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The Georgia Bullddogs' dynamic duo should be on NFL rosters at some point in the next 72 hours. Which will be the better pro? That depends on what kind of running back you're looking for.

14 Sep 2006

Seventh Day Adventure: Some Kind of Saturday

by Russell Levine and Vin Gauri

Russell: So, we have seven games between ranked teams, plus the Bowden Bowl this week. ESPN has already dubbed it "Showdown Saturday," but I think we need our own nickname. How about "Smorgasbord Saturday?"

Vinny: Does Chris Fowler come up with these silly alliterative slogans for Saturdays in the off-season too? Like "Sacred Saturday" for his wedding day?

Russell: My typical living room setup includes monitoring two games on the main TV (on the sixth day, God invented dual tuner TiVo) plus a third on a smaller, second set that doubles as my PC. But that's not going to cut it this week, not with four key games all starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Vinny: What day did God invent zubaz? And couldn't he have rested on that day, too?

Russell: I don't know, but the Jets must have been playing the Dolphins. As for Saturday, there's the small matter of my son's birthday party in the morning. He rejected my suggestion of a "sports bar party." Kids these days, I swear.

Vinny: A morning birthday party? On a huge college football Saturday? Nicely done, Russ.

Russell: I thought so.

#15 Oklahoma (+4) at #18 Oregon, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: I have not been impressed with Oklahoma at all. Despite a great start from Adrian Peterson and decent quarterback play from Paul Thompson, the Sooners sweated one out against UAB, then struggled into the second half against Washington. Now they get their first road test in the hornet's nest that is Autzen Stadium.

Vinny: Ah yes, I have fond memories of Autzen. Wait, no I don't...

Russell: Oregon, meanwhile is off to an excellent start after dismantling Stanford and surviving a tough road test at Fresno State last week thanks to a late-game fake field goal call from Mike Bellotti. I don't know about you Vin, but I think Bellotti was more intimidating with the mustache.

Vinny: I guess Bellotti has ceded the "Cheesiest Mustache in the West" mantle to Fresno State's Pat Hill. Of course, we all know who wears the belt in the East. The Ducks yielded over 200 yards on the ground to the Bulldogs last week. How much will OU roll up on them?

Russell: Peterson has the potential for a big day here, but I can't trust the untested quarterback -- this will be Thompson's fourth career start -- in a hostile environment against a good team. Jonathan Stewart does enough on the ground and Dennis Dixon enough through the air for the Ducks to cover.

Vinny: Bellotti usually has his team primed for these marquee non-conference matchups in Autzen. He has a way of getting his players to play above their heads in these situations. And as we saw last week, he's pretty fearless when it comes to using the trickeration. I like the Ducks also.

#6 LSU (+3) at #3 Auburn, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Russell: If it weren't for a certain other 3:30 p.m. start on the Peacock network, my eyes would be firmly on this critical SEC game on the Plains. Both these teams could win the national title.

Vinny: Auburn's Kenny Irons was held to less than 70 yards rushing by Mississippi State last week, but Auburn still waltzed to a 34-0 rout. That's nothing to brag about, obviously.

Russell: LSU was scary good in taking Arizona and its Mike Stoops defense behind the woodshed last week, 45-3. JaMarcus Russell continues to silence any of the doubters who wanted to see him replaced as LSU's starting quarterback.

Vinny: Sometimes a position battle brings out the best in a quarterback. And LSU arguably has the best quarterback depth in the country with Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux waiting in the wings. At least none of them resorted to stabbing each other to move ahead on the depth chart.

Russell: Vin, you obviously have no idea the prestige that being the starting punter at Northern Colorado carries. As for LSU-Auburn, I see these teams on basically even footing -- as do the oddsmakers, since three points is basically the home-field edge. In a situation like this, I'm going to go with the team that has more big-game experience, and to me that's LSU. Russell throws a late TD pass as LSU escapes Jordan-Hare with a win.

Vinny: Junior cornerback Jonathan Zenon was the least experienced starter in the secondary when the season began, but he's had a pick-six in each of LSU's first two games. He may extend the streak this week. Auburn's Brandon Cox has yet to come through in a big game like this, and he really struggled against LSU in an overtime loss at Baton Rouge last year. LSU wins outright.

#17 Miami (+5) at #12 Louisville, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: I have no idea what to make of this game. It's not like we learned much about either team in their glorified scrimmages last week. Louisville is still plenty potent without Michael Bush, but the Cardinals probably haven't faced a defense of this caliber since the last time they played Miami -- losing a 41-38 Thursday-night classic a few years ago.

Vinny: That's when we got a glimpse of quarterback Brian Brohm, when he relieved a woozy Stefan Lefors late in the game. And it was pretty obvious that Brohm could play.

Russell: True. As for Miami, how much do we really know about its defense? Sure, the unit looked pretty terrific against Florida State, but it's possible that FSU's offense is just that bad.

Vinny: That's a strong possibility. Especially after the Noles' near debacle against Troy last Saturday. But then maybe that narrow win still qualifies as a debacle.

Russell: I know this much, Brohm is better than FSU's Drew Weatherford, and Weatherford was able to do just enough for the 'Noles to escape the Orange Bowl with a win. Sure, Louisville doesn't have FSU's defense, but I'm not sure they need it against Kyle Wright, another quarterback who has done nothing to earn trust in a big game. Bobby Petrino's agent can start lining up his next contract extension after this one: Louisville rocks Papa John's (ahh, tradition) with a win over the 'Canes.

Vinny: My head tells me to take the Cardinals, but my gut says the Miami defense will be hell-bent on keeping their anemic offense in the game. (My liver has no comment). With Brohm probably taking more five-step drops than Miami's first two opponents, defensive end Calais Campbell will have his opportunities to knock Brohm to the deck. I'll take the 'Canes and the five points.

#11 Michigan (+7) at #2 Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC

Russell: It's about time we had a chance to discuss our Wolverines, Vin. Tell me, what are your impressions of the new coordinators after two weeks and two solid but sometimes ragged wins?

Vinny: Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord (who also had that title at Michigan from 1997-99) has been intent on keeping the ball on the ground to get as many repetitions as possible in the Wolverines' new zone blocking schemes. But this has been at the expense of Chad Henne and the receiving corps, who have looked out of sync in their limited opportunities in the passing game. On the other side of the ball, Ron English definitely has a more aggressive mindset than the dearly departed Jim Hermann.

Russell: I like the more aggressive defensive scheme, but Shawn Crable & Co. better get to Brady Quinn when they blitz. The thought of him passing against man coverage in the Michigan secondary keeps me up at night.

Vinny: Darius Walker has gashed Michigan on the edge the last few years, like a lot of other players. It will be interesting (or terrifying) to see if English's schemes can keep containment. Michigan is lighter and quicker along both lines this year, but the Irish defense is also quicker than the oft-skewered 2005 version. To that end, Charlie Weis asked captain Travis Thomas to help out on defense. By the way, the Weis press conferences are fascinating when compared to those of Lloyd Carr, who provides all the insight of Hans Moleman.

Russell: To me, the key to this game is Michael Hart. He got hurt and was a non-factor in last year's loss, and was an as-yet undiscovered freshman mired on the bench two years ago. He's healthy this time around. I haven't been impressed with Notre Dame's run defense at all. Hart will break a couple of long runs, Henne takes care of the ball, and Michigan pulls off the upset. You know the rule on the Wolverines: horrible as a big favorite, tremendous as a big 'dog.

Vinny: You know Irish defensive coordinator Rick Minter will clamp down with some safety help after Penn State had some success with the run last week. So I think the game is won or lost with the untested Michigan passing game. Frankly, with my 0-3 record as a Michigan fan in South Bend, I like the Wolverines' chances with me 2,000 miles away. Michigan wins outright.

#24 Texas Tech (-2.5) at #20 TCU, 5:30 p.m. ET, OLN

Russell: Poor Texas Tech. Last week they pulled out an OT win at UTEP, but it's not like anybody saw it thanks to the Ohio State-Texas game going on at the same time. This week, they have another good matchup that nobody will watch because of all the other great games going on. Congratulations to Mike Leach, though, for finally graduating from the Bill Snyder school of scheduling.

Vinny: Seriously. Texas Tech scheduled two Division I-AA opponents last year. We'll see if the step up works better for Leach than it has for Glen Mason. With Texas falling at home to Ohio State last week, TCU owns the nation's longest winning streak at 12. The Horned Frogs have faced a couple of pass-heavy attacks already this year, but then the opponents were Baylor and UC-Davis, whom everyone knows as "The Other Aggies ... No ... Not Them Either..."

Russell: Texas Tech will be so much better served when it comes time to play Texas and Oklahoma for having scheduled these last two games. TCU may be the best non-BCS conference team in the nation, and will greatly boost its BCS bid chances with a win here.

Vinny: Sophomore tailback Aaron Brown leads the TCU offense (144 all-purpose yards per game) running behind preseason All-American tackle Herb Taylor.

Russell: The Red Raiders were supposed to have a legitimate defense to go along with their pass-happy offense, but I'm not sure I saw that against UTEP. If this game was in Lubbock, I'd have to go with Tech, but I can't overlook the Horned Frogs getting a field goal at home. TCU is the pick.

Vinny: The Red Raiders clobbered TCU by a count of 70-35 in Lubbock two years ago. It won't be that bad, but I think the Red Raiders cover.

Clemson (+4.5) at #9 Florida State, 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: Don't look now, but it's time for another edition of the Bowden Bowl in Tallahassee, where the 'Noles are reeling after very nearly losing to Troy on their home field a week ago.

Vinny: Ugh. Once again, I don't think the nation has much interest in this game. At least it's not getting hyped much with all the other marquee matchups on Saturday's slate.

Russell: Clemson also comes in licking its wounds, having lost at BC in overtime on a missed extra point last week. This year was supposed to be different for Clemson, but after two weeks, the Tigers are up to their old tricks. They look like a team that can play with anybody, but will also lose their share of those close games.

Vinny: Will Proctor played well in the loss at the Heights, going 25-of-40 for 343 yards and two TDs. And freshman phenon C.J. Spiller continued to impress, racking up over 110 yards and a touchdown on 11 touches. As you noted, the Tigers lost that game on special teams. Boston College's Jeff Smith had four long returns, including a 96-yard touchdown return.

Russell: I think the psyche of the two teams could have a huge effect on the outcome of this game. Florida State has to be breathing a sigh of relief and feeling pretty euphoric after avoiding home humiliation; Clemson is probably saying "here we go again." Plus, Papa Bowden wants a little revenge after being smacked around by son Tommy last year. I like Florida State, and I'm even making this my Fred Edelstein Lock.

Vinny: The 'Noles are nicked up on the defensive line (transfer noseguard Paul Griffin is out), so some freshmen will see time there starting this week. I don't think it matters. Florida State covers, and this is my Lock also.

Russell: This might be a good time for me to mention to all the doubters that we are 7-2 when we agree on games so far this year, including 1-0 in Edelstein Locks.

#7 Florida (-3.5) at #13 Tennessee, 8 p.m. ET, CBS

Russell: Two weeks ago, Tennessee thrashed an overrated Cal team and David Cutcliffe was hailed as the second coming for resurrecting the Vols' offense from the depths of last year's 5-6 season. "Tennessee is back" was the leading headline from Week 1. So what the heck happened last week when the Vols barely survived against Air Force at home?

Vinny: Well, I'm heartened that the Tennessee staff couldn't crack Air Force's signals. Score one for our national defense.

