Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Movement Watch: Utah Death Match Week.


Let's just hope our stay at the top is more successful than Marv's...

Well, we’ve finally done – we’ve reached the top! Or, our version of the top as long as Oregon and Auburn keep winning. Now the only team that can knock us from our position is ourselves… or Utah… or Boise State… or Alabama… or maybe Nebraska or Oklahoma. You see what I mean, right? It’s great to be third in the BCS standings, but even if we do escape from Salt Lake City with a win Saturday, there’s no guarantee that we will maintain our position ahead of the above mentioned teams for the rest of the year. Hopefully I’m wrong, but the #3 spot still feels kind of temporary to me. But beating the #5 team at their place will certainly help matters. Anyway, here’s what we’re up against this weekend. Note – the chance of TCU moving above or below the team is based on the favored team and TCU both winning.

Down in Front!:

#1 Oregon vs. Washington. Saturday @ 2:30PM. Due to the timing of this one, there’s a pretty good chance no one who reads this site will be watching anyway unless you have two TVs, are at a sports bar, or are one of those weird folks who TIVO other games so you can watch them later. Me? I’m definitely out an all accounts as Washington, who was terrible even when he was playing, lost Jake Locker in last week’s destruction to Stanford, so their chances are officially out the window. In other news, the Huskies don’t play defense… which plays right into Oregon’s hands. This one will be OOOOOOGGGGLLLAAAAAYYYYYYY.

Chance of Upset: 5%. Chance of TCU Moving Above Them: 0%

#2 Auburn vs. Chattanooga. Saturday. Noonish. Even if Terrell Owens was back in uniform for Chattanooga, this one would be torturous to watch. Have you ever watched a film by a Swedish director? It’ll be kind of like that, except less gloomy weather and lots more rape.

Chance of Upset: Patterson has a better chance of finding a pair of pants that fit than Chattanooga does of pulling this win. Chance of TCU Moving Above Them: 0%

Hey You! Get Off Of My Cloud!:

#4 Boise State vs. Hawaii. Saturday @ 2:30PM. Boise… seriously has all of their hard games at home ever. Hawaii isn’t a bad team – in fact, they have the highest rated passing game in the entire country. And if this one could was being played in surf world later at night, perhaps the Warriors could catch the Broncos napping. But, I just don’t see it happening. For one, Boise has won every single home game against Hawaii by an average of 30 points per game. For another, Hawaii was crushed by Colorado, who is a really, really poor excuse for a football team. However, they WERE the last team to beat Boise in a regular season game… but that was almost 3 full seasons ago, and the tables in the WAC have clearly turned since then. That game was also played at trash tornado stadium.

The bad news for us in this one? Hawaii is, contrary to the rest of their slate, actually a schedule booster for Boise. They beat a very sound Nevada team – the only other bump in Boise’s season long road – and are sitting right outside the Top 25. As I said, their passing game is the best in the country, but their run game leaves a lot to be desired. Across the field, Boise is one of the most balanced teams in the country, and the biggest difference here is going to be the defenses. Boise gives up 10 fewer points per game and has one of the best passing D’s in the nation. This game may be close to start things off and Hawaii is going to score some points. But in the end, Boise probably prevails.

Chance of Upset: 25%. Chance of Moving Ahead of TCU: 10%

#6 Alabama at #10 LSU. Saturday @ 2:30PM. Another game that will be difficult for the TCU faithful to watch due to timing, but one that could have a HUGE impact on TCU’s end of season ranking. The general consensus is that if TCU and/or Boise go undefeated the rest of the year, a 1 loss, SEC Champion Alabama team would have enough juice to jump into the national title game against a presumably undefeated Oregon. This is why we REALLY need Oregon to lose. However, if Auburn is to lose a game between now and the Iron Bowl, and then lose again to Alabama as predicted, could Auburn’s lowered status be enough to keep one of us above the Tide? It’s very, very hard to say at this point, but I’m firmly in the pessimistic camp that believes a 12-1 Alabama team would trump a 12-0 Frogs team. In other words, we REALLY need LSU to beat Alabama on Saturday because I don’t think the voters have enough respect for LSU to elevate them into the title game. It’s a dumb standard, but Alabama is currently the only one loss team we should really be afraid of.

As for this game? Well, you can’t discount the Les Miles + Death Valley + Nick Saban Hate factors that are all in play here. Having this one at night with an over-served crowd of 90,000+ on hand would’ve really helped our case here, but we have to play the cards we’re dealt. On paper, these two teams are pretty identical… on the defensive side of the ball. Unfortunately LSU still features no mentionable offense, and that will probably be the deciding factor here. But, I honestly think this game is a toss up when you add in the intangibles. LSU had no business beating North Carolina, Florida or Tennessee, and did. And they held Auburn to their second lowest output of the season, and we all know very well how hard that can be. Really, the more I think about it, the more I think that if LSU can take advantage of a few Alabama mistakes – assuming they occur – with their defense, the more I think they could seriously pull the upset here. It’s a toss up.

Chance of Upset: 50%. Chance of Moving Ahead of TCU: 0%... this week.

In the Rearview, but Not There Yet.

#7 Nebraska at Iowa State. Saturday @ 2:30PM. Nebraska… HOW did they lose to Texas?!?! I mean, I’m certainly glad they did… but holy crap the Citadel could beat Texas right now. To the naked eye this game might not look too dangerous … but just remember that Iowa State beat the same Texas team that stymied the Huskers, and who could forget last year’s 9-7 borefest? Iowa State scores a lot of points, Nebraska is definitely due a letdown game after last week, and QB Taylor Martinez is banged up. Probably not happening two years in a row, but I’m just sayin’ there’s a chance.

As for the future, let’s say Nebraska runs their schedule and then wins the Big 12. Could they jump an undefeated TCU for a title game shot? I honestly don’t think they would. It may be the homer in me, but I just can’t see it. That Texas loss is looking worse and worse by the week.

Chance of Upset: 40%. Chance of Moving Ahead of TCU: 0%

#8 Oklahoma @ aggy. Saturday @ 6:00PM. It’s always a good time when the Sooners and ags face each other… unless your choice of team color is maroon because whew boy has OU owned this series since Stoops rode into town. Aggy faithful may hold out a slim hope due to the emergence of QB Ryan Tannehill behind Interception Machine Jerrod Johnson – seriously, has a QB ever killed a team more often than this kid? – but let’s be honest: It’s still aggy we’re talking about and handling Tech isn’t quite the daunting task it was for that one year when they were good. Besides, if OU loses this one, Baylor is firmly entrenched in the driver’s seat for the Big 12 South if they can get past Oklahoma State Saturday in Stillwater and surely God isn’t going to let that happen, right?

Chance of Upset: 10%. Chance of Moving Ahead of TCU: 0%

#9 Wisconsin @ Purdue. Saturday @ 11:00AM. This game is listed as Wisconsin is currently your Big Ten front runner by default, despite losing to a Michigan State team with the same record. Pretty fitting that the final year of the non championship sized Big Ten it’s likely going to come down to a three way, BCS deciding tie ala the Big 12 South of two years ago. But, no way a 1 loss Big Ten team jumps an undefeated TCU at the end of the year. And Purdue is AWFUL.

Chance of Upset: 0%. Chance of Moving Ahead of TCU: 0%

So a pretty quiet weekend outside of LSU/Alabama and, of course, some game in Utah. If the Frogs are able to take care of business this weekend, I see no reason why we shouldn’t keep our position at third. It’s the weeks after that where things get dicey.

No comments: