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"The big daddy of them all, the nerve center of this twisted college football blogsphere" - The House Rock Built

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Top Teams 2008

After Week Seven

  1. Alabama
  2. Penn State
  3. Texas
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Florida
  6. USC
  7. Georgia
  8. LSU
  9. BYU
  10. Missouri
  11. Ohio State
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. Texas Tech
  14. Utah
  15. Kansas
  16. USF
  17. North Carolina
  18. Miami
  19. Boise State
  20. Georgia Tech
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Submission Corner
Saturday Night's Alright For A Fight

CFR's 2007-2008 Top Teams List: Week Eleven

As always these are power rankings --- good to be back

  1. LSU
  2. Oregon
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Ohio State
  5. West Virginia
  6. Georgia
  7. Florida
  8. Texas
  9. Kansas
  10. USC
  11. Missouri
  12. Arizona State
  13. Auburn
  14. California
  15. Boise State

No lurking teams this week.  There are literally about 30 teams I could list, all near equal strength once you get past the top 10-15 or so as presented here.

For comparison, see the Las Vegas Sports Consultants' Top 30 this week 


ESPN College GameDay Update: Week Twelve

The boys from Bristol will make their way to Ann Arbor for the suddenly punchless (but still Rose Bowl determinant) rivalry game between Michigan and Ohio State.

Bo's heart gave out a few hours before that one last year, hopefully everyone notable involved in this can make it through this one. 



Is now posted at FanHouse.

Finally getting back into the swing of things.  I've got a BCS revision idea near the bottom that might be worth discussing.


College Football on PBS

I just can't get into Charlie Rose, sorry.  Sesame Street's still cool, but it was better when I was in diapers.  And aside from my crush on The History Detectives' Elyse Luray, PBS doesn't really draw me in.

That said, it has come to my attention that PBS' Nightly Business Report will launch a four-part series on the business of college football starting today.  Scanning the programming guide on my TV, it doesn't appear that my local PBS affiliate carries this program.  However, if any of you are interested be sure to tune in and report back whatever is interesting and/or relevant if you so choose.


College football is not only exciting, it's also big business and it's getting even bigger.  A successful college football program can mean millions of dollars in enrollment, alumni contributions, merchandising and more (Ohio State University's football revenue last year was a jaw-dropping $105 million).  PBS' Nightly Business Report explores these issues and much more in a 4-part series, "The Business of College Football" scheduled to air November 12-15.

The series kicks off with a look at the football program at Texas Tech, and how the school's endowment went from less than $50 million (at the time it joined the powerhouse conference, The Big 12) to now, more than $700 million.  This huge revenue for Texas Tech (and schools like it) has introduced a unique set of challenges.  On the flipside of Texas Tech is the former all-girls school, Seton Hill University, whose football program, while in its infancy (even playing their games at a rented high school stadium) has nonetheless managed to double the school's enrollment.  Along with the questions facing schools big and small, Emmy-nominated reporter Jeff Yastine also takes an inside look at the $3.5 billion made annually in college logo licensing.

This is PBS, so count on a deeply skeptical and cynical look at college football.  Just the same, it should be informative.

UPDATE: Many thanks to reader Don in Madison Alabama who sent an email letting me know that the program is available to watch online at the following link.  Just watched (fast forward to the 14:00 mark), and it's about what I expected so far, hitting on the broad themes and critiques of the seemingly growing business element to the college game.  Tuesday's show promises to be about how "even small schools are getting in the game".


Saturday Live Thread

You know the drill.


It's Kinda Like This


I went on a trip, had a good time, came back just in time for my computer to go kaputsky.  I'm working on it but in the meantime all my easily bookmarked links etc. that make the Pundit Roundup and other features of CFR so great . . . are not so accessible right now.

Patience please.


Friday Photo Blog

Self explanatory: lobster.  Random image from my friends Lisa and Vicki on a trip down to somewhere in Baja (Rosarito/Ensenada).  Lobster from down there is go-ooood.



Ryan For Heisman Jack-O-Lantern

Hate the Heisman Trophy all you want, but you won't see "Favre for NFL MVP" carved pumpkins anytime soon.

