Okay, okay... enough of you have chimed in besmirching
my very existence on this planet because I believe win-loss
record should mean something when ultimately determining
who plays for the national championship. I still don't
agree with you, but I hear you.
So I'm going to do something unheard of in my line of
work, something which is vehemently discouraged by my
contemporaries. I'm going to listen to you.
I'm going to compromise.
From now on, my top 10 poll is going to be based strictly
on whom I deem deserving of each slot. Win-loss record
will still weigh heavily, because I believe it should.
But I'm also willing to adjust my thinking somewhat,
in recognition that the system I'd really like to see
in place... isn't. I'm willing to increase the importance
of the polls in relation to the standings, because that's
how the current system is centered.
What the hell... I'm here to serve you.
Bob's Top 10
A&M last week, 77-0... and the game wasn't as
close as the score indicates. Any doubt which team
is No. 1?
|I said I'd compromise, but
when it comes to an undefeated Division I team...
I still believe TCU deserves the shot over USC.
||How flawed is the BCS when
the Trojans can win out and still possibly drop out
of the top 2 and a berth in the Sugar Bowl?
||Maybe this week's contest
at Alabama won't be so easy after all. Tide dominated
last week, but it was against Mississippi State.
||OHIO STATE (8-1)
||Finally, a truly impressive
performance against a quality opponent. Buckeyes
get home cookin' again this week, hosting Purdue.
||Talented enough to be contending
for Sugar Bowl berth, but close road losses to Oregon
and Iowa simply too much to overcome.
||Playing awfully well... impressed
by following up demolition of Nebraska with an even
more eye-popping rout at Oklahoma State.
||WASH. STATE (8-2)
||Considering only losses were
at Notre Dame in OT and at USC, the Cougars have
been quite impressive this season.
||MIAMI, OHIO (8-1)
||Who'd have ever thunk that
I'd include a Miami in my rankings, and it wouldn't
be the Hurricanes from Southern Florida?
||BOISE STATE (8-1)
||Life pointless for the Broncos,
who regardless of how they fare the rest of the way
will again play in hometown Humanitarian Bowl.
|Also considered: Florida State, Louisville,
Miami, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Northern
Illinois, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Tennessee, Virginia
2003 PREDICTION RECORDS:
Straight-Up -- 55-28 (66%)
Against-The-Spread -- 41-42 (49%)
LAST WEEK: 3-5 Straight-Up, 3-5 Against-The-Spread
Week 12 Schedule (the top games of the week)
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12
No. 9 Miami, Ohio 31, Marshall (+13) 23 -- The big question
is whether Marshall will be able to go with its second-string
QB or be forced to use its third guy. Even so, the Thundering
Herd has won four straight and is always tough to beat
within the conference. Miami might let down just a touch
after whipping Bowling Green, so I'm predicting this
one to stay close... with the Herd have a legit shot at the
upset if QB Graham Gochneaur plays.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13
Maryland (-6) 27, Virginia 17 -- The Terps snapped a nine-game
skid in this series with a big home win in 2001, but
were smoked on the road a year ago. Between some revenge
the homefield edge, I like Maryland against a Cavaliers
team coming off a disheartening loss at NC State last
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15
No. 4 LSU (-6 1/2) 34, at Alabama 14 -- The first
instinct is to go with the home underdog in a rivalry game.
could salvage some major pride with a win here. But the
Tigers, rested off a bye, have been fabulous on the road
this season, rolling at Arizona, Mississippi State and
South Carolina by an average of more than 35 points.
They're just too doggone good.
No. 5 Ohio State (-3) 23, Purdue 13 -- The Buckeyes may
be getting stronger as the season hits the stretch drive.
At home, they're dominant... and they've also dominated this
series, winning seven of the last eight meetings including
four at home, covering against the spread each time.
Toledo (+3) 37, No. 8 Northern Illinois 30 -- A mild upset
pick. The Rockets are a very good team, averaging 47 points
a game while going 4-0 at home (including a victory over
Pittsburgh). Also, Toledo has dominated this series, winning
the last seven meetings and covering ATS in six of them.
West Virginia (+3*) 28, Pittsburgh 24 -- The Mountaineers
have been on a roll for the last month, and it will be a
major challenge for the Panthers to get up enough for a tough
road game after the emotional home victory over Virginia
Tech last week.
Iowa (-6*) 33, Minnesota 20 -- Both teams have injury concerns,
and I'm still not a strong believer in the Golden Gophers
against top-flight competition, especially on the road. Hawkeyes
defense will be too good.
Auburn (+7) 21, at Georgia 16 -- This week's upset special.
In part because of a plethora of injuries, the Bulldogs haven't
really played well since dismantling Tennessee more than
a month ago. It could be argued that, right now, the Tigers
are the better team. Certainly, I believe the 7-point spread
is far too many.
Nebraska (+1) 22, Kansas State 19 -- A true measure of irresistible
force vs. immovable object. K-State has scored at least 34
points in nine of its 11 games, while Nebraska has allowed
only 36 points total in its six home games. There's also
the issue of a 49-13 Kansas State romp over the Cornhuskers
last season. You know me... I'm a defense-first type of guy.
This is a great matchup.
* Estimated pointspread. Official spread unavailable.