- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 23, 2008

WHO’S OVERRATED

No. 25 MINNESOTA

It’s tough to do this, because the Golden Gophers are a great story. So, yes, they’re bowl-eligible the year after going 1-11. They’ve generated excitement at a perfect time, the season before moving into a new on-campus stadium. The problem is they haven’t beaten anybody. The win at Illinois was nice, and the schedule looks manageable going forward. But other teams have done more to merit a poll nod.

WHO’S UNDERRATED

OREGON STATE

OK, maybe “underrated” isn’t the right word for the 4-3 Beavers. How about overlooked? Two of Oregon State’s three losses came at Penn State and Utah, and the victory over Southern California has Mike Riley’s team right at the top of the Pac-10. The Beavers always finish strong, and while they don’t get to beat up on the Washington schools anymore, they’ll sniff a ranking fairly soon.

PLOT WORTH WATCHING

PANTHERS ON THE PROWL

Here it is: Praise for a Dave Wannstedt-coached team. No, really, the Panthers are the undeniable Big East favorite at this juncture and have improved since an opening loss to Bowling Green. The Panthers don’t seem like a great bet to run the table - Cincinnati or West Virginia will be especially tough foes - but they look like a team that could be playing in a BCS game in a few months.

HEISMAN QUICK SIX

A look at the contenders for the Heisman Trophy (last week’s rank in parentheses):

1. QB Colt McCoy, Texas (1): A rare case when the talking heads have it right. McCoy’s absurd efficiency - and huge games against Oklahoma and Missouri - mean he’s the favorite at midseason.

2. QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (2): In many years, it would be impossible to go wrong with Bradford, who slings it around as well as anyone.

3. QB Mark Sanchez, Southern California (3): The Trojans’ man under center took full advantage of a meeting with a truly awful Washington State team.

4. QB David Johnson, Tulsa (NR):Yes, he does have 31 touchdown passes in seven games. Yes, his passer rating is 212.8. No, those aren’t misprints.

Story Continues →