Sunday, September 16, 2007

Uhm... is this thing on?

Hi all. I'm the new kid in the neighborhood. Looking forward to enlightening you with my, uh... sports expertise. Naturally.

I don't know about you, but if you vote in some sort of college football top 25 poll (and if you don't and would like to, I direct your attention to but not until you finish reading), you probably struggled with this question while filling out your ballot... is South Carolina really a top 15 team? Oregon? Clemson?! ¡Ay, caramba!

Such is the mediocrity of the top 25 in Week 3 of this very interesting football season. The middle of all the polls went down faster than a drunk sorority girl. UCLA got their asses handed to them by the Utes. Nebraska got manhandled for three quarters by USC. Georgia Tech let Boston College leave Atlanta with a 3-0 record in the Atlantic Division. Arkansas valiantly fought back in Tuscaloosa only to have Nick Saban sneak out of the stadium with a win.

So what's a voter to do? South Carolina was okay against South Carolina State. Clemson played Furman. (Analysis of the week, Doug Flutie: "This is a Clemson team that can really play four quarters." ...against Furman. Was Flutie watching the Bowden Bowl?) Personally, I still have Louisville in the top 15. I still think Brian Brohm and company would beat the likes of South Carolina and Clemson, even if it would come down to having to just outscore them. Yeah, the Ol' Ball Coach held the Bulldogs to 12 points, but we'll see just how good Georgia is down the road -- because nothing builds a resume like Western Carolina and Oklahoma State (did anyone see that Troy game?).

I think I'm digressing here, but what I'm getting at is the overall feel of the Top 25 this week. The top six are solid: USC, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, WVU, Cal. They're solid, and perhaps interchangeable. They all deserve #1 props. USC is rolling. Tim Tebow's a beast. LSU is just sick. Then you get into good teams that have yet to have that moment affirming their abilities. I'm looking at you, Texas. (Coach's quote of the week, Mack Brown: "We're never opening anyone's stadium ever again.") But I'm also talking about the Buckeyes, the Nittany Lions, the Badgers, and the Scarlet Knights. And then, as I touched on, come the teams that got into the top 15 by default: South Carolina, Oregon, Clemson, Virginia Tech. And then under that, Hawaii's back on track, but Texas A&M is unproven.

Wanna know how bad it got? USF enters the AP poll at #23 after a bye week. You don't need to play this week, we're giving these spots away! But the point is, and I know I'm being superfluous with it here, the college football scene is pretty much wide open outside of those solid top six. It won't turn out to be as crystal clear as all the analysts said it would be during the preseason. I think #21-25 could pretty much be any number of teams. My short list includes Cincinnati, Purdue, Michigan State, perhaps even Air Force.

But I guess we'll see what happens with our blog poll when it's posted later on. (Shameless plug.)

So, despite it being a frustrating week for voters, I'm definitely looking forward to see how things play out once the crux of the conference matchups start rolling in (unless you're BC, of course). We're in for an exciting fall, folks.