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Week 9 Recap

by Big Al

I'm still coming down from this weekend. It was everything you want from a college football Saturday. Unless, of course, your team lost, in which case the weekend sucked.

Ohio State 39 - Penn State 38

As I have said many times, I am an Ohio State fan. Ohio State started so terribly that I decided that I was going to focus on enjoying time with my family instead of wrecking my weekend over this game. Probably a wise decision in the larger sense. All the same, it was like last year's game in reverse. Penn State owned that game for four quarters, then some crazy stuff happens in the fourth quarter and somehow the other team wins. Oh, and there was a blocked kick, just to put a cherry on top. How will that turn out for Penn State? Well, I guess we'll see. But Penn State is far from out of the national race, even if they have a lot of making up to do in the Big Ten. And it's not like Ohio State handed anyone a blueprint for how to beat Penn State.

In the meantime, I don't think we should disqualify Saquon Barkley from the Heisman Trophy yet. He is still a heck of a lot of fun to watch. He may not have gotten as many yards as one might hope in such a big game, but he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and had a very nice run for a touchdown earlier in the game. Giving him a bronze trophy in December would be far from a bad decision.

Notre Dame 35 - NC State 14

This is the game I was watching instead of the Ohio State game. It was boring. But I took the lack of updates about the Ohio State game to mean that the game had not gotten any better for Ohio State. Now I realize that they weren't provided updates because people might have changed the channel from this snoozer.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame definitely put themselves into the national race. They were dominant in every phase of the game and they were overpowering on both sides of the line of scrimmage. That was an amazingly complete game by Notre Dame. They are going to be in this for a while.

Iowa State 14 - TCU 7

Meanwhile, TCU is suddenly on the outside looking in. Iowa State is suddenly looking really good. And Oklahoma is... well, I'm still not sure where Oklahoma is right now. But they're in a lot better shape after this result.

Arkansas 38 - Ole Miss 37

I caught the end of this game for all four of the field goals that the Arkansas kicker made while being "iced". That capped off an Arkansas comeback from a 24-point deficit. Ohio State's comeback seems pretty tame, doesn't it? I also announced to the room that neither Penn State nor Ohio State should get any ideas from this game. They did not listen.

Oklahoma State 50 - West Virginia 39

Oklahoma State, meanwhile, set up a big-time game against Oklahoma next weekend by tidily taking care of West Virginia on the road. I think I picked against Oklahoma State in this game. Still haven't picked one of their games right this year.

Stanford 15 - Oregon State 14

Survive and move on. Mission accomplished, Stanford.

Boston College 35 - Florida State 3

I don't know who was wearing Florida State's uniforms Friday night, but it sure as shit wasn't their football team. I have never seen a Florida State team play that poorly before. Nor have I ever seen a Florida State football team look like they didn't care about a game before. They looked like they were ready to just get the season over with. I don't know what's going on with that team, but I don't recognize them right now. I don't know what changes need to be made, but there just didn't seem to be any leadership on the field. They need to find some very, very soon. Unfortunately, they may be finding it in the offseason.

Georgia 42 - Florida 7

This game would not have made the list of games I report on, if it were not for the fact that Jim McElwain was fired right afterward. Because, let's face it, the less said about this game, the better. Unless you're a Georgia fan, in which case I'm sure you'll be enjoying rehashing this one for a while.

While a lot of people have been talking about how McElwain's offense has been a dud throughout his tenure, I think you're missing the point. He won. He got to the SEC championship game the last two years. So what if his offense wasn't reliving the glory days of Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer? He got wins. No, he couldn't compete with Alabama, but who from the SEC has over the last few years?

I'm not saying that it wasn't going to get worse. It may very well have done so. But I think two years of division titles deserves at least a year worth of benefit of the doubt.

Arizona 58 - Washington State 37

Not sure what is going on at Washington State, but they'd better figure it out quick. They still have a lot to play for, so they'd better figure out their defensive lapses. That was a strength for them early in the season. But it entirely failed in this game and against Cal.

Arizona, meanwhile, has found itself a quarterback. We'll see how far he can take them.

Northwestern 39 - Michigan State 31

Bwuh? Eh? What?

Plenty of kudos to Northwestern for getting the big win here. But major thumbs-down to Michigan State for dropping this game just when they were putting things back together. Of course, this will make them that much more dangerous when they play Ohio State and Penn State, because it might cause those teams to not take the Spartans as seriously. There is still plenty for Michigan State to play for, so don't sleep on them yet.

Houston 28 - USF 24

Big stumble by the USF Bulls here. Definitely hurts their chances for a big-time bowl this season. But this sort of thing happens. Particularly in conference games.

Wake Forest 42 - Louisville 32

Barry something very unexpected, I will point this out as the last time I will be talking about Louisville this season. Reminder: defense wins championships. Another reminder: there are 11 guys on offense, find 10 others who can help.

Texas 38 - Baylor 7

Texas has been pulling themselves together. They are figuring things out. We'll see what happens the rest of the way, but I think they are improving.

Kentucky 29 - Tennessee 26

I thought Butch Jones would be gone before Jim McElwain. Oops. But this doesn't help.

Nebraska 25 - Purdue 24

Nebraska finally sorted things out and found enough offense to win. A much needed boost for Mike Riley. I don't know that he will survive the offseason, but at least he got a feel-good victory here.

Columns

Week 12 Preview

There's only one big game and the national race is clear only insofar as the top 5 teams keep winning. That's the gist of the article. Wish I had more to say on a weekend without a lot of hype.

Week 11 Recap

It may have been the biggest weekend of the year so far. Tons of big games... that didn't quite live up to the billing. But some of the teams did.

Week 11 Preview

It's another big weekend and we have a lot of games to talk about. So let's start talking.

Week 10 Recap

Things in the national race just got a lot clearer thanks to one small upset and one huge one.

Week 10 Preview

After last weekend's insanity, we are back into the games for more. I have learned not to sleep on any weekend this year, so hold onto your hats, folks.

Week 9 Recap

This week lived up to billing and then some. Yeah, there was a big game, but there were a lot of other games that kept everybody glued to their seats. A truly epic weekend.