Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
1. (5-0) New Orleans Saints
2. (5-0) Indianapolis Colts
3. (6-0) Minnesota Vikings
4. (6-0) Denver Broncos
The 4 unbeatens stay at the top. The Saints and Colts are legitimately incredible.
5. (4-1) Atlanta Falcons
6. (5-1) New York Giants
7. (4-2) New England Patriots
8. (4-2) Cincinnati Bengals
9. (3-2) Chicago Bears
10. (4-2) Pittsburgh Steelers
The Giants showed enough weakness to deserve falling behind Atlanta
here. The Pats looked great against terrible competition, but they've
been good enough to warrant being placed over the next two. Isn't it sad
that even though the Bears are 3-2 you have to put them in the top 10?
11. (3-3) Baltimore Ravens
12. (3-2) Philadelphia Eagles
13. (3-2) San Francisco 49ers
14. (3-2) Green Bay Packers
15. (3-2) Arizona Cardinals
16. (2-3) Miami Dolphins
17. (3-3) New York Jets
Ugh. What a clusterfuck. I can't punish Baltimore too severely for
their losses up to this point. And they certainly won't be behind two
teams who just lost extremely embarrassing games. The Packers
and Cardinals are wild cards at this point; they could be good, bad,
terrible, or great depending on the day. The Jets have lost against
bad competition too much, so they have to fall behind Miami.
18. (2-3) San Diego Chargers
19. (3-2) Dallas Cowboys
20. (3-3) Jacksonville Jaguars
21. (3-3) Houston Texans
22. (2-3) Carolina Panthers
23. (2-4) Seattle Seahawks
This is the rest of the teams who won't make the playoffs, but who also won't manage to get a top 10 pick. Nothing spectacular here, just mediocrity.
24. (1-5) Kansas City Chiefs
25. (1-5) Detroit Lions
26. (2-4) Washington Redskins
27. (2-4) Oakland Raiders
28. (2-4) Buffalo Bills
I know, two 1-5 teams are above three 2-4 teams. But those 2-4 teams are absolutely fucking terrible. That they got 2 wins is a disgusting abnormality that I do not wish to talk about.
29. (0-6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
30. (0-6) Tennessee Titans
31. (1-5) Cleveland Browns
32. (0-6) St. Louis Rams
I really don't want to waste words on this pile of shit.
Iggins!: Wow finally Ohio State got exposed last week against a Purdue team who was much better than their record indicated. I don’t think this will turn OSUs season around but they can beat
Code Red: I agree Purdue was better than their record indicated. I also agree Terrelle Pryor is a really shitty quarterback. You didn’t say that? Oh. Terrelle Pryor is a really shitty quarterback.
South Florida @ #20
Code Red: Wanny sucks, and USF actually looked decent until the fourth quarter against Cinci. USF wins.
Iggins!: Yeah, I can’t imagine Pitt winning this game. USF wins.
UConn @ #23 West Virginia
Iggins!: This could be one of those rally games considering the stabbing death of UConns starting corner, but I think WVU will be good enough to win.
Code Red: I tell you to pick the top ten games of the week and you give me UConn vs.
Tennessee @ #2 Alabama
Code Red: Wow! A match up of two absolutely contemptible coaches! One’s a great coach known for ruthless efficiency and blinding greed. The other just talks a lot. Saban wins.
Iggins!: Kiffykins got a “big” win last week (and considering that “big” win was over an unranked Georgia team, methinks Tennessee is wishing for a Fulmer renaissance) but the pure evil of Saban can’t be beaten by the adorable likes of Kiffykins. Alabama wins.
#13 Penn State @ Michigan
Oklahoma @ #25 Kansas
Code Red: I can’t tell if
Iggins!: Kansas managed to lose to Colorado last week. And before that they almost lost to Iowa State. So yeah, Sooners win.
