When the season started, the SEC was puffing their chest out as the best conference in college football. Three weeks in, it looks like the Pac-10 has the most convincing claim to that title. They are the only conference that has a true round robin, and on top of that, they schedule tough intersectional matchups. This weekend was more of the same, and the conference was up to the task.
The biggest game of the weekend pitted the Iowa Hawkeyes in the desert against the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona got out to an early lead, and then needed a late touchdown pass to clinch the victory. Arizona State went into Madison, Wisconsin and lost on a blocked extra point. Even though USC is still finding themselves, they were still able to beat Minnesota on the road. Oregon rolled up Portland State. And, in the biggest surprise of the day, the UCLA Bruins found their offense and took down the Houston Cougars. In one fell swoop, they ended the season of Case Keenum and put the rest of the country on notice. What was once (and for the most part still is) thought of as a soft football conference is here for the long haul.
I hit on 4 out of five picks for the 2nd straight week, losing the UCLA game again. Lesson learned. In other news, here’s what I noticed from Saturday’s action.
Mark Ingram. Welcome back to the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. It took all of one carry for Ingram to race 48 yards and remind us of what we’ve all been missing this year. Alabama is now fully loaded and ready to roll. That’s just in time for the Crimson Tide, who will welcome the Razorbacks in just 6 more days. Go Bama! Roll Tide! Which leads me to…
Ryan Mallett. Things happen for a reason. When Rich Rodriguez went to Michigan, the writing was on the wall, and Mallett made the move to Arkansas. Now in his senior season, he is squarely among the top Heisman favorites. He went on the road to Athens and led the Razorbacks to a last second win. You shouldn’t be surprised though. He was a great talent in high school and has taken it to the next level. This season he’s completed 70% of his passes with 9 TDs and only 2 picks. He’s rolling, and that game in Fayetteville will surely be one of the most watched all year.
Taylor Martinez. Tom Osborne has to be the happiest man alive. As the AD of Nebraska, watching this football team must bring back fond memories of Tommie Frazier. Taylor Martinez is out of control, and has the Huskers right smack in the middle of the national title discussion. He is only a true freshman, but his decisions reek of a 5th year senior. He already has 8 TDs rushing and the Huskers are ranked in the top 5 nationally running the football. Three weeks from now, the Longhorns venture to Lincoln, the week after playing OU. That might be the de facto Big 12 title game. (Editor’s Note: If you’re UCLA, running the pistol and Taylor Martinez from Corona, California goes to Nebraska, you should be ashamed of yourself. That is all.)
Made Me Sick
Case Keenum. Nothing is worse than the realization that your college career is over. Most players get the joy of running out to applause from their home crowd. Keenum had the displeasure of laying face down on the Rose Bowl turf. Not only did the Bruins upset the Cougars, but his knee blew up chasing down Akeem Ayers after throwing a pick in the end zone. If this truly is the end, it’s been a spectacular ride for Keenum. He has been one of the most prolific QBs in NCAA history. I hope it’s nothing serious, but if so, here’s to rehab and the NFL Draft Combine. Hey, it worked for Sam Bradford.
NCAA Rules Committee. Bear with me as I vent a little bit. The NCAA upheld the suspension of Georgia receiver AJ Green. He’s one of the best receivers in the country, but because he sold a game-worn jersey, he’s not able to play. Don’t worry though. The university is still selling his jersey in the student store, and making tons of money off of it. The NCAA is just the legal version of the 1920’s mob. They make money, and make sure the people making it for them don’t get a cut. No wonder all these kids are under investigation. Get it together NCAA. Let the kids play and more importantly, let them be kids.
Ole Miss. Damn shame when you sell your soul to the devil and it doesn’t work out. A lot of time and energy was spent trying to find the Faustian loophole that would keep Jeremiah Masoli eligible to play. Unfortunately, not enough time was spent trying to get the Rebels ready to play. Coach Nutt has been sadly overmatched against Jacksonville State and perennial conference doormat Vanderbilt. Sleep well though, Ole Miss Fans. Still two weeks before the Rebels have to go to Alabama and Arkansas, and then follow that with Auburn at home. Or at least I’ll sleep well…
Sickness Top 10
- Alabama- one word… loaded
- Ohio St- easily the class of the conference
- Oregon- most explosive team in the country
- Nebraska- look like the Huskers of the ‘80s
- Boise St- wake me up in December
- TCU- clear sailing until Air Force in 5 weeks
- Texas- offense is struggling but luckily here come the Bruins
- Florida- too many mistakes for this much talent
- Oklahoma- great offense, suspect D
- Wisconsin- Clay will get 100 yards+ and you can’t stop it
- Terrelle Pryor, QB, OSU
- Ryan Mallet, QB, Ark
- Denard Robinson, QB, Mich
- Kellen Moore, QB, BSU
- DeMarcus Murray, RB, OU