Saturday, October 06, 2007

Saturday live blog, Vol. 4

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2 a.m. Rece and the crew have called it a night. I think I will, too. After a day that proved that no lead is safe and that 41-point favorites aren't always sure things, space-time is torn irreparably for college football -- and I wouldn't have it any other way.

As always, thanks for reading, and Roll Tide.

1:57 a.m. Brennan is back in the shotgun for Hawaii. BCS dreams live. The Warriors lead, 52-27, with 15 minutes to go.

1:54 a.m. Go ahead and hand over this week's game-changing performance award to Stanford. Sign whatever executive orders are necessary. To date, that's the most important play of the year.

1:42 a.m. The Alabama highlights just rolled. If you ever doubt that football is a game of inches, watch Houston's final shot at the end zone a few more times. If that pass drifts just a little more, it's a repeat of the 1999 Louisiana Tech heartbreaker. But the good news is that it wasn't. Play your victories as they lie.

1:31 a.m. Jim Harbaugh is loving every second of this. He's earned it. He has the singular Cardinal believing it can win again.

1:17 a.m. All right, ESPN, you can stop with the "gut check" mantra. It didn't end up being the theme of the weekend, so you don't have to try to shoehorn everything into it.

1:11 a.m. LSU has to follow tonight's emotionally draining escape against Florida with back-to-back games at one-loss Kentucky and at home against Gator-beating Auburn. That gold medal in the Conference Olympics still has the SEC's name all over it.

1:05 a.m. Sorry, Mark May, but this loss will knock USC out of the national title race. If, for example, it came down to Florida, with two losses to Auburn and LSU, or USC, with a loss to Stanford, I wouldn't hesitate to pick the Gators. I doubt I'm alone in that.

1 a.m. Time for College Football Final, which I'll actually watch this week now that Rece Davis is back in charge as he should be. We open with this week's installment of the Upset of the Century out in L.A. It's still just as riveting as it was live.

12:37 a.m. Hawaii's all-world quarterback, Colt Brennan, has left the game after a shot to his knee. If it's a long-term injury, millions of BCS dollars may cancel their flight across the Pacific Ocean.

12:29 a.m. Hawaii declines to lose to the third-best football team from the land of the Mormons. It's 24-13 for the Warriors as their quest for the big bowl bucks continues.

12:12 a.m. Teams that are ranked in the AP poll but shouldn't be next week: Clemson, Kansas State, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, and Texas. Teams that should replace those teams next week: Auburn, Colorado, Florida State, Illinois, Kansas, and Tennessee. I'd also accept Connecticut, because of that whole undefeated thing.

11:59 p.m. Well, OK, maybe not Hawaii. The Warriors are behind Utah State, 13-10, in the second quarter. Looks like the Saturday craziness will continue well into Sunday morning.

11:54 p.m. Now that the polls have exploded for the second straight week, can we finally start elevating teams that have managed to stay unbeaten? Put Missouri in the top 10. Cincinnati and Arizona State, too. Maybe even Hawaii. Why not?

11:36 p.m. The ESPN guys are trying to stay conscious during Missouri's prolonged knee-capping of Nebraska by chatting up a guy who played for the Cornhuskers back when they actually mattered nationally. Ron Franklin deserves better than this. Someone please get him back to SEC games where he belongs.

11:26 p.m. Updates on stray pieces of unfinished business from today: Northwestern did, in fact, knock off Michigan State. Notre Dame did, in fact, finally win a game. And Clemson did, in fact, continue its annual inexplicable mid-year slump.

11:18 p.m. Missouri just owned Nebraska with a fake field goal. The Tigers were already up by four touchdowns. Now it's 41-6. Perhaps you engage in these frail human actions known as mercy. And perhaps that's why you aren't beating Nebraska bloody.

11:14 p.m. Yeah, about that Rutgers comeback I mentioned earlier? Didn't happen. Cincinnati is heading inexorably to its destiny: a showdown with South Florida for a spot in a BCS bowl and maybe even a shot at the national title. Take your time while reading those words. Soak them in for a moment between deep, calming breaths. You're not crazy. It's all really happening. The rest of us see the magical flying leprechaun, too.

10:59 p.m. Tebow's final heave drops harmlessly to the turf in the end zone. LSU wins a thriller, 28-24. Maybe now everyone can stop pretending the Tigers aren't the nation's No. 1 team.

