Week Six: Wednesday
Getting a little bit crazy and having some knee jerk reactions to last weekend's games.
Purdue is going to struggle to come up with enough wins to find themselves in a bowl game after starting the year as a darkhorse pick to play for the national title.
Memphis' running back DeAngelo Williams is even better than any of us thought. Put that boy in New York City! When you can beat a team as good as UTEP with a third string quarterback, that's how you know you've got a special running back.
Rutgers is still a viable threat to not only get to a bowl game, but to make a run at the Big East title. They've been dismissed since an opening day loss to Illinois (in which they blew a 20 point fourth quarter lead), but they haven't lost since. The home game with West Virginia this weekend may be the biggest game in recent Rutgers history.
If Kentucky, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt did not have to play each other down the stretch, I would say that none would win another game the rest of the year. The battle for fourth in the SEC East could be very entertaining between these three. Right now, South Carolina is 0-3, Kentucky is 0-1, and Vanderbilt is 2-0 in the conference. Edge: Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt plays LSU and Kentucky and South Carolina square off this weekend.
Here come the Sooners! Their win over Kansas State was by far Oklahoma's best performance of the season, and now they will finish at least 7-4, if not 8-3 or 9-2.
Remember that some of these things are gross overreactions to the way teams played this weekend. These are not necessarily straight predictions, but rather thoughts that many may not consider that are very distinct possibilities.
News & Notes
Southern Miss and Houston have rescheduled their game for November 13. That game could have huge ramifications on the C-USA race and the bowl chase.
By now, you all know that Alabama's Tyrone Prothro broke his leg last Saturday against the Gators. Prothro was the big playmaker for the Tide. His loss could make this team a lot more average. However, the Tide does have some depth at wide receiver.
Tennessee's Rick Clausen is wearing a protective boot. He will play against Georgia, but it could make him ineffective. Could the Vols really turn back to Erik Ainge at quarterback if Clausen is struggling to move around?
California's Marshawn Lynch was back in action last weekend against Arizona, which is good news for the Golden Bears as they head to UCLA for their toughest test to date.
Mack Brown, Texas head coach: "The OU game is always special. We were able to win at the Rose Bowl against Michigan and we able to win at the horseshoe against Ohio State, so we have had some special experiences. (ABC's) Keith Jackson is coming down to broadcast the 100th Texas-Oklahoma game in the series, and this makes it extra special."
Mike Leach, Texas Tech head coach: "Last year (70-10 Tech win over Nebraska) our defense had a huge role. We got a lot of turnovers and had the short field toward the end of the game. The score wasn't indicative of the final outcome."
Bill Callahan, Nebraska head coach: "As I stated Saturday, it was a complete and total team victory over Iowa State. We commend Iowa State for its efforts, and we were fortunate to win. We want to thank our crowd for that, and it was the loudest crowd we have had since I've been at Nebraska. We hope to have the same level of noise and the same atmosphere this week."
Jeff Tedford, Cal head coach: "I think Joe has grown into being used to that now. I think going to Washington and being on ABC, that type of stuff, was a great experience for him. We have played in front of big crowds at home, so that has been good. I think in the beginning that was something he had to get used to. I think he is now more comfortable, but this will step it up a notch. From what I understand the game is closed to being sold out, so there is going to be a great crowd there. It is going to be one of those games. I told the team this when we met on Monday, `this is why we play this game.' It doesn't get any better than this - two Top 20 teams playing one another in the Rose Bowl in front of a near capacity crowd. It is pretty exciting."
Phil Fulmer, Tennessee head coach: ""The exciting part about it is our team still realizes that as well as we've played, there's a considerable amount of room for improvement. We're calling on some young players to put themselves in a position to be able to help and continue to improve fundamentally. Obviously we will have a huge challenge this week to get those things done versus an outstanding Georgia football team."
A very quick preview of tonight's games.
Miami, OH at Northern Illinois (7:30 ESPN2)- This has been a very disappointing beginning to the season for both teams. The RedHawks are 2-2 and the Huskies are 1-3. Miami is starting to play like the MAC's best team behind Josh Betts and the passing game. But Garrett Wolfe and the NIU running game are solid, and Phil Horvath has been lighting it up through the air. This ought to be a very interesting game for two of the MAC's superpowers.
Tuesday in Review
A quick review of last night's games.
Troy 13, North Texas 10- The streak is over, and Troy may just have become the favorite to win the Sun Belt, which is shocking given North Texas' dominance over the last several years. North Texas could not control the clock and simply got pounded by Troy. Truthfully, I kept on waiting for the momentum to swing UNT's way like it always seems to do, but Troy never let it. There was never really a moment where it looked like UNT was really in the game. Troy dictated it. Amazing win for the Trojans.
Rant of the Week
There were a ton of good rants this week and many that deserved to be here. However, in the end, this is the one that won out. It's a bit long, but it's worth the read.
While I could rant about a lot on my Oregon State Beavers this year (unfortunately), I'll focus on a bright spot -- Mike Hass. Seriously, why is no one talking about him?
Hass is #1 in the nation in both total receiving yards and yards per game, leading the #2 spot by 205 yards (H. Baskett, New Mexico) and 19.5 YPG (A. Ellison, E. Carolina) respectively. Hass was practically mugged the entire ASU game, and still came away with 174 yards. His 3 TDs are at least respectible, especially when you consider that D-Coordinator's make sure he's blanket-covered in the Red Zone. Hass is an incredible route runner with great hands, always finds a hole, and fights for every ball.
I'm sick of hearing about:
Derek Hagan (431 yds, 107.75 YPG)
Jason Avant (418 yds, 104.50 YPG)
Steve Smith (407 yds, 135.67 YPG)
Dwayne Jarrett (267 yds, 87 YPG)
Ted Ginn, Jr. (152 yds, 38 YPG)
without hearing about Hass. These are all good receivers, but Hass is arguably better. I suggest the CFB media get themselves some coffee and stay up late to watch an Oregon State game once this season, because they're missing a hell of a show by Hass.
Thaks, Mike. As for his stats, this e-mail was received before last weekend's games, so they have changed since then. Take it for what it's worth.
Keep thse rants coming! I look forward to reading them every week.