Monday, September 13, 2010


From the AP via ESPN:

No. 5 Texas works through early struggles to put away Wyoming

Texas opened up the playbook to show off Garrett Gilbert's arm.

The result: a handful of big plays sprinkled into an otherwise methodical 34-7 win over Wyoming on Saturday night.

Gilbert, in his first home start after taking over at quarterback from Colt McCoy, passed for 222 yards and his first touchdown of the season for the No. 5 Longhorns.

After spending most of the season-opener against Rice handing off more than 40 times, Gilbert was 22 of 35 passing against the Cowboys. Freshman Mike Davis was his big target with seven catches for 104 yards and a flashy 45-yard touchdown.


Again from the AP via ESPN:

No. 19 LSU puts away Vandy with 17 in fourth

LSU coach Les Miles still sees his Tigers making mistakes that must be corrected. His defense can only be counted on to cover up those problems for so long.

Stevan Ridley scored a 65-yard touchdown and ran for 144 of his career-high 159 yards in the second half, and the Tigers came up with six sacks in defeating Vanderbilt 27-3 Saturday night.

It was the Tigers' seventh straight win in this series in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.


Not much to say. I watched the Texas game on Fox Sports Southwest, but I couldn't find the LSU game anywhere--okay, ESPN showed, like, five minutes of it here before switching to one of those talking head analyst shows, just a tease, but I guess I understand why the network didn't think they'd be making much money on such a game; Vanderbilt, even though a member in good standing of the SEC, isn't known for dominating play. And I didn't get to see LSU play the Tarheels last week, either. Actually, people at work told me I didn't really want to watch that one, so I taped over it with the Saints' playing the Vikings, which I did want to watch, and had fun doing so.

Anyway, Texas continues to look solid, continues to work its running game. Gilbert is obviously talented, not a Vince Young or anything, but definitely a good drop-back passer and game manager. Like I said last week, I'm not looking for the 'Horns to win a national championship this year, but I do think we've got a good shot against Oklahoma, despite the Sooners' run-up scoring in their win against Florida State. We'll know better after the Tech game next week.

LSU, on the other hand, remains something of a mystery to me. Like I said, I've not actually seen them play yet - I probably should have used another tape for the Saints game - so all I've got are these AP stories and highlight reels. I've really got to see them play next weekend. Which brings me to something that's bothering me tonight. Texas dropped a slot in the AP poll to number six because Oregon, who kicked the shit out of Tennessee on Saturday night, moved up and took Texas' spot. Okay, that seems reasonable, in spite of Texas' good win over Wyoming. Meanwhile, LSU advances four slots to number fifteen. And that seems reasonable, too, given their lopsided victory over Vanderbilt. But because I haven't seen them play yet, I don't really know how reasonable that is.

So here's what's bothering me. The sportswriters who vote in the AP poll are essentially in the same boat I am: they haven't seen most of the teams on which they're voting. I mean, they probably make a point of checking out at least a few games played by ranked teams throughout the season, but they cannot possibly see them all. do they decide? I mean, Texas actually has a single vote for number one this week. WTF? I love Texas as much as anybody who ever went to school there - well, I've seen a few crazed alumni in specially tailored burnt orange suits, eating dead Bevo steaks and whatnot at the alumni center on game day, so maybe I don't love the Longhorns as much as any former student, but I'm sure you get my drift, anyway - but Texas just isn't the number one team in the nation. They're really good, but not great. How does a sportswriter come to the conclusion that Texas is the best after playing Rice and Wyoming? And more importantly, how do sportswriters make polling decisions more generally on teams they haven't seen play?

I strongly suspect that the entire system is very subject to hype and sports writer herd mentality, which is yet another reason to believe that the BCS system, which uses weird computer programs, but also relies heavily on human-generated rankings, is fucked up beyond all hope.

Anyway, just a thought.