Following last week’s Oprah-style “you lose a BCS spot and YOU lose a BCS spot” bonanza, this week promised to be a far more staid affair. And it was for the most part aside from two teams who threatened to make things interesting.
The final score may not reflect it but for about half of the Oregon-UCLA game, it seemed frighteningly plausible that Oregon might lose. Oregon scores a lot. They score often and they score early. But for Oregon going into the half tied 14-14 with any team not named Alabama felt as weird as if Nike added pink underwear to their new pink helmet combo.
It’s a testament to just how good the rest of the Pac-12, and UCLA in particular, is that Eugene couldn’t exhale until the fourth quarter. But for as exciting as West Coast football has been this season, Oregon has just clearly been in a class by itself and they scored the game’s final 28 and won 42-14.
— Last night, I cut out early to head to the bar to show the ladies my George R.R. Martin costume and flood their drawers. When I left, No. 5 Missouri had a 17-point lead heading into the fourth and a firm handle on South Carolina. When I got back home, Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks had rallied back, forced two OTs and won the game 27-24 when a Missouri field goal attempt bounced off the upright.
— It’s never too early to look for BCS busters. Thanks to Louisville’s stunning (and I know we overuse the word “stunning” in relation to college sports but that was freakin’ stunning) upset last week, there’s no AAC team ranked higher than No. 20. If Louisville or UCF can’t crack top 16 by the end of the season, we have another shot at a Northern Illinois sneaking into a BCS Bowl this year.
The best options right now are No. 17 Fresno State–which won 35-20 against San Diego State–and the usual suspect, No. 18 Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois beat Eastern Michigan by the exact amount it should have yesterday, 59-20, with Jordan Lynch deciding to score all his touchdowns through the air this week rather than the ground. Lazy.
— Florida State publicly and humiliatingly gave Clemson a swirly last week in Death Valley to jump all the way to No. 2 in the BCS. It would have been understandable if they took their foot off the gas a bit this Saturday against North Carolina State. That…did not happen. The 35-point first quarter is probably the closest citizens of Tallahassee have ever been to actually being sexually attracted to football. Famous Jameis and his merry men were nothing short of glorious. Alabama is still the best team in the country, but Florida State is the scariest right now.
— Speaking of Alabama…they’re ridiculous. Just ri-damn-diculous. Tennessee was coming off its biggest win since it beat No. 21 South Carolina and ready to play spoiler again. And doesn’t it just seem as if ‘Bama were going to lose this season, it would have been to a lesser Tennessee-like team? Well that hasn’t happened so far. And with a wounded LSU team coming to Tuscaloosa next, the Tide won’t face a legitimate threat until the Iron Bowl. That game is going to be the ultimate upset ever or the bow on one of the most dominant three-year stretches if CFB history.
— It’s a good time to be a Duke fan. Thad Lewis looks like an actual NFL QB for the Bills, Coach K is bathing in virgin blood or whatever he does to get ready for the season and this year’s football team is suddenly a dark horse contender for the ACC Coastal division. Granted they’re a VERY dark horse with Miami doing Miami things. But Miami still has to play Florida State and Virginia Tech. Duke has avoided the FSU chopping block and already handled Virginia Tech this week, despite Anthony Boone throwing 4 picks.
— I’d be remiss as an Ohio University alum if I didn’t thank the Miami Redhawks for being far and away the worst team in Division I college football. Miami, who once fielded one of the best MAC teams ever, has gone through two coaches already this season and lost to Akron, which hadn’t beaten an FBS opponent since 2011.
— We all owe Oklahoma a big thanks for making the Big 12 a lot more interesting. It was starting to look like no one was going to be able to stop a Baylor offense that scores 64.7 points a game. But Oklahoma should be embolden after not only beating Texas Tech but keeping them well below their scoring average. Thirty Texas Tech points may seem like a lot but in the Big 12, you basically start with 30 points on the board already.
— Christian Hackenberg is a good quarterback. Christian Hackenberg is also a freshman. You see what happens when freshman quarterbacks come to Columbus. The Buckeyes hung 63 on the scoreboard while only allowing Penn State 14, two numbers that should help their BCS rankings.
— And its being Halloween and all, check out these two bits of darkly funny Nebraska miscellany from yesterday.
The first features Taylor Martinez getting LOL-rocked by Minnesota’s Theiren Cockran in the Cornhuskers’ 23-34 loss.
The second is some player-fan interaction between Nebraska receiver Kenny Bell and Twitter spitfire @JGreenDC. Thanks to SB Nation’s Spencer Hall for screen-capping this, as it’s become our favorite burn of the afternoon.
Photos: Getty, Spencer Hall