Let’s get down to business. It’s a major NCAA violation to put your teams uniform on another squad and send them to play Texas Tech in Lubbock… but that’s basically what Texas A&M did, as the team that took the field Saturday night was not the same team that showed up in Manhattan, Kansas. Passing? Running? Defense? These concepts which have escaped the Texas A&M squad thus far seemed to be well versed and executed as the Aggies looked… well… good. Games like this are yet another example of why one would be better off on crack cocaine than bet money of college football.
Tulsa looked good Wednesday night. That was until the final five minutes of the game where they allowed UTEP to score 15 points in two drives for the come from behind win.
It was a great pre-game week for quotes, such as this little gem… "It's a heck of a challenge and it's something that we can show up and shock the world and make a statement….." That was Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder prior to their Thursday night game versus North Carolina…good quote, they did win, but when beating North Carolina at football is synonymous with shocking the world, you know just how far FSU has really fallen.
Prior to Ohio State’s matchup against Minnesota, OSU wide receiver DeVier Posey said of the Buckeye’s quarterback, "He's going to get better. He really can't do much worse." I guess that was nice of him? Well, better he did, throwing for 239 yards, 2 TD’s and running for 104 yards leading Ohio State to a 38–7 win over the Golden Gophers.
Florida played an underwhelming game against the Bulldogs of Mississippi State, winning 29–19, but that’s ok because Alabama required a blocked field goal on the final play of their game to escape a loss to 3–4 Tennessee (at home). Neither of the top ranked teams looked that great, and don’t give me that “the SEC is just so deep” tomfoolery… Tennessee lost to 3-4 UCLA at home. It was a rough weekend for the heavy weight contenders while the middle of the pack is starting to shine.
The Big Winners
TCU, bar none, was the biggest winner of the week, going into Provo and crushing the BYU Cougars like a bug on their windshield. TCU’s defense is nasty, their offense is extremely well balanced and effective, and if you think USC, Iowa or even Texas is better than the Horned Frogs, somehow I think they would welcome the opportunity to prove otherwise. If .260 Hitters game out helmet stickers, this week’s would go to the Horned Frogs.
Texas figured out that they are allowed to score in the first half of the game, but to keep things fair, only scored seven in the second half, routing Mizzou 41 – 7. I don’t think many were surprised by the score, but that Texas put up 35 in the first half caused all to do a double take.
Iowa. An ESPN classic for sure as the underrated Ricky Stanzi connected with Marvin McNutt for a seven yard score as time expired, going 8 – 0 for the first time in school history. While the Big Eleven title and trip to California are certainly on the minds of the players and their fans, the Hawkeyes have 1.5 final tests to go. If they can get by Indiana and Northwestern without pulling a USC, the Hawks face Ohio State on the road (scary) and Minnesota at home (far less scary). Then it’s the dreaded seven week break until the BCS bowl season rolls around… better schedule some practice games.
The Big Losers
Sorry Miami, but your number got punched by Clemson, deflating almost all hope at an ACC title and BCS bowl game. A second conference loss puts you behind Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Duke and UVA, and that’s just in your division. While there’s still plenty of football to play, you definitely have an uphill battle before you.
Some equipment manager in Lincoln was fired after Saturday's game once reports surfaced that all the game balls were covered in Vaseline. What else could explain the eight, count ‘em, EIGHT turnovers by the Huskers, half of which occurred inside the five yard line. Kind of hard to win that way, and win they did not, losing to powerhouse Iowa State, 9 – 7.
Will the BCS title game host the two best teams in the country, or the two remaining undefeated teams from BCS conferences? Some have argued that Bama and Florida are truly the top two teams and deserve to play each other in the national title, but after the last few weekends, I’m become less and less convinced of their overall superiority.
Beyond Bama’s opener against Virginia Tech, neither team has faced anyone of note outside of their conference, and opponents such as Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee aren’t exactly much to brag about. And while Florida took care of business against Oklahoma in the title game last year, let’s be honest, who hasn’t beaten OU in a BCS bowl game, Bama didn’t exactly fare so well against Utah.
I’m not saying that both teams aren’t tremendously good, but I think it would be really interesting to watch Iowa drive in the final minutes against one of them, or Texas throw for 300 + yards, or Cincinnati do whatever it is they do in the Big East. And there’s still a lot of football to be played, so let’s hold off a bit before we crown the twins as best in the land and see what happens when the dust settles and the clock strikes zero.