Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll be giving you our insight into each reason, looking for the stories that you may not have read elsewhere.
The Midwest Region is a tough Region, not that any Region will be easy, but this one is particularly top-loaded. In this Region are Wichita State (ranked #2 AP and the only undefeated team in the nation), Louisville (#5), Duke (#7), TTUN (#8), St. Louis (#18) along with UMass and Kentucky. Four teams in the AP Top Ten and another in the Top Twenty. All of the other Regions have two Top Ten teams each.
This Region is a bit odd; it has the most Top Ten teams and it also has three of the four play-in game winners playing as well. So, it seems to me, this Region is comparatively very good at the top, then comparatively not-that-good in the middle seeds and below. For example, the play-in game for the #11 seed involves Iowa (20-12) vs Tennessee (21-12). Frankly, if you’re good enough to “play” into the #11 seed, something is amiss with the selection process. If you have to play yourself in to the field of 64, then you go to the back of the line at a #16 seed. /steps off soapbox. Read More
Over the course of its long history, Ohio Stadium has played host to numerous memorable games, many of which have been or will be highlighted as part of our countdown to the 2013 season. Surprisingly, despite all the major games that happened over the years, it took the stadium until its 81st year of existence to host a game that went to overtime but when it finally happened, it was a doozy. On a warm, sunny September 13th, 2003 Ohio State, coming off of its thrilling national championship season and ranked third in the country, hosted 22nd ranked North Carolina State.
Ohio State got off to a great start to the game, scoring 14 points in a span of 44 seconds in the first quarter. After Michael Jenkins hauled in a 44 yard touchdown pass from Craig Krenzel, North Carolina State suffered a miscue on the ensuing kickoff as their two deep returners ran into each other as the ball bounced off one of their helmets and was recovered on the 3 yard line by Will Allen; it would take three plays before Lydell Ross bowled his way into the endzone to give the Buckeyes a 14-0 lead. A Wolfpack touchdown right before halftime made it a one score game but the Buckeyes responded by scoring the first 10 points of the second half to take a 24-7 lead with eleven and a half minutes remaining in the game.
Things were looking good for OSU but at this point North Carolina State’s Phillip Rivers decided to display the talent that would lead to him being selected fourth in the 2004 draft while the Buckeyes committed a series of costly miscues. The Wolfpack began their comeback thanks to Santonio Holmes fumbling a punt which was recovered at the OSU 19 yard line by Jerricho Cotchery; four plays later Rivers hit Cotchery for a 9 yard touchdown. Ohio State’s next possession also went poorly as Krenzel was intercepted and NC State took over at the Buckeye 12 yard line; the Buckeye defense would hold the Wolfpack to only a field goal but suddenly it was a one score game with just under six minutes remaining. OSU would go three and out on their next possession and North Carolina State took advantage, going 86 yards through the air to tie the game at 24 and force overtime.
Both teams scored touchdowns in the first two overtimes and Ohio State got the ball to start the third overtime. Just as they had done to start the scoring, Krenzel and Jenkins hooked up for a 7 yard touchdown pass but a failed two point conversion attempt opened the door for North Carolina State. After a pair of OSU penalties gave the Wolfpack a first and goal at the 9 yard line, Buckeye fans were growing nervous. The Buckeye defense responded though, drawing energy from the crowd to come up with several crucial stops, culminating I stuffing running back T.A. McLendon just short of the goal line on fourth and one to give OSU the thrilling victory in the first overtime game in Ohio Stadium’s history.
When it comes to the rankings this year I am reminded of a famous Beatles song. That song…..”Hello, Goodbye”. Teams that gain a specific ranking or jump into the Top 25 say “hello” to it just as quickly as they say “goodbye” to it. This week was no exception as I am still trying to catch my breath after it was all over. The remaining three undefeateds are no longer undefeated. North Carolina State picked up their signature win in handing Duke their first loss and should move up pretty nicely in the polls. Arizona lost their second……oops……their first game in a close game at Oregon. And, last but not least, the Buckeyes took care of business against Michigan at home. All in all, 9 of the Top 25 teams lost games this week, with a certain Big Ten Team (see below) not winning all week! When it’s all said and done there should be changes a plenty in the rankings but for now let’s see what happened with all the teams.
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review
1. Duke (15-1, 2-1) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 1/8 Clemson, W 68-40 & 1/12 @ (20) N.C. State, L 76-84
Upcoming: 1/17 Georgia Tech
Duke received its first ACC test and failed in losing to a good North Carolina State. Depending on how the injury to Curry is, this could only be the beginning. The Blue Devils hope to bounce back in hosting Georgia Tech this week. Read More