EJSIC College Football Top 25 – Week 3

AP Poll

Coaches Poll

Quick rant:  The AP Poll is the only legitimate college football poll in the country.  It is comprised of the opinions of men who cover college football for months during the off-season, learn the names and skill-sets of thousands of players and coaches, and watch college football for 10+ hours every single week during the season.  These men’s livelihoods are dependent on how knowledgeable they are about the sport (with the exception of ESPN’s Lee Curso and Lou Holtz, who just have to dress up in funny old people clothes and mumble things for a few hours every Saturday).  The Coaches Poll is determined by coaches and assistants who barely watch games not involving their team’s opponents and who have a huge financial incentive to fudge their ballots.  Furthermore, their ballots are never made public so they have zero accountability.  Same story with the Harris Interactive Poll.

EJSIC’s own completely illegitimate poll is below.  As always, we’re interested in your thoughts, what you would do differently, and a quick justification.

1. Alabama 3-0 (100)
Next Opponent: @ #8 Arkansas
2. Ohio State 3-0 (91)
Next Opponent: vs Eastern Michigan
3. Oregon 3-0 (90)
Next Opponent: @ Arizona State
4. Nebraska 3-0 (81)
Next Opponent: vs South Dakota State
5. TCU 3-0 (78)
Next Opponent: @ SMU

6. Boise State 2-0 (74)
Next Opponent: vs #23 Oregon State
7. Texas 3-0 (69)
Next Opponent: vs UCLA
8. Arkansas 3-0 (68)
Next Opponent: vs #1 Alabama
9. Florida 3-0 (67)
Next Opponent: vs Kentucky
10. Oklahoma 3-0 (64)
Next Opponent: @ Cincinnati
11. Wisconsin 3-0 (53)
Next Opponent: vs Austin Peay
12. Stanford 3-0 (51)
Next Opponent: @ Notre Dame

13. Utah 3-0 (47)
Next Opponent: vs San Jose State
14. Arizona 3-0 (40)
Next Opponent: vs California
15. Michigan 3-0 (39)
Next Opponent: vs Bowling Green
16. LSU 3-0 (38)
Next Opponent: vs West Virginia
17. South Carolina 3-0 (35)
Next Opponent: @ #18 Auburn
18. Auburn 3-0 (24)
Next Opponent: vs #17 South Carolina
19. Penn State 2-1 (23)
Next Opponent: vs Temple
20. Iowa 2-1 (21)
Next Opponent: vs Ball State
21. Miami (FL) 2-1 (20)
Next Opponent: @#25 Pittsburgh
22. West Virginia 2-1 (19)
Next Opponent: @ #16 LSU
23. Oregon State 1-1 (17)
Next Opponent: @ #6 Boise State
24. Oklahoma State 3-0 (15)
Next Opponent: Bye
25. Pittsburgh 2-1 (13)
Next Opponent: vs #21 Miami

Others receiving votes:  USC (13), Michigan State (9), Nevada (7), Kansas State (7), Northwestern (5), Clemson (4), Florida State (4), Missouri (4), NC State (2)

EJSIC @ the SEC tournament

That’s right. Yours truly has been dispatched to provide up-to-the-minute updates live from the site of the 2010 SEC tournament at the “whatever-they’re-calling-it-now-that-the -Sommet-Group-failed-to-make-payment Center” in Nashville, TN. EJSIC will be your first stop for the sights, sounds, and even smells (if I can find a way to capture them on my phone) of the 2010 installment of the UK Invitational.

To get things started, here are the 3 biggest story lines heading into the tournament, and the 3 things I’m looking forward to the most:

Tournament Story Lines:

1. Will the runaway-train that has been the 2009-10 version of the Kentucky Wildcats continue their resurgence with a tournament title? The obvious favorites going in to the event, it will be interesting to see if the C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS will be able to continue to build on their 29-2 (14-2) record by capturing the tournament championship. THE most talented team in the country (IMO), the Cats have been dominant at home, but have proven to be shaky away from Rupp Arena, including losses at Tennessee and against the fightin’ Devon Downey’s, as well as close games against Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Auburn. It will be interesting to see how this freshman dominated team will perform in what will be the first college tournament situation for most.

