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MONDAY QUICK HITS: DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS
October 20, 2008

SCS.comMany people said Mack Brown could not win without Vince Young. Many people said Texas would get crushed by a superior Oklahoma team in the Red River Rivalry. May people said that Texas would get beaten by Missouri because they were still riding high of last week’s win. Those people, myself included, need to give Mack Brown and Texas some much needed respect. No defense in college football has the ability to slow down this offense when it is clicking. I watched Missouri stay back in coverage and get beat deep. I saw them blitz and get ripped up for yards after the catch. I witnessed Colt McCoy, the Heisman favorite, running when flushed out of the pocket. When I said this in by Big 12 preview, “I look for McCoy to have a breakout season in 2008, putting up better passing stats than anyone in the conference…” I had no idea that he would lead them to the number one spot in the first BCS rankings. Maybe I gave Texas some respect, but clearly not enough. Mack Brown’s Longhorns have a long way to go with tough games against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech coming up. However, they are the clear favorite to run the table and go to the BCS championship game.

Alabama, who was upset that they were jumped by Texas in the polls, now has nothing to be upset about. Alabama has recently struggled with Kentucky and Mississippi. This is a reflection of the SEC, not Alabama. Although people want to point to the Big 12 and anoint it the top conference in football, it cannot touch the SEC. Alabama should be blowing these teams out. They dominated Mississippi in the first half. However, Mississippi just would not quit. Their defense, something the Big 12 is missing (see Oklahoma vs. Kansas), stepped up and got some huge stops in the 2nd half. Alabama managed to hold on 24-20, stopping Mississippi on a 4th and 5 around midfield. I look for Alabama to get pumped for their upcoming rivalry game against Tennessee, who seems to be righting the ship, and solidify their number two ranking.

If you are on the Texas Tech bandwagon, I suggest you jump off now before the wheels fall off. Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma are up next for the Red Raiders, who have looked lest than stellar against Nebraska and Texas A&M. Although their defensive stats are improving, make no mistake, these next four opponents are going to carve them up like a pumpkin on Halloween. They have not played one quality opponent and do not deserve a top 10 ranking. Utah, TCU, and Byu have played better opponents than Texas Tech. Get off the bandwagon now before the road ahead becomes rough and turbulent.

The ACC, arguably the least talented BCS conference, is easily the most compelling. Maryland, who lost to Middle Tennessee State (14-24) and Virginia (0-31), is beating ACC “contenders” Clemson and Wake Forest. They also have a win over California. How does that happen? Speaking of Virginia, they were dominated by Southern California, Connecticut, and Duke. Still they have beaten East Carolina and North Carolina in the past two weeks. Are Maryland and Virginia contenders in the ACC? Absolutely. Besides North Carolina State, I would not rule out anyone’s chances in the ACC, even Clemson.

The teams at the top of the standing, Boston College and Georgia Tech, look like the best teams in the ACC. Georgia Tech’s option offense is giving ACC defenses fits. Boston College’s defense did give up an offensive touchdown to Virginia Tech in their crucial 28-23 win. These two teams look to be the class of the conference, but we all know that could change in an instant. There is nothing predictable about the ACC.

Hits

  • Ohio State found its offense and a little bit of intensity as they rolled Michigan State on the road 45-7. They host Penn State next week in a battle for the lead in the Big 10.

  • Mike Stoops was on the hot seat coming into this season. He has saved his job, leading Arizona to a 5-2 record.

  • Central Michigan beat Western Michigan with back up quarterback Brian Brunner taking the snaps. CMU will hope to get Dan LeFevour back before they have to play unbeaten Ball State, which will likely decide the MAC West.

  • I have head countless media experts say Florida or USC is the best one-loss team in the country. Have people forgotten about Oklahoma, whose only loss is number one Texas?

  • Tennessee rolled Mississippi State 34-3 for their first SEC win of the season. They should be beaming with confidence heading into their home game with Alabama.

  • Shonn Greene ran all over Wisconsin, who has seemingly given up on their season. He carried the ball 25 times for 217 yards and four touchdowns. The junior is now 3rd in the nation in rushing yards.

  • Ball State, Utah, and Tulsa are the only undefeated mid-majors left.

    Misses

  • Missouri has been brought back down to Earth by Oklahoma State and Texas. Chase Daniel’s Heisman chances are gone. They have to collect themselves and fight for a Big 12 North title.

  • BYU was dominated by their first quality opponent, TCU, 32-7. The best they can hope for now is a Mountain West Conference title. They can also hope to beat Utah and play BCS spoiler like TCU did to them.

  • Duke had a great opportunity to turn the corner as a program and win a crucial ACC conference game. They were up 17-14 at halftime. However, they were outscored 35-14 in the 2nd half against Miami.

  • North Carolina, who was 5-1 and in great position to win and take control of the ACC Coastal Division. They were upset by Virginia in overtime.

  • Connecticut’s season is falling apart as we speak. They missed three field goals in a 12-10 loss to Rutgers. They were rolled by North Carolina the week before. They have the nation’s leading rusher but they struggle to put points on the board. The Big East is still up for grabs, but UCONN is fading fast.

  • Wisconsin, who was once ranked in the top 10, is 0-4 in the Big 10. Barry Alvarez must be very disappointed in Bret Bielema and his inability to fire up the troops.

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