Sunday, November 23, 2003

Week 7 Results and commentary on upcoming Week 8 games.

10: Years since Florida State and Miami met with both teams in the “Top 5.” You will hear that only about 10 billion times leading up to this weekend. But let’s look at it….
1: Oklahoma. Obviously.
2, 3, 4, 5: Rankings of Miami, Ohio State, VaTech and Florida State.
0: Teams ranked this week defeated by those teams.
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11: Rankings of LSU, Arkansas, USC, UGA, Nebraska (order varies depending on which poll you read), Texas.
4: Wins in that group over teams ranked this week.
3: Number of times that group has ALSO beaten big teams from the state of Alabama (SC over Auburn, Arkansas and UGA over Bama). And consider…
8: AVERAGE rank this week of the four teams to beat Alabama (OU (1), Arkansas (7), UGA (9), Northern Illinois (16). Auburn has lost to SC and Georgia Tech.
2: Total losses among 6-11 group.
2: Losses to fellow group members (LSU over UGA, Ark over Texas).

Leaving OU out, would ANYBODY like to pick anybody from the “Top 5” over anybody in 6-11 on a neutral field?

234: Yards receiving for Northern Illinois PJ Fleck, who also went for 116 and one the year’s best TD’s against Maryland, too. Forget their running back turner – Fleck or QB Josh Haldi has to be on the Heisman list.
By comparison, in must-win conference games this week:
108: Yards receiving for USC’s Mike Williams, his 3rd 100-yard game this year, 8th career.
22: Yards receiving for UT’s Roy Williams.

9: Consecutive quarters in which Baylor had failed to score against Colorado prior to kicking a field goal in the second quarter Saturday.
38, 1: Big 12 conference games, and wins, in Baylor history prior to CU.
1: Yardline on which CU had the ball, needing a touchdown to take a 4th quarter lead.
-2: Resulting yardage on run.
97, 55: In yards, length of drive, and length of scoring run, in Baylor’s ensuing, game-clinching drive.
17:15: Time it took Baylor to score 5 TDs in 42-30 upset of the year.
93: Florida State Rushing yards vs CU.
209: Baylor rushing yards vs CU.
- OK – so FSU threw for 450+. Still, the whole thing kinda takes the shine off the ‘They’re Back’ argument in Tallahassee.

1: Rank, Disappointments of the Year, Michigan.
2: UM Recievers who caught more than 100 yards of passes against Iowa.
389: UM Passing yards
195: Iowa passing yards
0: Wins, to six losses, for Michigan QB John Navarre against ranked teams on the road (that stat comes from the AP, and must not count the Outback bowl) – though in each of the last 3 (Iowa, Oregon, Ohio State last year), he was a single late play away from winning.
27: Points scored by Michigan in each of its two losses this year.
3, 4: Margin of defeat in both.
21: Points, total, in those games given up by turnovers or broken special teams play.

3: Estimated, minimum number of weeks it will take Texas to replay its entire early-season schedule with Vince Young instead of Chance Mock at QB (stat applies only to Danny’s Playstation).
1: UT’s national rank in scoring coming into Kansas State game.
69: Seconds remaining in first-half when UT scored its first offensive TD.
149: Young’s total yards in less than 30 minutes of playtime with a team high 80 rushing and 69 passing.
176: Total yards accounted for by KSU’s Ell Roberson.
2: Flying Walenda blocks thrown by KSU receivers in Robersons absolutely silly 27 yard 3rd Quarter TD. Second best TD of the day, top 10 of the year.
58: Yards of Texas’ Richmond McGee’s longest punt.
66: Yards KSU’s Jared Brite’s longest.
15 or 17: Number of punts in the game, depending on which stat you believe ON THE SAME PAGE on
17-3: Lead UT blew in that game.
12: UT Yardline on which KSU was standing, with the ball, the lead and 5 minutes to play, when Roberson fumbled.
88: Yards in ensuing Young-led UT drive to win the game.
4: Down on the goal line when Young vaulted in for the winning TD. “Nervy”

As for our 9-thru-11 members:
57-10: Combined second-half “score”* of USC’s three key games this year.
27-31: Combined first-half “score.”*
* Auburn, Cal, ASU. Reserves played significant part of Hawaii and BYU games.

0: Second-half points scored by Georgia in 37-17 blowout of Bama.

