John Roberts College Football

Friday, November 25, 2005

Week Thirteen: Friday

Weekend Stars
Thoughts on who the stars of the weekend will be.

Game of the Week- Georgia at Georgia Tech- In a weekend where there are few games that really impact the national title race and therefore are more important, this game looks to be the best of the bunch. While it will have no effect on the national title race, except if LSU gets into the picture they will want to face a higher ranked Georgia team in the SEC Championship Game, this game ought to be the most entertaining of the weekend. Both teams have very good defenses. Both teams have athletic quarterbacks, even though D.J. Shockley has outplayed Reggie Ball by a lot. The problem is Georgia Tech tends to play either very up or very down. If they are up for this game, which they should be since this is a rivalry game, the Yellow Jackets have a very real shot to take down the Dawgs. If they are down, the Dawgs should win in a romp. This ought to be as entertaining of a game as there is this weekend.

Upset Special- Notre Dame at Stanford- It is very true that the Irish should come in focused and should play very hard. Still, there is something about this game that makes me take pause. Maybe it is the fact that Stanford (before last weekend's beating at the hands of Cal) had looked very good against any team not named USC in the Pac Ten. Maybe it is that the Irish are going on the road. Maybe it is the fact that the Irish have looked somewhat flat in their last few games and that usually catches up with a team. Remember, just because it is here does not mean that I am picking an upset, but rather telling everyone to watch out for an upset in this game.

Team of the Week- Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hokies should come out fired up at home with the ACC Coastal Division on the line. Given new life with Georgia Tech's upset of Miami last weekend, the Hokies are ready to lay it to a team, much like they did to Virginia last week. The unfortunate team standing in their way is North Carolina. The Tar Heels will play very hard and will try to hang in there, but at some point, the roof is going to cave in on them and the Hokies should win in a rout.

Players of the Week-
1) Vince Young, Texas- Going against Texas A&M's porous defense should mean that Young will have a huge day. He's got no reason not to be focused and prepared to play very well against the Aggies.
2) Darius Walker, Notre Dame- Stanford's run defense has not been good. Walker has been good. Most weeks, the Irish rely on Brady Quinn and a balanced offense. This week, Walker will steal the show.
3) Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma- Oklahoma State hasn't exactly been playing tough defense this year for the most part. Peterson should explode for a huge day on the ground against the Cowboys.
4) Brian Brohm, Louisville- The Cardinals quarterback has huge games at home, and this week he is going against Syracuse. Ummm...yeah. This should be a gigantic game.
5) Marcus Vick, Virginia Tech- He has played well in every game except the Miami game. North Carolina could slow him down this weekend, but Vick is playing right now to prove all the doubters wrong.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Week Thirteen: Thursday

Viewer's Guide

Which games should you watch this weekend? What games should you be keeping your eyes on during each time period? We've got it all worked out for you.The day is divided into five parts. Some are more unequal than others due to the start time of the games. All times are Eastern.

The time periods are Friday games, early games (start time before 2:00), afternoon (start time from 2:15-5:00), late afternoon (start time from 5:15-7:15), evening (start time from 7:30-9:45), and late night (start time after 10:00).

The games are ranked by time period and give you a couple of reasons to watch each game, whether it is questions that need to be answered or something else altogether. The games are the games listed on CollegeFootballNews.com as the television games for this weekend. Only Friday and Saturday games are included.

Let's get it started!

Friday Games

1. Texas at Texas A&M (12:00 ABC)- 1) This is one of the most intense rivalries in all of college football. With the game being in College Station, the crowd is bound to be boisterous and noisy. 2) Vince Young and Reggie McNeal are two of the more exciting players to watch in the country. Young has outplayed McNeal by a wide margin this year. McNeal has to play huge to keep the Aggies in the game. 3) The Longhorns are two wins away from playing for the national title. The Aggies need another win to become bowl eligible.

