What We Learned From Week Nine In College Football

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rough and tumble week, but none of the Big Three right now lost -- even though two of them played very close games yesterday.

  • Penn State engaged in a defensive war with Ohio State, as neither offense was really able to get off the ground. The Buckeyes were up 6-3 when Mark Rubin caused this Terrelle Pryor fumble pictured above, and due to an injury, Pat Devlin came in for Daryll Clark and drove the Nittany Lions for the crucial touchdown. They added another FG to go up 13-7 and iced it by picking Pryor late. (Don't expect a QB controversy -- Clark makes that team go and let's hope the head injury is minor.) PSU is still in line for a BCS Championship bid, and 2-loss OSU isn't in the discussion any more.
  • Alabama joins the 8-0 ranks with an invasion and subsequent late destruction at Neyland Stadium. The Tide essentially ran it down the throats of the Volunteers, who can't all be Eric Berry, going up 13-3 at halftime and dominating the second half in a way they hadn't done this year. Final score: 29-9, thanks to Vols penalties late making it more lopsided than it should have been -- and Phil Fulmer has to be roasting on his hot seat.
  • I'm still pissed at ABC for not showing OK State - Texas in my part of the country, and it turns out Colt McCoy isn't perfect. While he threw for 391 and 2 TDs, the Longhorns' D had to defend against late assaults by Zac Robinson and Kendall Hunter, who rushed for 2 scores and 161 yards on the day. Texas pulled it out, 28-24 and will likely stay #1 with a trip to Lubbock next week.
  • Speaking of Mike Leach and his Pirate Academy, the Red Raiders pillaged and plundered in Lawrence against KU's Reesing Express. The Tech defense got stops after the first quarter by harassing QB Todd Reesing often (Darcel McBath picked him three times in the third quarter.) Graham Harrell threw for five TDs and scored a sixth running.
  • Florida racked up the style points on Kentucky, 63-5. They blocked three kicks that led to scores early.
  • Georgia showed us the offensive assault most imagined they could put together against LSU in Baton Rouge. Knowshon Moreno rushed for 163 yards and a score, while Matt Stafford threw for two scores and ran for one of his own, but the tone was set early when LSU QB Jarrett Lee threw a pick six on the first play from scrimmage; he threw for three scores and three picks. Charles Scott had two scores and 144 rushing yards of his own for the Tigers, but the offensive output came too late in a 52-38 UGA win.
  • Oklahoma has a problem if it can only score 3 points in the 2nd half. Going into Manhattan, Kansas and running 55 points on Kansas State in the first half is great, but a 55-28 lead at halftime isn't always completely secure when you've blown a 21-point lead already. The final score was 58-35, which speaks well for a defense that picked Josh Freeman off three times while allowing him to pass for three scores. DeMarco Murray had 167 total yards on the day with 4 TDs in all.
  • USC held off Arizona with its defense in a fairly blah 17-10 win, but keeping Willie Tuitama to 88 yards passing and the Wildcats to 188 yards overall on offense is always impressive.
  • Here's how bad Washington is: the Huskies did not cross midfield until there were six minutes left in the game. Notre Dame blew 'em out 33-7.
  • A mini-compendium of just how lousy the Big East is: Pitt let Rutgers' Mike Teel throw 6 TD passes in a 54-34 home game. The Wannstache ought to be run out of town for that. Two weeks after knocking off South Florida from the top spot in the conference, and the Panthers have a major letdown. (Hopefully Bill Stull is okay. That looked much worse in highlights than it reads in the wire copy.)
  • And to double on that: Louisville, yes, lousy Louisville has a chance to win the Big East after beating South Florida 24-20.
  • The ACC is also a mess, as Florida State has put Virginia Tech out of the conference's misery, but Virginia, of all teams, is now in first place in the Coastal Division after upsetting Georgia Tech, and Maryland is tied with Boston College for Atlantic Division supremacy. I can see the empty seats in Raymond James Stadium for the ACC Championship game from here.

Posted by Signal to Noise at 9:00 AM


Wouldn't a UVa-Maryland ACC championship game just empitimise the up-and-down, mediocre season? I am pulling for those two teams to meet in Tampa with fewer people in attendace than a Rays game in June.

Anonymous said...
Oct 26, 2008, 10:13:00 AM  

What a weak conference that ACC is!

BTW, for all the talk about how much defense is a priority and calling card for the SEC... Some have made the argument that the SEC is better than the Big 12 because of this. I don't think so. Bama opening up a can between the hedges, UF and UGA putting 51 on LSU and Auburn getting lit up by WVa, etc, etc, etc... No one should buy that talk.

Anonymous said...
Oct 26, 2008, 10:52:00 AM  

I STILL don't understand why Fulmer is on the hot seat. Didn't the Vols go to the SEC title game last year? Didn't he win a National Title in '98?

Unknown said...
Oct 26, 2008, 11:41:00 AM  

Jarett Lee killed LSU yesterday. A pick 6 on the firtst opkay and then ANOTHER one later.

That Penn State win yesterday didn't do the Big 10 any favors. That was just some awful offensive football. There is no way they can hop both texas and Alabama unless one of them loses.

Rahul said...
Oct 26, 2008, 12:39:00 PM  

As a UVA fan, I have no delusions of them playing in Tampa, because the bloom will be off the rose by the time they go to Blacksburg next month. With that said, I'm enjoying(for the most part) watching them play right now.

Anonymous said...
Oct 26, 2008, 1:28:00 PM  

Anon @ 10:13 - yes, yes it would.

Anon @ 10:52 - the ACC is weak, so is the Big East, and you'll notice I only write about Pac-10 games with USC in them usually (ND exemption today.) The Pac-10 is down there this year too.

Regarding SEC and Big 12 arguments: I'm not sure who in the upper echelon of the Big 12 plays defense and isn't Texas. But this year, and the Southern part of the division is making the North its whipping boy again. But I'd take Texas over Bama or Florida right now.

Corbin - Going to the SEC Championship game doesn't mean squat right now. The Vols were in still in the Outback Bowl at the end of the season. 10 years past your last meaningful big bowl game is long enough in D-IA time.

Also, the particular suck of this year's Vols on offense without David Cutcliffe coaching it has exposed him.

rs27 - LSU would probably be right up there with Bama if they had Ryan Perrilloux, but there was only so much Les Miles could deal with. Redshirt freshmen can only do so much.

Signal to Noise said...
Oct 26, 2008, 1:32:00 PM  

I can just imagine the media whining if Texas, Alabama, and Penn State all win out and Penn State is the one left out of the title game.

But this is what the pro-Big Ten college football media gets for propping up undeserving teams and playing the tradition angle.



Anonymous said...
Oct 26, 2008, 6:07:00 PM  

FYI, Maryland travels very well to bowl games, so it wouldn't be much different for the ACC Title game. So the Terps would be represented very well in Tampa.

Sudi said...
Oct 26, 2008, 9:54:00 PM  

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