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SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
10/06/2007 10:07:00 PM

Saturday Observations Part III

Tim Tebow
Florida QB Tim Tebow finished with 67 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Doug Benc/Getty Images
BATON ROUGE, La. -- In what was supposed to be a classic, SEC defensive struggle, the story of the Florida-LSU first half was both teams’ offenses -- particularly that of the Gators, which lead 17-7 at the break.

A week after struggling mightily to move the ball in their loss to Auburn, Florida came out with very much the same approach as last January’s Ohio State game: Starting five-wide and changing formations constantly from there. The result was Florida actually being able to run the ball effectively, with tailback Kestahn Moore getting twice as many carries in the first quarter (six for 33 yards) as he did all of last week. This in turn opened up the passing game for Tim Tebow, who made several big throws early before using his feet on the Gators’ two touchdowns (his 2-yard touchdown pass to Moore came after scrambling all the way to his left and buying time, and he ran for a 9-yard touchdown on a third and goal after initially dropping back to pass).

Meanwhile, an interception on a bobbled catch stalled LSU’s first drive after four plays, but the Tigers moved the ball methodically for much of the half. Les Miles rotated Matt Flynn and Ryan Perriloux with even more frequency than Florida did Chris Leak with Tebow last year. The result: Perrilloux picked up yardage with his feet running the spread-option, while Flynn has repeatedly connected with Brandon LaFell on quick-step passes, much like they did in the Virginia Tech game. LaFell has had several bad drops, however, and Florida got a big stop by holding the Tigers without a second score just before the half after they had driven all the way to the Gators 21.

It will be interesting to see what adjustments LSU’s defense makes in the second half.

• If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result ... than I must be certifiably insane. Why, oh why, do I keep making the mistake of putting faith in Clemson? Every year! Why?

Virginia Tech’s offense has sputtered all season -- so of course the Hokies would go to Clemson and jump to a 31-8 halftime lead, not necessarily because of some great offensive explosion (they actually got outgained 160 to 95) but in large part because of three Clemson turnovers (including one returned for a touchdown) and a Tech punt return for a touchdown. And of course I was stupid enough to drop the Hokies out of the top 25 ... the week they were about to play Clemson! Insanity!

They’ll be back after this blowout. Kudos to the Hokies for taking Clemson RBs James Davis and C.J. Spiller completely out of the game (a combined 12 carries for 12 yards).

• You’re allowed to lollygag for one week, USC, but against Stanford? You’ve got to be kidding me. The Trojans led the Cardinal just 9-7 and 16-14 in the third quarter Saturday night, thanks in part to two more John David Booty interceptions, before Booty rebounded to throw two long touchdowns. The Trojans have all the talent in the world, but they’ve got issues, people.

• Arizona State is 6-0, folks. Under Dirk Koetter, this was always the point of the season when the Sun Devils went on about a month-long losing streak, but somehow I don’t see that happening with Dennis Erickson.

• Lots of random sightings in the press box here tonight: Political operative/LSU diehard James Carville, former Georgia star David Pollack (working for CSTV) and former Northwestern and Colorado coach Gary Barnett (calling the game for syndicated radio).

• This will be the last Blog post for tonight. I’ll try to address Ohio State, Rutgers, Missouri and others in tomorrow’s “Five Things We Learned” post. Look for an Inside College Football Column off the Florida-LSU game later tonight.

UPDATE: Stanford just knocked off USC. I'm speechless. I know you've heard this twice already this season, but that is the biggest upset in college football history. The stunner of all stunners. The Cardinal was a 41-point underdog. They were playing with their backup quarterback, on the road, against a team that hadn't lost at home in six years. I need to turn my attention back to the game I'm at ... but wow.
posted by Stewart Mandel | View comments |


Posted: 10:37 PM   by Nicholas
Stewart... Always love the blog. And I was at the UT/OU matchup today... not as bad as i was imagining... thankfully. What i did notice today was the Texas Tech's Mike Crabtree put up another 3 TDs... wow. shattering the freshman receiver record after 6 games. for all the bad things with the big 12 south... this kid needs some more recognition.
Posted: 10:53 PM   by Keith
USC has been hanging by a thread almost all year and finally that thread snapped. Congratulations Mr. Harbaugh.
Posted: 10:58 PM   by Patrick
So, SM, "#5" loses....what about #"2"? Oh, they were a real #2, eh? And #"1"? What about South Florida, are you kidding me? FAU? And you want to spew venom all over Wisconsin for winning 14 straight games? How about going after Coach Fran for selling betting information to boosters? You vilify Mike Gundy for defending his player against a an un-warranted character attack on a player, yet let a coach who was selling information - some that was to be protected by privacy laws - to boosters?

