Monday, October 16, 2006

Midseason BlogPoll Roundtable

This week the rountable is hosted by Oklahoma blogger My Opinion on Sports. Many thanks to him. Speaking of Oklahoma, I bought season tickets this summer expecting to see two legitimate stars in Bomar and Peterson. The fact that neither will be suiting up at Kyle Field this November is a huge disappointment, no matter how much it helps the Aggies' chances. On to the questions:

1. Which coaches are clearly on the hot seat at this point? Who is surprisingly not?

I think that this list begins and ends with John L. Smith. Michigan State seems to be undergoing another monumental collapse down the stretch. Another name that I wouldn't have expected to see here but clearly belongs is Larry Coker. I was surprised that he wasn't fired today, things are even more of a mess than I thought at Miami.

It would seem that Chuck Amato has moved himself out of the fire, and I find that amazing. Houston Nutt always seems one disaster away from getting fired, but his Razorbacks are serious contenders in the SEC.

2. Pick three of the undefeated teams and state your case as to why they wonÂ’t run the table.

West Virginia - they won't get by Louisville, Rutgers AND Pittsburgh. One of those teams will have a good enough day on defense to knock off the Mountaineers.

USC - I think that Cal beats them, and maybe Oregon too.

Ohio State - I thought about going with Rutgers here, but I think that they have the right team to upset Louisville. Instead I'll go with the blatant homerism and pick my alma mater to beat the Buckeyes.

3. Which conference is playing the best football right now?

I think that the ACC and Big XII can be discarded out of hand, both are having down years. I don't think that the Pac-10 has the depth (Stanford, Arizona, WSU, Oregon State and UCLA are all somewhere between terrible and inconsistent). Ditto for the Big Ten (or Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin and everybody else).

That leaves the SEC and the Big East. Everybody knows about the SEC so I'll go with the Big East because I like competitive football. Rutgers, WV, Louisville and Pittsburgh are all quality teams and I think that this is going be a wild conference race coming down the wire. Add in frisky Cincy and always dangerous USF and this is a finish worth watching

4. Which team is playing above and beyond your expectations this season?

I didn't think that Tennessee was particularly good entering this season. That prediction didn't turn out so well.

5. Which team is crashing and burning in regards to your expectations?

This has to be a tie between Miami and Florida State. I had both figured for good defenses with offenses that would be good enough to win 9-10 games. That of course wasn't even close.

6. Is your pre-season BCS championship game prediction still alive?

My top two teams were Auburn and Cal. It would take a minor miracle for this to be the title game matchup. Both are capable of winning out, but I rather suspect that the winner of Ohio State-Michigan will have one of the title game spots. I wouldn't be surprised if either Auburn or Cal grabbed the other spot though. After the Tennessee game I was feeling pretty silly about the Cal pick, but the Bears have really bounced back and a solid stretch run and a victory over USC away from making me look good.


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