Thursday, September 14

People Get Paid for This?

Yeah, I know it's easy to pretty much obliterate some sports writing - which is why I rarely do so. However, sometimes I can't help myself. Check out this gem over at from Tom Dienhart. He goes through and does a quick recap of all the BCS conferences. Who's up for some fun? Let's take it by conference. First up - ACC:

Looking good: Boston College. The Eagles' scintillating double-overtime win over Clemson sets them up for a 5-0 start. Which leads me to ponder: Is there a better coach in the nation than Tom O'Brien? I think not.

Looking lame: Florida State. Face it, the Noles should have lost to Troy State. Or is it Troy? Doesn't matter. Whoever the hell that was, the Seminoles should have sodded the field with them. Until FSU figures out how to run the ball, it isn't a legit national title contender.

Game of the week: Clemson at Florida State. Bowden Bowl 8 lost lots of luster with the Tigers' loss at BC and FSU's struggles vs. Troy. Nonetheless, we'll be treated to myriad camera shots of Mama Bowden wringing her hands. The drama of Bowden vs. Bowden ended long ago. The drama now: Can Papa Bowden make life even tougher for Tommy Boy?

Yup, that Tom O'Brien is sure good. Two wins, both at home, combined margin of victory: 8 points! Of course, considering everyone else in the ACC turned in a lackluster performance last week, I can understand. Wait, Virginia Tech beat UNC 35-10? Frank Beamer must be a horrid coach.

Seriously, I can at least understand the logic behind saying that BC's on a roll right now - I'd argue that it's flawed by virtue that neither victory looked pretty impressive (they were lackluster against Central Michigan and got outplayed for most of the Clemson game), but Tom O'Brien for Coach of the Year? Hell, I'd put the guy from Akron up for that honor before I'd even consider O'Brien - and neither of them would be in my top 20 at this point.

As for the rest of it - yeah, FSU did suck, no argument there, Jeff Bowden blows, we'll go through this 20 more times before the season is over. FSU/Clemson probably can pass as the game of the week, although - again - I'd argue that the biggest issue for Clemson is the players they've lost on defense so far, not the loss at BC. Of course, FSU is missing almost all of their DTs at this point, so who knows?

Onto the Big East!

Looking good: Pitt. Kudos to Wanny for getting things straightened out in a jiff. Tyler Palko looks like, well, Tyler Palko. And that's a good thing for a program that -- I can't believe I'm gonna type this--could win the league title.

Looking lame: Cincinnati. I still have trouble embracing the Bearcats as a BCS team when I see programs like TCU, Utah, Boise State, Fresno State, BYU and UCF on the outside looking in. Nonetheless, UC marches on with trips to Ohio State this week and Virginia Tech the next. I ask: Why?

Game of the week: Miami at Louisville. I'll go ahead and call this the biggest game in Louisville history. Kinda like picking the greatest Pauley Shore movie ever. But I'm not here to dump on the Cards. No, I'm here to give them a hug. Can't wait to watch that high-powered Cardinals' offense vs. that NFL-quality Hurricane defense.

Yeah, Pitt's been impressive - but league title? Wonder if Dienhart forgot to pay his oxygen bill. And yes, Cincy is clearly the worst BCS team in college football. Syracuse, Duke, Kentucky, Vandy, Wake Forest, Illinois, Colorado, etc., can rest easy. And did he include "we just lost 42-0 to Florida" UCF? (By the way, it's easy to pick the GotW when you only have two ranked teams in a conference.)

Next - Big 10!

Looking good: Ohio State. Nothing like clearing your highest hurdle before you've even hit the first turn of the race. But here are the Buckeyes, just a road win at Iowa and home triumph over Michigan from a trip to the national title game.

Looking lame: Purdue. I admire Joe Tiller's positive spin. You know, saying stuff like "we will improve." But I'm gonna stick to the facts. You know, stuff that's actually happened. And here's the honest truth: This just isn't a good team. The secondary is a mess - again -- and quarterback Curtis Painter is quickly becoming a liability.

Game of the week: Michigan at Notre Dame. This is the game that inspired you to dig out that Irish T-shirt you had buried in your dresser last year. A win would do the same for Wolverines fans this year. Did you just hear that, too? It was Lloyd Carr's collar tightening. FYI: Big Blue hasn't left South Bend with a "W" since 1994.

Good news - Dienhart finally hits! Of course, everyone's saying (t)OSU's looking good, so whatever. Also, good to hear that he's blasting on Purdue when the Zooker and Illinois got blasted by Rutgers. At least they're better than Cincy, right? Right? Anyone? Bueller?