Boston College @ Notre Dame
Iggins!: Sigh. You have 3 chances at a TD inside the 5 late in the game and can’t get it done? Jesus is pissed. But even that can’t lose to a team whose QB managed a below zero passer rating. Notre Dame wins.
Code Red: You give me Wanny vs.
Iggins!: I know, but seriously, check out the schedule. This week has no good games. The others we could have picked would have been too fuckin easy.
#6 Iowa @ Michigan State
Code Red: I realize you’re worried about this one, my friend. Perhaps you should be. OSU can’t get out of its own way, and
Iggins!: I’ve become much less worried each day about this game. I mean, you could say Iowa might overlook MSU, but if you’ve watched any Iowa game this year it seems like they’ve overlooked EVERYBODY and then dominated the 2nd half. The scary thing is there isn’t a game left on the schedule that freaks me out now. Iowa wins.
#8 TCU @ #16 BYU
Iggins!: The great equalizer, this game will stop a Mountain West team from being in the BCS. BYU wins.
Code Red: Indeed. BYU.
Oregon State @ #7 USC
Code Red: If USC makes it unscathed through
Iggins!: Oregon State is USC kryptonite, and they do this every year. They have a rough out of conference time and then in the Pac-10 they have some magical run to almost win the title. Oregon State wins.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Not sure I like this guy's attitude. Tom Brady would totally have worn a tux to sign his contract.
While some meatheads may be screaming this is a terrible idea, this is a sound financial move by Jerry Angelo. God knows it wouldn't really surprise me to see the team trade so much to get their franchise quarterback and then somehow botch re-signing him and end up without him. The two extension years are supposedly worth about 30 million total. That's about right for his performance compared to the other quarterbacks (Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Manning, Rivers) pulling down that kind of money in his age group. The $20 million in guaranteed money really isn't that high, and it was a good move to get him signed so that the money can begin applying to this year's cap room, while the team has plenty to spare. Nice work, Jerry.
#1 Florida 23, Arkansas 20- I predicted Arkansas would scare them, and I was right as always. Right now Florida's offense just isn't in gear, and it's got very little to do with Tebow being "off" as he was their only highlight Saturday. The playcalling is uninspired and it's going to get them killed against Alabama. Also, my man crush on Ryan Mallett (now that he's free of Michigan) goes on unabated. Watch out for Petrino's boys next year.
#2 Texas 16, #15 Oklahoma 13- I usually say that unless you're a quarterback (where the experience always helps) you should jump to the NFL as soon as you're certain to go in the second round. You can always go back and get the degree later if things don't pan out and it's that important to you. I'm now revising that in Sam Bradfords case to "I don't care what position you play, take the money, stupid." Poor kid. God only knows where his draft stock is now.
#12 Georgia Tech 28, #5 Virginia Tech 23- Damn, sometimes I wish I had the conviction to run with my hunches. My love of the triple option once more proves well grounded, as Georgia Tech rings up 28 on VT's defense while rushing for 309 yards and completing ONE pass.
Purdue 26, #6 Ohio State 18- This is just flat out embarassing for Ohio State. Terrell Pryor's complete regression can't even be denied at this point. Tressel cannot coach a quarterback to save his life. Krenzel more or less coached himself and Troy Smith was just better than Pryor at using his athleticism to make plays.
#7 USC 34, #22 Notre Dame 27- This isn't really a surprise. It's just funny. And Iggins! is wrong, yet again.
Colorado 34, #18 Kansas 30- After almost getting upset by Iowa State, Kansas went ahead and sealed the deal against Colorado.
Texas Tech 31, #19 Nebraska 10- This shouldn't be shocking, as Mike Leach's teams are usually capable of upsetting anyone at anytime, but the margin of victory is a bit surprising. Just a complete meltdown by Nebraska.
Now, on with the new rankings (and it's total chaos as usual)-
#1 Alabama, 7-0 (+2)- God I hate Nick Saban. I hate him so much that I sold some of my excess hatred to Dolphins fans after 2006 when their natural apathy towards football left them devoid of the necessary hatred they should have felt after Saban abandoned them. However, anyone that's watched Alabama, Florida, and Texas the last few weeks can tell who is playing the best of the three right now, and while I hope Florida closes the gap soon, it's now Alabama's to lose.
