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27 Sep 2007

Seventh Day Adventure: On the Radar

by Russell Levine

I survived my journey to SEC country and am back safely ensconced in SDA headquarters, where my trusty couch and I will bunker down for another college football bender this Saturday. Unfortunately, this one will not be accompanied by Elvis music, sundresses, or high heels.

Actually, the weekend action begins with a pretty good contest Friday night, as West Virginia visits up-and-coming South Florida. It continues Saturday with some key conference battles.

We're still early enough in the season that we don't know much about a lot of the undefeated teams, including three that are officially "on the radar" this week: Oregon, Clemson, and Michigan State. All three have a recent history of fast starts and miserable finishes. Will this year be any different? This week, we begin to find out.

To help me break down those contests, as well as all the big games this week, I'm joined on the SDA podcast by Football Outsiders's own Dave Lewin. You may know Dave from his college quarterback projection system, the Lewin career forecast. Gil Brandt certainly does.

Dave is a student at Macalester College, where he also played football. Between making projections for Vince Young and Kevin Kolb, and going to class, he also finds time to write for 82games.com and also watch a ton of college football.

Here are the games I'll discuss with Dave on the podcast:

#5 West Virginia (-7) at #18 South Florida, Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

South Florida stunned West Virginia in Morgantown last season, completely shutting down Steve Slaton and the Mountaineers' rushing attack along the way. That was one of three upsets the last two-plus seasons (2005 over Louisville; earlier this month at Auburn) to have put the USF program on the map.

A win by West Virginia here strengthens the Mountaineers' status as Big East favorite and national-title contender. If South Florida pulls another upset, the Bulls and Rutgers will likely vie for the conference's BCS bid.

Keep an eye on how many touches West Virginia finds for explosive freshman tailback Noel Devine, who already has some observers whispering that he might be better than Slaton.

No matter if they win this game, the Bulls have a program on the rise, and the building job coach Jim Leavitt has done in Tampa in such a short period of time is amazing.

Notre Dame (+22) at Purdue, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

This is my weekly "kick Notre Dame while its down" indulgence.

The Irish have become the greatest train wreck in college football, as casual observers tune in to see if the Irish can cover any of the ever-growing spreads they face. The numbers are hideous. The Irish have the nation's 119th-ranked rushing offense, 117th-ranked pass offense, 119th-ranked total offense, and 111th-ranked rush defense. (Keep in mind there are currently 119 teams in Division I-A). Looking for a bright spot? They're ranked fourth against the pass, but even that is most likely a mirage.

We'll find out Saturday if ND actually has a pass defense or if they just haven't been tested because it's been so easy to run on the Irish. Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter should be able to sit back in the pocket, do a little calculus homework, scan the field, and deliver to his choice of open receiver.

Even I may have to call off the dogs if Notre Dame suffers a fifth straight blowout loss to start the season.

#6 Cal (+5) at #11 Oregon, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/GamePlan

Oregon is the first of my three "on the radar" teams this week. The Ducks are off to a surprising fast start, and their blowout win at Michigan just gained some added meaning after the Wolverines edged Penn State last week.

Dennis Dixon is playing lights-out at quarterback for Oregon, but this is the same man that kept losing playing time to Ryan Leaf's little brother the last couple years. Has the light really gone off for him? Or will he, and the Ducks, implode as has been their M.O. the last several seasons?

Cal mugged Tennessee in the opener, but has defensive questions. The Bears have given up nearly 25 points per game to a schedule that isn't exactly loaded with offensive juggernauts, so Oregon has to like its chances to score plenty of points.

Michigan State (+7.5) at #9 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN

Michigan State was the latest to get its licks in against Notre Dame last week, earning a tentative spot on my BlogPoll ballot after getting to 4-0.

We've all seen this from the Spartans before. They look great in September and October, but it all comes crashing down in November. Will the change to Mark Dantonio at coach make a difference this year?

Michigan State has a great opportunity to prove it's for real this week. Wisconsin is far and away the shakiest top-10 team in the country after surviving all manner of scares over the first four weeks. The defense suddenly looks very vulnerable, and a slimmed-down P.J. Hill apparently didn't get the memo that all great Wisconsin tailbacks are supposed to be fat.

#13 Clemson (-2.5) at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ GamePlan

And three makes a crowd. Clemson is also off to the races at 4-0, but its most impressive win was a home victory over offensively impotent Florida State. In a previous podcast, I dubbed Clemson "the Southern Michigan State" for the way the Tigers, too, have melted down in spectacular fashion at the tail end of several seasons, including last year.

Georgia Tech looks like it has already had its meltdown after dropping two straight. First the Jackets' vaunted defense was shredded by Boston College and Matt Ryan at home; last week Georgia Tech dropped a narrow decision at punchless Virginia.

Still, the matchup of C.J. Spiller and James Davis against the Georgia Tech defense should be a good one.

Georgia Tech is already 2 1/2 games out in the ACC's Coastal Division. The conference is just bad enough that even a two-loss team could end up back in the league title game, but they must get past Clemson at home.

Maryland (+16.5) at #10 Rutgers, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ GamePlan

Given that Maryland is Rutgers's first opponent with a pulse, and that Louisville is making the entire Big East look bad, it might be a good time for the Scarlet Knights to lay a beat-down on the Terps.

This line has been climbing all week, which makes me think I'm not the only one that feels this way.

I will stand by my belief that Rutgers is a legitimate top-10 team until I'm proven wrong. Depending on how things turn out in Tampa on Friday night, they might emerge from this game as the prohibitive conference favorite as well.

Rutgers is winning with balance -- Mike Teel has come miles in his development as a passer and the offense is no longer just the Ray Rice show. If Rutgers wants to be taken seriously, it needs to take advantage of one of its few opportunities against even a half-decent opponent, and I expect the Knights to do so.

