With Oregon going down Thursday night there is a new pecking order for the BCS with Bama and FSU in the top two spots. They are clearly out in front and if each wins out they will be in Pasadena on Jan 7th. Ohio State is number three right now and I would expect them to jump in if either of the top two falter but the rest of the B1G is not going to help them. (I wish I could say Michigan was tanking on purpose to hurt their strength of schedule. Sadly this is not the case.)
Stanford made noise with that win against Oregon and controls their own destiny in the Pac 12 but their loss to Utah will and should hurt them. I get that they are good but if Alabama lost to Mississippi State this week then their title hopes should be knocked down a peg, same goes for the Cardinal.
And then there are my boys Baylor (who I already covered on Friday.) They are a weird team not just because they have no successful football history but because their schedule is so backloaded I really don’t know how this will affect their computer rankings if they do win out. As much as I want them to go unbeaten, I have my doubts when they go on the road the next three weekends.
Still, the national title picture keeps getting clearer and clearer and all should be settled by December 7th and the contenders and pretenders will be sorted out. Speaking of pretenders…
1. -21 Yards Rushing this week, improvement!: For consecutive weeks Michigan had negative rushing yards and this performance was worse IMO. MSU’s defense is at least legit, Nebraska’s is not. This game reminded me of PSU in that a good team would have been able to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage. It was so bad that the guy who sat behind me at the game who was at his first Michigan game ever and it seemed like watching football for the first time asked out loud, “why do they keep running the ball?” I don’t know 50 year old engineering alum who has never cared about Michigan football before and is better off for it, I don’t know.
2. Michigan should have stuck with interior of Glasgow/Miller/Kalis: In this week’s version of captain hindsight it is clear that when Michigan shuffled their lines after four games it was a panic move that has only gotten worse.
3. Michigan got 2 turnovers in Nebraska territory and gained 1 yard and got 3 points: Nebraska literally gave Michigan the game in the 2nd half. The defense forced a fumble and then the offense immediately went backwards and got no points. Then in the 4th Q Nebraska muffed a punt and Michigan went nowhere and kicked a field goal to pull ahead 13-10. So Michigan actually won the turnover battle for once and still lost the game.
4. New 98: Gardner has lost all confidence and is a shell of himself. I would be too if I knew I was going to get killed every play.
5. Al Borges Watch: I am not going to go into too much detail but this tweet sums it up. OSU said something similar last year after the game about Michigan being predictable whether Denard or Devin was in the game. Add that to him running into 8 man fronts in the PSU game and Borges is failing offensive play calling 101.
6. Weekly reminded it is only going to get worse before it gets better: Regardless if Borges is brought back the offense is going to be Gardner, Funchess and a bunch of underclassmen next year. I would hope Hoke would recognize this as a good time to start fresh with his offensive coaching staff but I am preparing myself for Borges and more boos next year.
7. Trying to stay positive on offense: Funchess again is a mismatch problem and Butt and Chesson had some nice plays. So the future of the passing offense looks okay. Just the run game is going to be abysmal.
8. Defense: Secondary changes: It sounds like Countess got hurt that is why he didn’t play most of the game but Michigan started two new safeties. I didn’t see much of a difference to be honest but it was interesting.
9. Bend and occasionally break defense: They played alright but were playing a backup QB who led a winning drive against them. I know the offense gives them no help but Michigan lacks any type of playmakers on defense.
10. Trying to stay positive on defense: Some of the young guys got playing time including Taco on some third downs where he got a sack and then in the secondary where Dymonte, Stribling and Lewis all played. Hurray for development time.
11. That was Hoke’s first home loss: Went out with a whimper. I am sure Urban and OSU will gladly make it two in a row in a few weeks.
12. Ann Arbor trip report/MSC wasted: Basically the opposite of the ND trip. There was no buzz and lots of Al Borges jokes. Also Mary Sue Coleman was for sure hammered when she gave this speech. I can’t really blame her. (I can also report that Nebraska fans are as nice as advertised.)
13. I looked at the 2014 schedule yesterday: Always a depressing sign when you are still in season looking forward to next year.
14. Any more wins?: If Michigan is going to win a game the rest of the year then this week is it at Northwestern. I feel like they will lose just because Northwestern is due for a win. After that it is at Iowa which means Borges versus a competent defense on the road, I know how that ends. Then it will be OSU blasting us into space. Maybe a bowl win depending on who Michigan draws.
15. Da’Shawn Hand Watch: One of the top players in the country is deciding between Michigan, Bama and Florida on Thursday. Despite their recent dip in play Michigan is still expected to land him. Horray.
