With apologies to Howard Cosell, “Down goes Oklahoma!”
For the third consecutive Saturday on the road, an anointed number one went down to defeat. The latest lamb was a mistake prone Oklahoma, a shocking 36-27 loser to Missouri.
Missou finds itself 7-0 for the first time since a Catholic kid by the name of John Kennedy was running for the White House (1960), which ironically, is the last time number one has fallen on three consecutive weekends. Boise State is looking better and better.
Moving on, our favorite conference, the Big Ten, had a pair of heart stoppers.
In Evanston, Northwestern stormed the Bastille jumping out to a 17-0 lead over undefeated Michigan State, before Sparty finally woke up and clawed its way to a 35-27 victory.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, who was on the sidelines for the first time since suffering a mild heart attack, must be fine, because it took a strong heart to overcome the Wildcats.
The key play for the Spartans, who are 8-0 for the first time since 1966, was the execution of a faked punt, by punter, and co-captain Aaron Bates, (the same kid that threw the winning faked field goal against Notre Dame), who completed a wobbly 21 yard pass for the first down. MSU scored on the next play cutting the lead to 24-21, giving the Spartans all the momentum. It was a true heart stopper, as the Spartans magical ride continues.
In Iowa City, in a game in which each team had the lead four different times, Wisconsin scored with just over a minute left, on a 15 play 80 yard drive that was also keyed by a fake punt, in defeating Iowa 31-30. The difference was a blocked extra-point. The victory gave Wisconsin consecutive wins over ranked teams for the first time since 2004. Amazing!
If the voting ended today, Auburn’s Prudential sized QB Cam Newton (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) would be the overwhelming Heisman Trophy Winner, as Auburn defeated LSU 24-17. The Tigers ran (440 yards) through LSU’s vaunted D, with Newton accounting for 217, breaking the SEC’ season rushing mark for quarterbacks, with four game still to be played. Yikes!
In Austin there was a Cyclone sighting, as Iowa State shocked the “mighty” Longhorns 28-21, giving Texas consecutive home losses for the first time since 1997, the year before the arrival of Coach Mack Brown. What makes it even more remarkable is that ISU had surrendered 120 points in losing its last two games, and the Cyclones victory was its first over a ranked road opponent since a Texan George H.W. Bush (1990) occupied the White House. WOW!
On the home front, the Heights have fallen to new lows as the Boston College eleven has lost five straight for the first time since 1998, losing to Maryland 24-21, a team that had lost ten straight on the road. Double Yikes!!
Hail to the Midshipmen. Navy, who had lost a record 43 in a row to Notre Dame, came out in the New Meadowlands and dominated Notre Dame 35-17, giving the Middies its third victory in four games against the Irish. Where’s Ara when you need him?!
In a nod to our neighbors to the north: Buddy Teevens (Silver Lake Regional High School) and his Dartmouth Big Green Are 4-2, winning its first conference road game in four years defeating Columbia 24-21, while Syracuse finds itself 5-2, after knocking off fraudulently 20th ranked West Virginia 19-14. Congrats to both.
Also kudos to: the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, who snapped the nation’s longest losing streak 26 games, in a big way, by pounding Louisiana Lafayette 54-21. The same salutation to Coach Al Golden, who has his Temple Owls (6-2) bowl eligible for the second consecutive season, and to the Baylor Bears, who will be going bowling for the first time since 1994.
In the surprise category, one of our favorites, Illinois Coach Ron Zook has the Illini sitting at 4-3, and a fighting chance to save his job. Go you Zookers.
Finally in the depressed job market of Arizona, there may soon be an opening at Arizona State as Coach Dennis Erickson’s Sun Devils have lost 4 of its last 5, and were pounded by Cal 50-17.
(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)
That’s it from cyber space, we’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 9 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace and listen to the music.