2. Arkansas at LSU (2:30 CBS)- 1) The Tigers have to win this game to get into the SEC Championship Game. If they lose, Auburn goes to the SEC Championship Game. 2) JaMarcus Russell has been playing very well. The Tigers are now hoping to somehow make an impression and be able to earn a Rose Bowl spot if Texas or USC slip up. 3) Darren McFadden is one of the top freshman running backs in the country. He will need to have a huge game for the Razorbacks to stick around in this one.

3. Nebraska at Colorado (3:30 ABC)- 1) A Colorado win clinches the Big Twelve North. A Colorado loss and an Iowa State win on Saturday means the Cyclones win the division. 2) Bill Callahan is in desperate need of a quality win to get some of his critics off his back. This would qualify. 3) Joel Klatt has done an outstanding job at quarterback for the Buffaloes.

4. Arizona at Arizona State (3:00 FSN)- 1) Arizona State has to win to get to a bowl game. After the start to their season, that is wildly disappointing. 2) The Wildcats upset the Sun Devils a year ago. A second straight season with an upset would make Mike Stoops even more popular. 3) Willie Tuitama has been a solid starter at quarterback for the Wildcats and has proven that he is the quarterback of the future.

5. Wisconsin at Hawaii (9:00 ESPN2)- 1) The Badgers are looking to win Barry Alvarez' final regular season game. 2) The Warriors typically play very well at home. See Michigan State and Northwestern last year. Can the Badgers avoid the trap? 3) Colt Brennan has been one very hot quarterback for the Warriors lately. The Badgers pass defense hasn't exactly been lighting it up.

Early Games

1. Iowa State at Kansas (12:30 FSN)- 1) A Cyclones win would give them the division title if Colorado is upset by Nebraska on Friday. A Kansas win would get them to a bowl game. 2) Stevie Hicks is one stud of a running back. However, that Kansas run defense is tough. 3) The Kansas Jayhawks are 5-0 at home this year. Can they keep their perfect home record alive?

2. Maryland at North Carolina State (12:00 ESPN)- 1) The winner gets a winning season while the loser does not. Hard to get much more at stake than that. 2) Sam Hollenbach has been an OK quarterback this year. He has played slightly better than his counterpart, Marcus Stone. 3) Both defenses are pretty good. The team that forces more turnovers will have the best chance of winning.

3. Marshall at Memphis (2:00 CSTV)- 1) Memphis needs a win to get to a bowl game, while Marshall's bowl hopes went out the window in the loss last week to East Carolina. 2) DeAngelo Williams should be playing for the Tigers and he is one of the best running backs in the country, potentially playing in his final collegiate game. 3) Ahmad Bradshaw is a very underrated running back for the Thundering Herd and should put up nice numbers against the Memphis defense.

4. Boise State at Louisiana Tech (2:00 Gameplan)- 1) These two teams both are holding onto hopes of winning the WAC title. If Louisiana Tech wins each of the next two weeks, they would win the conference. 2) Jared Zabransky has not been perfect this year, but he's been pretty solid and can still light up most defenses, especially one as weak in the secondary as Louisiana Tech is. 3) Matt Kubik is a good quarterback for the Bulldogs and could put up nice numbers against the Boise State defense.

5. Tennessee at Kentucky (12:30 JP/Gameplan)- 1) The Vols and 'Cats battle with the loser destined to finish last in the SEC East. 2) Erik Ainge will be back at starting quarterback for the Vols while Arian Foster will be the running back. Welcome to the starting backfield of next year for the Vols. 3) The 'Cats are lead by Rafael Little at running back. He is one of the most underrated players in the whole country.

Afternoon

1. South Florida at Connecticut (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) USF needs to win both of their next two games to win the Big East and get a BCS bowl bid. UConn needs to win their last two games to get to a bowl game. 2) Cornell Brockington is a very good running back. He could have a nice day against the Bulls. 3) Andre Hall is a solid running back and Pat Julmiste is efficient at quarterback. Those offensive parts need to play well for the Bulls in this key road game.

