Last week, 32 of the 65 AP voters thought USC was the best team in the nation. A 27-24 win at Washington wasn’t enough to shake their confidence. A 23-24 loss to Stanford was. The Cardinal punted six times in the first half and remained scoreless until an intercepted pass by John David Booty (whose name is always referenced in full) was returned for a touchdown. Stanford scored 17 more points in the fourth quarter (including a 4th and goal touchdown pass with 54 seconds remaining in regulation) and snapped a 35 game win streak in the Coliseum. Today, the 32 errant voters finally came to their senses and voted LSU #1.
This is my favorite photo of the season thus far.
Speaking of LSU, the Tigers had quite a scare in Death Valley last night. Florida came into Baton Rouge seething from yet another loss to Auburn’s defense and special teams. Unfortunately, Tebow was not the quarterback savior that the Gator nation needed. The sophomore was 12 of 26 in the air for 158 yards and produced just 67 yards in 16 attempts on the ground. Two second half turnovers gave LSU just enough chances to overcome a ten-point deficit. You have to give some credit to the Tigers, though. Miles’ squad converted five fourth downs, one from the Florida 7 with little over 2:00 left on the clock.
Les Miles may be the angriest coach in the SEC.
On the Plains, I witnessed Auburn’s 35-7 obliteration of Vanderbilt (the Commodore touchdown was against the second string defense). Brandon Cox was 14 of 17 for 165 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and only one sack. Cox even improvised, pitching the ball forward on one play and rolling out of the pocket to throw to the end zone. Tailback Brad Lester returned from academic suspension in full force. He ran 77 yards in 13 carries and was responsible for two Tiger touchdowns. The only disappointment was that kicker Wes Byrum never had the opportunity to display his prowess. Tommy Tuberville notched his 100th win since entering the SEC. (Also, I was able to touch his hand during Tiger Walk. I will never wash mine again.)
Believe it or not, Brad Lester can fly.
In other news, Oklahoma regained composure and inched out a 28-21 win over Texas. #5 Wisconsin was finally exposed as mediocre by Illinois, and #6 South Florida almost fell to Florida Atlantic. (How USF is still ranked in the top ten is a mystery.) North Carolina beat Miami. (Read the previous sentence again if needed.) Ohio State and Penn State took care of business while Michigan struggled against their Eastern counterpart. Notre Dame finally won (thanks to the injury of UCLA’s Ben Olsen). Alabama held off previously 2-2 Houston with an interception in the end zone in the final play of the game. Kentucky’s dreams were shattered as South Carolina prepared for a run at the SEC East title. Tennessee trounced Georgia 35-14.
There isn’t much going on next weekend. There’s more than what is listed below, but I’m too lazy to write any more (all times Eastern):
12 PM, ESPN: Georgia Tech and Miami face off to determine who is the most disappointing team in the ACC.
12 PM: UCF goes to South Florida to potentially end the Bulls’ dreams.
3:30 PM, CBS: LSU goes to Kentucky to begin their destruction of the rest of the SEC. (The Tigers will not lose again after nearly falling to Florida.)
3:30 PM, NBC: #4 Boston College travels to Notre Dame to return the Irish to reality.
3:30 PM, ABC: #19 Wisconsin visits unranked Penn State (those rankings should be reversed).
7:45 PM, ESPN: #22 Auburn goes to Arkansas to see if they are really better or not.
Have fun watching!
I don’t think it is possible to overuse this picture.
We are pretty disappointed in our season, but Clemson was supposed to be good, like real good. Now they have two straight losses.