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Sunset Vette

23 Oct

And Then There Were… Fewer

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LSU – despite being short their starting tailback and one of their best defensive players – took care of business against Auburn, easily winning 45-10. It was the most lopsided victory in the history of the series between these two teams, which goes back over 40 games.

Alabama struggled early against Tennessee. It’s easy to suspect that they were taking it easy against a team they expected to beat easily, but championship teams should not fall into that trap. Nonetheless, ‘Bama pulled away in the second half and took care of business to ensure that LSU and ‘Bama will face off in two weeks in what just about every sports writer is calling a BCS playoff game.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were supposed to play in the second playoff game, but that plan took a hit when the Sooners lost for only the third time in 78 games dating back to 2001. Texas Tech came in and raced out to a substantial first half lead and held off a furious rally by Oklahoma in the second half. The Oklahoma kicker bounced a late field goal off of the upright. That missed opportunity turned out to be the margin of victory for the Red Raiders as the final score was 41-38. Oklahoma State did what they were supposed to do and took care of Missouri. The next challenge looming for the Cowboys now looks to be Kansas State which remained undefeated, taking care of an overwhelmed Kansas team 59-21.

Does the Big 12 still have the “other” team for the BCS bowl? Remember they won’t have a title game this year since Colorado and Nebraska left so the regular season games will decide the champion. Even if Oklahoma State gets by Kansas, they still have to finish out their season against Oklahoma. Even if it’s not a playoff game you know the Sooners are not going to roll over just to let State play in a championship game.

What about other contenders? In one of the most exciting games I’ve seen in quite a while, Michigan State downed Wisconsin at the buzzer when a “hail mary” pass bounced around in the end zone and out before being caught by a former quarterback turned wide receiver at the goal line. He surged forward just enough to swing his upper body over the goal line (along with the football) resulting in a game-winning touchdown as time expired. Michigan State has already lost to Notre Dame, Penn State has lost to Alabama, Michigan has lost to Michigan State, Nebraska has lost to Wisconsin… so far each of the top teams in the Big 10 has lost at least one game. Hmm, looks a lot like what has typically happened in the SEC as teams beat up on each other once conference play starts. Penn State and Michigan State remain undefeated in conference play however, leaving them as the current candidates for the new Big 10 championship game.

Stanford and Boise State have to love the turmoil that took place in the Big 10 and Big 12 this weekend. Stanford took care of upstart Washington behind a ground-and-pound attack (three different rushers had 90+ yards) and Boise State survived a challenge from Air Force. (If Air Force does join the Big East, can they use their own planes to get to their road games? 😉 )

And what about the ACC? Suddenly Clemson with QB Tajh Boyd is looking very relevant. Even if Clemson doesn’t make it to the title game the Orange Bowl has to be salivating at the thought of finally having a game worth watching after years of also-ran teams. Clemson won’t win the BCS even if they get there; you can’t win without defense, and Clemson’s scores over the past few weeks (59-38, 56-45, 36-14) make for exciting but stressful times for their coach. Despite that, Clemson is sitting pretty at 8-0 and can take another step forward by defeating Georgia Tech in their next game. The Ramblin’ Wreck started out setting all sorts of records but has now stumbled in their last two games, but they’re certainly still dangerous.

BCS standings before the games this weekend and their Saturday results:

LSU beat Auburn at home, 45-10, will stay #1
Alabama beat Tennessee at home 37-6, will stay #2
Oklahoma lost to Texas Tech at home, will drop out of the top 10
Oklahoma State beat Missouri on the road, will move up to #3
Boise State beat Air Force and will move up to #4
Wisconsin lost to Michigan State on the road, will drop to #10-ish
Clemson beat North Carolina at home, will move up to #5
Stanford beat Washington 65-21 on the road, but I don’t think they’ll skip past Clemson, which puts them at #6
Arkansas came back to defeat Ole Miss 29-24, which probably isn’t any more impressive than Oregon defeating Colorado 45-2, so I don’t think these teams will change positions, leaving the Hogs at #7 and…
Oregon will move to #8 after the aforementioned victory over the Rams

Who moves into the top ten? I think Kansas State, as one of the remaining undefeated teams, moves into the top ten at #9. It’s possible that Michigan State moves into the #10 spot after their strong showing over Wisconsin, leaving Oklahoma at #11 or #12. But I don’t get a vote, so I’ll just have to wait and see. 😎

One Response to “And Then There Were… Fewer”

  1. 1
    Dave Rathbun Says:

    Seems that voters liked a one-loss Michigan State more than an undefeated Kansas State, and I can’t say I blame them. Oklahoma remains in the top-10 in the BCS, but Wisconsin dropped all the way to 15. That seems harsh, especially since they lost to a very good Spartan team on the road. On a desperation play that ended the game. Stanford remains ahead of Clemson in the AP and USA Today but fell behind in the BCS.

    What will be really interesting will be to see how far the loser of the LSU/Bama game falls. Of course it will depend on how badly they lose, but I’ve read more than one article that suggests maybe they do a rematch for the BCS title game. I wasn’t in favor of it years ago with Michigan and Ohio State, and I’m not in favor of it now. Let them play someone else. But we’ll see if that’s even an issue after the season is done.

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