Bourbonstreet’s Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 5

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Bourbonstreet’s
Championship Series: (BstreetC.S.)

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

#1 Ohio State:

Last week: Beat JoePa & Penn State; closer game than the final-margin
suggests.
This week: major BIG10 show-down game over in Iowa!

Both teams are 4-0, both teams are healthy; both teams have some bona-fied
Offense on the table. That qualifies this Buckeye vs. Hawkeye tilt for my Game
Of The Week honors. If I were OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel I would not wanna get
into a shoot-out on the Road vs. Drew Tate and the dynamic Hawkeye Offense. I
don’t see a major edge here either way, but I do see that Turnovers have been
an issue for Iowa this year; in particular the Hawkeyes are 2nd worst in Fumbles
Lost. That’s some real butterfingers, as Turnovers will key a game this even
in either direction. Iowa is one of only two remaining teams I see that have a
verifiable shot to upset Ohio State, as the Hawkeyes have a very mild Defensive
advantage and do have the Home-field advantage. And having to play TX,
Penn.State and now Iowa in 3 outta the last 4 weeks must have worn OSU down a
bit. But I just do not see an Iowa upset happening. Ohio State by single-digits.

#2 Southern Cal:

Last week: slowly took apart Arizona. Same slow victory as the Nebraska game.
This week: no gimmie visiting Washington State.

The reason I’m calling this a non gimmie is because of the Cougar Rushing
Defense, which is only allowing a highly parsimonious 34 yards in their last 3
games. So.Cal has beaten Wash.State 53 out of the 65 times these two have
played, and the Cougars have not been within 26 points of the Trojans in 4
years. USC is now officially playing a Miami Hurricane 1990’s version of
Defense. Thereby not allowing any BIGplays while keeping the football in front
of them at all times, on the premise that you can not drive 50+ yards on their
Top-22 Defenders very often. Bend, but don’t break; I like that; and I further
like any team with no worse than a 26th ranking to show for any major component
of their Defense. But what I love about SC is being 1st best in Turnover Margin.
The Trojan Offense will only slowly improve, and the Trojan Defense is here to
stay. Ergo, USC bunch has the highest ceiling of any 2006 D-1 football team I
see!

#3 wvu:

Last week: scraped with former Will Furrer foil E.C.U.
This week: OPEN

wvu gets a week off before having to play 3 outta their next 4 away from
Mo-town, WV. I went Jim Henson and pulled a few strings, as my spy network
reports that wvu is a little banged-up right now. I count 12 ‘errs either out
for the year or less than 100% right now. wvu was clearly a bit lackluster last
week down in Greenville, North Carolina. I view it as highly possible that wvu
will not be held below 153 Yards Rushing again in 2006; ditto not being held
below 27 points again. Try as they might, Captain Jack Sparrow’s favorite
football team just could not make enough plays to make wvu walk the plank last
weekend. wvu does need some Defensive work. But I do like wvu to make short work
of Mississippi State, Syracuse, and then Connecticut, as they prep for their
B.C.S. auto-birth showdown game with Louisville in 6 weeks.

#4 Auburn:

Last week: beat down on O.J.’s electric company Pro home-town
This week: traveling to play the Visor-Boy under the ESPN Thursday night lights.

Playing the ultimate Coaching first singer (prima-donna) of college football
Away under the national TV spotlight is not my idea of fun. As Steve Suprrier
will have USC-East higher than the bolt that flew off of the International Space
Station last week to play #4 Auburn. But then again how bad can it be playing a
football Team with four Safeties, two QBs, and six other suspensions or
injuries, and that has allowed 208 on average on the Ground in their last 3
games? Brandon Cox will cost the Tigers a game at some point this season, but I
sure enjoy watching Kenny Irons run the football for Auburn. Think of a smaller,
quicker but still always leaning-forward version of Cedric Humes. USC will hang
around a while, but it will take more than the 101st ranked Gamecock Rushing
Defense to hand the Tigers their 1st L on the 2006 campaign. A good football
game, but one that Auburn wins late due to South Carolina’s lack of Offense.

#5 Michigan:

Last week: Drank up all the Whisky
This week: @ ‘Sota (Minnesota)

Last week BIG-blue nearly out-Rushed a very ground oriented Wisconsin by a
Ben. Franklin (100 yards). That is notable, if not a bit unexpected. Wolverine
QB Chad Henne still needs a bit of polish if Michigan is to run the table, but
the BIG-blue Run Defense is only allowing t-e-n yards on the Ground in their
last 3 games! That would be Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Central Michigan if you
need ‘em. Michigan is 12-1 head to head with Minnesota in their last 13
meetings. So I like the Wolverines, even though they must play in a Dome at
night on the Road.

#6 Florida:

Last week: Beat Adolph RuppU (Kentucky)
This week: traveling to face the wounded animal know as “ALLLL-La-Bamma!”

