College Football Musings: Week Six

A couple of perennial contenders take their annual step out of the limelight, a hotshot freshman has the Buckeyes back in the mix, Big 12 quarterbacks continue to amaze and an SEC school does something for the first time since the midpoint of World War II. We offer up a look at those items and more in our weekly musings.

Commodores sail along --- I'd like to be the sage venerable sports analyst who could tell you about seeing Vanderbilt the last time the Commodores were 5-0, but I can't. I wasn't born the last time that happened… and I'm 50! No we have to go all the way back to the 1943 season to find the last time Vandy opened up a season so successfully. The ‘Dores rallied from down 13 to beat Auburn on Saturday. The win keeps Vandy atop the SEC East standings and now they hit the road to face Mississippi State. Imagine that, Vandy a prohibitive favorite in an SEC road game.

Big 12 downright offensive ----- While the SEC points proudly to its defensive numbers in the Big 12 it's all about offense. This weekend was no exception. Oklahoma scored 49, largely on the arm of sophomore Sam Bradford (372, 2 TD). That's nothing compared to Texas Tech's Graham Harrell (454, 6 TD) who helped the Red Raiders score 58. Texas passer Colt McCoy was almost anemic in comparison (262, 2 TD). This week it'll be McCoy against Bradford in the Red River Rivalry.

Premature elimination ----- It's beginning to appear that I was a bit hasty in determining the Ohio State Buckeyes were out of the BCS Title picture after their miserable blowout loss to USC. Jim Tressel and his veteran squad have turned to a freshman to lead them back and it just might happen. Terrelle Pryor scored the winning touchdown in a 20-17 victory over Wisconsin. The win has Ohio State on the verge of reentering the top ten with still two months to play. October 25 is the big day left on the schedule since that's when Penn State visits Columbus.

Premature elimination (part two) --- I was also fairly certain USC was dead in the water after their loss to a two-loss (now three-loss) Oregon State team, but the Men of Troy are already back in the top ten. They might be as good as anyone else, but they still need a lot of help to keep climbing since they don't have a ranked team left on their schedule. In a strange twist, USC has to root for rivals Notre Dame and UCLA to reel off some wins in hopes of those teams earning a ranking before the Trojans face them at the end of the year.

Canes and Noles surprise ----- Florida State and Miami went into their annual showdown as top 20 defensive teams with struggling offenses. They emerged from soggy Joe Robbie Stadium 80 points later after the highest scoring game in the history of the rivalry. FSU led 24-3 at the half but its win was not assured until recovering an onside kick in the final minute. FSU quarterback Christian Ponder solidified his hold on that job with 144 rushing yards and another 159 through the air.

Geek alert ----- Another big day to watch for is October 19 when on my little sister's birthday the first BCS rankings come out. According to ESPN.com's Brad Edwards the computer polls love Vanderbilt and Alabama, but are not too fond of Florida and LSU. Edwards reports only the Billingsley Report has LSU in the top ten or Florida in the top 25! Maybe that's because between the two of them they've faced one team with a winning record. Of course both teams will be better off after playing each other this weekend, especially the winner.


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