NCAA Roundtable Discussion

Stephan, Archie, Zach, and our special guest panelist, DJ chime in on the latest questions in College Football.

 

1)      What are your week 5; Top 5 Power Rankings?

Stephan

  1. Alabama- Another huge victory keeps the Tide at the top spot.
  2. Oregon- Huge win over Arizona in Eugene, could the Ducks be smelling another shot at a BCS Championship?
  3. Florida State- The Seminoles proved that they are for real after coming from behind, and eventually outmatching Clemson. Florida State has a legit shot at a National Championship.
  4. LSU- Still not sold on this team. A close game at Auburn almost cost the Tigers a shot at the National Championship even this early in the year.
  5. Notre Dame- I love the Irish defense. They have held the past two (ranked at the time) opponents to a total of 9 points. One being on the road. Notre Dame is for real this season, and Brian Kelly can sense a BCS bowl or better for this squad.

Archie

#1. Alabama. There is Alabama, and then everyone else.
#2. I have to go with Oregon. They overpowered Arizona after the first quarter.
#3. Florida State. I have to go with FSU over LSU here. They looked great against a very good Clemson team.
#4. LSU , and I just about dropped them one more.

#5. IMO, the #5 spot is up for grabs. And to show appreciation for how well Kansas State played on the road at Norman, Saturday. I award them my 5th spot.

Zach

  1. Alabama – Nobody has beaten the champ yet; until somebody does, they have to be the favorite to repeat. Can anybody on the Tide schedule?
  2. Oregon – Everyone knew the Ducks offense was good… but Saturday’s game against Arizona was an eye-opener for Nick Aliotti’s D. Gang Green 2.0?
  3. Kansas State – Bill Snyder continues amazing turnaround with upset over Oklahoma, positioning the Wildcats as team to beat in Big XII.
  4. Florida State – I’ll give credit where credit is due. FSU takes over Clemson’s spot in the rankings after crushing Tigers head-to-head.
  5. Georgia – UGA is team best-matched to beat Bama in potential SEC Championship matchup, stout defensively and offensively. Can they get there undefeated?

 

DJ

  1. Alabama- No question.
  2. Florida State- For a while, it looked like Clemson might pull the upset, but the Seminoles offense woke up in a big way as they scored 28 consecutive points in taking a 49-31 lead on their way to a 49-37 win.
  3. LSU- They struggled against the Auburn Tigers and I think FSU was more impressive against a better team.
  4. Oregon- They beat the Arizona Wildcats, but they looked sloppy in doing so. A lot of dropped passes when the game was close, but their talent helped them pull away in the 2nd half.
  5. Georgia- The Bulldogs were dominant against the Commodores and they have the look of a title contender right now. But, SEC play will separate the contenders and pretenders.

 

 

2)      Is the Big Ten the worst BCS conference in college football?

Stephan

Your top teams, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, and Wisconsin. At least those are your perennial favorites. Ohio State has not looked impressive, even in a home win against a feisty UAB team. Michigan is not the top 10 team people thought they could be, Wisconsin barely squeaked by Northern Iowa in opening week, and again struggled against UTEP last week. Yes, the Big 10 is the worst BCS division in College Football.

Archie

No, the Big East. Rutgers is currently ranked #23, and they are the best in the Big East
Zach

 I wouldn’t go that far… I think, at this point of the season, that the ACC is the only BCS conference worse than the Big Ten. But it’s close. Even the Big East is performing better in 2012 than the Big Ten. In non-conference play, the league has gone 1-5 against AP Top 25 teams (the sole win Michigan State’s squeaker against Boise State). They’ve gone just 6-4 against other BCS-level teams. In contrast, the ACC is 0-5 and 4-4 in those contests. So I’d still say the ACC is the weakest league of the bunch, but the Big Ten is quickly pulling itself further down by the weekend.

DJ

Big Ten has Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin that are all solid, but all 3 have weaknesses. Minnesota and Northwestern are undefeated, but it’s more due to the schedule they had to this point. However, I think if OSU, MSU and Wisconsin were matched up with the top 3 from the Big East….they would beat them.

