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02 Oct 2006

Confessions of a Football Junkie: Hot Seat Edition

by Russell Levine

Saturday brought to a close the first month of the college football season. Five weekends of play are enough for national championship contenders to emerge, for Heisman-worthy players to distinguish themselves, and for conference races to take shape. But Saturday's results may have determined another thing: the futures of some of the nation's high-profile coaches.

At about 11 p.m. on September 23, Michigan State's John L. Smith looked like a genius. His undefeated Spartans were having their way with Notre Dame, leading by 16 points in the fourth quarter before a joyous home crowd The win would almost assuredly move Smith's team into the national rankings. Five quarters of football later, Smith might want to start double-checking his résumé.

Such is the nature of the profession. The national TV cameras documented Michigan State's fourth-quarter collapse against Notre Dame, just as they had the Spartans' wonderful play during the first part of the game. Things went from bad to worse this week as the Spartans lost (on homecoming, no less) to an Illinois team many consider to be America's worst BCS conference team.

Illinois, whose only other win came against Division I–AA Eastern Illinois in its opener, blew a 10-point lead before marching down the field to kick a game-winning field goal with six seconds remaining as Smith and the Spartan faithful looked on, horrified.

Smith sounded resigned to his fate after the game.

"We didn't get the kids prepared to play the game," he said. "And if you go out unprepared emotionally and mentally, you're going to lose and you deserve to lose."

Smith's honesty is one of his trademarks, and such candor is refreshing, but it's also probably not what the alumni and fans want to hear now.

Nobody would confuse Texas A&M's Dennis Franchione with the folksy Smith. Franchione is still reviled as a traitor in Alabama, where he preached loyalty and promised to endure through an NCAA probation that resulted from infractions under his predecessor. Two years after convincing many of his players to stick it out through the difficult times ahead, he bolted for College Station without so much as a farewell address to his team. The roughly $1.5 million in annual compensation A&M offered -- which has since grown to a reported $2 million -- probably had something to do with it.

Saturday's game against Texas Tech served to further that salary's transformation into an albatross around Franchione's neck, but it was so nearly the opposite. Franchione earned a raise after he turned in a surprising 7–5 season in 2004, his second year with the Aggies. But last season brought a 5–6 disappointment and whispers that the school might not be getting its money's worth. Worse yet, last season's national championship went to A&M's archrival, the hated Texas Longhorns.

Thanks in large part to a soft early schedule, Texas A&M began this season 4–0. Texas Tech, though unranked, still represented the toughest test thus far for the Aggies. With two minutes to play, it appeared that A&M would pass the test, but Tech's Graham Harrell found Robert Johnson for an acrobatic, 37-yard pass with 47 seconds remaining to give the Red Raiders a 31–27 win.

The loss dropped Franchione's overall record at A&M to 20–20. Of seven remaining games this season, the Aggies play four against ranked teams; the other three are on the road. In other words, it suddenly looks like this team could fall far short of expectations, just as last year's did. If that happens, it's difficult to imagine the boosters -- whose donations to the athletic department help make a $2 million salary possible -- standing for another year of Franchione.

If Smith and Franchione are fired after this season, their overall records will be the reason why (Smith is 21–20 at Michigan State). If Miami's Larry Coker joins them on the unemployment line, it won't be because of his career record, which is still a gaudy 55–11. But Coker has been under increasing pressure since an embarrassing 40–3 Peach Bowl loss to LSU to end last season.

Saturday's game against Houston began with banners over the Orange Bowl calling for Coker's dismissal. A loss to the Cougars would certainly have all but doomed Coker, but it's not clear that Miami's ugly, 14–13 win has done anything to improve his chances. Coker's team is unranked and 2–2, while a former Miami assistant, Greg Schiano, has once-awful Rutgers at 5–0. It's no surprise that Schiano is being mentioned in connection with the Miami job.

Coker's tenuous hold on his job is due in part to the incredibly high standards at Miami. The program has won five national titles since 1983, the last under Coker in 2001. The program currrently has more alumni in the NFL than any other school, leading observers to question why it hasn't been as successful on the field in recent seasons.