2. Florida State at Florida (3:30 CBS)- 1) This game doesn't have as much meaning as usual with both teams already having three losses. Still, the loser may be unranked next week, which is not the way that Urban Meyer wants to start his career at Florida, while Bobby Bowden is feeling more and more pressure to win. 2) Chris Leak doesn't seem to be fitting into the Urban Meyer system. Leak and Meyer could both use an offensive explosion to please some of the fans. 3) Drew Weatherford has taken a step back the last two weeks. Will Xavier Lee see some playing time for the Seminoles?

3. Virginia at Miami, FL (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) Miami needs a win and a Virginia Tech loss to North Carolina to earn a trip to the ACC Championship Game. 2) Marques Hagans can have a huge game at quarterback from time to time. If this is one of those games, Miami could have some trouble. 3) Kyle Wright is desperate to show that last week was not a drop back, but rather a step back. He needs to have a huge game this week.

4. Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) It's BEDLAM!!!! This rivalry is intense and has meant a lot in the Big Twelve South in recent years. This year, not so much, as Oklahoma has already clinched a bowl game and Oklahoma State will not be going to a bowl game. 2) Adrian Peterson is still one of the top running backs in the country when he is healthy. 3) Al Pena has been a decent quarterback for the Cowboys.

5. Syracuse at Louisville (3:30 ESPNU)- 1) The Cardinals have been rolling up huge points at home. The Orange are 1-9 without a great defense. Louisville could put up absolutely gigantic points at home. 2) Brian Brohm is a very good quarterback and should have a great game with Michael Bush banged up. 3) The Cardinals defense has been good at home as well, and should be able to slow down the Orange offense that has been very inconsistent.

6. Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana-Monroe (3:30 Gameplan)- 1) The winner of this game at least splits the Sun Belt. While that may not sound like much, it means a bowl bid likely goes to the winner. A Monroe win and they win the conference outright, while a Lafayette win and Arkansas State will tie with both of these teams for the title. 2) Steven Jyles is a fun quarterback to watch perform. He plays an exciting brand of football. 3) Tyrell Fenroy is one of the top running backs in the conference and will lead the ULL running game against the soft ULM run defense.

Late Afternoon

1. Fresno State at Nevada (7:00 ESPN2)- 1) Fresno State still needs to win their final two games to win the WAC, with both Nevada and Louisiana Tech having just one conference loss. 2) Paul Pinegar is an excellent quarterback. Can he have an explosive game against Nevada? 3) Coming off the close loss to USC and the huge win over Boise State, how focused will Fresno State be? If they are unfocused, they could struggle.

2. Middle Tennessee at Troy (7:00 ESPNU)- 1) This was expected to be a battle with Sun Belt title implications at the beginning of the season. Instead, both have six losses and cannot win the conference title. A very disappointing season for both teams. 2) Clint Marks is a pretty good quarterback for the Blue Raiders. 3) These are two of the top defenses in the Sun Belt. They should put on a decent show.

Evening

1. North Carolina at Virginia Tech (7:45 ESPN)- 1) A Virginia Tech win clinches the Coastal Division of the ACC and keeps the Hokies hopes of a Rose Bowl trip alive. The Tar Heels need a win to become bowl eligible. 2) Marcus Vick played nicely last week against Virginia after his poor performance against Miami. If the same Vick shows up that showed up last week, the Hokies will be in business. 3) Matt Baker is a pretty good quarterback. He needs to have a huge game for the Heels to have a shot.

2. Notre Dame at Stanford (8:00 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) The Irish need a win to punch their ticket to the BCS, likely the Fiesta Bowl. Stanford needs a win to become bowl eligible. 2) Brady Quinn gets one last chance to make a Heisman Trophy statement. 3) The Stanford offense needs to find some consistency against the Irish average defense. Last week, the Cardinal did virtually nothing against Cal. They have to play better this week.

