College Football Weekend Recap 9/29
College Football Weekend Recap 9/29
College Football Weekend Recap 9/29
by: Brad Diamond Sports
OKLAHOMA ROLLS, ALABAMA NOTCHES HIGHEST RANKING IN 15 YEARS
Uncle Nicky has the faithful down in Tuscaloosa singing BCS glass and they maybe on point. Yes, we have the Sooners rolling strong, but their competition is from hunger. OU is averaging 526 yards per game on offense and 6.86 yards per play, while fielding a #7 ranking after a 4-0 SU start versus UT Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Washington and Texas Christian. There only real test, the Horned Frogs, but the Sooners got up early and never looked back, ditto 35-10. This combatant does not represent a #1 ranking when you consider the talent and depth of the SEC. The SEC is much like the old NFC east battles between Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington and the New York Giants as the corridor becomes laden with injuries and so-so conference marks because there is so much talent enlisted. What Nick Saban has done at 'Bama is amazing when you consider the negative mindset that echoed in Alabama before the "general" arrived. Saban is the #1 recruiter in country, even ahead of Peter Carroll of Southern California. Remember, the centered area where Saban must fair is littered with such yahoo's as Bowden, Meyer, Miles, Nutt, Richt and Tuberville. Note, I did not even mention Steve Spurrier! The difference? It's all about the details and no one is more disciplined than Uncle Nicky! As far as the Florida game, we dropped into our favorite spot on Saturday night and before I could ask the patrons about the game, one of my old friends yelled across the aisle, Saban's winning 31-0 at half! Right now for my money, Alabama is the #1 team in the country, mainly because they can play with any team at the line of scrimmage. Look what Saban did for LSU, the Tigers are still loaded on the offensive and defensive line simply because of the recruiting of huge players with lights out speed. Do you know how quick DT Glenn Dorsey was before his play was mitigated by injuries to his back and knee? Dorsey was a Saban recruit and 2007 Lombardi Award winner. Saban just finished off last year with the #1 recruiting class in the country. If injuries don't best this club, the Crimson Tide will be setting up for a shot at the national title come January.
GEORGIA FALTERS AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE
What the hell is that thing? It was a 'Dawg being chewed by a well coached Alabama team 41-30. UA came out early and often leading 31-0, it was never a contest, despite the late points by the Dead 'Dawgs. Alabama (5-0)used their solid offensive line, led by the left side to author their play action passing game that decimated huge holes in the Georgia secondary. Remember what former and legendary LSU coach Charlie McClendon once said, "if you can block 'em, you can beat 'em!" In addition, Georgia hurt themselves at key points with 10 penalties and 81 yards of negative turf. This is surely surprising, since Richt noted being a detail oriented coach. Also, it's become clear there are issues once again on the offensive line with the Sturdivant injury. We know the DL can't cause enough havoc to circumvent talented offenses with a legit game play. So, just maybe we overrated the 'Dawgs in our preseason work. Georgia does have Tennessee next and the Vols are frustrated. By the way, UT is in major double revenge versus GA after being waxed in back-to-back years by a combined score of 86-47.
LOUISIANA STATE GOES THROUGH MOTIONS
The Tigers played well enough to win against the Bulldogs, but winning by a weak 34-24 did not sit well with the alumni or faithful of Baton Rouge. I'd be worried about the back seven on defense, if I was toting an LSU sticker. MSU showed you can beat the LSU defense, if you can spread the field and run the football between hashes. The Bulldogs offensive line punished the DL of the Tigers with that almost 80 yard drive to bring the score closer at 34-17. Another sore sport for HC Les Miles had to be a special teams group that continues to make mistakes, allowing 166 total yards to the quicksilver Bulldogs. That angle could be the kiss of death against teams such as Alabama, Florida and Georgia! On the recruiting trail, the Tigers had many HS types in the stands Saturday nigh, and if my information is correct, lauded athlete Rueben Randle (#3 to #5 nationally) from Louisiana was a visitor. Randle is choosing between Alabama and LSU.