1. Nebraska: You can send thank you cards to both Michigan and Northwestern for keeping Bo Pelini employed. We also like chocolates. (This may change if they get ripped by Sparty)
2. OSU: A nice little weekend off with Michigan losing again and Oregon losing. I assume the coaches were out recruiting and watching film of MSU’s defense
3. MSU: They are at Nebraska this coming week. While Neb is not very good Sparty has yet to beat Nebraska in their two years in the B1G. A win here for MSU and they all but wrap up the division.
4. Wisconsin: Chris Borland came back and help shut down BYU’s offense. Their dream of a at large BCS however is all but dead. The rankings hate the B1G so it is doubtful we see them in the BCS. Enjoy the Capital One Bowl though.
5. Minnesota: All hail the Jerry Kill dance. The Gophers downed PSU at home and now have a bye before hosting Wisconsin and go to Sparty to end the year. While I doubt they win both they could seriously upset one of those two or at least win the bowl game. All is well in Gopher land.
6. PSU: Michigan’s loss to PSU gets worse and worse with each passing week. Good news for PSU though is they get Purdue at home this week.
7. Indiana: They play both Wisconsin and OSU next. I wonder how many points the two will combine to put on the Hoosiers. I am setting the line at 120.
8. Illinois: Hey they lost again. Get ready for that Illinois/Purdue showdown in 2 weeks.
9. Iowa: Got bowl eligible which is nice.
10. Purdue/Maryland: Nope
1. Alabama’s offense took over: I think it is clear Bama’s secondary is not the elite unit it normally is but that has yet to cost them a game. LSU got it to 17-17 in the 3 Q and then the Bama offense just took over and won 38-17. All eyes are now on the Iron Bowl on Nov 30th.
2. Gus Malzahn Coach of the year: Has taken a 3-9 team from a year ago to a top 10 team. They ran for 400 yards on the road at Tennessee and have a chance to beat UGA this week at home before Gus gets 2 weeks to prepare for Saban.
3. Manziel show will now go on the road: Manziel played what will be his last game at home and now finishes the season at LSU and at Missouri in hopes to win his second Heisman. While he turns the ball over like crazy, he has to take risks because the A&M defense is horrible. Plus that Missouri game will be a big game since the Tigers will need it to make the SEC title game. Only three more times to watch Johnny before he gets shipped off to Cleveland to never be heard from again.
4. Thank you Florida: The Gators are the only reason Michigan won’t take more heat naturally. They lost by double digits to Vanderbilt at home and now won’t make a bowl game. The heat will be on my boy Muschamp as well it should, their defense has way more talent than Michigan’s does and their offense makes ours seem competent. (At least we get the bowl practices to get better.)
5. SEC East race: Missouri and South Carolina: For the Gamecocks it is simple, win this week against the Gators and then have Missouri lose. For the Tigers they have a bye then at Ole Miss and then A&M at home. Win both and they will go to Atlanta.
6. Mack Brown Redemption tour: The Texas/WVU game was crazy and somehow the Longhorns won even though they lost 2 starters to injury for the year. They are still unbeaten in Big 12 play but must go to Stillwater this week. If they win then I will start to take them seriously.
7. Kliff Kingsbury watch: Obligatory Fugitive train reference here. They got dismantled by the old man and K State.
8. FSU is still awesome: The annihilated Wake and will surely do the same to Syracuse, Idaho (?), and Florida. Their only big game left might be against…..
9. DUKE FOOTBALL: The Blue Devils control their own destiny in the Coastal division and host a big game against Miami this Saturday. I am kind of pissed Gameday is not going there.
10. Pitt beat ND: This is good for Pitt and Paul Chryst. This is not good for teams that point to ND as a major victory this year.
11. Gameday will be at USC this week: Who the hell saw this coming after they fired Kiffin? The Trojans will host Stanford in what is an actual important game for both teams. I think everyone is hoping Orgeron wins out and becomes coach at USC.
12. ASU and UCLA won big road games: Each is still alive in the Pac 12 South race. They play in 2 weeks in Pasadena.
13. UCF and Fresno State are going to ruin the BCS matchups: A perfect end to the BCS era with some horrible matchups
14. BCS Projections: Just look
Nati: Bama vs FSU
Rose: Stanford vs OSU
Fiesta: Baylor vs Fresno St
Sugar: Missouri vs UCF
Orange: Oregon vs Clemson: At least this one isn’t bad
15. Heisman Ballot
1. Jameis Winston
2. Johnny Manizel
3. AJ McCarron
16. #MACtion: Big game in the MAC on Wednesday night between Ball State and NIU