College Football week of 09/20/08
Another One Bites the Dust
Happy trails East Carolina, after starting the season with two upset victories over West Virginia and Virginia Tech your hopes of reaching a BCS bowl are over.
For the second straight week the ACC has upset a ranked opponent at home (Cal lost to Maryland).
Must I remind you Pirates fans, all you had to do was kick the field goal Skip Holtz!
Tim Tebow had his first jump pass of the season and Florida won its annual Tennessee thrashing.
Philip Fulmer is on his way out the door in Knoxville, you can just see the disappointment on this face when the Volvs make any kind of mistake. (Check out letter “G”)
However, I still don’t know how good this Gator team really is though. Tennessee failed to score any points inside the 5 yard line twice, so the game should have been a lot closer than the final score suggested.
Urban Meyer should be careful of a let down next week against an underrated Ole Miss team.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Key Games: 9/27 @ Georgia 11/8 @ LSU 11/29 Auburn
West Virginia has been the most disappointing team this season.
WVU is now 1-2 on the season with only a game against Marshall left before entering conference play. Pat White has struggled without Steve Slayton, although Noel Devine is more than an ample replacement, and people in Morgantown are starting to curse this team:
“Damn you, Rich Rodriguez, the Mountaineers want they’re playbook back!”
In Boulder, the fans are starting to believe they have a shot at a surprise Big XII North title.
Colorado has a couple of freshman running back studs, a smart Cody Hawkins under center and a perfect 3-0 record to start the season.
Every way possible
Just when you thought Les Miles couldn’t possibly find another way to win a football game, the coach uses an onside kick and a halfback pass to do it again. After an atrocious first half, quarterback Jarrett Lee went 11 of 17 for 187 yards and two touchdowns in the second half.
Lee’s fourth quarter comeback in a hostile environment on the road was just what the LSU football team needed. With a leader established under center, the Tigers now look poised to make a run at consecutive national titles.
It was another disappointing loss in a big time game for Tommy Tuberville, but let’s face it the Head Coach and fans at Auburn should be accustomed to it by now.
The winner of this game has represented the SEC West in the conference championship game six out of the last eight years.
Forecast looks good
Surprising 4-0 teams that you might want to keep an eye on:
Vanderbilt (4-0) vs. 10/4 Auburn
Minnesota (4-0) vs. Ohio State
Ball State (4-0) vs. Kent State
Northwestern (4-0) vs. Iowa
Connecticut (4-0) vs. Louisville
Gator Press Conference
I got to thinking what would I have asked Tennessee Head Coach Philip Fulmer at halftime? After ten minutes I realized I could only come up with rhetorical questions.
“Phil do you think you’ll be here next year?”
And then I heard some guy in orange walking a coonhound named Smokey screaming, “Nooooooo!”
As the race in the ACC starts to heat-up, we take a sentence per team outlook at the contenders in the conference.
Va. Tech-Tyrod Taylor is starting to play clutch and Beamer Ball will keep the Hokies in any game.
Miami- I know the team is still young, but boy do the Hurricanes look athletic or what?
Clemson-The country shouldn’t forget about the pre-season pick to win the conference.
Georgia Tech- The offense is confusing and Michael Johnson and the Yellow Jacket defense is starting to turn up the heat.
On the outside looking in:
North Carolina- Brandon Tate is a stud, but with starting quarterback T.J. Yates injured who’s going to get him the ball?
Maryland- Don’t look now, but the Terps are starting to score points in bunches.
NC State- Hey, a freshman quarterback won the Big XII last year, why not the ACC?
Freshman making an impact this week:
1. RB Rodney Stewart, Colorado: 28 rushes, 166 yards.
2. RB Victor Anderson, Louisville: 18 rushes, 176 yards, 3 TD.
3. WR A.J. Green, Georgia: 8 receptions, 159 yards, TD
4. QB Robert Griffen III, Baylor: 14 of 25, 208 yards, 3 TD. 23 rushes, 48 yards, TD.
5. QB Russell Wilson, North Carolina State: 21 of 31, 210 yards, 3 TD.
Jumping to Conclusions: (Predictions for next week)
Upset Special: Alabama 28 Georgia 24
Could be in trouble: Penn State 35 Illinois 31
Closer than you think: Auburn 21 Tennessee 17
No way Jose: Oklahoma 41 TCU 17
Knowshon and the Boys
The Georgia tailback had a field day in the dessert, rushing for 149 yards and a couple scores. And who said the Bulldogs didn’t like to travel cross-country, watch Moreno fly into the endzone.
Yes, the running game is solid, but the rest of the SEC should be more concerned with the solid play of Stafford and his emerging star wide-out A.J. Green.
Think Arizona Statemisses starting tailback Keegan Herring? Georgia held the Sun Devils to four yards rushing on 19 attempts, an average of about seven and half inches per carry.
Dennis Erickson is starting to feel the heat in Tempe.
Like Father like Son
As I was watching the Baylor Connecticut game this weekend I thought, “Man the officiating is really inconsistent and just plain bad out there tonight.”
