Bob, Ash and I answered these questions last week but my journey to east Texas over the weekend left me without internet access for a few days (which was very rough). So here is the belated discussion that took place last Thursday. - Jon
Welcome to our weekly discussion amongst The Ralphie Report's staff. Same format as last week, so dig right in.
Feel free to throw your answers to the same questions into the comments below.
1) A tale of two halves against Hawaii. Who is this Buffalo team? Are we closer to the team that came out and laid an egg in the first half, or the team that pretty much dominated in the second? None of this "right in the middle" business either.
Bob: First, we shouldn't judge anything off of Hawaii. Let's face it, Cal doesn't fumble on the one yard line or miss a field goal like the Warriors did last week. A good team puts 14 points on the board against the Buffs and then we have issues to see how CU responds. We saw how the Buffs looked against Toledo last year and then how they looked against Wyoming. Just saying lets caution any optimism until we see what they do against the Big 12. Right now, I believe this is still a team that has a lot to prove both on the offensive line and when they play on the road.
Ash: Second half - Our defense has been the one constant through all these games. Our Offense.. eee-yikes. God, I hope we're that second-half offense. No one should have to watch another Cal, including the Defense. I think that Tyler was less ready than any of us imagined, and that he's finally getting the hang of things, I say we're that second half offense that gets yards and gets in people's faces when they make dumb mistakes.
Jon: I think we saw how well this team can play and what we can reasonably expect if the team doesn't shoot itself in the foot. Unfortunately the Buffs shoot themselves in the foot a lot. Hopefully we are seeing the leaders of the team step up and take control (Hansen, Clemons) and that should help us to continue looking like the Buffaloes that rolled past Hawaii.
2) Going forward this season, with how you have seen the players perform (especially the o-line) through three games, should we run to set up the pass or should we pass to set up the run?
Bob: I would like to be able to successfully set up anything. Frankly, over the past five years, our offense hasn't set up anything or exploited any defensive weakness. Personally, we saw what a good running game could do for the offense last week but again, that was against an extremely tired team that had depth issues.
Ash: I had this exact conversation last week with my Dad last week. I know that part of why you run first is because it lets your O-line do what they do best: spring forward and hit people. It wears down their D-line more, and your O-line less. In our case it would also let Hansen relax. I think we should run to set up the pass, but I'm pretty sure Keisau will use the pass as his basis.
Jon: This is assuming that we can have a running game good enough to actually set up a pass, but if we can get to that point this season I think it would improve our passing game by leaps and bounds. We finally have the game breaking receiver at the receiver position that we have lacked the past few years. If we can have a running game/ that our opponents are forced to respect, then that just makes the receivers and tight ends that much more open.
3) Early prediction for the Georgia game?
Bob: 24 - 14 Georgia. Georgia's offense doesn't really scare me but I don't believe CU has the horses to win
Ash: Georgia has seemed to be inconsistent just like us, and depending on how their game against Missippi St. goes they could be hungry when they get here. I think we win a close one, and see more of the no-huddle in the process.
Jon: 27-24 Georgia. I'm very close to picking the Buffs to pull off the upset at night in Boulder but I'm just not quite there yet. I need to see how the Bulldogs look this weekend against Mississippi State before I make a final prediction.
1) Just when I think I have the Big 12 South figured out, A&M flops, Baylor gets destroyed and the Pokes start throwing a whole lot of touchdown passes. Rank em.
Bob: Oklahoma, Texas...nothing else really matters after that. Not very impressed with UT so far this year.
Ash: Crap, uh: Texas(s), Oklahoma, Oke St., Tech, A&M, Baylor.
Jon: Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, A&M, Tech, Baylor
2) Who will: 1) Finish second in the Big Ten 2) Win the SEC East 3) Win Conference USA?
Bob: Penn State. Florida (since they play SC in Gainesville). Who cares?
Ash: Big Ten #2: Wisconsin (on the basis that they play 4 of the other 5 ranked Big Ten teams). SEC East: Florida C-USA: Now that it isn't UofH, Southern Miss.
Jon: I think Iowa is the better team, but I will go with Wisconsin as well because of their schedule. Penn State has not looked very good. Even though they fell to Auburn this weekend I still think South Carolina can get it done this year. The ponies have played really well in their two losses and I think they'll take the conference this year.
3) Give me the final scores:
- Miami @ Pittsburgh
- California @ Arizona
- Alabama @ Arkansas
- Oregon State @ Boise State
- South Carolina @ Auburn
- West Virginia @ LSU
- Miami @ Pittsburgh 21 - 17
- California @ Arizona 14 - 31
- Alabama @ Arkansas 31 - 14
- Oregon State @ Boise State 13 - 35
- South Carolina @ Auburn 17 - 14
- West Virginia @ LSU 10 - 14
- Miami 27 @ Pittsburgh 20 - It pains me to put Florida schools out in front, really, it does.
- California 24 @ Arizona 34 - I think Arizona's overrated, but not that overrated.
- Alabama 30 @ Arkansas 14 - I don't think 'Bama will falter against Arkansas.
- Oregon State 28 @ Boise State 31 - One more close game before Boise starts their cakewalk conference.
- South Carolina 20 @ Auburn 24 - These two are tied in points per game, but not in the quality of their opponents.
- West Virginia 17 @ LSU 21- Rinse and repeat, tied for points per game, but not in the quality of backwoods cookin'.
- Miami @ Pittsburgh 31 - 20
- California @ Arizona 10 - 27
- Alabama @ Arkansas 38 - 20
- Oregon State @ Boise State 27 - 20
- South Carolina @ Auburn 21 - 17
- West Virginia @ LSU 10 - 20
1) Who is your favorite team from each BCS conference? Anyone who says Texas is automatically kicked off the site.
Bob: Tough, hard for me to call favorites in each conference. Colorado - Big 12 / Clemson - ACC / UConn - Big East / Indiana (hate the Big 10) / Cal (who knows, should do who do I dislike, that is easier. Cal's fans were awesome when we played them this year so they get the nod) / South Carolina (ole ball coach).
Ash: This is tough; growing up I rooted for two teams to the exclusion of all others: Colorado and Texas. There's no question who's first in my heart (Colorado) but after those two, the rest were always just dudes in shoulder pads. Big Ten - Northwestern; Pac-10 - Arizona St.; Big East - Can I pick none?; ACC - Georgia Tech; SEC - Tennessee; Big XII - Colorado.
Jon: I forgot to say no CU for the Big 12. So removing Colorado from the equation I would go with Oklahoma, Pitt, Arizona, Penn State, Alabama, and NC State I guess. The ACC just isn't cool so that one was tough.