All last week I sat twitching nervously at the anticipation of Saturday night's Texas Tech-Oklahoma match-up and by the time Catfish, XM, and myself were digging our hands into our third bucket, the game was over. Pretty soon the game was ugly. Oklahoma's dismemberment of the Red Raiders has left the BCS in confusion and possible chaos(big surprise) and now the system that was supposed to have guidelines but doesn't really have guidelines so now on one knows what the guidelines are and again the teams will sort it out on the field, sort of. Even outside the BCS, it was another entertaining and wild weekend in college football.
Right from the start, if you had watched the Red Raiders at all this year, you could tell that Graham Harrell was uncomfortable in the pocket during the 65-21 smackdown by the Sooners. It was just like when our waitress gave me a dollar and told me to go to the jukebox and play something because the songs that were on its shuffle made it feel like we were at a poetry reading. I got up there and under the pressure I went for a Doors song but hit the wrong one. I accidentally hit the "Alabama Song" and it was bad. If you've ever heard the song you know what I mean, if not try to imagine a song that is played as you ride on a carousel and then imagine you are on drugs while riding said carousel. After that, the music seemed to grate on my ears no matter what song was playing. Harrell never got settled in and he was not under too much duress. He was off target and made uncharacteristic mistakes. Obviously some of that credit has to go to the OU defense, but the Raiders came out flat, and then that flatness turned into uncertainty which became panic. On the Oklahoma offensive side of the ball, their offensive line is good, damn good. Sam Bradford had time to bake a cake before hitting his receivers and backs in stride. Texas Tech helped fill up the highlight reel by missing tackle after tackle. I knew the Sooners could win this game but had no idea they would completely blow Tech out of the water.
The argument for OU to jump Texas became even stronger because of the margin of vicoty. Yes, there's that phrase again. "Margin of victory" used to be part of the BCS formula but was taken out because if you go by the numbers a win should count as a win. Makes sense, but if you then factor in that a large part of determining who gets the top spots in the BCS are human polls, then we have a problem. The coaches are aware of the problems too and they have started banging the drum for their cause louder and louder. Bob Stoops said after the win "Obviously, now we're in the mix with everybody, with the way we played, you would think ahead." Well Bob that's how you would think except that tiny fact of getting beat by Texas. Yet in truth a lot of people who have a vote agree with Stoops. The Big XII was trying to due its best in a flawed national championship system by annointing the the tie-breaker of the division to the highest rated BCS team, but now with three teams with a legitimate shot it will be the polls and computers that determine who gets to play for the conference title, not what happened on the field in conference.
This just in...Florida is better than the Citadel.
It is not a problem that the Gators have this game on their schedule, it is just curious the timing of when they have it. It is going to be interesting to see if Florida State and famed defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews can do anything to keep the Gators under 50. My favorite quote of the day was from 5th year senior Javier Estopinan, who scored a 1 yard TD run as a present from Urban Meyer for his years of hard work. "(Coach is) stingy with his touchdowns." Javier said. Oh really? Well, that's not surprising to hear, but from one of his own players I find that interesting. Catfish already pointed out this fact(which many other people have since jumped on) but now we get to hear it straight from inside the program. The coach of a team that has scored 42 points or more in 6 straight games, is "stingy" with his touchdowns. By the way Percy Harvin did run one in...from 11 yards out.
The Apple Cup delivers!
Last week I previewed the rivalry game in which both teams were seeking to avoid becoming known as the worst BCS team on the west coast. While I watched this game drag on through the first 3 quarters I started to question my anticipation of watching the game. While it was fun watching the teams provide an exercise in offensive football futility, after 45 minutes of it I became bored with it. But luckily in the 4th quarter Washington State drove down and tied the game sending it into overtime. The game seemed to take on even more appeal as it headed into extra time. At first it was just going to be a team winning and making their rivals hold the title of worst team, but now this meant that the losing team would be provided with extra agony. That agony belonged to Washington and Ty Willingham as they lost 16-13. I honestly felt heartbroken for Ty as he trudged off the field. The Huskies had led the entire game until WSU tied it and then their kicker missed a FG in their half of the 2nd ovetime. Cougar kicker Nico Grasu got to be the hero as he punched the 37 yard game-winner through.
