Hawaii Week: Thanks Everybody  

Posted by Frazier

Well, we wanted to say "thanks" to everyone who took the time to comment or e-mail this week, especially the good folks from Hawaii. Here are some of our favorites:

From the Islands:

As a Hawaii resident and UH fan, I gotta say that emotions in the state are running high! People love the Warriors and this season has generated a whole lot of excitement about UH football.
I think your arguments comparing UH, OSU and WVU are excellent, especially in regards to the SoS discussion. There are a lot of teams with good rankings that have gotten them based on previous seasons accomplishments.
I'd love to see UH in the National Championship game but I don't think that it's possible. There is an inherent unfairness to the BCS, creating a caste system within college football. I think that a similar comment could be made about the Heismann. Colt's statistically-best season last year didn't seem to generate much enthusiasm from New York and even though we talk about him being a contender this year, I don't think it was realistic last year and it's probably less so this year. That doesn't diminish from his and his teams accomplishments, I really thought that he had made the wrong personal decision last year in deciding to play another year but he clearly proved me wrong. I think there'd be a lot of unhappy "big name" football coaches, teams, AD's and fans who would be very vocal about their displeasure if a "little name" school like UH got to the Title Game or if Colt won the Heismann. That's a bit sad but it's probably the way it is.
Of course it's all moot if they don't beat Washington this Saturday. I'm lucky enough to have tickets, it's going to be crazy being at the biggest game in all of UH history! If they win, the Sugar Bowl maybe?
Go Warriors!



It's, at best, a two-tier system. In some ways it's always been like this, but the BCS has really codified it. If Hawaii couldn't break through in the year of upsets, and Colt couldn't break through with his ridiculous stats last year, that's got to take a lot of hope from a lot of programs.

From Big 12 Country:

Sorry guys, Hawaii couldn’t beat Mizzou this year. Hawaii does deserve to be in the top 12, but not in the championship game.

I agree with you on your analysis about Ohio State and WV, but not on your analysis of Hawaii against Mizzou…check out their respective schedules. Just because Hawaii hasn’t lost a game this year doesn’t make them worthy of a higher rating than they currently have. The only real game worthy of note is their victory over Boise St. Also, if the current top 10 BCS teams had Hawaii’s schedule, they also would be undefeated. In that scenario, would Hawaii still be one of the top 2 as per your argument? Also, other top 10 teams wouldn’t have needed OT to beat La Tech or San Jose St like Hawaii did….they would have blown these teams out.


Dallas, TX


Fair point about Missouri. We are only saying that Hawaii would give Missouri a game, not that they are more deserving. Certainly Mizzou has the necessary credentials to be the #1 team in the country right now. We didn't mean to take anything away from them, we just think that it would be a close game. If the Tigers win against Oklahoma, they are an obvious #1.

Our argument is basically that WVU and Ohio St. haven't done enough to overcome a loss to be worthy of playing for the title. I'd contend that there are plenty of teams that could play either of those schedules and be undefeated too!

Basically: Perfect Record + lousy schedule > One loss + mediocre schedule.

However, Missouri has: One loss + Good wins + good schedule. That is certainly more impressive.

From our friend the Baron:

Apparently you've been getting a lot of shit for making the case for Hawaii, just wanted to send my support. It's good to see someone has the balls the write about what's really happening in the BCS. Even I would rather see Hawaii play for a national title than Ohio State, because underdogs living and dying with every game is really the heart of college football, not powerhouse schools who rely on their prestige to back into a national title. People who blame Hawaii for the faults of the BCS system are the same people who would be trying to keep Hickory High out of the playoffs because they didn't play enough quality opponents (I know I just mixed my sports metaphors, but you can never go wrong with a good Hoosiers reference). Keep fighting the good fight.
- The Baron


Thanks as always for writing. You've been at the forefront of the pro-Hawaii cause. As a life-long Buckeyes fan, this can't be easy for you. It's nice to see that there's at least one reasonable Ohio St. fan out there.

Finally, thanks to:
50 Years of College Football: A Modern History of America's Most
Colorful Sport
by Bob Boyles & Paul Guido

Our favorite reference guide for this debate and every other inane conversation we get into. If we make an error, it's because we can't read, not because those guys got it wrong.

The Case for Hawaii: Gettin Nitty Gritty with the Schedules  

Posted by Walter

Ever since we hear at the323 lit the powderkeg that is Hawaii football, we've been very nearly inundated with emails and comments comparing the schedules of Ohio State, West Virginia, and Hawaii (and in many cases attempting to prove that there simply is no comparison at all). While we appreciate each and every person who takes the time to comment on our site, many, if not all, of these emails simply missed the point. WE KNOW HAWAII'S SCHEDULE IS TERRIBLE! IT'S THE LOWEST RANKED STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE IN THE NATION, WE GET IT! The 323 is not advocating the position that Hawaii's schedule is better than either Ohio State or West Virginia's. But then again WE DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THIS POSITION because Hawaii is undefeated while OSU and WVU both have a loss. If Hawaii also had one loss or either OSU or WVU were undefeated, then yes there would be no debate. But that's not the argument.

We ARE arguing:

undefeated team + very weak schedule > one loss team + weak schedule

We ARE NOT arguing:

undefeated team + very weak schedule > undefeated team + weak schedule

NOR are we arguing:

one loss team + very weak schedule > one loss team + weak schedule

Remember folks, Hawaii hasn't lost yet. If and when they do this all becomes moot. But for right now, the323 is going to set out and prove that both Ohio State and West Virginia's respective schedules were an absolute joke. They may be stronger than Hawaii's, but take a look for yourself and tell me that either of these teams deserves a title shot over Hawaii after not being able to navigate these cupcakes unscathed.

Ohio State Schedule

Game #1: 38-6 win over Youngstown State

Level Of Difficulty (1 being easy, 5 being extremely difficult): 1

Comments: Youngstown State is 7-4 in Division 1AA making them a solid, yet unspectacular 1AA group. Or in other words, cannon fodder for any Division 1A team that isn't Michigan.

Game #2: 20-2 win over Akron

Level of Difficulty: 1

Comments: Well Akron is a Division 1A team....barely. Currently 4-8, the Zips are near the bottom of the MAC in what has been a down year for the conference. Don't forget that the Buckeyes struggled in this one only leading 3-2 at halftime!

Game #3: 33-14 win @ Washington

Level of Difficulty: 2

Comments: Finally into the big boy part of the schedule, Ohio State's win of UDub probably looked a lot better at the time then it does not. Washington was 2-0 at the time, but the OSU loss was the first of 5 straight for the Huskies dropping them down into LAST place in the Pac-10.

Game #4: 58-7 win over Northwestern

Level of Difficulty: 1.5

Comments: Looking back, at 6-6 in the Big 10 Northwestern was actually a decent opponent for the Buckeyes. That said, they did manage to lose to Duke AT HOME this season, so the Buckeyes don't get much credit for dismantling them in Columbus.

Game #5: 30-7 win @ Minnesota

Level of Difficulty: 0.5

Comments: I know they say that any Big 10 road game is a tough game, but come on. Minnesota finished the year 1-11 with their only win coming against Miamie Ohio of the MAC. Not only that but the Gophers lost to Florida Atlantic, Bowling Green and 1AA North Dakota State this year, with the final two coming at home.

Game #6: 23-7 win @ Purdue

Level of Difficulty: 2.5

Comments: Another win that looked a lot better at the time. When OSU bulldozed the Boilermakers they were 5-0 thanks to an early schedule of Toledo, Eastern Illinois, Central Michigan, Buffalo and Northern Illinois. Since the close loss to Ohio State, Purdue has proved just how mediocre they are losing to each and every Big 10 team with half a pulse (Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Indiana).

Game #7: 48-3 win over Kent State

Level of Difficulty: 0

Comments: Kent State is currently 3-9, last in the MAC, and managed to lose to Temple, Buffalo, and N Illinois all in the same season. Pathetic isn't a strong enough word for the Zips.