3. Georgia at Georgia Tech (8:00 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) This is a nice little rivalry game, but both teams are ranked and both have had good seasons. A win in this one would put an exclamation point on the season. 2) Can D.J. Shockley carry the Dawgs to the win over the Yellow Jackets? 3) Reggie Ball is wildly inconsistent but played well in their upset of Miami last week. Calvin Johnson is one of the top receivers in the country. If he can have a huge game, the Yellow Jackets have a shot.

Late Night

There are no late night games this week. So so sad.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Week Thirteen: Wednesday

Overreaction Wednesday
Getting a little bit crazy and having some knee jerk reactions to last weekend's games.

Fresno State will lose one of their next two games. They've teased us before with games like the one against USC only to lose to a WAC team that they shouldn't lose to. With Louisiana Tech and Nevada left on the schedule, one loss is not out of the question. I would be surprised if it happened, but remember, this is an "overreaction."

Tennessee will finish last in the SEC East. All it takes is for them to lose to Kentucky this Saturday. For a team that started off third in the country, this is a long fall.

The BCS picture is much more muddled than it appears. There is at least one more twist left in this season. Whether it involves USC, Texas, Notre Dame, or a team trying to clinch their division like Colorado, LSU, or Virginia Tech or someone else altogether is too tough to tell. But since when did the last two weeks of the season produce NO surprises to the BCS picture?

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

Accepted bowl invitations:
TCU- Houston Bowl
Utah- Emerald Bowl
Navy- Poinsettia Bowl
Colorado State- Poinsettia Bowl
BYU- Las Vegas Bowl
New Mexico- a conditional to Fort Worth Bowl (if there are not enough Big 12 or Conference USA teams available)


Reggie McNeal is healthy and will play Friday against Texas. He has to have the game of his life for the Aggies to have a shot at the Longhorns.

Rant of the Week

This week's rant is an interesting one.

I have officially had it with the college football media in this country. It is like they are entirely brain dead when it comes to college football. Case in point: Margin of victory. Texas is a good team, but just because Vince Young is still playing in the fourth quarter against a 3 win team does NOT make their margin of victory more impressive than a 35 point win where Matt Leinart gets 1 series after halftime. I saw an AP reporter saying "Texas just hasn't played as many close games as USC." Well what a revalation, note that Texas is up 50-3 and Vince Young throws his 5th touchdown pass (Kansas, Baylor). The media rewards this lack of sportsmanship how? Moving Texas up to number 1. Well, i have a news flash for you: Texas scored 0 points last year against an Oklahoma defense that got torched by USC. Oklahoma had more media support in 2004 and look where it got them. The media is so arrogant that they want to be the giant killer and decide championships that should be decided on the field. I am not saying USC doesn't have faults and rough spots. But having close games against 2 really good teams, Notre Dame and Fresno State, does not indicate any weakness. It does indicate that USC played 2 difficult out of conference opponents versus 1 for Texas. The Ohio State game was damn close, in fact anyone who watched it would say Ohio State gave it away, yet I don't see any media types having enough neurons to remember how close that game was. Another News Flash: We the College football fans are going to get to see a championship this year, and any of you media types who change your vote to give Texas a championship without winning it on the field are fools.

--Geoff Sigmund
Fresno, CA

Thanks for writing Geoff!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Week Thirteen: Tuesday

Under Pressure
Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M

His time may be done regardless of what he does against Texas on Friday afternoon, but Franchione needs a solid performance against the Longhorns to try to keep his job. This game may have no effect on his job status, but he really needs a solid showing to get the fans off of his back. A win would be huge, and would get the Aggies (a preseason darling for being a darkhorse for the national title) to a bowl game. This is as big of a rivalry game as there can be for Texas A&M this weekend.

