NCAA Roundtable 10/31

Happy Halloween College Football fans. The gang is in full costume and ready to answer your questions on the latest in NCAA Football.

1. Top 5 Power Rankings?

Stephan-

1.Alabama- Still the best until they get knocked off. The only clear choice

2.Kansas State- Unloaded on Texas Tech, and again proved they are a serious National title threat.

3.Oregon- Probably the best run game in all of Division 1. They could be in trouble if K-State and Notre Dame win out.

4.Notre Dame- Impressive win in Norman. The Irish proved they can be considered legit title contenders. It is simple math. They win out…they get in.

5.Florida- I still like Florida even though they dropped a tough game to Georgia. It was a good game defensively for Florida but the offense has to come together in big games.

Archie-

1.ALABAMA

2.OREGON

3.KANSAS STATE

4.NOTRE DAME

5.SURPRISE      PICK….GEORGIA

EJ-

1. Alabama

2. Kansas State

3. Oregon

4. Notre Dame

5. LSU

 

Zach-

1. Alabama – Still the team to beat as they prepare for trip to Death Valley…

2. Oregon – No love from computers, but they’re still the most electric team in college football…

3. Kansas State – Snyder’s crew methodically plowing through Big XII schedule…

4. Notre Dame – Statement win in Norman sets Irish up for undefeated regular season…

5. Louisville – What… you expected one of the SEC also-rans here?!

2. If Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame end the season undefeated, and if LSU defeats Alabama. Will we see a National Championship game without a representative from the SEC?

Stephan- If LSU beats Alabama, every team in the SEC will have one loss. That said, there is still four or five games left for the top teams in the SEC. They should not be ranked over the undefeated teams in the NCAA, but ultimately I think the winner of the SEC championship will get in (if that team only has one loss). It is the pure reputation of the SEC that will bump two of the three unbeaten teams.

Archie- YES. They have to. That is the only waypossible they validate their system. When two BCS AQ conferences AND ND go undefeated, the system HAS to place them 1 and 2 above a 1 loss SEC team.

EJ- Yes. Two of those three teams would have to be in the National Championship game over a one loss SEC team. I’m sure there will be plenty of arguing from the SEC folks but it would be tough to deny Kansas State, Oregon, or Notre Dame. All three of those teams would have played and beaten some tough ranked opponents to deserve the opportunity to play in the National Championship game.

Zach- It would certainly not be justified to plop a one-loss SEC team in that slot merely to have an SEC representative. While the conference has been the best in the recent past, it has also backed into several of those championship games. If we have two or more undefeated teams left standing at the end of the season, and one of them is not from the SEC, we damn well better have a matchup of the undefeated teams and not have a blemished SEC champ foisted upon us. Of course, that said, we’re probably going to be stuck watching the pollsters and computers swoon over the conference in a self-fulfilling lovefest and doom us to another back-in for the leader of Dixie.

3. With Pittsburgh, Boston College, Wake Forest, and USC remaining. Notre Dame will win out?

Stephan- I still don’t think Notre Dame goes unbeaten. Yes, they looked awesome against the Sooners. While Pitt, BC, and Wake should be wins, the Irish cannot take them lightly. USC will still be a tough game for them on the road.

Archie- Yes. Unless they have a mental let down after their trouncing of my Sooners, they should win out easily.

EJ- I have been rooting against Notre Dame all season. I’m not Mark May but I understand his anti-Domer venom. While there is still a part of me that feels that the Irish are overrated, I can’t deny that they are 8-0 and coming off a big win against the Sooners in Norman. Notre Dame should get by Pittsburgh, Boston College, and Wake Forest barring any letdown. All of those games should be easy wins for them too. The only challenge left for the Irish is their finale with USC. The game against the Trojans will be a loss for the Irish. They go 11-1 and win a BCS at-large berth.

 

Zach- The Irish will certainly be favored in all four games. Their first three, against their future ACC brethren, should all be double-digit victories. The Trojans present an interesting test, though they are also a flawed team this season. Here’s guessing Brian Kelly’s crew is one of the undefeated teams jockeying for a slot in the BCS Championship when the regular season concludes.

4. With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible. Is it safe to write Wisconsin (representing the Leaders division) into the Big Ten championship game?

Stephan- Pencil, no wait use permanent marker and put the Badgers in the Big 10 Title game. No way does Indiana take that division. I think the real question here is: Should there be an asterisks mark if they are third in the division.

