Saturday, October 21, 2006

OVERTIME -- Week 8


Sometimes, I have a tendency to, um, strongly state my opinions. Such as when I called this week "Somnambulant Saturday."

But this is what I love about college football. This was a week of barn-burners, last-minute comebacks and nailbiting games. And at least one unexpected blowout that ... well, as a USC fan, I probably shouldn't talk about so much. (See ESPN's wrap here.)

The highlights:

--In a game pre-empted by the FSU-BC match here in Atlanta (blast you, ABC!), Michigan managed to get by Iowa and keep everyone talking about the 11-0 v. 11-0 matchup ... which, again, will probably never happen, because the CFB Powers That Be seem to take great joy in derpiving us of these great scenarios.
WHAT WE LEARNED: Yes, Michigan can sleepwalk it's way through the rest of the schedule, because that's how they started this game.

--A last-minute field goal salvaged what could have been the body blow to Texas' title hopes against a game Nebraska team.
WHAT WE LEARNED: Texas can't sleepwalk it's way through the Big XII. Or it can't sleepwalk it's way through the Big XII Championship Game. It's probably safe until then.

--Erik Ainge started looking like Erik Ainge again, but Tennessee still managed to overcome a halftime lead by Alabama (hint, Mikey: Your boys have to play those last two quarters, too). Tyrone Nix, you better have been taking notes on how Bama got in Ainge's head.
WHAT WE LEARNED: Erik Ainge hasn't become Peyton Manning overnight. But the teamwide funk of last year is gone, so others can carry the team for a game or two.

--Notre Dame got by UCLA after a Jeff Somethingorother catch and run.
WHAT WE LEARNED: The luck of the Irish is still very much alive.

--California need overtime to beat Washington.
WHAT WE LEARNED: The near-win at Southern California wasn't a fluke; Washington is a good football team.

--Oregon needed ... another team to beat Washington State, meaning their Pac-10 contender hopes, already on life support, are gone.
WHAT WE LEARNED: It takes more than ugly uniforms to win the Pac-10.

--Boston College edged Florida State, wearing all black as a symbol of mourning for their lost season.
WHAT WE LEARNED: BC is the real deal. (What more do you want from me?)

--Texas A&M took a one-point win over Oklahoma State, also in overtime.
WHAT WE LEARNED: Parity sucks when you're trying to impress the pollsters.

--Michigan State pulls off the biggest rally in Division I-A history to beat Northwestern.
WHAT WE LEARNED: A game between two bad teams can be thrilling. And JLS will keep his job for another week.

The lowlight:

--Clemson just blistering Georgia Tech with a dominating performance, taking it to a great defense and making Reggie Ball forget his name and Calvin Johnson's jersey number.
WHAT WE LEARNED: The Tigers have a good, good running game.

Tomorrow:

--It's best to wait seven games to evaluate an SEC team. A look at South Carolina and where it goes from here.
--Who could be riding the coachosel at the end of the year?
--Fanlaws returns.

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