And you thought Adam James was merely a character in a Mike Leach novel.
Turns out the son of Craig James is one son of a guns up in the clutch. When last seen on the college football landscape almost two years ago the privileged, mouthy Texas Tech receiver was getting “locked” in a “shed”, helping get his coach, Mike Leach, fired.
Turns out, Adam can wreck more than careers. His five catches helped bring down No. 1 Oklahoma (coaches’ poll) in the season’s biggest upset, 41-38. Who saw that coming? Not those of us who thought the defenseless Red Raiders could cover the four-touchdown spread. Not Oklahoma which watched its 39-game home winning streak end. Not Bob Stoops who had last lost at home in the 2005 opener. That loss to TCU was fallout from the Big Red Motors scandal.
This one just left the Sooners red-faced. It possibly wrecked Oklahoma’s national title hopes. The polls and BCS are not likely to view favorably a home loss to a team Oklahoma hadn’t lost to 15 years.
In the immediate aftermath, we have some drama at the top for the first time this season. BCS No. 3 (Oklahoma) and No. 6 (Wisconsin) BCS lost. The biggest beneficiaries seem to be Oklahoma State and Boise State. The Cowboys will likely move up to No. 3 in the latest BCS standings on Sunday. Okie State is Oklahoma Light no more. It remains in control of its own destiny after a convincing win over Missouri.
Meanwhile, Boise State – remember the Broncos? – could move up to No. 4 in the BCS. While Boise’s win over Air Force wasn’t convincing, there are only eight undefeated teams remaining with six weeks left in the season. Two of them are additional BCS hopefuls Clemson and Stanford, other big winners from Saturday.
It was quite a night – to reminisce – for Leach. Two of his former players helped knock off the Sooners, something he did three times in 10 tries. Adam James justified his scholarship catching five passes for 75 yards. James came into the game with seven catches all season and 41 total in his checkered career. If you have to be reminded Leach has three lawsuits active in the aftermath of his firing at Tech, all of them stemming from his alleged mistreatment of Adam James.
Swing Your Sword? James would like to take a swing at Craig James.
Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown had Leach as his position coach at Kentucky. The 31-year-old was hired away from Troy by Tommy Tuberville. Speaking of the ol’ Riverboat Gambler, Tuberville got his biggest win since leaving Auburn. He was 5-2 against top five teams with the Tigers.
Perhaps Oklahoma could have used Keith Nichol. You know the former Oklahoma quarterback? That was sooo 2007 when Nichol spent a forgettable season in Norman before transferring to Michigan State where he once again became a forgettable quarterback.
Nichol, now a receiver, did what he never could at Oklahoma, score a winning touchdown. The fifth-year senior will go down as a Spartan for the ages after catching the winning touchdown against Wisconsin as time ran out.
“My heart,” said Spartan coach Mark Dantonio who recovered from a heart attack a year ago, “is racing.”
Michigan State’s win effectively took the Big Ten out of the national championship race but who cares? We’re all for a replay of this game which could come in the first Big Ten title game.
We also now have a more interesting national championship race. Someone is going to have to play the winner of LSU-Alabama. It is absolutely wonderful that we have less of an idea who that will be after Saturday.
Early best guess on the BCS top five on Sunday
- Oklahoma State
- Boise State