There were signature wins all over the landscape.
Let’s start in Madison, where Coach Bert Bielema and his Wisconsin Badgers got their badge, by dominating the No. 1 team in the land, Ohio State; 31-18.
It was Wiscy’s first victory over a No. 1 since Ronald Regan (1981) was sitting in the Oval Office. It also snapped the Buckeyes streak of 29 consecutive games without allowing a 100 yard rusher, while ending the Heisman hopes of OSU’s quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
In Lincoln, Nebraska, where on game day sold out Memorial Stadium makes Lincoln the third largest city in the state; the red clad faithful were out for blood.
Unfortunately, Texas, 9-1 in its last ten meetings against the Huskers, were not in a giving mood, jumping out to an early 10-0 lead, and crushing the Nebraska’s title hopes; 20-13. The Nebraska receivers, who had more drops than the Smith Brothers, coughed up three sure touchdowns, and were not ready for prime time.
In Lexington, Kentucky, the Wildcats and new coach Joker Phillips were no joke, as KU knocked off South Carolina for the first time in eleven tries; 31-28, shutting out the Gamecocks in the second half.
It was the first time Spurrier has ever lost to Kentucky. The Cocks, who defeated No. 1 Alabama the week before, had a chance to tie the game with a short field goal, but Spurrier opted for one final play before attempting the kick, which was picked off in the end zone. Game over, South Carolina’s dream season – over. And the Joke is on the Head Ball Coach.
In the Swamp, where’s Ron Zook when you need him. The “Mighty” Gators lost its third in a row, (2-3 in SEC) its second straight in the Swamp, as Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen – former offensive coordinator for Florida – proved you can go home again, as his Bulldogs stunned the Gators 10-7.
That’s right, Florida was held to seven points! MSU’s snapped its 16 game losing streak against Florida, as the Bulldogs 5-2, 2-2 in SEC, are one victory from being bowl eligible! Amazing!
In the back on track category we have a pair of entries: Lane “Violation” Kiffen and his USC Trojans stormed the invaders from Berkeley, trouncing Cal: 48-14. While down in Athens, Georgia, the Bulldogs welcomed its new mascot UGA VIII, then went out and crushed lowly Vanderbilt 43-0.
In the old friend department: Buddy Teevens (Silver Lake Regional High School) and his Big Green of Dartmouth came from behind to defeat Holy Cross 27-19 for his third (3-2) win of the season.
While in Greenville, North Carolina Tom O’Brien’s Wolfpack (5-2) fell behind 21-0, to East Carolina, before howling back to take a 27-24 lead, then finally losing in overtime 33-27. The irony here: the starry quarterback for the Pirates is former BC quarterback Dominique Davis.
In other ACC news VaTech (5-2), is once again rolling after its early season shocking loss to James Madison, crushing Wake Forest 52-21 for its fifth consecutive victory, and sits atop the Coastal Division 3-0.
It’s official: there is an employment opportunity in Minneapolis. The Gophers Athletic Director informed head coach Tim Brewster he will not be welcomed back next season. If Minnesota is smart, they will be on the phone today with Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell.
In Ann Arbor it’s the like “Ground Hog Day.” The Maize and Blue, who lost to Iowa 38-28, can score with anybody, and with either quarterback; Denard Robinson (shoulder) or backup Tate Forcier, but the other Robinson defensive coordinator Greg – plays defense like the Bruins, pre – Bobby Orr.
In other Big Ten news: Michigan State finds itself 7-0, for the first time since the heady days of Duffy Daugherty, the year of the legendary 10-10 tie with Notre Dame. The Spartans are one of the stories of the year. Good for Coach Mark Dantonio.
In the outlandish department: Auburn 65 – Arkansas 43 and we’re not talking basketball! To once again paraphrase Casey Stengel, “Can anyone here play defense?”
Apparently not, as both teams combined for over 1000 yard of offense. It was also the most points ever scored in an SEC regular season contest – not involving overtime. Analyst Gary Danielson said it best, “Boise State is watching, saying we couldn’t do this?”
One thing is clear: Auburn’s quarterback Cam Newton is the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, as the goliath QB now has four games with over 170 yards of rushing, for his 7-0 Tigers.
In College Station, the Mike Sherman era may be coming to a merciful end, as undefeated Missouri embarrassed the Aggies at home 30-9. Yikes!!
The once proud A&M program has lost three in a row, and is a woeful 13-18 under the Sherman regime. Where’s R.C. Slocum when you need him!
Finally, in the congratulations department: Eastern Michigan ended its 18 game losing streak, with a 41-38 overtime victory over David Letterman’s alma-mater Ball State, thumbs-up to the “fighting” Eagles.
We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 8 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace and listen to the music.