houston sits behind two teams that have worse records and no wins against top-30 opponents, and one of which (South Florida) has played an even weaker schedule.

Sagarin’s computer even has LSU ahead of Texas, which is undefeated and 2-0 against top-30 opponents with the 52nd-toughest schedule in the country.  I’ll grant that Texas should have played a harder schedule, but what on earth is Sagarin calculating that he has an undefeated team with two wins over top-30 teams behind a team that’s 7-2 with no wins over top-30 teams?

Now, I’m not enough of a mathematician to figure out what is wrong with the computers.  But clearly, there is something horribly wrong when the computers think the team that all the humans say is No. 2 is actually No. 5.  The same computers that had Iowa as the No. 1 two weeks ago and the No. 2 last week.

Of course it can’t happen mid-season, but at the end of this year, the BCS Committee needs to take a serious look reforming the calculations being used by the computers and see if there can be a more accurate accounting of the talent of the teams.  They should be rewarded for the games they’re winning, not the games they’re playing and losing.

Written by Austin Swafford

November 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Commentary, Poll Talk

News Of The Day: Texas, Florida Use Halloween Slaughters to Separate From Pack; Another BCS disaster on horizon

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They’re stories that Alabama, TCU, Cincinnati, Iowa, Boise State and maybe even Oregon fans won’t like, but’s Pat Forde and Mark Schlabach accurately point out that Texas’s rout of Oklahoma State and Florida’s dismantling of Georgia go a long way to setting the stage for the national championship everyone was expecting heading into the season.

Florida, Tebow Clear Another Hurdle

Bevo Primed For Rodeo Return

As a little bit of a side note, the BCS is headed for a huge potential controversy.  If you hadn’t noticed, there are six teams remaining that could very easily go undefeated.

Florida’s remaining opponents have a combined record of 14-20 with only one ranked team left on the schedule in South Carolina (and they probably won’t be ranked today after getting crushed by Tennessee yesterday).  Alabama still has a decent run to make with LSU and Auburn left on the schedule (with Mississippi State and Chattanooga in between), but if they’re able to make that run and pick up some credible wins, they’ll face Florida in the SEC championship.  One of them would have to emerge undefeated (again, barring an upset).

Texas has already virtually locked up the Big 12 South.  They would have to lose all of their remaining three conference games to lose their lead in the division.  That’s unlikely, with Central Florida, Baylor, Kansas and Texas A&M left on the schedule.  Then they go to the Big 12 championship to play the winner of the North (probably Kansas State or Nebraska).  There’s no reason why they should lose any of their remaining games.

TCU has been dominant, winning by an average of 24 points.  Their only real hurdle to perfection is No. 16 Utah, who they play at home.

The toughest game Cincinnati has left is their season closer at No. 15 Pittsburgh.  Before that, they have Connecticut, West Virginia and Illinois, all at home.  You know they’d love to have Tony Pike back, but the way Zach Collaros is filling in for him, I don’t know that they need him back any time soon.  In two starts, Collaros has 548 yards, seven TDs and 0 INTs, with QB ratings of 271 and 214.  UConn, West Virginia and Pittsburgh all have better defenses than the Syracuse and Louisville defenses Collaros posted those numbers on, but I still don’t see Cincy having any problem finishing the season undefeated.

Iowa still has a serious hurdle at Ohio State on Nov. 14.  Other than that, they have Northwestern and Minnesota (both 5-4) at home.  Iowa should finish undefeated.

And Boise State cleared its only hurdle on the first game of the season against Oregon.  And that was fortunate timing for the Broncos, because if they play now, I think Oregon smokes them.  Boise State should finish undefeated, but they are out of the championship mix because they take a strength of schedule hit every week, and they’re already way down at No. 80.

The BCS could be headed for yet another season of great controversy.  However, it should also be pointed out that this is not the first time this has happened.  We have had a number of undefeated teams that looked like they could win out late in the season before, only to have a number of them stumble against teams everyone thought they’d beat easily.  So, take this early concern with that in mind.  It will just be interesting to see, yet again, how the season plays out and what that means for the BCS debate.

