Tagged with "LSU"
2013 Final College Football Top 25
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA AUBURN CENTRAL FLORIDA COLLEGE FOOTBALL FLORIDA ST. LSU MICHIGAN ST. MISSOURI SEC SOUTH CAROLINA TEXAS A&M WASHINGTON

I just realized I'd forgotten to post this here.

2013 Final Top 25

rank / team / prior
1 Florida St. 2
2 Auburn 1
3 Mich. St. 4
4 Missouri 7
5 UCF 10
6 Stanford 3
7 S Carolina 11
8 Oklahoma 12
9 Ohio St. 5
10 Baylor 6
11 Alabama 8
12 Clemson 17
13 Oregon 16
14 Louisville 18
15 Arizona St. 9
16 UCLA 19
17 LSU 20
18 Okie St. 15
19 USC 25
20 N. Illinois 13
21 Fresno St. 14
22 TX A&M Ė
23 Notre Dame 24
24 Washington Ė
25 Duke 21

Out of rankings:†(22) Wisconsin, (23) Georgia

Many of you probably†know where to find†my other blogs†(such as more detailed rankings discussion)†by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know. † Everything is published there first.

Post-Championship & SEC Commentary
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA AUBURN CENTRAL FLORIDA COLLEGE FOOTBALL FLORIDA ST. LSU MICHIGAN ST. MISSOURI SEC SOUTH CAROLINA TEXAS A&M WASHINGTON

Some people might think Iím upset about the SECís dominance over the BCS title game coming to an end (as is the game itself of course), but Iím really not. Like I said initially, Iím glad itís not Saban or Meyer with another trophy.

I am indeed happy for Jimbo Fisher. He had his fingerprints on the development of a lot of quality programs, especially in the SEC, over the years. Even if Florida St. had lost, itís really a tribute to him that they were in the game in the first place. Even though the ACC wasnít great by any measure, itís remarkable to win 14 games and only really have two in doubt much into the second half.

Iím not really a huge Malzahn fan, but I have gained some respect for him as well. I initially thought he was just a silly high school coach whose goofy plays would be exposed, but Iíve learned that his ideas are rooted in the study of the gameís history. Iíve also learned that heís not just presenting the same plays over and over again. He finds new wrinkles and ways of running the offense that keeps defenses offguard. Whatever one has to say about the differences in competition, Auburn was the team that was luckier to be there, so I donít feel itís a huge injustice that they lost, although Iím not sure there has been a team in the title game that has faced that level of competion in the history of the BCS championship apart from that 2011 LSU team that also lost.

I donít think Florida St. would have made it through the 9 SEC teams Auburn faced without a loss, but I also donít necessarily think they would have lost more than once. Had the íNoles played in the SEC, they may well have ended up BCS champions anyway. I donít think thatís true of any of the other challengers the SEC has faced over the last few years.

Florida St.ís win should serve to remind some hardcore SEC fans that maybe one or two of those semifinal slots should go to non-SEC teams every year.

Iím in no way soft-pedaling the fact that this was a great year for the SEC though, and I donít just mean going 7-3 in bowl games (one of the three was with a backup quarterback).

I have South Carolina 7th partly because I consider the loss to Tennessee pretty bad, but whether itís top five or top seven, having three SEC teams in that group is about as good as you can hope for. I also have Alabama in the top 10, as do both polls. So thatís twice as many top 10 teams as the Big XII and four times as many as the other BCS conferences. I have Texas A&M a bit lower than the polls, but LSU and A&M are also consensus top 25 for a total of six. I also have the Pac-12 with six, but theyíre mostly toward the bottom, and there arenít teams like Vanderbilt (which is ranked in both major polls), Georgia, and Ole Miss with strong arguments in the Pac-12 either. If you look at the top 50 (or simply consider all those receiving votes in either major poll), the SEC has ten teams to the Pac-12ís seven.

The ACC and Big XII only have 5 teams apiece in the top 40, although both polls had Texas Tech #30. Even if you count them, a larger percentage of SEC teams is still in the top 40 than Big XII teams. Also to look at the lower teams, this is how I rank SEC and Big XII teams that fell outside of the top 70:
83. Florida (SEC)
89. TCU (Big XII)
96. Arkansas (SEC)
101. West Virginia (Big XII)
102. Iowa St. (Big XII)
103. Kansas (Big XII)
104. Kentucky (SEC)

So of the group above, 40% of the Big XII is there but only 21.4% of the SEC. I think that makes a big difference on the schedule, especially since every Big XII team whoís not among those four faced them. South Carolina was the only team to play all three SEC teams on the list above, which is another reason I only have them 7th in the overall rankings.

Anyway, Iíll have more to say another time, but these were just my first thoughts upon the completion of bowl season.

