College Football Wordplay: From A to Z (Week 10)

Eric ThomasonCorrespondent INovember 5, 2008

College Football week of Nov. 1, 2008


Tim Tebow and the superhero Florida Gators got payback in the best way Saturday.

Superman scored five touchdowns, jumped back into the thick of the Heisman race, and enjoyed some refreshing “Jacksonville cocktails” during the fourth quarter of Florida ’s 49-10 blowout win over No. 6 Georgia.

As for the Dawgs, well, let’s just say Knowshon is starting to perform in big games like his brother from another mother, Dan Marino.

Hey, it’s a ticket to Miami, right?

Bowl Eligible

(* teams who didn’t go to a bowl game last year that are already bowl eligible)

New additions this week: California, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Navy, *Miami, *Pittsburgh, *Rice, *San Jose State, *South Carolina, West Virginia

Teams who lost bowl eligibility this week: Iowa State, Kent State, Michigan, Ohio, UAB, and Western Kentucky

Teams already bowl eligible: Air Force, Alabama, Ball State, Boise State, BYU, Central Michigan, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan State, *Minnesota, Missouri, *North Carolina, *Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, Tulsa, USC, USF, Utah, and *Western Michigan

Controlling their destiny

Teams that if they win out will win their respective conferences/divisions:

ACC Atlantic: Florida State and Maryland

ACC Coastal: None (tiebreakers in all scenarios)

Big 12 South: Texas Tech

Big 12 North: Kansas and Missouri

Big East: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia

Big Ten: Michigan State and Penn State

Pac-10: Cal and Oregon State

SEC East: Florida

SEC West: Alabama

Dreaming Big

Guns blazing, Texas Tech has entered the national championship picture.

Growing up, every little boy has played out the game-winning touchdown in his backyard, and Michael Crabtree is no different.

"On the sideline, I kind of dreamed that I would catch a pass and go in the end zone for a game-winning score. I do that, like every game, but it happened. It kind of shocked me," Crabtree said.

One day after Halloween, the Red Raiders will certainly haunt Colt McCoy in his sleep tonight.

Election Day

Make a difference, have your voice heard, go vote, and God Bless America.

Furious Finishes

Several teams made crucial mistakes when presented with the opportunity to win the game in the final minutes.

Minnesota should check baggage claim after Northwestern Airlines took off the other way for the game-winning touchdown.

The Badgers need a new Rolex after calling a timeout and stopping the clock to let Michigan State set up for a game-winning field goal.

Notre Dame needed some Viagra, because the Irish needed their post to be a couple inches wider when 60-plus minutes just weren’t enough.

Florida State needed some Robitussin after coughing up a fumble in the Georgia Tech end zone.

Got Mail?

Dear Optometrist,

I was wondering if you could send me some more contacts, I was having trouble reading the time on the scoreboard.


Texas Tech fan

Heating up

As the race in the Big East starts to heat up, we take a sentence per team look at the contenders in the conference.


Cincinnati: Bearcats are healthy now but have to play two straight conference games on the road.

West Virginia: All of a sudden Pat White and the Mountaineer are a second half team (outscoring opponents 62-0 in their last three games).

Pittsburgh: LeSean McCoy has had five straight 100-yard rushing games for the Panthers.

On the outside looking in

Connecticut: Counting the tiebreaker, the Huskies are three games back of WVU after this weekend’s loss to the Mountaineers.

On the outside, I mean way outside

South Florida: Grothe continues to struggle as the Bulls have lost two straight conference games.

Syracuse: Orange got their first conference win of the season, beating Louisville 28-21.

Impact Freshmen

Freshmen putting up big numbers this week:

WR Malcolm Williams, Texas: four receptions, 182 yards, two TDs

RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State: 30 carries, 133 yards

QB Kellen Moore, Boise State: 15 of 23, 246 yards, three TDs, INT

WR Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M: six receptions, 95 yards, two TDs

QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor: 26 of 35, 283 yards, two TDs, INT and 17 carries, 33 yards, TD 

Jumping to Conclusions (Predictions for next week)

Upset Special: TCU 35, Utah 24        

Could be in trouble: Penn State 27, Iowa 24  

Closer than you think: Florida 31, Vanderbilt 23

No way Jose: Southern Cal 42, California 20

Knoxville Misery

Phillip Fulmer is out in Rocky Top after failing to get Tennessee back to a BCS bowl game since losing to Nebraska 31-21 in 2001.

The coach won a national title in 1998 and was 150-51 during his 17-year career in Knoxville.

It was nice to see Fulmer’s players sticking up for their coach after the announcement this week.

"Tennessee is a family, one, and we take care of each other. This was not the way for him to go out. He should have been able to go out on his own terms, and that's how the rest of my teammates feel about it.”—senior offensive tackle Ramon Foster

"I feel like I just lost one of my ribs, my kidney or something. I feel like I lost a family member. I mean, nobody has died, but that's what it feels like right now."—safety Eric Berry

Looking Forward

Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State

The Red Raiders face another explosive offense when Oklahoma State comes to Lubbock this weekend.

