Posted on: May 25, 2009 11:33 am
A week or so ago Fresno State needed to win three of four against Sacramento State just to qualify for the WAC baseball tournament.
This was important because Fresno won the national championship last year. The "Wonderdogs" were unranked and unloved but swept through the Omaha bracket with the help of rightfielder Steve Detwiler and his mangled thumb. This was important also because those defending national champs were in last place having to beat Sacramento State.
According to the NCAA, Fresno was threatening to become the first defending national champ to not even quality for its conference tournament since Georgia in 1991. But the Dogs swept the Sac State series (how many of you even knew Sacramento State was a WAC baseball member?) to earn an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii for the WAC tournament over the weekend.
At the time it seemed like a nice parting gift for the defending national champions who were hovering around .500 at that point. Then they somehow made it to Sunday -- late Sunday, actually, Eastern Time.
The Wonderdogs won four consecutive elimination games, including two against New Mexico State on Sunday to grab the NCAA tournament automatic berth. This is why they call them Wonderdogs: sophomore Jordan Ribera hit back-to-back game-winning homers to put Fresno back in the bracket. (The NCAA tournament field was announced Monday afternoon ET).
Ribera had come into the tournament hitting .113 and was only playing because first baseman Alan Ahmady was suspended. Ribera's first home run broke a 7-7 tie in the top of the ninth against the Aggies. In the second game, Ribera broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth with a two-run shot.
When was the last time a .113 hitter was named tournament MVP?
Now it's on to the big tournament to see determine if the once last-place Freak Dogs can go back-to-back in national championships.
Posted on: February 11, 2009 1:04 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2009 4:06 pm
The feeling seems to be that Mike Leach will let the deadline expire for signing a new contract on Tuesday. I wrote about the situation on Wednesday.
That leaves him only two years left on a deal that is paid him $1.75 million in 2008, eighth-highest in the Big 12. More important, Texas Tech could be assured that Leach would be on his way out. Allowing him to walk after the 2010 season would not only hurt recruiting but probably distract Leach who would be looking for a new job.
That's not to say a new agreement couldn't be worked out at some future date, but giving a sitting coach a deadline to sign a deal is unique.
Here is a copy of what is believed to be Leach's current contract.
• A look at the 2009 Pac-10 non-conference schedule: (Thanks to the San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner who rounded up the skeds)
Once again the Pac-10 is showing it isn't shy about playing out of conference. The league plays few I-AA opponents and is willing (maybe because of its geography) to travel to play high-profile opponents.
Best 2009 Pac-10 non-conference games:
1. USC at Ohio State, Sept. 12 -- Game of the Century No. 1,317. Will this be Terrelle Pryor's coming out party?
2. Utah at Oregon, Sept. 19 -- By this point in the schedule the Ducks will have played Boise, Purdue and Utah. Three BCS league opponents. Combined record from 2008: 29-9. Please, stop the madness. Even if the Ducks win all three, what condition will they be in for the Pac-10 schedule?
3. USC at Notre Dame, Oct. 17 -- Seven in a row and counting for the Trojans ...
4. Oregon at Boise State, Sept. 5 -- Can't understand why Oregon (and Oregon State) keep playing the Broncos. In this case, the loser might be out of a BCS bowl.
5. UCLA at Tennessee, Sept. 12 -- Rick Neuheisel won't be leading any postgame pep rallies in Neyland. When was the last time the Bruins and Vols were each this desperate for a quarterback?
6. Arizona State at Georgia, Sept. 26 -- The Devils were embarrassed by the Bulldogs last season in the middle of a six-game losing streak. In this return game, both teams are rebuilding.
7. Cincinnati at Oregon State, Sept. 19 -- Jacquizz Rodgers vs. the defending Big East champions.
8. LSU at Washington, Sept. 5 -- What is the Washington AD smoking? That brutal non-con schedule helped get Tyrone Willingham fired. Steve Sarkisian starts his career against an SEC monster.
