Posted: Monday November 6, 2006 12:51PM; Updated: Wednesday November 8, 2006 10:06AM
Moment's Pause For Pos
Has Paul Posluszny become the forgotten man? The reigning Butkus Award winner, who was the poster child of Penn State's rebirth last season, passed Greg Buttle as the Nittany Lions' all-time leading tackler against Wisconsin. But this year he's been slowed by a move to middle linebacker and a bulky knee brace after tearing two ligaments in the Orange Bowl. What's more, he's been overshadowed on his own team by Dan Connor (who is in Pos' former spot on the outside) and in the Big Ten by Ohio State's James Laurinaitis. Like Matt Leinart, who returned after winning the Heisman, Posluszny has become a victim of his own exploits and expectations. He may well be the nation's best LB -- and some say the best in Lions history -- but as PSU's taken a step back, it seems no one's paying attention.
Is A Title Shot In The Cards?
Louisville may be in line for a title shot, but you have to wonder: does a team that gave up 540 yards deserve a shot at the national championship? The Cardinals did exactly what they needed to -- they beat West Virginia, but it wasn't exactly the dominating game you'd want from a team with national title aspirations, though you could say the same about one-loss Florida. The debate of a one-loss team passing Louisville hinges on whether the Ohio State-Michigan loser is out of the hunt, but should the 'Cards get in over Auburn, Florida or Texas? Louisville is in a virtual tie with Texas in the polls, meaning not everyone's enamored with the Cards. The fact is, L'ville's margin of error is slim. They must win in impressive fashion.
And (The) Craziness Continues
The race to the ACC championship game has turned into a car crash that is so horrendously bad you just can't look. Now we have Clemson, which appeared destined to separate itself as the conference's newest power, losing two straight games, while Maryland -- which was left for dead -- is now back in the mix. Then there's Wake Forest, everyone's feel-good story, which is tied atop the Atlantic Divison with the Terrapins and is 8-1 for the first time since 1944. We've got a massive pileup near the finish, but for the ACC, you have to think this is a good thing. It's probably the worst BCS conference this year and the free-for-all has helped mask a league that's in a transition period as Florida State and Miami struggle.
Bluegrass State Of Bliss
Coming into the season there was little doubt Rich Brooks would be out at Kentucky. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the unemployment line: Brooks has the Wildcats on the rise. Believe it. The 'Cats rallied to beat Georgia 24-20, snapping a nine-game skid vs. UGA and earned Brooks a program-defining win. Georgia has been a disappointment, but for a coach who's struggled to beat the SEC's perennial powers, this was a statement.
Ups & Downs
The Tigers made their first road win of the season a doozy. JaMarcus Russell's game-winning touchdown pass gave LSU just its second win in Neyland Stadium and knocked Tennessee out of the national-title chase.
West Virginia Mountaineers
The 'Eers didn't help themselves in losing to Louisville -- they fumbled six times and lost three -- and three of those fumbles were by Heisman contender Steve Slaton. So much for my national title game prediction.
The Wildcats made Washington State's stay in the Top 25 a short one. Arizona rode Chris Henry's school-record 35 rushing attempts to the win, while holding the Cougars to a season-low 45 yards on the ground.
For the 15th straight time, the Tigers lost at Nebraska -- and this time it probably cost them the Big 12 North. Turnovers again haunted Mizzou as they committed three; in three losses it's coughed up the ball 10 times.
The coach many thought should be the guy at Alabama got his first win over his alma mater, as Sylvester Croom and 15-point underdog MSU beat the Crimson Tide. It was Croom's ninth win in three years.
The road to Indiana's first bowl invite since '93 got rockier after giving up 63 points and 541 yards in falling at Minnesota. Now it must defeat Michigan or Purdue to make a bowl. Nothing comes easy for IU football.
They Said It
"If I were to ask him, 'How are you feeling?,' I think he might have punched me."
--Penn St. tight end Andrew Quarless on coach Joe Paterno, who injured his leg and left the sideline after Quarless rolled into him after catching a sideline pass against Wisconsin.
"That's why we're losers around here -- because we don't do the little things right."
--South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier following a 26-20 loss against Arkansas in which S.C. had a TD nullified by offensive pass interference and had a punt blocked for a safety.
"The second I said punt it, I looked at all the offensive guys in their eyes, then I thought 'I can't punt it.'"
--Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who called for the Sooners to go for it on fourth-and-inches at their own 29 with 1:29 left. OU got the first down to wrap up the victory over Texas A&M.
Big Men On Campus
Joel FilaniWR - Texas Tech
The senior had eight catches for 212 yards (including 120 in the first half) and touchdowns of 4, 32 and 76 yards as the Red Raiders hammered Baylor 55-21. It was the third three-TD game of Filani's career and his second of the season.
Colt BrennanQB - Hawaii
Brennan threw for six touchdowns in the Warrior's 63-10 win over Utah State. He broke the school's season record for TD passes (39) and consecutive passes without a pick (182), though the run ended four attempts after he set the mark.
Jeff SamardzijaWR - Notre Dame
The Shark took a bite out of the Notre Dame record book, hauling in a 42-yard TD pass in a 45-26 win over North Carolina for his 23rd career score to break Derrick Mayes' mark set in '95. Samardzija had 177 yards on six receptions.
Consecutive losses by Stanford following its 42-0 defeat to USC, which ties a school record. The Cardinal haven't won since beating Oregon State 20-17 on Nov. 12, 2005.
Number of games between Florida State shutouts. The Seminoles rolled over Virginia 33-0, marking the first time they had blanked an opponent since beating Notre Dame 37-0 in '03.
Michigan running back Mike Hart's consecutive carries without a fumble. He lost the ball in the first quarter of the Wolverines' 36-24 win over Ball State for his first drop in two years.
Top 25 Photo Gallery: Week 10
Click image to launch gallery
Louisville at RutgersNOVEMBER 9
Can the Cardinals avoid a letdown after the biggest win in school history? They let West Virginia run wild and still won, and even if Ray Rice does the same, they have the firepower to stay perfect.
Louisville 34, Rutgers 20
South Carolina at FloridaNOVEMBER 11
Guess who is back in Gainesville? UF already has the SEC East wrapped up, but can Steve Spurrier eliminate his old school from national-title contention? Spurrier will come up short, barely.
Florida 20, South Carolina 19
Tennessee at ArkansasNOVEMBER 11
The Hogs gave up 289 passing yards -- a season high -- against South Carolina and still came out on top. They won't be able to say the same if they let the SEC's best passing game get going.
Tennessee 17, Arkansas 13
Oregon at USCNOVEMBER 11
Early on, the Ducks looked like they'd be a huge test for USC, but it was awful in the loss to Cal and worse in falling at Washington State. The Ducks' 94th-ranked rush defense is in for a workout.
USC 31, Oregon 20