By MIKE DAROZA
OMG Moment of the Week
You have no idea how close the Texas Longhorns came to capturing the OMG Moment of the Week, but since it really isn't anything new (or startling) for Texas to be losing games they historically shouldn't (see: UCLA, Iowa State, Baylor and now their 39-14 whacking at the hands of Kansas State), they can't even make the cut in this spot anymore.
|Though Texas' season continues to turn upside down, it's becoming more expected than surprising these days.|
Of course, like with most college football Saturdays, there was a smorgasbord of OMG moments to pick from.
First, you had Alabama's Nick Saban being out coached by LSU's Les Miles.
That's right, I said o-u-t-c-o-a-c-h-e-d, and believe me, I thought I'd never punch those words into my keyboard.
Next you had Michigan outlasting Illinois 67-65 in a defense-optional triple OT game in the Big House.
Are you kidding me?
Bo Schembechler had to be rolling over in his grave at the thought of 132 points being scored on the once-sacred Michigan Stadium soil.
|As the winningest head coach in Michigan football history, Bo Schembechler notched a 194-48-5 record by running the ball and playing great defense.|
And, then you had No.8 Oklahoma's vaunted offense being stopped, not one, not two, but three times on goal line stands in their loss to un-ranked Texas A&M.
But in the end, in my opinion, the most surprising moment of the weekend happened in Salt Lake City, as No.3 TCU ran roughshod in the 47-7 annihilation of then No.5 Utah.
Oh, it's no shock at all that the Horned Frogs were able to go into the Utes' home field (where Utah had won 21 straight) and win, but it was in the manner in which they did it that was so unbelievable.
TCU's offense was nearly surgical in their approach on Saturday, carving up the Utes' defense for 558 total yards (381 passing and 177 rushing).
|The TCU defense held Utah to 38 points below its season average.|
But it was the Horned Frogs' defense that was the most impressive, holding a Utah offense that was averaging 45.3 points per game to just seven measly points?
The Utes' offense could only muster five first downs and 72 yards in the first half, and only ended up with 199 total yards (148 passing and just 51 rushing) and 11 first downs for the entire game.
In fact, Utah didn't even crack the scoreboard until 11:12 remaining, when the Horned Frogs were up by 40 and had reserves all over the field.
For the season, TCU's "D" has given up just seven points or less in seven out their 10 games, including two shutouts and a total of 23 points in their last six outings.
If that's not an OMG, I don't know what is.
|Joe Paterno captured win No.400 against Northwestern in dramatic fashion as his Nittany Lions erased a 21-0 deficit to win 35-21 going away.|
Saluting Mr. 400
You can debate whether or not the game has passed him by.
You can argue that in his current state, he probably isn't doing as much actual coaching as he once did.
However, what you cannot dispute is that Penn State's Joe Paterno is not only a living legend, but he's also hardwired with the kind of class and integrity sorely missing in a lot of college football these days.
Don't judge Joe Pa for the way he speaks or walks or whether he even knows what email, text messages or Twitter is.
Judge him by his body of work, reputation of running a clean program and his record.
Those 400 wins didn't just come along because he's outlasted everyone, they came along because he's truly had one of the best football coaching careers - at any level - we will ever see.
|Often questioned about his coaching, LSU's Les Miles did a masterful job against Alabama.|
That Crazy Headwear Guy
LSU's Les Miles picked up his nickname "The Mad Hatter" from ESPN's Rece Davis when Miles went for - and converted - five fourth down plays against Florida in 2007.
And, all year, Miles has been pelted by fans and media alike for spotty coaching decisions, particularly regarding time management issues.
But, on Saturday, Miles and his staff seemed to be at the top of their game and didn't really need a miracle to beat Alabama.
They did, however, utilize a great and gutsy play call to end the Crimson Tide's chance of a repeat national title campaign.
Trailing 'Bama 14-13 in the fourth quarter and facing a fourth-and-one from the Tide 26, Miles took a timeout to decide what should be done next.
What typically followed (at least so far this year) was one of three things; trickery, comedy or tragedy.
Not this time.
This time, Miles and his staff dialed up a little short reverse in the backfield that saw Deangelo Peterson sprint 23 yards down the left sideline, setting up the go-ahead touchdown that would put the Tigers up for good.
|The Texas A&M "12th Man" was rocking Kyle Field as their Aggies were rocking Oklahoma to the tune of three separate goal-line stands.|
The Aggies' defense not only held the explosive Oklahoma Sooners' offense to just two TDs, but A&M turned in one of the best defensive stands of 2010.
The Aggies stopped OU on three separate goal-line stands to preserve the stunning 33-19 upset victory, their first over the Sooners in the last eight tries.
|The 2010 season probably can't get over with fast enough for Longhorns' coach Mack Brown.|
Turning out to be a very Looooooooong(horn) Season
At one point, I'm sure we all thought that UCLA defeat of Texas on September 25 was a fluke.
Two weeks later, the Longhorns lost a close one to Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry, and no one really was shocked.
And when UT upset No.5 Nebraska in Lincoln, the UCLA debacle was all but confirmed as a fluke.
Problem is, Texas has lost three in a row since then, and none of them were against what you might call world beaters.
On Saturday, the burnt orange spiral continued, as UT lost 39-14 to Kansas State.
The Longhorns, who just played Alabama in the BCS championship game last season, lost for the fifth time in six games and fell below .500 for the first time since losing their opening game of 1999.
Texas will now have to win their last three games just to keep from dipping under head coach Mack Brown's lowest victory total since going 7-5 at North Carolina in 1995.
Brown's string of 18 straight bowl game appearances is also in serious jeopardy.
|East Carolina would have been better served to take a detour.|
After playing Navy to a close 28-21 halftime score, East Carolina turned the ball over three times in the third quarter, paving the way for a 76-35 wipeout for the Midshipmen.
The 76 points was not only the most a Navy team had posted since 1919, but it was also the most any team had ever scored in East Carolina's Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
At 5-4, the Pirates still own a winning record thus far, but their defense has been one of the most generous and porous defenses in the nation.
East Carolina gives up an average of 41.3 points per game, including 125 points in just their last two games.
Even in four of their five wins, the Pirates have allowed opposing teams to waltz up and down the field, giving up 49 points once, 43 points once and 27 points twice.
|Artist's rendition of the Michigan and Illinois defensive scheme.|
Defense? We don't need no stinking defense!
Michigan and Illinois combined to score 132 points in the Wolverines' 67-65 triple OT win on Saturday.
And, it wasn't as if the OT periods aren't the only thing that drove the score up, because the score at the end of regulation was still a defensive-challenged 45 all.
Those 132 points is the highest scoring game of the year in the FBS, and more impressively, the highest scoring game in the history of the Big Ten.
The Tissue-gan and the Pillow Fighting Illini defenses (if you want to call them that) allowed a combined 58 first downs and a whopping 1,237 yards of offense - 676 for Michigan and 561 for Illinois.The Wolverines and Fighting Illini basketball teams haven't even scored a combined 132 points in their last three match-ups.