Without a Gator game, I found that I didn’t pay as close attention to football today as I thought I would. I guess even I fell victim to the big-game fatigue that the team seemed to in the second half of last week’s game at Auburn. I’m not saying it was nice to have a week off, since I will always prefer to have a Gator game than not to have one, but not having the stress of playing an elite team was nice for a change. So, here’s a few quick hits on the games I thought were interesting today.
–Nebraska really needed to beat Texas today. This was their perfect chance: the weather conditions could best be described as “ghastly,” it was Colt McCoy’s first game outside the state of Texas, the crowd was unbelievably hyped up, and it was their chance to make a big statement, much like Alabama against Florida last year. You just can’t fumble the ball that late in the game. It would have been nice to see Texas fall since the Longhorns’ schedule is pretty weak from here on out.
As a side note, after the game was over, the crowd chanted “Go Big Red!” in appreciation of the team’s effort. Now, I know that most Gator fans (myself included) hate Nebraska for the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, but I think a lot of Gator fans could learn a good lesson from that example.
–Georgia is in serious trouble. A week after losing their homecoming game to Vandy, the Dawgs nearly blew it against Mississippi State at home as well. I suppose now would be a bad time to tell UGA fans that Urban Meyer-coached teams usually play their best coming out of bye weeks and that Meyer has never lost a game played in the state of Florida…
–South Carolina took care of business against Vandy by a more convincing margin than I thought they would. Of course, Vandy trailed by only 4 until six minutes to go in the third quarter before SC scored to widen the margin. The Gamecocks then put another touchdown up in the fourth quarter to make it look more impressive. That’s a typical Vandy game as any. The final score looks pretty good, but you never felt confortable until that last touchdown in the fourth quarter to know that you’ve put it away.
–Notre Dame just is not impressing this year. The Irish won’t lose to UNC or any of the three service academies (unless Air Force brings the same game it did at Tennessee), but they should lose to USC, who was idle today. Incidentally, USC has a great chance to lose to…
–Cal, who nearly got embarassed by Washington today. It’s be one thing if Isaiah Stanback was healthy, but he definitely was out. Ty Willingham has done a great job with UW, which makes you wonder what happened at Notre Dame. Maybe the Fighting Irish fans never really accepted him and pushed him out too early, or maybe the Pac 10 can make any above average coach look like a legend. Heck, it makes Pete Carroll look like a genius, and he was a blithering idiot in the NFL with the Patriots.
–Now that everyone has cooled off on Garrett Wolfe, maybe it’s time for Boise State’s Ian Johnson to be the minor conference guy in the Heisman chatter. He leads the nation with 18 rushing touchdowns, and he’s the best offensive player on a team that’s almost a lock to finish undefeated. He’s projected right now to have more than 1700 yards at the end of the season, so that counts for something too, right? Then again, Darren Sproles rushed for 1900+ yards his senior year at Kansas State and destroyed Oklahoma himself in the Big XII title game, but didn’t even come within striking distance of winning the stiff-armed statue.
–Clemson dispatched Georgia Tech 31-7. Yawn. Was that really worth skipping Texas – Nebraska for, College GameDay? Or were you picking games by weather reports? Also, it seems every week there is an even bigger Borat sign where ever they go. Are people really that amused by a guy talking in a fake accent who ignores all social conventions? Because if they are, then why did The Laidies Man bomb? Not that I liked that movie (it was awful), but I’m just asking.
–Tennessee, despite being the better team by far, nearly blew it against Bama. Sometimes, there really is nothing new under the sun. Today also featured the first touchdown in the series since 2004.
–Miami came thisclose to losing to Duke today. Nothing could have topped that. Yes, Miami was without 13 players who were suspended, but the 2001 Miami team probably could have taken its scout team and beat Duke by two touchdowns. This is one of the great what-could-have-been games, and also fitting punishment to Miami for it’s lenient punishment to its players for last week. People keep calling that a joke, but there’s nothing funny about it.
–Finally, BC beat FSU despite the Seminoles wearing their all-new black uniforms, which looked pretty good as far as FSU uniforms go. Florida has had alternate black uniforms for basketball for years, and the bookstore has been selling black football jerseys that inexplicably have no blue on them at all. In any event, FSU is 4-3 and 2-3 in the ACC. Ten years ago, those would sound preposterous, but anything’s possible at this point as long as Jeff Bowden is running the offense. FSU’s leading rusher for the game? Drew Weatherford, with 10 yards.