SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
9/15/2007 07:56:00 PM
Saturday Observations Part III
George O’Leary’s Central Florida squad gave Mack Brown and the Longhorns quite a scare.
LINCOLN, Neb. -- With kickoff here quickly approaching and Memorial Stadium’s famed Sea of Red rapidly reaching high tide, I’m going to have to be short and sweet with this last, pregame blog entry:
∙ I’ve always held George O’Leary in high regard as a coach dating to his Georgia Tech days -- he even made an appearance on last year’s Mailbag Top 10 coaches list. After watching his UCF team play Texas tooth and nail for three-plus quarters Saturday, and after watching (as much as I could stomach of it) Notre Dame’s performance against Michigan, it’s worth asking: Where would the Irish be right now if O’Leary had never fibbed on his resume?
∙ As I write this, Alabama is currently leading Arkansas 21-0, and while I generally avoid making in-game predictions in this thing -- at the risk of looking stupid -- I’m going to go out on a limb and guarantee we will not be reading the words “Razorbacks QB Casey Dick threw three touchdowns to lead a triumphant comeback ...” in tomorrow’s papers.
∙ Finally, it figures the one week I finally disregard the Karl Dorrell factor and bump UCLA up seven spots in the power rankings, they go and put up a vintage Dorrell-caliber letdown, getting destroyed on the road by an 0-2 Utah team. Technically, it has no bearing on the Bruins’ Rose Bowl hopes -- but I’m pretty sure it ain’t happening.
Check back for an Inside College Football column from the USC-Nebraska game late tonight.
I'm pretty sure Arkansas and Alabama are tied up right now. You might be reading that headline there Mandel. Also, is it me or is Callahan going conservative again? I mean, abandoning a working passing game to run the ball (which is not working) and not letting Adi Kunalic kick the long field goals (you've seen him kick, the kid is awesome!), what is he trying to prove? Does he not want the Huskers to regain prominence?
Sure McFadden has 200 yards, but Casey Dick did just pass for his third touchdown to move Arkansas in the lead... I think your "no comment" policy was working well for you. Maybe you should stick with it?
Musberger and Herbstreet talked for a bit about Bowls, Polls, and Tattered during the USC/Nebraska game. Speaking of that game, Booty currently has 84 passing yards and USC has a bazillion rushing yards
Will the fact that LSU started Perrilloux instead of Flynn, and still managed to rack up almost 600 yards of offense help or hurt LSU's chances of moving up. Does anyone agree that MTSU was not a complete push-over team (*note: see Louisville game)? Also, do you think resting Matt Flynn and Early Doucet will help the tigers or hurt them against South Carolina?
McFadden almost saved you from looking stupid on the prediction...but not quite. :) Still, I have to admit that it was a pretty good call considering that EVERYTHING was going against the Hogs when you put it out there. What's your call for the Dawgs in T-Town next weekend?
You were perfectly right to comment on the Alabama Arkansas game. We won't be reading the words "Razorbacks QB Casey Dick threw three touchdowns to lead a triumphant comeback ..." without an "almost" or "nearly" in there somewhere.
Think the ND faithful wish they had anyone but Charlie Weis right about now? They've gotten destroyed in their bowl games, they can't play defense, and they certainly can't play offense anymore. (NO OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS AFTER THREE GAMES FOR THE "GENIUS" OF THE NE PATRIOTS OFFENSE!)
Maybe now the regents at ND will realize they gave Charlie that big fat contract much too soon, and that although Charlie can coach, he certainly hasn't done much recruiting in the last two years.
ND is a joke anymore, and the fact that ANYONE has had them ranked in the last ten years is an insult to college football in general. It's not 1945 (or 1985 for that matter), so stop living on their past legacy when voting for the weekly rankings.
Still, to say USC cruised over Nebraska is giving them too much credit. On paper, other than Keller's 2 interceptions, the Huskers smacked USC around. Just read the stats...I had to look at them twice myself.
Jason, I'm not really sure what game you were watching (or what stats you're looking at), but Pete Carroll called the dogs off pretty early in the fourth quarter when the game was over. Nebraska scored some meaningless garbage touchdowns to make is "respectable," but 140+ yards on 11 carries???? Dude, this was a big ol' can o' whoop ass if I've ever seen one.
Charlie Weis is a joke. He inherited Ty's team that gave hime all the good press last year, and they weren't even a top 5 eam. It's just great o see ND getting destroyed like they are.
Where's all the Pac-10 crew this week? BEsides USD anc Cal, there's not much to cheer about. Where's the Big East crew? BEing a Penn State an (and Big Ten for that matter), I think some of the other teams and conferences came back down to earth this week. OSU beat up on Washington. Utah crushed #11 UCLA 44-6, MSU and Illinois beat Big East teams and UM finally go on the board with a win. I'm not saying the Big en is back and the best conference..... but they had a good week and after getting bashed last week by the Big East and Pac-10 fanboys, it was nice to see the results from this weekend!!!!!!!!!
