I’ll be honest… it’s been so great to relive the huge Buckeye win over Wisconsin, I’ve had to dig a bit to find motivation to even think about the other games from this week. However, my search for a soundtrack that would be appropriate for Halloween Weekend, I found this gem that helped me keep my focus…
The story this week was big upsets, both with teams falling from the ranks of the undefeated and teams rising to the occasion against expectations. So let’s start in that vein, and with a little “howdy do” to our newest BFFs from the Iowa State contingency, who turned the tables on a Texas Tech team coming off a huge upset on their own. And it wasn’t just a “win” against the #20 Red Raiders, but a 41-7 demolition of Tommy Tuberville’s squadron… must have been a bit presumptuous to start the “Mike Leach Who?” talk, huh? No wonder the folks in Lubbock were chippy.
But the Cyclone satisfaction didn’t stop there, as cross state rivals Iowa also fell in a surprising factor, to a Minnesota team that’s been disappointing both for their coach and for their conference. But, in a week where the new guy got a huge “Vote Of Confidence“, his Gophers responded with a one point victory in Iowa City to the perennial B1G Coach Of The Year. They get Floyd back in Minneapolis, which is always a good thing. Yup, just another week of pride for the folks at ISU… enjoy your moment.
Down the road in the Big 12-2-2+2, the Kansas State Wildcats had their moment to shine as well, and welcomed a Sooner team looking to rebound from yet another “Stoops” moment, a game lost that shouldn’t have been in question. And rebound they did, beating the eco friendly Snyders by 41 points in Manhattan. Tons of highlights from this game, including an awful broken leg, but the levitation and focus of the OU receivers was on display from the opening kickoff. The Sooners, it appears, are back on track… and this is as close to a “Sad Panda” as I could get.
Which is good, since they need to keep pace with the T. Boone Pickens’ squad. We’ve known for a while that Mike Gundy’s team is good, but the numbers that they are putting up against their competition is pretty astounding- it almost reminds me of the old Loyola Marymount basketball teams and their “Good Luck Keeping Up” offensive philosophy. In their destruction of RG3 and the Baylor Bears, their defense managed to create some excitement as well, pitching a shutout for a good portion of the game. Several folks have said that TBPU is this year’s Oregon (and not just because of ties to Houston recruiting) due to their offensive numbers, although I would add that that comment would also hold true for their willingness to let Nike create new costumes for them seemingly every week.
The “How Can We Miss You If You Won’t Go Away” contingent of the Big Integer squared off in a classic overtime thriller where the mighty Aggies of aTm continued to watch their “The team to watch in the Big 12!” title drift into oblivion. At this point, you’ve got to wonder if the folks in SEC land might start looking for the receipt, or if Mizzou might ask for a better deal coming into their new conference (shhhhh… it’s not announced yet). Also in the Big Integer, Kansas had about 47 yards of total offense against Texas. It’ll be hoops season soon, Jayhawks… don’t worry. With rumors still swirling about the expansion process, it’s important to remember who runs the show in the center of the country:
Another surprising “upset” of sorts this week occurred in the World’s Largest
Outdoor Cocktail Party Family Friendly Event With No Substance Usage Whatsoever Nosiree, where Georgia managed to overcome a deficit and defeat Florida for the first time in four games. This game also had it’s share of amazing moments, but ultimately was decided by the Bulldogs’ ability to hold onto the football (an issue in past meetings) and to create important turnovers of their own- always a great reason to work toward a restraining order. This win makes Mark Richt’s coaching seat a bit cooler, you’d think, and will also turn up the volume of Boise State fans who will see their win over Georgia as being somehow meaningful.
The SEC brought us some “classy”, as Arkansas managed to win the cheap shot of the weak with this play against Vanderbilt:
While it doesn’t show up in the tape, the player in question also celebrated the hit, taunted the crowd after being rejected, and had to be severely reprimanded by his coach in order to get him to leave the field. The Razorbacks went on to win the game (after being down for most of it), but this play certainly dampened the victory (or it should have).
Case Keenum deserves the October Heisman. That is all.
Kansas State wasn’t the only team to lose their undefeated-ocity this past week, as the Screaming Dabos of Clemson were gutted by the Georgia Tech option attack (now with new and improved passing!). Also in the ACC; Florida State beat Russel Wilson’s former team, Maryland still struggled to protect this house, The Hokies held off the Dookies, and Virginia overcame Miami on Thursday Night (a really really exciting game).