Dienhart forgot to include "and burn" in one of his GotW sentences. See if you can figure out where it should go. "This is the game that inspired you to dig out that Irish T-shirt you had buried in your dresser last year."

Big 12 time:

Looking good: Missouri. It wasn't a shock that the Tigers beat Ole Miss. But it WAS a shock that they thumped the Rebs. Quarterback Chase Daniel only will get better, along with the rest of the offense. And the defense, especially the line, has been sterling. There's a great chance MU could be 5-0 when it heads to Texas Tech on October 7. Yes, you read that right.

Looking lame: Kansas. Hey, I love Mark Mangino and the Jayhawks, but that's a mighty flimsy 2-0 dais they are standing on. A big dose of reality could be served Friday night, when KU travels to Toledo. The Jayhawk offense has to get on track.

Game of the week: Oklahoma at Oregon. The Sooners are 2-0, but you, me and the RufNek driving the Sooner Schooner know that it's a shaky 2-0. It's this simple: The offense is too reliant on Adrian Peterson, and the defense flat out can't tackle or stop the run consistently. Add in a hot Ducks team and one of the nation's toughest venues and, well, I think you know where I'm going with this.

Yeah - Missouri is quietly turning into a half-decent team, so Dienhart did bring the analysis. I'll give him some credit. But last I checked, Colorado lost to a 1-AA team. Did they get kicked out of the league for that?

How does Dienhart define "too reliant on Adrian Peterson, anyway"? Running 60% of plays? Well, he's doing less than that. Pretty damn close to 50%, which means - say it with me - a balanced attack! Also, Peterson is one of the best backs in the nation, just so you know. Dienhart also defines "hot" as winning your last game by 7 and beating a team that lost to San Diego State.

Mercifully, we're almost done. Pac-10.

Looking good: Cal. Welcome back, Golden Bears. The offense dominated and the defense stifled. Of course, playing Minnesota helped. No matter, football is all about confidence. And Cal got a big dose of it. The Bears will continue to right themselves this week vs. Portland State before Arizona State comes calling.

Looking lame: Stanford. The Pac-10 head coaches I talked to this summer all said the Cardinal was the least talented team in the league. Guess they were right. If Stanford doesn't beat Navy or Washington State in the next two weeks, it could go O-fer 2006. Did you know Stanford is known for its academics?

Game of the week: Nebraska at USC. Many felt Bill Callahan scored a signature win vs. Michigan in last year's Alamo Bowl. A win here would be way bigger. But there's no way, no how the Cornhuskers are ready for the Trojans' load.

I'll be honest - I don't follow the Pac-10 much. But even though I just gave Oregon hell, they are 2-0 with an actual quality win. Not hot, but good. Looking good, in fact. Also, UCLA is going to light a bag of dog poop and put it on Cal's doorstep. And Stanford sucks, but we knew that already. They're better than Cincinnati!

Yeah, yeah, the GotW isn't a bad choice, especially since he already got Oregon in the Big 12 GotW.

Almost done with this mess - it's SEC time:

Looking good: LSU. This is the quintessential buzz saw. But remember, the Bayou Bengals ARE the most talented team in the league. The way LSU flogged Arizona was frightening. Can't wait to see if those injured running backs regain their form.

Looking lame: South Carolina. Yeah, yeah, Steve Spurrier is a great coach. But the Gamecocks are living, breathing proof that this is a game that's all about the players. And South Carolina just ain't got 'em. But, God bless 'em, they try.

Game of the week: Florida at Tennessee. If defense wins games, then the Gators have this one in the bag. But the key for Florida will be its ability to continue running well. The Vols? Well, I'm not convinced they aren't still sick. I'm gonna go ahead and call this Tennessee's litmus test vs. what I feel is the best team in the SEC East.

Let's blow through the easy ones - yeah, LSU is looking good (check my rankings, check the other rankings here), no issue there. You can make a case for Auburn, Georgia, and Florida, too, and you'll probably be right there. Also, South Carolina is pretty hideous at 1-1. They're way worse than a Mississippi State team that has yet to put a point on the board - but they're both better than Cincinnati!

Also, there's a game this week between a couple of SEC teams. Maybe you've heard of it - it's LSU @ Auburn. Two national title contenders and two of the most complete teams in the nation fighting it out. But don't watch it, it'll suck. Watch Florida/Tennessee instead - that's a much better option. Also, way for Dienhart to go out on a limb and say Florida is the best team in the SEC East along with most other analysts during the preseason. Way to go, buddy!

(For the record, this post was done without looking up numbers of any kind. I figure this was only fair, as I'm unconvinced that Dienhart did this before writing.)