First round of “playoffs” begins on Saturday

The first BCS Standings will be released two weeks from this Sunday. And right now it’s pretty clear that if they keep winning, Alabama and Ohio State are going to be 1-2.

But after that I’m not so sure. Will Boise State, the Cinderella, be No. 3?

And for all of you folks who want a playoff (and for the record, I want a four-team playoff),  just consider that a whole lot can happen between now and Oct. 17. Before the first BCS Standings are released:

No. 1 Alabama, which just escaped with a close win at Arkansas, will play No. 7 Florida (4-0) at home and No. 22 South Carolina (3-1) on the road.

No. 2 Ohio State will play No. 9 Wisconsin (4-0) on the road and at night.

No. 3 Boise State will play New Mexico State (0-3), Toledo (3-1), and San Jose State (1-3). The computers won’t like that.

No. 4 Oregon will play No. 13 Stanford (4-0) on Saturday  in a monster game.

No. 5 TCU willl play Colorado State (1-3), Wyoming (1-3), and BYU (1-3). Speaking of  BYU, the Cougars sure picked an interesting time in their football history to go independent.

No. 6 Nebraksa will play at Kansas State (4-0) and at home against No. 16 Texas (3-1).

No. 7 Florida will play at No. 1 Alabama (4-0) and at home against No. 10 LSU (4-0).

No. 8 Oklahoma will play No. 16 Texas in Dallas.

No. 9 Wisconsin will play at No. 21 Michigan State (4-0) and at home against No. 2 Ohio State (4-0).

No. 10 LSU will play Tennessee at home and at No. 7 Florida (4-0).

Given what you see on that schedule, how many upsets will there be and what will be the Top 5 in the first BCS Standings?

Here are mine:

1. Alabama

2. Ohio State

3. Oregon

4. Boise State

5. Nebraska

Your thoughts, please.

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408 comments Add your comment

Palladin

September 28th, 2010
10:10 am

@Not Pat Sulley

“Auburn has a couple of guys who’ve made SEC defensive players of the week.”

True enough. Auburn has some very talented players. What Auburn has lacked this season is consistency. They have made some absolutely incredible big plays on both offense and defense, but these outstanding performances have typically been sandwiched between some very sloppy, mistake-prone play. Auburn is still a work in progress, but the bottom line is that they have been winning. You can’t take that away from them.

Not Pat Sulley

September 28th, 2010
10:12 am

Palladin

Understood. My rebuttal would be that Auburn has a lot of freshmen playing on offense right now. I have to give props to Gene Chizek for turning things around in a short time.

3rdn8

September 28th, 2010
10:12 am

5IML

I reached the same conclusion. Did you notice that Upshaw and Hightower both played “down” at DE virtually all of the 4th QTR? Nico Johnson, and Chris Jordan were the LBs. No Mosely, or Jerrel Harris on the field. That mix created a decent pass rush. Nick Gentry played a good game as well.

IF Darius has two legs this week, UF could have problems.

Palladin

September 28th, 2010
10:12 am

No argument there.

Not Pat Sulley

September 28th, 2010
10:14 am

Palladin

The future looks bright for Auburn football and Chizek is doing a great job at recruiting. I was very skeptical when Auburn brought him on board but he’s really made me change my mind about him. Had Auburn had a good defense last year, they’d have only lost two games in the regular season and gone onto a bigger bowl game.

Karl Childers

September 28th, 2010
10:16 am

Not Pat Sulley – 2010 Outback Bowl: Auburn 38 – Northwestern 35 in overtime. 2010 Capital One Bowl: Penn State 19 – LSU 17. As I recall, the “light weights” did just fine against the so-called heavyweights.

Truth

September 28th, 2010
10:17 am

Chile Pleeze… Auburn will ALWAYS be the red-headed step-child of Alabama football!

murfdawg

September 28th, 2010
10:17 am

to collegeballfan:
I guess when UGA finished #2 in the country in2007 that was average run of the mill. Unless you are a LSU fan, then the rest of college football that year was really bad. Here’s some sage advice when blogging; Always avoid always and never say never.

Not Pat Sulley

September 28th, 2010
10:18 am

“As I recall, the “light weights” did just fine against the so-called heavyweights.”

That was last year. Auburn beat the team that beat Iowa.

“Auburn will ALWAYS be the red-headed step-child of Alabama football!”