Russell: Florida, meanwhile, has looked very strong in its first two outings. Maybe being pushed by uber-recruit Tim Tebow is a good thing for quarterback Chris Leak, who's off to a terrific start. He looks far more comfortable in his second year in Urban Meyer's offense, and the team overall is more balanced on offense.

Vinny: Erik Ainge is putting up some eye-popping numbers at the controls of the Volunteer offense. But the Tennessee defense yielded nearly 300 yards rushing to the Falcons. Not shocking, since there's a reason nobody wants to play against Air Force's disciplined option attack. But still -- not good. Makes you wonder if Meyer will use Tebow a bit more to run some option and draw plays.

Russell: Is either of these teams for real? My money's on the Gators, who will find a way to get it done, and put Phil Fulmer right back on the hot seat he appeared to get off with the win over Cal.

Vinny: I think Florida is for real. Tennessee, though, is somewhere in between the 5-6 team from last year and the 10+ win teams of a few years ago. Ainge's numbers should tumble against what is potentially a great Florida defense led by linebacker Brandon Siler. Florida gets the big road win.

#19 Nebraska (+19) at #4 USC, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: This is Nebraska's first measuring-stick game since the Alamo Bowl win over somebody I can't recall last year. The Huskers are averaging over 50 points per game after pasting Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State to open the year. Clearly, the oddsmakers agree that USC represents a significant step up in competition.

Vinny: Huskers' junior corner Andre Jones made a guarantee of sorts for this game that has been splashed across newspapers and featured on ESPN. Ballsy. Stupid, but ballsy.

Russell: The Huskers held Nicholls without a pass completion in a 56-7 game last week. I'm not sure that's the best way to prepare for USC, which may not be as explosive as the Bush-Leinart version, but which still has plenty of firepower.

Vinny: Nebraska got some bad news, especially against a Pete Carroll-schemed defense, when it learned that senior center Kurt Mann is out with a viral infection. But USC will be without nose tackle Sedrick Ellis and free safety John Pinkard, the only returning starter in the secondary. True freshman Taylor Mays will be in the starting lineup for Pinkard.

Russell: Just hanging with USC would represent a major milestone for Bill Callahan's program. USC has played just once, crushing Arkansas two weeks ago, though the game was competitive well into the second half. A near three-touchdown spread looks enormous, even on the road. But I'm not falling for the trap. I'm going to invoke the first "line that looks too good to be true" ruling of the year and lay the points with John David Booty and USC.

Vinny: So let's see: Bill Callahan's offensive approach against Pete Carroll's defensive tactics. Oh yeah, and the massive talent disparity between the teams ... Yep, USC romps.

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Vinny Says Russell Says
Oklahoma +4 Oregon Oregon Oregon
LSU +3 Auburn LSU LSU
Miami +5 Louisville Miami Louisville
Michigan +7 Notre Dame Michigan Michigan
Texas Tech -2.5 TCU Texas Tech TCU
Clemson +4.5 Florida State Florida State* Florida State*
Florida -3.5 Tennessee Florida Florida
Nebraska +19 USC USC USC
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Vinny 4-4-0 (1-0-0) 10-6-0 (2-0-0)
Russell 5-3-0 (0-1-0) 11-5-0 (1-1-0)

Posted by: on 14 Sep 2006

337 comments, Last at 17 Sep 2006, 3:45pm by NewsToTom


by Trogdor (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 8:53pm

Haven't read article yet. Just a question about WVU/Maryland - shouldn't they have reviewed that fumble by Slaton on the first carry? Like, automatically, since the officials were completely divided by it and it would be a huge turnover and all? I hate, hate, hate the divided booth/challenge system.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 8:55pm

I'm going to get on my soapbox for a moment to complain about schedules.

No, not that schools create easy or hard ones, although that is an issue.

But rather that the fact that a large portion of the championship is determined by voting means that it's in a school's best interests to insult everyone else's schedule.

Or, in short terms, a hyper fan of one team almost always seems to believe that every other team in the country is not only playing an easier schedule than them, but is playing "cupcake" opponents week-in-week-out.

I've seen this for years - during the year USC played OU in the title game, I saw fans saying USC played all cupcakes. Simultaneously, many non-FO-type USC fans claimed that all Auburn played was ridiculous teams.

When the USC/LSU debacle happened, everyone ranted about schedules. "USC played an easy schedule!" "No, LSU did!" In the end, the two schools' schedules were only a handful of notches apart, and a differing result in a game between two 5-5 schools on the last day would have sent USC to the title game instead of LSU, because of changes in schedule strength. The non-FO-type USC and LSU and Auburn fans simply couldn't accept that just maybe all the schools played OK schedules (I personally usually weight nonconference schedules since conference schools can't choose their conference opposition, but they can choose everyone else).

This week, in TMQ's "Reader Rants" that come on Wednesday, there's an email from a Notre Dame fan saying that it's incredulous that Notre Dame is being told they aren't as good as people thought, because USC and Texas played "cupcake opponents" Week 1, while ND played the "tough" Georgia Tech. TMQ, of course, did zero fact-checking, as is his modus operandi. Of course, USC played Arkansas, which while not the top opponent in the land, is still an SEC school that was expected to be a much better game than they were. But it doesn't matter - you would never convince that ND fan of anything else, regardless of Georgia Tech's record since 2002 being 29-24, and Arkansas' being 28-23, because they've decided every ND game is a tougher matchup, in their minds.

But it works - it helps when fans insist everyone else was playing an easy schedule when they were playing a hard one, it lets them 1. rationalize away losses (we were playing hard teams!) and 2. it helps in the voting - if you insist everyone else played an easier schedule, and others believe it, you may pick up votes (although ND hardly needs the assistance).


by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 9:18pm

Re #1
I thought so, though I don't really see how you could overturn the ruling on the field in either direction. He seemed to be clearly bobbling the ball a little on the way down, but had some control, and the ball was completely out after he was down. If that's what the booth official saw after the replay, then no, I don't think he should have stopped play for another look.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 9:27pm


I honestly think these are two of the three best teams in the country (Southern Cal being the other) and either of these teams would best Ohio State on a neutral field. The winner could still drop a game because the SEC is that tough.

I'm 2 - 0 with my locks, and this week I'm taking Miami +5 over Louisville.

by Catfish (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 9:35pm

I like EDSBS's nickname for this week: Footballpocalypse. (see link)

by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 9:43pm

anyway we can get a texas tech-boise state bowl game this year? that would be fun. seriously, i would love to see those schools schedule a home and home just to watch the inevitable 52-47 game on the blue turf.

by peachy (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:01pm

There is no escape from the fortress of the Mole People! (And thanks for jinxing Florida, ya bums... at least you didn't give them the Fred Edelstein Kiss of Death.)

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:03pm

Vinny: What day did God invent zubaz? And couldn’t he have rested on that day, too?

Ohio State LB Jim Laurinaitis' Dad (one of the Road Warriors tag team) made a mint off of Zubaz in the late 80's. He owned a big percentage of the company.

Stop looking at your computer screen like that- I can't make stuff like that up.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:07pm

OK, I've ragged on West Virginia as much as anyone for their schedule this year. But tonight's game is one of those that you can't blame on them looking for a cupcake. It wasn't that long ago that Maryland was winning the ACC and playing in a BCS game. I don't know when this game (or series) was scheduled, but if it was back when Maryland was going 10-3, it's unfortunate that they've collapsed the last few years and given the impression that WVU scheduled them because they suck.

And that's the difficulty in making a schedule that includes non-elite BCS teams. When you schedule Texas or LSU, you can be reasonably certain that they'll be a quality opponent - not necessarily top 5 or whatever, but they're not going 3-8 any time soon (of course, you would've thought the same about Tennessee before last year's disaster). But when you schedule a middle-of-the-pack team, like a Michigan State or Arkansas, you really don't know what you're getting. In any given year, either of those teams is capable of competing for their conference title, or going in the tank and finishing 4-7.

I guess the point is, when you have to schedule games five or six years in advance, it's really tough to blame a team for going cupcake. Sure, there are certain teams you can be really sure will be an easy win - Buffalo will likely suck for a long time, and when you schedule a 1-AA or lower team you have no excuse. But who among us can really say how good Clemson will be in 2011? Forget that - will Kansas State be a quality opponent next year?

I'm looking at Ohio State's non-conference schedule for 2008. I think right now we can all agree that "at USC" should be a monster game, and "Youngstown State" is a 1-AA cupcake. Other than that, you've got Ohio - a MAC team that could be 9-2 or 1-10, and nobody would be surprised either way - and Troy, which could be a patsy, or could be 8-3. You've got two games where you're very sure what you get, and two that could go any way. If both of those teams have big years, it's a legitimately tough non-conference schedule with one mega-game in there. If both suck, the schedule is 75% total pussy and 25% huge brass balls. The thing is, all these games were scheduled around 2004 or earlier. Decisions made four years previous - guesses, really, about which direction these programs might be headed - will potentially have a huge impact on computer rankings and strength of schedule in the national title race (assuming OSU is still a power then, of course).

I don't know how to end this, other than to say it's not always as simple as looking at a schedule and saying "wow, this team scheduled easy". If there are two D-2 teams, yeah, sure. But sometimes things happen. Your legit 1-A opponent cancels on you and you have to scramble to find anyone, settling on a 1-AA (Auburn losing BG in 03). You schedule Colorado back in 02, only to watch the entire program fall apart. You schedule Northwestern as a patsy in 93, only to watch in horror as they become competent in 94. And of course, conference games are totally beyond your control, short of changing conferences. In the end, schedule strength depends on a lot of factors, many of which are beyond a program's control.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:12pm

I'm surprised you're both taking USC. 19 points? That's a huge margin. Nebraska's offense is for real, and will hold the foot ball long enough to prevent USC racking up crazy numbers (unless there is a rash of turnovers).

USC put up 50 against Arkansas. Let's say they put up 39 against NU. That means if NU gets 21 points, they cover. Arkansas scored 14 against the Trojans. Nebraska can't score 21?

Giving the points pretty much says that you think USC will hang at least 40 on the Huskers. I don't see that happening.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:13pm

I think one of Maryland's halftime adjustments should be - stop fumbling kickoffs. Of course, maybe they should try to stop receiving so many kickoffs while they're at it...

by Rocco (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:18pm

MD gets some points, gets up off the mat... and then gives up a TD return on the kickoff near the end of the 1st half. Whoops.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:23pm

#9- Excellent points.

There was a period where Nebraska's schedule bordered on comical. The Big Eight was really The Big Two and the Little Six, and they didn't schedule any tough non-conference games. Tom Osborne would say "we made the schedule fifteen years ago", and I asked myself: did Nebraska think Northern Illinois, Utah State, or Pacific would evolve into a powerhouse when they scheduled this game? I mean, a lot can happen in fifteen years, but still...

Look at Notre Dame's schedule last year: they played Tennessee, Michigan State, Washington, Syracuse, Purdue, and BYU. All of those teams didn't just have down seasons, they had WAY down seasons. People used it as an argument trying to get Oregon into the Fiesta Bowl.

At the same time, WVU knows it's in the weakest BCS conference. It may behoove them to seek higher profile non-conference opponents than East Carolina, Mississippi State, and Buffalo.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:27pm

What we've learned so far:

West Virginia is very, very good. They really need to work on their discipline though - they can't keep taking those ridiculous penalties against a good team. Fortunately, it'll be a while until they play one.

