Week Nine College Football Roundup

IOWA CITY IA - OCTOBER 30: Wide receiver Marvin McNutt Jr. #7 of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes runs into the end zone for a touch down as safety Marcus Hyde #11 of the Michigan State Spartans defends during the second half of play at Kinnick Stadium on October 30 2010 in Iowa City Iowa. Iowa won 37-6 over Michigan State. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Since I last did a roundup in Week Five, 13 teams have been eliminated from the ranks of the unbeaten, including the previously unbeaten Michigan State Spartans.

This past week, two undefeated teams were not only knocked off, but were soundly beaten in almost all phases of the games. Roy Helu Jr. racked up 307 yards rushing for the Cornhuskers, and Iowa demolished Michigan State by more than 30 points.

As the unbeaten teams have been whittled down to five, it is looking increasingly possible that Boise State, TCU, or Utah may wind up in the national championship game. And therefore, we can also expect the debate to heat up over the college football postseason, and the way the sport decides its national champion.

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Total number of undefeated teams is 5 (4.1% of FBS). 2 teams were eliminated from the ranks of the unbeaten this week.

By Conference

Mountain West: Utah (8-0), TCU (9-0)
Pac-10: Oregon (8-0)
SEC: Auburn (9-0)
WAC: Boise State (7-0)

No undefeated teams remaining in the ACC, Big 12, Big 10, Big East, Conference USA, the Independents, the MAC, or the Sun Belt.

 

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BUY

It doesn't look like anyone will be able to stop the Ducks. They have scored at least 42 points in all of their games, and at least "half a hundred" in five of their games. Their closest margin of victory was 11 points. They destroyed a UCLA team that won in Austin by 47 points! I don't see many weaknesses on offense. Can anyone stop the Ducks? With their toughest remaining opponent - Arizona - having to travel to Eugene, and no conference championship game, I think you can pencil Oregon into the national title game.
You have to be impressed by Baylor who is now 7-2 after they knocked off Texas. In Austin. When was the last time that happened? I think it probably hasn't happened, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now. In any event, Baylor is going bowling for sure now, and they control their destiny in the Big 12 South. As strange as that sounds, it's true. As long as QB Robert Griffin III is the signal caller for the Bears, Baylor will be a dangerous team.

Roy Helu Jr. was an absolute monster against the Missouri Tigers Saturday. He carried the ball 28 times for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns. He had 3 TD runs that went for more than 50 yards. Even though Taylor Martinez got knocked out of the game, Helu Jr. kept his team in front and was the main reason that the Huskers won. Major kudos to him.
I can't believe I'm typing this, but I'm going to buy the Syracuse football team this week for my stock report. How improbable is this: Syracuse is 6-2 with only 1 conference loss after winning conference road games in consecutive weeks against West Virginia and Cincinnati. Not only did they beat Cincinnati, they dominated Cincy 31-7. As much as it pains me to say this, that is something that the Sooners could not do.


SELL

Alright, we're far enough into the season that I can pick on the teams that have really looked awful. We'll start with the Akron Zips who have managed to go 0-9 despite playing in the MAC. They lost to FCS Gardner-Webb. They have lost their games by an average of 25.5 points, and a week ago they lost to a 3-5 Western Michigan team by 46 points. Yikes.
Oh my, how far the Volunteers have fallen. Derek Dooley has not had a good inaugural campaign, and I'm sure the fan base (who are used to success) are probably grumbling about the 2-6 record so far. Tennessee has only beaten UAB by 3 points, and Tennessee-Martin. To cap it all off, Dooley has certainly made some interesting comments in press conferences. The Vols get to finish the season against 4 unranked, beatable opponents. Time to turn it around!
New Mexico gets my vote for the worst team in FBS. They are 0-8 and managed to lose to a similarly bad team in New Mexico State. It looks like the state of New Mexico has not been treated to good football lately. The Lobos have only held one team below 30 points, and that was New Mexico State. Yikes! They get Wyoming at home this week - probably their best chance to win. Then they have three really tough games in a row - @ Air Force, @ BYU, and home against TCU. If they beat TCU, it might be the upset of the century.
Michigan certainly doesn't deserve to be grouped in with these teams, but they do deserve to be on my "sell" list. I don't think I've ever seen someone go from the top of Heisman lists to being unmentioned as fast as Denard Robinson. That's too bad, because he has actually been doing pretty well. It turns out, though, that if you don't have a defense you can't expect to get through the Big 10 schedule unscathed. However, I wouldn't have expected Michigan to lose 3 straight.


