The NCAA’s got a plan

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2005

There’s a new guaranteed way for a playoff system to be brought into D-1 football; furthermore, to get it done by next year. This is a surefire plan.

It had not been thought of before this week’s BCS computers showed Texas slightly ahead of USC on the strength of the Longhorns’ blowout of previously #7 Texas Tech.

It now seems at least feasible, actually more than feasible, especially with Virginia Tech’s remaining schedule (BC, Miami, @ UVA, UNC, ACC Championship), that USC could be riding a 33-game winning streak, have back-to-back national titles, and be #3 and out of the 2005-06 national title game.

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That is the plan.

The media and public outcry might finally overwhelm the conference commissioners if the best college football dynasty of the current decade goes undefeated, pummeling all but a couple teams they’ve faced along the way, and because of Arkansas losing to Vanderbilt, or Stanford losing to UC Davis, gets edged out on the Sagarin ratings, and is unable to defend their title.

Has anyone ever actually seen or spoken to Jeff Sagarin?

Does this person really exist?


First course – Clemson (4-3) at Georgia Tech (4-2) (Noon – ESPN2)

To be honest, Ohio State and Minnesota is a more intriguing noontime game; but Big Ten football in the Metrodome, mehh, only so much of that is watchable.

Clemson’s coming off a win against Temple, which doesn’t count.

Georgia Tech won at Duke two weeks ago, which barely counts; before their game at Miami was rescheduled due to Wilma.

Each of these teams need two wins for a bowl game.

In the newly-stacked ACC, any bowl game means more than it used to.

Clemson has FSU and at South Carolina after this.

Georgia Tech has road games against UVA and Miami and their usual finale against Georgia.

Whoever wins this one gets those two wins.

Whoever loses probably does not.

My pick – Clemson 24, Georgia Tech 17

During commercials – #12 Ohio State (5-2) at Minnesota (5-2) (Noon – ABC)

Big Ten football is supposed to be in the elements.

It’s Madison, Iowa City, Ann Arbor.

Apprently this weekend at least, it’s in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (not exactly the same feeling as The Horseshoe or The Big House).

Maybe Minnesota should have let Laurence Maroney punt last week.

It sure wasn’t his fault they lost.

Maroney carried 43 times for 258 yards.

It was his third 200+ yard game of the season.

Ohio State’s defense is always a strength though.

In the last six quarters, the Bucks’ D has surrendered 17 points (and seven of those were a fumble return TD by the Indiana defense).

OSU needs a good amount of outside help to win the conference title and they must win out to have any shot.

My pick – OSU 31, Minnesota 23

Second course – #4 Georgia (7-0) vs. #16 Florida (5-2) (3:30 – CBS)

&uot;The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.&uot;

With a name like that, come on, everyone should interested.

Georgia is two games ahead of Florida in the SEC East, so the real goal now

is not just to get to the SEC Championship, but to get there undefeated.

Bulldog fans should even hope Alabama gets there undefeated too; all the better to throw the BCS further out of whack.

UGA QB D.J. Shockley is out with an injured knee from the third quarter of last week’s game against Arkansas.

Georgia’s offense was pitiful after Shockley went out.

Arkansas trailed 20-10 going to the final quarter and nearly came back to win.

On the other hand, Georgia showed what they can do against a high-octane, innovative offense when they pummeled Boise State.

Georgia’s defense can still dominate a game, and Shockley has little to do with that.

My pick – Georgia 17, Florida 16

Final course – #25 Michigan (5-3) at #21 Northwestern (5-2) (7:00 – ESPN)

The Michigan/Northwestern series, for so long a one-sided, Big Blue affair, has become known in recent years for high-scoring barnburners.

Northwestern, who for the first time since 1959 (not really that long when compared with 1917), faces the Wolverines with a higher national ranking than Michigan, is used to every game being high-scoring this year (37 points per game – 33 points allowed per game).

Bret Basanez is a creative, exciting, risk-taking quarterback who completely stole the stage from Michigan State NFL prospect Drew Stanton last week.

Basanez was 26-30 passing for 331 yards, and his ‘Cats whomped MSU 49-14; neither is something that happens often in East Lansing.

It also helps when a QB that can be called &uot;creative&uot; and &uot;risk-taking&uot; is also intelligent enough to have 17 TD’s (12 throwing, five rushing) vs. 1 INT so far this year.

My pick – Northwestern 44, Michigan 40

During commercials – #2 Texas (7-0) at Oklahoma State (3-4) (7:00 – TBS)

Maybe for a half or so this will be worth watching.

Vince Young and the rest of the first string Longhorns should be resting on the bench within the third quarter.

OSU is having a very down year.

The ‘Pokes are 0-4 in conference and squeaked by the non-Big 12 likes of Montana State and Arkansas State.

In normal years, even with a high-ranked Texas team, going into Stillwater and a traditionally insane scene would be an upset possibility, but not this year.

My pick – Texas 48, OSU 21

Last week’s record: 5-1 (1 game Wilma’d out)

For the season: 25-14