Saturday, September 22nd, 2:45 central time. At this time, I was hunkered down in my living room with the remote in my hand and my eyes glued to a big screen TV. I needed about 4 TVs to thoroughly enjoy all the amazing games that were taking place. As a Buckeye fan, I enjoyed watching OSU rip through Northwestern. At about this time, they were up 3 touchdowns. However, I was mainly interested in the end of the Florida-Mississippi game. Updates were coming non-stop: Louisville loses, and Nebraska escapes! Michigan and Penn State kicked off, then Notre Dame and Michigan State, and lastly South Carolina and LSU. I almost forgot that Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were playing in the season’s first Big 12 conference game. It ended up being the best game of the bunch. I tried to watch every game evenly, but it was an impossible task. Thank goodness for SportsCenter!
Georgia over Alabama
After Alabama’s thrilling win over Arkansas last week, Tide fans were on cloud nine. Georgia, who really needed a conference win, was ready to spoil the Saban love fest. The Bulldogs went up 20-10 after a 47 yard field goal by kicker Brandon Coutu. Alabama then kicked a 22-yard field goal to make it a 7 point game. With 1:33 left, Alabama QB John Parker Wilson ran for a 6 yard touchdown. After giving up the lead, Georgia drove all the way to the 30 yard line. Coutu missed the field goal wide left, although it had the distance. Alabama got the ball first in overtime, and connected on a 42-yard field goal. On Georgia’s first play, QB Matt Stafford found WR Mikey Henderson in the end zone, stunning the Alabama crowd.
Runner-Up: Oklahoma State over Texas Tech
Syracuse over Louisville
Louisville did not deserve to be ranked coming into their game vs. Syracuse. However, they managed to stay in the top 25, even ahead of their rival Kentucky who beat them the week before. Louisville’s defense was just as bad as it has been in previous weeks, giving up 423 yards through the air. At one point in the 4th quarter, they were down 38-21. Syracuse, who was 0-3, had lost their 3 games by a combined score of 85-21. The Orange hung on to win 38-35, upsetting the downward spiraling Cardinals.
Runner-Up: Miami over Texas A&M
BEST TEAM PERFORMANCE
Clemson deserves to be mentioned when talking about the elite teams of college football. They are 4-0, 2-0 in conference play. Against NC State, running backs C.J. Spiller and James Davis combined for 327 total yards and 4 touchdowns. Clemson has a dynamic offense and a solid defense. They play Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech in the next two weeks. Two wins should make them a lock in everyone’s top 10.
Runner-Up: Ohio State
MOST DISAPPOINTING TEAM PERFORMANCE
For some reason, Penn State garnered several top 10 votes, even though their combined record of their first 3 opponents was 1-8 (now 1-11). They refused to go to the spread offense, which has shown to be the sure-fire way to beat Michigan. Michigan’s offense did not look great, but they managed to score 2 touchdowns while Penn State kept kicking field goals. QB Anthony Morelli has not grown into the stud Penn State fans have been hoping for. A QB change might be in order if they fail to beat Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin in their next 3 games.
Runner-Up: Georgia Tech
AWARD OF THE WEEK - Unbelievable Play
Colt David, LSU, Fake FG
LSU lined up for a 32-yard field goal. Instead of attempting the chip shot, LSU went for the fake. But this was the most unusual fake I have ever seen. Holder and QB Matt Flynn caught the snap, held it for a second, and then flipped it over his head. Simultaneously, kicker Colt David was sweeping around and caught the ball in stride for a 13 yard touchdown run. [See the video]
Runner-Up: Danny McCray, LSU, Tipped INT [See the video]
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Tim Tebow - QB - Florida
Tebow threw for 260 yards and 2 touchdowns, and ran for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns. He cannot be stopped and is my Heisman frontrunner right now. I do not care if he is a sophomore or not, this kid is the real deal.
Michael Crabtree - WR - Texas Tech
Crabtree snatched 14 catches for 237 yards and 3 touchdowns. He finds a way to get open in the redzone. All 3 of his touchdown catches came from inside the 10.
Pat White - QB - West Virginia
White has really improved his accuracy, and it showed against ECU. White was 18-20 for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. He only ran the ball 9 times, but he still managed to rush for 2 scores. The Mountaineers' offense is nearly unstoppable when White can pass successfully.
Rashard Mendenhall - RB- Illinois
Mendenhall was accountable for 60 percent of Illinois's offensive production. He rushed for 214 yards and a touchdown against Indiana. Mendenhall has been very impressive this year. Illinois and their star RB can really make a splash against Penn State next week.
Alphonso Smith- CB - Wake Forest
Wake Forest was down 24-3 late in the 3rd quarter. Maryland was about to score, 3 yards away from pay dirt. It was 3rd down when Maryland QB Jordan Steffy threw an errant pass, which was intercepted by CB Alphonso Smith. Smith ran 100 yards for the defensive score. The momentum was swung 180 degrees. Wake Forest scored two 4th quarter touchdowns, and got the win in overtime. I contribute this win to Smith, who completely changed the game with that pick six.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED
#1. The Big East will have the best conference games this season.
The best thing about the Big East is that all 8 teams play each other. Not only will Rutgers play Louisville and West Virginia, they will play Cincinnati, USF, and Connecticut. Four of those teams are undefeated, while the other is begging for revenge. USF and Cincinnati have replaced Louisville as legitimate BCS contenders. Connecticut is surprisingly 4-0 and should be able to grab at least 7 wins and pull off an upset.
#2. There is a lot of uncertainty outside of the top 10.
Here is my unbiased, no pre-season poll used, current top 10.
#3. There will not be a mid-major team in the BCS.
This is mainly directed to Hawaii. Colt Brennan did not play against Charleston Southern, Hawaii's 2nd D-IAA opponent they have played this year. Hawaii cannot afford to have a hurt Colt Brennan. They snuck by LA Tech, and play in a extremely weak WAC conference. The last 2 games are the only real tests on the schedule, as they host Boise State and Washington. Who knows how good Boise State is, or if Washington can keep up this early season success. After BYU’s win over Air Force, Hawaii is the only undefeated mid-major team left. Even if they do go unbeaten, their schedule is too weak to merit a BCS bid.
Conference play really heats up in week five. West Virginia travels to South Florida in a Friday blockbuster, while Rutgers will encounter its first real test when it welcomes a Maryland team angry from an overtime loss to Wake Forest. Winless Notre Dame will face another tough Big Ten opponent when it goes to Purdue, and also keep an eye on the Penn State-Illinois game. It will tell us whether Illinois is real threat in the Big 10, and if Penn State has a chance to save its season. Struggling Auburn will try to upset Florida, and Michigan State and Wisconsin will try and stay undefeated. USC will get tested against Washington, while Clemson and Georgia Tech will meet in an important ACC clash. Last but not least, Cal will venture to Oregon in what may be the game of the week.