College Football: Week Five Review

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College Football: Week Five Review
(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Week Five of the college football season is in the books, and a couple of teams have seen their dreams go up in smoke. The fifth week of the season also saw the BCS dreams of one contending team get busted.

One found some fourth-quarter magic, one kept some fourth-quarter magic going, and one ran out of magic. Injuries have ended some teams hopes of a title run, but one team keeps plugging away.

Two big-name coaches are feeling the heat this week. The season is slowly coming in to focus, and here is a look back at Week Five.

 

Oklahoma sees its national title hopes vanish in Miami, and the Hurricanes are back

It was a tale of two seasons. Oklahoma, who caught a break to play for a National Championship last season, cannot get a break this time around.

The Sooners, already playing without Sam Bradford and Jermaine Gresham, took another hit Saturday night. Wide receiver Ryan Broyles suffered a broken bone that will sideline him for two to four weeks.

This Sooners squad still has a Big-12 championship to play for, but a national title is out of the picture with a second loss in Miami. Oklahoma will have to get healthy quickly with a showdown looming in two weeks against Texas.

A loss in the Red River Shootout could end Oklahoma’s chances of a Big-12 title and a BCS game.

Miami has to be considered "back" after going 3-1 with their killer four-game start. Every team the Hurricanes played was a top 25 team at kickoff.

Sure, the Hurricanes could be 1-3 just as easily. A dropped touchdown pass by Florida State, and Oklahoma keeping its early lead (or finishing late) could have seen to that.

Miami only has three real tests left. Miami’s tests are all on the road against North Carolina, Wake Forest, and South Florida.

The Hurricanes could finish with one loss and not even play for an ACC title. A loss to Virginia Tech could keep Miami from a Coastal title.

 

Fourth-quarter comebacks from around the country: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Three teams needed a monster fourth-quarter comeback to have a shot a win. LSU, Michigan, and Notre Dame all had to find a way to win in the fourth quarter.

The good has to be the Irish fighting back against a very game Washington team. The Huskies have played extremely well this season. While it might not show up in the wins column, Washington is much improved.

The Irish had to fight their way back into this game. Notre Dame got great play in all phases of the game. Defensively, the Irish made big stops against the Washington offense, and the Irish offense came up with big plays when they need to.

The Irish might need nine or 10 wins to save Charlie Weis’ job, and they are playing like they want to see him around next year.

The bad has to be the end of the LSU versus Georgia game. The final three minutes were as wild as any seen in college football.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs—trailing 6-0—got their first score to tame a 7-6 lead. The Tigers scored a touchdown to retake the lead at 12-7.

A.J. Green made a spectacular catch to score a touchdown with a little more than a minute to go to give Georgia a 13-12 lead. Then there was the bad, as the officials flagged Green for excessive-celebration.

While it did not look like Green did anything more than any other college football player after scoring, he still drew the flag. The penalty set LSU up in good position after a nice run back on the kickoff after the penalty.

That allowed Charles Scott to run for a touchdown to take a 20-13 lead. Then Scott was flagged for excessive celebration. Much for the same reason as Green was on his touchdown.

To be fair, at least the officials made a makeup call against the Tigers, but neither call should have been made. College football does not need to become the No Fun League—we have the NFL for that.

Georgia had a chance to come back and score, but an interception by LSU ended any comeback dreams by the Bulldogs.

Michigan has been living on the fourth-quarter comeback, needing one to beat both Notre Dame and Indiana.

Tate Forcier has been great all season long, and was great in the fourth quarter against Michigan State to bring the Wolverines back to tie the game at 20-20.

Michigan had not done much all day until the final four minutes. Then Forcier lead the Wolverines on two touchdown drives.

After tying the game with two seconds left on a drive that left Forcier gassed, the "ugly" came in overtime. The young Michigan quarterback had carried his team on his back and needed a teammate to make a play to help him out.

Instead of getting any help in overtime, Forcier had to force a pass down on the goal line, which was intercepted by Michigan State.

The Spartans used the second Wolverines turnover to turn them back in overtime without a score. Michigan State freshman Larry Capper would end the game on a 26-yard touchdown run.

Michigan has to find someone to help carry the load with Forcier. Especially with the big boys of the Big Ten coming up soon on the schedule, starting this week with Iowa.

