No disrespect to George Jefferson's East Side relocation,
but the Frogs know a little something about Movin on up.
Alright alright alright! (sorry, The Ticket has been playing that McConalame clip all month). Well, after coming off Thursday night's Euphoric victory over Paganism, the conversation immediately turned towards where we'd be ranked. Where some of you predicted anywhere from 17-20, I think even the most optimistic of us really only thought us capable of jumping into the low 20s. I mean, SURELY six teams wouldn't tumble out of the top 25, right?? Thanks to the likes of Maryland (#21 Wake Forest), #10Georgia (#22 Vanderbilt), #4 Oklahoma (#16 Kansas), #12 Ohio State (#20 Michigan State), Virginia (#18 North Carolina), and Boston College (#17 Virginia Tech), the Frogs have rolled their way right on up to #15 in both polls and #14 in the BCS standings (how does that make you feel, pansy? So much for my obscure analysis now, eh?) After looking at this week's slate of games, there's actually even more reason to start counting our ranking chickens before they hatch as several teams ahead of us will cannibalize each other yet again this weekend. With the lowly Wyoming Cowboys coming up this weekend, and with over a week to prepare, you have to feel good about our chances to move to 8-1. Here's a look.
Associated Press #15, Coaches/USA Today #15. Combining these two polls for this week because the rankings ahead of us are nearly identical. Now, ahead of us are four Big 12 teams who play a combined five games against one another before the season ends. SEC much? Also ahead of us are three SEC teams who will play each other a combined three times. Finishing out, two Big Ten teams who play each other this weekend and crappy ole USC who will probably backdoor their way into the title game, unfortunately. Also included are Boise State (OHMYGODSOMEONEPLEASEBREAKTHEQBSKNEECAPSBEFORETHEIRNEXTGAMETHX!) who we REALLY need to drop a game somewhere before the season ends, as well as Big Least pseudo power South Florida, who could definitely lose a game. Oh yeah, and how could I forget the Utes? FINALLY the mtn. will get their bus off the Holy War's damn lawn and realize the TRUE biggest game of the year in the MWC is a Thursday nighter in Salt Lake City in week 11 with no religious implications. However, for the sake of looking TOO far ahead, let's just stick to this week's games, and there are some great ones yet again.
Once again we start early this week with Boise State traveling to San Jose to take on the 5-2 Trojans on Friday night. Obviously a Boise loss here would have the biggest impact on our BCS chances and we would likely control our own destiny at that point (if OU controls theirs). Also of interest are #1 TX at home versus #6 Oklahoma State, #3 Penn State at #9 Ohio State, #5 USC at Arizona, #7 Georgia at #13 LSU, #8 Texas Tech at #23 Kansas, and #16 South Florida at Louisville. #12 Utah is not playing this weekend, but must win when they return. I will go ahead and list all of the Top 15 teams and who they play at the end of the post, but these are the games that have the most impact/are the most loseable for the higher ranked team. Which leads me to...
BCS ranking #14. Alright, I know it's totally cliche to says things like, "Well, who would've thought..." but, seriously, who would've thought that a one loss TCU team would be ranked 14th in the initial BCS standings, way ahead of one loss teams from BCS conferences such as Minnesota, South Florida and Florida State? I obviously loved our chances against BYU, predicted the win, and knew we had a great chance to be 7-1 going into the Wyoming game... but to be ranked this high? Wow. Absolutely amazing. I'm pretty sure after seeing what the computers did for us, the BCS masterminds all had heart attacks and are now spinning in their graves. The top four teams are the same in all polls, but it starts to get really jumbled once you move down the list (Florida is 5th in AP/USA today, but 10th in the BCS. Shows what losing to a Houston Nutt led team does to your bowl chances, no?) The only difference for us is that South Florida drops to 16th and Mizzou sneaks up to 15th. Right now there are about five hundredths of a point separating us from Mizzou and almost a tenth separating us from USF, which is a lot bigger of a margin than it sounds. By the way, if you're scoring at home, the Frogs are ranked ahead of the best teams in the Big East and the ACC. Assuming my memory serves correctly, if a non BCS team ranks in the top 16 AND ahead of one of the automatic qualifiers, you are also eligible. Who just became a huge fan of the Frogs AND whoever Pitt, South Florida, Georgia Tech and Florida State are playing?
