LSU Florida - The Game That Shall Not Be Scheduled
Obviously cancelling the game due to Hurricane Matthew was the correct call but rescheduling it should have been decided upon before, or immediately after. The SEC office should have had a contingency plan in place for rescheduling games - given that almost every team in the league is prone to hurricane damage - and they should also settle the issue without input from LSU and Florida, both of whom are being selfish and childish about the game. As of now it appears Florida, LSU, and the SEC will need to foot the bill to reschedule a slew of Sunbelt games in order to play LSU-Florida at Florida, and both teams will lose their bye week. One would hope that the SEC will have a plan in place for next year, and the year after, given the black eye that this game has given them.
Don’t look now but the Big TEN appears to be the best conference in the land. Wisconsin and Nebraska probably aren’t as good as Michigan and Ohio State but for now they are all four in the top 10. It’s not all rosy in the league of the “Leaders and Legends” though. Rutgers looks like a terrible choice for expansion after being outscored 138-0 in the last two weeks. In fact Rutgers has given up more points in their last two games then yards gained against Michigan. The TV sets in the East will help but not if Rutgers doesn’t soon catch up on the field.
Stanford’s strength through the recent past has been its offensive line. Stanford’s biggest weakness this season appears to be its offensive line. This is quite a shocking turn of events given the emphasis that Head Coach David Shaw places on power football. If the Cardinal cannot control the line of scrimmage then they can not establish their identity on the field. That is why they have been soundly defeated twice in the last two games. After Christian McCaffrey leaves Shaw will want this season back. Even an average offensive line would have made Stanford contenders for the Pac-12 title, and a probable playoff spot.
Another season, another group of reports that the Texas boosters are not happy with the direction of the program. It’s getting to be a little ridiculous given that Strong inherited a complete mess at Texas and had a lot of work to do in purging the roster and changing the culture alone. Given time Strong will eventually rebuild Texas into a national powerhouse again and will do so while avoiding many of the off field distractions that plagued Mack Brown towards the end of his tenure. Of course many of the most powerful Texas boosters are not going to be able to wait long now that Todd Herman is available. Losing Herman would feel to the UT boosters like they let the best blue chip recruit the state has seen in years sign with an out of state school. Of course, Herman probably wouldn’t take the Texas job over LSU, USC, or Oregon. But Texas could do worse than being stuck with Les Miles as a plan B.
Speaking of Houston, like so many of the other non power 5 darlings of college football, Houston took their first loss, a fatal one for their playoff hopes, this past week against Navy. This will almost certainly preclude a non power-5 team from making the playoffs but it might also force Houston out of a premium Bowl game all together. The Houston fans don’t travel as well as many mid level Power 5 schools and will almost certainly be relegated to a smaller, pre-christmas, bowl game somewhere in Texas.
And Another Thing
Alabama visits Tennessee this week in a battle of top 10 teams and expect Neyland Stadium to be rocking. The Vols haven't beaten Alabama since before Nick Saban arrived and this year represents their best opportunity in that time. Should Alabama escape with a victory, and that is the most likely outcome, they will play Texas A&M at Kyle field in another top 10 matchup the following week. If Alabama emerges from teh next two weeks undefeated they will be the unquestioned best team in the country. We'll see if that Tenness magic that showed up, but wasn't enough, against Texas A&M will still be present this week.