Reggie Ball, Georgia Tech

Reggie Ball may have produced just well enough against Miami to get the Yellow Jackets to the win, but he would like to lead his team to a dramatic upset of the Georgia Bulldogs as well. Ball has been wildly erratic over the last few years, as have the Yellow Jackets. Now, playing at home against the Bulldogs, this may be their best chance in a while to beat Georgia. A win by the Jackets will prove that they have finally arrived as a consistent player on the national scene, while a loss would reaffirm that they do not belong on the national scene yet. The defense will have to slow D.J. Shockley down, but Ball will have to lead the offense on a couple of scoring drives in the first half to get his team the momentum it needs to be able to upset the Bulldogs.

College Gameday Site
Houston, Texas

This year's Bayou Classic features Grambling and Southern and will take place in Houston, Texas, due to the hurricanes that moved through New Orleans. Grambling is 8-1, while Southern is 4-4. These games are generally pretty much fun to watch and feature some of the best bands you will ever see. It's unusual to see College Gameday go to a site like this, but this weekend there are not a ton of must see games, and the gang probably wants to do some human interest stories on New Orleans. It ought to be an interesting week.

Thoughts on the Rankings

LSU and Penn State are very close in the BCS standings. Still, the computer rankings are wildly in favor of Penn State. If there is a loss somewhere along the line for either Texas or USC, the Nittany Lions seem to be the favorite to move into a top two spot. Still, if LSU wins their next two games (Arkansas and the SEC Championship Game) they will likely move up a little bit in the rankings. This could mean that they catch Penn State, but it seems unlikely at this point.

Texas has every number one vote except for one from the computers. The gap continues to close between USC and the 'Horns for number one in the BCS. More and more people are beginning to vote Texas number one in the human polls, which means that Texas may overtake USC at some point if they win impressively these next two weeks. Not that it matters because as long as they keep on winning they will both be in the national championship game.

Fresno State is still only ranked in two computers. This is proof yet again that computers can't watch football games. For the most part, I like the computer rankings and have no problem with them. However, they need to be allowed to take margin of victory into account (up to a point) so that the computers realize that the Bulldogs just lost by eight at USC, their number two team. This was not the 30 point home blowout that the Trojans normally pull.

My Rankings

The rankings continue to sort themselves out. Still, there are wild flunctuations in my rankings from week to week. Why is this? With each passing week, we are learning more about the teams and it becomes important to move the teams around based on the things that we learn. Also, sometimes there are overreactions to certain factors from one week, and so I adjust appropriately for the next week. Two teams nearly made the Top 25 this week that missed the cut. One is Iowa State, and the other is Iowa. They are very close to being ranked. The number in parentheses is last week's rank.

1. USC 11-0 (1)
2. Texas 10-0 (2)
3. Penn State 10-1 (5)
4. LSU 9-1 (4)
5. Virginia Tech 9-1 (7)
6. Ohio State 9-2 (8)
7. Oregon 10-1 (10)
8. Notre Dame 8-2 (9)
9. Auburn 9-2 (12)
10. Miami, FL 8-2 (3)
11. UCLA 9-1 (11)
12. Fresno State 8-2 (14)
13. Georgia 8-2 (13)
14. West Virginia 8-1 (15)
15. Alabama 9-2 (6)
16. Florida 7-3 (17)
17. TCU 10-1 (18)
18. Georgia Tech 7-3 (--)
19. Florida State 7-3 (19)
20. Louisville 7-2 (23)
21. Texas Tech 9-2 (--)
22. Michigan 7-4 (21)
23. Boston College 8-3 (25)
24. Clemson 7-4 (--)
25. South Carolina 7-4 (16)

Dropped Out: Minnesota 7-4 (20), Oklahoma 6-4 (22), Iowa State 7-3 (24)
Part of my reason for ranking Minnesota where I did last week was their head-to-head win over Michigan. Still, they got slaughetered by Iowa, and the Wolverines did beat Iowa. Minnesota has become a very average football team right now. Oklahoma got beat by Texas Tech. This established Texas Tech as a pretty good team (even if the final touchdown was razor close) and it proved that Oklahoma still has some work to be done. Iowa State fell out because too many other teams needed to move into the rankings. Still, the Cyclones, with a win this week, should find themselves back in the rankings somewhere. They are a very good team.


