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NCAA Football Thoughts and Opinions, Week 9: Helu's Big Game, No. 1 Curse Done

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the Washington Huskies watches the action during the Apple Cup game against the Washington State Cougars on November 28, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies defeated the Cougars 30-0. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
David HedlindAnalyst IIOctober 31, 2010

Sorry State of Washington

I am pretty sure I had this observation before, probably a couple years ago when UW went 0-12 and Washington State wasn’t much better.

On Saturday night, when both teams went in with hopes of upset wins, things went horribly wrong.

Washington had made a habit of flipping back and forth from loss, win, loss, win all season long. Coming off a loss and returning home thoughts of a win were there.

Washington State has shown improvement all season playing many teams much closer than any one expected and so far there hadn’t been any blowout losses as was the case in recent seasons.

Forget all that.

The two schools got shut out.

Stanford and Arizona State beat Washington and Washington State by a combined score of 83-0.

 

Cocktail Party

Even when the programs seem down, the cocktail party still turns out to be one of the most exciting games. Florida held on to the lead for a good portion of the game, but Georgia tied it up late and sent the game to overtime.

Florida took advantage of an interception and scored the game-winning field goal to take the first overtime game in the rivalry.

 

Orange to Orange

Yeah, it could happen. The Syracuse Orange find themselves atop the Big East and if they continue to win they could end up in a BCS Bowl. My observation is that the Big East tends to go to the Orange about every other year. Since Cincinnati was in the Sugar last season, I would bet on this year's winner going to the Orange Bowl and it could very well be the Orange in the Orange.

 

Year One of Brian Kelly

Expectations were huge and the promises were too. Talks of winning national championships have since been quieted and now talks of just winning games is what the Irish should focus on. The problem is that the remaining games are no easy wins.

Some might scoff at that considering Army is still on the schedule but this years Army team is likely going bowling and its not like Notre Dame has had an easy time with the teams on the schedule that they were “supposed” to beat.

On top of the likely losing season, Kelly and the school are under investigation over the tragic death of Notre Dame student Declan Sullivan who died filming the Notre Dame practice from a lift that was knocked over by gusting wind.

Not the first year Kelly was hoping for.

 

Helu

Nebraska running back Roy Helu Jr. ran for a school record, yes, a Nebraska school record (307 yards on 28 carries). He had three scores that went for over 50 yards. I don’t have much more to say, and frankly I don’t think I need to.

 

No More No. 1 Curse

Well, at least for the week. It had been three weeks in a row that a No. 1 team lost on the road. There was a secondary curse of being the favored visiting team at the game where College GameDay had setup shop.

The BCS No. 1 Auburn held serve and won their game at Ole Miss while the poll's No. 1 team Oregon survived on the road at USC. Oregon also had the GameDay factor but managed to win.

The season is not over and there is still more football to play so who knows what will happen from here on out.

 

Numbers

If you have read my articles you know I have followed various numbers so here we go:

Five undefeated teams left.

Two teams looking for their first win.

34 bowl-eligible teams.

13 bowl-ineligible teams.

One team of 120 that I have not seen play a game this season (Memphis).

 

399

No, that wasn’t part of the numbers section, this one is a new one. That’s how many wins Joe Paterno has now. So the next one is 400. Looking at the schedule ahead though there is no guarantee that they will get it.

Next up is a 6-2 Northwestern team who will offer plenty of offense that will not be easy to contain. Then there is the last road game which is to No. 8 Ohio State. Indiana comes in at 4-4 and could surprise. The season finishes off with No. 16 Michigan State.

 

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