Baltimore Sports Report Ballot – Week 8
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||—|
|5||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||—|
|6||Boise St. Broncos||—|
|11||Kansas St. Wildcats||5|
|12||West Virginia Mountaineers||2|
|14||Virginia Tech Hokies||4|
|15||Texas A&M Aggies||8|
|16||Michigan St. Spartans||9|
|18||South Carolina Gamecocks||-1|
|21||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||-8|
|22||Penn St. Nittany Lions||—|
|23||Arizona St. Sun Devils||-8|
|25||Illinois Fighting Illini||-6|
|Dropouts: Baylor Bears, Texas Longhorns|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
Wisconsin needs help in BCS standings
The Badgers are off to a 6-0 start this season and have absolutely dominated their opponents in the process. But the BCS computer polls aren’t showing them as much love as they would like. Their average rating in six computer polls was 11th, and they were even ranked as low as No. 17 in Kenneth Massey’s ratings. The reasoning for such a low ranking is simple, though. The Badgers’ non-conference schedule hasn’t been as tough as the teams ahead of them. They have only played one ranked team thus far, which resulted in a 48-17 home win against then-No. 8 Nebraska. But their three nonconference FBS opponents, UNLV, Oregon State and Northern Illinois, have a combined record of 6-13. The Badgers can’t help that their schedule hasn’t been very tough. So their only hope at this point is to win out convincingly and hope a couple of the teams ahead of them lose.
The Badgers travel to Spartan Stadium this Saturday to face a Michigan State team who just got done handing in-state rival Michigan their first loss of the season in what will be their toughest test to date. If they are able to get out of there with a win, which I think they will, they will surely help their case in the BCS standings. The Badgers have a few more games left that will impact where they end up in the BCS rankings as well, including games at No. 25 Illinois and at home against Penn State, who are currently 5-1. They will also face a ranked opponent if they are able to get to the Big Ten championship game, which would help their case as well.
Marcus Lattimore’s injury all but ends South Carolina’s hopes for big season
Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier said it best when he described the injury suffered by his superstar running back Marcus Lattimore, “Our worst fears were realized.” Well, Spurrier was exactly right. Lattimore was the focal point of South Carolina’s offense and had already rushed for 818 yards and ten touchdowns before going down with a knee injury. He led the SEC in rushing for most of this season and was all but a lock for being voted an All-American. Lattimore’s injury comes at the worst possible time for the Gamecocks, too. Quarterback Stephen Garcia was dismissed last week after what his father said was a positive test for alcohol. Garcia was struggling on the field as well, which put a lot more pressure on Lattimore to carry more of the offensive load.
Now, the Gamecocks must rely heavily on their star receiver, Alshon Jefferey, for the offensive production. Jeffery will be catching passes from sophomore, Connor Shaw, who led his team to a 14-12 comeback win against Mississippi State with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jeffery with just under four minutes to go. Freshman Brandon Wilds will start in place of Lattimore, at least for South Carolina’s next game, an Oct. 29 meeting at Tennessee. Wilds began the season as the fourth running back on the depth chart, but quickly moved up to No. 1 after injuries to Kenny Miles, Erin Baker and most recently, Lattimore. It will be interesting to see how Spurrier’s team deals with not having possibly the best running back in the nation for the remainder of the season.