#22 Alabama (+2.5) vs. Florida State (at Jacksonville), 5 p.m. ET, CBS

It's hard to believe that these two marquee programs have only met twice before this neutral-site game in Jacksonville. And yes, on the podcast I talk about the Florida no longer having a home-field advantage. Apologies, it was early in the week.

The Nick Saban-for-Emperor movement took a hit last week as Alabama let a great comeback go to waste by losing to Georgia in overtime. The Tide should be favored in every game the rest of the way, except for a home date against LSU on November 3, so this game could be the difference in getting to 10 wins.

John Parker Wilson has put up big numbers at quarterback for the Tide, and the Seminoles are vulnerable against the pass. This could be another long night for Bobby Bowden, who nearly was named Alabama's coach in 1986.

#8 Ohio State (-23.5) at Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Ohio State was considered one of four Big Ten contenders coming into the season, but the Buckeyes suddenly look like a clear favorite after seeing their offense come together against Northwestern last week.

Ohio State still has the suffocating defense -- second overall in the nation -- and if Todd Boeckman develops into a capable passer the Buckeyes could very well be undefeated when they arrive in Ann Arbor on November 17.

Minnesota might be the Big Ten's worst team, and should be little more than a roadbump for the Buckeyes. Consider it karma for the schools panicky move to fire Glen Mason for one bad half in last year's bowl game.


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The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Dave Says Russell Says
West Virginia -7 South Florida South Florida West Virginia
Notre Dame +22 Purdue Notre Dame Purdue
California +5 Oregon California California
Michigan State +7.5 Wisconsin Wisconsin Michigan State
Clemson -2.5 Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Clemson*
Maryland +16.5 Rutgers Rutgers Rutgers
Alabama +2.5 Florida State Alabama Alabama
Ohio State -23.5 Minnesota Ohio State* Ohio State
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Guest: John 4-4-0 (0-1-0)    
Guests Composite     15-16-1 (0-3-1)
Russell 4-4-0 (0-1-0) 16-15-1 (2-1-1)

Posted by: Russell Levine on 27 Sep 2007

161 comments, Last at 01 Oct 2007, 12:31pm by DMP

Comments

1
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 11:54pm

ND's defense really hasn't been that bad. Their poor numbers are in large measure due to the fact they're on the field ALL GAME LONG. Offensively, there's at least some hope as the Irish finally found an identity last week... run the ball with 3 different backs and hope/pray the OL makes some holes.

The spread will be based on one thing. Does Purdue want to run the score up late or will they show some mercy like Michigan State did?

2
by Matt (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 12:28am

What's with the perception my Clemson Tigers melt down at the end of the year? Sure, last year the choking was at the end, but the year before we choked at the beginning, before finishing strong. As I recall, 2 years ago we choked in the middle of the season, or was that the season of inexplicable periodic losses to crappy teams?

3
by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 12:38am

I think ND's passing and rushing D splits are explainable as this: it is easy to run on them, their pass defense is OK, but no one throws on them in the second half because they're already nursing a lead. That, and think of what QBs they've seen. GaTech is a running team. PSU has the putrid Morelli. Michigan had a true freshman making his first start. MSU, another first year starter with two returning running backs.

So really, of course those teams were running the ball. Add to that the fact that ND wasn't stopping teams on the ground anyway, and there was no reason to be throwing it a lot, especially with a commanding lead.

4
by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 12:57am

#2:

Don't worry; you'll beat USC either way. ;)

5
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 1:23am

Man the Big Ten is terrible this season. Ohio State gets props for looking good against a team that lost to Duke, all Ohio State has to do is recruit some athletes every season and they may never lose another Big Ten game again.

and I know Auburn is not Auburn....but no Florida-Auburn game?

Nick Saban for emperor did not take a hit yet, coming back to tie the game in the 4th quarter is enough for Alabama fans right now-especially if you lose because of a perfect pass in Overtime. Now the offense looking a little rusty again the next couple of weeks might make him lose the luster a little bit.

6
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 1:50am

Just a couple of corrections on Alabama v. FSU...

This will actually be the fourth meeting between the two schools. They met in 1965 (21-0 'Bama), and then had two more games in 1967 and 1974. In 1967, it was a 37-37 tie, and in 1974 'Bama narrowly edged FSU 8-7 in Tuscaloosa, at a time when FSU had the longest losing streak in the country.

This will, however, be the first time that Bowden plays 'Bama, which is quite big. He grew up a 'Bama fan, and actually went to 'Bama as a QB before transferring to Howard College (now Samford) so he could get married. How we screwed up his hire after Perkins left to go to the Bucs, I'll never know. Still though, it's interesting how he talks about how he wants to, when he retires, go back to a game in Bryant-Denny. Interestingly enough, he says that he hopes that if he does, hopefully *we* won't be playing FSU.

And as for Wilson, he's looked terrible thus far. He had a big game against Arkansas, but also a lot of big turnovers that let them back in it. In the three conference games thus far (Vandy, Arky, and UGA), he has a completion percentage of only about 50%, averaging barely six yards per attempt, and has roughly a 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio. And all of that comes with a running game that has a RB Success Rate of over 60%, an offensive line that leads the SEC in Adjusted Sack Rate, and a great receiving corps.

Some people like at Wilson and see where he threw for 300+ yards against Arkansas and led a comeback and think, "Wow, great quarterback," but those who have followed the Tide much closer, sadly, know better.

All in all though, great article as usual guys.

