Every week in college football provides plenty of mind-boggling decisions, ridiculous highlights, amazing endings, wacky announcer quotes, and unbelievable stat lines.
And this edition of COLLEGE FOOTBALL COMPREHENSIVE is jammed full of them.
What player has developed the ability to literally fly?
Which two teams decided to skip halftime?
What SEC coach (not named Les Miles, remarkably) has a penchant for calling timeouts when the clock is already stopped?
Which school won its first game since George W. Bush was president?
What team trailed 80-0 after only three quarters?
Why isn't the BCS title game as important to Boise State as everyone thinks?
Which announcer said, "I cut the cheese with some precision"?
Bottom line: Whether you watched 10 games, zero games, or somewhere in between on Saturday, CFC is the ultimate wrap up you don’t want to miss, featuring the always-popular segments:
WHO’S NUMBER ONE?
THANK GOODNESS FOR MY DVR
THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT!
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
MAYBE BROADCASTING IS EASIER THAN I THOUGHT
MAYBE COACHING IS EASIER THAN I THOUGHT
MAYBE OFFICIATING IS EASIER THAN I THOUGHT
SINCE I DO LIVE IN OHIO...
Let’s kick it off…
WHO’S NUMBER ONE?
Taking a stab at ranking the nation’s Top 25 teams…
1. Boise State 6-0
2. Oregon 6-0
3. TCU 7-0
4. Oklahoma 6-0
5. Auburn 7-0
6. Utah 6-0
7. LSU 7-0
8. Michigan State 7-0
9. Alabama 6-1
10. Wisconsin 6-1
11. Ohio State 6-1
12. Oklahoma State 6-0
13. Missouri 6-0
14. Iowa 5-1
15. Nebraska 5-1
16. Stanford 5-1
17. Arizona 5-1
18. Florida State 6-1
19. West Virginia 5-1
20. Arkansas 4-2
21. South Carolina 4-2
22. Texas 4-2
23. Nevada 6-1
24. Mississippi State 5-2
25. Virginia Tech 5-2
THANK GOODNESS FOR MY DVR
The jaw-dropping highlights that were worth rewinding for…
Impressive night from Louisville’s Bilal Powell in a loss to Cincinnati: Powell finished with 209 yards and two ridiculous highlights. His 85-yard touchdown involved running through a half-dozen Bearcats at the line of scrimmage, spinning away, and then beating the final defender downfield with a picture-perfect stiff-arm. Powell nearly topped that play later with a 47-yard burst where he started left, cut back right, and finished with a somersault on the tackle by Cincy’s Reuben Johnson.
Same game, different team: I still don’t know how Cincinnati wideout D.J. Woods held on to the ball for his 14-yard touchdown catch after absorbing a massive hit from Shenard Holton. Woods lost his helmet, was sandwiched between three defenders, and suffered a concussion that kept him out the rest of the night, but he didn’t let go of the football.
Great awareness from Nebraska defensive back Aaron Hagg to return a Texas pooch punt for a 95-yard touchdown.
Purdue running back Dan Dierking helped the Boilermakers prematurely end Tim Brewster’s career at Minnesota with a beautiful 42-yard run in the first quarter. Dierking ran into the line, spun away from a would-be tackle, broke a second tackle outside to get loose, raced down the right sideline, brushed off yet another tackler, and then spun through three more Gophers for a few extra yards before they finally dragged him down.
Awesome block by Alabama’s Alex Watkins on a second-quarter punt return, as he flattened two Rebels at once.
Did you see Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt fall on his rear end while celebrating a fourth-quarter catch with a teammate? Hilarious. Memo to McNutt’s fellow Hawkeyes: next time, don’t congratulate by shoving in the chest?
Boise State linebacker Aaron Tevis made an incredible one-handed interception and promptly raced the other direction for a 45-yard touchdown return.
Loved the creativity from West Virginia on the hook-and-ladder play from Jock Sanders to Noel Devine for a touchdown before halftime: just like they drew it up.
Michael Floyd showed off a PlayStation-worthy spin move on Notre Dame’s first play from scrimmage, sprinting 80 yards for an Irish touchdown and leaving Western Michigan cornerback Lewis Toler dizzy and confused near midfield.
Pretty catch by LSU’s Terrence Toliver, pulling the ball in left-handed on the right sideline and managing to get his foot down inbounds.
