Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week 4 Rankings--The Fall of the B1G Ten?

College football is an amazing sport. Where else can you find all these men playing a violent game on scholarships? Or even those players without free rides trying to make the team? They don't get paid for the millions of dollars of revenue they produce for their schools. They don't get paid money for merchandise that carries their name on it. Sure, the usual argument is that the scholarship alone is worth enough money for that player and the players say they can't hold jobs or have time for a job, much less order a pizza.

Yesterday showed us that even among scholarship players, blue chippers and huge programs alike....that even the mightiest can fall. It was widely joked about yesterday as to the state of the Big Ten, and rightfully so. Ohio State was sluggish against UAB and nearly completely overlooked them. It wasn't until the end of the 2nd half that the Buckeyes put some touchdowns on the board, and even then didn't score in the 3rd. The scary part is that while the Buckeyes are still undefeated, UAB came into the contest winless, and never backed down. Michigan State struggled mightily against Eastern until the 4th quarter where it appeared as though the Eagles threw in the towel on some assignments (also bad 3rd down playcalling sunk the offense) and Bell ended up having a career day with 253 rushing yards. Iowa lost to Central Michigan 32-31 with 3 seconds to go...on the leg of a non-scholarship walk-on 3rd string kicker. Kinnick Stadium won't be the same for a while. Louisiana Tech completely blew out Illinois on a turnover filled night.

Speaking of turnovers--Michigan. Could Michigan have beat Notre Dame if those 5 interceptions and a fumble didn't occur? I'd like to think so, but hey, that's football. Turnovers happen all the time, but games won't be won if a quarterback throws 4 INTs in the first half, and fumbles the ball again in the second half. Games won't be won if that QB is still throwing off his front foot, or not even planting his feet at all which leads to those interceptions.

If it wasn't for the surprising defense holding Notre Dame to just 13 points off of those turnovers, it would have been a lot worse (hey Jake Ryan --love ya buddy). I could go on and on about what happened, but I'm still shaking my head along with the rest of the country. So what was good about the Big Ten yesterday? Well, Nebraska wrecked Idaho State, and Minnesota is a shocking 4-0 after beating Syracuse.  Penn StateNorthwestern, and Wisconsin won with effort and ball control. Wisconsin lost Montee Ball to a head injury early on in the game, but he figures to be ok. Yet in the end...who can we depend on the carry the mantle of Big Ten powerhouse this season? Nobody. That's right, nobody. I consider them all grounded and not be able to watch TV or play video games until this mess is solved. We haven't earned the right to call ourselves one of the big conferences this year. We, as the united Big Ten, are just not good. Luckily, Indiana was off this week or Big Ten fans would be really further in the dumps. Here are the new AP rankings:

AP Top 25

1) Alabama
2) Oregon--First shutout in 9 years for Oregon over Arizona. Arizona came in averaging 46 points a game, and flopped.
3) LSU
4) Florida State --In recent years, FSU would not have won this game. In a scorefest of a game, Florida State dominated in the second half.
5) Georgia
6) South Carolina--Missouri's first road SEC game, and South Carolina beat them down 31-10. Spurrier should have them contending for the SEC East.
7) Kansas State--Wow, good one Bill Snyder. Way to take out Bob Stoops and Oklahoma. How may years does Snyder have left??
8) Stanford
9) West Virginia--If I felt like doing a college football fantasy league, Geno Smith would be my QB. Analysts thought he had a so-so game with 336 yards passing and 3 TDs. I'd take that any day...even for the Heisman.
10) Notre Dame--As much as the loss pained Michigan fans, I do feel happy for Manti Te'O. He lost his grandmother and his girlfriend to leukemia  in a one week span before playing MSU. Can't help but root for the guy, and he had a monster game against Michigan, even if he got some help from Michigan's turnovers.
11) Florida
12) Texas
13) USC--Shaky play by Matt Barkley, but still a good win over Cal.
14) Ohio State--The highest Big Ten team ranked, they now have a tougher test against Michigan State next week in East Lansing. They will need a stellar effort from Braxton Miller
15) TCU
16) Oklahoma--Probably out of the national title picture, and Landry Jones out of the Heisman Race.
17) Clemson--Needs to develop a better defense to fend off foes such as Florida State. 
18) Oregon State
19) Louisville
20) Michigan State--Le'Veon Bell had a career day, but he can't be the only offensive weapon the Spartans have. Dion Sims seems to be the only reliable pass catcher for them, but Andrew Maxwell needs to spread it out more.
21) Mississippi State
22) Nebraska--One of the more dominant wins yesterday and scored the most points since 2007.
23) Rutgers
24) Boise State--Just barely eked out a win against BYU 7-6. Must have been ugly
25) Baylor

Dropped from rankings: Michigan, UCLA, Arizona

Others receiving votes: Northwestern, UCLA, Michigan--Denard passed Chad Henne on the career list of most interceptions with 38. Keep in mind Robinson still has 8 more games to go, with a possible bowl game, Ohio, Virginia Tech, Arizona, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Arizona State, Louisiana Tech, Purdue, Miami (FL)

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