7
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 1:56am

Mason wasn't fired out of panic. He was fired because the relationship he had with in-state high school coaches had become so dysfuntional that it was becoming almost impossible for Minnesota to successfully compete for the best high school talent in Minnesota. This team is just another typical Gopher team, aggravated by having lost their two best defensive players, where they never have any depth, when they were arrested for sexual assault. The collapse to Texas Tech was merely the final straw. Mason had terrible recruiting on defense for the past couple years, so they can't stop anybody.

8
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 2:06am

no, I refuse to believe that J.P. is not good....*sobs into beer glass*

But yes J.P.'s erratic play has been troubling-he seems to not know how to throw against the zone defense at all right now. He has 2 screen passes picked off, he has twice attempted to throw the ball away-but it stayed in bounds and floated towards the defenders. Alabama does have too much talent at WR to not be taking advantage of an actual run game.

9
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 8:19am

Hehe I live about 100ft from the Macalester campus, I can see the field from my desk. My cousins boyfriend also plays there, didn't know Lewin was from thee, interesting.

10
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 8:20am

eek 1000 not 100

11
by sam (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 8:37am

"You may know Dave [Lewin] from his college quarterback projection system, the Lewin career forecast. Gil Brandt certainly does."

ROTFL.

12
by PHn (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 11:58am

I was attending college down the road at Concordia when Macalester broke its 50-game losing streak. A guy who lived down the hall from me attended the game. He claimed the winning field goal actually missed. The picture in the paper the next morning was, ummm, inconclusive...

13
by Flounder (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 12:53pm

I went to Carleton. Go Knights. Screw you Dave :) We're much much better at ultimate frisbee than football, however. But hey, there aren't a lot of sports where you can see a tiny school like Carleton beat the living crap out of a large state university.

14
by Flounder (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 12:53pm

MIAC forever!

15
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 1:49pm

D-III trash talk! That's outstanding.

16
by Jon (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 3:32pm

Thanks for the positive comments about Rutgers. Covering a 19 point spread is a little worrisome. This Maryland team has a lot of talent, but you don't know how they will respond to a tough road loss. Rutgers had a similar disappointment a few years ago vs. Illinois, but managed to pull it together. QB seems to have been a problem for Maryland so far as well.

I do wish you refrained from speculating about Schiano's future so frequently. He's been clear about this at every point - including on the Boomer Esiason show on Wednesday. As long as the school doesn't suddenly get cold feet about expanding the stadium, he won't be going anywhere.

Could Rutgers maintain success without Schiano? A few years ago people were calling for his head. He was the youngest coach in I-A for several years and went through a steep learning curve. There's been too much institutional improvement to ever fall into the abyss again. In fact, RU's late 90s struggles were largely a function of the ineptness of Terry Shea. New Jersey is very provincial, and the #1 factor for being successful in the area is to have local recruiting ties. That's where Greg's true strength really lies.

17
by DMP (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 5:27pm

Yes, this is now the set-up MSU has found itself in the past several years: start strong (against mediocre teams), beat ND (one and the same this year), then play a good team that is not playing as well and have that team find its legs against them, then said team rides that wave of glory to a marquee bowl while MSU tailspins. This was always made worse by MSU looking stronger than it was from playing lowlies, and the other team looking weaker than it was from some early-season fine-tuning.

That this game is at Camp Randall makes it all the worse. Those people are insanely loud, I think even the basketball hate carries over to MSU. MSU is playing competently with inferior talent, and this "playing/coached competently" is new to all the guys on the team, so I won't be surprised by any mishaps in this or any future game. Judging by MSU's makeup, I don't even think they have to win to prove the program is turning around (can't expect this team to go undefeated just yet, can we?).

18
by Flounder (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 5:42pm

Re: 15 Clearly the MIAC is the SEC of D III

19
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 5:42pm

Hehe I was a ringer on a few frisbee teams at Carleton when I went to the U of MN.

20
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 9:13pm

Watching Mike Ford play right away for South Florida makes me upset. Dude could not qualify to play at Alabama, but is able to go to another BSC conference school, qualify, and play right away.

21
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 9:41pm

Jamar Taylor as well!!! Well he qualified and was an early signee at Alabama, but had a kid back in Florida and transfered to South Florida over the summer....

22
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 9:46pm

Anyone else watching USF-WVA? Just a brutally ugly game, with 5 combined turnovers before the end of the first quarter. Fittingly, USF's D just scored. It looks like they've got WVA's offense completely figured out.

23
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 9:57pm

I am watching it.

Is it that hard to figure out West Virginia's offense...I saw Marshall do it for a half as well. But this game is sloppy as hell.

24
by Stereochemistry (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:11pm

At the least for those without a rooting interest, they have a camera in the replay booth to get an "inside look" at how replay works. I thought it sounded rather gimmacky at first, but so far it's been sort of interesting.

I do have a rooting interest though, so I'm really enjoying the game so far.

25
by oljb (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:17pm

Of the past five games they've played, West Virginia hasn't really turned it on until the second half in three of them (not saying that's a good thing). I'm hopeful to see some adjustments, but can't talk too much smack about South Florida at this point.

26
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:18pm

My 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

Top Ten Coaches Most Likely to be Fired / Resign

1. Mike Stoops, Arizona.
2. Houston Nutt, Arkansas
3. Mark Snyder, Marshall. After the UNH loss, “We Are…Fired�.
4. Ed Orgeron, Ole Miss
5. Tommy West, Memphis
6. Lloyd Carr, Michigan: the Penn State win helps, but I think he’s quitting.
7. Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State
8. Greg Robinson, Syracuse: down from #1 after the Louisville win.
9. Phil Fulmer, Tennessee: Phil’s fate might be decided within a month- if he beats Georgia and Alabama, he’ll get another year. If he loses to both, he’s gone.
10. Ted Roof, Duke: Could anyone win at Duke? Spurrier did OK there…back in the 80’s, when I was fashionable in a mullet and acid-washed jeans.

