All eyes are on Norman as Notre Dame takes on the Sooners, but there are about three or four other super relevant games in a top heavy -- but terrific -- upcoming college football weekend.
No bones about it, last week sucked. But this week is supposed to be cool -- I think Fowler said so -- and I really just want to start talking about Oregon, so let's jump.
Selective Hits On The AP Top 25
1) Alabama: Outkick The Coverage released a picture of A.J. McCarron's mom (middle) last week.
She's also on Twitter.
2) Florida: Oh, Ryan Lochte, don't ever change.
3) Kansas State: Gotta truly love the Big 12.
Here's a crazy fact from yesterday. The Big 12 featured more touchdowns (48) than punts (47) on Saturday.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 21, 2012
They say K-State QB Collin Klein is the new Heisman favorite. I'm cool with that.
4) Oregon: After meh news and no game last week, Oregon rebounded nicely in a myriad of ways.
1. They began the week by defacing some stupid Arizona State "A" that no one cares about until people spray it with cool green vandalism. Here is a picture:
Whoops, I'm sorry, I realized I forgot to caption it.
2. As far as the game itself? Well, allow me to quote mass amounts of SB Nation's premiere college football writer, Matt Hinton.
Thank god Oregon had the basic decency to police itself. For Christ's sake, the Ducks led 43-7 with 11:33 to play in the second quarter. They scored six touchdowns in the span of 18 minutes, two of them coming on runs longer than 70 yards. The last four of those came in a span of a little over five minutes. They spent more than two-thirds of the game deliberately throttling down. Twenty minutes in, Oregon had done everything it came to do. The rest was just politely killing time.
3. In regards to QB play...
Including tonight, Marcus Mariota has only started seven games, but already he seems indistinguishable from any of the other quarterbacks we've seen at the controls of Chip Kelly's offense – athletic, versatile and seemingly in firm command of the vagaries of the read option scheme ... Mariota looked the part and then some.
The really frightening thought for the rest of the conference is that he's only a redshirt freshman, with plenty of time and room to grow into an obviously live arm. Prolific quarterbacks seem to emerge in Kelly's system looking more or less fully formed, putting up the requisite numbers and making the right decisions right out of the chute. If Mariota is the guy who finally adds a viable downfield passing element to the equation, the nightmare scenario for defensive coordinators will finally be upon them.
This somehow didn't include Mariota's stat of getting a passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown in the game.
The caption was "Oh by the way Kenjon Barner is now a Jedi who wields the Force to stiff-arm would-be tacklers to the ground without actually touching them."
5. One last block of Hinton.
Even in a horrific blowout, one of the pleasures of watching Oregon is knowing that, in any given game, you're likely to see at least a half-dozen things you've never seen before (only about half of which are fashion-related).
• A crazy swinging gate thing for a two-point conversion, run in by the kicker after being tipped by an ASU defender;
• An apparent Oregon touchdown nullified because officials wanted to review the previous play, but were too slow to signal dead ball before the Ducks had lined up and snapped it again. Upon review, the ruling on the first play (that Barner was down short of the goal line) was upheld, thereby costing the Ducks two touchdowns on a single review. According to beat writer Rob Moseley, that was the second time that exact scenario has unfolded this season.
• Two plays later, backup quarterback Bryan Bennett was credited with a 1-yard touchdown pass to starting quarterback Marcus Mariota [ed- see!], the recipient of a wild, last-second option pitch as Bennett was being buried by a handful of Devils near the goal line. Because of course Oregon is running the option with both quarterbacks in the game at the same time.
That was all in the first quarter alone.
The first quarter alone! They are the coolest.
6. Doc Sat: "And Thursday's [Oregon] win did produce a hilariously vengeful tweet from former Pitt offensive lineman Jason Pinkston about Todd Graham, the coach that suddenly left the Panthers for Arizona State."
7. It also inspired Yahoo's Pat Forde to label SEC fans as insecure.
8. And, a few days later, they scheduled some games with Ohio State. Even though it's years down the road, I'm going to blindly assume they'll be awesome and not crappy or sanctioned. Aright, let's move on to the suck.
