This weekend, the foul odor emanating from Happy Valley, hung over the college football landscape like the scent of ganja at a Hemp Festival.
But despite the distractions, the games played on, and once again, the landscape has been dramatically altered, as a pair of pretenders to the crown; Stanford, and Boise State, canceled its reservations for the championship game.
We’ll start in Palo Alto, where the mighty Ducks of Oregon, ended the nation’s longest winning streak (17), by dismantling the Stanford Cardinal; 53-30, in a display of finesse, and speed, reminiscent of Steve McQueen in “Bullitt.”
In its last two seasons, the Cardinal is 21-0 against everyone else, but has been hit by a Smoking Joe Frazier left hook (0-2), when it plays against the Green from Eugene.
It was also a game that saw the Heisman hopes of its All-America QB, Andrew Luck dim significantly (2 picks – 1 lost fumble), while Oregon’s All-America roadrunner, LaMichael James (20 carries-146yds.-3 TDs), the nation’s leading rusher, ran himself back into the race.
It also puts the Ducks, who are playing like the second best team in America, in the McQueen driver’s seat for the inaugural PAC-12 Championship.
In Boise, it was deja-vu for the Monsters of the Blue Turf, as TCU rolled into the Potato Kingdom, and upset the Broncos; 36-35.
Last season BSU’s opportunity for a chance to play in the national championship game disappeared on the wayward foot of its field goal kicker.
Yesterday, it was wide right (where have we heard that before?), as Dan Goodale’s 39 yard game winner sailed awry as time expired.
National Championship hopes gone and Mountain West Championship hopes gone as well, as TCU has now won 22 straight conference games, and more impressively 12 straight on the road.
Big props to TCU’s Coach Gary Patterson, one of the country’s best, for eschewing he tie, and calling for a two point play with 1:05 to go.
“We’re not going to win this, if this keeps going. So the only way we’re going to be able to do it, is to steal it,” said the coach.
How refreshing, I wonder if Mike Sherman of A&M is listening?
In this game, the Horned Frogs QB, Casey Pachall, passed for 473 yards and five touchdowns, shredding the Boise secondary for TD passes of; 75, 74, and 69 yards, in the first half. WOW!!
It was also Boise’s first conference home loss, since the Bill Clinton was smoking cigars on the White House balcony; in 1998.
In Stillwater, the Beast continues to feast, as Oklahoma State went into Lubbock, and embarrassingly thrashed the Red Raiders in a rout 66 -6!! Yikes.
Since its miracle in Norman, TT has lost its last three, outscored by the mind numbing figure of: 167-33!! Double Yikes!!
The Boys from Boone Pickens University, also climbed to 10-0, for the first time in school history, as QB Brandon Weeden (5 TD passes) clawed his way into the Heisman race.
In Athens, Burn the Century 21 signs, as the Mark Richt’s Georgia Bulldogs have run off eight straight, and are one win away from playing in the SEC Championship game, a place they haven’t ventured since; 2005.
In the Deep South’s oldest rivalry, the Dawgs 45-7 dismantling of Auburn was its most lopsided victory since the Truman Administration of: 1946!!
On the local front congrats to Coach Spaz as his Eagles of Boston College bounced back against another old friend, Tom O’Brien and his NC State Wolfpack; 14-10.
Since leaving for Raleigh, O’Brien is now 0-3 in his returns to Chestnut Hill.
Staying on the local scene: it was another good day for former of Silver Lake Regional High football teammates: Tim Murphy, Buddy Teevens and Jeff Hawkins.
Murphy’s Harvard Crimson crushed Penn 37-20 winning its 14th Ivy League title, and first since 2008, while Dartmouth’s Teevens played a key role, as the Big Green upset of Brown, while Jeff Hawkins, the Asst. AD at Oregon saw his Ducks crush the Cardinal of Stanford. Congrats to all!!
In Gainesville, the offensive genius, Mr. Wideload, Charlie Weis, once again displayed his magic; as the Gators (5-5) lost to the Gamecocks of South Carolina; 17-12.
Florida has now lost five of its last six, and in its losses has scored a total of: 59 points!! Never mind, Charlie!!
Old Man River, KState’s 72 year old Coach Bill Snyder, the Wizard of the “Little Apple,” Manhattan, Kansas just keeps rolling, as the Wildcats defeated the Agony Aggies 53-50 in 4 ot’s.
QB Collin Klein rallied the Cats from a 10 point deficit, with less than 6 minutes left in regulation, and scored six touchdowns.
At the moment, he is third on my Heisman ballot.
In Fayetteville, the Hogs continue to make the bacon, as Bobby Petrino’s Razorbacks (9-1) have won sixth straight, and are one step closer to its showdown in Death Valley against the Tigers of LSU.
In Big Ten country there was a bit of poetic justice in Nebraska’s 17-14 victory over Penn State.
While in Minnesota, Wiscy’s bruising tailback Montee Ball is deserving of some Heisman notice, as he set the single season record for rushing touchdowns in the Big Ten with: 27, eclipsing the mark of conference legends: Anthony Thompson, Pete Johnson and Ki-Jana Carter.
These are not your father’s Clemson Tigers.
In previous years, down 14, in the third quarter to a 14 point underdog, Clemson would have folded like a tent in Occupy City.
But the Fighting Dabo’s are resilient and fought back with a game ending field goal to defeat the gritty Deacons of Wake Forest 31-28 to capture the Atlantic Division of the ACC, setting up a potential rematch with the Hokies of Virginia Tech. Congrats!
Finally, ND crushed Randy Edsall’s woeful, and reeling Terrapins 45-21, as the Terps (2-8) have now lost six straight. Yikes!!
Where’s Ralph Friedgen when you need him?!!
Kudos to; Virginia, and Rutgers for tremendous bounce back seasons, while congratulations are in order for the Spartans of Michigan State, who went into Kinnick Stadium, and defeated Iowa 37-21 for the first time since George H.W. Busch, 1989.
While things just get darker in Oxford, Mississippi as Ole Miss (2-8) lost to Louisiana-Tech 27-7!! OUCH!! Thankfully for the Rebel faithful, the Houston Nutt era is ends in two more weeks.
That’s it from cyber space, we’ll be up and running with out week 13 analysis Wednesday night.
Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk