The Week That Was in College Football
Question of the week
Who should OU fans cheer for tonight when Virginia Tech hosts Boston College? The obvious answer seems BC. But maybe not. The 7-0 Eagles are No. 2 in the BCS; 6-1 Virginia Tech is No. 8 in the BCS. The Sooners are sixth in the BCS.
If BC loses to the Hokies, they almost surely would fall below OU. But Virginia Tech almost certainly would rise above OU. So it could come down to this: Who is more likely to lose after Thursday, Boston College or Virginia Tech? Let’s look at the schedules.
BC: Florida State, at Maryland, at Clemson, Miami. I’d say all winnable, all losable.
V-Tech: at Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami, at Virginia. Wild, isn’t it, how similar are those schedules. Both host Florida State and Miami; both have two interesting road games. That
Virginia game is a bear; the Cavaliers are 7-1, but they’ve been scraping by.
Here’s my suggestion. Cheer for Boston College. In times like these, where who knows how the rankings will end up, the goal is to get two losses on every team and remove all doubt. If Virginia Tech beats Boston College, they still both could lose. If BC wins this one, I don’t see them losing two more.
TEN BIG WINNERS FROM WEEK 8
10. Oklahoma State: Cowboys kept alive Big 12 South title hopes with rousing 41-39 win over Kansas State.
9. Michigan: Wolverines, given up for dead eight days into September, have won six straight and still could make the Rose Bowl after a 27-17 win at
8. Sonny Lubick: Venerable Colorado State coach ended a 13-game losing streak with 48-23 win at UNLV.
7. Temple: Kicked out of the Big East, the Owls might have found a home in the Mid-American Conference, a reputable league of upstarts. Temple beat Miami-Ohio 24-17 to raise its record to 3-2 in the MAC.
6. Kansas: Jayhawks won another Big 12 road game, 19-14 at Colorado, and now we’ve got to get serious about 7-0 KU running the table.
5. Rutgers: Scarlet Knights popped South Florida 30-27, signaling again that Greg Schiano has put together a solid program at the University of New Jersey.
4. Tim Tebow: The Florida sophomore won a quarterback derby royale in a 45-37 victory over Kentucky. UK stud Andre Woodson completed 35 of 50 for 415 yards and five touchdowns. But Tebow completed 18 of 26 for 256 yards and four TDs, ran 78 yards on 20 carries, and solidified himself as the Heisman favorite.
3. UCLA: Don’t look now, but the Bruins are 4-0 in the Pac-10 after a 30-21 victory over California. UCLA has proven it’s not a powerhouse, not with a blowout loss to Utah and being Notre Dame’s only victim. But staying in Pac-10 contention into November is a solid feat.
2. Jonathan Stewart: The Oregon junior looks like a big-time pro prospect — we saw him excel against the Sooners a year ago — and showed it Saturday against Washington, rushing for 251 of Oregon’s school-record 465 yards.
1. North Dakota State: Coach Craig Bohl was a big winner, too, after a 27-21 victory over Minnesota that will elevate Bohl into consideration for the job at Nebraska, his alma mater. But North Dakota State, which left the comfort of NCAA Division II to compete in I-AA, made a big name for itself and thrilled more than 30,000 of its fans who made the trip to Minneapolis. This will rank as one of the 10 biggest moments in North Dakota sports history.
Big East commissioner Mike Transghese this week called the University of Louisville, saying officials erred in allowing a Connecticut touchdown on a punt return. Seems UConn’s Larry Taylor waved his right hand above his head, appearing to make a fair catch signal, then caught the ball and ran 74 yards for a touchdown.
Connecticut won 21-17, and Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe was livid at the non-call. I didn’t see the play. But that’s just horrible officiating. This wasn’t holding or a bang-bang pass interference. This was a signal made in the open, not in a split-second situation. And still the officials couldn’t get it right.
College football officiating is mostly terrible. First off, there are too many convoluted rules, and these weekend zebras can’t possibly stay on top of every situation. Also, not enough leagues are like the Big East and publicize transgressions; the Big 12, for instance, operates in virtual secrecy on its officiating errors. Better to come clean and let the public know how the sport is dealing with its arbiters.
A play in the Jacksonville-Indianapolis game Monday night showed the vast difference between college and NFL officiating. A Jacksonville runner went up the middle, was tackled just shy of the end zone, then scooted across the goal line. The umpire stepped right in, without looking for help from either of his side officials, and pointed at the ground, indicating no touchdown.That’s exactly what was needed in the 2005 OU-Texas Tech game, when Tech’s Taurean Henderson was ruled to have scored on the last play of the game, but by the sideline official who waited several seconds to make the call, by which time Henderson had crawled well into the end zone.
At Lubbock that day, the Big 12 crew needed an umpire who would stick his nose into the act. In Jacksonville this week, the NFL had an umpire willing to do just that.
This could be the season we have a two-loss team in the Big Bowl. It almost happened in 2001, when 10-2 Colorado finished fourth in the BCS. Only 16 teams in Division I-A have fewer than two losses, and we’ve still got a Saturday left in October, much less the nail spikes of November.
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