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LOOKING BACK ON A WEEKEND OF NEAR-MISSES
September 24, 2006

SCS.com Well this week was yet another impressive week on the college football scene. Several near-misses along with a number of shellackings provided us with another weekend of testosterone-inducing excitement that left us hungry for more. Several teams that should have won lost, while others that lost last week took out their frustration on their opponents this week. Quarterback controversies loomed and coaching decisions were questioned as the games went down across the country. Once again the college replay/challenge system had its extremely negative effect on a game, while possibly the greatest comeback I have ever witnessed was achieved in East Lansing, Michigan.

BEST GAME

Without a doubt, the best game award this week goes to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan State Spartans. Down 37-21 entering the fourth quarter, the Irish scored two quick touchdowns and cut the lead to four with fewer than five minutes left and then sealed the deal when cornerback Terrail Lambert returned a Michigan State interception for the go-ahead score.

Runner Up: The runner up for best game has to go the Army Black Knights and the Baylor Bears. With both teams coming off of extremely close losses, this game proved to be everything it should have been as the Black Knights won in overtime 27-20 and showed the nation that they may not be great, but they are better than usual.

BIGGEST UPSET

The biggest upset this week has to go to the Arkansas Razorbacks in my opinion. With Mitch Mustain starting, one would have expected the Razorbacks to have a hard time with a team as powerful as the Crimson Tide appeared to be, but some big plays by the freshman and the complete absence of an Alabama ground game played right into Arkansas’ hands as the young Hawgs got the win.

BEST TEAM PERFORMANCE

The best team performance of the week goes to the Houston Cougar offense. I have never seen an offense absolutely destroy a defense so methodically and seemingly without effort. The OSU Cowboy defense was picked apart without mercy by Kevin Kolb and his plethora of options at wide-out as the Cougs bested the Cowboys soundly in Houston.

Runner Up: The runner up for best team performance goes to the Oklahoma Sooners as Adrian Peterson, Malcolm Kelly, and Paul Thompson destroyed the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State. Peterson rushed for 128 yards on 27 carries and Thompson was 13 of 18 for 257 yards and a touchdown. Kelly had five receptions for 164 yards and a score.

MOST DISAPPOINTING TEAM PERFORMANCE

In a game they should have been able to win, the Oklahoma State Cowboy defense was methodically picked apart by Kevin Kolb and the Houston offense. OSU's inability to make the tackle and being constantly caught out of position enabled the Houston Cougars to wrack up 495 total yards in route to a 34-25 win over the Pokes.

Runner-Up: The runner up for worst team performance easily has to go to the analyst teams on CSTV. Never in my life have I heard so many errors from a team of men who are supposed to be professionals. Countless mispronunciations as well as misstated facts and straight up nonsense led me to believe at times that I was listening to good ole’ Cliff Claven from Cheers. Either CSTV improves their analyst teams, or they remain the worst network to watch a game on.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Kevin Kolb – Quarterback – University of Houston – In a game his offense easily controlled, Kolb was 22 of 29 for 320 yards and four scores.
Bobby Reid – Quarterback – Oklahoma State University – A much bally-hooed recruit coming out of high school, Reid finally had his coming out party Saturday, going 13 of 22 for 283 yards and three scores.
Paul Thompson – Quarterback – University of Oklahoma – Thompson was 13 of 18 for 257 yards and three scores.
Brady Quinn – Quarterback – Notre Dame – Quinn played exceptionally well Saturday evening as he directed the late comeback in East Lansing and the Irish beat the Spartans. Quinn was 20 of 36 for 319 yards and five touchdowns.
Jehuu Caulcrick – Tailback – Michigan State University – Caulcrick played extremely well in the thriller against Notre Dame, rushing for 111 yards on eight carries with a touchdown.

THREE THINGS WE LEARNED

#1: The instant replay system in college has to go. I would much rather see an official who sees the play once at full speed and from one angle get the call wrong as opposed to a replay official who can see the result from multiple angles and at slow speed. This system is a joke and is costing good teams good games. Oregon won against OU because of it, and Houston was given possession of the ball after they clearly lost it on the fumble on Saturday. Granted, Coach Briles challenged whether forward progress had stopped, but the whistle had not blown and therefore the ball was still live, meaning Houston should not have received possession.
#2: If you can get on Notre Dame early, you can beat them. Michigan State is a decent team with a great quarterback. If I were any other team that plays the Irish this year, I would stress the importance of jumping out early to my players, as that is when ND usually plays their worst.
#3: Houston will beat Miami. With the Hurricanes floundering in a sea of mediocrity, don’t be surprised next week if Kevin Kolb and the Cougs beat the tar out of the Canes.
U.S.A.
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