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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Turnovers goeth before the fall, four horsemen ride again, two others are headless

Because I live deep in the heart of ACC country I have been force-fed Duke, Virginia and the crew for the last six years. It isn't sticking. I like watching football in general, but I am no more drawn to ACC football than I am Sun Belt or MAC football. And sometimes I'm just not sure they play by the same rules when Ron Cherry and his ilk are calling the games. ACC football is a very odd brand of football.

UNC/NC State was no exception to that odd brand of football. North Carolina won the game with a 74 yard punt return for a touchdown with 13 seconds left. That was after the Tar Heels rushed to a 25-7 lead, NC State came back with 28 straight, and UNC scored 10 unanswered to tie the game. To end it in style, UNC muffed the extra point but converted for two instead. Good stuff. Odd, but good.

USC lost. Florida lost. They combined for 11 turnovers. Now with just Ole Miss and Auburn left in the SEC, it looks like all the rave about Georgia's schedule was not misplaced. Rutgers lost to Kent State. You guessed it: seven turnovers. Oregon State had just four turnovers.

Oklahoma did not have four, five, six or seven turnovers. Just one. The Sooners did amass 15 rushing yards . . . and one loss to Notre Dame. The Irish were one play from losing to BYU a week ago and are now one huge step closer to a national title. 

Oregon and Kansas State both won convincingly. Oregon scored a touchdown on every possession in the first half, Kansas State scored a touchdown on every real (non-clock-shortened) possession of the second half. Kansas State's win was obviously more impressive, but OU losing to Notre Dame hurt their resume. Oregon State and USC also lost, but fortunately (for the Ducks) their losses were in-conference to teams Oregon plays. Given the remaining the schedules of the these two teams and Notre Dame, 1) Alabama must stay undefeated or the SEC will be out of the title game and 2) this could be the perfect season for a four team tournament, just a few years too early.

Texas A&M also scored touchdowns on every real first half possession. Then they scored touchdowns on every second half possession except when they were taking a knee and when the third string quarterback got a series. A&M scored 63 of a possible 73 points. There are two possible, non-exclusive interpretations of this game: Texas A&M put on the most impressive offensive performance in the history of college football and/or Chizik has lost his team. It won't be the 3-9 record that costs Chizik his job, it will be the empty student section at halftime because his team was outgained by more than 300 yards in the first half. I hear Paul Rhoads has won more than five games in his tenure at Iowa State; Auburn should look into that.

Speaking of coaches in trouble and lost teams, Texas needed a last minute drive and touchdown to beat Kansas. Kansas is bad. Kansas is the only really bad team in the Big 12, and they excel in that role. And Big 12 fans know it. There is no coming back from a loss like that. On the bright side, it had been almost two months since Texas had allowed fewer than 30 points. Good on ya, mate!

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