Bye Week Edition – 10/11/09

These musings are tough to write when USC has a bye week.  I may be the “biggest college football lover of all time”, but in my heart of hearts, I am a Trojan, and when they don’t play on a Fall Saturday, something is wrong in the world.  Nonetheless, there was a weekend of college football, and I have a post of musings to get to.

– I have now seen enough of Florida, Alabama, Texas, and the others to say that Alabama is the best team in the country right now.  I am not saying they will win the BCS “championship”, and I am not even saying they will win a SEC championship, but I am saying that to this naked eye they look stronger than the other top teams.  But is it just me, or do all the top teams look a bit weaker than normal?  I don’t think it is just me.

– Alabama has a great defense, and a great running game.  The offense is not proficient from top-to-bottom, but the defense and running game are enough to win.  If they do face Florida in a SEC championship game, they have a better chance of beating them than they did last year.

– Speaking of Florida: yes, they beat LSU, and yes, they beat LSU in the Bayou.  But no, that LSU team was not the #4 team in the country (or in the top 14).  Tennessee proved it by beating Georgia and the soon to be fired Mark Richt by 40 points.  LSU beat Georgia by the skin of their chinny-chin-chin.  And they beat Mississippi State by TWO. 

– Alabama and Florida have a pretty straight shot to the SEC championship, as every other team in the conference at this point is abyssmally bad.

– Notre Dame week is here.  Oh yes – Notre Dame/USC.  The greatest rivalry in all of college football, and perhaps the greatest rivalry in all of sports.  More history, more tradition, more emotion, more pageantry, more fun than any other contest.  And this year, it is Charlie’s job on the line.  He can lose the rest of his games after this one, but if he beats USC, he stays.  If he loses, he will have to win the rest of his games.  A 9-3 Charlie with a loss to USC us gone.  An 8-4 Charlie with a win over USC stays.  Mark my words.

– That Florida/LSU game was a good way to wind down and get to bed early on a Saturday, if you know what I mean.  I flipped to the Discovery channel at commercials just to stay awake.  Geez, those people play boring football.

– I shouldn’t even be commenting on the rankings, as I have made plenty clear what I think about them.  But a 5-1 South Carolina is #22, and a 3-2 Oklahoma is #20.  Iowa is 6-0 and #11.  Oregon is #13 with their only loss to #5 Boise State.  Okay.  Whatever you say.

– Texas ended up pouncing Colorado on the scoreboard, but anyone who watched that game knows it was a big struggle until well into the second half.

– I am following Stefon Johnson on Twitter, and he appears to be doing much better.  I am sure he is just eager as can be to get out of the hospital.  I believe that this bye week was good for the Trojans, and they had some bangs and bruises to heal up.  If we can get RoJo out there, it will be a huge bump for the offense.  My take on Notre Dame: they have a few great skill position players, but they are weak and soft on both lines.  If USC’s offensive life proves me right, we may get out of South Bend with a big win.  I believe the offense is going to be perfectly balanced going forward – a real 50/50 focus run-to-pass.

– This Bobby Bowden controversy down at Florida State is perposterous: an 80-year old man pulling a Brett Favre.  If he would just retire in dignity and let this program try and heal itself there would be no need for his wife and the President of trustees to get into a fight on the radio.  Spare all of us, Coach, but at least spare your own fans and family from this debacle.

I can not wait for this Saturday.  I can not wait for the Trojans to take the field in the truly breathtaking football venue that is Notre Dame Stadium, right under the stare of Touchdown Jesus himself.  This is a great halfway point to the season.  The Trojans have a lot of work to do.  One week at a time.

(This week’s musings are dedicated to my beloved Anaheim Angels of Orange County, who continue to demonstrate what determination and grit look like.  No wonder there are so many USC shirts at every Angel game; these people are the baseball-embodiment of FIGHT ON”)