USC fired its football coach after giving up 62 points at Arizona State. Alabama, meanwhile, allowed 0 points against Mississippi. That was Week 5.
1. Slippery As a Greased Pig: College football team-walks into stadiums are an old tradition some places, a newer one at others.
Arkansas was doing the “Hog Walk” into Reynolds Razorback Stadium before Bret Bielema became the Hogs’ coach, but it never got a fraction of the national attention it received Saturday when Bielema slipped on wet pavement.
This has shown up at about 300,000 different websites, and the Hlist is joining the fray. But kudos to Bielema for quickly dusting himself off and smiling. Human beings slip. Most of us don’t have the world ready to videotape it and share it with the world. Most of us don’t have the world laughing at us when we trip and fall. And many of us wouldn’t have handled it with good spirits.
Worse for Bielema, his guys lost to Texas A&M, 45-33. It was a good ballgame, with Arkansas gaining almost half of the 1,006 yards accumulated, but the Aggies had Johnny Manziel.
Arkansas’ next three games are at Florida, at home against South Carolina, and at Alabama.
2. Everybody’s Doing It: It seemed like quite the rarity when Iowa’s Kevonte Martin-Manley returned two consecutive punt-returns for touchdowns against Western Michigan on Sept. 21. He was just the second Big Ten player since to do since 2000.
Saturday night, Oregon’s Bralon Addison had back-to-back TD punt-returns of 75 and 67 yards in the Ducks’ 55-16 rout of California.
“I think he ran 500 yards to go 70 on a return,” said Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Alioti. “It was incredible.”
3. MACtion in Traction: Yes, yes, Northern Illinois became the first Mid-American Conference team to beat two Big Ten clubs in the same season Saturday when it defeated Purdue 55-24 four weeks after downing Iowa, 30-27.
But the rest of the MAC is a rotten Apple. The other 12 MAC teams are 14-29 in nonconference play, and just 5-27 against FBS foes.
Take away Northern Illinois’ two wins, and the MAC is 0-9 against the Big Ten. The cumulative score of those nine games is Big Ten 466, MAC 117.
4. Blue Hawaii: The Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii fell to 0-4 Saturday night with its 42-37 loss to then-No. 25 Fresno State in Mountain West Conference action in Honolulu.
Fresno State led 42-3 at one point. Then the Warriors scored, and scored, and scored, and scored, and scored, and scored. And they got the ball back twice more in the game’s final four minutes. But they didn’t score again.
So Hawaii is 0-4. But it can still dream. And it’s dreaming of persuading the Pac-12 of annexing it.
It seems unlikely. There’s a Facebook page to support the movement.
5. The Main Event: No. 1 North Dakota State will host No. 5 Northern Iowa this Saturday at the Fargodome. UNI hammered No. 9 McNeese State Saturday in Cedar Falls, 41-6. North Dakota State is fresh off a 20-0 win over No. 6 South Dakota State.
Here’s UNI Coach Mark Farley from his Monday press conference:
NDSU held South Dakota State to 124 yards. The week before, South Dakota State gained 465 yards against Nebraska and briefly led the Cornhuskers 17-14 before succumbing, 59-20.
ESPN’s College GameDay was at Fargo, N.D., on Sept. 21. The Hlist thinks it should have waited two weeks.
6. Why, Why, Why???: Alabama hosts Georgia State Saturday. That’s No. 1, two-time defending champion Alabama.
Georgia State is in its fourth year of playing football, at any level. It is in the second year of a two-year transition into FBS. The Alabama game is the Panthers’ first of eight straight games against FBS teams. The score will be whatever Alabama chooses.
Georgia State’s results so far this season: A 31-21 loss to FCS Samford, a 42-14 loss to FCS Chattanooga, a 41-7 loss to West Virginia, and a 32-26 overtime loss to FCS Jacksonville State.
Three years ago, Alabama played Georgia State. The Crimson Tide won, 63-7. Former Alabama coach Bill Curry was Georgia State’s coach the last three years. He set up these games with Alabama for money. But for the sport’s top program to be playing a game like this is as bad as, well …
As Oregon playing Nicholls State. As Ohio State playing Florida A&M. As Oklahoma State playing Lamar. And that’s just the ‘O’s.
7. Memory Lane: The Lane Kiffin Era is over at USC. Who will ever forget the Trojans’ 21-7 Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech last season? Or its 10-7 home defeat to Washington State this season? Or its 62-41 loss to Arizona State Saturday night?
The Trojans were 10-2 just two seasons ago. This stuff changes fast, doesn’t it?
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