Posts of the Week
Each week, we will highlight a few entertaining and/or informative posts from the previous week. Please keep in mind that it is hard to keep track/prioritize all posts so we would welcome input from all Booties. You can make a "Bootie Selection" post as a response to any post that you deem worthy or you can email a link (to the nominated post) to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are the posts that made this week's list:
Poster: Genuine Realist
Subject: Thoughts A Third Done
With a third of the season gone, one of the most interesting
Pac-10 seasons in many a year is shaping up.
1. It is obvious that UCLA, Stanford and WSU are playing much better than the pundits expected (and they expected UCLA to play quite well), that USC, OSU, and Cal are considerably worse, Oregon is significantly declined, but so far saved by a weak schedule (another suspect Wisconsin win), and UW is down, but not as far down as we may have hoped. Arizona is mildly declined, and ASU doesn't interest me as the game is behind.
2. What is interesting, and grounds for hope if not entirely optimism, is that thus far NONE of the surprisingly strong teams have played each other. In different circumstances, the WSU win today might have been even more ominous than it is - but OSU hasn't played well against anybody, and it is entirely possible that the wheels have come off. (As I write, the final comes in as 32-27, which is good news - sgtrong enough not to be overlooked, but not horrifically strong.) In the same vein, Stanford's win against USC is mildly tarnished (although they were in control of the game throughout, on a hostile field, yet). UCLA, with solid wins against Alabama and Ohio State, has had the most impressive record to date. But it is really not possible to rate the stronger half of the conference just yet.
3. As much as I hate the thought, I am beginning to think that Neuheisel might be succeeding at Washington. A 4Q win with a second string qb against a USC team that was seeing its season disappear isn't too shabby. Damn.
4. OTOH, USC has clearly not got any immediate bounce with Carroll. There is every reason to hope that Mike Garrettt has done it again.
5. Four in a row of the most interesting games that Stanford has had since the 1970-1 Rose Bowl years now loom. What a glorious year! While it seems unfair that they have to go to both Eugene and Seattle, I'll trade that gladly for NOT having to go to Pullman next week.
6. The good news ? I expect there will be a huge crowd on the 27th, perhaps a sell out, just like the old days. The bad news ? At least a third, and possibly as many as half, will be UCLA fans, and they will be a lot noisier - or maybe not. Two more wins will bring the campus to life. Fasani is already getting huge press.
7. My own, totally non-objective projection, is that the Cardinal comes out of the fun 6-1, beating either UCLA or Washington, but not both. The one thing I am sure of is that they'll play with poise, intelligence, and determination, which means they won't be out of any game.
Quite a year.
Poster: Boston Card
Subject: Undefeated Teams
I don't know why everyone seems so hung up on the inequities
of the current system, especially as it pertains to there being
more than two undefeated teams (from a major conference) left at
the end of the year. Recent history has not shown us that;
usually there is not more than one team left undefeated at the
end of the year, and the question is which 10-1 team will go to
the national championship series.
I think if any Pac-10 team winds up undefeated it will go to the Rose Bowl, unless by some bizarre coincidence there are three undefeated teams at the end of the season. Certainly UCLA, Oregon, and Washington, who are all undefeated and in the top 10 would make a championship game, since any team that does so will move up not only when teams ahead of them lose, but also when they beat the other top tier Pac-10 schools. Honestly, though, I don't think any Pac-10 team will make it out unscathed; UW and Oregon have the best shot since they don't play each other, but they do have to play UCLA, Stanford and WSU, all dangerous teams, and Washington would have to play at Miami. UCLA has four top teams to play in the conference; good as they are, I think they will slip at least once, hopefully to us.
