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Fog lifted on college football’s 2012 season

Published 9:39am Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Associated press usually gets it right and the USA Today coaches’ poll usually just does not get it at all.
Alabama received all 60 first place votes last Sunday but two voters did not think the Crimson Tide deserved their first-place nod.
The coaches’ poll is more like a weekly mystery- misery index than a credible source for evaluating the teams.
One coach still believes Florida State is stronger than Alabama, while another found the LSU win over sub-division Towson 38-22 impressive, even though the LSU faithful left early and in droves.
I guess the voter was impressed with LSU’s five fumbles (three lost) or maybe it was coach Les Miles’ postgame comments, “I thought we played down to our opponent – I must not have prepared them well.”
Do you think Miles is related to Joe Biden?
Whatever the reason, the USA Today coaches just can’t shake LSU, it’s like breaking up with a girlfriend.
Last week they penned a “Dear Les” letter, but only when it was obvious that Oregon was a better choice for No. 2.
The AP got it right when they dropped LSU to fourth and moved Florida State ahead.
The situation is perfectly clear; Alabama is in the market for a title- game opponent.
Alabama continues to play a style of football that is becoming unfamiliar in the college game. College football is slowly trending away from what we call “purist football.”
Alabama continues to run the ball, stop their opponent from running the ball, they do not make mistakes and they soundly defeat their opponent. They do not need to run-up the score to get their point across.
Alabama has the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation allowing only 35 points in five games. The entire offensive line looks NFL-ready.
Everyone enjoys watching teams score, but the teams putting up video game big numbers, will come to a screeching halt this week.
Now it is time to start taking notice of the teams who can not only score, but have the ability to stop you from scoring.
Beginning Thursday night, you will see a different approach to the game than in the previous five weeks.  Until now, it has been video-game numbers on offense, with very little defense throughout the nation.
Style points do not count when you get into beating good teams. Winning will be everything, not the final score.
When the BCS computers are factored in, it will be strength of schedule.  The computers factor in who you play and who your opponents have played, not the final score.
This is the week the conferences get into the meat of their schedules and survival, not the final score will take precedence.
I would start paying attention to such teams as Notre Dame, Florida State, Oregon, Texas and USC.
Another team no one is talking about is Texas Tech.
The Southeastern Conference, Pac-12, and the Big-12 will find a way to beat each other up for the next five weeks.
The two teams with the best chance, based on their remaining schedules, are Alabama and Florida State.
Both teams have defeated ranked, but extremely overrated opponents.
Alabama has LSU and the SEC championship game while FSU must still play Florida at the end of the schedule.
Going out on a limb picks:
Thursday:
USC over Utah
Saturday:
South Carolina over Georgia
Florida over LSU
Texas Tech over Oklahoma
Texas over West Virginia
Notre Dame over Miami
Oregon over Washington
Auburn over Arkansas
Until next time.
Meyers is a college football columnist.

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