Thelma and Louise: Definitely the simile I've been looking for.
As there is only one potential problematic game this week - Auburn and Oregon are both off, although that will not effect them in the polls as it will us - and I will be gone for the majority of next week, this is going to be the 'capper for our season long movement watch. I hope you've enjoyed yourselves.
#1 Oregon Ducks.
This Week: Off
Remaining Games: Friday Nov. 26 vs. #22 Arizona, Saturday December 4th @ Oregon State.
Outlook: Do you remember when Arizona knocked off Iowa, was ranked in the Top 10 and seen as a legitimate threat in the Pac 10? Do you also remember when Oregon State was ranked in the Top 25, was a major attribute to our schedule, and the annual Civil War game against the Ducks was seen as a logical defacto Pac 10 Championship? Me either. Those days are LONG GONE after the Wildcats dropped consecutive games to Stanford and USC and Oregon State went o-for Washington. True, Oregon faced the best defense they'd seen all year in Berkeley this past weekend and had it not been for a MAJOR faux pas by the kicker, may be sitting at the bottom of the Top Ten right now. True, Arizona is going to be the second best defense they face all year, only allowing 320 yards and 18 points per game. Also true? Texas has the 7th best defense in the country and they've lost 5 games, so sizing up a game based on stats is bullshit.
The Wildcats derailed Oregon's title dreams a few years back, but for us to even be able to put this in the same perspective the state of Oregon would have to be wiped off the map by a hurricane, thus moving the game to Tucson, LaMichael James would have to have the judge change his mind in his girlfriend abusing case and lock him up for the remainder of the season, and Darron Thomas would have to realize his lifelong dream of becoming a Broadway backup dancer and quit the team to head east. In other words, Oregon is going undefeated.
Final Prediction: 12-0, National Championship Game.
#2 Auburn Tigers.
This Week: Off
Remaining Games: Friday Nov. 26 @ #11 Alabama, Saturday Dec. 4 vs. #17 South Carolina.
Outlook: There are two camps on Auburn - those that believe they are going to beat Alabama, win the SEC and go to the title game, and those that believe they are going to lose to Alabama, beat South Carolina and go to the Sugar Bowl. There really are no other camps... except mine, because I believe they will lose BOTH. Call me crazy - and you have every right to because I really have no hard evidence for why I believe this - but I just think all this bullshit with Cam Newton is going to get to them eventually. It has to, right?
More importantly, look at Auburn's schedule - they have played almost every single game at home, and when they've played good teams they've almost lost. Hell, they almost lost to this exact same South Carolina team back in September, and they would've lost to Clemson - CLEMSON - if not for a late missed FG in overtime. LSU has been their toughest test of the season and they got by them by 7. They've had 3 road games this year. THREE. One they beat Mississippi State by three, one they beat Kentucky by three, and the other they beat an Ole Miss team who is among the worst in D-I. So their next game is against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and keep in mind these two teams HATE each other. Like, pure, unadulterated redneck NASCAR hate. Alabama fans just THINK they hate that fancy talkin' Jeff Gordon - the ire they feel for their neighbors to the northeast, if my geography is correct, is criminally insane. Add to the fact that the Tide are having a down year and that by beating Auburn they can crush their title hopes? Are you kidding me? This game is going to be INSANELY vitriolic. Auburn being ranked ahead of and getting more attention in the national media than Alabama is the Tide's version of Pearl Harbor; next Friday in Tuscaloosa is going to be Nagasaki and Hiroshima on acid. Get your popcorn and bomb shelters ready, indeed.
As for the South Carolina loss, we've seen how SEC teams react when they've had the wind taken out of their sails - Alabama in the Sugar Bowl immediately springs to mind - and I think once Auburn loses, things are REALLY going to start spinning out of control in the Cam Newton case since they are no longer contenders and the BCS doesn't have to protect their interest, and they're going to have the most graphic letdown game of all time. The Gamecocks will win by three scores, Lee Corso.
Final Prediction: 10-2, Cotton Bowl, unless they elect to take Arkansas, in which case it could be Music City or something equally offensive. And I will laugh.
#4 Boise State Broncos.
This Week: Friday vs. Fresno State
Remaining Games: Friday Nov. 26 @ #18 Nevada, Saturday Dec. 4 vs. Utah State.
Outlook: This weekend is going to be the tell tale sign of how things are going down if Fresno, a 30 point dog, is able to keep this one close in a loss and Boise still gains on us. If this happens, and the Broncos beat Nevada and Utah State, there's a REALLY REALLY strong chance the Broncos jump us. If Fresno keeps it close and the pollsters treat the Broncos like they did us last week and hold things steady, I really like our chances of making the Rose Bowl or beyond. And, of course, if Boise blows them out like they should, then I'm going to be biting my fingernails to the quick watching the BCS Rankings show Sunday evening. Regardless, you'd be crazy to suggest the Broncos lose Friday night, in which case ESPN is going to be pimping the Friday nighter against Nevada as the game of the century. Seriously, DO NOT watch ESPN or read ESPN.com all next week because it's going to be the most nauseating thing you've seen not involving Britney Spears getting out of a limo without undies on. I've seen where her babies came from and I can never unsee it.
But maybe the craziest thing about said game of the century? I think Nevada can win. I really, really, genuinely do. Their one loss of the year came against Hawaii, and it was off the mainland and we know all sorts of weird shit can happen when you play in Aloha-land. Of course you have to worry that Boise is going to run rough shod over Nevada's defense - they give up 120 yards more per game than the Broncos - but on that note, Nevada's offense is the one that can definitely hang around with them. I'm sure the spread will be something along the lines of 2 TDs, which is worrisome, but if Reno has ever had a reason to leave the casinos and come watch a football game, this will be it and you KNOW they will be pumped. It's probably just wishful thinking on my part, but I think they make it happen. They can't honestly win every single regular season game for the rest of the time Chris Petersen is in Boise, right? Mark it!
Final Prediction: 11-1, Bwaze, Idaho Bowl mwhahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!
Oh so what's that we have here? Is that the Horned Frogs in the National Championship game? Why yes, I think it is! What, you thought I wasn't going to shut down the movement watch on a homer note? Pshaw.
Die Cam Newton. Die Boise.