|Texas demonstrated some quality missed|
tackles on Saturday
Vanderbilt gets Auburn this weekend in one of the biggest games of the season (for Vandy). Auburn is terrible, so Vanderbilt is favored by 7 in Vegas and by the model at home. Next week they get UMass, who is even worse than Auburn. That would put them at 4-4 with Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wake Forest left. Especially with things on the verge of falling apart at the seams in Tennessee, Vanderbilt should be able to get two wins and become bowl eligible. Lose to Auburn, though, and that dream dies. The model gives Vanderbilt a 63% chance of becoming bowl eligible right now.
Two teams that are better than both Auburn and Vanderbilt are Florida and South Carolina. These two teams have something else in common: they will be on the same field at the same time this weekend. This game is all or nothing for South Carolina; a win and they will have the tie breaker over Georgia and Florida with Tennessee and (an improving) Arkansas left in the SEC. Lose and they will have two losses and would lose a tie breaker to Florida. If Florida wins they will still need to either beat Georgia or hope Georgia loses to Kentucky, Auburn or Ole Miss (they probably ought to beat Georgia just to be safe). The model says this one is a coin toss while Vegas like Florida by the home field advantage. Oh, and I heard one of the coaches used to work at the other school. Interesting.
Like SC and Florida, ULM and Western Kentucky have a lot in common. They will also be on the same field at the same time. They each have a win against an SEC opponent (which is more than Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and Auburn can say), but they have also lost to an SEC team from the state of Alabama. Combined, these teams have played five BCS conference teams, winning two, losing in overtime in a third and losing a 4th quarter lead in a fourth. But according to the model, ULM and Western Kentucky would now be favored in four of the five games (Alabama would still be favored; Alabama would be favored against any team in Kentucky or Louisiana right now, including the Saints). Sensational at the time, we could now expect wins against Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor and Kentucky. Western Kentucky and ULM are also in a three way battle for the soul of the Sun Belt (with La.-Lafayette). They probably think that's really important, too.
I close with a couple videos to celebrate classic moments in college football that are especially relevant again this weekend.