Wednesday, October 21, 2009
College Football Notebook: Alabama Looking Like the Real No. 1
College Notebook by Micah Roberts
Like cream, Alabama rises to top
After coming on strong the last few weeks, while Florida struggled, Alabama has become the AP poll number one team. Two weeks ago, Alabama received 10 of the first place votes. Following Saturday’s games, they received 39 of the 59 votes on the basis of their impressive win over respected South Carolina.
Florida has struggled the last few weeks and their lack of impressive wins while being favored large weighed in on the voters. In Florida’s four SEC wins, they have won by an average of only 14 points with the margin helped significantly by a 34-point win over Kentucky. They had 10-point wins over Tennessee and LSU before needing a last second field-goal to beat Arkansas in Gainesville when favored by 26.
At the same time Alabama has won by an average margin of 19 points a game in SEC play with their lowest margin coming last week with a 14-point win over ranked South Carolina as 18-point favorites.
Tumbling in the polls were Virginia Tech and Ohio State who virtually said good-bye to any hopes they had of playing for the BCS Title.
Virginia Tech was starting get a lot of respect with the voters because of their consistent defense and special teams play every week, but a loss to a good Georgia Tech team dropped them from fourth all the way to No. 15.
The Buckeyes fell from seventh to No. 18 after getting routed in West Lafayette by Purdue who was 1-5 coming into the game. Their loss opens the door for an undefeated Iowa team to be the Big-10’s only legitimate campaigner for a title shot.
Iowa is currently No. 7, but could conceivably pass both Cincinnati and Boise State based on strength of schedule with impressive road wins at Michigan State and Ohio State before the season is over. They’ll need help along the way from one of the many tough opponents Texas still has to play and hope that USC falls at Oregon in two weeks.
No. 3 Texas looked almost as raggedy against Oklahoma as they did against Colorado two weeks ago, but then again, maybe the Buffs are coming around after upsetting undefeated No. 17 Kansas.
USC looks to be the best team in the Nation right now, and the voters apparently agree somewhat as they bumped the Trojans to the No. 4 slot. The team getting the worst of it in all the rankings is Boise State who once again got passed despite winning their game.
Purdue Exposes Ohio State and Tressel
Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel lived up to his billing as a conservative play caller by bringing out the field goal out on a fourth and goal at the two yard line early in the fourth quarter when the 13-point favored Buckeyes were down 23-7, showing once again that Tressel can’t make the right call in a big game.
The entire nation watched as Tressel let the season slide away with similar calls in the USC game and his final move last Saturday let all know that Ohio State is officially out of the running for any kind of Championship run.
If you’ve got a Championship offensive line, with a Championship attitude, fourth and goal should present no problem at all in the calculations of what to do.
Buckeye-land isn’t too happy at the moment and the fact that the this team with expectations of titles is lingering where they are with two losses isn’t sitting well. Knowing that they have the base of this team for two more years led by quarterback Terrelle Pryor doesn’t ease the restlessness.
The Public was on the Buckeyes once again, but larger money did come on Purdue pushing the opening line of -13 to -12 by kickoff.
Easy Move of the Week
The TCU Horned Frogs were early 20-point favorites over Colorado State in Mountain West action and the line quickly jumped to 24-points by kick-off. TCU rolled with a 44-6 win and fortunately for the books this game happened early rather than late like many of the Mountain West games because the entire public would have been on the game. Because the game was early, it only attracted most of the action from sharp players on straight bets.
Text of the Week
Former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees had a simple message for current Boilermakers signal caller Joe Elliott.
"Drew Brees texted me last night (Friday) and said: ‘Hey, go out there and shock the world, have fun. I’ll be watching.’"
Elliott did as he was told and led Purdue to its biggest upset in years. He threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and the Boilermakers stunned No. 7 Ohio State 26-18.
So Cal Prep Battle
In 2006 Oaks Christian Quarterback Jimmy Clausen was the highest No. 1 rated QB to come out of high school since John Elway. He turned down a scholarship to play at nearby USC and signed with Notre Dame.
In 2008, the No. 1 rated Prep QB was Mater Dei’s Matt Barkley. USC didn’t lose this one though, because they signed him just after his high school sophomore year at about the same time Clausen turned down USC.
The two met Saturday under the Golden Dome in a good football game displaying both of their skills and what made them so highly rated. Pete Carroll let Barkley loose for the first time this season and he responded with 380 yards and two TD passes in USC’s 34-27 win. Clausen passed for 281 yards and two TD’s in the loss.