Wednesday, October 28, 2009

College Football Analysis After Week 8

Sorry for taking so long to get another post out. I was actually kidnapped by a wild pack of bandits who desperately wanted me to turn over my 2001 Camry to them.

I would not give in to their threats...

12 Alabama 10 Tennessee

For much of year the Crimson Tide were looked at by all as the most complete team. The defense was one of the best and the offense had a running game close to unstoppable. The best luck anyone had was South Carolina who fell 20-6. No one had ever hung with Alabama. No one had ever really made the Tide fight to the end.

That was until Tennessee.

Prior to this game not much of a chance was given to the Vols, but after the 12-10 score stood Kiffin and crew got respect. Yet I'm positive his team is still very unhappy with the outcome. It always seems the importance of special teams is pushed behind offense and defense, yet as the UT/Bama game shows you the special teams is just as important as any of those three. 3 missed field goals, including a potentially game winning 44 yarder with 4 seconds left. Unfortunately for the Vols Terrence "Train" Cody broke through the line and destroyed the Orange Crew's dreams of ruining Bama's season. It was interesting to note that once in field goal range Kiffin thought it was a gimme. Gary Anderson is the NFL's all-time leading scorer. If he was kicking a 44 yarder in his prime I would still be nervous. This was a college kicker! Point is UT needed to get closer. The fact that Kiffin did not have the urge to move further ahead only highlights even more the little confidence he has in QB Jonathan Crompton.

In two big games this year (Florida and Alabama) Kiffin has managed to put together a very impressive game plan. His teams were very heavy underdogs yet they still had a chance to win in the end. Once Kiffin starts really getting some athletes Tennessee will be a force.

So what did we learn about Alabama? First, they are vulnerable. They, like every other team this year, do have flaws. Biggest thing is QB Greg McElroy still has some maturing to do. Tennessee knew Mark Ingram was Bama's biggest weapon and they neutralized him much of the game. McElroy has to be able to pick up the slack. Second, despite not playing the best game Alabama found a way to win. That is something that needs to be noted. Sooner or later there will be a game that Alabama finds themselves in where they are not playing there best, yet they have to fight to the end. This was that. Even when the odds where against them the team hung in there and blocked a field goal to, as Cody says, "save the season."

15 Iowa 13 Michigan State

I love when the claims come out that a one loss USC team would go over an undefeated Iowa team. Wow. Can someone please give the Hawkeyes some love? I can only help but think the only reason USC would go over Iowa is because I don't know maybe the fact that USC is in Los Angeles and Iowa is, well, in the middle of Iowa. Anyway onto the game.

In yet another Big 10 slug fest the Hawkeyes found themselves behind (13-9) late in the fourth quarter at Spartan Stadium. With a mere two seconds the Iowa Hawkeyes managed to convert a 4th and Goal that yet again resulted in a heart attacks across Iowa. Iowa is not the most glamorous team, but in all honesty few teams have a better knack at finding a way to win than the Hawkeyes. Look at there schedule right now. In week 1 they blocked two field goals by Northern Iowa in the final seconds to preserve a 17-16 victory. Okay so it was only Northern Iowa. September 26 Iowa triumphs over Penn State Happy Valley. And there's the home win over Michigan 30-28 and the road victory at Wisconsin where the team came from behind to win 20-10. And finally there's this victory at Michigan State on the last play. How is that not an impressive resume?! The Big 10 is a lot stronger than it was two years ago. I can only hope the voters see this.

There are four games remaining for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Sure they could trip up against Indiana, Northwestern, or a solid Minnesota but let's me honest the biggest remaining test is a November 17th showdown in Columbus against Ohio State. It will be tough, but again hasn't the season been like that the whole time?

31 LSU 10 Auburn

LSU fans have waited an awful long time to finally see some offense. After a dreadful showing in a 13-3 loss to Florida, LSU came out firing on all cylinders against the War Eagles. Unlike every other game this year, LSU punched the ball in for touchdowns (not field goals) right from the get-go. Had it not been for Jefferson's fumble in the first quarter it would of 21-0 after one quarter. And finally Russell Shepard got to see pay dirt. On a 69 yard scamper Shepard burst through the War Eagle defense and put the score at 31-3. Also worth noting is the LSU defense. Each game Defensive Coordinator John Chavis's crew looks better and better. LSU fans can only hope the Tigers can keep this complete game effort as LSU gets ready for a November 7th showdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Jordan Jefferson played the best game of his career Saturday. His ability to get better every week is what makes this LSU team so potentially dangerous. If he can really get a handle on this LSU offense like he did against Auburn then watch out.

On the other side are the Auburn "Tigers". Through five games the War Eagles were 5-0 and hype began to form that maybe Auburn is better than we thought they were. After all there offense was running through everyone. Now fast forward to the present. First the War Eagles got dominated by Arkansas, then they lost at home to Kentucky who just lost their starting quarterback and finally they got dominated much worse than the score at Tiger Stadium against LSU. Auburn is currently 5-3 and you can not help but think that it might get worse. Auburn still has to play Ole Miss (this weekend), Georgia, and Alabama. Gene Chizik needs to get things under control before things really get chaotic.

29 Florida 19 Mississippi State

Something is not right in Gainesville. Prior to the season the Gators were touted as potentially the greatest team ever. Now granted most likely the team will go undefeated and win the national championship, but still it has to be noted how much the team is, well, struggling. It was a one score game going into the fourth quarter. Sure you can say that Bulldog coach Dan Mullen use to be Florida's offensive coordinator, but again this is supposed to be the greatest college football team ever. Tebow does not look like Tebow. He threw two pick sixes! Florida was fortunate to not have their interception in the fourth quarter overturned (the referees once again went brain dead), otherwise it would of be a one score game deep in the fourth quarter. Now I have to ask how does LSU's struggles against the Bulldogs look now? Maybe not so bad. If the Bulldogs took Florida to the brink you can not help but think that maybe, like Kiffin, once Mullen gets the athletes the wins will start happening.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Your analysis and your writing is getting consistenetly better - good job