NCAAF: Week 9 News and Notes

NCAAF: Week 9 News and Notes

Texas unanimous No. 1
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK (AP) -It's the Longhorns in a landslide.

Texas, coming off a runaway victory against Missouri, was a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 released Sunday.

The Longhorns received all 65 first-place votes from the media panel, the first team to do that in the regular season since Ohio State during the last four weeks of the 2007 season.

Last week, Texas had 39 first-place votes and Alabama received 26.

But Texas jumped out to a 35-point, first-half lead on its way to a 56-31 rout of Missouri on Saturday night, and the Crimson Tide hung on to beat Mississippi 24-21. The voters rewarded the Longhorns for their dominance and Alabama remained No. 2.

Texas had grabbed the No. 1 ranking a week earlier with a 45-35 victory against previously top-ranked Oklahoma.

''We told them that everybody questioned if they could win two weeks in a row,'' Texas coach Mack Brown said after the Missouri game. ''I'm really proud of the way they responded and now we have to do it again next week.''

Last weekend was a good one for most highly ranked teams as only one top-10 team lost. The rankings reflected the results. The top six remained the same.

Penn State is No. 3, followed by Oklahoma, Florida and Southern California.

Big 12 rivals Oklahoma State and Texas Tech swapped spots. The Cowboys moved up to No. 7, heading into their big game against the Longhorns. The Red Raiders dropped to eighth.

Georgia moved up one spot to No. 9 and No. 10 Ohio State is back in the top 10 for the first time since its lopsided loss to USC in September. The Buckeyes beat Michigan State 45-7 to set up a Big Ten showdown with Penn State in Columbus on Saturday.

BYU was the lone top-10 team to lose, falling 32-7 on Thursday night at TCU. The previously unbeaten Cougars dropped nine spots to No. 18. TCU jumped back into the poll for the second time this season, all the way to No. 15.

LSU was No. 11, followed by unbeaten Utah, Boise State, South Florida. Missouri dropped five spots to No. 16 after its second consecutive loss. Pittsburgh is No. 17, followed by BYU, Kansas and Ball State.

There was a serious shake up at the bottom of the rankings, with five new teams moving into the final five spots.

No. 21 Georgia Tech is ranked for the first time since early last season. No. 22 Tulsa (7-0) is ranked for the first time since 1991. The Golden Hurricane's move into the Top 25 means Tulsa, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are all ranked for the first time in 63 years.

On Nov. 12, 1945, Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) was No. 8, Oklahoma (5-3) was tied for 14th and Tulsa (4-2) was No. 19.

No. 23 is Boston College. No. 24 Florida State moved back into the rankings for the second time this season and No. 25 Minnesota is in the AP poll for the first time since Oct. 9, 2005.

Dropping out were three Atlantic Coast Conference teams - Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and North Carolina - along with Vanderbilt, Michigan State and California.

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Re: NCAAF: Week 9 News and Notes

Week 8 Rewind
By Judd Hall

If there was any doubt about the Longhorns being the No. 1 team in the land, it was erased last night when they eviscerated Missouri as five-point favorites, 56-31.

The Tigers couldn’t find a way to hold Texas’ offense down last Saturday as they racked up 591 total yards. Colt McCoy completed a mind-boggling 90.6 percent of his passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Ogbonnaya led the rushing attack by scoring twice on 13 carries for 65 yards. While his numbers seem small, Ogbonnaya was part of a ground game that compiled 203 yards.

To give you an idea of how big a blowout this tilt was, Texas was outscored 28-21 in the second half and still won by 25. The ‘Horns easily covered this number, but that shouldn’t be a surprise to us since they are now 7-0 against the spread.
   
We shouldn’t be so surprised about Texas, or any other “chalk” covering this week. After all, the favorites went 45-7 SU and 31-21 ATS in Week 8.

One of the favorites that failed to cover was also a team in the hunt to win the national title, Alabama. The Crimson Tide came into their game against Ole Miss as 12½-point home favorites. Nick Saban’s squad surged to a 24-3 lead at the half, but went on cruise control in the third and fourth quarters by not scoring once. Meanwhile, the Rebels put on a second-half rally to pull the score to 24-20, which ended up being the final score.

