Despite the cacophony “pay to play,” rumors and innuendo, Auburn’s quarterback Cam Newton, the overwhelming Heisman Trophy leader, had another gravity defying performance (4 touchdowns – 151 yards rushing, 30 carries) leading Auburn to a crushing 49-31 defeat of Georgia.
In doing so, the Tigers punched its ticket into the SEC Championship game, and remains on track, with two significant hurdles (Alabama, and South Carolina) to play for the national title.
Newton also became the first player in SEC history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in a season. As the song says, “Don’t tug on superman cape.”
Congrats to the Academies: All three became bowl eligible for the first time since the Clinton Administration 1996
Fraud alert: Two weeks ago Utah was ranked the fifth best team in the nation. Since it has lost two in a row by the combined score of: 75-10! Including a 28-3 beat down by Notre Dame which is the first time (2006) in eleven tries, that the Irish have defeated a ranked team.
Congrats to our neighbors to the south. On Thursday night, Randy Edsall and his UConn Huskies kept its Big East and bowl hopes alive storming back from a 10 point deficit to defeat Pitt 30-28.
The key play; fourth and one inside their own twenty with less than three minutes to play, and Edsall didn’t hesitate giving it to his plow horse; Jordan Todman (37 carries – 222 yards) first down, game over. That is why everyone respects the job Edsall does.
A nod to the smart kids: Pat Fitzgerald and his Northwestern Huskies knocked off 13th ranked Iowa 21-17 for its seventh win and will be going bowling for its third consecutive season, a feat the “little school that could,” has never done before.
Unfortunately, its leader, junior quarterback Dan Persa, tore his Achilles late in the game, and is gone for the season.
Up at the Heights, Coach Spaz and his Eagles won its third straight, a 21-16 victory over Duke, and is now one win away from its 12th consecutive bowl invite.
While another old friend Tom O’Brien and his NC State Wolfpack won its seventh game, a 38-3 blowout of Wake Forest, and remain one game back of Florida State in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
But the Beast of the ACC remains Virginia Tech, which won its eighth in a row; a 26-10 victory over North Carolina. After losing its first two games, including a stunner to 1AA James Madison, Coach Frank Beamer has done a remarkable job keeping his team together and focused with a great chance for another 10 win season.
In Champaign, Illinois, we think the bottle was finally corked on one of our favorites, Coach Ron Zook, as Illinois a 21 point favorite, lost to a woeful Minnesota team (now 2-9) 38-34. How bad was it? The Golden Gophers had lost nine in a row, and the victory was its first in the conference. Zooker it was nice knowing you!
Kudos to Derek Dooley, son of legendary Vince, as his Tennessee Volunteers crushed Mississippi 52-14. It was his first conference win, and the Boys from Rocky Top have now won two in a row.
In the grass is not always greener category: Oregon graduate and transfer QB Jeremiah Masoli, who needed a place to land, and whom Mississippi Coach Houston Nutt welcomed with opened arms, some say at the expense of the team, and now sits 4-6, needing to win its next two to become bowl eligible. With it remaining schedule, at LSU and Mississippi State, that reality is highly unlikely
In Columbus it was a tale of two halves.
In the first, Penn State’s walk-on QB Matt McGloin was sensational, 13-16, 141 yards and 2 TDs staking the Nits to a 14-3 halftime lead as boos rained down upon the beloved Scarlet and Grey.
But in the second half the carriage turned into a pumpkin, as the former walk-on played the part; as he went: 2-14 for 18 yards, including a pair of pick sixes which iced the game for the overrated Bucks; 38-14.
Congrats to our neighbors to the north, as Syracuse defeated Rutgers on a late game field goal 13-10, making the Cuse bowl eligible for the first time since the end of George W’s first Administration 2004.
Also, thumbs up to Washington State which broke a 16 game conference losing streak in its 31-14 beat down of a decent Oregon State team. While in Boulder, QB Cody Hawkins, son of recently fired coach Dan, led the Buffs (4-6) to a scintillating 34-14 rout of Iowa State, keeping its slim bowl hopes alive.
Thomas Wolfe was wrong, the Head Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier proved you can go home again, as his South Carolina Gamecocks did what no Cocks team had ever done, win a game in Gainesville, as it crushed an inept Florida team 36-14.
Freshman sensation tailback Marcus Lattimore (40 carries – 212 yards) who runs like Willie Galimore, led the way as South Carolina captured its first SEC East crown, and punched its ticked to Atlanta, for the SEC Championship Game. Even the Head Ball coach was impressed.
Once again the Longhorns of “Lostin,” lost again, a 33-16 destruction by Oklahoma State. Texas, who last year played in the national championship game, has lost sixth of its last seven! Yikes! We hear BEVO is refusing to go the games.
(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)
We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 12, Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.)