Miami's revived offense, more mail (cont.)
I showed my wife (a University of Washington alumna) your upset special pick against USC. Then I showed her the Wall Street Journal prediction that over 10,000 simulations, USC would beat UW 91 percent of the time. Guess who I'm listening to from now on?
No, no. In general, you should definitely listen to the computer. I don't doubt USC would win 91 percent of the time. It's that other 9 percent that makes this sport so fun, though.
What should we make of Florida's not-that-dramatic win against Tennessee? Was this just an off day for the Gators, perhaps due partly to some flu and injuries, or are there some real weaknesses on this team?
I think the biggest thing we learned is that Urban Meyer and Lane Kiffin are like two 12-year-olds trapped in adult bodies. Seriously, guys, let ... it ... go.
I'm not overly concerned with Florida's performance, both because I know how tough Tennessee's defense is (the Vols are going to hold a whole lot of teams to 23 points or less) and because we've seen this before. The Gators' offense started slow last season, too, before kicking it into gear about five games in. Of course, Florida also lost to Ole Miss before that happened. The voters won't be quite so forgiving if the Gators suffer a similar misstep this year.
Right now, I think Meyer is still looking for some receivers he can count on beyond Riley Cooper, David Nelson and tight end Aaron Hernandez. Getting Deonte Thompson back from injury this week will help, but to really get the passing game going, Florida is going to need at least one of its freshman receivers (T.J. Lawrence, Omarius Hines and Frankie Hammond) to step up the way Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey did at running back last year. Until then, you may see the Gators continue to rely heavily on their running game and their defense -- because they can.
This is the worst Top 25 poll of all time. It is literally staggering. It is because of morons like this that college football is becoming a joke. The polls need to be shut down, do you agree?
Why take potshots at the coaches' poll when you have Doug Lesmerises still making a mockery of the AP poll?
A mockery? A joke? I beg to differ. My man Doug is a pioneer. He is the rare AP voter with the temerity to actually follow the AP's stated guidelines to "base your vote on performance, not reputation or preseason speculation," "pay attention to head-to-head results" and "don't hesitate to make significant changes in your ballot from week to week." Every year, people complain about the arbitrary nature of preseason polls; well, Doug literally tosses out his preseason poll as soon as the games begin and focuses almost solely on results (though he apologetically admitted this week to accidentally leaving off Washington.)
But alas, it seems Doug is so far ahead of his time that his genius is doomed to go unappreciated. Last week, the readers of Pollspeak.com overwhelmingly voted him the AP's "bad voter of the week." Their "good voter of the week:" Chris Fowler, whose ballot mirrored the overall AP almost exactly. The lesson here: As much as people like to complain about the polls, they're still more comfortable with conformity.
Brian Kelly and the Cincinnati Bearcats have been quite impressive this season. Do you think they're head-above-shoulders in the Big East?
That Cincy offense is scary. The 2007 Ben Mauk-led unit was pretty darn good itself and gave a sense of what Kelly likes to do offensively, but apparently he was only warming up. This year, with a projected high-round draft pick, Tony Pike, at quarterback, and a whole slew of weapons around him (most notably receivers Mardy Gilyard and D.J. Woods), Kelly is operating his no-huddle spread attack at a relentless tempo. The Bearcats are averaging 7.08 yards per play, better than all but six teams nationally. And they showed at Oregon State they can handle a little adversity. When the Beavers rallied back to within a three-point deficit early in the fourth quarter, Pike promptly led his team on a 12-play, 79-yard touchdown drive.
Cincinnati is definitely my Big East favorite, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's "head and shoulders" above the rest of the league. While West Virginia didn't pull out a win at Auburn, the Mountaineers did rack up 509 yards of offense and look like they'll be tough to handle. Pittsburgh did a nice job shutting down Navy's option attack last week. And both Connecticut and USF boast top 20 defenses right now. It should be a competitive race.
Watching Texas and Texas Tech play arena football, it's easy to see why every year the SEC champ tears apart whichever victim is chosen. Anyone out there ever heard of defense? It's the thing you do when you don't have the ball.
I'm sorry -- did you send this in 2008 and I only now received it? I could have sworn the prime-time "arena football" duel Saturday night took place between SEC teams Georgia and Arkansas (final score: 52-41), not Texas Tech and Texas (final score: 34-24).
Stewart, don't you think there's been an overreaction to the "BCS busters?" Boise State was a nice story in 2006, and the Broncos' Fiesta Bowl win was epic. Same could be said with Utah and its Sugar Bowl season last year. Boise State has looked good this year, but its only marquee win is/will be a victory over an average Oregon team with a new coach, at home. It's as if Boise gets a pass because it's the headliner of the non-BCS conference teams.
Well, I think you answered your own question there. Since the BCS lowered its auto-qualifier threshold from top six to top 12 in 2006 (in response to heavy political pressure from a coalition of non-BCS school), three such schools have received bids (Boise State, Hawaii and Utah), and two of them have upset big-conference powerhouses. Obviously, that built credibility for those programs to the point where Boise now gets much the same "benefit of the doubt" from the pollsters as a Notre Dame or Michigan -- the difference being the Broncos have to go undefeated.
As we well know by now, anything can happen in a one-game setting. So while Boise's schedule will undoubtedly go down as a joke, I don't see the harm in rewarding the Broncos (or TCU, or Houston) with an at-large bid should they finish undefeated. I will be interested, however, to see how the voters treat them the rest of the way considering they're already up to No. 8 in both polls just three weeks into the season, and inevitably, most or all of the teams above them will lose. How high will they rise before someone says, "Wait a minute -- do I really believe Boise State is the [blank]-best team in the country?"
Just saw your picks for this weekend. I love how each year you want to see the downfall of USC. What's even funnier than that is how you can't seem to pick any of the games. With your record, I should put money on the opposite of your picks.
Uh oh. You live in Vegas? Please tell me you didn't do that.
Why does your box say "Question?" No one would ask an idiot a question. Too bad you never read your mail. Too bad you are as stupid as the BCS committee. Too bad you think Washington will beat USC.
Fortunately for me and my stupidity level, there is no such thing as "the BCS committee." Unfortunately for you, I do read my mail.
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