Saturday’s ESPN slate is a bit of a no-brainer this week. There’s only one all-ranked game not on Fox in each time slot, so that’s what we get. There’s another pivotal Big 12 game at 5pm and a return to Tuscaloosa for Texas A&M at 8.30, all leading up to the big unbeaten clash between Everett Golson and Jameis Winston.
Also, baseball is nearly over. We are just a couple of weekends away from having the late schedule entirely open for college football games rather than splitting time. The way things have been going, I’d be astonished if the ALCS goes seven games anyway this week, so that may free up Friday (1am) and Saturday (1am) slots.
Well, what an insane week that was. Eleven of our top 25 after Week 5 fell this week, including all of the top three teams. As a result, pollsters have pretty much had to rip up their vote sheets and start again, resulting in a brand new #1.
Six of this week’s seven pollsters feel that Auburn’s 41-7 crushing of then-#17 LSU is enough to give them the top ranking, and three of those six see this week’s encounter with #3 Mississippi State a 1-v-2 fight in the SEC West.
This week was never going to live up to last week. With so many ranked-vs-ranked games including a bunch of upsets, last Saturday was one of those days when you set yourself in front of the television early and peeled yourself off the sofa happy the next morning.
Other sports take precedence on the BT family of channels this week, so we actually only get four live games in total including the Thursday and Friday night games, but the slate is still pretty solid.
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…