After finally getting a weekend to not obsess over the Alabama game, I spent the weekend just enjoying the other games around the country. Games that I watched in part or in full include Boston College v. Virginia Tech, Boise State v. Fresno State, West Virginia v. Rutgers, Kentucky v. Mississippi State, Oregon v. USC, Georgia v. Florida, Texas v. Nebraska, Kansas v. Texas A&M, Tennessee v. South Carolina, Ohio State v. Penn State, and Cal v. Arizona State.
After watching a ton of football this weekend, here are a few random musings from what I saw:
- The spread option is a fine offense, and it's doing really well. It's core concepts are all over college football now, and it's taking off at the high school level as well. But as far as Urban Meyer and his Gators go, Tebow just will not be able to continue taking the beating. It's just too much, and he's not going to be able to last. Either he's going to have to alter his version of the spread option to where the quarterback takes less of a beating and takes on more of the traditional role of a modern quarterback -- i.e. as a distributor of the football -- or he's going to have to do what the wishbone coaches did back in its heyday: Have two or three quarterbacks on the roster that can effectively run the offense. In the end, one of those two things must happen for Meyer's offense at Florida to be a long-term success.
- Dear Miami and Florida State, please get your sh*t together. ASAP. I don't mean to harp on the ACC, but the harsh truth of the matter is that as long as Thug U and Thug State are mediocre, the ACC is nothing more than a glorified version of the Big East. I have nothing against Boston College and Virginia Tech, mind you, but it's rather obvious that those two are the best that conference has to offer, and if that's all you have to offer as a conference, you aren't much of a conference.
- Is there more of a boom or bust in all of the land than Georgia? They looked great against Oklahoma State, and then bad against South Carolina. Then it was error-free football at 'Bama, and then a blowout loss to a mediocre-at-best Tennessee team. And now it's beating Florida. Something tells me that crappy Georgia shows up at least one more time this year, and that keeps them from Atlanta.
- Mississippi State is making progress, no doubt about it. And they have two key wins: Auburn and Kentucky. That said, this isn't a very good team, and you should beat them. Say what you will, but Auburn and Kentucky beat themselves. The Tigers turned it over five times, and Kentucky turned it over six times. If you can protect the football, this is a team you should beat. But.. the harsh truth is that if you are going to create a combined eleven turnovers in two games, you're going to win. As for Alabama... protect the football, protect the football, protect the football. We do that, and we should beat the 'Dawgs. But you can't give it to them, and that's exactly what Kentucky and Auburn did.
- USC is honestly a joke this year. The talent level they have is absolutely absurd, and they should be annihilating everyone in sight, and at the moment it looks most likely that they will end up in the Holiday Bowl. I'm not sure what is going on in Los Angeles, but something is amiss, that's for sure. I really do wonder if Pete Carroll is eying a return to the NFL. Maybe, maybe not, but something is not right. Either way, no team has done less with more as much as USC has this year.
- Dennis Dixon should win the Heisman as long as he keeps performing at this level, end of story. And his Ducks just might end up in New Orleans. Honestly, it was really a fluke these guys lost to Cal, and they've dominated several good football teams. This is an impressive bunch.
- Nebraska athletic director Tom Osbourne apparently let the cat out of the bag in a recent interview. Someone asked what was going to happen with the walk-on program, and Osbourne replied, "Well that will be up to the new staff." I know it's obvious that Callahan is going to be fired, but that's still a big admission.
- Arizona State is no fluke, this is a good football team. I don't know if they can beat Oregon this week, but if they can get the job done, I think this team may very well end up in New Orleans. If they can go and beat Oregon, they should be able to take out USC, and that's really all it's going to take barring a major upset. Make no mistake about it, this is a pretty good team, and if they can go beat the Ducks they may very well deserve a trip to the Big Easy.
- Ohio State is a damn good football team, get used to it. The defense is as good as advertised, and the offense is definitely showing improvement. They went into an insane Happy Valley and manhandled a good Penn State team. That's a very impressive win, and at this point, I really feel this team has a great chance of running the table. As long as they come and play ball, they'll beat Wisconsin and Illinois at home, and while a road trip to Ann Arbor won't be easy, Tressel has never had trouble beating the Wolverines.
- Speaking of the Buckeyes, I wonder if they really were that good a year ago? Honestly, I'm thinking that perhaps they were. Hindsight 20 / 20, I really think that they went into Tempe last year and expected the Gators to roll over and play dead, and by the time they realized that Florida was legitimate and ready to play, it was way too late.
- I don't mean to be a West Coast apologist here, but I think those guys have a point on the East Coast bias. Look at the Arizona State game last night, as late as that thing ended, I'd be shocked if more than 15% of poll voters even watched over a quarter of the game. Say what you will, but that's a severe disadvantage.
- Though Western Carolina and Louisiana-Monroe will not make a bowl game this year, it seems likely that the other ten teams on Alabama's regular season schedule will, at the very least, be bowl eligible. Think about it that: ten games against bowl eligible teams. I know a lot of that has gotten to do with the ridiculous proliferation of the bowl system, but nevertheless that's a tough schedule.
- If Vanderbilt and Mississippi State can each get one more win each -- something that seems likely at the moment -- then there will be eleven bowl eligible teams in the SEC. The only team definitely left out of post-season play, naturally, will be the Ole Miss Rebels. But Vandy and Mississippi State shouldn't get their hopes up just at the fact that they are bowl eligible. The harsh truth for those guys is that though they are bowl eligible, they may not actually make a bowl game. Both have small fan bases that do not travel particularly well, especially in Vanderbilt's case, and there may just not be that many open bowl spots. With the proliferation of the bowl system, perhaps there will be, but it's not a given. These guys shouldn't be celebrating just yet when they become bowl eligible.