Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Doc's Prognosis - Week 8

Well, another week, another rash of upsets for the top teams in the land. At some point, the upsets have to stop. And at some point, people will realize that this year's SEC may be the most difficult conference to play in since the dawn of time. If LSU had managed to make it through their schedule unscathed, they should have given them the title without even making them play anyone else (and honestly, I'm not one of these 'SEC is always the best conference' morons). As it is, they tripped up very, very early in the race. That doesn't mean they aren't a great team though. Anyway, onward we go.

Three Up...
1. USF - Up 5 spots to #5. Well, they have finally become a player in my ranking. Up to this point, they've been a good team that's had a couple of big wins, but for the most part they've done exactly what they were expected to do. Now with the way things have fallen over the last few weeks, and with the continued good showings of Auburn and WVU, they find themselves on everybody's list of the best teams in all the land. At least on the list of anyone who actually knows football. Still a very difficult schedule ahead of them though.
2. Kansas St - Up 9 spots to #9. I think this is a little too high for this team. We shall see. They got to this point though because of playing Auburn and Kansas tough, and then throttling Colorado, who in turn had beaten Oklahoma, one of the best 1 loss teams in the country. Yet again, evidence that this is the craziest season of college football in quite some time.
3. Boise St - Up 25 spots to #21. It should be noted that this ranking doesn't include the recent Nevada game. But the point is, last year's cinderella team is rapidly getting back into the discussion as a possible at large team in the BCS. Even with one loss, to a less impressive than originally expected Washington team. At this point, nothing will surprise me.

Three Down...
1. Cal - Down 7 spots to #18. It's not exactly fair that Cal has to be in this position. With Nate Longshore out of action in the Oregon St. game, it wasn't very surprising to see them beaten. But the way that it happened was one of the cruelest endings I've seen. And you could see the frustration at the end of the game from the CAl players and coaches. You've gotta feel sorry for the young QB who put them in that mess, but that's got to be the most boneheaded play of the year.
2. Boston College - Down 6 spots to #23. I didn't see any of the game (why would I watch anymore of Notre Dame this year), but it seemed to be a pretty lackluster performance. They're still unbeaten though, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're any good.
3. Illinois - Down 11 spots to #26. Well, as quick as I was to jump on the Zooker's bandwagon, I'm going to be just as quick to jump off of it. When you lose to Iowa, you lose a lot of respect.

Games of the Week
1. USF vs. Rutgers - Another good Thursday night Big East tilt. This is USF's first game as BCS #2, so the pressure will be on them to keep their unbeaten record alive. Rutgers should be up for this game as they'll have a chance to knock off the Big East frontrunners and keep their hopes of a BCS bid alive.
2. LSU vs Auburn - The recent games in this series have been absolutely epic. For LSU, it's win or go home. With 2 losses, they would be done and dusted as far as the BCS title game is concerned. For Auburn, it's a chance to showcase their outstanding defense once again. Should be a classic, defensive slugfest. I wouldn't miss this one if I were you.
3. Florida vs. Kentucky - As I've said several times before, I still think Florida are the frontrunners for the East division title. I just don't think UK can pull off another upset. They are no doubt a great team, but they played over their heads a little to pull off the upset versus LSU, and I just can't see them doing it once again. They'll probably prove me wrong however.
4. Cal vs. UCLA - Cal needs to right the ship quickly in this game. They are still very much alive in the Pac-10 race, and even have an outside shot at the BCS title game as a one loss team.
5. Tennessee vs. Alabama - The third in a great triumvirate of SEC matchups. This is my favorite game of the year, and my least favorite game of the year, all at the same time. Just another sign of how deep the SEC is this year: 2 storied programs, 2 great rivals, 2 teams that still control their own destiny in the conference. And this game is #3 in the pecking order for SEC television behind LSU-Auburn, and UF-UK. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

Upset Specials
1. Notre DAme over USC - I think for this to happen, USC will have to make a lot of mistakes, and Notre Dame will have to generate at least 14 points from Special Teams/Defense. I honestly can't see them scoring an offensive TD, but 17 points might be just enough to do it. All in all, though, I think this is a worthless game. ND is terrible, USC will lose at least another 2 games and be out of the title picture very soon, so this has absolutely no bearing on anything outside of the two fanbases.
2. Illinois over Michigan - I mentioned earlier that I jumped off the Illini bandwagon as quickly as I got on. But if they pull this one out, I, as well as the rest of the country, will probably be right back on it.
3. UCLA over Cal - If Cal comes out still thinking about last week's loss, their season will pretty much be over by the end of this game. But if they take their frustration out on UCLA, Dorrell's squad had better look out.

That's all for this week. As usual, you can find the full rankings, as well as predictions for all ACC and SEC games, at www.geocities.com/zosofreak2000.

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