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» Impact of the NFL's Kickoff Rule Change

After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?

20 Sep 2007

Seventh Day Adventure: Going to the Grove

by Russell Levine

It's road-trip week here at SDA headquarters, as I am preparing to head to Mississippi for the Florida-Ole Miss game on Saturday. As mentioned on last week's podcast, this will be my inaugural journey into SEC territory and I'm looking forward to gauging the experience against the tailgating and stadium atmospheres that I'm used to in the Big Ten.

This might just be my only true roadie of the year. My wife and I have a longstanding "national championship implications" proviso under which I can justify an extra trip to Ann Arbor. She claims not to remember any such stipulation, but it won't matter this fall. With Michigan off to an, ahem, slow start I'll have a hard time telling her with a straight face that I need to travel 600 miles to see a team that could be fighting for a berth in the Motor City Bowl.

Of course, if the Wolverines beat Penn State this week, all bets are off. But that's a debate for down the road. Right now, my attentions are focused on "The Grove," the central area of an Ole Miss campus that is said to be among the most beautiful in the nation. For the first time in my life, I am trying to figure out what to wear to a football game. Such is the case when you're a Yankee with Big Ten roots headed to mingle with some southern gentry, a group that favors a shirt-and-tie dress code on game days.

I discuss all of that on this week's podcast with John Griffith, who is the reason for this trip. John, a former co-worker of mine, is a long-time SDA reader who posts to the comment threads under the name of "GatorGriff." He will be getting married next month to a woman whom I can only assume has no idea what she's getting into. This weekend is his last blast, his bachelor party. A man after my own heart, John has chosen to spend it at a football game.

In my mind, I've set the bar for this experience very high. I've always accepted that football in the South was on a different level from what I'm used to. Different is one thing, but is the experience better, more intense? I'll find out this weekend.

If any readers are familiar with Oxford and have suggestions for our traveling party, drop me an e-mail at Russell-at-footballoutsiders-dot-com.

With or without a Florida fan aboard, this week's slate was going to be SEC-heavy with several key league games on Saturday. Here are the contests we'll be discussing in this week's podcast:

#20 Texas A&M (+2.5) at Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Miami and Texas A&M kick off the weekend in what could be the last "big" game at the Orange Bowl. With the Hurricanes set to face both Florida State and Virginia Tech on the road later this season, this contest represents one last chance for some magic at the ol' O.B. before the Miami program moves up the road to Dolphins Stadium next season.

The question is whether the 'Canes can do anything to work the crowd into a lather. Randy Shannon has gone back to Kyle Wright at quarterback, but Miami's pass offense remains a work in progress.

This is either going to be a get-well game for Wright or for the A&M defense, which hasn't slowed down anyone as the team has gotten off to one the nation's sketchiest 3-0 starts. A&M needed triple overtime to survive at home against Fresno State, the only team with a pulse it has played.

#3 Florida (-23) at Mississippi, 12:30 p.m. ET, GamePlan

Granted, this isn't much of a matchup, but warrants inclusion as the site of this week's SDA road trip.

Florida looks scary-good on offense, with Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and company averaging 500 yards and 55 points a game. None of that is good news for an Ole Miss secondary that has been torched routinely in its first three outings.

Tebow will begin to earn some Heisman pub with another huge outing, which looks unavoidable unless the Gators are still hung over from their trouncing of Tennessee last week.

Ole Miss may have upgraded in the coaching personality department when it cashiered David Cutcliffe just one year after a 10-win season in favor of Cajun madman Ed Orgeron, but the program appears to be headed in the wrong direction.

Florida, meanwhile, looks for another romp on the way to its biggest game of the season, at LSU on October 6.

#12 South Carolina (+16) at #2 LSU, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Steve Spurrier is generating some positive buzz in Columbia courtesy of a 3-0 start that includes a win at Georgia, but the Gamecocks still have plenty of question marks. They don't need to win at LSU this week in order to make believers of their skeptics, they just have to prove they can play with the Tigers.

LSU looks like the conference heavyweight after destroying Virginia Tech at home two weeks ago and should be up for this game with a functional bye against Tulane up next before Florida pays a visit.

How good is the LSU defense? Statistically, it's the best in the nation and the margin is a mile wide. The Tigers give up a ridiculous 128 yards per game, 50 fewer than the second-ranked unit, Oklahoma.

The Head Ball Coach owned LSU during his time as Florida coach, going 11-1 against the Tigers, but that was a very different era of LSU football (Gerry DiNardo, anyone?).

#10 Penn State (-3) at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC (EPN in Ohio)

Sure, Michigan beat Notre Dame, but what does that mean anymore?

Then again, the Wolverines looked more impressive in dominating the Irish than the Nittany Lions did the week before. So maybe it does mean something.

If nothing else, at least the Wolverines gained some confidence after getting kicked around for two weeks by anybody and everybody that pays attention to college football.

Penn State might be the class of the Big Ten (and that might not mean much, either, given some of last week's out of conference results), but this is the Lions' first true test. How will Anthony Morelli fare in a big road game?

Ryan Mallett is likely going to start again for the Wolverines. They were able to protect him against Notre Dame and only had him throw 15 times. Michigan will try a similar approach against Penn State -- putting the game in Mike Hart's hands. If he runs for 125 yards, Michigan probably wins. If Hart can't run, and Michigan has to play from behind, they're in trouble.

Michigan State (-12.5) at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC

So, this isn't a big game. But the ongoing demise of Notre Dame is the biggest train wreck college football has seen in years. People will tune in just for the curiosity factor of seeing if the Irish can make a first down or, heaven forbid, score an offensive touchdown.

I received a lot of interesting responses to my question about the Charlie Weis/Ty Willingham debate in last week's Confessions of a Football Junkie. Here's what I gained from the discourse. Notre Dame is bad this year because Willingham had two lousy recruiting classes and Weis got a late start on his first class. Fine, most people suspected the Irish would be down. But the fact that they're completely non-competitive is 100 percent on Weis. Navy manages to compete with one-fifth of the talent Weis has right now.

If things don't improve to at least semi-respectability this year, and by that I mean the Irish have to at least be a threat to win every week, than I don't feel it's too early to label Weis an enormous failure.

Michigan State, meanwhile, is off to its standard hot start. Will Mark Dantonio be different than just about every other MSU coach and keep his kids playing hard all year? The Spartans have owned Notre Dame as much as any team has the last 10 years -- expect them to play with confidence and look for a little payback for last year's scuffle-marred loss in East Lansing.

Don't remember that game? Click here. You won't be sorry.

#21 Kentucky (+7) at Arkansas, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2

I'm wary of Kentucky having a letdown following the biggest win of Rich Brook's tenure. Playing a road game against an angry foe is probably not the best recipe for success for a team that hasn't had much experience handling success.

Still, if John Parker Wilson could light up the Arkansas secondary, Kentucky's Andre' Woodson should be in for a big day. The same can also be said of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, who will be facing one of the softest defenses they'll see in SEC play.

Like all Kentucky contests, this one threatens to be highly entertaining in an Arena Football kind of way.

#22 Georgia (+3.5) at #16 Alabama, 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

Nick Saban for Governor! Nick Saban for President!

Saban is off to a fantastic start at Alabama, guiding a team that has been offensively challenged seemingly forever to a 3-0 start. Last week brought a stunning come-from-ahead, come-from-behind win over Arkansas that delighted the home crowd.

Despite his defensive pedigree, Saban is winning with offense. Georgia, meanwhile, cannot afford to drop this game and still contend in the SEC East, but you have to wonder which Matthew Stafford will show up in a very hostile road environment.

Washington (+6.5) at UCLA, 10:15 p.m. ET, FSN

UCLA's loss to Utah last week, by a 44-6 count, may trail only "Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32" in the shocking results category this season.

UCLA was off to a hot start after seemingly carrying over the momentum from last year's upset of USC to the new season, but got ambushed in Salt Lake City. They need to get well mentally in a hurry because Washington is an improving team that was right in it against Ohio State last Saturday until a bounce or two went the Buckeyes' way.

Karl Dorrell has never been fully embraced by the UCLA fan base -- even after beating the Trojans -- and he can't afford to let this season get away from him and still hold on to his job.

The SDA Podcast


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The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home John Says Russell Says
Texas A&M +2.5 Miami Miami Miami
Florida -23 Mississippi Florida Florida
South Carolina +16 LSU LSU South Carolina
Penn State -3 Michigan Michigan Michigan
Michigan State -12.5 Notre Dame Michigan State Michigan State
Kentucky +7 Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas*
Georgia +3.5 Alabama Alabama* Alabama
Washington +6.5 UCLA UCLA Washington
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Guest: Orson 3-4-1 (0-0-1)    
Guests Composite     11-12-1 (0-2-1)
Russell 4-3-1 (0-0-1) 12-11-1 (2-0-1)

Posted by: Russell Levine on 20 Sep 2007

153 comments, Last at 24 Sep 2007, 2:01pm by Sid

Comments

1
by strannix (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 5:07pm

Is Ole Miss really the best place to get a feel for SEC gamedays? Maybe since Florida's in town, I guess.

I don't mean that as a knock against Ole Miss, but it is one of the smaller stadiums in the conference, and a team that's traditionally not very good.

2
by Flounder (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 5:38pm

The MSU v. Notre Dame game is a classic set-up for a Spartan loss, and as a Spartan fan, I fully expect it. Time after time over the years, MSU has come rolling into a game against a team that's just looked awful, only for said to be reborn against an overconfident MSU teams that has read some positive articles and assumes they'll win just by showing up. I hope to be proven wrong.

3
by Flounder (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 5:39pm

said team, that was supposed to be.

4
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 5:56pm

only for said team to be reborn against an overconfident MSU team

last year the rebirth occurred in the 4th quarter

5
by Flounder (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 6:00pm

Re: 4 Ha Ha, that's true. Perhaps the MSU players were distracted imagining the headlines :)

6
by hooper (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 6:20pm

Re: 1.

Ole Miss has a beautiful campus, and the Grove Walk is one of the better "new traditions" in the country. The crowd is a lot more similar to Big Ten crowds than other SEC crowds are (as in, more reserved), but there'll still be a fair amount of rowdiness, babe tallies, and liveliness.

It's like I was once told about visiting Italy: you start at the north and work your way southward. As you go, the Italians will become more "Italian". Once you hit your limit of culture shock, stay there for a while and you'll get the maximum experience you can handle without overdoing it. Going to Ole Miss is like starting your Italian vacation in Milan. It's not Sicily, but you'll get the idea.

7
by DMP (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 6:23pm

Flounder, I see you still have Louisiana Tech and Illinois AT HOME burned into your psyche. Or perhaps the near wins and calamitous precipices that resulted from the losses to Michigan in 04, Ohio State in 05, and Notre Dame in 06. Or perhaps the team with the most losses to the MAC. Good times all. The difference I see this year is no coach playing the part of the buffoon on the green sideline. Another is that those teams seemed to get their momentum from loads of scoring beating lowly opponents and surprising the mid-level ones early in the season. This team hasn't really had much of that to inflate their egos. There was UAB as the standard sacrificial lamb, but then they had to come from behind to beat Bowling Green, and get turnovers to beat Pitt without its starting QB. I can only imagine Dantonio is reminding everyone of it this week. Besides, the m.o. was to trash 3-4 patsies to start the season, then lose a game against a tougher opponent and/or come from ahead loss to a really tough opponent, then the wheels completely coming off. Notre Dame is just really that bad this season.

8
by Admore (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 8:58pm

The traditional male attire for Ole Miss home games is khaki pants, shirt and tie and blue blazer. Seriously. You'll want a flask full of bourbon in that blazer, naturally.

You think I'm kidding. Maybe things have changed since I spent time there, but I doubt it. Things change slowly at Ole Miss...

Oxford is pretty nice, actually, and there's a good bit of Faulkneria to take in while you're there. I'd recommend that. As for what restaurants and bars are good now, I wouldn't know, it's been a while.

9
by Acero (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 9:14pm

I don't know much about how the game's going to go, but Javorsky (sp?) Lane is one of the coolest players to watch, in a Jared Lorenzen sort of way.

10
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 9:53pm

My Top 25:

1. LSU
2. Oklahoma
3. Southern Cal
4. Florida
5. West Virginia
6. Penn State
7. Cal
8. Boston College
9. Clemson
10. Oregon
11. Wisconsin
12. Texas
13. Ohio State
14. South Carolina
15. Arizona State
16. Alabama
17. Missouri
18. Kentucky
19. Texas A & M
20. South Florida
21. Georgia Tech
22. Nebraska
23. Georgia
24. Rutgers
25. Virginia Tech

Pick of the week: Georgia +3 ½ over Alabama. I’m 2 – 1 so far this year.

11
by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 9:56pm

Am I the only one who noticed that freaky wierdo dancing behind the Miami band after the second touchdown?

12
by bradluen (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 10:29pm

Huh. Kyle Wright learned to pass. Wonder when that happened.

13
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 10:39pm

And the standard dress for girls at Ole Miss (and all SEC schools): dresses and pearls and heals....and a flask.

Alabama starts 2 walk-ons on defense (ILB Darren Mustin, a MTSU transfer and FS Rashad Johnson-a walk-on RB). All 4 LBers are starting for the first time ever (the already mentioned Mustin, true freshman Rolando McClain, OLB Ezekial Knight who 2 seasons ago was a WR who dropped everything, last season was a DE, and this year moved to OLB, and OLB Keith Saunders-a DE in the old 4-3 look). The NG is pretty much a new starter, but it could have been RS Freshman Brian Motley...who was a back-up center before Spring. True freshman CB Kareem Jackson is also getting on the field a lot as well and was on Earl Bennett most of the Vandy game.

