Another weekend is upon us, and it was kicked off with yet another undefeated Top 10 team falling. Eighth-ranked BYU was the latest victim, getting manhandled by a now 7-1 TCU team 32-7 in Fort Worth. Who gained the most from the Cougars defeat when it comes to BCS crashers? It was most likely #15 Boise State, who took control of things in the second quarter to knock off Hawaii 27-7 and remain undefeated all-time in WAC home games.
Thursday night is here, and for those of you with little or no interest in the ALCS there are a couple of intriguing college football games on tap. Florida State has a chance to make a statement in the ACC Atlantic race when they visit NC State. Yes, the Wolfpack have struggled this season, but keep in mind that they did beat East Carolina (a win that looks less impressive by the week it seems) in Raleigh and QB Chrisitan Ponder hasn't exactly lit it up against FBS competition for the 'Noles.
Well, Monday marked the time for someone else to take the heat for Clemson's disappointing 3-3 start to 2008. In two meetings with athletic director Terry Don Phillips this morning, Tommy Bowden came to this basic conclusion:
It was best for the program that he step down as head coach of the Clemson Tigers.
There were a pair of hyped showdowns on the schedule this weekend, but only the noon matinee between Texas and Oklahoma lived up to the hype. Florida blew out LSU, and by the end of Oklahoma State's win at Missouri the only team in the top four of the polls to survive was Alabama. They were off this weekend. So now the question to be answered Sunday afternoon is a rather complicated one: who's number one? Here are seven key happenings on this topsy-turvy Satruday.
1) Texas comes from behind to knock off top-ranked Oklahoma 45-35.
Today marked the nationwide opening for the movie "The Express", starring Rob Brown (Ernie Davis) and Dennis Quaid (Ben Schwarzwalder). For those who don't know the story of Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy, this is a must-see movie. Had there not been guys like Davis and Jim Brown before him (Brown also plays a role in the film), you may not see guys like Adrian Peterson and LaDanian Tomlinson today.
If you're looking for the most important game in the SEC season over the past few seasons, LSU (4-2, 2-0 SEC) vs. Florida (4-1, 2-1 SEC) may be the one worthy of that distinction. It may not be the most heated of games on the SEC schedule from a rivalry standpoint, but the number of players who can play on Sundays makes this must-see television. "What makes this such a big game is the quality of personnel on both sides," said Florida head coach Urban Meyer earlier this week.
Early October usually means one thing to fans of the Texas Longhorns (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) and Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 1-0): the Red River Rivalry in the Cotton Bowl. The stadium is split in half - at the 50-yard line - and the two bitter rivals rush onto the field out of the same tunnel. It's makes for interesting theater, with Bevo and the Sooner Schooner sprinting out...and that's before kickoff. In recent years, the winner of this game has protected the football and received the additional reward of pole position in the Big 12 South race.
While none of the three matchups taking place before Saturday will approach the hype surrounding the Red River Rivalry and LSU/Florida games, they are intriguing affairs nonetheless. The ACC Atlantic took another turn last weekend with Maryland getting shut out by Virginia, so the Thursday night battle between Clemson and Wake Forest is back to setting the tone for the divisional race. Also taking place on Thursday is UAB visiting a Houston team that may be the only challenger to explosive Tulsa in Conference USA's West Division.
The Sun Belt takes center stage for the second consecutive Tuesday, as Florida Atlantic (1-4, 0-1 Sun Belt) hosts Troy (2-2, 1-0) in a rematch of last season's finale that saw FAU win at Troy to earn the New Orleans Bowl bid. The Owls, thanks in large part to a tough non-conference schedule that sent them to Texas, Michigan State and Minnesota, ranks seventh in the Sun Belt in both scoring offense and turnover margin. But with senior QB Rusty Smith running the show, FAU is more than capable of putting up some big numbers.
The first Saturday in October is now in the books, with Hawaii winning at #22 Fresno State in overtime on a Dan Kelly field goal in the first overtime period. The fact that this game was in overtime period is a story, as the Bulldogs negated a yardage advantage of more than 200 yards with six turnovers. The initial field goal attempt in their first possession was missed, only to be bailed out by a Hawaii penalty for running into the kicker. Second chance at the lead...same result, opening the door for a road conference win for the Warriors.