Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Week Nine

Sunshine State Showdown. - Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

Things are getting to be a little bit clearer.

As pretenders and Cinderellas start to fall by the wayside, the National Championship picture is starting to take form.

Eliminated This Past Weekend:


Bo Knows Misery (Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

Minnesota 34 Nebraska 23 - We were just waiting for that other shoe to drop. The storyline now becomes can head coach Bo Pelini finish 10-2 and still get fired? He is currently 54–22 (.711 winning percentage) at Nebraska. He has won either 9 or 10 games per season since arriving in Lincoln in 2008 and lost 4 each year. But let's get real, the Tom Osborne years seem long gone and Bo is not Mr. Popularity among the Cornhuskers fanbase.

Oklahoma 38 Texas Tech 30 - It's only one loss but Tech doesn't have the cachet. Their best win to date was a 20-10 win over TCU. The Red Raiders finish with Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas. If they sweep that, I will humbly put them back on the list.

Oregon 42 UCLA 14 - The Bruins may not even win the South Division at this point. Having fun, Vanderdoes?

Duke 13 Virginia Tech 10 - I am not going to pretend that Duke is a superpower but they are 6-2 with 4 straight wins. This one hurt Bama a little too (SOS).

~~~~

Just barely hangin' on:


Connor Shaw (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

South Carolina 27 Missouri 24 OT - In South Carolina, they are calling this "The Shaw-shank Redemption". Ugh. Nonetheless, Mizzou lost in overtime with a back-up freshman QB to a quality team. The Tigers could bounce back if they win out...IF.

~~~~

By my unscientific methodology, that leaves twelve teams still in contention to play in the BCS Championship Game (remember...crazier things have happened):

Alabama
Auburn
Baylor
Florida State
Miami
Michigan
Michigan State
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Oregon
Stanford

Interestingly enough, two games on Saturday will most likely strike two of these teams from the list of those still in contention:


Jameis Winston (Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports)

Miami at Florida State - This Saturday prime time game will be on ABCIf FSU loses a close one, they MIGHT get to sneak their way back into the chase due to the way they have been winning. I can't say the same thing about the U.
Michigan at Michigan State - The consolation game is at 2:30 / 3:30pm on ABCThe winner of this game would need A LOT of help and A LOT of crazy stuff to happen but as I said... crazier things have happened.

Thursday, November 7, has two more possible elimination game:

Oregon at Stanford - 8/9pm ESPN If you are a gambling man or woman, stay away from the over/under. There is no telling what this score might be.
Oklahoma at Baylor - 6:30/7:30pm FOX Sports 1

That leaves the following teams:

Alabama has a bye week before the showdown with LSU. And then there is always the Iron Bowl against...
Auburn who just had a game with FAU! Next, the Tigers are at Arkansas (4/5pm ESPN2), at Tennessee, vs. Georgia, vs. Alabama. Not an easy row to hoe.
Ohio State's lame schedule is working against them. They too will need a lot of help. Their only remaining foes of mention are a game at Michigan and the Big Ten Championship Game (either Michigan State or Nebraska).
Oklahoma State, Baylor and Oklahoma all still have to play each other. The Big XII has 10 teams and thus no conference championship game, which IMHO hurts them.

~~~~~

Grab Bag:

Kristi_malzahn_says_shut_up_medium

BYU 37 Smurfs 20 - Kristi Malzahn watched this game and told Boise (5-3) to "SHUT UP!" And so do the rest of us.

Navy 24 Pitt 21 - Maybe it is just me, but I have always had a soft spot for the Midshipmen. Beating Pitt is gravy.

Baylor 59 Kansas 14 - I guess Art Briles does have a heart beating inside his chest as he charitably removed his starting QB in the 3rd quarter up 45-0.

North Texas 55 Southern Miss 14 - For the second week in a row, the Eagles (0-7) lost 55-14 (East Carolina). Southern Miss has lost 19 straight games.

The Dux keep marching on: Washington, Washington St, UCLA, Nov 7 @ Stanford.

* 34 teams are now bowl eligible including Tulane, Rice, and Buffalo (there are going to be some ugly bowl games).

** 16 teams are no longer bowl eligible, including Penn State who is banned because of you-know-what. California is the only team from the big five (SEC, B1G, PAC, Big12, ACC) on this list. The MAC has 6 member schools among the 16.

Speaking of FAU! second-year head coach Carl Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis abruptly resigned on Wednesday for what is being called "illegal drug use."

~~~~~

SOS:

Duke 13 Virginia Tech 10 - As soon as we start giving the Hokies some love, they pull this crap. But you have to be happy for David Cutcliffe. Duke is now bowl eligible - in October!
Colorado State 35 Hawaii 28 - Up next for the Rams (4-4) are the Boise Smurfs. If you can spare it, please send some mojo up Ft. Collins way. BTW, if CSU can beat Air Force (1-7) and New Mexico (2-5), they are bowl eligible.

~~~~~

Black_white_tv_salesman_medium
Friday:

Southern Cal at Oregon St. 8:00 PM CT / 9:00 PM ET ESPN- relegated to The Deuce, I see.

Saturday:

Mississippi St. at South Carolina 11:21am CT / 12:21pm ET SEC TV
Florida vs Georgia (Jacksonville "neutral" site) 2:30/3:30pm CBS
Michigan at Michigan State 2:30/3:30pm ABC
Auburn at Arkansas 5/6pm ESPN2
Tennessee at Missouri
6/7pm ESPN
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech 6/7pm FOX
Miami at Florida State 7/8pm ABC

Bama_storm_trooper_medium
(Photo by CB969)

* November 2nd is a bye week for the Tide. Go out and rake the yard. You know it needs it.
* LSU at Alabama on November 9 is at 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET, CBS (Verne, Gary & the WolfGirl)

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