College Football Wordplay: From A to Z (Week 3)

Eric ThomasonCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2008

College Football week of 09/13/08

Avoiding the Storm

East Carolina avoided a huge letdown on the road against Tulane. The Pirates need a late fourth quarter drive to pull out a 28-24 victory over the Green Wave.

Patrick Pinkney continued to play well at quarterback. The senior went 22 of 32 for 260 yards and two TD, and has ECU at 3-0 for the first time since 1999.

Skip Holtz has to be a little concerned about the 56 yards rushing and his team’s four turnovers; these kind of mistakes/inconsistency that can easily end a dream season.

Brigham Young

Max Hall exploded again throwing for 271 yards and setting a school record with seven touchdown passes.

So where was the Norm Chow offense this Saturday? UCLA was shut out for the first time since 1964 and suffered the programs worse loss in 75 years.

Makes you wonder. How disappointing is Tennessee’s loss to UCLA now?

With the rise of the MWC, the Cougars have established themselves as a legitimate national title contender.

Contender Evaluation: Texas Tech.

Key Games: 10/25 @ Kansas 11/01 Texas 11/08 @ Oklahoma

Drop-back quarterback

Speaking of Big XII South contenders, Oklahoma has established themselves as the force to be reckoned with. Sam Bradford is the best quarterback/NFL prospect in the nation. Bradford has great vision, good pocket presence and is able to read defensive coverage’s. It’s hard to believe that he’s only a sophomore.

Well, at least Washington did remind the country that it’s probably not a very good idea to pick a fight with the Sooners before you have to play a football game against them.


Although it’s sad to see the weather prohibit college football, I’m glad the NCAA has decided to do the smart thing and cancel/move games around the country.

With that said, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends who have been affected by this Hurricane season.

God Bless.


Notre Dame football. It was sad to see a program like Notre Dame douse their coach in Gatorade after beating a non-ranked opponent at home. What has Irish football come to?

Getting Clobbered

Ohio State looked flat, and USC looked dominate in “the most anticipated game of the year.” It was embarrassing for the Buckeyes to get outmanned like that after having 9 months to prepare for the Trojans.

Mark Sanchez and the offense looked impressive, but the rest of the country should be more afraid of how well the Southern Cal defense played.

Jim Tressel needs to re-evaluate the quarterback position. I know the coach feels committed to stick with the Todd Boeckman, but defenses will continue to unload on the stagnant senior. You have to believe Terrelle Pryor’s ability to stretch out defenses gives the Buckeyes the best chance of winning on Saturdays.

How a week can change

The entire way a conference is viewed. The Pac-10 took a big hit this weekend:

Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama struggled, throwing two picks and completing just over 50 percent of his passes in a 36-28 loss to New Mexico. Remember, there were a lot of people talking about this Wildcat team as a dark horse in the conference. To make matters worse, earlier in the week running back Nic Grigsby guaranteed a victory against the Lobos. Oops.

California unexplainably lost on the road to a pretty bad Maryland team. The explosive Cal offense, which put 66 against Washington State the week before struggled to find the endzone for the first three quarters. I guess the 9 a.m. local start time wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Arizona State was the most disappointing team in the conference this week losing at home to UNLV in overtime. Think the Sun Devils were looking forward to Georgia coming to town this week?

And as for UCLA, I think the 59-point shutout loss and something like 22 inches per carry on the ground speaks for itself.

Impact Freshman

1. K Maikon Bonani, South Florida: 3 for 4 FG, including game winning 43-yarder.

2. RB Sam McGuffie, Michigan: 25 rushes, 131 yards.

3. WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma: 3 receptions, 85 yards, 2 TD

4. QB Robert Griffen III, Baylor: 7 of 15, 129 yards, 1 TD. 11 rushes, 217 yards, 2 TD. *(See letter “N”)

5. RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State: 26 rushes, 110 yards 2 TD.

Jumping to Conclusions (Predictions for next week)

Upset Special: Florida State 24 Wake Forrest 20

Could be in trouble: Utah 34 Air Force 31

Closer than you think: Ohio State 31 Troy 24

No way Jose: Louisiana State 28 Auburn 13

Knocking on the door

BCS affiliated schools looking for their first victory this week:

Rutgers vs. Navy

Syracuse vs. Northeastern

Washington State vs. Portland State

Lighting up the scoreboard

The headline reads: “Auburn held off Mississippi State 3-2 to win their SEC conference opener.” Take it as Tommy Tuberville's tribute the MLB playoff race heating up.


South Carolina had many opportunities to pull out a victory over Georgia. Steve Spurrier’s face told it all after RB Mike Davis fumbled at the goal-line. The ‘Ole Ball Coach is now 0-2 in the conference and most likely a non-factor in the SEC East.

Georgia struggled to find the endzone again against the Gamecock. The Bulldogs have only managed to score 2 touchdowns in their last three match-ups against USC.

Knowshon Moreno only rushed for 79 yards, but his mobility and illusiveness was definitely displayed on Saturday. UGA will need the sophomore Heisman hopeful to continue running hard next week to keep Arizona State’s offense on the sideline.

