This is the 150th post on Thorpe’s Sporting Thoughts! Who’d have thought it, eh? Thank you for reading!
So, as predicted, Oregon held on to their #1 ranking by way of not actually playing a game, and Oklahoma stay at #2. Ironically, the gap between the two teams has been closed by the under-performance of two more of the top six – #6 Texas A&M losing their two top votes to the Sooners and the #3 Crimson Tide respectively.
At least the Aggies stayed where they were in barely beating Arkansas on Saturday. #5 Florida State slip two places in the poll (although they remain nonsensically #1 in the AP poll) after struggling against North Carolina State. A couple of plays different here or there, and this week’s poll could’ve looked very different.
Yowzers. If there’s ever a week to make sure you’re glued to the television on Saturday night… This week the college football gods have given us a bevy of all-ranked encounters, and even been so kind as to put most of them on our screens for our enjoyment.
Late posting this week because of the combination of the arrival of my nephew (hi, Noah) and BT Sport not releasing their schedules until Wednesday afternoon (which I bet the listings magazines love)… but onwards.
Yikes. It’s a scary bad slate of games this week. So much so that I’m not that bothered that family engagements will keep me busy all day on Saturday, and NFL Wembley will keep me busy on Sunday. There’s actually only one ranked-vs-ranked game on the entire schedule this week, and that is on the scourge to British viewers that is Fox Sports 1.
We may not have a new #1 overall, but Oregon’s hold on the mantle is definitely slipping. In week three, every voter bar one had them in the top two including five top spots. This week, their count of #1s is down to three, and the gap to second place is down from 11 points to nine. Are the Ducks’ days on top of the pile numbered?
Obviously, it’s hard to see them going anywhere on the back of a bye this week, particularly when this week’s new #2 Oklahoma also have a vacant date in their schedule, but the sharks are circling and stranger things have happened; #3 Florida State would have to do something pretty spectacular at North Carolina State, however, to leapfrog both.
So it seems like the worry over last week’s CBS game was unfounded. Having missed out on a ranked-vs-ranked upset encounter last Saturday to see Arkansas blow Texas Tech away, there was a worry about whether BT Sport had somehow lost the rights to show the 8.30pm SEC on CBS game.
Worry not – this week Uncle Verne and Gary Danielson are back, as #3 Alabama host a Florida team that took 3OTs to beat Kentucky. Yeah, it could get ugly in a hurry, as could #2 Oregon’s visit to Washington State where the Ducks might be out of sight before the game is even joined in progress.
Oregon held onto their #1 ranking with a 48-14 win over Wyoming that was a matter of meeting expectations. They still have the best out-of-conference result out of anyone, and start Pac-12 play this week with a trip to a Washington State team boasting losses to Rutgers and Nevada.
Welcome to the NFLUK College Football Poll for 2014! With the all new playoff and an extra bowl in the used-to-be-BCS rotation, the significance of rankings beyond #2 suddenly increases, and the nuance of individual pollsters results also comes into play.
Of course, also gone this year is the rule that limited the number of teams a conference can send to the big New Year’s Bowls, so get ready to be swamped with SEC teams come January football. If the final rankings match our first NFLUK poll of the year, that could come to pass…
As has been noted in previous years, this isn’t always a glorious few weeks for coverage. The next two weekends sees the Aussie Rules semi-finals, and the MLB season is reaching it’s sharp end, then there’s the baseball playoffs to screw us over… But by mid-October we’ll be fine, and all we’ll have to worry about is those damn Fox Sports games.
Rather peturbingly, in the 8.30pm slot we haven’t got the CBS game, featuring #6 Georgia @ #24 South Carolina in the only all-ranked tie of the round. Instead we get the unranked matchup of Arkansas and Texas Tech – the live only game on TV without a ranked team this week. This could be a sign of things to come…
Hello, and welcome to the 2014-15 College Football Season! Needless to say, I’m quite excited, not only because there’s actual football happening, not only because we finally get a playoff (such as it is), but because I’m actually going to be at one of the Week 1 games – the Croke Park Classic in Dublin!
UCF stomped on Penn State last year (although the final scoreline made it seem closer), but it will be interesting to see how Nittany Lions’ stud QB Christian Hackenburg has come on against what promises to be a still-very-good Knights’ defense. The game is one of ELEVEN live games across the BT Sport stable this weekend.
They say that you can’t judge how good a team’s NFL draft class is until three years later. In my prep for this year’s, I’m taking a look at how John Fox did in his first draft as head coach in Denver, back in 2011:
1st round, #2: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
The 2011 DROY, second in the 2012 DPOY, and considerably noticeable by his absence in 2013, where the bonehead stuff in the summer counts against him. On the field grade would be A+, but the off-field brings it down to Grade: A-
2nd round, #45: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
It’s a real shame that Rahim will probably forever be linked with that play about which we will never talk of again. Beyond that, he’s a solid starter in a position that takes a few years to bed into. Grade: B+