Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hobbitcore's College Football Corner (Week 6)














HEADLINES

-That's right, I'm back!  Last week was another pretty hectic week and since there really weren't any particularly interesting games on, I decided I would let it go and take a week off.  Obviously can't do that this week.  Though I am out of town so this will be somewhat abbreviated.  Anyway, let's dive right in...

-So, in case you were wondering if there happened to be a Heisman frontrunner yet, West Virginia QB Geno Smith just thought he would clear things up for you.  45-51 for 656 yards and 8 (yes, eight) TDs.  For those counting at home, that's more touchdowns than incompletions.  In fact, after four games, Geno Smith has thrown 169 passes and only 28 of them have been incompletions (13 of which came against Maryland).  20 have been touchdowns.  Not a single one has been an interception.  To top it all off, he's on pace to throw for well over 5,000 yards.  That could all change this week, though.  More on that later...

-By the way, speaking of West Virginia--what the hell happened to defense in college football?!  You all know how much I love to make lists so let's get right to it (by the way, these are only the games I found where BOTH teams scored 30+ points...leaving out things like Oklahoma State's 84-0 win over Savannah State and FSU's 69-3 shellacking of Murray State):
Week One:
Oregon 57, Arkansas State 34
West Virginia 69, Marshall 34
Northwestern 42, Syracuse 41
Miami 41, Boston College 32
Week Two:
USC 42, Syracuse 29 (close enough)
LA Monroe 34, Arkansas 31 (OT)
Clemson 52, Ball State 27 (also close enough...mostly because it's fucking Ball State...)
UCLA 36, Nebraska 30
Arizona 59, Oklahoma State 38
Week Three:
Texas 66, Ole Miss 31
Louisville 39, North Carolina 34
Week Four:
Florida State 49, Clemson 37
Baylor 47, LA Monroe 42
Wake Forest 49, Army 37
Miami 42, Georgia Tech 36 (OT)
Week Five:
Georgia 51, Tennessee 44
Texas 41, Oklahoma State 36
Clemson 45, Boston College 31
Oregon State 38, Arizona 35
Middle Tennessee 49, Georgia Tech 28 (close enough and worth mentioning that a Sun Belt team put nearly half a hundred on a BCS school)
Miami 44, North Carolina State 37
AND THE GRANDADDY OF THEM ALL (no not the Rose Bowl)...
West Virginia 70, Baylor 63
...and, oh, by the way, in those first five weeks, we've seen a team equal or surpass 40 points a total of 78 times, we've seen a team score 50+ points 35 times, we've seen a team score 60+ points 14 times, three teams have broken 70, and, of course, Oklahoma State holds the "high score" with 84.  I can only imagine what the rest of the season will bring.

-One of the most fascinating aspects of this season right now, at least in my opinion, is how completely wide open the Big Ten Leaders Division is.  You may remember at the beginning of the year I said the Leaders Division was Wisconsin's to lose with Ohio State and Penn State banned from the postseason.  Well, Wisconsin is now unranked at 3-2 and 0-1 in conference, having endured highly competitive games from the likes of Northern Iowa, Utah State, and UTEP.  In fact, Purdue is currently in the driver's seat to emerge from the Leaders Division with their unblemished 0-0 in-conference record.  We'll know a lot more about this division in a week and a half with Illinois coming to Madison this week and then the Badgers travel to West Lafayette next week to face the Boilermakers.  Should be interesting.

-I'm so glad we're all over this idea of Stanford being a top 10 team.  I dunno where that came from (OK, yeah, it came from them beating USC but am I the only one that realized that that said a lot more about USC than Stanford?) but we're better off now that it's been put to rest.

-Two weeks ago against Georgia Tech my Canes hit a new...well...I dunno if you'd call it a new low or a new high.  I know young teams are always inconsistent but this is just ridiculous: the Canes scored the first 19 points, then gave up the next 36 points, THEN scored the LAST 23 POINTS.  I don't know what else to say.  It really doesn't feel like this team is 4-1 and 3-0 in conference.  It seems pretty obvious that Notre Dame and Florida State are both going to wipe the floor with this team but besides that, there are nothing but completely winnable games left on the schedule.  If the Canes can beat Virginia Tech, they should win the ACC Coastal with Virginia, North Carolina, and Duke being the only other ACC games on the schedule (besides FSU) while Virginia Tech still has to battle all those teams (FSU included) as well as take trips to Death Valley for a date with Clemson and Chestnut Hill to battle Boston College.  Say what you want about the competitiveness of the ACC out-of-conference but the race for the ACC title is never not fascinating.

