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Old 10-17-2005, 12:57 AM   #1
buckeyefan78
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Default Who falls next?

Well, two of the undefeateds fell (Penn State, Florida State) and a few others had a helluva scare (Southern Cal, UCLA, Alabama). Texas and Texas Tech won impressively and Georgia played decent, but not outstanding. I said it would be a tough week for the elite and it certainly came true even though most avoided the upset bug. Should be an easier week for the unbeatens overall, but there are a few hurdles. Most of them return home to play on 10-22-05.

1. Alabama hosts Tennessee. The Vols will have two weeks to prepare for Bama. Tennessee has won 6 straight away from Knoxville in the rivalry.

2. Georgia hosts Arkansas. The Razorbacks only lost by 6 to the Dawgs at home last year and have played pretty well since the debacle at Southern Cal. Georgia can't look ahead to the Florida game in two weeks.

3. Texas Tech at Texas. So one of these two unbeatens will fall. There isn't much spin I can put on this one. Tech generally starts off hot with their high-powered offense only to pucker out when a big boy comes knockin' on their door. The Red Raiders got destroyed by the Horns last year, 51-20.

4. UCLA hosts Oregon State. The Beavers have looked pretty average thus far, but did manage to upset Cal on the road this past Saturday. UCLA won the meeting last year on the road in a high-scoring contest. This is the Bruins last true test before playing ASU (if you consider that a challenge now) and Southern Cal. A win here should give us an undefeated UCLA playing an unbeaten USC (especially with the way Cal has played the last two weeks).

5. Southern Cal hosts Washington. No chance in hell for the Huskies.

6. Virginia Tech at Maryland. I thought this game was Saturday, but it is actually this Thursday. Not much of a chance for the Terps I would imagine.

Best chance of getting beat...

1. Texas Tech
2. Alabama
3. UCLA
4. Georgia
5. Virginia Tech
6. Texas
7. Southern Cal

We know one will fall (loser of Tech-Texas tilt) and I'll go out and say another one stumbles as well, probably Bama.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:11 PM   #2
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Texas Tech. We will once again understand why the spread offense will never win a major conference title. Look at Florida. Now Leak probably isn't the best fit for Meyer's spread option but look at what Alabama did to the Gators. Texas Tech is well versed in the system so I doubt the Longhorns will stop them as badly as the Tide did to Florida but the Raiders will struggle.

I don't think Alabama lose will lose to Tennessee. If it were in Knoxville I might feel differently but Bama got their scare last week against Ole Miss. If the Tide lose in Tuscaloosa this season, it will probably be to LSU.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:45 PM   #3
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A few games on the list are pretty much no contests (Georgia-Arkansas, So Cal-Washington, V Tech-Maryland). Texas Tech won't be able to handle Vince Young and the Longhorns offense. Bama will win a close won against the Vols, and UCLA will win a close one against Oregon State. I'm looking for Maurice Drew to have a good game against the Beavers defense.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex
Texas Tech. We will once again understand why the spread offense will never win a major conference title. Look at Florida. .
I don't know why anyone ever makes these kind of proclomations, in service to a strongly-held opinion. It will only serve to embarrass them later, because you can never say never.

Didn't Meyer run the spread with Utah? Is that why you put in that "major" conference qualifier, so that we could throw out their achievement last year?

Utah, IMO, would've won a couple of BCS conferences last year, and the fact that they were so dominant, even if it was "only" the Mountain West, puts your declaration on shaky ground.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:59 PM   #5
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Don't be so quick to dismiss Arkansas. I wouldn't give them a good chance to win but they typically have one close game at home against an opponent they should blow out. Georgia only squeaked by South Carolina 17-15 so perhaps that was the close game but I still think Arkansas can keep it close. Georgia going to have a let down game at some point this season. If Arkansas doesn't get them, I think Georgia Tech beats them later in the season.

The spread will never win a major conference. The only conference where it could win a conference title is the Pac-10 since defense is an afterthought for everyone in that conference. The spread works well for beating the crap out of weak teams but there is a reason Texas Tech loses to Oklahoma and Texas every season- they have strong defenses. The spread is a wonderful weapon as part of the offense, it has sure helped rejuvanate the PSU offense to some degree, but relying on it solely is only good if you're satisfied with 7-8 wins per season. Texas Tech may win 9 or 10 games just because the Big 12 is really down this season. Oklahoma is obviously the biggest chip that fell but Texas A&M hasn't exactly lived up to expectations either. The Aggies were supposed to compete with Texas and Oklahoma for the Big 12 South crown. 4-2 ain't bad but that loss to Colorado was ugly. The Baylor wasn't exactly impressive either even if this is the best Baylor team since the old SWC days.

If I'm wrong, I'll admit that I'm wrong. It's just my not-so-humble opinion.
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:48 PM   #6
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The reason Texas Tech is going to (usually) lose to Texas and probably not win a Big 12 title is they don't have the recruiting base and tradition Texas et al have. If Urban Meyer runs the spread (and has the recruiting base and so forth) he certainly can win the SEC.
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:05 PM   #7
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Texas Tech has a long history of looking good against mediocre teams and losing to quality teams. I don't think it is so much the spread offense as they just never seem to recruit anyone who can play defense, or they just simply decide to put all of their best athletes on offense.
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:03 AM   #8
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Don't be so quick to dismiss the Terrapins against VT. Friedgen will have his boys ready for a nationally televised game at home against the top team in their conference. Maryland seems to be a team that plays to the level of its competition, and I wouldn't be surprised if they somehow pull off a big win.

