Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pat Forde Midseason Report

Mountain West (32)

Best player: BYU quarterback Max Hall is sixth nationally in total offense and is nearly 100 yards ahead of the MWC competition in that category. Not bad for a first-year starter who hadn't played a competitive game in four years.

Best coaching job: Troy Calhoun, Air Force. He's working a gradual makeover of the Fisher DeBerry ground-bound offensive scheme with surprising results. The Falcons are 4-2 overall, 3-1 in the league.

Biggest surprise: Wyoming. The 4-1 Cowboys gave Virginia its only loss so far, and in turn their only defeat came at Boise State.

Biggest disappointment: TCU, and it's not close. The Horned Frogs began the year talking about BCS busting, but instead have flat busted. They're 1-2 in a league they were expected to dominate.

Who will win it: BYU should be there at the end, though a trip to Laramie Nov. 17 won't be easy.

Mid-Season Thoughts



Does Vegas Smell an October Hangover?

We've all heard of the hangover effect in sports. Partly, it's due to the fact that you have teams who play high-profile, emotional games with a lot of energy in front of a national audience where statements are trying to be made. The next week, the game isn't on national TV and nobody is excited.

Motivation is a huge factor in college football, as it is in many other sports, but in college football its even more so. Good teams typically don't play down to their competition and thus avoid the hangover effect all together. For instance, Auburn, coming off their huge win against Florida were only favored by a touchdown to Vandy before crushing them 35-7. Now, I'm not calling Auburn a "good" team but they are use to playing tough games.

However, when a team like Stanford, who were 41 point underdogs pull off one of the biggest upsets in College Football history, there has to be a hangover lurking around the corner. Even the handicappers in Vegas agree, which is why the Frogs are 5.5 point favorites this weekend. This speaks loudly to the credit of the hangover factor. As we all know, the Frogs haven't won a road game yet...now would be a great time to start.