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Kicking Off Week 6 With Good Games and BCS Busters // 10.05.09

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On a scale of 1 to 100


Not much changes, though one of the Gators' beat writers either sees trouble or is trying the reverse jinx.

A look at who's going which way in college football 

Takeup_medium MIAMI
They won. The swagger is back. Again.

Takeup_medium STANFORD
The Cardinal are first in the Pac-10. It is early in the season. Do not be alarmed.

Can we all just agree that unless clothing changes or Shakespearean acting is involved, this is a dumb rule that should never be enforced?

Takedown_medium BOB STOOPS
Baylor is looking for ways to convince him that their showdown with Oklahoma is a "big game."

Takedown_medium CLEMSON
Lost to Maryland. At least they still have plenty of time to prepare the South Carolina game, usually known in the Upstate as "our entire season."

Big weekend for the SEC
After a fairly slow start to the season, with maybe one or two important games every Saturday, this might be the best weekend yet for the SEC.

The marquee matchups are Florida at LSU, which will see one of the conference's four undefeated teams lose, and Alabama at Ole Miss, a game that still has the potential to shape the race for the SEC West if the Rebels can pull the upset. Even if they can't, the matchup will end up being crucial, as a second leage loss this early in the season will all but end any talk of an SEC title in Oxford.

Games down the slate aren't lacking in intrigue, either. While Georgia-Tennessee isn't as significant as it has been in years past (see below), it's still an Eastern division rivalry that usuallly produces a memorable game. Auburn meets Arkansas in a game that could determine which of these teams is most ready to make a run at the preseason favorites. Kentucky tries to upset the Gamecocks and end the optimism in Columbia.

Even Vanderbilt, which travels to Army, and Mississippi State, which hosts Houston, have interesting interconference games.

It's just getting good in the best league in the land.

Busting the bubble
It's been a rough year for BCS Busters so far this season, perhaps because we're spending more time looking for them.

Remember when BYU's win over Oklahoma gave them a chance to wind up in the BCS National Championship Game? That idea ended when Florida State came to Provo and left with a 54-28 win.

Attention then turned to Houston, which had defeated Oklahoma State the week before BYU's loss and would defeat Texas Tech. After all, these Cougars had three games against BCS teams on their schedule and played in Conference USA, which isn't the SEC but isn't exactly the Sun Belt either. But Houston's window slammed closed when they gave up 581 yards to UTEP and, despite outgaining the Miners, lost by 17 to a team that had just lost to Texas by 57. (Fellow C-USA member East Carolina was an early darling last year before losing to N.C. State and, in the game that knocked them out of the rankings, Houston.)

So we're back to where we started when the season ended: with Boise State and TCU. One of the interesting twists here is that Boise appears to be benefiting from the same poll inertia that usually helps traditional powers. TCU has arguably had a better season so far but is still well behind the Broncos in the rankings.

TCU's next three games could be tricky. They go to Air Force, then play host to Colorado State before heading to Provo to take on ... BYU. Boise, meanwhile, goes to Tulsa one week from Wednesday before traveling to Hawaii 11 days later.

If it seems like BCS Busters are falling at an unprecedented rate, you might be onto something. But only because there are now more BCS Busters than ever before.

Back when the BCS was just four games, it was always going to take an extraordinary season (see: 2004 Utah) for a midmajor team to get into one of the big-money games. But when the introduction of a fifth game and Boise State's victory against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, not to mention Utah's win against Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, it's become almost expected for at least one non-BCS member to be in the running.

After all, the 2007 season also had a midmajor team in one of the BCS games, though Hawaii was the only one that got busted in its matchup with Georgia. That means the fifth game has succeeded in its goal of opening up the BCS to the other guys. It's now less a question of whether than who, and we're all trying to find out who will be the next team with a chance to shine on New Year's Day.

Wouldn't it be a shame if Boise State got that chance for the same reason -- traditional strength -- that made it so hard for the Broncos to break into the party in the first place?

Poll positions
In the AP poll, Florida is down to 54 first-place ballots, with the lost vote apparently going to Alabama. That puts the Tide within 12 of Texas, which for some reason continues to be No. 2 despite getting outvoted for first place 5-to-1 by Alabama. Alabama also picks up one vote from Florida in the coaches' poll.

Beyond that, some of the downright bizarre issues are beginning to work themselves out. Boise State is for some reason still ranked sixth in both polls, down from fifth. Auburn is finally ranked, No. 17 in the AP balloting and No. 19 by the coaches. South Carolina also gets into the AP poll, though they do so after Georgia, which defeated the Gamecocks three weeks ago, drops out. Sigh.

The Harris Poll [PDF] continues to astound. Texas doesn't play at all while Alabama shellacks Kentucky ... and the Longhorns pick up eight first-place votes while the Tide lose six. The other two first-place votes for Texas apparently come from Florida -- also idle on Saturday. And for good measure, someone ranked Rutgers.

Despite being 2-2, Oklahoma is ranked in all three polls -- No. 19 AP, No. 21 coaches and No. 20 Harris.


A hint?
We're going to be spending all week reading tea leaves and speculating irresponsibly, so let's get started. Discuss.

Tebow isn't speaking at Monday's Gators press conference for the first time all season while recovering from a concussion.

