The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Much ado about nothing: Texas tops BCS

When the BCS computers spit out their rankings this week, it gave Texas a slight edge over USC, despite the fact the Trojans are No. 1 in the two human polls and will remain there until they lose. A team deserves and gets that respect after winning 28 straight games and back-to-back national titles.

Now, there are plenty of things wrong with the BCS, as evidenced by USC being left out of the national title game two years ago despite being No. 1 in both human polls, but Texas recently sliding past USC is not one of them. At this point in the season, Texas opponents’ combined won-loss record is 24-16, while the Trojan’s opponents’ are 19-21, and USC will return back to No. 1 in the coming weeks, because they play three ranked teams, while Texas has the easiest remaining schedule of the six undefeated teams. (Remember, strength of schedule is a component of all of the computer polls.)

In fact, Texas has to be worried about a hard-charging Virginia Tech team taking the second championship game slot, as the Hokies could take on four ranked teams down the stretch, pushing the computer rankings high enough to overtake the Longhorns overall. Let’s handicap the remaining teams with a legitimate shot to play in the national title game in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl.

Miami Hurricanes (5-1)

Despite beating only one team that currently has a winning record, the Miami Hurricanes control there own destiny for the ACC Championship and have a legitimate shot at the national championship game.

The Hurricanes still have question marks on offense, as they have yet to find a constant running attack, which is crazy for a school that has produced alumni such as Portis, McGahee and James the last seven years, and freshman Kyle Wright is still learning the quarterback ropes.

The key is the Virginia Tech game, as a win would send the Hurricanes to the ACC Championship game for a re-match of the opening night defensive brawl. Yes, six teams are undefeated right now, but stranger things have happened, and with Devin Hester finally waking up (the Duke return was Peter Warrick-esque), Miami still has an outside chance to play for the title.

Odds for the Title Game -à50:1

Georgia Bulldogs (7-0)

D.J. Shockley has dreamed his whole life of being the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs against the hated Florida in Jacksonville, but it looks like the fifth-year will never get that chance. Having seen the ‘Dawgs in person, the Red Zone is partial to this team because of the stellar defense keyed by the best open field tackler we have seen in safety, Greg Blue, but the loss of the dynamic run-pass option in Shockley will be too much for Coach Mark Richt to overcome.

There is nothing that the Gators would like more than to end an undefeated Bulldog season for the second time in four seasons, and the Gators will do just that, handing the Bulldogs a loss in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party.

Odds – 45:1, Odds if Shockley pulls a Willis Reid and plays Saturday – 25:1

Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0)

Put it this way, this team could really use someone like Forrest Gump right now. Alabama already lacked depth due to the effect of a probation that takes scholarships away, but now the Tide has lost four more starters – including the team’s heart and soul in wide receiver Tyronne Prothro.

Quarterback Brody Croyle and powerful running back Kenneth Darby lead the offense, and the SEC’s best defense is led by the demolition team of DeMeco Ryans, Roman Harper and Freddie Roach. But, the close calls of the last few weeks foreshadow a team that won’t be able to get through match-ups with LSU, at Auburn and a possible SEC championship game unscathed.

Odds – 25:1

LSU Tigers (5-1)

And the entire SEC lets out a collective – what? Yes, there are two undefeated teams in the league that control their own destiny, but both have much tougher schedules and more injuries then the Bayou Bengals.

LSU is just a second-half collapse against Tennessee away from being undefeated with wins already against Florida, Auburn and at Arizona State, in what was one of the top five entertaining games of the year. LSU controls its own destiny in the SEC, with a game at Alabama and then an SEC Championship game against Georgia or Florida.

JaMarcus Russell plays better by the week, and no team has more depth on offense with playmakers like Skyler Green, Joseph Addai, Dwayne Bowe and Justin Vincent. The defense is stout with veterans all over the field, and if the Tigers can get some of the teams ahead of them losing, LSU could be playing for its second national title in three years.

