Coexist: Looking at Week 5 of College Football

Dan BurgesContributor IOctober 13, 2009

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 26: John Clay #32 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs past Roderick Jenrette #40 of the Michigan State Spartans on September 26, 2009 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Michigan State 38-30.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Earlier this week I was on my way to work. Making my way through the usual morning Austin traffic, I found myself behind a Volvo (or Subaru, or whatever it was) with one of those “COEXIST” stickers on the back, like this one:

…and it made me wonder what one of those would look like in the world of college football. If people have the hope to try and get the major religions of the world – which have been conducting warfare on each other for thousands of years — to truly live in peace and harmony together, then surely getting the fans of college football to do the same would be a significantly easier task to accomplish.

With that lofty goal in mind, my version of the same bumper sticker would look something like this:

That is, until reality kicked in and I quickly realized it would look more like this:

The Domer’s took Washington into OT, taking advantage of an interception to escape with the win. Apparently, losing to Michigan but beating Washington makes you the leading Heisman contender, at least according to you-know-who on ESPN … shocking.

The Big Winners

Miami. Despite the loss Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes have put themselves well within the national title hunt with the home game upset over the Sooners of Oklahoma. After a rough start of offense, the Canes’ offense settled down and methodically worked its way up and down the field, scoring 21 points to OU’s 20, and cementing their spot in the Top 15 (at least for now).

LSU. On the road, between the hedges, down to the wire, the Tigers pull out the victory. Apparently, however, high-fiving your teammates after a touchdown is unsportsmanlike conduct, which certainly helped the Tigers (who were able to capitalize), but Georgia could not do the same on the ensuing make-up call. There’s nothing worse than a sports official who inserts himself into the game. Apparently Les Miles was so pumped he wants a job at Texas.

Wisconsin. The badgers take home the Paul Bunyan snow shovel, er, axe, after upsetting the Golden Gophers in an outdoor game that changed momentum more times than Brett Favre has changed his mind. The Badgers had it wrapped up three different times, only to see Minnesota come back time and time again (giving up the ball on turnovers doesn’t help), but Wisconsin was able to hang on.

Stanford. Now 3 – 0 in the Pac 10, the Cardinals defeated my Bruins 24 – 16, establishing themselves as the statistical (win – loss) leader in the conference.

Auburn. That is, 5 – 0 Auburn, who dismantled the Volunteers and propelled itself into the No. 17 spot in the AP poll. Time will tell if it is truly an SEC contender (it isn’t), but for now, Auburn is looking great and might even believe it has a shot. Not bad for a coach who went 2 – 10 last year.

The Big Losers

Oklahoma. The Sooners go into every game with two game plans: (A) Blow the opponent out in the first quarter and win by 50, or (B) Lose. That’s it. There’s no other option. When’s the last time Oklahoma won a close game? Yeah, I couldn’t think of one either. The 2000 National title game? Make a list of the nation’s elite football programs. If OU makes that list, it is at the bottom of it. The past half-decade has cemented the Sooners as a Top 2 team in a weak conference, where Texas and OU start each year with good rankings… Texas keeps its because it wins… OU keeps its because of its name. Two games, two points, two losses. Texas wouldn’t have lost either of those games.

Tennessee. Time for Kiffin to bust out the pig flu excuse, as the Volunteers were destroyed by Chizik’s Auburn Tigers.

Michigan. The spread on the game was zero… it goes into OT. Freaky. Forcier apparently was the only player on the field, or at least he’s the only one that the TV losers (er, announcers) wanted to talk about, yet that other team on the field had more points when time ran out. Weird.

Houston. Granted, I don’t think many expected Houston to keep its streak alive, but to get destroyed by UTEP … UTEP!!! … now, that is embarrassing.

Syracuse and USF. Granted, USF emerged the winner, but when the two teams combine for five turnovers in the first four minutes of play, they are both losers.

What’s Next

For the dozen or so people who care about the Big XII North, No. 21 Nebraska takes on No. 24 Missouri in what equates to the Red River Shootout for their half of the conference. The winner of this game will win the north and play in Dallas for the conference trophy. I’m leaning toward Nebraska, but what do I know?

Georgia and Tennessee will both be licking their wounds as they face-off in Knoxville. Based on quality of play this week, I have to go with Georgia, but I did that last week, so….

In the game that had a lot of anticipation, which dwindled with Snead’s “relief” at its loss earlier in the season, No. 20 Ole Miss hosts No. 3 Alabama. The Tide’s momentum should propel them to a 20+ point victory … Snead will be ecstatic.

Poor Colorado can’t catch a break after going 1 – 3 in non-conference play, losing to Colorado State, Wyoming and West Virginia.  The Buffs will have to endure getting the snot knocked out of them in Austin as the Longhorns fine-tune their well-oiled machine before clobbering Oklahoma the following week in Dallas.

Wisconsin, 5 – 0 yet unranked (can someone explain that to me?), travels to the Horseshoe in the defining game of its season. If the Badgers can upset Ohio State, they will be THE conference buster. Many thought that role went to Iowa after upsetting Penn State, but the Hawkeyes have no clue about whether they are any good, barely beating Northern Iowa and Arkansas State. The Badgers are likely to be my upset pick of the week (for the second week in a row), but I’m going to have to wait and see if any issues arise between now and game time to make that call. Go Badgers!

Oklahoma will blow-out Baylor… if it doesn’t win by 50, it’ll lose.

Michigan looks to halt its slide as it travels to Des Moines to face undefeated No. 12 Iowa (they are in Des Moines, right?). In a season that Rich Rod thought would save his job, the Wolverines better slam on the brakes fast, but depending on which Hawkeye team takes the field, that slide could turn into a free fall.

Game to Watch.

No. 1 Florida travels to the other swamp of Baton Rouge to play Les Miles’ No. 4 Tigers. Easily the game of the week — and a season builder for one team and a season ender for the other – the Gators are hoping and praying for Tebow to return (and remain coherent) as the Tiger defense looks to shut the Gators down. With Tebow, I pick the Gators by 7. Without the boy wonder, Tiger’s win.