Graham Harrell is in the driver’s seat for the Heisman Trophy after beating Colt McCoy Saturday night. The Red Raider offensive line will need to just as good a job protecting Harrell as they did against the Longhorns, against arguably a better pass-rushing Cowboy defensive front.

On offense, Oklahoma State will look to control the line of scrimmage with Kendall Hunter and spread the field with the ball deep to Dez Bryant, something the Longhorns exposed late in the second half of last week’s game.

Mike Leech faces his toughest test in his coaching career, trying to keep this team from being complacent after the program's biggest win ever.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Texas Tech 31

Making a mess of the BCS 

If Northwestern can beat Ohio State at home this weekend, the Big Ten would likely lose its chance at getting a second team into the Bowl Championship Series (See letter “S”), leaving the door open for either Utah or a one-loss TCU team to sneak in from the Mountain West Conference.

If Boise State can finish the season undefeated, we could be looking at two non-BCS schools receiving at-large bids on Dec. 7. 

No you're not...

Texas Tech fan : seriously that drunk that you couldn’t read the game clock.

Current college football coaches : admitting you’re interested in the Tennessee coaching job. (See letter “Q”)

East Carolina : still playing college football this season?

Mike Gundy : about to have another meltdown on the sidelines.

Tulsa : the same level of athletes as Arkansas.


BYU, Michigan State, and Utah


Using this week’s BCS standings, here is how an eight-team “Obama playoff” would look if the season were to end today:

1) Alabama vs. 8) Utah

4) Texas vs. 5) Florida

3) Penn State vs. 6) Oklahoma

2) Texas Tech vs. 7) Southern Cal  

Question of the Week

Is it right for a school to fire a coach midseason?

Yes, there are certain benefits to getting an early start to the 2009 season, but firing a coach before the end of the current one creates a distraction for the university directly involved, as well as other programs around the country.

For example, Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, David Cutcliffe at Duke, and Butch Davis at North Carolina have already dealt with the domino effect caused by the midseason firing.

I think it’s wrong and a real injustice to the present—well, I guess now prior coach. See, it’s confusing and affecting me already too.

Reader’s Response

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

Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka threw for 143 yards and two touchdowns and added another 217 yards on the ground in the Wildcats' 24-17 upset of No. 17 Minnesota.

The junior reminds me a lot of the former Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones, who has had a fairly successful career as a wideout for the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Look for Kafka to make the switch to wide receiver and have the same kind of impact for an NFL team as Jones did.

Top Five                                           

Alabama: Avoided overlooking next week's trip to LSU, shutting out Arkansas State 35-0.

Texas Tech: Beat the number one team in the country in the biggest game of the program’s history.

Florida: The Gators have outscored opponents 201-43 since losing to Ole Miss on September 27.   

Texas: Longhorns head back to Austin, looking to rebound against a much-improved Baylor team.

Oklahoma: Sooners scored 35 points in the first quarter, handing Nebraska its worst loss in the series ever.


Five things to watch for next week:

TCU vs. Utah : It’s another Thursday night blockbuster, with a possible BCS spot on the line.

Alabama vs. LSU: Nick Saban heads back to Death Valley for the first time since leaving LSU.

Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech: Red Raiders face round two of their Big 12 blockbuster.

Cal vs. Southern Cal: Pac-10 title is on the line when the Bears visit the Coliseum.

Ohio State vs. Northwestern: Buckeyes must win on the road to keep Rose Bowl/Big Ten title hopes alive.

Video of the Week

Thursday night, Cincinnati wide receiver Marshawn Gilyard crashed into the stands, knocking a kid over while trying to make a catch in the back of the end zone. 

The star wideout ended up giving him a hug, and afterwards the seven-year-old boy signed autographs and was interviewed by Erin Andrews. Check it out.

What we're sure of...

If Penn State makes it to Miami for the National Championship, the Nittany Lions will be under added pressure because of Ohio State ’s recent failures.

We could be looking at a third consecutive year a more athletic SEC squad takes it to an overrated Big Ten champion.


Guys that probably aren’t household names but will be come April for the NFL draft.

CB Darius Butler (Connecticut), DE Geno Atkins (Texas), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland), CB Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest)

Your BCS bowl matchups right now

Rose Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Southern Cal

Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. West Virginia

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. TCU

Fiesta Bowl: Texas vs. Boise State

National Championship Game: Florida vs. Penn State


(Teams the country shouldn’t sleep on)

Programs on the rise: Ball State, TCU, West Virginia, Oregon State


    Bama's Tua Throwing Again, Making Progress After Hand Injury

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    College Football

    Bama's Tua Throwing Again, Making Progress After Hand Injury

    Saturday Down South
    via Saturday Down South

    5-Star DE Pickens Commits to South Carolina Over Clemson

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    College Football

    5-Star DE Pickens Commits to South Carolina Over Clemson

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Imagining a CFB Version of 'Hard Knocks'

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    College Football

    Imagining a CFB Version of 'Hard Knocks'

    Former SIU DL Shot Defending Students at Indiana School

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    College Football

    Former SIU DL Shot Defending Students at Indiana School

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report