#2 Florida, 6-0 (-1)- I've said most of my thoughts already. I like Florida and I have since the Spurrier days. I'd like to see them get back to their dominant form and put Saban to bed, but I have my doubts.
#3 Texas, 6-0 (-1)- Another sketchy top three team, they escaped by the skin of their teeth against a demoralized Oklahoma team that lost Bradford for a second time. Their biggest test will be Oklahoma State in two weeks.
#4 Boise State, 6-0 (-)- A close win over Tulsa on the road keeps them in the top 5.
#5 USC, 5-1 (+2)- They get Oregon State and Oregon back-to-back the next two weeks. My esteemed colleague bet me they'd lose both. You bet your ass I took the money. USC with three regular season losses? Not happening.
#6 Oklahoma State, 5-1 (+2)- This is wayyy overranking them (AP has them at 14), but who cares? Outside of one loss to a pretty good Houston team they've played well. I think they have a hell of a shot of a taking down Texas.
#7 Cincinnati, 6-0 (+2)- I still don't like ranking a Big East team this high, but they won't just go away.
#8 Iowa, 7-0 (+2)- I'd actually rank them ahead of OK State and Cincy, but I don't want to. I'm going to make them earn every single promotion.
#9 Miami, 5-1 (+4)- They still have a cake schedule the rest of the way, so that makes them my favorite in the three way race to the ACC Championship game between them, GT, and VT.
#10 Georgia Tech, 6-1 (+2)- VIVA L'OPTION TRIPLE!
#11 TCU, 6-0 (-)- I still think they lose to BYU this week.
#12 Penn State, 6-1 (+2)- God only knows if they're any good at all. The only good team they've faced utterly depantsed them.
#13 Virginia Tech, 5-2 (-8)- They get a nice bye week to stew over the loss to GT that ended their national title dreams.
#14 Oregon, 5-1 (+2)- They might beat USC. Oregon State won't. I'll still win.
#15 LSU, 5-1 (+2)- They still don't have an offense, but things are so bleak that they really are a top 15 team.
#16 BYU, 6-1 (+4)- They'll jump after beating the Horned Frogs.
#17 Houston, 5-1 (NR)- The loss to UTEP has been long since forgotten while the win over Oklahoma State looks better and better.
#18 Ohio State, 5-2 (-12)- I guess I can't drop them out completely yet, but holy shit is that offense bad.
#19 Texas Tech, 5-2 (NR)- They earn Nebraska's spot by thoroughly raping them. RED RAIDERS! YAR!
Guh. I'm just gonna list 20-25 without comment because chances are at least 80% of them will be changed by next week and the whole college landscape plummets after #13 or so.
#20 Oregon State, 4-2 (+5)
#21 West Virginia, 5-1 (NR)
#22 Central Michigan, 6-1 (+2)
#23 South Carolina, 5-2 (-2)
#24 Kansas, 5-1 (-6)
#25 South Florida, 5-1 (-2)
Monday, October 19, 2009
Well there's my take. This was a tough loss, but it was one of the one's that I had rationalized as possible and not necessarily devastating. Lovie always advocates looking at a 16 game schedule as 4 quarters. If the Bears can rally and go 3-1 in this quarter just like they did in the first quarter (and its certainly possible), this team will be set up well for the stretch run.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Weekly record (Sat. to Fri.): 4-0-0
Thursday, October 15, 2009
(2-3) Houston @ (4-1) Cincinnati
Iggins!: Clearly the Bengals are for real, and the Texans are more inconsistent than that case of herpes you got 2 years ago, and much like the Texans, they always show up at the wrong times.
Code Red: The Bengals are certainly for real, but at some point they have to come down off this high they’re on, at least briefly. The Texans are dangerous enough to do it. Texans win.