9. Notre Dame at Stanford, Nov. 28 -- Irish season finale. Will it be Charlie Weis' finale?
10. Kansas State at UCLA, Sept. 19 -- Wait, Bill Snyder is actually getting on a plane to play a non-con road game?
11. Arizona at Iowa, Sept. 19 -- The Wildcats are on the rise but Iowa still start the season ranked despite the loss of tailback Shonn Greene.
12. Stanford at Wake Forest, Sept. 12 -- The I.Q. Bowl. Jim Harbaugh's scheduling instincts have to be questioned. His team is starting with consecutive roadies to Pullman (Washington State) and Winston-Salem.
13. Cal at Minnesota, Sept. 19 -- Gophers have almost everyone back in this season that will be a referendum on Tim Brewster's future. (started 7-1, finished 0-5). Hope the Bears have a secondary. Adam Decker could be a preseason All-American.
14. Maryland at Cal, Sept. 5 -- Plenty of revenge motive here for the Bears. Cal was down 28-6 after three quarters last season at Maryland before waking up. After winning nine in '08, the Bears have set their sights higher.
It is the responsibility of this space to keep alive the printed word whenever possible. To that end, let me recommend two excellent, recently-released books.
"KU Basketball Vault, The History Of The Jayhawks," is a unique look at one the most decorated programs in hoops by veteran college basketball scribe Ken Davis. Unique? When was the last time you got souvenirs with your coffee table book?
"Big Boy Rules, America's Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq" will change your entire view of the war, the government and human nature. Steve Fainaru of the Washington Post provides a deeply personal look at the Bush travesty that is the Iraq war. Steve is a Pulitzer Prize winner who was a former colleague at the Kansas City Star.
I know, I know. I can hear you. That's as close as I'll ever get to a Pulitzer.
Posted on: December 10, 2008 12:44 am
My Heisman ballot:
1. Tim Tebow
I can't give you a quantitative reason why Tebow is my No. 1. His numbers are down from '07. However, after watching him lead that fourth-quarter comeback against Alabama, it's more of a feel, an emotional reaction.
I go back to Sept. 27 when Tebow basically called his shot after the Ole Miss loss and then delivered! Nine wins in a row. Go back and at the quotes from that day. Tebow as Babe Ruth pointing his bad toward the Wrigley Field bleachers.
Until Saturday, Bradford was my guy. I had started hyping him for Heisman back when he was a freshman. How many players ever have led the country in pass efficiency two years in a row?
It's hard to vote Colt McCoy third when he took a team with a mediocre offensive line and led it in passing and rushing. The point is, I can't slide a piece of paper between the three of them.
The voters: John Adams, Knoxville News Sentinel; Tony Barnhart, CBS; Mark Blaudschun, Boston Globe; Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; B.G. Brooks, Rocky Mountain News; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Brian Davis, Dallas Morning News; Mike DeArmond, Kansas City Star; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Michael DiRocco, Florida Times-Union; Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle; Scott Ferrell, Shreveport Times; Anthony Gimino, Tucson Citizen; Herb Gould, Chicago-Sun Times; Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune; Mike Griffith, Knoxville New Sentinel; Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune; Matt Hayes, Sporting News; Tommy Hicks, Mobile Press-Register; Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial Appeal; Mark Janssen, Manhattan Mercury; Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch; Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star; Ted Lewis, New Orleans Times-Picayune; Mike Lopresti, Gannett Newspapers; Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger; Ray Melick, Birmingham News; Rodney McKissic, Buffalo News; Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune.
(Two voters did not want their names used)
The rest of the national awards, etc.
There's a difference between the Heisman winner and MVP. McCoy did more with less. Texas wouldn't be in the conversation without him.
Best quarterback: Bradford
This is getting confusing so let's just drop it.
Best running back: Shonn Greene, Iowa
The nation's No. 2 rusher came on in the second half of the season to surpass Michigan State's Javon Ringer and UConn's Donald Brown as the most consistent ground force in the nation.
Best receiver: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
This was tough. I recently shifted away from Missouri's Chase Coffman who was too injured at the end of the season to back up a spectacular first eight games of the season.
The 6-foot-6 inch Gresham gets opens, is hard to tackle and has speed. Need anything else?
