The second week. This is supposedly the week where everyone sees vast improvements in their teams. Here are the bits and pieces leftover from college football this week.
The Poll Conspiracy
I do not believe in conspiracy theories but does anyone else think it is odd that one of the unwritten rules of college football polling was disregarded this past week when it came to Notre Dame? The unwritten tenet is that if you win, you stay put in the polls. You may not move up but your certainly do not drop. This is a bedrock principle right? This is what all of the pundits preach when it comes down to deciding the top two in the BCS but this week we had Notre Dame winning its game and then dropping in the poll. Texas move to #2 but the beneficiary was ESPN/ABC/Disney who got to tout the first #1 v #2 regular season game since 1996. Since Notre Dame barely won at Georgia Tech and Texas thrashed North Texas in Austin, the pollsters saw this as cause to move Texas up and the Irish down. However, by implication the real victim here is Georgia Tech who the pollsters basically said was only one step above Cupcake State. If GT was considered a good team and ND barely won in Atlanta then the Irish would have not lost a spot in the polls. However by dropping ND after a hard fought win against the Yellow Jackets the pollsters are basically sending the message that GT is not a very good team which is total poppycock. GT is good. ND proved they were good by beating Penn State 41-17 in South Bend. And Texas proved they are not the #2 team and possibly should not even be considered a top five team following a 24-7 loss to OSU at home. More or less the voters in both polls acted like fans and used the close ND win to create a #1 vs #2 game in September. College Football Polls: Feel The Integrity
Rutgers is the Real Deal
OK, so they were playing Illinois who is decidedly horrible at football but 33-0 is nothing to sneeze at even if it is against the hapless Illini. Since I heard from Wolfpack nation this past week that Rutgers was not a good team I would think that assessment can be amended somewhat. The Scarlet Knights have a powerful offense and a decent defense. The 7-5 record from last season was not a fluke as they appear on track for a similar record this season. And no it does not make me feel any better about what happened last week in Chapel Hill.
I have watched multiple games these past two weeks and I have yet to see a call reversed by replay. It is almost like they review a call just to humor the coaches and fans only to uphold the decision on the field. I have also seen many cases where they fail to review crucial plays altogether. Take the Akron-NC State game for example where a photo of the final play shows the Arkon player was clearly down before the ball broke the plane. NC State did not have any timeouts so they could not challenge. The officials can initiate their own review but opted instead to flee Carter-Finley Stadium with Chuck Amato pursuing them into the tunnel. At this point the replay system strikes me as a bit of a waste. It seems predisposed to uphold the call on the field which may be how they set it up but if bad calls still get upheld I am unsure of the point to having replay.
New Clock Rules
I hate them which makes me a late arrival at that party. My biggest complaint came when watching Akron-NCSU. The Zips lost about 30 seconds because the ball started on the kickoff and started once the ball was ready for play. Since Akron had timeouts in the pocket and was able to hit some quick passing strikes they were able to move the ball effectively. However, I can see how the new rules will be a rally killer for the most part. The NCAA should have suspended the new rules during the last five minutes of each half to allow for better clock management. Also, the announcers to the Akron-NCSU could not stop kissing the NCAA posterior concerning the new rules touting stats that showed more games ended in under three hours on opening day than in 2005's opening Saturday. So what? I have never once heard a fan complain about how long the games were and I never once griped while watching a game that it was taking too long. The rules committee botched this one up and good. I would expect nothing less from the NCAA.
Lee Corso Sanity Meter
When I saw him put on the mascot head for Miami(FL) on Monday I almost went back and jacked his rating for last week up to a 10.0. This week during the Texas-OSU pregame we got more of the same with Corso putting on a inflated Longhorn helmet and proclaiming Texas would win. It should be noted Corso is 1-2 in these onsite predictions. The gimmick of wearing a helmet or band hat or even mascot head has already gotten old. That being said he did strike me as more reasonable this week although I must confess I did not see him much during the day. So with 0 being totally rational and 10 being stark naked crazy I think he dropped back towards rational this week with a 7.4 since the donning of hats and helmets is a gimmick to go with his pick. However since he has shown no sign of giving up the gimmick he will probably remain on the crazy end of things and his penchant for picking the home team(Miami and Texas) only to be proven wrong in a big way is not helping his case either.