The band is back to answer your questions from the happenings in the NCAA.
1. Top 5 Power Rankings?
- Alabama- Will be tested this over the next three weeks. You have three teams that are right behind them. For the first time all season, Alabama may be feeling some pressure.
- Oregon- I will not penalize this team for playing their schedule. They have some tough games ahead of them, and until they lose, they will stay put.
- Kansas State- A massive win over West Virginia on the road puts the Wildcats at the 3 spot.
- Florida- If I could put a three way tie for second place, I would. The Gators coming off a big win over South Carolina to possibly solidify being #2 in the BCS. The ONLY thing putting them below Kansas State is that they won at home.
- Notre Dame- Tough win against BYU, will need a win in Norman this weekend to stay in the top 5. LSU is playing tough right now, and is ready to come back in to the rankings.
4. Kansas State
5. Notre Dame
2. Kansas State
1. Alabama — Until someone knocks the defending champs around, the top-ranked defense fuels the nation’s top-ranked team.
2. Oregon — The Ducks dominated in the desert, and cast aside another Pac-12 challenger before halftime to stay #2.
3. Kansas State — K-State continues to captivate the nation, hanging on to the underdog spirit as they consolidate third spot.
4. Oregon State — I can’t help but continue to think the Beavers are an ultimate wildcard, as they move to 6-0 for first time since 1907.
5. Florida — Gators are looking like class of SEC East… but is the division as strong as we assumed before the season?
2. Do you agree with Florida leaping over Oregon to be #2 in the BCS?
Stephan- Ehh…teetering…No, and here is why. Oregon is the second best team in the nation as far as I am concerned. They have dropped from #2 to #4 and have not lost. Not only that, they have won by a big margin. Florida, and Kansas State both deserve to be #2, but I am one who believes that you can only play the schedule you are given. Oregon has not lost, so they should not drop. Now in respect to the BCS rankings, IF Oregon continues to win, there will be no debate. They still have USC, Stanford, and Oregon State on the schedule. So the key games for Oregon are yet to come. Kansas State has already played the big games in Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Florida and Alabama will likely play each other in the SEC game, and whomever wins that game will probably be in the National title game. I don’t think there will be a rematch in the SEC like there was last year. Especially a SEC title game rematch.
Archie- We all know those guys love the SEC so it comes as no surprise. However, I
still have Oregon at #2.
EJ- I’m OK with it because of the schedule Florida has played so far. The Gators have faced and beaten ranked teams. Of the Gators 7 wins, 5 came against teams that were ranked when the Gators played them. The Gators face another ranked opponent when they play Georgia on Saturday. However, Oregon (who has now fallen to 4th behind Florida and Kansas State) is still in great position to get to #2 because they still have to face USC, Stanford, and Oregon State who should all be highly ranked when the Ducks play them. If the Ducks finish strong they can still leap frog into 2nd.
Zach- The Gators have had an impressive start to the season. Do I personally believe they’re the #2 team in the country? No, not really, as you can see from my personal top 5. The Gators are a strong defensive team with many a glaring offensive deficiency. But the way their record has lined up to date, it is legitimate positioning. If we’re taking preseason bias out of the equation, we should probably see neither Oregon NOR Alabama at the top… yet. Both see their strength of schedule get much stiffer in the coming weeks; the system still has over a month left to shake itself out further. Kansas State and Oregon State have impressed me more than the Gators, though.
3. Kansas State will finish the season at ____?
Stephan- 13-0 and will play in the BCS championship game. The Cats have been dominant in their wins and with three out of five games being at home. Their biggest test will be next week at home against Texas Tech. They will win the Big 12 title game, and be at #2 when the season ends.
Archie- I say #2. I can see them running the table against the rest of the conference?
EJ- 11-1. It’s not that the Wildcats remaining schedule is difficult. Texas Tech & Texas are their two toughest opponents, but the Wildcats will trip up somewhere. If it’s not at home against Tech, the OK State Cowboys, or the Longhorns it will be on the road at TCU or Baylor. Someone in the Wildcats remaining 5 games will trip them up.
Zach- I get a strange feeling that the Wildcats might very well win out in the regular season… and then get shut out of the BCS Championship. After K-State wins the Fiesta Bowl over Notre Dame and finishes the season 13-0, they’ll move up to #2. And people will wonder how they might fare against whichever team prevails in that championship game. And we’ll all be left pining for that playoff system that’s still more than a year down the road because of it… just like every most every other season in the BCS era.
4. Duke can win the ACC?
Stephan- The ACC Coastal, yes they can, and I think they will. They currently hold a two game lead over Miami, and UNC (because of the tie-breaker). They will have tough games against Florida State and Clemson in the next two weeks but, they can beat Georgia Tech, and Miami to win the ACC Coastal division. Can they win the ACC title game? I just can’t see it. Florida State is still the team to beat, and Clemson is still right in the mix. The Atlantic Division champion will likely win the ACC Title game.
Archie- Can? Yes. Will? No. They play FSU and Clemson their next two games. I don’t
think they will win either one.
EJ- No. No they cannot. Duke is a great story, and props to Coach Cutcliffe to guiding the Blue Devils to bowl eligibility but the Dukies still have tough games against Florida State and Clemson in the next two weeks. Those two games should definitely put the Blue Devils out. The Blue Devils have put together a nice season but 6-6 or 7-5 looks very likely for this squad.