Best offensive lineman: Andre Smith, Alabama.
He is what coaches look for when they recruit left tackles. A case can be made for Smith, the likely Outland Trophy winner, being Bama's MVP. Without him protecting John Parker Wilson and carving out holes for Glen Coffee, the Tide don't start 12-0.
Defensive player of the year: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
From a troubled beginning, this voracious tackler became the foundation for one of the best statistical defenses in history.
Best defensive lineman: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
Ask BYU's Max Hall what he thinks of the nation's sacks leader In their October matchup, Hughes sacked Hall three times.
Best defensive back: Eric Berry, Tennessee.
Lane Kiffin should be at Berry's house right now making sure he's happy, comfortable and ready to take 20 snaps a game on offense.
Best special teams player: Kevin Huber, P, Cincinnati
You won't find many other All-Americans on the best Cincinnati team in history that won 11 games and the Big East. We'll give it to Huber who bombed 20 punts more than 50 yards and dropped 20 punts inside the 20.
Remember when Cincinnati used to be a basketball school?
Freshman of the year: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State
How did he get from Texas to Corvallis?
Coach of the year: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
Staff of the year: Penn State
The Broyles Award is doing a disservice to Penn State. The honor goes to the assistant coach of the year. Not only were there no Penn State assistants among the finalists, the Broyles folks didn't do the right thing and pick the entire Penn State staff.
With JoePa ailing, his staff basically took over and led the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten title. Big ups to defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, defensive line coach Larry Johnson and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno. They were the glue.
Biggest disappointments: Georgia, Notre Dame, South Florida, West Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, the ACC, the Pac-10.
Biggest surprises: Oregon State, Ball State, Alabama, Buffalo, East Carolina, Rice, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech.
Sometimes you just live right: Charlie Weis almost got run out of town after a 6-6 season. His reward? A trip to the Hawaii where he can continue to recruit linebacker Manti Te'o.
Don't give me any of this stuff about a dead period. Te'o will be a captive audience as the Irish take over Oahu.
Best games: Texas 45, Oklahoma 35, Oct. 11 in Dallas.
The winner usually wins the Big 12 South and competes for the national championship. Right? Right?
Texas Tech 39, Texas 33, Nov. 1 in Lubbock.
Not to pick on the Horns here but the reason they are playing Ohio State instead of Florida is Crabtree's game-winning catch with one second left.
UCLA 27, Tennessee 24 (OT) Sept. 1 in the Rose Bowl.
Tennessee's defense held UCLA's Kevin Craft to only four interceptions in the first half. Then, in his best performance of a long, long season, Craft rallied the Bruins in the second half.
Rick Neuheisel led a post-game pep rally.
Florida 31, Alabama 20, Dec. 6 at the SEC championship game.
The BCS was smiling as the closest thing to a national semifinal was played out in front of the largest Georgia Dome crowd in history.
Whine of the year: Pete Carroll and USC
You lost to a team you weren't supposed to (Oregon State). You paid for it in the polls. Deal with it. Maybe the difference between that and Florida losing to Ole Miss? Urban Meyer has made a habit lately of winning the big ones <em>and</em> the little ones.
Six teams ranked No. 1 during the season (the most since 1984)
Alabama arriving a year early (at least) under Nick Saban
Utah, TCU and BYU making a huge statement by the Mountain West: The BCS doesn't belong to the six power conferences.
Notre Dame's collapse from 4-1 and Weis barely hanging on for another year.
Oregon State beating USC and chasing its first Rose Bowl in 44 years.
Coaches in waiting.
Coaches waiting in line ("resigning" in the middle of a season).
The end of a Bowden (Tommy).
The continuation of a Bowden (Bobby).
The longing of a Bowden (Terry, to get back in the game).
Nate Davis' gloves.
Jay Jacobs' "shock" over Tommy Tuberville's "resignation."
Tennessee goes from old school to youngest coach in the country.
The (sad) state of Washington. (Combined records of the Huskies and Cougars, 2-22).
Big 12 quarterbacks.