Maryland - well, their offensive line run blocks quite well. And... um... it'll be a long year. Inaccurate QB, very undisciplined defense that's bit on every single fake and misdirection imaginable so far. Not good.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:41pm

Ah yes, but some of these games may have been scheduled back when the Big East wasn't a joke.

Then again, they could always try to reschedule some games. For example, I mentioned Auburn getting screwed by BG cancelling their game a few years ago, and they had to get a 1-AA team to fill the space, which killed their SOS and computer rankings. Where did BG go? Oklahoma, knowing they were a likely BCS contender, saw their schedule was a little week and decided to bump it up. They saw BG, a MAC team on the rise and likely to win ~10 games that year, and threw a big check at them. BG backed out of the Auburn game to go to OU for the bigger payday. So really, West Virginia could have looked at their team, seen they'd have a decent title shot this year but would be hamstrung in computer rankings and public perception by their schedule, and thrown money at some of the better non-BCS teams. Of course, that depends on things like their budget (not all schools have a limitless budget, after all) and the availability of teams like Boise, TCU, or Akron. Maybe they tried, and just couldn't get it done.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter what happened or what was tried. Their schedule this year sucks. No use worrying about what they could have done - it is what it is, and they have to live with the consequences. Or it could be to their benefit, who knows? For now, the season will play out, and we'll figure out the fallout in early December. Right now I'm just glad football's on, and I'm gonna sit back and enjoy it and not get too caught up in what-ifs three weeks in.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:44pm

I do not blame a team for scheduling a team that was good (and not flash-in-the-pan good) at the time of scheduling, and that which one just couldn't know will suck years in advance, that turns out to suck. That's not their fault. The BCS will blame them, but I don't.

I don't blame ND for having a "down schedule" last year. No one could have looked at Tennessee, Washington, etc. 5 years ago and said that was going to be an easy schedule.

I also don't blame Auburn for the fiasco with BG canceling, although there were other options than a "NCAA Football Playoff Championship" team.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 10:56pm

I don't want to dominate this thread, I really don't. But I need to ask they guys how, on a day of huge games, they left out possibly the biggest game of them all. Where is the analysis of the huge Syracuse/Illinois slugfest? It's not every week you get the team recently named the worst in any BCS conference playing at a team that got shut out by frickin' Rutgers. By the way, rumor has it Jason Whitlock voted Illinois #1 on his AP ballot, in honor of their greatest alum.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 11:12pm

How much does Illinois dominate the Chicago TV market? The network affiliate showing a football game that morning, CBS affiliate WBBM-2, is showing tOSU's game against Cincinnati.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 11:25pm

I think what tonight shows is West Virginia can run the ball very, very well. I think the jury is still out on White as a passer, and their defense isn't as solid as you'd like it to be. Frankly, they remind me of Minnesota last year, with a better run game but a pass offense less capable of "what-the-heck" performances like Cupito last year against tOSU. Nobody scares me on their defense, either.

Friedgen is looking more like a guy who can coach talent but not recruit it. It's interesting to speculate what would've happened had blue chip QB recruit Chris Kelley not gotten hurt and missed two full years.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 11:52pm

Why exactly are Slaton and White still in the game?

by peachy (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 12:01am

I totally agree, Trogdor - with the high turnover in both players and coaches, the fortunes of a college program can change very quickly (usually for the worse). For a real power program that can be a serious problem, especially if they play in an otherwise lightweight conference that doesn't offer many challenging matchups (like so many this year, ahem) - you don't want to schedule too many other real powers outside the conference (plaudits for brave scheduling is poor recompense for getting knocked out of the championship race in October), but at the same time guaranteed patsies will kill your BCS numbers... and what's a solid mid-level program in year X might be a disaster zone in year X+4. Even a fairly big-name program can collapse in a hurry; it was only three or four years ago that Colorado missed the title game by a fraction of a BCS point, and now look at them. (Even East Carolina was a decent team not that long ago.)

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 12:11am

Re #20
Because the Tyrone Prothro injury was last year, and thus out of the consciousness of coaches except for perhaps Mike Shula and a few elephant-like others.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 1:02am

There was a period where Nebraska’s schedule bordered on comical. The Big Eight was really The Big Two and the Little Six, and they didn’t schedule any tough non-conference games.

This is a great exaggeration. The usual slate for NC games was one power, one middling team from a major conference, and one low-level team.

In 91 and 92 they played Washington (ranked 4th and 2nd), in 93 and 94 UCLA, in 95 and 96 they played Michigan State and Arizona State.

Go back farther, and in 82 and 83 they played Penn State, 85 and 86 Florida State. Iowa, Oregon State, South Carolina, Syracuse and Auburn are some of the other games on their schedule. Nebraska has only ever played Pacific twice.

As for the 'weak Big 8 schedule', in 1995 NU played three top 10 teams in the Big 8, and almost always there were two top-25 teams other than NU in the conference. It may not have been the toughest conference, but it was no Pac 10.

Like most top football schools, Nebraska schedules about as strong a schedule as you can while keeping a home-heavy NC slate. The Huskers have scheduled future games with Tennessee, Va Tech, Washington and UCLA. The real cupcake schedulers are teams like Kansas State in the 90s.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 1:35am


I wasn't meaning to rag Nebraska. There's been nothing really wrong with their NC schedule for a while. And I agree with your Kansas State comment- every year my friends and I give the "Kansas State Award" to the school with the biggest joke of an NC schedule (congratulations to the 2006 Oklahoma State Cowboys).

About fifteen years ago Nebraska would have either one or zero losses near the end of the year, would be ranked in the top ten...and when you looked at it, they hadn't played anyone. Then they'd get killed either against Oklahoma, in a bowl game, or both. If they didn't play a cupcake, they lost.

Again, that was a while ago. :)

by Erasmus (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 2:09am

Big weekend of college football...and I get to watch Jacksonville State vs. Murray State (my little sister's 1st game as a varsity cheerleader...)

by Russell Levine :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 7:48am

Re: 25

At which school? My wife's family has deep ties to Murray State.

by Erasmus (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 10:40am

It is going to be at Jacksonville State.

by Frick (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 11:07am

Illinois is going to be awful this year, what is worse is that Indiana is predicted to finish last behind Illinois. On the plus side at the least Terry Hoeppner should be back in 4-5 weeks from neural surgery.

Re: 18

As an IU fan I know that Indiana is normally not on CBS, but a different local station, but not all of the home games are shown, nor should they be.

by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 11:11am

Jason Whitlock voted Illinois #1 on his AP ballot, in honor of their greatest alum.

Trogdor, I'm glad to hear Jason Whitlock likes me so much, but even I would have to say that my alma mater's football program is perhaps the sorriest of any BCS conference school. I just don't know how we got to the point where Illinois is losing 33-0 to Rutgers.

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 11:23am

tracking Russell’s picks over the last year is an object lesson in gambling on football: at one point in late October last year, his record had sunk to 19-42-2; which, as I and several others pointed out, was a truly astonishing achievement—it’s as hard to go 19-42 as to go 42-19 (“serbyesque� was the term)

so what’s happened since? Thru the remainder of last year, he was 31-27-3, and, adding in this year, it’s 42-32-3

so, if you thought, on October 21 2005 “I’ll make a fortune—just bet the opposite of Russell�, you’d be SOL

the lesson is a simple one—once you find a skewed record like that over 30-40 games—expect the OPPOSITE skew over the next 30-40 games. Everyone tends back to .500

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 11:56am

the lesson is a simple one—once you find a skewed record like that over 30-40 games—expect the OPPOSITE skew over the next 30-40 games.

Nononono! Never expect this! If it happens with a human, it's because the human is getting better at predicting, not because you'd trend back to 0.500.

You trend back to 0.500 with coinflips because your future picks should always be 0.500, and your future picks will eventually outweigh any early bias that happened. See the gambler's fallacy or the law of averages.

If you bet with someone after they've been shown to be wrong a significant number of times, you're betting on the fact that they now know what they're talking about. If you don't believe that, you shouldn't bet with them.

A simpler point would be that you cherry-picked that date: that's basically the worst that his record sunk to. If you had gone a little earlier, it still would've been significantly below 0.500, but had you started betting with him, it would've been 0.500 or worse.

Basically, the reason it looks like he suddenly got smart is because you picked the lowest point. While betting, you have no way of knowing when that point's reached, and therefore, no way of taking advantage of it.

by Larry (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 11:58am

Re #30:

Ugggh. You can expect Russel will be better after his 19-42-2 record. But, assuming you believe his skills are really in the .500 range, there's even odds whether he'll finish above or below .500 over the next 60 games. Regression to the mean does not say that really bad performance becomes really good performance. Only that really bad performance gets better, because it should get closer to the mean (0.500 in this case). The total performance (bad past + future) only approaches the mean (0.500) in the limit where there are an infinite number of future performances making the past performance irrelevant in calculating the total performance.

DO NOT ABUSE regression to the mean to suggest random events have memory.

Thank you.

/statistics psa/rant

by Larry (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 12:05pm

Damn, Pat beat me to it.

by Russell Levine :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 12:21pm

Wow, glad to see my performance is subject of such discussion.

In any case, I've been getting all FO like with Excel the last couple of weeks and hope to display some more numbers in the coming weeks -- tracking our performance when we agree/disagree, etc.

I hope to never revisit those 19-42-2 depths again. I will say this in my defense however. I believe I was 10-5-1 on locks last year and were I actually gambling, there's no way I would have bet the eight games we discuss every week. We pick the games because the games are interesting, and only very rarely because we feel strongly about the lines. As a gambler, you don't bet interesting games, you bet interesting lines. So I'd like to think my ability to pick winners is closer to my best-bet numbers than it is to my overall performance (but it's still admittedly, not great).

Anyway, Vin and I are thrilled to see so much discussion on the college thread each week. That's the whole point of the column, not to pick winners but to give everyone a forum to talk college football (since we all know it's the better form of the game) OMG FLAME WAR ALERT RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 12:44pm


That soudns like the Big Ten conference package, not an individual station's choice. Channel 2 usually carries the conference game of the week, which means that they jumped at a chance to get an Ohio State game that wasn't already gobbled up by ESPN or ABC (I know they're now the same, but I still call it Marshall Field's too, FWIW)

by Derek (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 2:07pm

I can't remember a weekend with this many potentially great matchups. I'm just thankful the wedding I had to go to was last weekend.

Russell and Vinny...love the column. As Michigan alums, do you have any thoughts about places to go in Ann Arbor? I'll be heading there to check out the Michigan-Iowa game in October. I'd appreciate advice from any Michigan fans actually.

by Russell Levine :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 2:29pm

Re: 36

Derek, Vinny has spent a lot more time in Ann Arbor than I have in recent years, so perhaps he'll weigh in later.

As I see it, there's a two-front bar scene in Ann Arbor. There are the student bars on South and East University, then there's the Main Street area that caters to an older crowd. If you're mid to late 20s, you're probably going to want to hit Main Street, where there are plenty of options.

Pregame, try to tailgate on the University golf course across the street from the stadium, then head back to Main Street after the game.

Everything's walkable, too. If you park anywhere on central campus, the stadium will be no more than a 20 minute walk or so, and it's actually a fun part of the experience. People pour out from every street, all headed the same place, until the all converge on the final walk up to the gates.

Oh, and get there early! Getting in last minute can be a bitch.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 2:56pm

Derek -

October is a great time to be in Ann Arbor. You can tailgate on the golf course if you're up early, otherwise try to walk down State Street and then down Hoover to the game. It's a pretty cool experience if you're making it an hour or half-hour before the game, with all the people you're walking with towards the Stadium.