Hypocritical. No other word for it. You're a good journalist, but you've missed the bigger picture in your rush to defend a sub-par writer better suited to TMZ.com.

As for Wisconsin, yeah, they got beat. Illinois is a good team. Doesn't mean Wisconsin is a bad team or was overrated, unless USC, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas - all who lost their first game to unranked teams - are all also overrated.

But that might mean you will have to retract your slap in the face to Wisconsin and also Mike Gundy.
Posted: 11:00 PM   by MJD
Not only did the thread snap for USC, but it can't all be laid at the feet of Booty (even with 4 INTs).

USC's defense gave up a 4th-and-20 and a 4th-and-goal from the 10 to allow the winning TD with less than a minute to go. It's hard to win games, much less national championships, when you allow a Stanford to pull off those kinds of feats in your own house.
Posted: 11:01 PM   by Ryan B.
Stewart....Love your blog and writings. (yes I read Bowls, Polls and it was great) However, I will get a good nights sleep being a Buckeye fan not having to worry where I'm going to rank today's teams. You sir, I feel sorry for. I would not want to rank the teams for tomorrow's polls and for that I'm truly sorry. Just goes to show that yes, we need to rid ourselves with the preseason rankings.
Posted: 11:13 PM   by Big_Suede
Could it be? The Cal Bears #1 team in the country??? USC is just too hurt, and booty is too immobile and inaccurate. But with Cal, Oregon, and Arizona state... the Pac-10 stacked with talent... USC will lose at least 2 more this year.
Posted: 11:26 PM   by Merle
What in the wide wide world of sports is patrick talking about? Look Wisconsin sucks. Complaining about other overrated teams (and those teams were all overrated) doesn't change that. Mandel didn't "spew venom." He stated his opinion that they were overrated. And who cares about Gundy? Why does a writer have to balance his condemnation of Gundy and Franchone?

Grow up.
Posted: 11:39 PM   by HokiEliz
Mr. Mandel-
So VT wins a game with 41 points, and it's all because Clemson is just inconsistent. I guess when you figure the power rankings, you should take off the 21 points that the Hokie D and Special Teams scored. Then you could reason that the Hokies really lost the game, since their offense only scored 20 pts. Then you could justify to yourself leaving VT out of the rankings again this week.
Posted: 12:04 AM   by Omagus
When looking at some of his numbers, I'd wondered why I hadn't heard more commentators making Vince Young/Tim Tebow comparisons. Today I heard a commentator during the LSU-Florida make that comparison. But I also finally figured out why it shouldn't be made.

For all the accolades he's been given as a run/pass, dual threat quarterback in a spread offense, Tebow simply is nowhere near Young. For a qb he's a good runner but we'll never see him break 40 or 50 yard runs like VY made look common. Tebow's touch on the pass isn't as good either; he doesn't throw a tight spiral.

However, the most important difference is this: there is NO way Vince Young would have allowed his team to lose this game.
Posted: 12:14 AM   by josephhart
Better that USC loses now than at the end of the season. Because if the pollster are the bunch of idiots that all those SEC and BIG 12 fans say they are, they will forget the Stanford loss and see that USC pounded the rest of the PAC10 into the dirt. That is the way I would like to see it. Really I just want to beat ND and UCLA. Rose bowl would be nice, too. National Championship...maybe next year.
Posted: 12:16 AM   by Brandon
Just do me a favor Mandel...Write a very lengthy post on why Callahan and his entire staff needs to either go or learn to adapt.
Posted: 12:20 AM   by NCAAFan
If Stanford beating USC is the biggest upset in college football history, do they deserve dropping off from the top 25 just like voters did with Michigan a few weeks ago? Or are there teams like Florida or USC that receive preferential treatment even when they lose against unranked teams?
Posted: 12:29 AM   by mjthibo
What a come back by the LSU Tigers. In past year, they would have olded. Florida is tough: I really don't look forward to a repeat in the SEC championship game. Who knows which team will represent the East, though. S. Caolina is playing tough At any rate, LSU held up their end of the bargain. It makes me sick that USC lost to UNRATED Stanford, though. I really have a desirew to see USC and LSU on the same field. But that's college football, and that's why we love the game. Anything can happen!!
Posted: 12:30 AM   by MJD
"...they will forget the Stanford loss and see that USC pounded the rest of the PAC10 into the dirt."

Um... yeah. Given a struggle against Washington and then a loss to 41-point underdog Stanford and its first-time starting quarterback, I think it is bit of a stretch to assume that USC will sweep away games at ASU, Cal, and Oregon.