Happy belated Halloween

(Via: Ryan for Heisman, the best candidacy blog I've seen since Leinart4Heisman)


Pundit Roundup Postponed

On the road.  Look for it to return next Wednesday sometime, possibly with a new format.




Saturday Live Thread: Week Nine

You know the drill.


Friday Photo Blogging

Simple stuff this week from my friend Steve's collections: two delicious looking glasses of beer.  Description: Avery The Beast and Racer X.  Judging by the elevated showcase in the background I can tell this was taken at the Stone World Bistro and Gardens, miraculous survivor of this week's firestorm in San Diego.



CFR's 2007-2008 Top Teams List: Week Eight

As always these are power rankings

  1. LSU - By a hair over No. 2 . . .
  2. Florida - Improving by the week, finding a way to win on offense and defense
  3. Oregon (+1) - LSU can have Gary Crowton as I think the Ducks like their new offensive coordinator
  4. Auburn (+5) - Scorching hot.  Got worn down a bit in the second half by LSU but clearly this is a team with its act together after stumbling out of the gates.  Power rankings love a team like this.
  5. Kentucky (+2) - Toppled LSU and hung tough the very next week against Florida.  This is a good football team, but now they have to avoid letdowns.
  6. Oklahoma - In a bit of disarray at the moment.  Having lightweight Iowa State on the schedule on their bad week is a saving grace.
  7. Ohio State (+1) - Big Ten coaches continue to rave about the Buckeye defense.  We'll see ...
  8. USF (-3) - This is probably a more appropriate position for the Bulls who are good but not yet elite.
  9. West Virginia (+1) - Have quietly gotten back to their winning routine after a disastrous showing against USF several weeks back.
  10. Boston College (+1) - Ho hum.  Eventually they'll get some scares, as you can't go an entire year without B.J. Raji and Brian Toal and not suffer some breakdowns on the defensive side of the ball.
  11. California (-8) - They're not themselves right now.
  12. Missouri (+1) - Still waiting for that collapse.
  13. USC (+1) - Here comes the meat of the schedule.  Mistake-prone but the offensive parts are finally revealing themselves with McKnight, Johnson, Havili, Hazelton, Davis and Johnson.  Recruiting!
  14. Kansas (+1) - Facing opponents with a pulse they're no longer dominant.  Winning will suffice in the meantime.
  15. Arizona State (NEW) - The loss of the great Ryan Torain hurts, but the defense has been a revalation to this point.

- - - L u r k i n g - - -
(In no particular order) Texas, Rutgers, Illinois, Boise State, Virginia, Michigan, Kansas State

- - - O u t - - -
Cicinnati, South Carolina 


Pundit Roundup

Making Tuesday Late Wednesday Fun Since 2006!
A "weekly must-read"
--- ESPN's Bruce Feldman names the 10 most difficult playes to game plan for.  Nice list.

Also: Friday Mail Bag, opinions on upsets and upstarts

From Desi in Chicago: Which of these three men is the last man standing at his current school: Karl Dorrell, Dennis Franchione or Bill Callahan?

Feldman: My hunch is Callahan is the first to go, then Fran and then Dorrell. UCLA is also the least likely of those three to be throwing around money.

--- ESPN's Ivan Maisel returns for another round of The I-Formation

--- ESPN's Pat Forde returns with another round of The Dash

Also: Florida's win blows SEC East race wide open

Watching Tebow and Woodson operate is an opportunity to watch two totally different guys excel at the same position. 

Woodson is all poise and precision in the pocket. His 415 passing yards and five touchdowns, in the face of a prodigious pass rush, were impressive.

Tebow was even more impressive. He's all blood and guts, running over tacklers and running away from tacklers and making throws from all angles.

"He almost wills things to happen out there," offensive coordinator Dan Mullen said. "They have him in the pocket, and he just stays alive."

And, at game's end, he killed Kentucky.

After a poor Wildcats kickoff was returned to near midfield by the Gators' Brandon James, you figured Florida would try to run out the clock nursing a seven-point lead. Instead, Meyer told Mullen on the headset, "Let's take a shot here."