Archie- That’s a no brainer. There is only one conference win among the other three
teams combined

EJ- No offense to the fans of Indiana, Purdue, and Illinois but it’s an absolute given that Wisconsin will win the Leaders division and be in the Big Ten title game. Considering that Purdue and Illinois are winless in the Big Ten and that Indiana is 1-3 compared to Wisconsin’s 3-2, it’s an absolute lock for Wisconsin. The only question in the Big Ten is: will Nebraska hold off Michigan and Northwestern to win the Legends division? The Huskers have already beaten both teams but they still have to play Michigan State, Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa before they get to the Big Ten Championship game.

Zach- Pencil the Badgers in for the championship, thanks to all the sanctions. But Wisconsin could have several more losses before they get to Indianapolis. With QB Joel Stave breaking his collarbone and done for the season, Bret Bielema is now forced to turn back to the transfer student that didn’t pan out — Danny O’Brien. While Russell Wilson provided the firepower for last year’s offense, Stave had outplayed the Maryland transfer by a mile this season. A third straight Rose Bowl berth is probably out of the question unless the Badgers spring the outright upset over whoever ends up playing them.

5. Will Marcus Lattimore still get drafted after dislocating his knee?

Stephan- Yes. He will not go in the first round like he was projected to, but he will get drafted by someone who will be willing to take the chance. If he can get healthy enough for the combine, and workouts with teams, then he will be fine. There is also a chance he could come back to South Carolina for one more year.

Archie- Not this year. He will be expected to probably  red shirt next year, come back and show he can still game his senior year. This is his second major injury and I would be surprised if an NFL team takes a chance on him even then.


EJ- I’m hopeful he will. The news coming out about Lattimore’s injury is that he hyperextended his right knee and that there is no serious ligament damage. All Marcus needs is time to recover. For that reason, I believe it would make sense for him to redshirt next season and comeback for his final year in 2014. He may not be the running back he was prior to this injury, but there is no belief at this time that his career is over, or that he still doesn’t have a shot at the NFL. It’s a 7 round draft. Someone will take him somewhere.

Zach- The injury was horrific. If you haven’t seen video of it… DON’T. But at the same time, it isn’t the fractures that everyone feared at first. Knee rehabilitation is a tricky thing indeed, and Lattimore will now have two reconstructed knees as he tries to reach his NFL dreams. I have a feeling he won’t get drafted this year, using a medical redshirt to stay at South Carolina and rehab at their facility. It is a longshot for Lattimore to come back to his prior level of dominance, but with his amount of talent and character I’d guess some NFL franchise will take a chance on him come 2014.

(Could this trophy be out of sight for the Ducks)

6. Oregon fans should be concerned that the Ducks will be left out of the BCS title game, even if they win out?

Stephan- Concerned? Hell yes they should be concerned. They have not lost a game all season, and started at #3 under Florida and Alabama. Okay, that plays itself out on its own. Wait a second, here comes Kansas State leap-frogging the Ducks after a big Ducks win and the Ducks fall to fourth. They destroy Colorado, and Notre Dame jumps them in the polls as well. Yes. Even if Oregon wins out they could be smelling “ROSES” but not in a good way.

Archie- A lot does depend on how other teams finish, I don’t see a scenario where the Ducks get in the NC game if the Irish win out and Bama does not lose.

EJ- Yes, they should be concerned. The losses by USC and Oregon State hurts some, because those teams won’t be as highly ranked when they play Oregon. The Ducks have won big this season but their biggest problem is that there is not another dominant team in the Pac-12 for the Ducks to get that big statement win over. The human voters may like Oregon right now, but who’s not to say that won’t change if Alabama, Kansas State, or Notre Dame win out. Even if two of those three win out, their respective strength of schedules should pass them over Oregon into the title game. I like the Ducks, and I would like to see them in the title game against one of the aforementioned teams, but I’m not so sure it will happen at this time.

Zach- As an Oregon fan, somebody who worked on the campus for half a decade and came to adopt the team as one of my college favorites, I am definitely nervous about the possibility of the Ducks getting shut out of a shot at the championship. If chalk holds firm and all four teams currently in the hunt win out, it’s a very real possibility. Alabama essentially has one bid sealed up as long as they don’t lose… and as I said in my earlier response, even with a loss you know the SEC will lobby long and hard to get its conference champion into the game. Notre Dame has the historic cachet, while Kansas State has the feel-good story (despite dropping the Ducks from their schedule). Oregon, many will say, got their chance two years ago. Many will say that they played nobody despite the Pac-12 being one of the strongest three conferences in the country. Backlash is ensuing, despite the stingiest defense seen in Eugene in years and an offense that only gets better as the season progresses. If four teams emerge undefeated, there’s definitely cause for concern for Oregon fans… and I’m already feeling it well up as I write this.

 

That’s all for this week. Have a Happy and Safe Halloween.

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