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After Week Seven
The Game: Kansas State at Nebraska
The Mileage: 134 (Approximately a 3.5 hour drive)
The Reasons: This game is for all the Big 12 North marbles. Plus, a sold-out Memorial Stadium is Nebraska's 3rd largest city, which is impressive.
Lodging: There are plenty of affordable options within a few miles of Memorial Stadium.
Eats: If you're in town on Friday, make sure you stop by Misty's for some prime rib and the Big Red Pep Rally.
Misty's Restaurant & Lounge
6235 Havelock Ave.
Lincoln, NE 68507
Pregame: Grab a drink at Barry's before hitting up the tailgates.
Barry's Bar & Grill
235 N. 9th St.
Lincoln, NE 68508
Tickets: Nebraska is going for their 304th consecutive sellout, so technically there are no tickets available. However, there are tickets available at the usual online ticket sites.
Tips: Make sure you keep an eye out for Larry the Cable Guy in a luxury box in the North section of the stadium.
Please add your own suggestions in the comments.
The Game: Toledo at Miami (OH)
The Mileage: 198 (Approximately a 3.5 hour drive)
The Reasons: Robert Frost described Miami University as "the most beautiful college there ever was," so that should be reason enough. Also, Toledo head coach Tim Beckman wants you to make the trip. Both teams defenses are serving up more that 34 points per game, so there should be a lot of scoring. The Miami RedHawks hold a 28-20-1 edge over the Toledo Rockets in the all-time series.
Lodging: It's only a 3.5 hour drive, so you can drive back after the game.
Eats: Bagel & Deli Shop is located less than a block from campus. Founded in 1975, Bagel & Deli shop is known for steamed bagel sandwiches and subs. It boasts more than 90 speciality sandwiches and has spawned four other branches across the nation.
Bagel & Deli Shop
119 E High St
Oxford, OH 45056
Another Miami legend is the Tuffy's Toasted Roll. The Toasted Roll was created by Myron Timothy Potter (nicknamed Tuffy), who enrolled in Miami in 1921 and never left. You can get one at the Tuffy's in the Shriver Center located in the middle of campus.
Tickets: You should have no problem getting tickets last minute. Call the ticket office at (513) 529-HAWK to make sure.
Tips: Don't step on the seal. The University Seal is embedded into the sidewalk in the center of campus. The tradition is to avoid stepping on the seal, out of respect for the history and values of Miami University.
Please add your own suggestions in the comments.
Was just channel flipping and caught the end of a conversation between Steve Phillips and Colin Cowherd on some ESPN show. The gist of their conversation was that playoff baseball with days off isn't structured to determine what team is the best especially in relation to the regular season which has teams playing almost daily. Instead, success tends to shift to teams with impact players (read: the ones with the financial resources).
Its an interesting consideration especially when so much of the playoff talk in college football is about fairness and letting the little guy get in on the action. What programs have the resources to acquire the great bulk of impact players? The big guys, of course --- USC, Notre Dame, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, etc.
Whether that extrapolates to college football I'm unsure but I certainly think a playoff (just like the bowls) is distinctive from the regular season and is structurally set up to reward differently than what success in the regular season means. Not enough attention is paid to the distinctions. I think back often to Billy Beane's thoughts in Moneyball about only caring that he get his team to the playoffs in the first place because after that, playoff baseball was a crapshoot that no amount of his tinkering could really influence the outcome. That is, entirely too much outside noise gummed up the works to reward not necessarily superior teams but merely the lucky.
It blows my mind that postseason success could be much more random than about the atual ability of the various teams. Playoff advocates need to think long and hard about that consideration and try to find (if even possible) how to manage the randomness of it all, and if they can't find a smart way to do it, step back from the megaphone.
Look, I'm not anti playoff. There's a few that I think work fairly well but you have to structure them appropriately. In my mind there's simply no way, however, to appropriately organize a college football playoff.
Even in baseball where you have a series of games between teams, the randomness of the game is so large the format still doesn't always advance the generally superior regular season teams.
The NFL playoffs are great entertainment, but they're one and done. While there's certainly something significant to teams having just one game to advance or disappear, there's still so much noise to just a one game situation from weather to officiating to health to a million other factors. The only way in my mind to fairly reduce that and have the teams truly prove themselves beyond the noise (and not within the fog of it) is to play a series of games between them which is obviously unfeasible in college football.
Road Trippin' is a new feature here at College Football Resource. Each week, we'll try our best to convince you to get off the couch and make an epic road trip to watch your favorite team play. The teams, cities, and travel times will change, but the concept will stay the same: We will turn an ill-advised, last minute road trip into a well-advised, last minute road trip.
The Game: #23 Houston at Tulane
The Mileage: 347 (Approximately a 5.5 hour drive)
The Reasons: The Houston Cougars are coming off a road victory against an SEC opponent, but are still looking for their first C-USA victory. QB Case Keenum is 21 yards away from passing David Klingler for second on the Cougars' career passing yards list. Houston is 10-4 all-time against Tulane.
