I think I missed 2.2, or rather didn’t have any decisive answers and it got away from me. (As a contributor from a non-BCS school that had lost its opener and squeaked by one of the traditionally awful programs in the country in 3OT, questions like “where does your school stand in the title hunt?” tends to have two word answers. And one of those words is “Ummmm…”)
Anyway, this one is pretty good, hosted, as mentioned earlier, by Maize n Brew, and covers some good stuff coming out of a big weekend:
1. Its only the third week of the season and we’ve already seen some highly ranked favorites drop out of national championship contention. Preseason favorite Cal dropped to #21 after a loss and a pair of underwhelming victories. Who’s your pick as the next NC contender to take a fall?
I’d say its most likely Auburn, coming off their low-scoring defensive win over LSU, with much of the SEC still ahead. I still have a hunch that Ohio State is due to trip up somewhere in the Big Ten, and while the violation of Notre Dame was quite pleasing, Michigan still isn’t out of September yet and has their next five against the cream of the rest of the Big Ten coming up starting Saturday. Lloyd’s boys could easily be a two-loss team before the frost is on the pumpkin.
2. By that same token there are several schools hanging around without a loss that all of a sudden look like surprise contenders. There are also a few one loss teams with a legit shot at getting back into it. Looking at the rankings who’s the team no one’s talking about with the best shot at crashing the party?
Louisville, for one. If they can get the right teams losing ahead of them to give them a shot at the top, they could do it. Unlike Alabama post-Prothro’s L-shaped ankle routine last year, where they continued to win with defense, the ‘Ville has tossed any notion of a Michael Bush-less let down to the side and are rollin’. West Virginia looked awfully tough against Maryland, but if Louisville gets through them, I don’t think there’s anyone left they can’t thrash.
3. Every team has their quicksand away game. You know. That place you should win but somehow find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory or at least scare the &*%^ out of you every year. Did you know that over the last 21 years Kentucky wasn’t won once in Knoxville? Where is your team’s yearly sandtrap?
Even though Toledo is exactly that kind of place for BG, I don’t think I can use it here in the same way I corrected Dave for using Columbus as a Michigan “trap”. Airport security checkpoint, yes; trap, no.
Traditionally, Kent State has always felt like that kind of place for BG. The powerful Falcon teams of the early-90’s ducked out of there with wins over the usual bad Kent State team, and they did the same last year. Fortunately, that game is in BG this year (Saturday). As far as road games go this year, Central Michigan has had a similar kind of effect as Kent State, though the Chips have been known to at least field a non-comatose team every once in awhile.
4. Now that you’ve looked into the darkest place in your football soul, free Escalades aside, turn and look into your crystal ball. Conference play is either just starting or a single game in. Based on what you’ve seen so far, give the order of finish in your conference, and if you’ve got a Conference Championship game tell us who the winner will be. Independents must predict the remainder of their schedule. The results your predictions will be held against you at the end of the season.
MAC East: 1. BGSU, 2. Akron, 3. Kent State, 4. Ohio, 5. Miami(OH), 6. Buffalo.
MAC West: 1. WMU, 2. Toledo, 3. N. Illinois, 4. CMU, 5. Ball State, 6. EMU
MACC: WMU over BGSU
5. In keeping with the spirit of Maize n Brew, name your beverage of choice on game days and why. It need not be alcoholic, as there are some of us who choose not to imbibe on game day. Further, it need not be limited to a single brand/type/category. If you enjoy drinking PBR and Kraft Turkey Gravy at the same time (which I have personally witnessed), please, elaborate. Finally, if you should feel so inclined, and this is not a requirement, add an anecdote involving said beverage choice.
Normally, it’s just a case of Bud Light cans, though Coors Light will make the occasional appearance, especially since they seem to package their plastic bottles better than anyone. Mostly Bud Light, though.