10 am ET: Morning! Once again, Gameday is starting on ESPN, and this time I’m still asleep.
We’ll be updating from the Rumors and Rants War Room/Man Cave all afternoon this week, since it’s homecoming and the biggest game of the year for everyone on this here site’s alma mater: Indiana University. But Phillips is more excited about his USC Trojans playing at Notre Dame even though he’s an IU alum too. Feel free to leave your sports bigamy complaints in the comments section.
1:15 pm ET: I’m finally at the Rumors and Rants War Room/Man Cave and ready to update all day…as soon as we’re back from Nick’s (the best bar in Bloomington, IN).
There have been a few things we’ve expected so far with the noon ET games today: Ohio State’s offense still sucks, Texas can definitely be stopped, and Iowa looks like crap early in a game again. None of those are even remotely surprising.
But Sam Bradford’s injury has completely swung the Red River Shootout because OU should be up two touchdowns right now with the way Texas is playing, but Landry Jones just can’t get them there yet. This could become a really ugly game to watch. It kind of has been already, to be honest.
1:19 pm ET: Oh, and what the f*ck is Michigan doing playing Delaware State in the middle of the season? That’s pathetic and embarrassing.
3:23 pm ET: Ohio State just lost to a 1-4 team and looked really awful doing it. I’m saying it now, and I’ll say it again in a minute when I’m done typing the wrap-up, Tressel has to go if he really can’t make Terrelle Pryor more successful. The kid is neither technically or mentally proficient. The scheme doesn’t work because Tressel can’t adapt for Pryor. It’s a total disaster. Either he really coaches the shit out of the kid or they get some one in there who can.
5:30 pm ET: Halftime for the 330 games. Am I worried that Florida is going to get upset by Arkansas? Absolutely not. If I were, my hands would be sweaty, and this keyboard isn’t anywhere near saturated yet. Spencer Hall is nervous. Me? Not so much.
As for USC, Notre Dame doesn’t have a prayer of scoring a touchdown on a drive all the way down the field, so all they have to do is play defense and keep it safe on offense. I’m not sure why they stopped throwing aggressively other than that, though. Barkley carved Notre Dame’s secondary up on USC’s only touchdown drive, but then the Trojans went away from that. Probably because they don’t need to be crazy to win tonight. Can’t have any turnovers though.
6:34 pm ET: Game over in the USC/Notre Dame game. No way the Irish score 20 fourth quarter points. The Florida game is, uh, interesting at the moment, though the Gators just got a very nice pass interference call.
Record after week six: 64-42, 50-55-1 AS
12 pm ET
Northwestern (4-2) at Michigan State (3-3) (-13.5)
Pick: Michigan State wins but doesn’t cover
I didn’t watch this game at all, so I have no idea how anything happened. It just went the way I thought it would, and that’s all I know.
Record: 65-42, 51-55-1 AS
The Red River Rivalry
(20) Oklahoma (3-2) at (3) Texas (5-0) (-3.5)
Final: Texas 16 Oklahoma 13
I guess it IS possible to beat Oklahoma, the 20th ranked team in the country, and win a rivalry game while it still feels like a loss for Texas. They won a tough game and looked like absolute shit, completely legitimizing the decision by the polls to drop the Longhorns behind Alabama. That is, as long as Alabama looks good against Arkansas.
And make no mistake, Texas made this a close game with sloppy play all over the field, not because OU’s defense is just so good. Once Bradford went out, OU did everything in its power to hand the game to Texas by four touchdowns . OU had FIVE turnovers, for God’s sake, and Texas only has 16 points? Terrible. They had three turnovers of their own. I guess they just wanted to do their part to make sure this year’s edition of the Red River Shootout was completely forgettable. I’m really glad I didn’t have to wait until prime time to watch this shit-fest.
Record: 66-42, 51-56-1 AS
(11) Iowa (6-0) at Wisconsin (5-1) (+3)
Final: Iowa 20 Wisconsin 10
That was an ugly, ugly game. Not as bad as some others today, but wow, pretty much what you’d expect from these two teams. Even at halftime when Wisconsin was winning, you knew Iowa was going to come back and win. There was no way Wisconsin was going to keep it up simply because they hadn’t scored nearly enough points.