Game #8: 24-17 win over Michigan State

Level of Difficulty: 2

Comments: Had the game been in East Lansing the Buckeyes might have whiffed a 3 with this one. Michigan State played them tough, and it was a solid win, but you can't ignore the Spartans' 7-5 record which included losses to Northwesten and Iowa. To say they are anything more than a middle of the road Big 10 team this year would be disingenuous.

Game #9: 37-17 win @ Penn State

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: By far the best win of the year. Closer to a 4 than a 3, but we've got to acknowledge just how overrated the Lions were this year. Erratic QB play and an inconsistent running game made this an easy win for the Buckeyes. Hard to take anything away from OSU for this one.

Game #10: 38-17 win over Wisconsin

Level of Difficulty: 3

Comments: It's the Big 10 so no surprise that OSU feasted on another overrated team. Don't forget this was a close game until the fourth quarter. Wisconsin built it's reputation for 2007 with a big 2006 season. This year Wisconsin was nothing special, nearly losing to UNLV in the second week, and then struggling with teams like The Citadel and Iowa at home.

Game #11: 21-28 LOSS to Illinois

Level of Difficulty: 3

Comments: Illinois is talented, but very young. They were unranked and went into Ohio State's house and beat them pretty good. This game was not in doubt at all in the second half.

Game #12: 14-3 win @ Michigan

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: Usually this would have been a 4 since such an intense rivalry makes the game tougher. But then again, Michigan did lose at home to 1AA Appalachian State. That makes it half a point easier. Michigan was pathetic all year, and when OSU played them their two best offensive player (Henne and Hart) were both banged up. 3.5 is generous.

West Virginia's Schedule:

Game #1: 62-24 win over Western Michigan

Level of Difficulty: 1

Comments: W Michigan finds itself 5-7 overall and near the bottom of the MAC (what's the deal with all these MAC teams). Bottom line, if you lose to both Eastern and Central Michigan (as WMU did) it ain't an impressive win.

Game #2: 48-23 win @ Marshall

Level of Difficulty: 0

Comments: This ain't your daddy's Thundering Herd. Gone are the Randy Mosses, Chad Penningtons, and Byron Leftwiches. Marshall went 3-9 this year, which was somewhat miraculous after a horrendous 0-7 start. Gross.

Game #3: 31-14 win @ Maryland

Level of Difficulty: 2.5

Comments: Actually a win that looks better now....slightly. Maryland did beat up on Boston College pretty good, but we'd be remiss to ignore the fact that they managed only 6 wins playing conference games in a soft ACC and needed W's over Villanova and Florida International to get there.

Game #4: 48-7 win over East Carolina

Level of Difficulty: 1

Comments: 7-5 record is solid. Fact that they play in Conference USA and got SMOKED by Marshall is anything but solid. Seems like the Mountaineers play the Pirates every year, and every year its a cakewalk.

Game #5: 13-21 LOSS @ South Florida

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: Can almost excuse this one since it was the biggest football game in the history of South Florida and the Bulls have had WVU's number for a while now. BUT, South Florida's gone in the tank since then and if South fucking Florida has your number, well that ain't the stuff champions are made of.

Game #6: 55-14 win @ Syracuse

Level of Difficulty: 0.5

Comments: Woulda been a 0 but for the Orange's win at Louisville. Cuse is 2-10 and is hands down the worst team in the Big East....just as they have been for the last few years.

Game #7: 38-13 win over Mississippi State

Level of Difficulty: 3

Comments: Actually a nice win. Mississippi State hung tough to finish 7-5 in the SEC, even beating a secretly lousy Alabama team along the way. That said, the 7 wins are VERY inflated thanks to the likes of Tulane, Gardner Webb and UAB. That this is one of WVU's three best wins should tell you something.

Game #8: 31-3 win @ Rutgers

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: Another team living off a reputation built in 2006. This wasn't the same Rutgers team in 2007, currently standing fifth overall in the Big Least. The Knights did beat South Florida though....whose claim to fame is beating WVU......so not exactly sure what to do. Still, probably the second best win of the year because it was on the road.

Game #9: 38-31 win over Louisville

Level of Difficulty: 2.5

Comments: Rivalry game so that counts for something, but to be honest Louisville was awful this year. They are 2-4 in the Big Least, and 5-6 overall. Bottom line, WVU played a close game against a team that was incapable of stopping anyone on defense all year. Whoopdy Doo.

Game #10: 28-23 win @ Cincinatti

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: Definitely the best win all year, but even a 4 might be generous. After all, it's fucking Cincinati. The same Cinci team that lost to Louisville and Pittsburgh (ouch). Still, the only ranked team WVU beat all yea. Congrats boys!

Game #11: 66-21 win over UConn

Level of Difficulty: 1.5

Comments: Anyone who watched this game knows UConn had no business being anywhere near the top 25. UConn needed divine intervention to beat Louisville and Temple (!!) and hasn't beaten a team with a pulse all year. This team is currently second in the Big Least which pretty much tells you all you need to know about WVU's conference.

Game #12: Pittsburgh

Level of Difficulty: 1

Comments: First off let's remember that the Panthers are coached by Dave Wannstedt. Second of all, they are currently 4-7 overall with a loss to Navy on their resume. Third of all, they're coached by Dave Wannstedt. WVU could beat them 100-0 and I wouldn't bat an eye. This team sucks and it's in Morgantown with a national title game spot on the line. The phrase "dead man walking" comes to mind.

Well, there you have it folks. It actually is THAT BAD for both OSU and WVU. Now let the emails commence on how Hawaii's schedule is even worse, and that it's the weakest rated schedule in the nation. Once again, I emplore you readers to understand that we are NOT arguing that Hawaii's schedule is strong in any sense of the word. We are simply arguing that:

Undefeated Record (which Hawaii owns) + Very Weak Schedule (which Hawaii owns)

is greater than

One Loss Record (which OSU and WVU own) + Weak Schedule (which, as you've just see, both OSU and WVU own)

More on Hawaii  

Posted by Frazier

Fair points. First, I'd like to correct myself. Hawaii and Ohio State both have exactly ONE win over a BCS top 25 team. Yes Ohio State also had Illinois on the schedule. The same Illinois team that whooped them up and down their own field.

Now on to the other points. First of all, it is imperative that people understand that Hawaii is not "our" team here at the323. We are not from Hawaii nor are we Hawaii fans. Actually we live in Boston, so there is no bias here whatsoever.

Second, I never meant to imply that the Big 10 was worse than the WAC. That is simply absurd. BUT what everyone seems to forget is that Hawaii has one less loss than Ohio State. Yes the Big 10 schedule was better than the WAC, but in order to put Ohio State ahead of Hawaii you would have to make the argument that the Big 10 was sufficiently better to overcome a loss. I just don't see it. The Big 10 was down this year.....very down. Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, all traditional powers, all down this year. Are those teams better than Boise State, Nevada, and Fresno State? Yes. Are they far and away better, so much so to make up for Ohio State losing to Illinois at home? I contend no, and there is definitely an argument to be made there.

We mention the SoS of WVU and Ohio St. to point out that it is not necessarily strong enough to make up for a..... LOSS! They lost a game. Don't forget this. Hawaii did not.

We're saying: Perfect Record + Lousy SoS > One loss + mediocre SoS.

If not now, when? If Hawaii can't play for the title this year, when so many crazy things have happened, and if BCS opponents refuse to schedule Hawaii. Then we are basically saying that it is impossible for Hawaii to win a title. It simply can't be done. Well, that is not fair, and is the final nail in the coffin for the BCS, a system obviously designed to reward the powerful over the weak.

Third, no means are we trying to hide the fact that Hawaii's schedule was the worst in college football. It was awful, we know this. And I think we've made it clear that in ANY other year they would be nowhere near the national title game. But this season there are no dominant teams that ALSO have a great schedule. Every team from the BCS conferences has at least one loss, and those that have only the single blemish (Kansas, WVU, and Ohio St notable) have a significantly weaker schedule that you'd expect from a BCS conference team. Bottom line, it's a perfect storm for Hawaii this year. Any other year and I'd agree that the team with the weakest schedule in the nation should be nowhere near the title game, but 2007 has been unlike any other year ever. Why not give Hawaii a shot when nobody else has been able to do what they're one win away from doing.....win every game they are supposed to!