For breakfast, Angelo's (1100 Catherine Street) is outstanding. World's best raisin bread, which they also sell. But get there very early or you're waiting in a very long line.

If you want a great sandwich spot, check out Maize and Blue Deli (1329 South University). Grandma's Reuben and Madanna's Top Hit are two of my favorite sandwiches, but you generally can't go wrong with anything they make. Red Hawk or Amer's on State Street are also good choices for lunch. You'll get some recommendations for Zingerman's Deli in the part of town that's called Kerrytown, but while that's good, I think it's a little overrated (also a long line there on football weekends). Cottage Inn or Pizza House have some solid pizza.

Bar-wise, the scene isn't great compared to other college towns, but it's not bad. Depends if you want to hang out with the undergrads or not. BW3 arrived in the last year or so and instantly became the best sports bar. The Arena on Fourth Street is a decent sports bar. Conor O'Neil's on State Street is always packed on football weekends. My personal favorites are Ashley's on State Street, Old Town Tavern on Liberty and Arbor Brewing Company aka "ABC" (a micro-brewery) on Washington -- they're more low-key, you can usually get a table, and they serve good bar food. Ashley's and ABC have some great beers on tap.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 3:08pm

Correction: Conor O'Neil's is on Main Street.

And FYI, ABC and Old Town are right off of Main Street. Full Moon is another popular spot on Main Street. Bab's Underground Lounge on Ashley (off of Main) is fairly new and a pretty cool place.

by Duck in MA (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 3:18pm

That's funny, some of my best sports memories come from Autzen Stadium. Of course, with the double-kiss-of-death who knows this time. Oregon should be pumped up for this game though. The Holiday Bowl last year was a winnable game for them to end the season at 11-1, but the offense never found themselves. I expect a lot of points from the Ducks this time. The defense did give up a lot of yards on the ground, but easily held the passing game in check. And they never gave up the big play, making Fresno drive the length of the field. I expect the run defense to be stiffer (Aliotti is a stop-the-run-first kind of guy) while Adrian Peterson gets 100-125 yards on 25 carries. A decent performance, but not enough to win for the Sooners.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 3:19pm

Regression of the mean! Yeesh, how many engineers read this site? (And yes, I have a B.S.Ch.E.).

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 4:04pm

Let me just point out that it's hard to come up with a greater calling in life than the guy with a chemical engineering degree who's working in a field completely unrelated to chemical engineering. I worked in the field for less than six months, and never looked back.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 4:12pm

Non-conference schedules: current/former coaches' ties to the schools, such as Ohio State-Youngstown State (and Michigan State-Idaho, scheduled when the Vandals were coached by a former John L. Smith assistant, but played now that Erickson, who once had Smith on his staff, is Idaho's coach).

Also, there's the issue of availability, as Trogdor mentioned in #15. Some schools book commitments years and years in advance; others seem to fit in games the year before, or with even less lead time than that, so sometimes you have to work from the list of teams with availability, especially once you get into the home-and-home vs. two-for-one vs. ... discussion.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 5:41pm

Trogdor - That's 6 months longer than me.

by Derek (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 7:28pm

Thanks guys...I really appreciate the information. I'll be pulling for the Maize and Blue this weekend.

by Derek (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 8:56pm

Also, I miss Pat in these threads...I didn't get to see the ND-PSU game last week. Was Notre Dame just that good or do you see real problems with the Penn State team this year?

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 11:10pm

Also, I miss Pat in these threads…I didn’t get to see the ND-PSU game last week. Was Notre Dame just that good or do you see real problems with the Penn State team this year?

I'm going to have my Penn State fan status revoked.

I didn't see the Penn State-ND game. Believe it or not. I was in Chicago for a meeting that I really didn't want to miss.

I'll probably get a copy of it and watch it at some point, but from what I've read and watched, the big problem in the Notre Dame game was exactly what I would've expected it to be: a combination of the secondary and the defensive line.

I'm not really worried. I had always half-written off this year anyway. Thankfully most of the top talent on the team sticks around next year.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 11:40pm

Jason Whitlock voted Illinois #1 on his AP ballot, in honor of their greatest alum.

Trogdor, I’m glad to hear Jason Whitlock likes me so much, but even I would have to say that my alma mater’s football program is perhaps the sorriest of any BCS conference school

Me thinks the Duke Blue Devils have that title wrapped up.

Am I the only one that thinks Duke's football program needs to get out of the ACC? I respect their academic standards, but they're hopelessly overmatched on the field in that conference, and perhaps even in 1-AA.

by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 12:06am


I was just hoping the PSU receivers could do enough to make a game of it. Weird box score fact: PSU had more first downs (25-22) and only lost the total yardage by 14 (397-383). Of course losing the TO battle by 3 didn't help.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 12:40am

In case anybody was wondering, Toledo and Kansas has been a pretty competitive game, despite an early edge in the play in favor of the Jayhawks. Currently 31-31, with 1 2 pt conversion and a safety for each team, 2:10 to play. But, and this goes to drive home the timing changes, it's a long game. And it feels really long. Games like this shouldn't be this gadawful long, and I'll despair if this goes into overtime.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 1:06am

This Toledo-Kansas game may be one of the more entertaining crapfests I've seen in quite a while.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 1:48am

And it finally ended in 2nd OT, about 4 hours after it began. Crapfest is right, as the OT possessions went: #1 incomplete on 4th and goal from the 25 after an intentional grounding call; #2 fumble by QB; #3 interception in end zone (alas, no Dion Byrum heroics this year, tackled near midfield); and, mercifully, #4 25 yard run for TD on first play. Toledo didn't have a first down in the last 33 minutes of regulation, and Kansas turned the ball over five times. Like Rocco says in %51, an entertaining crapfest.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 2:26am

The Kansas coach is really morbidly obese

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 1:22pm

Why isn't everything reviewable? Boston College fumbles, BYU recovers. On replay it's clear that the Boston College player did fumble, but it's also clear that he fumbled when the BYU player grabbed and pulled his facemask, which wasn't called. Why shouldn't the official be able to look at the replay, see the facemask, and call the penalty?

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 2:25pm

Random thought: If Troy Smith were white and Drew Stanton were black, would Stanton still be considered the better pro prospect? Every ranking I've seen says Stanton will be selected before Smith in the draft, and I just don't see it at all. Stanton is two inches taller, but is that really enough to outweigh the fact that Smith is (at least from what I've seen) more accurate, more aware of the rush, better at reading defenses and a better athlete?

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 2:59pm

Re #55
I think there are a couple things going on. First, Troy Smith has really only been an accurate passer for about 8 games, since the second half of last season. Stanton has a longer record of being a good thrower, I think. Smith's primary asset was his feet, and I think it's taking time for the perception of Smith to move from "running QB who can't throw" to "QB who can use his feet to make plays and is a good thrower." Smith also has better teammates; drop in the Texas game notwithstanding, Gonzalez catches pretty much everything in his vicinty, and Holmes was the same way. Plus there's Ginn.

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 3:06pm

I know Duke suck and he's not feeling much pressure, but I've been pretty impressed by Sean Glennon's accuracy and timing on the mid-range passes. He underthrew one deep one slightly, which led to the receiver being tackled when he might otherwise have gone all the way, but most of the others have been right in stride and in the hands. I don't watch much college football, but I wouldn't have thought many sophomores making only their third start look this good. Seems like a real NFL prospect in two or three years' time. Many more games of 83.3% completion like his season opener against Northeastern and the Quarterback Projection System's going to be a fan too. He's 67% for the season as of half-time.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 3:39pm

I agree with MDS -- Smith is a much better passer than Stanton, and also has much better arm strength and a more prototypical NFL throwing motion. Stanton has a bit of the unorthodox Phillip Rivers motion going. Both are pretty mobile.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 4:01pm

Surprise of the day so far is Michigan State going on the road and pounding Pittsburgh.

I've never seen Troy Smith as an NFL prospect.

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 4:12pm

Kevin11, why don't you see Troy Smith as an NFL prospect?

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 4:45pm

The field goal units for BYU and Boston College have combined to blow 7 kicks today (4 missed FG, 2 missed XP, 1 bad snap).

by dCalla (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 4:51pm

Well, Smith is a tOSU quarterback. Generally speaking, how do they do in the pros?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 4:52pm

And BC's extra point in 2OT barely went through. Just ugly. Interception ends it, BC wins another OT game.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 4:54pm

I just don't see the arm strength. Obviously I could be wrong, but I've never seen Troy Smith throw a pass and said "WHOA!" like I just did with JaMarcus Russell.

Why do I feel lile I'm the only one excited about 'ol JaMarcus as an NFL QB?

BTW, this is going to sound dumb, but I was thumbing through my copy of PFP this morning and thinking about how cool it is to interract with some of the guys who put it out. MDS, Russell, Vinny, and everyone else- thanks for hanging with us. :)

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 4:54pm

Art Schlister was pretty good until he gambled his way out of the league. Jim Karsatos was a decent backup to Marino for a few years. And what the hell does any of that have to do with Smith's prospects?

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 4:57pm

OSU QBs are never especially highly regarded though, I don't think they've ever had a first rounder. It's not like they've had high-profile busts.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:00pm

Um, wow. Flipping between the ND/Mich game and the LSU/Auburn game, there was an overturn in LSU/Auburn that just baffles me. While I'd be OK with them having initially called it a catch OR calling it an incomplete, I don't see that being so conclusive as to overturn the call.

Is it just me or does college have way, way more "questionable overturns" than the NFL ever has?

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:01pm

We've said it before, we'll say it again, but what the hell is a "football move"?

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:02pm

Doesn't sound dumb at all, Kevin11. I appreciate it.

I agree with Trogdor that past Ohio State quarterbacks have approximately nothing to do with Troy Smith. I hear that sometimes and I never know what it's supposed to mean -- if a previous Ohio State quarterback had played well in the pros what would that say about Smith? Is Chad Henne going to be a good pro because Tom Brady is, or a bad pro because Drew Henson was? Or is he never going to make the pros because he keeps throwing horrible passes like that interception, which would have gotten the quarterback on my high school team benched?

by dCalla (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:14pm

Ok, my statment was unclear. I was not saying that Smith wasn't a good prospect because he went to tOSU, but the Buckeye quarterbacks just don't seem to be highly regarded as pro prospects, and this may be due to the fact they haven't had any worldbeaters lately. I agree the school doesn't really matter, but I have followed other discussions here about whether some quarterbacks are really good enough for the NFL, or if its just due to the college program they were in. Trogdor, I am a fan, an alumnus, and I live within the sound of the stadium.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:15pm

Some players are a product of the system, though. For example, Spurrier knew how to make his WRs look good at Florida, but they usually flopped in the NFL.

RoboPunter plays at Auburn.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:17pm

Some quick comments on previous games while wishing my hotel room had two more TV's:

I think we can safely say that Toledo is exactly as good as 1/3 of the Big 12 North. Two games, two ties (sorry, 1-1 in OT).

As noted above, Kansas's coach is morbidly obese. I'm just not used to seeing a Toledo game in which coach Amstutz is outweighed by his counterpart, let alone by 100 pounds or so. Thankfully, Tom finally got serious about weight loss over the summer - he looks like he's lost about 30 pounds since I last saw him, and while he's still not exactly svelte, it's a huge improvement in a much-needed area. I'm very happy for him and his family that such progress is being made. I hope someone gets to Mangino the same way soon.

I really wish Toledo would find a decent kicker - they haven't had one since France. It's sad when you don't even trust the guy to kick a 41-yarder in overtime, going for it on 4th and goal from the 24. Yikes. On the plus side, how often do you see a game where each team gets a safety and a 2-point conversion, allowing them to score 31 without kicking a field goal?

Ohio State - not bad considering this was the very definition of a trap game. Right in the middle of a Texas-PSU-Iowa stretch, against the in-state school with all the local guys with chips on their shoulders. They weathered the early storm, woke up when they needed to, and wound up winning comfortably. Plus, the kickers made a few long ones, which hopefully will continue. Not a bad win, now to enjoy all the other games...

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:18pm

Oh for cryin' out loud, can we please have one freaking game on TV where frickin' Jerome Bettis isn't involved? LSU-Auburn time...

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:20pm

Did Alabama donate last year's offense without Tyrone Prothro to Auburn? Or is LSU's defense really that good? I'm guessing the former, with the latter contributing, but they look just awful. LSU's offensve v. Auburn's defense isn't much better.

JaMarcus Russell isn't consistent enough for me. He'll make 5 good throws in a row and follow that up with 3 bad ones.

Notre Dame might want to try holding onto the ball.

by Nate (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:26pm

Answer to "why wasn't Illinois on in the Chicago market"?
The Syracuse/Illinois pillow-fight was on ESPNU, and I don't think that the local networks can pick up ESPNU games, only ESPN+ games.
On a brighter note for Illini fans, our freshman QB, Isaiah "Juice" Williams, went 9/16 for 227 yards, with 2 TDs and no picks.

by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:33pm

"I hope someone gets to Mangino the same way soon."

What? There's nothing funnier than an enormously fat coach. Keep eating, Mangino and ilk! My favorite is the UAB defensive coordinator, can't recall his name. 450, easy.

Bettis joins Emmitt and Jerry Rice on the Attention Whore All-Pro Team.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:40pm

Notre Dame's corners are getting toasted deep.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:41pm

I'm always torn on Michigan-ND weekend. Which team should I root against most? Obviously I can't root for Michigan. But looking (too far) ahead, Notre Dame doesn't really have any other tough games between here and USC, and I might need to want them to win that weekend. So it would be OK if they got their loss here, unless I want to count on them laying an egg somewhere else, or if MSU or UCLA play one of their good games. I guess I'll resort to the old hoping for them to both lose, and go away at least half-satisfied.

Oh come on, Bettis is still in the booth! Oh, another Michigan TD, maybe that'll shut him up. I almost wish he'd play again - hearing about him being from Detroit isn't as bad as actually hearing him.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:43pm

My favorite is the UAB defensive coordinator, can’t recall his name. 450, easy.

I rememebr that guy! He was not only obese, he was hideously ugly. I remember thinking he must be a hell of a coach since you know there's going to be a level of discrimination working against him.

by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:43pm

I don't think Michigan's anything special. Notre Dame is playing awful, and its corners aren't covering anybody.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:45pm

Picture of former UAB defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt:


by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:49pm

Keep in mind Notre Dame's defense was the big question mark coming into the year, especially the secondary. And Michigan always has plenty of talent, the knock on them recently has been that it's being under-developed and poorly coached. When they're on they're capable of playing with anyone, but they're also capable of finding new and creative ways to lose any game. Today they're on, ND isn't, and so far it's ugly.

Oh hey, Louisville took the lead. Wait - just heard who the announcer is, had to change the channel. That's been the "when both other games are in commercials" game, but early on it looked like Louisville was determined to shoot themselves in the foot as often as possible (fumbled kick returns, dumb penalties), but maybe they've run out of bullets.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:51pm

It's just been a few plays that I've watched closely, but Russell seems to stare down his receivers pretty bad (until he has to scramble, anyway).

by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 5:56pm

I remain unconvinced that any of these SEC teams is any good. I think the league is really down from what it was and much more of a defensive league these days.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:03pm

Temple has lost consecutive games by 62-0 scores. I doubt that's ever happened before.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:08pm

Second what Trogdor said re Michigan and lack of talent. I think I can start again with using ND as the barometer for good team v. bad team distinction. And it is now 33-7, pending another the next edition of the Garrett Rivas Kicking Adventure.

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:09pm

Anyone know what the largest margin of defeat in history is for a No. 2 team?

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:10pm

Apparently, backing Michigan when they're the underdog and running from them when they're favored really does work. Not even Russell and Vinny both picking them has slowed them today. Have either of them ever been brave/crazy enough to Edelstein UM?

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:12pm

Re: 87

At a minimum, 38 points, the margin of the Nebraska-Florida national championship game after the 1995 season.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:13pm

Good question. Offhand the largest I know of is 38, in Nebraska's 62-24 victory over Florida in the [Fiesta?] Bowl.

by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:21pm

Maybe the Irish aren't completely out of this one, especially if Michigan does two or three dumb things.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:21pm

If Michigan gives up what will be the Greatest Notre Dame Comeback Ever (or one of them) in the second half, I will personally come and kill Lloyd Carr.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:27pm

Found a bigger one (though maybe not the biggest): #1 Army 48, #2 Notre Dame 0, November 10, 1945.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:39pm

Wow Louisville just dropped an interception so easy even I could have caught it.

Touchdown Auburn. Although it's one of those types I hate to see. Quarterback sneak, and not a single referee makes a signal, until they dig up the pile, and then the referee signals touchdown. Who knows what happened to the ball when it was in that pile.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:43pm

In non-#1/#2 games, Oklahoma lost to Northwestern by 32, 45-13 in 1959.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:46pm

Is it too early to say this is an down year for the ACC? Assuming Miami doesn't come back from 17 down at Louisville, the ACC will be 3-4 against the much-maligned Big East, 0-1 vs. Notre Dame, and 1-1 vs. the MAC (plus Virginia is losing 17-10 to Western Michigan in the 4th).

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:48pm

Georgia Tech lost to #5 Georgia 34-0 in 1942. And that's the biggest since the AP poll began in 1936. And I love the College Football Encyclopedia.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:48pm

That should be 2-4 vs. the Big East.

by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 6:54pm

"If Michigan gives up what will be the Greatest Notre Dame Comeback Ever (or one of them) in the second half, I will personally come and kill Lloyd Carr."

A line might have formed by the time you get there.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:01pm

Miami punted on 4th and 3 from its own 41 down 24-7 with 12 minutes left in the 4th quarter. However, Louisville was flagged for a questionable running-into-the-kicker, and Miami still has a chance.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:04pm

I get the feeling that Miami could play another 8 quarters and still not score 20 points. I don't think an extra possession on an iffy call will help.

And to answer your earlier question, yeah, the ACC is down. Miami's offense stinks, and FSU's isn't much better. BC seems determined to take every game to the last minute, but they may win the ACC simply because someone has to win. Clemson's done if they lose tonight, and I'm not buying VT yet- pounding Duke is nice, but last week their passing offense really struggled against UNC, and they were bailed out by defense/special teams/Joe Dailey incompetence.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:06pm

I think Luther Campbell needs to get involved in another Miami QB controversy. Kyle Wright is awful.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:08pm

Wow what was that pass by Brady Quinn? Was there anybody besides Michigan players near its destination?

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:10pm

I think Quinn was hit on the arm as he threw.

Apparently Carr is using the Jim Tressel prevent offense in the 2nd half. It shouldn't matter, as their defense is smothering the Irish. That crash you heard was the Quinn for Heisman bandwagon hitting a telephone pole.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:12pm

Ohio State - not bad considering this was the very definition of a trap game. Right in the middle of a Texas-PSU-Iowa stretch, against the in-state school with all the local guys with chips on their shoulders. They weathered the early storm, woke up when they needed to, and wound up winning comfortably. Plus, the kickers made a few long ones, which hopefully will continue. Not a bad win, now to enjoy all the other games…

The offense definitely picked up after a while, but the defense still looks shaky. Cincinnati's QB, if he had been more decisive and a little less nervous, could've had a much better game. Why he chose to throw the ball away when he was at the line of scrimmage already I will never understand. It was great when the announcers said that it "wasn't that bad a play", though. Yeah. Sure.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:13pm

Ballsy (and correct) call by Tuberville to go for it on 4th and inches at his own 40. QB sneak, and somehow they mark the ball about two feet beyond where the QB's head even got to, let alone the football. I think he did make it, but that spot was ridiculous.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:17pm

The OSU defense did look a lot better when they weren't so dedicated to being as vanilla as possible, though.

Oh my, did they actually call offensive PI on the home team? And correctly, to wipe out a huge pass? Nice work, officials!

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:18pm

Virginia just lost to Western Michigan. As a Jet fan, watching Al Groh lose makes me happy.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:19pm

I should add that OSU should find out if Jimmy Snuka, Brutus Beefcake, or Koko B. Ware have sons who play football. Or if Leapin' Lanny Poffo has a son who plays receiver - I bet he'd have deceptive speed.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:19pm

The bad 4th down decision today was made by Mark Dantonio against the Buckeyes, with about 12 minutes to play. tOSU was up, but only 20-7, and the Bearcats elected to punt on 4th and 6 from about the OSU 48. Dantonio punted, OSU moved the ball out from their own 15, Pittman took it in from 48 out and the game was over.

by chris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:20pm

Wow, Georgia's defense is going to be really special this year. They have potentially 2 top ten pick DE prospects this year in Moses and Johnson (assuming he comes out) that no other team in America can match. You can also add a shut down corner in Paul Oliver and a solid senior trio of LBs. Too bad Stafford is a true freshman or this team would really be up there this year. As it is now they are going to struggle to get to 17 points against the likes of Florida, Tennessee, and Auburn.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:21pm

Re: 110

I had the same reaction. Unless he bet on his own team (+29.5, and OSU went on to cover anyway), there is no reason why Dantonio should have punted.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:21pm

The first down marker for LSU/Auburn makes me hungry for a bison cheeseburger for some reason. Have they been putting ads on that all year?

What an incredible waste of a beautiful playfake. Auburn's QB hid the ball behind his back for two seconds, sold the fake as well as possible, but threw a 3-yard pass (overthrown out of bounds) because apparently they only had one receiver go deep and both safeties stayed with him.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:22pm

I get the feeling that Miami could play another 8 quarters and still not score 20 points.

What amazes me is that they've already given up 31.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:25pm

What amazes me is that they’ve already given up 31.

Says something about Louisville's offense, doesn't it? They're no scheme wonder who only scores on weak teams (e.g., Texas Tech).

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:27pm

Or maybe it says something about how pitiful Florida State's offense is.

(I almost kept a straight face while typing that...)

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:27pm

Re #113
Amen. I wondered if he shouldn't have kept rolling right and tried to run for it; looked like there might have been room.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:31pm

Bold call by Stoops to go for it on 4th and inches from Oregon 16. It's the call I'd have made, but I'm sitting on my couch and won't get fired if I'm wrong. AP romped in untouched, and the Sooner are up 27-20 with 12 to play.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:32pm

Wow. Wow. Wow. WTF?!?!?!

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:32pm

Should Al Groh be in hot water at Virginia? The Hoos got clobbered by Pitt, needed OT at home vs Wyoming, and now a loss to Western Michigan. The natives must be restless in Charlottesville.

How about Larry Coker at Miami? A UM HC search could be a lot of fun. Possible candidates:

-Butch Davis did great things as UM HC, and he's unemployed.

-Dennis Erickson did great things as UM HC, and he's coaching at Idaho. (I know- while we're at it Jimmy Johnson and Howard Schnellenberger are available, but they're really not).

