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2008 NCAA College Football Thread


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#41 of 154 george kaplan

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Posted August 29 2008 - 09:18 AM

I was curious about toughness of different conferences. Not in terms of how tough the conference schedules are, or how tough the players are on the field, but in terms of the toughness of the different conferences in how the schedule their non-conference opponents.

Looking at the schedules, it seems like a hell of a lot of creampuffery again this year. I haven't had time to look carefully at all the conferences, but did compare the Pac-10 and Big 12. The results are pretty stark.

Embarrassingly, the Pac-10 does have 2 non-conference games against AA opponents. Shameful. But in the Big 12 it's 10 AA opponents. Downright wussy.

23% of Pac-10 non-conference games are against top 25 teams, including #1, #2, #4 (the only reason #3 isn't there is cause it's USC, which is a conference game). The average ranking is #11.

Only 11% of the Big 12 non-conf games are against top 25 teams, with none higher than #8 and an average of #17.

Of course, in both conferences, most non-conference games are against non top 25 teams. Using the Sagarin ratings, we find that the non-conference opponent avg. rating for the Pac-10 is 61, and for the Big 12 it's 97 (including a game against Fla. International, the lowest ranked of all Division A schools).

I don't know about the other conferences, but I hope they're closer to the Pac-10 than the Big 12 in terms of their toughness for non-conference opponents.
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#42 of 154 Jason L.

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Posted August 29 2008 - 11:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by george kaplan
For me, Ohio State will be the telling game. If USC wins, then they are legitimate title contenders, and a later bad outing (hopefully winning ugly, and not losing a close one) will just be a great team losing focus or not trying as hard as they should. But if Ohio State wins, then we'll know USC just isn't that good this year, and getting to the Rose Bowl will be a long shot to dream about.

We'll see.

Since USC has won the PAC-10 the past 6 years [thanks to Dennis Dixon's knee last year] why would a loss to a non-conference opponent cause the Rose Bowl to be a "long shot to dream about" - especially since all our traditionally tough games [Cal, Oregon, ASU] are at home.

I think it is somewhat ridiculous and unrealistic for any fan's expectations to be a national championship. They should be focused on winning their conference. There are too many variables to getting in the title game to consider. Like Mack Brown crying and begging to the AP voters, for instance.

Seriously, it all comes down to Sanchez for USC. I can't expect perfection from a guy who has only 3 shaky starts under his belt and dislocated his kneecap a couple of weeks ago.

#43 of 154 Johnny Angell

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Posted August 30 2008 - 07:09 AM

I'm watching VA Tech Play E CAR and E CAR scores a TD and the extra point will tie the game. VT blocks the kick, picks the ball up and runs for a 2 point score at the other end of the field.

I have always thought of the extra point as an opportunity earned by the team scoring the TD. I don't think the defense should be given the chance to score, their goal is to prevent the extra point. CAR was only going for one point and the other team scores two. It doesn't seem fair to me.

To add insult to injury, the last team to score is not the team to kickoff. VT scores and gets to receive the kickoff. I know of no other instance in which you score and aren't the kicking team (in regulation time anyway).
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#44 of 154 SethH

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Posted August 31 2008 - 12:51 AM

I know of no other instance in which you score and aren't the kicking team (in regulation time anyway).


A safety works in a very similar way actually.

So, do you think that the play should simply end if the defensive team blocks the kick? I personally think a team that blocks an extra point attempt deserves anything they can get out of it . . . an extra point should never be blocked.

Full Disclosure: I'm a VT alum/fan and was at the game yesterday. I'm sad to say that it looks like it's going to be another rough year for the ACC as a whole and particularly for my Hokies. It's not just that we lost yesterday, but we looked awful. Our defense couldn't tackle for anything and our offense couldn't move the ball. Then we lost the game on special teams which is supposed to be our bread and butter.

#45 of 154 george kaplan

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Posted August 31 2008 - 01:03 AM

The college football season opened this week for some teams, while a disturbing number of others decided to scrimmage.

Kudos to Missouri, Clemson, Illinois & Alabama for scheduled top quality opponents!

