For the second straight week No. 1 has gotten beat. The first BCS Standings are now in the books. So What Did We Learn?
1. The SEC is going to need some help: You’d have to say that the SEC is in pretty good shape in the first BCS Standings with No. 4 Auburn (7-0), No. 6 LSU (7-0), and No. 8 (6-1) all in the mix and all scheduled to play each other between now and Nov. 26. But the SEC is going to need a little help to get a team to No. 2. I think either No. 1 Oklahoma or No. 2 Oregon is going to have to lose somewhere down the stretch (more on this tomorrow) in order for the SEC team that emerges from that Auburn-LSU-Alabama round robin to get into one of the top two spots.
What’s the problem, SEC fans ask? The problem is that if one of those three teams wins the SEC championship, it will do it against an SEC East team that will likely have three or more losses. I think an undefeated Auburn or LSU gets there. A one-loss team will be more difficult if Oklahoma and Oregon do not lose.
2. Cameron Newton is on the top of my Heisman Trophy list: First it was Michigan’s Denard Robinson. Then it was Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor. Both have lost. Right now there is no college football player in America who means more to his team than Auburn’s Cameron Newton. He again had over 300 yards of total offense (188 rushing, 140 passing) as the No. 4 Tigers beat Arkansas 65-43. It was an incredible thing to watch. If Newton leads his team to a victory on Saturday against No. 6 LSU, which has one of the best defenses in the country, he will be everybody’s leading candidate.
3. Florida is a real mess: The Gators haven’t loss three straight games during the regular season since 1988. Give Mississippi State and Dan Mullen credit. They marched into Gainesville and knew that their defense was good enough to keep a hapless Florida offense in check. Mississippi State ran 58 offensive plays against Florida. Forty-nine of them were running plays. That means Mullen was playing for a low-scoring game because he knew Florida’s offense was not going to score very many points. It’s going to be a very interesting week off down there. Will they make any significant changes because the offense as it is now being run with John Brantley at quarterback is not working. Florida plays Georgia in Jacksonville on Oct. 30.
4. How bad is the SEC East? This bad: Georgia still has a shot. It’s a tall order, but if the Bulldogs win out at Kentucky, Florida and at Auburn they will be 5-3. South Carolina (2-2) has conference games left with Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida. Florida (2-3) has games left with Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina. If Georgia wins out, South Carolina loses twice (Arkansas, Florida) and Florida loses only once (to Georgia) then the Bulldogs go. If Georgia beats Florida and loses only to Auburn to finish 4-4, the Bulldogs could still go. Why? If Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina all finish in a tie at 4-4, three of Georgia’s losses would have been in the SEC West (Arkansas, Miss. State, Auburn). Georgia would be 4-1 in the Eastern Division, which is the second tiebreaker. South Carolina would have two losses (Kentucky, Florida) in the division. Florida (which has lost to Alabama, LSU, and Miss. State) would also only have one loss in the division. But Georgia would win the head-to-head to break the tie. None of this matters if Georgia doesn’t beat Kentucky.
5. The ACC Coastal is starts to heat up this week: We said going into this season that the two most competitive divisions in college football would be the SEC West and the ACC Coasal. The SEC West has three teams in the BCS top eight and they are still scheduled to play one another. Virginia Tech (3-0), Georgia Tech (3-1), Miami (2-1), and North Carolina (2-1) are getting ready to play some appointment television. Here is the breakdown:
Virginia Tech: Nov. 4 (Thursday) vs. Georgia Tech; Nov. 13 at North Carolina, Nov. 20 at Miami
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets play at huge game outside the division at Clemson this week followed by an open date. Then it’s Nov. 4 at Virginia Tech, Nov. 13 vs. Miami. the Jackets have already beaten North Carolina.
Miami: Saturday vs. North Carolina; Nov. 13 at Georgia Tech; Nov. 20 vs. Virginia Tech.
North Carolina: Saturday vs. Miami; Nov. 20 vs. Virginia Tech; the Tar Heels’ only ACC loss is to Georgia Tech.
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Barnhart and Durham: We will break down the first set of BCS Standings with Bill Hancock the Executive Director of the BCS. We will also have Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun to get an update on Florida, which has now lost three straight games. Please joing us starting at 10 a.m. www.790thezone.com