I’ve got all but four ballots in at this time, so, you stragglers out there, you’ve got less than three and one-half hours to get on the stick and turn yours in. Thanks.
Daily Archives: October 6, 2008
- Did you know that 2008 marks the first time that Notre Dame has started off a season – any season – 4-1 but isn’t ranked?
- In spite of that, Dennis Dodd thinks Notre Dame has a better chance of getting to a BCS bowl right now than Vanderbilt does of getting to any bowl. Call him the anti-Mandel on that one.
- Check out this little tidbit from ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel: “… one assistant coach who has seen the Razorbacks up close last year and this year said they are not playing nearly as hard for Bobby Petrino as they did for Houston Nutt.” I bet the folks in Fayetteville will want to check out Maisel’s phone records after seeing that.
- And from that same ESPN piece we learn that there are 18 bowl teams from last year that currently have a losing record. Ouch.
- Joe at Coaches Hot Seat Blog speculates there’s nothing going on with Tuberville, Franklin and the Auburn offense that can’t be figured out at Cracker Barrel.
- When dumbasses support the head coach, sometimes it isn’t pretty.
REST OF TOP TWELVE
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Southern California
- Texas Tech
- One big plus to approval voting is apparent at this time of the season when there are several undefeated teams with merit: it’s a lot easier to select a group of top five than to rank a top five in order.
- That being said, with the slate of games coming up this weekend, there’s going to be a fair amount of reshuffling of teams’ positions in the next ballot.
- Texas Tech’s schedule to date is awful. Because of that, there’s no way I could rank the Red Raiders as high as they appear in the polls, but I grudgingly include them in my top twelve.
- I thought long and hard about listing Vanderbilt instead of Utah in my top twelve, but their schedules are comparable and Utah’s a much better team statistically speaking than Vandy is right now.
- Team stats that impress me – Oklahoma and Alabama have yet to trail in a game this season and Missouri has not had a three and out on offense so far.
Maybe I’ve had Stewart Mandel wrong all these years. All that stuff like talking to 100 people in Montana and fawning over minor starlets was just an indication of laziness, I thought. But that’s not it.
I think the guy’s bored with college football. He’s looking for something to give him a thrill. How else to explain the !ZOMG! College football has been changed forevah! stuff he cranked out after Boise State beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, which in retrospect seems as over the top as… well, it was when he wrote it.
And then there’s this: one of the five things Mandel learned this past weekend is that Vanderbilt could win the SEC East. Why? Believe it or not, because of the remaining schedule. I kid you not.
… But have you seen the rest of Vandy’s schedule?
The ‘Dores are 3-0 in the SEC and play at least two more teams — Mississippi State and Tennessee — they should beat (when’s the last time you could say that?) The other three are Georgia, Florida and Kentucky. Vandy’s probably not going to win in Athens — but Georgia’s probably going to lose another conference game. The Kentucky game is a toss-up. That leaves Florida in Nashville. The ‘Dores nearly beat the Gators in both 2005 and ’06, and this team, unlike those Vandy squads, doesn’t fold, outscoring foes 58-10 in the second half. Anything’s possible.
Parse that carefully and he’s seeing a distinct possibility that Vandy goes 4-1 down the stretch. Maybe it will, but color me a little skeptical that a team that’s last in the conference in total offense by a wide margin (over 30 ypg) and, even after that superb effort against Auburn, is still no better than tenth in total defense should consider a win over any conference team a given. And as for Florida, Mandel might want to consider that if there’s one team in the SEC that enjoys a clear advantage in special teams over Vandy, it’s the Gators.
That’s not to say that the Commodores haven’t been a great story so far. Of course they have. And I have to admit that my initial expectations for Vandy were on the low side. But 7-1 in the conference? Again, if he pulls if off, there’s no question that Bobby Johnson should be national coach of the year. I just wouldn’t go making room on the mantel yet, even if Mandel’s ready to come over and rearrange the furnishings in the room right now.