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« Temporary Heisman goodness | Main | Week thirteen Saturday live thread »

Week thirteen weekend review

One weekend left, so sad.

Kansas 24, Iowa State 21

Even though Texas A&M gave them a scare, nobody (read: Iowa State, Colorado) in the Big Twelve wants to play Texas.  Nor are they prepared to, which is pretty sad.  The committee of the hapless: Iowa State, Kansas, Colorado, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M.  Texas Tech is dangerously close to joining this list.  Only a humbled Oklahoma shows any signs of legitimacy.

Big Twelve rant over, Iowa State lost thanks to a ridiculous late collapse, next!

Oklahoma 42, Oklahoma State 14

He's baaaaaaack.  Adrian Peterson had an 84 and a 71 yard touchdown run.

Louisville 41, Syracuse 14

Most offenses collapse when a superstar back isn't playing and the star quarterback goes down.  This isn't your normal offense.  It helps Syracuse is on the schedule, but the Cardinals' system is fairly resilient by itself.

Connecticut 15, South Florida 10

It's just too cold to play up there in November for the Florida boys, heh.

Miami 25, Virginia 17

The 'Canes resurfaced for a three-week period, and have since gone back to early-season disappointment mode.

Florida 34, Florida State 7

Urban Meyer can coach.  Too bad his quarterback's such a bad fit.

Nevada 38, Fresno State 35

Classic letdown game.  Embarrassing, regardless.

Virginia Tech 30, North Carolina 3

Football games are 60 minutes long, yet many of us like to judge teams only on their first 30.

Georgia 14, Georgia Tech 7

Tech's defense has been roaring lately, and they almost stole their second upset in as many weeks.  Mark Richt goes into SEC mode on offense way more often than he needs to given that he has the NCAA's best combo quarterback.

Notre Dame 38, Stanford 31

This was a great game.  Believe it or not I never really felt that Notre Dame would lose control of this one.  Overall it was a fine final salute to a crappy, somewhat historic stadium that at this moment is probably being hit by its first few wrecking balls.

Texas 40, Texas A&M 29

Familiarity matters, and Texas had no clue how to counter the Aggies' option attack.  I think the Texas offensive coaches were more to blame in this one, as Vince Young looked completely lost.  Whatever, they won and now get the opportunity to slaughter tragic Colorado this coming weekend.

LSU 19, Arkansas 17

Someone keeps lecturing me about needing to have LSU much higher in my rankings.  Maybe there's something to be said for my weariness?

Arizona State 23, Arizona 20

Ugly, as always.  ASU is now bowl eligible, but will Dirk Koetter still be their coach at bowl time?

Nebraska 30, Colorado 3

This is a basic admission that the Buffs don't want to play Texas.

Wisconsin 41, Hawai'i 24

Aloha means hello and goodbye.  Barry Alvarez has had quite a career.  It's been fun to witness Wisky's resurrection. 

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Reader Comments (17)

Notre Dame gets the benefit of the doubt about an iffy win, while LSU's close game proves that they are not worthy of a lofty ranking. Could this be proof of an anti-SEC bias?
November 26, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick McDonald
Is that why I'm so high on Georgia and Auburn? Why I talk well of Spurrier and Meyer.

Come on. Don't confuse my weariness of LSU (and Tennessee, rightly, before the season, and Alabama, etc.) for being anti-SEC.

I'm pro getting it right.
November 26, 2005 | Registered CommenterCFR
You only like SEC teams, or coaches that have good offenses (30+pts per game or 400+ yds per game).
The numbers I have on LSU are 29.9 pts per game and 378.6 yds per game. Feel free to correct those if they are wrong.

You give a free pass to Spurrier, because of the success of his past teams.

November 27, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick McDonald
Do you see Spurrier ranked here?

Have you been reading my concerns about LSU throughout the year? They're talented and little else. Poorly coached, incoherent offensive and defensive approach. Nothing's changed. Its like they're stuck on stupid.

Those numbers of yours are arbitrary and without context. I make my offensive judgments more through observation. What I like is a coherent offense, particularly one that makes use of the entire field, can run and pass independently, has a good passing quarterback or a well-oiled run attack complimented by a dedicated pass effort (think Kansas State under Roberson, or VT this year, etc.).

And if I like particular SEC teams and coaches, how can I be anti-SEC?

From day one here one of the purposes was to serve as a corrective measure, a check if you will, on some of the ridiculous excesses within college football. It just so happens that many of them emanate from the SEC and its institutions.