How did Miami (Ohio) wide receiver Andrew Cruse get so wide-open for the Redhawks’ game-winning touchdown against CMU? The color commentator was screaming “He’s got him!” before Zac Dysert even released the pass, as Cruse broke open in the final minute for a 71-yard score with no defender in sight.
Last, but certainly not least, Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson made not one, not two, but three plays worth rewinding for against UCF. Dobson scored both Herd touchdowns on remarkable plays, including a second-quarter fade route to the left corner. Somehow, the sophomore managed to slow his momentum and get his right foot turned parallel to come down inbounds for a beautiful catch. Dobson got on the board again in the third quarter when he caught a two-yard pass, made one little juke, and raced down the left sideline for an 86-yard score.
But wait, there’s more. Dobson’s greatest play of the evening might have come with UCF defensive back Justin Boddie draped all over him and holding his left arm down. The Marshall standout simply tipped the ball over his head with his one free hand, spun around, and pulled it in right-handed. Unbelievable trio of plays in an otherwise disappointing night for the Thundering Herd.
THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT
The ridiculous stat lines, improbable scores, and ticker typos that cause double-takes everywhere…
Time to scrap the ball-control offense? Kansas ran 82 plays on Thursday night, compared to only 57 for Kansas State. The Jayhawks lost the game 59-7.
It’s the little victories… Valparaiso outscored Jacksonville 7-6 in the fourth quarter Saturday afternoon. The only problem: the Crusaders trailed 80-0 after three.
Setting records sooner rather than later… Oklahoma wideout Ryan Broyles set a school record with 15 catches for 182 yards, tying the previous OU single-game record of 13 grabs before halftime. Sooners quarterback Landry Jones had a pretty nice day as well—completing 30 of 34 passes for 335 yards.
Thankful for a win… Eastern Michigan snapped an 18-game losing streak by knocking off Ball State 41-38 in overtime. The Eagles hadn’t won since Thanksgiving weekend of 2008.
Best team in the state? East Carolina quarterback Dominique Davis completed his first 14 passes to help the Pirates jump on top of North Carolina State 21-0. (ECU eventually won the game 33-27 in overtime.)
Quickest game ever? Wisconsin used a 19-play, 89-yard drive that took 10:04 off the clock to take a 21-0 lead on Ohio State. The Buckeyes answered in the second half with a 19-play, 94-yard march that lasted 9:56. Translation: those two drives accounted for a third of the entire game.
Quickest halftime ever? Because of a 68-minute weather delay late in the first half, UCF and Marshall decided to skip a formal halftime once action resumed. When the teams finally finished the last six minutes of the second quarter, they simply started the third quarter with no real break between. I’ve watched a lot of football in my time, but I don’t ever remember seeing a game with no halftime to speak of. I’m sure all 17 fans who stuck around after the long lightning delay were glad to see things keep moving.
Auburn 65, Arkansas 43. Where to begin? The Tigers and Hogs combined for the highest-scoring regulation game in SEC history, thanks to Auburn’s 28-0 game-closing run. To put the home team’s 65-point outburst in perspective, no other SEC game this weekend had that many total points between both teams.
More offensive fireworks…Matt Barkley threw for five touchdowns in the first half to spark USC to a 42-0 lead…Virginia Tech scored 49 points before intermission against Wake Forest… Arkansas backup Tyler Wilson started 13 of 14 for 235 yards and three touchdowns in relief of injured Ryan Mallett… Washington’s Jermaine Kearse caught four touchdowns to help the Huskies to a thrilling 35-34 double-overtime win.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: TCU 31, BYU 3
In-depth spotlight and analysis of a game that deserves a closer look…
With less than two minutes to play in the first half at TCU Saturday afternoon, the Horned Frogs were clinging to a 3-0 lead over upset-minded BYU.
By the time the teams headed for the locker room, TCU led 17-0.
What a difference a couple of minutes makes.
The Frogs scored a pair of touchdowns 65 seconds apart to blow the game open, and rode the late first-half surge to a comfortable 31-3 win over BYU in what could be the teams’ last meeting for quite a while.
With BYU’s decision to leave the Mountain West Conference and compete as a football independent, Frogs-Cougars showdowns in the future could be few and far between …
…and with the way TCU has dominated the rivalry recently (outscoring the Cougars by a total of 101-17 in the last three meetings), don’t expect many sentimental tears from the folks in Provo.
