College Football Musings: Week Four

Well we have reached the one-third mark of the college football season and each week brings us new and exciting events. This week's musings will examine happy times in Illinoize, Charlie Weis setting records, the SEC East asserting itself, a bit of Heisman wondering and more.

Never Before ----- In the history of Notre Dame Football dating back to the 19th century, the Fighting Irish have never, NEVER opened the season with four straight losses. That is until now. Third year coach Charlie Weis has the once proud icons of college football now celebrating first downs and praying for touchdowns. Those prayers were finally answered Saturday not once, but twice in a 31-14 loss to Michigan State. This team could very well lose eight or more games.

Gad Zooks ----- After opening the season with a loss to Missouri Ron Zook and Illinoize has run off three straight wins. They got their biggest win Saturday with a 27-14 decision over previously unbeaten Indiana. Zook has a pretty talented roster and two chances to show that his team is a legit post-season contender. Illinoize will host Penn State and Wisconsin in the next two weeks and one win would stamp them as a likely bowl team. Two wins and guess what? They become Big Ten title contenders.

Boiling Over ----- Another Big Ten team to watch is Purdue, which is now 4-0 after drubbing Minnesota 45-31. The Boilermakers are scoring 48.5 points a game, and after an off week (Notre Dame) this Saturday, will challenge Ohio State and Michigan back to back.

Darren McFadden ----- You have to feel for the supremely talented Arkansas running back after watching his team blow another fourth quarter lead Saturday. McFadden is perhaps the best back in the SEC since Shawn Alexander of Alabama and is averaging 173 yards a game, but if his Hogs keep losing, his Heisman chances are about the same as Hillary's shot at getting Pat Robertson's endorsement.

Anyone seen Nebraska? ----- Remember that awesome football team Nebraska put on the field in the Fiesta Bowl back in '95. My how the mighty have fallen. Saturday the Cornhuskers had to rally, yes rally in the fourth quarter to beat Ball State 41-40. The Nebraska defense gave up more than 600 yards in total offense to a team that scored just 13 points against Miami of Ohio. It makes you wonder what on earth Coach Bill Callahan did to warrant a raise and contract extension.

SEC East Impressive ----- he first round of SEC East/West games have been played and already it's advantage East. Four games were played sending conference teams head-to-head and the East won three of them, losing only when South Carolina came up short at LSU 28-16. What makes the East's 3-1 record more significant is that all four games were hosted by the schools from the West. Kentucky rallied to win at Arkansas (42-29), Georgia gets an overtime decision at Alabama (26-23) and you know about the Gators win at Ole Miss (30-24). The games were close, but look for this to be a sign of things to come. This weekend Florida hosts Auburn, Georgia entertains Ole Miss and South Carolina welcomes Mississippi State. Look for an Eastern sweep, making it 6-1 to start the year.

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