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Weekend Carnage Report

Well, well, well. Quite the little weekend in this little sport known as college football. Epic finishes in the Big 10, Notre Dame going down in 4 OTs to Pitt, and maybe the best game in recent memory as Texas Tech said “Yarrrr!!!” to Texas’ number one ranking. Not 72 hours after the weekend kicked off, two coaches have announced they are saying goodbye at seasons’ end… one Tom Amstutz at Toledo, and the biggest one… Phil Fulmer at Tennessee. The breaking news about Fulmer says that he and UT officials reached a “mutual agreement” about his future at the school. I’m skeptical. But it’s Monday and time for the week that was in college football.

The Good

  • Texas Tech. In a win over Texas, the Red Raiders announced they were not only offensively minded as Harrel and co. threw the ball all over the field, but they also played defense when it counted, didn’t fold under a mounting Texas resurgence, and were able to exorcise some demons that came with their neighbors from Austin. Mike Leach has always been known as an eccentric coach. Now he can be known as a great coach as well.
  • Florida. Lovefest from ESPN aside, this is a damn good football team. After pasting Kentucky last week 63-5, the Gators took 6th ranked Georgia behind the woodshed to the tune of 49-10. This Florida team is a missed extra point away from being undefeated and the number one team in the country.
  • West Virginia/Pitt. Two schools that have quietly come back from early season shockers to post their claim for the Big East’s conference title along side Cincinnati. Who would have thought after the first few weeks that these would be the two teams battling it out for a BCS berth.

The Bad

  • Indiana. In what has become habit for the Hoosiers, they give a MAC school their first win over a BCS conference school. Following in Ball State’s footsteps, Central Michigan goes to Bloomington and takes out IU. Bill Lynch strikes again and wrecks another football program.
  • Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes fell from the nation’s unbeatens, as Arkansas handed them loss number one in Fayetteville. Tulsa’s offense flew high, to the sound of 528 yards, but three costly turnovers sealed their fate against the Hogs.
  • Washington/Washington St. It’s hard living if you’re a football fan in the Apple State. The two state schools are a combined 1-16 this season and were outscored Saturday 114-0. That’s mind-numbingly awful, the likes of which are hard to recover from.

The Ugly

  • Kentucky. Anytime you can walk out of Starkville with a win, it’s a good thing, but Kentucky wins no style points for their 14-13 victory. The win got Kentucky to 6-3, which makes them bowl-eligible and heading to their third straight postseason. An epic feat, but an ugly win.
  • Utah. A 13-10 win over New Mexico keeps the Utes in the hunt for the BCS and undefeated on the season, but with pivotal game against TCU and BYU upcoming, the Utes will need to have a much better effort than Saturday.
  • Missouri. The Tigers won Saturday against Baylor, but needed a late field goal for a 3-point win. This is the same team that many were lauding as a potential threat to win the Big 12 title just a few weeks ago. Perhaps Gary Pinkel is looking over his resume rather than prepping his team for games against cupcakes like Baylor.

OTP Helmet Stickers
From RV:

  • LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh: 169 rush yards and a TD in Pitt’s 4 OT win against Notre Dame in South Bend.
  • Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech: 10 catches for 127 yards and a game-winning touchdown in the upset of No. 1 Texas in Lubbock.
  • Brian Brunner, QB, Central Michigan: Replacing starter Dan Lefevour and throws for a school-record 485 yards passing with 4 TDs. He also ran one in too. Impressive.

From Alan:

  • Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech: 36-53, 474 yards, 2 TD in win over Texas.
  • Justin Siller, QB, Purdue: 343 total yards and 4 TDs against the Michigan Wolverines in Purdue’s victory. Orchestrated a hook-and-lateral to perfection.
  • Tim Tebow, QB, Florida: 10-13 154 yards and 2 TD through the air, rushes for 3 scores as well, breaking Emmitt Smith’s school record for rushing TDs in the process.

