Saturday, October 27, 2007

Week #9 Wrap - We are Bowl Eligible!

Every play matters. Especially for this guy who got creamed in the mouth by RMIII. And who first told you we would be goin' bowlin' this year? And when did he tell you that? Answer, the CHIEF, last year. OK, so we haven't been invited anywhere just yet but we're eligible baby. I've been saying all along that this year's ILLINI edition is going to go to a bowl game for the first time in six years - and it could be a good one too.

With today's bounceback win against a good BALL STATE club at home in Champaign, the young Fighting Zookers move to 6-3 on the season three to play. There is a good chance at an 8-4 season after going just 2-11 last year. This was a game we had to have. I must say that I was a bit concerned heading into the showdown given BALL STATE's history and a possible letdown after the Michigan hype. Keep in mind that BALL STATE should have beaten Nebraska earlier this year and just about shocked the world in Ann Arbor last season with a strong showing. And it was a comeback victory - 28 to 17 good guys. This was all about RMIII (Rashard Mendenhall) who lit up the Cardinals for 189 yards and 2 rushing TDs on just 28 carries (6.8 average). If he comes back next season for his senior year he should be a leading Heisman candidate. Wow.

It wasn't pretty, but was effective. Juice had another good game rushing, 99 yards on 17 carries and 2 TDs. The passing game continues to be a work in progress, 7/15 for 145 but 2 INTS. I'll take it. This easily could have been a disappointing home loss given our history of letdowns showings. Up next, we get Minnesota inside the dome in a game that we should be favored to win.

DUCK WRAP - End of an era? I have to say that I had my doubts heading into this one. Could Oregon finally step up with all of that talent and win a big game? Two big TROJAN turnovers and three personal fouls in the 2nd half didn't hurt their cause either. But, in the end the DUCKS stepped it up on DEFENSE including the game-ending pick to put the dagger in the Trojan's back. What a great game! The offense was efficient today, but not spectacular. Stewart is really emerging as the go-to player for this squad, and Dixon didn't make any big mistakes. What a stud! But give this win to the DEFENSE - which was always my question. No more, the DUCKS are for real this year. They finally made a stop on 'D' with the game on the line. Can they handle the pressure from here on out? Only time will tell. Keep reading to see where in I put them in my new TOP-10 ranking. With 1 tough yard and the 6th toughtest schedule in the nation separating them from perfection, the DUCKS are moving up at this point in the season. But, it's only October baby. Last time I checked no championships are won before halloween.

But, yes - it appears as if today's loss marks the end of an era of Trojan domination dating back to 2001/2002. For the first time in a long while we won't be talking about the BCS and USC in the same sentence - and it's only October. Those great USC teams didn't necessarily have more talent, but they did have better execution and a total team committment to winning every down. I don't really see that anymore in this year's edition of Trojan football. Don't get me wrong, they're as talented a team as any other in the nation on both sides of the ball. But like every other good thing; everything must come to an end.

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE NATION - The insanity continues; it's been an amazing month of CFB. Don't get too used to this or you'll be disappointed next year. Down goes Kentucky. Down goes Florida. Down goes USF. Highly - ranked teams continue to go down to unranked clubs seemingly every week. I won't know what to do with myself with this streak ends. Wow - I've never seen anything like it. And kudos to the Cornhuskers who played TEXAS tough for 3+ quarters until the Jamal Charles (290 yds) show kicked-in late. For a moment there, the HUSKERS were working on yet another big-time upset by an unranked team.

Leave it to SPARTY to blow a 17-point lead on the road in Iowa. Nope, wait - it is October. Nevermind. A&M - what the hell was that Jim? The most convincing performance of the week was turned in by Ohio State as they totally dismantled #25 Penn State at home in a 'white out'. This just in, crowds don't win football games. Can you say BEATDOWN? No doubt in my mind that this is the #1 club in the nation - for now. Show me a more dominant defense - big, fast, strong, and with shutdown potential each and every drive. The offense is scary efficient and sports the most bruising rushing attack in the country. And throw in the cunning genius of Tressel, I'm not sure they're beatable this season. And watchout for those BC EAGLES. Both squads came up with HUGE wins this weekend on the road to keep their title hopes alive. Seems as if the more things change the more they stay the same. On to WEEK #10.


1) Ohio State, 2) LSU, 3) Oregon, 4) BC, 5) Oklahoma, 6) WV, 7) ASU, 8) Kansas, 9) Mizzou, 10) Georgia.


No doubt, Ohio State should be the undisputed #1 for now. LSU didn't play this weekend but their only loss is on the road in 3OT to Kentucky. I got Oregon at #3 after they dumped USC today at Autzen. Good win for the Ducks as they control their own PAC-10 destiny at this point. Win out, and? Oklahoma was off this week but I like them at #5 for now. WV, Kansas, and Georgia all looked very very good today. Kansas, yes Kansas. And watchout for BIG BLUE (Michigan); they've just won 7 in a row, the little brown jug, and are tied for first in the conference. September seems so long ago right now. Appy who? Here's your list of bowl eligible teams.

web site counters
ISP unique hits since Aug. 2k6

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?