Tagged with "LSU"
The Election Is Over, but Itís Time For a Change
Category: NCAA

Going into this game, I wrote about LSUís potential for next season. I still believe we will have one of the most talented and capable (to use a Les-ism) teams out there.

At this point, why not start Brandon Harris?

At this point, why not start Brandon Harris?

However, Anthony Jenningsí time as the starting quarterback needs to end, and it needs to end now. I was in favor of him starting this game, but when you play two or three quarters and you have 33 passing yards and 0 points, you shouldnít stay in the game if there is someone with a pulse on the sidelines to take your place.

Iím sure Iím not the only person who was having flashbacks to the BCS title game after the 2011 season. The difference there was the guy on the sidelines had played Alabama two months before and failed. There was no such justification this time.

Jennings seems like a decent person who tries hard and understands the game to an extent, but weíve seen enough. I donít care if Harris starts 1 for 10. If he throws for more than 33 yards in the first three quarters, that will be better than this game was. We have a bye week to get him ready for A&M, and weíll have a few weeks to get him ready for the bowl game. He needs to be given the ball and told heís the starting quarterback sink or swim for at least a half. If weíre down 17-0 again in the next game, then maybe you put Jennings back in.

I donít want to disparage Arkansas or suggest theyíre undeserving. This was decent team that was desperately trying to get their first SEC win in a long time after a bye week. They absolutely dominated a Texas Tech team that just gave Oklahoma a good game well into the fourth quarter, and of course they were only a point short of beating Alabama. They were only a couple of minutes away from beating LSU last year.

Thatís not a justification though, nor is the fact that it was hard to pick ourselves up after the last game. Our defense was ready to play, but they deserved a better offense. Iím not owed anything as a fanóI donít buy tickets and rarely even buy merchandise (the last thing I bought was the 2013 media guide)óbut those players are owed more than they got.

The runners and blockers are there, but I-formation runs up the middle when the other team sees it coming is never going to be a great play, at least not in the SEC. I donít understand why we reverted to the same offense that we ran so miserably in the first half against Mississippi St. It works late in the game when there is a credible throwing threat. It doesnít work with no passing offense to speak of and when the ball doesnít even move around the backfield with any regularity.

Colby Delahoussaye did miss field goals; and if it had been 10-6 going into the fourth or even 17-6 going into the last 10 minutes, maybe that would have given us some chance. I donít think there is a long-term problem with the kicker position though. You might remember Alabama missing some field goals in the regular-season game in 2011 and then hitting 5 of them in the BCS championship. I think that will turn around, but regardless, thatís not the primary problem. We were lucky to even have those two chances to score based on the miserable passing offense. One was set up by a targeting penalty, not even a pass interference. The other drive (leading to the miss in the first half) was a decent one, but if there is a good throw at some point, it may have been a touchdown drive.

Then when LSU finally got another drive together in the fourth quarter, Jennings ended it with a fumble. The knock on backup Brandon Harris had been his tendency to turn the ball over, but that argument for Jennings doesnít seem very strong right now. Jennings also threw three combined interceptions in the previous two games (against only 16 completions).

Iím updating my blog about the Arkansas series. The pattern of frequent wins by the team with the worse season (so far anyway) continues.

I haven't always been putting my other info down here.†† I'm still using Facebook and Twitter.† Not so much on facebook, but there is some stuff on twitter (such as comments during big games) that doesn't make it to my blogs if you're interested.

Week 11 College Football Rankings 2014
Category: NCAA
Pac-12 teams are moving up, in part due to Arizona St.'s win over Notre Dame.

Pac-12 teams are moving up, in part due to Arizona St.ís win over Notre Dame.

Just like last week, there are no newly-ranked teams for the season, so there are no team logos. There are 39 teams total that got at least some level of ďMock BCSĒ points, so you can follow the link below to find them all.

My Top 25
My Rank/BCS/team/prev
1 ( 1 ) Miss. St. 1
2 ( 4 ) Oregon 5
3 ( 2 ) Florida St. 3
4 ( 3 ) Alabama 6
5 ( 10 ) Ole Miss 4
6 ( 12 ) UCLA 7
7 ( 8 ) Auburn 2
8 ( 7 ) Arizona St. 8
9 ( 5 ) TCU 12
10 ( 9 ) Ohio St. 15
11 ( 23 ) Colo. St. 14
12 ( 11 ) Nebraska 9
13 ( 21 ) Marshall 17
14 ( 6 ) Baylor 22
15 ( 29 ) Boise St. 18
16 ( 15 ) Notre Dame 13
17 (†20 ) Duke 23
18 ( 17 ) LSU 10
19 ( 13 ) Kansas St. 11
20 ( 19 ) Arizona 21
21 ( 16 ) Georgia 25
22 ( 27 ) Ga. Tech Ė
23 (†18 ) Clemson 20
24 ( 14 ) Mich. St. 16
25 ( 22 ) TX A&M Ė

Full Rankings 1-128

Out of top 25: (19) Oklahoma, (24) Missouri

Earlier rankings:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10


It makes me sick to have to give Alabama credit for a win and to penalize LSU for a loss, just so you know. At least now I donít have to cheer for the Rammer Jammers in any of their remaining games.

