CFN's Final Thoughts Before Week 5
Alabama QB Greg McElroy
Alabama QB Greg McElroy
Posted Sep 30, 2010

Now is when the fun really starts with the big conference games kicking in all across the country. Of course, none are bigger than the titanic SEC battle when Greg McElroy and Bama host Florida. Check out the CFN Friday feature, Final Thoughts, with quick, off-the-cuff musings as the weekend kicks off.

Final Thoughts 

Before The Oct. 2 Games

- Final Thoughts Sept. 25

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- There's a rumor going around that Texas and Oklahoma are playing this weekend.

- If UCLA doesn't beat Washington State at home by more than three touchdowns, the Texas win can officially be declared a fluke.

- If Georgia goes ballistic in Boulder and A.J. Green catches 11 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout win over Colorado, then an official complaint can be filed regarding the 1-3 start.

- Boise State, you're in a fight for the national championship here. You're leaving the WAC anyway, so feel free to leave some scorched earth behind you. Keep the foot on the gas and hang a hundy on New Mexico State.

- Oh what a glorious time. We've finally turned the FCS corner … just three this week. Yeah, Auburn playing ULM might be cupcake time, but I'm always for giving the Sun Belters and MAC types a shot over the FCSers, even if the lower league has represented itself well this year.

- With that said, watch out for Cal Poly against Fresno State.

- And UC Davis against San Jose State.

- But not Alcorn State at Mississippi State. (Snarky Steve McNair comment, and a Danyelle Sargent-Mike Singletary-like moment, withdrawn at the last possible nanosecond.)

- Yeah, Stanford – Oregon really is worth paying attention to every bit as much as Florida – Alabama, and yes, the Pac 10 showdown should be a part of the national title discussion every bit as much as the SEC showcase.

- This could be a disastrous start for Tennessee. The team isn't any good and the schedule isn't providing any help. If it takes double overtime to get by UAB, forget about winning at LSU this weekend. At Georgia, Alabama, at South Carolina over the next four weeks isn't going to help.

- Meanwhile, Lane Kiffin and USC will be 5-0 after they beat Washington.

- And some dopey Tennessee fan will burn a mattress because of it.

- LSU will win easily, whether it needs its 100 passing yards or not.

- I said last week that Maryland needed to watch out for FIU, and it was a battle until Davin Meggett tore off a big scoring run in the final minutes. Pitt is just flaky enough to struggle against the Golden Panthers, and why? FIU leads the nation in third down defense allowing teams to convert just 20.5% of the time. Pitt is 107th in the country in third down conversions converting just 31% of its chances.

- Are people really giving any thought to Stanford possibly running the score up at times this year? You're Stanford. You go for every point you can possibly get each and every week to increase your national profile that much more. Final scores absolutely matter in the polls when it comes to perception, especially for teams on the left side.

- Baylor is 3-1 going into the Big 12 opener against Kansas. Win this, or the season is over with four road games in the next five and a brutal finishing kick of at Texas, at Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. At the moment, those four teams, combined with Kansas State (the game before the trip to Austin) have a combined record of 17-1.

- Speaking of Big 12 must wins, Iowa State will be 2-6 if it loses to Texas Tech this week at home and it'll almost certainly finish with no more than four wins with Utah, at Oklahoma, at Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, at Colorado, and Missouri to finish up.

- I want my money back if Michigan – Indiana isn't 75-72.

- Fun stat for anyone thinking of jumping on the IU bandwagon in this game. The first three Hoosier opponents played (Towson, Western Kentucky, and Akron) are a combined 1-11 with Towson getting the lone victory in a five overtime thriller over Coastal Carolina. Even so, IU is still 92nd in the nation against the run and averaging 113 rushing yards per game.

- I want my money back if Michigan, even without Michael Shaw, doesn't run for 500 yards.

- Northwestern giving away a mere 5.5 points to a miserable Minnesota team is a gift from the gods.

- The Twins in the playoffs and the Viking soap opera is a gift for Tim Brewster.

- I forgot that Northwestern misses both Ohio State and Michigan. The Cats are going to be 6-0 before Michigan State comes to Evanston.

- Here's the deal you angry Penn State fans who keep yelling at me. I'll stop saying Penn State sucks this year if your team stops sucking.

- Playing at Iowa isn't a cure for sucking.

- Fortunately for Penn State, the Iowa game is on at the same time as Florida-Alabama and Stanford-Oregon.

- if Toledo whacks Wyoming, it'll be time to consider the Rockets as one of the true favorites to win the MAC title.

- I'm sorry, but I just can't pick Utah State to beat BYU. However, the Cougars are a mess right now on offense. How bad? They haven't scored more than 14 points in any of the last three games. It took the previous 52 games to come up with three outings with fewer than 15 points. BYU has scored a total of 37 points in the last three games, but scored 37 points or more seven times last year.

- It's a shame the ACC has taken such a hit on national scale, or the terrific Miami – Clemson matchup would be getting more attention.

- Illinois might be in shambles off the field with a slew of problems, but I have a strange feeling it'll give Ohio State a little bit of a battle.