Iggins!: I totally agree with those sentiments. Packers win.
Iggins!: DIE VIKINGS DIE. Ravens win.
Code Red: No seriously, fucking die. Ravens win.
Code Red: This game should kick total ass. That is all. Breesus shall be the hand of victory, however. Saints Win.
Iggins!: Though shall not pick against Breesus. Saints win.
Code Red: God damnit,
Iggins!: Tampa will win their first of the year. Tampa Bay wins.
Iggins!: Wow, the ‘skins schedule is really easy early on. I keep picking the Chiefs and they refuse to get their first win. DO IT THIS WEEK DAMN YOU.
Code Red: Holy shit, I could not care less about the result of this football game. I’ll pick the Chiefs, just so this game is a wash.
Iggins!: Hooray for shitty games? Jaguars win.
Iggins!: Wow I really have no opinion as to who wins this game. Home team?
Code Red: Nay. Cardinals win.
Iggins!: The Raiders… jesus they’re terrible. Eagles win.
Iggins!: Well at least Vince Young will get to play again.
Code Red: Oh yeah, that’ll be great. Maybe he’ll refuse to go in again after the fans are mean to him.
Code Red: The Jets have now dropped two straight, the Bills three. Only one of these teams is actually talented and well coached, and that’s the one that’ll break the skid. Jets win.
Iggins!: The Bills are just about as terrible as the Raiders. Jets win.
Iggins!: The Bears defense, special teams, and Cutler will be able to keep this one close and win it at the end. DA BEARS.
Code Red: The Bears should be out for blood after the debacle that was last year’s Falcons game. They’ve had their entire bye week to game plan for the Falcons and get everybody healthy. The Falcon’s defense is only allowing 15.8 ppg, but their low rankings in total yards (21st in the league at 355.8 ypg), run defense (24th in the league, 127.0 ypg), and pass defense (23rd in the league, 228.8 ypg) suggest to me that luck has been on their side. They rank behind the Bears defense in every category other than PPG (Bears 19.5, Atlanta 15.8), interceptions (tied at 3 a piece), and forced fumbles (Bears 4, Falcons 5). The Bears have far more sacks (14 to 8), and the Bears offense is just as dangerous as Matt Ryan and company. Those defensive stats tell me the Falcons have some serious weaknesses that can be exploited. Cutler and Forte will do just that. BEARS, 27-23.
Code Red: It’s unthinkable that
Iggins!: I acknowledge, begrudgingly, that the Broncos are a very good team. But methinks they’ll still lose to these guys and the Steelers. Chargers win.
My God, that's Hideous.
I've been hearing a lot the last few weeks how Lovie Smith and Ron Turner should be under scrutiny since they seem to be the most likely candidates as to why Cedric Benson and Kyle Orton didn't perform as well in Chicago as they have in their new towns. This is Grade A bullshit, and I'll tell you why. Let's start with the Patron Saint.
I've said all along that Josh McDaniels' offense is the perfect scheme for Kyle's strength. It makes use of multiple wide receiver sets, it features a lot of underneath throws and crossing routes, it makes the most of his two good runningbacks (Buckhalter and Moreno, who've combined to give Denver the league's 4th ranked rushing attack), and his four quality wide receivers (Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokely, and Jabar Gaffney), and his two quality tight ends (Daniel Graham, Tony Sheffler). The Broncos offense is basically the closest you'll find to a true spread offense anywhere in the NFL, and that naturally favors our friend Kyle, who ran the "basketball on grass" spread offense of Joe Tiller at Purdue.
A lot of people act like McDaniels' version of the spread, which has worked so well in New England, is the first version of it to hit the NFL. It's not. The Run and Shoot was pretty much the same attack back in the '80s and '90s. A closer version to a pure spread like the ones seen in the NCAA came to our very own Bears in 1999 under Gary Crowton. Remember 1999? The Bears actually had the 3rd ranked passing offense (yardage wise) in the NFL, which was the team's highest finish in that category in the modern era, and that was with the pathetically weak arms of Shane Matthews and Cade F%&king McNown at the helm for 13 games. That team scored just 17 ppg and went 6-10, however. The reason for this was the criticism common to all spread offenses- that they struggle in the red zone.
