However, we like to keep it upbeat here at TWTW, so this week’s post was written with this R&B classic in mind.
In many ways, this was a weekend to forget, as eight members of the top twenty lost, several to unranked opponents. As disheartening as that might be, it’s crucial to remember the important truth of the matter, to keep things in perspective.
One team that no one should be overlooking at this point is the Clemson Tigers- In consecutive weeks, they’ve beaten a Florida State team who took Oklahoma to the wire and yesterday made an undefeated Virginia Tech look sloppy. While you can argue that the ACC as a conference is not the strongest in the country, something has gotten into Dabo Sweeny and his team is playing accordingly. Currently, they’re sitting at #8 in both polls, but with some head to head matchups between the teams above them and only a game against South Carolina during the rest of the season, don’t be surprised if the Tigers aren’t in the national title conversation.
Heisman Candidate RG3 finally through an interception against KSU, and it set up the score that defeated the Bears. As a note, though, Griffin still has more touchdowns than incompletions/interceptions.
Also in the currently Big Integer To Be Named Later, aTm opened SEC play against Arkansas in the “I’m Jerry Jones, I Went To Arkansas, I Have Lots Of Money And Seem To Be Compensating For Something” Dome in Dallas. For the second straight week, the Aggies have solidified themselves as the LeBron James of college football, only choosing to play for three quarters. It should be noted that the losses were against ranked teams (wow… what does that feel like?), but it’s got to be worrisome to not be able to finish a game or make appropriate halftime adjustments… OK, I’m just going to move on. Hey! Here’s a funny fat Arkansas fan!
We’ve got several candidates this week for the hit of the week. If you haven’t noticed, we love Timothy Burke’s work… check out the great article on him in this month’s WIRED magazine. Anyway, here’s Rutgers running back getting obliterated in their win over Syracuse:
Well, let’s talk about the embarassments that made my house a little uncomfortable yesterday. For HI State (no “O”), it seems that the lack of focus on offense has finally reared it’s ugly head. Whether it’s coaching or talent will be discussed ad nauseum over the coming week, but I think that the issues are ones that transcend the return of suspended players to fix. When there’s frustration in the locker room between players and coaches or offense and defensive teammates, it’s easy to fall back into the stability that a program has. Unfortunately, with all that’s happened in Columbus over the past several months (suspensions, investigations, transfers, injuries, resignations), that stability was tenuous at best, particularly given the possible dearth of veteran leadership. While I don’t completely hold to everything that Bill Livingston writes in this great piece, his concluding comment rang true for me:
But this season at Ohio State has devolved into one of salvage, not salvation.
Next up for the Buckeyes are the Nebraska Cornhuskers (more on next week later) who were “welcomed” into the B1G with a night game in Madison. Fans from Lincoln were encouraged to not wear red, since the game already looked like it was an intrasquad scrimmage for both teams; the choice to wear black made for easy mourning garb during the Badgers victory. Husker fans, there’s no shame in losing that game to a good team in a tough stadium. Trust me, it will get better for you soon.
A couple of random thoughts: Wisconsin is as good as any team in the country, and should be in the Top 5; I’ll admit that hearing the fans sing at the stadium reminded me of European soccer matches, in a good way; Anyone who might still believe that big time college sports are about education should realize that “education” isn’t the loophole that allowed Wilson to sign with the Badgers as a free agent. Not to take away from how good Wisconsin is, but imagine if they’d be in a rebuilding year with a new quarterback as well as new players on their offensive line.
The B1G’s other top teams had big weeks, none bigger than Denard’s fabulous day against Minnesota. The Wolverines start 5-0 with a B1G win for the second straight season… I’m thinking that Rich Rodriguez may have built something special with that program, you guys! Do I get to be bitter now that TTUN will miss Wisconsin unless they meet in the CCG, and HI State misses Minnesota? The Buckeyes do get to face off against Indiana and Penn State, who played the “anemia bowl” yesterday. Seriously? How much moxie does it take to have a 3-3 tie at halftime? Notre Ame proved they belong in the B1G by winning their annual matchup against Purdue. Condolences, Robby.
The B1G’s surprise team of the season, the Fightin’ Zooks of Illinois, were able to hold of Northwestern… well, once Wildcat QB Dan Persa went down to injury again. The final play of this game, the oft beloved “multiple laterals” experience, was actually a thing of beauty and was one block short of going all the way- with several short throwbacks setting up an across the field pass that nearly went to the endzone. In the end, the Illini remained undefeated and took home the Land of Lincoln trophy, as well as this nominee for the hit of the week:
Let’s talk a little SEC: LSU continued to roll, beating Kentucky, but the game of the day (on paper) was the splendidly attired Alabama Crimson Tide (wonder where he got that?) making the drive to Gainesville for a matchup against Florida. The Tide continued to roll, and easily defeated the Gators 38-10. You’d think that the Florida faithful would be frustrated by the loss, but it seems that, as long as they get their tater tots, it’s all good. Auburn also rebounded from their first loss in forever to defeat the Ol’ Ball Coach and the Cocks from USC.
Not much going on in the Big Integer other than what we mentioned; Oklahoma destroyed Ball State, and Texas remained undefeated against Iowa State. The highlight, though, would be the look of Kansas’ old school unis- pretty sharp, if you ask me.
During this week’s Nebraska/Wisconsin game, ESPN was quick to let us know that UCLA had absolutely exploded on Stanford, in what was looking to be a huge upset of a top ten team. The reality, though, was much different- the Cardinal flattened UCLA behind the play of Heisman candidate Luck. They also gave us our third candidate for the hit of the week:
I wanted to take a brief moment to give the readers something special from small schools special teams. First, this is how not to recover after a blocked punt attempt. Then, check out the heads up play on this D3 extra point block. Good times…
The coming week’s slate of games have a number of great matchups, highlighted by the annual Dr. Pepper Presents The Red River Shootout At The Texas State Fair Where Everything Is Fried, as undefeated Texas meets up with undefeated team that seems to be tied to Texas in everything they do in spite of the fact that they are supposed to be bitter rivals. That’s always fun. LSU is the second consecutive top team to travel to Florida, while Arkansas and Auburn meet up in an SCE West clash. The Iowa/Penn State games have been interesting as of late, you’ve got to think that this will continue.
And, as mentioned earlier, the Buckeyes will travel to Lincoln and your humble correspondent will be there to cover them in the game we’re calling “The End Of My Marriage”. As such, the hope is that I’ll be able to post “A Look From Lincoln” articles throughout the weekend, which may preempt next week’s TWTW. We’ll see, though… I’m sure there will be a lot to talk about.
In the meantime, though… it’s never too soon to learn a new dance: