>Wednesday Lunch: So Appalled

Posted: November 10, 2010 in ncaafb
Tags: ,

>By Dylan Davis

Since the creation of the BCS, there have been debates almost every year about its abilities. Most years, fans of one team or another have been absolutely appalled, especially fans of non-BCS schools. Well, we may finally have the definitive answer on whether or not a non-BCS school can make the national title game over a BCS conference school if they have similar resumes. The answer is a resounding and deafening NO. TCU obliterated fellow Mountain West conference member, and number six ranked, Utah by a shocking score of 47-7. Auburn, who is ranked one spot ahead of TCU in all the polls played a decent game against 1-AA Chattanooga and won 62-24, but come on, it’s Chattanooga; they should beat them by at least 38. If Auburn had won by 40 against a top-ten team, we would be discussing them as the no-doubt number one team in the country over Oregon.


This isn’t the only instance of big conference schools getting the benefit of the doubt. When Oregon had a tough time against Washington State earlier in the year, many people just chalked it up to a rough game and kept them ranked in the same slot. If Boise or TCU had trouble putting away Louisiana Tech or even Air Force (a ranked team at one point this year) they would drop in the rankings and most likely miss a shot at the national title. When Auburn blows out a team like Vanderbilt they got a ton of acclaim for destroying an SEC team, even if that SEC team is horrendous and not much better then a bottom feeder Mountain West school. It’s true that form top to bottom, Auburn and Oregon have tougher schedules than TCU and Boise State, but the non-BCS schools shouldn’t be penalized for not destroying every team. On the flip side, when they deliver an epic beat down like TCU did, they should be given the proper respect.
 
The BCS is not the only controversy rocking college football right now. Within the past few weeks Cam Newton, the Heisman front running quarterback from Auburn, has had his name involved in a few scandals of varying damage and believability. First, a former Mississippi State quarterback claimed that Newton’s advisor wanted to be paid to have Newton recruited out of Blinn Junior College last year. Within the past few days, another story broke about Newton’s possible misdoings, this one while he was enrolled at Florida. As a member of the Gators team, he sat behind Tim Tebow and it was supposed that the reason he transferred was because he wasn’t getting any playing time. Now it has surfaced that he may have been caught cheating on a test and the reason he transferred was to avoid being expelled. Another report has said that Newton’s father, and possibly the quarterback himself, asked for money to play at Auburn.
 
None of these rumors has been substantiated and for now, you have to take everything said with a grain of salt. With that being said, the Reggie Bush and the North Carolina scandal both started out as slightly absurd rumors until they were investigated and proved to be true. If there is no resolution to this within the next month, and it seems that nothing will be definite until after the season, there is no reason for Newton to lose Heisman votes or for Auburn to drop in the polls. Allegations fly a lot of the time because reporters want a store so they conveniently leave out important details, but if these stories turn out to be true (especially the pay-for-play rumor), huge penalties would be brought down on Auburn and Newton would most likely lose the remainder of his eligibility. As a fan of Newton and his electrifying style, I hope these rumors stay just that: rumors. But, if all of them are true, college football could be facing an identity crisis, and fans would be forced to take another look at how college athletics are run.
 
This week was not all bad though; let’s look back at the action that took place on the field in week ten.
 
· TCU looked unstoppable on Saturday. They went into Utah and absolutely annihilated a team that hadn’t lost at home in over 20 games. As I said in the opening, beating the sixth ranked team in the nation by such an astounding score was incredible, but the stats back up the victory as well. TCU out-gained Utah 558-199 and outscored the Utes 40-0 over the first 48 minutes. TCU has allowed only 23 total points in its last six games and 8.5 points per game for the entire season. The Utah team that they held to seven point was only held below 30 twice the entire year and had scored in excess of 56 points four times. This is all a fancy way of saying that the TCU defense is really freakin’ good. The offense is no pushover either, as they’ve scored at least 30 in all games except for one and have scored 40 plus in half of their games so far. Expect the numbers to get gaudier for both the offense and defense as they play San Diego State and New Mexico to finish the season.
· Alabama looked primed for a possible run to the national title if they could sneak by Auburn on the final week of the season, but LSU had other plans. I guess head coach Les Miles showed his troops a few Sack Lunch articles written by yours truly, because they looked fired up and ready to beat anybody. I have bashed the Tigers numerous times for their deficiencies on offense and adventurous play calling to end games, but they just keep winning. Because they lost to Auburn already it would be nearly impossible for them to get to the conference title game, but a BCS bowl could very well be in their future if they can pull out a few more victories to end the season.
· TCU and Boise are helped by the Crimson Tide getting upset because it eliminates another potential one-loss team that could have jumped them in the polls. The Tide were the most likely team, if they had beaten LSU and Auburn, to finish ahead of the non-BCS schools. Nebraska and the Big 10 champ could still potentially jump the Broncos and the Frogs, but the picture just got a little clearer.
· The coaches’ poll is taken into consideration for the BCS standings, and as of right now, the top ranked team from the state of Florida is…UCF? The Gators, Seminoles, and Hurricanes have all had disappointing seasons so their less heralded neighbor has taken over the top dog status for the sunshine state. Obviously, this probably won’t last very long, but it’s a microcosm of how the season has gone for the traditional powers down south.
 
Heisman Watch
1. Cam Newton (QB Auburn) – Even though he’s had some issues off the field (see above) he’s still produced quality numbers and plenty of Heisman moments this year. Everything could hinge on his play against defending champion Alabama. If he plays well and the Tigers finish the season undefeated he should be the Heisman favorite.
 
2. LaMichael James (HB Oregon) – James once again put up good numbers against an overmatched Pac10 defense, but Heisman voters can’t overlook the body of work James has put up this entire year. This could be another case of voters choosing the best player on the best team. Even though he’s been great the whole year, he may have to hope for an Auburn loss, or a furthering of the Newton investigation, to win the stiff armed trophy.
 
These are the two runaway favorites at this moment. Justin Blackmon and Kellen Moore may be invited to New York because they need more participants, but so far, the only realistic options are James and Newton.
 
Week 11 Preview:
This week is devoid of any huge games, but there is quality across the board.
 
Best Games of the Week:

Georgia vs. Auburn – This is Auburn’s last challenge before facing Alabama to close the season. If too much his off the field issues distract Cam Newton, I could see an improving Bulldog team pull the upset. Unfortunately, for Georgia, I don’t think there’s much of a chance of that. Pick: Auburn-42 Georgia-31
 

Mississippi State vs. Alabama – Nick Saban is too good of a coach to allow his team to lose two straight SEC games, but the upstart Bulldogs could give the Tide trouble if they look ahead to their showdown against Newton and the Tigers. Pick: Alabama-27 Mississippi State-21
 

South Carolina vs. Florida – South Carolina was blown out last week against Arkansas, while Florida has been steadily improving as the season has gone along. This game is basically a play-in to the SEC title game and I think the fact that South Carolina has never won the conference title pushes them to victory on the road. Pick: South Carolina-28 Florida-20
 

That’s all the time we have for today, come back next week for an update on the Cam Newton saga as well as look forward to bowl season and a recap of the exciting action from week 11. Have a great weekend.

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