Thursday, September 13, 2007

A few College Football Thoughts

1. Though I don't participate, I do like to follow the BlogPoll. I have an odd sense of interest in reading how various participants create their polls. I get the sense that there's a tension in early season ballotting that's something like this:

Should the voter use only information obtained by on-field results, though such is most certainly incomplete (examples of this method are SMQ and Kyle at Dawg Sports), or should the voter use his or her own opinions, though such may be completely incorrect and proved wrong through subsequent games?

It's an interesting question. I believe it's a question of "what we know" vs. "what we think". "What we know" is only a small piece of the big picture, but at least we know what we know (and we can correct things once we have more information). "What we think" may provide a result now that is more in line with the eventual final outcome, but it also may give undeserved credit early on to teams whose on-field performance is terrible (and yes, that can be corrected later too - though one wonders about "opinion inertia").

2. I will be doing the "Lebowski Rankings" again this year. Must wait about 5 weeks to get worthwhile schedule rankings though.

3. When looking at the scores from last week, only one result actually stunned me. Buffalo 42, Temple 7. On the road. The Bulls outgained the Owls 414-141 and held the Owls to -36 yards on 25 carries. Remember, this is Buffalo. They had won a total of 12 games in their 8 seasons in Division 1-A. Only 4 of those 12 wins were on the road (averaging 0.5 road wins per year since joining 1-A). The aggregate record of the teams Buffalo has beaten (record in the year Buffalo won): 24-112, averaging 2-9. Of course, Temple is not good. But a 35 point win for Buffalo on the road (and they were underdogs in Vegas) is simply ridiculous.

4. Something's Gotta Give. Matchups this weekend between unbeaten teams:

West Virginia at Maryland (tonight)
USC at Nebraska
Boston College at Georgia Tech
Louisville at Kentucky
Ohio State at Washington
Arkansas at Alabama
Texas at Central Florida
Norfolk State at Rutgers

5. Please God Something's Gotta Give. Matchups this weekend between winless teams:

San Jose State at Stanford
Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois
Alcorn State at UAB
Houston at Tulane
New Hampshire at Marshall
and yes, Notre Dame at Michigan

6. Oddest Away Games:

Texas at Central Florida (opening UCF's new stadium)
Minnesota at Florida Atlantic
Texas Tech at Rice (Texas Tech should be the biggest favorite of any road team all year).

7. Potentially, the most meaningful games of the weekend. These are games that could directly affect a conference title or a bowl berth down the road.

Tennessee at Florida (could determine SEC East)
Arkansas at Alabama (if not for the Geauxrilla, this could affect the SEC West)
Vandy at Ole Miss (a loss here could be the tipping point for a bowl berth)
TCU at Air Force (TCU were among the MWC favorites, but USAFA sit atop the standings)
Southern Miss at East Carolina (could determine C-USA East)


Kanu said...

Buffalo jumped out at me as well, but then again, it is Temple. If Buffalo can go into Happy Valley on Saturday and cover the +34 against Penn State, then I'll be impressed as much, if not more than, the destruction of Shirley Temple.

A5 said...

You forgot BC @ GT in #4 if not #7. Just saying. The winner is probably the favorite to win the ACC, assuming that VT continues to not score points.

LD said...

Had it written out but forgot to type BC vs. GT in #4. Will add now.

I didn't include it in #7 because they're in different divisions. It's definitely one of the best games of the day, but either team can lose and still win their half of the ACC.