Written by Austin Swafford

November 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm

BCS week 2

with 3 comments

The new BCS poll just came out today and boy oh boy am I dissapointed in this poll.  There are small glimmers of light in it though, as far as getting it right is concerned.

Lets start with the rundown.

BCS Harris Poll USA Today Computer Rankings
1 Florida .9726 1 1 2765 .9788 1 1459 .9892 2 24 24 23 23 24 24 .950
2 Alabama .9450 2 2 2674 .9465 2 1399 .9485 3 23 25 24 24 23 23 .940
3 Texas .8927 3 3 2672 .9458 3 1390 .9424 5 21 23 22 16 12 20 .790
4 Iowa .8249 6 8 2086 .7384 8 1086 .7363 1 25 22 25 25 25 25 1.000
5 USC .7944 7 4 2316 .8198 4 1244 .8434 9 18 16 18 19 19 17 .720
6 TCU .7890 8 7 2119 .7501 6 1131 .7668 4 22 21 21 21 18 22 .850
7 Boise State .7752 4 5 2273 .8046 5 1152 .7810 8 16 20 15 20 22 18 .740
8 Cincinnati .7735 5 6 2224 .7873 7 1126 .7634 6 20 18 19 18 20 21 .770
9 LSU .7030 9 9 1994 .7058 9 1037 .7031 10 19 19 17 17 17 16 .700
10 Oregon .6456 11 11 1689 .5979 12 839 .5688 6 17 17 20 22 21 19 .770
11 Georgia Tech .5895 12 12 1644 .5819 11 865 .5864 11 15 15 16 15 15 15 .600
12 Penn State .5851 13 10 1699 .6014 10 935 .6339 13 13 13 13 12 13 13 .520
13 Virginia Tech .4921 14 14 1350 .4779 14 691 .4685 12 14 12 14 13 14 12 .530
14 Oklahoma State .4494 15 13 1522 .5388 13 825 .5593 17 8 11 6 4 0 7 .250
15 Pittsburgh .3415 20 17 952 .3370 17 542 .3675 16 11 10 12 2 2 9 .320
16 Utah .3161 18 19 834 .2952 19 403 .2732 15 9 14 9 8 10 10 .380
17 Ohio State .3147 19 15 1125 .3982 15 569 .3858 23 5 5 5 5 0 1 .160
18 Houston .3085 17 16 1064 .3766 16 544 .3688 22 6 4 7 0 1 8 .180
19 Miami (FL) .2491 10 18 858 .3037 18 433 .2936 24 2 2 3 6 6 4 .150
20 Arizona .2241 22 25 230 .0814 24 149 .1010 14 10 0 11 14 16 14 .490
21 West Virginia .1959 23 20 622 .2202 20 365 .2475 25 7 0 10 3 0 2 .120
22 South Carolina .1891 24 21 475 .1681 21 279 .1892 20 3 7 4 7 8 3 .210
23 Notre Dame .1197 NR 24 236 .0835 25 82 .0556 19 12 0 8 11 3 0 .220
24 California .0916 NR 28 65 .0230 29 32 .0217 18 0 9 0 9 11 5 .230
25 Mississippi .0907 NR 23 342 .1211 22 223 .1512 28 0 3 0 0 0 0 .000

In the top 3, Florida, Bama, and Texas all won their own games but this week the spread gets a tiny bit tighter from last week.  Not enough to write home about though with .08 separating 1st and 3rd.

Iowa has to be the flat out dark horse for this season, they are setting school records left and right, not to mention helping me catch up on the season for my pick’ems against Austin. Taking a solid 4th place and ready to sneak into the national championship game if 2 of the top 3 slip up and if they themselves can take down Ohio State at Ohio State which will be the game to watch for Iowa.

