Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Week Ten

Oh man, I am so behind on college football analysis. I apologize profusely and hope this week's column earns my way back into your hate list. I guess I'll start by covering the more interesting scores of the last two weeks.

Rutgers 30, #2 South Florida 27: Cinderella's spell wore off on October 18, unless you still count Rutgers as a Cinderella team from last season. Essentially, the Big East pulled an SEC and eliminated itself from a shot at the national championship. Bulls QB Grothe (which is probably pronounced like the name of German poet Goethe) was sacked seven times in the second half, and the Rutgers' O-line stopped the nation's leading sacker (George Selvie with 11.5) from reaching Scarlet Knight QB Teel. It didn't help that the Bulls dug themselves a 4th-and-37 hole with a sack and a penalty on the final play of the game.

Connecticut 21, Louisville 17: I'm spending way too much time on the Big East, but Connecticut's run is pretty impressive. They joined Division I-A in 2000 and the conference in 2004, and they are currently 7-1. That's better than highly touted South Florida. Their records in 2000 and 2001? 3-8 and 2-9.

#23 Connecticut 22, #10 South Florida 15: (See the last two summaries.)

Temple W, Northern Illinois/Akron/Miami (OH) L: Temple is on a three-game win streak!? The last time Temple won more than four games was in 1990, when they went 7-4. The Owls probably have the worst historical record of any Division I-A program, so you have to feel good when they actually do something. You have to hand it to them; most people would give up after so many years of awful football.

And now, the guys who don't lose all of their games any more!

Vanderbilt 17, #6 South Carolina 6: On to the SEC (finally). I'm really not sure how this happened, because I was driving to Baton Rouge during this game. It is interesting to note that this was Spurrier's first loss to the Commodores. He notched two with Duke, ten with Florida, and two with South Carolina before the debacle on October 20. This threw the SEC East into total shambles, or so we thought untill...

Alabama 41, #21 Tennessee 14: The Tide opened with a successful onside kick and never looked back. Alabama put 510 yards on the Volunteer defense, 363 from the arm of John Parker Wilson. Thankfully, the boost in confidence resulting from this game will set up the Saban Nation for heartbreaking (or humorous) losses against the Two Tigers of the West.

Tennessee 27, #16 South Carolina 24: Both teams rebounded for a thriller in Knoxville. The Gamecocks Succop'ed a loss in the second overtime, much to the delight of the Volunteer faithful.

#4 LSU 30, #17 Auburn 24: In one of the worst officiating blunders in college football history, the scores of the two teams were reversed, robbing ol' Tubs of a perfectly good road victory.

#15 Florida 45, #7 Kentucky 37: Two of the top tier teams in an SEC shootout. These are top tier teams, right? Well...

#18 Georgia 42, #11 Florida 30 and Mississippi State 31, #14 Kentucky 14: ....maybe not. Georgia and Tennessee are now on top of the SEC East, and Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina are on the bottom. This season hasn't run out of surprises yet. Also, MSU coach Sylvester Croom has probably earned himself another season of employment.

#1 Ohio State 24, Michigan State 17: The Buckeyes slid by another conference opponent, and the voters keep them atop the polls. Incredible. To their credit, they did roll over Penn State. Penn State won the student section competition, though.

#13 Kansas 19, Colorado 14 and #9 Kansas 19, Texas A&M 11: The Jayhawks notched two wins over unranked Big 12 opponents and are 8-0 for the first time since...1909. Their last 7-0 runs were ended by Kansas State (1995) and Oklahoma (1968). They've already beaten the Wildcats, and they don't play the Sooners this year. Historically, they are looking pretty good.

#5 Oregon 24, #12 USC 17: This is probably the sweetest score in recent history. I don't know how the sports media could stand to publish the information. Finally, USC is out of the running for the Pac-10 championship. (Of course, they have the absence of John David Booty as an excuse.) The Ducks face Arizona State this Saturday to determine the conference. The Sun Devils will probably win, but for the sake of looking smart, I hope they don't.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

#2 Boston College 14, #8 Virginia Tech 10: Apparently fourth-quarter miracles are more impressive than sixty-minute pummelings. (LSU 48, Virginia Tech 7? Do any of the voters remember that?) To close out the season, BC hosts Florida State, travels to Maryland and Clemson, and returns for Miami. If the Eagles don't fall somewhere during that period and play for the national championship as a result, I'm going to be upset.

If you are still reading at this point, here's a list of the big games this Saturday along with some quick-fire analysis. I'm getting tired and hungry, or this would be longer. All times are Eastern.

#21 Wisconsin at #1 Ohio State (12): The Buckeyes have one last test before heading to Ann Arbor on November 17. They'll pass.

Nebraska at #9 Kansas (12:30): It's possible that Nebraska will right their ship, but I doubt it. Kansas improves to 9-0.

Vanderbilt at #20 Florida (12:30): The Gators should put an end to the Commodore nonsense in the East.

Navy at Notre Dame (2:30, NBC): Navy hasn't beaten Notre Dame since 1963. They have come close to ending the streak only a handfull of times, and this year could very well be the one. The Midshipmen have no defense, as their 52-59 loss to Delaware demonstrated. However, they do have an offense, something the Fighting Irish lack. Weis' squad hasn't managed more than 19 in any of their games. Even luck cannot propel Notre Dame over Navy. I hope the entire Academy runs onto the field after the win.

#12 Michigan at Michigan State (3:30, ABC): The Spartans have come so close to an upset this season. Cut 'em a break, will ya Carr?

#3 LSU at #17 Alabama (5, CBS): Nick Saban gets walloped by his former employer. Boston College stays ranked above LSU even after the Tiger domination of the Tide.

"You guys played a good game. Have fun cleaning up after we trash 'Bama."

#4 Arizona State at #5 Oregon (6:40, ESPN): It's the Pac-10, so no one cares.

Florida State at #2 Boston College (8, ABC): ABC is hosting a slew of day games and night games? That's awesome.

Oregon State at #19 USC (8, ABC): Get this trash off of television, please.

That's all I have for this week. Hopefully I can be more faithful to you guys from here onward. Oh, one other thing. I lost the challenge to Tim. My computer crashed a few weeks before the finish, but I was so far behind that I conceded. Therefore, I'll be sporting a pink T to the Auburn-Tennessee Tech game. Don't worry; there will be pictures.

Q: Is it worse to look like this guy or wear pink to a football game?

A: Wearing pink is still worse.

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