Sunday, November 02, 2008
We're in for another nutty November. Texas was a tipped pass away from pulling off the defeat of Texas Tech in Lubbock, and a very clear path to the Big 12 title. Texas got manhandled on both sides of the ball for about two and a half quarters by Tech (some of it aided by what Colt McCoy implied was illegal contact by the DBs in his post-game presser), yet still came back to take the lead by a point with 1:29 left in the game. But that tipped and dropped pick by safety Blake Gideon led to Michael Crabtree making an amazing catch and scampering into the end zone with a second left. Now, we will have a new #1 later today after Tech's 39-33 win.
That new #1 is likely to be Alabama, who gobbled up its cupcake when Arkansas State came to town. Everyone's waiting for the return of Nick Saban to Baton Rouge, set for next Saturday -- as LSU beat Tulane 35-10.
Charlie Weis is really bad with late 4th quarter play calling. Late in the game with Pitt and in overtime, the Irish were regularly getting into the red zone but were unable to cash in thanks to a series of poorly chosen running plays, along with good Pitt defense, and after blowing a field goal in the 4th OT, Pitt was easily able to ride on LeSean McCoy one more time (he had 168 yards on the day) close enough to send the kicker out for a 36-33 win.
Florida will likely be in the SEC East's representative in the championship game barring any unforseen slip-ups. Georgia settled for field goals early when Florida got touchdowns, and the inexplicable onside kick by Georgia to give the Gators a short field was one I'd question from Mark Richt. However, when Richt blew his top on a favorable spot to Tim Tebow. I understood. The Golden Boy rushed for 3 TDs and threw for 2 more. He didn't need your help, Penn Wagers. The fitting juxtaposition of the game: hearing Gary Danielson talking about how Stafford was an NFL-ready gunslinger, then watching Stafford throw a pick two plays later in Favre-like fashion.
Tommy Tuberville needs to have his resume ready. Losing 17-7 to Ole Miss isn't gonna help matters.
Bo Pelini has a lot of work to do in Lincoln. Giving up 62 points to Oklahoma is rather embarrassing on a Bill Callahan-like level, but then again, it's only his first year. Gene Chizik's Iowa State team was similarly demolished by Oilahoma State, mostly thanks to Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant, who hooked up 4 times for touchdowns in Stillwater.
Missouri is supposed to be the Big 12 North's rep in the conference championship, right? Right. So, I know Baylor QB Robert Griffin is some sort of serious threat running and passing, but that doesn't mean that Baylor should be covering at home against the Tigers. Mizzou held on 31-28.
Georgia Tech got out to a lead early and nearly gave it up, but for the grace of a Florida State fumble in the end zone that FSU recovered to seal a 31-28 win. Jonathan Dwyer continues to be an absolute beast, rushing for 145 yards and 2 scores.
GT's division is a complete mess. Miami beat UVA thanks to two touchdown passes from Jacory Harris in the fourth quarter and in OT, followed by a fumble recovery on the Hoos' turn on offense in OT.
Football in the state of Washington is in need of a federal rescue plan. Neither Wazzu nor U-Dub could score a measly point against Stanford and USC, respectively. (These were scores of 58-0 and 56-0.)
I'm now forced to conclude that Bret Bielema is a complete idiot. Why would you call time out with the Michigan State offense rushing to get a field goal off before time expired? Wisconsin did just about everything else okay, holding Javon Ringer to 54 yards and forcing the kicker to make all 4 FGs he tried. But the Badgers' coach gave the Spartans the game.
Mike Kafka went through his own metamorphosis replacing the injured C.J. Bacher for Northwestern as they went to the Metrodome. Kafka rushed for more than 200 yards, necessary with RB Tyrell Sutton out for the season, but the game was headed to OT until Adam Weber's pass became a deflection off receiver Eric Decker, and landed in the arms of Brendan Smith for a pick six and a 24-17 win.