Weekend Carnage Report

So the weekend wasn’t the normal football infused bonanza that the folks here at OTP normally have, as since most of our key teams were idle, Edge, RV, and myself decided to make the significant others happy and crawl out from our Saturday football rocks. On a scale of Hugh Grant to Jack Bauer, there were varying degrees of awesome. Edge brought up the rear with his daughter’s 2nd birthday party, RV spent the weekend with his family, and Alan saw some live football action at the Naval Academy vs. Pitt. But the football world didn’t stop spinning. Here’s what we, and perhaps you, missed along the way…

The Good:

  • Texas being Texas. After a win against Oklahoma last week, the world declared Texas as good. After completely dominating Missouri, this team looks really good. The BCS this year is Texas’ to lose. There. I said it.
  • Penn State. Having said that about Texas, Penn State can make the case that they are just as talented and just as ready to blow your ass away. The table is set nicely for a Penn State waltz into the BCS championship game, but there’s a rather large team of angry Buckeyes standing right in the middle of that stroll.
  • USC. Yes, it was Washington State (see below) but this is the one-loss team that could very easily go the distance. USC-Texas would be a fabulous way to end the season.
  • TCU. Completely dominated BYU, everyone’s favorite Non-BCS team, on Thursday night. The 19 people watching on Versus were impressed.

The Bad:

  • Alabama. Another week brings a confusing final from the Crimson Tide. A 4-point victory over Ole Miss is better than a loss, and even with the Houston Nutt phenomenon of making games close that shouldn’t be, this is a disturbing trend shaking out about the Tide. After a near shocker against Kentucky, and now this, it makes me wonder if Bama is ready.
  • Wake Forest/Virginia Tech. Just when it looks like two teams are ready to step up and be their conference’s flag bearer in the national polls, both take the L. Wake drops one at Maryland (which given the Terps this season isn’t surprising) and VA Tech drops one against BC.
  • More injuries. It seems like every game I watch nowadays has something major happen. The lead stories on the ticker or the recaps are the alarming injuries to players across the country. Has the game’s speed surpassed the available safety?

The Ugly:

  • Washington State’s psyche. 69-0. That’s a ton of points. The Cougs have been outscored 137-13 in their last two games (Oregon State/USC) and they’ve given up 60+ 4 times this season. Saturday marked the first time in 280 games that the Cougars failed to score. Times are tough in Pullman, and it’s only getting worse.
  • Indiana. Saturday’s loss to Illinois marked the Hoosiers’ fifth straight loss this season. A team that many thought was an absolute lock for a bowl now sit at 2-5. The Hoosiers basically have to win them all to make a bowl, which would mean an upset of Penn State at Happy Valley.
  • Cal. Once again the Bears get themselves ranked, then lose to a severely undermanned opponent. Underachieving is the flavor of the day for some teams out there, and this Cal team is one of them.

Helmet Stickers:
From RV:

  • Michael Smith, RB, Arkansas – You get a much deserved helmet sticker for what has been called ‘shredding’ or ‘beating the rat piss out’ of the Kentucky defense. Much appreciated. Maybe if your head coach wasn’t such a raging ‘doosh’ than there would’ve been more than 20 points scored in that game. But, ‘dooshiness’ won out.
  • LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh – You seem to be finding your groove, proving that the 149 yards against Syracuse (108th) and 142 yards against South Florida (6th??) weren’t just total anomalies. 156 yards against Navy (64th) was just enough for everyone to start believing that Pitt is coached by a different team.
  • Jeshua Anderson, WR, Washington State – USC’s vaunted defense didn’t stop you from having 57 total yards on 7 touches. Paul Wulff, why aren’t you getting the ball in this kid’s hands more?
  • Derek Anderson, QB, Cleveland – Normally we don’t talk about the NFL here at OTP, but this bastard needs to be mentioned. Derek Anderson, you sir deserve a helmet sticker, applied directly to your dome by a nail gun. How can you be this horrible at a game you are paid to play professionally? This guy makes Rex Grossman look like Peyton Manning pre-snap. It’s that bad…14-37 for 136 yards, 1 TD? 56 of those yards coming with 5 minutes left in the game? Two 1st quarter three and outs from the inside the Wash 46? You sir, are the ultimate ‘doosh’.