Not to be overlooked is the environment in Coral Gables, which is more professional than tradition-laden. The Orange Bowl is an off-campus facility, and Miami is a professional sports town. If the Hurricanes aren't competing for national championships, they have trouble selling tickets.

Like Smith and Franchione, Coker is well-compensated. But those high salaries help the schools justify demanding so much from their coaches. Coaching any sport at this level is stressful, but particularly so in football, with its intricate game-planning and hours of film study. Eighty-plus hour workweeks are not uncommon. The salaries do not create the stress of these jobs, but they serve to increase it when things aren't going well, a fact to which all three men can attest.

John L. Smith Trophy

This award used to be named for Hal Mumme, the former Kentucky coach who was a tad unconventional. When the NCAA turk took down Mumme, I renamed it for then St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz, a frequent winner. I took pity on Martz last year when heart problems sidelined him and renamed it again, this time for Michigan State's Smith. He even won his own award last week. But the loss to Illinois has left JLS smacking himself silly (I'd just like to point out that I called this a year ago). What is it with Michigan State coaches and hitting themselves, anyway? Hello, Judd Heathcote? If I were Bill Simmons I'd demand an investigation. I fear that JLS is not long for the head-coaching world, but I'm not giving up on him just yet.

As this has become pretty much a college-only column the last two years, I've limited the JLS winners to the college game. And while Rutgers' Schiano was a decent candidate this week, I'd be remiss if I gave him this week. Schiano's sin was going for two with a five point lead early in the fourth quarter against South Florida. The attempt failed, and predictably, Rutgers ended up scoring next, kicking a field goal to go up by eight. When a subsequent field goal try was blocked, the game remained at one possession. South Florida scored in the final seconds, but failed on its own two-point attempt. I will never agree wth going for two, especially with the lead, when there is still time for multiple possessions by both teams. Worse, the attempt by Rutgers was a pass play that was thrown short of the goal line.

But Schiano can thank another coach with Michigan State ties for failing to pick up the award this week. I'm reaching into the NFL ranks to hand this week's JLS Trophy to Nick Saban of the Dolphins, for his team's ridiculous halfback-option play call on the game-deciding two-point attempt against Houston. I agree with giving the ball to Ronnie Brown -- I think the run is an underrated two-point call, even in the NFL -- but why have Brown throw the ball instead of run it? This is a case of the Dolphins out-thinking themselves. As bad as Daunte Culpepper has been this season, who would you rather have throwing the ball in that situation, Culpepper or Brown? For the record, Saban looks like he might start himself after one more game like that one.

BlogPoll Ballot

This season, I'll again be voting in the BlogPoll, hosted by MGoBlog. I'll post my ballot in Junkie each week. Feel free to comment -- my rankings may change based upon your suggestions.

Rankings that may require some explanation include:

  • Michigan moves up because they, Auburn and USC all had road games against middling conference foes and I thought Michigan looked the best. But 2-5 is pretty much a coin flip right now
  • Florida impresses me as a more balanced team than West Virginia
  • I'm starting to really believe in Oregon and Clemson. They move up not just because of this week, but the overall impression a month into the season
  • Georgia has no offense
  • Maybe Georgia Tech's pretty good after all
Rank Team Delta
1 Ohio State --
2 Michigan 2
3 Auburn 1
4 Florida 2
5 Southern Cal 2
6 West Virginia 1
7 Louisville --
8 Louisiana State --
9 Oregon 3
10 Clemson 5
11 Oklahoma 2
12 Texas 2
13 Tennessee 1
14 Georgia 5
15 Cal 3
16 Notre Dame 3
17 Georgia Tech 9
18 Nebraska 2
19 Boise State 2
20 Virginia Tech 9
21 Florida State 1
22 Washington 3
23 Missouri 1
24 Iowa 4
25 Rutgers 2

Dropped Out: TCU (#17).

Portions of this article appeared in Monday's New York Sun.