The Cuse wins one for the Gregger
The second to last game of Greg Robinson's career at Syracuse ended with a 24-23 win at Notre Dame. This is another game I was periodically turning to and when the Irish went up 23-10 in the 3rd quarter I assumed the Orange had put up a good fight but the game was over. Robinson had an atrocious record at Syracuse in his time there and the fans are ready to see him go, but I'm happy that he and his team can celebrate a victory like this after such a horrid season.
On the flip side, even the most staunch Charlie Weis supporters have to be cringing after this game. In spite of all that ahs happened this year, there is absolutely no excuse to lose at home to Syracuse. Since Weis took over the play calling, Notre Dame has put up just 27 and 23 points to two very bad defenses. It doesn't get any better for the Irish as they head to LA to get their asses handed to them by USC. The Irish will make a bowl, a very bad one and will most likely face a team that is better than them and can't wait to have a chance to beat fabled Notre Dame.
Then it got ugly
I will share more of my feelings on the Rich-Rod situation in our next podcast, but even though I am not that old, I have never seen a Michigan team look more utterly pathetic than the team I saw on the field on Saturday during Ohio State's 42-7 beating. The Buckeyes lost out on the chance to redeem themselves in the national championship, but depending on their BCS bowl match-up they have an opportunity to get a big win against another BCS conference foe. I'm sure they will rather face a highly ranked team and prove themselves than going against the ACC or Big East winner.
Tom O'Brien turns the tide
Watching NC State's performance on the field as they beat North Carolina 41-10 you would not be able to tell that Chuck Amato coached this team only two seasons ago. The Wolfpack did not commit silly personal fouls, did not turn the ball over, and had smart in-game management. Quarterback Russell Wilson is probably the most underrated passer in the ACC. He can not only make things happen with his feet, he uses it to buy time and find open receivers instead of taking off down field. He made big throw after and ended with 2 TDs on 17-28 passing. North Carolina had hoped to get back on the race for the division title, but instead must lick their wounds and focus on winning a bowl game for the first time in a long time.
Speaking of ACC let downs...
Florida State smashed Maryland's control of the Atlantic Division as they won 37-3 and Myron Rolle got his Rhodes Scholarship. The Noles have the chance to play for the ACC title and the chance to spoil rival Florida's national title hopes next week in Talahassee. Maryland busted out the black uni's but the turtle was not inspiring fear. You would love to champion the ACC's cause but it really has been the case of whoever control's their path to Tampa immediately gets hammered.
Beavers lose Jacquizz but still find a way to win
Ever since Oregon State beat USC when they were ranked number 1, they have played like one of the nation's top teams. They did fall on a close one to Utah, but with their 19-17 squeaker over Arizona on Saturday, the Beavers are still alive for the Pac Ten title. They have to beat Oregon at home this week in the Civil War which won't be easy, but is doable. The Beavers trailed 17-16 but back-up QB Sean Canfield hit WR Sammie Stroughter for a 47 yard pass with less than a minute left. Oregon State has by far been one of college football's best stories this year and Mike Riley deserves a lot of the praise.
Utah conquers the Mormons
In an incredibly hard-hitting game that still had the Mountain West's typical offensive show, Utah secured a spot in the BCS with a 48-24 win over rival BYU. Utes QB Brian Johnson had 4 TDs and threw for over 300 yards in the win. The atmosphere appeared electric as the home crowd cheered their team and chanted "B-C-S" as the clock wound down. Utah deserves the right to play at the very least a BCS bowl game, now they will have to follow Boise State's example, a team they most likely knocked out of a BCS game, and find a way to beat a BCS conference team to be considered one of the best team's in the country.