I’ll show you where you can put your status quo.
- The past two seasons have followed the status quo for order and normalcy in college football like the Saturday night drunkard follows the white line. In other words...not so much.
- You can call it parity, you can call it roller-coasterish, you can even call it unsettling, but do not call it boring. I’ve seen more good football games, and well played football games at that, than I’ve seen in any one season in a while. This just in: Colt McCoy just completed another pass against Missouri.
- Let me get my homerisms out of the way early so you don’t get shocked by them later. I cannot wait to be in the Horseshoe Saturday night. Forecast: 45 degrees and rain. That’s football weather a fan should be proud of.
The last time there was a night game in the ‘Shoe was No. 2 Texas vs. No. 5 Ohio State in 2005. That game was phenomenal, and although Ohio State lost, the one thing I will never forget was the noise. I’ve never heard a place louder.
The energy, the excitement, and the passion from players on both sides of the field will be a mile high. This is only the fourth night game in Ohio Stadium history, so unlike schools that have this as a weekly occurrence, this is a special and rare night for players and students.
- And for everyone who thinks this is a “statement game” for Ohio State, you forget: They haven’t had a problem with statement games in the Big Ten—it’s all the rest. I’ll tell you right now, if Ohio State wins, the quotes you’ll hear all across talking-head nation will be, “Well yeah, of course they won, it was a Big Ten game, but they can’t win anything else.” Mark my words.
- Terrelle Pryor, please just shut your mouth and let your extraordinary talent do the talking. You playing the “nobody believed in me” card is like the Yankees saying they ran out of money. My final request—please just play football.
- How ‘bout them Cowboys? That’s the headline you’ll see on at least one major sports website, if not 17, if Oklahoma State can pull the upset on Texas. I don’t see it happening, just because Texas is absolutely crushing teams right now, but what an uprising it would be if both Texas and Penn State lost this weekend. And wait...there was another completion by McCoy.
- The referee who lowered his shoulder and nearly decleated South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia participated in one of the most unintentionally hilarious plays I’ve seen in college football in a while.
- Overheard Scott Van Pelt on ESPN Radio talking about how he knows all the fight songs in college football because of the NCAA video game. He may not know what team they are for, but as soon as they start up, he can hum along to every note. The game’s songs subliminally slip into your mind.
I wholeheartedly second that remark. I realized it was true about four years ago at an OSU/Marshall game when Marshall’s band started playing the fight song and I was humming along unwittingly.
- Awful Announcing just informed me that Tom Brady was mentioned 22 times during Monday Night Football this past week by Tony Kornheiser. Matt Cassel, the guy actually playing in the football game, was mentioned nine times. I know that has nothing to do with college football except that, at one time, both of those players were in college.
- Every team in the AP Top 25 that lost last weekend lost to either a ranked team or on the road. Home cookin’ did most everyone good.
- That being said, this week has quite a few tricky road games for ranked teams.
No. 2 Alabama at Tennessee: Rivalry games are always a tough call.
No. 8 Texas Tech at No. 19 Kansas: The Jayhawks went toe-to-toe with the Sooners, while Texas Tech went toe-to-toe with A&M. I’m just saying, Tech hasn’t impressed me with a complete game yet, and I’ve been totally on the Graham Harrell/Michael Crabtree bandwagon from the start.
No. 14 South Florida at Louisville: I just can’t tell how good South Florida is, and I’ve yet to be able to explain how they lost to Pitt.
No. 25 Minnesota at Purdue: An overachieving team on the road is always an upset alert.
- That just seemed odd to type, No. 25 Minnesota. I'm interested to see where they end up.
- Notice I didn’t include USC in those games. That was on purpose. Sorry Wildcat fans, I wouldn’t hold my breath for another Trojan oops...
- I’m still at a loss about BYU's stunning thud against TCU. Not that TCU is a bad team by any means, but BYU was gaining momentum in the “should we really think about putting them in the National Championship” debate. I mean, we were ready to take that next step in the relationship, and then they went out and did this? I'm over you, BYU...over.
Random stat of the week that made me go huh?
- Now you know: The top three leaders in receiving yards hail from Conference USA (Aldrick Robinson and Emmanuel Sanders of SMU, Jarrett Dillard of Rice), and five of the top eight are from there. The Pac-10 leader for receiving (Mike Thomas, Arizona) comes in at No. 35 nationally. Not what I’d expect from what always is perceived as the wide-open passing conference.
