The Wrapup - Week 11

By Adam Caparell - November 11, 2007


So where do we find ourselves after another highly ranked team - in Saturday's case No. 1 Ohio State - lost to an unranked team for what seems like the 50th time this season? We find ourselves with a drastically altered BCS standings, one that will be void of the Buckeyes as national title contenders after Illinois ran roughshod over the Ohio State defense when they are released later Sunday.

Even though Ohio State lost its first game of the season and joined the list of talented one loss teams, they're all but out of the national title race because while the BCS will tolerate an early season loss, it doesn't afford teams a late season defeat.So kiss the Buckeyes goodbye as a New Orleans contender.

Seeing Ohio State fall shouldn't have been a total surprise. It's not like we haven't seen Ohio State struggle against the spread before. But still, there were few who thought Ohio State was going to walk away a loser Saturday and the wide open Illinois running attack was the reason why so many were proved wrong. Illinois ran for 260 yards, 195 yards more than Ohio State had been giving up on average this year. The combo of Juice Williams, Rashard Mendenhall and Daniel Dufrene was superb. Their speed was at times too much for the Buckeyes and the offensive line deserves a ton of credit for winning the battle at the line of scrimmage. This was actually the first time since 2001 that an opponent rushed for 200 yards or more against Ohio State.

Also deserving some considerable praise is the Illinois pass rush. They forced Todd Boeckman into playing his worst game of the season, throwing three interceptions - accounting for all of the Ohio State turnovers. For the first time this season we saw him have to really move around the pocket and it cost the Buckeyes. He made that ill-advised throw in the end zone - after scrambling all over the place - that was picked off and later threw one into double coverage that was intercepted. You're not going to win very many ball games when you lose the turnover battle as badly as the Buckeyes did (3-0).

Holding Chris Wells to just 76 yards was huge. The Buckeyes did rush for 179 yards, but you can chalk most of that up to Boeckman scrambling for a few big runs. The Ohio State defense had its chances to make some big stops or force a turnover, but they never could. Instead it was Illinois. Marcus Thomas interception of Boeckman - his third - gave the Illini the ball back with 8:09 and Ohio State would never get its hands on the ball again.

So as it is, Ohio State's dream of another run to the national title is over and done with. And in all honesty, did anyone - other than Buckeyes fans - really want to see Ohio State back in the title game? Sure they've played better offensively the past month and developed into one of the best overall teams in the country, but you know against a tough SEC team or team with great offensive speed they would get rolled all over again, just like we saw last year with Florida.

I guess we kind of got a glimpse of that Saturday. Illinois has some speed on offense. But they don't have speed like Oregon or LSU and certainly aren't nearly as talented overall as those two squads - the Tigers especially.

But we bring up those two teams because you'd figure that LSU and Oregon would move up to the Nos. 1 and 2 spots respectively in Sunday's standings while Kansas figures to move up to No. 3. But could we see Kansas surpass Oregon? That's the big question. Since Kansas is undefeated and the BCS values an unblemished record over everything else, it's not impossible to envision the Jayhawks making a move. It probably won't happen for another few weeks if the Jayhawks keep winning.

LSU will be No. 1 after it won its gimme game against Louisiana Tech and Oregon of course was off - they'll next play Thursday on the road. Kansas, meanwhile, looked pretty impressive in its win over Oklahoma State. They showed some people for the first time that they're a pretty good team. Are they really No. 3 material? I'm still not sold on that, but are they a good, solid, BCS contender? In this crazy season, yes. The schedule undoubtedly helped them move up in the ranks as the season wore on. Having nothing but home games to start the year allowed for the offense to get going under and develop some real confidence and it hasn't looked back since. Kansas is not a team that jumps out with exceptional talent - except for maybe cornerback Aqib Talib - but it's a team that has some speed and has a knack for making the big play. And those are two characteristics not very many have and it's why they'll find themselves in the Top 3 of the BCS standings. And at the worst, Top 4.

The one thing about Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing that is really impressive, after watching this last game, is that he can throw the ball into some ridiculously tight spots. He'll get burned sometimes, but it's amazing that he can thread some of the passes he throws to his wide outs. Even all the more impressive considering he can barely see over his offensive line at 5-foot-10.

And a guy who needs more recognition - and hopefully will get it after Saturday - is Marcus Henry, the talented wide out for Kansas. He's got a good pair of hands and can run past corners, even at 6-foo-4. Underrated.

Quick Hits

-- Boston College is playing itself out of the BCS right now. A bad loss to Maryland - a team they had no business losing to, even on the road - leaves them tied in the Atlantic Division with Clemson and guess who the Eagles get next week on the road? Tigers could be looking at a trip to Jacksonville in a few weeks if they win next week and if that happens Tommy Bowden won't have to deal with those questions about his job security. At least not as much as he did this past spring and summer.

-- Cincinnati smoked UConn at home, handing the Huskies their first loss in Big East play. How'd they do it? By absolutely stuffing the Huskies running game. UConn ran for 47 yards and just couldn't move the ball. The Huskies haven't been doing it with offense and they couldn't afford to let Cincinnati get out to a nice, comfortable early lead. They don't have the kind of quick strike offense that can readily get them back into games if they're defense isn't making stops. Performance like that does not bode well for a trip to Morgantown for the Big East crown in two weeks.

Stat of the game in this one: 30 combined penalties for 310 yards.

-- Auburn was sporting all white jerseys - a combo they were 15-0 in entering the game - and Georgia donned the black jerseys for the first time in the "modern era," according to Georgia officials, in the 111th meeting of the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. It's hard to take all this hype and hoopla around jersey combinations. There is nothing more overrated and asinine in college football than these special uniform combos. Nothing. Georgia didn't win because of the special jerseys. They won because Knowshon Moreno had himself another 100 yard rushing game, because Matthew Stafford threw for 2 TDs and 237 yards and the Georgia defense didn't allow Auburn to move the ball all that much while forcing Brandon Cox into four interceptions.

I'll say it time and time again until the beginning of next season but Georgia is going to be a very, very good team next year. They're so young, so talented and really starting to put things together. Look out for the Bulldogs for the next few years.

-- Arkansas was held to 302 yards of total offense, 19 less than Darren McFadden ran for last week in his SEC record breaking performance. McFadden had himself 117 yards on the day, but Felix Jones only had three yards on two carries and the Vols tried to make Casey Dick beat them with his arm which, of course, he couldn't throwing two picks. Tennessee held serve in the SEC East race with the victory as Georgia still needs the Vols to lose to potentially catapult themselves into the title game in Atlanta.

-- There are only so many comebacks left in a team and Michigan couldn't pull out another over Wisconsin. But despite the loss the Wolverines are still in the mix for the Big Ten title. All they have to do is take down Ohio State next weekend and they're Rose Bowl bound. It would be nice if Chad Henne could stay in these games, but one thing Michigan fans can hang their hat on is at least Ryan Mallett has gotten some significant time behind center this year and he looks to have all the tools to be a good one. Has to make some smarter decisions back there - and better throws - but only a freshman.

-- Navy and North Texas combined for the most points in major college football history in a 74-62 Midshipmen victory in Denton, Texas. Navy ran for 572 yards and eight rushing TDs. "There wasn't a whole lot of defense being played on either side. Look at them, they scored 62 and they lost," Navy coach Paul Johnson said. "If we don't score every time we get the ball, we're in a deep hole."

And all Notre Dame could manage in triple OT last week against Navy was 44. But looking at the bright
side, they only allowed 46 points to the Midshipmen.

And speaking of Notre Dame, apparently rock bottom did not occur last week. It came Saturday in yet another loss to a service academy, this time Air Force. Maybe it's a good thing Army wasn't on the schedule?

-- Miami sent the Orange Bowl out in style, getting whipped silly by Virginia in the worst shutout defeat in the stadium's history. It's sad to see such a historical building go, but it's seen much better days and a change of scenery could do Miami wonders considering how awful this season has been for the 'Canes.

-- Tim Tebow continues to show why he's the best player in the game right now. Did you see his line Saturday? 22-of-32, 304 Yds., 2 TD, 1 INT, 26 rushes, 120 Yds., 5 TD.

Biggest Winners: Mississippi State, Kansas, Big 12

Biggest Losers: Ohio State, Boston College, Connecticut

Player of the Day: Juice Williams. The Illinois quarterback had himself a career game. He may have only been 12-of-22 for 140 yards, but he threw 4 touchdowns against the nation's best defense and rushed for another 70 yards. The sophomore still has a long ways to go to be one of the game's elite, but he picked his spots wisely against the Buckeyes and walked away with the biggest win Illinois has secured in a long, long time.

Stat of the Day: 468. Number of Miami games played at the Orange Bowl where the 'Canes had a .700 winning percentage in its 70 years.

Quote of the Day: "I said, 'Coach, you don't think we can get a half an inch?' He looked at me and got on the headset to (offensive coordinator Mike) Locksley. He said, 'If you don't get it, I'll hurt you.'" - Illinois QB Juice Williams who convinced coach Ron Zook to go for it on 4th and inches with the ball on their own 34 yard line, 6:53 remaining and a seven point lead on the road.

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

Posted by Adam Caparell at 01:16 AM on November 11, 2007
Comments (4)

Comments

What kind of ranking is this? Mizzou #8?? You're voting rights should be revoked!

the game ws a tie the first illinois TD was so obviously a fumble it really sucks to let the zebras decide

Mizzou ranked #8. Chase Daniel not even in his top 5 of Heisman candidates. Its obvious that Adam either hasn't watch 1 Missouri game this year or he got rejected from the Mizzou school of Journalism.

How can you rank Ohio State above Missouri? Have you checked their strength of schedule? Did you notice that Ohio State lost to Illinois, who MISSOURI BEAT?

What a joke.

why should mizzou be ranked at all? They lost to Oklahoma who lost to Colorado which the highly appreciated Knsas Jayhawks beat!!!!!!!!!!!

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