 

3)      Which non-BCS team is in the best position to make it to a BCS game?

Stephan

Boise State is always the popular pick here now that TCU is in the Big 12. Boise still has a relatively easy schedule, and played Michigan State (hiccup) close. So assuming we are not including Notre Dame in this discussion as a non-BCS team, Boise State would have the edge.

Archie

      This is too easy to me, Notre Dame. As an independent they still hold the best chance to reach the BCS National Title Game. Mainly due to their strength of schedule and the fact they are kicking butt and taking names right now.

Zach

 It’s basically a battle of two teams, which I detailed last week in my BCS Buster Power Rankings. Louisiana Tech will have the more impressive resume if they make it through their schedule unscathed, but Ohio has a much clearer path to 13-0 and a conference championship than does the WAC frontrunner. So which one is in better position? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a veteran Louisiana Tech team is going to give Virginia and Texas A&M the same fits that they did this weekend against Illinois.

 DJ

      I don’t think there is one. I tried to find one, but I just don’t see any team finishing well enough to be a contender for the BCS.

 

 

4)      After four weeks of games, and no clear cut favorite. Who should be the Heisman favorite as of right now?

Stephan

Geno Smith of West Virginia is the front runner right now. 1072 passing yards, and 12 TD’s, 0 Interceptions, and has a passer rating of (are you ready for this) 191.2!!!! Equally impressive, he has a completion percentage of 81.4%.

Archie

My strongest candidate as of now, is Geno Smith; three games, 12 TDs and no picks.

Zach

Spin the wheel, right? Matt Barkley has tumbled with pedestrian performances and a USC loss. Montee Ball has been underwhelming after the big campaign of 2011. Tyler Wilson and Knile Davis fell off the radar in Arkansas. Based solely on performance this season, I’d have to give it to Kansas State’s Collin Klein after he’s taken the Wildcats to 4-0, including a defeat of the Sooners in Norman.

DJ

It’s early, but this is a wide open contest right now. Geno Smith of West Virginia is off to a hot start with an amazing 81% completion rate, 357 passing yards per game, 12 TD’s to 0 INT’s and a 191.2 Rating. He also has carried the ball 16 times for 67 yards and a TD. Most impressive is the Mountaineers 3-0 record. He would be my selection.

 

 

5)      With wins over two ranked teams, Wisconsin, and UCLA. Is Oregon State a legitimate threat in the Pac-12?

Stephan

They come in to this week ranked 18th in the nation. However, let’s not get Beavers fans hopes up quite yet. They are only 2-0, and won by 3 and won by 7 against Wisconsin, and UCLA. This week at Arizona could be a big test that Oregon State cannot take lightly.

Archie

      I watched the UCLA game and OregonState looked pretty good. I do believe they have put the Conference on notice that they have the intent of taking the PAC -12 this year. IMO, they won’t but, they can certainly decide who does. I think they give Stanford a run for their money.
Zach

      The AP says they’re #18, the coaches call ’em #21. They’re unbalanced on offense, 12th in passing and 110th in rushing. But it has been the defense that has won games for them. Only Stanford is better against the run — in the entire nation. They’ve got a secondary that is mediocre but improving. They allow less than two touchdowns a game, and they’ve done it against teams that have been ranked when they’ve been beaten. So Oregon State has to be considered a sleeper in the Pac-12, certainly a team that will be in the mix for one of the league’s bowl games.

DJ

Yes. They have a coach in Mike Riley who has turned the Beavers from a doormat into a competitive team. He is a very good coach and he recruits very well. He is 74-63 as the Oregon State HC, but that is impressive when you consider the program endured 26 straight losing seasons before Riley arrived. Their defense is what keeps them in games and they have a good QB in Sean Mannion.

 

 

6)      Starting at 1-3 with the lone victory being an FCS team. Is Charlie Weis the biggest bust as far as new head coaches go?

