Monday, October 22, 2007

Doc's Prognosis - Week 9

Finally a weekend that did not provide us with any real earth-shattering moments. USF was always going to have a struggle at Rutgers on a Thursday night (and for all the new USF haters out there, including the pollsters, go crawl back under the same rock you FINALLY crawled out from under last week when you started giving them the respect they deserve), and Vandy beating S. Carolina should not have surprised anyone either. You always knew Vandy was going to pull off a win, and Carolina's offense has been waiting to cost them a game all season. Now I expect to see them get back on track when Spurrier continues his personal rivalry against Tennesee this weekend. Now on with the topics for the week.



Three Up....

1. Oregon - Up 5 spots to #2. The Ducks are now challenging LSU for the top spot in my ranking. But then again, so are about 4 or 5 other very evenly matched teams. A couple of big wins here and there for any of these teams will make the difference at the end of the season.
2. Arkansas - Up 9 spots to #11. The Hogs are probably one of the most controversial teams in my ranking this year. They haven't won any of the big games they have played so far, but they have been competitive. I think they will have something to say in how the SEC divisional races play out over the next few weeks, especially with the big LSU game at the end of the year.
3. Alabama - Up 12 spots to #20. Alabama finally managed to avoid having the game come down to the final play. Now they have two weeks to rest up for the Saban Bowl, a game that will go a long long way towards determining the SEC West champion. No one could've expected Saban would have such an impact in his first season.

Three Down....
1. South Carolina - Down 7 spots to #24. As I mentioned previously, I think the Gamecocks had been playing a little over their heads all season. They need to regroup in time for this week's UT game, because they are still right in the thick of the race for Atlanta.
2. Tennessee - Down 13 spots to #35. Somehow this team defeated Georgia, 35-14. If you look at the entire body of work, it is very unimpressive.
3. Texas Tech - Down 3 spots to #19. Not real sure how they only dropped this far after getting manhandled by Missouri.

Games of the Week
1. BC vs. Va Tech - Just like USF last week, it is now BC's turn to face a very difficult Thursday night game as the new BCS #2. This should be a very good, very entertaining game. My gut tells me Va Tech will win with their defense and special teams, but my computer is saying BC by 1.
2. Ohio St vs Penn St - From this point on, Ohio St actually has a fairly difficult stretch of games to round out the season, culminating with the Michigan game. If they run the table, I think they will be a very deserving national championship game participant.
3. Arizona St vs Cal - This is really the Sun Devils first showcase game, and unfortunately for them, Cal has tanked over the last couple of weeks. A win over the Bears would still be a quality win, though, so this is going to be a key game for the BCS rankings, and in the Pac10 race.
4. Oregon vs. USC - USC showed signs of improvement last week in South Bend, but that's nothing to write home about. As mentioned above, Oregon is my new #2, and as such, my computer has them favored heavily here. My guess is that it's going to be much closer than that. I just can't see a Pete Carroll team getting blown out by anybody.
5. South Carolina vs Tennessee - This is essentially an elimination game in the SEC East. Steve Spurrier has owned Phil Fulmer in the past, and it will be interesting to see if that continues. UT's weakness is the defense, SC's weakness is their offense. This game will come down to who's weakness plays best.

Upset Specials
1. Va Tech over BC - My computer is saying BC by 1 point, but as I mentioned earlier, I expect their to be one fewer undefeated team by the end of the night Thursday.
2. NC State over Virginia - My computer is predicting UVa to win by a TD, but I expect it will be much closer than that. The Cavaliers are winning nailbiters, and this week their luck might finally run out.
3. Penn St over Ohio St - What a weekend it would be if the top 2 teams in the BCS come crashing down. Of course, that kind of thing never happens in college football, right?

That's all for this week. Kind of a short entry, but then again, there aren't that many games here that really get me fired up. The last few times I've felt that way heading into a weekend, there have been tons of upsets and a complete overhaul of the Top 25. I wouldn't be surprised if the same happens this week as well.

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