The problem is that when teams move from the "bend but don't break" philosophy that most defenses are forced to employ to their red zone defenses, the underneath stuff is taken away and teams have to revert to conventional out routes agains tighter coverage, the kinds of throws that NFL quarterbacks are made of. Orton, as we know, struggles with these, and the Broncos offense is a perfect example of the tendency of spread offenses to rack up yards and not points. The Broncos, despite Orton's 1,236 passing yards and the great run game leading to a 6th place ranking in total yards, are just 22nd in the league in scoring at 19.8 ppg.
This offensive scheme worked in New England two years ago and many people took it as proof that the spread could consistently succeed in the NFL. This isn't quite true. The Patriots attack of 2007 worked because it had in Tom Brady and Randy Moss a quarterback who can make all of the throws and a holy terror of a wide receiver. This opened up countless opportunities for Wes Welker underneath and made the whole spread work. Orton, no matter his great stats, isn't Tom Brady. Teams still don't have to cover every inch of the field, and the threat of the deep ball isn't a factor on every single play. Right now the Broncos are getting by on defense, and this offense is controlling the clock and scoring just enough points to win. At some point that probably won't be enough. The Broncos defense isn't the 2000 Ravens or the 2002 Bucs. They'll need an offense that can challenge downfield to win a big game, either to get into the playoffs or to win in the playoffs. We'll see if that works out.
This still doesn't address the original point, I suppose. Why wasn't Kyle Orton as successful in Chicago as he has been in Denver? My answer: He was. Throw out Kyle's rookie season, where he played the most conservative offense I've ever seen, and for good reason, and let's just focus on 2008. As I've mentioned, the 2009 Broncos are averaging 19.8 ppg, good for 22nd in the league. The 2008 Bears averaged 23.4 ppg, good for 14th in the NFL. Also interesting to note, here are Orton's current stats:
5 games, 5 games started, 104 of 165 (63.0%), 1236 yards, 7.5 ypa, 247.2 ypg, 7 tds, 1 int, 97.4 rating.
Now compare that to Orton's stats last year before his ankle injury:
7 games, 7 games started, 143 of 230 (62.2%), 1669 yards, 7.3 ypa, 238.4 ypg, 10 tds, 4 ints, 91.4 rating.
Now, his numbers in Denver are slightly better, but there's no doubt that Ron Turner's offense wasn't the complete misuse of Orton's skills we've been led to believe. Orton's ankle injury changed his entire throwing motion and the team's fortunes. He was hesitant to step into throws, he was less mobile, the offensive line wore down as the season went on (they gave up 19 sacks in the second half of the season, as opposed to 10 in the first half), and Kyle's stats went into decline. It's true that Orton isn't the perfect fit for the vertical based Coryell offense that Turner would prefer to run, and that the Bears scheme has worked best under strong armed passers like Erik Kramer, Rex Grossman (at least Good Rex), and now Jay Cutler. But Turner isn't a moron completely incapable of handling a quarterback like Kyle. Hell, he was able to adjust his scheme enough to allow the weak armed Steve Walsh to guide the Bears to the playoffs in 1994. It's just a system that traditionally works best when it has a downfield element, as exemplified by the original Coryell quarterback, Dan Fouts.
It's true that Orton is playing great in Denver, and I for one am happy for him. The problem is in ignoring the complexities of NFL offensive systems and also in paying too much attention to yardage and quarterback rating and not to scoring. The Bears under Cutler, for example, are scoring 26.2 ppg, good for 7th in the NFL, despite their 22nd overall ranking in yardage (which should improve anyways as the year goes on and one strong or weak performance won't represent a drastic rise and fall in the rankings, as the Bears' yardage numbers were hurt by consistently playing on a short field against Detroit...which is a good thing, but I digress). I'm not denying that Orton fits better in McDaniels' system, but Turner used him just fine, and has also been quite successful with his new quarterback as well. So once more, no, the Bears would Not be better with Orton, and no, it's not Ron Turner's fault.
