NCAA Week 9: What We Learned
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We're heading into that time of the season that serves as college football's crunch time.
By definition, then, some teams are falling to the wayside, while others continue to get stronger, and still others are just barely hanging on.
So, let's see what we learned this past weekend.
Don't piss Alabama off ... It seems as if a lot of teams want to talk smack talk about the No 1 team in the nation. Big mistake. Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace challenged the Alabama secondary by saying the Rebels would score a lot of points on them, which ticked the defense off to the extent that the Rebels were whitewashed, 25-0. Last week, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones referred to Alabama as the "red team." That didn't sit well with the Crimson Tide; their shade of red for the week was anger, as they felt disrespected. They no doubt enjoyed dropping the hammer on the Vols. Freshly squished orange, anyone? The lesson here: disrespect Alabama and you will pay the price.
The Ol' Ball Coach still got it ... Just when you thought Missouri was going to take the SEC East and run away and hide, South Carolina said 'not so fast, my friend.' The Gamecocks' season looked dead in the water, but something happened in the fourth quarter: they showed up. The Gamecocks made a miraculous comeback that sent shock waves through the SEC East and shook up the standings. Fans from Athens to Gainesville cheered the Ol' Ball Coach. Who would have thought that?
Baylor is the team to beat in the Big 12 ... We can no longer merely mention the Baylor Bears in passing. They are the team to beat in the Big 12. Not Oklahoma, not Texas, and not Texas Tech. It's Baylor. They are scary good on offense and apparently not too bad on defense. Problem is, like Ohio State, their weak conference is killing their chances of being a legitimate contender for the national championship. But don't count out the Bears out just yet. The season is far from over.
The battle for No 2 is heating up ... The BCS battle for No 2 may be the most interesting thing happening so far. No one looks close to faltering. Florida State looked impressive against North Carolina State, Oregon looked strong in the second half against UCLA, and Ohio State just keeps winning. So who's No 2? Last week, it was the Seminoles after they crushed Clemson, but Oregon's dominance of UCLA was enough to put them back at No 2. Remember, the computer rankings that are one-third of the BCS formula only take games played into account, so the tougher the opponent vanquished, the more favor is curried. So, don't be surprised if a victory over Miami leaps Florida State back to No 2 after next weekend is in the books. One thing is certain: this battle of the No 2's will only get more intruiging as the season rolls along.
And the meek shall Inherit the Earth ... Did anyone else notice this weekend that Duke, Minnesota, and Tulane all became bowl eligible this weekend? Yes! They got there before teams like Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, Texas, and USC. Is this due to the changing landscape of college football or just easy schedules? It's probably a combination of both, but at least Minnesota and Duke had to earn their victories against ranked teams Nebraska and Virginia Tech, respectively.
What to look for in Week 10:
- Who will come out on top in the battle of Florida between Florida State and Miami?
- Will the winner of the Florida - Georgia game get back into the SEC East race?
- How will Missouri respond after its heartbreaking loss?
- Will Oregon maintain its No 2 position by being idle this weekend?
And let's close with a halftime show. Maybe Ohio State's team won't make the BCS championship game, but its band should be invited. Last weekend's performance has gone viral -- it's already gained over 3million views -- and deservedly so: