College Football Week 9: Alabama Is Lurking and 25 Things We Learned This Week

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IOctober 31, 2010

College Football Week 9: Alabama Is Lurking and 25 Things We Learned This Week

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    IOWA CITY, IA - OCTOBER 30:  Backup Quarterback Andrew Maxwell #10 of the Michigan State Spartans throws under pressure from Defensive lineman Joe Forgy #96 of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the second half of play at Kinnick Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Iowa
    David Purdy/Getty Images

    There were a few changes in college football overnight, thanks to losses by Michigan State, Miami and Missouri. I guess the teams that start with the letter M just weren't meant to have a good day on Saturday.

    The human polls had Oregon in front of Auburn, and the computers agreed when the BCS rankings came out Sunday night.

    At least the humans and the computer chips agree that Oregon and Auburn are the best two teams in the country. So apparently there's some good news with the BCS.

    So what did you learn from this week in college football? Was it the fact that Boise State hurt themselves by playing on a Tuesday night just because they wanted the attention? Or was it the fact that Missouri was never going to finish the season unbeaten and it was just a matter of time before it got its first loss?

    Whatever it was, I'm sure I learned it as well. Let's have some fun as we wrap up another week in college football.

No. 25: Notre Dame Loses Again Amid Tragedy

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    SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 30: Tyler Eifert #80 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish drops a pass as he is hit by John Flanders #21 of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Notre Dame Stadium on October 30, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. Tulsa defeated Notre Dame 28-27.
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    WIth heavy hearts and questions flying around, the Notre Dame football team took the field after a tragedy took the life of a young student that worked as the team's videographer .

    The Irish tried to use that as a motivator, but it just wasn't enough as Tulsa picked up a 28-27 win in South Bend.

No. 24: South Carolina Wakes up in the Second Half

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    COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 30:  Marcus Lattimore #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs with the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Get
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    After one half of play, some wondered if Tennessee might actually pull off the upset against South Carolina.

    But, the Gamcocks woke up in the second half and scored 28 points to pull off a 38-24 win, thanks to 184 rushing yards from Marcus Lattimore and four Tennessee turnovers.

No. 23: Kyle Padron, Zach Line Lead SMU

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    DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 24:  Quarterback Kyle Padron #2 of the SMU Mustangs looks to pass against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on September 24, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Quarterback Kyle Padron and running back Zach Line decided they weren't going to let Tulane beat them.

    The two put together a 21-point fourth quarter and took the Green Wave down 31-17.

    Padron finished the night with 354 yards through the air and a touchdown, adding one more score on the ground.

    Line had 177 yards on the ground and two scores.

No. 22: North Carolina Struggles

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Matt Merletti #25 (R) of the North Carolina Tar Heels is tackled by Jeremy Deering #18 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights after intercepting a pass intended for Deering in the fourth quarter at Rutgers Stadium on September 2
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    North Carolina is having a rough season and it almost got worse on Saturday.

    The Tar Heels trailed William & Mary 18-7 through three quarters at home. But thanks to a 14-point fourth quarter on a touchdown pass from quarterback T.J. Yates, and a 67-yard touchdown run from running back Johnny White, the Tar Heels were able to keep the upset bug away from them.

No. 21: Ryan Tanehill Comes up Big

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    AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback  Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Texas A&M Aggies runs the ball against the Texas Longhorns on November 27, 2008 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.  Texas won 49-9. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Texas A&M needed a big performance against the visiting Red Raiders of Texas Tech and they got just that from quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

    The Aggies' quarterback stepped up big and threw for 449 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-27 win over Texas Tech.

No. 20: Gators Pick up Big Overtime Win

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 30:  Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs past Justin Trattou #94 of the Florida Gators for a touchdown during the game at EverBank Field on October 30, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Imag
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The Florida Gators looked to have things well in hand against Georgia, with a 21-10 lead at the half. But the Bulldogs wouldn't quit and stormed all the way back to tie the game at 31-31 by the end of regulation.

    Florida, however, would not be denied the win and picked up a big 34-31 win in overtime.

    Georgia didn't help its cause by turning the ball over four times, including three interceptions by quarterback Aaron Murray.

No. 19: Oregon State Dumps Cal

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    TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 09:  (L-R) Ryan Katz #12, Burke Ellis #74, Alex Linnenkohl #60 and Michael Philipp #77 of the Oregon State Beavers during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona.
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Cal was coming off putting up 50 points on Arizona State. But its trip to Corvallis, Ore. didn't go quite as smoothly.

    The Beavers jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead and extended that to 35-0 lead by the end of the third quarter in a 35-7 rout of the Cal Bears.

    Beavers running back Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 119 yards and three scores, while quarterback Ryan Katz added 184 yards and a touchdown through the air.

No. 18: New Mexico Loses...Again

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    EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 04:  Wide receiver Drew Davis #10 of the Oregon Ducks eludes the tackle of linebacker Joe Stoner #39 of the New Mexico Lobos and heads up the field with a pass reception in the first quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on Septembe
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Could we have a winless team in college football this season?

    If New Mexico has anything to say about it, or nothing to say as the case may be, that's exactly the way this season is going to go for them.

    They've been outplayed and outmatched in just about every game they've played so far and that included yesterday's throttling at the hands of Colorado State, which handed them a 38-14 loss.

No. 17: Washington State Gets a Beating

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    MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 18: Lawerence Guy #50 of the Arizona State Sun Devils waits during a time-out against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Arizona State 20-19.  (Photo by Jon
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    After Arizona State had 50 dropped on them by Cal, they wanted someone to take out their aggression on.

    Thankfully, Washington State was up next and the Sun Devils toyed with them like a high school football team begging for the game to be over.

    Arizona State jumped out to a 28-0 lead at the half and kept their foot on the gas to the tune of a 42-0 beat down of the Washington State Cougars.

No. 16: Denard Robinson, a One-Man Show in Ann Arbor

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    ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 09:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines warms up prior to the start of the game against the Michigan State Spartans on October 9, 2010 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Michigan State Spartans defeated the
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    If there was ever a one-man band it would be Denard Robinson at Michigan. It seems like he's the only one who looks anywhere near decent for the Michigan Wolverines.

    They dropped their third straight game after opening the season with five straight wins. This time their loss came at the hands of Penn State, 41-31.

    Robinson threw for 190 yards, ran for 191 and finished with four total touchdowns. Yep, he finished with 28 of his team's 31 points.

No. 15: Nevada Still in the Rankings?

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    LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 02:  (L-R) Courtney Randall #35 of the Nevada Reno Wolf Pack is congratulated by quarterback Colin Kaepernick #10 and Brandon Wimberly #4 after Randall scored a touchdown against the UNLV Rebels in the second quarter of their game at S
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    I can't imagine that the Nevada Wolfpack is going to be anywhere near the top 25 teams after giving up 42 points to Idaho, despite the fact they got a win.

No. 14: Miami Gets Dumped by Virginia

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 09:  Keith Payne #22 of the Virginia Cavaliers against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Virginia Cavaliers apparently weren't impressed with how good Miami has been this season.

    They stretched a 14-0 lead at halftime to 24-0 by the fourth quarter. Miami scored 19 points in the fourth quarter but they were all too little, too late.

No. 13: Will Arizona Lose Ground?

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    TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Injured quarterback Nick Foles #8 of the Arizona Wildcats congratulates Keola Antolin #2 after Antolin scored a 78 yard rushing touchdown against the Washington Huskies during the second quarter of the college football game at Ar
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Arizona has had to survive without starting quarterback Nick Foles for the last two weeks, but has done so without suffering a loss.

    However, I wonder if they won't lose ground in the standings after only an eight-point win over UCLA?

No. 12: Navy Loses Focus

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 23: (L-R) De'Von Richardson #3 and Kevin Edwards #15 of the Navy Midshipmen break up the pass against John Goodman #81 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 23, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Je
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    When you beat Notre Dame, there's a certain kind of arrogance that comes during the following week.

    Well, that arrogance caused a severe letdown for Navy at home against a team—Duke—that had just one win coming into this game.

    The Midshipmen found themselves down 24-0 at the half. Although they were able to score 24 points in the fourth quarter, the game had already gotten away from them.

No. 11: Missouri Unbeaten No More

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    LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 30: Quarterback Zac Lee #5 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers takes a hit members of the Missouri Tigers Defense during second half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Missour
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    They almost lost to San Diego State but they beat Oklahoma. Go figure that scenario.

    The unbeaten Missouri Tigers were in the Top 10 and things were looking good. That was until Nebraska called them over.

    The bully not only beat the little kid but they took their lunch money as well.

    The Cornhuskers had suffered a tough loss at home to Texas but showed they were the same ole team we thought they were.

    Nebraska scored 24 first-quarter points en route to a 31-17 win, ending the Tigers' unbeaten season.

No. 10: Ohio State Takes Care of Business

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    COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 23:  Dan Herron #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs with the ball against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ohio Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Ohio State went to Minnesota hell-bent on getting themselves deep inside the Top 10. The Buckeyes did their job with a 52-10 beat down of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

    Now we'll see if the BCS was impressed.

No. 9: Arkansas Uses Big First Half to Cruise

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    AUBURN - OCTOBER 16:  Fullback Van Stumon #44 of the Arkansas Razorbacks gets set for a special teams play during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Not that Vanderbilt is a strong SEC team, but the Razorbacks will take any win they can get, especially two straight wins to get them back up the rankings.