- Navy, it's time to start your season. Beat a great Air Force team in Colorado Springs, and the sluggish first month of the season can be forgotten.

- Vanderbilt at Connecticut might be the least interesting battle of BCS conference teams ever.

- Temple at Army might be the most interesting battle of non-BCS teams this week. It's like a good December bowl game that no one watches.

- No, I can't get on board with calling teams that aren't in a BCS league non-AQs.

- Make a mental note of what the Michigan State running game does against Wisconsin. If all the parts are humming, the Spartans could out-Badger the Badgers with Le'Veon Bell and Edwin Baker possibly outgaining John Clay, Montee Ball, and James White.

- Over/under the number of mentions of Mark Dantonio's heart: 21.5. Over/under on the number of cuts to the booth, where Dantonio will be, after every big, stressful play: 19.

- Everyone Pac 10-type is going to be paying attention to Stanford – Oregon, and rightly so, but Arizona State at Oregon State could be more entertaining.

- If someone up there likes me and wants to make my life as a college football writer really, really easy, Florida will beat Alabama in a classic, both will go unbeaten the rest of the regular season, and Bama will win the SEC championship in a rematch while Ohio State goes unbeaten and Boise State finishes 12-0 and blows everyone else away by 30.

By Richard Cirminiello

- Shouldn't Urban Meyer have kept Trey Burton in the vault for one more week? It's not as if he was needed to beat Kentucky, and now Nick Saban has film of the Gators' not-so-secret offensive weapon.

- At a school like Texas, it really shouldn't be this hard to develop a feature back. It's shaping up as the third straight year that the Longhorns won't have a back rush for more than 600 yards.

- No matter what happens in Dallas, Oklahoma is living a bit of a lie. You don't beat Utah State, Air Force, and Cincinnati by 12 points combined without there being a serious issue brewing under the surface.

- When BYU announced it was leaving the Mountain West, apparently it also declared its independence from completing passes and stopping the run as well. This is shaping up as the worst Cougar team in seven years.

- If Kentucky and Ole Miss play one of those multiple-overtime SEC classics, the winner might approach 100. Neither team is playing any defense, and there are exciting playmakers on both sidelines.

- Start paying more attention to Colorado State QB Pete Thomas and RB Raymond Carter. They won't engineer an upset of TCU on Saturday, but they'll be hell on opposing defenses as the season progresses.

- Will all due respect to Dallas, Tuscaloosa, and Eugene, Colorado Springs might have the best atmosphere of the weekend. After losing seven straight to Navy, Air Force smells blood in the water and has a rare shot at the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy.

- Michigan ought to be very careful in Bloomington. If nothing else, Indiana will move the ball behind QB Ben Chappell and a quality corps of receivers.

- Without any warning, SMU suddenly has a ground game to complement the passing attack. Craig James incarnate Zach Line has barreled for 415 yards in four games.

- How quickly after the final gun does the losing head coach in the Georgia-Colorado game contact his real estate agent?

- What speech does Chris Petersen pull out to get his Boise State players up for New Mexico State, the only school in America without a sack or a takeaway?

- Games involving 1-3 Notre Dame are a lot less interesting when the coach's job isn't hanging by a thread.

- Who is Pete Carroll rooting for this weekend, USC or Washington? Would either Lane Kiffin or Steve Sarkisian welcome his endorsement?

- Stanford will upset Oregon in Eugene. Arizona State exposed fault lines in the Duck D that New Mexico, Tennessee, and Portland State couldn't in the first three games.

- If LSU installs a package for Patrick Peterson to take direct snaps against Tennessee, he'll be the Heisman frontrunner by Sunday morning. It's not like the offense can't use his athleticism.

By Matt Zemek

-Virginia Tech-NC State: Do we find out that NC State is for real, or that Tom O'Brien still coaches in the ACC?

- Stanford-Oregon: First team to 50 wins.

- Notre Dame-Boston College: Remember the 1983 "Toilet Bowl" between Oregon State and Oregon, or the 2008 game in which Auburn beat Mississippi State by a 3-2 score? This all-Catholic clash could offer the same absurdist theater.

-Washington-USC: Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin will compete to see who is a more overrated head coach… or who was the less-important coordinator at USC… or who can improve Jake Locker's mechanics more.

- Penn State-Iowa: Daryll Clark, don't watch this game, wherever you are.

- Tulane-Rutgers: Could this game REALLY determine whether TCU moves to Conference USA or the Big East? Stranger things have happened in the history of humankind.

- Florida-Alabama: Urban Meyer and Nick Saban will tell each other how much they hate agents. Who said this was a bitter rivalry?

- Michigan-Indiana: We're all wondering what crazy sequence or replay error will make Bill Lynch throw a wad of chewing gum THIS TIME.

- Texas-Oklahoma: The resistible force – Texas's rushing offense – meets the movable object – Oklahoma's rushing defense. There's also a Notre Dame-Boston College flavor going on here, too. Expect a lot of train-wreck dreck in an ugly Dallas duel.

- Miami-Clemson: Jacory Harris will try to throw many interceptions. Will Clemson allow him to do so?

- Wisconsin-Michigan State: At least in basketball, these teams score in the 40s.