-Former UM DC Tommy Tuberville has done great things at Auburn, and may still be angry over Auburn's aborted attempt to bring in Bobby Petrino.

-And then there's Bobby Petrino himself.

-Steve Spurrier at Miami would be intriguing.

-Barry Alvarez is always contacted whenever The U needs a coach. Maybe he'd liek to roam the sidelines again.

Did I miss anyone?

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:32pm

Has a defense ever been less prepared for a more obvious play call than Oregon was for the Adrian Peterson run right up the middle on fourth-and-1? I mean, as soon as he crossed the line of scrimmage he just started high-stepping toward the end zone because Oregon had no one in the middle of the field.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:34pm

Michigan just managed 2 consecutive pass interference penalties, one giving ND a first down after a 4th and 10, another which didn't matter because the ND guy caught the ball (somehow) for a touchdown.

Don't blow it.

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:36pm

I like ND's new offensive philosophy: throw the ball up for grabs and hope for the flag (and they're likely to get it)

by Darrel Michaud (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:37pm

LSU is getting screwed by the refs. They absolutely blew a blatant pass interference call in the end zone, overturned an obvious catch on 4th down, and just picked up another PI flag on a 4th down.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:38pm

"I like ND’s new offensive philosophy: throw the ball up for grabs and hope for the flag (and they’re likely to get it)"

They don't call Charlie Weis a genius for nothin'!

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:38pm

Auburn's defense has looked good, but it's been made to look even better by the fact that LSU's offense has been completely inept.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:40pm

Dan Fouts is a PBP guy now?

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:40pm

Re: 124

Let's not forget the two times (the touchdown, and the 4th down run) where the referees have been giving more than generous spots (or in the case of the TD, pulling the "Let's not call it, wait for the ball to get pushed around the pile, THEN say it's a TD" move).

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:41pm

So what was the justification for picking up that flag anyway? He was being held the whole way down the field, was even more blatantly interfered with at the end, but somehow all of that is ignored (minutes after the fact) because the safety got a hand on the ball? Interesting.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:42pm

When the Texans have the #1 pick this year in the draft, will they take Adrian Peterson, or pass him up for a project at DE? Man this guy is good.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:43pm

If Auburn's D keeps playing this soft, LSU should be able to march right down the field. They missed a 20-ish gain on 1st because Russell threw an awful pass, and now got 2 straight of 15+ to wide open receivers.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:43pm

Russell, you have to THROW IT AWAY.

What an idiot.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:43pm

66 seconds to go 80 yards, and LSU finds a guy open on the sidelines 3 plays in a row. 46 seconds, 39 yards. And Russell takes an Aaron Brooks-style STUPID sack.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:43pm

ACC non-conference games for the rest of the year:

Big East
North Carolina vs South Florida
Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati

Conference USA

Virginia Tech vs. Southern Miss
Miami vs. Houston
Virginia at East Carolina
North Carolina State vs. East Carolina
Florida State vs. Rice

Clemson vs. Temple
North Carolina at Notre Dame (2)
Duke vs. Navy

Virginia Tech vs. Kent State
Boston College vs. Buffalo
Florida State vs. Western Michigan

Duke at Alabama (#28)
Duke vs. Vanderbilt
Clemson vs. South Carolina
Wake Forest at Mississippi
Florida State vs. Florida (#7)
Georgia Tech at Georgia (#10)

Sun Belt
Maryland vs. Florida International
Miami vs. Florida International

Clemson vs. Louisiana Tech

Wake Forest vs. Liberty
Boston College vs. Maine

Unless Florida State beats Florida, there's a real possibility Wake Forest's win at Connecticut will be the best ACC non-conference win of the season.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:43pm

Horrible play by Russell. Throw it away!!!

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:45pm

I swear, you'd think Auburn was trying to lose this game. 2, maybe 3 shots at the end zone.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:45pm

And now LSU is 20 yards away with 14 seconds to go. One good or lucky pass will win it for them. Nice job, Auburn's soft-even-for-prevent D. Ridiculous, considering how much time was left and the first down clock stoppage. Just insane.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:47pm

Wow, Russell... just a horrible decision to scramble around, and a bad decision by the dude to catch it over the middle. They're very lucky they had the penalty called.

by Darrel Michaud (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:47pm

And LSU shoots themseleves in the foot. Bluegrass miracle coming up?

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:48pm

Great decision making there. You have to throw the ball to the END ZONE. Just terrible decision-making by Russell in the last minute.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:49pm

130- What are they trading to the Raiders for the #1 pick ;)

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:50pm

And Russell repays Auburn's idiotic defense with some idiotic decisions of his own. Some games are won, and others are lost. This was the latter.

by Darrel Michaud (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:50pm

Well, that was another great game ruined by the refs.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:51pm

Forget throwing the ball into the end zone - they were on the 25, he held the ball for about 5+ seconds, and the recevier wasn't even there yet. I know SEC receivers are fast enough to run 25 yards in 5 seconds (probably not Big Ten receivers though - those northern kids are incredibly slow), so why the hell wasn't he in the end zone?

by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:51pm

#64: Based on that last drive, I'd take Troy Smith over Jamarcus as a NFL quarterback...

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:52pm

Just curious: Whatever Lloyd Carr does to prepare his team against good teams, why doesn't he just do that every week?

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:53pm

Dixon throws it to an Oklahoma linebacker underneath, and AP takes it 11 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Sooner ball at midfield, up 10 with 5 minutes to play. Looks like healthy doses of the #1 pick are in order.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:53pm

Yeah, this wasn't the best day to start pumping up JaMarcus Russell. Those last two plays were mind boggling.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:54pm

Well, at least I have the pleasure of watching Notre Dame go down and go down hard. And I'm thrilled. Everyone treated them like they were walking on clouds this this season, led by the Lord-in-Waiting himself Weis.

Weis is a great coach, but Willingham, too, was practically Jesus Himself after his first year. ND isn't going to slip like that, but I think the ND lovers in the media (not ND - Weis has actually been fairly humble about the season's potential) really needed to get slapped down.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:55pm

Unless Arizona St. runs the table or UCLA wins at Notre Dame, I don't think we'll have any controversy about the #2 team in the Pac-10 missing a BCS game this season.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:55pm

I don't know if it's just because they're such a big deal in the NFL now, but I seem to be seeing a ton of vicious horse collar tackles today

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 7:58pm


At the rate it's going, I'm not sure there will be any team in the Pac-10 worthy of being called #2 in anything. And we'll see about USC (Go Trojans!) tonight.

Holding on Notre Dame.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:01pm

Well, on the bad decision scale, Peterson's running out of bounds with ~3 minutes left and a 10-point lead probably wasn't the best choice. If you aren't going to score, go down. Pretty simple, actually.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:02pm

Add "booting the ensuing kickoff out of bounds" to the list of crappy late-minute plays.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:04pm

I don't know why I had it on UM-ND instead of OUx2, but that was just an AWFUL late hit call on Michigan. If Brady had managed to keep his feet, which was possible when the Wolverine made his move, that's a tackle.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:04pm

What a lame late hit call

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:05pm

I-AA Southern Illinois 35, Indiana 28. Big Ten schools beginning with "I" should just drop football at this point.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:06pm

Brady Quinn's Heisman campaign just had its Garo Yepremian moment.

by Nate (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:07pm

157 - Hey, the Illini beat their division I-AA opponent, though it was a bit touch and go at times.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:08pm

Re: 159

Yeah, but they lost at home today to Syracuse. And it wasn't close.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:12pm

Surprise of the day: TCU 6 - Texas Tech 3 at halftime.

And Oklahoma gets hosed on the onside kick, touched by Oregon at the 39, given to Oregon. Instant replay better get this one right, or you can scrap it right now.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:14pm

Is it just me, or is it a sign of Michigan's general decline that they're dousing the coach after a regular season win? Yeah, it's a rival, and they're highly ranked. But you're freaking Michigan. Winning on the road against a good team shouldn't be so amazing.

(Ignore this if Ohio State dumped the Gatorade on Tressell last week, I didn't see it but man I hope they didn't)

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:15pm

"Conclusive evidence the ball was touched by a receiving team player?????" Awful call.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:15pm


My goodness. What a horrible call on the replay. Um... yeah...

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:15pm

Sorry, NFL moment. That's the 44, not the 39. And they get the call totally, DEAD WRONG on replay. See my comments last week re Minnesota-Cal and Pac-10 officiating.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:16pm

Am I the only one who thinks Oregon should replace the numbers on the field with tapered numbers to match their hideous uniforms?

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:16pm

The water dumping thing would typically be ok winning on the road against the #2 team in the nation, but ND doesn't exactly scream top-3 team

by Nate (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:19pm

160 - Yeah, well, ummm... Hugh Hefner went to Illinois? That's all I got.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:20pm

These refs are AWFUL.

The replay official must be Phil Knight.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:20pm


Wow. Just wow.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:21pm

The Gods of Football demand a kickoff return for a touchdown for the Sooners, or some method of a winning tally.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:21pm

34-33 Oregon. With some absolutely horrible replay calls sprinkled in between. 46 seconds left to go.

And, as TMQ would say, perhaps the pass might go up the field? How is it the player managed to get behind the entire Oklahoma defense?

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:21pm

Will Oregon give a thank-you note to the refs after this game? I mean, credit to them for coming back when most teams would have mailed it in, but they've had help, both from the refs and Oklahoma.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:21pm

I don't think so. Maybe for Purdue or someone, but Michigan? They should expect to win that game! They're freaking Michigan! Just seems like they're lowering the expectations a bit if the players are that surprised to win.

Oh, is there any way the replay official is actually watching the same game we are? Is he watching the "Best of [your favorite adult film star]" instead and just telling them to rule in Oregon's favor every time?

And of course Oregon scores. Don't worry - if Oklahoma comes back, there will be "conclusive video evidence" that the QB actually knelt before every pass, or that the FG actually went out of bounds at the 15.

by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:22pm

1) These officials are nuts.
2) That was *awful* coverage.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:22pm

I'm waiting for a phantom clipping.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:22pm

The Oregon replay calls are mindboggling. WTF? Is the game fixed of what? I've never seen two calls so bad so close together. (And, no, I'm not a Sooner fan.)

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:24pm

I swear, I wrote that before the kickoff.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:24pm

I HATE the new clock rules. There has to be an adjustment for the last 5 minutes of the game.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:24pm

I can't believe Oklahoma chose to run that. Had Peterson's run taken even a single extra second they'd have had no chance to get off a kick.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:24pm

171 - almost right!

Forget about a thank you note. They should find a huge wad of cash hanging out of the ref's pockets a la WWF around Wrestlemania 3 or 4.

What the hell was that playcall?

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:25pm

BLOCKED. Oregon wins.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:25pm

157- Iowa had a nice win today.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:27pm

Wow. I guess even if it had gone through, the play would've been reviewed, and they'd find conclusive video evidence that it didn't.

Oklahoma got screwed by some incredibly horrible calls. And they played some awful defense on that last drive that shouldn't have been. Amazing. They got completely screwed, and yet have no excuse. Odd.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:28pm

Can AP poll voters disregard the result of this game and vote as if Oklahoma won? I know I would if I had a vote.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:29pm

181- Dammit, Trogdor, get it right! ;)

The Million Dollar Man had a someone get plastic surgery so that he was a duplicate of the real ref. The fake ref then screwed Hulk Hogan.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:31pm

You know, this is the maddest I've been after a football game since Al Del Greco blew 3 field goals and the Titans lost to Baltimore 24-10 in the AFC playoffs. And I'm not even a fan of the Sooners.

