College Football Thoughts and Opinions Week Six

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College Football Thoughts and Opinions Week Six

 

Signs of Life at the Bottom of the ACC

It started last week when Maryland and Virginia, teams most had written off, beat teams Clemson and North Carolina, teams most expected to challenge for the ACC, and continued this week.

Duke, the seemingly most traditional bottom team of any conference, beat North Carolina State. While NC State isn’t exactly a powerhouse team, many thought they would be a solid middle team.

 

Oregon’s Defense?

For the last few seasons when people said "Oregon," people have thought offense. Rightfully so, too.

Last season, Oregon was eighth nationally in offense. The Ducks were third in total rushing yards, but first in yards per attempt. They were also among the nation's leaders in points per game.

This year started a little rocky, but now in the last three games, all conference games, Oregon’s defense has given up only 12 points. A closer look shows three by Cal on a kick off fumble recovered by Cal for a negative eight-yard drive for a field goal. Six points by Washington State were off a fumble at the goal line on a punt by Oregon recovered by the Cougars. It still took three tries to get that one yard.

Oregon’s offense is still rolling too, though.

 

PAC-10...Well at Least Nine

After USC and Oregon and forgetting Washington State at the bottom, the conference is looking pretty strong. There are eight teams in the conference with a winning record and Washington has a .500.

This is a far cry from the past perception that the league was USC and nine others. USC isn’t even in the top three of the conference right now with Oregon at 3-0, Stanford at 3-1, and USC and Washington tied at 2-1 in conference and the Huskies holding the tie break win over the Trojans.

 

SEC Top Is the Top but the Bottom..

With Florida and Alabama you have arguably the two best teams in the country. With LSU in there you have three of the top 10 teams.

On the other end, though, you have Vanderbilt losing to Army. Army has not been relevant for many, many years.

Mississippi State is right there at the bottom too. They dropped their contest with Houston.

Houston has been seen as one of the top Conference USA teams and one of the top non-autoqualifiers. While that may be the case, I don’t want to hear how the bottom SEC teams would win any other conference any more.

 

BCS Busting

TCU won again and kept their place at the conversation table. Boise State was idle. Houston, as mentioned above, won beating their third opponent from a BCS conference this year. Even with one loss, if they could run the table they may render the conversation moot. BYU and Utah are hoping for the same.

 

Independents

Notre Dame, Army, and Navy do not belong to a conference and therefore have their own deals with bowls.

Notre Dame usually fall in with the Big East deals while Army and Navy strike deals to go to certain bowls if they are eligible. Notre Dame and Navy haven’t had much trouble getting to bowl games, but Army hasn’t been in over 10 years.

Right now all three are still in position to be eligible at season's end.

 

Bowls

Speaking of bowls, we just had week six, meaning that teams have actually played six games and could have six wins. Only two do.

Alabama and Iowa became the first bowl eligible teams for the 2009 season.

There are 20 teams that only need one more win.

Ball State, Miami (OH), New Mexico, and Rice are all at 0-6, and will be eliminated from bowl eligibility with another loss.

 

Flip Flop

Just a few seasons ago, Illinois went to the Rose Bowl. Now they are 0-3 and 1-4 overall.

Idaho is 5-1 and on the verge of a bowl berth. Hawaii is two years removed from the Sugar Bowl and is now last in the WAC.

FAU won a share of the Sun Belt and is now 0-4.

Ball State played for the MAC title last season and are now winless at 0-6.

Buffalo won it and now sits 0-2 in conference play.

 

Thoughts on Minnesota

I mentioned I would be traveling to Minnesota for their game against Purdue in my preview to week six. It may not come as any surprise the word that describes the game most was cold. Cold in Minnesota—who would have thought it? Well in October, not even the natives. Even the people around me said it was unusual to be that cold this time of year.

The stadium is brand new and really nice. Huge scoreboard and screen. Seating is pretty close together, but while they said it was sold out, there were quite a few open seats.

The food was OK. Nothing special. I had a bratwurst thinking that Minnesota would get it right. I was wrong. It tasted okay, but it was cold from the time they handed it to me. The roast beef sandwich didn’t have many options for dressing it up. Really only horseradish. It tasted pretty good plain though. Since it was cold out I had hot chocolate, too. Only it was more like they put a couple chocolate chips in a huge cup of hot water.

The game was good. I don’t see how there could have been a bad seat. I am used to a loud stadium and Minnesota was not. You could hear a whisper.

I would recommend not going in the later part of the season unless you like cold. If you do go, remember the bathrooms are heated.

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