Thumbs down to Auburn, Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas and Wake Forest for scheduling creampuffs in order to continue preseason practice, though at least they had the decency to pick on the bottom of the division A.

And shameful derision to Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Arizona State, BYU, South Florida and Penn State. All of these top 25 teams, including #1,2,4 scheduled division AA opponents. Can you really feel good about blowing out Chattanooga & Tennessee-Martin?

I'll bet these teams are lobbying the NCAA right now to add a 13th game, so that they can schedule some high school junior varsity teams to play against on national television. Posted Image
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#46 of 154 Scott Merryfield

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Posted August 31 2008 - 01:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angell
I have always thought of the extra point as an opportunity earned by the team scoring the TD. I don't think the defense should be given the chance to score, their goal is to prevent the extra point. CAR was only going for one point and the other team scores two. It doesn't seem fair to me.

Personally, I like the college rule over the NFL rule. In the pros, the PAT is the only time that the defense has no opportunity to score. It always seems like such an empty finish to a play when the whistle blows while the ball is loose on an NFL PAT.

The concerns over Michigan's offense proved to be real yesterday. Starting QB Nick Sheridan looked awful, and Steven Threet didn't look much better. The offensive line could not open holes for the running game. It's clear that Rodriguez does not have the players yet to run his offense. It is going to be a long season.

The Big House looks very different from the outside. Here are a couple of shots from yesterday's game to give you an idea of the construction in progress. When completed next season, the new structures should have brick work to match the existing stadium.

Posted Image

Posted Image

This is from under the new structure:

Posted Image

It still looks like The Big House from inside, though:

Posted Image

Posted Image

This is what the new structure looks like from the inside of the stadium:

Posted Image

#47 of 154 Steve_Tk

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Posted August 31 2008 - 03:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by george kaplan
The college football season opened this week for some teams, while a disturbing number of others decided to scrimmage.

Kudos to Missouri, Clemson, Illinois & Alabama for scheduled top quality opponents!

Thumbs down to Auburn, Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas and Wake Forest for scheduling creampuffs in order to continue preseason practice, though at least they had the decency to pick on the bottom of the division A.

And shameful derision to Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Arizona State, BYU, South Florida and Penn State. All of these top 25 teams, including #1,2,4 scheduled division AA opponents. Can you really feel good about blowing out Chattanooga & Tennessee-Martin?

I'll bet these teams are lobbying the NCAA right now to add a 13th game, so that they can schedule some high school junior varsity teams to play against on national television. Posted Image

Well, In Georgia's defense, it was 38-0 when Richt pulled all the startes. Something like 15 freshmen were able to play in the game and the 3rd string quarterback, after which georgia southern scored 21 points. Richt has never been a coach to run up the score, regardless if people think he should.

#48 of 154 Carlo Medina

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Posted August 31 2008 - 04:50 AM

I'm okay with UGA pulling out all of their starters. I hope it doesn't cost him "style" points in the polls. By contrast Pete Carroll left his starters in pretty much for the whole game, despite having two talented backup QBs.

#49 of 154 ZacharyTait

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Posted August 31 2008 - 05:19 AM

Some things change (Michigan Stadium gets an upgrade), some things still stay the same (Michigan loses their first game of the season). At least it wasn't Appalachian State! Posted Image

If you ask me, Scott, Michigan Stadium still looks ugly as hell. Posted Image I should know; I've been there twice!

I hope Beanie Wells is okay. If he's hurt big time, it'll put a dent in Ohio State's national title hopes.

#50 of 154 ThomasC

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Posted August 31 2008 - 05:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by george kaplan
The college football season opened this week for some teams, while a disturbing number of others decided to scrimmage.

Kudos to Missouri, Clemson, Illinois & Alabama for scheduled top quality opponents!

Thumbs down to Auburn, Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas and Wake Forest for scheduling creampuffs in order to continue preseason practice, though at least they had the decency to pick on the bottom of the division A.

And shameful derision to Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Arizona State, BYU, South Florida and Penn State. All of these top 25 teams, including #1,2,4 scheduled division AA opponents. Can you really feel good about blowing out Chattanooga & Tennessee-Martin?