Biggest drop by a team still in the rankings: 9- Alabama, South Carolina. Alabama was humiliated by Auburn and now have lost to two straight. Their early season success is beginning to look like a mirage. South Carolina was on cloud nine after last week's dramatic win over Florida. Now, after a loss at home to Clemson, they had to fall behind the Tigers. The only place the Tigers made sense was at #24, so the Gamecocks had to be #25.

Smallest drop by a team that lost: Smallest drop? 1-Michigan. The biggest jump by a team that lost? 2- Fresno State. Michigan only dropped one for a very good performance against Ohio State. Fresno State moved up two spots in spite of their loss because of how well they played at USC. No other team has taken USC's best punch and lived to tell about it. No other team has come anywhere close to beating the Trojans at home. They are a very good football team and deserved to be rewarded for their perfomance, not punished. They can't be too far behind Notre Dame, who is also being rewarded for their close loss to USC.

Biggest drop by a team that won: 0- USC, Texas, LSU, Georgia. USC and Texas have very little moving room (although Texas is gaining on USC). LSU stayed put because their body of work ranks just slightly behind Penn State's, who jumped them. Georgia was jumped by Fresno State, and Alabama fell behind them, which meant that Georgia stayed put.

Biggest jump by a team that was in my rankings last week: 3- Oregon, Auburn, Louisville. The Ducks moved up three with their impressive win over Oregon State. Auburn moved up three because they are probably the best team in the SEC right now, and hammered Alabama. Louisville moved up three spots without playing a game. They are a very good team, but need to play like it on the road.

Razor thin. The difference between USC and Texas is razor thin. I could not punish USC for their close game with Fresno State because I thought that Fresno would keep it close. Still, the way that the offense moved the ball against the Trojans has to be troubling and remind people of how Oklahoma's defense started getting exposed at this point last year. The difference between Penn State, LSU, and Virginia Tech is also razor thin. Those three are all three right there. If USC or Texas lose, the battle for who moves up to number two will be very tight in my mind. That's why it will be very important to keep my eyes glued to the Arkansas-LSU game this weekend, along with the Virgina Tech-North Carolina game. By the way, UCLA still has an outside shot at the national title. If they beat USC impressively on December 3, they will shoot up the rankings and make a serious move at playing at home in the Rose Bowl for the national title.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Week Thirteen: Monday

Weekend in Review

Game of the Week
Ohio State 25, Michigan 21

The Buckeyes came from behind to win a share of the Big Ten title against the Wolverines. This rivalry is one of the best in the game, and this one lived up to the billing. Antonio Pittman ran the ball in from three yards away for the game winning touchdown with just 24 seconds left in the game. The Buckeyes had driven 88 yards in the final four and a half minutes for the winning touchdown. The Buckeyes scored two touchdowns in the final seven minutes to come up with the win.

Upset of the Week
Georgia Tech 14, Miami 10

It was stunning that the Hurricanes, the nation's number three team, went down at home. But these are the Yellow Jackets, and they are one of the most wildly unpredictable teams in the country. The game was controlled by Georgia Tech once they took the lead. Kyle Wright seemed to take a major step back for Miami. Now, all Virginia Tech has to do is win this week against North Carolina and they will win the ACC Coastal. Miami must beat Virginia and hope that Virginia Tech loses to win the division. Truly, it was a remarkable result, pointing out once again why we as fans should never just assume that one team is going to beat another team.