Florida: Violent , separatist, rednecks. While minding my own business in an NYC sports bar watching a Big Ten game, I had Florida drunks pour beer down my wife's back and challenge me to fight outside because they "hate my team." I'm done with Florida - the school and the state. Y'all are an embarrassment. Please secede -again.
Huskers "smacked USC around" ??? Are you kidding me? This game was 49-17 and the 2nd and 3rd stringers were in the game for USC. Keller racked up garbage stats against USC's backups (who were also playing soft, prevent defense)
Ivan, perhaps you went out flapping you lips and calling Floridians "Violent , separatist, rednecks." That might have made them angry. Are you really so innocent as you claim to be? Take a good hard look at your own words and actions.
Wow, ayla, you're right. That's exactly what I said. Thanks for making me reflect.
Like I said: I was minding my own business. I'm 39; my wife is a university dean. We really don't look or ask for trouble. But the resident Florida fans decided to create some. That's why I'm upset. Good night.
I wanted to comment on the Rutgers student low-class cursing incident but you have disabled new comments....why exactly? This certainly isn't new, fans have been yelling "bulldung" (change the last part to the S word) for years. However, it was a very classless act and it isn't going to bring on any new fans of this new Cinderella team from other parts of the country when they play a neutral opponent. On the contrary, people like myself will cheer against them. Get a clue, people in Joisey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart quote (“I’ll know it when I see it.”), I'm pretty sure he was talking about obscenity. I wonder what he'd think about today's scene...
GaTech was exposed tonight...somehow they got ranked ahead of BC based on their defense dominating ND and Samford. Then BC rolls into town and just picked them apart like GaTech was an 8 man football team.
Oh, and shookjer_gopsu...you're forgetting something: a Big 10 team gave Duke its first win over a D1 team and their first road win since 2003...so let's not go shouting the Big 10 praises just yet (Northwestern was getting some sleeper vibes too).
I don't see USC dominating a mid-level Big 12 team as significant. California has done well although Tennessee is not an elite team. Washington did well against OSU, but beating Boise State, a team with one Top 25 win in the past three seasons is hardly meaningful. A mid-level SEC team handled one of the best from the Big East, which matched the Big Ten in non-conference losses. Things seem to be sorting themselves out in favor of the SEC.
I also am in the opinion that O'Leary is a great coach. He lead GT to many bowl games and beat Georgia several times while he was there. I believe he got a raw deal at ND. George is doing a great job at UCF.
As for Alabama vs. Arkansas, no one is mentioning that Arkansas was #16 and Alabama beat them (i.e. an upset). That was an amazing game and I was pleasantly surprised to see Alabama come back at the end. Both sides made some goofy mistakes. Two things are clear though, McFadden is one tough runner and Alabama is playing like a team again.
Mandel, keep giving us the good reporting and keep the in game predictions to yourself. If not for a swiss cheese Ark secondary on the last drive (and McFadden's minor concussion in the last minutes), that headline would have been stuffed in your mouth this morning.
I'm part of that Pac-10 crew that you asked about and let me just say that I love the fact that fUCLA was FINALLY exposed and is back to playing to their consistently inconsistent level...and I was happy to see Washington get a little of thier confidence shattered...Arizona? Loved seeing it go down the tubes--AGAIN!! I only wish that Fresno State had been able to give Oregon a better game and that, somehow, SDSU could have gotten really good just long enough to take it to Arizona State.
Stanford ought to enjoy its first win on its year-old "new" stadium: it's the only one it'll get this season.
Washington State did what is had to to give Coach Doba a little comfort, and I'm happy about that.
If only U$C could have sucked, even just a little.
In the end, all I care about are my Golden Bears of California and they took care of Louisiana Tech. Now, they just need to stop racking up so many penalties--Tom Holmoe left for BYU a long time ago!!--and work more to their potential.
Conference play begins next week, Cal, and we won't be winning any games without a little rhythm and fireworks!
Rational sec fan(snicker), What the heck does, "...only played 2 games..." have to do with it? USC was the preseason #1 without having played any games. I would like to hear Stewart make the case for USC's #1 ranking, now that the Trojans have 2 games behind them. Votes are cast every week - why does USC deserve to be number 1 (as opposed to LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, etc.) - based on their body of work thus far? Is USC better on the field, right now, than the rest of the top 5?
I think it's funny how regardless of the SEC team and what they accomplish on the field, there are people(mainly Michigan and USC fans) who always try and take from it. Of course, this year Michigan's football team couldn't beat ANY SEC team!! USC, unlike Michigan, is exceptionally talented but soon they will have no place to hide. I can hear it already LSU ONLY won because they were in New Orleans....know what? We will beat ya....know why? LSU is talented on both sides of the ball. USC is good, jusy not good enough. Whoever loses this game, needs to shut his mouth and admit that LSU and the SEC were in fact, just better! Oh yeah...Michigan, better luck next year.