I'll bet these teams are lobbying the NCAA right now to add a 13th game, so that they can schedule some high school junior varsity teams to play against on national television. Posted Image
Even though they're not ranked, Cal and Michigan State deserve credit, too. That was one heck of a game last night. Too bad that Michigan State didn't come out on top.

#51 of 154 Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 31 2008 - 05:38 AM

In defense of Auburn, we were originally going to play West Virginia this weekend, but ESPN moved the game to a Thursday night slot in late October.

In any event, after viewing that ULM game it was pretty obvious that the coaching staff treated it like a pre-season game. The new spread offense couldn't get in gear, and by the fourth quarter we were just handing off on every play to our fourth-string tailback. I just hope the injuries we sustained in that game (two WR's knocked out on the first two plays; new QB sensation Kodi Burns out with a "slashed leg" for stitches in the middle of the third quarter) weren't too serious.
Joseph
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#52 of 154 DavidJ

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Posted August 31 2008 - 08:19 AM

Thanks for those pictures Scott (and that's about all I feel like discussing in regards to the game and start of the new era).

#53 of 154 Carlo Medina

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Posted September 01 2008 - 05:55 PM

Just got back from the Rose Bowl. Nice start for my alma mater breaking in a new head coach and offensive coordinator. Posted Image

#54 of 154 DavidJ

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Posted September 01 2008 - 05:57 PM

I'm sure that was a great game to be at. It was a great game to watch and the atmosphere looked awesome. I really liked the way Craft rebounded in the second half. It was impressive.

#55 of 154 KevinGress

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Posted September 02 2008 - 04:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by george kaplan
The college football season opened this week for some teams, while a disturbing number of others decided to scrimmage.

Kudos to Missouri, Clemson, Illinois & Alabama for scheduled top quality opponents!

Thumbs down to Auburn, Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas and Wake Forest for scheduling creampuffs in order to continue preseason practice, though at least they had the decency to pick on the bottom of the division A.

And shameful derision to Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Arizona State, BYU, South Florida and Penn State. All of these top 25 teams, including #1,2,4 scheduled division AA opponents. Can you really feel good about blowing out Chattanooga & Tennessee-Martin?

I'll bet these teams are lobbying the NCAA right now to add a 13th game, so that they can schedule some high school junior varsity teams to play against on national television. Posted Image

While it'd be nice to see every team in a potential 'bowl' game every week, it's just not feasable. Add to that the simple economics - Nebraska's football program basically pays for the whole athletic department - it doesn't get any money from the school itself, home games become paramount.

Now, I'm right beside you as far as 1-AA teams - they shouldn't count towards anything - no polls, no stats, nothing. If a team has to play a 1AA, it should be once a season, and counted as a preseason scrimmage only. But 'thumbs down' for scheduling a lower 1A school?! Don't forget - USC played the juggernaut of Idaho just last year. Not exactly an instant classic, to be sure.

Until toughness of schedule becomes a part of the BCS formula we're stuck with those feasting on cupcakes in order to have a shot - at the NC game, a bowl game, or just to survive another season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L.
I think it is somewhat ridiculous and unrealistic for any fan's expectations to be a national championship. They should be focused on winning their conference. There are too many variables to getting in the title game to consider. Like Mack Brown crying and begging to the AP voters, for instance.


And that's why the vast majority of teams don't make it to the NC game. If a team doesn't strive to be the best, it ain't gonna be. Plus, any team with an eye on the NC is surely focused on winning their conference.

With week 1 over, I'm feeling a lot better. Nebraska's defense played much better than the end of last season, and while I think Oct. 4th will be very tough (Missouri), it's not out of reach. Husker fans aren't thinking NC this year Posted Image, but with the foundation Pelini's laying, I think it'll be sooner (ugh), rather than later.

#56 of 154 Mike Williams

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Posted September 02 2008 - 05:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by george kaplan
And shameful derision to Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Arizona State, BYU, South Florida and Penn State. All of these top 25 teams, including #1,2,4 scheduled division AA opponents. Can you really feel good about blowing out Chattanooga & Tennessee-Martin?

