Sunday’s Sloppy Seconds: Contenders and Pretenders

Well this was a very telling week in the college football landscape for sure. The pretenders from Oklahoma (Sooners and Cowboys) and LSU bowed our of the national championship hunt while others solidified themselves (Auburn, Oregon, Missouri, Michigan State and TCU.) Now that we have a better idea of our pretenders and contenders, how does the rest of the season look?

Well, for one, Florida scored more points against LSU than Auburn. Florida. This is bad, bad, bad news for Auburn and Arkansas. It means the Razorbacks have a truly horrible defense (didn’t someone say that before the season even began?) and Auburn has a worse offense than most people seem to think. This does not bode well for the Tigers with Alabama looming in the distance. However, Auburn did pull off the win against a sloppy unbeaten team. They are definitely contenders at this point, as is Cam Newton for the Heisman.

Oregon beat upset upstarts UCLA. And handily. These guys are making a statement: give us a break computers! I mean really, the computer polls are so, so, so, so bad. No joke, one of them has Oregon at 10 and Oklahoma at 5. And that is after this weekend of games. That same computer puts LSU and Ohio State ahead of Oregon as well. One computer has LSU ahead of both Oregon and Boise State. One computer puts Alabama at 3 and Missouri at 10. What? Beating USC should help with the computers and get Oregon squarely in the #1 spot. Although right now, #1 isn’t looking like a good spot to be. Auburn goes to Ole Miss next week…upset anyone?

Missouri got the job done against Oklahoma. Suddenly their win against San Diego State is looking better too. Their real test comes this week when they go on the road to Nebraska. If I were anyone on the Tiger’s coaching staff, I would be giving Mack Brown a call.

Michigan State had a scare for a minute there when their offense forgot how to play and their defense was seemingly out of shape in 5 minutes. As any resilient team should do (see Oregon) they came back big though. I still thinking Michigan State is running the table. They have Iowa next week, their last test, then Minnesota, Purdue and Penn State. Not too hard. Don’t be surprised if the Spartans show up in Glendale this year.

TCU took care of business against Air Force. Every time they have had to prove themselves, they have. Utah beat up an easy opponent as they should have, meaning Nov. 6 is looking like the biggest game of the year for both teams. Whoever wins gets a big, big boost from the human and computer rankings for sure.

Looks like the Sooners weren’t #1 material after all. And the Cowboys went down just as I predicted. LSU is no longer unbeaten (thank goodness) so that means we only have 7 unbeaten teams left. TCU still plays Utah, but other than that, we could in theory have 6 unbeaten teams at the end of the year. If that happens, Auburn is definitely playing in the BCS championship. Their opponent? One might think Oregon, but Michigan State could make a case if they go unbeaten as well. TCU and Boise State don’t have a prayer if that many finish undefeated. And heaven help us if they have to play each other yet again in a BCS bowl.

Let’s hope Michigan State drops to Iowa, MIssouri drops to Nebraska, Auburn drops to Alabama and Oregon drops to Oregon State. Then only Boise State and TCU are undefeated in the land. I would absolutely love to see what the BCS does in that scenario.