5) Notre Dame: Incredible three point home win over a juggernaut BYU team. What's that? They weren't ranked and played a backup QB? Listen, just because football analysts love hard-nosed defense, doesn't mean it's an honorable thing. If an unranked spread team with a shitty defense and incredible offense comes in to your house and loses by three, there's this subtext with a lot of analysts that they play football 'the wrong way' because the spread is a 'gimmick'. If a team like BYU (great defense, spotty offense) comes in and loses by three, instead of getting hung up on their lack of offensive points, analysts will laud the defense for keeping it close. But the problem is, either way, you lose by three. There's no 'right way' to do it.
Remember this point as it relates now to ND this upcoming week.
7) Oregon State: Undefeated, and it feels so good. The success this team continues to find makes you feel like there is a lot of right in the world; the vibe is very anti-college football. So, so welcome.
8) Oklahoma: Don't f this up.
11) Mississippi State: Undefeated? Yes. Ranked ahead of Georgia? No.
12) Florida State
13) South Carolina: How over is the dream? (Very over.)
14) Texas Tech
15) Rutgers: Undefeated and playing... *Kent State* this week?!
16) Louisville: Undefeated. Also just saw they don't play Rutgers until the last week of the regular season. This could decide the national title!
18) Clemson: Before I let Clemson Tom do his thing, peep this V-Tech pick against Clemson last week. Almost subtle in its sheer brilliance.
Aright, CT -- go right at it.
Thursday night, Clemson plays Wake Forest, a.k.a. Weak Forest. People keep telling me, "Tom, Wake Forest plays Clemson tough every year." Well, what happened a few years ago when we blew them out? Sure we won by a FG last year, but who cares? That was last year. I failed a spelling test in sixth grade, let's talk about that...oh, I thought we were discussing things with no relevance today.
Weak Florist isn't gonna want anymore of Clemson after this game. The NCAA might actually file bullying charges on the Tigers after this beating. The Geeks (WF) looked scared against FSU and played like they were more interested in a flag football game. I expect them to quit caring around halftime.
Seriously, what are they gonna do? They have no fans, no real student section, and their field looks like a high school stadium. Yeah, I'm worried about Wake -- only in basketball. though.
Following me on Twitter - @ClemsonTom
Have a Pawsome™ weekend!
19) West Virginia: I can't even look at you.
20) Texas A&M: Wow, did you screw up last week.
21) Boise State
22) Michigan: Project 17 made some major strides this week, as crappy Michigan is only five spots away from our coveted No. 17 ranking. But boy, did they make it painful to get there. The coaching staff has completely shackled Denard with passing plays not suited to his skill-set, no production from the RBs, and a playbook so conservative, it should be hanging out with Paul Ryan. Win's a win, I s'pose. Feels good to end that State streak.
What say you, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio?
23) Texas: Texas Forever.
24) Ohio: Good goin', eggheads, you did it! Finally. Don't make any of us regret this.
25) Wisconsin: Well, well, well, how the hell did this happen?
Speaking of things I don't understand... sometime between this year and last year, Wisconsin RB Montee Ball (pronounced: Mon-tee) said he wanted his name to be pronounced Mon-tay. Though it seems a little different, I was very willing to abide by that. After all, it's how he said his name was pronounced, right?
So you could only imagine my confusion and skepticism when I saw the headline "Wisconsin's Mon-TAY Ball is now Mon-TEE Ball again".
I was so befuddled and irritated by this, but still, I decided to keep an open mind, knowing full well that the explanation would be nothing short of stupid. And here it is:
"The coaches have been calling me Mon-TEE now," Ball told Fox Sports Wisconsin. "They said, ‘Mon-TAY is done with. We don't want to see him anymore, and it's back to Mon-TEE.' I'm just going with it now."
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said the change happened during Wisconsin's 38-14 win against Purdue.