Finally, we're picking on Ohio St. because this is a team that was obliterated in the title game last year, doesn't have an impressive win, LOST a game, and will very likely play for the title.

We also pick on WVU because they will likely play for the title as well, and are equally undeserving. The Big East is worse than the Big Ten, and South Florida is certainly no better than Illinois.

Notice we haven't talked trash about Missouri at all, that isn't an accident.

More on the Case for Hawaii  

Posted by Frazier

A quick note:

1) People want to harp on Hawaii's schedule, but they have a hard time scheduling people to play them. They are good enough to beat you, but not well respected enough to be worth beating. No one wants a piece of them. There's nothing they can do about their conference, and if major teams don't want to play them (Michigan, I'm looking your direction) it's hard to get on their case.

2) Ohio St. BEAT one ranked team. We don't really care how many ranked teams you play if you lose to them.

3) Washington beating Boise St. was an UPSET. It happens. Oregon beating USC wasn't a "bad" win just because USC lost to Stanford. Neither is the Boise St. win somehow meaningless because they had one bad game. Jeeze, they had a single loss in almost two full seasons AND a BCS win, maybe we should give them a little respect.

4) The Big Ten AND the Big East are weak conferences. Don't let the names on the front of the jersey's fool you.

The Case for Hawaii Cont'd  

Posted by Walter

SBH argues that "you gotta earn respect in college football".........

Well SBH I would contend that your statement applies to only half the teams in college football, namely those not in a BCS conference. To state that Hawaii needs to EARN respect is definitely a fair point. However, I would point out that neither OSU nor WVU have earned anything this year, rather they've had respect thrust upon them by virtue of their name recognition.

First let's take Ohio State - Honestly, how can you argue that Ohio State has EARNED anything less than a Rose Bowl berth. Yes, they won the Big 10 which carries an automatic BCS berth, but Ohio State's season consisted of games against a miserable Big 10 and a nonconference schedule including Youngstown State (1AA), Akron (2nd to last place in the MAC), Washington (last place in the Pac-10), and Kent State (last place in the MAC ). As of right now exactly ONE team on Ohio State's schedule is in the BCS top 25 (Wisconsin). Guess what, same goes for Hawaii (Boise State). People are killing Hawaii, and rightly so, for their weak schedule, yet a team like Ohio State does not get the same treatment.

Now let's look at West Virginia - Same thing with Ohio State. It is simply impossible to argue that the Mountaineers have EARNED anything. They waltzed through a terrible Big East and played as soft a non conference schedule as you'll ever see (Western Michigan, Marshall, East Carolina, Mississippi State).

Don't give me the argument that teams have to EARN the right to be in the title game. Hawaii has to earn it, teams like Ohio State and West Virginia don't.........and THAT is a major problem.

The Case for Hawaii  

Posted by Walter

"Sometimes you lose sight of the forest through the trees"

- ancient Chinese Proverb

Why is it that human beings have such a prediliction for the difficult? What is our aversion to the simple answer? Is it cynicism? The unavoidable thoughts that something so easy cannot possibly be correct or, dare I say, rewarding. It is competition? The possibly endless yet definitely fruitless quest for a more perfect solution. Or is it simply stupidity? That undefinable quality which incorporates a little bit of everything that makes humans simultaneously so great and so maddening.

We here at the323 are certainly not the ones to answer these weighty questions, but we'd definitely like to suggest the BCS as the poster child for this syndrome. After all, how else can one explain a species that can compose symphonies, master space travel, and invent TIVO, yet not conjure a system capable of providing a true champion for its collegiate football teams? The BCS has taken something so simple, so pure, so human, and turned it into a math problem. The goal is not longer to pit the two best teams against each other. It's to prove that we don't even need to play the games. We've become so smart as humans that we already know what is going to happen.

Well we here at the323 contend that clairvoyance and football don't mix. That the phrase "any given sunday" still means something. That Flutie to Phelan, the Statute of Liberty, and Armanti Edwards are not merely outliers on an otherwise predictable linear curve. That while USC, Ohio State, LSU and Oklahoma may be some of the sturdiest trees in college football, they are but merely part of a greater forest, one which we must not lose sight of.

But all hope is not lost. Like the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars, college football puritans have a single hope (and an ironic one at that): The University of Hawaii Warriors. The same Warriors who eschew traditional notions of running the ball and playing defense, in favor of a wide open passing attack that would bring a grin to the face of Don Coryell himself. Yes, the undefeated Warriors are the only ones who can save us from ourselves. Not OSU, nor WVU, nor the litany of other teams praying that the magical BCS formula tabs them as one of the two best teams in America. Only Hawaii, who has earned the right to play for #1 by simply not losing. The sad thing is, though, they'll almost certainly never get the chance to redeem us all. Not unless we do something about it! So without further ado, the323 presents The Case for Hawaii, our first installment in a week long campaign to get Hawaii into the national title game.

I. Hawaii Could Actually Win the Title Game

Who thought Appalachian State could win at Michigan? How about Boise State over Oklahoma? What about Duke over anyone???? If nothing else, the past 12 months have proved that football, unlike any other sport, is prone to unpredictability. The so called "best" team doesn't always win, especially in college. The NCAA should be embracing this phenomenon just as it does on the basketball court, rather than shunning it as it does on the gridiron. There isn't a person who watched the game that doesn't recall Boise State's statute of liberty play with remarkable detail. How many people could say the same for Ohio State's game winning touchdown against Miami in 2002? Or any play from last year's title game? Maybe those games were great, maybe they weren't, but they weren't moments. Moments come from a team that has both the will to lay everything on the line to win, and the ability to execute. Boise State had it. Appalachian State had it. Hawaii has it.

In an otherwise forgettable college football year, Hawaii has the chance to do something that nobody, ever, will forget.

After all, if Hawaii played West Virginia or Ohio State tomorrow what would the spread be? I'd be willing to wager that it wouldn't be as high as some of the other title game tilts we've seen (Miami-Nebraska in 2001 comes to mind). In fact, didn't we have a double digit underdog win the national title just last season? The bottom line is that Hawaii represents somewhat of an unknown quantity, and while a point spread may not favor them, anyone who thinks they wouldn't give their opponent one heck of a game is fooling themselves.

Could Hawaii beat Ohio St? Yes. Could they beat WVU or Missouri? Yes. So why aren't they in the conversation?

II. Hawaii is the ONLY Undefeated Team

Last time I checked, winning games was still the only thing that mattered. No Hawaii doesn't have any five star recruits on their roster, and no they don't have a whole offense of first round NFL draft picks, but the Warriors have something no other team in the nation has: a zero in the loss column. Who cares what teams they've played. In 2007 Hawaii has been the only team in America that has won every game that they were supposed to win. LSU, OSU, Oklahoma, and West Virginia all lost games to opponents they were favored to beat. Not Hawaii. They've simply played their game and taken care of business with every opponent brought before them. Does Ohio State really get credit for losing at home to an unranked team simply because they play in the Big 10? Why is it OK for BCS teams to lose games they are supposed to win, but not OK for Hawaii to win every game they play?

III. But What About the Schedule!

What's that you say Ohio State and West Virginia? Hawaii's schedule is a joke? Must be fun throwing stones from those glass houses. Truth be told by the end of the year Hawaii will have exactly as many victories over a top 25 team as either OSU or WVU, and Boise State might be a tougher matchup than either Wisconsin or Cincinnati. Let's take a quick look at how Hawaii's top 3 wins stack up against those of Ohio State and West Virginia:

Hawaii's three best wins - Fresno State (7-4), @ Nevada (5-6) and Boise State (10-2)

Ohio State's three best wins - @ Penn State (8-4), Wisconsin (9-3), and @ Michigan (8-4)

West Virginia's three best wins - @ Rutgers (7-4), Louisville (5-6), and @ Cincinatti (9-3)

Now are we here to argue that Hawaii's three wins are better? No. But they are pretty darn close, and there is definitely NOT enough of a disparity to justify putting either of those one loss teams ahead of undefeated Hawaii.