From Alan:

  • Colt McCoy, QB, Texas – In a nationally televised game, McCoy laid his claim to the Heisman, shredding Missouri to the tune of 29-32, 337 yards, 4 total TDs.
  • Brian Brunner, QB, Central Michigan – Stepping in for the injured Dan Lefevour, Brunner guided the Chips to a much-needed victory over unbeaten in MAC play Western Michigan. Brunner’s line? 20-28, 346 yards, TD. With Brunner and Lefevour at their disposal, CMU is a very dangerous team.
  • Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky – The true freshman that’s so gifted athletically, he created a firestorm of controversy over whether or not he should be playing QB went for 5 catches, 73 yards, and 2 scores, both with under 6 minutes to go in the game. Also wore #12 in tribute to Dicky Lyons, Jr. who’s football career ended last week with a knee injury.

Weekend Carnage Report

7 days ago in this very space, I wrote about how my bloodlust wasn’t quite satiated after a weekend that saw no marquee teams defecate the bed. Ask and ye shall receive from the football Gods, as the Top 3 teams in last week’s OTP Blogpoll took the L. Capped off with a Ball State win, putting the Cardinals at 7-0, and aside from Kentucky’s loss to South Carolina, the weekend turned out just like I hoped it would: bloody, exciting, bloody, thrilling, bloody, and bloody. Giddy up…

The Good:

  • Texas has, for the moment, silenced the critics of Mack Brown. This blog pointed out in August that is was ridiculous that Brown was always mentioned as an underachieving coach, and he showed why it was ridiculous this weekend in the Red River Rivalry. Incidentally, when did it stop being called the Red River Shootout?
  • Florida has, for the moment, made everyone forget about their missed extra point induced loss at the hands of Ole Miss. They took LSU to the woodshed, and the Tigers looked overmatched, outgunned, and outplayed. Big win for Florida, bigger win for Tebow’s Heisman chances, as a loss would have meant near disaster.
  • The midmajors just keep on keepin‘ on. BYU, Ball State, Boise State, Utah all got the win as they continue their surprising seasons.

The Bad:

  • Idle seems to be the only way to get ahead. Teams like Alabama, Virginia Tech, South Florida, and Cal all were able to benefit by their idle status. The difference between winning and simply not losing is razor thin.
  • The smart schools got knocked down a peg this weekend, as Northwestern and Vanderbilt both took their first losses of the season. A great storyline, still, but there is an uphill road in front of both of them for any chance at a conference title.

The Ugly:

  • Notre Dame’s loss at North Carolina this weekend marked the first time a UNC team has beaten Notre Dame since 1960. While part of me understands this is a rebuilding process for Charlie Weis and co. in South Bend, other programs seem to be turning it around significantly quicker. On a scale of 1-10 of worry, I’m about a 5.
  • Clemson gets beat by Wake Forest 12-7. Though ugly on the scoreboard, uglier in the sense that Clemson’s season has hit rock bottom. A team thought to have national title hopes at the beginning of the year will have to battle to get to a bowl.
  • Toledo does it’s best App State impression and knocks off Michigan. The one Michigan fan I know didn’t return my text message, but I can only imagine the love affair with Rich Rod might be coming to an end.

Helmet Stickers:
From RV:

  • SEC Speed – wait, what’s that? SEC speed strikes again! Florida just looked that much faster than their opponent that was from…wait…the SEC? Hmm, maybe it really is mythical.
  • Juice Williams – 503 total yards of offense…ridiculous. Granted, it was all in a losing effort. To Minnesota, but this Juice is loose.
  • Cam Sexton – While putting up below average stats against the Irish, he put together drives when he needed to and didn’t make mistakes. Big win for NC, and hopefully a little shot in the arm for Cam. If Juice can do it, anyone can

From Alan:

  • Nick Moore, WR, Toledo: 20 catches. 20. 162 yards also in the upset over Michigan. 20.
  • Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas: 112 yards on 11 catches and one gigantic 96-yard return for a score in the upset of Oklahoma.
  • Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida: 2 INTs, one of which was returned 52-yards for the score in win versus LSU.