And then there he was standing there all flustered, Shawn Hochuli, the son of the jacked-up NFL referee Ed Hochuli, who just botched the Jay Cutler fumble in Denver last week.
Ah, the world really does come full circle sometimes.
Well, I take that back, to be honest I was sort of surprised Shawn wasn’t a Pac-10 official.
Notre Dame running/passing attack/run defense, well I guess the whole team for that matter has yet to show up. The fans in South Bendare still waiting for Jimmy Clausen to develop into the quarterback he was supposed to be.
Not missing in action this week was Javon Ringer. The senior has rushed for more than 200 yards in consecutive weeks and has 11 touchdowns on the ground in four games this season.
Greg Robinson is still looking for some at Syracuse. You know things are bad when your team can’t beat Northwestern, so they have to resort to scheduling northeastern.
I don’t think all the directional schools in the world can keep the Orange from being the cellar dweller of the Big East. This team is bad, really bad.
Ohio State, Auburn, South Florida, Georgia, Utah and Texas Tech.
Let’s have a celebration for Mississippi State scoring a touchdown this week, because it’s almost as frequent as the United State’s winning the Ryder Cup.
Quit crying Euros it’s OK to celebrate.
Question of the Week
Because of the weakness of the Pac-10, is Southern Cal a virtual lock to play in the national title game?
Well I’ll put it this way, besides picking the Rams to lose or the Mets bullpen to blow another save; it might be the safest bet in all of sports.
Representing the Mountain West
BYU, Utah and TCU are all well on their way to a three way round-robin showdown in the conference. Right now the edge has to go to Max Hall and the Cougars who shutout Wyoming 44-0 this week, while Utah escaped on the road at Air Force.
Realistically only two BCS-busters remain:
The winner of the Mountain West and Boise State, which is now slowly creeping up on the party after the Broncos win over a banged up Oregon team.
Star performance of the Week
Seriously, how good has Chase Daniel been this season?
The senior went 36 of 43 for a career-high 439 yards and completed a school record 20 consecutive passes in Missouri’s 42-21 win over Buffalo.
Right now, Daniel has to be the nation’s front-runner for the Heisman trophy.
1. Southern California- Ah… the fame, beautiful women, and beaches; it must be tough to play football at USC huh? The Trojans go back to work early next week against Oregon State on Thursday night.
2. Oklahoma- Sam Bradford had the week and enjoyed the extra half of rest. The Sooners have outscored opponents 164-42 this season.
3. Missouri- The Tigers struggled to get things rolling in the first half, turning the ball over three times in Buffalo territory, and still doubled up the Bulls 42-21.
4. Louisiana State- The Tigers reminded the country that they are the defending national champs, beating Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
5. Florida- The “third weekend in September” was a good one again for the Gators, as Florida continued their domination over rival Tennessee.
Five things to watch for next week:
1. Alabama vs. Georgia- Alabama gets a chance to prove the Tide are for real and Georgia, well they get a chance to prove it too.
2. Illinois vs. Penn State- Big early season battle in the Big Ten. It should be a shootout, as both teams are capable of scoring a lot of points.
3. TCU vs. Oklahoma- Oklahoma gets a chance for a little revenge. Remember TCU was the last team to beat the Sooners at home, a 17-10 win in the 2005 season opener.
4. Tennessee vs. Auburn- A better than people think Tennessee team battles a heartbroken Auburn club. It’ll be interesting to see how the Tigers bounce back.
5. Virginia Tech vs. Nebraska- Nebraska looks to put its name on the map once again against the Hokies and avoid a Florida State incident in Lincoln.
Video of the Week
Usually this section is devoted to a couple of clips that you won’t want to miss, but this week in honor of Ball State receiver Dante Love I will leave it blank.
The star receiver was critically injured in the Cardinal 42-20 victory over Indiana. According to a statement released by the university, Love will “live a happy and normal life,” but will probably not play football again.
The senior went into this week leading the nation in receiving yards with 144.3 per game and will finish his career second in school history in receiving yards and touchdowns.
Here’s to you Dante Love, may you have many more highlights in your life off the football field.
Florida State… sorry I meant Miami.
The Hurricanes looked athletic and like a team with an identity and the Seminoles certainly did not.
Things got so bad in Tallahassee that Bowden benched his starter, then later benched the back-up only to eventually bring his starter back from the bench in a pure act of desperation.
Man he must really want to catch Joe Paterno for all-time career wins, huh?
Guys that probably aren’t a household name, but will be come December.
LB Nate Irving (North Carolina State) LB Joe Pawelek (Baylor) CB Alphonso Smith (Wake Forrest) TE Ron Gronkowski (Arizona)
Your BCS bowl match-ups right now
Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Missouri
Orange Bowl: Miami vs. BYU
Sugar Bowl: Louisiana State vs. South Florida
Fiesta Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Florida
National Championship Game: USC vs. Oklahoma
Zzzzzzz: (Teams the country shouldn’t sleep on)
Programs on the rise: Miami, Alabama, Penn State, BYU, Oklahoma State, Boise State.