IV. If Not Now, When?

It's not every year that the BCS is presented with a situation like this. Truth be told, the stars are aligned. America is ready for Hawaii. Every team in American has been given one, sometimes two (LSU!) chances to prove they want to play for the national title. No team has shown that they want it. Every team in the country has serious deficiencies, whether it be a bad loss, a weak conference, etc. If an undefeated team like Hawaii can't get into the big show this year, the NCAA might as well anoint every team outside of the BCS conferences Division 1AA schools. If the BCS isn't willing to be flexible and open minded in a year where not a single other team deserves to be there (outside of Mizzou if they beat OK), the WAC, MWC, MAC, and every other conference that doesn't have its own TV contract might as well start trying to get dropped to 1AA now....at least then they'll be allowed to play for a championship.

V. The BCS Needs Hawaii

The BCS is holding on by a thread. An OSU-WVU title game will almost certainly be the straw that breaks the camel's back. If the unthinkable should happen, there will be many fans across the country who simply won't watch college football's championship game. And who can blame them. An OSU-WVU game would underscore just how arbitrary and idiotic the BCS has become. Imagine if that game is played two days after Hawaii lays a 45-21 hurting on some other BCS conference school in a lesser bowl game (watch out LSU). Wouldn't some of the pollsters feel obligated to give Hawaii some love, even if it meant spitting in the face of the system we've all sold our souls to? The BCS is entering territory as an unmitigated disaster that few have entered before. Unless the Hawaii miracle comes to fruition, we could very well look back on the BCS the same way we think about Crystal Pepsi, the Hubbel Telescope, and Britney Spears wearing a two piece in her comeback attempt.

Quick Hitch...  

Posted by Frazier

Ok, lots more madness. I just wanted to make the following observations:

- Virginia Tech is officially "lurking" right now. They are WVU and Mizzou losses away from potentially being in the drivers' seat.

- Kansas is going to get shelled for last nights' game, and it's unfair. Look, they were obviously frazzled in the big environment. That being said, I've watched a lot of their games, and they made mistakes (ugly interceptions, missed field goals, costly penalties) that they haven't made ALL year.

- Mizzou deserves credit for being a really underrated team, but if Kansas had shown up in the first half, they really could have won that game. I think the Jayhawks deserve credit, and I'm going to be pissed when this really talented team is relegated to some third-rate bowl because they didn't win. It's just unfair. Right now, they would beat Texas. Book it.

- I still love the guts of Todd Reesing. He certainly was not himself last night. He made some costly errors, and was throwing high (a sure sign of nerves) all night. Also, Mizzou did a great job of cutting down his throwing lanes, which he relies on due to his height. Still, Reesing battled tough, and refused to let his team quit. They were a defensive stop or recovered onside kick away from stealing this one, and it was because Reesing would not be denied. When the going got tough, so did Todd. He'll be hanging his head this morning, and he certainly made a lot of mistakes, but the guy has a huge heart, and he could start for me any time.

The BCS Crystal Ball  

Posted by Frazier

So who's going to play for the title? Who deserves it? Will the game end up sucking?

Well, friggin read the post!

The Team: LSU
The Path: Win out (Arkansas, SEC title game).
Chances to get there: Gotta like it. Only thing standing between them and the Super Dome is themselves.
Why they should play for the title: Let's see, the best team from the best conference? The fact that they play defense, run the ball, pass the ball, and have good coaching and special teams. The only high-ranked team to live up to expectations. We thought they'd be one of the best and most talented in the country. They delivered. -Frazier
Why they shouldn't: Best team from the best conference? Woah there, back that truck up. The SEC has been good, but is it really the slam dunk best conference? Outside of LSU, only the Georgia Bulldogs have less than three losses on the year (and the Tigers have yet to play Mark Richt's squad). The Big 12, on the other hand, boasts 4 teams with under three losses and could potentially end the year with 2 one loss teams. Although Kansas and Missourri play each other this weekend, if Mizzou wins a classic who's to say a rematch shouldn't be in the cards? -Walter
The Verdict: 9 JoePa's (measured in legitimacy and named for the man who could go undefeated and yet not sniff a title) deserving, and so close they can smell it.

The Team: Kansas
The Path: Just win, baby (Missouri, Big 12 title game).
Chances to get there: Tough games, but they control their destiny.
Why they should play for the title: This one's easy. Kansas is the only, repeat ONLY, BCS team to do what what sounds so simple. Namely, win the games you're supposed to win!. LSU lost to an inferior Kentucky team. Ohio State to Illinois. Oklahoma twice to Colorado and Texas Tech. The list goes on. Kansas may not have a signature win, but perhaps more importantly, they are the only team that can claim not to have a signature loss. -Walter
Why they shouldn't: The Big 12 is weak. Winning means they are better than an unknown Mizzou team, and better than either a crummy Texas team, or the Sooners who have only shown they are better than said Mizzou. In any other conference they'd have multiple losses. -Frazier
The Verdict: 9 JoePa's, if you're undefeated in a BCS conference, you deserve it.

The Team: Missouri
The Path: Just win (Kansas, Big 12 Title game).
Chances to get there: No one will hand it to them, but they can take it.
Why they should play for the title: Only loss was to Oklahoma in Norman, not a bad loss, has a good non-conference win (Illinois) and can avenge that loss. Dynamic offense, and beating Kansas is another feather in the cap. -Frazier
Why they shouldn't: The Tigers' "big" win was against Illinois before they became the wrecking ball that stormed Columbus last week. Since then the Tigers have feasted on the incredibly weak Big 12 North, and its still unclear just how impressive a win over Kansas would be. Oh yeah, and that Oklahoma loss is looking worse and worse by the day. -Walter
The Verdict: 8 JoePa's, control their fate, but the conference sucks.

The Team: Ohio St.
The Path: Kansas-Mizzou winner loses in the title game AND, LSU or WVU lose.
Chances to get there: Pretty good. They need some chips to fall, but it's certainly possible.
Why they should play for the title: The Buckeyes are consistent if nothing else. They have a great defense, a steady, conservative offense, and are well coached. They deserve.......ahhhhhh I can't do it. Fuck Ohio State. Fuck Jim Tressell. Thank God Illinois beat them and (hopefully kept them out of the title game). The Big 10 is a joke, surpassed only by OSU's nonconference schedule. If they somehow make the title game I am boycotting it. No joke. -Walter
Why they shouldn't: Because they got blown out in the title game last year, because they lost to Illinois, because the Big 10 sucks, because their non-conference wins (Washington? Please.) are pathetic. -Frazier
The Verdict: 5 JoePa's, ugh, not terribly worthy, not exactly assured.

The Team: West Virginia
The Path: Win out (UConn, Pitt) and Kansas-Mizzou winner loses, OR LSU loses.
Chances to get there: Pretty good. Big 12 title game will be rarified air for either team.
Why they should play for the title: They played one bad game months ago. They have a brilliant coach, a dynamic offense, and a vastly underrated defense. Their only getting better, and the Big East has a lot more depth than anyone gives them credit for. -Frazier
Why they shouldn't: They've beaten who exactly? Their signature win is over Cincinatti (wait is this basketball season), and they got pasted by a South Florida team that is reeling right now. General rule, if you have to beat UConn to win your conference and it's not in basketball, you're conference isn't very good. -Walter
The Verdict: 6 JoePa's, they definitely have a chance, but are they worthy?

The Team: Georgia
The Path: Beat Ga. Tech, have Tenn. lose to Kentucky, beat LSU in SEC title game, Kansas-Mizzou both lose, WVU lose, Arizona St. lose.
Chances to get there: Ok, a long shot for sure. But, if Kentucky wins, they can control part, the Big 12 is reasonable, WVU could def. choke, and ASU may lose Thursday.
Why they should play for the title: You know who the Bulldogs are? They are Colorado from 2001. Remember that Buffalo team that had a couple early losses, then DOMINATED down the stretch tot he point everybody knew they were the 2nd best team in the country but the early losses kept them out of the title game? Remember that? Remember who played for the title that year? It was Nebraska who was demolished by Miami. We all now Colorado would have fared better, but nobody had the guts to put them in the game. -Walter
Why they shouldn't: Remember when they got housed by Tennessee? A loss to a lousy South Carolina team? More proof that the SEC is totally overrated. -Frazier
The Verdict: 4 JoePa's, deserving? Maybe, but near impossible.