USC and TCU each moved up two spots in the BCS for 5th and 6th.  USC, with a close win over conference rival Oregon St. is back in the drivers seat to make a run at winning the PAC-10 this year and heading to the Rose Bowl once again.  TCU is looking to crash the BCS party this year and are poised to do that.  They can add to their arguement as the front runner for non-BCS schools and clinch their conference with a win over Utah in a couple weeks.

Boise St. and Cincinnati both slipped 3 spots this week taking the 7th and 8th position in the poll.  Boise St. went to town on a dismal Hawaii team and Cincinnati gave us another show with the picking apart of last place Louisville.  Wins like those will not get you much when the people ahead of you are remaining undefeated and playing better opponents.

LSU is also back in the hunt with a very outside but real chance to sneak into the SEC championship and just maybe into the national chamionship.  If they can pull out a win over Bama in the weeks to come and then get revenge on a Florida team the sent them packing earlier on in the season.  They remain at 9 in the BCS.

Oregon is the other front runner to take the PAC-10 championship this year and their last great test will be against USC this week coming up.  I think the ducks are definatly hitting their stride after a tough start to their season.  Oregon is 10th this week.

Georgia Tech is 11th this week, and I have to say they seem to be the only consistancy in the ACC, and that aint  saying much.  This conference is probably the ugliest conference when it comes to showing up every week.  I am also not looking forward to their horrible conference championship game that is either going to be BC v. Ga Tech  or Clemson v. Ga Tech, talk about snoozefest.

Penn St. made a pretty good statement for their campaign to win the Big 10, but need Iowa to slip up a few times for it to matter.  Since the Hawkeyes own the tie breaker in the conference.  The Nittnay Lions destroyed the rebuilding Michigan Wolverines in the Big House.  Penn St. takes 12th.

Virginia Tech and Oklahoma St. each went up one notch this week for 13th and 14th place.  Va Tech will have a gimmie game against North Carolina who has all but fallen flat after their great start to the season.  Hokies should win easy.  The Cowboys on the other hand have probably their hardest test of the season against the number 3 Texas Longhorns which should prove to settle once and for all this season who will represent the Big 12 South in the Championship game.  After their hearbreaking loss to Houston in week 2 the Cowboys have outscored their opponents 200-85, they are a high powered offense that Texas has yet to see this year, but Oklahoma St. is going up against the number one rush defense in the nation and a team that has not even let their opponents get 100 points on them yet all year.  Make time to watch this great matchup.

Pitt is 15th in the nation according to the BCS up 5 from last week, this team is coming into its own with a stopping of South Florida.  The Big East somehow has become more interesting to follow than the ACC and its not even basketball season yet.  Pitt is as good as in a BCS bowl this year if they can win out and beat their two remaining ranked opponents in Cincy and West Virginia.  I think playing Cincy is the best possible end to their regular season.

Utah, Ohio St and Houston all move but stay bunched together.  Each gained a win this week but none were very exciting, these teams will see better action in the team to come.  they too 16th, 17th and 18th.

Miami fell to 19th in the BCS, which is good for them since they deserve to be unranked.  They have to be the biggest faker this season, in the national picture as well as the ACC.  They have great wins over good teams but their two losses are laughable at best.  The punctuation on this season thus far would be losing at home to a mediocre Clemson team.

Arizona, West Virginia and South Carolina all moved up two spots and stay in the same order taking 20, 21, and 22 in the poll.

Notre Dame, Cal, and Ole Miss sneaked back in to the Top 25 of the BCS.  I am not going to say much bout any of those teams since they have as good of a chance to lose each week as most unranked teams.  They are too in and out for my liking.

Written by Jon Castano

October 26, 2009 at 10:57 am

Posted in Poll Talk

BCS week 1

with 7 comments

This is what we have all been waiting for guy and gals.  The BCS standings came out today and I have to say compared to the pre season poll this has a sort of day and night effect.

