Bourbonstreet’s Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 4

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Bourbonstreet’s Championship Series TOP-10:
1. Ohio State
2. So.Cal
3. wvu
4. Auburn
5. Michigan
6. Georgia
7. Oregon
8. Florida
9. Texas
10. T.C.U.

#1 Ohio State:
Last week: beat VT week #4 opponent, Cincinnati 37-7
This week: Penn State

The game has been decided by 5.4 points on average the last 5 times Ohio
State has played PSU. 7:0 great for 69% means that Troy Smith is da’ man at QB,
and Justin Zwick’s eligibility likely expires, making him the Ron Paulus of
C-bus Ohio. The Buckeyes have nearly a 200 Total Yardage Margin edge over JoePa’s
team, which appears to be a year away to me. But that does mean that N.A.S.A.
will have to wait till 2008 to get the Hubble that JoePa calls glasses back. PSU
is not bad, and will likely go bowling, but they are not ready to step up and
take down the #1 team in the land. The center of the Ohio State defense needs to
toughen up a bit, and a look-ahead could happen. But OSU still wins.

#2 Southern Cal:
Last week: slowly took apart Nebraska, having won 28 straight at Home, 28-10
This week: @ Arizona

Would last year’s Trojans beat this year’s Trojans? Yea, pretty much. But
this SC incarnation could still very well be perfect when it’s all said and
done. And you are reading it here first: John David Booty will surpass Matt
Leinart when it’s all said and done as So.Cal QBs go. I really like what JDB
brings to the table; now if SC could only develop a stud RB to go with their
improved defensive play, you might have the 2006 MNC on your hands, as teams
that are #1 in turnover margin tend to be very tough to beat. I won’t reset
it, much, but last weeks NEB game featured an Emmitt Smith lose your lunch
injury, and then some. So.Cal has an easy one this week, as I watched ‘Zona
struggle with S.F. Austin last week, and the visitor does very well in this
series. The USC punt game needs some work, but not much else does. Looks like
smooth sailing to 5-zip to me.

#3 wvu:
Last week: Punished the BIGboy, 45-24
This week: @ E.C.U.

#1 in Rushing Offense and #3 in Turnover Margin is what wvu is, and where wvu
will likely remain all year. ECU has some real health issues, though they did
mess around with wvu in Mo-town last year and have the kind of returning passer
in senior pivot James Pinkney, who can exploit the traditional 3 seams found in
wvu’s oddball 3-3-5 defense. The only trouble is that wvu has an open week
next week and can ball all out. That and the fact that wvu has made the Pirates
rushing defense walk the plank of late to the tune of 270 yards worth of rushing
margin advantage yielded to wvu. Where is Steve Logan to invoke Bartholomew’s
Code and ask for the right of “parlay” for the sake of his old school? wvu’s
run defense needs to stiffen up as the rotund Terps wore them down a bit, but
that’s not ECU’s mantra. wvu by at least 10 in a ho-hum, stay-healthy kinda
effort.

#4 Auburn:
Last week: clipped LSU 7-3
This week: hosting Buffalo

It’s too bad Auburn and LSU will not see each other again, as they are
likely the Top-2 on the whole in the SEC. I kept waiting for LSU to jus’ make
one more play, but Tommy Tubberville outcoached Les Miles. The Tigers catch a
bit of a three game breather, and they will need it before playing the
Final-big-3 of the SEC (‘Bama, UGA, & Florida). They need it because they
have substantial linebacking and defensive back hurts right now. Bo JacksonU
could use a bit more offense than RB Kenny Irons provides down the road, but
this is a speedy, punishing football team. That will see Auburn to 6-0. This
week’s opponent, B’lo, struggled to beat Bill CosbyU (Temple) in OT, ’nuff
typed.

#5 Michigan:
Last week: went Kodak and exposed the fugazi Fighting Irish, 47-21
This week: Home for Wisconsin

Michigan has beaten Whisky 8 outta the last 11 times these two have played.
But you do have to wonder how much emotion the Wolverines expended punking
Neuter Lame last week. What I see here is two football teams combo’ing for
nearly 400 yards on the ground. But one team only allows 21 yards to opposing
ball carriers. That would be the Charlie Sheen and Patrick Swayze “Wolverine!”
defense. Michigan QB Chad Henne needs to improve a bit to win the bigger games
down the road, but a #2 turnover margin and the #1 rushing defense will make
Big-Blue very tough to beat. Whisky was nearly caught looking ahead last week by
in improved San Diego State program, and the Badgers jus’ do not make enough
plays to beat Michigan. Prolly not even if this one was played in Madison.