Zach- The Blue Devils certainly can win the ACC. They are challenging the Big Ten and Big East for title of worst BCS conference in 2012. Duke has reached a level of ACC mediocrity — which, in their case, is a compliment. All the offensive and defensive numbers show them to be a mid-tier ACC team. And with all the balance skewed toward the Atlantic Division, all Duke has to do is win the Coastal and then play like hell in Charlotte against the Seminoles or Tigers. Now will this all happen? It’ll take some major upsets… and Duke fans should merely be happy that their team is now jockeying for bowl position.. But it certainly CAN happen…
5. Alabama plays three straight ranked teams over the next three weeks. Will they come out of Week 11 undefeated?
Stephan- Yes. They are home against Mississippi State and Texas A&M, so I don’t think that they will lose either of those two games. That leaves the road test against LSU. Despite the Tigers recently playing better, Alabama is clearly the better team. I still think LSU is not the team they were last year, and will not beat Alabama.
Archie- Without even looking to see who the next 3 is with, I will say yes. I can’t
see them losing any game at this point.
EJ- Yes. The Crimson Tide will come out of this stretch undefeated. A.J. McCarron has been coming on the past few weeks in his attempt to shake the game manager label, but the Tide will lean heavily on their rushing attack and their stifling defense to get through this stretch against Mississippi State, LSU, and Texas A&M. The Tide allow 8.3 points a game on defense and rush for an average of 220 yards a game on offense. That should be enough and we all know that Nick Saban typically has his guys ready to play against top teams.
Zach- They should come out of this next series of tests undefeated. I think their toughest challenge comes this weekend against a Mississippi State team that has been something of an enigma this season. The Bulldogs’ defensive numbers are nearly identical to those LSU has put up. But Dan Mullen’s crew has better offensive balance. As long as Saban’s crew survives the visitors from Starkville, they’re home free.
6. FACT or FICTION: Geno Smith played himself OUT of the Heismann race, while Matt Barkley put himself back IN the Heisman race?
Stephan- FACT. Smith is not an option right now in my opinion. He has had back to back awful games, and has been shut down. Barkley had six touchdowns last week, so his name has to be put back in the mix. However, I think Collin Klein just put himself up there as the favorite to win the Heisman. For this question though, Smith is out and Barkley should be given some credit, though he still has some work to do.
Archie- Fact. Again, I told you guys a couple of weeks ago that his days
Of passing for 600 yards is over for this season. I told you he would face
more defense than Baylor or some of the earlier games. Kansas State held them
to 243 TOTAL yards and only 155 passing.
EJ- Fact. It’s been a nice story for Geno but this midseason swoon is not helping his chances to win the award. Especially since Collin Klein put up big numbers of his own in the Wildcats win over Geno’s Mountaineers. Klein definitely upstaged Geno in their Heisman face-off. As far as Matt Barkley goes he has been quietly putting up good numbers since he was written off after the Trojans loss to Stanford a few weeks ago. Barkley also should have a couple of primetime showcase games against Oregon and Notre Dame in the next few weeks to stake his claim to the Heisman.
Zach- I think it is probably a fact that Geno Smith isn’t winning this year’s Heisman. I think it is fiction that Matt Barkley is back in the hunt for Ol’ Stiffarm. When it comes down to it, Smith still has the better pure numbers. And let’s remember Barkley threw those record-breaking six touchdown passes against Colorado. By talking about these two quarterbacks, we’re neglecting the true number-one candidate: Collin Klein. I’ve had him atop my ballot the past few roundtables, and boy did he vindicate that in Morgantown last Saturday. No matter what Smith or Barkley do from here, they’ll have to pass the leader of the undefeated Wildcats.
7. FACT or FICTION: Bill Snyder is the Coach of the Year?
Stephan- FACT. How could he not be? Did anyone outside of the Kansas State campus think that we would be talking about the Kansas State Wildcats in the National Championship picture? He is most definitely the NCAA Coach of the Year, no matter if K-State makes it to the BCS title game or not.
Archie- He definitely has my vote. Other than Sabin doing what Sabin does, I think
Bill has done the best job this year.
EJ- Well considering I have touted Collin Klein for Heisman the past few weeks, and earlier in this roundtable I stated that the Wildcats would finish the season 11-1, I have to state that this is a fact that Bill Snyder is the Coach of the Year. The Wildcats are 7-0 this season and with the exception of the Oklahoma game they have won by wide margins. Add to the fact that they are winning with players that were either under-recruited or largely ignored when they were in high school. Bill Snyder is doing a fine job coaching players at a location that is typically passed up by big name recruits. Manhattan, Kansas and the Kansas State Wildcats may not be fashionable but they are winners and they’re winning big.
Zach- At this point it is hard to argue with him as a front-runner. What Snyder has done in his second term in Manhattan is damn near miraculous. Depending on how the season shakes out the rest of the way, we could be saying the same things about Oregon State’s Mike Riley and/or Duke’s David Cutcliffe.. But at this juncture of the season, having nurtured the Heisman race leader and taken charge of a stacked Big XII, this statement is currently fact.
Until next week! Enjoy this great weekend of games.
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