The Team: Arizona St.
The Path: Win (USC, Arizona) Have LSU, Kansas-Mizzou, and WVU all lose.
Chances to get there: Once again, it's going to take a miracle.
Why they should play for the title: One-loss to a very good Oregon team in a very underrated (as always) Pac-10? They have the best loss of anybody, and play in the second best conference in America. Frankly, they should be ranked much higher. -Frazier
Why they shouldn't: Talk about overrated, how bout the Pac-10. Arizona State will be hanging their case on wins over (potentially) a USC team that lost to Stanford at home, and a California team that couldn't beat Mission Viejo high school right now. -Walter
The Verdict: 4.5 JoePa's, schedule-wise, worthy as anyone, but still a longshot.

The Team: Oklahoma
The Path: Win (Ok. State, Big 12 title) have LSU lose (not to Georgia), ASU, WVU, and possibly V. Tech lose.
Chances to get there: At least they control a little, but they need a ton of breaks.
Why they should play for the title: Well to be fair they did lose their starting QB in the loss to Texas Tech. And also to be fair, if Oklahoma has a chance to play for the title it means they'd be facing the Buckeyes who they would absolutely destroy. -Walter
Why they shouldn't: Because they suck. Because they JUST lost to Texas Tech. Because their conference is overrated, and all they'll prove is they are better than Mizzou, basically. -Frazier
The Verdict: 3 JoePa's, it's getting dicey.

The Team: Hawai'i
The Path: Let's see... Win out (Boise St. and Washington) have LSU, V. Tech, Kansas-Mizzou lose to a 3-loss Oklahoma (having Texas lose as well), ASU, USC, Georgia, all lose, get some computer love and pray.
Chances to get there: A zillion to one? Two zillion?
Why they should play for the title: You play the schedule you have. Great offense. They are trying non-conference with Washington and UNLV. They deserve a shot. -Frazier
Why they shouldn't: You play the schedule you've got, but you can't schedule all cream puffs and then cry when nobody respects them. Also, we've seen this act before. Hawaii dominates their weak schedule and then comes to the mainland to play a BCS conference school and gets whacked. I ain't buying it and they shouldn't be selling it. -Walter
The Verdict: 1 JoePa. People do love undefeated teams.

The Team: Virginia Tech
The Path: Win (UVA, BC) have LSU (not to Georgia), WVU, Kansas-Mizzou, ASU all lose.
Chances to get there: 2 of those happening is certainly possible, maybe 3, but 4 is a lot. AND, they have to beat my beloved Hoos.
Why they should play for the title: Their only losses were to teams ranked #2 at the time. So what if one of them was at home. Ohio State lost to an unranked team on their turf and they still have a shot. -Walter
Why they shouldn't be there: Because they got absolutely pasted by LSU, and they are totally overrated, as is their mediocre conference. -Frazier.
The Verdict: 2 JoePa's. I mean, it COULD happen, right?

The Team: USC
The Path: Win (ASU, UCLA) have LSU (not to Georgia), WVU, Kansas-Mizzou, Oklahoma (to Ok. State, obviously) V. Tech and possibly Georgia (to Ga. Tech) all lose.
Chances to get there: That was hard to even figure out. Chances are worse.
Why they should play for the title: Winning the second best conference in the country, with a proven coach, an incredibly skilled team, a great defense, and playing hot down the stretch. They would probably beat Ohio St. in that title game. -Frazier
Why they shouldn't be there: Because I'm pretty sure the universe would explode if a team that lost at home to Stanford wound up winning the BCS title game. -Walter
The Verdict: 1 JoePa. Big name, but nothing else.

The Team: Texas
The Path: Win (A&M, Big 12 title) have Oklahoma lose to Ok. State (to get there) have LSU, WVU, ASU, V. Tech, Georgia (to Ga. Tech) and probably USC all lose.
Chances to get there: Um, none.
Why they should play for the title: Because if it gets down to Texas, that means nobody else wanted it. Plus the Buckeyes and the Longhorns played some pretty good games the past two years. It would be interesting TV right.....right? -Walter
Why they shouldn't be there: Because they are terrible, as is their conference, and they haven't beat anyone with a pulse all season. The Big 12 game would be the only half-decent win, but against a team that may be awful. -Frazier.
The Verdict: Half a Pa.

Teams that stand less than no chance:
BC, Florida, Oregon, Virginia. All probably mathematically possible, but so far-fetched we can't even imagine it.

Disclaimer: We think the math on these are correct, but it got pretty complicated.

Note: Yes, the BCS title game, the culminating moment of the entire college football season, will probably end up being terrible. BUT take solace! Years from now we can all look back on the 2007 season fondly because it is, and will always be, the year Notre Dame sucked worse than they've ever sucked before. Some things......are just worth the wait!

Student Body Right... Student Body Wrong...  

Posted by Frazier

I was right about............

(1) Beanie Wells I knew that Tressel wouldn't make the same mistake twice, and he didn't. Instead of letting Boeckman toss jump balls, and throw into double coverage, he just put the rock in the big man's gut and let him get to work. Wells is surprisingly quick for such a big man, so quick in fact that it almost comes as a surprise when he trucks a safety, or simply brushes off a db. That being said, he's a little fragile for such a bruiser...... (2) LSU's defense This unit was exposed yet again on Saturday. The immortal Brent Schaeffer run and passed around these overhyped wannabes. Excellent O-line play (including Mike Oher, the subject of the fabulous book "The Blind Side") and a mobile quarterback prevented the Tigers from doing much defensively. The linebackers and secondary are entirely average when the big men up front don't dominate. Just something to keep in mind....(3) Oklahoma being a bunch of bums. I know I picked them last week, but that had more to do with me being wrong about Texas Tech's resiliency than anything else. I've been burying the Sooners all season, and my faith was rewarded. I am just thrilled that we won't have to watch them stink out the joint in the title game, although I would have happily won huge sums of money betting against them.....

I was wrong about..............

(1) Indiana and I couldn't be happier. At the beginning of the year I figured the loss of their coach, and the pressure of taking the next step would be too much to ask. Needless to say the Hoosiers have played tough, disciplined football, and have lived their late leaders admonition "Don't quit". I was absolutely rooting for them this weekend, and happily celebrated the huge win. Way to go guys! Somewhere, coach Hep is very very proud....(2) Boston College. This ain't Tom O'Briens bunch, that's for sure! I predicted from the very beginning that this team would win early, and then blow their season down the stretch. With a last-second win at Virginia Tech my theory took a hit, but then consecutive losses to unranked teams made my prediction look deadly accurate. However, Matt Ryan would not be denied and pulled his team through. Another loss and I would have nailed this one, but credit to Jags and Ryan for changing the tone in Chestnut Hill......... (3) West Virginia's explosiveness Yikes. This team is sniffing around the national title, and they couldn't put away Cincy when both Slaton AND White played extremely well? That is cause for concern in Morgantown. When WVU turns the ball over, they just aren't very good. Even with Slaton running well, this team isn't breaking as many explosive plays as in the past, and they aren't the best at sustaining drives.

Student body right........student body wrong  

Posted by Walter

I was right about..............

(1) Texas Tech taking advantage of a suddenly shaky Sooner secondary. Going into the season, offensive line and the secondary were supposed to be Oklahoma's mainstays on each side of the football. The offensive line has held up its part dominating from day 1, but after a fast start to say that the Sooner secondary has fallen apart would be an understatement. Graham Harrell and Texas Tech repeatedly took advantage of sloppy play by Oklahoma defensive backs (missing jams at the line, taking poor angles to the ball, and most of all POOR TACKLING) en route to a monster offensive showing. We also learned that Oklahoma's loss at Colorado was not a fluke. The Sooners are a BAD road team (see also their struggles with Iowa State in Ames). Texas Tech, on the other hand, is a beast at home. Perhaps this outcomes shouldn't have been such a shocker after all......The embarrasment that has become the (2) Michigan Wolverines. But let's be clear on one thing, it wasn't the defense's fault. Quite the contrary. I've been one to rip Ron English these past two seasons, but his unit put forth a heroic effort against the Buckeyes. With the Wolverine offense consistently going three and out (more on this in a moment), the UM defense bent (200+ rushing yards to Beanie Wells) but didn't break (only 14 points allowed). The defense kept them in the game. Now as for the offense, I wonder if anyone has ever gone from fringe first round pick to out of the draft, because that's what Chad Henne looked like on Saturday. I haven't seen such poor quarterbacking in a big game since Peyton Manning was throwing 4 picks to the Pats a few years back. Henne came back for his senior year for that game and then he went out and stunk it up. Henne should be embarrassed by his performance.......The (3) Indiana Hoosiers....that's right. As my friend Brian can attest to, we were all set to pick Purdue -2.5 to win at Bloomington Saturday (for recreational purposes only of course) until I heard the ESPN gameday story about how Terry Hoeppner's widow was going to be giving the pregame speech. Frankly, there was no way Indiana was losing that game, and not only did Purdue not cover they lost outright.

