Random Ruminations

Joe Yeager shares his thoughts on some interesting topics in college football heading into the weekend.



Warning Sign: Following Tech's cliffhanger victory over Nevada

 in which the Red Raider defense surrendered 312 rushing yards

and 562 total yards, some folks rationalized the defensive collapse

by claiming the Wolfpack offense was just unbelievably potent and

 would have gashed most defenses. Well the very next week Boise

State absolutely constricted the Nevada offense, holding it to 182

total yards and 59 rushing yards, and not even allowing the Wolfpack

 to cross midfield until the second half. Sparkplug Cody Fajardo did

not suit up for this one, but it's doubtful he would have made much

 difference for Nevada if he had.


DBU: Dabo Swinney's (I just love saying Dabo Swinney) upstart

Clemson Tigers dismantled the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg,

but nevertheless, one of my takeaways from this game is that Virginia

Tech consistently plays pass defense better than any program in the

country. Their cornerbacks are always in the hip pocket of receivers,

and their safeties are rarely out of position. Were I a college defensive

coordinator attempting to build my secondary, Bud Foster is the first

man I'd contact.


Minor Miracle in Manhattan: You'll probably never see another game

 this season in which there is as massive disparity in quarterback talent

 as there was in the Baylor/Kansas State battle. Robert Griffin is a surefire

NFL first-round draft pick, while KSU's Colin Klein looks like he should be

piloting the Phi Delts' intramural team out at the Rec Center. Yet Klein willed

 his team to a pulsating upstart victory. Perhaps there was a colossal

disparity in coaching talent during this game as well.


Shades of UT 2004: The Iowa State Cyclones, coming off impressive

wins over Iowa and Connecticut on the road, and sporting a spotless

3-0 slate, were everybody's sweetheart heading into their matchup

 with Texas in Ames. Indeed, they were a popular upset pick, and the

 locals fully expected their team to pulverize the Horns. Didn't happen.

 Not even remotely. Texas led by an unbelievable 34-0 score at the

halftime break and cruised to a 37-14 victory.


Texas' juggernaut road performance reminded me unpleasantly of

 the year 2004 when Texas Tech, fresh off a 70-10 rout of Nebraska

that captured the country's imagination, was widely expected to give

 the Longhorns fits the very next week. Instead, Texas took command

 early, never relinquished it, and rolled to a 51-21 win over the Red Raiders.


Mack Brown's Longhorns are at their most dangerous when discounted

 in big road games.


Not So Instant Replay: Instant replay has gotten completely out

of hand in the game of college football. And the chief problem is

the pronounced tendency to review, slowly and painstakingly, even

 the most obvious of plays. This problem is particularly acute on

touchdown plays, which are given the fine-toothed comb treatment

no matter how clear the result of the play.


I've never been a fan of instant replay, and still oppose it on various

 grounds, but if it must be a permanent feature of college football,

at least leaven it with a bit of common sense. When a touchdown is

plain for all to see, do not disrupt the flow of the game and prolong

the proceedings with microscopic reviews. Hand down a rapid rubber

 stamp and let the show go on. College football is America's greatest

 sport and should not be traduced by officious, perfectionist prigs in replay booths far away from the field of play.

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