Question for Bob Stoops: what will it take to get you to schedule another game officiated by Pac-10 officials?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:32pm

Sorry - I was about 7 at the time! My memory's good, but it's not that good!

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:36pm

Just as a note, NewsToTen, the game was officiated by referees from the Big XII.

To repeat, the game was not using Pac 10 referees. At least that's what I heard mentioned on my local station out here after the game.

That isn't a substantiated fact (I'd like to hear it from someplace more substantial), but it's rare that an away non-conference game uses the home team's referees, so it does make sense.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:38pm

Re: 189

But I'm pretty sure the replay official was from the Pac-10, and I don't think the referee has any input there.

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:39pm

Why isn't there more of a groundswell to get rid of replay completely? Yes, I realize sometimes it corrects bad calls. But other times it fails to correct bad calls, and other times it overturns correct calls, and it always delays the game. Why not just get rid of the whole thing?

by BillWallace (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:41pm

re: Oregon-Okie

Did you guys notice that Oregon didn't even recover that Onside kick??? The 2nd through 59th replay that they showed was cut off before you could see it, but the first clearly showed that the ball was never in the dogpile. It squirted out right away into the hands of OK #23 and he picked it up nonchalantly while the refs dove into the empty pile.

So Oregon kicked an onside kick, touched it 2 yards too early, and didn't ever get the ball, but still ended up with possession.

What a rape.

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:44pm

Memo to Miami: It's all well and good to act tough by stomping on the other team's logo before the game, but generally if you're going to do that it's best not to get physically manhandled as the other team kicks your butts up and down the field for 60 minutes. I would bet at least three-fourths of the commenters on this thread could do a better job with the talent at Miami than Larry Coker has.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:45pm

Just watched the replay: Dan Fouts states that the referee is "Dave Kattaya (sp?), our referee from the Pac-10 conference."

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:50pm

Travis: You're right, I just was on ESPNNews and they said they were Pac-10 officials. I wonder what the local people were on at the time.

That's unusual for a home-and-home series between big teams - usually they switch referees (away team's refs officiate the home team's game etc.) or they use neutral crews.

Re: 192.

I saw that too. The ball squirted out and OU got the ball, and the referees said it was recovered by Oregon "inside the pile" somewhere.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:56pm

This was Cutaia's crew last year (I found it in this box score:

Officials: Referee: David Cutaia; Umpire: Timothy Morris; Linesman: Dan Antoniette; Line judge: Michael Batlan; Back judge: James Northcott; Field judge: Scott Monaco; Side judge: R.Petevicius.

by BillWallace (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 8:58pm

I think I heard the ref say something to the effect of 'It was controlled by Oregon and then ripped away by Oklahoma'. But that was just a euphemism for 'I have no idea what the f*** happened so I'm guessing'.

If you watched the replay, it was 99.9% conclusive that no one had possession before OK #23.

What was funny was that all the refs dove into the pile and then never found the ball, so they called Oregon ball, and then all the Oklahoma players were like 'WHAT???' and started grabbing the refs and pointing 20 yards away to where the ball was. I don't blame the refs for that because it was an honest mistake, but replay should have been able to fix that.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:03pm

Cutaia also reffed USC-UCLA, Oregon-Arizona (a 28-21 Oregon victory), and Oregon-Washington State (a last-second 34-31 Oregon victory last year, among others. Anyone remember any bad calls from those games?

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:05pm

USC-UCLA last year was a rout, so any bad calls would likely be forgotten. Seems like he does a lot of Oregon games.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:10pm

Man what happened to Colorado this year? They're losing to Arizona State 14-3 right now, and not even looking very good in doing so (admittedly it's only the second quarter).

by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:10pm

Well, if the Pac-10 has 5 crews, each doing 10 or so games a year, wouldn't it be normal to see a couple of teams twice?

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:14pm

Welcome to SEC conference play, Mr. Ainge. Safeties 'round heah can recover and pick off throws like that one. Bad first play from the Vols.

And I must say it's a little weird to hear Gary Danielson on CBS.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:15pm

Well, if the Pac-10 has 5 crews, each doing 10 or so games a year, wouldn’t it be normal to see a couple of teams twice?

Yup. There's nothing odd about his assignments, I'm just wondering if he has a reputation as a bad ref (e.g., Walt Coleman).

FWIW, David Cutaia's high school yearbook online. I don't know if this is the same person, but his is the only photo of 400 or so removed by request.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:17pm

Adding to 203:

The Archive.org page, complete with blacked out photo.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:20pm

That punt should've been reviewed. It looked an awful lot like it hit a USC player's leg. No look, of course. And, as Musberger just mentioned, it's a Pac-10 crew.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:21pm

Umm, it was reviewed. The replay seemed to show it hit the Nebraska player first.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:22pm

Ugly looking injury to the USC running back. Looks like a season-ender.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:24pm

How many years in a row now has Tennessee had a Colquitt punting for them? (There may not be a Robo-punter yet, but I think there may be a Clono-punter vat under Neyland.)

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:26pm

Oh my GOD.

They showed the replay of that injury and his foot was pointing in a completely DIFFERENT DIRECTION from his upper leg and body. It looked sickening.

Poor guy.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:27pm

Very classy by the the Nebraska players going and shaking the player's hand as the cart rolled off the field.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:28pm

I hope they don't show the replay 15000 times. The way his foot was angled when he was lying on the ground - he's out for the season, most likely.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:29pm

That was just gross. I about lost my dinner there. Poor guy.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:29pm

He's a redshirt senior, too - I hope he gets a 6th year of eligibility if he wants one.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:30pm

Horrible play on 4th down. You kinda need to get past the sticks, ya know.

The running back - I'm just glad that wasn't a compound fracture (from what I could see). It was horrible looking at first glance, just as bad on replay, but it honestly could've been even worse.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:32pm

If OU^2 officials were doing Fla/Ten:

"We have conclusive video evidence that the receiver went out of bounds at the 17 yard line."

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:33pm

Nebraska's playing to win. I like it.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:33pm

Wow, great fake punt by Nebraska.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:34pm

Great pass by Nebraska's punter. Better than any Scott Frost ever threw.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:34pm

And TCU-Texas Tech is effectively over. TCU up 9, 2:20 to play, 4th and 7. Horned Frogs blitz, Harrell gets sacked and fumbles, ball goes forward. OL picks it up and rumbles, but falls a yard short.

Watching Harrell, I see why Leach prefers 5th year seniors at QB. He's just not quite accurate or good enough yet. His receivers haven't helped him out either.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:35pm

How come it seems like ABC has the most gruesome injuries?

I'm glad they only showed the replay once.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:36pm

Why does ABC give us an "update" on games that were over hours ago, instead of the major game on another channel where someone just scored?

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:36pm

Re #206
Sorry. That's why I get for trying to watch 2 games at once, then check in on a third.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:37pm

Or what's his face, the guy who set all those records? I saw his last two big games on the tube, against Colorado and Miami, and you really wondered if they ever even practiced passing... he was a great runner, though. Eric Crouch, that's the fellow...

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:37pm

Nebraska's special teams are playing well. Outstanding high punt, great play to down it inside the 5.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:38pm

The Nebraska gunner clearly knew what he was doing on that punt. He ran to the 1, turned to look for the ball while stopping, and ran back to down it rather than letting it bounce God-knows-where.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:38pm

Re: 223

Tommie Frazier.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:39pm

Hey, Mississippi State scored! Converted twice on third-and-long, even. Still down 14-7 at the half to Tulane.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:40pm

Or Eric Crouch, the man who turned down a million or so because he didn't want to change positions.

by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:40pm

Wow, a record-setting comment thread for SDA.

I'm to mentally exhausted to weigh in much on Michigan. Just a tremendous (to use Lloyd Carr's favorite term) win.

Certainly that was a more aggressive Michigan defense than we're used to. And from what I've seen of Brady Quinn this year, he's VERY susceptible to the pass rush. The guy looks like a world-beater when he has six seconds to throw, but get him off his rhythm and he really falls apart. He was feeling the rush that wasn't even there at sometimes and threw a good 6-10 just awful, awful passes, a few of which he wasn't under any durresss. If I'm an NFL GM thinking of handing him a $25 million check for the the first overall pick, I'm really thinking twice about it after watching him against Georgia Tech in the first half and all day today.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:41pm

Hey Tennessee, when you're getting your butts kicked and just got stuffed on 3rd and long, you probably shouldn't be taking 15-yard penalties after the play.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:41pm

Nah, Frazier could throw, although he preferred to run - I was thinking of Crouch, the last QB of the quality option Nebraska teams, before they fell apart, fired the coach, brought in a new guy, installed a new system etc...

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:41pm

Re #226
I think 223 was referring to Crouch, ending with blowout losses against Colorado and Miami. Frazier, though, he was awesome. CU that game was the most vulnerable team up 35-7 I've ever seen; it was like they kept waiting for Crouch to blow past them and score and they would have collapsed, but it never happened.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:44pm

Well, well, well. Nebraska making a nice little defensive stand there, keeping USC pinned back deep. Should get great field position after this punt.

Wow, very nice return. Barring idiocy, Nebraska should score first here. Maybe they are back...

by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:45pm

Who had the under in Texas Tech-TCU? That's got to be one of the more bizarre scores I've seen in a while.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:45pm

Yeah, I realized my mistake and corrected it in #228. I wonder what Frazier would have done in the NFL had he not had the blood clot problem in his legs.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:48pm

Yeah, Crouch was about as good a runner as Frazier. But what made Frazier so dangerous was that he could pull up on an option play-fake and actually hit his receiver in stride (in single coverage, of course - you can't leave your safeties back against that kind of run game).

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:49pm

Re: 234

TCU does have a good defense (they held Oklahoma to 10 last year), and Texas Tech struggles against good defenses, but 12-3 is still ridiculous.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 9:49pm

Frazier just ripped my boys to pieces in the Fiesta... what a beating. Remarkable that the two great offensive stars of that team never made it in the pros (Lawrence Phillips, obviously, for rather different reasons than Frazier...)

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:01pm

More fun: David Cutaia, Jr.'s Myspace page.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:06pm

Is the answer to that trivia question...

Steve Holt!!!

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:08pm

OK, raise your hand if you thought you would ever see Bill Callahan call a toss sweep on 3rd and 7.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:11pm

Pretty sure the QB was down before that fumble...

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:13pm

I agree, the QB looked down to me. Although isn't that why we have replay? Of course given the way replay has worked today, perhaps it's better the replay officials weren't given the opportunity to blow the call.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:17pm

I keep wanting to really like Chris Leak, but he keeps doing things like taking a sack to make it a 53 yard field goal and letting Tennessee in the game with a stupid interception. Anybody feel like defending his pro prospects or college excellence?

Oh, and SEC schools feature some fine specimens of humanity of the female persuasion.

by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:18pm

Wow, Tommy Bowden just claimed on the halftime interview that he is not going to placekick for the entire rest of the game.