I was wrong about.......

(1) The Georgia offense. Perhaps I was a bit premature in annointing the Bulldogs unstoppable. Sure, Moreno and Stafford are young horses to build a football team around, but as we learned on Saturday, even against a bad defense they are still too young and inexperienced to be immune from an off day. There is simply no way those two shouldn't have combined for close to 400 yards against a porous Wildcat defense (in reality they netted close to 200), but alas they didn't. The good news for Georgia is that team still won, despite off days from two of their biggest stars. That is a mark of a good team, and bodes well for big things in 2008......The (2) Cincinatti Bearacats defense. I didn't give the Cincy boys any chance of stopping Pat White and company, and while they didn't they did slow them down enough to have a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter. Pat White is a tremendous player, but Cincinati deserves a lot of credit for harrassing him into a couple of mistakes. While the game wasn't really ever in doubt, it wasn't the smackdown I thought it would be (especially after the Oregon loss made style points imperative for the Mountaineers). Again, its a sign of a good team when you can win without your best stuff, but before we go killing the Mountaineer offense, lets give credit to the Cinci D........Doubting the (3) BC Eagles! Way to go boys. I thought you might have that one in you but I was too afraid of the jinx to predict it. You've made this weekend's game against Miami all but inconsequential as far as the national scene is concerned, but you've made it a hell of a lot more fun for the Chestnut Hill faithful who will be there to cheer you on. On a side note, it has gotten to be almost ridiculous what Matt Ryan is doing at the end of these games. Playing with wideouts who would struggle to make a CFL roster let alone an NFL one he consistently raises his play when the stakes are the highest. I can't wait to see what he can do with some legitimate weapons on the outisde.....sadly for us BC fans that will have to wait until he's gone from college.

10 Things I Saw  

Posted by Walter

The best throw of the day, and perhaps the prettiest of the whole year, belonged to Cincinatti's (1) Ben Mauk, who threw a beautiful scoring strike into the right corner of the endzone on a dead sprintout. Anyone who watched that game, or saw highlights, knows exactly what play I am talking about......For all the hype and hooplah, the (2) Michigan-Ohio State game was just terribly played. For anyone who wondered just how bad the Big 10 actually was this year, that game should serve ample notice. Stat of the game, the two starting QB's (Henne and Boeckman) combined to complete just 18 of 47 passes for a paltry 118 yards. Seriously, I'd rather see Hawaii in the BCS title game than Ohio State......Speaking of potential title game QB's, (3) Pat White, we all know you can run the ball, but try holding on to it one time!......Last year you may recall me gushing about Florida hybrid WR/TE Cornelius Ingram and his superb combination of size and cacthing ability. Well, I think I've found another deep sleeper in Illinois WR (4) Jeff Cumberland. Although the 6'5'' 244 lbs. sophomore hasn't put up a lot of numbers this year, he was simply amazing Saturday against Northwestern catching 4 balls for 131 yards and a TD. Most impressive, though, was how fluid and athletic the big man looked in making several tough catches. This Illinois team is going to be something special next year......As good as Cumberland was, though, the best pass catcher I saw all weekend was Mizzou freshman (5) Jeremy Maclin. They say he can run the 40 in 4.2 seconds. After watching him against KState, 9 catches for 143 yards and 2 TD to go along with several unreal kick returns, I believe it.......You don't have to be a football genius to see that (6) Matt Ryan is special. His numbers may not be as great as you want them to be, and his INT totals are up, but it is undeniable that when the game is on the line he has the rare ability to elevate his game to an atmospheric level.......Is the (7) Big 10 finally ready to step into the 21st century? Don't laugh, bear with me here. It started 10 years ago when Joe Tiller brought his spread offense to the Big 10 and put up some historic offensive numbers with Drew Brees. It was continued with guys like the late Randy Walker, Ron Zook and, gulp, even Joe Paterno installing spread offenses. And now it appears that the balance of power in the conference is about to shift, for the first time in....well ever, to some teams that eschew the 3 yards and a cloud of dust mentality that has basically become a conference mantra. We all see what is happening in Illinois, a team that will no doubt be favored to win the Big 10 in 2008, but in terms of returning talent the second best team might be the Michigan State Spartans, another team committed to the putting up points in the passing game. With traditional powers like Michigan and Iowa in disarray, and Ohio State still stinging from their blowout loss to Florida (which will be magnified if the Buckeyes make it to the BCS title game this year and get blown out again), I think it is clear that for the first time ever the winds are blowing in a different direction in the Midwest......Does it get any better than (8) Chase Daniel vs. (9) Todd Reesing this Saturday? Those guys are great players, great kids, and great stories, and, assuming the Arrowhead Stadium scoreboard can keep up, should meet and play an epic game on Saturday.......The best story of the day, by far, had to be what happened at South Bend Indiana, where the (10) Indiana Hoosiers, buoyed by an inspirational speech from the widow of their late coach Terry Hoeppner, managed to pull one out against their hated rivals Purdue. What happened to Coach Hep and the Indiana football program was a tragedy, but the way that team and community has pulled together has been nothing short of inspirational. Mrs. Hoeppner, whose connection to the team has only strengthened since her husband's death, put it best when she opined that through each other both she and the Indiana football team maintain their connection to Coach Hoeppner. Sometimes football can really be a beautiful thing.

Week 12 Picks - Frazier  

Posted by Frazier

Clemson -7 vs. Boston College for $10

Awesome, two masters of origami matching up in a must-win game. Meaning, no matter how badly they both want to choke, one of them must win! I don't like either of these teams, but BC has really folded. I am going to stick to my preseason thinking, and predict that the Eagles collapse reaches epic proportions. I think they are a little beat-up right now, and Clemson has a nice, balanced offense. If the Tigers score early, it could cause BC to simply fold. Let's call it Clemson 31-21.

West Virginia -6.5 over @ Cincinnati for $20

WVU has been a little Jekyll and Hyde this year. I blame Steve Slaton. Pat White has officially put this team on his back, and Slaton just isn't the player he was last year. I don't know if he's lost a step, or he's battling injuries, or he tried to bulk up and lost explosion. But something has been wrong all year. That being said, I don't trust Cincinnati much at all. Beating UConn was nice and all, but they've had some inexplicably bad games themselves. I feel like Rodriguez has a few tricks up his sleeves. Let's call it Mountaineers, 34-21.

Oklahoma -9.5 over Texas Tech for $20

Leach and company have yet to really take down one of the beasts. They can make a game interesting, but they can't get over the edge. Also, that vaunted aerial attack has a history of disappearing against teams that can play disciplined defense. Now, the Sooners have been missing plenty of tackles, but I think Stoops has them focused for this one. The Big Man is right, Oklahoma could end this one in a hurry. I think they do, 45-17.

Ohio State -4 over @ Michigan for $20

Ohio State's offense is significantly better than Michigan's defense. Which is kind of saying something. But if the Wolverines struggled with the Badger's offense, they are not going to enjoy the Beanie Wells show. Jim Tressel has too many wins to ignore the fact that he put the ball in the air way too often against Illinois. Nope, Wells will tote the rock and Michigan doesn't have anyone who can stop him. I think Ohio St's defense and the Michigan offense play to a stalemate, but that the Buckeyes beat up a weak Wolverine unit. It's Bucky, 31-20.