Iowa is so losing at least twice before the Big Ten season is over. They’ll drop one to Ohio State in a couple of weeks, but they’re losing to some one else too. There is no way that team gets away with being that bad and inconsistent in games for an entire season.
Record: 67-42, 52-56-1 AS
(7) Ohio State (5-1) at Purdue (1-5) (+13.5)
Pick: Ohio State
Terrelle Pryor is getting worse, not better. Before it was an issue of scheme and inexperience, but now it’s both of those added with a serious backslide in technique from Pryor. The kid is getting worse in every facet of the game, and Ohio State’s offense is coming with him. It’s to the point that it’s pissing ME off, and I HATE…no…I F*CKING HATE Ohio State. This is a total disaster for Ohi0 State, and not just because they lost to a 1-4 team that deserved every bit of that record.
I said it early, but Tressel has to go if he can’t even adapt his system to Terrelle Pryor OR coach him to at least be good enough to run it. It’s also clear he started playing the kid much too early. Todd Boeckman had a rough start to last year and the team and the press panicked and the Terrelle Pryor era started a full year early when he should have redshirted all of last season. This is a career-killing mistake for Tressel if Pryor never gets good in his career, and worse, he’s messing up the best prospect at any position he’s ever recruited.
I’m pissed and I’m an Indiana fan who has enough on his plate to be pissed about. Like how I had Ohio State covering 13.5 points. Christ was that a dumb call.
Record: 67-43, 52-57-1 AS
3:30 pm ET
Arkansas (3-2) at (1) Florida (5-0) (-24)
Pick: Florida wins but doesn’t cover
Final: Florida 23 Arkansas 20
Florida didn’t look great at all for most of this game, and only got to drive to win it because Arkansas missed their shot at a go-ahead touchdown. Tebow’s passing stats looked great, but Florida couldn’t run the ball effectively at all, so you have to give credit to Arkansas’ terrible defense today. Florida is in real trouble offensively. The good news for them is they’re not going to play anyone who is a serious threat to their defense, so they can win close games like this. But the thing is, they have to PLAY close games like this where anything can happen. They’re prime for a bad loss at some point this season.
The thing that got me about this game was how well the Gators handled Ryan Mallett. I’m amazed he didnt’ throw for more yards. How the hell did the Razorbacks score 20 points on Florida’s defense without a serious game from Mallett? That’s insane.
But no one should freak out about how Florida isn’t running for nearly as many yards as they were at the start of their season. They were never going to keep up with the Georgia Tech’s and service academies of the world in rushing offense. Christ, they were averaging over 300 yards per game heading into the LSU game. Florida was beating up on crappy teams and managed to get themselves some pretty stats. But now that Tebow is back and a little bit hurt still, the Gators are going to pull a USC and stress efficiency the rest of the way. Again, don’t freak out, and for f*ck’s sake, don’t jump Florida with Alabama in the polls just because they won close.
Record: 68-43, 53-57-1 AS
The University of California (3-2) at The University of California, Los Angeles (3-2) (+3.5)
Final: Cal 45 UC,LA 26
I don’t know what’s more shocking: that UC,LA scored 26 points or that Cal scored 45 and Jahvid Best wasn’t the Cal back who averaged nine yards per carry OR that Kevin Prince was the quarterback in this game who threw for more than 300 yards. It’s upside-down day at the Rose Bowl! Sorry, Booter, UC,LA is a minimum of a year away, thought that’s to be expected because Karl Dorrell left that team a shambles on his way out.
Record: 68-44, 53-58-1 AS
The Jeweled Shillelagh
(6) Southern California (4-1) at (25) Notre Dame (4-1) (+10)
Final: USC 34 Notre Dame 27
I had such an easy cover when USC was up 34-14 with 13:33 left in the fourth quarter. They were f*cking cruising, and then stupid f*cking penalties and one key tipped interception got Notre Dame to within five yards of tying the game with no time out.