I havenít forced myself to cheer for Alabama since Thanksgiving Day of 2010 (I was neutral when they played Notre Dame in January 2013); but if LSU had kept winning, I would have had to cheer for them in one or possibly both of their remaining games.

Anyway, Oregon is #2 for the moment, but things will even out when the Ducks have a bye week next week. If I were to account for the extra week now, Oregon would actually be #4.

I was pleased that my rankings gave some credit to the Pac-12. I didnít make a rankings system to favor one conference (and neither did any of the widely-recognized systems). So while itís not quite as strong as the SEC West (everyone but Arkansas has no losses outside the division), the Oregon/Arizona St./Arizona/UCLA group of teams has played well enough to help one another out, especially with ASUís win over Notre Dame. UCLA did lose to Utah, and Arizona did lose to USC, so thatís why itís not quite the same as the top of the SEC West.

I explained the circumstances, but the fact that Oregon is close enough to Alabama in the first place shows that itís not impossible to break into the group of SEC teams even if they werenít beating each other constantly. The best Pac-12 team with two losses isnít ahead of the best SEC team with two losses (Ole Miss), but they are ahead of the second-best (Auburn).

Arizona St. only has one loss; but unlike UCLA, they wonít play Oregon until the Pac-12 championship (if at all) and they havenít played Arizona yet. UCLAís win over Texas is also looking better after the Horns beat WVU.

I skipped Florida St. They should be a somewhat comfortable #2 next week if they win.U. Miami is possibly the best three-loss team (after LSU anyway). One of the Hurricanesí losses is to Nebraska, and they are the only team to beat Duke.

Auburn/Ole Miss is not a mistake or oversight. Even though Auburn beat Ole Miss, I still think the Rebels belong ahead. Ole Miss is 1-0 against the top two teams in the West, and Auburn is 0-1. Also, the loss at LSU is more forgivable than the loss at home againstA&M.

TCU and Ohio St. are where they belong. Basically, the wrong teams won. Either conferenceís best chance was for the teams that were undefeated in conference with respectable out-of-conference losses (Michigan St. to Oregon and KSU to Auburn) to win out.

TCUís best win is the one they just had over Kansas St. The Oklahoma win is looking less impressive now. The Frogs beat Minnesota out of conference, but their games againstSamford and still-winless SMU donít help them out much.

Of course, Ohio St.ís loss to mediocre Virginia Tech is going to be difficult to overcome, but they may have an outside shot if they can beat Nebraska (preferably if they donít incur any further losses) in the Big Ten championship.

There is then a huge gap before getting to #11, Colorado St. The Rams have a bye week, followed by New Mexico, so there will be plenty of opportunity for teams to pass them. Marshall already had its bye weeks, but the best team on their schedule right now (pending whoever wins the other division) is Rice.

Nebraska is between the two mid-major/group-of-five teams, but as I indicated, they can find their way to move up by winning.

Baylor only has the one loss, but the Bears played SMU, Northwestern St., and Buffalo out of conference. Also, they have yet to play Kansas St. Thatís on championship week, so I guess it will be a good chance to make one last statement if the Bears keep winning.

Boise St. is not likely to move up very much. Notre Dame can move up a little bit, but neither of those will be particularly relevant with two losses.

Duke certainly still has some potential for points being that they may earn a rematch in the ACC title game with Florida St., but there isnít too much before then.
Everyone else is mostly just jockeying for non-CFP bowl consideration.

Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M donít want to fall too far down the list of SEC bowls (I donít think the Bulldogs want to see Jacksonville again, for instance). Michigan St. looks like it may be playing an SEC team somewhere in Florida.

I mentioned Kansas St. and Arizona earlier. They look out of their respective conference races for the moment, but there are big games left.

Georgia Tech and Clemson will square off for best two-loss ACC team.

LSU/Alabama reaction
Category: NCAA

This is what I said/retweeted on twitter†during and after the game.


I apologize in advance for not using the customary neutral tone I try to pursue, but I just canít right now.

