Sunday, November 27, 2005

College Football Thoughts

1) Another pretty memorable finish to a game in the UGA-GT series. Tech, and specifically Ball, is starting to show a problem with wilting at the end of these games. Respect is due to Tech's D, but UGA played pretty sketchy on O too. They'll need to improve on offense to have a chance against LSU's D (or we'll need LSU to turn the ball over). One major bone to pick, and this is directed at ABC's announcers and production crew, who would've been more in their league covering the high school games at the Dome. When Georgia picks off a pass at the end of the game to seal the win, an incredibly hard-fought victory, how about focusing on the teams on the field instead of yakking it up about Tulane's season. Here's a tip: NOBODY WATCHING THAT GAME AT THAT PRECISE MOMENT WANTED TO HEAR THAT! Yes, Tulane has had a tough year. Their story is good. BUT TALK ABOUT IT AT HALFTIME, NOT IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE BIGGEST MOMENT IN THE GAME! Just bush league.

2) What I said last week about Fresno State is no longer operable. Their loss now gives every reason for them to be ranked below ND. However, it also questions the relative strength of Fresno State, Notre Dame and USC. Nevada is one of the weaker teams with winning records in the country. Perhaps yesterday's game proves that on any night, any team can outplay another, and matchups make a major difference. I'd say that is the case more than that ND, USC, FSU, etc aren't all that good. But I'd also say that there are questions about each of those teams - mostly on how all of them have played very vew teams with strong defenses. It will be interesting to see in the bowls how USC and ND fare if they face strong defenses, as the current predictions show they would (Texas and Ohio State, respectively). In a single game that turns out to be a defensive struggle, who knows how they'd react. Something to look for. Of course, who knows if a defensive struggle will happen (an early score by one team could change the complection entirely).

3) No widespread coverage on the Sun Belt title, which has an interesting situation developing. Louisiana Lafayette beat Louisiana Monroe Saturday, which created a three way tie for the conference title (also with Arkansas State) with all teams at 5-2. Lafayette and Arkansas State are at 6-5, while Monroe is at 5-6. To me the natural way to look at it would be to remove Monroe from consideration, since they don't have a winning record, and then go with the head-to-head winner between Lafayette and Arkansas State, sending Arkansas State to the New Orleans Bowl. However, I have read elsewhere that the three way tie will force the athletic directors in the conference to vote on the winner, and that suggestions had been made that Lafayette would play in the bowl since it is being played at their home stadium due to the damage from Hurricane Katrina. I read today that Arkansas State won a tiebreaker, but I'm still a little confused. Imagine if a major conference had this kind of a situation.

4) Division 1-AA playoffs are in full swing, and I am glad that several of these games are televised by ESPN. I found myself watching the New Hampshire-Colgate game more than the other early games yesterday, even though it was a blowout. It was fun to watch and the style of play (strange option formations, oddly developing plays) was enjoyable simply because it was different from that same boring spread offense 80% of division 1-A plays, with 3 yard passes hoping for missed tackles.

5) Arkansas will be a very tough opponent next year. One of the most improved teams over the course of the year, and their youth getting such great experience in games this year will definitely payoff. No team has changed more since their opener.