Back to Normal?: Week 9 College FB Forecast

William QualkinbushSenior Analyst IOctober 25, 2007

Icon Sports MediaI've said for weeks that the college football season couldn't get any crazier.

And now, after being wrong for the umpteenth consecutive week, I predict that come Sunday morning, we'll see the craziest and most unexpected outcome of all:


That's right. For the last month, I've been screaming from the rooftops that the polls—the same polls that have purists pulling out their (considerably grayer) hair—will look exactly as they should once the dust settles.

And would you take a look at this: After this weekend, we could be virtually right back where we started.

Boston College and Ohio State, the top two teams in the BCS, face stiff road tests this week. Don't be surprised if the national championship picture is 100 percent different by the end of the weekend.

Losses at Virginia Tech and at Penn State won't kill the Eagles and Buckeyes, but would certainly knock them from the top of the pedestal.

If OSU can get past Penn State, their schedule looks promising right up until the finale against Michigan.

BC, on the other hand, will see its days of beating up on inferior competition come to an end, with tough games in each of the final five weeks of the season.

I don't see the Eagles getting through unscathed, and I think they'll probably lose at least two of those games.

If either of these teams runs the table, they deserve to play for the championship. Period, no questions asked.

I just don't see it happening in either case.

This means that LSU and Arizona State would occupy the top two spots in the BCS standings—if the Sun Devils can survive a tough test from a battered Cal team on Saturday.

Arizona State and Oregon are fourth and fifth in the standings, but the chances that both of them will stay there are slim.

ASU has racked up an undefeated record against a cupcake schedule, much like BC and THE Ohio State University, and will now face the top of the Pac-10 in the next month.

Oregon has been really good, but they still have to face USC and UCLA—not to mention ASU next week.

IconThat game will automatically eliminate one of these teams, which would leave Oklahoma stil in the mix.

The Sooners' schedule is a cakewalk the rest of the way, so it's entirely conceivable that Oklahoma and LSU could meet to decide the championship.

And I know that there were quite a few people who forecast that matchup before the season.

Also lurking are West Virginia and Virginia Tech, two teams that were near the top of everybody's list at the start of the campaign.

My conclusion is that all the craziness will cancel itself out, and there will be a relatively normal—dare I say predictable—BCS Championship Game at the end of the year.

But, as always—who knows?

Who would've thought the the second-ranked team in America would lose in three consecutive weeks? Who would have thought Appalachian State and Stanford would beat top-five teams?

And did anybody think that North Dakota State would beat two FBS opponents this season?

The answer to all of these questions is no—if you thought differently, then Miss Cleo could use your expertise.

All things considered, this may be the best college football season in history, so enjoy it while you can.

Because it may be time for a return to normalcy.

And now some quick hits from the rest of the weekend's action...

- In its last three visits to Happy Valley, Ohio State is 1-2, with the lone W coming on a late touchdown pass in a 21-20 victory. The top two defenses in the Big Ten will go at it in this one, so don't be surprised if the lone touchdown is by Penn State's Derrick Williams on special teams.

- Boston College has played zero opponents ranked in the Top 25; Virginia Tech has won six straight home games on Thursday nights. Uh-oh.

- Speaking of the Eagles, they're the first team in college football history to have a bye month. Somebody should remind them that the Hokies are slightly better than Army, UMass, Bowling Green, or Notre Dame.

- Arizona State faces its first real test of the season, as Cal comes to town. Here's a little secret: The Bears are reeling, while the Sun Devils are quietly 14th in the country in total defense. This will be very, very interesting.

- The only thing standing between Rutgers and a second consecutive home win over a top-10 team is the fact that West Virginia is fourth nationally in total offense AND seventh nationally in total defense. Who knew the Mountaineers could stop people?

- A fairly pedestrian USC team can expect its second loss of the year when it goes to Autzen Stadium to face surprising Oregon.

- The SEC East logjam should become clearer this week, with Florida and Georgia playing in Jacksonville to break a three-way tie at the top. The other team tied for first, South Carolina, heads to Rocky Top. On the other hand, the picture could become more cloudy if the Vols win and establish themselves squarely with everybody else.

- Clemson running back James Davis guaranteed a victory at Maryland this week. The media was in an uproar, even though Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen had also said he "expected to win." I'm with James—every game is a must-win now for the Tigers, and somebody has to start being a vocal leader.

UPSET ALERT: The Whole Top 10—good luck with that, fellas!

Thanks for reading and God Bless!


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