College Football Notebook

Pete Medhurst offers his observations on the young college football season.

It hasn't taken long for the Naval Academy to join the ranks of the mainstream college football teams.  After two very close losses to BCS schools, a sub headline in THE WASHINGTON POST, said Navy's bowl hopes damaged.


Perhaps it's inexperience by the writer moving up from covering Damascus-Seneca Valley, but two losses for a team who will be favored in seven of its nine remaining games, hardly has its bowl hopes in jeopardy. The only places Navy won't be favored are at Rutgers and at Notre Dame.

Navy isn't far off, but obvious, well documented issues remain at quarterback, where the mystery of Lamar Owens wearing down can either hopefully be solved by Navy's outstanding training staff, and the king of sports performance Mike Brass, or its coaching staff can find a way to get Brian Hampton up to speed to compete at a higher level.

Bright signs already are evident in slotback Karlos Whittaker, wide receiver Tyree Barnes, and Rob Caldwell on defense. Returning slotback Marco Nelson continues to be a big play man as he was again involved in big yardage plays against Stanford.

No need to hit the panic button, this team is too well coached to not have a plan. With a week off, Coach Paul Johnson will get a solid plan together, after all, hasn't he earned the benefit of the doubt?  Remember, Navy lost all but one game the year before he arrived. Say Navy loses road games at Rutgers and Notre Dame, don't you think 7-4 will be good enough to have Navy's phone ring in early December?

You bet it will.

Oklahoma running back Adrian Petersen has been suspended for violation of team rules at Oklahoma by Coach Bob Stoops. Stoops will re-evaluate his runner's availability for this week's game against UCLA as the week goes along. Credit Oklahoma's administration, which has athletic policies in place to penalize athletes for skipping class. It's refreshing to see that one of the major programs has policies in place to make sure kids still actually attend class on a regular basis.

Virginia will likely not have talented linebacker Ahmad Brooks back until October. Frankly, with the Cavs next two games against anemic offenses like Syracuse and Duke, they likely won't need him either.  One NFL Scout on Sunday told me he likely will go in the first two rounds if he has another good season.

First-year Florida coach Urban Meyer will have his first real chance in the hot seat this week. With apologies to the BYU-Utah Rivalry, there isn't much better in the SEC over the past 15 years than Florida-Tennessee. If Florida loses, how many Spurrier fans will come out of the woodwork? The good thing for Meyer is that Tennessee can't figure out its quarterback situation. Chris Leak is the deciding factor in this game, good or bad. He's the best player in this game and the only one who can win it or lose it on his own. Just how serious is this rivalry? The official who threw the flag on the Florida player, Bobby Moureau, won't be officiating this game, even though his crew has been assigned. He will work at Vanderbilt instead, due to death threats received as a result of last year's game. Don't look now, Bobby, Vandy is unbeaten!

The NCAA is doing the right thing in upholding the transfer rules if players from Tulane want to transfer to another school in the wake of Hurricane Katrina damage. Further, they allowed Tulane's players to receive a ticket, hot dog, nachos and a soft drink at SMU's game against Baylor. The Green Wave have been practicing at SMU and play the Mustangs on September 24. By the way, SMU just beat TCU who beat Oklahoma.

After watching Army use a missed tackle and a variety of offensive formations and plays to score on its opening drive, Boston College locked down Army and won 44-7. This week, they debut in the ACC with Florida State. You must discount (not at Dillard's though) last week's 62 points by FSU against THE CITADEL. Against Miami, the Seminoles were awful on offense. Lorenzo Booker seems like a talented back. Memo to Jeff Bowden, RUN THE BALL. If you have no one who can throw, RUN THE BALL!

Clemson has won its first two games by a total of five points.... Rhema McKnight will not go for Notre Dame Saturday at home against Michigan State.... Texas Tech safety Vincent Meeks has to serve 30 days in jail and miss two games as a result of violating probation.  Shouldn't he be playing on Adam Sandler's football team and not Texas Tech's?.... Troy Smith will start for Ohio State against San Diego State this week.... Who would have though that after two weeks, the only teams in the BIG TEN with a loss are Iowa, Ohio State and Michigan?.... Find me a better nose tackle in the country than Babatunde Oshinowo of Stanford.  No one has ever disrupted Navy's triple option attack like he did on Saturday night, despite being injured twice. Top Stories