College Football Musings – Week 11

It was the greatest almost upset Saturdays in recent memory as the top teams damn near lost but didn't. Cam Newton survived a tumultuous week. Notre Dame and San Diego State tarnished the TCU resume. FSU has a kicker gained redemption and the most successful team in the state of Florida wion again. That's just a sampling of what we have in this week's musings.

No. 1 team survives --- Oregon, which has been arguably the most impressive team in the country, needed a 29-yard missed field goal to escape California with a 15-13 win. Cal's kicker Giorgio Tavecchio actually made a 24-yarder, but was called for illegal motion and missed the next one.

So do several others --- TCU fell behind 14-0 to San Diego State, took a big lead and then held on for dear life for a 40-35 win. Stanford barely beat a sub .500 Arizona State team 17-13 and Ohio State trailed 14-3 at the half before destroying Penn State 35-0 over the final 30 minutes.

TCU takes another hit --- The Horned Frogs hopes of sneaking into the BCS Title Game should Oregon or Auburn stumble took another hit when Utah was routed by a mediocre Notre Dame team 28-3. TCU's win over the Utes doesn't look too impressive when you realize Utah was whipped by a team that lost to both Tulsa and Navy. Notre Dame is a win from being bowl eligible and plays Army in Yankee Stadium before finishing the season at USC.

Newton endures, excels --- Cameron Newton could not have had a tougher week. All the inferences about his father shopping him around last year had to grate on him. Then Georgia takes a 21-7 lead early in their game. No matter. Newton led Auburn to a 49-31 win, running for two TD and passing for two more along the way. On merit alone the Heisman Trophy voting should be a landslide…. But will it be? That depends on the next round of allegations, insinuations and innuendos.

Same old Zooker --- Is there a more predictable coach in America than Ron Zook? Every year he posts a stunning win or near shocking upset that amazes all. And every year his team blows a game that leaves you shaking your head. This time Illinois loses to hapless and coach less Minnesota (now 2-9) 38-34 to fall to 5-5 on the year. Illinois now must beat Northwestern (7-3) or Fresno State (6-3) on the road to become bowl eligible. Don't bet against it, but don't bet on it, either.

Go Dolphins --- No that isn't an NFL reference, that's a cheer for the JU Dolphins and their coach Gator great Kerwin Bell. Jacksonville clinched a share of the Pioneer League Championship with a 31-24 win over Campbell. JU finishes the season 10-1, 8-0 in the conference which matches the league record of Dayton, which is also 10-1. Both teams hope to get playoff invitations next week.

Not wide right this time --- FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins was devastated when he missed a 40-yard FG on the final play of a 37-35 loss to North Carolina last week. He redeemed himself Saturday when he blasted a 55-yarder with plenty to spare for a 16-13 win over Clemson. FSU (7-3, 5-2) must win at Maryland next week and hope either North Carolina (11/20) or Maryland (11/27) can beat NC State for the Seminoles to reach the ACC Title Game.

Canes surge continues --- Rookie QB Stephen Morris threw for 230 yards to lead Miami (7-3, 5-2) to a 35-10 rout of Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes could also reach the ACC Title Game, but it's a long shot. Miami has to beat Virginia Tech (8-2, 6-0) at home this Saturday and then hope that lowly Virginia (4-6, 1-5) can upset Tech up in Blacksburg on November 27.

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