Stephan

Okay, call me biased. I am a huge Jayhawks fan. So my opinion on this is simple. NO!!!! I was never on board with Weis being the head coach, and the so-called savior to Kansas Football. Arkansas’ John Smith takes the cake easily with this one. Arkansas was a top 10 team and a National title contender at the start of this season, now they will be lucky to even see the Humanitarian Bowl.

Archie

      Let’s give the man a break. He only took over last December. He was not included in the recruiting for the team currently on the field with the exception of the freshmen. IMHO, the new head coach of the Razorbacks John L. Smith holds that title. He was given a team that everyone thought stood a good chance at winning the SEC or at the least a BCS bowl bid this year and he ran them into the ground. He gets my vote.
Zach

      No. As bad as Weis’ start in Lawrence has been, you need only look a little further east for the worst coaching change. Of course, AD Jeff Long was forced into a precarious situation when Bobby Petrino forced his hand so close to the start of the season. But the hiring of John L. Smith as Arkansas’ interim head coach has been an unmitigated disaster. After opening the season in the top ten and winning 49-24 against FCS Jacksonville State, the Razorbacks have nosedived into obsolescence. Losses to Louisiana-Monroe, Alabama and Rutgers have sent the team to the depths of the SEC West race.

DJ

      Think it’s too early to call him a bust since he has a mess on his hands in Lawrence, but John L. Smith and Arkansas are looking flat out awful and his team had higher expectations coming into this season. They still have Tyler Wilson playing QB, but they have been a major disappointment. Their only win was week one when they beat up on Jacksonville State. They followed that with a shocking upset loss to Louisiana Monroe and were beat down by Bama (52-0) as expected.

 

 

7)      With 730 yards passing for Old Dominion’s Taylor Heinicke. It brings the question; Should FCS players be given any more consideration for the Heisman trophy?

Stephan

I am probably the only one who will say this, but ABSOLUTELY he deserves consideration for the Heisman trophy, albeit one game is not going to win the award for him. If there is no clear cut winner come voting time. Heinicke should be considered for the award. Of course I am also the guy who thinks MLB pitchers should win the MVP award.

Archie

      I’m still not convinced yet that the level of competition is tough enough. I mean, you put a Stallion racing against plow horses, you know who is going to win. But when that same Stallion out shines the competition of other stud racing horses, he validates his domination more.

Zach

      If anybody would deserve such consideration this season, it would be Heinicke. Old Dominion is just 2-2 after Saturday’s thrilling 64-61 comeback victory over New Hampshire, where the Monarchs QB completed 55 of 79 passes to get his 730 yards. He tossed 5 touchdowns, no picks, and added 61 yards on 11 carries. There hasn’t been a Heisman finalist from a lower-division school since Alcorn State’s Steve McNair came in 3rd in 1994; no current FCS school has won a Heisman since Princeton’s Dick Kazmaier in 1951. So while they probably should be considered, the current biases of voters makes it highly unlikely to happen. If Heinicke — who has had two other 400+ yard games this season — continues his torrid production, he might force his way into some votes.

DJ

      No. It’s a great accomplishment, but The Walter Payton award is given to the best offensive player in FCS and that is the way it should be. If you play at a FBS school, you are eligible for the Heisman. I see no reason to give consideration to FCS players.

 

And that is all for this week. Don’t forget if you have a question for our panel, contact be by email at swhall3@hotmail.com or Follow me on Twitter @StephanHall.

 

 

 

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About Stephan 537 Articles
I specialize in Baseball, and Politics. Follow me on Twitter @StephanHall or find me on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/stephan.hall.10. Feel free to ask me any questions regarding these subjects, and I will be glad to answer your question on this site.

2 Comments

  1. So Florida State is top 3, according to all of you, and Clemson is top 15, and Zach STILL takes shots at it?

    West Coast hippies, I swear.

    Love the La Tech love, but this is a school that went 9-2 and didn’t get a bowl bid.

  2. FSU is legit. Solid defense, and a good offense. They took Clemson’s best shot and won. I like their chances to not only win ACC but to face Bama in the National Title Game.

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