Eric Thomason addresses the weekly college football world through a series of quick, short, comical puns he likes to call word play.
College Football week of 10/03/08
Florida fans must have been holding their breath when Percy Harvin left the Arkansas game holding the same heel he had surgery on in the off season. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, "Percy Harvin determines where this offense goes, not Tim Tebow." Without Harvin in the game, the team struggled.
Florida didn’t bounce back as well as I thought they would against the Razorbacks, as the Gators only held a 17-7 lead after three quarters.
Arkansas scores going into the fourth quarter this season:
Western Illinois 17 Arkansas 14
Louisiana-Monroe 24 Arkansas 14
Alabama 42 Arkansas 7
Texas 45 Arkansas 3
Still not skeptical about Urban Meyer’s team?
Buckeye’s Bounce Back
Ohio State went into Madison and handed Wisconsin their first home loss under the Bielema era.
Beanie broke lose against the Badgers and reminded the country why he’s a top pro prospect, rushing for 168 yards and a touchdown in his second game back from a foot injury.
After the game Wells commented on Terrelle Pryor, "I told him, 'It's a man's world right now,' and he's taking a step into manhood right now."
To which Pryor responded, “I’m ready.”
With the game against Penn State at the Horseshoe, and Wells and Pryor leading the way, the Buckeyes are eyeing a Big Ten title.
Contender Evaluation: Boise State.
With a relatively easy conference schedule, the Broncos might have the best shot to reach a BCS bowl come season’s end.
Key Games: 10/11 @ Southern Miss 11/22 @ Nevada 11/28 Fresno State
During last Thursday night
Utah did what South Florida couldn’t.
While one undefeated team gave up 78 yards in three plays to lose the game at home, the other was busy conjuring up two game winning drives to keep their championship dreams alive.
Oh there was also another team playing that night too, the Bad News Bears were busy trying to field routine ground balls. I mean seriously, the Cubs looked like Little Leaguers out there trying to field marbles hit with an aluminum bat barehanded.
Grandma’s throat must be sore, because I’ve never heard fans boo for nine innings.
Everyday it’s a new ACC
Just when you think you might have this conference figured out, Virginia blanks Maryland, a team coming off an upset win over Clemson on the road, 31-0.
North Carolina losses their quarterback and gets better?
Boston College is all of a sudden dangerous in the passing game again?
And while at first it seemed as if Miami was the program on the rise, Florida State puts together two solid games and handles the Hurricanes in Miami.
Predicting the ACC is like asking me to tell you last time I remember O.J. Simpson running into trouble with the law, oh wait, never mind. It seems some things do stay the same.
Forecast looks good
Almost halfway through the season, five mid-major teams are still undefeated and looking to bust onto the BCS scene:
Tulsa (5-0) @ SMU
Utah (6-0) @ Wyoming
Brigham Young (5-0) vs. New Mexico
Ball State (6-0) @ Western Kentucky
Boise State (4-0) vs. Southern Miss
Here’s an e-mail sent to Tommy Tuberville late Saturday night:
Can an offense really be that bad?
Sincerely, Sage Rosenfels
Vanderbilt football is on the national stage after a 14-13 win over offensive juggernaut Auburn. Give credit to the Commodores, who sit atop the SEC East and look well on their way to reaching a bowl game for the first time since 1982.
As the race in the Pac-10 starts to heat-up, we take a sentence per team outlook at the contenders in the conference.
Southern California- Remember how athletic the Trojans are? I hope so.
On the outside looking in:
On the outside, I mean way outside:
…and no, I didn’t forget to finish this section.
Many first year starting quarterbacks led their respective teams to victories this week.
1. QB Jaybo Shaw, Georgia Tech: 9 of 14, 230 yards, TD and 18 rushes, 13 yards, TD.
2. QB Chester Stewart, Temple: 10 of 23, 178 yards, 3 TD, INT.
3. QB Kellen Moore, Boise State: 20 of 28, 325 yards, 2 TD, INT.
4. QB Chazz Anderson, Cincinnati: 16 of 26, 158 yards, 2 TD, INT and one rushing TD.
5. QB Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State: 13 of 19, 144 yards, INT and 15 rushes 20 yards, TD.
Jumping to Conclusions (Predictions for next week)
Upset Special: Oklahoma St. 42 Missouri 38
Could be in trouble: Penn State 27 Wisconsin 24
Closer than you think: Vanderbilt 21 Mississippi St. 17
No way Jose: North Carolina 38 Notre Dame 20
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Spartan’s 21-yard line with under two minutes to play instead of attempting the game tying field goal at home.
I know you have one of the more bruising backs in the conference in Green, but what are you thinking?
Did you not watch the Ole Miss defense key on Tim Tebow last week?
Texas vs. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State vs. Missouri
Oklahoma came out and set the tone for what the rest of the conference proved this week.
I'm not afraid to say it, "the Sooners are the best team from the best conference and have the best offense in the country." (See letter “Q”)
As for UT, McCoy is stronger and faster than most people know, and the Texas defense is starting to come around just in time.
The Longhorns and Sooners have represented the Big XII South in the conference championship nine years in a row.
