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Monday, November 8, 2010

College Football Weekend Finale

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:

LSU 24 Alabama 21  - This was an old fashioned SEC slugfest but the hatter was in full effect in Baton Rouge. Les Miles was chomping on grass and making gutsy calls in the Tigers victory of the Crimson Tide. "I have a little tradition that humbles me as a man, that lets me know that I'm a part of the field and part of the game," said Miles. LSU got an unusual good performance out of QB Jordan Jefferson who was 10/13 for 141 yards and 1 touchdown. If Jefferson had played this way the whole year, its possible LSU could have been undefeated. Jared Lee also came in and made some clutch throws down the stretch, including the de facto game ender, a 47-yard bomb to Rueben Randall on the final possession. Say what you want to about Miles, but nobody has the galls to make some of the calls he makes. The reverse pitch on fourth and 1 was the hatter at his best. Deangelo Peterson would take it 23-yards to set up Steven Ridley's 1 yard touchdown run. It just seems Miles has a special flair for the dramatics. Most people say he is crazy but I see a Coach who teams love to play for him. Alabama meanwhile squandered its opportunity it had to control their own destiny."I don't think there's an excuse. They beat us. They really did," said Greg McElroy QB of the Crimson Tide. "They did a great job. Credit their players and their coaches. We just didn't come out and play the way we should have played. LSU now has an outside shot at the SEC west title but would need Auburn to lose their next two games.

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.

Stanford 42 Arizona 17  - I had a feeling that Stanford was due for a let down game and lets just say I've been wrong before. The Cardinal laid a beat down on the Wildcats. Andrew Luck continues to show why he is the best college QB and the projected number one pick in next years draft. Luck was throwing lasers and ate the Wildcats secondary up for lunch. He finished 23/32 for 293 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stanford would go up 21-3 by halftime and never let the Wildcats in the game. I was impressed with the way they kept their foot to the throat of Arizona. Nick Fowles returned for the Wildcats but as expected was a little rusty in returning from injury and the number 1 ranked defense in the PAC-10 was just overwhelmed by Luck's precision passes. From the looks of this game, Luck could play in the NFL right now. He makes accurate throws and has a rocket launcher arm. Stanford is enjoying its best season in 40 years and remain in contention for the Rose Bowl, sitting in second place in the conference. They would need a Oregon loss but from the sounds of it, Luck will let the cards fall as they may. "I know there's many different situations about bowl games and what not," Luck said. "That all doesn't really matter unless we win. So we're taking it like that."

Other notables games and players:

Oklahoma State - How bout them Cowboys? OK State had it rolling on offense and Justin Blackmon may just be the best receiver in college football. He made some spectacular plays including a 69-yard reverse that had me jumping out of my seat. Blackmon was returning from a suspension after being charged with a DUI last weekend and made the most of his return. The Baylor Bears just had no answer for the Cowboys on offense. Brandon Weeden threw for school record 435 yards and Oklahoma State set another school record rolling up 725 yards of total offense. For me though, it was Blackmon who stole the show. He showed his versatility with the reverse but also made catch after catch as Weeden kept feeding him the ball. He finished with 13 catches for 173 yards and 1 touchdown catch.I was really impressed by the Cowboys offense.

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.

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