My guess is that more than ten coaches will be fired after 2007, thus no Bill Doba or Phil Bennett.

Pick of the week: Colorado +22 1/2 over Oklahoma. The Sooners have looked phenomenal so far, but the thin mountain air and the possible look-ahead with Texas next week makes me think CU can keep it close. I'm 3 - 1 so far this year.

27
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:19pm

Wow 8 turnovers in one half...

28
by oljb (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:21pm

Oh my God. Two more plays, two more turnovers. I hope the 'eers can pull out an ugly win, because that's the best case scenario at this point.

29
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:27pm

Pat White now down, bad news for WVA.

30
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:28pm

I think Croom saved his job after beating Auburn-if they play tight games over the season he keeps his job. And the Mississippi St. job was probably one of the worst jobs to go to after Sherril left-I hope State people understand that.

Oregeron is in a weird position-I think he stays as well, he can recruit (well if they qualify) and this year the defense is terrible but the offense is not bad as opposed to the opposite the first 2 season of his job.

I agree with Fulmer and Nutt. Arkansas will understand what they had when they get rid of Nutt and see the team become mediocre, but Nutt looks like he burned too many bridges this past offseason. Fulmer has not done anything recently and Tennessee might be the 5th best team in the SEC East this year-maybe Cutliffe is pulling his own Fulmer right now.

Dennis Franchione needs to be on that list. I think he might be part of the bonfire.

31
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:31pm

Mississippi State is actually 3-1 now. Croom's not going anywhere. They have a real shot at beating a Jasper Brinkley-less South Carolina club IMO.

32
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:34pm

And cue yet another terrible snap by WVA that will limit them to a FG attempt. They just look awful. Even if they somehow win this one I'd drop them. No way are they a top 5 team. The top 4 would eat the Mountaneers alive.

33
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:35pm

ESPN Gamecast says WV just had a "team rush for -17 yards", followed by a *South Florida* timeout.

What?

34
by joe football (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 10:36pm

Why did USF call that TO when the WVU team was rushing that FGA

Also, although they've 'only' lost 3, 80% of the shotgun snaps have been poor. It wouldn't suprise me if WVU came out with another center in the second half

35
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 11:09pm

Wow. USF comes out with their opening drive of the second half and rams it down WVA's throat for a TD. Yup, the Mountaneers are definitely dropping, maybe even out of the top 10.

36
by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 11:15pm

WVU's defense really knows how to make a stand when their team needs one. Or not.

Before the game, I thought WVU would come out and slaughter USF. I may have been wrong.

37
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 11:16pm

#36: Slaughter? Now I had no idea they'd play this badly but no way were they going to "slaughter" a team on the road that beat them last year and appears to be at least as good this year.

38
by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 11:27pm

#37- I said slaughter because I expected WVU to come out looking for payback, and it seemed like too many people were talking about USF. WVU destroyed ECU last week, and looked like they were pretty focused for today. I also thought USF might have the whole "happy to be here" thing going on for the game. Plus, if WVU wants to win a title, they pretty much need to hammer quality teams when they play on national television (especially since UL won't be the quality win WVU was hoping for). I didn't expect WVU to be this sloppy on offense.

39
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 11:31pm

FINALLY WVA seems to be getting something going on offesne. But they absolutely must score a TD here.

40
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 11:32pm

Or they could throw an INT and further doom themselves. Yikes...

41
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 11:33pm

thats game-USF wins this one.

42
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:02am

Hold everything, WVA *finally* gets into the end zone and is now only down 8. If the Bulls go three and out I'm calling another Mountaneer TD, the USF D is gassed.

43
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:04am

42- You're assuming that WVU won't commit yet another dumb turnover. WVU's backup QB threw what should have been the game clinching INT but it was dropped.

44
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:09am

Here we go, USF has to stop WVA from going 75 yards in 2:41 if they want to win. The Bulls offense really let them down after scoring that TD to open the half.

45
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:11am

#44:

Assuming that WV makes the 2-point conversion, of course.

46
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:14am

Holy guacamole, how times on 4th and 10 or more have the Mountaneers converted?! USF should be ashamed.

47
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:18am

INCOMPLETE PASS!!! Game OVAH!

I was rooting for USF all along. They sure do know how to win ugly, I'll say that for them.

Bye bye Slaton and White, nice knowing you.

48
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:18am

Game over. USF pulls it off, Pat White and Slaton both gone from the Heisman race.

49
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:21am

Here's the deal, USF is for real.

It's not a "West Virginia and / or the Big East" is overrated thing.

USF is for real.

50
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:22am

Whew, for a moment I thought Grothe might pull a Pisarcik, the way this game was going.

Anyone else catch Rodriguez about to burst a blood vessel in his brain right before WVA's final offensive play? The man was going absolutely BONKERS over on the sideline.

51
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:22am

So do Slaton and White come back for their senior year? I think White does as he is not a NFL QB, but Slaton could be a wild card-he is not a top 10 pick, but could be a 1st rounder if he left early.

USF in a BCS bowl game?

52
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:24am

It will be interesting to see how good USF is next year-they return their skill position players on offense, but they lose a lot of talent on defense (Moffitt, both corners, Selvie)

53
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:30am

#49: USF might be for real, but this year the Big East really is overrated. I wouldn't be surprised to see Maryland either take Rutgers to the limit or pull the outright upset. You read it here first.

54
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:36am

53- I've stated on several threads here that I feel Rutgers is overrated. :)

Therefore, I feel USF is in the driver's sear for the Big East championship- and a possible undefeated season.

USF is for real.