Oregon State's big win over Cal, still reeling from a crushing loss to UCLA, definitely gives them some momentum, but if the Bruin offense continues to produce, they will be tough to beat. Don't dismiss a road trip to Stanford and Arizona quite yet either. While they should win those games, I can't in good conscience feel safe as a fan of the Bruins and knowing what league play can do to Pac-10 teams.

TTech have had a nice soft schedule and really lucked out against a mediocre Nebraska team. Texas, if they're as good as advertised, should roll the Red Raiders like they did last season.

The spread offense can be quite successful when there's sufficient defense to help. It's a bit difficult to completely discount it as a form of offense that cannot win conference titles. Tech's program just doesn't recruit well on the defensive side and that's why they don't produce the titles.

Tennessee and Florida are solid picks to continue the SEC cannibalism this season. Georgia's inability to score touchdowns with good field position is not going to take them to the national championship, but Shockley has certainly done more than I initially thought he would his first full-starting year. Alabama losing Prothro really took the wind out of their sails and a hungry Tennessee team could be a recipe for disaster at home unless Croyle and Darby start lighting it up.

'SC finishes with at Cal, Fresno State and UCLA. No one seems to think Fresno State has a snowball's chance in hell to give the Trojans a game, but I think they will. The Bulldogs are a strong road team and have shown that they do not fear any team. With a relatively short trip to LA, they probably will be fresh and holding a solid top 20 ranking by the time they do battle in the Coliseum. It will be a fine test for the Trojans before facing the Bruins in what might be the biggest Victory Bell battle in all of its illustrious history.
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Old 10-21-2005, 01:53 AM   #9
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Why is it that defense is considered an afterthought of the Pac-10?????

I think everyone would agree that LSU's defense is pretty solid. Why is that anow exposed & somewhat mediocre Arizona State team put up 31 points against those guys and only 28 against a supposedly mediocre to decent USC defense. Dare we say that SC is better on defense than LSU. Probably not, but it sure illustrates that defense in the Pac-10 is very solid, and these guys go up against the best offenses in the country week after week.

This is total east coast bias, and its getting tired. I guarantee that the supposedly weak Pac-10 defenses would not have a problem competing in the Big 10, Big XII or SEC this year.

Let's look back to last year...everyone would say that Oklahoma's defense was better than UCLA's and Cal's. Why did SC put 45 against the Sooners and only 29 against the Bruins and I believe 25 against the Bears. There is no better conference on offense than the Pac-10, so scores will undoubtedly be much higher. I just don't know why that's so hard to figure out.
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Old 10-21-2005, 02:24 AM   #10
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Glad that you've joined us, Avery, been reading your columns for sometime.

I too regard the Pac 10 as underrated, but it'd be nice if teams like UCLA would stop losing to Wyoming in bowl games. And defense is the name of the game in the Big Ten anyway, I think their overmatched there....Cal had to comeback from down at halftime to beat the undisputed worst team in the Big Ten.
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:48 AM   #11
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Terps had Va Tech on the ropes for the 1st half last night, then the Hokies turned it on and finished them off. First time i have had a chance to watch Marcus Vick, and i have to say, i am impressed.
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinBeane
Glad that you've joined us, Avery, been reading your columns for sometime.

I too regard the Pac 10 as underrated, but it'd be nice if teams like UCLA would stop losing to Wyoming in bowl games. And defense is the name of the game in the Big Ten anyway, I think their overmatched there....Cal had to comeback from down at halftime to beat the undisputed worst team in the Big Ten.
Thanks Kevin for the nice words.

I agree w/what you said about the Pac-10 being underrated & UCLA dropping bowl games to Wyoming doesn't help. Cal spotting 17 to the Illini was atrocious as well. Spot on comments.
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:40 AM   #13
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Texas as a team to fall this week. I'm not saying that it's going to happen, but it's definitely a possibility. They played Texas well when they had good teams in 2002 and 2003. Last year they didn't have a good team and got rocked. The key for Texas Tech is if they can get Taurean Henderson going. He had a big game against Texas in 2003 with 3 scores, and didn't play a factor in the game last season with only 6 carries.

They are set up differently than in the past, I'd say their defense is more focused. Not good, per se, especially given that they haven't been tested, but focused. They've beaten Texas with less defensively.

Second, this team turns the ball over less. Cumbie had 12 INTs in the 6 games leading to Texas, Cumbie has thrown 5. Turning the ball over kills them in these big games as they get behind, abandon the running game completely and the good teams can stop the gimmicky pass attack.
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:51 AM   #14
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Doug brings up a good point. Every interview i have seen shows a cocky Texas team that don't think they can get beat. Wouldn't be surprised to see them fall.

Like Alex said, don't look past Arkansas, especially considering the fact UGA almost always plays down to the competition.
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:40 PM   #15
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Yes, my hokies played like crap on the Thursday night game everyone was watching. Well not crap. The defense was incredible. But the offense was bad. Marcus Vick did not play impressive and I thought it was the worse game of the season for him. Were better when hes great through the air, but sometimes you will slip up and have an off game so he beat the Terps running. But it was the defense that won this game folks. Really should have been a blowout but the 2 fumbles on the 1 were costly. Next Thursday we get BC at home. YES sir, I'll be in Lane Stadium for that one.
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