Thursday, October 21, 2010

College Football Week 8

The sliding fastener, or as we know it, the "zipper" was invented in 1890 by Whitcomb L. Judson. Did you know that? It's alright if you didn't, neither did I, but I suppose it's good information to know now that we do. Actually, I think from now on, when the zipper jams or breaks on my sweatshirt or jacket, I will react appropriately by raising a clenched fist before me and muttering...damn it, Judson!

Anyway, Whitcomb L. Judson was apparently born in New York City and died in Chicago, but it's the places of residence in between that interest me most. My research has failed me a bit, but I have reason to suspect that Judson at least at one point, maybe even in 1890 when he came up with this most useful invention, resided somewhere in between New York and Chicago, in like...say...Akron, Ohio. Of course, I could be wrong about this, but it would explain how it came to be that when summer turns to fall at the brand new InfoCision Stadium- Summa Field in Akron, a mascot kangaroo named Zippy hops onto the field, followed shortly after by the University of Akron Zips football team. And then, apparently, they get murdered. Damn it, Judson!

Yes, the Akron Zips are officially 2010's first team to lose 7 games, and subsequently bowl consideration as well. And it's with this that I offer to you another standard that I utilize when preparing my weekly rankings: no consideration, none whatsoever, will be given to any team for beating an opponent that zips out 7 or more losses. Of course, it won't count against them either, just as an early victory against an FCS level opponent did not, but in a system such as mine, which is supposed to be objective and offers credit for the difficulty in a team's schedule in terms of actual wins and losses...well, more credit for beating the Akron Zips. Here are my rankings this week:

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

I suppose the team that really needs to be discussed this week is the last team on the list, #25 Alabama. Look, like Boise State, we all know, or at least we think we know that they are very good, far better than this ranking indicates. But the truth is that Alabama's opponents to date haven't really fared all that well in other games played. Their victory last week against Ole Miss appeared to be a sign of Alabama getting back on track, but then there's this. Two weeks ago when Alabama lost to South Carolina, they didn't really drop all that far in my rankings, as South Carolina was looking like not so ugly of a loss, but then this happened. Penn State was Alabama's biggest non-conference opponent and the Tide looked impressive that day...except then ouch. And of course, ever since the biggest game of the season, the one that could decide everything against Florida, a triumphant and impressive victory, things just haven't gone that well for the Gators either. So that pretty much leaves the Tide's biggest win as their thrilling comeback victory over Arkansas, but well, I guess you know what's coming.

Not all is lost for Alabama.Their schedule has failed them so far. So what? They play in the SEC, the best of the best! If they win there against those teams, they will have no problem launching themselves back atop the board, particularly in my rankings which are proving to be very fluid in that teams can move up and down at any rate that their successes, failures and their schedules allow them to. The only thing I'm kind of left wondering about Alabama is whether or not they will actually win all of these remaining games; it does occur to me that maybe this just isn't their year.

And finally, there is one more team to discuss. If you have been keeping up with my blog from the beginning, then you will already know that I have been particularly harsh on Nebraska and the non-conference schedule that they signed up for this season. Well, if you thought that the Huskers' schedule was pathetic, check out this one. That's right, Indiana, a BCS conference school has played this season: FCS Towson, Western Kentucky (0-6), barely beat Arkansas State (2-5) and, oh what do you know? The Akron Zips!!! I know, I know, kicking around the University of Indiana football team is not really worth my time. After all, it's not like they make the kind of claims that Nebraska fans insist on...but still...a Big 10 school...are you kidding me with this schedule? The thing is about Indiana, and why it's pertinent to my rankings, is that their only two losses are to Michigan and Ohio State, two teams that I have ranked, so had Indiana beaten anyone at all of any significance they would file in at #21 behind Michigan for being undefeated against the field of which they are being compared. But my system picks up on this disparity and kicks them out accordingly. We'll at least wait to see what they do against 3 loss, but BCS conference, foe Illinois this weekend and then maybe give them some acknowledgement. Of course though, they will probably lose that one too.

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