I think this is worse than the Auburn game in 2006, which had been the worst-officiated game Iíd seen. Granted, I donít always watch every play of games involving other teams. Iíve seen huge calls there were touchdown vs. not a touchdown that were bigger calls that directly affected the outcome. Sometimes referees get a big call wrong, but itís not a mistake to give one team just about every break imaginable.

In the case of LSU, two calls stand out for the impact they made. One correct call (either no flag or offsetting penalties) would have retained the LSU possession at about the 5 instead of the 20 before the go-ahead field goal (that could have been a go-ahead touchdown). Another correct call (pass interference in the end zone) would have given the Tigers a great chance at the tying touchdown in overtime. There was a less obvious penalty earlier in the possession (I believe on the previous play) and while the second-down throw was not a good one, there was a hold of the jersey/shoulder pad that preceded the throw.

There is absolutely no justification for how many calls went against LSU. Borderline catches were un-reviewable catches for Alabama and were un-reviewable incompletions for LSU. Penalties against Alabama could be rescinded if Saban put in a strong word against them. Mutual pushing and shoving after a short gain was a personal foul against LSU, completely legal play for Alabama. The Tide players consistently had their hands on the faces and facemasks of LSU players. I donít believe they were called for it even once, not even when the facemask came off of Anthony Jennings. LSU was around their own 30 and had a clear first down. Not when the referee marked it almost a yard short. LSU got the first down anyway, but the fix was in the entire game.

Other people are giving credit to Alabama, but I wonít. In anything approaching a reasonably called game, they lost a close game to a team that should show up in the standings tomorrow as having two losses on the road AGAIN. They canít take the pressure. Good thing they had help.

I updated my blog about the series.

Week 10 College Football Rankings 2014
Category: NCAA

I didn't wait†for the committee this time. Itís LSU/Alabama week, so I want to give my rankings and move on. Iím going to include the mock BCS standings as I calculate them. They will be the number in parentheses. There are no team logos below because there is only one ďnewĒ ranked team (Missouri, which replaces West Virginia), and they were ranked earlier this season.

LSU/Alabama is just one of the big games before the Iron Bowl, but there is a good chance it will be an important game for the national-title race once again.

LSU/Alabama is just one of the big games before the Iron Bowl, but there is a good chance it will be an important game for the national title race once again.

My Top 25
My Rank/BCS/team/prev
1 ( 1 ) Miss. St. 1
2 ( 3 ) Auburn 3
3 ( 2 ) Florida St. 4
4 ( 10 ) Ole Miss 2
5 ( 5 ) Oregon 6
6 ( 4 ) Alabama 5
7 ( 16 ) UCLA 14
8 ( 12 ) Arizona St. 19
9 ( 15 ) Nebraska 8
10 ( 11 ) LSU 7
11 ( 7 ) Kansas St. 18
12 ( 6 ) TCU 17
13 ( 8 ) Notre Dame 11
14 ( 26 ) Colo. St. 16
15 ( 13 ) Ohio St. 13
16 ( 9 ) Mich. St. 10
17 ( 22 ) Marshall 9
18 ( 30 ) Boise St. 21
19 ( 17 ) Oklahoma 23
20 ( 19 ) Clemson 20
21 ( 20 ) Arizona 15
22 ( 14 ) Baylor 22
23 ( 23 ) Duke 24
24 ( 25 ) Missouri Ė
25 ( 18 ) Georgia 12

Full 128 computer ratings

Other teams who would have at least some BCS points:
42 ( 21 ) Utah Ė
31 ( 24 ) W. Virginia 25
29 ( 27 ) Wisconsin Ė
32 ( 28 ) TX A&M Ė
28 ( 29 ) USC Ė
26 ( 31 ) Ga. Tech Ė
33 ( 32 ) Florida Ė
30 ( 33 ) Minnesota Ė
35 ( 34 ) Louisville Ė
43 ( 35 ) Iowa Ė
49 ( 36 ) Stanford Ė
48 ( 37 ) E. Carolina Ė
50 ( 38 ) Cincinnati Ė
27 ( 39 ) U. Miami Ė

Earlier rankings:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9

Once again, Iím going to have to ask for some patience in Ole Miss going down in the rankings. They have Presbyterian next week and a bye the week after that, so theyíll possibly fall several spots in that time. (LSU, for instance, fell three spots after taking off this past weekend alone. Marshall and Michigan St. fell much more.) The following week, the Rebels play Arkansas, so someone else could also pass them after that week as well.

Why are they so high right now? Other than only having had one bye week, Ole Miss has the 4th-best schedule right now.

