College Football Musings: Week 9

The scoreboards in the Big 12 are about to explode. The Heisman race is taking shape. Some SEC powers might find themselves on the outside come bowl season. Ron Zook is having his issue in Illinois and the other top ten teams will be taking sides when the Gators and Bulldogs face off.

Those stories and a money back guarantee in this week's musings. That's right, if you don't like this week's column, you get to read next week's for free!

Taking sides at the cocktail party ----- It's pretty obvious to figure out who is rooting for whom in Jacksonville every year. It's a little bit trickier to figure out who everyone else is pulling for. Well, maybe not all that tricky. Georgia enters the game ranked No. 6 in the BCS standings with the Gators checking in at No. 8. So every top ten team has a somewhat vested interest in the outcome. And most of them are rooting for Georgia. The Bulldogs are the choice for most teams for two reasons. First, the Gators are already higher in the voting polls and will gain significant computer points with a win. Second, those teams are competing with Alabama for a spot in the BCS Title Game. Alabama already has a win over Georgia and a rematch in the SEC Title Game would not help the Tide at all. However a 12-0 Alabama versus 11-1 Florida in Atlanta would be a huge boost to either team's candidacy. Therefore Alabama is rooting for the Gators, but no one else is.

Keep on scoring fellas ----- When Texas edged Oklahoma State 28-24 Saturday it was not only a big win for the nation's top team. It was also the one low-scoring defensive war in the defenseless Big 12. Elsewhere in the league it was Oklahoma 58, Kansas 35, Texas Tech 63, Kansas 21. Missouri routed Colorado 58-0. Texas A&M outscored Iowa State 49-35, and it was Nebraska 32, Baylor 20. So the six games in the conference saw an average of 70 points scored and that's with Colorado getting shut out. That lack of defense could cost the Big 12 powers come bowl season.

McCoy leads the pack ----- Just about everyone agrees that the Heisman Trophy is Texas quarterback Colt McCoy's to lose. The top player on the top team is always a Heisman favorite and McCoy is earning it with some ridiculous numbers. McCoy is completing a mind-numbing 81 percent of his passes with 21 TD and just 4 INT. He's also run for 412 yards and another 7 scores. While you can't completely rule out Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Graham Harrell and Tim Tebow; it's hard to see McCoy not walking away with the prize. Who gets my vote? That's TBA.

Still Zooker after all these years ----- Ron Zook and Illinoize suffered a really bad loss Saturday when they fell to Wisconsin, ending the Badgers' four game losing streak. Illinois is now 4-4 and with games remaining against Iowa, Northwestern and Ohio State could well miss out on a bowl game. That's a long drop from a Rose Bowl appearance and a pre-season top 20 ranking this year.

SEC Bowl blues ----- The top end of the SEC is in great shape. Florida, Georgia and Alabama are all in the BCS Title hunt and LSU, despite two losses should be an attractive team. After that, it's anyone's guess how the SEC will play out. One thing that seems very possible is the absence of Tennessee and Auburn from the mix. The Vols are 3-5 and there's a lot of barking about Coach Phillip Fulmer and his staff. If they don't win at South Carolina Saturday night the Vols can't do any better than finish the season at 6-6. Auburn is a bit better off at 4-4, but has a tougher schedule with Ole Miss and Alabama on the road and Georgia at home. The loser of the Auburn/Ole Miss game this week is in trouble. Meanwhile South Carolina, Vandy and Kentucky are all 5-3 and you have to wonder if any of them is good enough to get to eight wins.


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