Blog Entry 120 -- Free Fallin'

Posted on: October 13, 2008 11:43 am
Edited on: October 13, 2008 12:52 pm

How low can you go?

For a handful of teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 we are about to find out.

Preseason favorites Auburn, Wisconsin, Arizona State and Clemson all find themselves falling down the rankings in the 120 with a possibility that it could get worse before the season is over.

Auburn, which we all had in our preseason Top 25, fell to No. 42 this week after losing its third game in the past four.

The Tigers started the season at 3-0 before losing a close game with LSU. They then squeaked out a 14-12 victory against Tennessee before losing 14-13 to Vanderbilt and 25-22 to Arkansas.

Auburn was expected to be alot better offensively with Kodi Burns seeing time at quarterback and a strong rushing attack with the combination of Ben Tate and Brad Lester.

But Burns and Chris Todd have combined for only 1,101 passing yards, five touchdowns and nine interceptions. Tate has had some good games, but had only 32 yards rushing against Arkansas and 45 yards against LSU.

"Offensively, we just don't have an identity and that's what we have to do this week," coach Tommy Tuberville said as Auburn prepares to face West Virginia on Oct. 23.

Now Auburn is looking at other options at quarterback, including freshman Barrett Trotter and scout-team quarterback Neil Caudle, who has three attempts in his career.

"To burn a redshirt this late, we wouldn't play [Trotter] four or five plays. We'd get him ready to go," Tuberville told the Birmingham News. "If we're going to play him, we're going to play him."

If things don't get better in a hurry, Auburn will continue to fall down the rankings. After facing the Mountaineers in two weeks, Auburn still has to play Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama on the schedule.

Another team that finds itself in the same boat as Auburn is Wisconsin. Many expected the Badgers to compete for the Big Ten title and a possible BCS Bowl, but the Badgers have lost three in a row and dropped down to No. 44.

Things have fallen apart since the Michigan loss, where the Badgers had a 19-0 lead at halftime. They followed that up with a close loss to Ohio State and then getting blown out by Penn State.

P.J. Hill is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry (191 yards on 53 carries) in the losses with just one touchdown, while quarterback Allan Evridge has four interceptions and only two touchdowns over that stretch.

Wisconsin's schedule isn't as tough as Auburn's, but the Badgers still have to face Illinois, Michigan State and Minnesota.

Arizona State dropped the lowest of all the preseason favorites, falling to No. 64 this week after losing its fourth in a row. Nobody expected them to beat Georgia or USC at the beginning of the season, but they got manhandled in both.

Add in the losses to California and UNLV and the Sun Devils are now fighting just to be bowl-eligible. They still have to face Oregon and Oregon State and then UCLA and Arizona to close the season.

ACC favorite Clemson has lost two in a row, but holds steady at No. 47 after putting together a four-game winning streak earlier. Just as it looked like the Tigers were turing things around, they lost to Maryland 20-17 and Wake Forest 12-7. And now they go and fire Tommy Bowden!

Poll Notes

-- The lowest-ranked BCS team is Syracuse at No. 109. It is 1-5 with its only victory coming against Northeastern. The 'Cuse play at South Florida this week.

-- Mississippi State is the highest-ranked team with a losing record, checking in at No. 57 at 2-4. The Bulldogs moved up this week after beating Vanderbilt.

-- The lowest-ranked team with at least four wins is Arkansas State at No. 83. Their strength of schedule is 119th out of 120 schools, beating Texas A&M (No. 89), Middle Tennessee State (No. 102), Louisiana-Monroe (No. 114) and Texas Southern (FCS).


Since: Jun 9, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2008 1:43 pm 120 -- Free Fallin'

Pollsters in love with Auburn? Do you remember when Auburn was 12-0 (before bowl selections) and pollsters left them at #3? Any SEC team undefeated deserves to play in the title game. Auburn lost 2 games to ranked teams and 1 to Arkansas which dropped them out...And Auburn lost to LSU by 5 in the final minutes and to Vandy by 1 mainly b/c Auburn missed an extra point...Auburn got inside the 5 to take the lead against Arkansas but Auburn doesnt have an OC worth a damn now after firing a great one who wasnt given a chance. So ya see Auburn didnt deserve to drop out due to only losing 2 games....When both teams were ranked. And by the way...A win is a win in the SEC..The SEC is the toughest conference in the nation..teams beat themselves up in SEC games. Auburn will make a bowl game...they are 4-3...and they have Tennessee Martin (should be a win) Ole miss,Alabama,UGA and WV. Auburn wont be left out of a bowl b/c of fan travel....and dont count Auburn out yet. Auburn could possibly win those 4 games..It's college football..and 2 games being could be upsets...So get off thinking Auburn is loved..the SEC isnt as loved as you think.

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2008 1:42 pm 120 -- Free Fallin'

Well there are always some pre season teams that do not make the grade for whatever reason. Auburn is no different from any other team that had high expectations and failed to deliver. On the opposide of this there are always some teams that capture the nations imaginations at the beginning of the season. The commodores, untill their loss at Mississippi state sure did get a lot of attention.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2008 1:25 pm 120 -- Free Fallin'

Every year pre-season favorites prove to be disappointments and this year is no different. This is precisely why early polls are a joke and shouldn't be put out until October 1. Even then they would be skewed by the fact that at least 3 of the first 4 games for many BCS schools are against I-AAs and directional schools.

Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2008 12:52 pm 120 -- Free Fallin'

Yeah, I look at Auburn's schedule and I'm seeing at least two more losses, maybe three. This team could end up 6-6 and be headed to the Bowl!

Since: Sep 9, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2008 12:16 pm 120 -- Free Fallin'

I can't believe it took 3 losses to drop Auburn from the rankings!

They "squeaked" (Darst, fix the spelling) out a victory against Tennessee, UT is complete garbage! 

Just for losing a close game to LSU doesn't make you a ranked team.  LSU as we saw, when faced with a quality opponent, is just as overrated as Auburn.  Their undefeated record was due to playing FCS teams (Appalachian State), winless teams, (North Texas), and getting a bye from a hurricane.

The pollsters are in love with Auburn and the SEC, and it is getting irritating.   Auburn probably won't even make a bowl game this year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or