-Speaking of Notre Dame I just have to say how excruciating it is that the Irish (along with the Gators) appear to finally be "back."  In fact there's even talk of a national title shot.  Luckily for the non-pious, they still have to get by Stanford, Oklahoma, and USC but those are all very winnable games for this team right now--in fact, they're ranked higher than all those teams.  Until this team at least loses one game, Lou Holtz will be...well, I was going to say unbearable but that's nothing new.  Exponentially more unbearable, I suppose.

-You know, I've already discussed how wide open the ACC Coastal and Big Ten Leaders Division are right now.  And it got me thinking.  So I started looking at the conference standings and I came to a realization: We know almost NOTHING about ANY of these conferences right now.  I mean, think about it, what do we REALLY know right now?  We know Alabama and Oregon are pretty clearly the two best teams in the country and are likely to win the SEC and Pac-12 (although you never know in the SEC).  We know that Florida State is probably going to win the ACC (although the ACC is always unpredictable and the Noles still have to travel to Miami and Blacksburg [Virginia Tech]).  Other than that?  Nothing.  Specifically the three "Big"s (Big XII, Big Ten, Big East) are essentially anyone's to win.  Even Oregon still has to face Washington, Oregon State, Stanford, and USC.  Smoke 'em if you got 'em, folks.  It's gonna be a long, exciting season filled with drama.  I'm literally giddy.

#5 Georgia @ #6 South Carolina --ESPN -- 7pm

On paper this one sounds really exciting but I have a feeling Georgia's defense will just be way too much for Connor Shaw to handle. Don't be surprised if the Dawgs run away with this one.

Hobbitcore sez: Georgia

#8 West Virginia @ #11 Texas -- Fox -- 7pm

This is a tough one. Geno Smith seems unstoppable right now but he hasn't faced a defense like this yet. There are definitely weaknesses in the Longhorn secondary for him to exploit but if the UT Defensive Ends get pressure on him, he could very well make some uncharacteristic mistakes. If not, he'll have another Heisman-worthy day. Don't think the Mountaineers don't know that. Look for lots of screens and quick routes early on to put those DEs on their heels.

Hobbitcore sez: West Virginia

#21 Nebraska @ #12 Ohio State -- ABC -- 8pm

Both these teams have seen their share of struggles but both have potentially game-changing QBs that make this one hard to predict. I'm going with Ohio State's defense.

Hobbitcore sez: Ohio State

#23 Washington @ #2 Oregon -- ESPN -- 10:30pm

A lot of people seem to think this one will be interesting. I think they've been tricked into buying into the Huskies as a top 25 team after beating overrated Stanford. Oregon will put these delusions to rest by halftime.

Hobbitcore sez: Oregon

GAME OF THE WEEK

#4 LSU @ #10 Florida -- CBS -- 3:30pm

Florida has been fairly impressive but they haven't really beaten anyone. To be fair, neither has LSU. This is going to be another defensive battle with two untested QBs going into the teeth of two ferocious defenses. I really don't want to pick the Gators here but I'm just not buying into the Tigers right now. Honestly, this one is a toss-up for me. My hunch is that LSU's defense is a little bit better and even in the Swamp I think they squeak it out.

Hobbitpick: LSU 16, Florida 15 


Heisman Ballot

1. QB Geno Smith (West Virginia)
2. QB Collin Klein (Kansas State)
3. QB E.J. Manuel (Florida State) 

BCS Predictions
ACC: Florida State over Virginia Tech
Big XII: West Virginia
Big East: Louisville
Big Ten: Michigan State over Purdue
Pac 12: Oregon over USC
SEC: Alabama over Georgia

BCS Championship: Alabama over Oregon
Fiesta Bowl: West Virginia over Notre Dame
Sugar Bowl: LSU over Clemson
Orange Bowl: Florida State over Nebraska
Rose Bowl: Texas over Michigan State

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