#6 Georgia:
Last week: won vs. UAB, 34-0
This week: hosting the once formidable Ralphie Buff’s from Colorado

A few years ago and this would have looked like a stellar OOC match-up, now
it only looks like an OOC mismatch. The Buffs were beaten by Montana State to
start 2006, and have not been within 14 points of a win since. In fact this
Colorado team has dropped seven straight, being outgained in six straight. UGA
has a number of injuries, and will benefit from the down-time before UT rolls in
between the fabled hedges in three more weeks. UGA has five different
single-digit unit rankings in the 17 unit rankings I track, and easily the
easiest opening schedule of the SEC Top-4 to start 2006. Passing is a major
concern for the Bulldog QBs, as the two replacement pivots have an UGly combined
1:4 Ratio. That needs major work, but eight Quarters remain to improve on that.
The UGA defense however is very tight and very sizey across the board. That and
the best combined punting game will Crime Dawg McGriff a lot of UGA opponents
before the Season is done.

#7 Oregon:
Last week: beat Oklahoma (bad-calls anyone?) 34-33
This week: OPEN (Arizona State in 2 week)

Not much to discuss up next for Oregon, but some talking heads are running a
lot of zebra smack on the OK vs. OR refs from last week. I can buy that. But I
can not fault the likely 2nd best PAC-10 team for the refs onsides call to end
the game. That’s not on the Quack-Attack. But getting two weeks to prep for
the 2a PAC-10 football team (Arizona State) is a very keen scheduling gap.
Praise be to Ducks A.D. Bill Moos for that one. This is a very nice offensive
football team folks. The Spaulding tennis ball uniforms are not helping the
Ducks’ stop unit, but Arizona State visiting CAL while these Ducks rest will.

#8 Florida:
Last week: proved themselves by beating the UT Volunteers, 21-20
This week: Home for Kentucky

“You can’t spell Citrus without UT.” Still one of the most epic blasts
in the history of college football press conferences. The visor-boy may be gone,
but the result stays the same as the Gators are now 10-4 in the last 14 meetings
head to head with the Vols. I’m finally really starting to take notice of this
Gator football team. A still stingy defense with the associated Sunshine State
speed and a very developed Chris Leak makes for a very nice football team with
an excellent head coach (Urban Meyer). FLA has 4 major dates left on their 2006
calendar, and I gotta type that the 51st-ranked rushing offense gets beat at
some point, almost for sure during the brutal three game stretch that follows
the Wildcats. Kentucky is improved, but even if this were a hoops game, I’d
still pick the Gators.

#9 Texas:
Last week: (fried) Rice, 52-7
This week: Iowa State

If you ask me specifically for a 1 L pick for the MNC game in Glendale
Arizona, without any hesitation my answer is the Texas Longhorns. They took
their L early in the year, and have a manageable schedule from here on out.
Texas showed no Buckeye ill effects last week in crushing Rice, and do not
underestimate the cachet that the moniker of Defending National Champs will
carry with human voters. Iowa State is likely a bowl caliber team, and will
provide a nice measuring stick for TX QB Colt McCoy. Now that’s a Lonestar
State kinda QB name if I’ve ever heard one! Texas has excellent special teams
and two very tough front lines. So Colt McCoy needs to find his win the BIG-game
way, and not become the 2006 version of the 1980’s Fall Guy.

#10 TCU:
Last week: Beat the offensive juggernaut TX.Tech, 12-3
This week: OPEN

Last week TCU won the one game that many (not yours truly) predicted them to
drop, beating the offensive minded Texas Tech Red Raiders in a surprising
defensive struggle. TCU has a great running game that is three-deep in nearly
all-Conference quality RBs, and a very creatively strong defense run by head
coach Gary Patterson. The real issue here is that the Horned Frogs only have
four more home games! But still, their strength of schedule is very manageable
from here on out. All TCU needs is for QB Jeff Ballard to inoculate himself
against his current case of Senioritis, and get on with being a returning
starter. Think Clemson’s Proctor but with just a tad less ability, that’s
Jeff Ballard. But that could be enough to finish perfect.

On the B.C.S. bubble:

#11 Boise State. Game of the week alert! Hawaii comes a mainland callin’,
and this is the WAC game of the year! You are already LOL, correct? You prolly
should, considering how Hawaiian D’coordinator Jerry Glanville still leaves
Will Call tix for Elvis, who has not only left the building, but has also
departed the planet known as Earth. But Hawaii is mucho improved on defense this
year, mainly due to not having to beg Frank Burns for his services for their
stop unit. Boise struggled at Wyoming last week, prolly looking a bit ahead. IF
Hawaii can stop the Broncs major running-game, this could be the one to take an
upset flyer on this week, as the Warriors will benefit from visiting Idaho when
the temperature is still in the 60’s.

#11a Louisville. No Bush, now no Brohm either. In Vegas they call that
making your point the hard way. I call that kicking your B&B offensive habit
to the curb the v-e-r-y hard way. Now the trippy part is that Dr. Dunkenstein/Darrel
Griffith U will not feel the full effect of these injuries until November the
2nd, when wvu comes to bluegrass country. Till then, K-State, Middle
Tennessee, the Nati, and the ‘Cuse will not shuffle the Cards sans Brohm/Bush
injuries. L’ville’s special teams and pass defense need a little work, but
they will still be perfect for their B.C.S. showdown game with wvu. Win,
and one of these two is B.C.S. in!