On first down, Tebow play-faked and looked deep, only to find the coverage in place. So he dumped to the outside to Kestahn Moore for 9 yards. Three plays later, the Gators went for the big play again, and Tebow rifled a 40-yard strike to Percy Harvin.  Tebow plowed in from the 2 to put the game away.

"Our game plan against him was good," Wildcats defensive end Dominic Lewis said. "We had guys in the right spots. He just made better plays."

--- ESPN's Mark Schlabach returns for another round of On (and off) the Mark

Also: Todd Reesing sparks Jayhawks revival, USF won't get second chance to crash party

Reesing, a sophomore from Austin, Texas, was written off as a college quarterback long ago. He is listed at 5-foot-10 but might be an inch or two shorter. His height was the main reason college coaches didn't flock to Austin to recruit him; he threw for more than 6,500 yards with 70 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions in high school. His only major scholarship offers came from Kansas and Kansas State. Nearly all the Texas schools ignored him.

"It was kind of the story of my recruiting process," Reesing said. "I was kind of written off by people because of my height. Even though I put up huge numbers in high school, I wasn't recruited by a lot of schools. Listed next to my name was that height and people wouldn't take a look at me."

Opponents are always looking for Reesing now. He ranks 14th in the country in pass efficiency, completing 57 percent of his passes for 1,652 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions.

--- Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel returns with another round of The Mailbag

Also: Rutgers' upset deals blow to USF and Big East

Also: The Mandel Blog 

--- Sports Illustrated's Austin Murphy profiles swashbuckling Texas Tech coach Mike Leach

--- Sports Illustrated's Arash Markazi says the aura that surrounded USC during its amazing run is gone

--- Sports Illustrated's Cory McCartney checks in with another edition of the All-Out Blitz

Also: Dennis Erickson is working his magic again at ASU

--- CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd says Pete Carroll's Trojans face a huge test against Oregon in Eugene

Also: Sunday 7, LSU avoids questions and upset with incredible finish, Weekend Watch List, battered Buckeyes tackle their demons

These aren't the defense and field-position Bucks of 2002. In some ways they're even more swashbuckling than the '06 team that seemingly had sprinter's speed at every position. Boeckman, a faceless junior from St. Henry, Ohio, has thrown downfield more than the Heisman Trophy winner in becoming the Big Ten's top-rated passer.

Complementary receivers last year, Brian Robiskie, Ray Small and Brian Hartline are producing at a rate similar to Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez. Ohio State pass catchers are averaging 2.41 touchdowns per game compared to 2.38 for last year's group.

There's always the pounding running game. Budding star Chris "Beanie" Wells is on pace to run for 1,200 yards. The offense as a whole is outscoring the '06 team through seven games 35.7-33.5 points per game.

The defense was the strength from the beginning. In a season when it seems no one is playing it, the Buckeyes are No. 1 this season in points and yards allowed. Linebacker Jim Laurinaitis has done nothing to diminish his Nagurski Award in 2006 (best defensive player).

It's almost sickening now to suggest these Buckeyes are underdogs. They have won 26 of their last 27 games. The school plays tag with Texas for the label of richest athletic department. But after the superstar team of last season, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Ohio State was generally picked third to fifth in the Big Ten.

But what else are you going to call them? And who else are you going to put up there at No. 1?

--- CBS Sports' Spencer Tillman says a new kind of motivation is required for today's student-athletes

Once again Tillman's got something interesting to say.

--- The Sporting News' Matt Hayes looks at third-year college football coaches

Also: Winners and losers, Inside Dish, Hayes' Top 25, ten things to watch this weekend, Heisman Watch

--- The Sporting News' Tom Dienhart says rumors still swirl about North Carolina coach Butch Davis

Also: Blog Fog, despite lapses Sooners are among nation's best, Saturday Dreaming, Week 8 Awards

--- Yahoo! Sports' Terry Bowden says it's all about the QB's

Like a good point guard in the NBA, a la Steve Nash, he also has to be able to manage the offense. I know manage is probably the most overused word in the American Football Dictionary, but it has never been more true. With so much of the offense being changed at the line of scrimmage these days (in my first year at Auburn in 1993 we went undefeated and never checked off one time at the line of scrimmage), it is up to the QB to get the offense in the correct play. Before he does that, he must call the defensive front based on where the middle linebacker is and the secondary coverage based on where the safeties line up. After all of that, he must have the physical and intellectual ability to distribute the ball to the correct receiver or ballcarrier whether it be read one, read two or read three.

