College Football Wordplay: From A to Z (Week Five)
Another Close Call:
I said it last week and I’ll say it again, “Good teams find a way to win close games.”
Charles Scott’s 33-yard scamper gave LSU a second straight last minute victory, and in the process Louisiana State avoided extending a four-week streak of a team falling from the Top Five.
Jordan Jefferson has done just enough to keep the Tigers undefeated going into next weekends matchup against No. 1 Florida. It should be fun to see what tricks Les Miles has up his sleeves for the Gators Saturday night.
What do you know…? Auburn does play games away from Jordan-Hare Stadium this season. Chizik’s team improved to 5-0 (2-0 SEC) with a hard fought victory in Knoxville Saturday night. The first year coach has gotten good play out of his quarterback Chris Todd, as the Tigers are the surprise team of the season so far.
Don’t look now, but Stanford is your Pac-10 leader after victories over Washington and UCLA. The Cardinal are averaging over 200 ypg on the ground and rank in the Top 20 in total offense. (See letter “X”)
Also sitting under the radar are the Wisconsin Badgers, who have quietly moved to 5-0 (2-0 Big Ten) after a 31-28 victory at Minnesota. The next two weeks (@ No. 9 Ohio State, No. 12 Iowa) will go a long way in determining the outcome of the conference.
Clearly the class of college football
All eyes are on the SEC. (See letter “U”)
With two blockbuster and many other intriguing games the country will focus on the heart of college football this Saturday.
Any doubts surrounding who was the best conference in college football can use what happened when Jerry Jones brought his Razorbacks back to Big D as a prime example.
Whoever can survive the dogfight that is the SEC is a lock for the national title game, and it’s up to the rest of the country to provide a formidable opponent.
Ducks and back
Oregon looks as if it’s going to give LeGarrette Blount a second chance this season and the country should be prepared to give the Ducks one too.
Since opening the season with a 19-8 loss at Boise State, Chip Kelly’s bunch has beaten two ranked teams and is averaging over 40 points per game.
If the Ducks can get past UCLA without Masoli this Saturday, they could be looking to throw some more haymakers to the Trojans title hopes when Southern Cal come to Autzen Stadium on Halloween.
The ACC is once again the toughest conference to grasp this college football season.
After starting the season 3-0, North Carolina has lost two straight games to fall to the bottom of ACC Coastal standings.
Clemson lost a stunner to Maryland, who was beaten earlier in the season by Middle Tennessee State and need overtime to beat FCS-team James Madison the week before.
And as for Florida State, has there been a most inconsistent team in the country?
Everyday is a mystery in the ACC.
With two losses in the second week of October, both the Sooners and Golden Bears for all intensive purposes are out of the nation title picture.
No team received more hype than California, who outscored opponents 146-34 in the first three games. Since then, Cal managed to only score six points in two blowouts and now sit at the bottom of the conference at 0-2.
California (7-5) and play in the Emerald Bowl
It has been anything but an ideal season for Oklahoma football. Injuries will prevent a return trip to the national title game, but unlike California the Sooners still have a shot to win their conference and more importantly spoil Texas’ season.
Oklahoma (8-4) and play in the Holiday Bowl
Dear Bobby Bowden,
We pay a lot of money to the University and don’t know how much longer we will be able to do the Seminole chop.
Will you please reconsider your retirement?
All Florida State board of trustees with arthritis
A week after defeating the second Big 12 team of the season, the Houston Cougars laid an egg in El Paso.
How do you explain UTEP blowing up for 581 yards of offense and 58 points, a week after Texas held the Miners to 53 yards of total offense?
Just speculation, but with Juarez less than three miles away, you cant help but wonder what the Cougar players were doing on Friday night.
UTEP has now won their last five conference home openers.
Well, tequila maybe.
Newbie’s making a difference this season:
University of Washington wide receiver James Johnson has been the beneficiary of Jake Lockers arm. The freshman is averaging over 13.3 yards per catch this season, including seven catches for 72 yards in the Huskies upset over USC.
South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels has made the most of his opportunity after starting quarterback Matt Grothe was lost for the season. Like Grothe, the freshman has been dangerous on the ground and through the air. Daniel led the Bulls to a upset win over Florida State is his first collegiate start and has South Florida competing for a conference title even in the absence of Grothe.
Jumping to Conclusions
Predictions for next week:
Upset Special: Georgia Tech 24 Florida St. 20
Could be in trouble: Iowa 23 Michigan 20
Closer than you think: Ohio State 31 Wisconsin 24
No way Jose: West Virginia 37 Syracuse 20
Last Week (3-1)
Four game parlay of the week:
Oregon –3 ½
Alabama -4 ½
Mississippi St -2
Lonely in Champaign
Juice Williams has had a very disappointing career at Illinois to say the least.
After leading the Illini to a Rose Bowl appearance in 2007, Williams has gone just 6-10 as a starter since. What looked like a program on the rise just two years ago has now turned into a nightmare situation for coach Ron Zook.
