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Week 14 Recap

by Big Al

Well, I wouldn't call it a cleanup kind of weekend, but it did remove some cobwebs. Not least of all...

Auburn 48 - Alabama 45

Was Alabama getting hosed by the refs? Yep. Big time. But they still had chances to win. Or at least tie. That they had so much resilience on a day when things were not going their way is a tribute to their abilities and durability.

With that said, I saw something I never thought I would see: an undisciplined team coached by Nick Saban. Alabama was sloppy. Penalties, mistakes, just not taking care of their business. It's hard enough to win the Iron Bowl, they were making it harder on themselves.

Meanwhile, Auburn was finding ways to take advantage of Alabama mistakes. Good for them for getting a big win against their rival!

Missippi State 21 - Ole Miss 20

I watched this game and I saw the penalty. It was one of those things where you just kind of knew this was going to big Ole Miss in the... rear. I saw him do that celebration and I couldn't shake the feeling that was going to be the difference in the game. Should the kicker still be able to make a 35-yarder to tie? Yep. But 18-22 year-olds can miss kicks when the weight of the biggest game of the year against your biggest rival hits them.

I feel bad for the kicker. I feel bad for the receiver: he was too hyped up after making what could have been the biggest play of the game to that point. But trying to get these kids to not rub their opponents noses in it is exactly why the rule was put into place. And it was put into place so that there would be consequences. There are, there were, and now Mississippi State is going bowling.

Ohio State 56 - Michigan 27

Ohio State looked like they were in trouble early. Michigan was having no trouble moving the ball. But Ohio State figured it out and got another huge win over their rival. And, in the process, passed Michigan in all-time winning percentage. That's huge to anyone who follows that sort of thing. Which I do. Of course, both teams are now looking up at Boise State, but it's still a big deal.

In the meantime, go easy on Jim Harbaugh. I'll grant that his results haven't been the miraculous turnaround many were hoping for when he arrived in Ann Arbor, but he inherited a mess, and a rival who was humming on all cylinders. Late in the season, he started pulling it together. I'm not saying he's going to turn into Fielding Yost, but having been on the other side of that coin, I know how exasperating it can be.

LSU 50 - Texas A&M 7

Well, I guess you could call my concerns allayed concerning the LSU defense. Big test is next week, but this was a nice way to roll into the Georgia game.

Oklahoma 34 - Oklahoma State 16

The rematch against Baylor is complete (I'm not talking about Baylor's 61-6 win over Kansas). And two teams are ready for a huge rematch of the most unbelieveable game of the year. Will it be for a spot in the playoffs? We will see.

Wisconsin 38 - Minnesota 17

Wisconsin is eager for another shot at Ohio State. Now they get their chance in the Big Ten championship game. Wisconsin is rolling and rolled over Minnesota in the process.

Iowa 27 - Nebraska 24

Nebraska gave Iowa a run. But they are home for the bowls again. Which stinks for them, because they could use the extra time. But another 5-7 season leaves the Cornhuskers feeling pretty far from the '90's. But Iowa is still rolling along and showing they are a very good team.

Memphis 34 - Cincinnati 24

In the who-gives-a-hoot game of the week, Memphis beat Cincinnati in a game to determine whether Memphis or Cincinnati would host next week's AAC championship game. Doing this all over again a week later seems kind of silly. And yet, here we are.

Virginia 39 - Virginia Tech 30

Virginia looked genuinely good in this game. I was very impressed. I suppose waiting 15 years for a win over your end-of-year rival will do that to you. Great job breaking the streak, Virginia!

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