"If Stanford beating USC is the biggest upset in college football history, do they deserve dropping off from the top 25..."

Well... when Michigan got dumped from the poll, it had no body of work to justify a ranking, other than preseason punditry. With zero wins and a stunning loss, who would you put them ahead of, based on their work in the current year?

USC at least has four wins, though its best-quality win was vs Nebraska (which isn't looking so great). They will drop. A lot. But... you might be able to make the case that, based on their play this year, there are *some* current Top 25 teams they still come in ahead of.
Posted: 12:31 AM   by mjthibo
What a come back by the LSU Tigers. In past year, they would have olded. Florida is tough: I really don't look forward to a repeat in the SEC championship game. Who knows which team will represent the East, though. S. Caolina is playing tough At any rate, LSU held up their end of the bargain. It makes me sick that USC lost to UNRATED Stanford, though. I really have a desirew to see USC and LSU on the same field. But that's college football, and that's why we love the game. Anything can happen!!
Posted: 12:33 AM   by Helzapoppin
Well, the 2007 College Football season pretty much came to an abrupt end for me tonight. Sitting high in the polls, my Trojans lost, once again, to an unranked team they had no business losing to.

Yes, with the strength of their remaining schedule they could conceivably salvage the season and get back to the top, but that strikes me as highly unlikely. Washington should have been enough of a wake-up call. Not losing to the worst team in the conference.

I'm sorry for the guys on the team, although they certainly do deserve their measure of criticism. But -- and remember, this is coming from a huge USC fan and alum -- USC needed this loss. Not the team, mind you, but the institution. Specifically, the students and fans who attended the game tonight. They needed the loss and they deserved the loss. Because say what you will about the team's performance, when you boo your own team on their home field, you don't deserve the satisfaction of a win. I'm sorry for the team over this loss, but I am furious about the behavior of the fans in the seats. It's awfully hard for me to say this because I love my team, but maybe it's time the fans got used to losing a little again and regained some humility. The spoiled brats need their candy taken away for a while.
Posted: 12:36 AM   by Omagus
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 12:43 AM   by MJD
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 12:47 AM   by MJD
"Well, the 2007 College Football season pretty much came to an abrupt end for me tonight."

Well.... given the insanity of the number of top 10 teams dropping the last couple weeks, it's premature to think no more will drop as the season wears on. Of course, the hard part is keeping winning....

And it's not surprising, with such a winning streak that the home crowd at USC would be highly frustrated at their team to blowing it not to Cal or Oregon, but to Stanford. To 4 INTs and giving up two converted long fourth-downs on the game-winning drive.

The gut check is whether realizing one's own fallibility shatters your confidence, or makes you refocus. Michigan was shocked (and with a pair of losses, no less) but can still rebound to win the Big 10. Oklahoma was shocked by Colorado, but rebounding against Texas can still compete for the Big 12 title.
Posted: 12:49 AM   by bsanchez
So ... does Cal deserve to be number 2? Hardly, but you can't be too hard on them - it's the system (early, misguided polls) that got them there. It would be awesome to see them keep on rolling (roll on you Bears!) but I think even the rest of the undefeateds will see that come to an end before New Years Day.
Posted: 1:19 AM   by Joseph
Those sighting dont seem random at all.
Posted: 1:28 AM   by SasQuatch
Hmmmm. . .

USC loss the "greatest upset" of all time? No.

Arizona State eking it out against the Cougs was a result of bad officiating neglecting one of their touchdowns.


Hey, Stew, we are all hoping that you hung in there for the final score.

LSU 38, other team 24.

Welcome to reality.
Posted: 1:31 AM   by chris
What boggles me is that Washington was so very close to knocking USC off last week and Stewart Mandel still ranked them number two in his power rankings. As a die-hard Michigan fan I'm not going to laugh at USC and their fans- I know what it's like, but I must point out that USC is looking at a three-loss season. They play Cal at Berkley, Oregon at the 'O', and if they somehow manage to pull one of those out (probably without John David-Booty, who has a broken finger), there is undefeated Arizona State, in Arizona. I think it's time the college football world takes teams like South Florida and Missouri seriously... and can you say Kansas?
Posted: 1:31 AM   by SasQuatch

LSU 28, (other team) 24.

I would be the last person to want to misreport a score, or the strength of the SEC.
Posted: 1:35 AM   by SasQuatch
I'm sitting here in awe of Jim Harbaugh and the Stanford Cardinal.

Who was it last week . . Lex? He listed Nobel Prizewinners in defense of his team.

Hey, Lex . . . . could you report the side by side comparison of Stanford Nobel Laureates with those of USC? By field, please.

