September 10, 2006

What We Now Know

Week Two provided some near misses (Air Force at Tennessee, Troy at Florida State) and it showed that the second game of the season usually offers the best improvement (Notre Dame 41, Penn State 17). I am still debating over how far to drop Texas in my poll. The hardest part about college football polling is that you have to put last year out of your mind and go with what you've seen out of teams with just two games played.

Here's what we now know...

- Ohio State will rumble to the title game. Buckeye fans can go ahead and make plans for Glendale, Arizona around January 8th. The Buckeyes will not lose at home and their only road games against potential winners are at Iowa and Michigan State. Same Hawkeyes who beat Syracuse in overtime at the Carrier Dome this weekend. Michigan State? Please. Its now the race to determine Ohio State's opponent in the desert. So much for that worry about losing nine defensive players.

- Notre Dame displayed a lethal offense in their home debut but the headlines should start focusing on this defense, which has only given up one meaningful touchdown in two games. Next up is Michigan for the Domers. Michigan comes into the game inflated with rollups against Vandy and Central Michigan. The Irish have had serious opponents in Georgia Tech and Penn State, who no doubt were vastly overrated because now they have lost to Notre Dame.

- What do we have in Texas? Gone now is the swagger of Vince Young. Gone now is the confidence that led to a national title. The Horns won't face their next true test until the Red River Shootout, but suddenly teams in the Big 12 South other than Oklahoma have hope against the Burnt Orange.

- What do we now have in Tennessee? California rebounded this weekend with a 42-17 win over Minnesota and the Volunteers held off a two-point attempt for the win to defeat an Air Force team that moved the ball late in the game at will. Florida comes calling this weekend and I can only think that Florida fans are salivating about putting in Tim Tebow and running the Urban Sprawl (Spread) against that shaky defense. Maybe Tennessee was just looking ahead?

- Auburn and LSU have played lesser talent so far this year, but both have set the stage for next Saturday when the two versions of Tigers rumble on the Plains. I will miss most of this game, as I will all the other great tilts of next week in the 3:30 time slot. However, I will see the ending of this classic and that will be good enough.

- Rutgers is 2-0 with a realistic shot to go 6-0 before facing Pittsburgh in the Steel City. The Scarlet Knights next play Ohio, Howard, at South Florida, and at Navy.

- Boise State roared back from a 14-0 deficit to paste Oregon State, 42-14. The Broncos have some challenging games left in their season: At Utah, Fresno State, At Nevada, however the road for them to make the Fiesta Bowl or any BCS bowl is looking good. Their main challenge for the non-BCS conference BCS slot is TCU who is 2-0, but faces Texas Tech on the 16th.

- Is Spurrier still the offensive genius of the College Game? In two games, the Gamecocks have put exactly 15 points on the board and the lone touchdown was due to a masterful flea-flicker. Essentially the South Carolina team sits at 1-1 only because they played a woefully inept Mississippi State team to begin the year.

- This Oregon team is good. The Ducks cut down the Trees in their first game, then ventured to Fresno State and got a very nice win over the Bulldogs. They next play Oklahoma at Autzen Stadium - the loudest 55,000 seat stadium you'll ever hear.

- The Heisman Race could be over as well, or at least its a two-man race. Troy Smith vs. Brady Quinn. Quinn will face the superior competition however, Troy Smith won't lose the rest of the way. Could it be possible that only two players get invites to the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City?

Perhaps the biggest thing We Now Know is that we will know a heckuva lot more after next week when we have 10 games between undefeated teams:

- LSU at Auburn
- Michigan at Notre Dame
- Nebraska at USC
- Florida at Tennessee
- Maryland at West Virginia
- Iowa State at Iowa
- Texas Tech at TCU
- Michigan State at Pittsburgh
- Oklahoma at Oregon
- BYU at Boston College

Mind you, this list leaves out Clemson-FSU and Louisville-Miami. What a weekend we have coming!


Ben said...

What makes Quinn's competition superior to Smith's? In fact, I'd say it's the other way around.

Both play Michigan, MIch St. and Penn St. ND plays USC and GT. OSU plays Iowa and Texas. You wan to line up the patsies and middle-of-the-roaders and compare stat lines? I'm game.

The College Game said...

I'll give you Iowa -13.5 against the Buckeyes on Sept. 30th at home. Yeah, I know, no Tate, but they SQUEAKED past Syracuse. Same 'Cuse that has a what, 10 game losing streak right now?

Who counters UCLA? No one. That makes it non-equal, thus superior.

Unless Indiana, Illinois, or Northwestern REALLY improve. Alright, bad form mention Indiana with Hoeppner going back under the knife. Sorry.

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