My guess? He's not talking in order to avoid ramping up the speculation. But maybe it means something much more ...

More on the dumbest penalty in recent memory
A.J. Green and others react to the idiotic celebration penalty in Saturday's LSU-Georgia game.

He said after the game he was just "celebrating with my team," but the Southeastern Conference released a statement from the officiating crew that said, "Following a brief team celebration, Green made a gesture to the crowd calling attention to himself." ...

Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday that replays he viewed did not seem to show anything excessive by Green but wasn't sure what happened off camera. "Whatever was caught on camera may or may not have covered everything," he said. "I just need to be educated as to what would constitute a flag and want to educate our players on it."

If that's a penalty, we all need an education. Luckily, the NCAA's national coordinator of officials, Dave Perry, is here to help.

"These are always difficult because there is so much emotion involved," Parry continued.

Perhaps that's why they shouldn't be called at all.

Blutarsky's take on the allegation that Green was "calling attention to himself."

I can see how the officiating crew might have gotten confused there.  Because every d----d person in Sanford Stadium was paying attention to A.J. at that moment.

GameDay to Baton Rouge for Florida-LSU
Like you didn't see that coming a mile away. (HT: ATVS)

Mike Hartline is still the starter at UK
Rich Brooks and Joker Phillips both back him up.

Seiber now career scoring leader at UK
He set the record in Saturday's game.

Spurrier still has it when it comes to discipline
Akeem Auguste is out "indefinitely" for the dreaded VOTR and missed Saturday's game.

He realizes the games aren't fixed in this sport, right?
Ric Flair on how the college football season will unfold.

"They’ll probably go undefeated the rest of the year. That’s my prediction. They’re that good." ...

He predicts South Carolina will eventually move to a No. 2 ranking after beating the defending national champion Gators, currently the top-ranked team in the land, and then will go on to defeat the Oklahoma Sooners for the national title.

Oklahoma's loss Saturday, of course, will hurt that prediction just a bit.

Are Vanderbilt players really that gullible? I thought they were supposed to be the smart ones.

Please describe the state of your program in eight words
Kentucky's entry:

Here's the real next step: Beating South Carolina.

As a Gamecock fan, I can say that if your team has to take a step forward by defeating us -- well, that's really all that needs to be said.

Something for Kentucky fans to be excited about

No ranked teams in Tennessee vs. Georgia
That's the first time in 72 years. Consider this: The South Carolina-Kentucky game will feature one more team ranked in the AP poll than the UT-UGA matchup. Let that sink in for just a moment. No, the world does not make any sense any more.

Bad pun watch
"Florida's Tim Tebow can't let it go to his head," according to the LA Times. In case you didn't get the joke, Chris Dufresne chimes in by writing that "you have to worry about risking a player whose style is so headstrong."

EA was taped in Nashville
Two things that stand out about this story, aside from the creepiness factor.

The affidavit also states Barrett requested a room adjacent to Andrews', and that the peephole in Andrews' door appeared to have been modified with a hacksaw to allow videos to be made with a cell phone camera.

Hint: When a visitor specifically asks for a room next door to a celebrity, the best policy is probably not to give them the room. Believe it or not, I came up with that without any experience in hotel security.

A sampling of fans in town for the Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss football game on Saturday said they were surprised the Marriott was one of the alleged locations where Andrews was filmed.

Did they have another suspect? "Hey, the Holiday Inn down the street -- that I would have totally believed."

Stafford injured
It doesn't seem too serious, but he has tests scheduled.

Injury report

CB Trevard Lindley, Kentucky
Sprained ankle, doubtful

TE Weslye Saunders, South Carolina
Sprained ankle, unclear


Mark Herzlich almost cancer free
One thing from the ACC that we can all agree is great. 

Pappy Bowden in deep trouble
He's under fire at Florida State, but at least he's still got a sharp football mind.

"We've got to stay the course and try to get better in the areas we're getting beat."

Can't disagree with that.

Did potential legal action get LeGarrette Blount a second chance?
The school denies the idea, but it seems like as good a bet as anything else when you look at the circumstances.

The ACC Atlantic Is, Well, a Mess - Testudo Times
This is different than usual -- how, exactly?

If it were Notre Dame, he'd have a 10-year, $25 million deal inked
But it's not, so we're still waiting to see how much the return of Miami's "swagger" will earn Randy Shannon.

Jacory Harris has interesting tastes in television

"The only thing that we going to watch on TV from now on is SpongeBob," Miami Coach Randy Shannon recalled Harris saying about "SpongeBob SquarePants." "We ain’t watching ESPN. We ain’t watching CBS. We ain’t watching ABC. If SpongeBob can tell you how good you are, then you deserve it."

Supposedly, "48 Hours" is also okay. No word on whether they're allowed to watch "Sesame Street."

It was bound to happen
Russell Wilson finally threw an interception Saturday after 379 attempts without one. He broke Andre Woodson's old record.

Another QB concussion
This one to Texas Tech's Taylor Potts.

C.J. Spiller has ACC yardage record

verb, to go from playing basketball to throwing five interceptions in a single football game.

No, I'm not about to rank them again
Nevada gains 773 yards of offense against UNLV on Saturday, the most yards by any offense so far this year. Florida was the previous title-holder with 663 against Troy.