Monday, November 14, 2005

BlogPoll Week Twelve: And Then There Were Two...

Unless Fresno State pulls off the Upset of the Century or Reggie McNeal makes his last collegiate game his best ever (and therefore making it not his last collegiate game, because the Aggies would be bowl eligible, but I digress), we’re going to be seeing the Longhorns and Trojans throw down in the Rose Bowl. Bevo vs. Traveler, Leinart vs. Young…it’ll be the most hyped game since, well…the national championship last year, when a Big 12 South team was supposed to give those wusses from the Pac-10 all sorts of trouble.

Can you take a guess what my prediction would be for a USC/Texas game? Beating up on a terribly overrated Texas Tech team and barely surviving a Ohio State team that played half of the game with it’s back-up quarterback does not a powerhouse make. It’s easy to run up the score on crappy teams, but let’s see how the Longhorns do when the athletes on the field across from them are of equal or higher caliber. It’ll be fun.

Anchors Aweigh…

Saturday’s game went about as predicted, although it was a little closer than I thought until the final five minutes of the half. Three touchdowns in that short of a time basically ended the game for Navy, who couldn’t possibly play catch-up with us. I understand the Matt Leinart Complex now, where sports writers are beginning their “Leinart actually has better stats than last year, but less hype”, because you start to get used to a certain standard and just take it for granted. Brady had four touchdowns and one interception Saturday and we were all just amazed at how poorly he played.

Obviously, we’re overreacting, because it was Brady who staked us to the 21-point halftime lead, and while he did lose focus towards the end of the game, if you’re going to have your quarterback lose his edge, it might as well be when you’re up four touchdowns against a team that cannot throw or catch the ball. Still, I would have liked him to find The Shark to extend his touchdown streak, but three tosses to MoSto will have to do. With two big games left, ND might make a legitimate run at having both All-American wide receivers, although that’ll only happen if Mike Hass and Dwayne Jarrett both have a bad final stretch.

Still, barring a major upset, the Irish BCS run continues. Again, who and where we’re playing is still way up in the air, but I’d rather have that drama than “Do you think we’ll make the Gator or Bowl?”

SEC Judgment Day

Saturday was supposed to clear things up for us in the SEC, but it only made them blurrier. Auburn might be the best team in the conference, with their only loss coming on the leg of a 1-for-453 game from their kicker John Vaughn at current favorite LSU, who redeemed himself Saturday night between the hedges. Georgia might be the most flimsy of all paper tigers, as their best win now appears to be the home victory over a South Carolina team that thoroughly outplayed them, but just couldn’t get that break at the end. Urban is wondering what this week will bring now that he lost to the Ol’ Ball Coach and Mike Shula, along with the rest of Tuscaloosa, have to deal with the results of finally giving up a touchdown again. (Although to the Tide’s credit, they actually scored one.)

So the SEC West looks like the best division by far, especially when you consider the waxing that Auburn put on South Carolina, but only one of those teams, most likely LSU, will get to play in the SEC Championship game, most likely against Georgia, a team they’ve had their way with the last few years. What does this mean for the BCS? Well, if Alabama can beat Auburn, they might clinch the 8th bid to play in the Fiesta Bowl, with the LSU/Georgia winner going to the Sugar. Still one huge game – the Iron Bowl – to be played, with the potential SEC landmines remaing for LSU and UGA (Ole Miss, Arkansas, Kentucky) not looking that potent.

Would you want the Irish playing Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl? I think it would be interesting, and I think we would win, so those are two important factors. You’ve got the old school vibe, two dreamy quarterbacks and a lot of tradition. Not a bad match-up, if I do say myself.

The Poll

1) Southern Cal
2) Texas
3) Miami (Florida)
4) Penn State
5) Notre Dame
6) Louisiana State
7) Virginia Tech
8) Ohio State
9) Alabama
10) Oregon
11) Auburn
12) Georgia
13) West Virginia
14) UCLA
15) Louisville
16) Michigan
17) Fresno State
18) TCU
19) South Carolina
20) Florida
21) Florida State
22) Wisconsin
23) Minnesota
24) South Florida
25) Oklahoma

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