Speaking of "fields" . . . .

Congratulations, Stanford Cardinal!
Posted: 1:40 AM   by chris
It's so poetic. Michigan has been ridiculed all year long after Appalachian State and then Jim Harbaugh (a former Michigan quarterback} turns around and hands the gloom to the team they lost to in the Rose Bowl. P.S. Let Ohio State win games now, the Wolverine seniors will have something to say on November 17th.
Posted: 1:52 AM   by TrumanHugh
Hey MJD--

Did they forget about $C's loss to Oregon State last year? How about their loss to UCLA?

At least those teams had decent (i.e., a bowl game since 2001) records and overall stadings. Stanford has be the ABSOLUTE DREGS of the conference. For YEARS!!

And they beat you AT HOME, using their BACK-UP quaterback!!

Don't fool yourself...the used Trojans may go on to win a few more conference games this season, but NOBODY IS GOING TO FORGET THAT U$C LOST TO STANFORD!!

Congratulations to Jim Harbaugh. This "Michigan Man" has now made it possible for the public to start forgetting about Michigan's horrific season opening debacle.

Stanford beating U$C (at home, using their back-up QB) trumps Michigam losing to Appalachian State!
Posted: 1:53 AM   by bgault
So once and for all can we finally cut the garbage about "this conference is SO superior to this other conference?" There is no team this year without flaws, and a run of the table should land you in the NC game.

SEC fans will once again tout Tennessee beating Georgia as the "strength of the conference" crap that they always try to use while saying that "Wisconsin lost to Illinois because they were overrated."

Look, enjoy the games and the parity that there is now. It's a great time to be a college football fan in general; you never know what's going to happen week to week.

Oh, and by the way...still sticking with my Big Ten vs. Pac 10 NC matchup...Cal vs. OSU.

LSU will lose at least one SEC game.
Posted: 2:02 AM   by TrumanHugh
Hey Stewart--

Is SI.com SERIOUS with its latest online poll question??

"Who should be number 1? LSU or USC"

What, does SI just automatically assume that those are the two best choices?

The better question would be, "Who should be #2?"

The answer is Cal. They beat a looking-better Tennessee and still-highly (even higher tomorrow)ranked Oregon (AT Oregon).

Ohio State schedule to date doesn't compare to Cal's. Really, does anyone think that beating a soon-to-be-unranked Purdue at Purdue even comes close to leaving Autzen Stadium with a "W"?

I think it's fair to say that the out-of-conference comparisons are moot, but it is worth noting that ALL of Cal's opponents are at least FBS teams.

If Ohio State jumps Cal tomorrow, it will only be because people are used to putting Ohio State high on their ballots, NOT because they have played a tougher schedule.
Posted: 2:12 AM   by MJD
TrumanHugh --

You seem to be confused; I'm not a USC fan. I was just saying, one loss does not irretrievably destroy a season. It can seriously jeopardize the chance of a NC run, but it doesn't end that chance and certainly doesn't wipe out the chance of a fat BCS bowl paycheck come January.

Granted, it will take some doing for USC to finish with only one loss, given the vulnerability they showed last week plus this week's huge breakdown, not to mention two, possibly three brutal road games. Given what Pete Carroll has accomplished with them over the last few years, though, I think it is probably as much a mistake to automatically count USC out at this point as it would be to just assume that USC can still run the rest of its table.

Stanford beating USC is HUGE. Bigger than the Appy State upset? Tough to call. Sure, Stanford has been horrible lately, but they have at least had success in the past, whereas Div 1-AA teams had *never* had the success that AppSt did.

I'm just happy to see Stanford have some success after a cataclysmically bad season last year and a pretty dismal start to this one. Maybe it's time things at least started turning around again here for the Cardinal! It's a matter of which team shows up the next few games... the one that beat USC, which while admittedly sloppy is still not a *bad* team by any stretch of the imagination, or the team that hosted ASU and just folded.
Posted: 2:17 AM   by chris
Appalachian State is a tried and true team. You don't win back to back Div. 1-AA championships by the seat of your pants. Michigan had HUGE, LOOMING questions about their defense before this spring, I don't really consider it that big of an upset- I knew App. State would bring the hurt back when they announced the Wolverines' schedule. Stanford, on the other hand, has proven consistently they are incompetent and like someone else has said, bottom-feeders of the PAC-10. Couple this with a near-win over pitiful Washington and USC deserves to be dropped out of the Top 25.
Posted: 2:23 AM   by Chad
Will Notre Dame move up to #2 in the polls with their first win of the season today? (how embarrassing for UCLA).

