Beauty Contest Standings (Week 6, 2011)
Other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
Last week, I told everyone who asked that Texas needed three things to happen in order to have a chance. We had to play well. Oklahoma had to have a bit of an off day. And we needed to be lucky. Zero out of three got us killed 55-17.
So, instead of changing the subject to Ferris wheels and fried food, let us respect the fact that Texas’ players did not give up, as we have seen two or three times in Dallas this new millennium and most of last fall everywhere. Instead, they played hard until the very bitter end, and that is consoling. It wasn’t just the fact that we were not sharp that contributed to the blowout. Oklahoma played a near-perfect game of football, with Landry Jones making several throws that simply could not have been placed any better and one screen that I simply couldn’t believe he managed to throw accurately while being buried by a blitzing Longhorn.
Of the top teams, Oklahoma was matched against the highest ranked team. Then and now. LSU whipped Florida 41-11, and today the state of Florida lacks a team in a major Top 25 for the first time since 1982. FSU lost to Wake Forest by 35-30. Wake Forest! Miami played a decent game in its loss to Virginia Tech.
So how is the Beauty Contest shaking out now?
1. Oklahoma. Yes, I know that wasn’t a vintage Texas team that took the field in the Cotton Bowl, and I know that part of that devastation was caused by Texas’ youthful errors. But a whole lot of it was also the Sooners just being plain good. Would LSU or Alabama have beaten Texas Saturday? Without question. As badly? I don’t think so.
2. Alabama shut out Vanderbilt 34-0 in a representative performance. Vanderbilt is not as bad as you think this year. Unfortunately, the Tide defense is very good and the Commodore offense isn’t going to scare anybody this side of Kansas.
3. LSU has the best resume of the top tier 3 teams (or the top 5 or anybody else.) Florida will win some games this year, but they were without their top quarterback and playing on the road.
4. Wisconsin was idle. A skeptic might suggest that Wisconsin has been idle all season to this point. The Badgers look great, but they’ve looked great against UNLV (a team humiliated 59-7 by Washington State), Oregon State (a team that lost to FCS Sacramento State), Northern Illinois (a team that Army slaughtered) and South Dakota (an FCS team). So does Wisconsin look as pretty as the 3 teams above? To her mother, maybe. I guess we’ll find out when the bowls come around.
5. Stanford clobbered Colorado 48-7. Like Wisconsin, Stanford looks pretty, but she’s spent the last 6 weeks standing next to the ugly girls. San Jose State, Duke, Arizona, UCLA. Stanford beat UCLA by 26 at home. Texas beat UCLA by 29 on the road. Second or first tier?
6. Oklahoma State burned Kansas 70-28. OSU hasn’t got much of a defense. The Cowboys answer, “Defense? We don’t need no steenking defense.” If the top tier did not end with Stanford. It ends here.
7. Boise State beat Fresno State 57-7. See Wisconsin. I guess we’ll find out how good Boise State is in their bowl. Let’s hope we do. What if they wind up playing the ACC or, worse, Big East chump, er, champ? Then we learn nothing.
8. Oregon romped past Cal 43-15 after trailing by a point at halftime. LeMichael James injured an arm late and did not return.
9. Clemson took the day off, beating woeful Boston College only 34-14. They deserved the rest.
10. Michigan trailed Northwestern 24-14 at the half. Final? 42-24. Shoelace was all systems go in the second half after three early interceptions. So was the Blue D. This is where the third tier begins.
Arkansas and A&M are both close. A&M defeated Tech in Lubbock 45-40. The game turned on a blocked Tech field goal that was returned for a touchdown. It gave A&M a lead so large that even the Aggies couldn’t blow it.
Arkansas ran away from Auburn late and took a 38-14 win.
Kansas State upset Missouri 24-17 to become 5-0. These guys are going to be a tough out for anybody this year.
Illinois is a perfect 6-0 after beating woeful Indiana 41-20.
South Carolina replaced Steven Garcia and beat Kentucky 54-3. Kentucky will beat a BCS team when basketball season starts.
Georgia Tech tried to give a game to UnderArmor, uh, I mean Maryland, but prevailed 21-13.
Nebraska beat Ohio State 34-24. No, neither is close, but I’ll mention them anyway because it was one of the few entertaining games of the weekend. Yes, the others were almost all mismatches.
Baylor beat Iowa State 49-26. In case you’re wondering, Robert Griffin III now has more incompletions than touchdowns. Barely.
Houston is now 6-0 after their 56-3 beatdown of East Carolina. The 56 points didn’t surprise me. Allowing 3 did. East Carolina has previously hung 37 on South Carolina.
The weekend was a bummer for Texas fans and the state of Florida. Florida can get over it. Texas has Okie Lite coming to Austin next weekend. In an annual pick’em contest, I picked Texas to lose two games all season. This is the other one. I hope I’m wrong.
Whiskey can only cure so much.
Photo courtesy UT Athletics