There's a long offseason (nine horrible months) upcoming, I'll have plenty of other things to criticize, from all directions, don't worry (for example I'm not necessarily on board with Oregon's lobbying for a BCS game).
November 27, 2005 | Registered CommenterCFR
I don't personally like LSU (nor the SEC as a whole), so I will quit defending them, but I have to ask why does Notre Dame get no criticism for their near loss to Stanford?

You can like specific teams, but not like the conference.
People respect U$C, but not the Pac-10.

November 27, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick McDonald
In re LSU: you're running out of games to be proven right about them (and trust me, I'd live for the Dawgs to knock them off, but I don't think it's going to happen).

Also, DJ Shockley isn't the NCAA's best combo QB. That'd be Vince Young. And I'd say 99% of UGA fans would agree.
November 28, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLD
Notre Dame is not a top 10 team. They have played teams with a combined record of 57-62. Take away USC and it's 47-62. Their only claim to fame is that they really beat USC. They're the worse 9-2 team in the nation. They will probably put a much better Oregon team out of the BCS.
November 28, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDawgy1

How so?

They've bumbled around the entire season, and have been fortunate the competition has been so bad.

The SABR types would say they've had a lot of luck.

As for Shockley, I don't know, that guy's a terrific pocket passer, better than Young from my observation. His problem is he's not the running threat Vince is and faces a few real defenses whereas Young has been able to run and throw wild against some of the worst collective defenses I've seen in many a year.

In other words, if Shockley were at Texas I think they'd score a little less but their offense would also be more secure.

Look at UGA this year, they graduated a 4-year starter statue-type pocket passer who threw the ball ok... and the offense is markedly improved (not so much statistically, but watching them they don't look like junk anymore). That's all Shockley who throws better than Greene.

Anyway, I understand what you're saying with Vince and its a completely understandable take, I just come at it a little differently.
November 28, 2005 | Registered CommenterCFR

When has opponent record been the determinant of how good a team is?

I've watched Notre Dame, I think they're outstanding.

Against Stanford their kicker left seven certain points on the field and they gave up a goofy special teams return and threw a dumb interception almost in their end zone to make it a lot closer than it really was.

Oregon's playing a two-headed backup quarterback right now in a first year offense, they're overachieving, although their defense has been pretty good given how great the offenses have been in the conference this year.
November 28, 2005 | Registered CommenterCFR
RA, it might stand to reason that a team could have a goof record because of their competition, i.e. Louisville and Boise State last year.

Before the season started I thought ND had a difficult schedule but, if you look at it now you have to wonder. They've played USC and Michigan, who else?

How do you think Oregon, Miami, Georgia, etc. would have done with ND's schedule?
November 28, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDawgy1
Here's why: The one thing a football team has to do each week is win. Doesn't have to win pretty, doesn't have to dominate. Just win. If LSU goes 12-1, while playing 6 bowl teams, they will have objectively had a good season. Their defense ranks 5th in the nation. Their only loss was in overtime against a ranked (at the time) opponent 24 hours after a hurricane passed through.

As for the SABR types, well, most of them have never strapped on a helmet and taken a hit, and don't get me wrong, I am a SABR-fan too, but at the end of the day the only numbers that truly count are in the W and L columns. And SABR types would also probably admit something else: after a while, something that looks like just luck becomes a trend. You might call it luck, I might say that there's a talent to winning close games, and LSU is 5-1 in games decided by less than a TD. And in each of those games they were playing a team ranked in the top 25 at the time, except for Arkansas, who is much better than they were at the beginning of the year because of their youth. As you know, I'm always interested in the way things are covered. Sometimes when teams win close games, they're covered as "the Cardiac Kids" and people go on and on about how gutsy they are, or how intangibles and coaching make the difference that allows a particular team to win close games. Penn State this year has gotten some of that coverage. LSU, on the other hand, gets the coverage more like, "They can't put anyone away, they should be dominating people". It's not so subtle, and it can completely change the attitudes of readers.

It just seems like you've been predicting an imminent collapse of LSU for two months now, and all they've done is win 8 straight games. At some point they won't have any more games for you to predict their failure. And like I said, I sure hope they do collapse, but I think it's more likely that they're pretty good. Anyway, since you at least put them on the considered list last week, I'm not holding it too much against you.

As for Vince Young, he definitely had a bad game Friday, but this year he's incomparable as a dual threat QB. Shockley is more comparable to Vick, Russell, Basanez, Troy Smith, Michael Robinson. And against them, Shockley fares pretty well.
November 28, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLD
Russel is not a dual threat QB. He is very similar to Davey- a passing QB who can escape a would-be sack. Run downfield for significant yardage? No.

November 28, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Fair points.

Schedules are very uneven in CFB, however, so sometimes winning doesn't mean too much (ask Texas). That's why strict objective approaches have an uncomfortable time here.