55
by Jon (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 12:41am

This USF team has as much talent as anyone. You just worry about their overall lack of discipline, lots of sloppy plays tonight. They will give my Scarlet Knights a scare for sure. I'm not sleeping on Cincy, but they're still behind WVU right now.

56
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 1:13pm

Purdue wins-game over.

57
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 1:37pm

Notre Dame just failed on a 4th and 1 at midfield - the Purdue D-line just manhandled the Notre Dame offensive line.

ND's defense then gets Purdue in a 3rd and 29, and Perdue converts it.

Purdue is currently up 10-0.

58
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 1:50pm

That's karma.

Notre Dame fumbles, it looks like Purdue may have recovered, but a ND player ends up with the ball. Purdue calls a timeout to allow a replay, yet the replay official doesn't call for a replay.

Next play, Clausen is picked off.

59
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 1:57pm

So is Michigan still shocked by the spread offense? How is Northwestern scoring points?

60
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 2:12pm

Purdue, 20-0 over ND in the 2nd quarter. Notre Dame is godawful.

61
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 2:16pm

LSU is big time looking ahead. Only up 7-0 with about 7 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. All the LSU fans saw this as a "practice" game-so I hope its close the whole game.

62
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 2:23pm

and a safety by Tulane. 7-2 LSU with 5 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. LSU is too good to keep it this close, but I am loving this so far.

sidenote: I go to LSU law school, but I am an Alabama fan...

63
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 2:30pm

Blocked field goal by Purdue. I cannot imagine Notre Dame keeping that #1 recruiting class and Weis is losing players as well from other classes....

64
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 2:33pm

Touchdown Tulane. They're up on LSU, albeit probably temporarily.

65
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 2:44pm

Potential Big Ten upsets at halftime:

Northwestern 16, Michigan 7.
Illinois 21, Penn State 17.

66
by Pat F. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 3:15pm

I haven't seen much to like from Clausen the first few games of his career, but he just threw a beautiful touchdown pass on 4th and goal from the 5.

....aaaaand ND misses the extra point.

67
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 3:45pm

Clausen is injured. Sharpley was also hit hard...and Jones is now gone.

68
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 3:56pm

cognet.catch22.org for IRC football chat

69
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 4:11pm

Notre Dame is back in this, 19-26.

70
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 4:23pm

Notre Dame is now back out of it.

71
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 4:29pm

Boston College 17
UMass 14

with 5 minutes to go in the 3rd Quarter.

Illinois might be undefeated if Juice was not hurt in the Mizzou game.

72
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 4:29pm

Purdue with a strange touchdown. The announcers are sure there will be a review...but no. The review official seems to have been out to lunch today - the only real review has been when Weis used a challenge.

Game over, 33-19.

73
by Pat F. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 4:29pm

Is the Purdue QB drunk? Why does he keep falling down?

74
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 4:34pm

too many Boilermakers.

Michigan pulls out the win.

Penn State needs JoePa to step down or something-they had a nice season 2 years ago and have done nothing to build from it.

75
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 4:38pm

South Carolina is going to pull this one out, same with Georgia.

76
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 4:47pm

Kansas State just drives down the field on Texas. I think the game is at Texas-its dead silent there.

Maybe Vince Young can sneak into the game-he was at the game....

77
by Josh (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 5:47pm

why the hell do the Spartans punt on 4th and 6 on the 36? like everyone didn't know that ball was going into the end zone, solid 16 yards of field position.
You think maybe getting a first down in opposition territory is worth the shot?

78
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 5:47pm

Don't look now, but OU and Colorado are tied late in the 4th. Looks like the Sooners are finally getting tested for a change. Looking ahead to Texas? Yeah, I think so.

79
by Josh (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 5:50pm

and what happens after that punt? 4 plays and 6 points the other way

80
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:02pm

Why on earth didn't Oklahoma call timeout? If not to ice the kicker, then do it right after the third down so you can at least have a chance at a kickoff return touchdown after the field goal.

81
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:04pm

Experts like usual are wrong. Colorado wins, bye Oklahoma.

Top 5 will be interesting next week.

82
by CA (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:08pm

It's nice to see that Oklahoma lost. That should mean that we won't be seeing an overrated Sooners team running up the score and riding a soft schedule to a National Championship Game appearance at the expense of a more deserving squad yet again.

83
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:11pm

#82: Hear hear! Preach it brutha! I was rooting like hell against OU. Notice I didn't say for Colorado, who I view as an institute of pure evil. But at this point I'd have rooted for the Al Quaeda All Stars if they'd played the Sooners.

And it looks like Texas might lose as well to make a complete mockery of those teams's "showdown" next week and a mockery of the Big 12 in general. Life is very good for 316 right now :-)

84
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:12pm

Yeah too bad we might have to see Ohio State do it instead this year.

the top 10 might look really different next week.

85
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:13pm

Also I must say the media so far has been shockingly quiet about this except for ESPNews. You'd think everyone else would be all over this, the #3 team just got beat by an unranked opponent, that's all.

86
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:14pm

It's turning into a pretty crazy season so far. Oklahoma blew out their first couple opponents and so everyone had them as a top national title contender and they go out and lose to a Colorado team that's played pretty poorly so far this year.
I only caught the last few minutes of the game but looking at the stats it seems like Colorado was pretty dominant. Colorado had 7 more first downs than Oklahoma (19 vs 12), held the ball almost twice as long (39 min vs 21 min), had 150 more yards of offense (380 vs 230), and won the turnover battle (2 vs 3).

87
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:17pm

Just checked the espn.com college football page. No mention of it. It's like they're pretending if they don't talk about the OU upset loss, then that means it didn;t happen.

Oh well, at least Stoops has that 2000 title to fall back on.

Seriously, you have no idea how happy this has made me.