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  • ESPN's latest bowl projections are in, and besides having OU in either the Fiesta or the Cotton, there was something that caught my eye. What are these new bowl games? The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl? The Birmingham Bowl? The GoDaddy.com Bowl? The New Era Pinstripe Bowl? Are you kidding me?? This is exactly why the college football postseason is a complete joke.
  • Oregon wins out, they're in. Auburn wins out, they're in. It's as simple as that.
  • Three non-automatic qualifying teams made it into the BCS Top 5 this week. That's never happened before. So much for keeping the little guy down...
  • Notre Dame continues to have an awful season. QB Dayne Crist now had his season ended with a knee injury. If they don't beat two of these three teams - Utah, Army, or USC (on the road) - they will fail to be bowl eligible. And you know some bowl would take Notre Dame at 6-6.
  • USC continues to throw money at things, as they've announced plans to build a 70 million dollar athletic center.
  • The sports writers of America are piling the hate on Oklahoma. The AP Poll kept Oklahoma at #11 despite winning a game by 33 points. However, they moved Wisconsin up two spots, despite not playing. Good thing the AP Poll is not part of the BCS, and this is yet another reason why you shouldn't even pay attention to it.
  • How is Nevada ranked? Who have they beaten? They just gave up 42 second half points to Utah State. Come on now.
  • The guys on the BCS standings release tonight on ESPN were really getting into heated arguments about who deserves to be up in the national title game. They made arguments for and against a 1-loss Alabama getting in above a Boise State or a TCU. They all missed the point, which is, if we had a playoff we wouldn't have this problem!

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Besides the OU game, which is always the most important game to tune into of course, here are some other good college football matchups to whet your appetite:

Saturday at 11:30 AM CDT
Baylor at Oklahoma State
This is a really critical matchup, because both teams have exactly 1 conference loss. The winner will have a legitimate chance to win the Big 12 South, and the loser will see their odds get much worse. I've got to say that I like Baylor's odds. I think they are on a roll right now, and they aren't a team that I'd want to face. Hopefully they'll cool off a bit by the time the Sooners have to play them. If nothing else, this game will allow you to scout two future Sooners opponents.

Saturday at 2:30 PM CDT
Washington at Oregon
Do the Huskies have a legitimate chance? Who knows. They just got rolled by Stanford 41-0, and Stanford kind of got blown out of the water by Oregon in the second half of that game. I think with this game being in Eugene, the Ducks will run away with it early. However, as is the case when one of the top two teams plays a decent conference opponent, people will tune in hoping for an upset.

Saturday at 2:30 PM CDT
Alabama at LSU
If Alabama loses, they're essentially eliminated from the national title race. If LSU loses, you could say the same thing. You could also make the same argument about the SEC Championship Game. This game really has a lot riding on it. You can bet Verne Lundquist will be absolutely giddy about this matchup, and probably rooting for Alabama to win so CBS gets an epic matchup between Auburn and Alabama later down the line. And of course, if Alabama wins, then we get to endure the onslaught from ESPN about how Alabama deserves to be in the national title game.

Saturday at 2:30 PM CDT
TCU at Utah
No, when I put that logo right there, I don't mean THE CBS. I mean CBS College Sports. It's an obscure channel that is available in some sports packages on cable and satellite TV. I will be lucky enough to be able to watch this game, but many people will not, at least not unless CBS decides to regionally broadcast this. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure CBSC means this obscure channel on the TV schedules, and CBS means the real CBS. In any event, it's harder to find a bigger matchup. Two undefeated teams. Both ranked in the Top 5 of the BCS. Tons on the line. Too bad few will be able to watch it.
Saturday at 6:00 PM CDT
Arkansas at South Carolina
This should be a pretty good game between two teams that are fighting for positioning in the SEC. Both are ranked teams. South Carolina needs to hold their lead in the SEC East. As of right now, they are sitting on top of the standings as the only team with 2 losses in that division. If they win this game, they'll stay in charge of the race to the SEC Championship Game.
Saturday at 7:00 PM CDT
Arizona at Stanford
This is a huge game for Arizona. Stanford already lost to Oregon, so even if they win, they need Oregon to lose twice in order to win the Pac 10 title. If Arizona wins this game, they'll still only have 1 loss to Oregon State. Therefore, they would at least tie with Oregon if they run the table, and that puts them in much better position to challenge for the Pac 10 title. Either way, both teams are in position to jump into the BCS at large discussion with a win. 
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