College Football Wordplay: From A to Z (Week 11)

Eric ThomasonCorrespondent INovember 11, 2008

College Football week of 11/08/08


Above average

Texas Tech got offensive on Oklahoma State Saturday night, racking up 629 yards of total offense on a Cowboy defense that coming into the contest was only allowing 21 points per-game.   

This Red Raider team is rewriting the college football theories:

Graham Harrell is on a mission to prove that a system quarterback can not only win the Heisman, but a national title.

Mike Leach is one of the few coaches to not play college football.

And the kicker is a walk on.

So what is the solution to all the madness occurring in West Texas, you ask?

It’s simple, Michael Crabtree.


Bowl Eligible:

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

New additions this week

*Arizona, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech, *Iowa, *Nebraska, Oregon State, Troy, Virginia Tech and Wake Forrest.   

Teams who lost bowl eligibility this week

Army, Baylor, Indiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Miami (OH), New Mexico Purdue, Syracuse, Tennessee, Toledo, Tulane, and UAB.


Teams already bowl eligible

Air Force, Alabama, Ball State, Boise State, BYU, California, Central Michigan, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, *Miami, Michigan State, *Minnesota, Missouri, Navy, *North Carolina, *Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, *Pittsburgh, *Rice, *San Jose State, *South Carolina,  Texas, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, Tulsa, USC, USF, Utah, West Virginia and *Western Michigan.


Calm before the storm:

The eye of the college football storm has arrived, with only one match-up involving two Top 25 teams this weekend.

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule, which included seven games with potential winner take-all scenarios:


Ball State vs. Central Michigan (MAC West title)


No. 2 Texas Tech vs. No.5 Oklahoma (Big XII South title)

No. 17 BYU vs. No. 7 Utah (Mountain West title)

No. 15 Michigan State vs. No. 8 Penn State (Big Ten title)

No. 19 Florida State vs. Maryland (ACC Atlantic title)

No. 21 Pittsburgh vs. No. 22 Cincinnati (Big East title)

Troy vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt title)



Southern Cal has given up only three points in as many games, and ranks first in three defensive statistical categories: pass defense (129 ypg), total defense (207 ypg), scoring defense (7 ppg) and is third in the nation in rush defense (78 ypg)

This could be Pete Carroll’s best defense yet, as six Trojans are projected to be drafted this April, with three (Ray Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Taylor Mays) likely going in the first round.



With Western Michigan’s win over Illinois, the MAC continued its recent success against the Big Ten this season.

The woes also continued at Tennessee, who failed to win for Philip Fuller, losing to Wyoming at home.

Terrelle Pryor continued to impress me this Saturday. The freshman made play after play with his feet and to this point has looked better than Vince Young did in his first year.

Mohamed Massaquoi fumbled twice in the second half to keep Kentucky in the game, but rebounded just in time to made a 77-yard catch on the game-winning drive for the Georgia Bulldogs.

If you were betting on Missouri to cover the spread this weekend you were beaten badly by a 93 yard touchdown, followed by an onside kick and another score. 


Favor to all of college football

I don’t think my heart beat faster this entire college football season then when Daniel Murray lined up for the game-winning 31-yard field goal to beat Penn State.

Amidst the snow flurries, the kick buried the Nittany Lions and sent rejoice throughout the heartland of college football.  


Got Mail?

Dear Iowa,

Thank you for saving the holidays


The Big XII South.


Heating up

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



Ohio State- In the blink of an eye, the state of Ohio is rooting for a team from Michigan.

Penn State- Despite the loss to Iowa, the Nittany Lions still control their own Rose Bowl destiny. 

Michigan State- Spartans need Ohio State to lose and to beat Penn State in the season finale to fin the conference.


On the outside looking in

Northwestern- could use a couple mulligans to erase the Wildcats bad play against Michigan State and Ohio State.

On the outside, I mean way outside

State of Indiana- needs a time machine to start the season again.


Impact Freshman:

Freshman putting up big numbers this week:

WR T.Y Hilton, Florida International: 6 receptions, 199 yards.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State: 31 carries, 144 yards, 2 TD.

QB Kellen Moore, Boise State: 27 of 36, 362 yards, 2 TD, INT.

QB Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State: 9 of 14, 197 yards, 3 TD, and 6 carries, 33 yards.  

RB Darren Evans: 32 carries, 253 yards, TD.


Jumping to Conclusions (Predictions for next week)

Upset Special:        Air Force 31   BYU 28      

Could be in trouble:      Oregon State 30   California 24

Closer than you think:  LSU 35   Troy 24

No way Jose:        Florida 31   South Carolina 14                               


Knowing the way home

I guess Nick Saban was a little home sick after all. It seems the coach was so happy to be back in Baton Rouge that his team decided to wait till overtime to get the victory.

Following Saban’s trip to Death Valley, two people were killed in an incident involving fans of the respective schools. (See below)

I’m sorry LSU fans, but killing each other isn’t going change the fact that Jarrett Lee is still your starting quarterback come gameday.


