Monday, September 15, 2008

Best/Worst Week Ever: Week III

While the 3rd week of the college football season was supposed to be about 'The Collision at the Coliseum', you will read not a single sentence about that drubbing on this blog (OK maybe one), as there were plenty of other things to get excited about. First, the best of the week.

1. Old School, Power Football
Woody Hayes would have been particularly proud of several players on Saturday. In East Lansing, darkhorse Heismann candidate Javon Ringer toted the rock an amazing 43 times and cranked out 282 yards and 2 touchdowns against Florida Atlantic. Meanwhile, in Storrs, Donald Brown rushed for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns on only 20 carries as the Huskies obliterated the Cavaliers 45-10.

2. Maikon Bonani
The South Florida kicker booted a 43-yard field goal on the game's final play to knock off Kansas on Friday night. Bonani had never kicked in a college game before, but he made 3 of his 4 field goal attempts replacing the ineffective Delbert Alvarado who was only 1 of 4 kicking field goals thus far this season and had made only 63% of his kicks in 2006 and 2007.

3. Revenge of the Nerds
3 weekends of college football are in the books, and Vanderbilt, Duke, Northwestern, and Wake Forest have a combined 10-1 record, with the lone loss coming by Duke to Northwestern. The schedule toughens up from here on out, but don't be surprised if at least 2 and possibly 3 of these schools are playing in the postseason.

4. The Mountain West
Through 3 weekends of play, the Mountain West has 4 undefeated teams--BYU, Utah, TCU, and Air Force. That's more than the ACC (3), Big East (2), and Pac-10 (2). Over this past weekend, Mountain West schools went 7-1 outside the league, including a perfect 4-0 record against the Pac-10. BYU drubbed UCLA 59-0, TCU beat Stanford 31-14, New Mexico upset Arizona 36-28, and UNLV pulled the biggest shocker, beating Arizona State 23-20 in OT.

5. Bettors who took Iowa State +13.5
Many degenerates were likely cursing the screen in dismay as they watched Iowa State outgain Iowa by 85 yards (325-240) and spend nearly the entire 2nd half in Iowa territory, only to find themselves down 17-3 late in the 4th thanks to 3 missed field goals (including 1 from 21 yards) and a punt return for a touchdown by Iowa receiver Andy Brodell. Ah, but then Kirk Ferentz bailed them out by taking a safety with under 30 seconds to play to make it 17-5. The Cyclones covered and half the gambling nation cursed Mr. Ferentz, while the other half rejoiced gleefully. Those gents who had the Cyclones and the points clearly enjoyed the best week ever.

Of course, one man's smile is another's frown, so who didn't come correct over the weekend?

1. Offensive Football
The Auburn spread didn't exactly matriculate the ball down the field against Mississippi State. Of course, the Tigers 315 yards of offense was a Herculean effort compared to the 116 yards the Bulldogs put up. The teams combined to punt 18 times and had only 20 total first downs between them in a 3-2 Auburn win.

2. Rutgers
A 32-point home loss was probably not what Greg Schiano expected when the Tar Heels came to town on Thursday night. Quarterback Mike Teel has thrown 5 interceptions in just 2 games, and the Knights have scored just 2 touchdowns in this season.

3. Virginia
Getting trounced by Southern Cal is one thing, but getting beat by 5 touchdowns by Connecticut is quite another. The Cavs 'held' the Huskies to 506 yards. In their 2 previous games against Hofstra (IAA) and Temple, the Huskies gained 451 and 379 respectively.

4. The Pac-10
The Pac-10 is not doing a great job of shaking its rep as Southern Cal and the 9 dwarves. We already touchded on the 4 game sweep at the hands of the Mountain West, but Pac-10 teams also lost 3 other games over the weekend to finish only 3-7 against non-conference foes. In the biggest shocker, California fell to Maryland 35-27. I don't have any doubt that the Bears are better than the Terps (they outgained Maryland by over 150 yards), but a loss to a team that lost to Middle Tennessee State is not something you want on your resume. The Washington schools lost the other games. The Huskies were blown out at home by Oklahoma (55-14), but the Cougars, staking their claim as the worst BCS-conference team this side of Syracuse, lost 45-17 at Baylor. Besides Southern Cal, even the wins were very bland. Oregon State won their first game of the season 45-7 against a rebuilding Hawaii team and Oregon needed OT to survive Purdue. I've given the ACC and Big East a hard time this season in this spot, and I don't want to be accused of having an East Coast bias, so the worst week ever has to go to the Pac-10.

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