Saturday, October 24, 2009

After Further Review: College Football Week 8

Swoosh Swoosh! The Cyclones force 8 turnovers, 4 in the red zone, and shock Nebraska in Lincoln.

My intial takes on another wild Saturday in College Football:

In the Big XII:

  • --Iowa State rocks the Big XII North by shocking Nebraska in Lincoln for the first time since Jimmy Carter was president. ISU forced 8 turnovers, yes 8, and 4 of them inside their 5 yard line! OU's trip in a few weeks doesn't look as daunting.
  • --Speaking of Oklahoma, a dominant win outside of Norman this afternoon in Lawrence. The defense played superb and the offense got enough done in the second half to salt it away.
  • --OU's other road trip to Lubbock doesn't appear to be as scary anymore after Tech lays a giant egg at home to A&M. They give up 52 points? Wow!
  • --Texas made a statement win against Mizzou in Columbia. Now they are set for a huge Halloween night game in Stillwater.

In the SEC:

  • --Alabama gets a 2nd blocked kick from future NFL star Sean Cody to beat Tennessee at the wire. Terrible clock management by Lane Kiffin; he could have ran another play to get UT in field goal position and maybe the kick wouldn't have come out so low.
  • --Florida plays decent and puts Mississippi State away late. The Gators are in cruise control and can afford to lose a game down the stretch. Win the SEC title and play for the crystal football.
  • --Ole Miss played like the Ole Miss that was ranked so high early in the season by dominating Arkansas at home.

In the Big 10:

  • --Game of the day was in East Lansing where Iowa escapes to remain unbeaten. The Hawkeyes gave up a late TD to Michigan State after MSU converted a hook and lateral to perfection on a long 3rd down. Iowa had enough time to drive down the field and score the game winning TD as time expired.
  • --Ohio State took Minnesota to the woodshed and Terrell Pryor looked like the playbook was opened up in a dominanting home win.
  • --Penn State wins in Ann Arbor for the first time in more than a decade.


  • --TCU gets a huge win in Provo as they stuff BYU. Right now, the Horned Frogs are the most impressive non-BCS team and only have a home date with Utah away from a potential perfect season and a BCS berth.
  • --USC gets revenge on the Beav of Oregon State as the D holds Jaquizz Rodgers in check.
  • --Miami and Clemson play a thriller at Land Shark and the Tigers get a huge OT TD catch on 3rd and long to win. Don't look now but Clemson is now in the ACC title hunt.
  • --Cincinnati doesn't miss a beat when Heisman trophy candidate Tony Pike misses the game against Louisville.

And now the ruling on the field.

  • --Florida, Alabama, and Texas continue to see-saw at the top, and each team has up and down weeks. A 1-loss SEC champ will play for the crystal.
  • --The Alabama and Tennessee rivalry will just heat up after this close call in Tuscaloosa. Did you hear that Alabama denied UT's request to wear their home orange unis? Ouch!
  • --TCU will probably gain more ground on Boise State after a huge statement win in Provo.
  • --The Big XII North is terribly pathetic and the entire Big XII is way down after a banner 2008.
  • --How good is Cincinnati? I'm not sure we'll really find out but they played huge today without their QB.
  • --And finally, player of the week is Colin Kaepernick of Nevada. 200 yards passing with 2 TDs, 250 yards rushing with 4 TDs in a 70-45 win. I think I may have finally beaten Patrick in college fantasy thanks to this breakout performance!


  1. You are right about the Big 12 in general. The best team (Texas) played a worthless OOC and the second best team (OU) couldn't beat BYU or Miami. Miserable head coaches at the high resource schools - Nebraska, Missouri, and Colorado -- and just a limited amount of what can be done with schools like ISU, KSU, and KU -- makes it very difficult to think that the Big 12 North is every going to be very good again. 15 years later it's still a shame that we had to sell our souls to the devil and join forces with the Texas schools to survive financially. It wasn't that long ago that the best of the southern schools couldn't stand up for one quarter against NU or KSU.

