"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

College Football Week 8 Recap

Can Anyone Beat Alabama? Sure they can. LSU, Florida, Oregon or Kansas State might each get a shot in that order. Of course, Oregon only gets their chance if both teams win out and meet in the BCS title game in Miami and don't get beat out by Kansas State. Alabama, Florida, Oregon and Kansas State all won by similar scores over decent teams. I would have to put Florida's win as the most impressive, although Oregon put 43 up on the board in the first half at Arizona St., then took their foot off the gas. I really thought, as others have commented, that the Ducks might have been able to score close to 100 points if they had wanted to. That is a very impressive team on both sides of the ball. As for Florida, they capitalized on turnovers and kept the Gamecocks from getting any momentum. I'm still trying to figure out how good South Carolina really is. And LSU was able to come from behind on Texas A&M, mainly because the Aggies didn't capitalize on its chances in the first half. LSU's defense is impressive, but I just don't see them being able to put up enough points on Alabama in a couple of weeks. I know a lot of people will put Notre Dame in the mix, but that offense just doesn't have enough firepower. I think they may really get exposed at Oklahoma this week. And then there's Kansas State. That was a very impressive win at Morgantown over West Virginia. Of course, I'm having trouble determining how strong the Mountaineers really are. They barely beat Texas in a shootout, got drilled by Texas Tech and then embarrassed by K-State. The Big 12 is suddenly getting to be very interesting. The next team with a shot at the Crimson Tide is undefeated Mississippi State.

The SEC: It's probably a foregone conclusion that the winner of this conference will play for the national championship. However, that may not happen if Alabama stumbles along the way, Florida gets beaten by Georgia, the conference winner emerges with one defeat and K-State and Oregon make it to the end of the season undefeated. Perhaps a bit far-fetched, but there have been many years where surprises occur on that last weekend, especially in conference championship games. In the west, Mississippi State is still undefeated, but they remind me a lot of Arkansas a year ago. A very good team, but just not the same caliber as Alabama and LSU. We'll see this weekend as they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama. And it looks like Florida has established itself as the favorite in the east.

The ACC: It just doesn't seem as if Virginia Tech matches up well against Clemson. The Tigers pasted the Hokies for the third time in the last year and pretty much ended any chance Tech has of advancing to the conference title game for the fifth time. The Hokies still have to travel to Miami and host Florida State, the class of the league and a national title contender had the Seminoles not inexplicably stumbled against NC State. The Hokies are still in the race if they can somehow pull a Thursday night upset at Lane Stadium  in that one. Don't look now, but Duke is sitting on top of the Coastal Division after outlasting rival UNC, but finishes the season with games against Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami. It's a good thing the Blue Devils are bowl eligible, because with the exception of Georgia Tech, it's tough to find a win in that stretch. They still control their own destiny, at least for one more week. In the Atlantic, the aforementioned Seminoles are in the lead, but four teams have one loss and Florida State doesn't control their own destiny.

The Big East: This race is really up for grabs. Cincinnati took a tumble after losing to Toledo, but they have almost their entire league schedule still to play. Rutgers was impressive and Louisville squeaked past South Florida. A team that might be coming on is Syracuse, so this conference should be fun to watch down to the end. It probably wouldn't be that big a deal, but the Big East still gets their champion into a BCS bowl.

The Big Twelve (which has ten teams): It would appear that K-State is in control here. Their win over West Virginia combined with  their defeat of Oklahoma earlier in the season puts them in driver's seat. However, there is a lot of football to be played and with the way the teams score points in this conference, one or two hiccups and the Wildcats could find themselves with a loss or two. I don't see that happening and with no championship game to navigate, this team has a legitimate shot at the BCS title game.

The Pac-12 (which actually has 12 teams in it): Oregon State has made its way to number 7 with a rather unimpressive victory over Utah. If they can just keep winning, it could set a monster showdown for the North Division title in the last game of the season against Oregon. It appears USC is poised to take the South, so it could be a rather tough championship game that has the potential to send an undefeated champion to Miami.

The Big Ten (which has 12 teams):The leaders division is led by two teams, Ohio State and Penn State, that can't play in the postseason and a third place team in Wisconsin that has been underwhelming at best. On top of the legends division is Michigan, a mediocre team that despite two losses, is still hanging around the top 20. Their 12 - 10 victory over rival Michigan State was, well, not exactly championship caliber football. Needless to say, this a down year for the conference with the exception of Ohio State, and the winner, while still a BCS qualifier, had better hope for a match-up with the Big East champ in a bowl game.