Gotta love the inbreds.

ga gator

September 28th, 2010
10:18 am

poopdawg you are not correct on this one. 99% of players stay in shape year round because they work out under the scrutiny of the Strength and Conditioning Coach 12 months. 2 a days are for building toughness. This is not intended to insult your program, but have you seen physical toughness this year? They couldn’t stop Arkansas when they had to, SC ran it down their throat and well MS State……….. Sorry, if you ever went through 2 a days you would know what it was about and trust me it was torture; just like Basic Training.

Snoop

September 28th, 2010
10:19 am

Richt thinks that, by not answering tough questions, the problems will go away. What you and your players need is another frolick in the swimming pool.

5IML

September 28th, 2010
10:20 am

Not Pat,

Things are certainly looking up for Auburn but I’m not so sure that you guys have completely turned the corner yet. The inconsistent play is gonna catch up to you eventually but that’s not the issue. The issue is how will Auburn respond to adversity (actually losing, not just trailing). Last year, partly due to depth issues, you guys tanked. Cam appears to be a leader so, that may not be as much of a concern this year.

Palladin

September 28th, 2010
10:21 am

Not Pat Sulley

Do you believe that Gene Chizik really buys into Gus Malzahn’s offensive strategy as a long-term identity for Auburn’s offense, or do you think that he simply believes that it gives him a short-term advantage while he re-stocks the roster?

I get the impression that Chizik is an old-school, power running game adherent at heart.

Not Pat Sulley

September 28th, 2010
10:22 am

5IML

That can be said of any program on the rebound. Tubberville left Auburn in shambles and Chizek has come in to try and clean up the mess. I’m not saying this team is a national championship team but I am saying that this team has heart and can come back from a steep deficit.

Gen Neyland

September 28th, 2010
10:22 am

The only sure thing I’ve got is last weeks final scores. Not a big Pac watcher but if Sanford can slow down the Ducks hurry up waddle, Sanford wins. Remember before the season began, 93% of people here said no team in the SEC would finish the year undefeated. After seeing Alabama beat Arkansas (for example) at The Sty, still feel that way..?

Not Pat Sulley

September 28th, 2010
10:23 am

“Do you believe that Gene Chizik really buys into Gus Malzahn’s offensive strategy as a long-term identity for Auburn’s offense, or do you think that he simply believes that it gives him a short-term advantage while he re-stocks the roster?”

Malzahn will leave in a year or so to go coach elsewhere. I think Chizek is using this as a stepping stool for recruiting etc..

“I get the impression that Chizik is an old-school, power running game adherent at heart.”

Well, they don’t call Auburn, Running Back U for nothing.

3rdn8

September 28th, 2010
10:25 am

I always get a chuckle when people compare football and the military. I’ve been through two-a-days playing football, and boot camp. No contest. Two-a-days only lasted a couple of weeks, and there was rest and relaxation in between sets. Boot camp is a six week marathon of physical and mental challenges….not to mention a whopping two hours of sleep per night.

The toughest sport on the planet: Infantry.

Palladin

September 28th, 2010
10:26 am

Not Pat Sulley

So then, we agree. What does that mean for recruiting offensive talent? Will Auburn be looking at yet another “transition period” when Malzahn leaves?

Charlie Bama

September 28th, 2010
10:27 am

Tony — Absent from your analysis were any games involving Auburn. Considering the nature & structure of your analysis (tough games for the customary ‘Top Shelf’ teams), is the absence of Auburn a commentary in itself? Do they fall short on tough games ahead or just under the Top Shelf programs? Just askin’…..

ratherBgambling

September 28th, 2010
10:27 am

Ohio State
Florida
Oregon
Nebraska
Boise St.

Not Pat Sulley

September 28th, 2010
10:28 am

“What does that mean for recruiting offensive talent? ”

It means, he can use what he’s done at Auburn to help recruit 4 and 5 star players like Cam, Dyer, Adams etc to get great talent.

“Will Auburn be looking at yet another “transition period” when Malzahn leaves?”

Dude, I’m not a palm reader. I can’t see the future.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 28th, 2010
10:28 am

If the team I cheer for wins 8 or more games they are Champs to me. Who cares about the Beauty Padgent called the BCS. Win 8 play in the conference Championship and win and then go to a nice city for a Bowl game then the team is a winner and I am happy.