PENN STATE CRUSHES THE ILLINI
Well, finally the police report up in State College has been wiped clean (130 arrests since 2001, 30 convictions) as the Nits returned to the football field on Saturday night in a classic "white out" for the national audience. Joe Pa and company did not let the following down with an impressive 38-24 win. Actually, the Illini scored the first points of the game in the second-half and scared the hell out of me, but that seemingly ignited the Nits. Illinois is now 0-6 SU at Beaver Stadium. The biggest concern our office had early this season was the "curse" that beset the defensive line with injuries to the talented Devon Still and Jerrome Hayes and then the legal issues ensuing for Chris Baker and Phil Taylor. We thought the Lions might be in some really high scoring conference games in 2008, the Illini proved that, but the DL does look much better at this point. PSU pulled down 422 yards of total offense, 241 on the ground. So, our early forecast is correct, if you can't stop the PSU running attack, you're dead meat. PSU jumped six spots in the polls, giving some credence to a national title run. No one should be surprised considering Paterno brought back 18 starters, but no one really knew the talents of QB Daryll Clark that are off the charts at this writing. October 4th, however, could be a major letdown spot for the Lions who have Wisconsin on the 11th. Purdue is in triple-revenge for that battle out in West Lafayette.
TEXAS ANNIHILATES THE RAZORBACKS, BUT...
The Longhorns are back! The difference a mature quarterback in Colt McCoy. When UT destroyed Arkansas 52-10 over the weekend, the national title flags were being hoisted down in Austin. Now, hold-on partner, the 'Horns only brought back 11 starters, just 4 on defense. But, as we told you earlier this season, the defense is loaded with depth and experience, while shoving two outstanding red shirts to starter status over the last week. The major graduation loss from last season was RB Jamaal Charles (1,619), but we really can't assess the Texas running game until they face a quality defense and that won't be until October 11th in Dallas versus the Texas Longhorns. You see, this group has all the necessary talent to win the BCS, but the ???? is time of possession versus quality defense. We'll now more over the next month. Remember too, you can't knee-jerk to UT offensive line after Arkansas, because the 'Hogs are going through a maturation process that will take about two to three years.
Re: College Football Weekend Recap 9/29
Week 5 Rewind
By Brian Edwards
Week 5 of the 2008 college football season had it all. The ‘dogs weren’t just barking; they were roaring. There were upsets galore, as four of the top nine teams in the AP Top 25 went down, including top-ranked USC.
Six double-digit underdogs – Ole Miss, Oregon State, Maryland, Florida International, Houston and Navy – won outright. Double-digit ‘dogs posted a 15-10 against-the-spread record. Also, 11 single-digit underdogs were triumphant, including Virginia Tech, Alabama, Michigan and Northwestern.
Houston Nutt’s team pulled Saturday’s biggest stunner, going into The Swamp and beating Florida 31-30 as a 23-point underdog. Next, Navy shocked previously-unbeaten Wake Forest by a 24-17 count as a 15-point ‘dog.
Alabama might have been the nation’s most impressive team, punching Georgia in the mouth from the get-go. By the time intermission came around, the game was basically over with the Crimson Tide leading 31-0.
The Dawgs scored the first 17 points of the second half to make it respectable, but ‘Bama answered with 10 straight points to put the game out of reach. The Tide held on for a 41-30 victory as a seven-point underdog in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated.
Wisconsin blew a 19-0 lead at Michigan as a 5 ½-point ‘chalk.’ The Wolverines scored 27 unanswered points and held on for a 27-25 win. The Badgers scored with 13 seconds left and converted the two-point conversion for the tie. However, Wisconsin was flagged for an illegal man down field on the conversion, and the next attempt failed.
Clemson lost yet another game as a double-digit favorite, blowing a lead and dropping a 20-17 decision to Maryland as an 11-point home ‘chalk.’ Since the start of the 2006 season, the Tigers have lost 11 – ELEVEN! – games in which they were favored. Three of those losses – vs. Maryland twice and against Kentucky in a bowl game -- have come as double-digit ‘chalk.’