I guess what I am trying to say...is I think a lot of Bama fans expected growing pains on defense this season, but knew the offense was going to be good in new hands. Though, the coaching staff's disapproval of Prince Hall has been surprising (suspended first game and has been rotated in at time...and after Mustin was hurt against Arkansas, being rotated at ILB with 195 pound Derrick Waldrop).

14
by Rocco (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 11:17pm

So OU beats the bejeezus out of Miami, who turn around and thump A&M. Unless UT's been sandbagging everyone and will be a lot better with all of their jailbirds coming back, I think OU is going to run away with the Big 12.

15
by Dude Manbro (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 11:28pm

RE: Weis, it's really put up or shut up time at ND. If he's half the coach he was supposed to be, he'll manage to get this team to at least a moderately competitive level before the season is done. If he can't do that, he deserves every bit of scorn he will no doubt face. Gerry Faust fielded squads better than this one.

16
by joe football (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 11:55pm

Despite the nice stats, Wright didn't really inspire a ton of confidence with his wounded-duck deep balls, as observed by Desmond Howard

17
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 2:38am

Re #13: And the standard dress for girls at Ole Miss (and all SEC schools): dresses and pearls and heals….and a flask.

Not UF. I think a large part of it is that, despite being the southern-most school in the SEC, UF isn't really in "the south" (outside of the panhandle, Florida probably shares more in common with New England than Mississippi). Still, Florida's fondness for denim shorts has been widely publicized (and overrated, truth be told- I routinely count more Georgia fans in jean shorts than Gator fans on my annual trips to the Coctail Party).

UF is the only SEC school that understands what appropriate attire is for an event that will require you to stand in the sun for 4 hours- shorts, short sleeve shirts, and if you're smart, a wide-brimmed hat. Just one more reason why it's good to be a Gator.

18
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 9:01am

Re: 13 and 17

As a current UT grad student, and as a Westerner who doesn't have any genetic loyalty to any SEC team, I'd like to mention that UT fans don't often go formal to the football games anymore either. There are still a few in the frat and sorority ranks who dress up, but they're a very clear minority anymore. I remember in the Air Force game that in the entire section I was sitting in, there was 1 guy dressed up. Everybody else was in shorts and t-shirts. (In the cases of some females, skirts. In the cases of some males, body paint.)

I imagine that the formalwear football traditions are eroding in most of the SEC anymore. It's just too hot, especially for people who are used to air conditioning.

19
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 10:15am

As an Alabama alum-I would say its 50-50, though it did seem that more females seem to be dressed up at Bama.

I have been to Tennessee a couple of times-Alabama has no Orange Nation, so I guess that keeps the huge Greek section still around (the Greeks get their end zone section of the student section). I have been to LSU games-I don't think they dress up as much.

So perhaps its just an Alabama-Mississippi thing.

20
by kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 11:12am

Re #19: Georgia does it, too- or, at least, a bizarre interpretation of it. Instead of dressing up like they're going to Church or to Court, they dress up like they're going to a club. They wear button up shirts, but never fully buttoned, never with ties, and never with blazers, and they often pair them with things like leather pants, and the girls wear dresses, but of the very short variety designed to entice college-aged males to buy them $5 beers.

Also, aren't Florida, Tennessee, and LSU the only SEC programs to win a national championship in the past decade? Just goes to show that success is, in fact, a direct result of the sensibility of the fanbase.

21
by James G (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 11:47am

6 - I seriously think that the more reserved crowds of the Big Ten have to do with the timing of the game. LSU is notorious for loud fans, and they start so many games at night, giving them a much better chance to get drunk. When I was at Penn State, probably 90% of the games started at noon. If you have a student body that stayed up late Friday, there's no time for tailgating before the game and people are still half asleep at kickoff.

22
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 11:58am

#20 The cut-off is a decade? I guess 15 years is a long time ago. I was a shirt and shorts guy, but I was not in the Greek world at Bama. I will find out tommorrow if LSU girls dress up as its my first foray into the student section.

23
by CA (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 12:10pm

Re: 6 The crowd is a lot more similar to Big Ten crowds than other SEC crowds are (as in, more reserved)

I've never thought of Big Ten crowds in general as "reserved." Sure, there are some: Northwestern, Michigan, and Minnesota come to mind. But Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State? No way! That said, all those 11 a.m. / noon start times that James G mentioned aren't exactly conducive to craziness. My understanding is that the schools with rowdier crowds tend to prefer those early starts specifically because things are less likely to get out of hand. Pay attention to the Badgers fans during the Iowa-Wisconsin night game this week (it'll be hard not to) and tell me that Big Ten fans are "more reserved."

24
by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 1:43pm

Re 23:
I would assume most schools have a Breakfast Club of some kind as well - at Purdue it's an event to start drinking in the morning dressed up crazily in costumes or fan gear, etc.

I think the difference between the Big Ten and other schools is the temperature. It's a lot harder to get crazy when conference play starts as the temp dips down into the 40s and below.

25
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 2:06pm

Re: 23

I didn't mean the comment as an insult; level-headed might be a better word, as Big 10 fans seems to handle losses a little better than SEC fans, on the average. For example, the fact that 3/4 of Eastern Michigan is not wearing self-applied cement shoes at the bottom of Lakes Huron and Erie is a testament to their ability to move on (though things like Emo Week and the kitten theme are pretty funny). Right now, UT fans are debating whether to fire Fulmer now or at the end of the season, and you'd swear that Armageddon is upon us and they found out that God is a Florida fan. (From an outsider's perspective, it's actually kind of amusing, except that it takes twice as long for the Wal-Mart cashier to ring up my groceries because she just doesn't have a reason to care about things anymore. And slowing down an East Tennessee Wal-Mart cashier is like freezing molasses.)

Back to the point: I'll have to take your word on the fan bases on a lot of those schools, since the national broadcasts tend to show Michigan and Ohio State and forget about the rest unless they're undefeated in November. I have no doubt of the rowdiness and exuberance at many of those places, and I don't see why they can't be as vociferous as the SEC types. However, I will have to take Michigan's "Key Play" tradition as the type of thing that wouldn't even fly at Vanderbilt. Why would anybody, when a "game-deciding" play is about to commence, decide to stop shouting and break out the keys instead?

Penn State is pretty cool when they do the whiteout thing. If they'd incorporate the Cameron Crazy idea of jumping up and down the whole time, it'd be perfect. I'd also believe Wisconsin fans to be rabid Badgers; look at how they adore the Packers.