Lets take a look at the rankings

1 Florida .9886 NR 1 2802 .9832 1 1464 .9925 1 25 24 23 25 25 25 .990
2 Alabama .9526 NR 2 2736 .9600 2 1398 .9478 2 23 25 24 24 24 23 .950
3 Texas .8911 NR 3 2661 .9337 3 1386 .9397 6 22 23 22 17 11 19 .800
4 Boise State .8083 NR 5 2289 .8032 5 1153 .7817 5 20 22 20 22 21 21 .840
5 Cincinnati .7870 NR 6 2173 .7625 6 1104 .7485 4 21 18 21 21 22 22 .850
6 Iowa .7869 NR 7 2045 .7175 8 1037 .7031 3 24 21 25 23 23 24 .940
7 USC .7695 NR 4 2394 .8400 4 1237 .8386 11 17 15 13 14 18 17 .630
8 TCU .7139 NR 8 2015 .7070 7 1069 .7247 8 18 19 19 15 13 20 .710
9 LSU .7083 NR 9 1996 .7004 10 995 .6746 7 19 20 16 18 20 18 .750
10 Miami (FL) .6273 NR 10 1896 .6653 9 998 .6766 13 13 13 14 13 16 14 .540
11 Oregon .5849 NR 12 1577 .5533 14 769 .5214 9 16 17 15 20 19 16 .680
12 Georgia Tech .5702 NR 13 1489 .5225 13 779 .5281 10 15 16 18 19 17 15 .660
13 Penn State .4982 NR 11 1620 .5684 11 894 .6061 17 12 10 11 10 0 1 .320
14 Virginia Tech .4947 NR 15 1278 .4484 15 672 .4556 12 14 11 17 16 15 13 .580
15 Oklahoma State .4043 NR 14 1436 .5039 12 795 .5390 21 7 9 8 2 0 0 .170
16 Brigham Young .2986 NR 16 1210 .4246 16 577 .3912 25 5 7 3 0 0 0 .080
17 Houston .2660 NR 18 834 .2926 18 421 .2854 18 9 2 9 0 2 9 .220
18 Utah .2511 NR 19 627 .2200 20 300 .2034 14 6 14 0 5 12 10 .330
19 Ohio State .2216 NR 17 937 .3288 17 481 .3261 32 0 1 1 0 0 0 .010
20 Pittsburgh .2012 NR 20 545 .1912 19 328 .2224 20 11 0 12 0 0 8 .190
21 Wisconsin .1180 NR 38 18 .0063 31 26 .0176 14 10 0 10 11 8 5 .330
22 Arizona .1138 NR 37 19 .0067 40 7 .0047 14 3 0 6 12 14 12 .330
23 West Virginia .1113 NR 23 275 .0965 22 188 .1275 24 8 0 7 4 0 0 .110
24 South Carolina .1040 NR 26 216 .0758 23 142 .0963 22 2 4 0 9 6 2 .140
25 Kansas .0973 NR 21 403 .1414 21 222 .1505 33 0 0 2 0 0 0 .000

First off, the top 3 are pretty much not a shock at all.  Bama is steamrolling through their season thus far while Florida and Texas seem to be sputtering against real opponents.  Don’t get me wrong I am getting closer and closer to the mindset of “Any Given Saturday” but for right now there are “real” opponents and not so “real” opponents, but I digress.  Seeing Boise St. at 4 on the BCS is a bit upsetting for me. I have been sold on the Broncs in seasons past but this year they are just a good team that is depending way too much on their ability to score with misdirection and a QB with a good arm.  They don’t seem to be the same team that can get smacked in mouth and come right back at you and shut you down with their defense, and looking at the rest of their schedule we probably won’t see if or if they are not.

Cincy is in 5th and a commanding 5th at that.  They seem to be a lock to win the Big East with their only real opponent being Pitt.  I am totally going to mark that game on my calendar after I got to watch the Rutgers v. Pitt game.  Obviously the Bearcats will be the favorites in this game but I don’t think Cincy will have seen an offense as powerful as Pitt’s the whole season.