10:58 p.m. The Tigers close in on Tebow and force an intentional grounding call. Five seconds, one play, the season on the line.

10:56 p.m. Good scramble out of bounds by Tebow. Twelve seconds. Gary Danielson observes that there'd be a lot more time had Florida called timeout sooner on that last LSU drive.

10:54 p.m. A pass interference call keeps Florida's hopes alive. Tebow throws a pair of incompletions. Down to 20 seconds.

10:52 p.m. With 37 seconds remaining, Florida has gained seven yards on two plays. That's considerably less than the Gators need.

10:49 p.m. LSU is up by four with 1:09 left. Time to see what The Tebow can do in the most hostile of hostile environments.

10:46 p.m. Jacob Hester plows into the end zone so hard that it looked for a minute like he was injured. Death Valley may have seen the second coming of the Earthquake Game. LSU leads for the first time, 27-24, with an instant replay and extra point pending. However this turns out, it's easily the game of the year thus far.

10:45 p.m. Rutgers is trying for a comeback with under two minutes left, but the Scarlet Knights picked the wrong time if they hope for me to watch. Back to Baton Rouge.

10:41 p.m. Les Miles may end up looking like a hero after LSU got the first down on that fourth down inside the 10, but I still see very little reason to go for it there, especially this late in the game when you're at home and a field goal would tie it. Then again, he's paid seven figures to coach football and I'm not. There's probably a good reason for that state of affairs.

10:32 p.m. The shadow story of this season has been the rise of the Sun Belt Conference. Troy and Florida Atlantic are legitimately good football teams; the former destroyed Oklahoma State and hung in there with Arkansas and Florida, while the latter beat Minnesota and put a tremendous scare in top-five South Florida.

But other teams have done their part, too. Middle Tennessee State lost narrowly to Louisville and Virginia, and Arkansas State mounted an amazing comeback to beat Memphis just weeks after almost forcing Texas to overtime. To say the Sun Belt is not quite ready for prime time is an understatement, but it's also no longer a league that can be forever consigned to the basement.

10:24 p.m. Over in the Big East, unbeaten Cincinnati is springing a mild upset at Rutgers to make its case for moving up to the top 10. For added fun, invent a time machine, go back to this day two years ago, convince me of the truth of the previous sentence, and enjoy the spontaneous head explosion.

10:17 p.m. LSU gets its second clutch fourth-down TD of the night. The Tigers are down only 24-21 with plenty of time left.

10:14 p.m. The Tebow has no fear of your puny defense. He's too busy throwing... an interception. Yeah, this could change things.

10:12 p.m. Mike Gundy is a man! He's 40! His team has turned a 17-point halftime lead into a loss to Texas A&M! Elsewhere in the Big 12, Colorado smacked around Baylor, Mike the Pirate has improved to 5-1, and Missouri is rolling over Nebraska at halftime.

9:57 p.m. The devastation of football in southern California is nearing completion. UCLA trails Notre Dame 20-6, which ordinarily wouldn't be a problem, except that the Fighting Irish have been soul-crushingly horrible this year.

9:46 p.m. The Tebow has no time for your rallies to save No. 1 rankings. He's too busy finding receivers who couldn't be more wide open if they were playing on an empty field. Gators, 24-14.

9:40 p.m. Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musberger are giddy over Ohio State's prospects to move to No. 1. But as Mr. Corso would say, not so fast, my friend: LSU has cut Florida's lead to three.

9:35 p.m. Interception! That's four tonight for Booty, and that'll do it. You can forget all about Appalachian State now. Stanford, coming off a 1-11 season with a first-time starter under center in USC's house, has sealed the biggest, least likely upset of the season. The college football universe has slipped through a wormhole.

9:34 p.m. The Stanford defense comes through in a big way. Booty is sacked and has to clock it on second down. After an incompletion on third down, it's fourth-and-17 for USC.

9:32 p.m. The extra point is good. USC has no timeouts but gets the ball back at its own 41 after a 15-yard facemasking penalty.

9:29 p.m. Touchdown, Stanford! Touchdown, Stanford! The Cardinal is an extra point and 49 seconds away from a win that could establish Harbaugh's squad as a real force to reckon with in the Pac-10 in the years to come.

9:28 p.m. Twelve men on the field for Stanford. Huge mistake.

9:25 p.m. One play to decide the game. Harbaugh calls timeout.

