Every so often during the season, a BlogPoll voter will host a round table where they as questions for other voters to answer. This week's is hosted by the Texas Longhorns blog, Barking Carnival, appropriate for Red River Shootout week. These are my attempts to answer the questions.
How does this year’s Texas/OU game define Mack Brown’s legacy?
Ultimately, it depends. In asking the question, BC mentions that though Brown has won three of four over OU, the Sooners are the ones who are continuing to pile up the conference championship trophies. If a loss in this weekend's game keeps Texas from going to the Big 12 title game, then it will reflect very poorly on Brown. The Big 12 has fallen quite a bit from last year's high water mark and Oklahoma, with two losses already, is looking down as well. You can't ask for a better setup for a Texas team that is supposed to be elite.
That said, both of OU's losses are out of conference. With a win in the shootout they can drop a late season game to Nebraska or Oklahoma State and still get to the conference title game. If a 9-3 Oklahoma team is playing for the Big 12 title while a 11-1 Texas team sits at home, that would be disastrous for Brown's legacy.
Who neeeds to win a big game more: Bob Stoops, Jim Tressel, or Mark Richt?
While they are stuggling to bag the big one, Stoops and Tressel are still racking up conference titles. Richt is not and is in the most competitive and impatient conference. The natives are getting restless, and while Richt is in no specific danger right now, he could sure use a second half surge like he had in 2007. Cracks are beginning to show in Athens, and he doesn't have a pile of SEC championship trophies to back him up.
Pick the game that glistens like no other on your remaining schedule. Why does it shine for thee? What portent does it hold at the seat of your BCS or Brut Sun Bowl altar?
This one is directed towards each voter's favorite team, so for me that's Florida.
I'm not sure what this means. Of the remaining opponents, South Carolina very well could be the best team, so that one sticks out. The Cocktail Party is always a good time, so that one does too. I think the biggest one though from an emotional standpoint could be Florida State.
Bobby Bowden is and always will be a villain to the Florida fan base, with his list of transgressions being voluminous. His program couldn't go more than five years at a time without a scandal (Foot Locker, Dillards, Jeff Bowden, cheating), and his players have a long history of dirty play and in some cases intentionally trying to injure opposing players. Few things could be sweeter than the opportunity to close out his last season with a blowout win that prevents him from going to a bowl. FSU only needs to lose two more games before Thanksgiving to make that a possibility, and that's certainly doable. It has no BCS implications, but it would be difficult to write a better storyline for a game. Did I mention it's Tim Tebow's last home game too?
Big upsets are hard to predict. Riddle us yours for the month of October.
Things have certainly quieted down at the top. The only top ten team to lose last week was LSU, and that was to another top ten team. Looking at the current top ten, I could see teams like Texas (to OU or Oklahoma State), Virginia Tech (to Georgia Tech), USC (to Notre Dame or the Oregon schools), LSU (to Auburn) and Cincinnati (to USF) going down. Florida, Ohio State, and Miami seem pretty safe.
If I had to pick one really longshot upset to happen, I'd go with Tennessee over Alabama. UT's defense is the real deal, and Monte Kiffin will know how to slow down Alabama's pro style scheme. The facts that it's in Tuscaloosa and that Alabama's defense is the real deal too keep it from being likely, but I did say it was a long shot. I don't think the Vols will win, but this one will be closer than most think.
Should [Florida and Alabama] get a chance to play again in January for a national championship? If not, what undefeated or 1-loss team would have the best positioning?
I'm all for BCS armageddon, believe me. I have been rooting for weeks to have UF and UAT to go to Atlanta undefeated, have Florida win, and have the only one-loss BCS conference champ be Virginia Tech (who lost to Alabama). It'd be juicy, and about the only scenario under which I would consider a rematch even partially justified.
This is probably the point at which someone cries "What about 1996, Florida fan?" but I don't really believe in national championship game rematches (remember also that '96 was the old bowl system; under the BCS it would've been FSU and Arizona State playing for it all). As someone, who I regrettably can't cite because I lost his name, said last year, the point of staging a national title game is to find out who the best team is. Whoever loses in the SEC title game probably isn't it, so there's no point in a rematch.
As for keeping the SECCG loser out of the national title game, Texas is easily the best candidate to do so whether at zero or one loss. An undefeated Big East or Big Ten team could do it. A one loss USC could probably do it because they're USC. A one loss Virginia Tech team is in a tough spot because if Bama wins, then you're setting up a rematch, and if Bama loses and becomes a one loss team, then they're up against a team they lost to with an identical record. A one loss Ohio State would be an interesting case, but ultimately they'd probably get in. I don't know if Boise State or TCU could do it though.