185: Rushing yards for Auburn’s Carnell Williams in 28-21, get-ahead-and-hang-on win over Tennessee. Did ANYBODY think Tennessee was for real? They beat Florida on, basicly, a school-record long field goal and a Hail Mary TD to end the first half. Then they hung on and waited for Zook to screw up. No way they win that way on the road. Among most one-loss, or even some 2-loss teams, no way Tennessee is a player.
1: Minutes remaining when Williams fumbled into the endzone against Bama, gift-wrapping a 7-5 win for the Tide (my playstation, 30 minutes ago – it’s official – I hate Auburn).

12: Consecutive inter-service academy games won by Air Force prior to losing 28-25 to Navy.
1-2: Rank nationally in rushing of Navy and Air Force, respectively.
294, 275: Rushing totals in the game, respectively.
10: Completed passes, combined, in that game (119 total yards)
2: Interceptions.
3: Punts, total, in that game.
22: Years since Navy last won the Commander In Chief’s Trophy by beating both Army and Air Force in the same year.
38: Unanswered points run up by Washington State against Oregon a week ago on turnovers.
39: Unanswered points run up by UCLA against Washington. Which proves again: The Pac 10 is just NUTS.

1: Open by miles, sure-TDs dropped by Oregon receivers against Utah.
2: Open by miles, sure-TDs dropped by Oregon receivers in blowout loss to Washington State.
3: Deflection-interceptions that WSU turned into TDs against Oregon.
1: Deflection-interceptions that Utah turned into TDs against Oregon.

I’m not saying it was only bad luck that sent the Ducks spinning down the drain – but they had some bad friggin’ luck the last two weeks.
They also are helpless – like, Iraqi-infinitry helpless – against tall receivers. Absolutely useless.

6.2: Average gain per rush for Mississippi runners against Florida.
2: Mississippi defenders who had Florida tight end Ben Troupe stopped and locked up at the 10. On a third-down, over the middle pass, Troupe caught it on the run, immediately vaulted a safety (like he vaulted Michigan’s safety in the Outback bowl last year) and then ran into the arms of 2 defenders who stopped him and wrapped him up. He promptly twisted loose, both Ole Miss guys fell over and he ran it in. Best catch-and-run TD of the year, at least best one with contact. When was the last time A TE was Florida’s top reciever? Troupe was Saturday. I suppose Kelvin Winslow is still the first-teamer, but that’s because Zook can’t coach.

55, 25, 33: Length of scoring plays of USC’s first 3 TDs. They punched in a 6-yarder late, but STILL no sign that they have any serious red zone offense for when the day comes that they need it.

9, 10, 11: As discussed earlier, rank of USC (my team), UGA (Mandy’s team) and UT (Danny’s team) this week.
70: Estimated percent chance that two of the three will meet in a bowl.
90: Estimated percent chance that two of the three will meet in a bowl if UT gets by OU this weekend. The ol’ one-loss conference-leader phonebooth only holds so many.
You have to pick UGA in the SEC now. Florida, UGA’s only stumbling block – both real and mental - is horrible and circling the drain like nobody in the country. Just a phenomenal collapse. If Kentucky’s QB took that sack, they’d be, what? 1-4? And UGA would whip LSU in a rematch on a neutral field. UGA misfired badly at LSU while LSU's offense basicly strung together a couple school yard plays to beat them and that won't work twice.
Now, I need to preface this by saying SC shouldn't have let their sorry asses lose ONCE and therefore any damn thing can happen, but SC shouldn't lose again - we stack up too strong against the rest of the Pac 10, with several weakspots (QB and tailback) getting stronger, not weaker. Specifically, them monkeywrench teams - UCLA and ND - are at all-time lows. WSU we get at home for a payback game. I can't explain Cal, except to say we were Due, and so now maybe we're not. And we don’t play cornered-and-injured Oregon.
So if neither UGA or SC ends up on the Main Stage – and good luck to ‘em if they do - then they'll HAVE to be 3-4 by then.
Anything can happen, but the two most likely big school teams to arrive at the BCS with one loss are USC and UGA.
UT has a tougher route, for sure: there’s OU and the Big 12 game and a sorta oh-no-please-no Nebraska. that's a lot of green (plus baylor!). So if either SC or UGA lose again - bingo, they drop right down into 2-loss Hook'em’s area.
The problem with that is that by the time everybody gets their dance card, the landscape is going to be littered with two-loss Big 10 teams. First up is Michigan - but then - just when is the bleeding going to stop there? Then you've got Purdue not playing Ohio State, and over here’s your Iowa. That's a LOT of Big 10 to find places for. A 2-loss (or 1-loss) UT (or SC) could get wahooed into a one-loss Ohio State pretty easy.

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