By the skin of our teeth, the Frogs actually moved up a spot in the Coaches poll to 14th, but we remained 15th in the AP despite being jumped by Miami and <> Cincinnati! In case you haven’t noticed, the Bearcats surprisingly strong play has most of the media scrambling back aboard the Big East bandwagon while jumping off the Titanic that is the ACC and, in some circles, the Big Televen. Unfortuantely for the Frogs, our strength of schedule took a bit of a hit this weekend as I'm sure lyle will point out, but with Clemson beating Boston College for the first time at home since BC joined the ACC, a win in Death Valley should give us enough clout to make a move or two. Let’s see how everything played out this weekend – new rankings listed.
#16/16 Oklahoma State 41, Rice 24. For SHAME, OSU, who continues to devolve into a depressingly one facet team after giving up 377 yards to a TERRIBLE Rice team, including 301 passing. That’s a one way ticket to staying in your place in the rankings. T. Boone is currently seeking new ventures. Gambler says – FAIL!
#9/13 Miami 33, UR/UR Georgia Tech 17. Well looks like someone’s drinking the Hurricane flavored Kool-Aid! In a town currently known mostly for its gay and Cuban defector population, apparently football is now king – and I’m definitely not talking about the Dolphins. Now it looks like the media has joined the pride parade, jumping the ‘Canes ELEVEN spots in the rankings. I spoke too soon last week with that whole Frogs staying up with a Miami win thing. Poor Georgia Tech, after slipping by Clemson, got big time punished, falling 12 and 14 spots in the AP and Coaches polls, respectively. Miami might be the real deal, but their next two games come against Virginia Tech and a surprisingly fertile Oklahoma team who may have Sam Bradford back. Survive those two and you’ll have earned that ranking. Gambler says – FAIL.
#11/12 Virginia Tech 16, #25/24 Nebraska 15. I only caught the highlights of this one, but it absolutely lived up to its evenly matched billing. Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor was able to rally the Hokies past the Huskers on a TD pass with 21 seconds left, capping a 91 yard drive. With these two teams you’d expect a defensive battle and this was definitely one of those. That’s all I got. Gambler says – FAIL.
#14/15 Cincinnati 28, Oregon State 18. Standout Cincinnati Quarterback Tony Pike had a phenomenal night, going 31/49 for 332 and 2 TDs plus one rushing to move the Bearcats past the Beavers in Corvallis. Cincy led most of the game, but Oregon State kept it close, pulling within 21-18 in the fourth quarter before Pike led the Bearcats on a late TD drive. It probably helped that OSU running back Jacquizz Rodgers had a bum ankle and only rushed for 73 yards, but I’m not taking anything away from Cincinnati – they’re legit and the cream of the Big East crop (insert Big East joke here). Although perhaps slightly overrated, it looks like the pollsters are going to ride Cincy all the way up the polls to appease the East Coast audience. We really need these guys to drop one in the upcoming weeks, possibly next week against Fresno State. Gambler says – WIN.
UR/UR Utah 24, Oregon 31. For those of us who have been living in an insulated pro MWC bubble, you may as well go ahead and prepare for the big comedown because the media are going to hammer us for this one. After getting dumped by an admittedly strong Boise team, Oregon snapped the nation’s longest win streak and burst Utah’s BCS bubble, likely for the season. There won’t be a repeat for Kyle Whittingham’s team this year, but we still can’t sleep on the Utes come November 14th. Oregon was in control the entire game and absolutely crammed the ball down Utah’s throats on the ground, finishing with 217 rushing yards despite the absence of the suspended Blount. After Joseph Turner’s big game, combined with emerging stars Matthew Tucker and Ed Wesley, you have to feel pretty good about the Frogs chances in a couple of months. Technically this is a good loss for our ranking perspective, but since it hurts the conference, we’ll file under bad. Gambler says – FAIL.