Andy Dalton threw for four touchdowns on the afternoon, including one on either side of a Tank Carder interception to swell the home team’s lead to 17-0 before intermission. (“I’d like to see this be a great football game, as it was for all but a minute and a half of the first half,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall lamented to Versus reporter Lindsay Soto at the break.)
Dalton’s second score, a 14-yard pass to Jimmy Young, came on a busted coverage in the end zone. Young was so wide open on the catch that when I looked at the HORNED FROGS lettering in the end zone, there wasn’t a defender for at least three letters either direction.
TCU’s senior quarterback easily outplayed his counterpart, BYU freshman Jake Heaps, who finished with two interceptions, a completion rate under 50 percent, and less than 100 yards through the air.
It was obvious that the Cougars came out intent on stopping the TCU rushing attack, which (at 279 yards per game) was among the nation’s best. And while BYU accomplished that goal, holding the Horned Frogs to 128 yards on the ground, they ultimately didn’t have the offensive firepower to hang with Dalton and company over 60 minutes.
The dominating victory marks the 20th straight regular-season triumph for coach Gary Patterson’s squad, as well as their 18th consecutive win at home.
And while much of the national BCS hype is centered on Oregon, Oklahoma, and even Boise State, TCU just keeps winning ballgames, thanks in large part to a stout defense that allowed BYU only 147 yards of total offense.
They say defense wins championships, you know.
The only question left is if the voters and computers are paying attention…
…because there’s a championship contender in Fort Worth.
Extra points from this week’s Microscope game:
-BYU’s lone points, a third-quarter field goal by Mitch Payne, marked the first time an opponent had scored against the Horned Frogs since a September 24th win over SMU. The Frogs shut out Colorado State and Wyoming the last two weekends and kept the Cougars off the scoreboard in the first half for a string of ten consecutive scoreless quarters.
-More on the impressive Frogs defense: the home team held BYU to 14 yards of total offense in the first half and -1 on the ground. Translation: I rushed for one more yard from my couch in Ohio than the Cougars did in the first 30 minutes. (Okay, two more yards if you count my second-quarter trip to the fridge for a Diet Coke.)
-There probably weren’t many college football games in America Saturday with a higher cumulative participant age than BYU/TCU. The Versus commentators said that the Horned Frogs have 27 seniors on their roster, tied for most of any program in the country, while BYU has 31 married players and seven fathers on their 2010 football team.
-Maybe the age/maturity factor has something to do with the lack of yellow flags Saturday afternoon. TCU and BYU were whistled for a grand total of 40 penalty yards…combined.
-A few players that caught my eye: I liked the hard second-half running of BYU’s Bryan Kariya (who did his best to make up for an inaccurate quarterback by averaging nearly five yards per carry and eight yards per reception), I thought Cougars defensive back Andrew Rich had a nice game (at least nine tackles before halftime and 13 for the game), and I was impressed by the playmaking skills of TCU’s Josh Boyce. Boyce had eight grabs for 128 yards and two scores, including a 20-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter where he caught the ball on the right sideline and made a beautiful move to cut back inside for the final 10 yards to find paydirt.
-One of the marks of a veteran quarterback is poise in crucial situations, and Dalton showed that composure time and time again, especially when facing 3rd-and-long. The senior hit on a 17-yard pass to Bart Johnson to move the chains on a 3rd-and-14 in the first quarter, and followed that up with a 22-yard dart to Boyce on 3rd-and-19 a few minutes later.
For the game, TCU was 7 of 16 on third down conversions, and Dalton’s ability to keep drives alive with pinpoint passing (12 of the Frogs’ first 13 first downs came through the air) bodes well for the Horned Frogs going forward.
MAYBE BROADCASTING IS EASIER THAN I THOUGHT
This week’s wacky and weird announcer quotes…
“Don’t mess up a good graphic with the facts.” – Craig James
“B.J. Daniels does everything right on this play.” – Jesse Palmer describing an interception thrown by B.J. Daniels.
“Poor Nelson says, ‘isn’t there a weight limit or something for quarterbacks?’” – Gary Danielson analyzing a Cam Newton touchdown run
[On how he’d design his BetheDean.com campus] “I’d have a place where you can go and get a cold refreshment, maybe multiple spots.” -- David Norrie (Priorities, huh?)
