College Football Musings: Week Seven

Each week this gets more and more interesting. The college football world is so bizarre it's hard to know where to begin. Actually I do. So after we begin there, we'll move on to Auburn's late game heroics (again), another team getting Zooked (again), Spurrier threatening to win the SEC (again), California losing a close game (again) and more.

Happy Bowl Executives ----- One thing about this wacky college football season I am certain of is this; the second tier of bowl games are the big winners. Parity may mean more exciting contests every Saturday and dilution of what "upset" means, but what it really means is that the gap between the best ten teams and the next ten is infinitesimal. In fact, if the top ten played the second ten this weekend, I bet the bottom ten would win anywhere from four to six of the games.

What the Zook? ----- I told you a week ago to take Iowa and the points and sure enough the Hawkeyes ended Illinoize's five game winning streak. This result should not surprise anyone in these parts because this is who Zook is. The man is a phenomenal recruiter, an excellent judge of talent and a superb special teams coach. But that's where the superlatives end. As long as he's at Illinoize they will never again be worse than 6-6, and they will never be better than 9-3. They will win your heart and break your heart faster than a flighty sorority girl.

Who woulda thunk it? ----- If I had written an article in August predicting the mid-October BCS standings would include South Florida and Boston College in the top five, Arizona State in the top ten and Southern Cal and Florida not in the top 13, I wouldn't be here gloating about my genius. I would be in an asylum demanding my release like R.P. McMurphy in "One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest". But the truth of the matter is that things couldn't be stranger and the chance of two unbeaten teams playing in the BCS Championship game is roughly the same as Mick Hubert getting through a game without a single "Oh My". It ain't happenin'. Certainly the SEC can feel proud of their role in the BCS with seven of the top 21. LSU leads the charge at #4, followed by South Carolina (#6), Kentucky (#7), Florida (#15), Auburn (#17), Georgia (#20) and Tennessee (#21). No, I don't know why none of the voters (or computers) remembers how the Florida/Auburn and Georgia/Tennessee games turned out.

The HBC has his best chance ----- Steve Spurrier won the ACC title at Duke in 1989, but if he can guide South Carolina to the SEC title this year it might be an equally impressive accomplishment. Sure, Carolina has a lot more resources for football than Duke, but the SEC of 2007 is far more difficult than the ACC of '89. South Carolina has already beaten Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina and the Gamecocks are aiming for Atlanta. I guess it would be somewhat poetic if Florida eventually denies Carolina a trip to Atlanta.

Berkley Bummer ----- Well the town is the home of flower power and perhaps the Golden Bears are more committed to the ideal of sharing than other college football team. However there is no reason for them to have lost Saturday, even with a rookie QB. Unfortunately the Bears did as well teaching clock management to Kevin Riley as most other schools do. That is to say, horribly! Riley tried to scramble and got tackled with the clock running with the Bears in easy game tying field goal range as Oregon State held on for the 31-28 upset. I feel badly for the kid who performed admirably in relief of Nate Longshore, but that mistake gets charged to the sidelines. You can not put a freshman in that position without making certain he knows what he can and can not do. If there was any doubt, go ahead and tie the game when you're at home.

The kick is up and…. ----- It's good, Auburn wins! That story line killed the Gators three weeks ago and it did in Arkansas Saturday night. Wes Byrum had it a little easier this time, knocking in a glorified extra point from 20 yards out as opposed to the 43-yarder he made against Florida. Now Auburn takes its act to Baton Rouge to face a really angry LSU team. Tommy Tuberville might be the best "close game" coach in the SEC.

Predictions ----- Several top BCS teams will lose their next game. The list includes No. 2 South Florida (at Rutgers, Thursday), No. 3 Boston College (at Virginia Tech 10/25), Kentucky (vs. Florida Saturday) and Arizona State (vs. California 10/27).

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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