Iowa is 6th in the BCS, and the sole undefeated team in the Big “Televen” at 6-0 (first time since 1985) they only have 1 more road block game against the Ohio State Buckeyes who recently lost a very sloppy game against Purdue.

I would assume the one team that feels they are feeling outside looking in would be USC. Honestly they deserve to be 7th in BCS because they have their horrible loss to Washington.  If that is their only reason for not making it to the national championship I would consider that quite fair.

The last thing that I am going to mention is that there are 3 teams that are ranked in the BCS that are not ranked in the AP top 25. Guess it pays to be ranked well in the “other” categories.

Written by Jon Castano

October 18, 2009 at 9:00 pm

The AP poll seems to be the closest its been to getting it right this week atleast.

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This weeks AP poll more so correct than weeks in the past. 

1 Florida (50) 5-0 1490 1
2 Alabama (10) 6-0 1430 3
3 Texas 5-0 1395 2
4 Virginia Tech 5-1 1283 5
5 Boise State 5-0 1199 6
6 USC 4-1 1161 7
7 Ohio State 5-1 1048 9
8 Cincinnati 5-0 1038 8
9 Miami (FL) 4-1 970 11
10 LSU 5-1 947 4
11 Iowa 6-0 919 12
12 TCU 5-0 917 10
13 Oregon 5-1 776 13
14 Penn State 5-1 597 14
15 Nebraska 4-1 576 21
16 Oklahoma State 4-1 559 15
17 Kansas 5-0 551 16
18 Brigham Young 5-1 490 18
19 Georgia Tech 5-1 453 22
20 Oklahoma 3-2 432 19
21 South Florida 5-0 330 23
22 South Carolina 5-1 319 25
23 Houston 4-1 192 NR
24 Utah 4-1 76 NR
25 Notre Dame 4-1 75 NR

The top 10  is what I think it should be in that Florida is still number 1, but losing 10 of its first place votes to Bama, who is now number  2.  Texas fell to number 3 because of the lame showing they had against a dismal Colorado team. 

I am very unsure of where I would put Va Tech on account that they have done well on the season but they have lost pretty convincingly to the now-number 2 team earlier on in the season.  Now the number 5 team in the nation is Boise St.  Please someone tell me that the voters are taking crazy pills.  The problem with this is that the Broncos play pretty much no one for the rest of the season while the rest of the top 5 have pretty dang hard games ahead of them. 

6-9 are USC, Ohio St., Cincinnati, and Miami (FL).  They all seem pretty suited for their rank.  Kudos to  Cincy for being in the Big East and in the Top 10 and it NOT being in basketball. 

Iowa is 11, very fitting after another close game which they found a way to win again. 

TCU dropped a couple spots after barely winning their last game against Air Force. They are 13.

Who would have thought Oregon would be ranked ahead of Penn State at week 6 after the loss that Oregon sustained in the first week of this season?  They are 13 and 14.

Now comes the rest of the big 12 pack, with Nebraska, Oklahoma St, Kansas and Oklahoma consisting of  the 15-20 crowd.  Honestly, seeing what they have gone through this year, both in and out of their control.  I would say these are pretty well picked because each team seems to have either lost or struggled many times this year and they probably will each lose one more this year before it is over. 

Can’t forget GaTech in there, they are 19….they seem to always have a weak arguement to being in the top 25, but an arguement nonetheless.

South Florida, South Carolina, Houston, Utah and Notre Dame round out the list.  First off, South Carolina is the most underrated team in the Top 25. Secondly, Houston is back for some reason that is beyond me.  I would have thought giving up 41 points in one half to a horrible team like Utep would make people forget about you.  Guess I was wrong.  Thirdly, Utah is back.  I think they are an ok team this year.  They are no BCS busters by any means, but at least they are still playing solid football.  Big ups to the Irish for being worlds better than they were last year. 

Small Prediction:  If Texas wins this weekend they will be back in the #2 spot no matter what happens with Bama

Written by Jon Castano

October 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Posted in Commentary, Poll Talk