In what will most likely be the coaches last season at the university, Williams has been benched in favor of backup Eddie McGee, most likely ending Juice’s collegiate career.
Notre Dame and Michigan both provided last second theatrics again this week.
Notre Dame stopped Washington from reaching the end zone on 11 plays from inside the two-yard line, to keep the Irish ‘s bleak championship hopes alive, but more importantly a BCS-berth a real possibility.
Like usual, the Michigan-Michigan State provided last second drama once again. The Spartans withheld a furious rally in the rain by Forcier, to knock the Wolverines from the rank of unbeatens.
No your not…
Iowa State fans- thinking about wrestling season?
Michigan fans- gonna have any nails left after the end of the season…I mean geez.
Arkansas fans, thinking about playing all your games in Dallas?
TCU, Oklahoma St., LSU
For all you dreamers out there…
Using this week’s AP Top 25 Poll, here is how an eight-team playoff would look like if the season were to end today:
Florida vs. Cincinnati
LSU vs. Virginia Tech
Texas vs. Southern Cal
Alabama vs. Boise State
Questions and Anwsers
I received quite a few e-mails for Missouri fans asking what I thought about this year’s team.
Do they have a shot to win the Big 12 North?
Well no doubt, Blaine Gabbert has been the surprise of the Big 12 conference this season. The 6'5", 240-pound sophomore has already thrown for 1,161 yard and 11 touchdowns through four games in absence of Chase Daniel.
However, whether it means the Tigers will play in the Big 12 title game remains to be seen.
Missouri (4-0) has one of the toughest three-game stretches in the nation, starting with No. 21 Nebraska this Thursday night and then have to travel to No. 15 Oklahoma State before hosting No. 2 Texas.
It’s put up or shut up time for Mizzou.
Is your team not getting the hype they deserve?
Having trouble picking games?
Want to get into next weeks article?
Post a comment or question below or you can e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Stud of the week
Lightning quick running back Noel Devine rushed for a career-high 220 yards and a touchdown in West Virginia’s 35-24 win over Colorado.
With a strong start to the season from Devine, the running back has the Mountaineers in good position to challenge Cincinnati for the Big East title.
However, West Virginia will need to take better care of the ball (WVU has 10 turnovers in their last two games) if they want to claim a spot in the Orange Bowl.
Alabama- Another week, another dominating performance for the Tide, but the competition gets a lot stiffer with a road trip to Oxford next Saturday.
Texas- Horns had the week off to prepare for the always intriguing game before the Red River Shootout.
Florida- Also had the week off, as the defending champs prepare to make a statement to the conference and the rest of the nation.
LSU- The Tigers escaped Starkville and Athens, and now has the luxury of playing the Gators in Baton Rouge? Last second dramatics are more than welcomed this weekend.
Virginia Tech- After the big win at Miami the Hokies needed a late touchdown to avoid a letdown against an improved Duke squad. Virginia Tech will have to avoid another when Boston College comes to town this weekend, with the road game at Georgia Tech looming.
What to watch for next week:
Florida vs. LSU – All eyes are on the well-being of Tim Tebow before the showdown in Death Valley.
Alabama vs. Ole Miss- Nick Saban’s team tries to knock Ole Miss out of the SEC West and nation title picture.
Wisconsin vs. Ohio State – Both teams come into the game perfect in the conference, but all the pressure is on the Buckeyes.
Oregon vs. UCLA – Ducks look like the team that will challenge the Trojans in the Pac 10, but have to take care of the cross-town rival Bruins first.
Michigan vs. Iowa – Wolverines look to bounce back against the undefeated Hawkeyes on Saturday night.
Video of the Week
Dez Bryant, maybe the nations most electrifying wide receiver, has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the remainder of the season for lying about his interaction with Deion Sanders.
See the whole story here:
What we're sure of...
The Big 12 didn’t see this coming.
After a horrible September the first week of October offered much of the same.
Oklahoma has already been knocked out of the national title race.
Oklahoma State and Texas Tech both lost to Houston.
Nebraska gave away a game at Virginia Tech.
Colorado and the Hawkins family have had a season to forget already.
Texas A&M embarrassed the conference in a blowout loss to SEC foe Arkansas.
And up-start Baylor, who was supposed to go bowling this year, lost star quarter back Robert Griffin III for the season.
For first time since the 2006-2007, the conference will most likely send only the conference champion to a BCS bowl game this January.
(Guy that probably isn’t a household name, but will be come April for the NFL draft.)
Stanford running back Toby Gerhart leads the nation in rushing with 650 yards.
The 6'1", 235-pound senior is load to handle. Gerhart has good vision, is a great downhill runner and extremely hard to take down.
Averaging over 130 yard per game, the Cardinal should be getting some Heisman consideration.
Your predicted BCS bowl matchups
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Iowa
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Cincinnati
Fiesta Bowl: Southern Cal vs. Boise State
National Championship Game: Alabama vs. Texas
(Teams the country shouldn’t sleep on)
Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, West Virginia