Ten Things - Week Eight
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Ten things from the college football weekend gone by...
1. "Famous Jameis" and Nick O'Leary - The Seminoles of Florida State have not only the top freshman in the nation in "Famous Jameis" Winston, but they also have some pretty good sports blood in Jack Nicklaus' grandson, Nick O'Leary. But don't think for one second that O'Leary wants to get by on his name alone. No, the 6'3" 250-pound junior tight end will knock you on your ass in a heartbeat - just ask Clemson safety Travis Blanks. Blanks tried to tackle O'Leary after he caught a short pass and was leveled with a forearm to the face.
2. Top 25 Losses - I don't know where you would go to research such matters, but the ten ranked teams that lost this past weekend have got to be some kind of record for the AP poll. In the top ten alone, five teams took losses. Names we haven't seen in the top ten in some time - such as Baylor and Missouri - are now calling this place home.
3. Beware of the Beaver...Not the Bear! - Oregon State is on a tear, having won six straight games and having Sean Mannion become the nation's leading passer (2,992 yards, 29 TDs, three INTs). If not for an opening weekend loss to Eastern Washington, the Beavers would be on the fringe of the top ten and thinking big...Meanwhile, Cal is the disappointment that they always are. I will never understand how a school in a state with such fertile recruiting grounds can be so bad at football all the time. They remind me - in football - of UNC. The Tar Heels are another annual disappointment on the gridiron.
4. New Coach In Charlottesville - UVA has never been a juggernaut of the college football world, but still they deserve better than what is going on there right now. Mike London in in his fourth year as head coach and the Cavaliers are just not any good. This past weekend they lost to Maryland for their fourth-straight loss to put them at 2-5 on the season. London has a dismal record of 18-26 overall and 8-19 in the ACC. Virginia AD Craig Littlepage says that London will return as coach in 2014. My thoughts there are that either Littlepage is lying, or he is a complete idiot.
5. 70-point Club - This club might as well be called the "Baylor Club." The Bears have scored 70+ points four times and scored 69 in a game, also. This team is a flat-out scoring machine that seems to be on a mission to do something big. Junior QB Bryce Petty is leading the cause with 2,203 yards and 15 TDs while throwing just one INT. He has put himself in the Heisman talks with all of these 70-point blowout performances.
6. Shutout Club - Alabama leads the way in the shutout category this week with their 52-0 shutout of Arkansas. This is the second time in the shutout club for Alabama as they defeated Ole Miss, 25-0, back in September. Other teams to record shutouts in week eight were Michigan State (14-0 over Purdue) and Georgia Tech (56-0 over Syracuse). Congrats go out to those teams as a shutout is a big deal in my book.
7. Texas Tech, a Season of Two Halves - I am all aboard the Kliff Kingsbury train, thinking he has what it takes to lead his old team to the promised land. But while I like the excitement he has brought back to Texas Tech, I have to be level-headed about what TTU has really done so far, and who all they have left in 2013. The first half of the season saw the Red Raiders go 7-0 against so-so competition. In all honesty, the win over then #24 TCU is the only quality win in the bunch. The second half of the season sees TTU play at Oklahoma and Texas, while hosting Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. We will know a ton more in six weeks!
8. Grambling State Problems - This is just a bad situation all the way around and instead of getting onto Grambling in this capsule, I am typing that it would be nice if people could help them. The university and the athletic department are both losing money and the school is in trouble. These financial issues have led to under par facilities and equipment for the football team, which led to this past weekend's boycott where Grambling State players refused to play. I am not sure what the players wanted to accomplish with this boycott of playing, but if nothing else, the issues at the school have now been exposed to a national audience.
9. War Eagle! - If you are an Auburn fan, you have to be super optimistic about having Gus Malzahn as head coach. In just eight weeks, Malzahn has Auburn back thinking big once again. As I look at the schedule for the Tigers, I see just a couple more games that they could lose. A trip to Tennessee will be tough, and Georgia will visit Jordan Hare Stadium in November. But the biggie - Alabama - is the one on the schedule that suddenly jumps out to me as a potential game of the year. If Auburn can keep winning up to that game, the electricity for that game will be immeasurable!
10. Three to See -
* #10 Texas Tech at #15 Oklahoma - As I mentioned above, Texas Tech has a tough second half of the season lined up. It all starts in Norman this coming Saturday against the Sooners. If Kingsbury is going to do the unthinkable and win the Big 12 in his first season as head coach, this game is critical to those hopes.
* Furman at #13 LSU - Ok, Ok, so you are asking yourself right now just who in the hell Furman is. Well, to answer that wonder, Furman is the school that I live within jogging distance of over here in Greenville, SC. They have a gorgeous campus with a high-spirited student body and I wish the Paladins all the best in Tiger Stadium!
* #6 Stanford at #25 Oregon State - Another team that I talked about above is Oregon State. I see big things happening for the Beavers, but they better have their chinstraps tightened up tight this weekend. Stanford is the blue collar team of the PAC-12 and they will be ready to break OSU's winning streak.
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