While a good number of teams settle into conference play around the country, we still have a few marquee non-conference games that will grab everyone's attention. As for the game of the week? Pick your poison. Right now, nothing really jumps out at you. There are some very good, and very important games, but there isn't one that rises above the rest. Maybe that changes if the season's first four weeks play out differently than we expect.
While some schools avoid those early season non-conference showcase matchups like the plague - think 80 percent of the Big Ten - give Tennessee credit. The Vols have a built in excuse to play a soft non-conference schedule before their SEC slate kicks in, but they'd rather not take it easy.
Finally, we'll have our answer this week. Terrelle Pryor, the most hyped and heralded quarterback in the history of high school football, will make his decision on where he'll be attending school this fall. Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Oregon were Pryor's four finalists when he told the college football world on National Signing Day that he wasn't prepared to decide. But he's been down to two for some time. But which two?
Oklahoma is in the middle of spring practice right now, but the 2008 season will be put on the backburner for Tuesday as the Sooners host their pro day for all prospective NFL Draft selections to make on final impression on scouts.
Auburn needs a new quarterback and Kodi Burns was the logical choice to replace Brandon Cox as the Tigers starter with spring practice starting last week. But heading in, new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin wasn't about to give anyone an edge. Yet after a few practices, and one scrimmage over the weekend, it sounds like he's singing a different tune.
Georgia president Michael Adams, and chairman of the NCAA executive committee, has been outspoken this week about the need for a playoff in college football. In Adams' eyes, the NCAA should create an eight team playoff, seed the teams into four bowl games and eventually crown its first football champion in the organization's history. And as he goes about trumping for big change, he's picked up one prominent supporter in Athens.
Orange Bowl partcipant, winners of 11 games and once the No. 2 team in the nation. With a resume like that you'd think a team wouldn't have a chip on its shoulder heading into its biggest game of the year, but this is Kansas we're talking about.
It's getting to be old hat to find the Sooners in a BCS games considering this will mark the sixth time Oklahoma finds itself in one of the season's premier bowl games over the past eight years. But it's safe to say Bob Stoops and his players haven't faced a team quite like West Virginia yet.
Illinois has been in this situation before. Big underdog, in an environment that's going to be anything but friendly, against one the best defenses in the nation. And the last time Illinois found itself in a game like Tuesday's Rose Bowl they did the unthinkable.
You don't normally get a BCS caliber game two days after Christmas - not when you have 32 bowl games to play with - but that's basically what we have on our hands Thursday evening in San Diego with the Holiday Bowl.
It hasn't taken very long for Nebraska to almost entirely purge itself of the Bill Callahan era. Less than a month after the coach was officially let go, the man who was tabbed to take his place - LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini - has finished hiring his assistants and many of the names should sound familiar to Cornhusker fans.
NEW YORK - Gary Pinkel's been the head coach at Missouri for seven years now and little did he think he'd be here for a Heisman Trophy presentation, hoping to see one of his own players walk away with the award.
Back in the summer I tried predicting - as accurately as possible, not just a bunch of stabs in the dark - the matchups in each of the 32 bowl games. So now that we know who's playing who, I figured I'd look back and see if I got any even half right. The results, I have to say, are pretty. Pretty pathetic.
Few things in life are easy. And predicting, analyzing and understanding college football is not one of those things because Saturday night we saw more of the unexpected and more of the chaos that has come to exemplify the 2007 season.
The coaching carousel seems to have slowed down as the week comes to a close with no one getting the ax the past few days. But there's been plenty of other activity around the country with coaches contemplating moves to other jobs and there's one in particular that should really take a hard look at what the future may hold.
Coming off the biggest win in program history, Missouri was your new No. 1 team in the country and new No. 1 team in the BCS standings Sunday. Yet, as the Tigers get ready for the biggest game in history, they're the underdog in Saturday's Big 12 Championship game. And while that may not irk the Tigers as a group, it certainly irks Chase Daniel.
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.
So I guess this makes Les Miles' decision to potentially become the next head coach at Michigan a little easier considering he doesn't have to worry about missing out on his team playing for the national championship.
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.
Is this going to be Lloyd Carr's final game on the sidelines of the Big House? That's the big question on everyone's mind entering Saturday's Michigan-Ohio State meeting with the Big Ten title up for grabs in college football's premier rivalry.
Mike Leach always has something to say and when he does he rarely holds back. So it came as little surprise that the Texas Tech coach was critical of the officiating in his Red Raiders loss to Texas last weekend. Or that it cost him $10,000.
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.
