Bourbonstreet’s Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 8

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

(note to reader: this is a BCS game forecast, not an Official Ranking top to
bottom)

Bourbonstreet’s Heisman hopefulls:

1st place: Troy Smith, QB Ohio State. The Downtown Athletic Club should
be prepared to engrave Troy’s name, if/when the Buckeyes run the table.

Runners up:
1. Garrett Wolfe, RB Northern Illinois. Prolly leads D-1 in Rushing this year.
Lacks exposure and big-name pop with voters, but is 40 yards per game better
than his closest competitor.

2. steve slaton, RB wvu. Has four games of 163 or better, prolly is the best
Pro back when he leaves Mo-town, would move up at least a full notch with a
perfect wvu season.

3. Ray Rice, RB Rutgers. Having a great year, but I detect signs of slowing
down. His team will not be perfect after this weekend, which de facto drops him
out of the race.

Throwers up:
1. Brady Quinn, QB Notre Dame. Brady can make a late run if Notre Dame can win
out. He has the name and the publicity to do so.

2. Colt Brennan, QB Hawaii. Colt has almost 2.3K passing and 23 TD throws in
only six games! But it’s his .667 win % that is holding him back.

Others receiving Bourbon:
1. Daymeion Hughes, DB California. Six INT’s already, great for 12 points
scored. That’s more than a lotta D-1 WR’s folks.

2. H.B. Blades, LB, Pittsburgh. H.B. is going nothing short of off on 2006
folks. He gets INT’s, forces Fumbles, makes Sacks and TFL. This is an
extremely complete D-1 player.

#1 Ohio State:

Last week: Crushed Michigan State on the road by 31
This week: Home for Indiana (Jones) favorite team

Troy Smith the passer now looks to have surpassed (pun) Vince Young, the
reining MNC, to me. That should bode well for the Buckeyes title aspirations.
But Troy Smith is not a killer runner, bourbonstreet? True. But Ohio State did
get a buck83 on the ground last week, and is now up to 44th in rushing offense.
That’s not too bad, and that will only increase vs. Indiana who is allowing
nearly 200 against the run in their last three games played. That said, 70% with
a 17:2 ratio (TD’s:INT’s) means you don’t have to run a whole lot. If not
for Kickoff Returns, Ohio State would have no unit ranked lower than 44th
(rushing offense), and that one is on the rise. I’ll take that a step further.
Of all the initial Top-4 in my first pre-season Bstreet-C.S. poll (Ohio State,
Texas, wvu, So.Cal), clearly it is the Buckeyes who have improved the most this
year; that’s called coaching folks. Indiana actually has a winning record,
checking in at a cute 4-3. But upon closer inspection we see that the Hoosiers
have won three of those four games by three points or less! Beauty is indeed
only skin deep. I expect to see Ohio State on cruise-control, driving along at
58 mph, until Michigan gets here. OSU by 20.

#2 Southern Cal:

Last week: USC’s Hollywood’esq impersonation of 2002 Ohio State continued
This week: OPEN (Oregon State in 2 weeks)

Chauncey Washington ran for 109 last week and nearly single-legged’ly saved
the So.Cal MNC hopes all by himself. Washington is not quite the next great USC
tailback, but he is gutty and he is game, as his numbers have slowly risen to
the occasion all year. My boy John David Booty appears to be cooling off a bit,
however. But the Trojans now get a week off. This is perfect timing. R&R for
a few days, then a few extra days of practice to tweak things, and reevaluate
any changes that might be forth coming, as Southern Cal has six major offensive
injuries right now. In two weeks the Trojans will play Oregon State at home, but
the Beavers must travel to play Arizona, again, another major break for USC. The
Trojans now have two very winnable PAC-10 games in a row, then four very
upsetting games to close out 2006. I want So.Cal to win out, but I jus’ do not
see it. California looks like the one to burst USC’s perfect bubble in fact.

#3 Texas :

Last week: trailed Baylor early, then rung up a kool 63
This week: BIG-12 show-down game vs. Nebraska in Lincoln

Baylor messed around with a clearly looking ahead Texas a little bit last
week. But then Texas woke up and put the pedal to the metal. Even “The Bandit”
himself could not catch Texas running that downhill that fast. Six TD’s
throwing by Texas QB Colt McCoy tells me he has arrived as a big-time pivot for
a big-time football program. Texas might very easily find itself playing the
best football in all of D-1when the season ends, only to be one L shy of an MNC
load. And oh by the way, the Longhorns ran for 164 in addition to those six
passing TD’s last week, if you need ‘em. But now a trip to play Big-Red up
in Lincoln awaits. This is your de facto BIG-12 Championship folks, as the real
BIG-12 Championship Game is likely to be a rematch of this one. NEB is good, but
not quite great. NEB actually does have a little bit more offense, and
home-field advantage. So if the Cornhuskers can beat Texas this year, it would
be this weekend at home. But TX has major special-teams advantages and a
noticeable defensive edge as well. That should be enough to beat Nebraska in
their own backyard, but a Cornhusker upset would not totally shock me. Because
if Texas gets beat any more on 2006, it will be this weekend, or not at all.

