Jet lag is good for something. Waking up long before sunrise I was able to catch up on the weekend that was in college football. My review has proved the following: I, and everyone else who writes about or talks about college football, do not know even the slightest bit about it. Now that I've had a chance to process it all, I will now issue apologies, wag my finger, rub salt in a wound or two, and hand out some congratulatory brews. I'm reviewing the Michigan Northwestern tape as I type and will have something up tomorrow.
USF 21 - West Virginia 13: First, a mea culpa to the University of South Florida. Earlier this year I called for the Bulls to Finish 6th in the Big East, predicting losses to Auburn and West Virginia.
I was wrong. They are 4-0. They have two victories over ranked teams. They are in the driver's seat for the Big East.
Mess With The Bull, Get the Horns.
The Bulls defense bent, but did not break against West Virginia's pinball offense. I have some concerns about the fact they gave up 437 yards, but collecting 6 turnovers is as much a credit to the defense as it is an indictment of the opposing offense. While I suspect the outcome of the game would've been different had Pat White not been injured, it does not change the fact that USF won and deserved to win. They were the more disciplined team and they wanted it more. Matt Grothe looked alright dodging WVU's defense all night, and he made the plays when they mattered. There are enough play makers on the Bulls roster for them to be a legitimate Big East title contender. Right now they, and Cincinnati, are the best teams in the Big East.
SALT IN THE WOUND
Auburn 20 - Florida 17: Oh, what to say about Florida's somewhat shocking loss to Auburn? the Tigers had dropped two in a row to teams they should've handled easily, so you have to believe the gators took them a little too lightly. I wasn't totally sold on the Gators going into the year based on the loss of too many players on both sides of the ball, but there was no denying Florida was capable of making a MNC run.
Unlike the USF victory however, the Tigers out gained, out first downed, and out played Florida (for three quarters anyway). Impressively, the Gators had only 4 (four) first half possessions and 122 yards. Florida probably played well enough in the fourth to win, but Auburn found a way to hold the Gators to a 3 and out with 3:38 to go and drive for the game winning kick. Brandon Cox, Auburn's quarterback, is not good. But never the less he played at an adequate enough level not to hand the ball game to his opponents and gave his defense and teammates the opportunity to do something special. And they did. The head ball coach told you he was fast. Click-Clack.
Orson, your house was left unprotected and Wes Byrum
is looting your kitchen and eating your cheese
Colorado 27 - Oklahoma 24: What. The. Hell. Someone was not ready for BIG XII FOOTBALL!!! Leading 24-7 with 20 minutes to go Oklahoma decided leave the game and visit Scenic Colorado's many beautiful mountains and crevasses, including the Canyon of Losing to an Unranked Opponent. Oklahoma's last five possessions went as follows: punt, INT, punt, INT, punt. Colorado's last five were: TD, missed FG, punt, TD, FG. Oklahoma gained 12 yards on three possessions in the fourth quarter! This is easily Hawkins biggest win and would've been in the Brew's section of this post if not for the collapse of the Sooner's offense and defense in the final two quarters.
Gaining only 32 yards in the third (17 of them coming on a short field TD scamper) doomed Oklahoma. If you're looking for a positive in Oklahoma's loss, look no further than Kevin Eberhart, the stumpy Colorado kicker who rochambeaued the Sooners. Because of the Sooner's collapse it enabled Eberhart to be double and triple teamed by the Colorado Co-eds, something a guy who wanders onto the field maybe 8 times a game would never experience otherwise.
Think of it as Viagra for Kickers
WAG OF THE FINGER
Wisconsin 37 - Michigan State 34: Call me crazy, but I am not on the Wisconsin bandwagon. This team does not play defense, despite the fact it was supposed to be the Badgers calling card. They're giving up big plays. They can't stop the run. They got torched deep by Brian Hoyer to the tune of over 300 yards. If they play a defense, namely Ohio State, they're going to get destroyed.
USC 27 - Washington 24: USC more than doubled Washington's offensive output, forced two turnovers and put up 27 points. What they didn't do was put enough points on the board to put the game away. John David Booty was average at best, tossing two INTs (one of which was a pick six). They'd better get their act together or they will end up costing themselves a national championship shot the same way it did last year.
Kentucky 45 - Florida Atlantic 17: Andre Woodson is the best quarterback in college football. Period. Kentucky is all of a sudden a legitimate SEC threat. If their offense continues to rack up points and keep Woodson upright, they're going to be very difficult for any team to beat. The Defense still appears to be a bit of a work in progress but they've put in two good performances against two scoreboard melting teams in Arkansas and Louisville. This week's show down with the OBC and South Carolina is going to be one of the best games of the week. Find a way to watch it. Woodson for Heisman. It's good to say that again.
Kansas State 41 - Texas 21: Last year wasn't a fluke. And for that matter Colt McCoy and his porn star name haven't been the same since the Wildcats topped the 'Horns last year. This year it wasn't even close. Jordy Nelson was a key catalyst on offense (116 receiving yards and a TD) as well as on special teams (89 yard punt return TD). Sophomore QB Josh Freeman went for 177 and a TD, with no INTs. The whole team came to play in Austin, but the story was the defense.
Kansas State forced Colt McCoy to toss four interceptions and only allowed the Longhorns inside their 40 four times all game (and the fourth was late in the final quarter with the game decided). I had a man crush on Ian Campbell before the season began, and his performance on Saturday only added to it. There's a reason I picked this team to win the Big XII North, they're good. Ron Prince is building a very dangerous program.
OMG!!1!! HUGZ! XXOXOXOX!
Cal 31 - Oregon 24: What a game! If this doesn't convince people that the Pac 10 is the best conference in the country right now, then we might as well go back to living in mud huts and clubbing our dinner. One, Oregon is for real, this game proves they didn't thump Michigan by accident. Two, Cal got lucky but they deserved to win that game as much as Oregon did. Three, Holy Crap, DeSean Jackson is one of the best receivers in the country. Two touch downs and 161 yards. Wow.
The big difference was turnovers, and not the obvious one at the goal line. Dixon, despite passing for over 300 yards and a TD, threw two INTs on back to back possessions with under 6 minutes to go! The worst of the two was a horrible pass into traffic with under 6 to go that gave Cal the ball at the Ducks 21. If Oregon could've held onto the ball, they probably win this game. But Cal won, played disciplined ball, and will legitimately threaten USC for the Pac 10 crown. However, any slip up by the Bears will find Oregon nipping on their heels. Don't think USC's lackluster performance against Washington went unnoticed by either team. Both Cal and USC are capable of winning the Pac 10 after Saturday's matchup.
Maryland 34 - Rutgers 24: Good bounce back for the Terps against a top Big East team, and after their disheartening loss to Wake Forest. Any team that holds Ray Rice (Mike Hart Lite) below 100 yards and holds the Knights to 3-19 3rd down conversions deserves some praise. So does the Maryland offense. Maryland put up 458 yards on Rutgers and dominated time of possession. Tough week for the Big East, but a good win for the Terps.