On a more serious note

Let us all remember: college football is a game involving student athletes. It’s sad and silly to see over-zealous, ignorant fans ruin the purity of the sport. Read the full story here.


Mountain Magic

Brian Johnson’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Brown with 48 seconds remaining helped Utah remain unbeaten and a win away from a berth in a BCS bowl. 

The Horn Frogs got conservative in the fourth quarter with a touchdown lead and had to rely on a freshman kicker, who missed from 26 and 35 yards.

After last weeks election results you would think TCU would have learned being conservative won’t get you very far.  


No your not…

Les Miles - trying to throw the ball in overtime when Alabama’s kicker is struggling and your starting quarterback has already thrown three interceptions.


Joe Pa- making it to press conferences on time still.


Stephen McGee- enjoying senior day against Oklahoma.


Miami (OH) WR Tom Crabtree- well, I think we all know.


Shonn Green- talked about enough. (Most underrated player in all of college football)


Big Ten officials- trying to get the conference more money by calling a “roughing” the kicker penalty late in the fourth quarter against Iowa.



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) Penn State

4) Florida vs. 5) Oklahoma

3) Texas vs. 6) Southern Cal

2) Texas Tech vs. 7) Utah


Question of the Week

What should we make of the non-BCS conference schools like Ball State, Boise State and Utah?

Five undefeated FBS teams remain, but only Texas Tech and Alabama have a realistic chance of winning a national title.

There is a very good chance that at least one of the other schools from non-BCS conferences will finish the season perfect.

So what motivates schools like Utah, Boise State and Ball State?

How can an athlete enter a season knowing that if I win every single game, I still won’t be a champion?

So I ask you college football executives, why even have non-BCS schools included in the FBS?

Why not have a D-IAA and D-IAAA?

Until every team in the FBS has a legitimate shot at winning the national title, there will always be questions to answer, and college football will remain the only sport in the world where being perfect is simply, not enough.  


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

Graham Harrell completed 40-of-50 pass attempts for 456 yards and six touchdowns in Texas Techs 55-20 win over Oklahoma State.

The senior is an Oklahoma win away from taking the hardware in New York City back to Lubbock.


Top Five                                                        

Texas Tech - Red Raiders beat a second straight Top Ten team at home, man-handling Oklahoma State 56-20.

Florida - Gators stayed hot, building a 42-point lead against Vanderbilt early in the third quarter.

Oklahoma - Sooners went Route 66 on the Aggies and are averaging 62 points per game in their last three outings.

Alabama - The Tide had to survive overtime against LSU to remain undefeated and clinch the SEC West division title.

Texas - Colt McCoy threw for five touchdown passes in a 45-21 blowout win over Baylor.



Five things to watch for next week:

Texas vs. Kansas 

Last test for the Longhorns comes on the road against a high-powered Kansas offense led by Todd Reising.


South Carolina vs. Florida

Spurrier’s team heads back to the Swamp, looking to end the Gators national title hopes. 


Ohio State vs. Illinois

Buckeyes head to Champagne on senior day, looking to avenge last year’s 28-21 loss.


Cal vs. Oregon State

Beavers face first challenge of al three-game test to win the Pac-10.


BYU vs. Air Force

Cougars try keep their Mountain West Conference title hopes alive against the Falcons.


Video of the Week

Colorado safety DJ Dykes stuffed Iowa State running back Alexander Robinson at the goal line as time expired to keep the Buffs bowl hopes alive.

In case you missed it, check it out.


What were sure of…

Florida and Alabama will play in the SEC championship game on December 6, with the winner most likely earning a spot in the national title game.

And if Oklahoma and Texas continue to struggle on special teams, neither will represent the Big XII in Miami.

The Sooners missed two field goals and gave up 319 yards on special team (an average of 31.7 per kickoff return), and the Longhorns also missed two field goals and have had problems defending kickoffs all season.



Guys that probably aren’t a household name, 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 Forrest)


Your BCS bowl match-ups right now

Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Southern Cal

Orange Bowl: North Carolina vs. Cincinnati

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Utah

Fiesta Bowl:  Texas Tech vs. Ohio State

National Championship Game: Florida vs. Oklahoma


Zzzzzzz (Teams the country shouldn’t sleep on)

Programs on the rise: Ball State, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Oregon State, Ohio State.



    Athletes Smoke Weed. These Are Their Stories.

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    College Football

    Athletes Smoke Weed. These Are Their Stories.

    via Bleacherreport

    Harbaugh: Threatening Tweets a 'Serious Matter'

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    College Football

    Harbaugh: Threatening Tweets a 'Serious Matter'

    Mike Chiari
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    Baker Gives Behind-the-Scenes Look at His Life in New Doc

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    College Football

    Baker Gives Behind-the-Scenes Look at His Life in New Doc

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    OK State's Stadium Getting a HUGE Video Board

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    College Football

    OK State's Stadium Getting a HUGE Video Board

    Oklahoma State University
    via Oklahoma State University