Tuesday, September 27, 2005

BlogPoll Week Four: Hokies and Spartans Moving On Up

1) Southern Cal
2) Virginia Tech
3) Texas
4) Florida
5) Michigan State
6) Tennessee
7) Georgia
8) Louisiana State
9) Florida State
10) Miami (Florida)
11) Arizona State
12) California
13) Alabama
14) Notre Dame
15) Texas A&M
16) Minnesota
17) Wisconsin
18) UCLA
19) Purdue
20) Louisville
21) Georgia Tech
22) Iowa State
23) Texas Tech
24) Penn State
25) Vanderbilt

So what did we learn this weekend?

• I’m going to disregard the obvious anger of LSU fans right now, but the two teams saying “What if?” right now have to be Ohio State and Ol’ Rocky Top. I’m pretty sure the Buckeyes would have won the game against Texas if they’d played Troy Smith the entire game, and if Phil Fulmer had just pounded Gerald Riggs against the Gator lines last week, they might be undefeated following their miracle win at LSU last night. (Les Miles, welcome to a top-tier program. LSU, thank you for Nick Saban. He is greatly appreciated in Phin country.)

• That Virginia Tech is a legitimate Number Two team, which is where they have risen to on my board. They’ve still got a particularly tough game with Miami left, but it’s in Blacksburg, and should they get past what should be a decently experienced Kyle Wright at that point, their opponent in the inaugural ACC Championship game will be easily beatable (Florida State, Clemson, BC?). Before we start talking too crazy, let’s make sure the Mountaineers don’t get some payback for last year’s Hokie upset that ended their national title hopes early.

• Being around Ty Willingham causes the Notre Dame secondary to get more lost than usual. I think the problem is that we have two undersized linebackers playing at safety. Good players, good in run support, but there’s just so many coverage breakdowns. Granted, the fact Mike Richardson couldn’t cover me doesn’t help things out, but we’re going to have some troubles with the Boilermakers offense Saturday night. Again, we’ll be putting points up, but are we going to be able to dig in for a few stops/luck into a few drops like the Gophers managed to?

• Louisville, what in the world just happened? I’m not sure what’s more surprising: The fact the Cardinals got blown out by US freakin’ F or that Jeff Tillett didn’t hang himself.

• It’s always fun to pick on the bully from far away. I’m not sure how USC can take too much crap for going down 13-0 in a frenzied environment and then responding by scoring 45 consecutive points. Sure, they shouldn’t have dropped balls and committed stupid penalties early, but how else do you want them to respond? And honestly, do you feel there’s any team in the country that would feel safe with a 13-point lead at any point in the game when the coaches aren’t exchanging handshakes at midfield? That being said, Sam Keller and the boys down in Tempe are going to give them a run this weekend. Or at least for entertainment’s sake, we can hope so.

• Like I just told Jeff, I’m glad everyone is starting to skeet-skeet over Michigan State, making our loss look better and better. Still should have won that game, though.

• And we especially need that pub now that Michigan has fallen off the map. Eesh, things really escalated quickly there. If Penn State can score some points, they might even be able to give the Wolverines a run if their offense plays like that again.

• Big weekend coming up. We attempt to get some revenge on Purdue for the last couple of seasons’ damage, Michigan State attempts to finish off Michigan’s year as soon as September ends, Brad Smith vs. Vince Young, Leinart vs. Keller (hopefully young Sam fares better than Andrew Walter did last year), Florida vs. Alabama, the USF show going on the road to the Orange Bowl and the Maroney Heisman campaign making an early stop in State College to play the Nittany Lions.

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