Team of the Week
Penn State Nittany Lions

Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions became the first team to clinch a BCS bowl bid when they beat Michigan State 31-22 on Saturday. It was a great day for the program, and they are not eliminated yet from the national championship race. At 10-1 and in the Top Five, their season is done until January. However, they get to sit and wait as all the teams ahead of them have at least one game left. There is still a chance they could steal the national title. The Nittany Lions dominated the Spartans and left no doubt to who would win the game from very early on. They finish tied with Ohio State for the Big Ten title. However, they beat Ohio State in October, so they will be the Big Ten's representative in the BCS.

Player of the Week
Reggie Bush, USC

Are you kidding me? Reggie Bush put on an absolute show on Saturday night in the Trojans 50-42 win over Fresno State. While I am not convinced that Bush deserves the Heisman Trophy (sometimes his numbers just aren't as impressive as people think they are), he put up an unbelievable 513 all purpose yards on Saturday night. He returned seven kickoffs for 135 yards and one punt for 16 yards. He caught three passes for 68 yards. He ran the ball 23 times for 294 yards and two touchdowns. That comes out to 31 touches for 513 yards. Wow. Now, Bush made two bad plays in a row in the fourth quarter, when he fumbled a kickoff, setting up a Fresno touchdown that gave the Bulldogs the lead. Then on the following kickoff, he committed a personal foul that gave the Trojans the ball inside their own ten yard line. But Bush promptly lead them down the field for the go ahead score. He was phenomenal on Saturday night.

Stat of the Week
333 rushing yards for Virginia Tech.

It was an impressive show by the Hokies against Virginia this past Saturday in their 52-14 win. Virginia Tech had over 500 total yards, but 333 of them came on the ground, dominating the Cavaliers physically. Branden Ore and Cedric Humes both went over 100 yards and the Hokies dominated from start to finish against a pretty good Virginia team. Obviously, the Hokies were a little ticked off about their loss to Miami two weeks ago.

Play of the Week
Smith's 27 yard pass to Gonzalez.

Troy Smith spun free from a Wolverine defender and fired a 27 yard pass to Anthony Gonzalez, who went up and got knocked off his feet at the four yard line. The fact that Smith got away from pressure was impressive enough. The fact that Gonzalez caught the ball was also impressive. The fact that he held onto it as he hit the ground was even more impressive. That came with under a minute to play and Ohio State driving, down 21-19. It was a great catch in a clutch moment.

Turnover of the Week
Paul Pinegar's interception in the endzone

The Fresno State Bulldogs battled all night long, and were within eight (50-42) with time running down. The Bulldogs had gotten to the USC 26 yard line with 1:13 to play in regulation. Pinegar lofted a pass down towards the endzone, and Darnell Bing intercepted the pass, clinching the game for the Trojans and keeping their winning streak alive at 33 games. This was the closest anyone has come to the Trojans since Notre Dame nearly beat them last month. This was the closest anyone has come in the Coliseum all year. Pinegar's fifth turnover of the game sealed the deal.

Key First Half Moment of the Week
Ben Obomanu's 45 yard touchdown run.

Obomanu ran the ball on a reverse for 45 yards and a touchdown against Alabama in the Iron Bowl. It gave Auburn a 21-0 lead with four minutes left in the first quarter. There was no way Alabama's offense was going to be able to muster enough to get them back into the game at that point. That touchdown basically put that game away in the first quarter. Given that it was the Iron Bowl and the winner kept alive hopes for an SEC West title, that was huge.

Moment of the Week
Vanderbilt finally beats Tennessee

After a 22 year losing streak to the Vols, Vanderbilt was estatic to beat their in-state rivals. Jay Cutler fired a five yard touchdown pass to Earl Bennett with 1:11 left in the game and Rick Clausen threw an interception in the endzone as time expired and Vanderbilt had beaten Tennessee 28-24. Vandy still will not go to a bowl game (mainly due to losses to Middle Tennessee and Kentucky), but now, neither will the Vols.