Kansas is 9-0 for the first time since 1908 and has their sights set on not only a BCS bowl, but the national championship game if they win their remaining four games and things break right. But the first step toward the improbable starts Saturday in Stillwater where the Jayhawks take on a dangerous Oklahoma State team. Is this where it comes crashing down for Kansas? Possibly, but most especially if they play defense like they did last week against Nebraska.
Rules changes have become the norm in college football, most especially those involving tweaks to the clock the past few years. So after the NCAA's attempts to speed up the game last season were met with dismay and disgust from many of the nation's coaches, the NCAA changed the rules again this past off-season in an effort to drive down the times of these marathon-like games. But after 10 weeks it looks like it's time for the to go back to the drawing board.
Kansas is 9-0 on the season, racking up an astounding 46.22 points per game, a No. 5 national ranking and a spot at No. 4 in the latest BCS rankings, an unexpectedly remarkable season for a program that wasn't expected to do crash the party that is the national championship race. And while Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino is now in the unfamiliar position of guarding against the upset, it's not the only thing he's trying to protect his team from.
Another week, another set of upsets. And we had more than a few in the Top 10 again. We saw No. 6 South Carolina lose, along with No. 10 Cal and No. 8 Kentucky Saturday. But in all actuality, we only had two upsets because Kentucky's loss was not an upset.
If you're not running the spread these days, you're as old school as "Blue." But just because it's become the in vogue scheme doesn't mean it's necessarily here to stay, if you ask one of the coaches whose success has been so closely tied to the offense.
CBSSports.com came out with its College Football Halfway All-America Team this afternoon, and while the CBSSports.com staff did a pretty good job putting it together, here's a case for a few who maybe should have made the team over a few who did.
Thus far, it has been an abysmal year for Nebraska football and on Monday, the school decided to do something about it. On Monday, Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson was fired, a perhaps knee-jerk reaction to Nebraska's worst home loss in 50 years, a 45-14 thumping Oklahoma State delivered to Nebraska on Saturday.
It's officially The Year of the Upset. We've had a few wacky weekends and just when you think things are about to return to normal, we have the top two teams in the nation lose on the same day for the first time since Sept. 21, 1996 and scramble up the polls yet again. Just in time, of course, for Sunday's season premiere of the BCS rankings.
With eight starters back from last year's team, Bob Stoops is more than familiar with Missouri and the offensive prowess of the Tigers. But it being a new year, the Oklahoma coach isn't putting too much stock into his team's big win over Missouri last October. Rather, he's putting a good portion of his stock into his defensive line heading into Saturday's matchup with the Tigers. And for good reason.
For a while there it was looking like Florida was right back in the thick of things. Leading the No. 1 Tigers on the road, Florida was only a matter of minutes from leaving Baton Rouge with a gigantic win and jumping right back into the national championship picture. But LSU would have none of it.
Urban Meyer remembers his first loss as Florida head coach quite well. It happened two years ago to the same team his Gators face Saturday - LSU - and it was game that left Meyer humbled unlike any before.
Texas A&M heads into its matchup with Miami this evening as a 2.5 point underdog despite the fact that the Aggies are the No. 20 team in the nation and that the Hurrcanes haven't exactly looked like favorite material so far this season.
A few days after their exposing loss to USC, Bill Callahan was quite frank about his team. The Nebraska coach acknowledged Saturday's game wasn't pretty, that it looked even worse on film and that there could be a few personnel changes if the Cornhuskers aren't careful.
So does anyone have any doubts about USC, most especially the Trojans running game, after their performance in Lincoln Saturday night? Tough to find a whole lot that's wrong with Pete Carroll's squad after the Trojans let everyone know they don't plan on handing over their No. 1 ranking anytime soon.
Swagger is something that's been missing from the Washington sidelines for some years now as the once mighty Huskies have fallen on hard times. But the tide seems to be turning in Ty Willingham's third season in Seattle with the Huskies off to a 2-0 start.
The Big 12's quest to prove that it is still as good as its members claim was foiled in Week 1 when Texas, the conference's preseason posterchild, barely eeked out a 21-13 win over Arkansas State. Oklahoma certainly put up some numbers in its 79-10 thrashing of North Texas, but for the most part, the conference had a bunch of forgettable performances. Fast-forward to Week 2 and with the exception of Nebraska's uninspired 20-17 just-win at Wake Forest, the big guns in the Big 12 are back.
Oklahoma and Miami haven't played each other in 20 years, but that all changes Saturday when two of the top programs in college football, who just happen to be in very different positions this season, meet in Norman.
Week 1 of the college football season is usually forgettable thanks to all the blowouts and otherwise boring games that flood the schedule. This year, however, it was anything but thanks to one team from Boone, N.C. that pulled off an upset for the ages.
