Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Doc's Prognosis - Week 6

Every college football season has at least one jaw dropping weekend, and last week was the first of this season. Will it be the last? I doubt it. What we just saw was several of the top teams, the most likely contenders for the national title, all lose early. That tells me that the teams that took their places at the top of the rankings are probably not really worthy of their high-rankings, and they will fall as well (probably as part of another jaw dropping weekend somewhere down the road). My guess is that the Oklahomas and West Virginias of the world will rejoin LSU and USC in the national title picture by season's end. In all honesty, I think this may be a season where no one goes undefeated. Anyway, that's enough useless banter for this week. As usual, the rankings can be found here, and let the incessant beating begin due to me having OU still in the #1 spot.

Movers and Shakers

Three Up...
1. USF - Up 17 spots to #8. A great upset win over W. Virginia, coupled with the earlier upset of Auburn, has finally given this program the recognition it deserves. I cannot underestimate the job that Leavitt has done building this program absolutely from scratch. How many years before they win a national championship? Be sure to vote in the poll.
2. Auburn - Up 19 spots to #16. I didn't watch all of the first half of the game against Florida, but best I can tell, they absolutely shut down the Gators. The offense is still a major question mark, and even with a solid defense, I see them struggling to win their remaining big games. Not every opponent will sleepwalk through the first half against them. Still a great win though.
3. Colorado - Up 25 spots to #22. This upset is one of those that I would not have bet on, even if I had been given 100-1 odds. Complete shocker. But to come back from a 24-7 deficit against a team that had been as impressive as anybody through the first month of the year deserves some major shout-outs. Maybe Dan Hawkins won't be a bust after all.

Three Down....
1. Wisconsin - Down 19 spots to #35. This team has got to lose at some point. They can't continue to squeak past inferior opponents. However, they do play in the Big 2 Little 9, so anything is possible I guess. Just ask 2002 Ohio St.
2. Rutgers - Down 25 spots to #38. A complete bellyflop, at home, in their first meaningful game. If they don't step it up soon, they'll return to their old stomping grounds at the foot of the Big East standings. I really did think they were much better than this. We shall see.
3. Texas - Down 23 spots to #44. Everyone saw this one coming all season long. I just had no idea they would get blown away on their own field. It looks like a return to the pre 2005 Texas under Mack Brown, but we won't know for sure until we see them play OU this weekend.

Games of the Week
1. Kentucky vs. South Carolina - I've got Kentucky favored once again in this one. I've been a fan of the SEC for a long long time, and it is nice to see the Wildcats doing well. I knew they would be good going into the season, but I didn't expect them to be this good. With Vandy and Kentucky playing well, and Spurrier at SC, it's going to be exciting for years to come in the SEC East. As for this game, it should be close, but I expect that not even the Gamecocks defense will be able to stop Woodson when the game is on the line.
2. LSU vs Florida - I can't help but wonder if this young Florida team was caught looking ahead last week. I think they will be up for this game, and I expect a true classic here. People will be talking about this game as one of the games of the year by season's end. My computer is predicting LSU by 13, but I'm seeing a 30-27 type of game, with LSU pulling it out in the end. If Florida loses this one though, can they still make it to the SEC title game? I think so. It will be a real slugfest in the East.
3. Illinois vs. Wisconsin - Yep, I think this is where it all ends for Wisconsin. I'm not sure how Illinois isn't ranked, but at this point they should be. And they'll prove it right here.
4. Oklahoma vs Texas - The Red River Shootout. This one won't be as big as it should have been, but it will be a showcase game for OU. They'll get back on track here with a total throttling of the Horns. I wonder if the heat will be back on Mack Brown after this season even with the 2005 championship.
5. Georgia vs Tennessee - Another huge SEC East matchup this weekend. If Florida loses, the winner of this game should be favorites to land in Atlanta in December. But Ithink that's a foolish assumption. Georgia still plays Florida (and we all know how that game usually ends up), and Tennessee has already lost to the Gators. Even if Tennessee wins this game, I think they will drop at least one more along the way, and then they'll lose the head-to-head tiebreaker against Florida. Anyway, this is the kind of game I see Tennessee winning. If not, it could be a long long season in Knoxville.

Upset Specials
1. Kansas over Kansas St - My computer has the Jayhawks ranked very highly, and favored by 7 here. K State is getting alot of attention based off their big win last week and rightly so. The Jayhawks have played a bunch of Northwestern Institutes of Southwestern Community Colleges, so this is their first real test. I think Kansas St starts a little bit flat this week, and KU pulls this one out.
2. Georgia over Tennesee - Tennessee is favored by a couple here, but my computer is saying Georgia by a wide margin.
3. Cincinnati over Rutgers - Another chance for one of the perpetual doormats that I have highly ranked to stand up and be counted. Rutgers is favored, and I think a lot depends on how they respond to the loss last week. But my computer says Cincy by 10. I'll be anxious to see if the Bearcats are as good as I think they are.

And that's all for this week. I know I promised a discussion on conference strength, but it's been a busy last couple of weeks and I just haven't had time. I'll try to put everything together over this weekend. Unfortunately, the games don't have as much hype as what everyone was expecting, but if last weekend showed us anything it's that you can never blink with college football. Anything can happen.


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