Big 12 offenses.
Big 12 top 10 games each week.
The Big 12 surpassing the SEC, if only for a moment, as the best conference in the country.
The tie in the Big 12 South.
The cry that followed.
The high road.
Running it up.
Calling off the dogs.
"To me that's a little ridiculous," Bradford said.
That's a good way to end it, for now.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Ball State, Buffalo, BYU, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Gerogia Tech, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Pac-10, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rice, South Florida, TCU, Tennessee, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, West Virginia, West Virginia
Posted on: December 8, 2008 7:38 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2008 11:22 am
Colt McCoy is the Heisman leader in the prestigious Rocky Mountain News poll. Yours truly voted in it this season.• Nagurski Award (best defensive player) went to a Big 12 player? Texas' Brian Orakpo was sixth in sacks and 11th in tackles for loss. Okaaay ....
CBSSports.com's All-America team (including our defensive player of the year) will be released on Friday.
--Oregon's Mike Bellotti voted for Cal (No. 25) but Cal coach Mike Tedford did not.
--North Carolina finished with six points in the coaches poll. Two of them came from coach Butch Davis who voted the Tar Heels No. 24.
--Mike Leach voted Oklahoma No. 1, Texas Tech No. 2 and Texas No. 5. No. 5? That at least equaled the lowest ranking of the Longhorns among the 61 voters.
--Nebraska got all of five points in the poll. Four of them came from coach Bo Pelini who slotted his Huskers No. 21.
--Most overrated team by a coach: Missouri. Gary Pinkel had his Tigers at No. 18. They barely stayed in both polls.
--Three five-loss teams finished with votes -- Kansas, Rutgers and Buffalo.• Here are the combined top five of the seven Big 12 coaches who voted in the coaches poll. This is an issue, of course, because Texas finished .01816 of a point out of the BCS title game.
1. Oklahoma (five first-place votes)
The seven are: Art Briles, Baylor; Mack Brown, Texas; Dan Hawkins, Colorado; Mike Leach, Texas Tech; Gary Pinkel, Missouri; Gene Chizik, Iowa State; Bo Pelini, Nebraska. Only Chizik and Mack Brown had Texas ahead of Oklahoma on their ballots. Briles, Hawkins, Leach, Pinkel and Pelini voted Oklahoma No. 1.
Four coaches voted Texas No. 1 in the coaches poll. Amazingly, one of them wasn't Mack Brown: Chizik, Todd Dodge, North Texas; Rick Neuhiesel, UCLA; Mike Price, Texas-El Paso.
Chizik worked for Brown. Dodge played at Texas. Price played Texas this year was grateful for the Horns coming and filling his stadium. Neuheisel is the head scratcher but a lot of stuff The Rickster does causes us to scratch our heads.• How my BIG playoff would have looked in 2006 and 2007:
Regular season national champion: Ohio State
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 8 West Virginia
Regular season national champion: Ohio State
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
Friend Jack Scanlan and I somehow scored tickets in the bleachers at old Busch Stadium to what was then the biggest football game in The Loo's history. On a cold, cold day, Jackie Smith caught a touchdown pass and the Cardinals of Jim Hart, Terry Metcalf and Mel Gray beat the Giants 14-6.
It was a bigger deal then than it was today in Arizona. The Cardinals migrated from Chicago in 1960 and spent 27 mostly-frustrating seasons in my hometown. I still follow the Cards enough to know that the Bidwells are still the Bidwells. Cheap and clueless.
Good on ya to Arizona, though. The city deserves a team to fit that magnificent stadium.
And, no, take the old lady up on her offer. I was only 18, besides I'm a vodka man.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona Cardinals, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, Buffalo, Colorado, Florida, Florida state, Georgia, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York Giants, North Carolina, North Texas, Ohio State, Oregon, Rutgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas-El Paso, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: November 19, 2008 12:28 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2008 1:16 pm
The golden era of Buffalo football was 50 years ago. That's what makes this week so special.
