Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Cynic's Guide to College Football: Week 7

As we've reached the halfway point of college football's regular season, we’re starting to get a real handle on who are contenders (Bama) and who are pretenders (LSU, Ole Miss). So here are some random observations on the first half of the season.


Remember the days when people actually respected Florida State’s defense? When guys like Deion Sanders, Peter Boulware and Derrick Brooks struck fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks? This season, however, the Seminoles have given up 28 or more points in four of six games marked (and they lost one of the other two). The heat is only getting hotter on Bobby Bowden, and this very non-Florida State-like defense is a big reason.

At this rate, Allstate may be able to hire the real Bowden for next season.

Does Anybody Want to Win the Big 12 North?

In the early days of the Big 12, the North ruled the roost. Nebraska, Kansas State and Colorado were perennial top-ten teams, while Mack Brown was beginning to wake the sleeping giant in Texas and Oklahoma suffered through John Blake. In recent years, however, the tide has turned, with OU and UT being national title contenders every year and the north struggling through scandals at CU, the retirement of Bill Snyder at KSU and the Steve Pederson/Bill Callahan debacle at Nebraska. Early on this season, however, I thought that maybe this was the season the Bis 12 North could finally give their Southern counterparts a run for their money. Then week 7 happened. Nebraska, just a week removed from a big win at Missouri to put them in the driver's seat in the division, pissed down their leg in a 31-10 home loss to Texas Tech.

Then, later that night, previously undefeated Kansas choked at Colorado (yes, that Colorado). Missouri looked gimpier than Blaine Gabbert's ankle in a 33-17 loss at Oklahoma State. When your "big" wins are over Texas A&M and Baylor, it doesn't speak well for your division.

Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh is one of the North's bright spots. But even he's not good enough to make up for Nebraska's bizarrely inconsistent offense.

Where Have You Gone, JaMarcus Russell? Uh, Wait, Scratch That.

How LSU got to be a top-5 team is beyond me. Their 13-3 loss against Florida illustrated just how bad the Tigers’ offense is. Not taking anything away from Florida’s defense, but that score said a whole lot less about Florida’s D than it did about LSU’s terrible offense. LSU currently ranks 91st in scoring offense and 112th in total offense. Sure, their defense (14th in scoring defense; 35th in total defense) is good enough to win them some games. But a top 5 team should at least have a semblance of balance, something Les Miles’ squad is sorely lacking.

Speaking of unbalanced . . .

Fear the Potato

OK, raise your hand if you had Idaho in the "Who Will be Bowl Eligible Before Oklahoma, Ohio State and USC" pool. Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

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