Still, there's nothing quite like an 80-year old Arkansas granny shouting her artificial hip out while wearing a pig snout and flipping the bird to every LSU player and fan she can see. Some of those old biddies have the most extensive four-letter vocabulary I've ever heard.

26
by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 3:25pm

25, the students don't stop yelling at Michigan with the 'key play'. The do the key jingling and still are yelling.

The rest of the stadium, who knows. Half of them don't make noise at all, other than to yell at people like me to sit down because I'm blocking their view.

27
by Mikey (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 3:28pm

I'm told the Grove has by far the prettiest girls of any tailgating scene in college football.

Please include a discussion of this critical issue in your report next week.

Provide visual documentation as appropriate.

28
by Zac (not verified) :: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 7:08pm

Deadspin is reporting that students with underage drinking citations will be required to take a breathalyzer test before entering Camp Randall. If there's any alcohol in their system, they will be refused admittance (and presumably given another citation).

29
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 11:24am

Oklahoma destroys Miami, Miami destroys a good A & M team, Oklahoma destroys a pretty good Tulsa team...

I'm starting to think that Miami isn't that bad, and Oklahoma is a monster.

30
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 1:16pm

I hate, hate hate ESPN's player introductions. Not everything needs to be extreme or totally in my face.

31
by Craig G-Stunna Yetsko (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 1:58pm

Penn State will dismantle Michigan today. Take it to the bank.

32
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 2:15pm

Ok, I swear next year I'll spring for Gameplan, but can anybody who has it tell me what the heck is going on with Louisville? Losing to Syracuse 14-7 in the second quarter? The Undergrads of Orgeron not letting the Gators on the scoreboard in the first quarter? At least Juice Williams just threw a bad pass, so all isn't wrong with the world.

33
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 2:21pm

Nope, 'Cuse just went up 21-7. Two long TD passes and a KO return for the Orange. Will Louisville's inability to play defense bite them in the ass again?

34
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 2:23pm

Actually, the Cardinals are lucky. 'Cuse twice pissed away drives starting in Louisville territory.

35
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 2:24pm

For anybody interested in the Florida vs Ole Miss game, it is streaming live (for free) on Yahoo sports. Ole Miss is holding its own so far, down 6-7 early in the second quarter. Of course, I expect Florida to pull away soon, but so far its been a fairly good game.

36
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 2:57pm

Nice high school style trickery by Ole Miss. Definitely confused Florida.

37
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 2:57pm

35- Any Russell sightings? Look for the guy wearing jean shorts.

38
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:01pm

Ole Miss misses the field goal, leaving the score 14-6 in favor of Florida. Ole Miss has done a great job of moving the ball in the middle of the field, but they've had 3 drives stall at the 20 yard line.

39
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:10pm

Odd ending to the first half. Tebow passes down inside the 30 with 2 seconds left (and no timeouts). The clock stops for the first down and Florida gets set to spike the ball but is unable to spike it before the clock runs out. Given that it took the officiating crew forever to move the chains, I'm wondering why Meyer didn't run the field goal unit out there rather than trying to spike the ball.

40
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:23pm

'Cuse now up 28-14 after a 75-yard TD run.

41
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:24pm

IRC football chat at cognet.catch22.org, #fo

42
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:26pm

I'm guessing that UL-Syracuse right now is a prime example of the "letdown game".

43
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:29pm

Sounds like Louisville's defense is so bad they could make Notre Dame's offense look competent.

44
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:30pm

ANOTHER Louisville turnover, 31 - 14 Syracuse lead.

I can't remember a season that has (so far) been about teams bombing as much as this one- Michigan, Louisville, Auburn, Notre Dame, Tennessee...

45
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:35pm

43- Let's not get carried away.

Mario Urrutia is an idiot. You're down 17, you shouldn't be throwing the football at defenders and hurting your team.

46
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:50pm

Ole Miss has now had four trips into the red zone and yet they only have 9 points to show for it. There latest red zone trip involved a first and goal at the 5 in which they had two passes nearly picked off in the end zone and a running play for no gain.

47
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 3:59pm

If Syracuse wins, will it be the biggest upset ever in terms of point spread? I believe Louisville was favored by 37.

48
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:00pm

Syracuse up 17 with 10:13 to play.

49
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:01pm

re : 46

That was pretty much the story for Tennessee last week too, at least in the first half. Unless you're LSU you can't afford to not convert on those chances against UF.

50
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:02pm

38-21 Orange. 10:13 to play in the fourth. The Cardinals are in it deep now.

51
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:11pm

Wow, Louisville is allowing over 15 yards per pass attempt to one of the worst passing offenses in college football. Andrew Robinson is putting up Heisman numbers right now.

52
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:14pm

Interception. 'Cuse ball at the 50. 7:05 to play. Louisville is dead.

53
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:14pm

For those who aren't watching, the Louisville "faithful" have staged a loosely-organized walkout.

54
by Thok (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:17pm

My favorite stats of Syracuse-Louisville

Louisville has a 10 minute advantge in time of possession.
Louisville has almost twice as many first downs as Syracuse (27-14).

Of course, this just means that Louisville is routinely giving up long plays for touchdowns and turning the ball over frequently.

55
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:17pm

So we have Syracuse waxing UL, Ball State up 9 on Nebraska (Letterman will be excited), and Ole Miss within 3 of Florida after 3. This is a strange season, indeed.

56
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:18pm

MDS: Possibly. The biggest I've found, after a little searching:

Iowa State (+29) 19, at Nebraska 10, 1992.

57
by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:19pm

It's not on any national TV (only pay-per-view), but Nebraska is getting beat by Ball State 37-28 with only 11 minutes left. They need to revoke the Blackshirts.

58
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:20pm

Found a bigger one.

at UTEP (+37.5) 23, BYU 16, 1985. UTEP was 0-6, BYU was 6-1.

59
by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:23pm

Bo Ruud just intercepted for Nebraska and scored, extra point made 37-35.

60
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:24pm

58- I *think* Temple beat Virginia Tech as a 38 1/2 point favorite about ten years ago.

61
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:25pm

Ole Miss is down 3 and has the ball, 13:00 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Just to re-iterate, this game is streaming live on Yahoo sports. If Ole Miss could move the ball in the red zone they'd probably be up by a touchdown or so, given that their first 4 trips to the red zone only netted 9 points.

62
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:28pm

Re: 60

According to one source, Temple was a 35.5 point underdog when they beat Virginia Tech 28-24 in 1998.

63
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:31pm

Re #60
VaTech was "only" a 35.5 point favorite over the Owls. See link.

64
by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:35pm

Ball State just made another field goal (22 yards), 40-35. with 7 minutes left. Ball State has 567 yards gained today.

65
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:39pm

Thanks 62, 63.

Louisville down three with a minute to go.

