Dropped Out: West Virginia (#15), South Carolina (#22).
Belated Thoughts on the Weekend:
A commenter pointed out last week that I had inexplicably dropped Utah two spots after winning in Ann Arbor. I don't look at my previous ballots when I do my rankings, so this sort of movement is quite possible. I'd call my ranking style "impressionist" if I actually knew enough about art history to be confident that I was using the term correctly. (I have great confidence in my knowledge of WWII, so I'll freely throw around "Nazi" or "revanchist" or "Munich! Appeasement!") As applied to this week's poll, I hammered South Florida as if they lost to Central Florida. My ranking seems harsh, but after having watched them, they look like a #20 team and not a #10 team.
There needs to be a term for a game in which a coach like Jim Tressel who already runs a vanilla offense makes his attack even blander in advance of a big game. "Double scoop of vanilla" or "vanilla squared" don't really do it for me. How does "Bizarro Black Hole" sound?
If the Heisman Trophy was worth a damn as opposed to being a pre-ordained popularity contest (I'm still waiting for the explanation as to how Beanie Wells is the front-runner and Knowshon Moreno is not, other than the fact that Heisman voters like to reward runners who are going to have inferior NFL careers), then Patrick Pinkney of East Carolina would be the front runner. I'm not a huge fan of completion percentage as a metric, but he's completed 80% of his passes against the defending champions of the Big East and ACC. Every decision he makes is the right one and every throw he makes is on the money. When Skip Holtz gets the Notre Dame job, he ought to give a chunk of his hefty salary to Pinkney. Also, if Pinkney makes a splash in the NFL, does that make East Carolina the new cradle of black quarterbacks? Blake, Garrard, Pinkney?
Did anyone else hear Brent Musberger state in the fourth quarter of the Miami-Florida game that he was "relieved" that Florida had not put a big number on Miami and therefore would not jump Ohio State? An ESPN poll this summer placed the Buckeyes as the second-most hated team in college football behind perennial champion of the despised Notre Dame. Could Musberger be playing the same role for Ohio State that Dick Vitale plays for Duke in stoking animosity by openly rooting for one program?
If your alma mater couldn't beat its arch-rival to save its life, you'd take a bunch of cheap shots as well.
How about Will Muschamp as the new head coach in Columbia in the event that Steve Spurrier gets tired of being dependent on two or three players every year? Muschamp is a defensive ace; he can surely recruit; he's the antithesis of Holtz and Spurrier in that he's young, energetic, and has something to prove; and he has coached/played all over the conference. The fact that he's a Georgia grad would surely help in a state that is so important for South Carolina's recruiting.
Stevie Brown: Kyle Jackson with a better helmet.
A Steven Threet note: a blogger with far more football knowledge than yours truly pointed out that Threet opens his body up too much when he throws left. That causes his passes to the left to sail. Where were Threet's overthrows on Saturday? To the left. Threet's progression as a passer will determine whether Michigan remains as a 5-6 win team or if it gets to 7-8 wins and continues the four decade streak of non-losing seasons.
I'm feeling very good about predicting that Cal would start 8-0. I'm also feeling good about predicting that Ole Miss would win eight games after watching Jevan Snead play on Saturday. You have to feel good for Ole Miss fans. They have put up with some truly wretched quarterback play since Eli left, so they've earned the right to see Snead play the position properly.
Let's be totally clear on this: John Parker Wilson is not a good quarterback. He isn't terrible or anything, but lost in the euphoria of Alabama's bi-annual return to glory (they're really the Notre Dame of the South in that respect and SI has the covers in its archive to prove it) is the fact that the Tide are not great under center. 3.2 yards per pass attempt at home against Tulane? Yeesh.