That was unpleasant
Sometimes you just have to laugh
It’s one of those days
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Navy fans, what with conference realignment starting again and Arizona State receiving a bid to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. We’ll get to all that stuff in due time. Right now, only one thing matters. You know what it is.
We’re about 30 hours away from finding out all the BCS bowls, so we’re even closer to finding out who Navy plays in San Francisco in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The PAC-12 title has been decided – Stanford edged out UCLA by scoring the game’s final 10 points, sending the Cardinal to the Rose Bowl. For our final look, we’re just going to run down all the bowl eligible teams and I’ll give you my best guess where they go.
Spoiler Alert: I’m picking Arizona State
Army-Navy media day was yesterday, and part of the festivities was the delivery of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to Philadelphia after a two-year sentence in Colorado Springs. Upon its unveiling, Bill Wagner tweeted:
Tidbit from Army-Navy media luncheon today. Air Force allowed the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to fall into major disrepair!—
Bill Wagner (@BWagner_CapGaz) November 29, 2012
Navy spent $5,000 to refurbish trophy and it was beautiful. Sparkling silver. Now it is tarnished black!—
Bill Wagner (@BWagner_CapGaz) November 29, 2012
It looks like there is more damage to the trophy than just tarnish, though. Here’s what the Trophy looked like while it was in Annapolis:
Here’s what the Navy side looks like now. Apparently, Bill the Goat needs some help to keep from falling over:
Why does Bill need to be propped up? Was he bent or broken off? Did Air Force players all take the trophy home like it was the Stanley Cup? Was there an accident? What happened?
In other news, it appears that the years where there was a 3-way tie have been removed, something that should have happened a long time ago.
Well here go hell come. It is actually possible that USC could fall all the way to the 6th bowl in the PAC-12. I believe that, given their cache, it probably won’t happen. Can you really see someone like the Las Vegas bowl passing up having a good portion of LA roll up I-15 for a football game the weekend before Christmas?
But right now there are 5 teams with better conference records than USC (by BCS ranking: #5 Oregon, #8 Stanford, #15 Oregon State, #17 UCLA, #25 Washington) and a 6th with a higher ranking (#24 Arizona). So even if the PAC-12 lands a second BCS bowl game, Navy is going to either face a team that was ranked at the end of Week 12 or USC. There really is no bad matchup for exposure’s sake.
The other big news for the watch list is that Arizona eliminated Utah from bowl contention thanks to a 34-24 win last weekend. The Utes were up 24-17 going into the 4th quarter, but gave up 17 unanswered points. So bon voyage to that opponent. Frankly, it was the least attractive matchup. We’ve played them before, they’re not a traditional PAC team, and I don’t need another stinking referee blowing a touchback call again.
Click on through for our update of Washington, Arizona, and Arizona State.
Welp. Rutgers is no longer part of the New Big East. Too many people will write too many words on this, so I’m not going to say much. Someone else will probably leave – all signs point to Louisville or UConn. But honestly, unless the ACC makes their $50M buyout stick to Maryland, the Big East isn’t the only conference in trouble. For as much strength as John Swofford got by wresting Notre Dame away from the Big East and any overtures from the B1G, he lost it by having a founding member split for cash. So the NBE rankings bid farewell to Rutgers and now has 12 teams.
Anyway, it’s Thanksgiving Day, so we’re going to be quick about the rankings this week. Think of these as the twitter version of the rankings – short and missing all the details.
If you want to know how crazy the PAC-12 is right now as far as bowl projections are concerned, just look to some of the major media outlets and see who they are forecasting. Here’s a sampling:
Stewart Mandel @ CNNSI: Washington
Jerry Palm @ CBS Sports: Stanford
Mark Schlabach @ ESPN: Washington
Brad Edwards @ ESPN: Washington
College Football News: Oregon State
Stanford and Oregon State were the eye-poppers this week. Both teams have two losses. Stanford is currently 13th in the BCS while Oregon State is 16th. I don’t see these two teams slipping to the 6th-pick bowl game unless they lose out. Then again, Stanford has to go on the road to #2 Oregon and #17 UCLA to finish the season. Could a 4-loss Cardinal slide to the Kraft Bowl? Oregon State still has a home game against Cal and a trip to Oregon (and the make-up game with Nicholls State). If they somehow lose to Cal this weekend, they will (probably) end the season losing 4 of their final 5 conference games. Again, is that enough to make them unattractive enough to fall to the 6th bowl? Only time will tell.
In the interim, let’s look at the four teams we identified last week as the most probable opponents.
There are no more undefeated teams in the New Big East after Louisville fell at Syracuse this weekend. Louisville drops to #2 in the power rankings this week behind Rutgers. Louisville has a great offense but struggles defensively while Rutgers continues to shine on defense enough to let its offense do enough to win. Their season-ending battle should be a fun one.
As I continue to do these rankings, it is becoming more and more clear how important a new TV deal is to the conference. The current one isn’t just low paying, it’s terrible exposure. For example, two of the top three teams in conference face off this week (Rutgers at Cincinnati). That’s a matchup between a top-25 team and a team that is receiving votes and can have a significant impact on who gets to go to a BCS bowl game this year, and it is being shown on the regional Big East Network. And while that is bad, it’s worse for lowly Memphis. This upcoming week’s game at UAB will be the third consecutive week Memphis gets no TV coverage – not even ESPN3 – for a game. For the season, Memphis will have 5 games with no TV, 2 on ESPN3, and 5 on regional TV. That’s not a great lineup for a school trying to pull itself out of the cellar of D-1A football. The new TV deal will not only infuse cash into schools, but also increase the national profile of the conference on the whole.
On to the power rankings!