So who’s really No. 1 in college football?

Bobby Curran
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Friday - October 17, 2008
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One thing appears certain in this topsy-turvy college football season. Using rational analysis to discern who might be playing for the national championship come January is an exercise in futility.You might as well use a Ouija Board.

And this is a good thing.

Nobody was considering the likes of Penn State or Alabama even a month ago, much less Oklahoma State or BYU.

Most of the games played so far have been riveting. The Red River rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas was about as good a regular season game as you’ll see. This week Missouri at Texas might be almost as good.

The reason we’re seeing so many upsets and close games, even between traditional powerhouses and cellar dwellers, is pretty simple. The limit of 85 scholarships has finally created a real sense of parity. No longer can the wealthiest schools stockpile talent. Now schools such as Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, Kansas and South Florida can aspire to conference championship and BCS games. That was unthinkable even two decades ago.

Every Saturday is exciting, but it’s way too early to draw any conclusions about who will be in the title game.

* There’s no pleasing some people. I am surprised how many fans are expressing either frustration or displeasure with the Warrior offense, even in a win.

While it’s true that UH has played conservatively with a lead in the second half, particularly against La Tech, where they controlled the ball for 12 minutes and 50 seconds in the third quarter and took the Bulldogs out of their offense, but let’s not forget the object of the exercise is to win the game. For those weaned on 50- and 60-point performances, it’s time to adjust the perspective.

Coach Mac is a lifelong defensive guy, and they look at it differently. Keeping the ball out of the opponents’ hands via long, clock-eating drives warms the cockles of a defensive coordinator’s heart.And Inoke Funaki is developing into a fine game manager.

This week Boise State will be a challenge. The Broncos are worthy of the No. 15 national ranking

We’ve already seen how devastating the loss of one key player can be in the NFL. Tom Brady’s absence from New England has rendered the league’s best offense ordinary. How then will the Cowboys survive the loss of two key players? Not only will QB Tony Romo miss four games, but punter Matt McBriar will miss eight weeks with a fractured foot suffered on his first blocked punt in overtime against Arizona. Hawaii fans don’t need to be told that McBriar is truly a weapon. He’s got the strongest leg in the league and was likely headed to his second Pro Bowl. And as

MidWeek was going to press, DB Adam Jones was suspended by the NFL for acting like the old Pacman.

* Atlanta rookie QB Matt Ryan may be the surprise of the season. He handles the blitz better than some veterans, and the Atlanta staff is asking him to make plays.

* For all those who have written off San Diego and Indianapolis, both teams look to be finding a rhythm. Don’t be surprised if these two are around at the end.

Looks like New England’s annual cruise to the AFC East title is in serious jeopardy. The Bills, Jets and Dolphins are all much improved and one of them will supplant the Pats.

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