So, NCAA Pollsters, Now What?
Who knew William Blake was a college football mentor?
That's right. The dude whose line from his poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell gave Jim Morrison the inspiration to christen his newly-formed band as The Doors.
Turns out that line should also have served as a warning to the so-calleds who pander to the public by releasing polls that favor the same-olds with a heavy dose of human nature.
|If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' chinks in his cavern.|
How's the 2014 NCAA landscape look from your caves now, pollsters? Were these alleged Top 10 results in Week 6 really upsets?
- Arizona 31 Oregon 24 in Eugene ... A truly elite team has all facets of the game covered. Oregon never has. How long's it been, now, that the Ducks have had to make the necessary adjustments to their system? How about ever since Dennis Dixon went down in 2007? There's enough speed to go around out West, as other Pac-12 teams like Zona are proving. There are enough linemen, too. Gotta coach 'em up -- all of them; injuries aren't an excuse at this level -- because squads that are too dependent on quarterbacks ultimately get what they deserve.
By the way, eat your hearts out, Maize & Blue.
- Mississippi 23 Alabama 17 in Oxford ... Again, a truly elite team has all facets of the game covered, and injuries aren't an excuse at this level. Anybody notice that the Tide are 4-3 in their last seven? If it weren't for Cupcake Staters, that record would even be worse. If Bama is supposed to have a top recruiting class year-in and year-out, then this must be a coaching issue.
How often do Tide special teams suck? When you're done asking Auburn, check out the missed FGs at Ole Miss along with the kickoff-return fumble that led to a Rebel TD. And how does a team with two weeks to prepare for this game repeatedly fail to get its calls and defensive subs in on time? Only those blinded by their crimson shades refuse to see it. Looks like Texas dodged a bullet and a kajillion-dollar salary hit.
- Texas Christian 37 Oklahoma 33 in Ft Worth ... Guess this game wasn't big enough for ol' Big Game Bob. Who'd he think he was playing? Alabama? The Horny Toads had to claw their way in to the Big XII -- but only because the conference needed at least one more team that could tolerate Longhorn arrogance -- and they're having a lovely time showing what the Mountain West already knew about Gary Patterson.
As the late Bum Phillips once said when asked how he'd describe a great coach, "He can take his'n and beat your'n, and then he'll take your'n and beat his'n." Top recruiting classes? TCU don't need no top recruiting classes!
- Mississippi State 48 Texas A&M 31 in Starkville ... Yo! Aggies! What do you have in common with Kentucky? Right! You beat South Carolina! Quality win, dudes! Shot you right up the faux polls, didn't it! If A&M receivers dropped as many passes last year as they did yesterday, the name Johnny Football would still be up for grabs. What was it against that Bulldog D? Alligator arms? Meanwhile:
Then again, maybe all the SEC honks are finally starting to realize that they might actually be getting a genuinely balanced conference, like the Pac-12 already has. That means games like this and Ole Miss-Alabama are gonna happen more often, big-brands be damned.
- Utah 30 UCLA 28 in Pasadena ... If Bruin fans didn't know about Utes before, they do now:
Wonder never again.
Indeed, the impact of that ninth game makes a difference in a balanced conference. And Utah's finally been assimilated into the West Coast talent pipeline, so they're not a quasi-bye anymore.
Bogus roughing the kicker call, too. Instant karma.
The Daily Player has been harping for months that the Pac-12 champ may well be a two-loss team; the coaches are certainly well aware of it. With USC AD Pat Haden and Stanford faculty member Condi Rice on the CFP committee, odds are the selectors will hear about its merits early and often, too.
By the way, SEC and Florida State, if you're still waiting -- hopefully, at your peril --to buy into the brave new world, UMass is looking for games.
Ironically, the Seminoles now remain in the drivers' seat with their 43-3 clobbering of Weak Forest. The Noles won't be tested until they host whatever Nôtre Dame has to offer in two weeks. Speaking of the Irish, yesterday's losses have put them into the picture for now, especially after Touchdown Jesus winked at them in the last seconds of yesterday's Stanford game.
The four-team playoff makes a difference, obviously. Teams are actually still in it, even with a loss and maybe two. This is the way it should be.
The pollsters are gonna poll, but let's hope the Selection Committee is wise enough to not allow those brand-happy dudes to set the perspective.