Blaine Gabbert's Missouri Leadership Among Three Things We Learned in Week Four

Michael SippContributor ISeptember 27, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 5: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the University of Missouri Tigers passes against the University of Illinois Fighting Illini during the State Farm Arch Rivalry on September 5, 2009 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Tigers beat the Fighting Illini 37-9.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

As rain started to fall throughout most of the country, so did many teams' championship aspirations. Four out of the top 10 teams fell. That let three teams who were previously in but were defeated (Ohio State, Southern Cal, and Oklahoma) jump back in.

There seem to be only three favorites to make it all the way to Pasadena unscathed: Florida, Texas, and Alabama—albeit all three of those teams face tough games ahead.

Florida faces LSU at Death Valley and Georgia in Jacksonville. Alabama faces Ole Miss in Oxford and LSU. Texas, meanwhile, faces a highly underrated Missouri team in Como, Oklahoma State in Stillwater, and of course, the Sooners in the Red River Shootout at the House that Doak Built.

Let's get back on topic though.


1) Blaine Gabbert can and will lead the Tigers to the Big 12 Championship Game

131 attempts. Nothing weird with that five games into the season if you are in the Big 12, is there? No, of course not. But guess what—Gabbert has not thrown an interception this season. Yes, he probably will, but it's still very impressive.

You could say they haven't had a real opponent yet, but if you really look at it, they have. Three of those four teams (Illinois, Bowling Green, Nevada) might be bowling at the end of the season. You can quote me on this: The Missouri-Texas game will go down to the wire.


2) 2009 = 2007

USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, and Ole Miss—all of them very talented teams. All of them have been in the top 10 in 2009; all of them have lost.

Let me take you back two years ago, 2007. Opening week, the Michigan Wolverines are playing a tune-up game against the overmatched Appalachian State Mountaineers of the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division II. The Mountaineers upset fifth-ranked Michigan, who would then fall out of the top 25 poll and into mediocrity.

That was just the beginning: Out of the 13 weeks of regular season college football, the first- and second-ranked teams were upset the same weekend. At the end of the season, four different teams were ranked No. 1 at one point, where most of the time it only happens maybe once a year.

In reference to the AP Top 25 Poll, 63 times one team lost to another ranked below them.


3) Florida can survive without Tim Tebow

Now before you start panicking, don't take it that Tebow is hurt (he, is but not seriously). Tebow is not out for the season. He might not even miss a game. I'm just saying that if push comes to shove and Tebow cannot play, then Florida can survive.

Florida's defense is the best in the nation, and their offense is extremely talented. I would bet money that backup QB John Brantley is better than a lot of starting quarterbacks in the nation.