66
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:39pm

And the grip 'Cuse put around it's own neck just got a bit tighter.

67
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:42pm

That has to be the worst execution of an onside kick I've ever seen. I guess Louisville didn't practice it because they didn't think they'd need it this week.

68
by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:45pm

Huskers just scored another touchdown and screwed up the two point conversion. 41-40 with 3 minutes left. Maybe if Sam Keller can play defense....

69
by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:56pm

Ball State just missed a field goal with 12 seconds. Huskers are going to win, but it was too close.

70
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 4:57pm

Uh-oh. Notre Dame actually scored!

71
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 5:02pm

Watching LSU v South Carolina and noticing again that Verne Lundquist and Todd Blackledge quietly do an excellent job calling the games every autumn Saturday.

72
by Craig G-Stunna Yetsko (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 5:15pm

Penn State will be coming back. Just you wait and see.

73
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 5:35pm

Awesome play by Jonal Saint-Dic to strip the ball from Claussen. That was sweet.

74
by navin (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 5:42pm

Gary Danielson is the color guy for CBS now.

75
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 5:51pm

Either OSU has found an offense, or Northwestern has no defense whatsoever.

76
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 5:53pm

Jason Gingell with a Kevin Kelly special- badly honking a FG after a long drive.

77
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 5:59pm

"Either OSU has found an offense, or Northwestern has no defense whatsoever."

It's quite possible that both are true. Their offense started clicking last week at Washington, and although it's still not the greatest, well, Northwestern really sucks.

Also, their average start (before the last drive) was the Northwestern 43. That makes it a bit easier on the offense.

Hey, Northwestern's QB apparently went to the Aaron Brooks school of pocket presence. Way to lose an extra 12 yards there, buddy!

78
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:09pm

77-

I missed OSU last weekend because a friend had the nerve to get married, and this weekend I'm watching yet another PSU season die a painful death at the hands of Michigan. From what you're saying, it sounds like PSU-OSU might end up 10-7 instead of 3-2 like people thought at the beginning of the season.

ND has scored 2 TDs today and even played a little defense on occasion today. I still have no faith in Clausen surviving the year with the number of hits he's taking. I guess the big question is if MSU starts their swoon this week, next week, or if John L. took the swoon with him?

79
by Thok (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:15pm

Random upset watch: Air Force (3-0) is down 24-0 to BYU (1-2).

If they lose, then Hawaii would be the only team from outside the Big 6 conferences to be undefeated.

80
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:16pm

I have absolutely no faith in Michigan State to win this game. None. They may surprise me and pull it off, but nobody knows how to lose to a team they should mop the floor with quite like MSU. Just when Notre Dame looks like they've hit rock bottom, along come the Spartans to ruin everyone's fun.

81
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:22pm

Wow. Taking a knee at the opponents 43 at the half. What is MSU afraid of?

82
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:37pm

Yeah, I know, Anthony Morelli is terrifying, but could PSU please open up the offense? They aren't winning by running early. Spread it out, and let Morelli throw. Isn't it better to go down swinging as opposed to death by papercut?

83
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:39pm

Oh, this is awesome. OSU gives a terrible effort on the kickoff to open the second half, gives up a TD after several missed tackles. Possibly as punishment (or possibly according to plan), Tressel sends the first team offense back in (they'd been pulled late in the first half). And of course in the first few plays, Chris Wells has someone fall on his ankle and aggravates an old injury. Awesome.

84
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:48pm

Just as PSU gets some momentum, Austin Scott with another killer fumble in the red zone.

85
by navin (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:49pm

LSU has NFL caliber offensive and defensive lines.

86
by Nate (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:50pm

1) I hate the Big Ten Network
2) I love Rashard Mendenhall (when he's not fumbling). He has NFL talent.

87
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:50pm

If I could put a massive string of swear words here, I would.

Not about the Penn State fumble. I'm not that emotionally invested. Instead, I can't believe that other Penn State fans are going to have something to complain about for another year. Again.

Seriously, the fact that that fumble wasn't overturned is going to be more ammo for Penn State fans. I'm listening to the Michigan student radio as well as watching it, and even they thought it should've been overturned. Yai.

88
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:52pm

I should actually say - even though Penn State just got the ball back via a fumble of Michigan as well, that's not going to placate Penn State fans. That would require logic.

89
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 6:56pm

Pat-

Well, if they got the ball back at the 9 yard line, it would be a fair trade. You can't always bank on the PSU offense. I thought the fumble could have gone either way- likely it stayed a fumble since it was called that way on the field.

PSU picked up a huge 4th and 1 and is back at the 9 yard line after pass interference. I wonder how they'll screw it up now.

90
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:05pm

Have I mentioned I hate college football's pass interference rules? I hate the NFL's as well, but when you allow the defender to have the option "oh shoot, I got beat, it'd be a touchdown, I can just tackle the receiver, though" - that's just crap.

You need a 15-yard "minor pass interference" and a spot foul "major pass interference."

91
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:11pm

Can someone please shoot Paul Maguire?

92
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:13pm

Hence the reason I've got the radio feed on.

93
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:13pm

LSU looks like a team on an entirely different level than the rest of the country. Florida could be in for a beating next week.

94
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:19pm

PSU has to put the game in Morelli's hands here, right? If they come out running, I'm punching a window out.

95
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:22pm

Brett Hoyer fumbles the snap, picks it up, and throws for a TD. 31-14 MSU. I don't think MSU can blow this one.

96
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:34pm

"I don’t think MSU can blow this one."

I didn't think I'd ever read that sentence on this site! What's frightening is, I'm actually ready to agree. Almost. Well, there's still a lot of time left, and they're still the Spartans...

97
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:37pm

What a horrible decision for Michigan State to kick the field goal on fourth-and-goal while up 17. Serves them right that they missed.

98
by vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:44pm

ok, who has money on the LSU-SC game? something fishy there....anybody know the spread & over/under?

99
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 7:45pm

PSU has 80 seconds left, no timeouts left, and needs to go about 85 yards. How many throws until Morelli throws the killer INT?

100
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:02pm

SC with the late TD for the backdoor cover, assuming that LSU doesn't score again.

101
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:05pm

PSU has doomed us to at least two weeks of MICHIGAN IS BACK as UM has Northwestern next week

102
by kibbles (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:07pm

Re #71: Watching LSU v South Carolina and noticing again that Verne Lundquist and Todd Blackledge quietly do an excellent job calling the games every autumn Saturday.

Unless they think that an SEC team is about to get screwed by the polls. Then they loudly do an excellent job of calling the games.

Re #93: LSU looks like a team on an entirely different level than the rest of the country. Florida could be in for a beating next week.