Scott

September 28th, 2010
10:29 am

The thing I can’t understand is how the coaches kept voting for Oregon when they were playing AA teams?! They berely made it past Arizona State! I think they’ll lose a couple of times in conference play. There are a lot of teams that aren’t deserving of their ranking and I’m not talking about BSU. They are the one team that has played the toughest schedule to date, so it’s kind of funny how they are still at number 3. BSU should have moved up in week one while everyone else was playing AA teams, but when BSU drops after beating NMST 55-0 this coming week then it will further prove the system is a sham. Also a 4 team playoff won’t work. They don’t need to take a month off before playing a bowl game. An 8 team playoff would finish up around the same time as they do now.

Palladin

September 28th, 2010
10:29 am

@ratherBgambling

I’d recommend Blackjack.

Master of Analysis

September 28th, 2010
10:30 am

Can UGA beat Colorado? I don’t know.

Not Pat Sulley

September 28th, 2010
10:30 am

Charlie Bama

I think he’s just in denial about UGA. I asked Jeff Shultz a similar question and responded “Who’s Auburn?”

Sucks to be a dawg fan.

Palladin

September 28th, 2010
10:32 am

@Scott

“…BSU. They are the one team that has played the toughest schedule to date…”

That right there’s funny — I don’t care WHO you are! :-)

Charlie Bama

September 28th, 2010
10:32 am

Not Pat Sulley. Funny. Dawgs will be back. But when? And how? those are the questions. Take it from a long-time Bama fan, don’t let the prgram wander in the wilderness too long.

NoGaGator

September 28th, 2010
10:34 am

I think UF’s youth, Demps’ injury and playing at BDS may be too much to overcome this weekend. UF’s D should keep the game competitive. UF should be favored in the rest of their games and if they continue to progress, I like their chances in a rematch with Bama in Atl.

skram30082

September 28th, 2010
10:35 am

Now for something completely different…

I can’t wait for Tennessee to improve. It’s no fun hating them when they suck so bad!

Charlie Bama

September 28th, 2010
10:35 am

NoGaGator — I agree. Gators will have a better shot in the repeat in ATL, half-crow, all that. I think both teams will come to ATL with one loss each.

Charlie Bama

September 28th, 2010
10:37 am

I heard Tennessee’s golf team will be ranked Top 10 preseason this year. That Mike Hamilton is a turbo, isn’t he!

ga gator

September 28th, 2010
10:38 am

Charlie Bama, I think you run the table in Atl, we run the table after losing by 7-10 Saturday and the rematch will be a humdinger.

Father of 5

September 28th, 2010
10:38 am

It is NOT the PLAYOFFS. The losers this Saturday still have a shot at the title if the biased voters in December think they are pretty enough. Like ice skating, it depends on how the French judge will vote — and she can be bought. C’mon, Tony — you should be better than this.

Charlie Bama

September 28th, 2010
10:39 am

ga gator — Maybe, but Bama can slip up (dodged a bullet with TN and Aubie last year). But this weekend? I predict, Bama-24, Gators 17

3rdn8

September 28th, 2010
10:39 am

Father of 5

the “French judge”….now that’s funny…thanks

Truth

September 28th, 2010
10:40 am

Not Pat Sulley… Typical AU fan with all sorts of hopes and dreams.

3rdn8

September 28th, 2010
10:42 am

@ Truth

I can remember, just a few short years ago, when all that Bama fans (including me) had were “hopes and dreams”. Can’t fault the AU crowd for that.

jfounta1

September 28th, 2010
10:45 am

Alabama will roll Florida and then have a tough game in South Carolina but the bama will prevail. The defense will be better than last years. the Defensive back have prime-time type potential. we have the best rb duo in the nation. Florida is rebuilding while at bama we are retooling, big difference. ROLL TIDE

3rdn8

September 28th, 2010
10:47 am

jfounta1

trudging through life with an uncluttered mind, is a true blessing.

Palladin

September 28th, 2010
10:47 am

@Father of 5

What makes you think that you have the spare time available to worry about CFB? :-)

ga gator

September 28th, 2010
10:47 am

I said 27-20 so the spread is the same. Difference is Brantley has not faced a pass rush like yours. The interesting matchup will be your running game against our front 7; not for women and small children. Should be physical and nasty. If we cant play better run D than Ark did Saturday it could be a blowout.

Palladin

September 28th, 2010
10:50 am

@ga gator

As a Bama fan, I have yet to be impressed by our pass rush. I can only hope that they have been sandbagging in anticipation of this weekend’s game.

