1. Waiting Game: A week off after the third week of the college football season actually comes near the midway of the college football season. Teams practiced from late July until the first weekend of September, and had some two-a-days in the training camp portion.
So, the week off Iowa State and Texas Tech will have from competition this week comes at almost the halfway point of a college team’s actual season.
For the Cyclones and Red Raiders, it’s extra time to focus on each other. They are both 3-0. They are both unranked. They both have won a road game, though Iowa State’s win at Iowa is more prestigious than Tech’s victory at Texas State.
It’s the third clash between teams coached by Tommy Tuberville and Paul Rhoads. When at Auburn, Tuberville tried to hire defensive coordinator Rhoads away from Pittsburgh in 2002. Rhoads declined. When Tuberville called Rhoads again prior to the 2008 season, Rhoads jumped.
But Tuberville was forced to resign late in that ’08 season, a 5-7 year. Auburn hired Gene Chizik away from Iowa State. And an out-of-work Rhoads suddenly got a promotion, to Iowa State’s head coach.
Chizik’s first Auburn team went 14-0 and won the national title. It had Cam Newton. Last year the Tigers were 8-5, and this year they’re 1-2 with the only win an overtime triumph over Louisiana Monroe. Auburn hosts LSU Saturday. Lotsa luck.
Tuberville resurfaced at Texas Tech prior to the 2010 season after the Mike Leach soap opera reached its conclusion. The Red Raiders were 8-5 in 2010, 5-7 last year. This year they have beaten three clearly inferior foes (FCS Northwestern State, Texas State and always-woeful New Mexico) by a combined score of 151-30, averaging 597.7 yards per game while allowing 160.3, which ranks second in the nation.
Seth Doege threw six touchdown passes for Tech Saturday against New Mexico, and has 12 in his three games and 42 in his career.
Iowa State beat the Red Raiders in Ames two years ago, 52-38. Last year, ISU went to Lubbock and rolled, 41-7, the week after 28-point underdog Tech beat Oklahoma.
The winner will enter the meat of its Big 12 schedule 4-0. The loser must dust itself off quickly. Tech hosts Oklahoma the week after ISU this year, while the Cyclones will travel to TCU.
2. Unholy Holy War: BYU and Utah have called their football series the Holy War since about the time Utah gained statehood.
It was an unholy mess late Saturday night.
Down 24-21, BYU tried a sideline pass with :08 left to try to set up a field goal closer than the 51-yarder it faced. The pass was incomplete, and the clock showed zeroes. Utah fans stormed the field.
But a review showed there was one second left when the pass hit the ground, so BYU tried that 51-yarder. It was blocked, and the fans stormed the field again.
However, the ball was still in play when they did so, so the officials gave the Utes a 15-yard penalty and BYU tried a 36-yard field goal for the tie and overtime.
Riley Stephenson’s kick hit the left crossbar and caromed away. Utah won.
Guess what? The fans stormed the field again.
“We won that thing three times,” said Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham. “We should be 4-1.”
For a sportswriter who wanted to go to bed but couldn’t until he saw the final, final, final ending of the game, it cost him some needed sleep. But it was worth it. Because that was as crazy as college football gets.
3. Wrecking Ball: Ball State isn’t a Mid-American Conference power. It hasn’t had a winning record since 2008 and it lost to Clemson in its second game this season, 52-27.
But the Cardinals are chipper when they play Indiana. They beat the Hoosiers Saturday night, 41-39.
Ball State took a 38-25 lead in the third quarter, and that score stood until Indiana scored two touchdowns in the game’s last 4:07 for a 39-38 lead. But Steven Schott kicked a 42-yard field goal with one second left to ruin Indiana’s unbeaten season after the Hoosiers had defeated Indiana State and Massachusetts.
Indiana had 538 yards in the game and is the Big Ten’s leader in total offense. But it lost to Ball State. Again.
Ball State is 3-49 against teams from BCS conferences. All three wins have come against Indiana. Within the last five years.
4. FCS-FBS BS: The nonsense that is FBS teams playing FCS teams … sigh.
Sure, Northern Iowa gave Iowa a very good game before falling, 27-16. UNI is a Top Ten FCS team. Others aren’t so capable.
FBS teams were 18-1 vs. FCS clubs Saturday, winning by an average score of 45-14. Arizona beat South Carolina State, 55-0.
Tennessee Tech led Oregon, 7-0. Five minutes into the third quarter, the Ducks were up 49-7 en route to a 63-14 demolition.
Presbyterian lost at Vanderbilt Saturday, 58-0. That wasn’t improvement for the Blue Hose, because they only lost at Georgia Tech the week before by 59-3.
5. Buffaloed: Colorado, a member of the Pacific-12 Conference for reasons that may now befuddle the Pac-12, trailed Fresno State 55-7 at halftime Saturday.
The final score was 69-14.
Colorado plays at USC and Oregon on successive weeks in late October. That can’t be good.
6. Irish Eyes Are Laughing: Notre Dame knew what it was doing signing on last week to play five games a year against Atlantic Coast Conference teams.
The ACC has Florida State, which looks awesome this year. It has good teams in Clemson and Georgia Tech and (usually) Virginia Tech. It also has plenty of flotsam and jetsam.
The Big East, which seems to be crumbling as a football league, was 3-0 against the ACC Saturday. Connecticut won at Maryland. Louisville beat North Carolina. And Pittsburgh drubbed Virginia Tech, 35-17. That was the same Pitt team that lost by two touchdowns to Youngstown State two weeks earlier and got beat 34-10 by Cincinnati the following week.
However, Pitt is headed to the ACC next year. The Panthers have to be salivating, too.
7. Marcus Coker, No. 2 Running Back: Stony Brook is a Top 25 FCS team. It was one of the FCS teams that gave FBS opposition a ballgame Saturday, losing 28-17 after leading 17-14 at halftime.
Stony Brook is where Marcus Coker transferred after he left Iowa following the 2011 season that ended with him not in uniform for the Hawkeyes at the Insight Bowl because he was suspended. He was investigated, but not charged, in an alleged sexual assault Oct. 28 in Iowa City.
Coker rushed for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. For a Big Ten team.
Through three games this year on a team that crushed its first two opponents, Coker has 47 carries for 215 yards and three touchdowns. He had 267 yards through his first three games with the Hawkeyes last year.
Stony Brook’s Miguel Maysonet, a senior, has 44 rushes for 382 yards and 5 TD for the Seawolves.
Maysonet had 21 carries for 158 yards and a TD at Syracuse. Coker carried 17 times for 59 yards.
This was the start of Associated Press’ story about the Syracuse game:
Stony Brook tailback Miguel Maysonet ran over, around and through Syracuse for one half and dared to dream of an upset.
Good football players are everywhere.
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