As a Florida fan, if I have any consolation, it's that Urban Meyer is probably the best big-game coach in college football. He's never lost a rivalry game at any school, he's never lost a bowl game, and he's never lost a championship game. I'd say Florida has more of a chance against LSU than they did against Ohio State. Hell, as long as we have Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow, and Percy Harvin, I'd say we have a great chance against anyone.

103
by kibbles (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:16pm

Also, I am firmly convinced that Tim Tebow could actually run a 10-man offense with reasonable success. I mean, think about it- on most rushing plays, the QB hands off and then passively watches the rest of the way, maybe occasionally throwing a block. On normal running plays, you have the ballcarrier and 9 blockers (the 5 linemen and the 4 other eligible receivers). When Tebow runs, you have 10 blockers (the 5 linemen and all 5 eligible receivers). Now, he'd certainly miss the extra blocker on passing plays, but as long as Florida continues to use him as a tailback, the running game would still be able to function at a high level. I'm not saying it would be a great offense, but it would probably be better than what Notre Dame is fielding right now.

I really wish that every NFL player was 100% injury-proof, because I would love to see the single wing make a comeback. Just eliminating the RB and having the QB handle both duties makes the offense pretty damn hard to stop- how many other offenses can consider a 5-wide shotgun formation a "running formation"? I could just imagine what a Mike Shanahan or a Gary Kubiak would do with that kind of personnel advantage.

Also, I want to stop before I officially hit the point of "gushing" (really, I'm gushing about how cool using the QB as an RB is, not about Tebow in particular- honest!), but my favorite thing about Florida's offense is that it's probably the only one in all of college football that bothers to run the playfake out of empty backfield formations.

104
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:19pm

"He’s never lost a rivalry game at any school"

Hold on! What have we here...?

Toledo 42, Bowling Green 24. B!G!S!U!C!K!S!

Still a pretty impressive resume, but nobody's perfect. Especially when they face a Toledo team that isn't shaving points. I'd definitely not be counting them out next week, at any rate.

105
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:29pm

I like Mike Leach, but when you're up three with three minutes to go, would it kill you to run once? A three and out with two incompletions is not the way to milk the clock.

106
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:37pm

McFadden went to the locker room early at Arkansas, while they're on offense. Uh-oh.

The Arkansas QB just illustrated how much all he needs to do is not completely suck. A play action fake, and a lob throw to a wide-open receiver on the left. Only one defender anywhere near the vicinity, doesn't get there in time and misses the tackle. The receiver is able to run a long, long way before another defender even gets into the screen. If teams have to overcommit that much to stop the run, my goodness, the QB just has to approach mediocrity and the offense should be a monster.

And a major turnaround. After said long gain from a 3-yard pass and juking one defender, the backup RB fumbles and it's returned for a touchdown. Instead of being up 20-7 at worst, in FG range and possibly able to get a nail in the coffin with a TD, suddenly it's only 20-14 going to the half and the stadium is dead silent. No, now they're booing. Wow. Not sure that booing is the appropriate response to such a dominant half, but whatever.

Arkansas just can't lose this game. After losing such a tough one last week - getting creamed early, roaring back, and blowing it late - it would be so rough to completely dominate this one and find a way to blow it. So rough that I kind of want to see it happen. Come on, Kentucky!

107
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:45pm

UF plays Auburn next week - LSU the week after that.

LSU looked very good against USCe, no doubt; it will be interesting to see how they fare away from the comfortable depths of Death Valley (and at Tulane next week probably doesn't count.)

108
by James G (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:58pm

I swear I'm ready to give up on PSU ever beating Michigan again. The last time they won, I was a second year grad student. It's been 6 years since I got my PhD, now. And this "offense" see,s to look worse every season since Wally Richardson became the QB (aside from Robinson's one good year).

109
by navin (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 9:03pm

My perspective on the LSU-USC game...

LSU's lines were dominant. When Jasper Brinkley got hurt in the first half, the LSU ground game couldn't be stopped. It cooled down a bit in the second half after Brinkley recovered and probably a bit because LSU had the 21 point lead.

SC was hurt by fumble luck (4 fumbles, all recovered by LSU) and a dropped INT that would have been returned for 7--but good teams make those plays.

The fake FG was sweet. It was well executed, no one on SC even thought about defending it. The flea flicker late in the game was a horrible decision. If the two SC players hadn't collided, it might have been taken back for six, and the pass was intercepted despite the collision.

LSU definitely deserves their ranking, but I think they'll get a tough against UF and in the SEC championship game.

110
by DMP (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 9:10pm

It's still stands that MSU hasn't proved anything yet. ND is trully awful and that was the case again today. The 31-14 final wouldn't even have been that close if not for the MSU fumble in the 1st and the one actual drive (good to see we haven't lost all our mis-tackling ways yet). This much is established: Dantonio is as conservative as Tressel on offense, and Hoyer is terrible. Maybe these things are correlated. I am a little said it was MSU that popped the ND offense TD cherry, though. Seems like MSU always has to be the first one to give up something to the crapier teams. Since it was not possible that they could give away this win, they settled for giving away the first TD. We are nice like that in East Lansing.

111
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 10:06pm

New Mexico State is trading punches with Auburn, and UConn is pounding Pitt. The Wannstedt era thus far has been a disaster in western Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, I've read that Tuberville could be in trouble at Auburn- if that's the case, Auburn is CRAZY.

112
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 10:18pm

Tyler is having a terrible time seeing the open man. I know some of those early hits likely rattled him but he needs to chill as when he does have time to throw he keeps bombing it downfield.

113
by TheWedge (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 10:38pm

So, Kentucky eh? Boy, is Casey Dick horrible.

114
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 10:45pm

#111... Any coach that stuck with Brandon Cox as long as Tuberville did deserves to be in trouble. For example, Frank Beamer recognized Sean Glennon was just not going to get it done and made the move instead of watching him stink for another year. Cox is a terrible college QB.

115
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/22/2007 - 11:12pm

114- Tuberville's record at Auburn is nothing less than sterling, and they keep beating Alabama.

If Auburn is turning on Tuberville in September, he should be kicking himself for not taking the Miami job.

116
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 12:12am

Saban better find time for this shit.

117
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 12:14am

If Bama pulls this out, the "Saban is God" crowd in Alabama will be insufferable. Going into OT. Bama was down 10 with about 7 minutes left before UGA collapsed.

118
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 12:21am

Holy crap, a UGA receiver held on to a pass! UGA wins in OT.

119
by bradluen (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 12:43am

How do you sort out these wacky Big Ten teams? Penn State lost to Michigan (who lost to Appalachian State, who lost to Wofford, wherever that is), and Penn State is still going to be ranked, so do we have to rank Michigan now?

Fortunately Wisconsin is going to hang on against Iowa, otherwise my head might've exploded.

120
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 1:22am

Folks are going to look at the score and figure Wisconsin skated by again followed by a likely drop in the polls since Iowa lost last week to a pedestrian Iowa State team.

