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Blogpoll & Roundtable: After the Darkness

This week's blogpoll is out. Bruins because of bye week dropped out. We are at no. 26. If Dorrell gets the job done this Saturday I think we will be in the top-20 (at least in this poll).

To go with the blogpoll this week we are having another roundtable after all the dust has settled from Separation Saturday (well everywhere except Oklahoma). This time it is being hosted by Maize n Brew, who is still euphoric over last Saturday. Here are my responses. Of course I would love to hear what everyone else thinks about these questions. Maybe I will readjust the answers in time for MnB. Here ya go:

1. Its only the third week of the season and we've already seen some highly ranked favorites drop out of national championship contention. Preseason favorite Cal dropped to #21 after a loss and a pair of underwhelming victories. Who's your pick as the next NC contender to take a fall?

I will go with Southern Cal here. I don't think everyone should buy Herbie's nonsense from Saturday that Southern Cal is going to waltz right through the Pac-10 to the BCS game. Remember Herbie also said the winner of Southern Cal v. ND game will be playing for the NC. Southern Cal is beatable. Sure, they have an incredible set of (allegedly paid) linemen and (thuggish) LBers. But their secondary is soft. So far, they haven't taken on any team with a legit passing game. Sure Nebraska came in with a nice West Coast Offense. But Callahan, who was shooting for a moral victory, never bothered to test out the Trojan secondary. And, when he did, Nebraska did move the ball but it was too late. I fully expect Southern Cal to have a rough time against Oregon and Cal, whose QBs are infinitely better than the crap we saw in Arkansas and from Nebraska.

And, if Oregon or Cal doesn't beat Southern Cal, we are going to beat those chumps. Folks outside the country have no idea what kind of emotion will be going through the Bruin sidelines, the Rose Bowl stands, and the entire Bruins Nation on December 2nd. We have been through enough for the last seven years. Dorrell's legitimacy as the long term head coach for UCLA will be on the line that Saturday. If Dorrell truly wants to win the hearts and minds of Bruins Nation, he will have to beat Southern Cal. He cannot let these (alleged) cheaters and thugs match our 8 game winning streak against the Evil Empire. And, I think Dorrell will pull it off. Troy may end up winning the conference, but they are going to fall from NC contention this year.

2. By that same token there are several schools hanging around without a loss that all of a sudden look like surprise contenders. There are also a few one loss teams with a legit shot at getting back into it. Looking at the rankings who's the team no one's talking about with the best shot at crashing the party ?

No one is really talking about Virginia Tech. Given how weak the ACC is looking these days, those guys may have a clear shot to the ACC title game. They should beat Clemson at home and Miami on the road.

Watch out for the Hokies

And if they can get a shot at the BCS title with an undefeated record against some big shot team (while no one giving them a chance) ... you never know.

3. Every team has their quicksand away game. You know. That place you should win but somehow find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory or at least scare the &*%^ out of you every year. Did you know that over the last 21 years Kentucky wasn't won once in Knoxville? Where is your team's yearly sandtrap?

With Karl Dorrell in charge every game is a "sandtrap" for the Bruins. I think we are looking at a very dangerous weekend in Seattle.

A sandtrap for the Bruins? (photo: Mary Levin)

UCLA should handily beat the Huskies. We have a 5 game winning streak against the Huskies, and there is really no reason for losing to them this season. But then again there was no reason for losing against Stoops' Mildcats last season in Tucson. So yeah ... we are going to hold our breath this Saturday.

4. Now that you've looked into the darkest place in your football soul, free Escalades aside, turn and look into your crystal ball. Conference play is either just starting or a single game in. Based on what you've seen so far, give the order of finish in your conference, and if you've got a Conference Championship game tell us who the winner will be. Independents must predict the remainder of their schedule. The results your predictions will be held against you at the end of the season.

I have no problem for being called out at the end of the season. This is how I see the Pac-10 shaping up at this point of time.

1.Southern Cal
5.Arizona State
7.Washington State
9.Oregon State

5. In keeping with the spirit of Maize n Brew, name your beverage of choice on game days and why. It need not be alcoholic, as there are some of us who choose not to imbibe on game day. Further, it need not be limited to a single brand/type/category. If you enjoy drinking PBR and Kraft Turkey Gravy at the same time (which I have personally witnessed), please, elaborate. Finally, if you should feel so inclined, and this is not a requirement, add an anecdote involving said beverage choice.

Given what I have been subjected to as a Bruin football fan I have resorted to drinking this during my Saturdays:

If I am watching the game at home that's what I go with. I need Magic Hat's Blind Faith to get me through Bruin football. Seriously though - its a great beer. and I am sure you can order it online.

If I am at a bar watching Bruin football I stick to IPAs. That's what I was drinking during that 1996 game against Southern Cal. Haven't changed the habit since.

So what's your choice of beverage on gamedays? Let us know along with any thoughts/answers to the questions posed in this rountable. Lets make this a roundtable for this Nation as well. Fire away.