College Football Week 11: Oregon Has Flaws and 25 Things We Learned This Week
College football's 12th week has come to a close. It's time to wrap up everything we've seen from another Saturday.
There will be teams that will slip in the polls. Some already have in the Associated Press and USA Today, but they are anxiously awaiting the new BCS polls to be released on Sunday evening.
I spent a lot of last night debating the difference between Boise State and TCU, deciding which was better. Since neither look to be heading for the national championship game, I saw the conversation as irrelevant, but maybe that's just me.
Oregon and Auburn held on to their top two spots in the human polls, although the Ducks got lucky by not losing to Cal.
Auburn continues to be surrounded by the NCAA investigation and every rumor about its quarterback, Cam Newton.
The Tigers decided to play him against Georgia despite the heat being turned up just a little higher.
There are more stories to talk about from a full slate of college football games, so here are the 25 things we learned.
25. So Close, Yet So Far
Fresno State had Nevada beaten. It had a six-point lead with less than three minutes to go.
But, as the Bulldogs have been known to do, the defense couldn't hold on.
Nevada took the win 35-34.
24. Just Here For a Visit
The Central Florida Knights enjoyed one week inside the Top 25. That came to a grinding halt when they were beaten at home by Southern Miss.
I guess they were just happy to be there.
23. Not How I Saw It Going
When Turner Gill took the job at Kansas, I doubt he saw this season going like it has. The Jayhawks' win over Georgia Tech earlier in the season looks good, just not as good now as it did then.
When he starts getting a full list of his own recruits, things might be able to turn around. For now, I'm sure Gill can't wait for the season to come to an end.
Losing is getting old.
22. It Really Is That Bad
Coming off a season that saw your team go to the national championship game, you're now in the middle of losing six of your last seven games.
Yeah, things are that bad in Austin for Mack Brown and the Longhorns.
Could it get worse? Sure, they could lose to Florida Atlantic next weekend.
21. Arizona Gets Trojan Horse'd
I remember when a sports writer friend of mine used to tell me that I never rated Arizona high enough on the Pac-10 power rankings.
I always told her that I wasn't sold on Arizona. Last night's loss to USC showed exactly why I had that feeling as the Trojans went on the road and left with a 24-21 win over the Wildcats.
20. Make It Eight Straight
How about the Virginia Tech Hokies?
The team we were laughing at early in the season just picked up its eighth straight win and looks to be the team that most college football pundits thought they were.
Boise State's win over the Hokies is looking good right about now.
19. How Did That Happen?
If you're Oregon State or the players on that team, I'd be afraid of what Monday might bring because I have a feeling that practice won't be a lot of fun.
The Beavers welcomed in Washington State and allowed the Cougars to make themselves at home. So much so that they picked up just their second win of the season.
That win may have ended any potential bowl appearance for Oregon State for the first time in five years.
Yeah, how did that happen?
18. Syracuse Not Just a Basketball School Now?
Syracuse has always been known as a basketball school, and a good one at that. But something has changed in 2010 and the football team is playing well this season.
It is 7-3 and looks well on the way to a bowl game at the end of the year. So much for only being a basketball school.
17. A Win After a Firing
Colorado fires Dan Hawkins and finally ends his era as the head coach of the Buffaloes.
Seems they made the right decision, as, in their first game without Hawkins, they came up with a 34-14 win over Iowa State.
Brian Cabral had a nice debut.
16. LSU Throws a Shutout
LSU had a tune-up game before finishing the season against Ole Miss and Arkansas. Lucky for the Tigers, that tune up came against Louisiana-Monroe.
I doubt that you can call it a rivalry game, but LSU took care of it easily, 51-0.
15. Oklahoma State: Pride of The Big 12
When was the last time we talked about Oklahoma State as a Big 12 title contender?
We can do it this year as the Cowboys continue to knock off each opponent that gets in their way. They currently sit 9-1 with their only loss coming at home against Nebraska.
They do have wins against Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas, all three of which were impressive at the time.
They have one more challenge left, coming in two weeks against Oklahoma.
14. Gators Missing Their Teeth
I would say the Gators' bark is worse than their bite, but since Gators don't bark, that's a hard thing to say with a straight face.
Florida is definitely not the team they were under Tim Tebow, but it was tough to think that John Brantley was going to be anywhere near Tebow. It was too much to expect.