@ Georgia -8 over Kentucky for $30

Kentucky was a nice story, but that's all they are now. Since when did beating Vanderbilt allow you to sneak back into the rankings? Georgia can play some defense, and Woodson has returned to earth. Moreno is running like a man possessed, and Kentucky has held two teams below 20 points all season, Florida Atlantic and Eastern Kentucky. Two of the worst teams imaginable. Um, Georgia is going to score a lot. A real lot. If Woodson plays out of his mind, they cover, if he's mortal, they get blown out by possibly the hottest team in the country. I've got a feeling he ain't a deity. Bulldogs big, 43-28.

Last week: 3-2

Season record: 27-26-2

Winnings to date: Minus forty. Yeah, that Michigan game killed me.

Picks - Walter  

Posted by Walter

BC +7 over @ Clemson

Ugh how can I reconcile my two favorite things in College Football? The BC Eagles versus Cullen Harper (that's right I haven't forgotten). Most people may not realize, but this game should decide the ACC first team QB (as if that really mattered). Anyways, I think both teams play well, with the QB's being the difference makers. Matt Ryan is the better pro prospect, but Harper has the better talent around him in this game. There will be lots of points scored in this one, enough to keep the score closer than it should be. Clemson hasn't won the ACC in a long time. They take a major step in front of the home crowd, but BC makes them earn it. Give me BC with the cover (.....still hoping for the win), 35-32 for $10.

West Virginia -6.5 over @ Cincinati

This is actually a HUGE game with major national title implications. Bear with me on this one........West Virginia is currently 6th in the BCS rankings, which means they need to jump 4 teams to get into the title game. BUT, and it's a HUGE, ASTRONOMIC but, look at the teams ahead of them. #2 Oregon has already lost, they are out. The next three teams, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missourri, all play each other! At the very least, 2 of those 3 teams will lose. They have to. So with Oregon out of the picture, and two of those three teams guaranteed to be out of the picture, West Virginia's 6th ranking is, in actuality, a #3 ranking. I am not sure people realize that the Mountaineers are an Okie State or Texas Tech upset away from being in prime position to go to the show....and that's assuming LSU handles Arkansas and whoever they get in the SEC title game. You can be sure Rich Rodriguez knows that. And you can be sure he knows at this time of year style points matter. WVU big, 38-24 for $20.

@ Texas Tech +9.5 over Oklahoma

I may regret this one. In fact, you'll know within 5 minutes if the Raiders have any chance of staying with the Sooners. Not sure why I am going with Tech, just a hunch. But the Raiders are a much better team at home, and I am not certain the Oklahoma secondary, or any secondary for that matter, has an answer for Mike Crabtree. Tech should just huck it up to him 20 times and see what happens. Back to title implications, if Oklahoma holds serve against Tech and Okie State, they will pretty much set up a Big 12 title game against Mizzou or Kansas for a shot at the national title game. And you know what, they will have earned it too, Colorado loss be damned. Still, it won't come to that. Oklahoma may still win the Big 12 with 2 losses, but their national title hopes die on the field at Lubbock. Tech in a shocker 34-31 for $10.

Ohio State -4 over @ Michigan

So explain this to me. Chad Henne, Mike Hart and Jake Long haven't been able to beat Ohio State in three years. They spent all summer thinking about the Buckeyes. The obsessed about them so much that they dropped two straight to open the year. Then they beat up on the creampuffs that are the Big 10. Then they get blown out by Wisconsin because they were clearly looking ahead to OSU. How does this add up to Michigan being in this game? Hart and Henne weren't good enough to beat the Buckeyes the past three years, they ain't good enough now. I understand that Michigan has basically put all their eggs in this single basket, but that's no way to play a football game. Lloyd Carr coaches tight. Henne sucks as usual. And Mike Hart gives every iota of effort in his body to come up just short. Sound familiar? Yeah so does the result. OSU with an easier than it looks 27-20 win for $10.

@ Georgia -8 over Kentucky

Woah. Ding ding ding. We have a winner. Eight points? Isn't this the same Kentucky team that has lost three of its last 6 games? And isn't this the Georgia team that has exploded recently, scoring 40 points in three straight blowout wins including victories over Florida and Auburn? Look, I don't know who Knowshon Moreno is either, or where he hid his spaceship, but as long as he lines up in the backfield for the Dawgs, good things happen. Unless they need him back on his home planet before kickoff on Saturday, Kentucky is in for a looooooong afternoon. After all, Georgia needs some style points (and some luck with a TN choke) to get to the SEC title game and a shot at the BCS title. Georgia absolutely HUGE, 45-17 for $50.

Quick Hitch...  

Posted by Frazier

Wanted to comment quickly on the Oregon-Arizona tilt. I think I learned three things from this game.

1: Antoine Cason is as advertised. He was fantastic, returning a pick and a punt for scores. Great effort by a great player. I know some NFL teams don't love him, but he's a smart player, and he'll be a steal for whoever drafts him.

2: Dennis Dixon deserved to be the Heisman front-runner. Without him, the Ducks looked lost offensively. Oregon would have been better served if Dixon hadn't suited up, because the game-plan would have changed, and they would have played conservative and run Stewart until his legs fell off. The loss of their leader mid-game really shook up the team.

3: Brady Leaf in college looks like Ryan Leaf in the pros. I had a friend comment that he looked like his brother out there, but Oregon would have killed for that. Ryan was an excellent college quarterback, Brady is barely passable. He completely choked when his team desperately needed him to make plays to save their season.

Give lots of credit to Arizona, they pounced on a weakened opponent, and made the plays necessary to win. That being said, if Dixon doesn't get hurt, Oregon rolls 44-24 or something similar.

Power Rankings: Week 11  

Posted by Frazier

Another one has fallen, and now only Kansas stands alone:

1. Kansas

Walter - What do you think you could have gotten better odds on before the year started, Kansas starting the season 10-0 or Notre Dame starting it 1-9 (with losses to Navy and Air Force)? Yeah it's been that type of season. Take a bow Kansas. Your schedule may not be much but you've managed to do what no other team has: win all the games you're supposed to win.

2. Oregon

Frazier - A well-deserved week off for the Ducks. However, they may be in trouble. Without a marquee game to close out the season, they may be left out if someone leaps. The Pac-10 will add a championship game soon enough, especially since the East Coast bias is alive and well. Seriously, they have more wins over teams currently ranked than LSU, but no one wants to admit this.

3. LSU

Walter - Perhaps the 2007 season will give pause to all of those SEC apologists out there. LSU has no business, I repeat, no business being ranked ahead of either Oregon or Kansas right now. Yet, because of the reputation the SEC has built in previous years the Tigers find themselves in pole position.

4. Oklahoma

Frazier - Ugh. My disgust for this team is alive and well. They have "big" wins over Texas (who are terrible) and Mizzou (who hasn't, you know, beaten anybody). Now if Mizzou beats Kansas (a distinct possibility) and Oklahoma wins again, they may make the title game by proving they are better than Mizzou, which hardly sounds like a resounding resume. Oh, and they lost to a crappy Colorado team. Shades of 2004 all over again.

5. West Virginia

Walter -
Well we all knew the Big Least would come down to a single game. Although I'm not sure many people thought it would be West Virginia-Cincinati. Either way, Pat White and Company are still holding out hope of sneaking into the BCS title game. Uh guys, I think it may be time to let go. You want to win the title, try not losing to South Florida every year.

6. Missouri

Frazier - While the win over Illinois looks better these days, it's hard to put too much stock in beating a horribly inconsistent team in the first week of the season. That being said, I do love Chase Daniel, and I think Mizzou is a great story this year, I just hope they turn out to have some substance.

7. Georgia

Walter - Well we officially have a new 323 binky at RB. A proclamation: I Walter, on this the 15th day of November, 2007, do hereby proclaim by affinity and undying loyalty to Knowshon Moreno, Freshman RB, University of Georgia. Go forth, and score touchdowns (and who says 3 years of law school is a waste of time).

