Sloppy Seconds & Thoughts On The Big Ten

It’s the halfway point of the season, well, just past it, but everyone has played at least half of their games now. So what have we learned?

Duke is bowl eligible. Michigan State is not. This pretty much sums up the kind of year the Big Ten is having. With Nebraska beating Michigan, they are now in the driver’s seat to win the Big Ten. But they have to play Michigan State which is an unpredictable game, so they may drop that game. No matter, Ohio State will probably hand Michigan another loss so it looks like we’re going to end up with a Nebraska/Wisconsin championship game with a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line. But don’t count out Indiana. If they win their final four games they are in the Big Ten championship. Crazy, I know. But Purdue and Illinois, both winless in conference, cannot win their division even if they win out. With the other two teams on probation, only Wisconsin or Indiana can win the division, with the teams meeting in two weeks.

The other division isn’t much better. Any one of those teams could technically still win it, but Minnesota and Michigan State are essentially out of the running. Nebraska controls their destiny here. Still, sad, down year for the Big Ten. Except for Ohio State. Great year for them. To bad it’s totally wasted.

Looks like the Big East is coming down to Rutgers and Louisville. What a sad conference. I guess Louisville is the favorite here, but one of them will win the conference for sure.

The ACC is Florida State’s to lose. They have Virginia Tech and Maryland to get through. If they do, they play for the ACC championship against who knows who. Duke, North Carolina or Miami I guess. Another sad conference.

The Big 12 is very interesting. Kansas State and Oklahoma State both control their own destinies. Win out and you win the conference. They play this week so we’ll see who still has a shot when that game is said and done.

Notre Dame is definitely for real. Easy schedule until the closer at USC. But with the Trojans losing to Arizona, and Oregon visiting this weekend, USC won’t have anything to play for, so this may be an easier game than previously thought.

The MAC is for real this year. Kent State took down Rutgers in impressive fashion. Ohio, Toledo and Northern Illinois are also looking good. But they have some very quality teams and a lot of horrible teams. Only one or two in the middle. So top to bottom, not a great conference. But those top teams look like they could hang with just about anybody.

The Mountain West has more bowl eligible teams than the Big Ten. Too bad with just one loss Boise State will be stuck with a crappy bowl against Arizona or Arizona State in Las Vegas.

In the Pac 12, things are up in the air. UCLA can win out and get to the championship game. Same with Stanford. Same with Oregon. Same with Oregon State. The real powerhouse teams in the conference all have yet to play, so November is going to be a very exciting month for the Pac 12.

If Georgia gets past Ole Miss and Auburn they will face the winner of the Alabama/LSU game for the SEC championship. Way to turn the season around. They looked pretty overrated early on. Still might be. But that win against Florida is really big. And we’re all glad there is now only ONE team from the SEC in the top 4 of the BCS.

Utah State and Louisiana Tech are still on a crash course for the WAC Championship. Good for them, seeing as their conference will no longer exist next year.

Need any more justification for why the playoff can’t come soon enough? Have a look at the computer rankings. A few things of note:

Jeff Sagarin has Florida at #3 and Oregon at #8. Overall the computers have Florida at #4 and Oregon at #5.

Can we all agree to just throw our Jeff Sagarin’s ratings? He doesn’t even have Florida State ranked but has Arizona at 14. It’s madness. In fact, just for fun, let’s post his actual rankings:

1. Kansas State
2. Notre Dame
3. Florida
4. LSU
5. Oklahoma
6. Georgia
7. Alabama
8. Oregon
9. South Carolina
10. Texas Tech
11. Oregon State
12. Stanford
13. West Virginia
14. Arizona
15. Texas A&M
16. Texas
17. Washington
18. USC
19. Nebraska
20. Iowa State

Need I go on? This is madness, complete and utter madness. Worth noting he does have Ohio State actually at 11 but they are ineligible for a BCS ranking. Still, have a look at those. Take a good long look. These rankings help determine who plays for a national championship. Not exactly reliable.

This week we have some intriguing matchups as always. Alabama and LSU headlines the weekend that also includes Oklahoma State/Kansas State and Oregon/USC. There are some others worth watching like Texas A&M at Mississippi State, Texas at Texas Tech and Arizona at UCLA. Going to be fun!

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