College Football Overtime (cont.)
Told ESPN's GameDay would be making its first visit to Boise State for Saturday's game against Oregon State, Broncos coach Chris Petersen replied: "It's about time." That's about the closest Boise's recalcitrant leader has ever come to playing the "lack of respect" card most fans and media would assume he and the rest of his program harbor.
Nor does GameDay's party-time atmosphere seemingly fit with Petersen's modus operandi. When star receiver Austin Pettis somersaulted into the end zone following a 58-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter Saturday against Wyoming, his coach wasn't content with a stern dress-down. He benched him the rest of the way. "There's a right way to do it and a wrong way," said Petersen. "... Message sent."
With the Broncos set to receive the full GameDay/ABC Primetime treatment Saturday, prepare for a fresh round of Boise backlash from power-conference country. The Broncos' weekly routine now seemingly consists of having to produce the requisite style points in victory (I'd say a 51-6 road win Saturday sufficed) and then rooting for the other teams on their schedule.
It was a good week in that department for the Broncos. Not only did Virginia Tech finally get back on track with a 49-27 win over East Carolina, but Nevada, Boise's toughest anticipated WAC foe, delivered an impressive 52-31 rout of Cal late Friday. Quarterback Colin Kapernick, who accounted for 329 total yards and five touchdowns, has been shattering offensive records the past few years, but this marked his first legitimizing win over a BCS-conference foe.
Who knows? Maybe Chris, Lee and Kirk will be making a special Friday night visit to Reno on Thanksgiving weekend if both Nevada and Boise run the table. In the meantime, Boise detractors should note that Alabama faces the AP's current No. 10 (Arkansas), No. 9 (Florida) and No. 12 (South Carolina) teams in the next three weeks.
Each week, I'll update my projected BCS lineup (as necessary) based on the latest week's games:
Title game: Alabama vs. Ohio State
Rose: Oregon vs. Boise State
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Arizona
Orange: Miami vs. West Virginia
Sugar: Florida vs. Nebraska
The three-way Big 12 race between No. 6 Nebraska, No. 7 Texas and No. 8 Oklahoma is nearly impossible to handicap. A week after the Sooners' eye-opening rout of Florida State, the Huskers one-upped them by going on the road and throttling Washington behind a suddenly powerful rushing attack. And while Texas' offense continues to struggle, it's hard to argue with a defense that held Texas Tech to its lowest offensive output (144 yards) in 20 years. The 'Horns are my odd man out for now because they're the only group of the trio that has to play the other two (Oct. 2 vs. Oklahoma, Oct. 16 at Nebraska).
I didn't realize this until after I'd settled on the pairings, but each of the four hypothetical non-title matchups above has some added significance. Florida and Nebraska played for the 1995 national title (the game where Tommie Frazier ran over the Gators). Miami and West Virginia are former Big East foes. Oregon and Boise State -- you know that one. And Oklahoma-Arizona would be Stoops vs. Stoops. Everyone would love it but them. But alas, they don't finalize the lineup on Sept. 19.
My reaction to the latest AP and coaches' polls (or BCS standings):
Overrated: Wisconsin (AP: No. 11; coaches': No. 10)
The Badgers may get there eventually, but right now they're a sloppy, banged-up team that required a bevy of breaks to survive Arizona State (20-19).
Underrated: Air Force (NR)
A week after routing BYU, the Falcons went to Norman and gave Oklahoma everything it could handle. I'd put them ahead of ranked teams Penn State and Missouri.
Ducks fend off Blackhawks for shootout victory
Hurricanes stage surprising rally against Sharks