LSU-Arkansas Rivalry-Week Series Ends
Category: NCAA
Tags: Arkansas Auburn NCAA Football Florida Kentucky Louisville LSU Mississippi St. Missouri Ole Miss Tennessee Texas A&M Tulane Vandy
LSU players with the Golden Boot, I believe after last year's game.

LSU players with the Golden Boot, I believe after last yearís game.

I updated the records in my†LSU/Arkansas†blog and added a brief game summary for the game yesterday (this was originally published†on 11/30).

I didnít realize it until after the game was played (although I knew changes were coming), but this was sort of a bittersweet ending for the LSU-Arkansas ďblack FridayĒ tradition. Granted, itís not much of a tradition as compared to Ohio St.-Michigan and so forth, but with LSU playing Arkansas at the end of the year (the day after Thanksgiving the vast majority of the time) the last 2/3 of my life is meaningful to me. I remember LSU playing Tulane annually, but I donít remember that game being one to get excited about. (I was a toddler the last time Tulane beat LSU and barely a teenager when the annual series was canceled.)

Of course, Iím glad LSU won this last game, but Iím also glad Arkansas represented themselves well. It wasnít good for my nerves, but it just wouldnít have felt proper for this to be an easy win. I mention in my blog how often in the last 13 years itís been a close game, so this was fitting. I wouldnít mind if Arkansas got a good team again, but sometimes there are too many good teams in the SEC, especially as long as LSU has to play Florida every year along with the SEC West slate. The Gators will be back too.

I also liked that LSU usually played Arkansas in Little Rock since the campus was less lively with it being Thanksgiving weekend. I imagine LSU people who traveled to the games liked them being closer as well. The late great George Carlin did a bit about football vocabulary versus baseball. Baseball is played at a park. Football is played on the gridiron in places like Soldier Field and War Memorial Stadium (which is what they call the one in Little Rock). I went to my first game at the L.A. Colliseum last year. There is just something special about stadiums like that. ďWarĒ, as I understand the locals call it, was built around 20 years later, but itís a similar type of severe concrete architecture. I think the Arkansas fans treated it as something special as well.

If I had my druthers, the last four SEC opponents would be Ole Miss (on or around Halloween), Alabama, Mississippi St., and Arkansas, but no such luck. Whether I like it or not (it has its good points, to be honest), Texas A&M and Missouri have joined the SEC, so now there is that to contend with. Before last year, when LSU played Texas A&M (back in the mid-1990s and before), it was in early September; but that doesnít work now, especially now that weíve often been playing one of the neutral-site kickoff games. (Next year, LSU will start the season against Wisconsin in Houston.)

I can understand it, and it will probably work out though. Weíve played Auburn (often in September, but Mississippi St. and the non-conference slate will bump them to the first week of October next season) and Florida (usually in the second week of October) early on in recent years, and we donít need another big game so early in the year. Also, Texas A&M lost their traditional Thanksgiving game with Texas, so they have to play somebody. Missouri should be a good game today; but itís not a bordering state, and there isnít a meaningful history between the two schools.

As for Missouri, theyíre really out of place being forced into the same division with Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina in particular, so giving them and Arkansas a close geographic annual rival makes a good bit of sense. Arkansas isnít the most natural fit in the SEC West either. Their closest divisional opponent is Ole Miss, a six-hour drive away from the Arkansas campus. (Not that LSU is situated that much better in reference to other schools.) Also, interestingly enough,†Tom Dienhart, who wrote to argue for Arkansas to join the Big XII seven years ago (he wanted them to kick out Baylor), got one of the match-ups he wanted after all.

Sometimes when I talk about realignment, Iím an advocate for disturbing certain traditions; but I donít deny that it doesnít always feel right immediately afterward even if the changes eventually work and the new reality can become an improvement. I mentioned Auburn, for instance. They didnít have a rivalry with LSU to speak of before 1992 either, but itís been a fun series too, and it will continue as far as I can tell. (Although to be honest, they might make more sense in the East.)

Arkansas was sort of a replacement for Tulane (even though they overlapped a few years) anyway, and LSU wouldnít have been playing the Razorbacks every year if it werenít for the previous SEC expansion. It became a fun, back-and-forth, competitive series like many of the more long-term and consistent rivalries seem to be. Iíll miss that, along with the other quirks I mentioned.

Maybe something similar will develop from the Texas A&M series. The one this year was better as an LSU fan, but maybe there will be some more like last year to entertain the more neutral fans. I hope they make it at night after all the NFL games end. One thing I didnít like about the Arkansas series was when it was played at home for LSU, it was often one fewer night game. I also wasnít thrilled that this seasonís game against Texas A&M was during the day, not that I wasnít satisfied with how that one went.

