We’ve finished six weeks of college football and teams need just six wins to be bowl-eligible. But only one team, Ohio State, has clinched bowl-eligibilty.
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, understandably, is nervous.
Here is a look back at Week 6:
1. Musburger is a Cool ‘Cat: Some people don’t like Brent Musburger. Some people hate fun. Musburger’s enjoyment of doing play-by-play for ESPN always comes through, and he isn’t a television robot. Good for him.
Musburger showed up at ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast from Evanston, Ill., Saturday morning wearing a Northwestern jersey. He’s a graduate of the school. He called the Ohio State-Northwestern game down the middle for ABC that night. But he didn’t hide any pretense that morning about not being a proud alum.
Besides, his broadcast partner Saturday night was former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit, who also puts his school allegiance away when it comes time to describe a ballgame.
Even better, the instant Ohio State scored a last-play touchdown on a fumbled hook-and-lateral by Northwestern on its last play of the game, Musburger immediately acknowledged what the score meant for a large number of viewers, but what few sports broadcasters on major networks will admit.
Which was this: The Buckeyes covered the 7-point spread with that score, turning a hopeless situation for Buckeye bettors into gold and taking money out of the pockets of those who wagered on the Wildcats. RJ Bell of Pregame.com says it cost Vegas casinos — get this — $100 million!
2. Sunshine State: This is more incredible than the Ohio State cover:
All seven FBS teams from the state of Florida were winners Saturday, the first time that’s happened on the same day.
Now, it’s no shock when Florida, Florida State or Miami prevail. Or Central Florida, for that matter.
But South Florida beat Cincinnati, 26-20, for its first win in five games. Florida International beat Southern Mississippi for its first win in five games. And Florida Atlantic defeated UAB for its second win in six games.
Florida International blocked a field goal as time expired. Southern Miss was a 17-point favorite even though it entered the game with a 16-game losing streak.
If you bet a parlay on all seven Florida teams winning, well, go ask Brent Musburger what that would have paid.
3. Rhoads, Rage, Reprimand, Ridiculous: The Big 12 Conference reprimanded Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads for his heated postgame comments about the officiating in the Cyclones’ 31-30 loss to Texas last Thursday night.
“Coach Rhoads violated Conference rules that prohibit coaches, student-athletes, athletic department staff and university personnel from making public comments about game officials,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “Although more severe action was possible he is being issued a public reprimand. Coach Rhoads is also put on notice that future incidents may result in a more serious penalty.”
And Texas wide receiver got a reprimand, too. Why? For an attempt to take out the knees of Cyclone defensive back Deon Broomfield after a play, far from the play, for no apparent reason.
“In accord with the Conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct policy, Mr. Davis’ action was in violation of the rule prohibiting physically abusive acts toward an opponent’s team members during a contest,” said Bowlsby. “Given the heightened emphasis on player safety, unnecessary and illegal acts such as this have no place in the game and are unacceptable. Mr. Davis is also put on notice that any future such behavior may result in a more serious penalty, including possible suspension.”
Many believe Rhoads was right to say the things he said. Try to find someone who will justify what Davis did.
Would the league have fined or suspended Rhoads had it deep-down thought the coach was wrong? Would the league have suspended Davis had Broomfield been injured on that cheap-shot? The Hlist says yes and yes.
No justice, no peace.
4. Bears With No Bounds: Meanwhile, there are college teams in Texas that are tearing it up without trying to tear up someone’s knees.
Baylor’s Bears blasted West Virginia out of Waco, 73-42. It was 56-7 at halftime. Baylor gained 674 of its 864 yards in the first half.
The Bears have scored at least 66 points in each of their four games. They are averaging 779,5 yards, 149 more per game than second-place Oregon.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports has a good column about Baylor football here. An excerpt:
A lot of teams can get “good” and the schedule hasn’t been particularly arduous.
It’s that Baylor is something that nobody could’ve imagined possible … cool, exciting, cutting edge, wild, brilliant, pyrotechnic. It’s one thing to have a generational local talent such as Robert Griffin III fall through the cracks of the Longhorn recruiting net, show up and win a Heisman. That was a great story.
This is even better because Baylor is even better. More athletes. More skill. More speed. More depth. The offense is enthralling …
5. Not What the Big Ten Had in Mind: Maryland joins the Big Ten next season. The Terrapins beat up on four lesser foes and took a 4-0 mark to Florida State Saturday. Then they lost. The score?
Sixty-three to zip.
It was Maryland’s worst loss since dropping a 70-7 decision to Penn State in 1993.
“To be honest, when I was on the sideline it kind of felt like I was in a bad dream,” said Maryland linebacker Cole Farran.
“Live and learn,” tweeted Terp cornerback Dexter McDougle.
Iowa plays at Maryland next October.
6. Columbia Grumbling: Very few college football players have the hammer. South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney does. Sort of, anyway. The junior informed South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier Saturday that he was too hurt to play in the Gamecocks’ game against Kentucky. Clowney said pain from strained muscles around his ribs was too much to bear.
The Gamecocks won without him, 35-28. Afterward, Spurrier seemed a little put off about Clowney’s absence.
Sunday, Spurrier said he was more frustrated with how he learned Clowney wouldn’t be playing. “Usually, the doctor or the trainer comes and tells you a guy will be out,” he said. “That did not happen last night.”
Maybe Spurrier doesn’t have 100 percent of the power in Columbia, though his control over who writes about his team for that city’s newspaper, The State, suggests he has way more than he should.
But the Hlist fully agrees with a quote Spurrier gave in a story The State published Sunday on how Alabama wooed Spurrier several years ago. It involved broadcaster/sportswriter Paul Finebaum.
“I’m not friends with sports writers,” Spurrier said. “I don’t think you should be. “You do your job and I’ll do mine.”
Unless he doesn’t like the way you do your job.
The Old Ball Coach is right, though. Coaches and sports writers shouldn’t be friends. Most coaches agree with that. More sports writers should.
7. It’s a Wonderful Dream: The Hlist thinks it would be wonderful if the BCS’ final season had five, six, heck, eight unbeaten teams entering bowl season.
What a mess if Alabama and Ohio State and the Oregon/Stanford winner and the Clemson/Florida State winner and the Oklahoma/Baylor winner and Louisville and Fresno State and Northern Illinois all went unbeaten.
Hey, Missouri’s 5-0. The Tigers’ next three games are tough sledding indeed, at Georgia, and at home against Florida and South Carolina. You know, Mizzou’s traditional rivals.
Now the following video isn’t about Jevedon Clowney, or clownish-decisions made by conference offices. Rather, it’s a look back at the memorial service for Chuckles the Clown:
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