Run and Shoot: 11 Lessons Learned from Week 10

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11 Lessons Learned from Week 10

(One of the best moments of the college football season. Cincinnati's Marshwan Gilyard flew into the crowd trying to catch a touchdown pass and went trucking over this poor little kid. Gilyard immediately helped the boy to his feet and gave him a hug before returning to the field.)

Wow. Just, wow.

The twists and turns of this college football season are becoming so... so, 2007ish. Texas Tech beats in-state big brother Texas, knocking the Longhorns from the No. 1 perch. Florida obliterates Georgia, knocking the Bulldogs from the national title chase. Penn State sits at home and gets leaped by other teams in the rankings.

If this first weekend of this month is any indication, we're in for one wild ride people. November spawned a monster. Again.

Lesson 1-
We discovered that Texas Tech DOES have a special moment to hang its 10-gallon black hat on.

Let's discuss the greatest moments in Texas Tech football:
1- Spike Dykes becomes head coach and is really, really funny.
"We're basically being held together by duct tape and bailing wire."
2- Gabe Rivera, the nose guard with the skinniest ankles in the world, becomes a first team All-American.
3- Zach Thomas is a general bad-ass in a Red Raider uniform.
4- Texas Tech upsets No. 1 ranked Texas on Saturday.

Yep, there is not a lot of great history to Texas Tech football, but in front of one intense, hyped-up college football fan base, the Raiders pulled off an improbable, impossible and impressive stunner over the Longhorns on Saturday night 39-33. Nice going Techsters. You’ve put your stamp on this college football season. No highlight package from the 2008 season will be complete without a couple of clips of this win.

(Michael Crabtree on a grab-and-go, with the game-winning catch with a second left against their hated in-state big brother Longhorns.)

Lesson 2-
It turns out that the Graham Harrell-to-Michael Crabtree connection is apparently just a tad better than the Colt McCoy-to-Jordan Shipley connection.

That last second, 28-yard touchdown pass was so out-of-thin-air. And yet so incredible. Is anybody else here having that LSU-like Flynn-to-Byrd-touchdown-pass-with-one-second-left-to-beat-Auburn flashback? Crabtree, facing a healthy dose of double-teaming on the night, caught 10 passes for 127 yards. Shipley wasn't as up to snuff, nabbing only six passes, with the biggest gain being 11 yards. He also had a couple balls he would normally have caught, go off his mitts.

Lesson 3-
Any time we hear the phrase "the biggest win in school history" it usually means that school is about to lose.

I love the energy and enthusiasm you had there Tech fans. Saturday night was beyond awesome, it's one of those college football scenes fans like you and I will remember for a lifetime. But Raider fans, enjoy the hell out of it now, because it's going to come crashing down soon. Sorry, it's just how history works in this sport dictated by 19-22 year olds. Every high has a low to go with it. Cruel, I know.

Lesson 4-
Revenge really is a dish best served cold.

These are the teams tasting the biggest bite of sweetness after Saturday’s games.
• Arkansas beat unbeaten Tulsa, 30-23.
TU offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is the OC who left Arkansas after bringing All American QB Mitch Mustain. Now he became the enemy and left with a black eye.
• Miami won at Virginia, 24-17.
Remember how the Cavs beat the H-E-double hockey sticks out of the Canes in their last home game in the Orange Bowl? Yep, that was the 48-0 whitewashing. Now the U puts the clamps on UVa's four-game streak.
• Millsaps beat Trinity, 56-27.
Speaking of remembering incredible moments, how about last year's 15-lateral, game-winning TD that Trinity pulled off in this game in 2007? Well, in a battle between Division III's Nos. 7 and 8 ranked teams, the 'Saps pull off the rout.

Lesson 5-
We discovered those revenge games pale in comparison to the one that took place in a tall outdoor cocktail glass in Jacksonville, Florida.

(Coach Meyer, apparently asking the referee if he can get a few more timeouts to prolong Georgia's misery. "Sorry coach, only three a half." As if 49-10 wasn't bad enough.)

Oh sure, you heard the "no comment" clips from Gator players all week about last year's Georgia touchdown stomp celebration. But be assured, Florida was peeved enough to hand Mark Richt the worst loss in his coaching tenure. And they were relishing the fact too. Wasn't there two time outs called by Urban Meyer in the last minute of the game? Damn, twist, the knife bro.