Stanford (and WSU) are further back in the polls, but if we make it through our next four games unscathed, against three top ten teams, twice on the road, it would be hard not to have us very close to #5 in the nation. I don't think we'll do it, but really, pollsters are reactive, and they do react to quality wins on the road against tough opponents, and will reward a team accordingly. Look at Florida, it's impressive win was good enough to leapfrog it to #1 over Miami in the AP, because it has had better wins over tougher opponents than Miami, even though Miami has nary a loss to knock them down. Add to that our strength of schedule and computer rankings, and I think we have a good chance to wind up in the Rose Bowl if we win out, LW's protestations to the contrary that anyone north of the smog belt going undefeated would be denied a shot at the championship.
As for the teams at the teams east of Tempe at the top of the polls? Although there are a lot of candidates up for an undefeated season (Miami, Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska come to mind), remember they have tough schedules too, with a good chance of slipping once or twice. For example, OK and Nebraska will likely play twice; once in the regular season, and again likely in the Big12 championship. Clearly, one will not be undefeated, but there is a good chance both will lose. Regardless, OK has to play at Nebraska and against A&M, plus, in all likelihood the championship. I put their odds at about 30%. Nebraska has to play Oklahoma, Colorado, and K-State, plus the championship; their odds are less than 20%. Florida has tough games left at South Carolina, and home against Florida State, and Tennessee (the latter two not as great challenges as they would have been at the beginning of the year). They also have the SEC championship; I'd but their odds south of 25%. Miami has a bunch of Big East cupcakes interspersed with Florida State, Washington and Virginia Tech, two on the road. Their odds are maybe 1 in 4. Perhaps the best chance at an undefeated season lies in Fresno State, I don't think they would get a Rose Bowl bid over an undefeated Pac-10 team, and I don't think they would be deserving. Winds over OSU and Wisconsin seem less impressive in retrospect.
So, to those who worry about an undefeated Pac-10 team getting shut out of the Rose Bowl, stop. First off, the odds of an undefeated Pac-10 team emerging are slim, and even if one does, the odds of two of the remaining teams going undefeated (other than Fresno) is about 1 in 4 based on my crude estimates above. Which means it could definitely happen, but it most likely won't.
Poster: 51 Dave
Subject: Wild Redshirting Stat
Here's a stat that might bode well for the Faithful:
*Since the beginning of the college football redshirting era, Stanford has only redshirted all of its frosh on 4 occasions-
#1- Jack Elway's last class in the late 80's. As 5th year seniors, that class won the Blockbuster Bowl.
#2- TW's 1st recruiting class- As seniors, this crew won the Pac-10 and went to the Rose Bowl
#3- TW's 3rd recruiting class- This year's seniors, top 25 already and in a good position to make a big run toward the post season.
#4- TW's current frosh class- If the pattern holds, we're in very good shape for 2005.
Note: Clearly, some years we have no choice but to play some kids (K. Carter comes to mind) but this is a pretty impressive stat. Any thoughts?
I certainly agree with the comments posted by Long Winded. Any
other school in the country would be thrilled to have this young
man, period. Plus, I have to believe 1170 is close to the average
SAT for football at Stanford. I certainly hope we do not turn
away someone with this combination of academic and athletic
credentials. This may be heresy to admissions, but even if his
academics are slightly less than what they would ideally prefer,
he is truly an exceptional achiever as an athlete and a very good
achiever at academics. If we limit ourselves to 4.0/1400 athletic
admits I think we are taking way too narrow a definition of
qualified and exceptional student athletes.
Having said that, it seems that something fundamental has changed with admissions. Perhaps it is the new admissions director. Perhaps it is a change in the relationship between admissions and the academic community at Stanford.
It seems to me the basic question that has to be asked by admissions is "can the applicant do the work". To Stanford's credit they do not seem to make many mistakes, so historically you would have to say they have done a good job of answering that question. But, it doesn't stop there. There are other issue like strength of transcript, etc., and some political issues including taking a look at the list of students from that particular high school who might have stronger academic credential but were not admitted - stuff like that. In other words, the process is probably more thorough than any in the country.
Let's hope that reason prevails and we admit a very good student athlete like Trent Edwards