If you are a Cougar fan, you should jump in the car and make the road trip. Not only will you see your favorite team, but you will also get to spend some time in New Orleans.
Lodging: A quick search on SideStep results in a variety of rooms and rates. My pick?
Crescent Palms Motel
3923 Martin Luther King Jr Blv
New Orleans, LA, United States
It's located 1 mile from The Louisiana Superdome, so you can walk to and from the game to avoid paying for parking there. The rate is $69/night, plus they boast a cocktail lounge, which sounds like a win-win situation.
Eats: Get some local flavor at Joey K's. It was featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and has a menu filled with New Orleans' classics. Plus, it is located only 2 miles from the Crescent Palms Motel and the Superdome.
Joey K's Restaurant & Bar
3001 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
Tickets: Tickets seem to be scarce around the web, which leaves you with three options. 1. Buy some off a ticket website and hope they show up at will call. 2. Scavenge for tickets at the Superdome. 3. Tailgate and then watch the game in the French Quarter.
Pregame: The Tulane Tailgating Village is set up on top of the Southeast Parking Garage at the Superdome. You can also just walk around until you see some red shirts in the green wave and join your fellow Houston fans.
Postgame: French Quarter. New Orleans is your oyster po-boy.
Tips: Don't show up empty-handed, especially if you're going to be looking for tickets. I would suggest bringing some Houston flavor in the form of local beer.
Please add your own suggestions in the comments.
The reality is that the SEC in 2009 consists of Alabama, Florida and a bunch of nobodies. In nonconference games against Division I-A opponents, SEC teams are a pedestrian 14-11 against the spread. In nonconference play against teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences, the record is 4-7. That’s a .363 percentage, the worst of the six BCS conferences.
As we've said on here plenty o' times, things are cyclical. The SEC is the conference best positioned to dominate college football and has the most intense fan base, but the rumors of its invincibility have long been more fable than reality.
Its an old, tired debate but a good kick to the groin every now and then (while still voting Alabama No. 1, heh) hopefully keeps people honest and the whole discussion in perspective.
NCAA, meet head-scratching frivolity. You do that a lot, we realize.
The more stupid situations like this that go down, the less ground you have to stand on. This whole amateurism thing can't last forever, and you have to realize that, right?
Find a smart way to abandon it and maybe, maaaaaaaaaaybe when the reckoning comes for your organization, it can retain some reasonable scraps of power and carve out a more limited, focused, meaningful purpose more in line with reality.
But you have to wake up first.
Ohhhhh kayyyyyy, things seem to have sorted out a bit more this week. Things get extremely dicey after the top 10 or so, reasonable given most schools are about five games in.
Others: LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Arizona, UCLA, Notre Dame, TCU, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, USF, Fresno State (don't laugh!), BYU, Kansas, Nebraska, Auburn, Iowa
All but belated. Really tough picking this week, there's just not much order after those first three teams. Thank heavens the season is 12 weeks.
Oregon, Auburn, Houston, Iowa, LSU are all on the cusp. Watch how much this changes in just a few weeks.
Football Outsiders' 'Varsity Numbers' college football space takes a look at Gus Malzahn's college career and brief showing so far with Auburn and finds his impact explosive.
Malzahn has to be considered the main cause for the sudden success. While it's nice that he has brought some early excitement to Auburn, the fact that the team's numbers have been so closely in line with Malzahn's offensive identity may be a sign of sustained prosperity.
Every week, some changes.
Tier II (no particular order): LSU, Florida State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Notre Dame, TCU, Boise State
Tier III: Auburn, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Washington, Oregon State, Fresno State, Houston, BYU
As always, these are power rankings. Its good to see some early sorting out and shaking out going on. Apologies for the lateness of this. D'oh.
Tier II -- Miami, TCU, BYU, Boise State, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Auburn, LSU
Whats up with this sudden streak of populism from the face of college football on ESPN, Kirk Herbstreit?
I don't mind folks sticking up for the BYU's and Boise State's of the world, but essentially saying before the season's even close to played out an undefeated BYU should be in the BCS Championship game is unsettling.
One part of what I think is a solid corrective of the present system is that teams that benefit from a tremendous amount of luck or continue to skate by can be punished by voters. I'm not saying that will be how BYU goes through the season but the larger point is we should observe their entire body of work.
Regardless, taking down Oklahoma and if they win Saturday, Florida State in the same season gives *strong* backing to one's case and that should be taken as such, but not the entirety. There was a reason Utah was not in the top four at the end of last year, and USC was not seriously discussed as a BCS Championship possible. They combined for just one loss but were pedestrian enough in a handful of other outings to leave some doubt.
We need to wait and see on BYU instead of declaring in advance that if they're undefeated, they need to be on at least one voter's ballot as BCS Championship Game worthies.
I understand the impulse to be progressive and right old wrongs, but its dangerous and not sensible so far in advance. Let BYU get in on their own merits, not because we feel bad that other non-BCS programs have arguably been left out when they shouldn't have.
As seen moments ago on ESPN's College Football Live:
Florida has scored 30 or more points in 13 straight SEC games (!)(!)(!) Unreal.