USC should drop out of the Top 10...losing to a 41 point underdog at home while they played a first time starter at QB is unthinkable. How many "5 star" recruits does Stanford have? (rhetorical question)

Florida/LSU was a great game...but UF has lost 2 in a row. Tebow and McFadden are the two best players in the nation...but Tebow might not make it to the NFL with the number of hits he takes in Meyer's offense...no matter how big and tough he is.

Ohio State has a cakewalk to the NC game...I guess now we'll have to get the Michigan/OSU game mega-hyped once again by espn. No SEC team will go undefeated...the conf is too strong. Ohio St. vs. South Florida for the NC...yuck.
Posted: 2:38 AM   by bgault
Unless I'm really missing something here, most SEC fans want us to believe that the SEC is so strong that even with one loss, we should put one of their teams in the NC game because their schedule is so much tougher than other conferences.

However, looking at at "big" game the SEC has played against out of conference opponents so far (you know, the same stuff you rip the Big Ten and Pac 10 for?), the SEC is a big fat 0-3, with Auburn losing to USF, 'Bama losing to FSU, and Tennesse getting housed by Cal. So explain to me again why the SEC is so good? I mean, that's like saying the Big Ten was the best conference last year because OSU and Michigan were 1-2 in November.

Point is this...Al Davis said it best with "Just win baby." Handle your business, and you don't have anything to cry about.
Posted: 2:39 AM   by chris
Ohio State has a cakewalk to the NC game...I guess now we'll have to get the Michigan/OSU game mega-hyped once again by espn. No SEC team will go undefeated...the conf is too strong. Ohio St. vs. South Florida for the NC...yuck

Another SEC bigot. How do you explaing Auburn, who squeaked by Florida, losing to South Florida at home? If Auburn beats LSU, and South Florida beat Auburn, doesn't that mean South Florida should be ranked ahead of LSU? Not saying it's right- just that's the way the college football world goes. I don't think Michigan-Ohio State was overrated last year, I just think each team didn't show up to their respective bowl games. If OSU had played Florida a week or two after they beat Michigan, I think they would have won. You just never know what the holiday break is going to do to a team. It's like all those guys on ESPN say, anybody can beat anybody. It's a crazy game.
Posted: 2:41 AM   by chris
We need a playoff.
Posted: 2:46 AM   by bgault
Oh, and as a final thought Stewart...App. State still was the biggest upset...I mean at least Stanford is a Div 1 school, right? App. State is a Div 1-AA (or whatever you guys are calling them now) school...with a fraction of the resources.

I don't care what the spread is (or was), a Div 1 team should ALWAYS be more competitive than a Div 1-AA team based on resources, recruiting, and the like. Coaching can do a lot for a team, but come on...every week can't have the biggest upset ever. A top 5 ranked team had NEVER lost to a Div 1-AA opponent before. The consensus number two team has lost to an unranked opponent over the years I'm sure.
Posted: 3:03 AM   by dms
Florida once again showed what punk thugs they were...arriving at a visiting field with a swagger that should be reserved for undefeated teams. Jumping on the home fields center "eye of the tiger" and taunting the student section are just some of the high class way Urban Myers is the future alumni of UF to act. It's also a sure fire way to help blow a 10 point 4th quarter lead. Any respect that may have been had for the Gator organization left tonight before the game even began because of the way the players were allowed to act which was like no class punk thugs. They should finish at the bottom of the SEC each year to learn some humility. Geez, I mean, it's not like they are playing for Spurrier anymore.
Posted: 3:04 AM   by SasQuatch

"Another SEC bigot?"

Pretty strong words.

Ok, let me help you by answering your questions. Michigan and Ohio State last year WAS overrated. You may want to refer to how well both teams did subsequently.

On to the next point of your ramble. I really don't think Ohio State has a "cakewalk to the BCS Championship" game but if they do, I think, frankly, they will lose to whatever team meets them.

Finally, to a minor point in your tirade. I'll check again. . . but if memory serves, LSU has yet to lose this year.

You may be right in your intuitions . . . . but I usually go by scores, and have little way of classifying other fans as "bigots."

But whatever floats your boat . . .