 

Houston saw its BCS dreams busted in El Paso

Houston looked to be well on its way to a BCS game for the first time in C-USA and school history. That was before Donald Buckram’s career-day rushing for the Miners of Texas-El Paso.

Buckram ran for 262 yards and four scores to help the Miners beat No. 12 Houston, 58-41. The Cougars wasted a career night by quarterback Case Keenum, who passed for 536 yards on 51-of-76 pass attempts and five scores.

The Houston defense did not show up to help the offense and could not get a stop all night. Two fumbles helped seal the Cougars' fate.

Only two non-BCS conference schools with BCS hopes are left. Boise State and TCU will have to keep winning to get a spot in a BCS game.

 

Bobby Bowden and Ron Zook could be in their final season at Florida State and Illinois

Florida State is 2-3 and in last place in the Atlantic division. A once-dominating program is now just average.

The Seminoles are not a bad team. They have been in the ACC race just about every season. The Florida State fans want Bowden out, because this year they are the fourth-best FBS team in the state.

The Seminoles are not in contention for national titles this season, nor have they been for the last few. Then look around the state and see the Gators at No. 1 in the land.

The Hurricanes are back and very much in the national title picture, and South Florida has lost its senior quarterback yet still remains undefeated.

The only reason Bowden is under fire is because the rest of the state of Florida is looking better than the Seminoles right now. If the other Florida teams start dropping games, this will be a non-issue.

The same cannot be said about Ron Zook at Illinois. There are not any other major schools in the state of Illinois.

The Illini have looked bad in the three games they have lost. Illinois has been outscored 102 to 26 in their three losses.

Zook and the Illini were supposed to be in the mix for the Big Ten title. Two early conference losses mean Illinois now has to rally just to make a bowl game.

The heat is already on Zook, and you can tell since he is benching senior quarterback Juice Williams for this week’s game against Michigan State. The Illini might not win another game this season, looking at their schedule.

 

Big-12 takes it on the chin this week, and the ACC gets two big wins

The Big-12 had two out-of-conference games this week and lost them both. Oklahoma went down by a point to Miami and Texas A&M was blown out by Arkansas.

The Aggies had yet to taste defeat, and the talent level between the SEC and Big-12 looked vast. This was an Arkansas team that could not stop Georgia or Alabama on offense for two straight weeks.

Oklahoma, well-documented without its stars, went down in Miami. The Big-12 has seen nonconference losses by just about every team.

The ACC got the big win from Miami this week, and Georgia Tech went to Starkville to get a win over a SEC team. Sure that team was Mississippi State, a team that gave LSU all they wanted until a final goal-line stand persevered a win for the Tigers.

The Yellow Jackets have only lost to Miami on the road. The ACC has three very good teams in Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia Tech.

 

 

Quick Hits:

1. Congratulations to the Virginia Cavaliers, the last team from a BCS conference to get a win this season. Al Groh and his boys needed a win badly, and got one over North Carolina with a 16-3 score.

2. It was sloppy, but South Florida keeps plugging away even after the injury to Matt Grothe. A win at Florida State the first week after Grothe went down and got the best of Syracuse in a sloppy game the next week. The Bulls can become bowl-eligible with one more win.

3. Just like USC has a conference game let-down every year, California has a season-long let-down every year. The Bears went from looking like the best team in the Pac-10 to the one of the worst after two conference games. Every year, people project the Bears to make conference title run and they always end up out of the running early.

3. The Stanford Cardinal is 3-0 in the Pac-10, and could be looking for a conference title before the season is over. Except for Stanford fans, did anyone see the Cardinal in this good of shape after three Pac-10 games?

4. A second congratulations to Michigan State. The Spartans beat in-state rival Michigan two years in row for the first time since the sixties. Michigan State also handed the Wolverines their first loss of the season.

5. Kudos to Bob Stoops and Urban Meyer. Both coaches have done a great job so far protecting their injured star quarterbacks. Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow are not being rushed back, even if it means both teams miss out on a national championship.

6. One last thing: Week Six could shape the rest of the season. There are big matchups all over the place this week in college football. Teams looking for a leg up on the rest of the country for a national title could get one this week.

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