Also: Sweet 16

--- CSTV's Brian Curtis tells us what stories we aren't hearing about

And one more thing...the BCS will work itself out. Enough about the calls for a playoff because this year has been crazy. This is a playoff! Every weekend is elimination. More on this next week.

--- CSTV's Trev Alberts answers another round of mail

--- CSTV's Adam Caparell says the USC Trojans are in unfamiliar territory

Also: a profile of USC Heisman Trophy winner Charles White

Also: some positive changes to next year's NFL draft

--- CSTV's Jerry Palm says LSU is still No. 2

--- CSTV's Carter Blackburn warms up college football's hot seats

--- Be sure to check out all the latest from the Rivals.com team of Olin Buchanan, David Fox, Steve Megargee and Mike Huguenin

--- Sun Sports TV's Whit Watson says thanks for watching to some of his more loyal viewers and briefly revisits the playoff proposal one loyal viewer sent his way before heading off to military missions unknown in the Middle East

--- USA Today's Kelly Whiteside says the Penn State players' off-the-field behavior is under scrutiny

Also: college football's upset bug bites USF, Pooch Kicks

--- The New York Times' Pete Thamel says LSU returns to a familiar path after a chaotic detour

Also: Easy win over Notre Dame does little for USC Trojans, on road to title Ohio State must dodge critics

Also: The Quad Blog

--- The New York Times' Thayer Evans says coach Mike Gundy's tirade is a boon for Oklahoma State

Also: Kansas star Aqib Talib swaggers on both sides of the ball

--- The Dallas/Ft. Worth Star-Telegram's Wendell Barnhouse says No. 2 Boston College isn't even ranked second in its hometown

Also: Still more Bowl Championship Shame?, struggling Aggies might benefit from a trip to Tuberville

--- Be sure to visit the Mr. College Football blog by Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Tony Barnhart

--- The Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianci says sadly, it's time for Bobby Bowden to retire

--- The New York Post's Lenn Robbins is calling Thursday night's Boston College game against Virginia Tech the school's acid test

--- The Tuscaloosa News' Cecil Hurt says that when adversity looms, Alabama now has Nick Saban

--- The Mobile Press-Register's Neal McCready says the Heisman Trophy is Tim Tebow's to lose

--- The Birmingham News' Kevin Scarbinsky says the Super Bowl's big, but it's no Saban Bowl

It started with a writer from New Orleans. Next came an LSU official, followed by a writer from Baton Rouge and a writer from Lake Charles.

One by one, the Louisiana scribes gathered around after midnight Saturday in the lounge area of the LSU press box.

They didn't want to talk about the instant classic we'd all just witnessed, about the latest edition of the most physical, competitive and unpredictable rivalry in major college football, about LSU 30, Auburn 24. 

They wanted to talk about the coming of Armageddon, about the end of the world as we know it, about the biggest game in the history of college football, the history of games, the history of the world.

They wanted to talk about LSU at Alabama.

You know.

The Saban Bowl.

It's so big, both teams need the extra week to prepare for it, and the press corps from each state needs the extra week to hype it.

Like a Super Bowl.

One of the Louisiana writers said he plans to spend an entire week in Tuscaloosa leading up to the Nov. 3 kickoff. He probably won't be alone.

--- The Birmingham News' Ray Melick says don't harass the Harris Poll voter

Sunday morning, as I put together my Harris Poll after all the upsets of the previous day, I looked at all the teams out there - the undefeated teams as well as those with one loss - to carefully fill out my ballot.

 Because all teams don't play each other and all schedules are anything but equal, the predicament becomes deciding whether to vote for the team you really think is the best team in the country, or voting for the team that has played its schedule the most successfully.

