It's taken 6 weeks but it looks as though the storyline ofthe year is going to be whether the offensively minded Big 12 or thedefensively minded SEC is the true power conference. Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Missouri, Texas, andTexas Tech are putting up numbers that the arena league would envy. LSU, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia and Auburnboast the kind of fast, hard hitting defenses that teams hate the face. Something has to give, right?
Well, as far as the Big 12 is concerned, they just startedtheir conference schedule last week, and some of those numbers should startcoming back down to earth once they start playing one another. The SEC, on the other hand, has a number ofteams with serious offensive problems. Part of this can be contributed to the aforementioned defenses, but someof it is just bad football. Auburn isattempting to run a scheme they don't have the athletes run. Alabama has a dominating run offense, butuntil John Parker Wilson and his receivers can consistently get on the samepage they can be contained. Floridafinally found a run game this week, but how much of that can be attributed towhat can only be described as a putrid Arkansas team? LSU has tons of talent, but Jarrett Lee stillhasn't proven he can play a complete game. Then there's Vanderbilt.
It's hardto say what to make of Vanderbilt this year, They lead the SEC East with a 3-0conference record, having already beaten South Carolina, Mississippi, andAuburn. They don't have much talent, butthey don't beat themselves, either. Theremaining schedule only contains 3 games that they probably won't be favoredin, at Georgia, Florida, and at Wake Forest. If they can somehow avoid a trap game this weekend against MississippiSt, win one of the games against Florida or Georgia(this is, admittedly,extremely unlikely), and have the Gators and Bulldogs fall victim to the normalamount of SEC attrition(2 conference losses), there's a real, albeit small,chance that the Commodores could sneak into the SEC Championship game. Do I expect this to happen? No, I expect Vanderbilt to lose 3-4 gamesthis year and make a minor bowl, but in a league full of great coaches BobbyJohnson in quickly proving himself one of the best, and I'm learning not tounderestimate him.
The Wilder Power Poll, Week 2:
- Penn St: This team is quietly turning in impressive performances week in and week out, I don't know if they can run the table, but people should start paying attention.
- Alabama: Kentucky's defense is legit, so it might be a bit harsh to drop the Tide two spots, but if they hope to beat LSU or Auburn they're going to have to find more balance on offense. One offensive touchdown won't cut it against either of those teams(well, maybe Auburn).
- USC: The Trojans came out and made a strong statement against Oregon last week. I can't rank them any higher after losing to Oregon St, but they're the only one loss team that I feel could not only beat all of the teams ranked 6th or higher, but might do so by double digits if they're clicking on all cylinders.
- Brigham Young
Games of the Week:
Texas vs Oklahoma at The Cotton Bowl
Both ofthese teams boast extremely prolific offenses lead by extremely prolificquarterbacks, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. Both teams have dominant offensive and defensive lines, however, neitherteam has proven they can consistently defend against he pass. The key to this game will be two fold, whichteam gets pressure on the opposing quarterback, and which team gets betterproduction out of their receivers, because I don't think either team will beable to run the ball with much consistency. Unfortunately for Texas, both of those things tip slightly in the favorof Oklahoma. Oklahoma will force a fewmore punts, and a few more turnovers.
Oklahoma 31 Texas 27
Oklahoma St at Missouri
You couldprobably take the entire capsule for the Red River Rivalry, change a few namesand transpose it here. It's pretty muchthe exact same match up with defenses that are slightly worse. Oklahoma St will be looking to prove that ZacRobinson and Dez Bryant are as good as Chase Daniels and Jeremy Maclin. We shall see.
Missouri 42 OklahomaSt 33
LSU at Florida
I'm notsold on this Florida team. They finallyfound a running game last week but it was against an Arkansas team that lookslike it might be the worst team in the SEC. LSU should be able to push around Florida at the line of scrimmage, andCharles Scott should be able to pound away between the tackles against theGators.
LSU 22 Florida 13
Penn St at Wisconsin
Penn St is a very, very good team. True, they only beat Purdue 20-6 last week,but that score doesn't express just how soundly the Nittany Lions beat theBoilermakers. They marched up and downthe field at will, methodically, 5-6 yards at a time, thanks to a run-basedspread attack spearheaded by quarterbackDaryll Clark, punishing running back Evan Royster, and receiver DerrickWilliams. Couple that kind of offense witha good defense and you have a team that, should they manage to finish theseason with less than two losses, will have to be in the discussion regardingthe national championship game. The twogames following this one are against Michigan and Ohio St, so the answers willbe forthcoming shortly.
Penn St. 26 Wisconsin15
Arizona St. at USC
With a resounding thumping of Oregon last week the Trojanslet the rest of the Pac 10 know that they're still the best team in theconference. Arizona St. hasn't been ableto get on track yet this season, and they'll need to be completely on theirgame if they hope to pull off the upset, whether Sanchez plays or not.
USC 38 Arizona St 17Discuss