Charlie Bama

September 28th, 2010
10:50 am

The added dimension of playing in front of 101,000 Bama fans will make a difference. Fans their can often ‘will’ the Tide to win through crowd karma (as was the case against Tenn last year).

WashingtonDCduck

September 28th, 2010
10:54 am

**** TO SCOTT***

How did OREGON barely get by Arizona State? We threw 42 points on them, and they got a junk score late that made it close. Scott boy, this game started at 10:30pm EST (yes, with hundreds other rabid Oregon fans we were there watching live even with halftime at midnight) so you probably just read a box score, saw some states and made a presumption. And to your comment that we are playing D1AA teams, your wrong. We played (singular) one team- Portland State, and why? Because Central Michigan backed out 12 months ago and decided they didn’t want to get waxed. YES, Central Michigan is not a powerhouse, but they are D1. Don’t give us sh$# about scheduling Scotty. When we threw Tennessee on the schedule 5-7 years ago they were contending for SEC championships. Georgia, geez man, they backed out of the deal and their AD called our AD 1,000 times and we finally agreed to mutually back out. We open next year with LSU in Dallas. Don’t talk to me about scheduling.

*** Stanford plays a brand of football that I think you boys down in SEC country would really like. They play a brand of football, that we don’t care who you are we will shove this football right up the gut of your defense and we’ll come all game long for four quarters. Yes, those brainiacs from Stanford, some future CEOs/CFOs play a nasty brand of football and Andrew Luck runs a deadly play action fake off of it. Their offensive line are some real hogs, and their defense has improved over last year. As a diehard Oregon alum/fan, this game really has me shaking in my boots.

***Tony, to your point. After this weekend we’ll see it this way through my Kool-Aid Oregon tinted drinking glasses:

(1) Alabama. Give them credit, they play this year the toughest schedule in the country, and they’ve passed all their tests. Power running game and a young but improving defense that makes plays, serious ball hawks. Give them 3pts every game just for having Saban on the sidelines.
(2) Ohio State. Have not played anyone of significance yet, but they are continuing off the Rose Bowl momentum. Pryor has looked much better, and has he gotten faster? Maybe it’s the inferior competition. Buckeyes will be tested on the road in a few weeks. They are the nation’s #2 though as of now.
(3) Oregon. They’ll take care of Stanford, and show why they may have the nation’s best (hold your breath ‘Bama faithful) offensive backfield in James and Barner slicing through defenses. Watch their defense this weekend, pay attention to the physical brand they play with and the overall defensive speed. Ask Tennessee about it.

3rdn8

September 28th, 2010
10:54 am

for Bama fans.

Ever wonder why McElwain doesn’t consider an NFL (1970s type) pro-set offense in some situations? Seems like having Ingram and Richardson both in the game, and split behind the QB would create all sorts of opportunities.

jfounta1

September 28th, 2010
10:56 am

@palladin
you will see why kirby smart is the best defensive coordinator in the country. Bama defense just beat the best offense they will face, brantley has never seen the blitz packages that he will, and the bama db’s will shutdown the subpar UF receiver.

tsmonk

September 28th, 2010
10:56 am

Anyone who thinks playoffs are such a wonderful thing, let me just ask – how many regular season NCAA basketball games do you watch? I would bet that the average fan watches far more March Madness games than the 3-4 months preceeding. Saturday in September/October is an event. The games mean a lot.

Not that I’m necessarily opposed to a CFB playoffs, it’s just that if you think it’s going to mean that middle-rung programs (e.g. NC State, Purdue, etc) find themselves on top because we have this magical egalitarian system, then you’re kidding yourselves. I have to pry myself from the TV screen to quit switching between games; in the 12-team-playoff NFL, I work on the yard and head to the gym. What’s my reason for watching now?

The system may be flawed, but the CFB product is the best there is.

ga gator

September 28th, 2010
10:56 am

Palladin I hope you are correct but I suspect Saban has been sandbagging. Meyer has done great things for UF but I must admit, if I were playing again I like Saban’s old school approach. I guarantee you that if the kids at UF knew they had to sit down and explain there behavior for off field problems to Saban, 90% of them would have behaved differently.

Charlie Bama

September 28th, 2010
10:57 am

3rdn8 — Had the same thought, but I suppose they’re not going to open the Kimono until have to….