Here is this week’s blog poll, with just a few observations per conference, since we’ve got a lot of new faces:
- In the Midmajors: Memphis at Cincinnati next week is going to determine who wins the AAC. They’ve played by far the best, especially Cincy. In the Fun Belt and C-USA, Coastal Carolina, Marshall, and Appalachian State have looked really, really good — particularly Coastal and Marshall. UAB won’t lose another game this season either. SMU also played a lot better than the final score indicated. The ‘Stang’s outgained Cincy, but their biggest issue was converting on 3rd downs — 17% offensively won’t beat anyone — and thus giving the Bearcats short fields all night.
- The Indies: Army and BYU keep chugging along. The Black Knights with their defense and stingy, clock-killing offense; the Cougars with their devastating offense. Unfortunately, we won’t see BYU play anyone capable of giving them a challenge until two weeks from now when they travel to the Smurf Turf; two weeks thereafter, they hit the road to play SDSU. Those look to be the only BYU opponents of any real merit. How good is this team really? I think they’re outstanding...but they schedule gives them no opportunity to prove it. When will Liberty get some respect? The beat Syracuse on the road more handily than Clemson did at home. They’ve devoured everyone this season. Someone invite this team to a conference already.
- Big 10: Are we sure the Buckeyes are the Big 10’s best team? Michigan did a few things yesterday they simply do not do under Jim Harbaugh. 1. Win handily 2. On the road 3. Over a ranked team 4. With an RPO-based, almost-modern offense, that 5. was dynamic — even exciting at times — and hit 49 points. The wheels could fall of the Gophers, but that was the best showing of the week in the B1G. We never had PSU ranked, because we don’t trust them but Indiana played some really good defense...for Indiana. And they made timely plays when it mattered the most. OSU struggled defensively against the Huskers — defensive losses eventually seem to be felt, but the offense hummed along quite efficiently. Still, this may be the closest the two titans have been in a while, especially athletically. Wisconsin also took to the air avenging its loss to Illinois last season. When was the last time you saw the Badgers throw four touchdowns...in a half? Iowa looks to be Iowa. Kirk Ferentz is inexorable. And Northwestern also won with offense, while also making life miserable for Taulia Tagovailoa. Lastly, a tip o’ the tam o’ shanter to Schiano’s Rutgers team who went to East Lansing and kicked Sparty’s ass for 60 minutes. It wasn’t a fluke either: The Scarlet Knight won up front. Rutgers is tied for first in the Big Ten East! LOL. I’m really, really glad Tennessee screwed that hire up. Thanks, Fat Phil!
ACC: Folks, I’m glad the Mountain West and Big 10 are back. I am exhausted from having to rank frauds like Virginia Tech and NC State. You’re not fooling anyone with that mid-teens ranking either, UNC. You’re going to have to earn a better spot. The loss to FSU was unforgivable. Speaking of unforgivable, ND teed off on poor Pitt for 60 minutes as predicted, with its offense waking up...just in time for UNC and Pitt. Like UNC, you need to prove it. Clemson looked like #butt yesterday. Ettienne wasn’t able to run wild against one of the Power 5’s worst rushing defenses. Sunshine threw a pick and barely went over 60% against Syracuse — in fact, Clemson’s passing performance was below the average passing performance of the ‘Cuse’s performance. And more promising, the secondary was super cheesy. That game was 34-21 going into the 4th quarter. Miami appears to be the second-best offense in the ACC and perhaps the third-best squad. What does that tell you? Nothing good, that’s for sure.
Big 12: Everything about the super janky ACC stands applies here. This conference is also butt...except for Kansas State and Oklahoma State. And, I regret to inform you, Oklahoma did play smothering defense and ran the ball yesterday. It was a playbook they tried for the first half against Texas. The Sooners record won’t be as good as in years past, but this could be a fundamentally more sound team by season’s end...and with a far more physical identity. Okie Lite is still light years ahead of its brethren, even if it is the worst-coached of the three. Gundy has ditched his favored wide-open scheme for old school football: power running, play-action passing, field position, protecting the ball, timely turnovers, and trusting the game to the conference’s best defense. Impressive defenestration of Iowa State yesterday. West Virginia, Baylor, and Iowa State still showed that they are in the second tier of the conference. Texas also looked...good? Good-ish? Iowa State played well enough to win most Big 12 games. But four plays doomed them, and you can’t do that on the road. That road loss to TCU is looking worse every week.
Mountain West: Things got weird early in the Mountain. Todd Graham did not forget how to coach. He took his Hawaii team to Fresno State and not only destroyed the Bulldogs but did it on the ground — UH ran for over 300 yards. This was the MWC’s best showing of the week. Boise looked quite good too at home, but one suspects it’s partially due to Gary Andersen slowly ruining Utah State. That dude keeps failing upwards. San Diego State did what they do: crush teams on the ground and with a suffocating defense. Wyoming laid an egg against an improving Nevada team (and that may have been the conference’s second-best effort of the week). While San Jose State ended the nation’s longest winning streak by beating the Air Force Falcons.
SEC: Man, is the SEC East awful. Georgia was dropped for being down at halftime to that godawful Tennessee team. I sure am glad ‘Bama got Mizzou before the Tigers figured out Connor Bazelak is a good quarterback. MU is in play to finish 3rd in the East — that was a hella’ lopsided 20-10 win over UK. South Carolina needs to fire everyone, even the mascot. If you can’t make hay against the LSU secondary (and USC kept going right at the Tigers on the ground), then you don’t deserve to coach American college football. Ditto Jeremy Pruitt. Sorry, man. You’re not closer; you’re further away.
Nope, we’re still not ranking Auburn. They’re 4-1 and the SEC officiating crews gave them three of those wins...including another one yesterday. Instead, we’re gonna keep ranking Arkansas, who for now, is playing some of the league’s best ball. Gata’ and Aggie (among others) were sidelined with the Wu-Flu. Alabama is the class of this conference, but its national title hopes took a tremendous spill with JW17’s broken leg yesterday. Waddle does far more for the offense than just his freakish production and speed. This offense became easier to defend after the first play of the game. Texas A&M may actually be the league’s second-best team...think on it for a minute.
Overall for now we’ll leave Alabama as the No. 1 overall team, esp. with how poorly Clemson played yesterday. Ohio State did nothing to show that they deserve the crown, especially its defense. Notre Dame is still too erratic. Oklahoma State moved up for reasons of quality MANBALL. Georgia was docked for falling behind that garbage Vawls team. And now the real race begins.
Blog Poll 2020: Week 8
|25||Hawaii / SMU||--|
|OUTTA' HERE||Baylor, WVU, VT, NCSU, UAB||UAB, et al.|
|CONSIDERED||Boise, SDSU, Iowa|