As for Benson, well, his problems were less to do with schemes than with attitude, and I'm saving That article for next week's buildup to the Bengals.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The records for this week stand as such: Red is 20-10 after an impressive 8-2 week and I stand at 15-15 after an impressively mediocre 5-5 performance. After two weeks of disagreeing on 70% of the games we pick in the NCAA, we disagree on only 3 this week. On to the picks...
Iggins!: Tulsa has a very good offense, and playing at home for only the 2nd time this year will be an advantage, but Boise State should be in a bigger conference.
Code Red: Not much of a problem here.
Code Red: As much as I hate
Iggins!: Why do you hate Cincinnati so much? They’re actually quite good. Be pissed off at TCU, not Cinci. Cincinnati wins.
Iggins!: I feel like this will be
Code Red: I’m with my comrade on this one. It’s not so much that I think
Code Red: Mindless, god awfully stupid turnovers ruined
Iggins!: Iowa wins everything ugly. And you’re right, at this point, 6 games in, you have to say that turnovers against Iowa aren’t a fluke; Iowa just hawks the ball (no pun intended). Iowa wins and then I start to hyperventilate because they have to go to MSU at night after this.
#6 USC @ #25 Notre Dame
Iggins!: Notre Dame has a very good offense and a pile of shit on defense. That being said, I think Notre Dame will stick with USC and pull out a close one in the end (because I made this pick 3 weeks ago and I am sticking with it, damnit). Notre Dame wins.
Code Red: A Haiku-
Fuckin Notre Dame
They coast on easy schedule
Good team they are not.
Texas Tech @ #15 Nebraska
Code Red: As much as I’d love to call the Texas Tech upset,
Iggins!: Well I don’t have a vagina, and my theory is that the Big 12 North is so superior to the South that even the 5th best team in the North can beat the best in the South. Texas Tech wins.
Iggins!: God I hate the triple option. Virginia Tech wins.
Code Red: The triple option is 14-5 since it moved to Georgia Tech. It works. Why my esteemed colleague must hate that it’s because some teams can actually do shit like run the triple option that makes college football great, I don’t know. Virginia Tech will win this game, because they’re an outstanding team with a fantastic defense, and then Iggins! will point this out as proof that the triple option sucks, to which I’ll point out that VT’s defense has had no problem shutting down spread offenses and the like as well, and he’ll deny all logic and evidence and I’ll be forced to jab a pair of scissors in his throat and laugh as the blood bubbles out and the wheezing sound of his last, forced breaths hits the air. Virginia Tech wins.
Iggins!: Hey, if you can hate Cincinnati for no reason I can hate Ga Tech for no reason.
Stanford @ Arizona
Code Red: Stanford will rebound from last week’s disappointment against
Iggins!: Arizona got screwed hard and long last week on an interception returned for a TD that hit the ground. The Pac-10 has 6 quality teams. Very impressive. Arizona wins.
Code Red: I would throw
Code Red: This could very well be a trap game. Tebow’s not 100% yet and the hangover from the LSU game could be considerable.
Iggins!: Florida is better than Arkansas. Florida wins.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I'm not even going to bother with recaps this week, as nothing greatly surprising happened. Without further ado, here are the rankings-
#1 Florida- They did a good job of keeping Tebow from taking unnecessary abuse, since they realized they wouldn't need to score many points with their defense doing whatever it wanted to LSU.
