Posted by deaconcat08 on November 22, 2009
1. Next Week’s Games- It’s finally rivalry weekend in college football, as even though we saw a few rivalry games this past weekend the big ones are coming up this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Barring a miracle, the national title picture will not change on Saturday, as Florida, Alabama, and Texas will all be heavy favorites to win and head into their conference title games unbeaten. However, there will still be plenty to play for. Four conference/division titles will be on the line (see conference championship entry below for more details). Ten teams will be vying for bowl eligibility (see bowl eligibility entry below for more details). Kentucky will have a realistic chance at ending their 26-game losing streak to Tennessee. South Carolina may actually beat Clemson at home for the first-time since 2001, as the Tigers may be caught looking ahead to Georgia Tech.
2. The week after’s games- Even more exciting than next weekend’s rivalry games, are the conference championship games the following week. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s the best December football weekend of all-time. The BCS Title Game will be determined by the Big 12 Title Game and the SEC Championship Game, which may be the biggest game in the conference’s lengthy history. Other BCS bids will be decided in title games for the Big East, ACC, and PAC-10, which will feature the biggest athletic contest in the history of the state of Oregon. Also, let’s not forget the MAC Title Game, where Temple (who has not bowled since 1979) may be playing for a conference crown!
3. Big-time job openings- This is only good news for coaches looking to get a job at the next-level, but based on this weekend’s results several high-profile coaching positions could open up. Charlie Weis, Al Groh, and Dan Hawkins are all likely to be canned in the next few weeks. Rich Rod may be out at Michigan, and at the very least he’ll be forced to get some new coordinators (Greg Robinson was worst hire ever!). Even the Georgia job could become available, as Saturday’s disappointing loss to Kentucky will put Richt squarely on the hot seat. In addition, Wake Forest may be hiring a new offensive coordinator (please!!!)
1. Late game coaching miscues- We saw lots of questionable/horrible coaching calls that proved to be the difference in several important games. Here’s a breakdown of the ones that come to mind, in order of ascending atrociousness.
- Maryland- Yes, that was a clutch final-minute drive by FSU, but it was all setup by a huge punt return. The MD coaching staff should have ordered the punter to make sure, at all costs, that the kick went out of bounds. When a team is ten times more athletic than you, you can’t give them a chance to run one back under those circumstances.
- Stanford- The Cardinal absolutely dominated Cal on the ground all game-long, so they had no business throwing the ball when they were inside the 10-yard line during their potential game-winning drive. The result, of course, was interception costing Stanford a chance at a share of the Pac-10 title.
- LSU- What was Les Miles thinking? Mistake # 1: Why would you ever want to run-off 20 seconds of game clock before calling a timeout when you need to march 70 yards for the winning score? Mistake # 2: How can you not at least try to run a play with one second left in the game? The field goal team should have been ready to run in there, and if they weren’t, then they at least had to take a shot at the endzone.
- Yale- This may have been the worst coaching move of the year, if not all-time. This late-game fourth down gamble makes Belichick’s decision to go for it on 4th and 2 against the Colts look brilliant. The Bulldogs led 10-7 with 2:25 left in their rivalry game against Harvard and faced a 4th and 22 on their own 26. This is probably the most obvious punting situation ever, but instead, Yale inexplicably decided to try for a fake. After they ended up 16 yards short of the first down, the Crimson mustered an easy 32 yard TD drive for the win. Isn’t Yale an Ivy League school? I think they should drop in the U.S. News and World Report Rankings after that decision.
2. Military Intervention of Bowl Selections?- No, I’m not joking. The United States Military Academy has setup a strange bowl selection scenario. The Black Knights are one game away from clinching their automatic bid to the EagleBankBowl meaning that if they beat Navy, they will be bowl bound, but if they lose then the spot will go to an at-large team. The problem with this is that the Navy vs. Army game has been moved back until December 12th this season making it impossible for the EagleBank to be scheduled prior to this game. The bowl selection show usually takes place on December 5th, but I’m not sure how many bowls will be/can be scheduled before the Army/Navy game. Even if the EagleBank Bowl is the only bowl spot that is waiting to be filled, it will still cause a delay in the beginning of all the college football pools, predictions, and other analysis that require a finalized bowl schedule. This is what’s wrong with college football. They don’t think before they act. This was obviously a foreseeable conflict that someone should have thought about before moving the Army/Navy to the Saturday after the conference championship weekend.
3. Law School Exams- On a personal note, I will be studying for my law school exams pretty much non-stop (there will be stops for college football of course) from now until mid-December. I have a little break after December 8th where I plan to post my bowl predictions and mock playoff for the year, but unfortunately, until that time, I won’t be able to spend as much time writing on this blog. I still plan to post my picks and upsets of the week for the last 2 Saturdays of the season, but these entries and any others will likely be abbreviated. I apologize in advance for this, but I do promise that the CFRA poll will be posted at its regularly scheduled time on Sunday nights.