Blog Entry

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

Posted on: September 30, 2009 11:14 am
Edited on: September 30, 2009 8:10 pm
 

The best of September

Who would have thought by the end of the month …: USC would lose to Washington a week after a heart-stopping, game-winning drive at Ohio State? [Ok, maybe by now there are a few of you.] … Unranked the preseason, the Big East would have two marquee teams – Cincinnati and South Florida … Houston would have the best Big 12 record [2-0 after beating Oklahoma State and Texas Tech] … Two Heisman winners would be knocked out of games … NC State’s Russell Wilson would have a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 29-1 … Auburn’s Chris Todd would lead the SEC in touchdown passes [11] … Not that the SEC would have three teams in the top 10 in total defense but the Pac-10 would have two … The only three teams yet to allow a touchdown pass would be winless Eastern Michigan, undefeated South Florida and USC [3-1].

Coach of the month: Oregon’s Chip Kelly. On the night of September 3, his world was falling apart. LeGarrette Blount threw a punch and almost started a riot after Oregon looked punchless losing its season opener to Boise State.

Almost four weeks later, the Ducks might be the team to beat in the Pac-10. They have won three in a row, two over ranked teams and have a new lean-on tailback in redshirt freshman LaMichael James.

Team of the month: Miami. Playing September schedule in the country, the Hurricanes beat two ranked teams [Florida State, Georgia Tech] and showed signs of being its old self. Losing to Oklahoma this week wouldn’t be a disgrace. Coming out its death march 2-2 could be a jumping off point for an ACC title.

Also considered: Texas A&M, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Florida, Stanford, UCLA, Idaho.

Player of the month: [tie] You’re gagging on this by now but Florida would not not undefeated with Tim Tebow. His 24 rushes for 76 yards against Tennessee on Sept. 19 were the difference.

LSU safety Chad Jones is this season’s Charles Woodson. Against Mississippi State on Saturday, he single-handedly stopped Tyson Lee on back-to-back plays inches from the goal line. He also provided the eventual game-winning 93-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Worst conference: Based on previous accomplishments, it’s the MAC. The nation’s largest conference [13 teams] has only one team with a winning record coming out of September. [Central Michigan, 3-1]. The league is 13-29 in the non-conference, 7-27 against I-A competition and 3-19 against BCS conferences.

Best conference: SEC by a hair. The Big 12 has six ranked teams vs. the SEC’s four. But the SEC is 23-2 in the non-conference, a national best 6-2 against BCS conferences.

If you think the SEC has padded its schedule with I-AA teams, actually only the Sun Belt and Pac-10 have played fewer games against “inferior” competition. The SEC is 5-0 against I-AAs. The Big 12 is 9-0. Almost a third of its non-cons have come against I-AAs.

Best trend: Smaller offensive linemen. Boise has been doing it for a while but the Broncos are soaring toward a BCS berth with a line that averages 285 pounds. Remember those hog mollies at Michigan? They weigh in at a svelte average of 295 under Rich Rod who likes ‘em lighter and lively.

Worst trend: This month it had to be the coaches’ poll. It went into the season not exactly on the same page with the BCS commissioners. As long as the coaches are going to go completely  underground [hiding all their ballots] beginning in 2010, the possibility exists that the poll will be jettisoned from the BCS process next year.

As for now …

Steve Spurrier gave us a glimpse of his voting habits in July when he admitted that his football ops guy had filled out his preason all-SEC ballot. That caused a huge stir when Spurrier/ops guy didn’t make Tebow a unanimous choice. Spurrier/ops guy picked Ole Miss’ Jevan Snead but was allowed to change to Tebow after it became an issue.

Following convincing wins by No. 3 Alabama and No. 2 Texas on Sept. 19, Florida got all the first-place votes [55] for the first time this season after struggling to beat unranked Tennessee.

Then, there was this week. What a mess. 

No. 12 Oklahoma State is ranked three spots ahead of Houston, which beat the Cowboys by 10.

Cal, which just lost to Oregon by 39, is ranked seven spots ahead of the Ducks.

Penn State had beaten doggies Syracuse, Akron and Temple. After losing at home to Iowa it is No. 13, four spots ahead of the unbeaten Hawkeyes.

Keep it coming, fellas, can’t wait to see how this effects the BCS standings.

Team schizo: Florida State. Do you have to have it explained?

Say goodbye to:  BYU [in the BCS], Al Groh, Ralph Friedgen, Steve Kragthorpe.

Comments

Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2009 11:19 pm
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

Miami is way overrated- VT beat Nebaska after being outplayed the entire game (except for the first minute and last) If NU would have gone - run-run-run from the 3 early in the game instead of run-pass-pass, NU would be 4-0, Miami lost by 3+ touchdowns to a team that was tired from the weeks before game, NU deserves to be rated above Miami- but sportswriters are biased (read the column for proof)




Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2009 11:17 pm
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

Seriously daddyboy28 quite whining about Michigan's 4-0 start and how they are ranked below some 3 and 1 teams as you have in other posts.  When Michigan plays someone other than Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, a mediocre Notre Dame and stealing one from powerhouse Indiana, come back and whine.  Virginia Tech for example has played three ranked teams, two in the top ten and you seriously think Michigan deserves to be ranked above Tech. Give me a break.



Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2009 10:20 pm
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

How about Michigan as team of the month?  When you look at the disaster of last season, coupled with the pre-season allegations of players-former players, you've got to give them consideration.  They are 4-0 with a win over Nortre Dame, Indiana, and 2 MAC teams.  They are exciting and without a doubt the biggest surprise.  On the other hand, look at the early favorites and how they have stumbled.  Penn State, USC, Cal, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma....all with losses.  The sad part is that ALL of these teams are ranked ahead of the Wolverines!  Now, how does that happen?  It is clear that the pollsters set their mind early, and if a favorite loses early, are more than happy to rush them up the poll ladder.  This makes no sense.  I'll guarantee you that if Michigan loses this week,. their one loss wil bounce them out of the top 25 by a mile, while the previously mentioned continue their mediocre march up the polls.



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2009 7:28 pm
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

Sorry, you're dead wrong. The team of the month is Alabama. They beat a top-10 team handily (by 300 yards) and cream a competitive, young SEC West challenger by 28. Alabama entered the year with a lot of questions and they've risen to the top.



Since: Nov 21, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2009 5:56 pm
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

I have no idea how Miami could be chosen as the team of the month; maybe a notable but no way "the" team. Tough schedule yes but they have a loss. What about Houston? A team out of nowhere really putting up points and more importantly winning. I'd like to make a case for the Hawkeyes to be the team of the month but I like it when we are under the radar.



Since: Sep 18, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2009 3:35 pm
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

Hmmmmm. To pick Miami as your Team of the Month over Virginia Tech is quite odd. Virginia Tech played three ranked opponents. Two were in the top ten. Miami played three ranked opponents and neither one was in the top ten. Virginia Tech lost to a top five team. Miami lost to a top 15 team. And you pick Miami over Virginia Tech? No wonder the polls are all screwed up.



Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2009 11:41 am
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

Oops.  There was an error when I tried posting a comment the first time, so I tried again.  I guess both times worked. Tongue out



Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2009 11:40 am
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

I think you meant to say "Cal, which just lost to Oregon by 39, is ranked SIX spots ABOVE the Ducks." (they are eight spots below the ducks in the AP poll)




Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2009 11:39 am
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

I think you meant to say "Cal, which just lost to Oregon by 39, is ranked SIX spots ABOVE the Ducks." (they are eight spots below the ducks in the AP poll)



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