Odds -à20:1

UCLA Bruins (7-0)

The Bruins have a front four that is smaller then some teams’ linebackers, a secondary that couldn’t guard my intramural team and a wide receiving crew that lacks a single playmaker. Plus, they wear powder blue uniforms that scream “wimps,” although classy does come to mind. In fact, this team is the epitome of how the West Coast bias is created, as they basically outscore people, but the Bruins are tough in their own way.

They have a 5-foot-8-inch running back in Maurice Jones-Drew, and he has 605 yards rushing, 273 yards receiving and 400 yards in punt returns, including three touchdowns. Those stats, including 16 total touchdowns, are better than the ones of cross-town Heisman front-runner Reggie Bush.

The Bruins have a tandem at linebacker in Spencer Havner and Justin London that is the best duo west of the Mississippi – just ask Adrien Peterson. Most importantly, the Bruins possess a resiliency that can’t be taught, as they have come back from double-digit deficits in the fourth quarter three times already this season.

Jones-Drew is building a Heisman campaign, but it’s the play of quarterback Drew Olson that has been the difference, as Olson is completing 67 percent of his passes for over 1,800 yards and 21 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions.

UCLA has to catch itself looking ahead with only tricky games against Stanford and Arizona State standing in the way of them being undefeated on the last day of the season against USC. America will be watching, and if the Bruins can be the first team to knock off the Trojans, expect the Bruins to jump other undefeated teams in the human polls.

Odds – 12:1

̢۬Virginia Tech Hokies (7-0)

Marcus Vick gets all the publicity and the defense gets tons of respect, but it’s the special teams that could prove to push the Hokies over the top. Everyone knows that the Hokies have a reputation for blocking punts, and they still do, but lately VaTech has exploited the max protect formations of opponents to spring speedy Eddie Royal and Mike Imoh for returns.

Tech leans heavily on a balanced running attach led by Imoh and Cedric Humes. Vick still isn’t the best passer in the world, but his ability to make plays with his feet has opposing defensive coordinators loosing sleep. The closing schedule is brutal with games against bowl teams Boston College, Miami, North Carolina, at Virginia and Florida State possibly in the ACC Championship game.

Odds – 10:1

USC Trojans

This team is the best in the country, but this isn’t about who’s best; it’s about the odds to get to the title, and there are some things stacked against the Trojans at this point. Let’s start with a schedule that, despite already including three ranked teams on the road, still includes games at No. 22 California, the last team to beat the Trojans, and games at home against No. 23 Fresno State and current No. 6 UCLA. In all, the Trojans’ remaining opponents have a .730 winning percentage, by far the hardest remaining schedule among the undefeated teams. If any team can handle the pressure, it’s the Trojans, with last year’s Heisman winner in Matt Leinart and this year’s Heisman winner in Reggie Bush. Bush is the best college player in the nation – hands down. The Zone was fortunate enough to be in Notre Dame Stadium for the game of the year, and this guy makes very good players look silly. His speed and elusiveness show up well on television, but TV doesn’t show just what Bush possesses for his size, and he absolutely loves contact. The big question mark for the Trojans is the defensive secondary, and they will be facing some quality quarterbacks in Joe Ayoob, Paul Pinegar, and Drew Olson down the stretch, who will be able to exploit the mismatches. This is the best team in the nation, but with the remaining schedule, the odds of them getting to the Rose Bowl are slightly less than the boys from Austin.

Odds -à5:1

Texas Longhorns

Maybe it’s the fact that Vince Young has Mack Brown listening and dancing to Fitty 50 (let’s just pause and let that vision linger in our heads), maybe it’s the fact the Big12 is in a down year (Tech is the only other ranked team), or maybe its just that talented, but this is the team with the best shot to be playing (hold your horses Texas fans, this is just putting them in the game) for the national title. The voice in the back of my head tells me that Mack Brown’s teams will always lose a game they shouldn’t, but this year they just might not play anyone good enough to derail them, even when they play sub par. Look for Coach Fran to pull out all of his trick plays, but the Aggies look, at times, as if they don’t have a clue, so that would leave a probable rematch with Colorado in the Big 12 championship game as the only hurdle, and a low one at that, keeping the ‘Horns from playing in Pasadena.

Odds – 2:1

Trent Redden is a senior accounting and public policy major. He can be reached at [email protected].

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