Weekend Carnage Report

Frankly, a weekend where several Top 10 teams don’t lose leaves me feeling a bit unsatisfied. Last weekend, the bloodlust meter was satiated beyond belief, but this Monday, something’s missing… namely a Top 10 team to mock and chide for shatting all over the bed. The weekend ahead gives us hope, and a hunger. For sweet tasty upset blood. As for the weekend that was…

The Good

  • The Big 12. These guys are good. Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, and Missouri are 4 fine football teams who simply go out and win. Don’t miss the Red River Shootout next weekend. It’s gonna be a doozy.
  • USC. Proving again that losses of the puzzling variety are the anomaly and not the norm in SoCal. Carrol and company came out and laid the wood to a depleted Oregon team and staked their early claim to a one-loss championship game berth.
  • Notre Dame. Finally got the passing game going. Clausen cuts his hair, Irish win two straight. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
  • Syracuse didn’t lose this weekend! They had an off week… and beat the hell out of it.

The Bad

  • Wins without style points. Vandy, Kansas, Utah, Alabama, and to a lesser extent Ohio State. OSU and Vandy get passes simply because of playing fellow Top 25 teams, but the others were expected to win and win big.
  • UConn’s special teams was absolutely horrendous in their loss to North Carolina. Tar Heel Bruce Carter blocked three punts… by himself. I’m no football coach, but putting a body or two on him may have been the right course of action.

The Ugly

  • It was good while it lasted, South Florida. I admire the progress you’ve made as a program, admire the passion that Jim Leavitt coaches with, I admire the fact that you’re competing against FSU, Miami, and Florida for recruits and getting it done. I do not admire a loss to Pitt on national tv. That loss may have saved the Wannstache, and for that, there is no excuse.
  • Fresno State. Take your place back in the mid-major pack. An overtime loss against Hawaii is nothing to be extremely upset about, but it does render any sort of BCS busting from Fresno impossible.
  • Maryland. This Terps team continues to confuse everyone. Wins against Cal and Clemson, losses against MTSU and Virginia. Ralph Friedgen’s extra large seat is extra hot.

Helmet Stickers:
From RV:

  • Notre Dame’s Passing Attack: Everyone gets a non-existent sticker here. The OLine had another great game, the WRs are playing amazing and Jimmy has full command of the offense.
  • Juice Williams: Just for the fact that you embarrassed Rich Rodriguez. Wonder if he realizes that no one in the NFL is going to want to try the spread offense? Take that back…maybe Al Davis.
  • Smart Schools: Northwestern, Duke, ND, Stanford, Vanderbilt, etc. all are performing like real student-athletes. Well done

From Alan:

  • Glen Coffee, RB, Alabama: 25 carries, 218 yds, TD in a win over Kentucky
  • LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh: 28 carries, 142 yds, 2 TDs in Pitt’s Thursday night upset special over #10 South Florida.
  • Chris Crane, QB, Boston College: 34-51, 428 yards, 5 total TDs in their win over NC State.

Weekend Carnage Report

We’re running a bit behind schedule this morning, but full recaps about BSU’s and Kentucky’s wins are upcoming. The Game of the Century turned out to be a snoozer, as most expected, but Pete Carrol was jacked you were watching anyway. Beanie didn’t play, Ohio State got gassed, and to go all Les Miles on you, USC looks “damn strong“.

The Good

  • The aforementioned Trojans laid the wood to Ohio State on Saturday night. USC is a mighty fine football team, and may very well be one of the best Pete Carrol has. My one concern was QB Mark Sanchez, and he does just fine, thankyouverymuch.
  • Kudos to Notre Dame for finally beating someone noteworthy and silencing the critics for at least a week. Sure, Michigan is down, but a W is a W and I’ll take it.
  • As good as USC is, Mizzou and Oklahoma continue to put up monster numbers and dominate the teams they’re playing. Winning, and winning big, counts for something, and they’re both excelling at it.
  • All three of the teams I follow with some regularity (Ball State/Kentucky/ND) are undefeated. I cannot remember the last time this has happened this late in the season. Congrats fellas.