#8/8 Boise State 51, Fresno State 34. The Broncos roll on, although not as easily as they may have expected. After jumping out to an easy 24-3 lead, the Bronco tacklers took a collective dump on their run defensive efforts, allowing 320 (!!!) yards to the Bulldogs, including three 60+ yard TD runs by Fresno RB Ryan Matthews. Sure, the Broncos went off for 299 yards on the ground themselves, but it should be noted that they were outgained by Fresno 508-480 in total offense. Although Boise’s schedule is all downhill from year, that should still stick in the minds of pollsters when they cast their votes. Boise moved up 2 spots in both polls, thanks to the USC and BYU upsets, but I think they’ve pretty much reached their ceiling at this point and we will likely see them drop back into the 10-12 range as the season takes shape. Gambler says – WIN!
#13/11 Ohio State 35, Toledo 0. Well, I sit here and tell you guys to take the Buckeyes, then go out and don’t take the Buckeyes in either of my pools. Perhaps I should’ve taken Kenny’s advice a little more seriously. Anyway, that whole Pryor being unleashed thing proved to be true as he was 17/28 for 262 yards and 3 TDs to go with his team leading 110 yards/1 TD on the ground. Given Toledo isn’t exactly up to par – which is apparent as the AP voters dropped the Buckeyes 2 spots even with the win - but maybe Tressel is loosening up the reins a bit on the playbook and allowing Pryor to use his God-given athleticism – even if he does end up killing and murdering people in the end. That sentence had too many dashes. Gambler says – WIN! Technically.
#10/9 Oklahoma 45, Tulsa 0. It doesn’t erase the BYU loss, which now looks pretty dreadful given BYU’s egg laying against FSU, but this will give OU fans some hope. It looks like the voters are giving the Sooners a little bit more credit now as well, moving them back into the top 10 after a 2 week absence. Interestingly enough, The Pornstache set a school record by throwing 6 TDs while putting up 336 yards through the air. He did have 2 INTs, but how can you complain with the overall results? Well, if you’re Landry Jones you can complain that you’re hitting your stride just about the time you’re going to have to sit for the return of Hiawatha. The defensive performance on OUs part was also impressive as they shut out a Hurricanes offense that hadn’t been blanked in five years. That OU/Miami game in two weeks all of a sudden looks like must see TV. Gambler says – FAIL!
#19/20 BYU 28, #18/25 Florida State 54. Yelch. File under conference status killer. This is one of those scores they kept running across the scoreboard at Amon G that just made you sicker to your stomach each time you saw it. Looks like I jinxed it with all that TCU/BYU college gameday talk. BYU got a big ole dose of speedy sunshine state football, giving up 521 yards of total offense and dropping behind 44-14 at one point. Craig Thompson just switched his total allegiance to the Frogs. Again, like Utah, any non conference loss, no matter the rankings implication, will be considered a bad loss. Gambler says – FAIL!
#2/2 Texas 34, Texas Tech 24. A Texas win is always going to be in “the bad,” but at least they’ll sell a few more T shirts. In all honesty though, does Texas give off the impression of a national championship bound team? Taylor Potts threw for 420 yards, although the Horns did hold the consistently non-existent rushing game of Texas Tech to -6 yards. Very hollow victory for the Horns considering the revenge factor. Also funny fact brought up by lyle – is 24 hours the shortest a world record has ever been held as the Horns attendance for a football game in Texas was? Gambler says – FAIL!
#1/1 Florida 23, Tennessee 13. In conjuction with the above question – does Florida give off the impression of a national championship team? Yes, Tennessee has a strong defense, but Florida is supposed to be an absolute juggernaut on both sides of the ball. The Gators typically rub out teams when they’re bent on revenge, showing no mercy, but this was apparently not the case on Saturday. Also, 24 rushing attempts by Tebow for 76 yards? Good GRIEF that’s a one sided offensive scheme. Perhaps they miss departed OC Dan Mullen more than initially thought? The odds of a forgone UT/FLA BCS National Championship game just got a little longer. Gambler says – FAIL!
So you see, not a great week for the Frogs ranking movement, which is probably why we ended up where we were. Overall there weren’t any true “good” outcomes for us and there was almost the same number of “good” gambling tips on my behalf. After my 3-8 performance against the spread, it may already be time to hang up the Gambler for good. Hope I didn’t break anyone, but surely you were smarter than that. Anyway, biggest week of the season and a win will surely help us out in the rankings, so stay tuned until Wednesday and we’ll see what the odds are.