I will point out that Iowa has as good a front four in the conference as anyone. Those guys can flat out play. Iowa's gameplan was to win with defense and a punter who hangs the ball in the air for about 20 seconds.

Wisconsin turned the ball over three times. Wisconsin blocked a field goal that bounced right back to the holder. Wisconsin's defensive back was manhandled on the only TD scored by Iowa.

On the flip side that was some pretty odd defensive playcalling to the end the half. And methinks the young safety is going to get an earful for letting the Iowa guy just run by him on that last pass play by the Hawkeyes. Good grief.

The coaching staff gave up on the pass in the second half. I know the Badgers managed to punch it in for the TD but later on that 3rd and 7 was a give up call. A forty yard field goal is no sure thing. Donovan is going to have to win a game at some point.

The defense played better though clearly the Iowa offense helped. DeBauche the WI punter improved from his previous games so that's a positive.

If the kids in the secondary and at receiver can learn quickly enough Wisky just might be able to put up a decent fight against PSU in a few weeks. Of course, they keep giving the other team the ball and that game will only count for the Lions............

121
by Trieu (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 1:25am

I'm reading the recap of the Tech-OSU game. How did Tech lose the game when they had the lead, the ball, and only 2:44 to burn? I'm really asking, as I didn't get to see the game and I don't know the clock rules for college football. How many timeouts did OSU have remaining at that point? If Tech simply kneeled three times, using up as much time as they were allowed, and then punted, how much time would have been left for OSU? Granted, OSU ended up scoring on its first play, so technically they only needed one second. But I imagine your defense would have set up a bit better if they know the opponent has only a few ticks on the clock.

122
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 1:36am

Alabama just does not have the defensive depth to play that average on offense, giving up double the plays and time of possession is not going to do it right now.

That being said-we came back from 10 down, something I am not sure Shula's squad would ever do, and we fought back in a game that we were outplayed in big time.

and the TE for Georgia...drops everything but somehow makes a huge 4th and 2 catch (though Coutu missed the field goal anyway).

oh and LSU girls do dress up, I say its 60-40, casual wear to sundresses, though the girls falling down the wet stairs were all dressed up.

and LSU's line play is amazing right now.

123
by Craig G-Stunna Yetsko (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 1:42am

Penn State got robbed.

124
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 1:48am

oh and did anyone hear the crazy Mike Patrick exchange as I think the Bama-Georgia game was about to go to Overtime, I am paraphrasing:

Mike: So I have a question...how is Britney?

Todd: uhh Britney who?

Mike: Britney Spears.

Todd: What?!? Is she here?

125
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 1:55am

124- I did. Maybe she's with one of the Bama players this week. Went over my head as well.

121- Didn't see the whole thing, but Harrell bounced the winning TD off his intended WR's breastplate.

126
by Craig G-Stunna Yetsko (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 2:04am

Patrick asked, "So how's Britney's career going?"

127
by G_Man (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 2:08am

Biggest choke of the week has to go to Iowa State. After their big win over Iowa, they travel to an 0-3 Toledo and are handling them pretty well and take a 35-24 lead with 5:30 to go in the game. A few minutes later, Toledo takes a 36-35 lead with the Iowa State defense on the field for only two plays, and those two plays were against 2 point conversion attempts. The two touchdowns scored were a kickoff return and a botched punt snap recovered by Toledo for a TD.

Despite this incredible collapse, ISU manages to get in position to kick a 39 yard FG to win the game. And true to form, it's blocked.

Speechless. I'm absolutely speechless.

128
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 2:08am

Colt Brennan hasn't played, and Graunke, Hawaii's backup QB, is pretty dreadful. Charleston Southern is driving down 14-7 about 3 minutes into the second quarter. Upset watch?

129
by Craig G-Stunna Yetsko (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 2:14am

Hawii is sucking nad tonight. who knew

130
by Craig G-Stunna Yetsko (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 2:15am

Sorry, sounded like Beavis there. That wa suppsoed to be "bad.

I'm drunk right now off some gin and tonic. I'm bummed out over the PSU loss and bad calls by the refs in that game.

131
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 3:09am

Utah: routed UCLA last week, shut out, 27-0, by UNLV this week. I suspect that rout of the Bruins may end up looking like the flukiest game of the year.

I don't know if there's a more important player to any team than Colt Brennan to Hawaii. Without him, they look only marginally better than Charleston Southern. With him, at least, nobody's really sure just how good they are, but at least clearly better than a non-elite I-AA team like Charleston Southern.

Apologies for any typos/incoherencies-I'm really freakin' tired and not looking forward to watching the rest of this game (online stream, UH up 21-10 at half right now).

132
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 3:26am

Hawaii returns the second half kickoff for a TD and has a INT return TD on CSU's 3&long to turn a 21-10 competitive game into a 35-10 uninteresting game 1:20 later.

133
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 8:42am

I know the JLS Trophy goes to a coach, but can we get a shout-out for Minnesota Golden Gopher Jamal Harris who picked up a blocked field goal and, while streaking towards the endzone with nothing in front of him but his dick, dropped the ball. He wasn't hit, didn't hit the ball against his leg. He just dropped it. Purdue recovered and Minnesota, which was getting pounded at the time, wound up losing by 14.

134
by James G (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 9:09am

119 - The correct answer is not to rank Penn State. They have beaten three horrid teams - FIU, Buffalo, and Notre Dame. Buffalo lost at home to Baylor yesterday. FIU lost yesterday to Kansas 55-3. And the only team that put on a less dominating performance against Notre Dame was Michigan State. I'm afraid it's going to be another long year for the Lions. (or at least closer to last year than 2005).

135
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 9:25am

Some amusing comments from both sets of wide receivers after the game. Apparently Iowa got the head start in grabbing receivers with no call but Wiscosnin got into the mix at the start of the second half after Wisconsin cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu was pushed off his coverage by the Hawkeye WR.

"I asked the ref how come no call," said Ikegwuonu, "He said it was incidental contact. I said "Fine, I'm going to try that too." He just laughed."

Apparently it was clutch and grab night at Camp Randall. Hence Wisconsin trying only four passes the second half. The Iowa defensive backs were doing a good job throwing the young Wisco receivers off their routes and the Iowa pass rush was getting pressure on Donovan.

I doubt every game will allow that level of contact but the Wisconsin receivers have got to do a better job of hand fighting and working through bump and run type coverage.

136
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 10:23am

I wrote this a few weeks ago and I think yesterday's results somewhat validate my supposition. Which is that the Big Ten teams no longer have sufficient talent to play "vanilla" schemes in non-conference games and still win consistently.

It's pretty clear that Big 10 coaches plan for the Big 10 season. In all the games yesterday I saw completely new looks on both sides of the ball that were hardly in evidence in the early season games.