I'm not even going to bother with recaps this week, as nothing greatly surprising happened. Without further ado, here are the rankings-
#2 Texas- They get their first real challenge on Saturday against Oklahoma #3 Alabama - They have tag teamed with South Carolina to incinerate Jevan Snead's draft stock. You may want to stay for senior year, kid. #4 Boise State- Idle last week. #5 Virginia Tech- They jumped over Ohio State for kicking Boston College's ass harder than Ohio State kicked Wisconsin's. It'll be an interesting match up for them this week as they draw the UNSTOPPABLE TRIPLE OPTION of Georgia Tech. #6 Ohio State- All signs point to November 14th, in Columbus against Iowa, being one hell of a game. #7 USC- They get Notre Dame this weekend, and that should either prove that the Washington game was a fluke, or continue to piss me off by allowing a not-really-that-good Notre Dame team to keep winning games. #8 Oklahoma State- They're as shaky as it comes for a top ten team, but we'll see how they handle Texas in a few weeks. #9 Cincinnati- Idle, and the Big East still sucks. #10 Iowa- My esteemed colleague Iggins! seems to think Michigan State will be their biggest test, but I personally think the only thing standing between them and the BCS is Ohio State. And believe me, I f*&king hate that fact. #11 TCU- They stay on track for BCS busting with a win over Air Force. #12 Georgia Tech- The triple option made for one of the more exciting ACC games in years with its 49-44 win over Florida State. The game against Virginia Tech is definitely a must watch. #13 Miami- Their schedule is pretty soft the rest of the way. #14 Penn State- A big win over Eastern Illinois means nothing, so..yeah. #15 Oklahoma- It's a bit high for a 3-2 team, yes, but they're better than that. The game against Texas is a must-win. #16 Oregon- They've fully recovered from the Boise State debacle, and the game against USC is looking like the Pac 10 game of the year. #17 LSU- Their offense leaves much to be desired. #18 Kansas- Todd Reesing is a man. #19 Nebraska- Their defense is really good. The way they took over the fourth quarter against Mizzou was extremely impressive. #20 BYU- I don't trust them, but they've played well since the anomaly of a loss to Florida State. #21 South Carolina- This won't last. At all. #22 Notre Dame- Neither will this. #23 South Florida- Seriously, I'm just pulling shit out of my ass here. It's a bad year for competence. #24 Central Michigan- I like their quarterback, Dan LeFevour (and so does Mel Kiper. I'm smarter than Mel, of course, but keep an eye on him come combine/draft time), and they're 5-1 with their only loss being a tough one to a pretty good Arizona team. #25 Oregon State- Because they beat last week's number 25?
#2 Texas- They get their first real challenge on Saturday against Oklahoma
#3 Alabama - They have tag teamed with South Carolina to incinerate Jevan Snead's draft stock. You may want to stay for senior year, kid.
#4 Boise State- Idle last week.
#5 Virginia Tech- They jumped over Ohio State for kicking Boston College's ass harder than Ohio State kicked Wisconsin's. It'll be an interesting match up for them this week as they draw the UNSTOPPABLE TRIPLE OPTION of Georgia Tech.
#6 Ohio State- All signs point to November 14th, in Columbus against Iowa, being one hell of a game.
#7 USC- They get Notre Dame this weekend, and that should either prove that the Washington game was a fluke, or continue to piss me off by allowing a not-really-that-good Notre Dame team to keep winning games.
#8 Oklahoma State- They're as shaky as it comes for a top ten team, but we'll see how they handle Texas in a few weeks.
#9 Cincinnati- Idle, and the Big East still sucks.
#10 Iowa- My esteemed colleague Iggins! seems to think Michigan State will be their biggest test, but I personally think the only thing standing between them and the BCS is Ohio State. And believe me, I f*&king hate that fact.
#11 TCU- They stay on track for BCS busting with a win over Air Force.
#12 Georgia Tech- The triple option made for one of the more exciting ACC games in years with its 49-44 win over Florida State. The game against Virginia Tech is definitely a must watch.
#13 Miami- Their schedule is pretty soft the rest of the way.
#14 Penn State- A big win over Eastern Illinois means nothing, so..yeah.