"I didn't want to go public with that one," Bielema said. "I was riding back on the plane from Purdue [last week], and a couple of my coaches told me that everybody on the sideline was saying, 'Hey, Mon-TAY's gone, but Mon-TEE's back.'"
So, essentially, the coaches decided he was Mon-TEE against his will, and he doesn't care. The sad part is this was probably our best case scenario. I'll give the last word on this situation to the homie Tom Fornelli at CBS, who wrote the post we linked.
Now if Joel Stave would just change his name to Russell Wilson, this Wisconsin team might be unstoppable.
Teams Not Ranked I Want To Talk About Anyway
Temple: Seriously, you don't even have to read the story, but this is a Top 10 headline of the year candidate: "Temple still looking for a 12th game – for this year"
Any Sweet Games This Weekend?
Friday Night Lights
Cincinnati at Louisville (16): Will anyone watch this? Especially with Neuqua Valley (No. 1 seed) hosting Naperville North in the first round of the IHSA 8A football playoffs? Whatever, Louisville is undefeated. Charlie Strong!
Colorado at Oregon (4): I'd say "this is gonna be a bloodbath," but I feel like Colorado is *already* sitting in a bath of blood.
(By the way, we're already at the mid-afternoon games. The early slate suuuuuucks.)
Florida (2) at Georgia (10): Game of the Week. While I'm 4x more interested in ND-OU, this game, objectively, is more compelling. Higher ranked team on the road, and if you add up the rankings (12), it beats ND-OU (13). Georgia has got to take some time away from screwing up to play well, right?
Texas Tech (14) at Kansas State (3): Whoa, where did this game come from? Cool. Let's see how Collin Klein responds with that big Heisman target on his chest.
USC (9) at Arizona: USC/RichRod. Eh, I don't know. This is sad.
Duke at Florida State (12): Haha.
Kent State at Rutgers (15): Booooo.
Boise State (21) at Wyoming: Only one reason this made the list (see this column's conclusion).
Ohio (24) at Miami (OH): The Battle of Ohio! (What, I'm sorry, was Ohio State ranked?)
Ohio State at Penn State: Nope! All sanction jokes aside, I really think you should peep this game. Ohio State's offense is straight fire to watch, and Bill O'Brien has somehow turned PSU QB Matt McGloin into the best pocket passer in the Big Ten. They're doing a lot of cool tight end stuff, too.
Also: get well, Braxton Miller. We -- my fantasy team -- need(s) you.
Baylor at Iowa State: These two teams are too awesome and goofy to not have something funny and bad happen.
Notre Dame (5) at Oklahoma (8): Notre Dame has the 100th ranked passing offense in college football. They beat Purdue by three points. Though I have nothing but good things to say about their defense, overall improvements from last year, and future outlook, when it comes to their national title relevance *this* season, they are absolute frauds. This should be the game that proves this to us.
Oklahoma has won five games and lost one. The margin of victory in their five wins: 17, 56, 21*, 42*, 45. The deficit in their lone loss? Five points. And that came against Kansas State, the team currently ranked No. 3 in the country. Everyone knows about ND's defensive dominance (No. 2 in points against), but Oklahoma's defense ain't exactly full of slouches -- they're No. 12 in points against.
(* - against a current BCS Top 25 team)
But forget margin of victories and defensive stats, I think it boils down to this: Oklahoma is a real team that will score real points, and I simply don't think Notre Dame can keep up.
OU by double digits.
Mississippi State (11) at Alabama (1): Well, what do you know? We get to have a fun mid-afternoon/night of CFB, while Alabama plays later against an undefeated Mississippi State team we can spend all day talking up. The bad news, group, is the spread of this game is 'Bama -24.
Hope status: crushed.
Oregon State (7) at Washington: For Corvallis, Oregon State? No, for me!
Extremely nervous for the Beavs this week.
Random Picture I Came Across While Googling Stuff For This Post
Wrapping It Up...
Notre Dame-OU, who ya got?
Oklahoma, big (6 votes)
Oklahoma, close (0 votes)
Notre Dame, big (0 votes)
Notre Dame, close (6 votes)
12 total votes