SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
10/14/2006 07:12:00 PM
Saturday Observations Part III
Western Michigan held Garrett Wolfe to just 25 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
AUBURN, Ala. -- Before we get to the football observations, I’d just like to reaffirm something I wrote in the Mailbag a few months ago: The most beautiful women in the country reside on SEC campuses. If you’re a heterosexual male and have never experienced game day at an Auburn, Ole Miss, Florida or Georgia, please, do yourself a favor and book a trip. (But of course come up with a better way to sell it to your wife).
∙ Why did I think the Ohio State-Michigan State game would be close? Clearly, all remaining life has been sucked out of the 3-4 Spartans, but still, holding the Spartans to 193 total yards may be the most impressive feat yet for the Buckeyes’ defense.
∙ Expect to see some drastically revised Heisman lists this week. Obviously, Adrian Peterson is out, and Garrett Wolfe got held to 25 yards on 18 carries against Western Michigan. You can’t afford that when you’re facing an uphill climb to begin with.
∙ Big win for Texas A&M. (Did you ever think you’d see me say that about a win over Missouri?) Tigers QB Chase Daniel had another big day, but Missouri couldn’t run the ball against the resurgent Wrecking Crew. Meanwhile, Aggies QB Stephen McGee (19-of-23, 182 yards and a TD) continues to impress.
∙ A little disconcerting to see Louisville barely survive Cincinnati -- at Papa John’s, no less, where the Cardinals usually put up at least 40. And the problem wasn’t QB Brian Brohm, who threw for more than 300 yards in his return from injury. No, Louisville, for the first time all season, couldn’t run the ball. And its defense didn’t play particularly well. Strange.
∙ Congratulations to Dan Hawkins and Colorado for breaking the 0-fer and knocking off Texas Tech 30-6. The Buffs have been playing better than their record for several weeks now, but still, that’s a surprise. Meanwhile, what’s wrong with Mike Leach’s team this year? With games remaining against Texas and Oklahoma, the Red Raiders may be in for a challenge just getting to a bowl game this year.
∙ In regards to my earlier observation about Rutgers shutting down Navy’s running game, I didn’t realize at the time that Midshipmen QB Brian Hampton -- the guy who makes the triple-option go -- went down with a possible season-ending injury in the first quarter. Nevertheless, the Knights’ 34-0 win sets up an unexpectedly huge Big East showdown next week between 6-0 Rutgers and 6-1 Pittsburgh.
∙ Wake Forest’s win over N.C. State coupled with Maryland beating (atrocious) Virginia has created a five-way tie for first in the loss column in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. The sixth and last-place team? Florida State.
∙ Well, the band is blaring and it’s starting to get pretty loud here -- 45 minutes before kickoff. So, that’s it for me until after the game. Enjoy.
chicago buckeye -- I hope that no one was questioning Troy Smith's athletic ability and leadership. However, it bears noting that Notre Dame and Ohio State have each played at MSU and home versus PSU. Combined stats:
T. Smith: 27 of 44 (.614), 349yds, 3td, 2int (6 runs for 28yds, 0td)
B. Quinn: 45 of 72 (.625), 606yds, 8td, 1int (14 runs for 6yds, 0td)
I'm not sure Troy Smith is the runaway "best", although I'm sure the OSU defense is awesome. I look forward to Buckeyes / Wolverines!
You can run every single stat about Brady Quinn out there that you want but if you have watched either of these teams play you would have seen a frequently rattled Quinn (Georgia Tech,Michigan and early in the MSU game) compared to Troy Smith who has been in control the entire season, making plays Brady Quinn could only dream about. But since you seem to like numbers how are these #1 and 0 as in the ranking of the Buckeyes and the amount of losses by them, which are also things that Brady Quinn can only dream about.
come on lou in south bend. Those stats reflect more on the game situations. Smith threw only when he had to (which wasn't much) and sat for much of the MSU game. Quinn had to throw all second half to make their amazing comeback win.
Lets address how Miami is allowed to have a team. Merriweather goes after the knees of players during the fight, #26 uses his helmet as a weapon. Good thing Coker barred guns from his players. Nothing but gang bangers.
hey i no the oklahoma state game wasnt on tv but u have got to metion this 300 yards reciving for adrius bowman and 402 yards passing for bobby reid and 42 points in the second half plus 600 total yards affence with the best punt kick returner in the nation true freshman parrish cox!
Chicago buckeye's post implied the nation should be impressed now by Troy Smith (i.e. after the MSU game). My point was actually that Smith is indeed very good, but he proved it more in other games. I was not impressed by his game against Penn State, and MSU has little heart left it seems. In games against the same competition, Quinn looked at least as good and the numbers back it up. As ND played until the end against MSU, so OSU had a tight game with PSU (saved by the defense, not offense).
The extension of the Quinn analogy is that Smith will win, or could lose, the Heisman against Michigan. He will have his hands full. I think that any talk of "best in the nation" before that game is premature.
the SEC may be the deepest conference, but it seems clearly apparent to me that two teams, Ohio State and West Virginia, have offenses that could overwhelm any defense, SEC or not. Those two teams would be a fun national champioship to watch.
Lou in south bend -- You bring up these stats like that is all that matters in a game...... I mentioned consitency. Anddon't forget leadership either. Have you conveniently forgotten what happened during the Michigan game or in the first half of the MSU game? Quinn looked like a bad HS QB! Smith has been unflappable in the past 14 games (i.e. michigan, your beloved ND, Texas)
University of North Carolina women are by far the best. We may not have the football, but we def got the women. 65% female campus, with an amazing amount of blonde, beautiful and intelligent women. Hard to beat that.