Let's take a closer look at the games.
Games that REALLY matter. (AP/USA/BCS rank).
#13/13/12 Boise State at San Jose State. Never a team to be overlooked, the San Jose State Trojans have always quietly been a team to reckon with in the lackluster WAC (writers note: I have no idea if this is true, but it sounds correct and gives hope, right?) The good news is, even if Boise State runs the tables, the Frogs could still potentially move ahead of them in the BCS rankings even with one loss. The bad news is, we have to hope for Texas, Utah (until they play us) and Oklahoma to win out the rest of the year for this to happen which is no easy feat looking at their schedules (although, giving credit where credit is due, the Longhorns made the Missouri Tigers look like feline AIDS ridden housecats in one of those crazy cat lady 100+ cat establishments). If Boise wins this one, they still have a couple of good games left on the schedule that could trip them up (It's all up to you, Fresno State).
#1/1/1 Texas vs. #7/8/6 Oklahoma State. As another 'who would've thunk it???," who would've thought this game would be bigger than UT/Mizzou and almost on par with the RRR as far as national and Big 12 standings are concerned? The Cowboys are a very, very good football team and could give UT a few fits along the way. Even when they're rolling, Mack Brown's teams have been known to give one away here and there, so anything is possible. Regardless, we probably need UT to win this one to keep up OUs SOS which, in turn, boosts ours. Either way, whichever team loses will not drop below the Frogs. Also, fuck UT and Colt McCoy.
#3/3/3 Penn State at #10/10/9 Ohio State. Out of all the games, this one could help the Frogs the most in the rankings, along with Georgia/LSU. In most cases it's not safe to hitch the sake of your well being to a workhorse driven by an 80 year old senile gimp, but if it's JoePa, I feel pretty good about it. Penn State has been very impressive. Ohio State has been OK, but is getting better week to week with Pryor playing QB. Biggest game of the season in the Big Televen and it's in Columbus. A Nittany Lions win should drop the then two loss Buckeyes into the Missouri spot in the BCS rankings. This season seems like a great opportunity to send Paterno out on a high note and not in a body bag.
#4/4/4 Oklahoma at Kansas State. OU put a late game beating on the better of the two Kansas teams this weekend, so hopefully this one shouldn't be too difficult, either. Again, OU MUST win for our sake.
#6/4/5 USC at Arizona. Seeing as how the media lubes their brown holes everytime USC so much as suggests that yes, they do in fact have a football team and that yes, they do in fact have a game this Saturday, I'm not sure how far these guys can potentially fall. I only mention this game because USC lost to a LOWLY Arizona team a few years back in Tucson after being highly ranked. Can lightning strike twice? Seeing as how USC has already had their requisite WTF loss this year, and how they just dropped a 69-0 caning on Washington State, don't bet on it, but it'd be great if we could jump ahead of three BCS conference leading teams.
#9/9/7 Georgia at #11/11/13 LSU. Strange to see a one loss LSU team ranked so low, but when that one loss was absolutely NC 17 and came to a team who lost to Ole Miss, shit happens. A loss by either of these teams would probably move the Frogs up a spot, so it's really a win win, but I think we need to yield to safety on this one and pull for the Bulldogs. However, with the game being in Baton Rouge, and the Tigers having not been home since the Florida rape and just narrowly slipping by South Carolina, look for a violent LSU crowd to rally the Tigers for the win. (I'm also 22/31 in my non Spit Blood bowl picking pool, so maybe my foresight isn't so good.)