I typed last week that Florida finally has my attention. Any football team
that can hold 75% of the teams they play to single-digit scoring (including one
zero) has my full attention. How good is Florida? They are the only football
team I track with a full 7 different Unit Rankings (out of 17 Unit Rankings),
and all 7 of them are major components of play. Let the premature chant of Urban
“M-e-y-e-r” for Coach of the Year marketing jingles ring out in Gainesville.
‘Bama slammed the Gators last year 31-3, so some revenge is likely on UF’s
mind. And oddly enough, the incoming QB starters here combo for a stellar 19:5
Passing Ratio (TD:INT) on the year. The one thing that really jumps out here is
Turnover Margin: Alabama is 3rd best, Florida is 91st worst. That will get you
upset on the Road in the top-heavy hardcore SEC.

#7 Oregon:

Last week: OPEN
This week: Arizona State in a major PAC-10 showdown game

The Quack-Attack (Oregon) has had 2 weeks to prep for traveling to Arizona
State, who got upset and dropped from my rankings last week by the once again
Powerful Cal Bears. And for whatever reason the Ducks do not play well in
Sun-Devil Stadium. So this one has all the makings of a trap game, as Arizona
State has the slightly better Defense, and that ASU Defense that starts
attacking the instant they step off the team bus. Offense the Ducks have plenty
of, it’s the 97th Rushing Defense of Oregon that has me wondering how much
longer they can remain perfect? The really odd part is that while Oregon is very
Turnover prone, ‘Zona State is even worse, as their starting QB Rudy Carpenter
has been Picked 11 times already! Think ASU might want the services of August
Transfer Sam Keller back now? Oregon might very well get beat here, and if they
don’t CAL will turn the trick next week.

#8 Georgia:

Last week: squeaked by once formidable Colorado late
This week: Ole` Miss (at Mississippi)

Great teams win when they don’t play their best. Period. End of story. Full
stop. Unless your newbie QB is as suspect as Georgia’s was. How suspect was
Matt Stafford? Suspect enough to get benched in favor of r-shirt-Fr. Joe Cox.
Now Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt gets to field an endless stream of questions
about the unsavory pigskin hyphenated press-conference catch-word: “Quarterback-controversy”.
On the bright side UGA is still ranked in single-digits in Total Defense and
both parts of the Punt-game. Up next is Mississippi who is in the bottom 10% in
both Scoring-Offense and Rushing Defense. So the Bulldogs will have a shot to
try to prep Joe Cox for the every other week nasty run of Tennessee, Florida,
then Auburn. All before their rivalry game with Georgia Tech. That means Joe Cox
has exactly 4 Quarters to grow up. Be awares that this is the Bulldogs’ only
game on artificial turf this season, but they have beaten Ole` Miss 6 straight
going on 7.

#9 Texas:

Last week: Iowa State
This week: Sam Houston State

Cupcake, Twinkie, Keebler Elf alert! This is an opening game being played in
the 5th week of the Season. SHS must need money in the worst way, and if no
longer on the NCAA death-row SMU can beat SHS by 31, Texas can name their score.
This game is all about the continuing development of Longhorn Pivot Colt McCoy,
who must face BIGname Oklahoma in Dallas in two weeks. Colt is getting better;
78% against an Iowa State team that is likely bowl-bound is not too shabby.
Texas has an astounding 222 Ground Margin edge coming into this one. That
astonishing stat only inflates vs. the Bearkats (yes, that’s how they spell
it). Texas has a shaky looking Turnover Margin; but it’s a lack of Take-Aways
more than anything else; and that is a matter of Defensive Philosophy. At worst;
Texas is easily still my BIG-12 BCS pick.

#10 TCU:

Last week: OPEN
This week: vs. BYU on some microFOX network not near you

TCU is one of 5 sorta smallish college football programs I just ever so
slightly like not named Vah.Tech. So I’m looking forward to this one. Last
time out these to combo’ed for a triple-digit 101 total points scored! So this
should be fun to watch (if we can see it that is). BYU might just be the best
.500 team in America right now, as they basically should be 4-0, and have been
tough on the Road in the last 2 years. Pass Defense is the only pseudo weak link
on the Horned-Frog Defense, and BYU is 4th in Passing. This is the 3rd upsetting
kinda game I see this weekend. But should the Frogs get by the Cougars, I have
to really like TCU to go on and run the perfect table at that point. Only 3 home
dates in TCU’s final 8 not withstanding.

On the B.C.S. bubble:

#11 Boise State. Game of the week alert! That’s what it was last week
as Boise State held off Hawaii, late, in a very good game. This week the Broncs
must travel to face Utah on homecoming weekend in the Tabernacle State. Utah was
beaten soundly by a name-team (UCLA) then the Ute’s beat 3 straight no-name
football teams. So it remains to be seen how good (or not thereof) this Utah
program is this year? Boise is Running more than ever, which takes some of the
Decision-Making responsibilities away from QB Jared Zabransky, as some have
compared him to a young Terry Bradshaw between the ears (not too heady). The
difference I see is that both Turnover Margin and Defense favor BSU. That’s a
nice combo on the Road.