Can anyone derail DeCuz and the UK crazy train?

All that said, make no mistake about it; Nashville will become Lexington south this weekend, just as it is whenever UK comes to town.

2. Bubbles bursting. It is my opinion that none of Florida, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State will make the Big Dance without a win in this tournament, and it is shaping up to be elimination Friday, with potential Tennessee/Ole Miss and Florida/Miss St matchups.

3. Who is SEC POY? The case for Devon Downey over either of John Wall or DeMarcus Cousins was a strong one after ‘lil Carolina’s upset of then #1 UK, but it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the team’s late season slide. However, Downey may have thrust himself back into consideration, after a 26 point performance last week at the dump that is Memorial Gym. With a deep tourney run, and perhaps another upset of Kentucky should they beat ‘Bama on Thursday, things could get interesting.

Things I’m Looking Forward To:

Bruce Pearl is a show unto himself.

1. Vandy fans. I was at the SEC/Sun Belt Classic in mid-December, which showcased MTSU vs. Tennessee and Vandy vs. Western Kentucky at the same venue as the SEC tournament. Vandy fans showed why they were the joke of the SEC by managing to attract **maybe** 200 fans to a game in their hometown. Meanwhile, WKU had 6-8 thousand, and were a raucous bunch. No one would have guessed they were the team 4-3 heading in and Vandy was the team nationally ranked. Well Vandy fans (or as I like to call them, “Alabama football fans“), here’s your chance to redeem yourselves. I don’t expect any more than 400 of you, so don’t disappoint me.

2. A live view of “Dermal Soul Glo I’ve heard stories, but I want to see for myself if Bruce really does glow.

3. Demarcus Cousins. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this ticking-time-bomb’s explosion all year. If this kid played in the ACC, he already would have been involved in brawls with Chas McFarland and Ryan Reid, and having the opposing fans get a hold of your phone number would be a weekly ordeal. But even in a league as physically flaccid as the SEC, Cousins has been driven to temper tantrums and dirty plays numerous times. If he’s gonna flip out, and he will eventually, I just want to be there to see it.

I’m also looking forward to some “pity” beers to be bought for me by those feeling sorry for me, in my North Carolina t-shirt, although I don’t expect Kentucky fans to be overly willing to support my cause…………..dafunk…………….out.

Got a question, an angle you’d like me to cover at the tourney, or some hate-filled garbage to spew???? Shoot me an email at dafunk.EJSIC@yahoo.com, and I’ll get back to ya ASAP.

EJSIC’s SEC Review & Preview

After a dismal showing in 08-09, the SEC was justly rewarded with a paltry 3 participants in the NCAA tournament. When you factor in that one of those teams got in solely by winning the SEC Tournament Automatic Bid, you’d be hard pressed to find a worse overall year for the league in recent history.

With a year of disappointment behind them, 09-10 has been billed as a big rebound year for the SEC. An influx of new coaches and new talent, combined with a slew of veteran all-conference players returning to school, means expectations have risen significantly. With the out of conference portion of the schedule behind them, how have the teams of the SEC fared versus those expectations to date? As you might expect, the results have been mixed.

Team Assessments:

Alabama – Like many teams in the league, the Crimson Tide have anointed a new leader for 09-10. New Head Coach Anthony Grant brings a great pedigree and a record of success to Alabama. His skills as both a motivator and tactician have been on display in the Tide’s wins over Baylor, Providence, and Michigan. However, things haven’t exactly been “coming up roses” for Bama basketball [That's a really bad reference to the Rose bowl right there. It's how I "Roll"], as the Tide have yet to secure an “NCAA resume” win. All of their 4 losses have been to quality opponents (Cornell, FSU, Purdue & K-State), but quality losses will only get you so far. Alabama will need to perform very well in the SEC (probably needing 11 plus wins) in order to get into the big dance. Anthony Grant has talent to work with in Mikhail Torrance and JaMychal Green to go along with a guard heavy roster, but you have to wonder if it will be enough in year one.
Non-conference Grade: B | Postseason Projection: NIT

No, that's not a girl with a mustache. That's John Pelphrey's meal ticket.