The South Carolina Gamecocks have already knocked off Alabama, and they got their second big SEC win when they knocked off Florida on Saturday.
13. Aggies Continue to Roll
Ryan Tannehill has been the answer for Texas A&M ever since he took over as the starter at quarterback.
The Aggies haven't lost a game and they continued that roll against Baylor on Saturday.
I have to wonder what the season could have been like had Tannehill taken over at the beginning of the season.
Though there was no reason to think Jerrod Johnson would struggle as mightily as he did, the move has been made and it's turned out to be a good one.
12. Ole Miss Has a Rocky Trip
Tennessee had been the team that just about everyone was beating on, but apparently they weren't going to let Ole Miss be another one of those teams.
Tennessee was 3-6 coming in to this game, with the three wins coming against Tennessee-Martin, Alabama-Birmingham, and Memphis. The Volunteers picked up their fourth against the Rebels with a convincing 52-14 win.
11. A Loss We Didn't See Coming
After getting slapped around by TCU last weekend, I thought Utah would head to South Bend and take aggression out on Notre Dame.
That didn't exactly happen the way some of us thought it might.
Utah scored just three points against the Irish and got blasted 28-3. TCU's blowout win over the Utes isn't looking really good right about now.
10. Iowa Never Knew What Hit Them
The Hawkeyes were ranked 13th in the nation and were heading for Northwestern, to what looked like just another win.
It didn't exactly go down that way. In fact, Iowa was stunned on the road 21-17.
That 13th ranking is going to take a big hit when the BCS poll comes out tonight. Call it a letdown or call it just not being ready, but it was a loss they didn't want.
9. Who's Falling Fast?
Two straight losses for a team that was in the top 10—the Utah Utes are in a free fall that I don't know that they can stop.
Maybe you can call their losses to TCU and Notre Dame letdowns, or maybe Utah just isn't as good as we thought.
8. Who's On The Rise?
Eight straight wins means there's no reason for me not to put Virginia Tech on this list.
They are playing arguably better than most teams in the country, aside from maybe Auburn and Oregon, with a nod to TCU and Boise State.
Just imagine where the Hokies would be had they not suffered a major meltdown against James Madison. Top Five, perhaps?
7: Who Should Fear For Their Job?
While there are some who would tell you that Pat Hill won't lose his job because university officials at Fresno State have a teenage crush on him, fans are tired of losing to good teams and only being able to beat the bad ones.
The time for a change has already come and gone and this still has not been resolved.
6. Coach on The Rise
Oklahoma State is 9-1 on the season, with that one loss coming against Nebraska. The Cowboys are playing extremely good football this season.
Mike Gundy has an extension that runs through 2013, but he's definitely a name of interest for certain jobs that come open.
5. Keep Your Eye On...
The Cam Newton saga will drag into this coming week as the NCAA continues its investigation.
Not only are they doing their own look into this situation, but the FBI has also wanted to talk to those who were involved.
We don't know just how bad this could get for Newton, his father, or Auburn University, but if the allegations are true, it could be real bad.
4. I Can't Watch...
The Texas Longhorns have become unwatchable. One season removed from a national championship appearance and now they're in the middle of a four-game losing streak and have dropped six of their last seven.
It's just plain ugly.
3. Boise State or TCU?
I know this argument is already boring people to death, but we're going to talk about it anyway.
The debate between who deserved the No. 3 ranking has been in debate since late last night. TCU beat a very good San Diego State team but gave up more points in one game than it has given up in the last four games.
As for Boise State, it blew out an awful Idaho Vandals squad that plays in a stadium that looks like roller derby could be played there during the Olympics—if roller derby is ever made an Olympic sport.
I've already said I favor TCU in this argument. I know Boise State fans hate that opinion, but they'll just have to deal with it.
2. Big Ten Gets Narrowed Down
With Iowa's loss on Saturday, the Big Ten title will come down to Ohio State and Wisconsin.
I really thought the Hawkeyes would be able to hang in, but they just had nothing left in the tank.
1. Wisconsin Throws a Beating on Indiana
Wisconsin had a little too much fun at home on Saturday at the expense of the Indiana Hoosiers.
I've heard of a beat down, but I really thought Wisconsin was going to be the first team in a long time to get to 100 points.
They got close, hanging 85 on the Hoosiers.