Thursday, October 14, 2010

College Football Week 7

My brothers, myself, and a few friends of ours have a term that we like to refer to as "no credit games." Now, a lot of games can offer very little credential for victory, yet this is not exactly what we mean. Instead, the games that we are referring to are games against teams that our teams very well could lose to, but should we win, no credit whatsoever will be granted for the accomplishment. In other words, these opponents are fairly equipped, yet nobody really recognizes it. Boise State was once one of those teams, as were TCU and Utah. But these teams are examples of programs that have made the leap to absolute acknowledgement. It's all a bit relative, but essentially the more time a team spends atop the national spotlight, the more prestige someone gets for knocking them off, not that anyone ever takes down Boise State or TCU anyway, except for each other.

Thursday night, the spot-light will be on the Sunflower State, as it was multiple times this past basketball season and was this very same time last week for Kansas State in football. It's been well discussed at this point, that the game did not go well for Kitty Cat hopefuls last Thursday. However, their opponant this time around, Kansas, is extraordinarly ugly this season and has no business being profiled in any "spot-light" game. So Kansas State should win this time around, right? One would think, but I've already offered my condolensces on such topics as attempting to project outcomes and I'm not likely to take another stab at it anytime soon. Just for the sake of argument though, let's say the Cats win, it doesn't really matter by how much, a road game against a rival leaves little room for criticism in a resulting victory. But they win. What's interesting is that beating 4 loss (with more to come) Kansas would generate far more credit than their earlier victory against Central Florida ever did. Is this wrong? Absolutely.

A team like Central Florida is exactly what we are talking about when we discuss the concept of "no credit games." They have lost two games, each against 1 loss BCS conference teams, North Carolina State and of course, Kansas State. Each were close, here's what NC State Coach Tom O'Brien had to say about their meeting with this no credit team:  "That was a heck of a win for our team," O'Brien said. "A couple of big, big turnovers were the difference in the game, but it's always that way. Turnovers and penalties decide games." Heck of a win? Yes. All Central Florida has done is blow everyone else out, besides the one near miss at Kansas State. Any credit at all achieved that day? Not likely. But hey, by beating Georgia Tech 2 weeks later, the Wolfpack earned themselves all the credit that they needed! Except...well...Kansas did that. To me, the most damning concern regarding that particular program (NC State) is that they lost to Virginia Tech, a loss that is looking far less disconcerting every week, but nonetheless it did follow a very unfortunate mishap by the Hokies earlier in the season, a loss that I'm not yet ready to disregard and therefore counts against all that they ravage in the mean time.

So I now return to Kansas State. Let's go ahead, proceed inch by inch way out onto that proverbial limb, and actually give them some credit for that "no credit game" against Central Florida. Then combine that with victories against UCLA and Iowa State, two teams that anihilated the only Big 12 Texas teams that we actually respect and suddenly, it's a lot easier to at least slightly overlook the demoralizing beat-down by Nebraska last week, particularly when Nebraska shoots up in my rankings to #6 this week and was already somewhere in that neighborhood by everyone else well before they actually had to play somebody. Is it really that crazy for a team to get blown up by the sixth ranked team in the country? I think not. Now, lose to Kansas on Thursday night and you are not likely to hear much from me for the rest of the season regarding Kansas State. That's fine; I'm not really fond of spending too much time talking about them anyway. My rankings this week:

1 Michigan State (6-0)
2 LSU (6-0)
3 Oklahoma (5-0)
4 Auburn (6-0)
5 Oregon (6-0)
6 Nebraska (5-0)
7 South Carolina (4-1)
8 Alabama (5-1)
9 West Virginia (4-1)
10 Ohio State (6-0)
11 Missouri (5-0)
12 TCU (6-0)
13 Boise State (5-0)
14 Stanford (5-1)
15 Michigan (5-1)
16 Florida State (5-1)
17 Oklahoma State (5-0)
18 Arkansas (4-1)
19 Nevada (6-0)
20 Kansas State (4-1)
21 Utah (5-0)
22 Oregon State (3-2)
23 Arizona (4-1)
24 Florida (4-2)
25 California (3-2)

Ahhh, Michigan State. At #1 no less? I know that Ohio State is the Big 10 team most would expect to see here...if any Big 10 team at all, but consider it a scheduling coincidence. Michigan State has very little to offer in their non-conference offerings, best win being Notre Dame, yet their conference wins to this date have been nails. Ohio State can't claim anywhere close to wins over otherwise undefeated Wisconsin and Michigan. LSU has some nice wins, but most of those are against teams that have compiled at least two losses. Oklahoma has a "no credit game" victory of their own against Air Force and a sold resume building washout of Florida State, but it's still not quite Wisconsin and Michigan. Auburn? Fine, but not quite great. Oregon? Yeah, nice win against Stanford, but that's just about it. No, I'm alright with this selection; Michigan  State can be my number one for at least a week.


Anonymous said...

Did KU score? I fell asleep.

D Kyle Burkett said...

Anonymous sleeper- yeah, KU scored. I wish I had slept through the entire thing though.