The Shakedown, Week 8

Back after a week off on this.

What’s Left To Make Up The Best:

  1. Texas – If you play in a power conference, beat the current #1, who is also in that conference, and you were high up to begin with, you’re gonna get #1 when everyone else falls apart. I don’t think Texas will be holding on to this spot for the rest of the season. They may still win the conference and might make the MNC game, but they’re not gonna do it without a mark in the loss column.
  2. Alabama – Taking on the dreaded opponent BYE is not exactly the best way to bump up, but it’s been done before. The problem is that Bama, despite whooping both Clemson and Georgia, has had weaker moments against teams like Tulane and Kentucky.
  3. Penn State – You’ll have to excuse me if I’m a bit bullish on the Nittany Lions, and think they might actually be able to keep up with an SEC team.  (Noted viewers will tell me Ohio State looked just as good and speedy with Troy Smith under center and still got whooped.)  Regardless of weariness with the Big Televen, it’s hard not to pull for Joe Paterno to make the MNC for the amusement.
  4. BYU – Despite last week’s close game against New Mexico and the vulnerability that comes with a Thursday night game against a very good TCU defense, I believe in the Cougars and the arm of Max Hall. Also, I’m not ready to put Oklahoma State this high, nor do I want to go to a one-loss team yet.
  5. Oklahoma State – He’s a man, he’s 41, and he knows how to coach an offense. Mike Gundy screwed uip a couple play calls against Mizzou (that fake punt, anyone?), but having a defense that disrupted a team so badly has to make the Cowboys a force in an already loaded Big 12.
  6. Oklahoma – this is about as far as they can fall; they’re the best of the one-loss teams, but if they have another rushing performance like they had against Texas, they’ll lose two more times.
  7. Florida – If they win out they’re going back to the championship game, because SEC teams with 1 loss have an advantage here as others fall by the wayside.  But they’re not gonna.
  8. Texas Tech – That wasn’t a typical Mike Leach game against Nebraska, and suggests Tech isn’t going to survive the gauntlet unscathed.
  9. USC – 6 is too high, 10 in this environment might be too low, Utah isn’t good enough yet to be higher, this is probably a slightly homerish pick.
  10. Utah – But Georgia hasn’t earned its way back in yet, so the Utes go  here despite playing some competition that isn’t as tough.

How Could You?

  • Mizzou – Wearing #25 sapped Chase Daniel’s mojo, and it only gets more difficult, heading to Austin. You can’t go home again, can you?
  • LSU – Well, I was wrong. Good quarterback play is necessary; even Les Miles can’t recruit enough star skill players to cover up Jarrett Lee’s deficiencies.
  • Arizona State – We knew the Sun Devils were in a slide. We just didn’t know how bad it could get. If you’re causing four turnovers at any point, you should at least score a point off them. Mark Sanchez was responsible for four SC turnovers, yet ASU still got shut out.
  • Vanderbilt and Northwestern – NERDS! NERDS! NERDS! We were all counting on you, but reality set back in.
  • West Virginia – Bill Stewart becomes the first coach to accuse Greg Robinson and Syracuse of doing a good job of coaching.
  • Clemson – The Bitch Mentality that is Tommy Bowden got fired, resigned, take your pick — but that was long overdue. Doesn’t mean Clemson’s gonna be any better in the future.

Games To Hope You Can See On TV And/Or Bet On:

  • Hawaii (+24) over Boise State — put a $20 on the money and make Friday night interesting. It’s not like it won’t be a blowout on the Smurf Turf.
  • Texas Tech (-21) over Texas A&M – The Aggies are bad. Tech could hit the Over by itself. This is the game to watch early; it’s better than one of the ESPN offerings. Hope you get the proper FSN channel.
  • Georgia Tech (-2) @ Clemson – BEEEEEEEEEEES.  I like watching the triple option; my attention will likely be here at 9 AM.
  • Ole Miss (+14) @ Alabama – Houston Nutt’s teams are capable of shocking some big ranked team and then lapsing the week after. I don’t think they’ll be beating Alabama, but if they do……whoo boy, it’ll be a ruckus.
  • Ohio State @ Michigan State (+3) – I’ll be making calls on this one. Spartans for the upset!
  • Michigan @ Penn State (-23) – Taste the fail of Rich Rodriguez as he enters Beaver Stadium.
  • LSU (-2) @ South Carolina – Mostly because I’ve not seen reliable QB play from anyone on Steve Spurrier’s roster.
  • Mizzou (+5.5) @ Texas – Don’t want to say so long to the Longhorns after a week at number one, but why do I think Chase Daniel will come home with a vengeance after losing last week?

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