Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Illinois, Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Clemson, Maryland, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Stanford, Washington, California, Southern Cal, Arizona State, Utah, USF, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Syracuse, Boise State, and Houston.
Five teams overall lost games I didn't call for them to lose last week and find themselves looking to next year before month one of this one is even done, four of the them from the ACC and the fifth across the ocean in a erector set aluminum stadium:
1) NC State gets destroyed 44-14 by the Bearcats on Thursday night in their first trip to Cincinnati. In hindsight, this was an ominous portent of things to come in the ACC this week on the Shortlist, we all should have heeded the signs, as well as Tammy Flores' warnings but were too haughty to even consider it. For that, we all owe someone a big apology.
2) Maryland decides to let Temple of all teams construct a woodshed in College Park for a 38-7 thrashing behind it. That about sums up the sorry current state of Hurricane football right there nice and succinctly better than any clever quip I could come up with instead, doesn't it? At least the NCAA can help keep them marginally respectable despite being the worst dressed football team in history.
3) Miami can't cross an extra three feet of football field as the clock winds down at home, and as a result, loses to Kansas State 28-24 as the Al Golden honeymoon period is now done in just under a month. Hi, I'm BCS auto-qualifier football, Al Golden. You might remember me from such classic seasons in Charlottesville as when you lost seven, five, five, four and five games from 2001 to 2005 as the youngest defensive coordinator in FBS play. I'm here today to inform you that the vast majority of your fan-base now officially has better things to do with their leisure time in Miami this year than watch your team play and you'll be lucky to have 30,000 fans cheering your team on the rest of the season at home. While winning seven ACC games, the conference title game and playing in a BCS bowl this year would settle everything down, your coaching history and the continuing trends your detractors were worried about when you came over from Philadelphia initially suggest that things will instead begin to spiral down the drain as NCAA sanctions hinder your recruiting, on field results, and fan support in a vicious reverberating cycle that will only end when you take another job somewhere else higher up the food-chain, though the likelihood of that happening when you fail at UM is null and void. While no sane person could reasonably expect you to cook dinner without getting your own ingredients, you coach at Miami, which is never noted for having sane people as fans and thus, will most likely not be afforded multiple opportunities to assemble several more underwhelming recruiting classes in order to grind out Big 10 (plus two) style victories while playing a 3-4 defensive front and qualifying for some backwater hamlet bowl game like they were happy to accept at your previous coaching stops. Basically, you're stuck between a rock and a hard place, is there a chapter in Deserve Victory, with orange and green on the cover of course, that covers this situation and if so, what does it say exactly? Thanks for listening and enjoy the rest of your coaching career in Coral Gables, preferably by hanging half a hundred on Bethune Cookman's version of the Wildcats in the manner you should have done on the Kansas State's version instead.4) Virginia is now 0-2 against traditional FBS power Southern Miss as they fall in the friendly confines of Scott Stadium 30-24. The signature win of Mike London era so far? The 16 point underdog win against Randy Shannon's Miami Hurricanes of course in 2010! Come on, you weren't expecting that big road upset of Indiana this year to be the answer were you? Miami is everybody's national championship, even 10 years removed from its last one!
5) FIU makes sure the Hurricane's upset loss isn't the worst one last week in Miami as they fall to the surprisingly competitive Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns 36-31 at FIU Stadium. Mario Cristobal's 19-34 career record in only five years as a head coach still compares very favorably to Al Golden's 28-36 record in six years and if he goes on a long-shot run to finish 11-1 in the regular season this year the incremental heat on the head coaching seat in Coral Gables is only going to increase with each win that closes the gap. Did I mention welcome to BCS auto-qualifier football yet Al Golden? Just checking.
Two teams come up with blowout victories at home last week to stay on the Shortlist as they send the visitors packing with their tails and fighting spirit tucked between their legs, as usual, and they are:
1) Arizona State reminds all the, "Southern Cal is the new Miami," parrots out there just how right they really are as they dominate the mediocre, for a very long while now, Trojans 43-22 in Tempe. Dennis Erickson's now gang insignia laden team delivers a big win and I'm sure he had a few to celebrate the occasion afterwards if history is any reliable informer here, as the race for at least second place in the Pac-12 South now heats up as conference play ensues with ASU holding a big trump card they weren't expected to have in their hand at the start of the year.
2) Butch Jones routes the Wolfpack in the Thursday night rematch of the game that got away early in the 2010 season and set the tone for a down year in Cincinnati. His team now appears poised to stay on the Shortlist almost all the way through October and could reach the final month in they can pull off one upset in the Sunshine State thanks to two bye weeks and a manageable schedule otherwise in what will be a bowl season with BCS possibilities.
I call for six teams this week to fall off the Shortlist including last year's champion and a highly ranked top 25 team as conference play is joined in earnest. The six teams in question list as follows:
Auburn, Michigan State, Texas A&M, Kansas, Utah, and Syracuse.
The Shortlist begins the process of grinding down the BCS contenders at an increasing pace as October begins in 2011. Enjoy the games this week and join me back here next week as the Shortlist to the Superdome gets within striking distance of the magic number of only 25 left on it.
Copyright 2011 by Christopher Whelpton for Canespace.com