|OREGON'S LOSS SHAKES UP TITLE RACE...AGAIN
November 18, 2007
Matt, SCS.com Staff Writer
A week does not go by in college football without a top 5 upset. Eleven unranked teams have beaten top 5 teams this year, a NCAA record. It started on Thursday when Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon got hurt in the first half. Oregonís offense was not able to operate smoothly without the dynamic Dixon in the game. Arizona pounced on the opportunity and won the game 34-24. On Saturday, the upset bug found 4th ranked Oklahoma. OU traveled to Texas Tech to face a team that had lost 3 out of its last 4 games. Sam Bradford, OUís star freshman QB, exited the game early with a concussion. Just like Oregon, they were not able to move the ball offensively without their starting QB. Although they made a late run at the Raiders, the Sooners were too far behind to catch up. They lost 34-27, ending their national title hopes.
Speaking of national title hopes, with Oregon and Oklahoma losing, the door that was once closed has been reopened. West Virginia, Ohio State, and Arizona State are not out of it yet. WVU and ASU still have tough games left on their schedule, unlike OSU who is in the clubhouse sitting pretty.
I will not make any more predictions, because I will just make myself look dumb. You cannot predict college football this year. My advice is to sit back, eat some turkey, and enjoy this upcoming week of football.
Boston College over Clemson
The winner of this game earned the right to represent the ACC Coastal division in the ACC championship game. Boston College did a tremendous job shutting down Clemsonís rushing attack. However, Clemson managed to grab a 17-13 lead late in the 4th. With less than 6 minutes to play with, Matt Ryan led the Eagles into Clemson territory. On 3rd and 7 from the from the 44 yard line, Ryan hooked up with Rich Gunnell to take a 20-17 lead. Cullen Harper, who deserves a lot of credit for playing well all year, drove Clemson into field goal range. On 3rd down, Harper took a sack that took the Aaron Kelly out of his comfort zone. He came up just short on the 54 yard attempt.
Runner-Up: West Virginia over Cincinnati
Texas Tech over Oklahoma
Texas Tech started poorly, then played great in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and ended the game poorly. However, they still managed to beat the 4th ranked Sooners. QB Graham Harrell was intercepted for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. After that mistake, Texas Tech was flawless. They scored 27 unanswered points and took a 27-10 point lead into halftime. The Red Raiders scored on its first drive of the 2nd half. That TD vas vital because Oklahoma began its comeback late in the 3rd quarter. Although OUís offense began to move the ball, a 21 point deficit was to much to overcome. Texas Tech won 34-27.
Runner-Up: Louisiana-Monroe over Alabama
BEST TEAM PERFORMANCE
The Hokies rolled Miami (FL) 44-14, a tune up before they face Virginia for a spot in the ACC championship game. Tech can get it done with Sean Glennon or Tyrod Taylor at QB. Their defense is ranked 5th ranked in defense and 4th in scoring defense. They are a team on a roll. Techís game against their in-state rivals has never meant so much.
MOST DISAPPOINTING TEAM PERFORMANCE
I know Vandy was the underdog against rival Tennessee, but they choked off a chance to ruin UTís season and become bowl eligible. They were up 24-9 at one point, but allowed Tennessee to score 16 unanswered points to become one win closer to the SEC championship game. Vandy was up 24-9 and about to get the ball back with good field position late in the third when Vandy roughed UTís punter, an automatic first down. Tennessee scored on that drive and swung the momentum. Vandy still has one chance to become bowl eligible, against Wake Forest next week.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Jeremy Maclin - WR - Missouri
Maclin reminds me of Ted Ginn Jr. during his freshman year. He is relatively unknown, scores every 3 or 4 touches, and has blazing speed. Maclin had 9 receptions for 143 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned a kickoff 99 yards. Maclin set the NCAA record for all-purpose yards by a freshman.
Marcus Barnett - WR - Cincinnati
Although Cincinnati lost, Barnett impressed me with his playmaking ability. He caught 10 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. The freshman, like Maclin, has a bright future.
Chris Wells - RB - Ohio State
It was an old school OSU-Michigan game. It was wet, cold, and dominated by defense. Michigan held OSU to 14 points, but they could not stop Beanie Wells. Wells carried the ball 39 times for 222 yards and two scores. With 222 yards, Wells ran for more yards against Michigan than any Buckeye in history.
Tim Hiller - QB - Western Michigan
Hiller threw for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns against Purdue in a 28-19 upset win. Look for Hiller to be the next great Mid-American conference QB to have NFL success.
Louis Rankin - RB - Washington
With QB Jake Locker out for the rest of the season, no one expected Washington to beat California. Louis Rankin ran for 224 yards on 21 carries and scored a touchdown to lead the Huskies to a 37-23 win. Washington ran for 334 yards and got three touchdowns from three different running backs.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED
#1. Kansas is the best team in the country.
LSU is a great team, but Kansas is a better one. LSU has been struggling against teams like Alabama and Mississippi while Kansas has been rolling teams every week. If Kansas beats Missouri, everyone should give Kansas their number one vote. I will give them mine a week early.
#2. Lloyd Carr must resign.
What kind of car does Jim Tressel drive? A Lloyd Carr. Tressel is 6-1 against Michigan and Lloyd Carr. Carr has lost to Ohio State four times in a row. The Michigan faithful will not stand for it anymore. The only thing that can save that program is Carr resigning. It would not hurt if they got Les Miles to coach at Michigan, although Tressel is 1-0 against Miles.
#3. Tim Tebow has locked up the Heisman.
I know he is only a sophomore, but he deserves every single first place vote. Tebow became the first player in D-I history to run and throw for 20 touchdowns in one season. He is the best player in college football, hands down. He can run, pass, and lead a team better than any junior or senior.
Thanksgiving is upon us. Family, food, and football will soon be shoved onto our laps. I will gladly take the last two. On Thursday, Southern California will battle Arizona State for a spot in the Rose Bowl. Friday has several big games on its slate. LSU looks to avoid the upset against Arkansas. Texas needs to beat Texas A&M and hope for an Oklahoma loss to get into the Big 12 title game. Boise State and Hawaii battle for WAC supremacy. On Saturday, West Virginia and Connecticut will face off for the Big East title. Virginia and Virginia Tech will play, with the winner advancing to the ACC championship game against Boston College. Tennessee travels to Kentucky. A win puts them in the SEC championship game, a loss gives it to Georgia. Missouri and Kansas will play in one of the most anticipated games of the year. The winner gets one step closer to a possible birth in the national championship game. Rivalries will be abundant in week 13. Florida State plays Florida. South Carolina hosts Clemson. Alabama and Auburn will get it on in another fierce Iron Bowl. Do not forget the always interesting and important North Carolina vs. Duke game. Oh wait, ďthatĒ game is still 2 months away.