The Wrapup

By Adam Caparell - September 17, 2006

Where to start on a Saturday like this, I’m not sure. There was measuring stick game after measuring stick game all over the country and several teams rose to the occasion in the seven games that featured ranked teams against each other.

Michigan, Oregon, Louisville and Florida all came up with big wins over tough teams. All the more impressive were the wins by Michigan and Florida coming in two extremely tough places to play. Notre Dame and Tennessee can be two daunting and intimidating venues, but both teams came up huge.

The Michigan and Florida defense showed up, big time. Tennessee ran for -11 yards and the Wolverines intercepted Brady Quinn three times.

Louisville’s offense had its way against Miami. The Hurricanes entered the game giving up an average of just 200 yards per game. The Cardinals nearly had 400 yards when it was all said and done in their 31-7 win.

More on Louisville and Michigan below.

Nebraska showed it still has a way to go not being able to get much going against the USC defense. That defense is pretty good. John David Booty played well again and now the Trojans haven’t lost at home in their last 28 games. The Cornhuskers certainly got what they asked for. It was kind of surprising to see Nebraska mouth off about the Trojans before the game when their competition leading into that game was Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State. Next week for Nebraska it’s Troy, then they finally get into conference play. They’re not close to being in USC’s league. But I think it’s safe to say they showed they're making strides to get there.

Overall, as stupid as it sounds, Saturday was a day of separation. The national title picture is a whole lot clearer. At the end of Saturday, nine of the top 15 teams AP Top 25 are undefeated. West Virginia and Louisville will play each other Nov. 2. Auburn and Florida will play Oct. 14. Georgia and Florida will play each other Oct. 28. Georgia and Auburn will meet in November. There’s Michigan-Ohio State at the end of the season. USC and Virginia Tech don’t play another highly-ranked, undefeated team the rest of the season.

Quick Hits

- What more is Bobby Petrino going to have to endure this season? Louisville won a game it had to win to gain some much need credibility for the program and the Big East, beating Miami pretty handedly. But in the process, the Cardinals lost Brian Brohm to a thumb injury that will require surgery. The injury is going to keep him out for at least four weeks, maybe as many as six.

Interesting timing. In six weeks, the Cardinals are set to host West Virginia in what figures to be the Armageddon of the Big East. Winner has the inside track on the conference’s BCS berth. But Louisville has to keep its head above water until then and hope Brohm is able to go against the Mountaineers.

There must be something in the water in Louisville. This is the second straight season Brohm has suffered an injury that keeps him off the field. Last year, he went down with a season ending knee injury. And this comes just two weeks after losing Michael Bush. It’s now Hunter Cantwell’s team to run. It could be worse. Cantwell is used to filling in for Brohm because he did it last year as well.

- I thought instant replay was supposed to benefit teams, not rip them off. How can you not feel sorry for Bob Stoops and the Sooners after getting hosed by Pac-10 replay officials? That onside kick call was just horrendous. And then they screw over the Sooners just a few plays later on that missed tip play. Now Stoops should have played it more aggressively to get his kicker a few more yards on that final drive, but a large amount of blame needs to fall on Oklahoma’s defense which hasn’t been up to par so far. But that’s one tough, tough loss.

- Hats off to TCU for holding Texas Tech to only 3 points. Certainly didn’t expect to see that. First time in six years the Red Raiders didn’t score a touchdown.

- Another shutout for Georgia’s defense. Looking forward to that Bulldogs-Gators matchup in late October. But before, the Gators must play Auburn.

- Biggest Winner: Michigan, by far. Lloyd Carr redeemed himself mightily by finally wining at South Bend, for beating Notre Dame for the first time in two years and for, more amazingly than any other stat in my opinion, winning a road opener for the first time since 1999. Carr got a whole load off his back with this win and simultaneously helped launch his team into the national championship picture and knocked the Irish right out. That’s what rivalries should be all about, pinning the most amount of pain and agony possible on the other team when they lose. Michigan shattered Notre Dame’s dreams in humiliating fashion.

Props to Chad Henne for playing well and for the Wolverines defense for slowing down Notre Dame’s offense and getting to Quinn - not to mention those five Irish turnovers. I didn’t expect that kind of performance out of Henne, but he came to play. Michigan’s 47 points were the most scored at Notre Dame stadium since 1960. Just impressive all around.

- Biggest Loser: Miami. It was practically a no win situation for Larry Coker and the Hurricanes. They win, that what they're supposed to do. They lose and he gets killed. So Miami goes out and doesn't just lose, it gets plastered. But they guaranteed themselves a loss by ridiculously stomping on the Louisville field before the game started, yelling at the Cardinals

- Taking a Step Forward: Oregon, TCU, Chris Leak

- Taking a Step Back: Pittsburgh, the Big 12, Pac-10 officials

The AC Top 10
1. Ohio State
2. Auburn
3. USC
4. Georgia
5. West Virginia
6. Michigan
7. Texas
8. LSU
9. Louisville
10. Notre Dame

Posted by Adam Caparell at 12:55 AM on September 17, 2006

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