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Upset Saturday, or not?

Posted: Sep 30, 2007

Patrick Snow mentioned in his last column that he was looking ahead to next week's games.  Based on yesterday's game result, so were too many top 25 teams in the Footprint.  TF Upsets galore occured starting back on Friday when USF beat West Virginia for the second year in a row.

To recap:

#3 Oklahoma lost
#4 Florida lost
#5 West Virginia lost
#7 Texas lost
#22 Alabama lost

This is the point in the season where everything seems topsy-turvy.  Here's this week's AP Poll:

1. LSU 5-0
2. USC 4-0
3. California 5-0
4. Ohio State 5-0 
5. Wisconsin 5-0 
6. South Florida 4-0
7. Boston College 5-0
8. Kentucky 5-0 
9. Florida 4-1 
10. Oklahoma 4-1
11. South Carolina 4-1 
12. Georgia 4-1 
13. West Virginia 4-1 
14. Oregon 4-1 
15. Virginia Tech 4-1 
16. Hawaii 5-0 
17. Missouri 4-0 
18. Arizona State 5-0 
19. Texas 4-1
20. Cincinnati 5-0 
21. Rutgers 3-1
22. Clemson 4-1
23. Purdue 5-0 
24. Kansas State 3-1
25. Nebraska 4-1  

At this point, TF teams are being punished by having had to play one another.  Does anyone really think at this point that Kentucky and South Florida are the second and third best teams in the Footprint? 

Kentucky's wins are against Louisville and Arkansas, both who appear to be more than a little overrated.  Still, Kentucky deserves its moment in the sun.  Next week brings a big test - Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks.   Lexington Herald-Leader's John Clay has a fun piece on Spurrier coming to town, while that same paper's Mark Story writes on Kentucky native Howard Schnellenberger's high opinion of Wildcats.

South Florida does deserve some kudos.  That team says something about the depth of college football talent in Florida.  The Big East lost Miami, who had dominated the conference, and replaced them with South Florida.  Now, USF is dominating the Big East with solid wins against Auburn and West Virginia.  It is possible that USF could run the table and be in play for the national title game.  That would be quite an amazing thing for such a young program.

Regardless of how near the top either Kentucky or USF remain, TF's point is that it is never quite a good or as bad as it seems.  Florida's loss gave hope back to several SEC teams.  That makes for an interesting season. 

Keep in mind that there has been great consolidation inside the Footprint.  Teams in the South have to play each other at an increasing frequency.  Also, teams are getting better across the board.  Even Vanderbilt has a winning season underway with only one loss so far.  It is no longer a case of a few dominant teams.  Expectations have to be revised, both up and down.  Here are just a few examples:

The Birmingham News' Kevin Scarbinsky says don't lose faith in Auburn, while the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer's Troy Johnson writes about Auburn's win by commending the team for playing tough despite a disappointing season thus far. 

The Miami Herald's Edwin Pope suggests revising expectations for the Hurricanes.  He makes a good point that a win is a win.  Don't worry so much about whether the team dominates every week.

At the Raleigh News-Observer, they have NC State's football team headed in right direction, even though they lost big.  O'Brien built the BC team that is leading the ACC right now so NC State fans should have hope.

Jeff Gordon (St Louis Post-Dispatch) focuses on Mizzou and Illini, two formerly moribund programs that might finally be headed towards legitimacy.

Last week's losses bring bigger relevace to teams like South Carolina and Georgia who sit with only one loss.  There are a handful of other strong teams just waiting to play opponents that presently sit ahead of them in the standings.

One way or another, it will all play out on the field.

Is LSU truly dominant?

Was Florida's loss just a hiccup?

Will Saban have Alabama playing better football as the season progresses?

Will Vandy finally go to a bowl?

This and many other questions will be answered as the weeks play out.  Maybe people are a little disappointed that LSU-Florida and the Red River Rivalry won't feature a two pairs of unbeatens, but the rest of TF Footprint is happy that more teams have a chance.

related tags

North Carolina,
South Carolina,
West Virginia,
Tribal Fever,

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