Boise St., 'Bama show off in Week 6
Week 6 is in the books, and we all anxiously await the wisdom of the pollsters. Let them sort out the mess and decide whether Texas, Nebraska and (insert your team here) are overrated. FYI, they most likely are.
Boise State gets a lot of grief from elitist fans for not playing big boys on their schedule, but those same critics don't like to look at the "common team denominator." Both Nebraska and Boise State played Fresno State, but Boise State played at Fresno and Nebraska hosted the Bulldogs.
Halftime comparison score: Fresno State 17, Nebraska 14; Boise State 37, Fresno State 0. Final score comparison: Nebraska 42, Fresno State 29; Boise State 57, Fresno State 7. My point is fairly simple — if you're beating the cupcakes worse than the big boys are, then you belong with the big boys. My second point is that transitive theories rarely work, but they do cause great debate. Carry on.
• Speaking of big boys (and little boys), what the heck is going on in the Big Ten? Penn State looked as vanilla as its uniforms, and Ohio State blew a 21-point second-half lead to Nebraska. Leaders and Legends seem so appropriately named, now don't they?
Ohio State is the "poster child for compliance," according to Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee — nine different players suspended for impermissible benefits is apparently a mark of true compliance genius. Former USC athletic director Mike Garrett must be applauding Gee for his arrogance. Gee's a true legend. Because he's still employed.
• Off to the Atlantic Coast Conference, where ugly lives until basketball season. You want Miami's head coach Al Golden to win — he inherited a situation that is unfathomable and, yet, didn't bail. His Hurricanes had a lead over Virginia Tech until just less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, but Beamerball kicked in and Miami is now in last place in the Coastal Division after a 38-35 loss. In other news, Florida State lost 35-30 to Wake Forest, a team that now controls its own destiny in the ACC. Let that sink in.
The Maryland Terrapins still looks totally confused after six weeks of football. Perhaps it's because they continue to wear uniforms that are more appropriate for European soccer. This week, Maryland wore red, black and yellow, which means Germany has finally found a college football team to identify with. Danke schon, Under Amour.
• In case you missed it (at least three times) during the Red River Rivalry, ESPN wants you to contact your service provider to get you hooked up with the Longhorn Network. They've even got Brent Musburger soliciting for subscribers, just as PBS asks for donations during "Sesame Street" and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" broadcasts. Can you spell A-W-K-W-A-R-D? I knew you could.
• Here's what you need to know about the Georgia-Tennessee game: At one point, the Bulldogs were facing a second-and-56 after four plays involved penalties. When the Vols punted on fourth-and-57, the television's superimposed, yellow first-down stripe on the field was 5 yards behind the punt receiver. Yet Georgia still won. The Vols lost, of course, because last time we checked, teams don't win finishing with minus-20 net yards rushing. The good news is that Derek Dooley kept the streak alive — not one hair was out of place at the end of the game. Congrats to Georgia coach Mark Richt on his 100th win.
• Louisiana State is the first team this season to have six points taken off the board because of a taunting violation that occurred before the touchdown was scored. The fact LSU was the first team to get flagged for this new rule doesn't surprise us as much as which player was called for that foul — Brad Wing, the Tigers' Australian punter. It still didn't matter in the end — things went so well for the Tigers that quarterback Jordan Jefferson came into the game and bent the Gators' Tebow-loving snouts out of place by executing a perfect jump pass against the Gators' defense. Gators fans must have been horrified to see that Tebow-perfected pass play score on them, but in college football, you've been "hatted" is now a common occurrence. LSU won 41-11.
• Texas A&M's team buses were vandalized, according to A&M athletic director Bill Byrne's Twitter account. "Someone vandalized our buses in Lubbock. Excrement inside and outside the buses plus spray painted vulgarities on outside. Classy." That sounds like the words of someone who is disgusted with a conference and wants to get the heck out of dodge, doesn't it? Oh wait . . .
• Beat down of the week goes to Oklahoma State, which destroyed the Kansas Jayhawks 70-28. Runner-up goes to Oklahoma, which beat Texas 55-17. Beat downs seem to be common in a conference that eschews defense like a ripe clove of garlic.
• Two independents also were involved in beat downs, but on opposite sides. Notre Dame spanked Air Force 59-33, and Southern Miss bombed Navy 63-35. Navy was without senior captain Alexander Teich, who was suspended during a Tuesday practice because of a reported series of incidents involving his role as a leader on the team. The good news is that the Big East is interested in adding a few good men to the conference. If Navy were to be added, the Midshipmen would be tied for third place in the Big East, even after that horrific loss to Southern Miss. Perfect.
• Here's what else the Big East did/didn't do this week: Louisville lost to North Carolina 14-7 in a snoozefest, Pittsburgh got hammered by Rutgers 34-10 and West Virginia beat UConn 43-16. Not a lot of highlights but one interesting lowlight was Pitt getting called for two players wearing the same number while on the field — how does someone from the coaching staff not notice this?
• Oregon State has won a game, and its first victim was Arizona. This, of course means that Mike Stoops — after losing 37-27 — can no longer bank on UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel getting canned first, because the Bruins beat Washington State.
Because this was a late-night game, most of the nation didn't see this barn burner, but I'll be happy to recap it for you.
A Bruins quarterback got hurt and had to leave the game — stop me if you've heard this before — Kevin Prince came in and was a gamer the entire time he played — stop me if you've heard this before — Washington State had the game in hand, but the defense couldn't hold on — stop me if you've heard this before — and UCLA hangs on to win and give Neuheisel a reason to think his job is more secure than the previous week. STOP. ME. IF. YOU. HAVE. HEARD. THIS. BEFORE.
• South Carolina 54, Kentucky 3. Now, I know Kentucky isn't very good, but it's amazing how good the Gamecocks looked when Stephen Garcia isn't lining up behind center, isn't it? So when is coach Steve Spurrier going to realize this?
• Alabama looked bored against Vanderbilt in the first half. But after Nick Saban ostensibly chewed out his players at halftime, the Tide looked like the Crimson Tide most teams fear. They won 34-0. On one play, center William Vlachos tossed a Vandy defender to the ground like a rag doll and then blocked his way downfield like Michael Oher in "The Blind Side." It was spectacular. No, wait — it was the play of the day, and it's unfortunate that more media analysts don't appreciate a truly magnificent effort from one of the guys in the trenches. Props, Mr. Vlachos.
The Tide may not be exciting to watch — sit down Bama fans, they're really not — but at least their head coach is. Saban almost matched Brian Kelly's unsurpassed record of purple face. Almost.
• Finally, we give you the Stud of the Week. This week's honoree is LaMichael James, who dislocated his elbow in a 43-15 win over Cal. It was a gruesome injury — so bad, his mom was escorted to the field and he was put in an air cast. It reminded us of Joe Theismann's broken leg. But James is a stud. He popped his elbow back into place (all by himself) and greeted teammates as they left the locker room.
It makes you wonder how a Duck can administer first aid to a bad dislocation but a head Duck allegedly doesn't know the value of a $25,000 recruiting service's bill.
I'm out ... like Mike Stoops. (?)