Games watched: EMU-Ohio (Thurs, parts); Va Tech-Miami (Thurs, somewhere between Ohio and sleep); Wash-Cal (Fri, first half); Mizzou-Fla (snippets); Oklahoma-Iowa State (2nd tv); Michigan-Minnesota; Iowa-Indiana (as little as possible, 2nd tv); Nebraska-Michigan State (snippets); Pitt-ND; Oregon-USC (2nd tv); K-St-Okla St (flip at commercials); Bama-LSU.
Saturday was the rare day when I was able to watch all four of the top teams in action, at least partially. Notre Dame kicked off at 2:30 and didn't end until three overtimes later, around 6:45. Oregon-USC kicked off at 6pm, and the game was out of reach before we could switch over. I will give credit to Southern Cal for hanging in there and occasionally keeping it close, but I don't know what you can say when a team can score 62 points and not really look like they broke a sweat. Meanwhile, K-State dispatched Oklahoma State in a night game. I'm not sure K-State's stadium has ever been that electric at night. As for Bama-LSU: despite my urgings as an ND fan and LSU Pick Six holder, they could not unseat Alabama, who truly looks every bit the Number One team in the country.
After 10 weeks, we basically know the profile of every team (with exceptions like West Virginia and Texas, who seem to flip a coin to decide if they'll be good any given week). And generally, I'm not given to big pronouncements about what can and will happen at the end of the season: remember that Kansas-West Virginia national championship in 2007? Exactly. But having said all that: I don't see anyone on the schedule of Alabama, Oregon or K-State who can or will beat them.
Notre Dame, on the other hand, could easily lose to any of the next three teams, just as they could have (should have) lost to Pitt yesterday. A flat defense, more quarterback roulette, a case of fumble-itis ... any of things could derail the Irish, especially against an opponent who knows that a win would make their season.
So yeah, Notre Dame is Number 4. But I'm looking at a three-man race from now til December 1.
To the poll: Three re-entries. First up:
No one is going to get that joke except TM ("QBKatt") and perhaps the New York City residents/alums in the group. Everytime Scott Clark (former sports anchor for WABC-Channel 7) said the name of the State University of New Jersey, he said it like this:
It was awesome. We moved away in 2007 and still say it like Scott Clark.
Also, Texas (more on them in a second) and MAC token of the week, the Toledo Rockets. Special shout-out to "NO Bowl Game" who visited us here in the suburbs recently, and had the temerity to pick a MAC school as his Pick Sixth. (Yes that's right Pick Sixers, if you come out to the burbs and visit TMMPF HQ, you will probably get a personal shout-out in the blog. This is how bribery works, man.)
Adios: Boise State (losing to Sparty doesn't look as good in November); the other schizophrenia special, West Virginia; and everyone's favorite ex-Michigan coach* and his new Arizona squad. I mean, c'mon, they kept it within 55 points of UCLA!
Big gainers: The previously mentioned walking case of schizophrenia known as the Texas Longhorns re-enters the poll at 19. That's +7 points for a team that lost 63-21 to a team that lost at home, at night, twice in five weeks. (In Oklahoma's defense, they lost to the current No. 3 and No. 4 teams. That's SEC-worthy.) That's also the best jump of the week. Nebraska +3 for beating Sparty in a Cro-Magnon game of pathetic offense. If that's not a "fuck it, I don't care about this Big Ten" from voters, I don't know what is. Also +3 for Toledo (in at No. 23).
Big losers: This, as Richard Nixon would tell you, is the more interesting side of things. Boise went from 19th to gone (-7) for the crime of losing on their blue turf to San Diego State. LSU dropped 4 for the more respectable home loss to Alabama. USC down 3 for losing to the No. 2 team. West Virginia -3 and out for falling in a shootout to TCU. West Virginia currently ranks 116th out of 120 teams in scoring defense (giving up 39.75 points per game). If you add in the four new schools that the NCAA doesn't count for whatever reason, they fall to 119th of 124. For context, ND is second at 11.67 ppg, behind Bama at 9.11 ppg.
Trivial: this week has two ties, at No. 5 (Ohio State/Georgia) and at No. 19 (Texas/La Tech). I don't think I've ever seen that.
Best week: This was the week to have Texas, and a couple other climbers as well. "Dix Pix Six" fits the bill, jumping 11 points with Texas plus Georgia, Ohio State and Florida. That gets him from 5th to ...
Enough jibber jabber, who's winning?
"Thomas the Train" (or his mommy) had the wisdom to take Ohio State out of Group D, which, by the way, is the only 10-0 team in the country and has climbed up to No. 4. Last week Thomas had a one-point lead, 91-90, and this week he's up to 93. But "Dix Pix Six" joins him at the top of the pile. (I wasn't entirely sure how to illustrate "Dix Pix Six." Then I found six guitar picks with Elvis on them. Now I need to go put "Elvis guitar picks" on my birthday wish list.)
Top adult: "Dix Pix Six." Top kitty: Mutchka. Top dog: the awesomely named "Four Legs and a cloud of dust." Gamewide average falls a half point, from 54.6 to 54.1.
* -- Oh who am I kidding. EVERY ex-Michigan coach is great to make fun of.