    Ole Miss was their target last week and Vanderbilt was their target this week.

    All they have to do from here is keep winning and let the rest take care of itself.

No. 8: Hawaii Deserves a Top 25 Spot

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    HONOLULU - SEPTEMBER 2:  Quarterback Bryant Moniz #17 of the University of Hawaii Warriors makes a pass against the University of Southern California Trojans during first half action at Aloha Stadium September 2, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kent N
    Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

    After starting their season losing two of their first three games, the Hawaii Warriors have rattled off six straight wins, including wins over both Fresno State and Nevada—two teams that are leaving the conference early.

    Now they set their sights on Boise State.

    But what they should set their sights on in the next few hours is being in the Top 25. They've earned that.

No. 7: Utah's Five-Point Win May Cost Them

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    Chris Schneider/AP
    Chris Schneider/AP

    The Utah Utes have been playing solid football all year long, but their 28-23 win over Air Force on the road might cause them trouble when the BCS rankings come out later tonight.

    If they don't slip, then it worked out. But don't be surprised if they get passed by the likes of Ohio State.

No. 6: Alabama Could Find Itself in the Drivers' Seat

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    KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 23:  Robert Lester #37 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball after intercepting a pass during the SEC game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Ly
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Alabama Crimson Tide sat at home during their bye week and watched in anticipation, hoping they would get some help from teams in front of them.

    They got just that thanks to losses from both Michigan State and Missouri.

    Now, the Crimson Tide could find themselves in the Top Five.

No. 5: Stanford Will Watch the Rankings Close Tonight

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    SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30:  Running back Stepfan Taylor #33 of the Stanford Cardinal rushes against Nate Williams #8 of the Washington Huskies on October 30, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. Stanford defeated Washington 41-0. (Photo by Otto Greule
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    As of Sunday afternoon, Stanford's only loss is to the Oregon Ducks, the No. 1 team in the country, according to voters and the BCS computers.

    Stanford's 41-0 throttling of Washington will have the Cardinal watching the BCS rankings closely tonight, to see just how far they'll move up, if at all.

No. 4: Oklahoma Bounces Back

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    COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 23: Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners in action against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Columbia, Missouri.  The Tigers beat the Sooners 36-27.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Imag
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    After a disappointing loss to Missouri, the Oklahoma Sooners needed to put up big points in order to move up in the rankings—not to mention get some help from the teams in front of them.

    With Michigan State and Missouri both losing on Saturday, they could get the help they were looking for.

    They took care of their end with a lopsided 43-10 win over Colorado on Saturday.

No. 3: Will Auburn Get Back on Top?

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    AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 23:  Nick Fairley #90 of the Auburn Tigers sacks quarterback Jordan Jefferson #9 of the LSU Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Auburn's defense knows how to give up points but thankfully, its offense knows how to put them up as well.

    The Tigers gave up 31 points to Ole Miss on the road on Saturday but fortunately for the Tigers, Cam Newton didn't have to do it all this time.

    Newton did throw for 209 yards and two scores. But he got help from running back Michael Dyer who ran for 180 yards and a touchdown in Auburn's 51-31 win over the Rebels.

No. 2: How about Them Baylor Bears?

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    AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 8:  Quarterback Robert Griffin #10 of the Baylor Bears runs the ball during the game against the Texas Longhorns on November 8, 2008 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.  Texas won 45-21. (Photo by Brian Bahr/G
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    The Baylor Bears headed to Austin to take on a Longhorns team that was looking for revenge after getting beaten by Iowa State a week earlier.

    The Bears hadn't beaten Texas since 1997 and doing so on the road was going to be tough.

    However, they got the effort they needed from quarterback Robert Griffin and running back Jay Finley and they were able to hold off the Longhorns in Austin, 30-22.

    Griffin threw for 219 yards and two scores and got 116 yards and a touchdown from Finley. This was a huge win for the Bears and it came at the right time.

No. 1: Oregon Gets a Fight from USC, But Not Enough of One

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30:  LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates his touchdown with Ramsen Golpashin #70 for a 43-32 lead over the USC Trojans during the fourth quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 30, 2010 in Los Angeles,
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Midway through the third quarter, it looked like USC just might be able to pull off the upset. But then the Oregon offense put it into another gear and showed the college football world why they believe they are the top team in the country.

    Trailing 32-29 early in the third, the Oregon offense scored 24 unanswered points to close out a 53-32 win over the Trojans in Los Angeles.

    While the BCS computers did not rank them No. 1 before this week, the Ducks offense has continued to prove, week in and week out, that they can put up points against anyone.

    Heck, I want to see an Oregon/Auburn national championship game, don't you?

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