The Wrapup - Week 13

By Adam Caparell - November 25, 2007


Tim Tebow is likely your 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, but after what we saw from Chase Daniel Saturday night, I'm sure some people are going to give the Missouri quarterback more than a second thought after what they saw out of the junior.

After all, Daniel did nothing but carry his team to its biggest victory in program history. The Tigers are the Big 12 North champs, knocking off No. 2 Kansas, to earn a spot in the Big 12 Championship game next weekend against Oklahoma and the No. 1 spot in the BCS standings Sunday evening when the latest rankings are released.

How good was Daniel? About as good as can be as he scrambled and improvised his way to a scintillating 363 yards passing, on a ridiculous 40-of-49, with a trio of touchdowns as Missouri hung on in the end for a 36-28 victory over their bitter rivals.

What we clearly saw was that Missouri is the more talented team and their athleticism was too much for the Jayhawks to handle, especially early on. Of course Kansas made it very interesting at the end, but not before they fell behind big. Shows you something about the character and heart of the Jayhawks, especially after the failed to convert on their first couple of scoring opportunities. They hadn't really been in that kind of situation all season long, but showed a lot of fight.

Turns out those two field goals that were missed early on were pretty big, but more than anything the Jayhawks didn't have an answer for the onslaught that was the Missouri offense. I've said it almost all season long, and so have plenty of others around the country, but Kansas had yet to really play a top notch team and they finally got burned by one. I don't think Missouri is really the No. 1 team in the country, even though their ranking will tell you otherwise Sunday, but Kansas had not played as complete a team as Missouri - especially offensively - and when they needed a stop in the second half they couldn't come up with one.

Todd Reesing was outplayed by Daniel, even though the sophomore finished with 349 yards passing, with a pair of touchdowns. But the most important stat of the night was Reesing's two picks. Remember, Reesing came into the game not having thrown an interception in six weeks and the Jayhawks, who had been one of the best teams in the nation in terms of taking care of the ball, gave it away twice. Kansas didn't covert on third down with any consistency and didn't make the big plays that we've seen them make in the past. Give some credit to the Missouri defense who hit the Jayhawks hard.

Missouri, on the other hand, was careful with the ball, not turning it over. The turnovers were huge and because of them we saw for the sixth time since Oct. 1 the No. 2 team in the nation lose.

So where does this leave both teams?

First off, Missouri is in the driver's seat to the BCS Championship game, but of course it has to face Oklahoma next weekend in San Antonio. That's not going to be an easy task because not only is Oklahoma a better team than the Tigers, but they're fighting for their BCS lives in this one as well. You'd figure Missouri would give them a great game, considering how much better they've played down the stretch compared to when they met in October, but Oklahoma is still the more balanced and more talented team. Edge goes to the Sooners.

As for Kansas, a BCS at-large figures to be the case, as long as Oklahoma doesn't win next week. The Jayhawks improbable run towards the top of the BCS, a place they had no business even thinking about at the beginning of the season, is now over, but not without a great fight. The Jayhawks are a good team, a team that is not nearly as talented and athletic as your typical No. 2 team in the nation, but they're pretty good. They epitomize team. They don't have any big names - maybe other than Reesing - but had gotten the job done 11 times this year. They just couldn't do it a 12th.

Quick Hits

-- Can't say we didn't see that coming from West Virginia. The Mountaineers had just too much speed for the Huskies to contend with and the final score was nothing short of embarrassing. It's also telling because for all the success the Huskies have had this season, they're far from being in the class of the Mountaineers. But I think we all knew that heading into the game. The point was just hammered home.

The Huskies limped back to Storrs 66-21 losers and now will wait to find out what their bowl fate is after Pat White shredded the UConn defense for 186 yards rushing and 2 TDs. The third ranked defense nationally in points allowed - UConn was allowing just 14 points per game entering this one - gave up the more points than the Over (50) because they couldn't stop the West Virginia rushing game. The Mountaineers finished the game with 517 yards on the ground - five players had 50 yards or more of rushing - and all but one of their offensive touchdowns came on the ground.

West Virginia's dominance on the ground was to be expected, but did we expect it to be that dominating? Once UConn got into a two-touchdown hole, the game was basically over. UConn doesn't have the kind off offense to climb back from a hole like West Virginia can put you in. And the Mountaineers have the kind of offense that can dig teams a big hole in a blink of the eye.

-- Tennessee dodges yet another bullet, taking four overtimes to beat Kentucky. But I don't know whether to give Tennessee all the credit for surviving yet another scare - and actually springing the upset (according to Vegas) on the road - or give them all the blame for nearly losing. Might as well call Phil Fulmer MacGyver because he seems to keep escaping near disaster every week. Considering the way his defense played on the final drives of regulation the past two weeks, Fulmer should have two losses, not two wins, and shouldn't be playing for the SEC Championship against LSU.

Kentucky really should have won this one in regulation, but Andre' Woodson's final pass attempt sailed a little too far into the back of the end zone when he had a man open along the backline. Woodson also made a bad decision on that final two-point conversion try. He looked hesitant when he ran with the ball after leaving the pocket, not at all at full speed, headed toward the goal line. He didn't come close to making it and Fulmer will be smiling all the way to Atlanta now.

Too bad. I really wanted to see Georgia-LSU. Not Tennessee-LSU.

-- We'll get a rematch of that Thursday night classic between Boston College and Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game after the Hokies took care of business against rival Virginia. The Hokies had too much talent to lose this game.

So next Saturday we have Matt Ryan, with a pretty good performance yesterday, go up against the Hokies defense who figures to play a full 60 minutes as opposed to the 56 they played in Lane Stadium back on Oct. 25.

-- Not much of a surprise that Oregon was unable to do much against UCLA. Now UCLA has been a disappointment this season and Karl Dorrell could be on his way out, but without Dennis Dixon running that offense the Ducks just aren't the same and a Bruins win was to be expected.

But it didn't help that Brady Leaf, Dixon's backup, was lost in the first quarter and Cody Kempt and Justin Roper split time behind center and did nothing.

Saturday marked the first time in 22 years Oregon had been shutout and it leaves USC in prime position to lock up another Pac-10 title next week - and Rose Bowl beth - when they host UCLA.

But don't forget about the Bruins just yet: an upset of USC and an Arizona win over Arizona State and UCLA could find itself in the Rose Bowl, most unexpectedly, and you'd have to figure there would be no way Karl Dorrell wouldn't be kept for another season if that happened.

-- Still have no idea how Tim Tebow can't be the leader on everyone's Heisman ballot right now considering he's run for more touchdowns this season than some of the most prominent Heisman Trophy winning running backs in the award's history.

I think Chase Daniel is a worthy No. 2, but with all that Tebow has done, all the offense he has produced this season, you can't justify not giving it to him. He's the entire Florida offense, playing against the most athletic and speediest defenses in the nation in the SEC. He's been the most consistent out of all the candidates. The most valuable of the candidates and his three losses should be irrelevant.

-- We had the ax come down on a few coaches as Bill Callahan and Ed Oregeron were handed their walking papers after disappointing seasons. Callahan's firing at th behest of Tom Osborne comes as no surprise, but Oregeron's was slightly eye-raising considering only a few weeks ago it seemed like he was going to be safe no matter what happened. As it was, the Rebels finished 2007 winless in the SEC, despite a few near upsets, but apparently that wasn't good enough for Ole Miss supporters who look to be the orchestraters of Oregron's exit.

So where does each team go from here.

You're going to see someone with some sort of Nebraska ties become the next head coach in Lincoln. Whether that's Bo Pelini or Turner Gill, who knows, but someone who understands the culture of Nebraska football will be tabbed because Callahan's alienation of many Cornhusker traditions is one of the biggest reasons he's gone. Along with the two losing seasons.

Saw that Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe's name has been thrown out as a possible replacement for Nebraska. He fits their mentality as a run first, blue-collar kind of coach, but he seems to genuinely like Wake. It's not easy to win in Winston-Salem, but he's shown he can do it. On the other hand, he could potentially have the chance to lead one of the winningest programs in college football history and make a whole lot more money. Tough to pass that up.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to Houston Nutt now after Friday. Tough to can the guy after he upsets the No. 1 team in the nation, but generally when you have a new athletic director taking over, as is the case with Jeff Long coming aboard in Fayetteville, they like to pick their own coach whenever possible so that doesn't bode well for Nutt. Speculation is Baylor could be a landing spot for the embattled Nutt. That's a tough job to take, not particularly conducive to winning. He might want to wait a season.

CSTV's Brian Curtis manned the phones early Saturday, dishing on the coaching carousel.

Biggest Winners: Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia Tech

Biggest Losers: Connecticut, Oregon, Alabama

Player of the Day: Chase Daniel. 40-of-49, 361 yards and 3 TD in the biggest game of his life and his school's. Now Missouri is going to be the No. 1 team in the BCS Sunday in large part because of his performance not only Saturday, but the month of November.

Stat of the Day: 357. Difference in yards between what Oregon managed to put up against UCLA Saturday and what they averaged per game, a prime example of Dennis Dixon's value to the Ducks. He's injured and done for the year, but still deserves Heisman recognition. Hopefully he gets it from the voters. Dixon and Tebow: two most valuable players in the game right now.

Quote of the Day: "I'm sure we just sent him to New York." -- Kansas defensive back Aqib Talib on Missouri's Chase Daniel. High praise from one of the best corners in the country.

Top 10 Teams In The Country
1. Missouri
2. West Virginia
3. Georgia
4. Ohio State
5. USC
6. LSU
7. Florida
8. Oklahoma
9. Virginia Tech
10. Kansas

Posted by Adam Caparell at 01:39 AM on November 25, 2007
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