Sep 28

Blinded by the Light

Posted By:Wes Mewbourne  Tags:

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Photo: Dale Zanine -

And the tailspin begins.  Four teams in the Top 10 had their eyes set on the big prize and didn’t see the team right in front of them.  Eight ranked teams as a whole lost focus.  By the end of the night, it was almost deja vous from last year.  Here are a few things to take away from this week…
 1. Bama is serious.  After just five games, the Tide has risen from 24th to 2nd, and has beaten two Top 10 programs away from home.  Here’s another stat for you – in those five games, Alabama has trailed for exactly zero minutes.  From here on out, they have the most manageable schedule, with LSU and Auburn being the only ranked teams left.  Don’t be surprised if Coach Saban takes his new team to Miami after New Year’s to play for his second crystal football.

2. Beware the BCS Buster.  After week 5, four non-BCS programs are ranked, and two (BYU and Utah) are #15 or higher, meaning if they stay, one of them HAS to be picked.  With BYU at no. 8, that puts them above the highest ranked teams from the Pac-10 (USC), Big East (USF), and ACC (Va. Tech).  Maybe the shortcomings of the BCS system this year will be the six conferences with automatic bids.  How can one conference say they deserve that automatic bid when their highest ranked team is only 24th best in the poll that matters?

3. Home-Hum.  There used to be such a thing as home field advantage.  When a team came to your field, they not only played you.  They played you and your fans.  They battled fatigue from travel.  They aren’t supposed to overcome that, especially if they are an inferior opponent.  This week, 5 teams lost at home to teams ranked lower than them.  Only Georgia lost to a ranked opponent.  Suddenly “The Swamp” and “Death Valley” don’t seem threatening.

4. This Week’s Power Conference.  This time last week, the SEC had three teams in the Top 5 after owning half the Top 10.  This week, it’s the Big 12 that’s taken over, with three teams in the Top 5 (Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas), and four in the Top 7 (Texas Tech).  None of those teams have a real walk in the park on their schedule this week, as Texas plays Colorado, but then plays Oklahoma and Missouri.  Look for that conference to thin out a little as well.

5. Holy War.  When was the last time that a rivalry game went further than instate bragging rights?  For a team from the Mountain West, it’s been more recent than most.  This year, however, the annual meeting of Utah and BYU to close the season could feature two Top 10 programs.  That means, not only will the game be huge for the state, but could be a play in for a BCS bid. 

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