Beat Bowling Green on Friday and the Bulls clinch the MAC East and play for the MAC title, which would guarantee them their first bowl game. They are led by an African-American coach (Turner Gill) and an African-American athletic director (Warde Manuel).
Fifty years ago, the Bulls had an invite to play in their first bowl game, the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla. One stipulation: The game was being in a stadium controlled by a local school district that didn't allow integrated games.
There wasn't even a vote. The Bulls refused the invitation standing solidly behind their black teammates -- Willie Evans and Mike Wilson.
"They insulted two of our teammates," former quarterback Joe Oliverio told the Associated Press, "and we were going to hit them back between the ears by refusing to go without our teammates."
Fifty years later, Syracuse has a wonderful opportunity to carry on that legacy. Not necessarily because Gill is an African-American but, yes, that is part of it. Much higher on the list is the chance to turn around a moribund program. Gill has done what few thought was impossible, transforming a fledgling I-A program into being competitive.
That's all Buffalo was asking when it hired him three years ago. But this is above and beyond. The Bulls (6-4) already are bowl eligible. A victory Friday puts them in that first MAC title game.
A year ago Gill was mentioned in the Nebraska coaching search if for no other reason than to appease the Big Red masses. The former Nebraska option quarterback ran one of the highest scoring offenses in the game's history. In becoming a 1983 Heisman Trophy finalist, Gill guided Nebraska to within a missed two-point conversion of the national championship.
That was a quarter-century ago. Fast forward to 2007 and a change of career paths. Gill wasn't ready for Nebraska and not with a 7-17 career record.
But Gill is perfect, now -- right now! -- for Syracuse. The program that desperately needs to hit a home run with its next hire has one sitting right down the interstate. Gill is young, enough (46) and energetic enough to undertake the massive rebuilding job it's going to take to resurrect the program.
Think about this: Syracuse probably is in no position to be grabbing big-name coaches. It desperately needs one who is hungry. What Gill has done at Buffalo in only three seasons is one of the most underrated stories this season.
Of course, it didn't become a big story until the Bulls beat Akron in overtime on Saturday. That meant bowl eligibility and a chance at the conference title.
Getting Buffalo to win anything is like transforming elephant into an Olympic sprinter. It has been in I-A only nine years.
"How come it can't happen?" Gill said. "That's what I told this football team when I first came in here. I said to them, 'We will be successful here and I will not be ashamed of being the head football coach at the University at Buffalo.'"
Far from it. Oh, and Gill can recruit.• Senior quarterback Drew Willy drew interest from Pittsburgh, Syracuse and UConn but those schools weren't exactly knocking down his door. Syracuse got rid of Paul Pasqualoni which soured Willy on the Orange. Gill them proved himself as a quarterback maker. Willy has thrown 45 career touchdowns and is currently third in MAC passing.
• Kicker A.J. Principe was a player no one wanted out of Columbus, Ohio. Gill gave him a chance to walk on. The sophomore has 25 career field goals making 73 percent of his kicks. And a scholarship.
• Receiver Naaman Roosevelt was the New York state co-player. His only offer was from I-AA New Hampshire. Now he leads the MAC in receiving yards.
A couple of years ago, Buffalo played Bowling Green in a game that lasted more than five hours because of lightning delays. When the teams meet Friday, it could mark the fastest three hours in Buffalo football history. Win, and the Bulls are in.
• mgoblog.com is reporting that Michigan tailback Sam McGuffie is transferring.
• More from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe on Obama's playoff talk:
"Look at our league, you talk about turning up the pressure. In our league those that have annual expectations -- Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas. Let's say one of them isn't in (a playoff) for three or four years, their coaches aren't going to make it, the season ticket sales may go down, the bowls aren't going to be satisfied if they're not in it. An eight-team playoff is not going to accommodate more than two teams from a conference. You're going to put the pressure on."
• Part of the Mountain West's success includes complete domination of the Pac-10 and the best record of any conference against BCS conference teams (9-5). The conference is so good, though, that it me shopping for a bowl.
It is contracted to four bowls but the nine-team league could have six bowl eligible teams if Colorado State and UNLV (both 5-6) win this week.
