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College Football Thoughts
Well, the majority of the 2010 college football season is over (barring a few more games), and as always I’m astounded by the beat down given to the Big Ten conference. I have a lot of thoughts about this after watching the TCU–Wisconsin game yesterday (don’t you dare call it an upset, the Horned Frogs were 2 point favorites), as well as some ideological rumblings about this whole “non-AQ” thing.
First off, I’ll break down just who did what over the past few weeks. Remember, these aren’t final since there are a few more games to be played.
- ACC: 4-3
- Big 12: 3-3
- Big East: 4-2
- Big Ten: 2-5
- C-USA: 1-4
- MAC: 1-2
- MWC: 4-1
- Pac 10: 1-1
- SEC: 3-3
- Sun Belt: 2-0
- WAC: 1-2
- Independents: 2-1
So first off, let’s get one thing straight. That SEC dominance? You can’t be a dominant division if your teams can’t beat middling teams from other conferences. The SEC picked on the Big Ten (more on them in a moment) and exploited the lack of speed in the conference, which gave them the three victories (so far). But the SEC looked a little lost in losing to an undermanned North Carolina (Tennessee) and a rebuilding Florida State (South Carolina). Plus, having Georgia lose to a bad Big East team (Central Florida) is absolutely abhorrent. Yes, the best two or three teams in the SEC can beat anybody. But it’s time that they realize that the same could be said for everyone else, including…
…the Mountain West came into the bowl season with heavy doubters and high expectations from within the football community, and they delivered in a big way. Air Force dominated Georgia Tech in a very boring, triple-option oriented game which featured more offense from the runaway mascot than from anyone else. But a win is a win. Plus, look at what San Diego State did to Navy. Of course, none of these victories means more to the conference than TCU‘s victory over Wisconsin. The Horned Frogs got punched in the mouth repeatedly but frowned, spit out some blood and punched back. TCU won while withstanding the best offensive punch from arguably the best team in the Big Ten. All smiles in the Mountain West, which cannot be said for…
…the Big Ten, once more, looked like a league lost in time as they went 0-5 in New Year’s Day bowls. Northwestern losing to Texas Tech wasn’t a huge shocker, and outside of the “wow” factor Wisconsin‘s loss wasn’t as surprising either. Iowa beat Missouri, which was a good thing too, and Illinois beat Baylor, confirming that the Big 12 ain’t so big yet. But the Big Ten- you know, I’m tired of calling them then “Big Ten” and they’re always anything but. From now on, I’m calling them the “Big Tin”, because the only thin that gets crushed easier than tin is aluminum. Anyways, the Big Tin went out and got manhandled by the SEC. Michigan State, who was upset they didn’t get the at-large bid for the BCS, got taken back to the woodshed by Alabama. Penn State got roughed up by Florida in what should have been a bigger win by the Gators, and Rich Rodriguez-led Michigan got punked by Mississippi State. Yeah, you read that right. By the team that finished 5th… in the SEC West. The Big Tin hopes against hope that they can pull out some kind of redeeming victory in their final SEC-Big Tin matchup with Ohio State (don’t get me started on the word “overrated” here) and Arkansas. History (and smart money) is going to be on the Razorbacks, however, unlike…
…the Pac 10, who looked really good once again in their bowl games. While the Arizona–Oklahoma State lovefest was atypical Cowboy football, the same couldn’t be said about the most unwanted rematch in the history of college football. Washington shouldn’t have had a chance against a Nebraska team that had already beat them in the regular season, but someone forgot to tell the Cornhuskers that they were supposed to play. Washington took it to Nebraska early and made the most of a distracted Nebraska team. Of course, with Oregon looking to upend Auburn in the national championship game and Stanford taking on an unusual Virginia Tech team, the Pac 10 might have finally gotten over that “USC plus others” moniker. Naturally, right when things are looking up for some, others…
…continue a weird and confusing trend. For the life of me, I cannot figure out the ACC. Georgia Tech lost to an Air Force team that had the same offensive moxy and Clemson lost to a South Florida team that had fallen off everyone’s radar. And without fired coach Randy Shannon, Miami got beat up by Notre Dame. But then the ACC goes and has North Carolina State beat West Virginia, a depleted North Carolina beating Tennessee in overtime and Florida State beating South Carolina. Until I see how Virginia Tech handles Stanford, the jury’s out on the ACC. The jury is…
…in on the Sun Belt conference, though. Florida International and Troy both beat their MAC foes, showing that the mid-majors can beat other mid-majors in meaningless bowls as well. I know that those bowls aren’t meaningless to the participants, but when a college loses money while going to a bowl game (which was supposed to generate more money) then it’s a loss no matter what the score was, which wasn’t that impressive. Unlike…
…the Big East, who made the best impression on me this weekend. Connecticut couldn’t hang with Oklahoma, and there’s no shame in that, considering that the Sooners were in the national title picture early in the season. West Virginia may have lost, but the rest of the Big East went down to other people’s backyards and delivered a message. I already talked about South Florida‘s victory over Clemson and Central Florida over Georgia, but lost in the shuffle was Syracuse‘s victory over Kansas State. A lot of people (including me) give the Big East crap, but they win when they need to. Nobody wants to win the conference though, which is always surprising, as is…
…Notre Dame beating Miami. A lot of people had been talking about how Miami “has its swagger back”. Well, unless Miami figures out a way to have the swaggerback replace the quarterback, they will continue to have problems no matter how much swagger they have. Jacory Harris is a joke at QB, and (sorry U fans) he’ll never be Terrelle Pryor. Miami fans can argue that Harris only threw three incompletions… the problem is that all three were intercepted, and he only threw seven passes total. Notre Dame outran, outplayed and outcoached “the U”. Brian Kelly has done a pretty good job thus far in a year at the golden dome. Now let’s see how well he can do with his own recruits. A victory over Miami is a good start.
Those were my thoughts on the bowl season… anything to add?