And now, to the B1G. Charles has a pretty good wrapup over at OHD, so I’ll take a moment to talk about the two marquee games of the week- MSU/Nebraska and JoePa/Zook. First, the same “rebound” bug that struck Texas Tech also landed in East Lansing, and Michigan State seemed to show a lack of focus in their inaugural trip to Lincoln. With the Husker offense catching fire since the 4th quarter of the Ohio State game (that I’m trying to repress from my memory), it looks as if they are playing at a level that will return them to their third consecutive conference title game… and I’d love for it to be a rematch against the Buckeyes. I’ve never thought I’d say this, but I envy Nebraska’s passing game. Yup, Martinez’ throwing motion makes Terrelle’s look orthodox, but their ability to get guys wide open on play action is something that I wish the run-happy Buckeyes had this season. They’re killing people with it.
Congratulations to Coach Paterno, who is now the winningest coach in Division 1 history- passing the great Eddie Robinson in the first ever “unintentional white out” at Happy Valley. Yeah, he’s super involved in the program, and I’m still convinced that this is his last season (this record all but seals it, IMHO). The game was low scoring, and was lost on a last second “doink” field goal attempt by Illinois that would have tied it, but that’s not to say it wasn’t exciting. There were amazing catches as well as this week’s award winner for “hit of the week that I could find a clip of”. Thanks, as always, to the amazing Timothy Burke for his work.
The hits almost kept on coming against the undefeateds; Stanford needed three overtimes and a great defensive play to hold of Southern Cal at home. Lane Kiffin was less than happy about the officiating throughout the game, and seems to have every reason to be concerned. While my colleague at 11 Warriors and I were discussing how Andrew Luck doesn’t make mistakes, it should be noted that he did toss a pick 6. However, it was the courage of the Trojan team that was the most impressive- they continued to “Fight On” and make plays in moments where they could have merely rolled over.
Oregon did what Oregon does; with LaMichael James back, the team just turned on the afterburners against Washington State. Arizona and Washington played a great late game as well, including what should be the hit of the week- a great block on a crossing pattern by Arizona. If you find video of it, please send it my way. They also brought us this week’s edition of “The Longest Yard“. See what you miss when you head to bed early?
And now, a brief comment regarding ESPN. For a while, I’ve been beating the drum that the four letter network has moved from sports journalism to sports entertainment; from covering to creating the story. While it feels, sometimes, that I’m just a voice crying in the wilderness, the work done by the guys at AwfulAnnouncing and other places help me feel as if a) I’m not completely mental and b) I’m not alone in my opinions. With the “Occupy Herbstreit” movement, there are even more folks out there who seem to be like minded. But my hero this week concerns the person responsible for the sign you see to the left there. No, not the Trojan fan (savor the irony) that made the potentially off-color posterboard creation; I’m impressed by the network staffer who saw it, either in the crowd during the pre-broadcast or on camera during the broadcast, and said to themselves “Well, it’s factually accurate…” To you, good sir or madam, we send our deepest gratitudes.
Ohio Dominican won, Azusa Pacific continues to roll, and Anderson University only has two more games until the season is blissfully over.
This week’s game that you won’t stop hearing about will be the matchup between LSU and Alabama, this year’s version of the “Game Of The Century” between number one and number two. We’ll have another look at this game a bit later in the week… the story that you probably won’t be hearing anywhere else.
Oklahoma is the next team to give a parting gift to aTm, while Kansas State goes from bad to worse with TBPU coming to town. Arkansas and South Carolina square off in a matchup of two top ten teams, and Ohio State welcomes Indiana to the ‘Shoe- you know we’ll have coverage of this game as well.
Given that most of you are reading this on All Hallow’s Eve, here’s a quick suggestion if you’ve been getting a lot of rain over the past weekend. When kiddies come to your place for there “Fun Sized” Snickers, you should be ready to do this:
Or, if you’re headed to a costume party after work, and are a bit of a nerd (looking your way, Eric), here’s a sure fire winner for a costume. If you’re looking for the ultimate reaction, though, you can also do this. Just be sure to save the Mounds bars for me…