PiRate Top 25 For 11-22-05
10-0 135.2 Texas
Southern Cal 11-0 134.1
3. Penn State 10-1 123.2
4. L S U 9-1 122.0
State 9-2 121.1 Ohio
6. Auburn 9-2 120.7
7. Virginia Tech 9-1 117.8
8. Notre Dame 8-2 116.4
State 8-2 116.3 Fresno
8-1 116.0 West Virginia
8-2 115.9 Miami
8-2 115.7 Georgia
13. U C L A 9-1 114.8
14. T C U 10-1 114.4
Tech 9-2 114.0 Texas
9-2 113.3 Alabama
10-1 113.2 Oregon
18. Georgia Tech 7-3 113.1
7-2 112.9 Louisville
State 7-3 110.1 Iowa
7-3 109.9 Florida
7-3 109.8 Colorado
24. Clemson 7-4 109.1
Iowa 7-4 108.2
L S U 122.0
Ole Miss 94.4
Vanderbilt fans will forever remember two blocked field goal attempts in 2005. Those two plays prevented the Commodores from finishing 7-4 and playing a twelfth game in
on New Year's Eve. The Commodores also came up one point short of 300 for the season. The only teams in modern day football to accomplish that feat were the 1974 and 1948 squads, two of the best ever at Dudley Field. With a successful field goal attempt on the final play
of the MTSU game and a made or even missed but not blocked field goal against Kentucky, this team would have also topped 300 points and been remembered in the same light as the other two. Nashville
What do Commodore fans have to look forward to in 2006 without Jay Cutler? All hope may not be lost. Steven Bright could very well return to pilot the team after spending a year as a fullback/h-back. He has the skills to be an excellent SEC quarterback. Bright, or whoever starts at QB, will have a bevy of quality skilled position players to work with. The fate of the offense will rest in the muscles of the new offensive line, which will lose Trey Holloway, Nigel Seaman, Ryan King, Mac Pyle, and tight end Dustin Dunning.
Defensively, the Commodores will lose several key players. Herdley Harrison, Ralph McKenzie, Moses Osemwegie, Andrew Pace, Kelechi Ohanaja, and Cheron Thompson will be hard to replace. Even with the emergence of several promising underclassmen, look for this unit to find it hard to duplicate 2005's performance.
Now, concerning the race for the bowls, Nashvillians will have to go elsewhere to see a team from the Southeastern Conference. The Music City Bowl will not have an SEC representative, and the Big 10 may send its seventh best team instead of its sixth, as
looks to be a lock for one of the at-large BCS bowl bids. Look for an ACC team, probably Ohio State Boston College and possibly , to fill the SEC's spot at the Coliseum. Virginia
As for Cutler, I can only believe that Saturday he secured his becoming a first round draft pick. He returned to Vanderbilt for his final year because NFL experts told him he needed to show that he can win games in the closing minutes. After doing so against
Wake Forest and Arkansas, and after deserving to do so
against , his coup de grace Saturday had to show the pro scouts that he is another Brett Favre. Not only could he be a first round pick, he could be taken by a playoff team. He might go in the number 20-30 range of picks. If he were to have an excellent post-season all-star game showing and Combine tryout, he could move up to the top 15. Good luck Jay, and thanks for the memories. Florida
Well, here we go again. This conference is so balanced that everyone has beaten up on everyone else.
Miami's chance to sneak into the Rose Bowl is gone; they won't even get to a BCS bowl unless North Carolina beats Virginia Tech in . It looks like the Hokies have an excellent shot at going to the Orange Bowl if they can knock off the Tar Heels then dispose of a collapsing Blacksburg team in the ACC Title game. Florida State
The winner of the
game this week will become the eighth bowl eligible team in a league with six bowl bids. The reward for the winner should be a trip west to Maryland-North Carolina State . Boise
B C S Bowl: Virginia Tech
Peach: Georgia Tech (home team okay this year, since Sugar Bowl will help the hotels)
Champs Sports: Clemson
Meineke Car Care:
Maryland (or ) North Carolina State
Boston College and
(Music City Bowl will take one of these) Virginia
The problem with a league that has a bunch of new teams is the scheduling. It seems like no team has played more than one November game.
West Virginia has not yet clinched the title, as South Florida continues to control their
own destiny. The Bulls are now bowl eligible. The loser of the WVU-USF game on December 3 may very well drop below in priority. The Cards should end up in Louisville . Jacksonville
Meineke Car Care:
Congratulations go to Joe Paterno and his Nittany Lions.
Penn State clinched a berth in a BCS bowl, most likely the Fiesta, with a convincing win over . The Spartans loss was the Motor City Bowl's loss as well. Since Michigan State appears to be the odds-on favorite for one of the at-large BCS bowl bids, the Big 10 will come up one team shy for their bowl responsibilities. This may be where the ACC's eighth team gets to go. Ohio State
(CLINCHED) Penn State
Ohio State (probably headed to ) Miami
This league is still the hardest to figure out. Seven teams have qualified for bowls with two more teams having one more chance to become bowl eligible. After the top two bowls, it's anybody's guess to figure out the rest of this cluttered mess.
(It still looks everything's coming up roses) Texas
UTEP ran into a big roadblock last Saturday night, and now must win at improving SMU to qualify for the first ever C-USA Championship game.
Tulsa waits in the wings should the Miners stumble in . The Golden Hurricane will go bowling somewhere. Dallas
Two more bowl bids will be issued to C-USA schools. Fighting for those bids are UAB,
Memphis, Southern Mississippi, and ; all four of these teams are 5-5. UAB plays at East Carolina; Houston Memphis hosts Marshall; Southern Miss hosts Tulane, and hosts Rice. All four should win, but one will probably be upset. Houston
Possible at-large teams:
Memphis and U A B (both could be darkhorses) Music City
M A C
Omar Jacobs returned from an injured shoulder just in time to lead
to an important victory over Miami of Ohio. The Falcons can wrap up the East Division crown with a win over Bowling Green tonight (Tuesday). If BGU falls, then Toledo still has
a chance to tiptoe up to number one. The Zips can win the East with a Akron Bowling Green loss and Miami loss, or a Bowling Green loss, Miami win, and Northern Illinois win over Western Michigan. has been eliminated from the title chase. Miami
In the West Division, three teams still hold chances to make it to the title game.
Northern Illinois controls their own destiny. If the Huskies beat Western Michigan, they are in. If the Broncos win the game, they must root for Bowling
Green to beat . The Rockets hold the two-team tie-breaker with WMU. Toledo
Others Bowl Eligible:
Toledo, Western Michigan, Miami, and Central Michigan
TCU clinched the conference title last week, but they had to wait until Saturday to find out if they could be exempted from the Las Vegas Bowl and go to a more prestigious post-season game. Once
Utah and won, the MWC had two extra teams. With four bowl bids assured, one of the bowl eligibles will have to bite their nails hoping that neither Stanford nor Colorado State win this week. Arizona State
Hoping for a miracle:
Southern California fans started to sweat Saturday night as Fresno State took a 42-41 lead late in the game. Although the Trojans would have still gone to a BCS Bowl at 11-1, it would have been the Fiesta, while
Penn State or LSU took their place in . USC must still beat UCLA this week to head to the Rose Bowl, but even if they lose to the Bruins, they will still be the Pac-10 BCS bowl representative. Pasadena
The Emerald Bowl could have major problems this year. It doesn't look promising for a sixth Pac-10 team to become bowl eligible. The Bowl cannot invite the extra MWC team, since the MWC already sends a team to the bowl.
could be available, but my guess is the Bulldogs will be grabbed up by the richer Liberty Bowl. There won't be much left to choose from; a third MAC team may be the only choice, and that won't sell many seats. Fresno State
Southern California (CLINCHED) (A win over UCLA makes USC Rose
Sun: U C L A
Emerald: Must find at-large team and hope to stay in business
S E C
Vandy's win over
means the SEC will fall two teams shy of its allotment of bowl representatives. Since the Independence Bowl had to pick an at-large team last year, they automatically get the last of the bowl eligibles this year. The Music City Bowl and Houston Bowl will look
elsewhere this season. Tennessee
BCS Bowl: L S U (Sugar Bowl-Bound)
In a league where only one team won an out of conference game to a Division I-a school (MTSU over Vandy), it comes as no surprise that no teams are bowl eligible this late in the season. For a change,
North Texas will not be playing in the New Orleans Bowl. The Mean Green are
Louisiana Monroe controls their own destiny. If the Indians beat rival UL-Lafayette, they win the title and advance to the New Orleans Bowl. If the Ragin' Cajuns beat UL-M, then
Arkansas State will get the bowl bid with a win over North Texas. Should both UL-M and lose, UL-Lafayette will win the title and get to host the New Orleans Bowl. Arkansas State
W A C
Four teams still hold hopes for winning the WAC title.
Fresno State plays at Saturday then hosts Louisiana Tech the week after. If the Bulldogs win both, they take the WAC title and more than likely advance to the Liberty Bowl. That would open a spot for a third team to get a bowl bid. Nevada will host the MPC Computers bowl if they can best Louisiana Tech this week. Boise State appears to be the first choice of the Hawaii Bowl regardless of whether they win or lose this week. Nevada
At-large availability: Louisiana Tech (could be a good bet for the Ft. Worth Bowl if
Notre Dame needs a win over Stanford to become the favorite for the final at-large BCS bowl. The Fighting Irish will qualify by winning their ninth game and finishing in the top 12 of the BCS poll.
Navy became bowl eligible with a win over
. As I write this on Monday afternoon, it appears the Midshipmen will be extended an invitation to the Poinsettia Bowl before the day is over. Temple
BCS At-Large Bowl: Notre Dame
What happens if USC loses to UCLA and
Texas loses to either Texas A&M or Colorado (or ) in the Big 12 Championship game? Why should LSU and Iowa State advance to the Rose Bowl just because their losses came earlier in the season? Penn State
What makes USC and
the two best teams just because they are undefeated? What if Texas or LSU played the two
top teams' schedules? Might they also be undefeated? It just goes to show that without a playoff, the eventual Rose Bowl winner is still the mythical champ. Penn State
Coming up after the regular season, I will reveal what would be an excellent playoff bracket utilizing the current bowl games.
Starting next week, I will begin my basketball coverage. Until then, look for my game predictions as postings on the Men's basketball board. The Vandy-UNC-Greensboro ratings prediction should be posted by the time this story runs.
JAY CUTLER TO EARL BENNETT FOR THE TOUCHDOWN!!!!!