Before we dive in, I’d like to go tell the SID at Colorado who wrote the blurb quoted in this UGA blog (of all places) to go die in a fire. To save you from having to click that link, I’ll reproduce it here:
Now apparently, our use of the word “consensus” upsets a few folks around the country. It’s not to slam the others, but rather to strengthen CU’s case for that season since many point to the Fifth Down game or the clip on Raghib Ismail’s punt return in the Orange Bowl and say our title is tainted. But fact is fact; at the time nine (*) basic postseason polls were recognized as determining a unanimous or consensus national champion; Colorado topped six of those: *Associated Press, *FWAA (Football Writers Association of America), *National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame (MacArthur Trophy), *USA Today-CNN, *Sporting News and *Football News; Georgia Tech won the *United Press International poll (by 1 point) and Miami, Fla., the *Sagarin and *New York Times computer ratings. In the NCAA Record book listing for 1990, it shows 19 different groups that declared a national champion; 11 voted outright for Colorado and three each for Georgia Tech and Miami; one (National Championship Foundation) split it between CU and Tech, and another (FACT, a computer ranking) voted for four, including Washington.
I wish I were as funny as the Fire Joe Morgan guys so I could tear this apart the way it deserves, but alas, they’re actually people who are paid to be funny while I’m a programmer who doesn’t update his own site more than once a week, if that. (By the way, those guys posted a whole bunch of stuff on Deadspin last week. It was pretty awesome.) So here are my criticisms, in order:
- Well, I’m upset because you apparently don’t know what the word “consensus” means. Generally, you only get to say you’re the “consensus” national champion in college football if you were ranked first the most important polls of the day. (This is true even in the BCS era, with the AP poll still having significant clout.)
- If it’s not to slam “the others”, then why do you keep saying this? I’m from the South. This is like when someone says, “well, bless their heart, but…” You’re trying to insult someone without saying you’re insulting them.
- The anniversary of the 5th down game is this coming Wednesday, by the way. October 6, 1990, never forget. Well, at least if you’re a Georgia Tech or Missouri fan.
- I’m going to say your title is tainted, because it is. Had you not had the most incompetent officials in the world against Mizzou you would’ve had two losses.
- Widely regarded by whom? At the time, the UPI poll was the Coaches Poll, so that and the AP Poll are generally recognized by most sources are the two most important.
- The NCAA record book is irrelevant for determining Division I-A national titles. In case you haven’t noticed, the NCAA is sort of bitter about the fact it doesn’t control the I-A national championship (hence why the divisions are “Bowl Subdivision” and “Championship Subdivision” and not I-A and I-AA anymore). So in an effort to undermine the current system they award a championship anytime anyone ranks you number one.
Anyway, I just wanted to rant about that. Let’s move on.
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Northwestern @ Minnesota (ESPN): The best thing, by far, to come out of this game is this entry from what has to be the world’s only Northwestern sports blog. (If there are others, I’m not sure I want to know about them.) Also, Minnesota is, like, really bad.
- Miami @ Clemson (ESPN2): Things we know about Miami: Boy, Jacory Harris can sure throw some interceptions! Things we know about Clemson: man, they barely lost to Auburn! In other words, we don’t know much either way. I’ll take the non-Dabo coached team, which is Miami.
- Kansas @ Baylor (FSN): Well, this has to be one of the games the Bears circled on their schedule as a “winnable Big 12 game”. Them being Baylor, though, I’ll see it when I believe it.
- Louisiana-Monroe @ Auburn (ESPNU): Auburn.
- Temple @ Army (CBSCS): Army’s 3-1! Of course, it comes mostly from beating up on teams like… Temple. Well, Temple of a few years ago, not the Temple that gave Penn State all it wanted and beat UConn. (You know that had to feel good around the Temple athletics offices.) I’ll still take Army here though.
- Ohio State @ Illinois (BTN): In the past, I would’ve said the Sweatervest would take his 31 points and call it a day. Apparently someone released him from his chains, though. This one could be ugly.
- Kentucky @ Mississippi (SEC): Ole Miss went and beat Fresno last weekend, which I think says more about Fresno than it does Ole Miss. Unfortunately, all we know about Kentucky is that they got pounded by Florida last weekend, which I’m pretty sure was a given. So this is a tossup, and I’ll give the edge to the team that didn’t lose to Jacksonville State.