The Bad

  • Hey, UCLA, you get ranked in the OTP poll and promptly defecate all over the bed. Nice work, gents. This bed-shitting was epic, as BYU beat you from pillar to post. Are you that bad? Is BYU that good? What the hell happened against Tennessee? What does Rick Neuheisel do to that hair?
  • California. Really? You lost to a team that got beat at Middle Tennessee State? Far out man.
  • Charlie Weis took a nasty fall on Saturday during the Michigan game. No, he didn’t slip on some errantly placed pastrami. Punt coverage meets a distracted coach and hilarity ensues for all non-ND fans.

The Ugly

  • A win is a win no matter how you slice it, but Kentucky and Auburn should be worried. The Tigers take a 3-2 nailbiter over Mississippi State, and the Wilcats tried their best to give the game away to Middle Tennessee State.
  • The Pac-10 goes 0-4 against the Mountain West, Cal loses to Maryland, and Washington State loses to Baylor. Yes, that Baylor. Take USC out of the equation and the Pac-10 is competing for the worst BCS conference with the Big East.

Weekend Carnage Report

Another Monday comes, and another day where we scour the Web for college football news and review rather than, I don’t know, working. An interesting weekend, as there were virtually no games on paper that should have been close, but several went to the wire and provided dramatics of the highest order on a weekend devoid of any games of the sexy variety. Off we go…

Kentucky Report: A short little shout-out to the Wildcats, who beat the overmatched and undertalented Norfolk State Spartans 38-3. Another stand-out performance by the Kentucky defense, holding the Spartans to 165 total yards offensively, but also 1-13 on third downs. The Cats committed 2 turnovers and the offense again looked anemic (save for Randall Cobb), and that’s a bit worrisome, but there are many more positives than negatives. It’s Norfolk State, I get it, but a win is a win. And it’s a nice little encore to the Louisville game. Believe in blue!

The rest of the country…

The Good:

  • Oklahoma, Georgia, Missouri… TCB: As in, takin‘ care of business. Big wins by all of these Top 6 schools when others didn’t put up quite as impressive numbers. With USC idle, and Florida and Ohio State not looking dominant, these schools may have gained some favor with the folks voting in the polls.
  • Cal: After last Week 1’s win against Michigan State, a good majority of the folks in the know gave Cal props, but tempered it with the idea that it was flukey and/or MSU wasn’t that great. To silence the voices of discontent, Cal drops 66 on Washington State. Bully for you, Jeff Tedford.
  • Penn State: Oregon State comes to town, the blogosphere, College Gameday, et al predict a possibility of upset, Penn State pummels the Beavers 45-14. It doesn’t silence the critics of the off-field drama, but it certainly shuts up the folks bitching about the on-field performances.

The Bad:

  • West Virginia: Was WVU a little overpriced? Sure. ECU underranked? Probably. But the bottom line is the talent at WVU is significantly better than ECU, and that’s a game they need to win. It won’t be long before WVU begins its backslide into mediocrity and ruins the only argument that Big East fans have that their conference isn’t complete trash.
  • Ohio State: Sure, Beanie was hurt. Sure, you’re probably looking forward to USC. But Ohio State let a MAC team hang around long enough to actually have a shot at winning this thing. This is more of a game where Ohio lost more than Ohio State winning. If OSU shows up like that this week against USC, it’s going to be a bloodbath of the highest order.
  • Pittsburgh: Continuing the Big East’s demolition, the Pitt Panthers, reeling after Week 1’s upset from Bowling Green, took on another MAC school in Buffalo. Instead of laying the wood to UB, the Panthers only win by 11. This is a team in trouble. Serious, deep, mustached trouble.
  • Notre Dame: Could have been looking forward to Michigan, could have just been rust as it was game one. Whatever the reason, the Irish needed late game heroics to beat San Diego State. At home. Sigh…

The Ugly:

  • Officiating. Games are being decided by a 7-man crew wearing stripes as opposed to an 11-man crew wearing helmets and jerseys. The most egregious error comes in the BYU-Washington game, where a celebration penalty pushes UW back 15 yards for the PAT that is subsequently blocked. Mistakes will happen, sure. But to have games decided by the officials is simply unacceptable. To have them decided on penalties that are ridiculous to begin with is an absolute tragedy and completely counter to what the NCAA and college football is all about.