Posted by: Russell Levine on 02 Oct 2006

33 comments, Last at 06 Oct 2006, 8:09pm by Andrew

Comments

1
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/02/2006 - 10:17pm

Russell and I agree that there's a clear #1, an interchangable 2 - 5, and a dropoff after that.

Excellent weekend coming up!

2
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Mon, 10/02/2006 - 10:47pm

Whoa, whoa, whoa there. Many people are dead wrong. Indiana is America's worst BCS conference team. For exhibit A, I give you their loss to 1-AA Southern Illinois at home. Exhibit B is their loss two weeks ago, again at home, to UConn in which the Hoosiers did not score an offensive touchdown. (UConn got beat handily by Navy this week, with the Midshipmen hanging a 40-spot on the Huskies.) Exhibit C is the Wisconsin game, where the Badgers pulled their starters after it was 42-0 in the 3rd quarter. But good news! We'll find out for sure this upcoming Saturday when IU travels to Champaign-Urbana to lock horns with the Fightin' Illini. Set your VCR's, everyone! (I'm expecting to see a 7th Day Adventure write-up on this, of course.)

3
by Rob (not verified) :: Mon, 10/02/2006 - 11:52pm

I don't follow college ball much, but it seems like if you're going to give the JLS trophy to an NFL coach, it just has to be Schottenheimer. His absolutely idiotic playcalling/strategy in the second half single-handedly let the weaker team win. SD outgained them in the air and on the ground and seemed to move the ball well, but after their initial lead they turtled and sat on it while the Ravens came back. That game was eminently winnable for them, and the only reason they didn't was a monumental set of stupid decisions on Marty's part. The Dolphins-Texans game was closer, and Saban's coaching, over the course of the game, didn't seem that bad, except for that one, isolated playcall. Schotty consistently screwed up.

4
by Duck in MA (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 12:45am

I can say that I'm starting to believe in the Ducks. The offense is really coming together and the defense isn't half bad. Excellent pass defense (both rush and coverage). They need just a teensy bit of work on stopping the run, but how many more marquee running backs are they going to face? Oh wait, who's that lining up in the backfield next week? Damn. Seriously, the Oregon-Cal game is going to be awesome. Go Ducks!

5
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 12:45am

2: And I think that you, sir, are wrong. Duke was shut out by a I-AA team earlier this year. At home.

I mean, seriously, check out Duke's season sometime, but make sure that you do it on an empty stomach so that you don't vomit anything.

6
by terryh (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 1:37am

Maybe I've missed it, but I can't believe no one has linked to the instantly classic Mike Valenti rant on his postgame show following the MSU meltdown vs. Notre Dame. Audio link in my name. 15 minutes of ranty goodness, which also nicely sums up the JLS era of Spartan football.

7
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 1:57am

Hey, if somebody is going to spare any compassion for BCS coaches, don't waste it on the guys earning two million while working 80 hours a week at the football factories. Instead, direct it towards guys earning a lot less while working the same hours at schools where recruiting top high school football players is about ten times more difficult. How would you like to to be putting in 80 hour weeks knowing that, even if you did your job extremely well, the guy making three times as much across the field from you, who has twice the talent, would more than likely be trying to run up the score on you halfway through the third quarter next Saturday?

8
by Richard (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 3:42am

#3 is 100% correct. Schottenheimer has to be the "winner" this week.

9
by irishfan (Ireland not ND) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 8:43am

Just wondering if Booty is off to one of the best starts ever for the college QB projection system - 67.6% completion percentage for his first 4 games as a junior. Compared to 63% for leinart in his junior year. His only knock in the projection system seems to be he wont have enough games. Any thoughts?

10
by Harris (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 9:04am

As soon as Rutgers missed that conversion, I knew it would bite them in the ass. Were it not for a bunch of dropped passes by USF on the final drive, Rutgers would have lost that game. But I am glad to see ND's ranking actually improve after, you know, a win.

11
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 9:05am

Whether Schottenheimer should win the JLS Trophy I think leads to a fundamental question about what the JLS Trophy is supposed to recognize.

If it's simply for a bad coaching job, or the coach that did the most to help his team lose, well, then Schottenheimer all the way. Saban can't hold a candle.

