Saturday, October 31, 2009
The answer: TCU, and it isn't even close. Consider the following facts:
- TCU beat Boise State last year in the Poinsettia Bowl, thus showing TCU was the better team last year, and in the absence of a head-to-head contest this year this is the best barometer of who is better this year.
- Boise State has had three perfect regular seasons this decade (2004, 2006, and 2008). In 2004 and 2008, Boise State did not play in BCS games. Not only did they not play in BCS games, but they LOST their bowl games (Liberty Bowl in 2004 to Louisville, 44-40, and the aforementioned Poinsettia Bowl, 17-16). These losses completely legitimized the BCS snubbing Boise State those years. They also legitimize the BCS selecting another team from a non-automatic qualifying conference instead of Boise State, even if the Broncos are undefeated.
This debate is as simple as that. We don't need to get into points per game, who beat who, etc. The two teams played each other in the last game of the year last year and TCU showed it was better then, and there is no compelling evidence that things have changed. Boise State has not proven in the past that a perfect regular season record against their schedule is a very accurate measuring stick for their ability to compete against elite competition.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Just as with the Top 25, it is time to narrow down this list to those who are seriously the "most outstanding players." What makes this difficult is that "outstanding" play has been rare this year. Tim Tebow is definately out. Colt McCoy, too. What I am looking at first and foremost is stats. My belief is that the Heisman Trophy winner should have gaudy statistics. However, statistics alone don't make a player "outstanding." Outstanding players make their team better, so I do consider the team's win-loss record. The year in school has no factor at all, nor does how well or poor a player has played in previous seasons. Quarterback play has not been that great this year, as indicated by only two quarterbacks on my list. (Being a good "game manager" is not "outstanding.") Running backs are having a pretty good year, but no one is on pace for the magical 2,000 yard mark. For running backs, I considered touchdowns and yards per carry, and not just the number of yards.
Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 26 completions 39 attempts, 246 yards, 2 TD, (150-230, 2050, 16 TD, 2 INT, 1 rush TD)
Case Keenum, Houston, 25-36, 233, 1 TD (241-344, 2734, 20 TD, 4 INT, 3 rush TD)
Noel Devine, West Virginia, 23 rush, 178 yards, 1 TD (137-912, 10 TD, 1 rec TD)
Toby Gerhart, Stanford, 27-125, 1 TD (195-994, 13 TD)
Mark Ingram, Alabama, 18-99 (153-1004, 8 TD, 3 rec TD)
Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh, 23-111, 2 TD (158-1029, 11 TD, 1 rec TD)
Jaquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, 20-113, 1 TD (1 rec TD), (148-810, 14 TD, 1 rec TD)
Ryan Matthews, Fresno State, 25-157, 2 TD (156-1131, 9 TD)
Monday, October 26, 2009
I was going to wait for the first weekend in November to seriously rethink my rankings and revamp them to correct any pre-season bias and to account for real on the field results from a large sample size. However, with my long injury time out, now is as good a time as any. This week’s results are exactly what make this my favorite time of year in college football. We see one of two things because teams are gelling and hitting full stride: 1) unexpected blowouts as teams separate from the rest of the pack, and 2) unexpected upsets/squeakers as stakes are raised and bulls-eyes get bigger on the teams on top. Alabama has to block two field goals to beat Tennessee, Iowa State beat Nebraska, Penn State blasted Michigan, and Texas A&M went on the road and pasted Texas Tech. This is when we must be ready for the unexpected 100% of the time.
I honestly feel I have not included any bias by moving TCU to the top of the rankings. Based on the performance of every other team in the country, I feel that TCU can and would win in a match up against anyone. This is not based on fancy formulas or sophisticated statistical manipulation. I base it on performance on the field. Alabama struggled against South Carolina and Tennessee the last two weeks. Texas looked bad against Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Florida was vulnerable against Mississippi State, LSU, and Tennessee. Boise State barely escaped with a win against Tulsa and was not impressive against UC Davis. Iowa plays with fire almost every week. Cincinnati is the only team you cannot complain about, and their cause is boosted since they have continued to play well the last two games without their starting quarterback. In the end it was a judgment call between TCU and Cincinnati and my verdict was in favor of TCU.
OTHERS TO WATCH: Arizona, Kansas, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Ole Miss
1. TCU (7-0)
2. Cincinnati (7-0)
3. Alabama (8-0)
4. Texas (7-0)
5. Florida (7-0)
6. Boise State (6-0)
7. Iowa (8-0)
8. USC (6-1)
9. Oregon (6-1)
10. Penn State (7-1)
11. Georgia Tech (7-1)
12. LSU (6-1)
13. Houston (6-1)
14. Pittsburg (7-1)
15. Utah (6-1)
16. Oklahoma State (6-1)
17. West Virginia (6-1)
18. Central Michigan (7-1)
19. Virginia Tech (5-2)
20. Ohio State (6-2)
21. Miami (FL) (5-2)
22. South Carolina (6-2)
23. Navy (6-2)
24. Notre Dame (5-2)
25. Cal (5-2)