10 Questions, Week 7: Is This Really Happening?
Another crazy weekend leaves more questions to be answered
Oct. 8, 2007
By Eric Sorenson
Special to CSTV.com
Eric Sorenson is a regular contributor to CSTV.com, covering football, basketball & baseball. E-mail here!
Between you and me, I keep thinking that there is going to be some kind of cruel alarm clock that will rudely wake me up at any time now. That's right, I'll be lying there in my bed with the worst breath of the day.
So far, this college football season has been one incredible dream. With exciting games, incredible finishes and "Am I hallucinating?" upsets all over the map.
All I know is that Saturday night's game in
Gotta say, a fall Saturday in
While wondering how the second meeting of LSU and
Question 1: After spending this weekend in
1. LSU doesn't have a come-from-behind offense. It has a come-from-behind defense.
2. Tiger running back Jacob Hester is one tough S.O.B. His second and third efforts on a pair of fourth down runs won the game.
3. Despite the loss, Tim Tebow showed me a lot for three quarters and may still have a chance at the Heisman. What the hell, nobody else has stepped up.
4. Pre-game rockers and New Orleans-natives Cowboy Mouth is a GREAT live band. (www.cowboymouth.com)
5. Nike is a scurrilous cad of a company.
You know those special "rising like a phoenix" jerseys LSU wore last week at Tulane? Those jerseys retail for 80 bucks at the LSU Union. Get this - only ONE dollar of that 80 is going to Katrina relief funds. One dollar of 80. Is Nike really selling these with a straight face here?
Question 2: NOW will you listen to me when I say USC hasn't been all that impressive?
A couple of weeks ago I covered the USC-Nebraska game and I caught a little flack after writing that I didn't think that USC's win was very impressive. Sure, their line opened Mack Truck-sized holes in the porous Blackshirt defense, but penalties, silly mistakes and giving up 31 points to an average offense proved to me that USC was still an undisciplined team. Now, turn the page to the 24-23 loss to Stanford on Saturday and I think you see what I mean. Outgaining a 1-3 team, 459 to 235, and still losing? As usual with the Trojans lately, you have to take into account the penalties and turnovers, of which SC had eight flags for 80 yards and five turnovers in all. Four of those were John David Booty interceptions.
Question 3: So should I believe all my LSU friends that say USC is out of the national title picture?
Well, hell no.
Here's the deal. It's become obvious to all of us college football junkies across the country that anything and everything can happen in this most unlikely of college football seasons. So if - and at this point it's a big if - USC is able to win out the rest of the way (including wins at Oregon, at Cal and at Arizona State), the Trojans would still have a decent shot at finishing near the top. As you know, there are lots of teams above them that will eventually lose. And plus, this is just the first week of October. You know that stupid old adage that is only relevant to college football, "if you're going to lose, lose early." So I have to say to all those Tiger fans who are eerily obsessed with USC failure, I don't think the Men of Troy are completely out of this thing just because of this loss. Though this one is huge.
Of course, you also have to think, after what we've seen, what are the chances USC is going to go on a winning spree like that now?
Question 4: What other fan-base do I NOT want to hear a peep out of this week?
There's only one thing that could make the
Shame on you both.
Question 5: What's the latest trend in college football?
First-year coaching success stories.
Here are three names to commit to memory right now: Jeff Jagodzinski, Dennis Erickson and Brian Kelly. Those are the three head coaches in their inaugural seasons at Boston College,
BC shook some doldrums and demolished Bowling Green, 55-24.
What great turnarounds at all three schools. Of the three I suppose Coach Jag's job at BC might be the least surprising since he inherited a great quarterback in Matt Ryan and lots of experience returning across the board. ASU is playing on a different level this year. Quarterback Rudy Carpenter appears to have shaken off last year's absolute funk and is playing more like he did as a freshman when he deposed then-starter Sam Keller. And what can you say about the Bearcats? Coach Kelly has come in from a successful gig at
Still, all three teams face major hurdles in the immediate future:
ASU keeps its hands to the fire with Washington,
And Cincy's last half of the season will be no picnic, starting with Louisville this week.
Question 6: Speaking of coaches, who is getting a whisper of credit that should be a shout across the rooftops?
Ron Zook of Illinois.
First of all, this guy has always been able to recruit. And now, he is proving, given time, he can coach a bad team to a great season. With this weekend's 31-26 "upset" over No. 5 Wisconsin, the Illini sit at 5-1 and 3-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1990. It also marked the first win over a Top Five opponent since 1989, although I think we can all agree
The Zooker is working with wildly talented quarterback Juice Williams, who has been a phenom. He rushed for 92 yards and went 12-for-19 for 121 more yards. The Juice also got help from RB Rashard Mendenhall, who outrushed Big Ten rushing leader P.J. Hill 160-to-83.
For those of you wondering, the Illini play at
Question 7: So which team has the biggest smile on its face after this weekend?
The Bucks' impressive 23-7 clampdown of Curtis Painter and Purdue leave them with a 6-0 record and, without a doubt, the easiest path to the national championship game. Despite the uprising of the aforementioned
Question 8: Despite the good intentions, what rule change should college football send to the landfill?
Bottom line, if the idiots can't get the obvious rulings correct, they should just get rid of it and go back to the human element on the field.
Here are a few examples:
Question 9: Whose ten-gallon hat is feeling five gallons flat?
The state of
The stars at night are just not aligning right deep in the heart of
- And lastly,
Question 10: What rivalry game has all of a sudden increased in significance?
This ain't no basketball we're talking here. Nope. The Big 12 North rivals may well be deciding who goes to
Both teams had huge wins this past weekend to improve to 5-0.
KU, meanwhile, won its only meaningful game so far this year with its 30-24 W over in-state rival
And now...The 11th Question:
Why do those guys in the Sonic TV commercials look like their "seat belts" wrap around their necks, looking more like a sash and not attached to the car?