#4 wvu:

Last week: another sloppy win, this time at home vs. Syracuse
This week: under the Friday Night ESPN lights, visiting UConn

wvu has had two straight first-halves of Ichabod Crane football, waking up in
the nick of time to go atomic clock in the final 30 minutes of play. wvu has
scored 31 first-half points, only to detonate in the final two quarters of play
for a nuclear 51 points scored. Clearly wvu is just coasting until Louisville on
the 2nd of November. But be aware of this, it takes tremendous lateral defensive
speed to beat wvu. The kind we had in 2005, the kind that the big-3 Florida
schools all have. The Cardinals have some defensive speed, but are a few
anchor-men short of a track-meet. wvu is now #1 in rushing offense, #3 in
punting, and #11 in turnover margin. That means you must beat wvu, as wvu will
not beat themselves. This week wvu plays UConn away. The Huskies are 9th in
rushing themselves. So two major ground oriented football teams will wind the
game clock and thereby shorten the game itself. The Huskies are .500 on the
year, and will be up to play wvu at home. But they are very lame, especially on
offense, resembling Old Yeller more so than a pack of wild Huskies. Somewhere
that makes Jack London sad, as UConn does not have enough dogs to make wvu feel
their Call of the Wild. wvu by about 15.

#5 Michigan:

Last week: Scrapped to beat Penn State, but did manage to stay perfect by 7
points
This week: Iowa in the Big-House, as Michigan’s run of five outta seven Home
games continues

Michigan is #1 in run defense, only allowing a pittance of 32 on the ground
per game! Michigan also has -201 in sack yardage that is inflating that #1 run
defense total. But even when you rip that -201 out, the Wolverines are still
great for only allowing 66 on the ground, which would be 5th best! Therefore you
must throw to beat Michigan this year. The Wolverine special-teams are not so
special, and they will struggle to come from behind, if it ever comes to that.
This week they host Iowa’s stellar QB Drew Tate, who has stumbled a bit of
late, being upset last week by Indiana. Iowa does have the offense, but not
quite the prerequisite defense to beat Michigan in Ann Arbor, as the Wolverines
are over 150 yards better as stop-units go. Big-Blue looks primed to run all the
way out to 11-0 to me, as they now play three straight games in the Big-House,
and face no real threat once they get past the Hawkeyes this weekend. Then its
showdown MNC bid time vs. hateful rival Ohio State. Michigan by a couple of
plays over Iowa.

#6 California:

Last week: beat Washington State in Pullman
This week: home vs. Ty Willingham and Washington

If you are a wvu fan, this should be your 2nd favorite team. Not only does
California wear your colors, they can, and I formally predict will, put Southern
Cal out of your B.C.S. misery. CAL put in a very workman-like effort vs.
Washington State away up in Pullman last week, winning there as the visitor for
the 1st time in 27 years! Any team that convinces King-Kong to climb down off
their 27 year old back with a streak-breaker like that is a special team indeed.
This week CAL plays a decent, but really only mediocre WashingtonU at home in
Berkeley. Neither team has a lot of defense, but the CAL Bears do have more
offense, far better special teams, and a lot of Big Mo’ going for them right
now (momentum). CAL must stay focused and beat both PAC-10 Washington schools,
get to their off-week to heal and amp up for playing both PAC-10 Los Angeles
schools. I say they will. CAL tie-dyes the Huskies by a smooth though PETA
unsavory high-teens at home.

#9 Boise State:

Last week: Shot it out with New Mexico State away, and won
This week: lowly, should be D-1aaaaaaa Idaho in their rental quality Moscow dome

Home Boise could beat visiting Boise by at least 14 if they could somehow
actually play. Boise’s offense drops by 12 per game, and 80 total yards on the
road. Why? I have no idea except that Mulder and Scully should investigate
whatever it is that is buried beneath the Bronco’s Smurf-turf at home.
Whatever it is, it causes the BSU offense to play much faster both in terms of
speed, big-plays and TOP. On the road the Porsche 911 that is the Boise State
home offense becomes a tricked out Honda Civic. Reliable, steady, and good, but
not quite the 911 chick-magnet either. Boise is averaging 68 points vs. Idaho
since 2003. But this is one of the better Vandal teams, and clearly that is the
best nick-name of all-time. Maybe some Hurricanes can transfer there after last
weekend? Boise will win, as they have ripped-off a 200 yard total yardage
advantage head-to-head. But while the Broncs still have the 6th leading rusher
in all of D-1 in superlative Ian Johnson, they still have two starting O-linemen
out for the year. BSU is jus’ too good, and should win by 20 or more, and then
it’s an off week to R&R for a run at a perfected B.C.S. bid.