Or - and here is where I tend to fall - try to find some meaningful balance between the two, including strength of schedule, performance, significant wins, and, to be honest, eye appeal.

So when I finally plugged in my No.1 and 2 votes, I voted for Ohio State as No.1, and LSU No.2.

Why? Because Ohio State has history. Ohio State has the Big Ten. Ohio State is a "safe" vote.

And maybe because, deep down, I think Ohio State is going to lose before the season is over, so what does it hurt to make them No.1 for now?

I voted LSU No.2 because I really think, despite the overtime loss at Kentucky, the Tigers are still the best team in the country (although Auburn could change my mind about that this weekend).

That, my friends, is one confused ballot.  The solution is more informed and consistent voters, not rallying for a playoff that ultimately settles nothing.

--- The Mobile Press-Register's Paul Finebaum says this college football season doesn't add up

To read articles and blog entries from many other college football writers, be sure and visit CFR's "The Punditry" links. You can either bookmark that link or find it via CFR's College Football Links section on the menu at left.

Ballhype: hype it up!

Another Pundit Roundup Delay

I've been distracted with the whole California's Burning thing going on today.

I have several friends and family in San Diego who are affected so I've been busy today trying to figure out what's going on and where they are etc.

So far so good although my friend Stephanie had to evacuate her Rancho Penasquitos home and my friend Victor's parents had to leave their Poway home.  My brother is in the Sabre Springs area near to both Stephanie and Victor's parents but amazingly hasn't had to evacuate.  He's approximately that black dot furthest south (of the four black dots) on the map below.  All friends and their families in Los Angeles seem to be fine and free from fire as well.

Almost forgot: my friend Matt's parents were evacuated from their Escondido house near Del Dios Highway. 


Of little surprise, there's a college football angle here.  San Diego State football has a home game this weekend against BYU.  Practices are probably limited or terminated and depending on the future course of the fire the game could conceivably be postponed.  The Aztecs play their games in Qualcomm Stadium which right now is an evacuation site similar to the Sugar Bowl during Hurricane Katrina.

What a week of weather, huh? 


ESPN College GameDay Update: Week Nine

At least, I think it's week nine?  Anyway ...

ESPN College GameDay will be in State College, PA for the Penn State - Ohio State game.

Penn State won 17-10 the last time these two met in Happy Valley, thanks to a Troy Smith fumble.


Absurd Victory Chain of the Week

North Dakota State > Minnesota > Miami (Oh) > Syracuse > Louisville > Cincinnati > Rutgers > South Florida > Auburn > Florida > Kentucky > LSU


Mississippi State > Auburn > Florida > Kentucky > LSU

That's the same LSU team that waxed Misssissippi State 49-0 to open the 2007 college football season

Another fun one:

North Dakota State > Minnesota > Miami (Oh) > Syracuse > Louisville > Cincinnati > Oregon State > California > Oregon


The web camera is very helpful to provide visual accessibility to the users via World Wide Web.  The different kinds of helmet camera are introduced in the market of electronics, also known as CCTV.  The main function of the underwater camera is to capture the images under the water currents very clearly.  The digital camera memory encompasses the different storage capacity to preserve all visual data. 

Sunday College Football Hangover

Is now posted at FanHouse.  I hope y'all caught that LSU - Auburn game.

Ballhype: hype it up!

Saturday Live Thread: Week Eight

I just finished plotting my slate of televised games and this Saturday is going to be something special.  Simply put, it looks like the best weekend of football so far this year - on paper.

I realize USC - Notre Dame and Miami - FSU are both not the star-studded affairs we're used to, but the magic is always there.  There's real intrigue to a game like Texas Tech - Missouri, not to mention the massive rivalry that is Tennessee - Alabama.

And how can we forget Florida - Kentucky and LSU - Auburn?  See where I'm going.

Today is special.  Enjoy it.  No upsets are needed at least this weekend as the storyline is plain old good football.


Game of the Week

Be sure to catch my brief assessment of this weekend's Kentucky - Florida game posted over at the amazing Wizard of Odds site.

It is indeed a college football site for winners.