However, when it was the Mike Martz award, at least, it wasn't given only for "bad" coaching, but almost "inexplicable" coaching. That's really what Martz was good at. It wasn't often given out for a "series" of play calls, or a gameplan, but rather for that singular "wtf?" kind of coaching moment. The weird timeout. The odd play with 2 minutes to go. Switching to an all-pass offense with 1:30 to go and trying to protect a lead, when 3 runs would seal the win (or at least give the ball back with 20 seconds to go).

Schottenheimer going conservative with only a minimal lead wasn't "inexplicable". Everyone knows Schottenheimer does that. Everyone watching the game knew that was going to happen. He always does it. It's his trademark. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The only thing I find inexplicable is the fact that after decades of losing close games, and being bounced from the playoffs, by following that philosophy, that he continues to stick to it.

If it's that "inexplicable" coaching decision or series of them, than there are numerous possibilities, including, but not limited to, Saban.

12
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 9:20am

OK "decades" is stretching it a bit. A little hyperbole there.

Actually, asking the question in my previous post "After years of losing games, and being known for losing games (especially playoff games) by pulling back the throttle with only a minimal lead, why does Schottenheimer keep doing exactly that?"

It's like one of the definitions of insanity - repeating the same activity over and over and expecting a different result.

One answer to that question came a few years ago after the Chargers flamed out against the Jets in the playoffs, when Schottenheimer again decided to not lay down the hammer, and tried for the long field goal (which was missed). One of the local stations asked him, essentially "Why do you do this, over and over?" Schottenheimer essentially pointed out a number of occasions (various games he coached throughout the years) when he let off the gas (i.e. played Martyball) and the other team didn't come back to win, as "evidence" that his "strategy" (and I use the term loosely, but I'm sure Marty wasn't) was successful.

I was stunned. A friend of mine once won one of our group's occasional friendly poker games by going all-in with a pair of threes against trip aces. When the other two threes came out on the turn and river, giving him the win with four of a kind, he declared himself a poker genius. Since then, he's tried the "let's bet it all with nothing" strategy numerous times, and busted out almost every time. He's lost more money since than he made the time he won, but he continues to believe in the "strategy" because it worked that one time.

That's what Marty's reasoning felt like to me. That since there were some times when the other team failed to come back while Marty protected that 5-point lead, he considered Martyball solid, all the collosal collapses notwithstanding. The collapses in pivotal games, in the playoffs, in big regular season matchups, those were the "outliers" in his mind. All those other games (often against lesser talented teams in the regular season) where Martyball "worked" because the competition wasn't as good were proof that his system was a good one.

A ludicrious argument, but it gives an idea of why, despite carrying a reputation of "This is the one guy who is guaranteed to find a way to lose a key game he's winning", he sticks with the program.

13
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 10:05am

The "inexplicable decision" argument definitely favors Saban for the JLS over Schiano.

Going for two, to get a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter, is rational. You may not agree with the judgement of it, but it's at least consistent with a conversion-chart approach to football.

The only argument in favor of the halfback-rollout-pass call Saban sent in, was the element of surprise. However, sometimes a strategy is surprising, only in that you're shocked that a professional coach would actually employ it.

14
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 12:20pm

#10 - Um, no. South Florida actually did score a TD on that drive, they just couldn't complete the 2-point conversion. (Whether that was a drop or the defender forcing the ball out I couldn't tell from the angle they showed.)

#13 - Actually, that may point back to Schiano anyway, given the playcall on the attempt. Sadly, I think Ronnie Brown might be a better pick than Mike Teel to complete a pass in that spot.

15
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 1:11pm

by the time the season's over, Clem(p)son is gonna wonder how in the flying goatshit hell they ever lost to BC--they could very plausibly go undefeated the rest of the year

16
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 1:14pm

Todd makes a very good point about Indiana. Wisconsin is just an ok team, and they were better then IU at not just every phase of the game but at each position. WR Paul Hubbard had gotten slapped around like a little girl against Michigan but against IU he looked like Randy Moss.