Geaux Tigres!
Posted: 3:07 AM   by The Dude
Dear Mr. Mandel,
Here is why you keep putting an enormous amount of faith in Clemson. You are borderline insane, like anyone else who consistently does (myself included). But in all seriousness, the reason you put so much faith in them is that they have an abundance of talent, loads of tradition and a rabid fan-base. Why they keep disappointing you is due to (in my theory) one cause: The coach.
Yes, Thomas Bowden has had his share of successes, but his unwillingness to adapt to the way a game is progressing is nothing short of appalling. VT kept murdering the screen passes and draws from the beginning tonight, and what was about 90% of our plays in the entire first half? (hint: look above). Only when we realized this later in the second half could we even move the ball or score a meaningful amount of point. Beamerball certainly played up to its potential today, but Clemson's inept play in special teams and the lack of Bowden's ability to change gears showed through schockingly well in this game. I'm actually rooting for another few bad losses this year, because as bad as that will be for the short term, in the long run getting us a new coach that can run a ballgame will be the greatest thing to happen to Clemson football since Danny Ford.
Posted: 3:09 AM   by Dead Parrot
Stanford bows to no program.

At least this week, Coach Harbaugh's words resonate. Fantastic effort, Card! This Stanford fan is pretty jazzed right now.

I loved Harbaugh's reaction after the game too. When the sideline reporters wanted to interview him, Harbaugh pointed to Tavita Pritchard, the QB. "It's his moment. Talk to him."

Historical note - on October 6, 1990, Stanford upset #1 Notre Dame. Exactly 17 years ago.

I have a mental picture of a smiling and proud Bill Walsh right now.
Posted: 3:14 AM   by SasQuatch
dead parrot:

As well you should.

Congratulations to the team, and congratulations to you.
Posted: 4:34 AM   by getz011
Florida lost!!! Aww. Tonight I'm thinking of all the UF fans... especially the drunk, thuggish, arrogant, belligerent, pouring-drinks-down-the-backs-of-Big-Ten-fans-in-New-York UF fans. Y'all are so nice and civilized. See you next year. Jerks.
Posted: 4:45 AM   by Lee Singer
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 7:52 AM   by SOS
This has to be the most memorable college football season I have had the privilege of witnessing. Big comebacks, bigger upsets, a 1AA team beating the most overrated team of all time, Notre Dame off to an unprecedented start, a coach calling out a reporter by name for character acts on one of his players. So far the only negative aspect that will be remembered is the media reporting. From the universal vilification of Mike Gundy, to the usual biased coverage on ESPN, the media, as always is terrible, as evidenced by the lack of condemnation for the Oklahoma reporter's work.
Posted: 9:03 AM   by ChrTh
There's no way that Stanford over USC is bigger than App St. over Michigan for this simple reason:

USC's loss to Stanford was its first at home to a PAC-10 opponent since 2001, when it lost to ... Stanford.
Posted: 9:15 AM   by IJosheau
Stewart... I appreciate your work, and how much effort you put into it, unlike some others who won't be mentioned. And congratulations, seeing as you called the Stanford win on Wednesday when you defined a Level I upset: the Stunner or "Shocker". How'd you see that one coming and not let the rest of us know to break Vegas this weekend?
Posted: 9:15 AM   by 1737280
I'm a USC fan but the loss didn't upset me as much as the arrogance and disorganization they displayed in previous games did. Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call for Carroll and his team that they need to focus on playing the game. Nobody deserves to win because of their names. Unfortunately that had seemed to be the mentality at USC recently.
That was a great game! Its just amazing that a team that put LSU on the ropes could lose to Auburn at home. Amazing!
Posted: 11:08 AM   by Bo
Enough with the Nobel laureates at Stanford already. You guys don't know Stanford "steals" faculty? They don't develop them: they just wait until they become rising stars then throw money at them to lure them to Stanford. Private schools do that, you know.

One thing I don't understand why people don't see is conference games are always tough. Hats off to Florida, actually, to come to LSU and fought like they did. LSU is definitely the best team in the country, bar none.

USC's loss to Stanford wasn't that of a stunner to me, Stew. They lost to Oregon State last year, a team at the bottom rungs of Pac 10 lately. USC has a tendency of playing down, and their arrogance did them in again. Unfortunately for them, it's to Stanford.
Posted: 11:29 AM   by D
I have been saying all year long that Michigan loss is nothing in comparison to this whole year... Could we see Michigan back in the Top 25 the way everything is going?

Would that be interesting
Posted: 11:59 AM   by D
Things I want to say would be interesting to see from here on:

1) Illnoise in the Big Ten
2) Michigan climb back into the Top 10
3) LSU losing a game? (I believe they will lose one because like all schools this year.. Somone is goign to choke.. Heck the Buffalo Bulls won 2 games this year!)
4) Norte Dame actually make it a .500 season and the future of Charles Weis?
5) Car gone with Michigan or not?
6) South Carolina is the School of the East in the SEC?
7) Arkansas ever going to make it through the SEC West as a bowl bound team? Tough call
8) Big East Leader (South Florida) and Acc Leader (Boston College) stay undefeated through their respective conferences?
9) Oklahoma does not lose another game?
10) PAC 10 might have 2 1-lost teams and 1 2-lost team in the conference?