Even though the Rebels lost, Houston Nutt has to be pleased with his program’s performance. This is the second time they covered a double-digit spread on the road against a Top 10 team this year. The first for Mississippi was its 31-30 victory at Florida as a 23-point underdog.

The Buckeyes most likely played their way back into the Top 10 after demolishing Michigan State, 45-7, as 3½-point road favorites. Terrelle Pryor continued his maturation process by throwing for 116 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for another 72 yards with another score. Beanie Wells showed no ill effects from his toe by running 31 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Ohio State’s defense even outscored the Spartans by returning fumbles 48 and 69 yards for scores.

Staying in the Big Ten, Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions finally got past their conference nemesis in a season wrought with national title dreams. Penn State didn’t look like it was going to win when the Wolverines took a 17-14 lead into halftime. But the Lions’ defense took over, starting with a sack of Michigan QB Nick Sheridan for a safety. PSU not only rallied for a 46-17 victory, but it took the cash as a 25-point home “chalk.”

Now we’re primed for a huge meeting between the Nittany Lions and Ohio State at the ‘Shoe next Saturday.

The game that had me scratching my head the most was Virginia coming back to beat the Tar Heels, 16-13, in overtime as a 3½-point home ‘dog. Al Groh’s Cavaliers looked just plain awful on offense for much of the game. Yet they only trailed North Carolina 10-3 heading into the final two minutes of regulation. Surprisingly, Virginia’s Marc Verica completed seven of eight passes en route to the tying touchdown. Then the Cavs’ Cedric Peerman scored a touchdown in overtime to pull off the improbable comeback.

I guess what gets me most about that game is I had the Cavaliers on the money line for a plus-190 return (risk $100 to win $190). It had gotten frustrating to see Virginia get three turnovers and only three points on the board. I literally turned the TV off because I thought it was over. That just goes to show you that nothing is over until the final whistle blows.

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Re: NCAAF: Week 9 News and Notes

Sherer named Wisconsin's starter at QB
October 20, 2008

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -Dustin Sherer will start at quarterback for Wisconsin against Illinois on Saturday. After that, there are no guarantees.

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema put Sherer atop the depth chart Monday for the first time this season, with former starter Allan Evridge listed as co-backup along with Scott Tolzien.

Bielema said he liked some of what he saw from Sherer in the 38-16 loss to Iowa, even though the junior threw two interceptions and no touchdowns in his first start of the season. He was 17-of-34 for 161 yards.

``Dustin didn't play a clean game, didn't by any means set the world on fire,'' Bielema said.

Tolzien, a sophomore, went 4-of-7 for 90 yards and one interception in the fourth quarter against Iowa, his first game of the season. Evridge, a senior transfer from Kansas State, didn't play after starting the previous six games.

Bielema said Sherer will be the starter for the game against Illinois, but hasn't committed to him beyond Saturday.

``He definitely knows that this week he'll have an opportunity to go out there and get himself right for a game on Saturday,'' Bielema said.

Affirming the change at quarterback comes as Wisconsin (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten) is struggling for answers during a four-game losing streak.

On Monday, Bielema addressed everything from whether he should stop wearing his signature Wisconsin wind breaker on the sideline during games to whether he's feeling heat to win from Barry Alvarez, who as athletic director hand-picked Bielema to be his successor.

Bielema said Alvarez remains deeply involved with the program offering advice and frequently attends team practices. Alvarez, as he normally does, watched Bielema's news conference from the back of the room.

``Coach wants to win,'' Bielema said of Alvarez. ``I want to win. ... Obviously I know his name is going to be tied in with mine and vice versa.''

Wisconsin has been reeling since it was up 19-0 at halftime against Michigan on Sept. 27. The Wolverines came back to win that game and the Badgers have fallen from No. 8 in the country to being unranked and fighting just to win three out of their last five games in order to become bowl eligible.

The losing streak included defeats at home against No. 3 Penn State and No. 10 Ohio State, in addition to Michigan and Iowa.

``Everybody is disappointed in the results of the last four weeks,'' Bielema said. ``The only thing that's going to cure that is winning.''

The 0-4 start to the Big Ten season is Wisconsin's worst since 1996. They've been outscored 86-23 in the past two games and 131-65 over the past four.

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