#11a Louisville. Louisville was good enough to win on the Road at
formerly Virginia Tech comparable Kansas State last week. The Cards are Top-15
or better in e-v-e-r-y single Offensive Stat I track! And their Rush Defense is
6th, while their Overall Defense is 24th. That’s gonna be tough to beat. That
typed, Louisville was flat last week, and I detected signs that both the
Cardinal Passing and Running games both missed their respective superstars.
Middle Tennessee State poses no threat at Home in Papa John’s Stadium, where
the Cards are great for nearly 17 more points/game than on the Road. So the
Cards will likely still be perfect when wvu comes B.C.S. auto-bid callin’.

Provisional NASCAR entry:

NBC, I mean Notre Dame. Instant Classic finish on an instant Gump
call. That’s how ND won last week folks; a fluke is all that was. This week
Purdue completes my quadfecta of possible upsets. ND has a bad Defense and the
108th ranked Rushing Offense. That’s not what a 2nd Ranked team brings to the
table folks. Purdue has a lot of Offense, but is 1st kiss shy on Defense. So NBC
should get their money’s worth on this one, as it has shoot-out written all
over it in size 800 font. The Visitor does not fare that well in this Series, so
I kinda like the Fighting-Irish to eventually down the Boilermakers.

#23 Virginia Tech:

Last week: Came from behind to win vs. 27 point underdog Cincinnati in Lane.
This week: The #29 Rambling-Wreck from Georgia Tech.

VT
Rushing Yards gained, Opponent, (average/carry)
(first three opponents of the season)
2005 2006
124, N.C.State (3.0 ypc) 111, NorthLeastern (4.1 ypc)
180, Dork (4.1 ypc) 117, UNC (3.9 ypc)
218 OhioU (4.1 ypc) 105, Dork (3.3 ypc)


Who is getting over 5/Rush on the year? (think about it)

Who averaged
-22 inches/Rush in the first half last week? (think about it)

Who has the
same smallish lightening quick DLine the ‘Nati had, but with more depth?
(think about it)

Now would anyone care to tell me that the 1st three 2005 football Teams we/VT
played had less DLine talent than the 1st three 2006 DLines have? Of course not.
How ‘bout Ore being inferior to Humes/Imoh? Might be some argument here, but I
doubt a majority of you would prefer Humes/Imoh over 2 Ores; neither would I. So
that leaves the OLine. Now recall 2 weeks ago the missing 2006 VT QB Rushing
Yardage I listed. Now consider the trend above that indicates that while the
2005 OLine improved in it’s Run-blocking over the 1st three games vs. tougher
DLines; the 2006 VT OLine has actually regressed vs. weaker DLines, only to be
rescued by the juking and jiving of Branden Ore’s Yards After Contact last
Saturday vs. Cincinnati in the second-half.

So here is what I’m afraid will happen. Glennon is actually improving; but
his improvement is coming at the expense of our OLine’s potential improvement.
Now the kicker: that will only be a major issue 3 or 4 times because of
the quality of our Defense in 2006. But when we play Gah.Tech, Klempson and
Miami; they will approach us in something of a Bryan Randall Defensive mode,
sans the threat of Bryan Randall’s wheels. Make VT throw the football to beat
you, and make VT throw it long. Longer is tougher to complete all things
being equal, and also means that our OLine must maintain pocket integrity for 3
to 4 seconds. And that is exactly where a deluge of Blitzes will come into
affect.

I had typed that Sean Glennon reminded me of Dave Meyer, and he still does,
but his Arm-Strength is not quite bionic and Glennon has a tendency to pull an
AT&T, or at least a Baby-Bell, and telegraph which side he is throwing to.
Very few look-offs and even fewer pump-fakes. Now check this nugget out: We/VT
have seen our Tackles For a Loss by our opponents rise every week! Our Time of
Possession Margin is -9 minutes. Does that read like an OLine that is improving?

The answers in order to the opening 3 questions above are: “Georgia Tech,
VT, and Georgia Tech”. The answer to the immediately above OLine question is
“No.” Why? Because the middle of our OLine is just not that good, and Frye’s
injury set the OLine gelling timetable back by 2-3 weeks; so they will finally
be at their best hopefully before the Clemson game. If they stay healthy for the
duration.

Conclusion: which is to say that all of this is really only code for:
Branden Ore is the most indispensable Hokie since the late 90’s days of Mike
Vick.

Others receiving bourbon:

California, aTm, Rutgers, & Florida State with an eyedropper.

Peace out yo’:

Navy, Arizona State, Alabama, Boston College.

#85. #85.111111111 france. Maybe these two school’s Lacrosse teams can
hook-up for some……ahhhh……nevermind. But the oddest part of it all is
that Duke might just be the legit favorite here? Well almost as odd as the fact
that Christian Laettner and Brian Davis say they will be glad to Bartle and
James with any visiting frenchy’s this weekend. Billy McCaffrey says he’s
not from there, while All-time Duke pigskin alum’ Sonny Jurgensen says
his Schlitz tastes just fine. I had picked Duke to be a perfect 0-12, but I’m
gonna pick france in what I personally consider to be an upset. 7-6 vive la
france!

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