What a weekend that was in college football. It would be a different poll if we waited until 5 or 6 games in to issue the first rankings. If we did, perhaps we would think differently about what was an upset and what wasn’t, and have a little better placement for where teams begin in the top 25. Anywho, on with the mid-week report: the G-Poll, thoughts on coaching, games I’m watching, and a follow-up entry for a non-athlete sports dream life.
Week 7 G-Poll Top Ten
1. Ohio State (6-0)
2. Florida (6-0)
3. Michigan (6-0)
4. USC (5-0)
5. West Virginia (5-0)
6. Louisville (5-0)
7. Tennessee (5-1)
8. Texas (5-1)
9. California (5-1)
10. Notre Dame (5-1)
Thoughts on coaching…
Remember when we were comparing the ND and Florida positions, assuming that Urban Meyer more or less had his choice? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But I remember some of the talk being about where he had the best shot at a national title. The concensus went back and forth, but many felt that the SEC schedule was too tough to survive. Many might still hold to that. But UF is proving itself capable of that feat on a weekly basis. They will look especially good if they can win on the road against Auburn. Meyer is doing a heck of a job.
But Charlie Weis is doing well too. The Michigan loss was tough, but had a lesson to teach, namely, “you aren’t there yet.” Well you can’t deal with reality until you call it by name. And I imagine Weis is exactly the kind of guy who can get mileage out of such a shattering defeat. He is so committed to making ND a winner and developing players, he will do his winning. It will just take some time to build.
And speaking of the Irish, it was good to see the progress of Washington when they played USC last week, the clock ticking down while they were marching for the win. Tyrone Willingham is once again proving himself to be an excellent coach in the way he’s turned that team around. It won’t happen for him this year, or even the next. But give it a little time and they could be a real team to reckon with in the Pac-10. Back in a familiar league (he previously coached at Stanford), Willingham is getting some measure of redemption in the midst of it all. Good to see.
Games I’m watching
Florida at Auburn – Of course. If you’re not keying on this game, you haven’t been paying attention. UF has impressed well enough to bump up to #2 in the country, just ahead of Michigan and USC. This will be a test, however. Yes, they’ve stepped up to Tennessee and LSU already. But going into Auburn will be very difficult. AU has something to prove–to themselves as much as to anyone–and they ought to be hungry for this one. If the Tigers win, they’re back on the map. If they lose, however, who knows! It might not hurt them on the national scene too badly with how high the Gators have risen in the last several weeks. If you play respectably and lose, you might not lose too much ground in the polls and could recover. Your worry is the SEC West.
Michigan at Penn State – I’ve got a couple of Penn State alum friends who will be at this game on Saturday–what a great college football ticket! State is looking for some payback for last year when this loss cost them an undefeated season and a shot at the national title. Michigan needs to stay on track, though without WR Manningham, and keep taking care of business. If they do, then the OSU/UM game should determine one of our national title game participants.
Missouri at Texas A&M – Incredible start for Mizzou at 6-0. Great win last week against Texas Tech. As much as I hate to say it, the Tigers should beat my Aggies in College Station and continue rolling along. Key games will be at the end of October and beginning of November. That’s when they play Oklahoma and Nebraska in successive weeks. Could they really beat those teams? It’s entirely possible. If they do survive OU and Nebraska, they could very well be looking at 12-0 heading into the Big 12 championship game.
Non-Athlete sports dream life, part deux
Over the past several years, I’ve grown to love reading his columns online and in print. His smooth and extensive use of pop culture references throughout his analysis and perscriptions regarding sports are funny, random, and penetrating. I’m talking, of course, about ESPN’S The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons. You live, eat, and breath sports, TV, music, and movies for years, then one day you’re writing about it all and making people laugh. Isn’t his mother proud that he invested his time so wisely!
That’s it for this week. Enjoy the games!