- Florida State @ Virginia (ACC): FSU.
2:30: Navy @ Air Force (Versus): It’s the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, and with Navy off to a relatively so start this may be Air Force’s year. I’ll take them.
- Tennessee @ Louisiana State (CBS): As has been thoroughly established by now, LSU is the most precarious 4-0 team in the country after last week’s… “game” against West Virginia. That said, Tennessee needed overtime to beat UAB, so I’ll take LSU to become the most precarious 5-0 team in the country. (By the way, check out Les Miles’s zen koan down at the bottom of the page. Also, how does he know what the word “scotoma” means?)
- Wisconsin @ Michigan State (ABC/ESPN): Given Wisconsin’s out-of-conference schedule, you’d expect them to be 4-0 at this point so I have no idea what to make of them. Meanwhile, Mark Dantonio returns after his heart attack. That should give Sparty the early edge, at least. I’ll take them for the game.
- Texas vs. Oklahoma (@Dallas, TX; ABC/ESPN): It’s the Red River Shootout! All that stuff about Texans willing to fry anything, by the way? It’s totally true. I was in Austin earlier this year and I had Dr Pepper flavored chicken wings. (They also love their Dr Pepper, which was great for my taste buds but terrible for my arteries. Actually, that’s a good description for that entire trip.) Getting back to the game, well, neither of these teams play much defense, but Texas doesn’t really play much offense either. Oh, and they got torn apart by UCLA last weekend. It probably won’t be a blowout, but I like the Sooners here.
- Virginia Tech @ North Carolina State (ABC/Gameplan): Russell Wilson’s pretty good, especially when your defense admits it has no idea what it’s doing. Not that I’m bitter. All I’m going to say is that NCSU better win this game.
- Michigan @ Indiana (ESPNU): Michigan.
- Georgia @ Colorado (FSN): Here’s a mixed feelings game. The reason for the press release at the top of this post is because CU will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of their share of the 1990 national title today. Now, the timing seems pretty odd to me. I don’t know why you’d do this against an out-of-conference opponent, unless they figured UGA was the closest they were going to get to scheduling us or something. It’s also one of the two weekends they could’ve picked that are closest to the 5th down game, which I’m not sure is something I’d want to celebrate. Whatever. This is a “hope for the meteor” game for me.
- Georgia Tech @ Wake Forest (ESPNU): My favorite thing about this game is the fact it isn’t at noon eastern, or 9 AM my time. Kansas is just as bad as these guys, so GT really needs to actually come out for this game. We just looked completely out-of-sorts against NC State and it showed on both sides of the ball. Turnovers are up on offense, while the defense is seemingly helpless on third downs. I honestly have no idea what to expect from GT this year from week-to-week, but I just hope it starts improving. Going back to the above for a second: GT is saving the 20th anniversary celebration for its biggest home game of the year, November 13th against Miami.
- Florida @ Alabama (CBS): GAME OF THE WEEK OF THE YEAR OF THE CENTURY. It’s the well-anticipated rematch of last year’s SEC title game, which I never saw (I was too busy standing in a parking lot in an entirely too cold Tampa) but as far as I can tell was pretty lackluster. Anyway, this game features 100% less Tim Tebow but ESPN’s already hyping “Tebow-Lite” so I’m sure the CBS guys (who I actually like!) will mention him approximately 1000 times. That said, I’ll take the chalk and take Bama, but root for the other superpower. Watching these two teams as a neutral fan must be like what it felt like to be in the “Third World” during the Cold War (when that term meant something).
- Stanford @ Oregon (ABC/ESPN2): In my mind, this could actually be a better game. This should be the first opponent to challenge either team, and should be a good game to watch. I have to give the Ducks the slight edge up in Eugene, though.
- Notre Dame @ Boston College (ABC/Gameplan): I’ll take the team that has an actual quarterback. I’m not sure BC would’ve worse off last week just snapping it to no one, that’s how bad they were.
- Pennsylvania State @ Iowa (ESPN): Look, I think Arizona’s an okay team and all, but Iowa was one of my Big Ten favorites for the first time in forever, and once again in the grand tradition of this site, they let me down. So I’ll take Penn State.
- Washington @ Southern California (ESPN2): USC.
- Marshall @ Southern Mississippi (CBSCS): USM.
And with that I’m done. By the way, if you want to see a team try to reach 100, Boise’s playing New Mexico State on espn3.com.