The song “Spinning Wheel” from the sixties group Blood, Sweat, and Tears led by David Clayton Thomas, best summarizes week three of the college football season. The lyric went: “What goes up, must come down… .
It began Thursday night when coach Butch Davis and his North Carolina Tar Heels put a hurting on Rutgers 44-12. Rutgers is reeling at 0-2, and if this trend continues coach Greg Schiano’s boys could revert back to its old nickname: “SUNJ” – State University of New Jersey. Think the administration, and the state of New Jersey, are having second thoughts about its $100 million stadium refurbishing plan? Kudos to Butch Davis, and watch out later in the season, Carolina will be dangerous.
The first wild game of the weekend took place on Friday when the Kansas Jayhawks and coach Mark Mangino, he of the 400 pound girth, and the great line regarding the sorry history of KU football, “Anybody can have a bad century,” saw his 12th ranked team lose to South Florida on a last second field goal. KU saw its 10 point halftime lead disappear into a 14 point deficit in the second half only to come storming back to tie, then watch helplessly, as a freshman kicker Makon Monani, making his college debut, hooked the winning field goal inside the right upright as time expired giving USF the 37-34 victory. It’s enough to give a coach a heart attack, and Mangino doesn’t need any help. The game was also an aerial circus as both quarterbacks combined for: completions 66-96, 5 touchdowns, and 719 yards passing.
David Cutcliff has his Duke Blue Devils 2-1. To put that in perspective; Duke’s last winning season was 1994 – which is also the last time it won more than 4 games in a season.
The Commodores of Vanderbilt also find themselves 3-0, while another Little Sister of the Poor, Buffalo, under coach Turner Gill of Nebraska fame, find themselves 2-1.
Buffalo defeated Temple 30-28, on an end of the game Hail Mary touchdown pass, in a game that saw the lead change three times in the final 2:27.
Cal laid a big “carbon” egg traveling across country to College Park, Maryland, and losing to the Terrapins 35-27. Unfortunately, the Golden Bears didn’t realize that the game was being played on east coast time – and when they finally awakened – three touchdowns in the fourth quarter- it was to little too late. I’m sure the Berkeley alumni will buy some carbon credits to east their guilt and pain.
Purdue, who hadn’t defeated a top 20 team since 2003, still hasn’t, as the Boilermakers lost in overtime to Oregon 32-26.
The shocker of the day: UNLV – 23, #15 Arizona State – 20, in overtime. In a classic “look ahead” or “sandwich” game ASU got caught looking toward its huge game next week against Georgia. UNLV tied the game with 18 seconds left, then won in overtime when the Rebels blocked the Sun Devils game tying field goal attempt, setting off a seismic event in the desert of Tempe. The shocking aspect of this game is the fact that the Rebels have lost 21 of its last 22, and won only 8 of its last 38.
Here’s to you Mr. Robinson. Or where have you gone Paul Pasqualoni? On the weekend that saw the pre-release screening of the movie the “Elmira Express,” about Syracuse Heisman Trophy winner, Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the award, the Orange did, what it always does on a Saturday afternoon in the fall, get clobbered in a football game. This time it was the Nittany Lions of Penn State who came up for its cupcake treat, winning 55-13. That keeps Greg Robinson holding at 7 wins three games into his fourth season at the once mighty ‘Cuse – the home of the aforementioned Davis, Jim Brown, Floyd Little, and Donovan McNabb. The ‘Cuse, have also surrendered 127 points, in its three losses. Local heroes, 1AA Northeastern ventures up this Saturday, and if they should knock off the Orange, and it’s not that long of a stretch, its pull the plug on the “dead man walking” coach.
Other highlights: UConn tailback Donald Brown: 206 yards in 20 carries in the Huskies beat down of Virginia. Michigan State stud All-America Javon Ringer 282 yards in 43 carries in the rain against Florida Atlantic.
In the oxymoron department the Air Force had zero yards through the air 0-7, but ran it 71 times in its win over the University of Houston.
Early Heisman returns:
Chase Daniel qb Missouri: 65-90, 973 yards 10 td’s – 1 interception.
Mark Sanchez qb USC: 43-63, 510 yards 7 td’s – 2 interceptions.
Embarrassment of the Year: BYU 59 – UCLA 0
In 1997 UCLA routed Texas 66-3, in a game that has gone down in lore as “Rout 66”.
The last time UCLA lost this badly the stock market was about to crash in 1929 signaling the start of the Depression- come to think of it, it’s a perfect dovetail to where we are now.
Mighty “Meechigan” 6 fumbles – 1-2 under the new man Rich Rodriguez.
Bob Toledo, formerly of UCLA, is starting to turn things around in Tulane, almost pulling off the upset of East Carolina, who needed a touchdown in the final 1:41 to eek out a 28-24 victory.
That’s it from cyber space. We’ll see you Wednesday night when we’ll be up and running with the analysis for week four. Until then – Peace. PK