It was just one of those kinds of days.
So many teams came so close, but yet were so far way in the end. We are talking upsets folks and there were many in the making on Saturday, but really only one came to fruition. USC, Oklahoma and most of the powers that be pulled through on Saturday. Darn it!
While two of the big boys went down Saturday, that being Tennessee and Miami, the college football landscape, at the top anyway, remained the same. Sit back and enjoy this week's rant.
To Oregon State
A&M. While neither of these teams managed to pull off the upset that
millions of fans around the country wanted them to, you have to give the Beavers
and Aggies credit for a pair of outstanding efforts on Saturday. OSU, which lost
to LSU 22-21 earlier this season (like we needed to remind you), jumped out to a
13-0 lead in a pea soup like fog. But the Trojans battled back and staved off
defeat another week (now 18 straight) winning 28-20. Like the Beavers, Texas
A&M seized an early lead in a rocking Kyle Field, but the emotion finally
wore off. While the Aggies had a shot of tying the game on a last-second Hail
Mary, the pass fell short and Oklahoma escaped defeat once more.
To SEC officiating. Again, SEC
officials changed the outcome of an entire football game. While the right call
was made, an "inadvertent" whistle in the first quarter of the South Carolina- Arkansas game might have cost the Razorbacks a
victory. Leading 7-0 midway through the first period, a pooched kickoff bounced
off the shoulder pads of a South
Carolina defender trying to fend off the bright sunlight
and field the ball. Johnny on the spot, an Arkansas cover man pounced on the loose ball
giving the Hawgs possession on the Gamecock 20. You could sense Arkansas was about two
plays away from a 14-0 lead and the game would all but be headed toward over.
But instead, the head official tooted his whistle and announced an "inadvertent"
whistle had blown and the ball would have to be re-kicked. You can imagine
Houston Nutt's reaction. Oh by the way, South Carolina won the game 35-32.
To Oklahoma State. In one of the most bizarre
meltdowns in recent memory, the OSU Cowboys blew a 35-7 lead and lost to the
Texas Longhorns on Saturday. But not only did they blow a 28-point lead, the
Cowboy defense gave up 49 straight points to the Horns as Texas blew out
Oklahoma State 56-35. Wow! Maybe this should have been Paws Up to the Texas offense….
To the Tennessee Volunteers and a
17-13 loss Saturday to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Volunteers, who had
been preaching Rodney Dangerfield No Respect all week long, got embarrassed on
their homefield by a mediocre Fighting Irish team. We can cut Tennessee some slack
though. The Volunteers, already having lost freshman quarterback Brent Schaeffer, lost its second freshman signal caller when Eric Ainge went down with
a separated shoulder on Saturday. That means the Vols, who only have Kentucky and Vanderbilt left on their schedule, will
likely be led into the SEC Championship Game against Auburn by former LSU
quarterback Rick Clausen. Yikes!
To the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
While you won't find any love for the gold-domers here, we have to pass along
some kudos to Irish coach Ty Willingham and his team for going on the road, into
coming away with the "W." While the Beano Cook's of the world will say this is
the beginning of Notre Dame's ascent back to the elite of college football, we
won't go that far.
What happened to the Purdue
Boilermakers? Do you remember just a month ago Joe Tiller's team was ranked
5th in the country and quarterback Kyle Orton was the early favorite
for the Heisman Trophy. What a difference a month makes? Purdue has now lost
four straight, most recently a 23-21 loss at Iowa and has plummeted to 5-4, 2-4 in the Big
10. Could it be possible the Boilermakers could go from a top five team to not
even making a bowl game? Games remaining for Purdue include a pair of home tilts
versus Ohio State and the Fighting DiNardo's of Indiana.
To the Miami defense – or lack
there of. For the first time since, who knows how long it has been, the Miami
Hurricanes have lost back-to-back games. Last week, North Carolina kicked a
last second field upending Larry Coker's team. Saturday, resurgent Clemson
forced overtime and came out on top 24-17 defeating the Cane sin the Orange
Bowl. Kudos to Clemson, though.
Team that started 1-4, the Tigers have rattled off four straight wins and
again look to have saved coach Tommy Bowden's job.
To Sylvester Croom and the
State Bulldogs. In a week
of emotion concerning the Bulldogs matchup with Alabama on Saturday, Croom handled a sticky
situation with a great deal of class. A homecoming of sorts, the first-year
coach took his team into Tuscaloosa, a place where he played and coached
under the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant. A somewhat nasty chain of events
transpired two years ago when Croom was passed over for the head coaching
position at Alabama for the younger more inexperienced
Mike Shula. Then Shula pulled a major faux-pass by taking Croom's name off on of
the Tide's spring game awards, but blushingly replaced it after a swarm of
criticism. Croom downplayed the situation, but you know he wanted to win on his
first trip back to the homeland. While Shula got the victory Saturday, a 30-14
victory, you can bet Croom will win his share in the future.