The Red River Shootout
Landry Jones lost this game. I understand that he was not slated to start and that the game would have ended a bit more like I expected had Bradford stayed healthy, but he didn’t and Jones faded down the stretch. I will give Landry Jones all the credit in the world for keeping the Sooners in the game and really playing pretty well up until about 8 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. I was to make this very clear. I do not care what string QB you are, you cannot throw 2 picks on potential game-winning drives. Colt McCoy even bailed him out by throwing a red zone pick right after Jones’ first pick, but the second pick cut even deeper. You cannot do that if you expect to win games, especially against competition as good as Texas.
Texas proved it was not on the same level as Alabama and Florida, floundering against a stout Oklahoma defense and just struggling generally to move the ball. They probably should have lost this game, but they didn’t and will march on to meet their demise another week.
Terrelle Pryor did his best Rex Grossman impression fumbling twice and throwing two picks in a somewhat embarrassing loss to the Boilermakers. Of course, this upset came on the road in conference as most upsets do but it is still no excuse for a team vying to be nationally viable. Pryor played so badly that even ESPN was asking if he should be starting elsewhere on the field. Even some die-hard Buckeyes fans think Pryor would be better off as an elite TE than a QB. I will not go as far as to say there is serious trouble in Columbus, but there are probably not too many happy campers on campus tonight.
Georgia Tech bested the Hokies at home, Florida almost dropped a conference game at home, Colorado rocked the Jayhawks and Texas Tech made losers out of Nebraska in Nebraska. All of this was very exciting, but honestly, not unpredictable. Once again, the conference road game strikes and all it leaves in its wake are wondering where it went so terribly wrong. The only truly shocking result of the bunch is that Florida almost dropped a game at home, again, to a dangerous Razorbacks team. Some weeks, Florida looks untouchable (like last week at LSU), but then looks extremely vulnerable at home. I am not sold on them as Championship contenders though there are not a ton of teams that can fit that billing. Alabama is putting together a pretty compelling case, but they will meet Florida in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. This is shaping up to be an extremely exciting year and yet another year when multiple teams will be able to lay claim to BCS bids and potentially get denied. Boise State and TCU are putting together solid bids, Virginia Tech lost, and Texas has looked extremely shaky all year. Alabama has been the most impressive, but it will be a lot of fun to see the BCS squirm as they try to defend who makes what bowl game.
It pains me to talk about this next one but it has to happen
Irish fall to Trojans………… Again.
Some thought this would be the year. Those some were wrong. USC went up big in the 3rd quarter, but the Irish showed a ton of heart and fought back, eventually leading to 3 plays from the 4 yard line with 9 seconds left. For a second, it looked like Kyle Rudolph hauled in a tipped ball in the end zone, but it looked like his knee was down out of bounds as he caught it. The next two passes were incomplete, including a slight slip on the final play by Duval Kamara, making Clausen’s errant pass irrelevant. So close, yet so far away. As an admitted Notre Dame fan, I was not expecting good things to come from this game without Michael Floyd and with a suspect defense. I would not say that the Irish played extremely well, but they were advantageous in cashing in on the opportunities given to them by USC. It was a valiant fight back, but it should not have been as close as it was. Maybe the Irish will be able to beat them when they get a defense capable of stopping teams not named Nevada. Until then, my Notre Dame fan-hood will be without reward. At least I have a Heisman candidate I can believe in Jimmy Clausen. If only he had a real defense behind him, maybe they would be 7-0 right now. If only… if only…
On the other hand, I know it gives Notre Dame Haters everywhere reason to rejoice so I guess it is whatever is best for the greater good, right? Although USC might be the only program more reviled, Notre Dame remains number one for most. Get ’em next year Irish.
The only other big game worth talking about was the Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech game, but I will let you reference my previous thoughts on it (as shown here) as they have not changed on the matter. A win for VT would make them a legitimate contender; a loss would confirm they are just another team that is good but not elite.
Good week of football, only one more week until we get to do it again.
CLOWN OF THE WEEK: This one is a little Marquette-centric, but I need to call out MUTV’s coverage of Marquette Madness (our version of Midnight Madness). I understand it is done by students, but I am not sure if it could have got more amateur. Tons of technical difficulties, weak reporting, and commentary completely unrelated to what was going on on the court. In the words of Lou Williams of the 76ers, “C’mon Son”!