SjT View from the Stands

THIS is why no other sport comes close to matching college football in excitement and unpredictability year-in and year-out. What a day! Too bad we couldn't add to the excitement.

First the bad - yes, we got our butts kicked by the #1 team.
No surprise there. But there were a lot of positives for NU to take out of the game -- we moved the ball well on the Bucks and outgained them in the first half.

Yes, we made it too easy with turnovers, but that first turnover (which SHOULD have been overturned had the replay operater not been asleep at the wheel) really killed our opening momentum and set the tone for the day. And yeah, we gave up a few big plays, but it was nice to see the D aggressive at the end of the half and get burned instead of waiting for Smith to pick us apart.

And I'll echo those comments on McManis. This kid's gonna be a star. I'm not sure he reminds me of Ismaeli because I don't see him as a blitzer as much ... he's something I can't recall NU ever having, a true cover corner who can shut down a top receiver. With McManis, Bacher, Sutton and company back next year, the future looks bright.

Now for the day of college football ...

Auburn? Gone. Cal? Oops. Now Texas?!?! Sure McCoy was injured, but he didn't play defense. What a phenomenal game in Manhattan and a gutsy call on 3rd down there at the end by KSU!

And Florida, Boise State and others just escaped the upset bug, as did #1 and #2 last week.

You gotta love college football!

Who benefits? I'm not sure - it's gonna be real interesting to see where everyone is in the BCS rankings tomorrow. Initial instincts say that, sadly, this helps West Virginia and Notre Dame leap right back up there. But they still need help.

I think the SEC teams control their destiny - if Arkansas or Florida run the table, it's going to be real hard to deny them a shot (the Razorbacks looked awfully impressive tonight) ... the only one who really could overtake a 1-loss SEC team is USC because of their win at Arkansas and their final stretch of Cal and Notre Dame (though those two aren't looking as impressive these days).

And the possibility of a rematch in Arizona looks more and more likely as well. A close game in Columbus will make it tough to drop Michigan or OSU far -- Oklahoma and Nebraska lost by huge margins in their final games in recent years of the BCS and still only dropped to #2, so that's a big possibility now. And hey, why not Rutgers?:)

But if I had to make a guess after today ...

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP:
Ohio State vs. Florida - The Gators top FSU and Arkansas to go 12-1 and they pass up USC in a controversial BCS rankings finale to meet the Big Ten champs in a battle for #1. And if this works out, to be honest, the system probably would have gotten it right as the OSU/UM winner will clearly be #1 and the winner of the nation's best conference is probably a worthy #2 out of the 1-loss team mess.

ROSE: Michigan vs. Southern Cal - Pasadena is one heck of a consolation prize, and it could be a whopper of a game with a possible 2-3 poll matchup here if SC wins out. Rose gets first pick if they lose OSU to the title game, so they'll take the Wolverines for a true Rose Bowl game.

SUGAR: Notre Dame vs. West Virginia- The Sugar gets the #2 pick if they lose the SEC champ to the title game and there might be a lot of pressure to pick Arkansas, but they go with the Irish to fill seats against the Big East champ.

ORANGE: Wake Forest vs. Arkansas - Wild matchup here as Wake is going strong, but it could be GaTech or Maryland as well. But none of 'em will bring as many fans as an SEC school (or Wisconsin - but could they take THREE Big Ten teams?) - with Auburn, Tennessee and LSU dropping the ball, the Hogs wind up in Miami.

FIESTA: Texas vs. Boise State - Stuck with the last pick, the Fiesta may have to take the Broncos by default if they're in the top 12, otherwise we could get the Big XII champ Horns against a Pac 10 school perhaps? Or maybe work out a deal with the Orange for a Big XII school (Oklahoma) to go to Miami and send the Razorbacks here for a rekindling of the UT-Arkansas rivalry? Now that'd sell tickets!

Aside for a few hours in Evanston, what a great day for the pigskin!
GO CATS!!!
-SjT


Stephen J. Truog, former NU Marching Band member and now educator in Arizona, comments on the Wildcats from both the sidelines and his couch
He has his own NU oriented Web Site - Visit SjTonline

You can send your direct comments or "back door" information
directly to Coach Roy [CoachRoy74 on AIM]
[or comment on the Purple Boards]
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