Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Around the Nation: College Football- UCLA & USC; Florida is for real, LSU is not; National championship race
By Jason Lewis (Sentinel Sports Editor,
Published October 10, 2012

Up until this past weekend, red-shirt quarterback Brett Hundley had played really well.  But in a 43-17 loss at Cal he threw four interceptions.  Photo by Tony Avelar (AP)   


Fans duped again by UCLA Football 


Once again, just as folks started to get excited about UCLA football, they get let down, and hard.  This team looked really good, but after a 43-17 loss at Cal there won’t be anybody thinking that this team can compete for anything except a lower tier bowl.  


All losses count as one, but some losses are not that bad, and some are horrible.  


When UCLA lost 27-20 against Oregon State, it was not the worse thing in the world.  Nobody expected UCLA to compete for a national title, Oregon State is a pretty good football team (4-0, No. 10 in the AP Poll), UCLA was very competitive in the game, and the loss did not give an indication that UCLA was a bad team or that they were out of contention in the PAC-12 South.  


But this loss against Cal, who was 1-4 coming into the game, was just bad.  It shows that this UCLA team is not for real, that they are not good enough to roll up on a bad team and have their way.  


UCLA leads the nation in penalties and penalty yardage.  Against Cal, they had 12 penalties for 99 yards, but that was not even what did them in.  


UCLA committed six turnovers, as red-shirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley threw four interceptions and UCLA fumbled the ball away twice.  


Six turnovers and 12 penalties will do any team in.


At this point it can finally be said.  UCLA has a horrible defense.  They have been having a problem giving up big plays this year, and against Cal that issue came up again.  They gave up touchdown passes of 34 and 32 yards, and they gave up a 68 yard touchdown run.  


UCLA has broken into the AP top 25 poll twice this year, and both times they followed that up with a loss.  


They host Utah this Saturday at the Rose Bowl.  This was a game that looked like it would be an easy win for UCLA, but think again.  Utah did give USC some fits last week, so UCLA will have a fight on their hands. 


USC moves up two spots 


Good thing USC played on ESPN last week, because if not, nobody would have payed attention to their 38-28 victory over Utah.  The win was not pretty at all, as poor play had Utah leading the game 21-10 at one point.  But that lead did not hold up when USC started making big plays.  


USC moved up to No. 11 in the AP poll, but they will not be taken seriously unless they roll into the Oregon game on November 3 with a 7-1 record, and win that game.  USC does not have a ranked opponent on their schedule until then.  They travel to Washington on Saturday.  


Florida proves that LSU was not for real 


LSU had been cutting it pretty close against some inferior opponents, but their reputation had them ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll.  They opened the season by beating up on North Texas, a Sun Belt team, they struggled against a bad Auburn team, and they looked average at best against Towson, a Division I-AA team.  Their only quality victory was over Washington. 


Florida was undefeated and No. 10, so LSU finally had a chance to prove themselves.  Well it was Florida who proved themselves, knocking off LSU 14-6.  


Florida has moved up to No. 4 in the polls, but they will have to prove themselves again when they host No. 3 South Carolina in two weeks.  


South Carolina entered last weekend ranked No. 6, and they had a match up with No. 5 Georgia.  Well South Carolina beat the brakes off of Georgia, dominating the game 35-7.  Georgia did not get on the scoreboard until the final two minutes of the game. 


National Championship Race 


At this point of the season the amount of teams that are legitimately competing for the national title is dwindling.  No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 South Carolina, No. 4 Florida, No. 5 West Virginia, and No. 6 Kansas State are all undefeated and in the mix.


Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Oregon State are also undefeated.  Ohio State is ineligible for post season play, Notre Dame has looked really good, but they still have not won over enough people (even thought they already have wins over No. 10 Michigan State and No. 18 Michigan).  And nobody is thinking that Oregon State will run the table.  They still have No. 17 Stanford and No. 2 Oregon to play, and the PAC-12 is proving to be pretty tough. 


Right now the best match up looks like Alabama against Oregon because of the contrasting styles.  Last year when Alabama defeated LSU for the championship, that was one of the dullest games in recent memory, as both teams played great defense but were nothing special on offense.  


Oregon has a strike at any moment offense, and the networks would love to showcase running backs De’Anthony Thomas (Crenshaw High School) and Kenjon Barner (Riverside Notre Dame High School).  Matching them up against the best defense in the nation is an extremely attractive game.  


Oregon does have No. 11 USC, No. 10 Oregon State, and No. 17 Stanford on their schedule.  And if they run through the regular season, they will more than likely have a second game with USC in the PAC-12 Championship Game.  So they have a tough road ahead of them.


It would be great for West Virginia to make it, because quarterback Geno Smith is turning in video game type performances as he is on his way to the Heisman Trophy.  But their defense is just bad, which will make it tough for them to run the table with Kansas State and No. 13 Oklahoma on the schedule. 


But the team to watch is Notre Dame.  If they can knock off No. 17 Stanford, No. 13 Oklahoma, No. 11 USC, and not trip up over any lessor opponents, it will not matter how many other undefeated teams that there are.  It probably will not matter what the computers spit out either.  Some how Notre Dame would get into the title game, because the folks running college football would do what ever they could to get that team in that big game.  


Notre Dame in the BCS title game would be like having the Lakers in the NBA Finals, or the Yankees in the World Series.  They are the big name, and it would make a boat load of money through TV ratings.  


As for USC, they need to win out and hope that all the undefeated teams ahead of them lose a game.  

Categories: Sports

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