It was a great day in the Cave watching hour after hour of football. Here's what I saw.
My Panties ARE Comfortable, Thanks For Asking: Georgia Tech 38 Virginia Tech 27
Back in August, I wrote in my preseason BlogPoll roundtable that Virginia Tech was the most undeserving team getting BlogPoll votes. Some of those voters responded to my crticism, which started my slow and steady backpedal from my preseason feelings.
Good job, Mrs. Bean.
Anyway, my instinct may have been right, as the Hokies were blown out against Georgia Tech in Blacksburg. I thought we might see a defensive battle in this game, but Calvin Johnson was. not. to. be. stopped. What a nasty performance. He'll be rocketing up my MaxwellAward ballot.
Ohio State 38 Iowa 17
A bit of vindication for Horns fans who might have been wondering how good Ohio State is. If there was any doubt about who should be #1 coming into this week, it's gone. I expect the Buckeyes to receive every first place vote this week. They should, anyway.
Michigan 28 Minnesota 14
The game wasn't as close as the final score, and I agree a bit with Yost, who couldn't help but be disappointed in Michigan's letting up in the second half. Yes, the game was never really in doubt. But no, teams that aspire for championships shouldn't be pulling up quite like that.
If there's a positive in that for Michigan, it's that they'll have some motivation to get focused in practice. Settling into complacency is dangerous in this sport.
Texas Tech 31 Texas A&M 27
Ha! Man, was that a great game! Sitting in the Cave with AW and MMHorns, I kept saying that I wanted to see that mass of ugly maroon and white suffer a heartbreaking defeat. And did they ever!
I truly wish I could have listened in to the College Station talk radio after that game. The frustration with Fran must be reaching a boil. One of the afternoon activities I'm most looking forward to today is surfing some Aggie message boards.
Oh, the game. After a wild first half that featured a lot of everything, both defenses calmed down for an improved second half. And then the wild finish, including the game winner, which was just as good a pass and catch as I've seen since the Rose Bowl, when Leinart hit Dwayne Jarret on a post over the middle for what would be their last score of the game. Graham Harrell threw a beautiful arching ball to the sideline of the end zone, where Robert Johnson hauled in his third touchdown of the game.
All together now: "Pooooooor Aggies!"
USC 28 Washington State 22
Speaking of Dwayne Jarret, the Trojans really missed him Saturday night. While the defense kept Washington State from pulling an upset, the offense could never get in a good rhythm. I think a large part of that has to do with Jarret's absence, and definitely exposes some weaknesses in the team's armour.
Still, I'd take that defense over most any unit in the country right now, and because of it, they're going to be favored going into every game they play. And it's absolutely critical that the defense is so strong - the Trojans still face two of the nation's better offenses in Notre Dame and California.
Georgia 14 Mississippi 9
Gross. The Bulldog offense is putrid. The defense is keeping the team afloat, but they can't expect to get through the SEC schedule the way they're playing. Did I really bet on them to cover a 17 point spread? Oh yes, yes I did.
Missouri 28 Colorado 13
The Tigers were both better than I expected, and not as good as I expected.
Defensively, the team is solid, but by no means elite. There was running room all day for Colorado; the Buffs just couldn't balance things with enough air offense to be effective. I didn't get the feeling that Missouri could handle an offense like Texas', though. The front four didn't get anywhere near the kind of push that their gaudy numbers suggested they might.
Offensively, though, the team had a terrific look. Former Texas prep star Chase Daniel did an oustanding job running an offense that looked very much like what Texas is running right now. The Tigers used a shotgun, one-back spread formation for most of the afternoon, and Daniel did a great job taking all the throws underneath that were there, or shooting the ball down the middle when appropriate. The only blemish I saw in the Tiger offense was one I see with McCoy - they run the zone read without the quarterback ever keeping it. Other than that, I came away more than impressed with the Tigers. They can win the North.
Nebraska 39 Kansas 32, Overtime
Corn Nation can't be happy about that game. Despite four absolute gifts from the Jayhawk offense that were turnovers, Nebraska allowed - ready for this? - 574 yards in total offense and only won in overtime.
The Jayhawks out-passed Nebraska, they out-rushed Nebraska, and they pretty much gifted the Huskers a win with atrocious play in the red zone. Big Red fans can't be happy about a win like that.
But I'm sure they'll take it. A win's a win, and the Huskers did do some things well. Still, it's back to the drawing board on defense.