88
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:27pm

Its on there-give it time and watch College football wrap tonight and it will show you everything you want to know.

89
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 6:49pm

I call for an end to any back-up QB coming into run the ball as a Tebow play. Or mention Tebow in a non-Florida game.

90
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 7:39pm

Maryland leading Rutgers in the fourth...this season has been a trip, and it's still only Sepember.

91
by CA (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 7:58pm

Defensive holding by the Spartans against the Badgers in the end zone. Penalty: Half the distance to the goal, repeat third down. Badgers stuffed on third and goal and kick field goal to go up 37-34. I thought defensive holding resulted in an automatic first down. I'm having trouble finding the official rule.

92
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 7:58pm

Kentucky might be a top 7 team next week....Kentucky...

93
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 8:08pm

92- I was just thinking that there could be some ODD teams in the Top 10 this week. South Florida for sure, and maybe Kentucky and Arizona State.

94
by Thok (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 8:08pm

Could anybody who's watching the Cal-Oregon comment about whether the refs made the right call on the Oregon's last fumble?

(I'm listening to the game on the radio.)

95
by FJ (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 8:21pm

#94 - It was pretty close, but only from one angle did it look like it might have been a TD, and that was from the sidelines looking toward the end zone.

ABC announcers kept calling it conclusively a fumble and touchback after viewing that replay.

But you never know with the officials in Oregon :p....

Great redemption for the D player on the play (who made a mistake in the 1st half which lead to a Ducks TD). He hit the arm of the receiver which immediately jarred the ball lose. Otherwise, it very well could have been 6.

F

96
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 8:35pm

Now can we call the Big East overrated? It's hard to believe that many people were calling West Virginia, Louisville, and Rutgers potential national title contenders. Its not like the teams that Louisville and Rutgers lost to were even good teams. Syracuse is terrible and Maryland looks like a .500 team at best.

97
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 8:46pm

Although USC and LSU may still have something to say about it, it looks like otherwise, parity has just arrived. I, for one, welcome our upset-minded overlords.

98
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:01pm

7-0 Florida State over Alabama in the 4th quarter, and the Alabama QB fumbles on his own 2-yard line. Florida State recovers, touchdown on the next play, 14-0.

The way the offenses are playing this game (offensively, heh), that pretty much prevents this week's Saban coronation.

99
by calig23 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:05pm

Out of rampant curiosity, what is the most number of top 25 teams to lose in one weekend? By my count, 7 Top 25 teams have lost this weekend, with Alabama looking like a likely 8th team. Only two of the losses have been to other top 25 teams.

100
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:12pm

Kickoff is here...giggity giggity

101
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:13pm

D.J. Hall is the best WR in football no one knows about

102
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:14pm

Re: 94

I thought it was pretty conclusively a fumble. There was angle from the near sideline that made it look fairly obvious.

Talk about carnage -- my picks have been brutal this week.

Yes, the Big East is starting to look very overrated, but what conference isn't? The Big Ten looks awful, the ACC is a joke, the Big XII, meh.

Is the SEC really that great? Alabama has done nothing against a very average Florida State.

I think it's neck and neck between the SEC and Pac-10 at this point.

103
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:18pm

oh and drives like this makes me so mad-we gave up on the run on the fumble drive and Florida State smelled blood.

what happened to Lionell Mitchell....for Christ sake this Alabama team was probably an 8 win team, but this stuff pisses me off.

104
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:20pm

Can we please stop with "What conference is better" nonsense. The answer is We have no freaking clue-no one does so stop asking.

105
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:20pm

Hey Griff, no sundresses this week and you're still excited?

106
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:21pm

Nasty late hit on the QB by USC there. Glad Lockhart wasn't hurt.

107
by Mike W (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:22pm

I think there should be five, maybe six teams in the top ten next week.

108
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:24pm

Should probably not answer questions after seeing the game slip away....but really the question is beginning to make me upset...there is no way to know-Florida State scrapped by Colorado-that was suppose to be a negative-then Colorado beats Oklahoma everyone's favorite for the national championship.

109
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:27pm

Who is that guy wearing #12 for Auburn? Delivering the ball on time and to the right man ... that can't be Brandon Cox!

(And how does he still have an ACL after that low tackle?)

110
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:28pm

Russ- I have plenty of mental pictures.

The florida D secondary is going to make for a long nervous night.

111
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:30pm

Just flipped over to ABC -- Washington's throwback uniforms are AWESOME.

112
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:41pm

And on ESPN2, Minnesota's golden bodysuits are horrific.

113
by Dired (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 9:41pm

How come Notre Dame gets to play twice in one day?

114
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:04pm

USC looks really out of sync so far. Lots of penalties, a couple of bad snaps, and an interception. Of course, Washington hasn't been able to take advantage.

115
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:04pm

USC's starting center went out injured, the backup has led to two fumbles, one which was called off because of a miraculous pre-snap penalty, the other recovered by Washington inside the 15 yard line.

The replacement needs to spend halftime practicing the snap.

116
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:06pm

Washington touchdown - 7-0 Washington over USC early in the 2nd quarter.

USC is really out of sync.

117
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:08pm

Locker runs it in, putting Washington up 7-0. Be interesting to see if this wakes up USC, which really hasn't come to play so far.

118
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:14pm

And USC marches down the field to tie it up. Now that USC is done fooling around, I predict this game will turn into a blowout soon.

119
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:16pm

What the heck is going on with Florida-Auburn? Auburn is up 14-0 and Brandon Cox is 10 of 12 for 152 yards.