9:24 p.m. The referees uphold the fourth-down conversion on replay. Stanford gets to the 5 on first down and overthrows a touchdown pass out the back of the end zone. Third down.

9:18 p.m. Stanford's first-time starter tosses a perfect strike to convert on fourth-and-20. The Cardinal is nine yards from glory.

9:15 p.m. The Cardinal get to the USC red zone but go backward due to a holding penalty. Jim Harbaugh is, um, displeased.

9:08 p.m. Stanford snares its third INT of the night to set itself up on the USC side of the field with 2:50 left. This is the game now.

9:05 p.m. The Boilermakers are getting their annual reminder that their team is not as good as the first few games suggested. Ohio State is this year's supplier, with a 17-0 edge in the third quarter. The Buckeyes have more than twice as many yards as Purdue and have completely shut down the run.

9 p.m. The widely accepted worst team in the Pac-10 will not go away against the widely accepted top program of the decade. Stanford nails a field goal to cut it to 23-17. On any other night, this would lead to a plunge in the polls. But like the rest of the season, this week has been a constant reminder that a win is a win.

8:57 p.m. LSU heads to the locker room with all the momentum that a missed field goal can provide. Which is, um, not much.

8:50 p.m. OK, maybe an extra Cardinal or two wouldn't hurt. USC is up 23-14. That may be good enough for No. 1 at this rate.

8:46 p.m. The Tebow needs not your assistance in the backfield, for he shall handle this pressing touchdown matter personally. The Gators stretch the lead to 17-7 on another wild Saturday.

8:43 p.m. USC's margin over Stanford remains at two. Just imagine what would be happening to the Trojans if they sent more than one Cardinal down from Palo Alto.

8:35 p.m. The Terrapins may have done the crime, but Rutgers is trying to ensure that the Bearcats (whatever those are) do the time. Greg Schiano's squad is up by 10 before half in New Jersey.

8:30 p.m. After 16 plays and more than seven and a half minutes, LSU backup QB Ryan Perrilloux scrambles for the score on fourth-
and-goal. It was an epic drive, but the Gators still lead, 10-7.

8:20 p.m. You wanna come after a team, Coach Fran? Come after Mike Gundy's team! He's a man! He's up 17-0 at the half!

8:11 p.m. Make that zero yards away. For the second straight year, The Tebow schools the Tigers with a short, see-it-to-believe-
it touchdown pass. That's why he gets a The in front of his name.

8:10 p.m. That'll teach me to change the channel. Florida is two yards away from making it 10-0.

8:08 p.m. The singular Cardinal got it back after a John David Booty interception, but it couldn't get a drive going. Still a two-point game at the Coliseum.

8:05 p.m. Stanford has opened the second half with a touchdown. The singular Cardinal is within two. I may make this my primary game for a minute now that the first quarter is over at LSU.

8:02 p.m. Florida-LSU, Ohio State-Purdue, Cincinnati-Rutgers, Clemson-Virginia Tech, Stanford-USC... It just doesn't end. It's a football orgy. Someone should warn the state of Alabama that it may need to add remote controls to the ban.

7:49 p.m. LSU survives the turnover, which is what No. 1 teams should do. Meanwhile, Ohio State promises not to hurt you next time, baby, if you just give it one more chance. The Buckeyes are looking good early, leading Purdue 14-0 on the road.

7:43 p.m. Bayou Bengals quarterback Matt Flynn tosses a pass behind his receiver, and Florida claims it on the rebound. The SEC is trying its level best to mutilate itself beyond recognition.

7:38 p.m. The Gators march to an early 3-0 lead on LSU. Across the country, USC is only up 9-0 at halftime on Stanford, which is 1-3 and led by a sophomore quarterback making his first start.

7:33 p.m. Florida has a running game? When did this happen?

7:30 p.m. The game of the day, and maybe the year, has kicked off down in Baton Rouge. It's even louder than you remember it. Elsewhere in the SEC, Arkansas is in an unexpected struggle with Chattanooga, leading by only eight at halftime. But as a fan of a team that needed a last-play INT to hold off a C-USA squad today, I won't make snide remarks. Not yet, anyway.

7:01 p.m. Kirk Ferentz continued to demonstrate why he's the $2.8 million man at Iowa, losing to Penn State today by only 20. Meanwhile, Arizona State escaped the Palouse with a win, FSU pulled away to finish off N.C. State, and Fresno State downed Nevada for the right to become the primary in-conference threat to Hawaii's perfect season that isn't named Boise State.