Staying in the ACC, Butch Davis returned to South Florida and beat his former team for the second year in a row. The Tar Heels, who were playing without their starting QB Tyler Yates, trailed virtually the entire game. Nevertheless, they took a 28-24 lead in the final stanza and held on to win as 7 ½-point underdogs.
Florida State finally showed some life and dominated Colorado in Jacksonville. The ‘Noles captured a 39-21 victory as six-point favorites thanks to a huge day from RB Antone Smith, who had 154 rushing yards and three TDs.
Oklahoma faced its first ranked team and passed that test with flying colors. Sam Bradford threw for 411 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Sooners to a 35-10 win over TCU as 18-point home ‘chalk.’ OU faces a look-ahead spot this Saturday when it travels to Waco to take on Baylor a week before the Red River Rivalry showdown in Dallas.
LSU was in a similar spot as Florida – coming off a big road win and facing an SEC team as a huge home favorite. The Bayou Bengals were laying 24 ½ at home against a Mississippi State squad that was coming off a blowout loss at Ga. Tech.
Just like the Gators, LSU was flat. The difference? Les Miles’ team survived with a 34-24 win, but it never threatened to cover the number.
Northwestern stayed undefeated by rallying for a 22-17 win at Iowa as a 7 ½-point underdog. C.J. Bacher threw the game-winning TD pass, his third of the day to go with 284 passing yards, with a little more than four minutes left. The Hawkeyes were inside Northwestern’s 10 in the waning moments, but the Wildcats kept them out of the end zone to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 1962.
East Carolina was a nice story when it beat Va. Tech and West Virginia in its first two games. But the Pirates lost in overtime at N.C. St. last week and then got drilled by Houston on Saturday. The Cougars went into Greenville and spanked ECU 41-24 as 11 ½-point underdogs.
Texas won’t be flying under the radar much longer. The Longhorns stroked Arkansas 52-10 as 27-point home favorites. Colt McCoy had a monster day, completing 17-of-19 passes for 185 yards and three TDs. McCoy also ran for 84 yards and a pair of scores.
Penn State remained undefeated with a 38-24 win over Illinois, but Ron Zook’s team took the cash as a 15-point underdog. The Nittany Lions, who are now 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS, have back-to-back road games looming at Purdue and Wisconsin.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Ball State, UConn, Northwestern, Boise State and Utah are undefeated. Meanwhile, there aren’t any remaining ACC teams with unbeaten records, and Florida, Georgia, USC and Auburn have all gone down. Go figure.
--Teams coached by Houston Nutt are 10-2 ATS the last 12 times his squads have been listed as a double-digit underdog. Furthermore, his teams have won the last three of those games outright – at Florida on Saturday, at LSU last season and at Auburn in 2006.
--Rice QB Chase Clement threw for 298 yards and five TDs to lead Rice past North Texas 77-20 as a 16-point favorite. Clement also ran for a pair of TDs. Jarrett Dillard caught four TD passes, three from Clement, as the Dillard-Clement duo set a new NCAA career record for TDs by a tandem.
--Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno has an elbow contusion that might keep him out of an Oct. 11 home game against Tennessee. The Dawgs, who are off this week, have a number of injuries after getting beat up by Alabama.
--If UConn is going to stay undefeated at North Carolina this week, it will have to do so without QB Tyler Lorenzen, who is "out" after going down with a broken foot in Friday's 26-21 win at Louisville.
--Washington QB Jake Locker will be out several weeks with a broken thumb. That makes it a given that Ty Willingham's pink slip is coming soon.
--Best Coaches in Week 5:
1-Mike Riley (Oregon State)
2-Nick Saban (Alabama)
3-Houston Nutt (Ole Miss)
4-Butch Davis (North Carolina)
5-David Cutcliffe (Duke)
--Best Week 6 Games:
1-Oregon at USC
2-Ohio State at Wisconsin
3-Missouri at Nebraska
4-Texas at Colorado
5-Kentucky at Alabama
6-Auburn at Vandy
7-UConn at North Carolina
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