Ten Things - Week Four
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Another weekend of college football has blown into the wind, leaving just highlights and memories behind. Here are ten thoughts from the games of week four....
1. Out for the Year. The game of football reared its ugly head again this past weekend when several players, including linebacker Jordan Hicks of Texas and quarterback Jeff Driskel of Florida, were knocked out for the rest of the season. Hicks hurt his achilles, while Driskel broke his right leg....As fans, we love to see the big hit and the electrifying tackle in space. And yes, those plays are exciting and a lot of the reason we watch this violent, dramatic sport. But when you see the look on a player's face when he knows his season is through, it is never a fun thing to watch.
2. 70-point Club. This wasn't such a prestigious club this past weekend as four teams reached the 70-point mark. For the season, that makes nine programs that have reached this hallowed offensive mark (Baylor has done this twice as they have scored 69, 70 and 70 points in their three games so far). Miami dropped 77 on Savannah State, Ohio State blanked Florida A&M with 76, Louisville defeated FIU with 72 points in another shutout, and Baylor beat Louisiana-Monroe, 70-7.
3. Shutout Club. As mentioned above, Ohio State and Louisville joined both the 70-point club and the shutout club this week! That means one thing: beat down. Other teams to join the shutout club in week four were Ohio (38-0 over Austin Peay), Maryland (37-0 over Maryland), Washington (56-0 over Idaho State), Penn State (34-0 over Kent State), Virginia (49-0 over VMI), Cincinnati (14-0 over Miami, OH) and Washington State (42-0 over Idaho). Congrats to those D-coordinators.
4. Trouble in Morgantown. I know the Mountaineers lost big names Geno Smith and Tavon Austin to the NFL, but isn't WVU Coach Dana Holgerson supposed to be an offensive mastermind? He is in year three now, so it is squarely on him if he lacks the firepower he is used to. Sure, he is bringing in new guys who have played behind upperclassmen before now, but scoring a combined seven points against Oklahoma and Maryland tells me there are bigger problems in the mountains...
5. Vegas Gives a 62-point Spread? No Problem! In a game that featured a 12-minute fourth quarter to stop the embarassment, Miami beat Savannah State by 70 points, covering the 62-point spread that Vegas had down for this game. Personally, I don't see how games like this get scheduled, and I also don't see how Savannah State actually scored a TD. I have to think the big, bad "U" could find someone its own size to pick on.
6. Little Progress So Far in Chapel Hill. Two preseasons ago, I watched a TV special on incoming coach Larry Fedora of UNC. As I watched the high-spirited coach run through some practices with his new Tar Heel squad, I thought to myself, "this could finally be the guy that breaks the Heels into the big-time."...14 months later, I am still waiting - and it might be a while. After a first season saw Fedora go 8-4, North Carolina has started the 2013 season 1-2 with losses at South Carolina and Georgia Tech. Sure, the Gamecocks and Yellow Jackets are tough to beat on the road, but if Fedora wants to be remembered any differently than every other mediocre Tar Heel coach, it's about time to hunker down and do something.
7. The Texas Report. The state that has college football teams all over the place has three teams in the national Top 25 polls: Texas A&M (10), Baylor (19) and Texas Tech (24). The Longhorns of Texas, meanwhile, have gotten off to a rocky start, as we all know. The 'Horns did beat Kansas State this past weekend, 31-21, to get back on track. TCU started the year in the Top 25, but with losses to LSU and Texas Tech, they are fighting to get back into the polls. Houston is off to a good start at 3-0 and starting to receive votes, while Rice, SMU and UTEP are all at 1-2.
8. The Florida Report. Believe it or not, Florida is one state the ACC has actually made up some ground in as far as the national picture goes. Miami defeated the Gators 21-16 a few weeks back, and FSU is calmly steam-rolling whomever steps in their way (yes, I know it isn't much so far). FSU and UF play the final weekend of the season, for those that forget, to complete the triad of games between the big three... Central Florida is off to a 3-0 start and host #12 South Carolina this coming weekend. While I think the Gamecocks will prevail, a win would put UCF squarely in the national talks. The joke of the Sunshine State thus far is South Florida. The Bulls who were a decent program just a few years ago have started 0-3 including a 32-point loss to McNeese State....Florida Atlantic is 1-3, while Florida International is 0-4...Ouch!
9. The California Report. Out West, the Golden State has some good college football, spread out as it may be. As of this writing, the Stanford Cardinal and the UCLA Bruins appear to be the teams with a good chance at national glory in 2013. USC has a record of 3-1, but the loss was ugly and the wins haven't been much better. Cal, as usual, is average at best. Though a new coach is in (Sonny Dykes), the Bears have already lost two games in three tries...Fresno State sits at 3-0, San Diego State is 0-3, and San Jose State is 1-2.
10. Three to See -
* Ole Miss at Alabama - A young, very talented Rebel squad enters the lion's den to face the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. Can these guys be just naive enough to pull a huge upset for Ole Miss? I think not, but this should be a very entertaining game to watch.
* USC at Arizona State - After an opening weekend trip to the Hawaiian Islands, the Trojans face their first road trip in a month when they travel to Tempe. The Sun Devils are pretty good, and this game could mean big trouble for Lane Kiffin and crew. If you are a USC fan looking for Lane to leave, this game could help.
* South Carolina at Central Florida - On paper months ago, this game looked like a cake-walk for the Gamecocks. I am still a bit surprised South Carolina scheduled a trip to Orlando for this one, but so it is, and I bet they are wishing now they had not done that. A win doesn't garner much national press, while a loss could be devistating. The Gamecocks win....but close.
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