Perhaps some facts would be in order:

In Oklahoma's case, there was a Division 1A opponent scheduled, and last year that opponent dropped out. Since schedules are set years in advance, other Division 1A schools were already committed and Oklahoma had to schedule a AA school, because that was all that was available. In Bob Stoops ten years, this is only the second AA school Oklahoma has played, the first being from his first season.

Obviously we could not feel really good about blowing out Chattanooga, since the entire second half, Stoops told his players NOT to score, NOT to return kicks, etc. He took his starting QB out of the game with over eight minutes left in the first half. Their starting RB didn't play the second half. They simply navigated the situation they were handed.

I would hardly call it shameful derision, and frankly the school wasn't any happier about having to play Chattanooga than you are.

#57 of 154 george kaplan

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Posted September 02 2008 - 06:42 AM

Obviously, some of the non-conference scheduling is constrained, but I still think it's ridiculous that there is so much AA scheduling by top 25 teams. Maybe once in a while that's unavoidable, but certainly not across the board to the degree it's happening.

In any case, the new polls are out, and I've got mixed emotions. On the one hand, it's good to see that the voters are paying attention to some of the nuances and aren't just being rigid. Georgia was #1, and won, but got dropped due to the competition. I think this early on, there should be a lot of flexibility in the polls, with it tightening up in terms of movement only later in the season, and frankly a lot more than it actually does.

On the other hand, they put USC #1. Now, I understand that vote given what happened last week, but it makes me nervous. Damn nervous. And frankly, depending on what happens next week (a bye week for USC), I think they maybe should drop if someone proves themselves worthy to jump ahead of them.

Now, looking at the top 10 next week, in terms of strength of non-conference opponents:

The Good:

West Virginia - East Carolina (#41) is a big step up from last week.

Oklahoma - Cincinnati isn't great, but at #42, and division A, it's a worthy step up.

Florida - OK, Miami, isn't great either (#56), but it's decent, and at least this matchup makes historical sense.

Auburn - Southern Miss (#62) another big step up.

LSU - moving up to Troy (#63) is again at least respectable after last week's AA joke.

The Bad:

Georgia - Central Michigan is at least a division A team, if not a very good one (#90).


The Ugly:

Ohio State - To their credit, they move from AA to A. But Ohio (#106) is actually a bit worse than Youngstown State (#105). But I guess it's kind of a wash with USC whose taking a bye before the big game.

Missouri - They get props for a big time opponent last week, but to follow it up with a Southeast Missouri State, an AA team that's worse than any played last week (#221) is horrid.

Texas - FAU sucked (#113), UTEP is an even bigger joke (#141). True, neither is AA, but both are far worse than a lot of AA teams.
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#58 of 154 Steve_Tk

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Posted September 02 2008 - 08:26 AM

I'm not worried about Georgia dropping. After next week they have a harder schedule than both USC and OSU. I think whoever wins the SEC championship will be going to the national title game regardless.

#59 of 154 Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 02 2008 - 08:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by george kaplan
The Bad:

Georgia - Central Michigan is at least a division A team, if not a very good one (#90).

FYI, Central Michigan was the preseason favorite to win their division in the MAC. The Chippewas are actually a decent team this season. I'd put them at a similar level to East Carolina and Cincinnati.

#60 of 154 Todd H

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Posted September 02 2008 - 11:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_Tk
I'm not worried about Georgia dropping. After next week they have a harder schedule than both USC and OSU. I think whoever wins the SEC championship will be going to the national title game regardless.

Exactly. Let's take a look at some of the ranked teams Georgia will be playing this year:

At #24 South Carolina
At #15 Arizona State
#13 Alabama
At #7 LSU
#5 Florida
At #9 Auburn

Notice a lot of those games are on the road.

Here's the ranked teams USC plays:

#3 Ohio State
#18 Oregon
#15 Arizona State
At #23 UCLA

Here's the ranked teams Ohio State plays:

At #1 USC
At #11 Wisconsin
#19 Penn State
At #24 Illinois

Is there any doubt who has the toughest schedule?


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