Slowly but surely, Dave Wannestedt's Pittsburgh Panthers are making their way up Homerism's rankings.
Beating Notre Dame isn't really a "signature" win this season. Yet, as other highly rated teams continue to fall by the wayside, the one-loss Panthers' résume looks better and better each week.
If Pitt and Cincinnati take care of business Thanksgiving weekend, their matchup in the first weekend of December at Heinz Field could end up being one of the games of the year. Who would've thought?
In other developments, TCU vaults up to number three after demolishing Utah over the weekend. If Clemson keeps on winning, that win is going to look really good for the Horned Frogs when all is said and done.
Blatant Homerism Weekly Power Poll: Week 11
6. Boise State
7. Georgia Tech
10. Ohio State
*Sounds as though Mark Mangino is in serious trouble at Kansas for allegations of some "anger-related" issues and complaints from his players. The big fella is even conceding he's has lost the support of some of KU's head honchos.
A coach with a temper problem, huh? You don't say. Cue the crotchety old-timers wondering whatever happened to the good old days of the Junction Boys and coaches being given the freedom to abuse their players as they saw fit. Kids today, I do declare.
*DeMarco Murray appears to be leaning towards coming back to Norman for one more season in 2010. Presumably, he isn't hearing what he wants from the pro scouts. Sad to witness the toll injuries have taken on Murray throughout his career in Norman. Two years ago, he looked like a surefire first-round pick.
*Speaking of the NFL, Lance Zierlein of the Houston Chronicle offers up an interesting analysis of the pro prospects of some of the players in the Big 12 South. Zierlein based his conclusions on the opinions of four different NFL scouts. He includes one scout's comment on Sooners left tackle Trent Williams that is pretty telling: "Williams is a top 10 talent, but he is very lazy, and the film won't lie when teams really study him, so he could fall to the late first."
Also, for those in Sooner Nation wondering if defensive end Jeremy Beal will be moving along in the spring, the scouts Zierlein surveyed rate him as a fourth- or fifth-rounder.
*ESPN's Rumor Central ($) contends that Bob Stoops' denial of the Notre Dame rumor isn't much of a denial. Bruce Feldman seems to share my outlook on the situation. (Again, to be clear: I do not think Stoops is going to be coaching the Fightin' Irish next year.)
*Of course, all the speculation about ND's future rests on the assumption that Charlie Weis actually won't be there next year. For his part, Weis isn't ready to concede that yet.
The Weis Situation is so tricky that even The Wolf would have a hard time managing it. In my opinion, as much as the higher-ups may want to can Field Goal Jesus, they can't do it if they don't have a home-run hire locked down. Obviously, the Irish got burned badly five years ago when Urban Meyer spurned South Bend for Gainesville.
At this point, I really don't see ND digging itself into a deeper hole with Weis. So, it would seem like the worst thing they could do is hire someone else, only to find themselves running in place. Guys like Gary Patterson and Brian Kelly may seem like strong candidates now, but it's not like there aren't questions about their ability to recruit and win at a big-time program. To me, that's rolling the dice.
On the other hand, given how quickly the Irish brass pulled the plug on Ty Willingham, how can Weis be allowed to stay on without ND risking a major PR hit? Over in Kansas City, Jason Whitlock must be salivating—at least, more so than usual—at the column potential of such a decision. More fuel on the "ND-is-bigoted" fire won't help restore the program's luster, either.
Irish fans' message to athletic director Jack Swarbrick: Pretty please, with sugar on top, make the right call.