I originally wrote this as a post for another site but it didn't want to work for me. After attempting to post several times I noticed it was loaded with Alabama fans anyhow so I'm kinda glad it didn't work lol.
..............................................................................................................................................................................................ow, what an incredibly interesting season with multiple storylines it seems. Here's my ridiculously far off prediction for the time being...just for fun :D
A. tOSU loses eventually...they just seem to find a way when they are highly ranked. They don't have that air of invincibility about them that top ranked teams normally do and with Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan on the board still, I just don't see them escaping unscathed. OFC the caveat is the last time I felt this way about them they shocked The U for a championship.
B. Personally, I think Oregon is overrated. They've looked great against some pretty soft competition. Tennessee is worse than awful this year and rebuilding, Arz. St. gave their game away to the Ducks imo, Stanford got way way too much credit for beating an Irish team that is overhauling it's entire philosophy, and Washington St. pushed the Ducks far too hard for the level of team Washington St. is this year. Oregon's offensive scheme allows for some video game type numbers but is hell on their QB's...just look at their past few years worth of injuries at that position. On top of that, if a defense has the size/speed ratio to shut down their run game (see Boise St. game film from the past 2 years against Oregon) then their offense dies. The types of QB's they need for that system are run first QB's who depend on the fear of the run to open up huge gaps in the pass coverage. If the run is shut down and the coverage is tighter than normal on those receivers then their QB's begin to struggle b/c they are not the pinpoint accurate dropback passer types. There's always exceptions, ala Dennis Dixon from a few years ago; but combined with their defense, which seems more lucky and opportunistic than good, I think they lose eventually...possibly to Oregon St. in The Civil War. One thing to keep in mind is that their defense is on the field a lot due to the breakneck speed of their offense which helps inflate the yardage they give up. Even armed with that knowledge though I don't have a warm fuzzy about them. Possibly b/c I don't think, when faced with a team that can drive on you and play good defense themselves, that you can survive under that philosophy (i.e. Buffalo Bills of the 90s...u just wear them down and run over them in the 4th qtr).
C. Boise St. isn't taking a loss the rest of the season but they may get jumped by any number of teams. The unusual thing about Boise this year is their SoS isn't nearly as far down in the gutter as it usually is. Oregon St. is probably the best 2 loss team in the country and VT is proving they are the team that started the season with NC hopes. That JMU loss was b/c the game was played 5 days after an intensely physical and emotionally draining loss against BSU. Mark it down folks, V tech will play Florida St. for the ACC Championship. The computers will recognize this difference in SoS but I'm not so sure the voters will because we humans tend to vote off trends and autopilot more than objectivity and analysis imho...it's just natural.
D. Nebraska will likely end up proving my last point above. Their SoS is awful so far but their reputation is stellar and deep. BSU's SoS is actually rated better and I don't see much in the future changing that since nearly every team in the Big-12 seems to either be rebuilding or is overrated imo. Plus Nebraska struggled against South Dakota St. or something and didn't seem to suffer any fallout for it. If Boise St. struggled against New Mexico St. I think BSU would have dropped instantly...it's a double standard imo. I don't mean to take anything from the Nebraska team though, this is why I abhor the SoS argument when not used with good sense as well. Nebraska looks like an incredibly strong team to me and if they win out I expect them to leap Boise St. (fair or not) and find a way into the NC game provided tOSU and/or Oregon lose as I expect.
E. TCU has another outstanding team this year. I am not in the camp that says they are nothing b/c they are a Mid-major w/o a storybook of tradition. TCU is one of the best teams in the country and not far off from Boise St. imo. Boise St., at least in my mind, beat them in the final game of last year with nearly same rosters for both schools. Boise St.'s 2nd best receiver was out for that game and BSU lost fewer players (just one actually. BSU is easily the most experienced top tier team in the country this year). Additionally, BSU has edged TCU in stats and point differential this year against fellow TCU opponents Wyoming and Oregon St. Combine all of that and I think you throw SoS out the window on this one but it won't happen. TCU may very well have the tougher schedule by the end of the year and a lot of voters put nearly all their emphasis on that when looking at two closely rated teams. Because of that, provided TCU defeats both AF and Utah as I expect, they may leap BSU as well.
