College Football: Saturday Touchdowns
This much we do know after Saturday night: there will be a new number one when the BCS standings are released Sunday night. Texas Tech, in what was also the 500th win in the history of their program, picked up their first ever win over a top-ranked team with a 39-33 win over Texas. Michael Crabtree made the play that sealed it, reeling in a pass from Graham Harrell and running the rest of the way for the gamewinning score with one second remaining. But does that mean the end for the Longhorns? Absolutely not. You have to think that they won't drop too far in the BCS standings and with the Red Raiders still having to play Oklahoma (road) and Oklahoma State (home), Mack Brown's team could find themselves back in the saddle come the end of November. Here are the touchdowns for this Saturday.
1) Ruffin McNeill should be a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award.
The Broyles Award goes to the nation's best assistant coach, and the Texas Tech defensive coordinator has done a very good job with that defense since taking over last September. The Red Raiders went into this game ranked third in the Big 12 in total defense, but that was largely ingnored due to people's infatuation with their offense. But in forcing two turnovers (one of which was returned for a touchdown) and holding Texas to eighty yards on the ground, they made it tough for Texas to keep their Red Raider offense off the field. Of course they didn't play as well in the second half, but without their play in the first half Tech doesn't go into the locker room up 22-6. They'll be tested in the aformentioned games with the Oklahoma schools, but no longer are they the reason for Texas Tech being close but not getting over that hump of competing for a championship.
2) The best way to pay a bitter rival back: scoreboard.
For all the talk of what role Georgia's celebration would play in today's game in Jacksonville, people forgot the one thing that Florida could do that wouldn't involve a penalty on their end: blow the Bulldogs out. And with five total touchdowns from Tim Tebow, four forced turnovers and some costly penalties incurred at the worst time by Georgia Urban Meyer's team rolled to a 49-10 victory. For all the talk about how last year's game would instill a level of confidence in Georgia that they failed to play with in previous editions of this rivalry, they looked flat-out tentative in Jacksonville. I wouldn't say scared, but the body language was that of a team thinking about what Florida would do in the way of revenge as opposed to winning the game. Now the Gators have the inside track to Atlanta and don't be surprised if they make a substantial jump in the BCS standings from their current position (8th).
3) The "Curtis Brinkley Show" derails Louisville.
While we were all taking in the Texas/Texas Tech game, a funny thing happened in the Carrier Dome: for the second consecutive year the Orange knocked off Louisville. And one of the primary reasons was the play of running back Curtis Brinkley, who ran for 166 yards and a touchdown in the 28-21 win. Of course, you have to also mention the fact that the Cardinals shot themselves in the foot with eight penalties and two turnovers, but a win like this has to do wonders for the spirit of the Syracuse program. Is this enough to save the job of Greg Robinson? Highly unlikely, but pay attention to this game in regards to how they use it as a building block.
4) The ACC never disappoints if you're looking for outright chaos.
Georgia Tech beat Florida State, Miami knocked off Virginia and Clemson won at Boston College. What does this all mean? The lone team in the conference with one league loss is Maryland, and you never know what you'll get with the Terps. But that fact makes the perfect team to have the driver's seat role in the ACC Atlantic. Who wins the two divisions? Your guess is as good as mine at this point; we're better off sitting back and enjoying it all.
5) Utah survives, setting up a showdown with TCU on Thursday night.
Despite two turnovers the Utes used their offensive balance (195 yards passing, 193 yards rushing) to steal a win in Albuquerque. But they won't be able to get away with such a performance when they host the Horned Frogs on Thursday night. TCU, on the other hand, looked quite efficient in dispatching of UNLV in Las Vegas. The early pick here is TCU on the road, but given the Utes' ability on offense that game could very well turn into a high-scoring affair.
6) Michigan will be home for the holidays for the first time since 1967.
But a positive would be the fact that the Wolverines put up forty-two points. But Purdue's struggling offense woke up as well to the tune of forty-eight points. Kory Sheets accounted for four of those Boilermaker touchdowns and 118 yards on the ground. It's almost as if head coach Rich Rodriguez is college football's equivalent of the Little Dutch Boy, plugging in one leaky hole only to have another spot in the dike spring a leak. But given the fact that he really doesn't have the kind of athlete that makes his version of the spread run effectively, patience is the key word in Ann Arbor.
7) Two SEC coaches may be in serious trouble when it comes to their job security.
While there really shouldn't be a question in regards to the resume of Tommy Tuberville and Phil Fulmer, the natives are restless in both Auburn and Knoxville. And today's pedestrian offensive performances won't do much for their job prospects come decision time at the end of the season. Auburn racked up nearly four hundred yards of offense, but three interceptions cost them dearly in a 17-7 loss at Ole Miss. Tennessee's offense was nowhere to be found in Columbia, dropping a 27-6 game at South Carolina. The Vols put up just 34yards on the ground and turned the ball over three times in the loss. And for a backfield that was supposed to be one of the SEC's best before the season began, the word "terrible" comes to mind when analyzing that running performance. Fulmer may already be done, and Tuberville may need a seventh straight win over Alabama to stick there. But there's no denying that they're both in trouble.
Anticipated BCS Top 5: Alabama, Penn State, Oklahoma, Florida, USC. Texas Tech hasn't received much in the way of respect from the computers, and while that will change this week I'm not sure if it's enough to vault USC.