6:56 p.m. The role of Georgia in tonight's ESPN game will be played by Clemson. Virginia Tech has been cast as Tennessee. Say hello to 31-8 at halftime, and say goodbye to your ACC title hopes.

6:25 p.m. Virginia Tech fires a 100-yard return missile into the Clemson end zone to enable ESPN to load up the stock Beamerball graphic. The Hokies have scored as many points on offense as Clemson has, but they lead 24-3 in Death Valley, which isn't nearly as happy of a place as the other Death Valley expects to be later.

6:21 p.m. Wazzu has tied it up with undefeated Arizona State with under four minutes left. The Pac-10 has guaranteed itself at least the silver medal in this year's Conference Olympics.

6:19 p.m. Mike Gottfried has been shipped off to call the likes of Army-Tulane on ESPNU. I'm still working out how I feel about it.

6:15 p.m. South Florida puts up a last-minute touchdown to fend off a spirited effort from FAU. I'm always glad to see BCS schools willing to travel to Sun Belt stadiums, but I don't know how much longer that's going to continue with outcomes like these.

6:06 p.m. The most interesting game going on right now, and probably the one with the most national importance, is between two teams that didn't exist a decade ago. And you actually need to ask why I love college football?

6:01 p.m. "Boomer Sooner" will play in an endless loop tonight in Dallas, after the last four seconds tick down without Texas trying to snap the ball for a final play. Maybe there's a rule I don't know.

5:56 p.m. Upset alert, updated: Arizona State leads Wazzu 20-17 heading into the fourth. FSU is still only up by seven on N.C. State. And Florida Atlantic, the comparative newcomer of the two, will not go away against South Florida, which is convenient, given that the game is being played in the Owls' own stadium.

5:53 p.m. Now that my pulse is back within normal range, it's time to survey the football landscape. Oklahoma is up seven late in a Red River Shootout that's actually close for a change. Tennessee has finished off Georgia and made me very uneasy about the Third Saturday in October in the process. And Clemson's annual collapse is going full speed ahead, with Virginia Tech pounding the Tigers 17-0 in the first quarter in their own house.

5:38 p.m. YES! Simeon Castille picks off the pass in the end zone. Alabama wins by the skin of its teeth, 30-24. It's ugly and unimpressive and nearly gave me a heart attack, but I'll take it.

5:36 p.m. Five seconds left. Houston has called its final timeout. One play to decide the game. Please, defense. Please.

5:34 p.m. Under a minute left. Houston is near the red zone. Alabama defenders are being injured right and left.

5:30 p.m. Houston is in Alabama territory with two and a half minutes left. This game was 23-0 in the first quarter. Unreal.

5:28 p.m. Wilson tosses what the Crimson Tide radio team calls an "ill-advised" shovel pass. It gets picked off. Alabama just can't make anything easy this year.

5:25 p.m. Rashad Johnson! Yes, sir! A clutch interception stops the Cougars' drive in its tracks. The clock is under five minutes.

5:22 p.m. Another punt. Houston has all the momentum. And now it gets 15 more yards on a late personal foul penalty.

5:18 p.m. Here's the kickoff. The Crimson Tide needs a nice, long, sustained drive to melt the clock and get points.

5:15 p.m. Damn, damn, damn. Touchdown, Houston. The Alabama lead is down to 30-24. Don't let this happen, guys.

5:10 p.m. Houston keeps marching down the field. The Cougars are in Alabama territory. This one is too close for comfort.

5:05 p.m. We haven't heard Terry Grant's name very often today. Wonder why? Also, backup QB Greg McElroy is warming up on the sidelines. Could that be a not-so-subtle sign of things to come?

4:58 p.m. Houston keeps its hopes alive with a fourth-down TD. Alabama, 30-17. No one should have expected this one to be easy.

4:52 p.m. Upset watch: At 35-7, Tennessee is beating Georgia so thoroughly that this outcome is retroactively no longer an upset. FSU has reclaimed its dignity by taking the lead over N.C. State. Up in Pullman, Washington State leads Dennis Erickson's Sun Devils at halftime. And in other former Miami coach news, Howard Schnellenberger and Florida Atlantic are giving South Florida all it can handle in a tie game. Fear the Owl, ladies and gentlemen.

4:45 p.m. One quarter remains for the Crimson Tide. Barring something completely unforeseen, this game is in hand.