120
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:22pm

Hey Urban, feel free to call something other than a Tebow dive up the middle

121
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:22pm

Re: 104

Spoken like a true SEC-hater! jk ;)

122
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:25pm

Florida's defense has been exposed- no pass rush and a very inexperienced secondary equals trouble

123
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:26pm

USC called for a personal foul on an incomplete pass - late hit on the receiver after he dropped the pass.

I think it's the right call given the way things are generally enforced these days, but I always hate calls on plays that would have been legal had the ball been caught. If the receiver had caught the ball, it would have been a fine hit. The fact that the ball was dropped when the player was barreling at warp speed toward the receiver shouldn't turn it into a penalty.

124
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:28pm

I'm pulling out a "told you so" here. I said after the Navy game that I was worried about Rutgers' run defense, and was told that you can't judge against the option. They weren't running any option today, it was just good old-fashioned poor tackling.

But to be fair, the defense was on the field forever, due to turnovers and an inexplicably quiet day by Ray Rice. (Even on their scoring drives, he wasn't used much.) Rutgers really needed a couple of clock-eating drives of their own and never got them.

Bottom line, if the defense is really as soft as they looked today, Rutgers is probably looking at something like an 8-4 season. Hopefully, it'll turn out to be a learning experience.

(BTW, I wonder what odds you could have gotten that there would be 3 undefeated Big East teams at the end of September[pending Cincy tonight], and West Virginia, Rutgers and Louisville would be none of them. Not that UConn should count anyway.)

125
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:28pm

123-

My problem with that call is that the receiver was acting as if the pass was a lateral and was trying to pick the ball up off the ground. It seems wrong to penalize a defensive player for continuing to play when the offensive player hasn't stopped playing.

126
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:36pm

An incredibly ticky-tack roughing the passer call against Washington gives USC a first down at the 8, touchdown one play later.

The first thing that came to mind was "This is such a make-up call for the late hit call on USC." The announcers immediately echo the same sentiment.

When even Herbstreit thinks it's a bad roughing call, it's a bad roughing call.

127
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:42pm

Wow, USC receiver bobbles a pass, intercepted by Washington, returned for a touchdown. Tie game right before halftime.

128
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:47pm

Nice job by the Washington defense to hold them to a field goal there. That could've been a real momentum killer for Washington if USC had gotten a touchdown.

129
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:48pm

If USC (tied) and Florida (down 14) lose...heck, if even one of them lose...

130
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:04pm

Florida on the board with a field goal. Auburn wasn't able to move the ball at all on their first drive of the second half, let's see how they do now.

131
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:06pm

Oregon State was up 14-0 on UCLA, and 14-3 at halftime. UCLA is now leading 40-14.

Oregon State has fumbled three kickoffs. Two were lost, and the third was fumbled out of bounds. Oregon State, even late in the 3rd quarter, was up 14-6...and just fell apart. Fumbles galore, and meanwhile the defense decided to take the rest of the night off.

132
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:14pm

Was Auburn sandbagging everyone the last few weeks? They were incompetent offensively to start the season.

133
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:24pm

Okay...I know Mike Leach is a popular round these parts, but it's time to stop running it up on a D 1-AA team.

134
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:40pm

Why does Auburn play like world beaters against Florida, but high schoolers against everyone else? Florida just scored to make it 17-10, but I'm not feeling real confident.

135
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:43pm

An Auburn fumble and Florida recovery leads to a Florida touchdown. It's now 17-10, Auburn has the ball early in the 4th. Lots of time left for Florida to score if need be.

Touchdown for USC, they're up 24-14 on Washington late in the 3rd quarter. Washington just had a 20-yard run though.

136
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:43pm

Re: 134

That's because the SEC isn't any good after Florida and LSU! After all, the rest of the teams have beatpaths down to Little Sisters of the poor...

Oh, wait.

No, in all seriousness, I think that the Auburn coaches build a team that fits well against Florida. Just ask Tennessee about that with Florida, pre- and post-Zook.

137
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:51pm

There should be some sort of regulation as to how quickly a fair catch must be called in order for a penalty to be called.

USC punts, the Washington punt returner stands there waiting for the ball, then calls fair catch when the gunners are running full speed at him from about 2-3 yards away. They inevitably plow into him, and it's a 15 yard penalty for fair catch interference.

The announcers are correct that it's an "obvious call", but much like the late hit on the receiver call earlier in this game, and the odd roughing call earlier, it's an obvious call that just seems off.

138
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:53pm

Re: 137

I thought there was such a rule. Perhaps it's just in the NFL.

139
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/29/2007 - 11:58pm

Re: 138

There is such a rule, but to my knowledge, referees almost never enforce it.

It's sort of like the "uncatchable pass" rule for pass interference - the referee is supposed to wave off the flag if the pass wouldn't have been caught had the interference not happened - but it isn't unusual to see a ball that is 5 yards over the receiver's head still lead to an interference call.

140
by hooper (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:02am

Yeah, a lot of calls seem to fall under the "now, that wasn't nice" doctrine.

141
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:10am

That was a terrible call in the Florida/Auburn game for kick catch interference.

College football used to have a "halo rule" which forced the kicking team to give a punt returner a 2 yard window to catch the ball. However, that rule no longer applies - if a player wants the ability to catch the ball freely, they must call for a fair catch.

If no fair catch call is made, then the returner can be tackled instantly. Seems to me like the referees were confusing the fair catch interference rule with the old 2-yard halo rule.

142
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:12am

And then the referees call Tuberville for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for complaining about the call. Wow.

143
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:17am

USC is coming apart in this game. 15 penalties so far for over 150 yards.

Many false starts, three personal fouls, and a number of pass interference calls.

And, right as I say that, USC punts, and they force a fumble on the punt return, recovered by USC. Can they capitalize? We shall see.