What kind of deal did Auburn make with the SEC refs this year? That is twice so far that Auburn got some help by the men in stripes to win a game. The call at the LSU game was bad enough but the blown call on the Chris Leak “fumble” was just atrocious. When you take the game out of the athletes’ hands it is a sad day, and it seems to be happening every week. Florida is just the newest member in the ‘we got screwed by the refs’ club along with Oklahoma, LSU, Washington and a few others. I sincerely hope these games are reviewed and there is a major overhaul on officiating because at this point it is not what the players do on the field but how the refs call the game. This takes away of what college football is all about.
I have to agree with the comments made about Miami. While neither team is solely responsible for today's events, it seems suspect that so many newsworthy stories over the past few years have involved Miami players. The administration tries to say they're program is different from the Hurricanes of the late 80's, but the players have done nothing but prove otherwise. When is "The U" gonna stop recruiting thugs and start thinking about their reputation off the field?
Honestly Stewart... is being picked to win by Kirk Herbstreit in a big game essentially a Kiss of Death for your team?... i mean c'mon, he picked UM over FSU, UT over UF, LSU over UF, and UF over Auburn.
Right on about the women! Even Lee Corso got that right when he said Auburn had the best looking women in the country on ESPN this morning, just before he picked Florida, in what was a good sign for Auburn since he is typically wrong. I would also note that Stewart doesn't mention Tuscaloosa in his list of places to experience game day for the women. You're more likely to find a drunk one there, but not a pretty one. And houndstooth ain't sexy!
The SEC is a tough conference. Arkansas is the only undefeated team in SEC conference play and dominated then #2 Auburn last week...and tonight, Auburn beats #2 Florida.
I like Arkansas to win the SEC West this year. They are a better team with Mitch Mustain at QB. If Auburn deserves to be in the Top 10 after their win against #2 Florida tonight, then so does Arkansas.
Arkansas will have a top 10 BCS ranking. I can see Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, and Flroida in the top 10 for the AP Poll this week.
give me a break....seriously....I'm sick and tired of hearing peopple say Auburn pays the referress and all that crap. Our boys won that game as much asn Florida boys lost it for them. The play was reivewed with multiple angles and an offical declared it a fumble....get over it, Auburn players deserved that win. Dont even think about saying the refeeres gave it to us...we took it~
Lou, after Troy Smith leads his team to the most embarrassing home loss in the last 50 years you can compare him to Brady Quinn. Until then, Quinn and Smith don't belong on the same list.
Allowishes, is crying and whining a pre-requisite for the SEC? If Leak's arm was going forward during that pass who was he throwing to, the frog in his pocket or an invisible dwarf? Either way, those are two inelligible receivers. Leak crapped his pants staring into the teeth of the Auburn blitz and dropped the ball, plain and simple.
The sad thing about Miami is that most of the players on their team can't even spell "U".
1. Yes, the SEC does have the most beautiful women. I went to Auburn, visited most of the other campuses, and eventually married a Gator. The SEC women are the best!
2. Auburn came out and played with fire this week. Their adjustments at half-time on defense were really good and seemed to take a lot of the wind out of the Florida offense.
Kudos to UF, though, for playing as hard and as well as they did in a tough environment. I was a bit surprised not so see more of Tebow (blocking, punting, playing corner, and whatever else they can get him to do.) I figured the Auburn D would have a tough time keeping him in check.
3. On the Miami-FIU game... Each of the players we saw kicking/stomping guys on the ground or using their helmets as a weapon should be immediately removed from NCAA sports. Not only are those actions the height of unsportsman-like conduct, in the state of Florida they are also considered felonies. Those players should never play again for that criminal,thug behavior.
Everyone else involved in the brawl should be suspended for multiple games and both teams need to face sanctions from the NCAA: forfeiture of that game or worse.
The teams need to learn that this behavior is far beyond acceptable.
I think it was Bob Davies who ranked OSU as 1A and Michigan as 1B. What a JOKE!! Michigan narrowly escaped against PSU last night because theri admittedly tough defense knocked PSU down to its 3rd string QB, who obviously wasn't ready. But after OSU beat them, Craig James said if Penn State had a better QB, they may have won the game. But I didn't hear them say that about the Michigan victory! The bias against OSU astounds me. I am impressed by Michigan's ability this year and I agree they are in the top 5, but their victories have not made them a #2 team in my eyes...yet. However, I don't think USC is a #2 team either. So it will be difficult deciding who should be #2...but Bob Davies, I think the one thing the nation seems to agree on is that OSU is a convincing #1.
Lou- I don't know if you have seen Troy Smith the last couple of years against Michigan (and if so, switch the channel of NBC once in a while) but Troy more than took care of business so there is nothing to suggest he won't do it again. I know it may be a foreign concept in South Bend but he is a QB who shows up bigger when playing in big games.
A quarterback's arm going forward = incomplete pass. No way around that. How many times have we seen plays just like the one in the Florida Auburn game where a quarterback is in a throwing motion and gets hit or the ball slips out of his hand or whatever ruled incomplete or the call is overturned? Taking 45 seconds to review a HUGE play is a bit sketchy if you ask me.
It really doesn’t matter we will see Auburn again in Atlanta and not only overcome the men in stripes but Auburn’s pitiful offense and their mediocre defense.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T....I believe that was the headline over your picks this week....and your "upset" special was Illinois over Purdue....what's that...Purdue wins big?...Maybe you should give Purdue some respect Stew...you have not done so all year....oh yeah....Purdue is going bowling again for the 9th time in 10 years.