The Wrapup

By Adam Caparell - October 15, 2006


I don’t think I could have been more wrong about two of the biggest games Saturday. I thought we’d see USC’s A game against ASU and I expected Florida to beat on Auburn. It didn't exactly pan out that way.

I’d like to take back my earlier statement about Auburn’s defense. They played pretty well in the second half, forcing two huge turnovers against Chris Leak late, a fumble and an interception (and he nearly threw another one to David Irons before those two), because they were able to pressure Florida. That was a good call on the Chris Leak fumble. Leak played a poor game and his Heisman hopes took a big dive. Bottom line: the Auburn defense responded when it needed to and carried the Tigers to their resounding win over the Gators. Tommy Tuberville must have given one hell of a speech during halftime. They limited Florida to just 90 yards in the second half, and most importantly, no points.

It’s funny how special teams can be so crucial to the final outcome, even something seemingly so simple as a punt. Well, it came back to bite the Gators big time. They get off that punt, and who knows.

Florida’s defense played pretty well themselves – they didn’t allow an offensive touchdown to the Tigers – but the offense couldn’t pull its weight. It should be a bitter pill to swallow for the Gators. They lost a game to Auburn that the Tigers had no business winning.

USC, on the other hand, likes the close calls apparently. Those days of blowing everyone out of the water seem to be over in Los Angeles for the time being. USC shouldn’t have let a bad Arizona State team back into the game like they did. The Trojans are a class above the Sun Devils.

Pete Carroll says it’s going to build character winning these close games, but you’d like to see the killer mentality out of the Trojans. Chauncey Washington was the reason why the Trojans pulled this one off, running as effectively as he did down the stretch.

Quick Hits

- The No. 2 team in the nation is only 3-4 this season. Who wants that No. 2 spot tomorrow?

- Well, it’s going to be Michigan and its defense needs to get more credit. Penn State ran for -14 yards in its loss to Michigan. The Wolverines defense is as good as any in the nation and certainly there’s no one better against the run.

- Brian Brohm was rusty in his return and lacked some zip on his throws in Louisville’s win over Cincinnati. Luckily, he didn’t re-injure his thumb, despite playing with a splint on the digit. The Cardinals offense never really clicked, but the best news, besides the win, was Brohm escaped seemingly none the worse. I’m sure Louisville fans and the coaches breathed a huge sigh of relief at the end of this one.

- Ugly, ugly scene in Miami between Florida International and Miami in that brawl that broke out earlier in the third quarter. Kicking, punching and even using helmets as a weapon (that was namely Miami’s Anthony Reddick). Just an absolutely mind-boggling scene.

The players who are found to be the instigators and the most egregious offenders in this brawl should be thrown off their respective team. The Hurricanes Brandon Meriweather, who was stomping and spiking FIU players on the ground, should be booted along with Reddick for their thuggish, behavior.

Miami had the reputation as a team full of a bunch of thugs years back. Well, they’ve just officially assumed that rep again.

FIU also displayed its fair share of thuggery as reports said that an injured player was seen swinging a crutch.

It’s pathetic. Fights even broke out in the stands apparently. But haven’t football players realized by now that trying to punch someone in the head when they’re wearing a helmet is about the most counterproductive thing in the world? I’m mainly referring to the FIU players in this instance. Just moronic nonsense out of the two teams. But at least FIU was seemingly civilized enough not to use their helmets as a weapon.

- Well, maybe Ohio State is starting to look like that dominant team we’ve all said has been lacking so far from this season. The Buckeyes just destroyed Michigan State in East Lansing. If the John L. Smith countdown to his dismissal hasn’t started, it should now. I figured the Spartans would put up a fight in this one and if I was going to put some money down, I would have bet Michigan State covered the 14 points Ohio State was getting. Good thing I didn’t. I would have been better served burning my money as I’m sure many around the country felt after this one.

- Colt McCoy is really starting to look like some quarterback. Six touchdowns and a new Texas record later, the Longhorns have got a QB for the next two years, at the least, who’s already showing great promise and poise. He looks so small out there, but he’s doing a pretty good job leading the offense. And with the way teams are falling week after week, Texas isn’t out of the national championship race. If you’re going to lose, then make sure you lose early.

Best Win: We’ll give it to Auburn. They’re season could have been headed for some secondary bowl game with another loss. Now they’re still in line to get to the SEC championship with one loss (Does anyone really think Arkansas is going to get there over the Tigers?). BCS hopes are still intact.

Worst Loss: Adrian Peterson’s broken collarbone. The Sooners took a huge hit with Peterson, their best player, most explosive offensive weapon and golden child, went down for the what figures to be the season.

It figures to be the last time we’ll see Peterson in a Sooners jersey. Barring some earth shattering news, or the injury turns out to be more serious, Peterson is as good as gone. The NFL is calling, there’s been talk that his family is ready to begin, if they haven’t already, the process of finding Peterson representation. Peterson has shown that he’s ready for the next level, running past defender after defender on a regular basis. And Oklahoma said it wouldn’t rush him back for a bowl game if it would jeopardize his future.

Oklahoma fans, you’ve seen the last of Adrian Peterson.

Took a Step Forward: Auburn’s beleaguered defense, Colorado, Michigan, Steve Slaton's Heisman hopes

Took a Step Back: Georgia, Iowa, Texas Tech’s offense, Miami’s rep, Chris Leak’s/Garrett Wolfe’s/Adrian Peterson’s Heisman hopes

Quoteworthy
"We couldn't slow them down in the first half, and they couldn't move it in the second half. Offensively, we didn't score a touchdown. How do you do that and beat a team like that?" – Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville

AC Top 10
1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. USC
4. West Virginia
5. Louisville
6. Texas
7. Cal
8. Tennessee
9. Auburn
10. Florida

Posted by Adam Caparell at 02:38 AM on October 15, 2006
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