“Mitchell [punt returner] again played that thing like it had a pin in it and it was gonna explode on him.” – Rece Davis
“Promises are like snowballs. They’re easy to make and difficult to keep.” – Lou Holtz
“They have just cut the lead in half, to 28-14.” – Ron Franklin after Michigan cut Iowa’s 21-point lead to 14.
“His hips are outstanding.” – Matt Millen
“Tremendous effort by Texas A&M. Five purple jerseys around the football.” – Dave Lapham (Well, the official school color is maroon, but whatever.)
“Joe, I want you and Kelly to watch this…does the ball hit the plane...I would like to hear what you think?” – Versus studio host Kevin Frazier on a game break
“Well, here’s a little secret, Kev, we’ve gotta take your word for it, cause we can’t see it. We can hear you, but we can’t see it.” – Joe Beninati
“The fourth scoring touchdown for the UCF defense on the season!” – Beth Mowins (As opposed to the non-scoring touchdowns, of course.)
“You know what that means? He’s got a really big head.” – Jesse Palmer
“I was gonna say ‘flag down’, but I’ve used that line 20 times tonight.” – Brad Nessler
“Probably the shortest field goal Wiggs has ever missed.” – Bob Griese (The ball was at the one-yard line, so yes, Bob, I’d say that’s a pretty safe bet.)
“He can create space and time.” – Dave Lapham (That has to break a couple laws of physics, right?)
“He’s like the Ray kid from the Baltimore Ravens, that’s who he reminds me of. Robbie Rice, Robbie Rice.” – Gary Danielson trying unsuccessfully to remember the name of former Rutgers standout Ray Rice
“Did you realize there’s only three main colors, red, blue and yellow?” – Lou Holtz
“Ryan Kerrigan is the bell cow of this Purdue defense.” – Dave Pasch
“It’s time to roll, Todd, roll.” – Todd Blackledge on the Alabama broadcast
“When opportunity knocked, he answered the door and gave opportunity a big old bear hug.” – Beth Mowins
“He’s 5’8”, 180, and he can literally fly.” – Ron Franklin (I can’t wait to see that.)
“Coach, go get a throat lozenge.” – Clay Matvick
“I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to be on the Bob Griese Scholarship.” – Brian Griese
“Yeah, I’ve never been repaid for that one.” – Bob Griese
“We’re down here with Florida and Southern Miss.” – Chris Spielman calling the Florida-Mississippi State game
[Referring to Texas defenders Emmanuel Acho and Sam Acho] “You just want to say ‘Acho, Acho man.’ You just want to say it. I’m not going to do that though.” – Matt Millen (Don’t look now, but I think you just did, Matt.)
“Yeah, I cut the cheese with some precision.” – Glenn Parker
“Look at that. Look at that! Look at THAT!” – Verne Lundquist calling a touchdown run (Don’t ever go into radio, Verne.)
“I’m an analyst. They don’t pay me very much, but I’m still an analyst.” – Lou Holtz
“They’re paying you?” – John Saunders
If you hear a weird or wacky announcer quote during the football weekend, send it my way! E-mail cfcmailbag (at) yahoo (dot) com: your submission could make it in to next week’s COMPREHENSIVE.
MAYBE COACHING IS EASIER THAN I THOUGHT
Did somebody’s seat just get hotter?
Let’s give Steve Spurrier the benefit of the doubt for allowing his team to choke away a 28-10 halftime lead at Kentucky.
Maybe the Old Ball Coach made every adjustment he needed to, said all the right things, dialed up all the right plays and schemes, and shouldn’t be held accountable for the Gamecocks allowing three straight touchdowns after intermission to fall in a late 31-28 hole.
But even if Spurrier can be absolved of blame in the first 59+ minutes of the game…the way the final few seconds played out is nobody’s fault but his own.
There is absolutely no excuse, explanation, or reason for calling a timeout with the clock already stopped in the final 30 seconds.
Doing it twice on back-to-back plays is justification for the school to investigate early retirement.
With two timeouts remaining and needing a field goal to tie, South Carolina completed a 16-yard pass to D.L. Moore, who wisely ran out of bounds at the Kentucky 38-yard line to stop the clock with 15 seconds left.
Apparently he didn’t need to, because Spurrier chose to waste a timeout after the play anyway.
Can’t take ‘em with you, right?
