After a week off, we return to our regularly scheduled programming.
The Cougars were big winners this week by not playing. As the upsets started rolling in, BYU was able to sit back enjoy their foray into the top-10. BYU is currently ranked ahead of both Southern Cal and Georgia. Are they better than both those teams? You'd be hard-pressed to convince me as such. But, polls are polls, and if the Cougars are able to win out, they will assure themselves of a BCS bid. In fact, if they finish with an undefeated record, you may hear some clamoring for them to play for the MNC in Miami. One other note about the Cougars, that shutout win over Wyoming may not be as impressive as it seemed before last week's results. As you probably guessed, we'll hear from the Cowboys in our next section.
2. Donald Brown
The nation's leading rusher continued his stellar play, totalling 190 yards against Louisville as the Huskies stayed unbeaten.
3. Javon Ringer
The nation's second leading rusher continued his stellar play, toting the rock 44 times for 198 yards in the Spartans win against Indiana. In the past 3 games, Ringer has carried the ball 126 times. For the season, he's averaging more than 37 carries per game. For comparison's sake, last season's leader in carried (and yards), Kevin Smith of Central Florida, averaged just over 32 carries per game. If Mark Dantonio wants his stud running back around and in fine form at the end of the season, he may want to ease up a little.
4. Mike Riley
Who else could have had the best week ever? Mike Riley is one of the most underrated coaches in the NCAA. Before he arrived on the Oregon State campus prior to the 1997 season, the Beavers had not won 5 games in a season since 1971. He won 5 games in his second season (1998) before heading to the NFL. The foundation he set allowed Dennis Erickson to take the Beavers to their first bowl game since 1964 in his first season (1999) and to the Fiesta Bowl the following season. When Erickson headed to the NFL following the 2002 season, Riley was the logical choice to replace him. Since returning to Corvallis, Riley has won 41 games and lost 26 while guiding the Beavers to 4 bowl games in 5 seasons. In addition, the Beavers have the second most Pac-10 wins over the past 2+ seasons. Here here Mr. Riley.
Those are your winners, now here are your losers.
1. Wake Forest
My Deacons totalled 313 yards and turned the ball over 6 times against Navy. The Midshipmen are certainly a solid team, but they rank 81st in the nation in total defense, having allowed an average of 379 yards per game.
2. Tommy Bowden
In the preseason, Clemson was the only logical pick to take the ACC's Atlantic Division. They opened the season laying an egg against a seemingly very good Alabama team. But alas, they blew another home conference game against what appears to be an average at best Maryland team. Through 5 games, Clemson has beaten only a single IA team (NC State).
3. The Orange Bowl
Who's ready for a Maryland/Connecticut matchup on January 1st? Or maybe North Carolina/Pitt? What about Wake/Cincinnati? Those matchups belong on ESPN2. At 3:30. On December 26th. Good luck selling that one Fox.
4. Joe Glenn
Better start updating thr ol' resume Joe. Getting shut out by a very good BYU team (on the road) is one thing. Losing at home to Bowling Green 45-16 is another. The Cowboys opened the season with 4 home games in their first 5 contests. They won 2 of those, by a single point against Ohio and by 3 against IAA North Dakota State. The 'Pokes are currently averaging a robust 268 yards per game (115th in the nation). After winning 7 games and the Las Vegas Bowl in his second season in 2004, Glenn's Cowboys have gone just 17-23 (9-17 in Mountain West play). Dead man walking ladies and gentlemen.