Utah could relieve some of the pressure by beating BYU. That would push the Utes up to a BCS bowl. However, if BYU wins that could mean four bowl spots for six teams.
• By the way look for Utah's Kyle Whittingham to get a contract extension after the season He is in the fourth year of a six-year deal.
• It's interesting to look back at the first Power Poll on August 31. Here's the top 10 from back then. Five of the
10 are still in the mix.
1. Ohio State -- Beat Michigan and it shares the Big Ten title.
Posted on: November 2, 2008 2:28 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida has the Ol' Ball Coach back.
Younger, certainly, and less chatty. Plus, Urban Meyer doesn't have quite the swashbuckling nature of Steve Spurrier.
But he isn't far off.
Meyer no doubt hacked off Georgia -- and maybe some football purists -- with his little stage production at the end of Saturday's 49-10 victory over Georgia.
The coach called two inexplicable -- and indefensible -- timeouts in the final minute. Florida's second-team offense had the ball to run out the clock, or so we thought. At no time did backup quarterback Jeff Brantley take a knee.
Instead, Meyer called his team over to the sideline with both 44 and 31 seconds remaining.
"I wasn't paying attention to the first timeout," Florida safety Will Hill told the <em>New York Daily News</em>. "The second timeout, I'm thinking, 'That Urb is a funny guy.'"
Meyer had promised in his book "Urban's Way" that there would be retribution for Georgia's bum rushing of the field last season in the Cocktail Party. Up until that point, the teams had played it mostly straight.
The timeouts, though, were clearly calculated meant to drag out the agony for Georgia.
"(Tailback Emmanuel) Moody was running the ball real hard and I wanted to get him a couple of carries," Meyer said innocently. "Just trying to win a game."
Yeah, right. And Napoleon was trying to get his point across during this skirmishes in Europe.
Meyer gave himself away Saturday with a brief smile in the interview room. Other that, it was poker face all the way. That's the difference between him and Spurrier. The OBC always had a smirk or a wink.
Meyer has a can full of revengeful whup --- and he isn't afraid to use it.
The coach didn't endear himself to Miami fans earlier this season when he called for a late field goal in a 26-3 victory over the Hurricanes.
Miami coach Randy Shannon officially has a grudge leftover from that one. He was quoted last week as saying, "Something is going to happen," in the Florida-Georgia game. That almost put pressure on Meyer to do <em>something</em>.
"Watch that game. Don't watch ours," Shannon said. "I'm serious."
Florida got a winner when it hired Meyer four years ago. It didn't know it was getting a reasonable facsimile of Spurrier.
Meyer, though, is a bit more stealthy and charmless than the legend. This season he has put his foot on the throat of a couple rivals and pressed down. Are things even with Georgia now or do the Bulldogs retaliate at some future date? Miami won't have a chance for a few more years. The series doesn't continue until the next decade.
"You always respect the game of football," Meyer said.
Did Meyer respect it Saturday night? There is plenty of time to find out. They say what goes around comes around. Meyer is still a young man in his 40s.• Michigan's 33-year bowl streak is over after losing to Purdue 48-42.
Boilermakers' coach Joe Tiller what-the-helled-it calling for a hook-and-ladder in final minute. Purdue scored the winner with 26 seconds left.
Things are much more bleak than the last time Michigan didn't go to a bowl. That was 1974 and the Wolverines finished 10-1. Those were the days when only the Big Ten winner was allowed to go bowling, in the Rose Bowl.• What's Tim Brewster doing throwing from deep in his own territory?
The Minnesota coach's decision to do just that might have cost his team a Jan. 1 bowl. Adam Weber's pass was intercepted near midfield and run in for a touchdown in Northwestern's 24-17 victory.• Some things never change. West Virginia gave the Big East some hope with a 35-13 victory over UConn. The Mountaineers are the only team undefeated in conference play (6-2, 3-0) and have won five in a row.
• Just when you thought there was some sense to be made out of the ACC ... Division-leading Virginia lost to Miami in overtime. Florida State fumbled into the end zone allowing Georgia Tech to escape. Even Clemson won, beating Boston College at home.
