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4th And 12
4th And 12
Man, no one wants to be #2. Florida was the latest team to get whacked shortly after moving up to the deuce spot in the national rankings. Cris Sykes reports on Auburn's dominant second half performance versus the Gators, the Buckeyes depantsing of the Spartans, and updates his Heisman ballot in this weeks "4th and 12" column.
Take it. No, no you take it. Please, I insist, you go ahead, I don’t want it. You sure? Positive. OK, I guess I’ll take, at least for a week.
That is the state of the #2 ranking in the 2006 college football season. We are now up to four teams that have held the #2 ranking and all four have lost shortly thereafter. I am starting to really believe that nobody wants a piece of The Ohio State Buckeyes.
This week, we saw Florida get its shot at being #2 but a brutal 2nd half against Auburn destroyed their chances at remaining there. In the usual SEC way, Auburn found a way to win without scoring a single offensive touchdown against the Gators. Apparently, Coach Tommy Tuberville found the right combination of words in the locker room that turned his recently porous defense into an aggressive, pissed off, hitting machine over the last two quarters. A blocked punt for a TD started the Gator demise and a late interception return for another score finished Urban Meyer’s offense off.
Next? Michigan and USC both held on for 7-point victories. USC put together another under whelming performance at home against Arizona State. A late touchdown rush by Chauncey Washington capped off his 110-yard performance and kept USC alive for the right to claim the second spot in the polls.
USC remains alive, because Michigan was not exactly dominant in their defeat of Penn State. Michigan gets a little extra credit for getting it done on the road. Penn State left some points on the field with a missed field goal and played most of the second half without starting quarterback Anthony Morelli. The Michigan defense was dominant once again, holding the Nitanny Lions to 187 yards of total offense and 54 yards on the ground. A late 43-yard screen pass to Tony Hunt made Michigan sweat a little bit and Penn State got the ball back with 1:44 left to go with a chance to pay Michigan back for last year’s game but four straight incomplete passes ended any concern for Michigan.
The Ohio State University continues to roll along, oblivious to any of the chaos going on around them in the polls. All they did this week was go into East Lansing and destroy any resemblance to dignity the Spartans had left. With only games with Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue left on the schedule before November 18, it is fairly safe to say there will be at least one undefeated team in The Horseshoe that day. With Michigan’s only challenge before them being Iowa, next week, this could very easily become the biggest match-up in the history of this storied rivalry.
Does anybody know who selects the games for ESPN’s Thursday Night games? Temple? How did those rating work out for you?
In the other Thursday night tilt, Virginia Tech was once again exposed as a team that builds its ranking playing a bunch of cupcakes before waking up to reality in conference play.
Which conference is more disappointing right now, the Big 10 or the ACC? The Big 10 has the two best teams in the country thus far, but the other nine are pathetic. The ACC has nobody alive for the national title and only Clemson that deserves mentioned as a quality team. If Iowa falls out of the top 25 with their loss to Indiana, we could see a poll this week with only 3 Big 10 teams and no Miami or Florida State. Who exactly is ranked?
Speaking of Miami, Fl. What was more embarrassing yesterday, only leading a winless Florida International team 7-0 at halftime, or the official “Larry Coker has lost all control of this team” brawl? I don’t know which player it was, but whoever came onto the field with his helmet on his hand and starting swatting FIU players with it, good-bye. You are no longer needed.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are now 6-0 and should continue to rise in the AP poll. Rutgers changed its profile a little Saturday, throwing for 3 touchdowns in the win. They had only thrown for 2 touchdowns in their first 5 games. The Navy defense did hold Ray Rice under 100 yards for the first time this season. Rutgers faces their first real test of the season next week at Pitt.
Vanderbilt had lost 53 straight games against ranked opponents. That is until Saturday, when they pulled off a 24-22 victory at Georgia. One week after losing their undefeated season by giving up 51 points, including 37 in the second half to Tennessee, the Bulldogs allowed Vandy to come from behind with two third quarter touchdowns before a field goal as time expired for the 2-point win.
1 Troy Smith, QB, The Ohio State University. Smith had another incredibility efficient Saturday in leading the Buckeyes over Michigan State. With another sack avoiding spin move, and a fastball to Brian Robiske, Smith chalked up another signature play for his campaign.
2 Chad Henne, QB, Michigan. Probably not, but with Adrain Peterson, Garrett Wolfe and Chris Leak officially leaving the race, someone has to go here. Just in case there is not enough on the line November 18, I figured we could throw the Heisman race in the mix.
3 Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech. Johnson is the best WR in the country hauling in 22 catches for 413 yards and 5 touchdowns in his last 3 games.
4 Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia. 7 YPC and 7 touchdowns against some high school teams gets you in the top 5 this year.
5 Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame. Someone has to be here.
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