The Rebels beat Alabama, which rates as the second-best win by any team this season right now. The best win is Mississippi St.ís win over Auburn. As you might guess, apart from Mississippi St., the best (or least-bad) team to lose to is Auburn.

Speaking of Auburn, if youíve ever said to yourself, ďIíd like to watch Gus Malzahn break dance,Ē today is your lucky day:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFvqdQnWu9I

Anyway, if I were just making it up from scratch, Ole Miss would be somewhere around #10, so Iím going to go through the top 10 and explain why Ole Miss is higher than each team in my ratings at the moment.

Iím not going to comment on every teamís prospect for moving ahead of Ole Miss, but the first two are particularly relevant.

LSU isnít one of the top few teams to lose to, but theyíre much better than Arizona, which beat #5 Oregon. Oregon is very close to Ole Miss in points though, so I would expect them to easily pass up the Rebels with a win next week.

#6 Alabama has beaten none of the top 5 teams of the West yet, so thatís why they canít be ahead of Ole Miss right now. Beating LSU would change that. Not only would it be a decent increase in points, but it would hurt Ole Miss more for losing to LSU. (Losses hurt more than wins help.)

#7 UCLA also has two losses (one of them to Utah), so they certainly donít have a strong argument to be ahead of Ole Miss.

#8 Arizona St. only has one loss, but when your best win is over USC, you donít belong ahead of a team with Ole Missís rťsumť.

#9 Nebraska is another one-loss team that just doesnít have the wins to compete with Ole Miss right now. The Huskers did beat Miami (which is no Alabama), but the quality of wins decreases rapidly from there.

#10 LSU needs another big win. They have Ole Miss (which counts for less than Alabama) and Wisconsin (which counts for less than Boise St.) but really not much after that. Kentucky and Florida donít rate very highly due to their records, and itís harder to have the same strength of schedule playing in the East, especially when neither team has played a good out-of-conference opponent yet. Ole Miss beat Texas A&M, for instance, which has a better record than either of LSUís SEC East opponents and rates a good bit higher. The Aggies wouldnít necessarily beat the Wildcats or Gators, but it makes sense that they have a higher rating right now.

Ole Miss went from being ahead of Mississippi St. in my ratings to being 0.25 behind the Bulldogs in the last two weeks, it just so happens there werenít many teams in between ready to move up. Rating-wise, theyíre as close to Mississippi St. as they are to Colorado St. now. Itís just not translating from ratings to rankings yet.

Along with the top teams of the Pac-12 (mentioned above), the top teams of the Big XII are moving up. Kansas St. plays TCU next week, so the winner will probably find itself well into the top 10. The Big XII doesnít have that much depth in my formula though, so if itís TCU, theyíll probably go down from there (Kansas, bye, Texas, Iowa St.). Kansas St. can still finish undefeated in the Big XII (they lost to Auburn out of conference) and still has WVU and Baylor to play, so I believe they would be the stronger candidate for the top 4 by winning out.

Notre Dame finally has a chance to make a move by beating Arizona St. Louisville and USC (later this month) wonít be bad additions to the resume either.

Everyone lower down lacks a great schedule at this point. I know this because there are no 3-loss teams in my top 25.

Colorado St. has a better rating than Marshall or Boise St., but the Broncos (with two losses overall) hold the tie-breaker in the Mountain West, so picking the ďbest of the restĒ team might be tricky.

Like the TCU/KSU game, Ohio St. and Michigan St. should produce a team that can move up and do well. Unlike that game, both teams have competitive opponents coming up and neither has a bye week. If Nebraska keeps winning, that would help the winner of the Big Ten East even more down the road if they end up winning the Big Ten title game.

Oklahoma would get a big boost by beating Baylor, but there is not much left for the Sooners points-wise after that.

I donít expect a big move upward by Clemson. Other than Florida St., the ACC Atlantic doesnít have much to offer as far as potential points. Georgia Tech and a South Carolina team that will probably finish .500 are the best left on the purple and orange Tigersí schedule. I certainly donít see Florida St. losing twice, which Clemson would need to happen to make the ACC title game.
Arizona can still influence things with game against Washington, Utah, and Arizona St. Making the Pac-12 title game certainly isnít out of the question. It seems like apart from Colorado, anyone in the Pac-12 South can easily beat anyone else.

I mentioned Baylor. The Bears still have Oklahoma and Kansas St. left, so they can still win the Big XII.

Duke looks like a good-but-not-great divisional winner again.