Again, those who state SEC is the strongest conference. I still do not completely buy into it.. They are a strong conference but the way things are going.. Teans are based on each game for that day and not the whole year... Quality wins are muddled and the rankings are BIAS! Heck this is the same poll that you guys complained about Michigan being overrated. You know what? SEC IS Overrated (with a couple of teams as exceptions) to the conference. Tennessee as a quality win? YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND... Georgia is a choker all the time to teams in the SEC... Illnois is just out of the Top 25 and the way they played, I would not doubt they could be in the Top 15! They only lost to Missouri (who is currently undefeated). Right not even KU is consider a powerhouse to your conference? Please after SC knocked them out... Florida with 2 LOSSES! AT the end of it all, the rankings will never satisfy who is better or not.... I still believe PAC 10 has more quality teams to compete (even with Stanford's win over USC).

You know what we shuld have... Like the NCAA Final 4 has Bracket Buster, we should have one for College FB or playoff.. Every big schools play cupcakes (and some will lose like Michigan though I do not see it as an upset still.. Remember Marshall from DIV 1AA to Div 1A ... They racked up the MAC conference and ranked in the Top 25 that change over...)

Still way, we could finally make the comparison that people want.. Who is better and who is not...
Posted: 12:34 PM   by horsecoder
Thanks for the blog Stewart. I was contemplating the measure, "strength of schedule," and how useless it is. Since there have been several upsets lately and several teams may never play each other during the regular season, how can one really ever determine a strength of schedule? Just wondered what you and others might think.
Posted: 12:35 PM   by bgault
Stewart...in your article from today, you state that Tim Tebow helped his Heisman candidacy with the performance he had against the LSU defense. 12/26 passing, and looking completely lost in the second half really didn't do much for me personally, but to each their own...

My question is this: in a season where there is no clear cut Heisman candidate (I think we can all agree on that at this point), doesn't it at least make sense to consider LSU's Dorsey? I mean...the best player on the best team...isn't that usually how it works? Besides, Dorsey ran Tebow ragged the second half with pressure, and forced him into making quick, hurried decisions. Thoughts?
Posted: 2:02 PM   by calihusker
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 2:10 PM   by calihusker
Callahan. Wow. Contract extension. Wow.

I'm so shocked that I can't even speak in complete sentences anymore. We just got absolutely Pinkel'ed. What in the world are we going to do? When does apathy set in when things are going THIS bad under Captain Callahan?
Posted: 3:03 PM   by Patrick

Do you take your teeth out before you post? Don't get mad and start yelling, I don't want you to wake up everyone in the trailer park.

The fact that Stewart - who like I said is a good journalist and who i typically enjoy reading - chose to rip one coach for defending a player from a character attack, and not mention anything about another who sold private information to boosters is ridiculous.

As for Wisconsin, they suck, huh? Yeah, I guess they do. 17-2 the last two years is horrible. Horrible. All those kids should lose their scholarships, Bielema should be fired, etc.

Shut up or grow up.
Posted: 3:43 PM   by Shriram
I see a lot of writers like Stewart Mandel who have gotten into the Heisman hype for Tim Tebow. Agreed he has been carrying UFL on his shoulders, but he has made some bad throws in the last two games resulting in crucial interceptions. If numbers are the basis, I am surprised people have forgotten Brian Brohm and Darren McFadden. The opponents know that these are the play makers and load up on them, but they still come good at the end of the day, though their teams don't (particularly poor Brian Brohm who decided to come back).
Posted: 3:47 PM   by GatorBait
For all those who said the Gator fans and players acted innappropriately, then they must not heard LSU changting, "FU Tebow".

Let's all forget the notion that Miles will replace Carr. I think we saw Carr's replacement last night: Harbough.

SEC is still the best conference in the nation. Look at polls that came out today. Ohio State hadn't played anybody. BC is really the top 5 in the country? And, what about USF?? They struggled with FIU!
Posted: 4:30 PM   by bgault
Hey Gatorbait,

I hate to burst your bubble, but here's how this kind of thing typically goes...

Overhype teams at the beginning of the season, only drop them a little when they lose, but skyrocket the team that beat them up the rankings. Recipe for the SEC "dominance."

As proof, see UT getting housed by Cal, mighty 'Bama losing to FSU (are you kidding me??? freakin' FSU???), or even Auburn losing to USF.