New to the Scene

Robert Griffen III. If you don’t know who he is by now you should, because the Baylor QB is well on his way to winning Freshman of the year. The duel-threat Griffen has done the impossible in only three games and brought some excitement to Waco.

Next chance to catch the quarterback is this Friday (8 PM, ESPN) when Baylor travels cross-country to face Connecticut.


Ohio State, Auburn, South Florida, Georgia, and Texas Tech.

Personal Trainer

Looking to get fit? Why not jump on the Missouri workout plan? Seriously, with the amount of push-ups the mascot has to pump out on gameday, Truman the Tiger has one of the worst jobs in college football.

Mizzou tied a school record, scoring 69 points in blowing out victory over a Nevada team that hung with Texas Tech last week.

Chase Daniel is playing out of this world. In the quarterback’s last two games Daniel has led the Tigers to 12 touchdown drives on only 13 possessions, while completing 39 of his 45 passes.

Can anyone say, "Heisman"?

Question of the Week

With the way the Mountain West Conference has dominated the Pac-10 this year I started to wonder: how would the conference fare against the Big East?

The Mountain West Conference has a combined 6-3 record against the six BCS conferences in the first three weeks of the season. So how would the top five teams from the MWC manage against the Big East schools?

A best of five series between the two conferences would look something like this:

 Brigham Young (beat UCLA and Washington) vs. South Florida

Utah (beat Michigan) vs. West Virginia

TCU (beat Stanford) vs. Cincinnati

Air Force vs. Connecticut

UNLV (beat Arizona State) vs. Louisville

On paper the Mountain West looks just as strong as a conference as the Big East does.

The MWC reminds me a lot of the Missouri Valley in basketball, a conference which consistently produces Sweet 16 teams come March.


Maikon Bonani replaced struggling starter Delbert Alvarado and nailed the game winner to hold off Kansas, 37-34. While South Florida made a good decision in the kicking game, senior quarterback Todd Reesing did not.

Reesing’s uncharacteristically threw a late pick to set up the game winner, and the Bulls remained undefeated on the season.

With the weakness of the Big East, it might be time to start jumping on the South Florida bandwagon. Speaking of jumping on someone’s back, doesn’t the Bonani look like he should be a jockey? I’m just saying, check it out.

Star performance of the Week

Javon Ringer put on a clinic against Florida Atlantic, rushing for 282 yards and two TD in Michigan State’s 17-0 win. The senior has Spartan fans singing “Viva Viagra” because he got it up and down the field for three hours on Saturday.

Top Five

1. Southern California

The Trojans showed up at the Coliseum, dominating Ohio State on both side of the ball (real surprising). Who in the Pac-10 is going to beat Southern Cal?

2. Oklahoma

The defense played physical, and Bradford was near perfect again in a 55-13 embarrassment of Washington.

3. Missouri

Chase Daniels and the Tiger offensive explosion continued with a 69-17 thrashing of Nevada at home.

4. Florida

The Gators had the week off to fix the kicks in Urban Meyer’s offense.

5. Louisiana State

The Tigers scored on the first play from scrimmage establishing the run game in a 41-3 rout of North Texas.

Upcoming (Five things to watch for next week)

1. Arkansas vs. Alabama

Arkansas had an extra week to prepare for their SEC Conference opener against Nick Saban and the Tide.

2. Florida vs. Tennessee

Florida heads to Knoxville for an early road test against SEC East rival Tennessee. Winner of this game will challenge Georgia for the division title.

3. Louisiana State vs. Auburn

Same situation as above. Two legitimate national title contenders square off in primetime.

4. Georgia vs. Arizona State

Georgia heads to the desert to face the Sun Devils who are looking to rebound after a disappointing loss to UNLV in overtime.

5. Notre Dame vs. Michigan State

The Irish try to keep things rolling and complete a sweep of the Michigan schools in East Lansing.

Video of the Week

A couple of clips that you won’t want to miss. Buffalo caught a Hail-Mary to beat Temple and Kentucky almost let another team pull off a “blue grass miracle” in Lexington. Wildcats remember the heartbreaking defeat to LSU in the in 2005. Check it out.

Winning on the road

Wisconsin came into a hostile environment, controlling the ball behind PJ Hill’s 126 yards on the ground and squeaked out a 13-10 victory over BCS-buster hopeful Fresno State.

The Bulldogs had multiple opportunities to tie what Head Coach Pat Hill called the “the biggest game in his program’s history,” missing three field goals.

With Ohio State losing Wisconsin has the best chance, if not the only, for the Big Ten to have a representative in the BCS title game. Give the Badgers some credit though; Bret Bielema’s team finally scheduled a Top 25 team outside of conference play.


Guys that probably aren’t a household name, but will be come December:

WR Brandon Tate (North Carolina) TE Chase Coffman (Missouri) CB Jairus Byrd (Oregon) CB Derek Pegues (Mississippi State)

Your BCS bowl match-ups right now

Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Arizona State

Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Missouri

Sugar Bowl: Louisiana State vs. West Virginia

Fiesta Bowl: BYU vs. Florida

National Championship Game: USC vs. Oklahoma

Zzzzzzz (Teams the country shouldn’t sleep on)

Programs on the rise: Miami, Alabama, Penn State, Utah, BYU, East Carolina, Oklahoma State, Fresno State.


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