Also, itís not like LSU will stop playing Arkansas. That game is set for November 15 next year, apparently in Fayetteville. It could still be an important part of the schedule for either team. Not really relevant to LSU, but I also thought it was interesting that the Hogs will play the Aggies in Jerry World in late September.

So I guess this will be the new Thanksgiving week alignment for the SEC teams; I hope it will stick:
LSU-Texas A&M (Thanksgiving Day)
Arkansas-Missouri
Mississippi St.-Ole Miss
Alabama-Auburn
Tennessee-Vanderbilt
Kentucky-Louisville*
Georgia-Georgia Tech*
Florida-Florida St.*
Clemson-South Carolina*
(* = non-conference game)

Many of you probably†know where to find†my other blogs†(such as more detailed rankings discussion)†by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know. † Everything is published there first.

All-Blogger Poll Week 13
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA ARIZONA ST. AUBURN BAYLOR CLEMSON COLLEGE FOOTBALL FLORIDA ST. LSU NOTRE DAME OHIO ST. OKLAHOMA ST. TEXAS A&M UCLA USC

All-Blogger Top 25

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week's rank]

1 Florida St. (3) 145 [ t1 ]
2 Alabama (1) 144 [ t1 ]
3 Ohio St. (2) 142 [ 3 ]
4 Auburn 127 [ 5 ]
5 Clemson 117 [ 7 ]
6 Missouri 115 [ 8 ]
7 Okie St. 113 [ 9 ]
8 Mich. St. 102 [ 10 ]
9 Stanford 86 [ 12 ]
10 S Carolina 83 [ 11 ]
11 Arizona St. 80 [ 20 ]
12 Wisconsin 77 [ 16 ]
13 Baylor 76 [ 4 ]
14 N. Illinois 75 [ 14 ]
15 Oregon 67 [ 6 ]
16 Fresno St. 66 [ 16 ]
17 LSU 64 [ 19 ]
18 UCF 55 [ 18 ]
19 Oklahoma 44 [ 21 ]
20 TX A&M 40 [ 13 ]
21 Louisville 34 [ 22 ]
22 USC 28 [ 23 ]
23 UCLA 27 [ 15 ]
24 Duke 22 [ 25 ]
25 Notre Dame 8 [ ]

Many of you probably†know where to find†my other blogs†(such as more detailed rankings discussion)†by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know. † Everything is published there first.

Time to Talk Turkey
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA ARKANSAS AUBURN BAYLOR BCS CLEMSON FRESNO ST. LSU MICHIGAN ST. MISSOURI N. ILLINOIS OKLAHOMA ST. S. CAROLINA STANFORD NCAA Football

By turkey, of course I mean football and the coming bowl season. The bird isnít anything to get excited about really, but it can make an excellent sandwich to accompany football-watching.

LSU-Arkansas†(Friday on CBS) will be an afterthought among all the interesting games in the next few days, but I originally wrote this blog back in 2006, and itís what touched off my successful (for me, anyway)†Rivalry Series. So if you have any interest at all, please check it out.

Sometimes I wonder if articles are written for Bleacher Report just to annoy me. I used to suspect the same thing of Sporting News. Not me in particular, but they want to get under fansí skin to get more hits. Brian Pedersen is a ďFeatured ColumnistĒ on the site, and based on the way his ďWhich Teams Got Screwed in Week 14 Standings?Ē column is written, he doesnít understand how the BCS rankings work after 15 years. The rankings will cease to exist in a couple of weeks. Have some respect.

ē explain why†Clemson†(10-1) got passed by Missouri in the latest standings, despite both teams winning? Yes, Clemson moved up from seventh to sixth

> So let me get this straight. Getting ďscrewedĒ means not moving up ENOUGH after beating an FCS opponent? Does it not occur to him that Missouri beat a ranked Ole Miss team. Maybe there are times when beating a ranked team should move you ahead of someone even if that other team doesnít lose. Is that so hard to imagine? I know a few other teams beat Ole Miss, but letís review who they were: Alabama, Auburn, and Texas A&M. Ole Miss has beaten LSU, Texas, and Vanderbilt. Even if youíre not convinced Ole Miss is a good win, let me float this idea: Maybe Clemson shouldnít have been ahead of Missouri in the first place. This doesnít convey a highly fundamental misconception of the BCS. Maybe he figured the pollsters would penalize Missouri for what they knew would be a boost in the computers, I donít know. But wait for it.

> He then mentions South Carolina didnít lose ground after a similar game. NEITHER DID CLEMSON! He also mentions LSU climbed after beating an FCS opponent ďand not just because teams above it lostĒ. Staying at 13th isnít climbing. Missouri lost to a team called South Carolina. Guess what Clemson can do if they belong ahead of Missouri?