#10 Louisville:

Last week: struggled to beat The ‘Nati with Brian Brohm back
This week: up in Will’s “Jiffy-Pop” dome to play improved Syracuse

Louisville totally desynchronized their offense by switching to still not
100% Brian Brohm, from a steady, if not spectacular Hunter Cartwell at QB last
week. Brohm floated a number his of throws last weekend, a sure sign to this
scribe that his Thumb is not quite totally opposable and able to grip the
football as it normally would. A healthy Brian Brohm jus’ does not sail passes
like that, but this Brohm does have two more weeks to get well soon. Maybe
wrapping Brohm’s thumb up in one of Denny Crum’s old polyester jackets would
help? ; )

That typed, I like Brohm to rally himself and apply enough WD-40 via
playing-time to get back into top-flight synch. What I do not like is the 83rd
worst turnover margin, and jus’ plain ole bad special-teams. That will not
beat wvu, but it should be enough to beat the Orangemen, who are allowing a
highly user-friendly 293 on the ground in their last three games. L’ville is
8th in rushing offense by the way. Cards by at least 20 on the road up in New
York.

#10 SEC jumble:

Someone from the SEC eventually gets a B.C.S. bid. Right now it could be
Auburn, Florida, or Tennessee, as only Georgia has really eliminated themselves.
But then there is SEC perfect Arkansas. Looks to me like the Hogs can get
to November the 11th still perfect in conference. But I doubt they can beat both
Tennessee and LSU to close the year. If Florida can beat Georgia this weekend,
and they should, they and Auburn have the most favorable schedules to advance to
the SEC Title game. I’ll go with that, until next week.

#10 ACC jumble:

Clemson, Wake or FSU from the Atlantic, then Georgia Tech or Miami from the
Coastal. Clemson is the most complete ACC team, but these Tigers are not
untamable. Georgia Tech gets Miami at home in two weeks, in a game that likely
decides the Coastal JAX representative. No one can be told the ACC Championship
Teams. You have to see the Senior QB difference for yourself. (i.e. Clemson and
Georgia Tech)

Provisional Perfect Rankings: Because being perfect is what
Scoreboard is all about:

#10YYZ Rutgers:

Took apart Navy last week, no thanks to a hideous Knee injury to star Navy QB
Brian Hampton as much as anything else. But Rutgers has about 60 minutes of
perfection left in their 2006 season as I like Pitt to win in the Ketchup Bowl
downtown in the Steel-City.

NBC ranking:

Notre Dame is still very much in the B.C.S. mix. Let’s hope U.C.L.A. fixes
that this weekend. Being in South Bend might jus’ be enough for Notre Dame to
stay B.C.S. alive another week, and that’s too bad. Because this is a Sugar
quality offense, backed up by a sub Gator Bowl quality defense.

#33 Virginia Tech:

Last week: 3 Mile Island got torpedoed by the S.N. Kursk up on Chestnut Hill
This week: a different breed of Eagles, Golden thereof

Hidden stats, crouching outcomes:

Time Of Possession: 62 spots better in favor of So.Miss.
It’s not so much this week’s TOP that has me concerned. As it is the
cumulative affect of being 2nd from last in such on the VT defense as the year
wears on. No defense can stand to be out there as much as ours has folks. The
fix does not lie is so many short-passes. Some of which are incompletes, some of
which end out-of-bounds, both of which stop the clock. The key here is running
the football, but we are only 101st in rushing offense, so obviously Branden Ore
is not enough all by himself. But we do have a nifty running QB over on the
pine.

Yellow flags So.Miss
is 74 spots better. I’m gonna ease back on this one as much as I can. But
suffice it to type that we are gift-wrapping 2-3 first downs per game via
asinine personal-fouls. That does not reek of discipline to me, ditto lacking
any leadership based fragrance. ‘nuff typed.

Fumbles Lost: VT
is 51 spots better. This is what initially turned my prediction in favor
of the Lane Stadium faithful’s wishes. I suspect that 4-2 So.Miss must feel
pretty decent about their chances. But they do put the pigskin on the ground a
lot. Bud should see this and take advantage of same.

1st quarter big-plays, which favor the Hokies: Suffice it to type that we
do not have one big-play in our favor during the last three 1st Quarters of VT
play. In fact we have not lead at half-time since September the 16th!

Maybe Steve Logan should hit our team over the head with “more cowbell”?
Maybe Chuck Norris should hit our team over the head with mini-me Steve Logan?
But whatever it takes, we/VT need the 1st big-play this Saturday. To paraphrase
Sir John Vanbrugh: “He who bigplays
first, laughs
last.

Fast facts:

  • When So.Miss gets out rushed, they get beat 90%
    of the time.
  • The So.Miss Defensive line weighs a trim 262
    lbs. on average.
  • So.Miss is likely without their Top-2
    Defensive Tackles.
  • So.Miss is down to o-n-e
    non r-Shirt RB, we VT have 700%
    more!

Virginia Tech 29, Southern Miss 9

#88 france. #108 North Carolina. Well, the 4th Quarter showed up
again, and yet again france was no where to be found. UNC may not win another
game this year, france may win one more, and will be lucky to win 2. If the
frenchies do get another one, this is the week. But either way, all this does is
set November the 25th up as uva’s bowl game. On the lighter side…former
Tar-Heel and NBA Hall of Famer James Worthy says that he can still post-up and
Statue of Liberty dunk on jeff lamp. No word yet on the whereabouts of ralph
sampson’s knees???

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