College football seems to vary week by week. On some weeks, it tends to be surprises. This week, however, it was nothing but statements.
Statements were made across the college football world today; some obvious and others not as predictable. Whatever the case, the tension and drama overwhelmed campuses across our nation on another beautiful Saturday for college football.
Starting things off, take a look at Terrelle Pryor's explosive outburst of offensive firepower Saturday against Minnesota. Preceding a five turnover, upset loss at the hands of Purdue, Pryor was on top of his game in Columbus.
Following a slow start, with many Buckeye fans frustrated, Pryor overcame adversity and threw two long touchdown bombs perfectly to his receivers. Terrelle also scored on the ground.
Sticking with the Big Ten, Penn State had Michigan's number—and by a huge margin. The Nittany Lions proved they are still sticking around for the conference race, which has proved thus far to be a bit crazy.
Crazy, as seen in the final quarter of the Iowa-Michigan State contest. Both the Spartans and Hawkeyes figured it'd be convenient to wake up on their final possessions after a tightly matched defensive battle leading up to the point.
The Spartans struck first, using some Boise State hook and ladder magic in the process. After Cousins hit with a 30-yard strike for a score, it was Iowa's turn to answer. In the final two seconds, Ricky Stanzi hit Marvin McNutt on a seven yard pattern for the game winning score.
With the victory, it's time to consider Iowa as a legit title contender. As always, that's a statement in itself.
In the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big East, a couple teams were playing with something to prove. One game was decided in overtime, another few decided by large margins.
Clemson was able to travel to Miami and knock off the tenth ranked Hurricanes in overtime, when Jacoby Ford dashed into the endzone on a bullet across the middle of the field. The game featured a bevy of lead changes and really spread some chaos across the race for the conference championship.
In the Big East, Pittsburgh demolished the South Florida Bulls. USF entered the game at 5-1, Pittsburgh came into the game ranked and looking for their best start to a season since the Dan Marino days. The Panthers looked most suited to defeat one of college football's more pleasant surprises in Cincinnati.
The aforementioned Bearcats trampled all over their opponent as well. Losing Tony Pike didn't appear to mean much in Cincinnati's trouncing of Louisville.
The Big 12 might have some of the more surprising statements around college football.
The drama in the midwest was mainly centered around the game in Lincoln, or lack thereof by the Cornhuskers. Nebraska played sound defensive football, but weren't able to display that same type of effectiveness on the other side of the ball. The Cyclones were able to knock off Nebraska in Lincoln for the first time since 1977, in large part to eight Husker turnovers.
Ouch doesn't begin to describe it. What's even more unbelievable is who is now in the division lead following Kansas' atrocity of a performance against Oklahoma, and the miserable display by Nebraska.
Bill Snyder and Kansas State now find themselves atop the conference standings in the Big 12 North.
Speaking of ouch, that goes without mentioning the beating that Texas put upon the Missouri Tigers. With a 41-7 final, Texas looked like the team we've been waiting to take a gander at all along. A good performance, especially considering that of Alabama and Florida, which was rather lackluster.
That couldn't have been a better way to shift focus towards the Southeastern part of the country, where college football's most prominent conference had several statement games played today.
Career performances out of both Jevan Snead and Dexter McCluster propelled Ole Miss over Arkansas in a game that made the Rebels look a bit more promising. With the Rebels (including Snead and McCluster) starting off incredibly slow this season, a simple victory seemed like style points for Houston Nutt.
However, Snead and McCluster weren't satisfied with that. The 30-17 victory might have been enough to get the Rebels going down the stretch after a hot and cold beginning to the year.
In Tuscaloosa, new AP No. 1 Alabama, had to hold on for dear life against the kid, Lane Kiffin and his replenished Tennessee program. The Tide got two huge field goal blocks out of a huge contributor, defensive tackle Terrence Cody, including a field goal that would have given Tennessee the lead.
The Volunteers had two attempts blocked and kicker Daniel Lincoln missed another one. Jonathon Crompton made a couple statements to those who had criticized him as he's begun to go on a bit of a hot streak over the past few games.
The top ranked Gators survived another scare and has many people doubting that they're the real deal this season. The defense has bent a little bit the past two games, but in the contest against Mississippi State it seemed to be the offense that was struggling.
Tim Tebow threw two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns. Injuries still took a toll on the Gators, Brandon Spikes didn't play, and starting running back Jeffery Demps appeared to have injured his neck.
Mississippi State looked like a team that will be contending for the conference in a couple seasons, maybe next year if they can find more consistent quarterback play. Let's not forget that the Bulldogs almost beat LSU on their home field as well. Dan Mullen knows how to coach.
Last but not least, have a look at the mid majors. There's been a lot of debate lately about whether or not TCU would deserve a BCS berth over Boise State if both teams were to run the table. Boise State doesn't have much left on their schedule, and TCU still has a meeting with ranked Utah.
The Horned Frogs faced BYU in the only ranked matchup of the weekend, and absolutely destroyed the Cougars. With a 38-7 beating, many voters will have to take a closer look on who to place in a BCS bowl game, especially if both schools run the table.
Boise State was also convincing in a 54-9 stomping of Hawaii. Sticking with the WAC, Idaho looked to be a little overrated as they got curb stomped by the Wolf Pack of Nevada, 70-45.
Across college football, it has been a week of statements and thrilling games; hopefully, we see more of the same throughout the remainder of the year.
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