  2. My responses:
    Big 12:
    - OU is back to #2 in the conference, but it's ugly, as we didn't earn it. It's sad, but the Big 12 may end up clocking in as the 5th best conference this year. That's if Ok State comes up lame the rest of the season, which is quite imaginable without Bryant.
    - Tech finally busts out from the poker table. But they're one of many teams dealing with injuries. Has this been the most injury-bitten season ever in college football? All those top name qbs and banged up defenses make it hard to imagine worse.
    - Kansas State started 1-2 [nearly 0-3] against ugly teams in UMass, UCLA, and ULL. Since then they're 4-1. Win at home versus Kansas, and split with Nebraska and Missouri, and they should win the north. Wow.

    - Alabama's 2 blocked kicks is indeed very reminiscent of 2006, when Florida needed 2 to beat South Carolina at home, and went on to win the title. Props to CBS's Gary Danielson for noting early how Tennessee's kicker was not getting the ball up. Yes, Tennessee should never have settled for such a long FG try. But give Alabama the credit in this one, they really played a better game than it looks. Ingram's costly fumble unlocked a game they'd sealed, and the season almost went away in 5 minutes.
    - I really don't think Florida or Alabama can afford a loss anymore. I say Iowa or Cincy will take the spot if they win out and the SEC winner has a loss. TCU will be interesting. James vehemently says USC, which isn't such a bad call. Too many tough victories, and most of the country won't give the teams much credit for them.
    - Ole Miss controlled the stats, but the game was in doubt far too long today. A lot of SEC teams are playing great football but failing to capitalize in the red zone.

    Big 10:
    - Ohio State and Penn State respond in a very necessary way. Could one of them still pull a BCS game? It will take work, as the SEC is a lock, Boise/TCU likely take 1, and the Big 12 and Pac 10 are in the race for the last spot too. Note how it likely comes down to Oklahoma, Big 10 #2, Boise/TCU... and maybe Pitt/Cincy for the final spot. OU is still in it. Somehow.
    - Michigan: not back yet. Maybe next year. But a respectable season unless they pack up shop from here on out. Illinois, Purdue, and Wisconsin are a great chance to get to 8-3. Then, am I the only one looking forward again to Michigan-Ohio State?
    - The weird Big 10 scheduling and tiebreaking [there isn't any] continues to mix things up. Iowa @ Ohio State Nov 14th should be for all the marbles. As it is, Penn State and even Michigan State could just as easily get picked if OSU wins. Then again, MSU may not even make a bowl!
    - Six bowl teams bascially guaranteed at this point. Could still pull 10, though 9 looks much more manageable (Indiana shouldn't win 2 more). Give big props to Northwestern for their major comeback, putting a bowl within grasp.

    Big East:
    - Cincy show a ton. Another dominating win as they march through the conference. Remember, they beat Oregon State by more than USC, and on the road.
    - Forget the conference title games (and USC-UCLA) the first Saturday of December... watch Pitt @ Cincy instead. If both teams win out (each do have some dangerous schedules ahead), the winner definitely has earned some BCS respect. Could both get berths!?!?!?
    - Continuing to show improvement. 6 of their 8 teams should go bowling, and Syracuse still might eek out a 7th if they can beat Louisville, Rutgers, and find one more (Cincy, Pitt, or UConn).

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  4. Pac 10:
    - Arizona is now 5-2 against teams that are a combined 34-18 [29-16 for the D1 teams]. Should win next week (Wazzu), then @ Cal, Oregon, @ ASU, @ USC. Who wants to bet they win 3 of those last 4!?!
    - Washington has somehow played even more impressive teams... an absurd 40-16 record for their opponents this year. But now they have to pull three wins out of @ UCLA, @OSU, Wazzu, and Cal to make a bowl.
    - Most likely 7 bowl teams coming from the Pac 10. UCLA and the Washington Schools are the most likely to stay home. The MWC struggles may bite the solid Pac 10 down the stretch.