Weekend Carnage Report

The short-week has us a bit behind schedule, but those three-day booze soaked football overdoses will do that to you. Week One has come and gone, and while there were no Game Of The Century hype wagons rolling around prior to this slate since most are being saved for USC-Ohio State, there were some interesting games on the docket. Epic bed-shittings abounded, and several teams just earned themselves a swift attaboy from OTP. Welcome home, college football. Good to have you back.

The Good:

  • USC: Questions were swirling about USC traveling east, their walking wounded, was the defense truly this good, and the answers were all positive. USC looked strong to the infinitely strong power… or at least as well as one can look playing UVa. Carrol and co. look like a special ball club.
  • UCLA: Staying in Los Angeles, UCLA announced that perhaps the newspaper is not always wrong. The first half Bruins and the second half Bruins looked like completely different teams, and this was more so an example of Tennessee losing as opposed to UCLA actually winning, but a W is a W, and UCLA should enjoy it while it lasts.
  • Oregon and Kentucky Defenses: There are loads of stout defenses across the country, but no two units put up a more impressive debut considering their expectations than these two. The Ducks held Washington and Jake Locker to 242 total yards while the Wildcats shutout arch-rival Louisville to the tune of 205 yards, 53 through the air

The Bad:

  • Michigan: Temperance aside, this Michigan team looks rough. It’s a work in progress to be sure, but I think most people (while realistically expecting the possibility of a loss) expected to see a bit better showing from the Wolverines. At times they played with passion and excitement, but on the whole this Michigan team looked overmatched, outhustled, and flat. Against Utah who isn’t a bad team, but there is no way this game should be competitive in the normal universe of college football. It’s year one though, and it’s a marathon to get M back to normal, not a sprint.
  • Louisville: In the days leading up to this game, Louisville fans did what Louisville fans do. Talk exceptionally loud to no one in particular about how mighty an asswhooping they were going to lay on Kentucky. After the 27-2 game which was nowhere that close, Louisville has problems. Mighty, numerous, significant problems.
  • Texas A&M: This is not a good way for the Mike Sherman era to begin in College Station. When Big 12 play begins wins for these Aggies may be few and far between, so winning the games you should becomes quite important. And Arkansas State is a definite “should win” for A&M.
  • Tennessee: UT certainly lands in the bad category, and they’re close to the ugly side of the scale. At the end of the season, this loss won’t nearly look as bad, as UCLA is severely undervalued. All things considered, the playcalling was suspect, the execution fairly sloppy, and the Vols still came within a missed fieldgoal of forcing overtime number two.

The Ugly:

  • Clemson: The good news for Tigers fans is that when they shit the bed early, they come on strong. Either Bama is real fantastic or Clemson is remarkably overrated, or possibly a nice mixture of the two. Either way, Saban and the Tide bent Clemson over and gave it to them. Hard. Rough. Just the way Saban likes it.
  • Pittsburgh: A Pitt team starts the season well-respected, people talk about the Wannstache being a great coach, they say this is the year. Pitt goes out and drops a home game to a MAC school. Bully for Bowling Green, yawn for Pitt as this was so predictable it was funny.
  • Virginia Tech: Beaten at their own game. The Football Gods giveth special teams TDs, and the Football Gods taketh away. But seriously, this team is bad. Exceptionally bad beyond even our wildest ideas about the possibility of them being bad.

Helmet Stickers:
Kellen Lewis, QB, Indiana: 17-27, 144 yds, 2 TD and 185 yds and 2 TD on 9 rushing attempts in a 31-13 W versus Western Kentucky

Mark Sanchez, QB, USC: 26-35, 338 yds, 3 TD in a 52-7 W versus Virginia

Shun White, RB, Naval Academy: 19 carries, 348 yards, 3 TD in a W versus Towson