4:40 p.m. Eli Gold on Tennessee's ongoing massacre of Georgia: "Everybody seems to get better when Alabama gets closer to them on the schedule." All those bye weeks can't hurt, either.

4:38 p.m. Glen Coffee plows in for the score. Alabama, 30-10.

4:37 p.m. After a couple of catches that were called back earlier, D.J. Hall finally claims the school record for career receptions. It's first-and-goal for the Crimson Tide.

4:34 p.m. Alabama punts but gets it right back in great field position after Houston makes an egregious fielding error. Maybe this can reignite that offensive fire that's been simmering down.

4:29 p.m. The Tide defense holds tight, limiting Houston to a field goal. Alabama, 23-10. This one is far from over.

4:27 p.m. Houston is threatening in the red zone. This is why the Alabama offense can't kick back and relax. Pass-happy out-of-
conference opponents with nothing to lose are too dangerous.

4:21 p.m. Mississippi State gets an insurance touchdown to lock up a gritty win. It's another painful chapter of the same old story for UAB football: close but no cigar.

4:16 p.m. The Alabama defense holds, but a promising Tide drive bogs down just outside field goal range. Houston gets another go.

4:12 p.m. Central Michigan has done that which Nebraska could not: Beat the hell out of Ball State, and at their place, no less. The word you're looking for is parity.

4:05 p.m. Around the country: Oklahoma and Texas are tied up with a minute left in the first half. South Florida is struggling to deal with prosperity, as Florida Atlantic just knotted it up late in the second quarter. Wyoming clings to a three-point edge over TCU. And UAB is only down by a field goal with seven minutes left in Starkville. Bring it home to Southside, guys.

4 p.m. The second half has begun in Tuscaloosa. Houston gets a chance to renew the momentum it had just before halftime.

3:51 p.m. Dadgummit, Florida State, don't you lose to N.C. State. Not after what you made me watch last week. Wolfpack, 10-7.

3:45 p.m. Tennessee already has crushed Georgia's hopes for winning the SEC East. Now the Vols have broken out the tar and feathers and are stripping the Dawgs of all remaining traces of pride. It's 28-0 in the ugliest beatdown imaginable.

3:40 p.m. Alabama goes to halftime up 23-7. Unlike last week, the first half didn't make me want to swear off football forever. Solid play all around this time, and I feel sure that will continue.

3:36 p.m. Temple wins! Temple wins! Philly parties it up tonight!

3:31 p.m. Well, they weren't going to stay out of the end zone forever. Houston blazes the secondary for a 68-yard touchdown pass. But the Tide still leads comfortably, 23-7.

3:29 p.m. Tennessee is obliterating Georgia now. The Vols are up 21-0 and laughing at the Bulldogs' futile attempts to mount a drive.

3:27 p.m. Alabama does the following: (1) forces Houston to go for it on fourth down in the first half and (2) shuts down the Cougars. The Tide is in cruise control and trying to milk the clock on the ground as halftime nears.

3:10 p.m. Oklahoma plays a little pitch-and-catch to grab an early 7-0 edge in the Red River Shootout, which Wikipedia and I will continue to call it no matter what the corporate world demands.

3:02 p.m. Alabama punts for the first time today. But nothing is as frustrating when it's accompanied by a 23-0 lead.

2:57 p.m. Tennessee is up 7-0 on Georgia at Rocky Top in what is at best the third most interesting SEC game of the week. I can't really get worked up over it either way.

2:50 p.m. Touchdown, Alabama! Things are looking up in Tuscaloosa, as the Tide ends the first quarter with a 23-0 lead. Yes, it's just a C-USA team, but it's a pretty good C-USA team. With the fragile state of space-time, you can't take that for granted.

2:48 p.m. UAB leads Mississippi State at halftime in Starkville. It also led Florida State well into the third quarter and only lost at Tulsa by eight last week. Methinks the Blazers are underrated.

2:44 p.m. Elsewhere, UNC hangs on to hand Butch Davis a badly needed victory and crush Miami's conference hopes and dreams. Maryland hangs on to dispatch the Yellow Jackets to their second watery grave of the season. Auburn, in its benevolent mercy, allows Vanderbilt to score before the clock hits triple zeros. And Northwestern is ahead in overtime in East Lansing.

2:41 p.m. Alabama's defense shuts down Houston again. Time to stretch the lead while the Cougars are rocking back on their heels.