On the next snap, the Gamecocks hit another big play, as Tori Gurley gained 18 yards to the Kentucky 20 and ran out of bounds, again stopping the clock.
Guess what happened next?
Correct. Spurrier burned his final timeout, despite the clock being stopped with 11 seconds left.
This might qualify as the worst coaching sequence of the year, but The Visor wasn’t done putting his stamp on the game.
Spurrier called for a throw into the end zone instead of the logical game-tying 37-yard field goal attempt, which (to be fair) wouldn’t have been a horrible idea…except that everyone in the stadium knew the ball was only going to the end zone or sideline.
Why? Oh yeah, because voila, South Carolina had already spent their last two timeouts for no apparent reason.
Strike three. Spurrier’s out.
Maybe coaching is easier than I thought.
MAYBE OFFICIATING IS EASIER THAN I THOUGHT
Throwing the flag on the guys in stripes…
When Auburn running back Mario Fannin scored a second-quarter touchdown in Saturday’s game against Arkansas, he only forgot one thing.
Fannin appeared to get the ball punched out by Razorbacks safety Tramain Thomas inches before finishing his four-yard scoring plunge, but was credited for the touchdown anyway.
And that’s where the fun began.
My beef with the officials on this play wasn’t the fact that the replay official chose not to overturn the call; while I thought the video showed that Fannin had fumbled short of the goal line, it was far from indisputable.
However, in a situation that’s too close to call on review, the initial ruling on the field becomes even more important, and this officiating crew botched it big time.
Since the official closest to the play not only indicated a fumble but pointed the other direction to show that Arkansas recovered, and no one in a striped shirt (from what I could tell) ever signaled a touchdown, I have a hard time understanding how the officials can huddle amongst themselves (with the ball still lying at the one-yard line) and decide conclusively after the fact that Auburn actually did score.
What, once you took a few minutes to think about it, you decided maybe he did get the ball across the line after all? But you weren’t sure enough when it happened to throw your arms in the air?
The last time I saw an important call made that late, the Miami Hurricanes were celebrating their 2002 national title after outlasting Ohio State.
Maybe officiating is easier than I thought.
SINCE I DO LIVE IN OHIO...
News from around the Big Ten…
Purdue wore Rose Bowl throwback helmets against Minnesota Saturday afternoon, complete with a rose through the “P” logo. Anything Pasadena-related seems just a bit presumptuous for a program that lost to Toledo in its last home game…but hey, the Boilers are unbeaten in the Big Ten…
…and Ohio State isn’t. Last I checked, top-ranked teams aren’t supposed to trail for 59 minutes and 48 seconds, but that’s what happened to the Buckeyes in a 31-18 loss at Wisconsin. Maybe if the Buckeyes had spent more time working on special teams coverage and less time practicing their “jump around” skills, OSU would still be undefeated?
One other Big Ten note: can Illinois defensive backs please refrain from pointing fingers at each other until the Spartans receiver actually, you know, crosses the goal line? Maybe try to chase him down instead of bickering? Thanks in advance.
Since CFC isn’t really done until the fat lady sings…
If Boise State wants to play for the national title, they need to win and win big every time out.
(Remember, this is a program that dropped in the rankings after a 59-0 nailbiter a couple of weeks ago.)
Of course, if Boise State wants to show good sportsmanship and class, they need to not run up the score on overmatched opponents. The Broncos led 41-0 at halftime Saturday against San Jose State, and that was enough to earn Kellen Moore a seat on the bench for the final thirty minutes.
Reason number 31,415,926 why I hate the BCS: if Boise keeps its foot on the gas and embarrasses the opposition, they have a better shot at the ultimate prize, but that’s not what the Broncos are all about.
Kudos to Chris Petersen for being a good sport even when it doesn’t appear to be in his team’s best interest.
Some things are more important than football.
Tim Cary’s COLLEGE FOOTBALL COMPREHENSIVE (formerly “Carrying On About College Football”) is a weekly wrap-up series featured each Monday on BleacherReport.com.
To submit unbelievable stats, strange announcer quotes, amazing highlights, or dumb coach/referee decisions for next week’s column, e-mail Tim by 1:00 pm Sunday at CFCmailbag (at) yahoo (dot) com or contact him on Twitter at @TimCary.
Miss a previous edition of COMPREHENSIVE? Catch up here.