Five major stories that the CBR staff will be following this week:
1. BCS politicking engaged.
We’ve reached the point in the season in which fans’ incessantly pointless jawing about conference superiority evolves into even more inane moaning about preliminary BCS rankings. The first edition of the standings found a surprise in the No. 2 slot with the Florida State Seminoles overtaking Oregon.
Just as they bitch at pundits who pick against their teams, fans of the teams at the top will now focus their rage on the quants informing them how the standings are likely to shift based on the results of actual games. (Don’t stress, Ducks.)
Take note: While the flip flop between FSU and UO is dominating analysis at the moment, keep in mind that Alabama’s path to an undefeated regular season currently looks pretty thorny.
2. Where’s Johnny?
Johnny Manziel played tough through a shoulder injury in Texas A&M’s loss to Auburn. Have to imagine that hurt like a son of a bitch when he woke up on Sunday.
The Aggies are looking to bounce back this weekend with Vanderbilt visiting College Station, but Johnny Football’s status is in doubt. With a second Heisman Trophy, national championship and SEC title all but erased, will that play any role in how quickly Manziel gets back on the field?
3. Test for Texas Tech.
Missouri’s unexpected 7-0 start is making headlines, which has undefeated Texas Tech flying a little below the radar in Kliff Kingsbury’s first season as head coach. The Red Raiders head to Oklahoma on Saturday for their stiffest yet. The Sooners, however, remain banged up across the board and haven’t looked sharp in their last two contests.
Tech has a chance to make a huge statement in Norman. Keep an eye on Kingsbury’s demeanor this week for clues as to his confidence heading into the game.
4. Commence Clemsoning?
Clemson walked into a Seminole buzzsaw last weekend. FSU came into the Tigers’ house and did essentially whatever they wanted. It was an emotional loss for Clemson, the kind that can send a team into a tailspin.
Dabo Swinney’s team now must go on the road to face Maryland in a dangerous spot. Would this qualify as a Clemsoning?
5. Missouri in the driver’s seat
If you can believe it, the Tigers could all but wrap up the SEC East with a win this weekend versus South Carolina. The Gamecocks come into the game with Connor Shaw’s status up in the air, making Mizzou a slight favorite to capture its first division crown.
Missouri in Atlanta on the first weekend in December? Just how Mike Slive drew it up.