VETTEL: Week Nine Musings

Remember back on Labor Day when the prime time match up between Florida State and Miami was about to take center stage? Innumerable national pundits aka: idiots spoke about how the contest was going to make the winner the front-runner for one of the spots in the BCS Title game. Oops! Instead the Noles and ‘Canes are each on the verge of their worst season in years if not decades.

Both are out of the running to make it to the ACC Title game, and neither is bowl eligible entering November. Miami fans are clamoring for the dismissal of Larry Coker while ‘Noles fans simply hope that Coach Bobby Bowden will acknowledge reality and retire.

This past weekend FSU never led in dropping a 27-24 decision at Maryland while Miami coughed up two ten-point leads and fell to Georgia Tech 30-23 in Atlanta. FSU (4-and-4) plays its final four games at home, starting with Virginia, followed by Wake Forest, Western Michigan and Florida. Meanwhile Miami (5-and-3) has a tougher schedule with Virginia Tech and Boston College at home, Maryland and Virginia on the road. It’s not inconceivable that one of these traditional powers won’t go bowling.

Kentucky going bowling??? —– With four games to go, Kentucky is two wins shy of being bowl eligible this season. The Wildcats’ 34-31 win over Mississippi State evened their record at 4-and-4. Their next three games are at home against Georgia, Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Monroe before they finish the season at Tennessee. If they win two or three of those games embattled coach Rich Brooks may just get another year. Getting the bowl bid is no guarantee because with a 12-game season there will be many more bowl-eligible teams this year.

Is it signed yet? —– Think UCF might be regretting that mega extension they gave to football coach George O’Leary? After a phenomenal turnaround season last year the Knights are regressing dramatically. UCF fell to 2-and-6 on the year with a 51-31 loss at Houston Saturday. The Lights have given up 143 points in losing their last three games…. And they open their new stadium next year against Texas!

Saluting Southern Cal —– The Trojans of USC fells to Oregon State Saturday opening up all kinds of possibilities in the BCS. The 33-31 setback ended the Men of Troy’s 27-game Pac-Ten Conference winning streak. Say what you will about any conference, winning every game for more than two years is pretty amazing. Other than USC the biggest loser in this outcome was Notre Dame which needed USC to be as highly ranked as possible when they play later in the year.

The Fighting Fedoras —– Former Gator offensive coordinator Larry Fedora is building himself quite a resume’ on the way to becoming a head coach. His Oklahoma State Cowboys put 41 on the road in beating Nebraska Saturday and the boys in Stillwater are a win from being bowl eligible. OSU is averaging 431 yards and 38 points a game and has excellent run/pass balance (211/220). Look for Fedora to be mentioned in several head coaching searches in the off-season. If Kentucky makes a move he would be a great choice. Ditto Memphis, which has to be considering a change with a 1-and-7 record and six years of mediocrity (32-and-35) under Tommy West.

Looking Ahead for 50 —– The Gators have not scored 50 points under Urban Meyer and have not scored 30 points in any of their six SEC games. But a high scoring performance is less than a month away. Western Carolina lost to Wofford 35-7 to fall to 0-and-6 in the Southern Conference. The Catamounts should enable the Gators to seriously improve their stats. It’s a game that should also give us a long look at Tim Tebow actually running this offense.