Monday, September 17, 2007

In Case You Missed It: Week 3

...Quite a weekend for the Sun Belt. The weakest Division IA football conference pulled some stunners this weekend. Arkansas State showed their impressive showing against Texas may not have been a fluke as they throttled SMU at home 45-28. The Indians rolled up over 500 yards of offense against the Mustangs and jumped on them early (up 21-0 after the first quarter). Meanwhile, Florida Atlantic slipped by Minnesota 42-39. The Owls were aided by 7 Gopher turnovers, but also accumulated 590 yards of total offense. Quarterback Rusty Smith threw for 463 yards and 5 touchdowns, while two players, Cortez Gent and Jason Harmon, had over 100 yards receiving. But the biggest shocker of the weekend had to be the other men of Troy, the Trojans from Alabama, bombing away on the Oklahoma State 41-23. Unlike the last time a Big 12 team bravely strolled into Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium, a 24-14 win over Missouri in 2004, the Trojans did not need trick plays or an offensive linemen picking up a fumble and rumbling for a touchdown to win. They outplayed Oklahoma State from start to finish. The Trojans rolled up over 562 yards on the stunned Cowboys and led by as many as 31 points. What do all three of the games have in common? They were at home (or in the case of Florida Atlantic, in the vicinity of home). So don't expect Nick Saban and Tommy Tuberville to be prompt in returning Larry Blakeney's call requesting a 2 for 1 home and home series with their in-state rival.

...The college instant replay system is terrible. The officials blew yet another call this weekend despite having instant replay available to correct their mistake. Near the end of the Purdue/Central Michigan game, ESPN switched to bonus coverage of Temple/Connecticut. Normally, I would immediately change the channel to a more interesting game, but Temple had a third and goal with under a minute to play trailing 22-17 so I stuck around. On 4th down, this is what happened.

That sure looks like a touchdown to me. This is not the first time the officials have confirmed a questionable at best call despite taking another look. Just from games I've watched there was the endzone interception in the Wake/Boston College game, the missed fumble in the Tennessee/Cal game (my dad a college football official even got his rule book out to show me if the arm is going forward, it does not matter where the ball ends up), and the Fresno State/Texas A&M fumble (the call was correct, but the rules were circumvented to get to it--once the runner is ruled down or out of bounds the officials can't go back and rule a fumble). If replay is going to cost so much money and waste so much time, at least get the damn call right. Don't be afraid to hurt an official's feelings by overturning the call if he blew it.

...Is this the year Southern Cal's strangle hold on the Pac 10 ends? Oregon sure looks like a viable candidate to knock off the Trojans. One week after embarrassing Michigan in the Big House, the Ducks returned home and dropped 52 a Fresno State team that took Texas A&M to the wire one week before.

...Congrats to the Duke Blue Devils who broke the nation's longest losing streak at Northwestern. Don't count on a winning streak though. Duke was outgained by almost 200 yards

...Still no offensive touchdowns for Notre Dame.

...Colt Brennan rushed for more touchdowns (3) than he threw for (2) against UNLV.

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