In the past Big Ten teams could use "x" plays/defensive set ups and beat teams outside the conference with regularity. No more. I think that is where the coaches are going to have to adjust.

While it's good to know that the coaches gear toward the Big Ten season, they need to take the blinders off a bit.

137
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 10:37am

My new Top 25:

1. LSU
2. Oklahoma
3. Southern Cal
4. Florida
5. West Virginia
6. Cal
7. Ohio State
8. Oregon
9. Boston College
10. Texas
11. Clemson
12. Wisconsin
13. Kentucky
14. Arizona State
15. South Carolina
16. Missouri
17. South Florida
18. Virginia Tech
19. Georgia
20. Rutgers
21. Alabama
22. Penn State
23. Cincinnati
24. Michigan State
25. Miami

138
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 12:08pm

kevin:

This is not a question about Wisconsin. I am legitimately curious as to why Ohio State moves up from 13 to 7 in your assessment?

Washington got clobbered by UCLA. Northwestern came into this game off a loss to Duke. Duke!

So what struck you as being that impressive?

Not looking for an argument. I just want to understand the reasoning.

139
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 12:19pm

138- Fair question. Ohio State seems to be coming together, and I may have ranked them too low to open the season. Oregon and Wisconsin struggled, BC's win over Georgia Tech looks less imppressive now...

There really isn't much difference between 6 and 12 in my rankings, and since the season is so young things are very liquid.

Virginia Tech shot up, not because they played well against William and Mary, but because the loss to LSU doesn't look nearly as bad as it did two weeks ago.

140
by morganja (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 1:00pm

How about that Wofford?

141
by navin (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 2:02pm

BC and Clemson are too high. I won't believe in an ACC team until the conference has a good out of conference win. (No, TAMU doesn't count.)

142
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 4:46pm

141- I don't think any of the teams I have ranked below BC or Clemson are demonstatively better than those two teams.

The one that I don't get in the media polls is Rutgers- how can they be ranked ahead of Oregon? Rutgers hasn't played ANYONE, while Oregon blew out Michigan on the road.

Does anyone else think that Louisville's demise could really hurt West Virginia? If West Virginia is one of three undefeated teams tehy're almost certain to be the one outside looking in, as they likely won't have a "signature win" on their schedule.

143
by Mike J (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 6:06pm

Badger: We sure as hell ain't winning with Jake Christiansen, gotta win with something, eh? Why not the punter?!

I think we have one offensive weapon. (Moeaki).

144
by oljb (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 6:36pm

A win over a top-ten Rutgers would be a signature win for West Virginia. If a win over a top ten team isn't meaningful, what possibly could be?

There's also the game against ranked South Florida, and the game over ranked Cincinnati. There's an outside chance that Louisville could be back in the rankings by the time they play WVU if they don't continue to lose.

Frankly, I'm appalled that Florida didn't drop further in the rankings this week. That kind of performance would have seen West Virginia drop in the rankings if voter behaviors held up. WVU dropped two consecutive weeks after solid wins, and this week dominated East Carolina in every way. Yet Florida gets a narrow victory against a questionable team, and they stay ahead. Mildly infuriating.

145
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 7:24pm

Mike:

The running backs are pretty good. But the O-line is iffy. I was surprised Iowa put the game in the qb's hands. Wisconsin's d-line isn't that big and can be overpowered. That and the WI linebackers routinely overpursue. Counter plays kill them.

The d-line for Iowa is going to keep them in a lot of games. They are some kind of awesome.

146
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 9:11pm

"Yet Florida gets a narrow victory against a questionable team, and they stay ahead. Mildly infuriating."

It's good to be the king.

147
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 9:50pm

144- Florida blew out Tennessee. What has West Virginia done?

And before we start stepping on Tennessee's credentials, they're better than anyone WVU has played. Despite which, West Virginia is in every top five I've seen, including my own.

Plus, Florida plays LSU in two weeks. They'll either win, and there will be no argument that they have a great win on their resume, or they'll lose and WVU will pass them.

West Virginia doesn't have an LSU on their schedule, and that's too bad- they're a talented team and a lot of fun to watch. I'd like to how the stack up Mountaineers against a legitimate power.

I don't see Rutgers as a top ten team or a legitimate power. I'm sticking with my prediction that Rutgers goes 8 - 4.

148
by oljb (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 10:25pm

147-
West Virginia has not defeated Tennessee, you are correct. I'm not sure that's such an incredible credential anyway. So we'll see on Friday, when they face South Florida, which I don't think anyone can consider to be Tennessee's inferior.
What West Virginia hasn't done is come close to coughing up a game to an inferior team, which Florida did. That's the primary reason I'm grumbling about the polls- West Virginia fell after 2 "questionable" weeks (if a 25 point victory over Marshall and a 17 point victory over Maryland are questionable). Florida did not likewise fall after a 6 point victory over Mississippi.
You may well be right about Rutgers. They're kind of like Penn State, prior to this Michigan game. Both teams have played a truly appalling schedule, and that appears to have resulted in Penn State's abilities being overrated. Same may be true of Rutgers. I hope not, but it wouldn't be shocking at all.

149
by navin (not verified) :: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 10:59pm

I'm glad (sarcasm) to see South Carolina has fallen below Georgia in both polls after playing LSU the closest that any team has so far. These polls consistently drive me nuts.

Plus WHY IS MICHIGAN RECEIVING VOTES??? They are 2-2 after FOUR HOME GAMES, with one of the losses to a I-AA team as everyone knows.

150
by DMP (not verified) :: Mon, 09/24/2007 - 3:43am

Please let's not rank Michigan State yet. They haven't beaten anyone yet, as it turns out that the best team in their schedule so far was Bowling Green (Pitt lost to UConn 27-7 and ND is what ND is right now). They looked quite unimpressive on offense in all those games and had enough trouble putting away those teams.

151
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Mon, 09/24/2007 - 8:20am

150: You can say "they haven't beaten anyone yet" about a lot of teams.

Are there really 25 teams that, no questions asked, should be ranked ahead of MSU?

152
by DMP (not verified) :: Mon, 09/24/2007 - 1:05pm

Since I have Big Ten tunnel vision, I will mention Purdue and Michigan. Not sure MSU has the athletic potential to hold down the Purdue offense enough to be able to score with them. At least not with Hoyer holding the ball forever like he is now. To take from EDSBS guest podcast last week, Michigan is a team with good players playing poorly right now. They are rounding into better shape, and could entirely bounce back with a healthy Chad Henne. They are still ahead of MSU top to bottom talent, Kellen Davis and Jonal Saint-Dic excepted.

153
by Sid (not verified) :: Mon, 09/24/2007 - 2:01pm

Vinny not posting his picks is depriving us of a valuable betting strategy.