College Football Week 9 review | October 30, 2012
Going into the week, there was 5 top teams all fighting for supremacy. Such is life in the world of College Football that one team was coming to come up short, yet there was always a twist in the tail.
The tail of the Florida Gators will not be wagging today, as they were the side that came unstuck on the road versus the Georgia Bulldogs – Florida were the one top 5 side that had questions of balance in terms of getting a lot of turnovers from the defense but utilising an offence that cannot stand toe to toe with the machines of Alabama and Oregon.
The Gators lost to the Georgia Bulldogs 17-9 as Georgia forced six turnovers and the Gators could only muster 3 field goals. Now must try and do it the hard way by winning the sub-division of the SEC and then beat either Alabama or LSU in the SEC championship game to have a realistic chance of a National Championship game. On the evidence of this week’s performance, that looks unlikely to occur.
Many anticipated the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame to succumb to the expectation of their bubble bursting, especially on the road to the solid Oklahoma Sooners with Landry Jones in his senior year. Yet the impressive ND defence led by Manti Te’o forced Jones to throw too much forcing the one interception/turnover of the match. The Sooners were poor on 3rd down (4-14) while ND were 7-15.
Many thought the Irish could not hang in the big time, but the front seven of their defence has been immense all year. They have passed the first big test, now the balance is present with confidence and recognition.
Kansas State Wildcats continued to steamroll into the picture. The #3 ranked side hosted the equally impressive Texas Tech Red Raiders and handed them 55-24 drubbing with Collin Klein combining for 4 total TDs (233 in the air, 83 on the ground). A tight contest with a 13-10 half-time score to the hosts lead to 6 second half touchdowns for the Wildcats who are now ranked #2 in the country.
They remain behind Alabama who thumped a weak Mississippi State side 38-7 who scored on their first three possessions. Whilst others may be scoring more with more highlight plays – the Crimson Tide seem to be competing at a different level to everyone else.
Even the Oregon Ducks who took out any frustration they had about being ranked #4 on the Colorado Buffaloes in a 70-14 victory. Oregon’s machine is working so fluently that backups are getting good minutes in the middle, so the system will work with anyone on the field. This week Oregon have their first real match of the year on the road to USC (who lost on the road to Arizona, 36-39 – in spite of NFL bound Marquis Lee having 16 recs for 345 yards and 2 TDs). It was the 21st straight game Oregon have scored 30+ points, one game shy of the record owned by Oklahoma State who got to 22 earlier this year. If they put up 30+ on the road..at USC..can the pollsters keep ignoring them.
Week 9 will paint the picture a bit clearer. There are two huge main courses for this Saturday. The SEC battle in Baton Rouge between LSU and Alabama, in a repeat of the 2011 National Championship promises a lot but whereas the Tigers were undone by the defence of the Tide in January, this time the offence of the Tide may prove to be too much on this occasion.
Saturday night also sees the Oregon Ducks travel to USC to face Matt Barkley who although they lost to Arizona still have a part to play in the Pac12 picture starting with this colossal tussle.
Elsewhere, Kansas State (8-0) host the Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-2); Notre Dame (8-0) host a woeful Pittsburgh (4-4).
And a quick tip for next year’s national title will be Ohio State if eligible, they are 9-0 right now in the Big Ten and Urban Meyer is working his magic again, this week they beat the resilient Penn State 35-23, a 21-3 third quarter put paid to the Nittany Lions, who fall to 5-3.