F. Oklahoma is more mediocre than a lot of people think imo. I'm not totally sold on that yet, it's just the impression I get. They narrowly edged an inordinately weak Texas team and blew out an FSU squad in Norman that is learning a brand new defense this year from...Bob Stoops' little brother. If that's not an advantage in game planning I don't know what is. They get a lot of credit for that victory since the 'Noles are 4-1 and just destroyed UM in Miami but I'm telling you, something stinks and Nebraska is going to expose it mercilessly.
G. Auburn is a team that has been on the rise for 3 years now. Cam Newton is the truth and that offense is nigh unstoppable lol. But their defense is still finding its way, has little depth, and is coupled to that 100mph offense...not a good recipe for success in the SEC. Still, there's plenty of reason for opponents to fear this Tiger team that, thus far, remains unbeaten. We'll see what they do against Arkansas and Alabama after scraping by Kentucky. I'm a believer in matchups so I don't care that Auburn beat SCAR and SCAR beat Bama. That doesn't even remotely guarantee a Tiger win against Bama in my book.
H. Which brings me to Alabama coincidentally. Alabama's current predicament is what's wrong with the voting thing imo. How can you keep Bama ranked over SCAR after SCAR JUST whooped them by 2 TDs!? Yet, the flip side of that is...how far can you drop Alabama and still be able to sleep at night? Does anyone here really think Alabama is not one of the top 5 teams in the country or that SCAR doesn't deserve a better shot at a NC since they beat them convincingly? My God, we need a playoff so bad or at least a different system. I'm not sure what the solution is that would satisfy most people but it can't be this tragedy. Anyhow, I had SCAR pegged as a trouble game for them as soon as I learned about Lattimore...they just matched up well. I can't say the same for LSU. I think Bama's next danger game will be against Auburn to decide who goes to the SEC CG. My gut tells me Auburn (due to Auburn's hunger and their talent level this year plus their scheme vs. Bama's coverage weaknesses) for the upset but it's too early to forecast that shiznit.
I. Like Oregon, I believe LSU is living on borrowed time. I think an angry and embarrassed Alabama team wipes them off the field this Saturday. It's the SEC and rivalry games are impossible to predict so we will have to see. But on paper I like Bama easily.
J. If Utah beats TCU look for them to begin rising in the Top 10. I just don't think it will happen. I think amazing defenses trump amazing offenses and TCU's scheme is a tough nut to crack. Utah's best hope is that their own defense can put a chokehold on TCU's running game and that TCU's defense really really misses guys like Jerry Hughes.
My synopsis so far then is...
1. tOSU drops out
2. Oregon drops out
3. Nebraska leaps BSU to #1
4. BSU goes to #2 due to attrition
5. TCU does not leap BSU despite going undefeated
6. Oklahoma drops after losing Big-12 CG to Nebraska
7. Auburn goes on to play SCAR for SEC CG...when two teams play a 2nd time I almost always go w/ the team that lost the 1st time. They have more opportunity to change their scheme and throw a curveball whereas the team that won basically has to go with what they did b4 and become predictable as a result. So I'll take SCAR.
8. Alabama drops out due to loss against hungry in state rival Auburn at end of season.
9. LSU drops out after losing to Bama this weekend
10. Utah drops out after losing to TCU
NC = Nebraska vs. Boise St.
Obviously it's a long way off to forecast like this, this is strictly for S&G's and to spur on some debate. If this scenario played out then TCU and the winner of the SEC CG (Bama, SCAR, or Auburn) could just as easily leap Boise into the Title game. I think it will come down to what the Computers think and Politics as usual.
I think this season is one of the best, as far as drama is concerned, that we have seen in a long time. What do you all think will happen? Just for fun ya know.