Arkansas – John Pelphrey is starting to feel the heat in Fayetteville. Forced to suspend 5 players following an incident in a campus Fraternity house involving allegations of rape, the Razorbacks have struggled mightily out of the gate. Embarrassing losses to the likes of Morgan State, East Tennessee State and South Alabama have dug a substantial hole for the Hogs heading into conference play. At 7-8, with no wins of note on their resume, even the NIT may be a stretch at this point. There is hope, however, as the Razorbacks have returned All-SEC caliber PG Cortney Fortson to the line up. Fortson, combined with sharp-shooter Rotnei Clarke and potential NBA 1st rounder Mike Washington, could be enough for the Hogs to make a run in the SEC. One thing’s for sure there will be zero margin for error going forward.
Non-Conference Grade: D- | Postseason Projection: None

Auburn – Poor Jeff Lebo. The guy is a decent coach, but he seems doomed to get sucked into the black hole that is Auburn basketball. Despite the recent University investment in a new arena and practice facility, you have to think that no one cares less about their basketball program in the SEC than Auburn Tiger fans. Considering the overall commitment to basketball in the conference, that’s saying a lot. This season’s version of the basketball Tigers bears a close resemblance to those of year’s past. Under-skilled and under-manned, the Tigers have lost to Missouri State, UCF, Troy, and Sam Houston State, while compiling an non-compelling 9-6 record. One bright spot for the Tigers is their balanced scoring, as they have 4 players averaging more than 13 points per game. That said, Auburn is going to struggle in league play. Here’s hoping the Tiger’s Administration gives Lebo the opportunity to use the coming facility improvements to his advantage on the recruiting trail.
Non-conference Grade: D | Postseason Projection: None

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College Football Top 25 12/06/09

Previous EJSIC college football polls:
Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12, Week 13

Here we are at the end of the college football regular season. Here are the AP and USA Today final regular season polls but we here at EJSIC are pretty sure we can do better because, to us, all that matters are the teams, who they’ve played, and who they’ve beaten.

So, here it is. All the information you need to make your own minds up. As always, we’re interested in your thoughts, what you would do differently and maybe a quick justification for why. Presented below are the rankings, team, record, (votes – first place votes). Also included are next week’s opponent, wins against teams currently in the top 25, and notable losses to teams that receive no votes in the poll.

1. Alabama 13-0 (100 – 4)
Top 25 Wins: vs. #13 VA Tech (9-3), #18 LSU (9-3), #5 Florida (12-1)
Notable Losses: None
2. TCU 12-0 (95)
Top 25 Wins: @ #10 BYU (10-2), #25 Utah (9-3)
Notable Losses: None
3. Cincinnati 12-0 (89)
Top 25 Wins: @ #16 Oregon State (8-4), #18 Pittsburgh (9-3)
Notable Losses: None
4. Texas 13-0 (87)
Top 25 Wins: @ #22 Oklahoma State (9-3)
Notable Losses: None
5. Florida 12-1 (85)
Top 25 Wins: @ #18 LSU (9-3)
Notable Losses: None

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BS Series Title Game Is Set.

bcsLogoLooking about as unimpressive as is possible without losing, Texas secured a bid to the BCS title game by defeating an offensively challenged Nebraska team in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Long Horns will now face Alabama, who throttled #1 Florida in the SEC Title Game.

The reality of the situation is that there’s no way on God’s Green Earth that anyone other than Texas will be playing Alabama for the title. However, we at the EJSIC aren’t always the biggest fans of reality. It’s boring.

To that point, taking out all financial and political considerations, who do you think deserves to challenge Alabama for the BCS title in Pasadena?