Tim Tebow may have lost out on the Heisman campaign, but who cares? A win like this has put the Gators into the national title conversation for being the most popular choice for a one-loss team. I don't know a football pundit out there (including me) who doesn't think they're playing the best football in the country right now.

Ummm, HOW did this team lose at home to Ole Miss again?

Lesson 6-
The next team up for making the Fraud List might just be - deep breath here - Alabama.

Have you noticed how weak the Tide's biggest wins are looking now? The two big Ws the Red Elephants have been hanging their trunks on have been over "Top 10" teams Clemson and Georgia. Well Clemson is now playing .500 ball and Georgia just lost to Florida by 39 points. Now throw in the fact that Bama has struggled against teams like Tulane, Kentucky and Ole Miss and you see why maybe this team isn't as strong as everyone is thinking it is. Will LSU expose them this week?

Just throwing it out there.

Lesson 7-
It was evident who the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time players this week were...

- Tulsa.
Everything was on the line, and the Hurricane allowed Arkansas to race out to a big lead and win the game on a special teams play, 30-23. This one will hurt for a while.
- Minnesota.
It's hard to bag on the Gophers. Look, this team went 1-11 last year. Getting bowl eligible in seven games was an unbelievable accomplishment for 2008. But the way they lost to the Wildcats was pretty shocking.
- Georgia.
The Dogs go from the ultimate respect last week (routing the defending national champs) to thinking Citrus Bowl now... or whatever that bowl game in Orlando is called these days.
- Connecticut.
For the second year in a row the ever-improving Huskies get blown out by the Mountaineers, 35-13. This shows they've still got a ways to go to be the Big East beast.

Lesson 8-
The list of BCS Busters keeps getting smaller and smaller.

Scratch Tulsa.

The Golden Hurricane couldn't play smart enough in their loss against an SEC team, and now sees their hopes at the big-money bowls go up into the bitter cold Memphis, Tennessee night as the Liberty Bowl seems to be their likely destination now.

On the positive side for the non-BCSers, Utah barely escaped Albuquerque with a 13-10 win over New Mexico and Boise State continues to cruise, lambasting New Mexico State 49-0. These two teams are now ranked Nos. 9 and 10 in the latest coaches poll, but with Oregon and Michigan stumbling left and right, their marquee wins are starting look less and less impressive.

Lesson 9-
This is actually an old lesson we learned long ago, but we all recall that Joe Paterno has had four of his Nittany Lion teams go unbeaten and not get the national title.

This week Texas Tech actually hopped the Lions to jump to No. 2 in the BCS. Thinking like this may prevent Press Box Joe and the boys a shot at another title. Just something to file away for now.

Lesson 10-
We discovered that the gods of Irony really do love to mess with our minds.

The most ironic single play of the day on Saturday was the game-winning touchdown by Northwestern in its 24-17 win at Minnesota.

Gopher wideout Eric Decker, one of the most sure-handed receivers in the country, has a ball tip off his hands on a last minute pass and bounce straight into the arms of Northwestern's Brandon Smith. Smith, not just wanting to set his team up with a game-winning field goal, races toward the Gopher end zone and scores with 12 seconds left in the game. (Cue the TV cameras on the shocked UM fan reactions here).

Keep in mind that not only did Decker NOT make the catch, when he usually clamps onto anything thrown his way like a venus flytrap on an insect binge, but Minnesota was also leading the nation in turnover margin as well. This just was so un-Gopherlike. It was, dare I say, like something that would happen in 2007.

Both teams are now 7-2, which in general is a pretty good mark for both of them. Hats off to you former Big 10 also-rans.

(Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka went nuts on the Gophers, rushing for 217 yards and passing for 143 yards. Yikes! And this from a backup?)

Lesson 11-
I don't think we REALLY want to consider people like Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit as college football "experts" anymore.

My apologies to all those crazed fans that show up for all those ESPN GameDay remotes from the sites of the biggest games, but these guys can barely predict their way out of a wet paper bag. Corso went 6-5 in his 11 picks on GameDay. Herbstreit went 6-4 (he didn't pick the Texas-Texas Tech game because he worked it that night, but my guess is that he would've picked the Longhorns.). No, I'm not talking about picking against the spread here either. Just straight up who will win the games.

And yes, guest picker Bobby Knight went 7-4.

(This is how I spent my college football watching on Saturday, flying to Boston and watching games on my Jet Blue flight. Jet Blue is possibly the best airline, having TVs at every seat, inlcuding the major networks, along with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and even The Big 10 Network.)

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