Saturday, November 04, 2006

Oh My...Oh So Close - Week #10 WRAP!

And let's give thanks for the 3rd Annual College Football Day. You'll have to oblige me this week with a few words about my ILLINI in this edition of the WRAP. What can I say? Every game matters. Sure it was a loss (not good). But, considering that we have the BUCKS a game and then some I can't be too disappointed. Nobody has played the BUCKEYES tighter all season than my squad from Champaign. That's a statement. The BUCKS were favored by 40 points or something like that . Didn't happen. You just don't walk into Memorial Stadium and expect to win. Those days are over. This is a new era of ILLINI football under Coach Ron Zook. My team sucked it up in the 2nd half and completely shutdown the #1 team in the nation. It came down to an onside kick at the end which just didn't bounce our way. And that's how you lose 5 games in a row. Next year will be different. Mark these words. We are going to a bowl game next year.

What another amazing weekend of CFB in WEEK #10. So many great games that came down to the wire. Several upsets, especially in the SEC. Georgia and Alabama bost lost today to Kentucky and Mississippi State, respectively. Wow - big shockers there. LSU came back against Tennessee with 9 seconds to go for the big road win, 28-24. Whom was he throwing to anyway? Ugh! BC squandered opportunities with turnovers and had some bad replay calls go against them in Wake Forest en route to a 21-14 loss in the wacky and wild ACC. Is there a conference that's more unpredictable in the nation? Congratulations to the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.

So what did we really learn today? For one, you can't take anything for granted in CFB. Just ask Michigan, Ohio State, and Florida. All three squads won their games today, big deal. None looked convincing in victory. See my TOP-10 later in this blog entry to see what these performances really mean. Some major shake-up in the rankings this week. And two, it's November. Every game matters. Each is bigger than the last. Losses in November hurt more than ones in September and October. Rivalry games pepper the schedule all month. You just don't know what can happen.

And what does this all mean for PICK EM? I thought I had some good picks today in Tennesse and BC. Both let me down with 9 points in cumulative loss. Should have ended up going the other way. Tennesse lost with 9 seconds to go against a gutty LSU performance in Rocky Top. BC shot themselves in the foot and had some terrible calls go against them to boot. Ugh! And I'm sick of hearing about Louisville. They have no defense, period. They are a good offensive squad but are not going to play in the title game, in my opinion. We'll see what happens next Thursday in New Jersey as they take on a very good SUNJ (RUTGERS) squad. In the meantime, I'm desperately seeking a perfect week to help make-up some of the lost ground of late. It's going to take a monumental task for those of us more than 10 points back to close the gap in the last three weeks. Not impossible, but it's an uphill battle.
  • Kudos to the big movers today: Mr. ACC BIAS, Mr. OSU_Parent, and Mr. Redbird on their perfect weeks - very impressive.
  • If you've played every week this year you're in the TOP 82% in the nation. Congratulations. We have a strong group this year. But it looks like the TOP 3 in our league are starting to create some serious separation on the field. On to week #11.
  • And don't forget - only three more weeks to go in the regular season. Don't forget about Bowl PICK EM later this year. There are some 32 bowl games on the schedule to carry you into 2007. It's almost as much fun as regular - season PICK EM. I'll send out the link and the registration data so your holidays will be merry and bright, just like mine.

I'm starting to work on the greatest traditions and biggest rivalry match-ups in the game. Send me your inputs and requests. It's hard to beat Michigan and Ohio State. What about Army / Navy? And is there a school in the nation with better football tradition than Texas A&M? With the twelvth man and GIG 'EM KISS YOUR GIRL; that's my kind of tradition.

My TOP 10: 1) Ohio State, 2) Texas, 3) Louisville, 4) Michigan, 5) CAL, 6) Florida, 7) USC, 8) Auburn, 9) Notre Dame, 10) LSU.

The blog has welcomed ~ 110 new readers this week. Averaging 400 or so unique hits / month since August. Not too bad. Finally, a prayer goes out tonight to Joe Pa after suffering what looked like a nasty knee injury today on the sideline against Wisconsin. At 79 years old, you just don't need whipper-snappers blowing up your knee. Hopefully it's not as bad as it looked. Here's to a speedy recovery.

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