Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Wrap


By MIKE DAROZA
CFRT Editor

OMG Moment of the Week

This week's OMG moment really wasn't so much of a "moment" as it was a revelation.
Just one week ago, most everyone felt the stars were pretty much in alignment with college football.
After Alabama's thorough beating of Florida, there was little doubt across the nation that the Crimson Tide had separated itself from the rest of the SEC, and perhaps from the rest of the country.
Of course, 'Bama was entering the stretch of contests in which six of their final SEC opponents were coming off a bye week, but if there ever was a team that appeared equipped to handle such a gauntlet, this was it, right?
Well, college football has a way of teaching us that just when we think we have things all figured out is when things get the most unstable.
On Saturday, it taught us that Alabama could be beaten, as the Crimson Tide rolled into South Carolina with a 19-game winning streak and rolled out on two flat tires and a 35-21 stunning at the hands of the spirited Gamecocks. 
Just a week before the first BCS poll is released, there is as much uncertainty at the top as there has been in the 2010 season thus far.
Now you have to wonder if anything is for sure anymore (short of death and taxes, that is).
No.1 Ohio State?
The Buckeyes still have to play road games at No.18 Wisconsin (Sat.) and No.15 Iowa.
No.2 Oregon?
Say what you want about the Ducks, but they struggled for much of the game against lowly Washington State before eventually pulling away.
They still have to play No.17 Arizona and at Corvallis in the Civil War against arch-rival No.24 Oregon State.
No.3 Boise State?
The Broncos may appear to have the easiest path, but they still have to play No.19 Nevada and the invisible stigma that poll voters have against their weak schedule.
No.4 Nebraska?
The Cornhuskers get rebuilding Texas (who are coming off a bye week) at home Saturday, but follow that up with consecutive weekends against currently undefeated No.20 Oklahoma State and No.21 Missouri.
No.5 TCU?
The Horned Frogs still have two ranked opponents remaining in No.23 Air Force and then a red-hot No.11 Utah team on the road.
Essentially, we can literally look down the schedule and make a case that any one of the 13 still undefeated teams in the Top-25 could lose at some point in the near future.
College football has taught us so many times before that just when we have a new flavor of the month, the menu gets scrapped by someone like South Carolina.
We're fast approaching the halfway point of the season already and as usual, "certainty" has been replaced by "potential chaos."
Like it or not, we're not at the wheel, controlling anything anyway.
The unpredictable world of college football is.
Instead of trying to "figure it all out," simply enjoy the journey folks.

Gameballs

From Hot Seat to Parade Marshall
You've got to give it to Les Miles, no matter how lucky this guy continues to be.
Just a week removed from one of the worst clock management debacles in modern football, The Hat worked the clock to perfection in the No.9 Tigers' win at No.22 Florida.
Following a laundry list of very questionable and controversial penalties against the Gators, here was Miles guiding his team to a touchdown with six ticks left on the clock.


From Dog House to Penthouse
If there was ever a quarterback who suffered the unrelenting fury of the Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier, it would have to be South Carolina's Stephen Garcia.
Ever since the kid stepped on campus, Spurrier hasn't let up on him, regardless of winning or losing.
Garcia was even benched late in the game in their last outing at Auburn in favor of a freshman - when the game was still on the line.
No problem, next time out, Garcia simply goes 17 of 20 for 201 yards and three TDs in the Gamecocks' biggest win in school history, handing Alabama their first regular-season loss since 2007.

Big Newton
While Heisman contenders Mark Ingram (Alabama) and Denard Robinson (Michigan) took a step back in the race for the coveted stiff-armed hardware this week, one fellow may have thrown his name in the hat as a serious threat to be invited to the Downtown Athletic Club in New York by season's end.
Auburn QB Cam Newton has not only led the No.7 team in the land to an unblemished 6-0 start, he's also putting up astronomical numbers in the process.
On Saturday in Lexington, Newton  fought off a furious comeback attempt by Kentucky by passing for 210 yards and rushing for 198 yards and four TDs to preserve the Tigers' 37-34 victory.
So far this season, Newton - a transfer from Florida - has passed for 1,138 yards and 12 TDs and rushed for 672 yards and nine TDs, accounting for 62% of Auburn's total offensive numbers.
Put it this way, Newton's 1,810 yards of total offense is better than 30 Division I school's total offense.

Headscratchers

What's your deal Bret?
No, that wasn't Jim Harbaugh you might have saw going for a two-point conversion leading by 25 with 6:39 remaining against Minnesota on Saturday, it was Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema.
You may recall Stanford's Harbaugh going for two against USC while leading by 27 with 6:47 remaining last season, leading to a heated exchange between he and ex-USC coach Pete Carroll.
Well, on Saturday, Minnesota coach Tim Brewster didn't appreciate it much either, prompting him to angrily confront Bielema after the game.


I can't believe it's not butter...or a fake field goal!
Florida's special teams unit has to be scratching their collective heads about not seeing a fake field goal coming in their loss against LSU on Saturday.
I mean after all, Les Miles was the guy who went for - and converted - five fourth down tries against the Gators in 2007.
On Saturday night, just before the fake - on fourth and a short two - LSU even called a suspicious time out just seconds before.
Despite the fact that it appeared the pass from the holder to the kicker was a forward pass, Florida had no business at least not being careful of the fake.
The play caught the Gators off guard, resulting in a first down on what eventually ended up being the Tigers' game-winning drive with :06 left.


Coming Untied
Michigan's Denard "Shoelace" Robinson and his skyrocketing Heisman chances came back to Earth on Saturday in the Wolverines' 34-17 loss to Michigan State.
The loss hurts, but it was the three interceptions Robinson tossed - one in the end zone and one just outside of the end zone - that did the most damage to Michigan and Robinson's shot at the Heisman.

2 comments:

  1. My visor's off to Steve Spurrier. You saw a lot of the vintage 'Ol Ball coach in knowing where to with the ball against a tough but young 'Bama defense. But you also saw the New Ball Coach showing some patience sticking with his QB when mistakes were made. Like when Garcia took the safety tossing the ball thru the endzone. Spurrier got pissed and tossed his play sheets, but he settled down and settled his team down. Last year that would have been enough to put the Gamecocks in a tailspin. What an amazing job he did taking a team that lost to Auburn with sloppy execution, to coaching them on exactly how to beat 'Bama. He knew he needed points and he knew how prepare his team on how to go get them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent points Anonymous. You should be a writer!

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget