The Wrapup - Week 12

By Adam Caparell - November 18, 2007


Lose your quarterback and you're going to lose. It was as simple as that for two teams this extended three day football weekend after watching No. 2 Oregon fall on the road Thursday night and then watching No. 3 Oklahoma follow suit Saturday.

Oregon was done for once Dennis Dixon's ACL tore apart while Oklahoma was dead after Sam Bradford's head was rattled following a tackle on a turnover. And for the Nos. 2 and 4 teams in the BCS standings, with the two injuries came the demise of their national championship hopes.

It looked like things were setting up so nicely for the Sooners. Mike Stoops certainly laid it out for his brother Thursday night, taking care of the Ducks, and seemingly setting up the path for the Sooners to potentially march into the national championship game. So much for that after Oklahoma was ransacked by Texas Tech in Lubbock. The offense struggled to move the ball and the defense came up small against Graham Harrell and the Red Raiders. The most offensive thing of all in this game? Oklahoma made Tech look like a decent defensive team. Several times Tech put the clamps on the Sooners drive toward the end zone and for a team like Oklahoma going up against a defense like Texas Tech's - one that gives up as many points as it scores, one that hasn't been able to stop anyone of note this year - and not put up a bunch of points - even with their backup in the game - is unfathomable.

Changing directions for a second, how come Oklahoma continues to get screwed on instant replays? That interception call in the end zone that looked like a touchdown, but was nullified late in the fourth quarter for the Sooners? The one they looked over for like 10 seconds? Awful call. Must have been the Big 12 officials trying to stay on Mike Leach's good side for a change.

As for Oregon, its loss Thursday shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise for a few reasons. For one, they were the No. 2 team in the nation and we know the track record of No. 2 ranked teams this season, especially on the road. And second, considering Dixon is the trigger man for that Ducks offense, once he was lost the explosiveness, cohesiveness and confidence of the offense was shot and the unit took a complete turn. A big turn for the worse.

As for the benefactors of these upsets? The biggest is obviously Oklahoma's Big 12 brethren in Kansas and Missouri. They're going to move up in the BCS standings with Kansas figuring to be the No. 2 team Sunday afternoon.

Kansas probably picked up some style points with their big win over Iowa State. Granted, it did come against the basement dweller of the Big 12 North, but winning by four touchdowns looks a hell of a lot better than by three scores, which was what Missouri did against Kansas State - a better opponent than Iowa State, but still, the Tigers struggled a little bit at times despite putting up 49 points. It wasn't the kind of 49 points you might think of just by looking at the score.

I think the most intriguing and interesting question that needs to be answered is is whether Missouri is trailing or leading West Virginia in those BCS standings when they're released after 4 pm ET. Mizzou was No. 5 in the latest BCS standing with the Mountaineers right behind them. Neither team is going to pick up much in the way of style points from Saturday - and style points are so critical for voters in trying to differentiate between these teams fighting for position - but I think West Virginia should get the nod over Missouri. West Virginia's win over a good Cincinnati team on the road should prove they're more worthy team than the Tigers right now.

Quick Hits

-- Ohio State is the Big Ten champ and Jim Tressel continued his dominance over the Wolverines, but the only winner in all of this is the Rose Bowl who figures to land the Buckeyes for the first time since 1997 when the BCS berths are handed out Dec. 2.

No one is going win watching Ohio State going up against a more athletic team in the Pac-10 winner. Whether it's USC or Arizona State or Oregon. Let's just all be happy the Buckeyes are not going to be playing in the national championship game, although that's still a possibility if the teams in front of them just start losing like crazy. The last thing any college football fan should want to see is Ohio State getting pounded by another SEC team in the national title game. That's exactly what would happen if they played LSU.

All the credit to Jim Tressel. He does a great job with the program and is a class individual, but are you sick of the Buckeyes yet? I've been for a while.

-- How big do you think Phil Fulmer's sigh of relief was when that field sailed to the left off the foot of Vanderbilt's Bryant Hahnfeldt? Hahnfeldt missed a 49-yarder - not by much - with 33 seconds remaining, allowing Tennessee to walk away with a one-point win when they really didn't deserve to. Tennessee takes the late lead on Daniel Lincoln's field goal, but allows Vanderbilt to march right back down the field and kick the potential game-winner? I know this is an improved Vandy team, but with the SEC East on the line you'd think the Vols would've had a better showing. At home no less? All you need to know about how Tennessee played today is that the Vols needed the second biggest fourth-quarter comeback in school history to steal the game from Vandy team. A Vandy team that played the Vols tough.

"We played a good football team and we took it to them most of the day," Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said.

And very nearly gave Georgia the SEC East title. The Bulldogs won their fifth straight game and had the Vols lost, Georgia would have won the division had the Vols lost. Would have loved to have seen their reaction to that missed field goal. As is now, all Tennessee needs to do is beat Kentucky next week and they're going to face LSU in Atlanta where they're going to get pounded.

-- Just when you think Clemson is about to get over that hump...Credit to Boston College for pulling this one out in Death Valley. The prevailing thought was they had nothing left in the tank for this one and when they got down early it looked like the Tigers were headed to the ACC title game. But Tommy Bowden came up short and is going to hear a ton of criticism for yet again failing to deliver a conference championship. There's just something about Clemson, like some kind of curse, that's preventing them from winning the ACC.

-- With Dennis Dixon going down Thursday, Tim Tebow should - repeat, should - be the Heisman front-runner after the Florida quarterback became the first signal caller to throw for 20 TDs and run for 20 TDs in the same season. There doesn't seem to be another player worthy of winning the award, despite a significant amount of anti-Tebow sentiment around the country which I find increasingly hard to understand.

Tebow's carried that Florida offense practically the whole season. Remember that Florida has no running game whatsoever and he's been their leading carrier in multiple games this season on top of being a pretty good passer while playing with a bum shoulder. He should be the first underclassman Heisman Trophy winner in a few weeks. I don't know who deserves it over him.

If you're one of those who subscribes to the idea that the Heisman should go to someone who's team is among the best in the nation then make you lean toward Missouri's Chase Daniel. He is going to get a lot of attention these next few weeks. His stats are pretty impressive - he's thrown 12 touchdowns and just one interception in the month of November and has 30 TD passes this season - but he's coming on very late into the game - Missouri just launched Daniel's Heisman site Saturday - and I find it hard to believe the roughly 900-plus voters around the country have seen him play enough to give him their vote.

Biggest Winners: Kansas, Ohio State, Boston College, Illinois

Biggest Losers: Oklahoma, Clemson, Michigan, Alabama

Player of the Day: Jeremy Maclin, Missouri. 143 yards receiving on 9 receptions for 2 TDs in win over Kansas State. Also happened to have a 99 yard kickoff return for a score.

Stat of the Day: 11. The number of Top 5 teams that have been beaten by unranked teams this season. Oklahoma's the only team to have it happen twice (Colorado and Texas Tech).

Quote of the Day: "I saw it drifting, said 'Thank God' and just walked off the field." -- Tennessee LB Jerod Mayo on Bryant Hahnfeldt's 49-yard field goal that was wide left.

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

Posted by Adam Caparell at 01:36 AM on November 18, 2007
Comments (1)

Comments

It's amazing how some people can watch ONE game and think a team isn't athletic.

I guess having the second most players in the NFL means Ohio State doesn't have athletes.

Then again Ohio State didn't have the athletes or the speed to even be on the same field as Miami in 2002. Oh wait.....

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