What a beautiful day of college football.
Between the excessive remote flipping, sprinting to the kitchen for a cold beer (sliding across the linoleum in socks of course) and the constant griping from my better half to "get off my ass and mow the lawn", I'm about spent. This college football enthusiast sacrificed his time, and possibility for sex tonight, simply to entertain the masses.
Overall, there were not many surprises to stir the pot...
Ohio State vs. Cincy- This obviously wasn't much of a game. However, I must admit that I was holding my breath slightly when the 4th quarter ended 7-3 in favor of the Bearcats. (Friggin' Cincy put up as many points as we did against Ohio State!) But, it ended up that Troy Smith and the boys were just taking a quarter off.
Impact on Texas- Good. We want Ohio State to remain strong to protect our strength of schedule whether we have a misstep during conference play or run the table. Plus, the only thing that could possibly top the hype of Texas vs. USC last year is having a rematch with Ohio State in the National Championship game. The last 3 teams that lost a #1 vs. #2 regular season match up went on to win a National Championship title...
ND vs. Michigan- I'll admit that I did not see this one coming. Not only did Michigan prove that they are severely underrated, but we will not have to endure the media love fest for "Touchdown Jesus" the entire season. Brady Quinn may very well have lost the Heisman this weekend while Mike Hart may have emerged as a serious contender. I had this one on the picture-in-picture TV feature but ended up later replacing it with the Tech/TCU game.
Impact on Texas- Some good, some bad. Michigan will unquestionably move up in the polls past Texas with this win. ND lost by such a high margin that they are virtually guaranteed to drop behind us. (But, perhaps I am giving the media too much credit) This loss makes a ND victory over USC later on in the season much more attractive. However, Michigan still has to play Ohio State. Since one or the other will drop, this is good news for Texas.
Auburn vs. LSU- Easily the best major game finish of the day. JaMarcus Russell made some critical errors with his judgment that ultimately cost his team the game. Auburn looked pretty darn good defensively. Besides, any team with Ryan Perri-loser on the sideline deserves a loss.
Impact on Texas- Good regardless of what the outcome was. When two teams ranked higher than yours play each other this early it is always a win-win situation. But, the best case scenario was for Auburn to win since they still have to play a tough schedule including Florida. Texas should be able to fend off LSU through conference play.
USC vs. Nebraska- Score was a lot closer than the game was. Neither team looked unbeatable. USC just had less mistakes. Booty played below his capability and Taylor looked like a deer in the headlights.
Impact on Texas- Mostly bad. On paper, Nebraska and ND had the best shot to knock down USC. Oregon has an outside shot and the rivalry game with UCLA may be bothersome but the rest of USC's schedule should present no problem. Then again, USC may have bigger issues than who is on their schedule.
WVU vs. Maryland- Not even worth the time to talk about.
Impact on Texas- Push. Someone will need to step up and beat WVU. That someone is not the 5th best team in the ACC. Louisville is the only realistic opponent to topple them.
Florida vs. Tennessee- Great game. Teams seemed evenly matched. Then again, Chris Leak always looks good the first few games.
Impact on Texas- Push, but more towards bad. If Tennessee had won, they wouldn't have jumped Texas in the polls because there are too many questions. (Great play against Cal but almost lost to Air Force) But, Florida isn't a team that has the talent to go undefeated. Not only do they have to duke it out with Auburn, they still have LSU and Georgia to slip past. The SEC will be a scrap between Top 15 teams which greatly benefits Texas.
Texas vs. Rice- Surprisingly, I didn't pay much attention to this game. I was mildly interested to see how Major Applewhite would game plan against his former team. But, the talent level isn't in the same ballpark to gauge. From the look of the TV pans, they couldn't even give tickets away to fill all the empty seats.
Impact on Texas- Very good. Yes, it was Rice. But, the defense was inspired and Colt McCoy looked great with his throws. This is exactly the kind of game Texas needed after such a demoralizing defeat last week. The fans needed it just as much. Beating up on a lesser team the week after a loss is the equivalent of downing a 1/5 of Jack Daniels after being fired from your job.
Oregon vs. Oklahoma- I was torn on who to root for in this one. On one hand, I want the Big 12, and our strength of schedule, to be strong. But, on the other hand...it's Oklahoma. Any time the Sooner nation has to question their loyalty is ok in my book. The fashion in which they lost makes it all the more sweeter. I can picture Texas/ou weekend now:
OU fan: Y'all suck! You got beaten by an overrated Big 10 team at home! The only reason we lost to Oregon is because the refs screwed us!
Texas Fan: True, the refs did their best to give the game to Oregon. But, did the refs prevent your defense from failing to tackle the QB on a keep? Did the refs cause you to bust a pass coverage for a wide open TD? Did the refs block your FG attempt? Did the refs give up over 500 yards to a subpar offense and make you fail to score a TD THREE times in the red zone? Despite not having a challenge available, the refs stopped the game to verify the call with the replay booth. The replay booth, the only people with the power to overturn the call on the field, decided that there was not enough conclusive evidence to do so. I'll tell you what the refs DID do: Gave you a TD for snapping the ball after the play clock had expired and a bogus ball spot that resulted in another 7 points.
By the way, how many more crystal footballs does Bob Stoops have over Mack Brown again? You seemed to have the answer LAST year. You must be seeing red...Big Red.
Yes, this was a good thing.
Tech vs. TCU- Quite possibly the most boring game of the day. Auburn vs. LSU at least had an environment and national title implications despite the low score. This felt like Cotton Bowl: The Sequel. Once again, Tech showed that it is a team with an inept defense and a plug-anyone-in-there QB system. The only bright spot is that Texas can confidently mark Tech off as a potential road block unless they scrap their style of play.
Iowa State vs. Iowa- ISU is back to their old tricks. Unless they are up by two TDs, they do not have a prayer of winning the game. Even though the loss will play into our strength of schedule, I was happy to see Iowa win for the player who just lost his father on Friday.
Louisville vs. Miami- Oh how the might have fallen. Miami players started the day jumping on Louisville's logo. They will end the day by having nightmares of Lousiville's offense. If Larry Coker wasn't on the hot seat before, his ass must be 200 degrees tonight. Unfortunately for Louisville, they have more injuries to contend with. Hopefully they can rebound before the showdown with WVU. Also root for Miami to drop a few more games so that this "big win" doesn't boost a potentially undefeated Louisville team at the end of the year.
Clemson vs. Florida State- Bowden Jr. gets the job done against his old man. While I did not view FSU as a threat, it provides more breathing room. On the other hand, this loss factors into why Michigan will probably jump Texas in the polls.
Texas A&M vs. Army- This isn't really a notable...but beating Army by 2 yards...in Texas? Please keep Francione in College Station for years to come. Thank you.
The Big 12 south is in trouble. Big trouble. When's the last time Texas, Oklahoma and Tech were all 2-1 in out of conference play? Now, granted, they've all had tougher schedules than OSU, Baylor and Texas A&M. But still...has hell frozen over?