The team with the ACC's best conference record, Maryland, didn't play. The Terps (6-2, 3-1) lead the Atlantic Division and are at Virginia Tech on Thursday. Georgia Tech (7-2, 4-2) has a half-game lead in the Coastal.• It didn't just seem that every big game was close, it was the truth. Nine teams in the AP top 25 were involved in games decided by 10 points or less.
• Oklahoma State is 8-1 for only the third time in its history over beating Iowa State 59-17. Does anyone else think the Cowboys just might be the best in the Big 12? They will get a chance to prove it going to Texas Tech this week.
• For the record, it was warmer in Overland Park, Kan. this weekend than it was in Jacksonville, Fla. for the Cocktail Party. First Coast, my backside. Driving through downtown to get to the stadium, I had to negotiate a bum rush of a different kind. The city can get a Super Bowl but apparently it can't take care of its indigent.
It still boggles the mind that this city has an NFL franchise and has hosted at least one NCAA Tournament first-rounder. It is not major league.
Posted on: October 30, 2008 4:59 pm
A tease on what is to come Friday in the Weekend Watch List. There's so much information this week I can't contain myself ...
A Bowl Championship Series primer: The three biggest BCS questions on your mind.
Can Oklahoma jump Texas and play in the BCS title game without winning the Big 12? The inherent outrage is that Texas has beaten OU head-to-head.
Scenario: Texas and Oklahoma each finish with one loss but Texas still wins the Big 12. Texas probably would still finish ahead of OU but would it still be in the top two?
If the top three win out which team will be left out? No question, Penn State.
Both Texas and Alabama not only would be undefeated but would have played a stronger schedule and have the advantage of playing an extra game in the conference championship.
If Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has any problem with that he can take it up with the Rose Bowl.
Wait a minute, wouldn't the coaches' poll tend to heavily favor Joe Paterno? The coaches are inconsistent and hold grudges at times in their poll voting but this isn't 1997.
That was the year the coaches essentially gave Tom Osborne a lifetime achievement award with a co-championship in their poll. Osborne had announced his retirement a month earlier.
The polls are much less influential in the BCS age. The two human polls combined count for only one-third of the formula.
Can a one-loss SEC champion get into the BCS title game if there are only two undefeated teams left at the top? Even the SEC isn't that powerful. If Texas and Penn State win out, it's likely they will meet in South Florida.
There will be arguments from below the Mason-Dixon Line that a 12-1 Alabama (or Florida or Georgia) deserves to play for it all. Sorry, a loss is a loss is a loss.
That makes Florida-Georgia an elimination game. In the SEC West, Alabama can't afford to trip up before the SEC title game with its toughest test Nov. 8 at LSU.
Posted on: October 25, 2008 7:29 pm
The eyes of the college football world next descend upon ... Lubbock?
That's the case next Saturday after No. 1 Texas set up the latest Big 12 (and national) showdown with a 28-24
Texas Tech, of course, has never been ranked that high but finds itself in the thick of the national championship
Texas leads the all-time series 43-14 but Tech has won three of the last 11 meetings, two by former coach Spike
Texas Tech's Graham Harrell was his usual self (386 yards, five touchdowns) but it was the defense that gave the Red
We found out Harrell's weakness: boredom. After being sacked only once in the first seven games, he was sacked on
In Austin, we finally found out that Colt McCoy has a weakness too. The nation's current Heisman leader nearly
Good luck getting a ticket. Game tickets are going to be tough enough, but we're talking plane ticket. A quick check
Who was more impressive? Georgia scored its most points ever in Baton Rouge, routing LSU 52-38. It was the third
Florida went up 35-0 on Kentucky on its way to a 63-5 win. The Gators' scoring drives on their first five touchdowns
Texas Tech had eight touchdowns in the first three quarters of its 63-21 victory at Kansas. Not to be outdone,
Baylor at Nebraska - the six teams combined for 159 points, 1,723 yards in total offense 63 first downs.
Oklahoma's 55 points in the first half at Kansas State is a school record. The previous high for a first half for