ē But did the†(Baylor) BearsĎ loss to Oklahoma Stateóarguably the hottest team in college football right now and currently ranked seventhójustify dropping from fourth to ninth?

>> Falling 5 spots after being blown out seems reasonable to me. LSU was in the Alabama game until the fourth quarter, and they fell 8 spots. This is the same guy who tries to argue there is a double standard in favor of the SEC. If anything, if youíre further down to begin with, losing to a top team shouldnít hurt you as much.

>> Another big complaint seems to be that Stanfordówhich beat Arizona St., Washington, UCLA, and Oregonópassed up the Bears. Letís review Baylorís best four wins: OklahomaÖ Texas Tech, Buffalo, Kansas St. Utah went downhill since beating Stanford, but theyíve played all the best teams of both divisions (not to mention BYU and Utah St., both of whom they beat) and some of the losses were very close. Stanford just happened to be their lucky game. South Carolina might pass Baylor if they beat Clemson (which would at worst be their second win over a 2-loss team). I think that MAYBE trumps Oklahoma and Texas Tech perhaps?

ē Michigan State†(10-1) is locked into the Big Ten title game, where it will have a chance to earn an automatic BCS bid if it were to beat Ohio State in Indianapolis in two weeks.

>>> And best of luck to them. Whatís the problem? Oh, they DIDNíT pass up the likes of Clemson and Baylor. So, the team that stays behind Clemson and Baylor got screwed. Clemson and Baylor also got screwed by not staying ahead of all the teams they had been ahead of. Wow. South Carolina is also ahead. He then mentions how Michigan St. should get more credit for winning its division. Baylor isnít in a division. Michigan St., unlike Clemson, isnít in a division with Florida St. Maybe he has a point with South Carolina (which wonít win its division unless Missouri loses to Texas A&M), but not if South Carolina beats Clemson.

ē Fresno State†(10-0) gave its home crowd a powerful sendoff by putting up 69 points against New Mexico on Saturday, getting 820 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns from superstar QB Derek Carr [but fell behind Northern Illinois]Ö You can probably chalk that up to NIU getting ESPN exposure on weeknights the past two weeks, while FSU was on the lesser-watched CBS Sports Network.

>>>> This is that one shining moment youíve been waiting for. I seriously doubt a whole lot of voters dropped Fresno St. In fact, their points in both of the BCS polls went UP (maybe a little less than Northern Illinoisí); but you know those computers? They donít get impressed by scores, because the NCAA mandated that the computers couldnít factor that in. They also donít care what channel the games were played on. They care that Northern Illinois beat a team with only one other loss (Ball St.) and then another (Toledo) who had been 7-3. Before beating New Mexico (3-8), Fresno St. had a bye week. Those mean computers want you to prevail over actual competition. For shame!

There was some griping about Central Florida and Duke, not completely without merit. But itís just reality that when itís 2/3 human polls, theyíre not going to start supporting teams that have been out of the spotlight as quickly as you might like.Central Florida†wasnít realistically going to go ahead of undefeated Northern Illinois and Fresno St., but they donít have to worry about that since all they have to do is win their conference anyway.†Duke†(with two losses) is behind a few teams with three losses. Maybe they have an argument to be ahead of USC, UCLA, or both; but do we have to pretend the SEC West is roughly equivalent to the ACC Coastal?

Finally, he complains about†Cincinnati, with the worst schedule in college football other than possibly Old Dominion, which played mostly FCS schools. Cincinnati was absolutely destroyed by Illinois. The Illini have three other wins, but none of those victories were against teams with a single FBS win of their own. The Bearcats also lost to South Florida, whose one other FBS win was over Connecticut. Cincinnati did beat SMU, Rutgers, and Houston in consecutive weeks, but that doesnít make up for those losses. The best win before those? 3-7 Memphis.

The same guy also did the†bowl projections†for this week. I know this will come as a shock to fans of the Stanford Cardinal, but even if they beat Notre Dame, the chances of playing for a national championship are approximately 0. He also assumes Texas will beat that great Baylor team he complains about and play Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl since LSU has three losses. Uhhh, Texas A&M does too; and furthermore, he projects Missouri to beat the Aggies! I had been wondering who to cheer for in this game since I think I might like to see South Carolina play Auburn or Alabama more than Missouri, but itís clear now. The thought of LSU getting passed up for the Cotton Bowlagain†despite beating A&M†again†is a bit frustrating for me, so Iíll be cheering for all three SEC Tiger teams.

Many of you probably†know where to find†my other blogs†(such as more detailed rankings discussion)†by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know. † Everything is published there first.

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