“On the offense last year, they had great spacing. That’s what I remember. Great spacing, great shooters, like Nik Stauskas, who’s not there right now. But they always have someone to fill the roles. They have a cutting offense, kind of hard to guard.”
"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
"The experience he has from last year is starting to show," Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. "He’s making shots, and he made some gutsy plays against Portland. He’s got a confidence about him that he can get the job done."
Conference play has come, and Big Ten teams can safely retreat to their thunderdomes to clobber each other in peace, insulated from the braying mockery of the national media. There is still upheaval. Michigan has fallen apart. Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke have been confined to the Touliers Palace.
There is a top ten and then a cliff. As always, some amount of jitter is because I don't look at previous ballots. I don't have a strong opinion about whether Stanford or Wisconsin has a better resume.
Arkansas, Kansas State bounces. Hammering a team that I can't axe out of the top 25 gets you a big bump, especially when your only loss is to one of the invulnerables at the top of the poll. Kansas State finally gets the benefit of being undefeated after they beat Missouri and victim Baylor leaps back into the poll.
Texas, Auburn, Florida plunges. Florida is obvious. I had a vision last night in which Charlie Weis sarcastically sung "I've got Jacoby Brissett."
No sarcastic-offensive-coordinator-vision-inducing teams make my top 25. Auburn got beaten raw by Arkansas to pick up a second loss; they hang on thanks the South Carolina win, which is an anchor on the Gamecocks. Texas has a flimsy resume: wins over Rice, BYU, UCLA, and Iowa State and a hammering at the hands of Oklahoma. Iowa State has the best resume of any of those teams.
Nebraska down five after winning. Did I really have Nebraska 12th last week? Yeesh. They fell down the one-loss-team shuffle after failing to defend Ohio State until Joe Bauserman got on the field; Fresno State got clubbed by Boise after remaining competitive with Nebraska. At this point their defense seems like no fluke: it's bad.
Michigan. Jumps Illinois on the strength of a couple common opponents. The Illini beat Northwestern and Western Michigan by 3; Michigan won by 18 and 25 (in three quarters), respectively.
I'd move Stanford down. Pac-10 is weak and the only player they have is Luck. I think if they were to go against UW, or Oklahoma State they'd get beat. I think Oklahoma State w/ Blackmon and company are a top 5 team. Their game against OU is probably the one I'm most looking forward to watching outside the Big Ten.
I might replace Auburn with Notre Dame. ND had two narrow losses in the first two weeks in which they generally got the better of their opponents but were undone by a few bad plays. Auburn was beaten decisively in their two losses. The Irish have also looked better in their wins than the Tigers have.
Auburn is not good, they are just very lucky. Going back to last season, Auburn is now 10-0 in games decided by a TD or less. Basing Auburn's position in the poll based on a 3 point win over a "meh" South Carolina squad just doesn't cut it.
On a different note, though, it is time for me to "give it up" to Illinois and Brian. I called out Brian for including them in the poll at the beginning of the season and the Illini just keep winning. I honestly believe that they are not even as good as UM but all you can do is beat the teams put in front of you and the fighting Zookers have done that. With their Charmin soft schedule they have an excellent shot at finishing 10-2 (or better!) this season.
I know their offense is fun to watch and looks Holy God impressive when it's on, but of the BCS unbeatens, Illinois, K State, and Michigan all have better resumes than Georgia Tech. Their best win is? Maryland at home by 5? NC State away by 10?
Georgia Tech to K State's spot, with everyone moving up respectively.
Right now, I think I would take Georgia or Florida in a hypothetical game against Washington or South Florida. Georgia and Florida are going to have a lot of losses this year, but all from quality competition. Yes, they have been blown out against top 5 teams, but have they really looked that much worse in those games than Oregon did against LSU?
I also expect Notre Dame to be ranked at some point this season.
Might be a tad over-rated. Their wins over Florida State and Auburn aren't looking as impressive as they were a few weeks ago. Comparatively, Clemson's win over Florida State is about as impressive, IMO, as our win over Notre Dame, maybe less (I think ND might be a better team than FSU).
Auburn, meanwhile, is barely beating teams they should be annihilating (Utah St), and getting blown out by great competition (Arkansas).
I think it'd be fair knock them down to 10, behind OK St., GA Tech, and Oregon. Possibly behind Arkansas as well, but that's a different debate.
I'm confused why Va Tech is taking a jump of 5 here. I watched some of that game, and didn't think either team looked particularly good. Miami is pretty bad, and it took a last minute TD for VT to win.
Same with Baylor jumping in. They beat Iowa State, who looked real at the start of the season, but looks less real with each passing week. Just looking at their schedule, that win by Baylor is over a team that just might be able to be bowl eligible, if they win 3 of Missouri, TAMU, Texas Tech, and Kansas.
I would have kept ASU above both Baylor and VT, at the very least.
At these point, it is possible that 6 teams go undefeated towards end of the season
Expect the winner out of SEC is going to be in the BCS championship game, but who will be the other team will stir a big debate. It is very possible that Stanford and WIsc meet in the Rose bowl both undefeated.
I think that this Michigan team has potential to finish strong and take a shot at Wisconsin. The defense is really coming together, and as long as they can hold against the opposing offense, Denard and his boys can delivery quick belows to any defenses in the country. As much as Hoke being a candidate the as coach of the year, it is also a partial vindication of RRod, who hands Hoke an explosive offensive squard to work with.