This is the time of the season when you can't lose. The BCS frowns upon late season losses and a few teams are now out of contention. Utah got exposed by TCU and the same goes for Arizona against Stanford. Alabama saw their defense of the national title go up in flames at the hands of the "Mad Hatter" and LSU.
Now for the breakdown of those games and some other notables I saw this weekend:
TCU 47 Utah 7 - This one got out of control in a hurry. TCU was able to dominate the Utes on both sides of the ball and just blew them out of the water. Andy Dalton threw for a career high 355 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Horned Frogs jumped out to a 20-0 lead as Dalton threw two touchdown passes early and Jeremy Kerley, the former high school QB, throwing one himself. Utah's inexperience showed as they had the deer in the headlights look. I thought that TCU would win but defintely not in this fashion. Jordan Wynn was ineffective and had horrible numbers finishing 16/35 for 148 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. He started 5 of 12 for 42 yards, with a sack and a fumble and just couldn't find his way from there against the nation's number 1 ranked defense. Any shot of Utah busting the BCS party is over after this demolition they took (I did like the camouflage and black uniforms the Utes had on though.) "This ranks up there with any game I've played," said Dalton, a senior who recently got engaged. "I have grown up. My team relies more on me now to make plays and not just manage the game." TCU looks to be in good position should one of the top two teams falter in the upcoming weeks.
Other notables games and players:
Oklahoma - This team never looked championship caliber to me and now are proving it. Texas A&M was able to shut down the Sooners offense and really just beat them up on defense. The Aggies built a 19-0 lead and never trailed. This team doesn't have the championship mental fortitude. When they get down as they did with Missouri, they lack the spirit from within to comeback. They have to many offensive breakdowns in the most critical situations of the game. I will give them credit for rallying in the third quarter but I am disappointed in Oklahoma and Bob Stoops this year.
Michigan vs. Illinois - 67-65 are you kidding me? I was watching another game as the score rolled by on the bottom of the screen and I had to remember that it was a football game and not a basketball one. The stats are incredible from this game. The teams would combine to roll up 1237 yards of offense and 58 first downs. Roy Roundtree would set the Michigan all-time one game receiving yard total with 246 yards. Denard Robinson threw for 305 yards and 3 touchdowns before giving way to Tate Forcier who came in and threw for another 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. This wasn't your father Big 10 game as the defense's was defense-less against the offensive onslaught. I'm sure Rich Rodriguez could care less how he gets the win as long as he gets it these days. It was such an entertaining game and Michigan is now bowl eligible for the first time under Rich Rod.
Penn State and Joe Paterno - You have to give it up for Joe Pa. He got his 400th career victory as head coach, as his Nittany Lions came from behind to beat Northwestern 41-35. Even if you don't like Paterno, you have to respect his 400 wins. The longevity of his career is remarkable and he doesn't seem to be slowing down.