Monday, October 03, 2011

College Football Summary: Week 5

Is it me or have the big games between top 10 teams been a little boring? One team always seems to build a huge lead and the game is decided before the 4th quarter even starts. Thankfully, you get surprisingly good games like Auburn/South Carolina. Here are the top stories from this weekend's games:

Someone in the AP Poll voted Boise State #1. That means that they've seen LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma play and were not as impressed by any of them as they were by Boise State. LSU has beaten Oregon and West Virginia. Alabama has beaten Florida and Arkansas and is allowing 8.4 points per game. Boise State beat Georgia, which is a solid win, but I don't know how anyone could not vote for LSU, Alabama, or Oklahoma as the best team in the country.

The LSU/Alabama game on November 5th looks like it will be a national title quarterfinal game, with the winner going to the SEC Championship game (national title semifinal). LSU's defense is capable of shutting anyone down.

The Sooners fell to #3 despite destroying Ball State 62-6, but that's understandable considering what LSU and Bama have done. OU is averaging over 40 points per game, and they'll get a chance for an impressive win if they can beat Texas on Saturday.

Alabama does not get phased. They looked more comfortable playing in the intensity of Gainesville than the Gators were. They've been to big games, they play in the SEC spotlight every week. They execute under pressure, and as talented as LSU and OU are, Alabama's poise gives the Tide the edge.

The Badgers were 4-0 against some weak opposition before Saturday. They crushed Nebraska and are now leading the way in the Big Ten. However, they've yet to play on the road. We saw how Nebraska fell into quicksand in Madison and Wisconsin will be just as vulnerable when they leave home. They've got tough trips to East Lansing and Columbus this month. And a meeting with #19 Illinois in Champaign in November.

I had my doubts because they're so young, but Clemson is clearly the class of the ACC. They've beaten Florida State and Virginia Tech, not to mention a win against Auburn. They're just a solid team, and that is good enough to win the ACC by a mile. Georgia Tech is the only other viable contender in the conference. Not only do the Yellow Jackets run the ball well (378.2 rush yards per game), they've figured out how to occasionally yet effectively pass it (208.8 pass yards per game). They'll host Clemson on October 29th, and these two might meet again on December 3rd (ACC title game).

Auburn beat SEC East contender South Carolina. Alabama beat SEC East contender Florida. Both wins came on the road. Meanwhile, SEC West contender Arkansas beat Texas A&M in Arlington. The SEC West was 5-1 this weekend, even though 5 of 6 teams played on the road. When A&M joins the SEC, they'll likely be in the West. And after a few weeks in that division they might get homesick for the Big XII and games against Baylor and Iowa State.

If every Big East game this weekend were cancelled, would you notice or care? I wouldn't. The Big East is looking into expansion, but I can't imagine any BCS teams that would want to leave the Big Ten, ACC, or SEC to join the Big East.

Baylor's Robert Griffin III got picked off for the first time all season on Saturday, and it cost the Bears a win against K-State. That being said, he threw 5 TD passes before that, and his defense couldn't keep the Wildcats out of the end zone. Baylor only has a limited rushing game to run time off the clock.

RG3 completes 82% of his passes, he has 18 TDs and 1 INT, he's thrown for 1,308 yards. He's on pace to throw 54 TDs, 3 picks, and over 3,900 yards. He is the entire Baylor team. The Bears have the 84th ranked scoring defense. Griffin is responsible for 67% of Baylor's total offense (1,308 passing yards, 173 rushing yards, out of 2,211 total for Baylor). He is 2/3 of the 4th best offense in the country. He's scored 19 of their 25 offensive touchdowns.

I know there are plenty of other worthy Heisman hopefuls with gaudy stats on teams that will contend for the national title. But the fact that Griffin is the entirety of his team's offense and is solely responsible for a mediocre program being in the Top 25, makes him Heisman material. For me, at least.

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