2:34 p.m. Touchdown, Alabama! Nikita Stover takes it 23 yards to the house for a 16-0 Crimson Tide lead late in the first quarter. Looks like it's going to be a good homecoming in T-town.

2:32 p.m. Mark Mangino's team is for real. Kansas seals the deal in the other Manhattan to remain among the nation's undefeated. In football. Seriously, someone check on that space-time hole.

2:30 p.m. On, Wisconsin. On out of the top five with you. Illinois recovers the onside kick and gets the first down to leave the Badgers jumping around with a ranking down in the early teens.

2:25 p.m. And now the Alabama defense scores. It's 9-0. You couldn't ask for a much better start.

2:23 p.m. Wisconsin has trailed Illinois for the entire game but refuses to let Ron Zook have his redemption in peace. Illini, 31-26, with a minute and a half and an onside kick attempt remaining.

2:20 p.m. A wide-open Kansas receiver drops a game-clinching touchdown pass. The Jayhawks have to settle for a field goal. It's 30-24 with two and a half minutes left.

2:18 p.m. John Parker Wilson caps off a 13-play drive with a QB sneak for the score. Alabama leads, 7-0. Great start for my Tide.

2:15 p.m. K-State tosses a terribly timed interception to give it back to the Jayhawks in wonderful field position with five minutes left. OK, who forgot their Power Towel today?

2:11 p.m. Alabama is slowly but surely stringing together first downs on the opening drive. Small ball gets it done just fine.

2:09 p.m. Kansas responds in similar fashion, but either botches the PAT attempt or misses the fake. Jayhawks, 27-24.

2:05 p.m. Alabama wins the coin toss and opts to receive. The Crimson Tide needs a strong start to keep its confidence.

2:02 p.m. K-State snags the lead back from Kansas midway through the fourth. The Wildcats lead, 24-21, in the game of the day so far. You heard me right, Big Ten: game of the day so far.

1:56 p.m. Instead, I'll listen to football. With football on television in the background. Time to crank up Eli and Snake.

1:53 p.m. Around the country: Michigan State and Northwestern are in their annual shootout. Georgia Tech has cut Maryland's margin to eight early in the fourth. Wyoming has an early lead over TCU in a crucial Mountain West showdown. And yes, I just used the words "crucial Mountain West showdown." I probably should stop watching so much football.

1:45 p.m. About 15 minutes away from kickoff at Tuscaloosa, I'm cautiously optimistic that Alabama's offense will manage to get going early enough that a young defense won't have to try to win the game again. Houston is a much better team than people might think, but it's no Georgia or Florida State. However frustrating the FSU game was last week (and the answer is very), it certainly wasn't inexcusable to lose to a team that stands a good chance of winning a wide-open ACC. Dropping one to the Cougars on homecoming, though, would be another matter. I suspect Nick Saban has conveyed that idea well enough at practice this week.

1:37 p.m. Miami has roared back with 20 points in the third to cut UNC's lead to 27-20. Jekyll and Hyde have moved to Chapel Hill.

1:35 p.m. It's 35-0 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Tommy Tuberville may want to make the throwback uniforms a permanent feature.

1:24 p.m. Auburn doesn't need the ball back to start the second half, but the Tigers get it anyway. Meanwhile, Illinois and Wisconsin have swapped touchdowns, Miami has clawed back to within 13, and Kansas is winning the battle for Sunflower State supremacy. Oh, and West Virginia is very angry. Both Syracuse and numerous couches are sure to pay for South Florida's sins.

1:04 p.m. Most erratic team in the country? That's a tough one, but Georgia Tech would have to be in the top two or three in those rankings. The Yellow Jackets laid an egg two weeks ago against Virginia, then rose up to oust Clemson from the ranks of the unbeaten last week. Today, they're getting drilled by Maryland at halftime. If you know for sure who's going to win the ACC this year, I'd like to meet you. Because that would mean you're a time traveler, and I'd appreciate some answers to certain questions.

12:46 p.m. Auburn has flipped an "unstoppable killing machine" switch. Vandy is getting humiliated, 28-0. The Daves don't know what to make of this. Maybe another Daughtry promo will help.

12:40 p.m. Big Ten halftime updates: Michigan leads its directional cousin Eastern Michigan by only eight. Alleged top-five squad Wisconsin is getting drilled by a team that, though much improved, still went 2-10 last year. And Northwestern, which so politely broke Duke's epic losing streak last month, has held on to its edge over Michigan State. Call your cable company today and demand the Big Ten Network!