#15 Oklahoma- It's a bit high for a 3-2 team, yes, but they're better than that. The game against Texas is a must-win.
#16 Oregon- They've fully recovered from the Boise State debacle, and the game against USC is looking like the Pac 10 game of the year.
#17 LSU- Their offense leaves much to be desired.
#18 Kansas- Todd Reesing is a man.
#19 Nebraska- Their defense is really good. The way they took over the fourth quarter against Mizzou was extremely impressive.
#20 BYU- I don't trust them, but they've played well since the anomaly of a loss to Florida State.
#21 South Carolina- This won't last. At all.
#22 Notre Dame- Neither will this.
#23 South Florida- Seriously, I'm just pulling shit out of my ass here. It's a bad year for competence.
#24 Central Michigan- I like their quarterback, Dan LeFevour (and so does Mel Kiper. I'm smarter than Mel, of course, but keep an eye on him come combine/draft time), and they're 5-1 with their only loss being a tough one to a pretty good Arizona team.
#25 Oregon State- Because they beat last week's number 25?
1. (4-0) New Orleans Saints
2. (5-0) Indianapolis Colts
3. (5-0) Minnesota Vikings
4. (5-0) New York Giants
5. (4-1) Cincinnati Bengals
6. (5-0) Denver Broncos
-These teams are unquestionably at the top of the league right now. I still think the Vikings and Broncos will fall quickly, but to this point you can't argue with undefeated records and the teams that Cincinnati has beaten. (and Cinci is above Denver because that was a goddamned fluke).
7. (3-1) Chicago Bears
8. (3-1) Atlanta Falcons
9. (3-2) New York Jets
10. (3-2) New England Patriots
11. (3-2) Baltimore Ravens
12. (3-1) Philadelphia Eagles
-Before I get ripped for being a homer consider the teams who you would put ahead of the Bears. Atlanta had a great win last week but they totally melted against a New England team who has lost twice already and has yet to look great in any game. The Ravens have had a couple of tough losses, but losing to New England means that, with the same record, they have to be below them. And the Eagles haven't proven shit yet, so I'm waiting for them to actually play a tough opponent and win.
13. (3-2) San Francisco 49ers
14. (3-2) Pittsburgh Steelers
15. (2-2) Arizona Cardinals
16. (2-2) San Diego Chargers
17. (2-3) Miami Dolphins
18. (3-2) Dallas Cowboys
19. (2-2) Green Bay Packers
-This is where things get tricky. The 49ers and Steelers are headed in opposite directions but I think the margin of loss against Atlanta was more fluky than the Steelers almost losing to everybody. The Cardinals and Chargers are pretty much the same team at this point. Mediocre even though they have loads of talent. The Dolphins have finally kicked it into gear, but I can't move them up higher at 2-3. The Cowboys and Packers are both good teams with bad parts that are going to cost them lots of games.
20. (2-3) Seattle Seahawks
21. (2-3) Jacksonville Jaguars
22. (2-3) Houston Texans
23. (1-3) Carolina Panthers
24. (2-3) Washington Redskins
25. (1-4) Detroit Lions
-These teams all have something in common. They suck, but they've managed to suck less than the bottom of the league. None of these guys will contend for anything.
26. (0-5) Tennessee Titans
27. (0-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
28. (0-5) Kansas City Chiefs
29. (1-4) Cleveland Browns
30. (1-4) Buffalo Bills
31. (1-4) Oakland Raiders
32. (0-5) St. Louis Rams
The Titans... oh the Titans. What the hell happened? Tampa Bay and Kansas City both have enough pieces to have a 7-9 season, so I don't think they belong with the bottom 4. Speaking of which, the Browns have managed to be ranked above 3 other teams, which says nothing about Cleveland and EVERYTHING about how godawful Buffalo, Oakland, and St. Louis are. I really think Oakland is the worst team in the NFL but until the Rams win, they get the bottom spot.