Re: Shockley-He's barely on the charts for the dual of his dual threat recognition, I understand, but he's also much the better passer and quarterback between himself and Young, and I happen to think he's an outstanding runner. The guy's got a knack. Just not Young, of course.

And you know how I am with QB's, their ability to pass counts a lot here.

I'm pretty forgiving of Vince's bad day, just its telling that it took this long into the schedule for it to happen. Even immortal guys like Leinart have an off day ever second or third game. It took Young eleven games, translation competition has been absolutely on the lagwagon this year and basically folding on the first series.

Going back to LSU-I don't think I've been predicting collapse so much as saying they're ridiculously flawed. No team should have their ineptitude offensively and defensively and be #3. When your two worst athletes at receiver are the two best receivers ahead of a bunch of unreal athletes, something's wrong with the coaching. When Justin Vincent is getting PT and he still hasn't gotten "it" back, whatever it is that he had before getting the yips, when you get bludgeoned by an OOC foe, when you can't put Alabama away, when Arkansas, yes an improved but still non competitive Arkansas, beats you on the field...

To me that's a lot of luck. As much as anyone's had this year. I don't think they're anywhere near as good as Ohio State or Penn State or Notre Dame etc. and that's another reason I have them lower ranked.
November 28, 2005 | Registered CommenterCFR

Oregon and Miami and possibly Georgia would have lost to Michigan State at that point in the season that ND lost to them.

They all would have finished with the same record, losing to USC, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily as good.

I would argue Louisville and Boise LAST yea were as good as ranked on here. Schedule or not. They are different teams this year and my rankings reflect that.

November 28, 2005 | Registered CommenterCFR
It's funny how biased people are against ND.
November 28, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Kim
Hey, I'm just thrilled that you have my Tigers in consideration! I'm interested to hear your take on our "defensive ineptitude." ASU game, fine. Tennessee 2nd half, fine. Those were back in September. What else? In the rest of the entire schedule, Kenny Irons is the only player who had anything close to a good day against us, and shred us he did. Do you think they've improved at all, or just can't tell because we haven't faced really high-caliber offenses like those of the Pac-10 (a la ASU)?
November 28, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterRohan
Well, all people hate ND except the mainstream media, the coaches poll, and the harris poll (though it's interesting that the computers - who just can't seem to grasp the concept of Touchdown Jesus - keep dragging ND down...).

The sad thing is, Stanford was the 3rd-best team that Notre Dame has played all season long.

Yep, I said it. And it's true.

Michigan State is NOT A GOOD TEAM. THEY NEVER WERE A GOOD TEAM. Yes, they racked up almost 50 ppg for their first 4 games. As I showed earlier, three of those four opponents current defensive ranks average out to 108th in the country! And the fourth team was Notre Dame - whose offense is good, but whose defense is crap.

Notre Dame has lost 2 games at home, to a Michigan State team that keeps getting too much credit for beating ND, and a close game to USC - by the way, how'd Fresno do this past weekend?

Teams that are good but not stellar (or even bad teams, like last year's Stanford squad) can keep it close against anybody (read: USC) given the right situations. Extra week to prepare, give the lawnmowers the week off, game's at home, pull out all the stops to fire up the student body and the team by bringing back alumni... I'd say that's about as close to a 'right situation' as one can get.

Notre Dame's toughest game was obviously USC. The next best team they played was a good Michigan squad (but here's the rub about the UM game - just like everybody ***says*** MSU was playing great in the beginning of the season... UM was playing TERRIBLY! It works both ways! *le gasp!*)

Stanford is a team that's mediocre defensively but very opportunistic (which is why the tons of yards but two picks by Quinn didn't surprise me in the least), with pretty good special teams and an offense that can score if it gets going. If Stanford and MSU played on a neutral field right now, I'd take the Trees. Same with every other team ND's played this year.

Pitt? 5-6 playing in the Big Least. Washington? Next. Purdue? Well, they DID beat Michigan State at home... But aside from that, 5-6 (3-5 in the Big 10/11) is mediocre at beast. Navy? No. Syracuse? See Navy. Tennessee's really bad this season, and BYU's very up-and-down (they destroyed UNLV and almost beat a good TCU team, but lost to SDSU and a Utah team that is nothing like last year's bunch). And we've already covered Michigan State.

When Stanford's the 3rd-best team on your schedule, 9-2's the LEAST you should be able to do if you're even halfway decent. (Meanwhile, the Cardinal are basically crapping their pants right now because they missed out on a bowl because they lost to UC-DAVIS).

Yeah. That's a dominant team alright.
November 28, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterUnderbruin

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