Lastly, no one wants to win the SEC East, it seems, but Missouri has a one-game advantage right now. The black and gold Tigers would lose the tie-breaker if itís a two-way tie with the Bulldogs though. Texas A&M appears to be Missouriís toughest test left, while Georgia still has to play Kentucky (on the road) and Auburn before closing the regular season with non-conference games.

In addition to the blog linked to above, I'm now on twitter @TheBayouBlogger and at www.facebook.com/BayouBlogger

SEC Losses Are Coming
Category: NCAA

There have been a lot of people who have looked at the top four Ė whether it was the CFPís or the mock BCSís or my objective computer ratings Ė and have gotten all upset that it contains three SEC West teams.

First of all, that kind of consensus tells you theyíre wrong to complain; but secondly, people forget this isnít an 11-team Big Ten with an 8-game schedule and no championship game. No one is just going to avoid another top team or two and coast to the playoff.

Every team in the SEC West has to play every other team. The remaining battles start on Saturday, when Auburn plays Ole Miss. I can pretty much guarantee you they wonít both stay ahead of Florida St. and Oregon if the Noles and Ducks both win this weekend (if you count Thursday night).

It is impossible for any combination of three SEC West teams to finish with one loss or fewer and therefore extremely unlikely that three of them would be in the top 4 at the end of the year.

Each of the four teams at the top of the SEC West right now has two games left against the other four. Auburn plays Ole Miss and Alabama; Ole Miss plays Auburn and Mississippi St.; Mississippi St. plays Alabama and Ole Miss; and Alabama plays Mississippi St. and Auburn.

Thatís not to mention the fact that two of the teams (Mississippi St. and Ole Miss) still have to play Arkansas. I know the Hogs are winless in conference, but their only losses are in the SEC West and to the best team in the SEC East so far, Georgia. The only other loss from outside of this top group was in overtime to Texas A&M. Also, they put a scare into Alabama, so they can knock off one of these teams.

Speaking of Alabama, even though they got past Arkansas, they have to win in Tiger Stadium at night in about two weeks. They have done that a couple of times in recent years, but it wasnít easy. They needed to win in overtime in 2008 (even though that was the worst team Miles has had at LSU and the Tide were undefeated at the time) and in the last minute in 2012.

Auburn has to play Georgia, which appears to be the top team in the East, also on the road.

Speaking of Georgia, theyíre the one SEC team that I could even imagine causing three of the top four to be SEC. Mississippi St. and Alabama could each finish with one loss (if Alabama wins out and Mississippi St. wins out apart from the Alabama game).

Alabama could be consensus #1 and go into the SEC championship game against Georgia (who themselves could win their remaining games). Georgia could win the SEC. Iím not sure if a loss to another one-loss team in Game 13 of the season knocks a team down from #1 to #5, but if I were a one-loss Oregon team, for instance, I wouldnít want to have to find out the answer to that question.

On the other hand, LSUís only losses are to two top-5 teams and theyíre way down at #19 despite beating the committeeís #4 team last week. So the committee probably wouldnít even allow that scenario to happen.

Speaking of LSU, they could be a catalyst for the SEC having just one team in the top 4. The Tigers are not eliminated from the SEC West. Alabama and Ole Miss beat Mississippi St., and Auburn could beat Ole Miss but lose to Alabama and possibly one other team (Arkansas and Georgia are possibilities). There would be nothing particularly strange about any of those results.

If there were a 4-way tie without Auburn under the above scenario, LSU would win the tie. LSU and Ole Miss would both be 2-1 against other teams in the tie, and then the resulting 2-way tie would be broken by LSUís win over Ole Miss. There could be a 5-way tie, but unless one of the losses is to another team (such as Arkansas or Georgia), everyone in the tie would then be 2-2 against the other teams. This tie would then be broken by best SEC East opponents, which right now would be won by Auburn with LSU a close second. LSUís opponents would have to be better (and not even) because they would obviously lose a 2-way tie with Auburn.

Anyway, even if Georgia wins out, they already have one loss, so a loss in the SEC Championship Game would give them 2 losses. If the entire SEC has at least two losses, it would make sense to give the champion a spot in the top four and no one else.

It doesnít take anything crazy though for the champion of the SEC could have one or no losses and everyone else could have 2 losses. This would also probably result in only that one team in the playoff.

So it seems nearly impossible for there to be three SEC teams in the playoffs, more likely than not for there to be two teams, and quite possibly just one team.

In short, if youíre really nervous about there being too many SEC teamsÖ

miss st keep calm

Mississippi St. winning out will make sure everyone but Auburn finished with at least two losses. The chances are pretty good that Auburn will lose a second game anyway.

I, on the other hand, want to see LSU get as close as they can.

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