College Football: Saturday's Ups and Downs

NC NighthawkAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 26: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators is tended to by head coach Urban Meyer (R) and staff after Tebow was sacked by Taylor Wyndham #94 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the third quarter of the game at Commonwealth Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

First, Saturday night at Sanford Stadium in Athens was another down-to-the-wire battle, with No. 21 Georgia (3-1, 2-0 SEC) rallying for a 20-17 victory over Arizona State (2-1). Three Bulldogs turnovers kept the game winnable for the Sun Devils.

However, Georgia avoided an upset thanks to a 22-yard field goal by Blair Walsh that tied the score early in the fourth quarter, a blocked field goal by A.J. Green that kept it 17-17 with less than five minutes left in regulation, and climaxed by Walsh’s 37-yarder that wrapped things up as time expired.

Georgia faces LSU next week. Will LSU be caught looking head to their meeting with Florida the following week?

Speaking of the Gators, the biggest story from Saturday’s football games, of course, was the Tebow injury as Florida’s journey towards a  third national title in four seasons may become derailed if an injury to senior quarterback Tim Tebow suffered during Saturday's 41-7 victory at Kentucky proves to be serious.

Tebow was sacked in the third quarter by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndhan. Tebow was hit in the chest by Wyndham and as he fell backwards, he banged his head on the knee of Florida tackle Marcus Gilbert.

Also on college football Saturday, Iowa defeated Penn State 21-10 at Beaver Stadium, which featured a “white out” and more than 100,000 fans. With the road victory, Iowa has to be considered a legitimate Big Ten title contender, which is hard for me to believe considering how close Iowa came to losing its opener to FCS member Northern Iowa.

The loss drops Penn State from among the ranks of national title contenders as the Big Ten does not have one.

Penn State's loss concluded a wild weekend that witnessed three teams in the top six and four in the top ten lose. In addition to No. 5 Penn State, No. 4 Mississippi lost Thursday to South Carolina, No. 6 California was dominated by Oregon, and—I do not consider this an upset—No. 9 Miami bowed to No. 11 Virginia Tech.

And the Seminoles flopped. Last week, Florida State looked fantastic in compiling 500 yards and destroying Brigham Young University 54-28. In start contrast Saturday, the FSU got spanked at home 17-7 by its small neighbor, South Florida.

At this point, early in the season, here are the teams that I like. No team is playing thoroughly at a high level in every phase of the game than the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama has a dominating defense and a surprising offense behind quarterback Greg McElroy.


The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs are the best non-BCS/non-big six team in the country. TCU has a quality win over Clemson and their victory over Virginia is debatable as a quality win or not. The Horned Frogs can enhance their credibility by defeating both BYU and Utah.

Teams such as Cincinnati and Michigan are also grabbing by attention and interest.

LSU has work to do, but they may develop into a potential threat to Alabama. Their next two games versus Georgia and Florida should define their potential.

Let’s talk about Virginia Tech who has had two impressive wins in two weeks. Last week, the Hokies used late-game, Tyrod Taylor miracles to snag win over Nebraska and this week, No. 11 Virginia Tech needed no miracles as they simply manhandled No. 9 Miami, 31-7.

Virginia Tech is clearly the ACC's top team. 

In conclusion, I return to my Georgia Bulldogs.

The game against LSU features a battle between first-year starting quarterbacks. Jordan Jefferson leads the Tigers and Joe Cox leads the Bulldogs. LSU is unbeaten but Georgia has a loss, which makes this a must-win game at home.


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