Releasing a season's worth of frustration, some Kentucky fans chanted "Goodbye Sugar Bowl" at the Georgia players as the teams left the field. But by no means are the Bulldogs out of the running for the SEC's automatic bowl bid; despite its first conference loss, Georgia, now 4-1 in the SEC, is still first, half a game ahead of Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Florida. This week the Dawgs venture out of their league, in more ways than one, to play William and Mary.
AT THE HEAD OF THE PACK
The success of North Carolina State's football team recently moved athletic director Jim Valvano, who coaches a little basketball on the side, to muse aloud about how it's too bad football doesn't have a playoff system akin to the NCAA basketball tournament. Were such a system in place this season, coach Dick Sheridan's 6-1 Wolfpack would be the front-runner for the ACC berth after Saturday's 10-3 upset of Clemson.
Upset? Maybe not, no matter what the oddsmakers said. This was the third straight year that N.C. State has prevailed over the Tigers, the first time any team has accomplished that against a Danny Ford-coached club.
Clemson is the school everyone in the ACC loves to beat, and the No. 1 target of both the N.C. State players and their fans was Tigers quarterback Rodney Williams. With the fans mocking him with a singsong chant of "Raaaahd-NEE, Raaaahd-NEE," Williams completed only four passes in 23 attempts while throwing three interceptions. Williams got off to an 0-for-6 start and was so wild that he later nailed the line judge in the head with a pass over the middle.
"We read in the paper where Williams said we had a 'high school' defense," said Wolfpack cornerback Fernandus Vinson, who had two interceptions. "Well, we made him look like a high-school quarterback."
Still, the score was tied 3-3 in the fourth quarter before a wild snap on a punt gave State possession at the Clemson 21, setting up a five-yard TD sweep by Pack tailback Chris Williams. From there on, the N.C. State defense, which is tops in the nation, was in control.
As far as a national playoff is concerned, Valvano should be advised that the coaches and bowls have combined to effectively block the idea for the foreseeable future.
NOT A ROSY AFTERNOON
Washington State quarterback Timm Rosenbach is the first to admit that he has a big mouth—in fact, he got a flag just before halftime of Saturday's game with Arizona State for something he said to an official. But Rosenbach was uncharacteristically subdued after the Cougars' 31-28 home loss to the Sun Devils. With 1:06 remaining to play, Washington State had a first-and-10 at the Arizona State 11, only to have Rosenbach force a pass into heavy end-zone traffic. The resulting interception showed that even the nation's leader in passing efficiency is capable of a lapse in judgment.