Notre Dame players were chirping all game and USC, and some of the Trojan players definitely gave into the atmosphere and did some dumb-ass things. The only exception was the late penalty on Taylor Mays for hitting Armando Allen late out of bounds. Allen had never stepped out of bounds yet, so that penalty everyone, including the announcers who have replay angles to look at, agreed with was total bullshit. Otherwise, USC did some very dumb stuff to let Notre Dame back into the game.
Advice to Notre Dame: try and get out ahead of some one early some time this season so not every game has to be a furious comeback that may or may not go your way. Just a suggestion.
Otherwise, the star of this game between the two quarterbacks was Matt Barkley, even though Jimmy Clausen let Notre Dame on their comeback. Barkley was great the entire game and threw for 380 yards while making countless big plays when they needed them. The interception was tipped, and the only reason his throw was high was because Joe McKnight missed his pass block and the defender was hitting Barkley as he threw. Otherwise, the freshman was outstanding in a hostile environment yet again.
Record: 69-44, 53-59-1 AS
Texas Tech (4-2) at (15) Nebraska (4-1) (-10.5)
Pick: Nebraska wins but doesn’t cover
Final: Texas Tech 31 Nebraska 10
Guess I wasn’t totally right on this one. I concede that Nebraska was sorely overrated, but wow, way to not show up at home, guys. Texas Tech’s defense has to be one of the more underrated units in the country. It used to be a huge liability, but they do a great job of keeping the Red Raiders in games. But how the hell did Tech win when Sheffield threw for only 233 yards? That’s insane. They’re Texas f*cking Tech! Win’s a win, I guess. But you know Mike Leach isn’t happy with that. Taylor Potts will be back ASAP after that effort.
Record: 69-45, 54-59-1 AS
The Governor’s Victory Bell
Minnesota (4-2) at (14) Penn State (5-1) (-17.5)
Pick: Penn State wins but doesn’t cover
Final: Penn State 20 Minnesota 0
Okay, so this one wasn’t as close to an easy cover as USC was, but it’s still close, damn it. Minnesota is really bad at offense. They are, dare I say it, Indiana-like on offense and working their way to Illinois-like. Penn State sucks way worse than last year for some reason. I guess teams only needed a year to figure out that fancy-schmancy Spread HD offense.
Record: 70-45, 54-60-1 AS
Battle for the CMU-WMU Rivalry Trophy/The Michigan MAC Trophy
Central Michigan (5-1) at Western Michigan (3-3) (+6.5)
Pick: Central Michigan
Tim Hiller threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns and one interceptions while Dan LeFevour had over 300 yards, two passing touchdowns, and one running touchdown. And yet somehow the Chippewas won without converting a third down. That’s either big-playability or just crappy efficiency. Maybe both. I’ll be sorry to see Dan LeFevour graduate this year. The MAC will be worse for it. Sorry Tim Hiller’s senior season has turned out so crappy too.
Record: 71-45, 55-60-1 AS
4 pm ET
Colorado State (3-3) at (12) Texas Christian (5-0) (-22)
Pick: TCU wins but doesn’t cover
Final: TCU 44 Colorado State 6
Wow. Colorado State made it close for a half, but then they got their asses kicked and that was basically it. Stunning blowout. And not just because CSU gave up so many points, but because TCU managed to score that many. Weird. TCU is really f*cking good. They get this kind of O every week and they’re going to cause all kinds of BCS hell.
Record: 72-45, 55-61-1 AS
6 pm ET
Faulk U/Ah, Memories for Booter, McD, and Phillips Game of the Week
(18) Brigham Young (5-1) at San Diego State (2-3) (+17)
Final: BYU 38 SDSU 28
The least BYU could have done for me is score another touchdown and get me a push. But no, they decided they’d rather make me tear up a little bit with the effort the totally overmatched Aztecs gave against their old WAC rival. This hasn’t been much of a rivalry game recently, but it was nice to see SDSU fight a little bit and keep it interesting.
Max Hall was pretty much perfect, throwing for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns. SDSU quarterback Ryan Lindley was nearly as good, but not quite enough, and the Aztec defense gave up over 500 yards of offense. Okay, so they still have some building to do in Brady Hoke’s first year.
