The first BCS rankings still aren’t out, and Google doesn’t know when that’ll happen, which means that we’re still in the wild frontier of polling. Every poll is equally legitimate right now, including this one, which is the only one that will accept your vote without making you buy nonnegotiable class B stock in KIA. Cast your burden-free vote below.
ALDLAND’s weekly football roundup is back, taking a look at all the highs and lows of the latest round of football action.
- Last week, I highlighted LSU-UGA as the game of the week, and ESPN agreed with me, siting College Gameday in Athens. I wasn’t able to watch, but their prediction segment featured two special guests, UGA graduate Bubba Watson and Louisiana native Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. (The Robertsons have legitimate football qualifications: Willie’s father, Phil, started at quarterback ahead of Terry Bradshaw at Louisiana Tech.)
- In anticipation of the LSU-UGA game, a secret-recipe cheesy bean dip was made. So much was made, in fact, that it lasted much longer than the game, although not quite as long as Georgia coach Mark Richt spent kissing his wife following a win over Kentucky.
- LSU-Georgia was a thriller. Georgia continues to lose important players to injury, but it doesn’t seem to slow them down. This week, star running back Todd Gurley sprained his ankle in the second quarter, but backup Keith Marshall filled in and had a career day. In the end, the Dwags outgunned the Tigers 44-41 and are in the driver’s seat on the road to the SEC championship game in Atlanta.
- I also thought Ole Miss-Alabama would be a good game, but it was not. The Rebels limited Alabama’s scoring early, but they were unable to do any scoring of their own, which is an easy-bake recipe for a loss. Ole Miss 0, Alabama 25. Continue reading
Bielema’s in his seventh year at Wisconsin, and he took the Badgers to a bowl game every year. When Wisconsin appears in the Rose Bowl this January, it will be the school’s third consecutive trip to Pasadena. Ten or fifteen years ago, a record and trajectory like this would cement the forty-two year-old Bielema’s (68-24 career record) destiny to become a legendary coach at Wisconsin and a top-echelon coach in college football’s historic conference. Today, it makes him plan B for a 4-8 team that went 2-6 in conference and itself lacks a consistent historical conference and regional identity.
To be fair, Arkansas was a top-five team last year, and had Bobby Petrino and his mistress not crashed his motorcycle, the Razorbacks probably would’ve contended for a national championship this year. Instead, another former Big Ten head coach rode the Hogs hard into the ground. (Then again, he’s got an acknowledged history of that.)
As much as Bielema’s decampment to Fayettville reflects the diminished stature of the Big Ten and affirms the completed rise of the SEC (and it’s hard to imagine the former’s recent expansion to fourteen teams didn’t play a role here), one has to wonder whether the Big Ten’s realization that the SEC is college football’s premiere conference actually indicates that we’re at some point on the downside of Peak SEC.
Whatever Bielema’s decision indicates about the state of college football, one thing seems clear: any complaints from the new Hog coach about recruiting tactics are going to fall on deaf ears in SEC land.