Darkhorses:

# 13 Alabama. Gotta give our 1998 Music City Bowl opponent cred.
The Crimson Tide is just going about its business, playing good defense with a
Bob Dole offense and winning football games. Arkansas will mess with the Tide,
but we won’t really know if this ‘Bama team is an SEC contender until a
major road date with Florida on the last Saturday in September. I do expect this
‘Bama team to be beaten multi times this year, but not by a lot.

#14 Arizona State. ASU is the only real major PAC-10 threat to
USC not named Oregon that I can see, but they do n-o-t catch the Trojans at
home. This week ASU will begin being worn down for that USC game by CAL,
followed next week by the Ducks themselves. That’s a really nasty stretch of
eight straight quarters of high-intensity football to prep for the best team in
the PAC-10. But that’s what happens when you don’t formally have an athletic
director.

#14a NBC, I mean Notre Dame. . ND is not
a BCS team, and the A.P. Poll should submit itself to the Hal-9000’s
every whim for ranking ND #2 to start the year! But guess what, ND will
climb-climb-climb from here on out. That, or until visits to either Navy
or So.Cal expose this softish, quilted, kinder gentler fabric softened
Fighting Irish defense.

#17 Virginia Tech:
Last week: Shut out Duke by 36 points.
This week: #77 The ‘Nati, Oscar RobertsonU.

“It was the best of Sean Glennon, it was the worst of Sean Glennon.” A
Charles Dickens kinda day for Sean Glennon to start the game, when he tried to
play outside himself. What do I mean by that? SG hit 2 HR-balls, 1 caught by VT,
1 caught by Duke, both underthrown. But when SG stopped trying to impress this
message board, he settled in and managed the game. That is what SG is, a
game-manager, an efficacious one at that. SG is not a game-breaker, nor is he a
back-breaker.

SG did improve, and that is what I needed to see. I saw it when SG drove 87
yards in fewer than four minutes time to score via short to barely midrange
passing. Efficiency is SG’s game, brilliance is not. Frank and staff have done
a magnificent job bringing this team along through its first three games. Frank
has allowed SG the maximum room to grow as a D-1 major pivot, but has not mined
Ore totally out in the process, and is still perfect for it! A pigskin version
of war-time rationing is back en vogue at Blacksburg, as the Seasonal war erupts
officially on September the 30th.

Also notice that SG was given about eight more passing reps this time out,
while still allowing for a game-speed audition for the VT role of 2006’s
back-up halfback. That is some adroit coaching folks, adroit because thus far
Frank has nearly perfectly mixed defense and special teams play with a limited
but developmentally oriented offense. Now that’s what I call being precise.
The one thing that I really did not like is the three week lack of an internal
point of attack push by our G-C-G combos. That’s been absent, and I fear that
push will skip class a few times more in 2006.

On to the defense: it would appear that we now have “…another brick in
the Wall.” William Wall backed all of his talk up by walking an outstanding
onField walk. Martin was also very active at the point of attack. Neither one is
a Corey Moore, but both are an upgrade in DE athleticism and playmaking ability.
And we all know that Bud’s defense really hinges on DE play. It is the
historic difference between great Bud Foster defenses and dominant ones. I also
like the defensive depth I saw on display this weekend, as several “2’s”
(as Frank calls his second teamer’s) made plays to keep the Coach K goose egg
on the scoreboard. A little less talking in class would not be the worst thing
for our stop unit, and omitting three roughing the passer personal-fouls would
be no bad thing either. Finally be aware that the QB’s we/VT have faced thus
far in 2006 have comboed for a very lowly 4:11 Ratio (TDs:INTs) on the year. So
it remains to be seen how our back seven will handle a real passer.

Royal is a real BIGplay threat in space, and as I predicted in my official
game prediction thread, Pace got not 1 but 2 PAT’s snuffed out. I saw that
coming vs. NorthLeastern, but that is easy enough to fix. And in honor of the
old VT Quarters grading system, I give you my 1st Quarter 2006 VT football
grades:

Offense=C+ (on bonus points for week #3 improvements, and for
getting Frye back)

Defense=A (only silly personal-fouls prevented a 4.3 for this
group)

Special Teams=A (lottsa of improvement here, but we will need
those PATs in 2 weeks)

Coaching=A+ (best first three games out of Frank and staff since
the 1990’s)

Overall: The lowest A- that I can mathematically assign
without a grade appeal.

Others receiving bourbon:

UTEP, Navy, aTm, B.C., Rutgers, & Florida State with a mostly empty
airplane bottle.

Peace out yo’:

Miami of Florida, Nebraska.

#40 Gah.Tech. vs. 83# france. WMU upset france. There is
some chance (as france must invade Morocco, i.e. visit Duke) that france could
go Wyoming-eleven on the season. Next up a Thursday night rendezvous with Gah.Tech
in The ATL. Maybe french Prime Minister deGroh should switch to the checkerboard
end zone? As I’m told that Alvin has mad board gaming skillz. Former Green Bay
Packer great and Yellow-Jacket alum Bill Curry claims he only plays Stratego.

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