College Ball Week 4 Wrap-up & Week 5 Preview
The LSU/Tennessee game, you may recall, was my number 1 game to watch this weekend. The number 2 game of the weekend was supposed to be the battle of the Techs in the ACC, but it wasn't much of a battle. 51-7 was the final score, Hokies over the Yellow Jackets. Virginia Tech looks like the real deal (Georgia Tech won at Auburn earlier this year). The number 3 game was also a trouncing, as the Buckeyes hammered the Iowa Hawkeyes 31-6. Keeping with the demolition theme, the USC Trojans spotted the Oregon Ducks a 10-0 lead, then woke up and scored the final 45 points of the game. Finally, Michigan lost to Wisconsin 23-20. Well, the Volunteers just scored a TD to complete the comeback over LSU.
Ok, upsets this week: South Florida demolished #9 Louisville 45-14, smothering the faint Rose Bowl hopes of the Cardinals. Minnesota took out Purdue, 42-35 in double overtime - the Gophers have a running back named Maroney who looks like a future big time NFL running back.
As for the National Championship - as I mentioned, LSU has fallen to Tennessee 30-27 in overtime. In the SEC, LSU will have a high enough quality of opponents that they could get back into the picture should there be room for a 1-loss team, but with Texas, Southern Cal, and Virginia Tech looking so good, that might not be the case. Besides, Florida looks to be the cream of the SEC crop right now, anyway. Purdue's outside shot a a National title is now extinguished, and Michigan and Iowa had the second (and final) nails driven in the coffins of their national title hopes.
Ok, week 5 of the College season starts tomorrow night, so here's my look ahead to the coming week.
Conference play continues, and we're starting to get some interesting match-ups. These are the top 5:
5. Michigan/Michigan State - this is usually a pretty good match-up, even though Michigan State rarely has the athletes to keep up with Michigan on paper, as they like to say. However, this year it is the currently unranked Wolverines who will be the underdogs. Two conference losses would bury any hopes Michigan has of a Big 10 title, and undefeated Michigan State has their own title aspirations for which to play.
4. Iowa State/Nebraska - this appears to be the battle for Big 12 North supremacy - although Kansas State is also in the mix. Iowa State announced their presence with authority by trouncing Iowa earlier this season, and Nebraska appears to be a program to be reckoned with once again, at least on the defensive side of the ball. The loser of this game will have a hell of a hard time winning this division.
3. Southern California/Arizona State - once again, the number 1 team in the country goes on the road to play a ranked opponent. And once again, I can't rate that game higher than this because, quite frankly, I don't see Arizona State keeping competitive. The Sun Devils have a nice offense and could put up four or five touchdowns, but that won't be enough to keep up with the Trojans, IMO. This USC team is special, especially on offense, and I can't wait until I get to see them on TV when they play Notre Dame.
2. Notre Dame/Purdue - speaking of the Irish, they head to Purdue to battle their in state rivals, the Boilermakers. Both teams have 1 loss, and so the loser of this match-up will be knocked out of the National Title picture entirely, with no possibility of parole. Notre Dame, even with Purdie's loss last week at Minnesota, is probably returning to the role as underdog for the first time since the Michigan game, but that'll probably help the golden domers more than hinder them.
1. Alabama/Florida - very possibly a sneak preview of the SEC Title game. Florida is the team to beat in the SEC right now, and 'Bama is looking to reestablish themselves as the premeire school in the SEC West (which is much more of a possibility after LSU blew that big lead in Baton Rouge tonight). It's cross-divisional, so a loss won't kill either team's chances of an SEC Title, but both teams are dreaming of Pasadena, and neither team can afford a loss in that regard.
Ok, it's late and I'm beat. NFL Week 3 wrap-up tomorrow. P&L...