Ten Things - Week 13
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Another exciting weekend of college football has gone by, here are ten thoughts and observations that caught my eye as I took it all in....
1. One Heel of a Turnaround - After a horrid 1-4 start had folks throughout the ACC laughing at UNC, the Heels have rattled off five-in-a-row (including four ACC wins) and could make noise throughout the league with a win Saturday over #24 Duke. The game is in Chapel Hill and there would be no better way for Larry Fedora's squad to salvage this season than by ruining Duke's chance at a trip to Charlotte and showing in-state dominance. I'm still not sold on Fedora, but if UNC gets to 7-5 this weekend, then wins a bowl to get to 8-5, the 2013 season would have to be considered a success.
2. Gamecock 17-Game Home Winning Streak - It is hard to imagine that just 13 years ago South Carolina had not won a single game at home over the span of ten tries. Against New Mexico State to open 2000, the Gamecocks won 31-0 and tore down the goal posts. ..Needless to say, Steve Spurrier has changed the attitude at Williams-Brice Stadium and it has become one of the toughest venues in America to steal a win. This Saturday, QB Connor Shaw, DL Jadaveon Clowney and several other key players will play there last home game in Columbia...and it's a big one. Arch-rival Clemson would love nothing better than to break this streak.
3. 80-point Club - Earlier this season, Baylor kept this elite band alive by regularly taking membership in the 70-point Club. The past few weeks however, we have had a lull in attendance at club meetings. No more. With two teams reaching 80 (Florida State, who put 80 on Idaho, and UNC, who put 80 on Old Dominion) and another reaching 70 (South Carolina over Coastal Carolina), we have a full house once again!
4. Shutout Club - #1 Alabama leads the way in the Shutout Club as they defeated Chattanooga, 49-0, to earn their third shutout of the season. The Crimson Tide lead the nation in points allowed at just nine per game. Also recording shutouts in week 13 were Central Michigan (37-0 over UMass), Utah State (13-0 over Colorado State) and Iowa State (34-0 over Kansas).
5. Purple Heart TD - Northwest purple is an official color of the Clemson University Tigers, and this past Saturday the Tiger student-body played off of that theme to honor the military, and more specifically the Purple Heart winners with Clemson connections. It was very cool to see eight recipients on the field at Memorial stadium being honored before the home crowd versus The Citadel. One Purple Heart recipient is current Clemson WR Daniel Rodriquez, who scored a TD in the final quarter of the game. A very cool moment indeed!
6. OSU or OSU? - If Alabama or Florida State were to lose a game, it would be a damned tough decision between Ohio State and Oklahoma State as to who could play best in the national title game. Ohio state has gone undefeated and sits at #3, while Oklahoma State has only lost to West Virginia (week four), just routed Baylor, and sits at #7. The Buckeyes will most-likeley win the Big Ten while the Cowboys will most-likely win the Big Twelve. Which team would you least rather face? I can't decide.
7. How 'Bout them Knights? - Fresno State and Northern Illinois have made home in the Top 25 and that is all fine and well. But if there is one team who is not a big name that truly deserves to be there, it is UCF. The Knights only loss was in a good game against #10 South Carolina and they have beaten Penn State, Louisville and Houston. This team could go head-to-head against anybody in the top 25 and are a program on the rise in a very fertile recruiting area.
8. National Leaders Defense - The national leaders in sacks is Trent Murphy of Stanford with 13.0. The national leaders in INTs is Anthony Harris of Virginia with eight. The nation's top punter is Austin Rehkow of Idaho with an average of 47.8 yards per punt. The nation's top defense in points allowed is Alabama, giving up nine points per game.
9. National Leaders Offense - The nation's top passer is Sean Mannion of Oregon State with 4,089 yards on the season. The nation's top receiver is his favorite target, Brandin Cooks, who has 1,560 of Mannion's yards. The nation's top rusher is Andre Williams of Boston College with 2,073 yards. The nation's top FG kicker is a tie between Michael Hunnicut of UCLA and Ryan Bustin of Texas Tech, who each have 21 FGs made on the season.. The top offensive team in America is Baylor, who has 6,616 yards and averages 57 points per game.
10. Three to See -
* #24 Duke at UNC - The Devils have been the buzz of the ACC Coastal in 2013, but UNC has won five straight games in the last five weeks and would love to crash the Duke party. This is a football game these basketball nuts will actually be watching close!
* Tennessee at Kentucky - We all like to think UT has made big strides this year under Butch Jones. But if the 4-7 Volunteers cannot beat up on lowly Kentucky, then I have to believe we are still back at square one.
* Virginia Tech at Virginia - Questions abound on both sidelines for this game. While actually still alive (I think) for the ACC Coastal crown, the Hokies have serious issues. But those issues pale in comparison to those of laughable UVA. This game had serious meaning about ten years ago. Now? Not so much.
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