#8/6/8 Texas Tech at #19/18/23 Kansas. Two big games in flyover country this weekend, and this is one of the better upset chances for us. The final score in the OU/Kansas game this past weekend doesn't dictate just how close it was, and in fact Kansas was only down by seven at halftime. I thought after losing to Texas last week the Sooners would come out and crush whoever the scheduling gods so sacrificially threw in front of them. It didn't happen, but maybe that's a testament to this Kansas team. Everyone is sitting around waiting for Tetch to re-debut their late season comedy of errors and fall out of the top 10, and with Texas on the horizon the following week in Lubbock, this is a terrifying trap game for any Rebel fan. I like the Rebels to pull this one out, though, and set up an absolutely monumental game with the Longhorns in Lubbock next weekend... for me to poop on. Seriously, Tech can't beat Texas. It's written into Leach's coaching contract. Either way, a Tech loss would be magnificent here, but you're going to get one next week either way.
#18/17/21 BYU vs. UNLV. Matters because we need BYU to win out until they play Utah to keep our strength of schedule up.
Games that don't matter as much but still do because we have no margin for error.
#5/7/10 Florida vs Kentucky. If Florida were to lose this one, that'd be great because with two losses against unranked teams, the Gators would drop several spots below us. Unfortunately the Gators have been playing their best football as of late and already have that humiliating loss fueling them. Despite last year's Wildcat team overachieving, this year's team is not so great and had to count on a last minute meltdown by Arkansas to come up with a win this past Saturday.
#14/14/16 South Florida at Louisville. You might look at this and ask why it isn't in the above section, but since we are ahead of South Florida by two spots in the BCS... well, that's why. However, a South Florida loss here would be wonderful for business in the Frog world, especially since Big East leader Pitt will surely come back to earth at some point and drop a game. Also, Louisville is at home, 4-2 and, as with most Louisville teams, probably better than their record indicates (editors note: see San Jose State analysis for this comment.)
#16/16/15 Missouri at Colorado. Nipping at our heels even with two straight losses, the Tigers could make things very interesting in the middle of the BCS standings. Fortunately for us, after this weekend when either UT or Oklahoma State knocks the other down a few spots, the computers will punish Mizzou. No chance the pre-season Big 12 favorite loses THREE in a row, right?
So, there you have it. Great slate of games this weekend and, if things fall as they might, the Frogs could do literally anything (move up, move down, stay the same) in the rankings next Sunday. If things shake out like I think/hope they might, though, look for the Frogs to move up into the 12 or 13 spot in all rankings.
Mountain West Recap (because I couldn't do it on Friday, obviously).
#15/15/14 TCU 32, #18/17/21 BYU 7. Well, obviously I couldn't do a recap without mentioning this again now could I?
#12/12/11 Utah 49, CSU 16. Been saying all along that these guys are way better than BYU. November the 6th is going to be EPIC.
UNM 70, SDSU 7. Oh.... shit. Sorry guys... you don't think UNM was running up the score due to a season jam packed with frustration, do you? RAAAAGGEEE.
Air Force 29, UNLV 28. Close call... really have nothing to say about this game.
This week. We've got the cellar dwelling Wyoming Cowboys (2-5, 0-4) coming to town. For whatever reason, the Cowboys have always been a team that has played us close, and even beat us last year. Revenge game, perhaps? With over a week to prepare, and UNLV falling apart lately, thus rendering that game next week less scary, I don't look for the Frogs to have any problems. BYU, Utah, Air Force and UNM have beaten these guys by a combined score of 127-10 and their coach is going to get REAL fired after the season, so there's little to play for. With Red stepping up and playing like he should and the Wild Frog throwing out a wrinkle that is going to be hard for teams to stop, I look for the Frogs to roll. Oh yeah, we also have a pretty decent defense.
The Pick - TCU 41, Wyoming 0. That's what you call an overinflated (yet completely validated) sense of confidence, bitches.