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Reviewing the National Scene: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good

Teams that are still undefeated

Alabama came out of the weekend as the the team that has proved the most so far. However, the Tide aren't the only ones rejoicing. Now, all of the teams that were originally considered national title contenders other than Oklahoma and Mizzou have lost. That opens the gates to a number of different teams, the most impressive of the being LSU, Penn State, and Texas. In addition to Alabama, all of these teams now control their own destinies.

The Bad

Teams in the Top Five not named Oklahoma or LSU

Southern Cal and Florida are self-explanatory, with the Trojans' loss being particularly bad. I would give Georgia a pass because their loss was to a good team, but they were blown off the field in embarrassing fashion in a game that was supposed to be a showcase for them. At least the Trojans and Gators can use the "unprepared for a lesser opponent" excuse.

An honorable mention has to go to the head Gator himself, Urban Meyer. Urban, never known for his grace in front of the microphone, has now taken classless to a new level by (1) raising a stink over an Ole Miss player hurdling a Florida blocker to stuff the game-tying PAT and (2) refusing to give credit to Houston Nutt and Ole Miss for their performance. Urban may be right about the legality of the move Ole Miss used to block the PAT, but at this point it's crying over spilled milk. Urban's temper tantrum reminds me of what Charlie Weiss said after the Bush Push a few years ago. When asked about the play's legality, Weiss responded that he would have had his guys do the same thing if they were in that situation, basically admitting to the old adage, "if you're not cheating, you're not trying."  Urban, you've just been shown yourself to have less class and honesty than Charlie Weiss. Way to go.

The Ugly

Tommy Bowden and Clemson

Mentioning these guys may seem like schadenfreude, but if we're going to talk about teams that have failed miserably to live up to expectations this year, I see no reason to look further than the Tigers. Tommy Bowden's talented team came into the season with what was supposed to be an easy road to the BCS: get past Alabama, coast through an easy conference schedule, beat your rival at home, and you're there. So far, the Tigers have failed the first two requirements. Losing to Bama doesn't look so bad now, but Maryland is probably no better than a lower-tier bowl team (they lost to Middle Tennessee State), and the game was at Auburn-with-a-lake. Gamecocks fans now can hope that the Tigers aren't good enough to finish the final of the three requirements.

Will Clemson fire Bowden at the end of the year? Hard to say. Tommy tends to pull out a victory or two towards the end of the year to save his job, but with expectations as high as they were this year, the Tigers' failure has to really sting the Clemson faithful. I think he's really going to have to get it together quick to save his job. Personally, I almost want to see him stay. Clemson might find a good coach if they get rid of Tommy, and that could lead to something similar to what happened at Georgia when they decided to quit being satisfied with mediocrity before hiring Mark Richt. Scary thought for Carolina fans.