144
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:30am

And for once, the "call timeout immediately as the kick goes off" strategy doesn't work, as Meyer calls timeout right as Auburn makes the winning field goal, forcing them to try again.

And the retry goes through. Florida loses, 20-17.

USC receiver falls down in the end zone and a pass is picked off - Washington ball, a few minutes to go, down 7.

But wait! It gets reviewed, and is ruled an incomplete pass. USC lines up for a field goal, and...it's good! 27-17 USC, three minutes to go.

145
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:30am

Florida beats LSU next week.

146
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:34am

I have no rooting interest in the Florida-Auburn game at all, but I'm delighted to see the "call time out just as the ball is snapped" tactic fail. I recognize that it is a legitimate tactic, but it seems really bush league to me and it's nice to see it fail. Would have been even sweeter if the Auburn kid had missed the first one, though! (That's going to happen eventually, and won't it be fun.)

147
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:39am

Florida didn't deserve to win. Kudos to auburn, they outplayed the Gators, especially in the 1st half when Florida couldn't figure out the auburn D. If Tuberville could coach every Saturday as he does against Florida, Auburn would never lose.

148
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:42am

Frankly, I would have no problem if the leagues (NFL and/or college) removed the ability for coaches to call timeout, and returned it to the players, which would put it back to the way it once was - sure, one could ice the kicker, but at least the opposing team would know because they would see someone calling time.

Locker, the Washington QB, is a yard past the line of scrimmage on 4th down when he throws, illegal forward pass, loss of down, turnover on downs to USC. That's his second pass beyond the line of scrimmage in the game, both of them were crushing.

USC is running out the clock, but manages almost nothing, and has to punt it back to Washington, and will do so with about 1 minute left.

149
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:43am

And on the punt, it goes over the punter's head, he gets it, tries to kick, blocked, Washington recovers on the 6.

Wow.

150
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:46am

Washington touchdown, 34 seconds to go. Onside kick time.

Aaaaaaaaaaand...it's recovered by USC. That's the ballgame, but wow. What an ending.

151
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 12:58am

After the way today went I'm sure USC is just happy to escape with any kind of a W.

And Ohio State's failure to run it up on Minnesota means I just threw a 2-6 week on the board. This was the weekend when the "lines that look too good to be true" came back to bite me in the rear. I'm looking at you, Clemson. And you, Alabama.

It's going to be fun filling out a BlogPoll ballot this week. Where do you start placing the one-loss teams? I for one would not pick Wisconsin over Florida or Oregon on a neutral field, for example. I'll probably still go with USC at no. 1 mostly because LSU sleep-walks through games a little too often for my liking, but that will change if they look great against Florida next week.

How high does K-State go? Kentucky? Should be very interesting.

152
by R.J. (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 1:13am

Move South Florida way up.

153
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 1:21am

151- What do we do with Auburn? They beat Florida, they beat Kansas State, and KSU beat Texas...the Mississipi State loss was bad but it turns out the USF loss wasn't.

Russell, you and I put 100x times thought into our rankings than those whose votes count do.

154
by James G (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 1:30am

Tarrant - 137 - but you still can't nail the punt returner prior to him catching the ball if he calls a fair catch or not. And the players from SC nailed Russo before the ball even came down.

155
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 9:12am

Wisconsin gave up 321 yards on 8 plays vs. Michigan State. Good grief.

WI offense was good though Donovan CONTINUES to stare down receivers resulting in another INT. It's also clear that he and the coaching staff get twitchy late in games as the passing games gets shut down except for the most basic roll outs or swing passes.

The word is that Kyle Jefferson, WI wide receiver, is ok after that vicious hit. I hope so. That looked like helmet to helmet but no flag. Maybe that silly roughing the qb call on the 4th qtr was a makeup. Donovan was barely touched.

Good special teams today. 3 made field goals, good kick coverage and several long returns for WI.

Not surprised by the Iowa/Indy score. Hawkeyes left it all on the field against WI last week and Indy can move the ball. Somewhat surprised by NW putting up a fight even with a spread offense. And Morelki "comes through" for me again. PSU folks tell me he is the team's best option, but I have watched his entire career and the guy needs everything "just so" to make plays. And that happens, um, almost never.

WI vs. Illinois, battle of unbeaten Big 10 teams. Crazy times.

156
by Dennis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 9:13am

This makes the USF win over Auburn look really bib. And after beating WV they should be in the top 10.

157
by flounder (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 10:00am

Sadly, it was classic MSU with plenty of dumb penalties. Hoyer just doesn't have much pocket awareness. There were a couple times he was sacked from the blind-side and his little "the pocket can only last so long" alarm should have been telling him to get rid of the ball.

158
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 11:43am

My Meaningless Top 25:

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

-I'm serious about Cal, and they have a strong argument to be #1. Cal has beaten Tennessee and Oregon, and USC has beaten...who?

-I'm serious about South Florida. Can you make a real case that anyone below them should be ranked above them? Heck, they could be ranked higer.

-On Friday I was talking about what a HUGE college football Saturday was coming up on October 6. With Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida all losing, not so much.

159
by James G (not verified) :: Sun, 09/30/2007 - 1:10pm

Kevin11 - my top 10 looks very similar to yours. Yes, I do think USF deserves a #5 ranking right now. I do think Wisconsin is going to stumble at some point. They have way too many close wins.

160
by witless chum (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2007 - 1:04am

Argh!

MSU 3rd and 2 on Wisconsin's side of the fifty, 1:20 left, down by 3, runs two pass plays and turns in over on downs. Jehuu Caulcrick stands on the sidelines.

With that time you run to get the first and then spike or just run a play quick.

Damn it!

161
by DMP (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2007 - 12:31pm

Yeah, I'm not sure why they went all "John L. Smith" on that 3rd and 4th and 2.