12:35 p.m. Remember when Miami signaled to the college football world that it was back by throttling Texas A&M? The Hurricanes don't. North Carolina leads 27-0 and is looking for more before half. Aren't there laws against this sort of thing?

12:23 p.m. Auburn is beating down the Commodores like they were the Vanderbilt of old. It's 21-0 and not getting any better for the guys in black and gold. Maybe the morning-game curse only applies when Auburn wears blue jerseys.

12:21 p.m. Maybe you forgot your Power Towel today, but you better believe K-State didn't. The Wildcats go up, 14-7.

12:17 p.m. Perhaps the best game going on right now is in the other Manhattan, where Kansas and Kansas State, with a combined record of 7-1, are knotted up at 7-7 with seven minutes left before halftime. Fear the Power Towel, boys and girls. Fear it.

12:12 p.m. It's redemption time for Ron Zook. The Illini are dominating Wisconsin in every way. It's 17-0, and the Badgers have shown few signs of being able to turn that around.

12:09 p.m. Auburn pads the lead to 14-0 with a short touchdown pass to Rod Smith. The Tigers got their groove back.

12:05 p.m. Ben Tate shreds the Vandy defense for 44 yards. Looks like no letdown for Auburn after that Florida upset.

12:01 p.m. The Tar Heels, 1-4 with three close losses coming into today, are absolutely annihilating Miami. It's 20-0 now. Butch Davis didn't necessarily make it, but he is breaking it.

11:54 a.m. Auburn plows into the end zone to take a 7-0 lead on Vandy. The morning-game curse may be broken.

11:51 a.m. Northwestern leads Michigan State as the first quarter draws to a close. Is it time for the Spartans' annual collapse yet?

11:40 a.m. Auburn is awake and playing before the watchful eyes of the Daves of Lincoln Financial Sports, something that hasn't gone very well the last few times the Plainsmen have tried it. Auburn's defense is holding up fairly well on Vanderbilt's opening drive, but the Tigers seem to have forgotten to attach their logos to their helmets and to wear home colors at home.

11:25 a.m. Intergalactic construction crews have worked around the clock for days to repair that hole that opened up in the space-
time continuum
last week. Progress has been limited, though. Kentucky and South Carolina squared off for the SEC East lead Thursday night, Illinois is favored to beat a top-five team at home and thus far is leading, and Butch Davis has led the remnants of what used to be the North Carolina football program to a 10-0 lead over his old team, Miami. Get those crews some backup, ASAP.


Anonymous Alex said...

That was...well, quite possibly my happiest day of college football ever. LSU (native son) comes from behind and beats Florida; Stanford (alma mater) comes from behind and beats USC...

I increasingly find that I'm quoting your comments to my housemates...a solid wit you've got there...I enjoy the themes that run through (e.g. The Tebow, singular Cardinal, Kirk Ferentz)...good predictions on rankings/nonrankings.

Dunno about Stanford as a force to reckon with...having witnessed the Card in egregious home defeats to UCLA and Oregon, I'm very cautiously's a team that will take significant rebuilding for two or three years before they're in serious contention. But a hell of a night on the Stanford campus...we had bonfires and rocked the bus of the team when they got back to town. At least Harbaugh's got the team going in the right direction.

There's something deeply satisfying about USC losing.

Congrats to the Tide!

1:38 AM  
Blogger Matt Collins said...

In case you didn't hear Tuberville's comment on the uniforms: "Well, our uniforms are throwbacks anyway, we just took the logo off the helmets."

2:46 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Matt, I hadn't seen that comment, but I figured out pretty quickly during the game that the throwbacks were a tribute to the 1957 team. I suppose Auburn did the LSU-style "white jersey at home" thing back then.

Alex, glad you loved the football Saturday. As soon as Simeon Castille snagged that Houston pass in the end zone, I did, too. It's been a while since I saw as many entertaining or surprising games in a single day.

Congrats to Stanford for the huge win, and double congrats for making the talking heads stop the 24/7 USC hype. I know the Cardinal won't be a major power immediately, but if things keep up, Harbaugh should get that done sooner rather than later. And LSU? LSU just scares me.

Thanks for the compliments, Alex, and thanks to both of you for reading.

9:40 PM  

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