Record: 73-45, 55-62-1 AS
(4) Virginia Tech (5-1) at (19) Georgia Tech (5-1) (+3)
Pick: Georgia Tech
You don’t see Virginia Tech’s defense get shredded like that very often, especially Josh Nesbitt’s game winning touchdown run. The Yellow Jackets ran for 308 yards on the Hokies. Tyrod Taylor actually looked pretty good when he wasn’t throwing the ball to the defense. He’s absolutely a vicious running threat though, which I’m only mentioning because that’s what Terrelle Pryor needs to do more of. That said, both he and Taylor have the same issue of not being able to do either thing (run or pass) well enough to give the offense they run a real identity and stave off defensive coordinators.
Josh Nesbitt, on the other hand, is having no trouble running his offense at all, running for three touchdowns and 122 yards on the Hokies. He was money tonight with Virginia Tech concentrating on stopping Jonathan Dwyer instead of him.
All I know is Georgia Tech won and I love their offense with all my heart. It is brilliantly drawn up and it will work for any team committed enough to run it. Things seem to be fine at Georgia Tech, but if things don’t work out for Paul Johnson there, he should absolutely come to Bloomington, IN.
Record: 74-45, 56-62-1 AS
7 pm ET
Redemption, Thy Destination is Bloomington Game of the Week
Illinois (1-4) at Indiana (3-3) (+3)
Final: Indiana 27 Illinois 14
I’m tearing up a little bit over here. I was completely prepared for another error-filled meltdown. Instead I got a fantastic defensive effort, and 338 yards and three touchdowns from Ben Chappell. Seriously, it’s dusty in here. That was the game I’ve expected from them the past two weeks, and they finally got it right. I’m still not totally sold on Bill Lynch, but he pushed all the right buttons tonight.
Damn, I love this feeling of winning a game we’re supposed to win. Plus, it was at home AND a game in which we played relatively mistake-free. Fantastic. Just fantastic. I’m very proud, especially after ripping them so badly next week. This is the first time in my time as an IU fan that the team showed mental strength and got it together the week(s) after a bad loss. Good for everyone involved.
As for Illinois, this is probably it for Ron Zook at Illinois. Which kind of makes me mad because they might get their hands on a top assistant at another program or something that Indiana would have gone after had we melted down this year under Lynch. Bill Lynch is gonna need to do more than beat a 1-4 Illinois team to get me on his side again.
Now, let’s concentrate on beating Northwestern on the road next week and truly redeeming that Virginia loss.
Record: 75-45, 57-62-1 AS
7:45 pm ET
(22) South Carolina (5-1) at (2) Alabama (6-0) (-17)
Pick: Alabama wins but doesn’t cover
Final: Alabama 20 South Carolina 6
You really have to feel for Steve Spurrier. Of all the things people thought he’d manage to do at the other USC, I don’t think anyone thought he’d create a defense that good and yet fail to have a competent offense for even one season in his time there. He’s never had a good quarterback and has never been able to fully unleash his offense on anyone.
That all came to fruition again against Alabama. This was a close game, but it was patently obvious Stephen Garcia and South Carolina were never going to take the lead. Hell, it’s a miracle they ever crossed the 50 yard line.
And what can you say about Alabama? It was once thought they were all offense and no defense, meaning Florida would beat them again even though the ‘Bama defense is good. But now, with Florida’s offensive issues, Alabama looks really strong heading into the second half of the season. Really strong.
Record: 76-45, 58-62-1 AS
9:15 pm ET
Something to Watch at the Bar Game of the Week
Missouri (4-1) at (16) Oklahoma State (4-1) (-7)
Pick: Oklahoma State
Final: OSU 33 Mizzou 17
It bugs me that Oklahoma State still has other playmakers at receiver besides Dez Bryant. Like they can just plug a dude in there and get the same production. Hubert Anyiam was the guy Saturday night, filling in for Bryant. Even stranger, OSU’s defense actually stepped up and shut Mizzou out in the second half. Clearly it was upside-down day in Stillwater too.
Record after week seven: 77-45, 59-62-1 AS