8. Ohio State

Frazier - Hmmmmm. Maybe they were bums all along. That being said, watch HBO's brilliant "Michigan vs. Ohio St." documentary. As much as we've ragged on those teams, that is one of the great rivalries in all of sports. For fans of those teams, a win against their rivals will heal many of scars of this season. It's definitely one of the games any real college football fan has to attend at least once in his or her life. Someday, I will be there.

9. Arizona State

Walter - The football gods saved us from another Ohio State blowout in the title game, can we PLEASE, PLEASE have these frauds lose another game so we don't see them anywhere near a major bowl game. Or better yet, can't some idiotic NFL team take a look at Dennis Erickson's one loss record and bring him back. Are the 49ers looking for a new coach yet?

10(a). Navy

Frazier - Ok, newer rule. Anytime you follow a game where you break a 43 year old losing streak by winning the highest scoring regulation game in history (by putting up 74 and rushing for 570 yards) you get to keep your ranking.

10 (b): Air Force

Walter - Corrollary to newer rule. If you're a service academy and you absolute obliterate Notre Dame on their home field, you get a spot in the top ten.....gee, I hope God's not really a Notre Dame fan or the323 is going straight to hell. This, my friends, is what we call "piling on."

Dropped off:
Boston College - Consecutive losses to unranked teams? Nightmare.
Just missed:
Virginia Tech - You've beat who, exactly? Fuck the Hokies.
USC - No, seriously, who have you beat?

Heisman Watch - Friends Edition  

Posted by Frazier

Well, we've opened up the voting a bit for this edition of the Heisman watch. Our buddy the Cincinnati Kid chipped in, along with a new 323 friend BCS Know How (check him out at http://www.bcsknowhow.com/.) Anyways, thanks to those guys for helping out.

1. Dennis Dixon

Walter - The best argument for Dixon is that he is simply the best player on the best offensive team in the nation. Dixon has been ruthlessly efficient this year, and has seen his Ducks rise all the way from unranked to the top 2. Most importantly, though, while he doesn't have the eye-popping stats, his team has only faltered once.....and by an inch at that.

2. Tim Tebow

The Cincinnati Kid -
The Heisman is supposed to go to the most outstanding college football player, and my eyes tell me this guy fits the bill. On the objective side, he leads the nation in yards per attempt (my favorite QB stat), he's second in QB rating, and he is third in RUSHING TDs.

3. Todd Reesing

Frazier -
Apparently the Big Man and myself like Reesing more than most. But what's not to love? His sparkling 26:4 TD:INT ratio? The fact he can make plays with his feet? His team's undefeated record? His heart? This guy can play, and I'm sorry he and his team didn't get the preseason pub some of these other guys have, but he's playing at a very high level and winning games.

4. Chase Daniel

Walter -
Put it this way, if Daniel winds up beating two top 5 teams to close out the regular season (Kansas and Oklahoma) the Downtown Athletic Club might as well start engraving the trophy now. Mizzou is a perennial underachiever, but Daniel has a chance to lead them to their best season EVER. The winner of the Daniel-Reesing showdown in two weeks will not only vault his team into serious national title consideration, but also spring to the head of the Heisman class.

5. Darren McFadden

BCS Know How -
McFadden, coming off an Arkansas record 323 yards rushing and three touchdowns, didn't perform nearly as well against Tennessee in a Razorback loss, but still ran for more than 100 yards. McFadden may be the best college football player this season, but coming from a four loss team to win the Heisman would be unprecedented, so don't expect anything more than a possible invite to NYC.

Frazier's ballot:
1. Dixon
2. Tebow
3. Reesing
4. McFadden
5. Pat White

Walter's ballot:
1. Dixon
2. Tebow
3. Reesing
4. Chase Daniel
5. Knowshon Moreno
Cincinnati Kid's ballot:
1. Tebow
2. Dixon
3. Sam Bradford
4. Chase Daniel
5. Mike Crabtree
BCS Know How's ballot (click here to read his explanation):
1. Dixon
2. Tebow
3. McFadden
4. Chase Daniel
5. Matt Ryan

Tuesday Question - Let's Get High  

Posted by Frazier

If your team was a drug, what drug would they be?

Now, we're not condoning use of any of these substances. We're just curious which teams would align with which drugs. So find a nice, relaxed spot, turn on SpongeBob, get some Dorito's, and enjoy the ride.


Frazier - The Cal Bears. No drive, no ambition, just nothing going on in Berkeley, which is probably a good place to try to score some. Especially since the Bears have given up on scoring ON the field.

Walter -
Notre Dame. Like marijuana the Irish aren't really one of the big boys of college football, but despite all thats wrong with them they still have legions of undyingly loyal followers.

I don't think they roll a blunt in the world fat
enough for an Irish fan to get over this season!


Frazier - Notre Dame. A huge rush at the beginning, a massive price tag, and then you crash. Sounds a lot like the Charlie Weiss tenure, doesn't it?

Walter -
Oregon Ducks. Like cocaine the Ducks offense is plenty expensive (have you seen the salaries for Mike Bellotti and Chip Kelly?), quick hitting (Jonathan Stewart anyone), and at times White Collar (Dennis Dixon runs that offense with the ruthless efficiency of a Wall Street businessman).
Although, this might do the trick!

Frazier - Texas A&M. It's like a cheap Notre Dame. Coach Fran is an unmitigated disaster, but those stoners seem addicted to his shit. Just scrape the money together and can his ass.

Walter -
Hawaii. Basically crack is cheaper, more urban cocaine. While nobody is going to confuse Honolulu with Gotham City, the Rainbow Warriors, like the Ducks, rely on a high octane offense.....only with worse players.

You think Hawaiin crack is more tropical?

Frazier - Kansas. Wow, I must be tripping, because I thought I saw the Jayhawks undefeated in mid-November and ranked in the top 5.

Walter -
Tennessee. LSD was huge in the 60's and 70's, kind of forgotten with the coke craze of the 80's, roared back in the late 90's, and then took a back seat to Oxycontin and other prescription drugs in the 2000's. Just like the Vols, to say LSD is inconsistent is an understatement.
I've heard dropping acid curbs your appetite.....
so we know Mark Mangino is clean.

Frazier - Oregon. The earthy-crunchy residents of the Pacific Northwest are enjoying THIS trip a lot. They're even having visions, especially of a trip to the BCS title game.

Walter -
West Virginia. The Mountaineers have a coach who is "home grown," and with skill guys like White, Slaton and Devine running that spread offense predicated on misdirection, watching them you can't be sure if they've actually got 15 guys on offense, or if you're just tripping balls.
With all those moving parts on offense, I
wonder just how much these shrooms look
like a Rich Rodriguez option play.


Frazier - USC. The lethargy these guys have shown is downright disturbing. Absolutely no pride in protecting their PAC-10 crown. Their lids are half-closed, and they don't seem to care about anything right now.

Walter -
Alabama. Like heroine in the world of drugs, the Crimson Tide can rightfully stake a claim as the king of college football. Although expectations are always higher than the end result, both heroine and Alabama addicts will pay just about anything to enjoy the product.

I think Pete Caroll gets his fix from Ty Law's cousin.

Frazier - Arkansas. This team was supposed to relieve our pain of the same-old SEC contenders. And I seem to be addicted to them. But in the end, all I feel is a sense of loss. A sense these guys are all too familiar with.

Walter -
South Florida. 15 years ago South Florida didn't have a football team and nobody had the slightest clue what O.C. stood for. 10 years ago South Florida got a football team and everybody knew O.C. stood for Orange County. In 2007, South Florida is on top of the football world and O.C. stands for the newest, most popular drug on the market. Coincidence?......Yeah probably.
Nope, it's not that stupid TV show anymore.....Californiaaaaaa.

Frazier - UConn. Everything was going so great for the Huskies. They were making all the right moves, dancing up a storm, and looking smooth out there. Then the Bearcats shone the light of day on them, and suddenly the rave was over.

Walter -
Boston College. Everyone in Chestnut Hill was so jacked up for that Florida State game. So pumped and jacked, and jacked and pumped. #2 in the nation, ready to smack down those punks from Tallahassee, and then.....well you know what happened then. And believe you me, the morning after was just AWFUL.

And you wonder how they party down in Storrs.....

The Team

How's the look?