Where is the SEC signature out of conference win to let us know that you guys rule??? Taking down Lousiville by Kentucky???
Posted: 9:47 PM   by Larry

I'll come to Chris' defense a bit here. I don't believe the word "bigot" is at all inappropriate...look it up: "a person of strong conviction or prejudice who is intolerant of those who disagree with him." Take a look at the nature of the comments (especially the Big 10 bashing), and if you don't believe that the majority of the most "bigoted" comments are from SEC fans I don't think you are being very objective.

I'm a Big 10 fan, and while we've had great years (including very recently) I agree that this seems to be a down year (although the bowl games will be a more objective measure). I also agree that we'll see how good OSU is through the rest of the season, and hopefully the two best teams (whoever they are) will play in the NC game. But pardon me if I don't drink the SEC kool-aid and automatically assume that football isn't played anywhere but the south. There are great teams in all conferences, with some normal variation on a yearly basis.

As for OSU/Michigan being overrated, like many people I believe they simply didn't show up for their bowl games. It happens.
Like Chris, I think the almost two-month time lag between the end of season and bowl games were so long that they just weren't prepared. I also completely agree with Chris that if the bowl games had been played sooner, OSU and Florida would have been a tremendous game. I am NOT making excuses...OSU needed to show up for the bowl game and they didn't, and they paid through the nose for it. And I also believe Florida (and Leak) played their best game of the year when they played OSU (don't you?). I can tell you with a great deal of certainty, though, that a coach of Tressel's quality is not going to let that ever happen again.

From an Occam's Razor standpoint, though, the scenario above is by far more plausible than all the writers, coaches, etc. being "fooled" all last season. Or are you saying that in spite of the numbers of NFL draft picks last year (obviously a mistake since the NFL values speed, and of course there's no speed here up north), the single loss (to Florida), their beating teams that beat other SEC teams (including Florida), etc. that they were still overrated??

In any case, this year is this year, and it sure looks like anything could happen. I think you'll see after the bowl games, however, that the Big 10 isn't as down as people think it is now.
Posted: 10:40 PM   by SasQuatch


No, I am not saying the Big Ten as a conference was (or is) "over rated." I don't make judgments on conferences (either as a bigot or otherwise) although I do think there is some sense to ranking quality of competition in several ways.

I do think that the OSU/Michigan "game of the century" and the arguments that we needed to see that game a second time in the BCS was pathetic given the outcome.

But you are right . . that was last year. I would only add (in deference to your defense against speed demons) that, as I have posted elsewhere, I would have really liked to have seen Ted Ginn in that OSU/Florida game. Yes, I agree that UF brought it's best to that game as well.

It may be that your team or conference sends a lot of folks to the pros. Maybe we should use that criteria in the weekly poll rankings, huh?

Bottom line is that we need playoffs, more recognition of lesser ranked teams who win against quality competition failing that, and most certainly less talk and defense of conferences instead of individual teams.

I respect Tressel, and what the Buckeyes are doing.

I will always respond to name calling and "ad hominem" arguments about conference fans anywhere, particularly when alledged "bigots" are supposed to defer to rankings and hype rather than actual performance. On that score . . and from your definition . . .

Don't you think that some Big Ten fans could be fairly characterized as "a person of strong conviction or prejudice who is intolerant of those who disagree with him." ???

In any case, I agree that the best thing is to take polls and conference rankings for what they are and enjoy the games. Bowl games for now, but have my fingers crossed for a rational system sometime in my lifetime, carefully crafted with "occam's razor."
Posted: 12:29 PM   by Larry

Thanks for your comments, and yeah, we have no shortage of opinionated fans here in the Big 10 either. To me, however, it seems that at least on the blogs the dynamic seems to be SEC bragging, followed up by refuting comments from PAC-10, Big 10, etc. In other words, I believe if there were less "SEC is King" comments, the whole thing might likely go away quite a bit.

And no, I'm not suggesting that NFL draft data be considered in rankings...I was simply trying to provide support for the notion that OSU just blew the game rather than was "overrated". I can guarantee you that virtually every player, from A.J. Hawk on down, wishes they could have a Mulligan on that one but of course it doesn't work that way. Kudos to Florida (and Leak) for being there with their A game. The best team won that day.

Like you, I'll continue to just enjoy the games and try to ignore some of the more ridiculous postings (at times difficult), and also like you I'll hope for that rational playoff system. We'll still get the chest-thumping (e.g., "the refs blew the game, we were robbed", etc.) but it'll certainly be a lot better (and more conclusive) than it is now.

Thanks again for the comments, and while I'll say Go Bucks! (and STILL say Go Boilers!) I'll also wish you and the Tigers (I believe) luck for the rest of the year!

Have a good day.
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