Welcome to November and as is always the case in the world of college football expectations have changed since the start of the season. I'm updating my bowl projections below but happy to report my preseason BCS pick of Alabama-Oregon remains alive.
The unbeatens are dropping like flies as only eight undefeated teams remain, including two BCS-busters in Fresno State and Northern Illinois. The highlight matchup of the week is in the ACC where 7-0 Miami meets 7-0 Florida State. A pair of one loss Big XII teams meet in Oklahoma State and Texas Tech while Michigan State hosts Michigan in a crucial Big 10 Legends Division showdown.
The first BCS standings are out and it comes after a wild weekend in college football that saw a big shake up throughout the top 25. Now things get really interesting with a great weekend on tap. Among the marquee games are UCLA-Oregon, South Carolina-Missouri, Stanford-Oregon State and Texas Tech-Oklahoma.
Lot of Lacy With James Starks out and Michael Hill placed on waivers the Packers have just two running backs available: Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. Thus far, Franklin hasn't earned additional playing time so look for a healthy dose of Lacy today.
Can you believe we're halfway through the college football season? With the start of the second half we see the slightly anticipated return of Tuesday night football this week. And finally, there was a shakeup with Stanford, Oklahoma, Georgia and Michigan all losing over the weekend.
Where is the breaking point with injuries? We may see it here today in Baltimore. With James Jones out for the rest of the game and Randall Cobb carted off late, the Packers are down to two receivers: Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin. Meanwhile, Nick Perry limps off late in the half and with Clay Matthews already out the depth at outside linebacker has thinned out rapidly.
Baltimore's left tackle After trading with Jacksonville Eugene Monroe replaces Bryant McKinnie at left tackle for Baltimore. So there's two things going on here: Monroe is an upgrade over McKinnie and the Ravens don't have to worry about Clay Matthews. So the question becomes can Nick Perry generate any pressure to Baltimore's left side?
Welcome to my first stab at NFL power rankings. Rather than ranking teams based on feel, momentum or any other subjective matter I put together a formula of 27 different statistics that hopefully measure the strength of a team. So of course there's the chance my formula can be way off. Here's how I see heading into Week 6:
Once again there is very little movement in the top 10. It seems like there's more volatility among teams ranked 15-25. However, we will start to see the elimination process over the next couple of weeks. Oregon opens up a brutal four week stretch with Washington this week. One-loss SEC foes Florida and LSU square off with the loser on the outside of the BCS race.
We were anticipating a shootout today at Lambeau Field but that was before Calvin Johnson was ruled out. Maybe it's apples to oranges but taking Johnson out of Detroit's lineup is like taking Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay's lineup. It just changes everything.
Third down conversions The Lions enter today with the #1 third down defense. So the key here for the Packers is to get into manageable third down plays and then execute. By moving the chains the Packers should be in for a big day offensively.
Only a slight shakeup in the top 10 with Georgia defeating LSU in a BCS-saving win. Ohio State cleared their first hurdle with the win over Wisconsin but now faces another test this week. There are a handful of impact games this weekend including Ohio State-Northwestern and Maryland-Florida State. The Pac-12 race will come into focus in October as Washington-Stanford kicks off a month full of impact conference games out west.
It was a rather uneventful weekend in the college ranks with several blowouts and few upsets. As always, a few things stood out: Alabama remains #1 but they were not dominant against Colorado State. They're still the team to beat but they don't appear unbeatable. Stanford was impressive through three quarters against Arizona State. The Pac-12 is much stronger this year and the Cardinal have three more prime matchups within the conference. Florida scored a nice win over Tennessee but lost starting quarterback Jeff Driskel in the process. The Gators have a chance to recover with Kentucky and Arkansas ahead before the slate gets difficult.
Green Movement Safety Morgan Burnett is out again and the Packers will face yet another very good wide receiver with a thin secondary. Cincinnati's A.J. Green is fast becoming one of the NFL's elite though he's not an over-the-middle guy like Anquan Boldin. So look for Green to attack the edge while Cincy uses two pass catching tight ends over the middle.
It looked bleak at the start. Eddie Lacy leaves the game with a concussion and the Redskins register back-to-back sacks on the opening drive. No running game and no protection. Surely this one will be ugly.