Let us know what you think in the poll below.

Al’s Predictions for Week 14 in College Football and Some Lessons Learned

Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I learned a lot over the Thanksgiving weekend. Here are just a few of the things I learned:

  1. Making turkey gravy from scratch is a lot easier than it appears.
  2. Using a hand-mixer to make mashed potatoes is not a good idea.
  3. Never predict that the winner of an ACC vs. SEC game is going to be an ACC team—unless they’re playing Vanderbilt and even then, it’s not a lock.
  4. Butch Davis apparently visits Tom O’Brien before the UNC State game each year and gives him the Tar Heel play book (not that anyone one outside of Tobacco Road cares but that just burns me up—just like the loss to Virginia did).
  5. Lou Holtz is weird. After what Notre Dame did to him, he should be crowing over how bad they are instead of joining the rest of the media in their mellow mushroom foray to discuss the Irish as if they’re still relevant.

So, here we are at week 14 and I’m kind of sad. This will be my last regular season college football game prediction post for 2009. But fear not, I will be predicting the outcomes of as many bowl games as I can and then I’ll be ready to take on the college basketball season (which I might start doing before bowl season). Also, if I can keep away from Big 10 fans that make cement shoes, I’ll be back next season.

Coach Jim Leavitt's South Florida team is playing in Al's game of the season.

Coach Jim Leavitt's South Florida team is playing in Al's game of the season.

This is one of the most exciting final regular season weeks I can remember. We have several conference championship games and the one game that everyone feels is the real national championship game: South Florida vs. Connecticut. Okay, just kidding. Anyway, you know the rules. Winners are in bold and the rankings are based on the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll—mainly because that’s the easiest way for me to do this. I would like to apologize to the EJSIC for not using their polls, but using mass media polls allows me to be snarkier (and whinier).

Thursday’s game

No. 16 Oregon State at No. 7 Oregon. I really think that Thursday is the new Saturday for football. There have been some superb matchups this season and another exciting one’s on tap for tonight. Interestingly, I never thought, in all my years as a sports fan, that I’d ever write that I was excited about Oregon State versus Oregon. In fact, if you had interviewed me at the beginning of this season and told me that I’d be looking forward to a PAC 10 game that didn’t involve the possibility of USC’s being upset, I would have laughed you out of my office. But here it is—the Beavers and the Ducks battling it out for a chance to annihilate play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl and I can’t wait. The Ducks are playing at home, so I think they’ll win this one, but it might not be pretty and it certainly won’t be a blowout. Continue reading

College Football Top 25 11/29/09

Previous EJSIC college football polls:
Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12

Here we are following week 12 of the college football season. Here are the AP and USA Today week 13 polls but we here at EJSIC are pretty sure we can do better because, to us, all that matters are the teams, who they’ve played, and who they’ve beaten.

So, here it is. All the information you need to make your own minds up. As always, we’re interested in your thoughts, what you would do differently and maybe a quick justification for why. Presented below are the rankings, team, record, (votes – first place votes). Also included are next week’s opponent, wins against teams currently in the top 25, and notable losses to teams that receive no votes in the poll.

1. TCU 12-0 (97 – 2) Next week: BYE
Top 25 Wins: @ #10 BYU (10-2), #25 Utah (9-3)
Notable Losses: None
1. Florida 12-0 (97 – 2) Next week: vs. #3 Alabama (12-0)
Wins: @ #18 LSU (9-3)
Notable Losses: None
3. Alabama 12-0 (94) Next week: vs. #1 Florida (12-0)
Top 25 Wins: vs. #13 VA Tech (9-3), #18 LSU (9-3)
Notable Losses: None
4. Texas 12-0 (87) Next week: vs. #20 Nebraska (9-3)
Top 25 Wins: @ #22 Oklahoma State (9-3)
Notable Losses: None
5. Cincinnati 11-0 (84) Next week: vs. #16 Pitt (9-2)
Top 25 Wins: @ #14 Oregon State (8-3)
Notable Losses: None

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