Wednesday, October 6, 2010

College Football 2010: Week 5

As much of a letdown as the Alabama / Florida game was in terms of competition, the weekend itself proved to be as big as anticipated. Yellowhammers drinks were overflowing cups, gator was being grilled on the quad, and ESPN's Pat Forde made an appearance at the law school tailgate, shouting us out as the "best in show."

Pat Forde supporting Bama at the SBA Law School tailgate. ROLL TIDE.
All pregaming aside, the game was a blowout with a score of 31-6. Florida didn't manage to score a touchdown the entire game, and it is becoming clearer with every passing week that Alabama deserves the number one spot.

Most of the top 5 continued to play like they should. (3) Boise State shut out New Mexico 59-0, (5) TCU shut out Colorado State 27-0, and (4) Oregon came back from a 31-31 tie with (9) Stanford to beat them 52-31. I would have really liked to see Stanford win that game and knock Oregon out of the National Championship race, but their offense is just proving to be unstoppable. I also don't think that that win should really have jumped Boise and their 59 point total to take the No. 3 spot in the AP Poll, but everyone loves to hate Boise. Another big and mentionable win was (10) Auburn scoring 52 points on La-Monroe, who only managed to score a field goal.

Some games are worth mentioning in passing, but were no spectacular feat. (2) Ohio State squeezed by Illinois 24-13, and for a while during the game, it looked as if Illinois could potentially pull off what would probably be the upset of the season. But no such luck; Illinois is still awful. (8) Oklahoma's win against (21) Texas (28-20) dropped Texas out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in over 10 years. Luckily for me, this Oklahoma win pushes the Sooners further along in the National Championship race. (17) Iowa defeated (22) Penn State in a Big Ten match-up that was equally as disappointing as Alabama vs. Penn State was in September. With a score of 24-3 (ironically the exact same score of Bama/Penn State, Iowa remains in contention for a Big Ten title, while JoPa's season is starting to plummet quickly.

There were also a few games that were just way too close for comfort, including my own (19) Michigan Wolverines, who defeated Indiana 42-35 in their Big Ten season opener. However, this final touchdown came in the last 17 seconds of play, by none other than Shoelace. How do you not love that kid? Another Big Ten "what the hell" moment was the 29-28 final score of the Northwestern / Minnesota game. Northwestern, who remains undefeated, and Minnesota, who is now 1-4. Losing to Minnesota would have been potentially season-ending for Northwestern.

But neither of these two games compare to the colossal time-management massacre that was the (12) LSU / Tennessee game. Known for his horrendous ability to call plays when the clock is running at the end of the 4th quarter with no timeouts (see LSU vs. Ole Miss, 2009), Les Miles struck again on Saturday. With 20 seconds left and no timeouts, the Tigers were on the two yard line, ready to score. Everyone watched as no one spiked the ball, called a play, or did much of anything until 3 seconds before the clock ran out, when the ball was poorly snapped and thrown back about 15 yards down the field. It looked as if Tennessee had done the impossible and defeated LSU in Death Valley. But after further review (probably a full minute after the Vols thought they had won the game), the officials announced that there was illegal participation by the defense, and they were going to repeat the down. What they meant by illegal participation was that Dooley doesn't know how to count (see UAB game where he had 10 players on the field). This time, he over compensated and had 13 running around aimlessly (he sent three off and put five back on). As Pat Forde aptly put it in this week's Dash: "Dools, the correct answer is 11." Because of his inability to do 1st grade math, LSU got an opportunity to actually call a play, and when they did, they scored the winning touchdown and beat the Vols 16-14. 
I retract every statement I've ever made about wishing Les Miles came to Michigan. 

As far as upsets go, as predicted, (24) Michigan State took down (11) Wisconsin 34-24, even without Coach Dantonio on the sideline. Without Ohio State on their schedule, Michigan State is looking pretty for a Big Ten title if they can take down my maize and blue this weekend (which they won't). On the west coast, for the second year in a row, (18) USC lost to Washington 32-31 with a field goal as the clock ran to zero. And The Bosie Bus rolls on with Virginia Tech's win over (23) North Carolina State 40-31. Even with these upsets, I still think that the LSU/Tennessee game was the game of the weekend.
 Games to Watch: Week 6

(1) Alabama vs. (19) South Carolina: The only other contender in the SEC East (Florida being the first), Alabama should be able to beat them after their showing against Florida. Nonetheless, its another game Bama needs to win to stay on top. [3:30pm/2:30 central, CBS]
(12) LSU vs. (14) Florida: Florida will be out for blood, and Les Miles will be out to keep his job. The game is in Gainsville, so I'm prone to putting my money on Florida, but Les Miles is the luckiest coach in NCAA football. Who knows, it should be a super interesting game. [7:30pm/6:30 central, ESPN]
(13) Miami vs. (23) Florida State: In this ACC battle, my money is on Miami. Florida State was over-hyped this season and has yet to really perform. [8pm/7 central, ESPN]
And (in my opinion) the game of the weekend...
(17) Michigan State vs. (18) Michigan: We're 5-0, the game is in Ann Arbor, and Denard is ready to go (MSU has been practicing with a Denard stunt double). I know how close this game is going to be and I'm not going to pretend that we'll just hand their asses to them, but I have faith that the Wolverines will pull this out and go 6-0 for the first time in a few years. [3:30pm/2:30 central, ABC/ESPN]
Let me just say, I'm pretty happy that this weekend is away for Alabama, because there is too much good football for me to miss on TV.

Also, tune into 90.7FM - The Capstone in Tuscaloosa tonight at 10pm central to hear me live on the air interviewing Pat Forde!


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