The Hoosiers coach has been out due to surgery for scar tissue on his brain. (He had a tumor removed 9 months ago) It is to be hoped that with his return and the reinstatement of their best offensive player (can't remember his name) that IU will crawl up from abysmal to just bad.

17
by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 1:30pm

Martz is in relatively good health, now, so the award should be returned to its rightful name.

That said, it's true that there's not a whole lot of NFL around here.

18
by calig23 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 2:29pm

Here's the thing- Even though Marty-ball was in full effect, the Chargers still would have won if their players didn't absolutely wet the bed. A botched hold on the FG attempt that would have made it a two score game. Consecutive false start penalties with the ball deep in their own end. A botched snap on the ensuing punt from deep in their own end, which led to the penalty, which led to their decision to take the safety (which, while it was the right decision, it allowed Baltimore to take the lead with a TD). If they aren't forced into taking the safety, Baltimore's TD only ties it up and they still have a chance to win.

Saban, on the other hand, elects to go with a bizarre playcall on a 2 point conversion that would have tied the game in the 4th quarter. Granted, it was probably Mike "Triple Reverse Option Flea-Flicker Throwback WR Pass" Mularkey's playcall, but Saban didn't countermand it, so it's on him.

The Chargers would have won if their players had been able to execute basic plays properly. Saban put his players in a position that wasn't likely to be successful, and naturally, it wasn't.

19
by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 3:22pm

I think the complaints about Martyball are due more to the fact that they disagree with his philosophy than its judge its effectiveness. Schottenheimer is one of those effective coaches that people pillory because of post-season losses (a rather ridiculous stance, given how few games are played and how often one is playing against equal or stronger competitors). You saw a lot of the same things with Martz. Granted Martz did do some certifiably insane things, there was a certain group of people who would attack him because the disagree with his approach to game planning than the effectiveness of his strategies.

20
by Richard (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 3:25pm

18: The lead was only six points prior to the intentional safety. A TD still would have given Baltimore the lead.

21
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 3:40pm

Yeah, Fnor, absent a uncharateristic fumble by Ernest Byner, in a game in which Marty's squad came back from 21-3, and a last minute performance for the ages by Elway, and Schottenheimer would likely be seen in a very different light. I rather doubt his team would have won either subsequent Super Bowl, but that is only because the other teams had more talent, and just getting to two big games would have cast Marty's career in a different light.

22
by calig23 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 3:40pm

Re:#20

Oops. I was thinking that it was 13-6, not 13-7. Never mind that point.

23
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 4:00pm

16: It's James Hardy. He and Hoeppner were both there against Wisconsin, but I don't think they make that much of a difference.

I think if you were to lock IU, Illinois, and Duke in a room, it would be a while before anyone came out. Indiana has two wins (over Western Michigan and Ball State), but lost to a very strong I-AA Southern Illinois team (that Sagarin rates as the second-toughest team they've played so far) and a weak Connecticut team. I don't know why I watched that game. I guess because it was a local game.

Illinois is probably the strongest of the three, but that's mostly based on the Michigan State win. As the Spartans continue their JLS nosedive, that will probably be reflected in the strength of the Illini; their only other win was against average I-AA Eastern Illinois.

Duke, well, they're not the worst team in I-A football, but definitely the worst BCS-conference team. The Blue Devils did schedule I-AA Richmond, but got shut out 14-0 (the Spiders were a playoff team last year and may make it again this season). They probably would have been better off playing Wofford or Coastal Carolina, but no such luck. They do have Vanderbilt on their schedule; North Carolina isn't that good, but you know how rivalries go. If Duke goes 0-12, it won't be a surprise.

(Disclosure: I'm a Purdue grad from Ann Arbor, but I try to leave biases at home for posts like this.)