Considering what's happened so far, that might not be a bad idea.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:27pm

Wow great catch on 3rd and 20 by Jarrett.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:29pm

Leak picked off, returned for touchdown. That switched things quickly. Oh, but roughing the passer on Tennessee! And the touchdown is called back thanks to the stupid roughing penalty.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:30pm

Wow, two plays. 89 punt return by the Gators called back on a block in the back. Then Leak gets picked-6, but gets hit in the head. 1st down Gators 15 yards downfield.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:32pm

It's rare you see an iffy called cancelled out so quickly and perfectly by another somewhat iffy call... and rarely does a fan (ie, me) get whipsawed so quickly from elation to dejection to something in between.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:34pm

Ok, CRT screen fatigue. I need to put the laptop down for a while and just watch football. Keep on carrying on.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:37pm

What the heck is wrong with Leak? That pick 6 that was called back was just a terrible pass (possibly just didn't see the defender because of the rush), and that screen pass was short by about 10 feet.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:44pm

The ACC looks like a mess so far

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:46pm

252- at least Wake beat UConn. :)

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:54pm

Nice road win for Washington v Fresno. Could Willingham's program be improving? They had a decent showing vs Oklahoma last week.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 10:57pm

Does anyone actually pay a buck to text a vote for game MVP?

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:00pm

Clemson is absolutely blowing FSU off the field. The score should be about 27-0...

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:06pm

Nebraska just fumbled, unforced, on back-to-back plays. So much for any chance of an upset.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:09pm

I tend to agree with the announcers - Callahan made a pretty weak coaching decision at the end of the first half. Getting the ball back with almost three minutes left in the first half, he chose to run out the clock rather than go for a score before the half.

Nebraska just fumbled on a punt return (they recover), then fumbled the first snap (USC recovers) then commits roughing the passer on the snap after that. Three plays later, touchdown, USC, 21-3.

by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:18pm

Instant replay finally gets a call right. Good overturn in Fla-Tenn. (Although Tenn eventually scored anyway.)

Hey, somebody explain something to me. I grew up as a Nebraska fan, since I really couldn't stand Barry Switzer. They're supposed to have switched to a West Coast offense the last two years...right? Why do they keep calling power running plays on 3rd and more than 5? I'm puzzled...

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:20pm

Callahan going for it on 4th and 9 on the USC 30. It's a good call, but why wouldn't he try for points at the end of the first half?

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:23pm

Nebraska's Bill Callahan-powered West Coast offense has called 25 runs and 10 passes (not counting the fake punt). Zack Taylor is 5 for 10 for 49 yards.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:24pm

Is Tennessee playing with 13 defenders? They seem to have three in the backfield on every play, yet all the receivers are covered. Is Florida just that incapable of blocking anyone?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:28pm

How is Florida State even in this game? Their offense has been pitiful, they've only produced 3 points - but here they are, 1st and goal with a chance to tie. Unbelievable.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:30pm

What do you have to do get a freaking safety in this league?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:32pm

OK, Clemson held FSU to 39 yards on their first 6 drives, yet somehow they need to stop a 2-point conversion to hold the lead. And of course they don't - tie game. And it seems like every one of their games is like this - they should be dominating, but somehow they find ways to keep the other team in it, and find a magical way to blow it in overtime. Would anyone bet against them losing this game on an overtime safety?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:35pm

Florida going with the QB shuffle tonight. Tebow's only come in to run so far - maybe they oughtta play action and let him throw?

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:36pm

North Carolina allowed 505 yards to I-AA Furman, but hung on to win 45-42. What the heck is wrong with the ACC?

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:44pm

Nebraska has 1st and goal on the 5...no gain. On second down, fumble, recovered by USC, but holding defense on USC (no automatic first down?). Second and 3, run to the 1. Third and 1, a dive over the pile that to me looked like a touchdown but that the refs signaled no gain. Nebraska timeout, it's now 4th and goal from about the 6" line and...touchdown Nebraska on a naked bootleg.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:45pm

In the FSU/Clemson game, I think this is the first time I've seen this kind of call reviewed

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:46pm

I think Arian Foster, Tennessee RB, is a charter member of the "Troy O'Leary" group.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:46pm

Should Nebraska have gone for 2 after the USC penalty on the PAT? They would need it at some point (unless they score 2 TD's, then it wouldn't matter anyway), so why not take it now?

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:46pm

Any thoughts on an early favourite in the Big 12 North? Or, as it will shortly be renamed, ACC West. (And yes, the ACC divisions are the Atlantic and Coastal, but that would spoil the joke, ya know?)

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:47pm

269 - what kind of call?

270 - huh?

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:49pm

Which team recovered a fumble on the bottom of a pile, I don't think I've ever seen that reviewed in the NFL or college

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:49pm

They could call it ACC Plains, ACC Prairie, or ACC Cornfield.

No favorite. They all suck.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:49pm

It always maddens me whenever the commentators are looking at replays, and they make definitive statements one way or the other ("This call should definitely be overturned" or "Looking at these videos, I don't think they should overturn"), when the actual result comes the opposite of what they were saying, some commentators just immediately start as if that was the position they were advocating all along.

"There's no way this call can be overturned. Look at video #2, this angle shows it should remain the way it is." (play overturned) "Well of course it was overturned, the player had dropped the ball" or whatever.

Some commentators will freely admit "I have no idea how the official made that decision". That's a good thing. But far more act as if the call was something they knew would happen all along.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:50pm

Re: 273

As in, players you think are white based on their name. "Arian Foster" sounds like a KKK member's son.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:53pm

273 responding to 270- it's the opposite of the "Reggie Cleveland All Stars".

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:59pm

Re: 276

That was a specialty of the ESPN Sunday Night crew.

by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 11:59pm

It's going to take me a little while to get used to Erik Ainge, Pass-Throwing Superstar.

I imagine Cutcliffe could have helped the Brady Quinn Project a fair amount.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:00am

Oh wow - I never realized Troy O'Leary is black. That makes much more sense now.

The term I'd heard (from Bill Simmons, I think) for this phenomenon of name and race not matching is the "Reggie Cleveland All-Stars", of which O'Leary absolutely has to be a member. I think he just overtook Doug Glanville and Khalil Greene on my list.

OK, back to football. Does Tebow pass? Why doesn't Tennessee just key on him - oooh. Chris Leak, with an opportunity to run for a first down, just slid a foot from the sticks on 3rd down. Ouch. Big mental error there.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:03am

And Clemson scores with 8 seconds to go. Can they manage one of their amazing mega-heartbreaking death spirals? Let's find out.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:06am

I really thought they had solved the 'Chris Leak slides just short of the marker' problem this year - it drove us absolutely batshit crazy last year. And Tebow does throw, but after a couple of turnovers last week, they're obviously being a little cautious. He'll presumably have a longer leash against teams like Kentucky, Vandy etc...

And Florida leads - exactly the same play as the first TD. It always helps when the d-back is so confused he falls over into a heap.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:07am

Back to Florida's use of Tebow - all I've been reading about Florida all offseason was about this incredible new QB they have who's even more incredible than their last All-everything Best Recruit Since Powlus QB (Leak). Now they put him in the game, and every single time it's a QB draw where he gets hit and piled on by about seven guys. Maybe it's just me, but if I've got someone who's such an amazing prospect, I'm not putting him in there with a huge "KILL ME!" sign on him just for fun. Isn't that what running backs are for?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:13am

You can't think of a dumber penalty than Florida just took. 3rd and just over 5, they jump offsides by faking a blitz and getting too far up, accidentally touching an offensive player. Just silly.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:15am

How about a hit to the head negating an interception returned for a TD?

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:15am

On 1st and 30, USC manages a 25-yard run. That was unexpected.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:17am

USC is favored by 19. Think they kick a field goal on 4th?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:18am

1:21 left in an 18-point game, with a 19-point spread. Will we see a great moment in gambling history when USC kicks a meaningless FG?

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:19am

Stopped on the 2 and USC lets time run out. Ouch.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:19am

Nebraska covers, as USC wins by 18. USC was on the 2-yard line as time expired, as gamblers everywhere screamed with rage.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:20am

You know, letting the ball just hit the ground would have been the smart play - but tough to fault a defensive back for taking a pick when the chance offers.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:21am


It's over! USC leaves the ball on the 2, and doesn't cover. Great move by Nebraska letting them convert that 3rd down but not allowing the TD, enabling them to run clock...

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:24am

Extremely generous spot for Florida. Is Tennessee out of timeouts?

by peachy (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:25am

Yes, yes they are. Even though it benefited us here, the new clock rules stink.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:26am

Chris Leak isn't the best runner, we knew that, but I can't remember ever seeing a QB try to kneel and fall on his butt before.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:29am

Interesting day of college football and what should be an interesting shakeup in the rankings (using the USA Today rankings as those are used in the BCS).

#1 Ohio State and #2 USC win. #3 Notre Dame is demolished, while #4 (trailing only by a little) Auburn wins against #7 LSU.

#5 West Virginia won Thursday night, and #6 Florida beats Tennessee. #7 LSU loses, as above. #8 Texas and #9 Georgia destroyed their opponents. #10 FSU lost. #11 Oklahoma down, while #12 and #13 (Louisville and Michigan) win big.

Ohio State remains #1. I think USC and Auburn will be very close to each other in votes (Auburn is ahead of USC in the AP, USC ahead of Auburn in the USA Today), but USC will probably remain #2. Auburn to #3, WVU to #4, with Florida to #5.

The real questions are - how far does Notre Dame fall, and how far up does Michigan go? Despite the fact that Texas lost to #1 by less, Notre Dame is a media and coaching darling and could quite likely not fall as many spots as Texas did...plus there were many other losses. Maybe to #8-9? Michigan to #7-8 or so?

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:29am

Re: 295

Don't worry, they're not long for this world. AP article, and some choice quotes:

Mack Brown: I hate it. I just think one of the greatest things about college football was the ability for teams to come back. And now the great plays right before the half, at the end of the game, are more limited than they used to be.

Bob Stoops: I'm not excited about it. I don't know that our fans are.We have 85,000 people at our games. Many people travel great distances, some travel five to six hours. I don't know that they come to see a quick game.

Mike Leach: Fans are getting cheated. Teams are getting cheated. It makes no sense. I haven't heard any good reasons to do it," he said. "I never heard one fan suggest the game was too long.

Urban Meyer: I'm going to get involved in that in the offseason. I'll go nuts on it.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:42am

The real questions are - how far does Notre Dame fall, and how far up does Michigan go?

If Notre Dame doesn't go into the teens, and Michigan doesn't go to between 4-6, the whole thing's a crock. That was a solid dismantling. Notre Dame's a good team, but they've got clear flaws, and Michigan hasn't shown any flaws yet, and a lot of the questions from last year have been answered.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:43am

Nice win for Florida. Note to future Florida opponents: you might want to try covering Dallas Baker, since he's, like, Leak's favorite receiver, y'know. They could also use a better running back or two.

Colorado really, really sucks. I don't know how they held Arizona State to 7 points in the second half. I'll fall back on my "Pac-10 sucks" theory.

I think Mizzou has to be the favorite in the Big 12 North, if only by default.

I saw about two minutes of Northern Illinois-Buffalo. One of the announcers said that if Garret Wolfe goes for 2200-2400 rushing yards this year, he has to win the Heisman. My reaction was "only if Troy Smith falls on his face," but I'm not sure it's quite so dramatic. What would it take for Wolfe to win? Beating tOSU would've really helped; in fact, for a non-BCS guy to win the Heisman, I think his team needs a signature win against a marquee BCS team.

As noted in #254, Fresno lost to the Washington Huskies. The Bulldogs really need to stop the hangover effect from losing close games to ranked teams.

I don't think I will ever understand Bill Callahan's reluctance to pass against USC. I mean, are you sure none of Turner Gill, Mike Rozier, Tommie Frazier, Lawrence Phillips, and Johnny Rodgers was on the field tonight?

Texas A&M-Army is still on, but frankly, I've had enough college football watching for today.