- Notre Dame at Washington...if Washington stays within two TDs, it’s as good as a win. Bad times for college football in Washington as their two Pac-10 teams have combined for a 1-13 record—0-13 vs. DI-A opponents. Actually, bad times for any football in Washington—the Seahawks are 1-5.
- The state of Oklahoma’s combined record is 20-1 between Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Tulsa. Quite a contrast, huh?
- Underachievers of the Week Bowl: Illinois at Wisconsin. And I still had faith in Wisconsin until last week.
- Running a close second: Auburn at West Virginia. There aren’t rankings beside these teams’ names because neither of them is ranked. Actually, neither of them even received votes last week. So you can raise your hand if you had this on your "Top 10 Games of the Year" ballot in the preseason. Don't be shy, my hand is up too.
Conference Talk of the Week: The Big Ten
For those who don’t like Big 10 football (I’d say...83 percent of football fans), feel free to skip down past this section, but this week I’m highlighting the Big Ten. Why? Because it’s my article.
- The Cialis Special: Well, last week Penn State did suffer from the Cialis Special for about a half. Then they had some foreplay, slowly got into it, and recovered to dominate with 39 unanswered points.
This week I call for Michigan State, once again vs. Michigan, to suffer from the Cialis Special. Last week’s game was a huge letdown for the Big Ten Championship-aspiring Spartans. Now they have an injured QB to go along with an injured ego, and big brother—no matter how horrendous they may look—is next up.
- Penn State had touchdowns of 44, 42, 32, and 80 yard last week. Hey James, Ross, Marcus...that mean you three, as linebackers, need to stay at home. Lots of cutbacks from these speedy guys.
- Northwestern’s game next week vs. Minnesota will be the biggest surprise matchup of the season and could potentially feature two 7-1 teams.
- Can someone please explain to me what happened to Wisconsin? Besides the fact that P.J. Hill has touched the ball only 23 times in the past two games? They threw the ball 41 times at Iowa.
- Penn State and Northwestern are a combined 14-1. Penn State and Northwestern are the only teams in the Big Ten to not play a Top 25 opponent. Yet there Northwestern sits at No. 19 in the BCS computer rankings.
- The Big Ten will have a hard time getting eight teams bowl eligible again. And we all know Michigan isn’t a factor.
- OK, I’ll talk about it. Lou Holtz...well, we should’ve seen this day coming. The day Lou lost his mind and just said something utterly un-defendable. I mean, the Colt McCoy was a dead giveaway that this was right around the corner, right? I’m just glad that when it happened, he referred to the leader of my sworn enemy as the Fuhrer.
Now if we can just axe Mark May too.
Conference Games of the Week
ACC: Virginia Tech at No. 23 Florida State
The last time Florida State played a lockdown defense, they managed only three points vs. Wake Forest. VaTech is only two spots behind Wake in total defense and ranks first in turnover margin. Take from that what I’m implying. Also take the under.
Big 12: No. 6 Oklahoma State at No. 1 Texas
That’s a game vs. the No. 1, No. 11 and No. 6 teams in the nation back-to-back-to-back for Texas, and as long as they win and Texas Tech wins, it will be another game next week vs. a top 12 opponent. That is the definition of “strength of schedule.” Oh, Colt McCoy just completed another pass.
Big East: No. 16 South Florida at Louisville
I already mentioned it earlier, and this game is the tops for a Big East slate that’s actually full of good games this week. Louisville is only playing their second league game.
Big Ten: No. 3 Penn State at No. 9 Ohio State
Loved the sign last weekend in Beaver Stadium that read “Blue Royster Cult.” Made me chuckle a bit.
Daryll Clark, Evan Royster, welcome to the ‘Shoe. Daryll Clark actually got playing time as a freshman vs. Ohio State, but it was in the mop-up capacity. Insert all the adjectives and normal euphemisms here and we’ll just move on, OK?
Pac-10: No. 5 USC at Arizona
I’d watch this game only to see if USC’s “Why the hell did we lose to Oregon State?” Tour continues. They are taking the wood to every team they can—Arizona is this week’s victim.
SEC: No. 7 Georgia at No. 13 LSU
Elimination game for the loser, and for Georgia it's game number two in a stretch of three straight ranked opponents.
My Top 10
3) Penn State
4) Oklahoma State
6) Texas Tech
10) Ohio State
Take a good long look at my Top 10—it won't look anything like that next week. So if you have a problem with this week's edition, wait 'til next week to complain and see if I did it better for ya.
Only six more weeks of regular season football to go. Enjoy it, and the debates that follow, while they last.