The "Chase Daniel Show" was in full effect on Saturday night in Lincoln, but how well the defense played was what really impressed me more.
However, the Oklahoma State defense impressed much more, causing five turnovers and three three-and-outs in the first half alone.
And in a game against Missouri where the team with the ball last will most likely be victorious, it must be nice for Cowboy fans to know their defense has the better chance of preventing that game winning drive.
Throw Florida vs. LSU into the mix, and college football’s “in-season playoff system” officially gets under way next week.
Iowa State’s defensive line dominated the first 30 minutes, forcing three Kansas turnovers and Chizik’s team went into halftime up 20-0.
With 1:46 left to play in the third quarter the Jayhawks had regained the lead 21-20 and were on their way to the third biggest comeback in school history.
Mangino gambled a couple times on fourth down to keep drives alive, however sources say it might have been because the coach was just too lazy to walk to the other end of the sideline to call the punting team onto the field.
Either way it worked, right?
No your not…
Nebraska: able to associate yourselves with the Black Shirts.
Duke: a football school.
UConn: (see Duke).
Michigan: allergic to juice?
Spectator:winning any money if you were betting on a repeat of last week or on Kimbo Slice.
Kentucky: going to skip practicing onside kicks this week, God that was an awful attempt.
Wisconsin: celebrating touchdowns with the band.
Pac-10: hopefully an official.
Notre Dame:a legitimate BCS contender.
Auburn, South Florida, Utah, and Georgia.
Proving a point
The most under-hyped Top 7 team in the history of college football tried to silence critics this weekend by clobbering Kansas State 58-28 on the road.
However, the Red Raider’s victory will probably earn as much respect from the pollsters as Govenor Palin’s interviews do in the North East.
So yes, Texas Tech is a contender in the Big XII South.
Question of the Week
Which conference is better, the Big XII or the SEC?
While the top SEC failed to stay undefeated last week, the Big XII powers succeed in impressive fashion.
The question is whether the offenses in the Big XII would be able to score enough points to beat defenses in the SEC.
I believe they are.
Expect fans at the Cotton Bowl to be chanting “Big XII, Big XII” when the ESPN Gameday crew comes to Dallas this weekend.
This is where you the reader get a chance to respond to the question of the week. Post a comment and make your case.
Star performance of the Week
Juice Williams had a record performance on Saturday in the Big House. Williams combined for 431 yards of total offense, which tied for the most ever allowed by a Michigan opponent.
The Wolverines were just as bad at “squeezing” the Juice as the Angles.
Rich Rodriguez had to envy Ron Zook, because Williams is exactly the type of athlete the coach wants taking snaps for the Wolverines.
This Illinois offense is good enough to hang with almost any team in the country. With only two losses to teams who are currently in the Top 6, we can expect the Fighting Illini to make some noise in the Big Ten.
1. Oklahoma- Stoops' team took care of business on the road, beating Baylor to improve to 17-0 all-time against the Bears.
2. Alabama- Nick Saban escaped Kentucky with a win and the Tide head into their bye week with a perfect 6-0 record.
3. Missouri- The Tigers put an end to the 30 year Lincoln drought by absolutely rolling the black shirts 52-17.
4. Louisiana State- The Tigers and Charles Scott had the week off to rest, and Les Miles had extra time to prepare for Florida.
5. Texas- The Longhorns passed their first road test by easily handling Colorado in Boulder.
Five things to watch for next week:
1. Clemson vs. Wake Forrest
The Tigers travel to Winston-Salemon Thursday night with a chance to get back into the thick of things in the wide-open ACC Conference race.
2. Texas vs. Oklahoma
The Red River Rivalry takes center stage, as the two teams battle for the Golden Hat and the number one spot in the country in Dallas.
3. LSU vs. Florida
The Tigers leave the Bayou and head to the Swamp to try and kill the Gators' national title hopes.
4. Oklahoma State vs. Missouri
The Pokes will get their first shot to show the country just how good this team really is, and learn firsthand what the “Chase Daniel Show” is all about.
5. Penn State vs. Wisconsin
The Nittany Lions face a tougher road test this week in Madison. Beleima’s Badgers couldn’t lose two in a row at home, right?
Video of the Week
How great was it to have football on every single night this week?
On Tuesday night Middle Tennessee State needed a Hail Mary to beat Florida Atlantic at home. Remember, just two weeks ago the Blue Raiders nearly pulled off a sequel to the “Blue Grass Miracle” against Kentucky.
In case you missed it, check it out.
Next week I will be at a buddy’s wedding back in Texas, so the article will not be like previous weeks. However, I will be recording the games and writing a special edition of Wordplay, wedding style.
Guys that probably aren’t a household name, but will be come December.
RB Derrick Locke (Kentucky) RB John Clay (Wisconsin) RB Daniel Dufrene (Illinois) QB Chris Crane (Boston College)
Your BCS bowl match-ups right now
Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Southern Cal
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl: Louisiana State vs. Pitt
Fiesta Bowl: Missouri vs. Brigham Young
National Championship Game: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Zzzzzzz (Teams the country shouldn’t sleep on)
Programs on the rise: North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, Boise State.