    - Duke! 4-3! Champ Sports Bowl and Chick-fil-A Bowl reps were even in the stands! Duke wins back-to-back conference games for first time in 15 years! Winnable game @ Virginia next week, too.
    - Think the Big 12 North looks bad? The ACC Atlantic is now 2-7 vs the Coastal. And that's after 2 wins this week. Virginia Tech [vs UNC] and Miami [@ Wake] look to continue to pile it on next week.
    - The ACC is slipping into oblivion yet again. The Atlantic champ will almost certainly have at least 4 losses. GT actually has a manageable schedule left, though look out for the Georgia game.

    - TCU looks like the most impressive non-BCS team in years. Won 2 road games in the ACC. Trounced the same BYU club on the road that beat Oklahoma. They still have tough teams in Utah and Wyoming to go. If they do win out, they'll be undefeated in a conference that has 5 quality teams. If they don't get a BCS even I will want the system changed.
    - Nevada dismantled 6-2 Idaho and suddenly Boise's walk looks lumpy yet, with Idaho coming to town on Nov 14 and Nevada on Nov 27th.
    - Don't look now, but it doesn't get easier for Boston College next week out of conference! Follow up Notre Dame with a very tough game vs. 7-1 Central Michigan, which continued to roll by shutting down Bowling Green 24-10.

    - As much as I can't stand the guy's arrogance, Lane Kiffin continues to show he's brought a game to Ktown. If Tennessee gets an offense... or after Tebow, Ingram, and Jones leave... they're scary.
    - South Florida threw only 13 passes, even after falling behind early at Pitt. Three were picks. I'm wondering if the injury to Matt Grothe may actually have been the costliest injury this season (and Griffin, Bradford, etc leave a lot to choose from). Next up, West Virginia; the annual swoon in Tampa may hit full stride.
    - I still think Case Keenum is near the top of my Heisman list. No, he didn't have an explosive day; only 1 touchdown. But he did go 25 of 36 for 233 yards in another impressive win. He leads the NCAA in yardage, and has 20 TDs vs 4 picks. He's beaten THREE BCS squads [2 Big 12 and 1 SEC, none of which are bad teams], and if Houston can navigate tough opponents the next three weeks, they'll wrap up with two cupcakes to put up numbers on. Also near the top of my pile is Jimmy Clausen. His impeccable play has singlehandedly pulled wins out. And yes, ok, I'll even admit, Christian Ponder could be in the mix if FSU can put together a magical run to close out the season.

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  6. Can I also decry the SEC here for their silly treatment of officiating.

    Yes the one officiating crew made bad calls in the Georgia-LSU and Florida-Arkansas game.
    But why publicly suspend them? And at the same time fine Petrino for complaining?
    Just deal with it in house. Now they've opened themselves up to public push to get more officials suspended.
    Then you get Dan Mullen publicly saying the replay official should be suspended from yesterday.
    Give me a break.

    Does no one realize that officials are still going to make mistakes, and that instant replay can be just as flawed as the old system. Guess no one remembers Oklahoma-Oregon.
    No one likes a missed call.
    But your team lost. Your team made mistakes and got put away. Don't rely on the replay official to overturn a close play. A play where Florida made a mistake. Play better, and you don't have to deal with it.
    I wasn't happy with the officiating in OU-Texas.
    But what can you do about it?
    It's a part of the game.
    Unless and until we get an entirely objective computerized system for officiating (which, of course, we'll still think is setup wrong... just like the BCS/computer polls), I think the griping needs to stop by whatever team gets the short end of the stick.
    No one is around crying that Cody didn't get an unsportsmanlike during the blocked FG yesterday. Because it's a game, and calls come and go, and many are borderline. Letter of the law or intent? It's a subjective game. And breaks go your way with the refs just like they do in every other facet of the game.
    If Tennessee wanted to win it, they should have gained more yardage or made a field goal for a change 8-) They lost. If the refs had called that, it woulda been tough, but fair. But since they didn't, that's fine too. You didn't earn it Tennessee.

  7. Just heard on the news... Florida has only scored TDs on 2 of their last 15 trips in the redzone.
    That's almost Nebraska-like :-/