Time once again for our midweek mailbag. Lots of questions this week about TCU/Utah and Boise State. Since I got so many of the same questions, I will answer a few right here at the top before getting to others.
On the issue of whether TCU or Utah will jump Boise State: There are a lot of conflicting opinions on this. Some believe Boise State will jump back ahead because it has more games remaining, including games against Hawaii and No. 23 Nevada. TCU only has Utah, San Diego state and lowly New Mexico, which would drop the computer average.
If TCU wins, and wins convincingly, I think voters will jump the Horned Frogs over Boise State. This is just my opinion. There really is no way of knowing right now what is going to happen. TCU jumping ahead last week after a win over UNLV was quite unexpected. Many have asked how that happened, but I think it was more a function of other teams on the schedule. TCU has also played two more games, and that has played a role.
If Utah wins, it is a bit more difficult to predict. The Utes’ computer average is 9, while Boise State’s is 5. A win over TCU is not going to jump them ahead in the computer average or in the polls. There is still way more skepticism about Utah than there is about TCU, though a win would go a long way toward convincing people.
On margin of victory: The BCS asked the computer programmers to no longer count margin of victory after the 2001 season, so a blowout is equal to a close win (hence Auburn can squeak past Mississippi State, Clemson and South Carolina without batting an eyelash). I understand there is a concern about running up the score for style points, but counting a 60-3 win and a 6-3 win the same seems a bit off to me.
Also, I asked last week for some suggestions on what I should do if Utah beats TCU, since I have picked the Horned Frogs to win. Lots of creative responses. Trevor in Draper, Utah, wants me to kiss a frog. Nonpoisonous of course.
Ben in Salt Lake City wants me to paint my face red and white and sing the school song. My only concern -- red with a red-head? Hmmm. Tyler D. in Salt Lake City wants me to film one of my video segments in a bikini. That is just a flat-out no. Rob in Salt Lake City also wants me to wear Utah gear and hang a Utah flag in all my videos -- for the rest of the year. That one is extreme, but I do like the flag idea for just one video.
Another Tyler in Salt Lake City wants me to eat tofu so I stay healthy to cover Utah's undefeated run. Is there such thing as chocolate covered tofu? Brandon in Salt Lake City wants me to wear a “Max Hall hates me T-shirt” in red. Where can I get one of those?
Now on to a few other questions:
Eric Barrier writes: How is this for an argument? The Giants do not actually deserve their World Series victory because they came from a weaker division than some of the others. Beating the Rockies and Dodgers is less impressive than beating, for example, the Red Sox and Rays, with some regularity. The Yankees really deserved to win the World Series. Their division was tougher, and it's a shame that a loss prevented the better team from making it to the championship. After all, this is the team that won last year. The comparison does not really work because, the MLB has a playoff. But this is how the Alabama-over-Boise/TCU arguments sound to me.
Adelson writes: I could not have written that better myself.
James Dorminey of Orlando writes: I don't know where you get your Conference USA information but if you don't go out of your way to apologize for the lack of respect you have given to UCF the last 2 weeks I am going to go out of my way to trash your writing on every blog I can find. ECU's defense really improved? UCF better be on your stupid non-AQ top 10 with an apology note included for disrespecting the seventh-best defense in the nation. You really thought ECU could play with us? The score doesn't show how lopsided the game was, check the tape.
Adelson writes: Let's see, East Carolina beat NC State, and UCF lost to NC State. You're right; there was no way the Pirates could hang with UCF. I did pick UCF to win, by the way. The Knights are in the Power Rankings this week. But hey, if you still feel the need, trash away, my friend.
Konnon in Salt Lake City writes: Can I get your take on something? Utah had 51 running plays against Air Force and a narrow escape from Colorado Springs. Is this cause for alarm, or were they keeping the playbook shut to prevent TCU from learning anything from game film?
Adelson writes: No cause for concern at all. Air Force has had major problems stopping the run, and the key to keeping the Falcons' dangerous triple option is ball control. So the game plan made perfect sense.
Tanner Pump in Dallas writes: What do you think is going to happen in November to substantiate your Big Ten bowl picks? I'm particularly intrigued by how you think Iowa will end up in the Insight Bowl.
Adelson writes: The Insight Bowl has actually jumped up in the pecking order and will alternate with the Gator Bowl for the No. 4 pick. My projections are based on two non-AQ teams making it and only one Big Ten making it. Therefore, I have Iowa being the No. 4 selection behind Wisconsin and Ohio State, and Michigan State going to the Rose Bowl.
Andrew Hinton in Monroe, La., writes: What is your take on the ULM Warhawks after they dismantled the Sun Belt Conference bully Troy and pushed their record to 4-4 and 3-2 in conference play. With a favorable schedule down the stretch, do you see the Warhawks finishing 7-5 and heading to their first bowl since joining Division I?
Adelson writes: I have ULM in a bowl game in my latest projections. Very impressed with the win last week, and I think 7-5 is possible, though the game against Louisiana-Lafayette to close the season is no gimme.