24
by dp (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 4:06pm

just curious what the writer's opinion of dwayne jarrett is. i'm pretty confident that if a michigan player of equal or, more likely, inferior value had not played cos of injury that we would all be forced to excuse that game plus anywhere from three to nine more.

for the bad call/bad coach thread, miami's offense is lousy, so give saban a break if he felt they needed some serious trickery to get somebody open. it probably sez more about what he thinks of his team, and we should all adjust our thinking accordingly. i thought the bigger wtf call, since it involved a game that could have meant something, was south carolina's four downs inside the ten yard line. they moved the ball on auburn close to two hundred yards those last two drives and converted often by taking advantage of the space auburn left underneath, usually with the qb running it. and then with the tie game in reach they went to straight dropbacks all 4 downs. maybe that's on the qb for getting sacked, but spurrier could have recognized the situation. esp the 4th down and 1 to go. the qb threw the pass so high that even if it'd been open the db would've had plenty of time to get over there.

25
by Vinny (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 5:11pm

Re: #6, the Valenti meltdown is one of the all-time classics I have ever heard. Right up there with former Cubs manager Lee Elia's "AND PRINT IT!" tirade decades ago. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't heard it yet. The sad thing is it's almost justified, given the bipolar nature of the Michigan State program since forever. They really have inflicted torture upon their fans.

Re: #24, the quarterback (Newton) has spent as much or more time at WR in his career, so it's understandable Spurrier's offense sputtered when it mattered. Plus, when they got inside the 10, Auburn's defense understandably switched away from their soft prevent approach since there wasn't much territory to cover. So the QB scrambles (or a draw play) weren't quite as available.

26
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 7:58pm

Re #25
Seconded as to the Valenti rant. Up there with the all-time classics, but in some sense better due to the absence of expletives. In the same vein as the Elia rant, I also recommend Todd Stottlemyre after he gave up a game-winning grand slam as a reliever, which featured a higher expletive percentage than the Terence & Philip song early in the South Park movie.

Re #24
The fade route on the 4th and 1 was questionable, as pointed out at the time, particularly given the fade route had been intercepted earlier in the game. This was pointed out in the SDA thread and I noted it immediately as I was watching the game. I don't think it rises to the level of JLS Award, though.

And the Dwayne Jarrett injury served to emphasize USC's failures in the running game because they were missing such a formidable pass option. Without Bush and White, they're not nearly as formidable and balanced offensively as they were last year.

27
by dp (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 11:44pm

i wouldn't expect usc to be as good w/o bush, but the point is all things were supposedly equal except usc playing w/o its best player. and this poll dropped them cos they didn't *look* as good as michigan.

28
by witless chum (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 12:05pm

Um, the Detroit Free Press' take on the slap was that he was mocking Charlie Weiss for apparently making up the story that someone slapped him during the sideline melee. Which is about the sort of thing you'd expect from the Charlie Weiss's of the world.
(I already hated Notre Dame before John L.'s two straight late game collapses against them)

(I'm perfectly willing to believe that John L. has slapped himself more than once at a press conference)

I've officially had it with John L. You gotta like the guy, but he's not getting it done on Saturdays.

29
by jack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 1:22pm

How can you rank Oregon above Oklahoma? Oklahoma beat them, didn't they?

30
by Travis (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 5:04pm

Kevin11,

This properly belongs in last week's "Seventh Day Adventure" thread where this was discussed, but since no one's likely reading it any more, and you've already posted in this one, I'm putting it here.

Here's a copy of the September 12, 1991 USA Today "For the Record" page, featuring, among other things, spreads for that week's football games (scroll down, they're on the left side). (Pro wrestling fans might be interested in the first transaction under "Football.")

The University of Miami is listed as a 7-1/2 point favorite over Houston for that night's game, up from 7 on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (not shown). Possibly confusingly, the Houston Oilers are listed a couple of lines above as a 4-1/2 favorite over Kansas City.

If this doesn't convince you that Miami was the favorite, I don't think anything will.

31
by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:36pm

Re:#29

Given that Oklahoma was handed that victory on a platter by the refs, I can see why Oregon would be ranked ahead of them

32
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 12:49am

Thursday's "What the Heck Is Wrong with the ACC" Game: North Carolina State 24, Florida State 20. Yes, the same NC State team that lost to Akron at home and Southern Mississippi by 20.

33
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 8:09pm

31: Oregon was handed the victory, not Oklahoma.