NCAA Football – Excitement? Yes. Parity? No.

Posted: September 16, 2011 in BCS, College teams, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles
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What have we learned thus far during this college football season?

For one, when it comes to pure entertainment/excitement/thrill-a-minute football, the college game at its best gets the nod over the pro game. And I say this after one of the wildest, highest scoring opening weeks in NFL history. It doesn’t get much better than South Carolina beating 45-42 Georgia; Michigan beating Notre Dame 35-31; Auburn beating Utah State 42-38 and Mississippi State 41-34; Baylor beating TCU 50-48; Texas beating BYU 17-16 to mention a few games.

For two, we’ve learned that the college game is still one of a few “haves” and a lot of “have-nots”. Many college football advocates say parity has come to college football. They contend the gap between the elite and the bottom half, maybe two-thirds, of the 120 so-called major schools has closed significantly. They point to the success of Boise State, TCU and Utah as proof. They say scholarship limitations, the lure of getting early playing time as a quicker way to the NFL and TV exposure has spread the talent more than ever.

The facts don’t support such an argument. After two weeks we’ve already witnessed more than two dozen routs of 40-plus points. Close to home we’ve watched the Gators outscore two far inferior opponents by 80-3 and FSU whip two patsies by a combined 96-10.

Have those games helped Florida and FSU get ready for the “real” season? I don’t think so. Has it hurt them? Probably not. But we can take little from what we’ve seen from the Gators and Seminoles thus far. We don’t know if the Gators’ new pro style offense is for real. We don’t know if the Noles are ready to regain elite status.

This Saturday we’ll get a better idea if Florida is an SEC East contender and FSU is a national contender.

The Gators are favored by 9½ over a Tennessee team that’s trying to regain its status as a big-time program. The Vols have lit up the scoreboard for 87 points with a dynamic passing game against better competition (admittedly, not by much) than the Gators have faced. If Florida is to beat the Vols then the Gators will have to do a better job of getting to the quarterback.

The Noles have a more daunting task, hosting top-ranked Oklahoma. The experts obviously believe in FSU, making it’s a 3½-point.This despite the fact the Noles have not effectively run the ball well against the likes of Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern.

Clearly, the FSU-Oklahoma game is the bigger of the two on the national stage, matching the No. 1 and No. 5 teams, but there’s more pressure on the Gators. A home loss to Tennessee could send a crippling message to a Gator team in transition with a new coaching staff and new schemes, not to mention a juggernaut of a schedule in October. FSU could recover from a close loss and still be in the national hunt.

Quik pix: Gators continue dominating the Vols, winning by 10; FSU gets revenge from last year’s spanking at Oklahoma and wins by 3; Ohio State worsens the nightmare in Miami and wins by 14; Auburn loses its rabbit’s foot and falls by 3 at Clemson; Notre Dame loses another home game, falling to Michigan State by 7. Last week: 3-2 (not using spreads).



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