A few weeks after coaches around the country submitted their ballots for their own Preseason Top 25, it was the writers' turn as the Associated Press released its Preseason Top 25 poll Saturday and there's practically no difference between them.
Perhaps the biggest race in college football these days doesn't involve a fight for a division title, a battle for some recruit or sprint to raise more funds. The biggest race may very well be the race between cities bidding to host future ACC Championship Games and it seems like a new entrant is emerging every week.
There's been some discussion between Ole Miss and Texas about the possibly entering into a home-and-home series. Officials from both schools reportedly have been in negotiations for the two game set that would take place in 2012 and 13. The two haven't played since 1966 and Texas owns the all-time series lead with a 5-1 record.
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach has always been considered someone who does things a little different. His pass happy, high scoring, anything but conventional offense has brought the Red Raiders success and him a whole lot of notoriety. But then there was the extreme he was forced to go to as spring practice has commenced in Lubbock.
All tied at the half between Tennessee and Penn State in the Outback Bowl. Anthony Morelli is throwing the ball a lot and that’s always fun to see. And how about that stiff arm from Tennessee’s LaMarcus Coker on that touchdown run?
Sometimes you leave a movie theater feeling high. Sometimes you leave a move theater feeling low. And sometimes you leave it emotionally drained, but smiling as you make your way to the exit. That was the case for me Thursday evening after I had the chance to catch a special screening of Warner Bros. new release, “We Are Marshall,” in Midtown Manhattan.
The prospects of Oklahoma winning the Big 12 South seemed far fetched when they lost starting quarterback Rhett Bomar before the season even began. Then all-world back Adrian Peterson went down with a broken collarbone Oct. 14 and any idea of the Sooners making it to Kansas City, and leapfrogging Texas, became improbable as soon as word came down.
There was a reason why USC came in as an 8.5 point favorite Saturday. And they showed it, in a big way, against the Irish. Simply put: USC showed that it's in a different class than Notre Dame, one that's right next to a team from Columbus, Ohio.
I agree wholeheartedly with Urban Meyer. There shouldn’t be a rematch between Ohio State and Michigan. We should see some other team in there, whether it winds up being USC, Notre Dame or Meyer’s own Gators.
So Michigan and Ohio State got their scares today against two unlikely opponents. I guess what we saw was a case of Michigan and Ohio State simply overlooking their opponents. Troy Smith didn’t have a huge day and the Wolverines basically won thanks to their defense making the late stop that it did.
For those who subscribe to the idea that SEC offenses are struggling this year, there’s a perfectly good explanation. It’s those stacked defenses and a glut of new, relatively inexperienced QBs manning the posts at several schools, that’s bringing the conference’s offensive numbers down.
It was a great game to watch and dramatic as can be, but we shouldn’t be overly surprised that USC finally lost a game. Let’s face it. They’ve been playing with fire these last few weeks, just waiting to get burned. Saturday, they got burned.
Mr. Williams Has Landed (In The Competitive Western State Conference)
Willie Williams has apparently surfaced in California, playing for West Los Angeles Community College. In the enigmatic linebackers first game of the season (he sat out the team’s first five games of the year because he wasn’t eligible academically) he had a blocked punt,13 tackles and two sacks as his team lost 28-0.
It was a pretty wild Saturday that saw some history, another incredible comeback and a plethora of performances that helped sort out the national picture a little more. Here’s what I think we’ve learned and what I come away from Saturday with. . .
How do you get a roughing the passer penalty on the last play of the game? Stupid play on Brian Orakpo’s part. The Longhorns are just fortunate that it didn’t lead to disaster, but they escape - big time - with a win in Lincoln.
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - The Huskies may be keeping Steve Slaton in relative check, but that's not the case with Pat White who's running right over UConn on what's shaping up to be a big West Virginia win. On only 13 carries, White had 102 yards and a TD, includiing runs of 45 and 30 yards to set up Mountaineer scores. West Virginia has a comfotable 20-3 lead right now and it seems only inevitable that they'll add to it with regularity in the second half.
After their tough loss to Auburn last week, the bye week is coming at a pretty good time for Florida and coach Urban Meyer. The Gators, owners of arguably the nation’s toughest schedule, just got down with a gauntlet of a run through SEC play that featured five straight games against Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, LSU and the Tigers.
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.
A big day of college football and there’s a lot to take it. But there are certainly a number of things that I think we learned today and a lot of it comes out of the SEC.
Georgia is not anywhere close to a Top 10 team. Despite scoring as many points as they did against Tennessee in their loss, they still have questions on offense and apparently their defense doesn’t stand up much against some actual competition.
JaMarcus Russell is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country right now after his performance against Mississippi State last week. And heading into LSU’s critical matchup against Florida, Russell figures to be the key to the Tigers ultimate success. But the question on many people’s minds is whether the junior can get the job done?
Should we now look forward to a winner take all, Armageddon-esque game between Michigan and Ohio State Nov. 18? I think so. With Ohio State’s easy schedule from here on out. Michigan’s slate is more than manageable until the season finale meeting. So the only teams that are going to defeat Ohio State and Michigan is Ohio State and Michigan. It only seems inevitable - considering the way these two teams are playing - that the winner is going to play for the national championship. Consider:
All These Freshmen Are Playing and Brown Knows Why
All across the country, with ever more frequency, true freshmen are seeing more and action on the field. Many teams, most notably USC who has played 13 true freshmen already this season, are sending out their inexperienced players in high stake games. The quarterback position isn’t immune, either. Georgia, with Matthew Stafford and Arkansas, with Mitch Mustain, are just two of several teams that have handed over their offenses to true freshmen.
There was no official moniker for this Saturday, but Survival Saturday was more than fitting. I think it’s safe to say that we saw that there really isn’t an overly dominant team out there right now.
The top unbeaten teams - Ohio State, USC, Michigan, Florida and Auburn - didn’t have particularly inspiring performances today. And some other top tier teams hung on in their respective games after facing some stiff competition from their opponents early on like Virginia Tech, and most notably, Georgia. But they all survived, and national championship and BCS berth hopes are still intact for nearly all who entered the weekend with big time postseason hopes.
Talk about dodging a bullet. Georgia barely beats Colorado. Colorado, the worst team in the Big 12. Colorado, the team that dropped its opener to Montana State. This from one of the country's best defensive teams, but it certainly wasn't their fault.
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.
It should be pretty clear now who the No. 1 team in the nation is. Ohio State, behind quarterback Troy Smith, showed the country they are the best team with a 24-7 win over the Longhorns on the road and I think it's safe to say we learned some things from this game.
The rules changes went over without any major gripping or complaining from the majority of Big East coaches Monday. No one felt the rules were a hindrance or a pain, but some noticed more of a difference than others.
Well, a win’s a win and that’s what the Irish got Saturday. It wasn’t pretty and the offense wasn’t firing on all cylinders, but Charlie Weis’ squad got the job done. They won and survived, lived to face Penn State next without a loss hanging over them and still one of the favorites to make it to the national championship game. For that, they should be satisfied. For other reasons, there should be concern.
Mack Brown has just inserted Jevan Snead into the game after Colt McCoy looked solid in his initial debut. I know Brown wanted to play both kids, but couldn't he have let McCoy get some more time under his belt than pulling him at 21-0 with over 7:00 left in the second quarter. The man knows more than me about football, but If you want to find a permanent starter and get someone entrenched in there, couldn't you at least wait until the game was out of hand before tossing in the supposed backup to get some game reps?
Since the season is officially here, I figured it was time to do what everyone else around the country has done: make the obligatory predictions. This way, I’m on the record and I’ll be able to look back in amazement about how poorly - or precisely - I predicted things would pan out.
What happened to the suits? Every player has been in a team issued polo and pants for far these past two days. The Texas A&M contingent of Red Bryant , Stephen McGee and Justin Warren are dressing it down even more, sporting jeans.
What happened to the suits? Every player has been in a team issued polo and pants for far these past two days. The Texas A&M contingent of Red Bryant , Stephen McGee and Justin Warren are dressing it down even more, sporting jeans.
It's Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg's turn to face the media, but there hasn't been much speculation or talk about what Weiberg is going to speak on. It's his "State of the Conference" address and he'll take some questions from the media afteward.
Day 2 of Big 12 Media Day is about to get underway as Kansas coach Mike Mangino is the day's first speaker. After his 45 minutes are up in the main interview room, in comes the man many are waiting to hear from.
Vince Young is the name of the day. Any question associated with Texas must have the name Vince Young planted firmly in the middle. I think all but two or three questions thrown at Texas coach Mack Brown's way didn't reference Vince Young in same way, shape or form.
If ever there were a talker, it's new Kansas State coach Ron Prince. You don't ever have to worry about him elaborating on a topic. He'll just keep talking and talking and talking. Which, of course, is a good thing for the reporters.
And on the other end of the Big 12 spectrum from Nebraska and Bill Callahan we have Baylor and entertaining coach Guy Morriss - whether he means to be or not - giving a blunt and to the point answer to one reporter's questions.
Things are about to start here in Kansas City with Nebraska coach Bill Callahan the first scheduled coach to speak to the assembled mass of media gathered in the Marriott. Everyone's making a mad scramble to the conference room right now. And I'm right behind them.