by Pat Dooley
The Sunday Blog saw a Saturday that could have been called an Elimination Saturday in retrospect.
Southern Cal? Any slim hopes are now destroyed. Oklahoma? Ditto. Florida? Sorry, Gators, but it would take a miracle. Oregon State, Mississippi State? No soup for you.
We now look at the national picture and it seems to be a battle for which team will have to play Alabama. Sure, LSU has a puncher’s chance to knock off the Tide but I’m pretty sure anyone who watched Florida-Georgia and is a fan for either team and is going to Atlanta is just going for the cuisine.
Still, it’s college football where anything can happen.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25
1. Alabama: Mississippi State never had a chance.
2. Oregon: If the Ducks wanted to, I’m convinced they could score 100.
3. Kansas State: May have the best resume in the country right now.
4. Notre Dame: I certainly didn’t see the manhandling of Oklahoma coming.
5. LSU: If the Tigers can pull off the upset, BCS chaos will be coming at you.
6. Ohio State: The Buckeyes just keep winning.
7. Georgia: If Dogs played every game defensively like they did against Florida, they’d be the SEC’s best defense.
8. Florida: You still have to look at Florida’s body of work and keep Gators in top 10.
9. Florida State: Seminoles still have to be kicking themselves for that N.C. State loss.
10. South Carolina: It’s going to be tough moving forward without Marcus Lattimore.
11. Louisville: Charlie Strong has a real chance to go unbeaten.
12. Mississippi State: The Bulldogs were exposed a bit Saturday night.
13. Stanford: Cardinal still pretty salty on defense.
14. Clemson: Tigers scored 28 points in second quarter against Wake.
15. Texas A&M: Probably the best offense in the conference.
16. Boise State: The Broncos quietly keep getting it done.
17. Oregon State: You knew the dream would eventually end for Mike Riley.
18. Oklahoma: Hard to figure out these Sooners.
19. West Virginia: Mountaineers need to get it going in the right direction.
20. Southern Cal: Trojans have too many athletes to have two losses.
21. Texas Tech: The Raiders’ defense was exposed by Kansas State.
22. Rutgers: Disappointing result on Saturday.
23. Louisiana Tech: Gotta love that offense.
24. Texas: Really? You had to score late to beat Kansas?
25. Northwestern: What a nice season for Pat Fitzgerald.
THE SEC FOUR-PACK
1. This was my 32nd Florida-Georgia game and I have to tell you it was the worst one of those 32. It had nothing to do with the result, but with the nine turnovers and 24 penalties. And with the long stoppages in play and the long commercial breaks. The game never had a flow to it. If I was watching at home and didn’t care who won, I’d have changed channels. That was just a bad football game.
2. On the other hand, there was a bad team at play Saturday in Auburn. Every time you think Gene Chizik’s team has bottomed out, you realize they have a ways to go. Texas A&M set a record with 671 yards against Auburn, breaking the 625 that the 1996 Florida team racked up. If Chizik wasn’t a goner before, he has to be now. You don’t give up 63 points at home and survive, especially when the stands are emptying out at halftime. “If they emptied out at halftime, it’s obvious why and I don’t blame them for what they saw. It was just a very poor performance,” Chizik said.
3. Meanwhile, I can’t help but feel for Derek Dooley. It seems that the Vols are so close to winning games, but they always find a way to lose them. “We’ve had so many games like this,” said Tyler Bray. “It’s hard.” This is the third straight year Tennessee will enter November with an 0-5 record in the SEC. It was strange to stand there and watch the last few minutes with Vince Dooley in the press box. He was suffering through it.
4. OK, it was against a winless UMass team but Vandy is that much closer to going to a bowl game. Two more wins and the Commodores are going to a bowl in consecutive years for the first time in school history. One of those potential wins comes this week when they face Kentucky.