USC's loss throws title race into tizzy
Ohio State and Michigan held ground, while USC fell victim to Oregon State and a hot-handed quarterback.A USC loss? Well, that's just great. Now, unless a tech dude with a soft spot in his heart for an undefeated Big East champion hacks into the BCS computers, or a congressman from the Boise, Idaho district successfully gets a wild new anti-BCS law passed SOON, we're pretty much guaranteed a BCS champion-ship game that includes a one-loss team.
And no, I'm not trying to scare you because it's Halloween week-end. I'm actually booing. Ever since the USC loss, I've been sitting around my house booing. You see, we've been spoiled with undefeated one versus two matchups for all the marbles, and now all we're gonna be left with Ohio State or Michigan against Texas.
Maybe West Virginia can stay the course and somehow stay above Texas in the standings, but it seems doubtful should Texas run the table and win the Big 12. And while I love watch-ing Pat White and Steve Slaton, even (Ohio State or Michigan) vs. West Virginia doesn't exactly feel like the USC-Oklahoma or USC-Texas matchups from recent years.
So, should West Virginia, Louisville, and Rutgers all wind up beating up on each other in the next month, we're gonna be left with a one-loss team playing for the big football trophy, and Tommy Tuberville will be asking for a college playoff more often than Tommy Tutone asked for Jenny's phone number. And yes, the USC loss is good news for teams ranked 8, 6, 7, 5, 3, or 9, so it's almost like a new season will be ringing in next weekend. A new season decided as much by computers and formulas as much as on the field. It's probably best to not worry about it, but just sit back, and watch the season continue to unfold.
For instance, we should've called Florida State vs. Maryland the "World's Largest Outdoor Underachieving ACC Program Party."
Or, Michigan State vs. Indiana could've been the "World's Larg-est Wait Until Basketball Season Starts Party."
Which of course, would've made Syracuse vs. Cincinnati the "World's Second Largest Wait Until Basketball Season Starts Party." Kinda wordy, but maybe it'll catch on...
For the past few years, I've been with that portion of Seminoles fans who'd like to see Jeff Bowden removed as offensive coordi-nator, but moved to another position on the staff.
After all, you can't fire family, but watching some of Jeff Bow-den's offenses is kind of like watching Tommy Callahan learning how to sell brake pads. The days of the "Fast Break" offense feels like eons ago, and half of the time, the recent FSU passing game makes Thad Busby look like Charlie Ward in comparison. In fact, ever since QB Chris Weinke left, the 'Noles offense has-n't been anywhere close to the unit they were throughout the 1990s, when they were regularly hanging 40, 50, or 60 points on their then-hapless ACC foes.
But the weird thing is, the younger Bowden's play-calling didn't even seem to be the major problem in the Maryland loss. FSU gained twice as many total yards as the Terps, held the ball nine minutes longer, and STILL lost. So, when you can't really point the finger at Jeff Bowden, which direction should you point it? And, which finger should you use?
Does some sort of major coaching change need to be made in Tallahassee? It's a really tough call. Remember, you can't dump a head coach if you've already built an actual statue of him on campus. Pretty sure that's some sort of a law. But I can't help but think that a Mark Richt-type would have the 'Noles hov-ering somewhere other than the ACC cellar right now, no matter how hard the injury bug's biting. But even then, I find it hard to use injuries as an excuse. Every single off-season, Florida State recruits such great talent that they should be able to absorb an onslaught of injuries better than almost any program in college football.
I want to see Florida State good again. To me, they're the flag-ship football program of the ACC. They shouldn't be sitting at the bottom of the conference, and they shouldn't be trying to sal-vage their season so they can go to a bowl game in Boise or Charlotte. Whatever Florida State's REAL problem is, they have a ton of stuff to figure out, and hopefully they'll figure it out before next season starts.
As far as USC goes, I still can't believe they dropped this one with Oregon, Cal, and Notre Dame looming in the coming weeks. For the better part of three quarters, it felt like USC switched uni-forms with Oregon State in the spirit of Halloween weekend. It was eerily spook-tacular. Luckily for USC, they get Stanford next, which is almost like a bye week.
During Saturday's game, not only did Long notch a sack, he was also throwing offensive tackles around like they were inconse-quential running backs, chasing down plays, and generally mak-ing life incredibly hard on the opposition.
The most impressive part is, Long usually lines up at defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, which is generally considered a glorified defensive tackle. In the pros, a guy lining up in that spot of the 3-4 usually tries to tie up the offensive linemen so the lineback-ers can run free. That's not necessarily what Chris Long does; he's just a wrecking ball. Really, really fun player. Plus, Long seems to attract so much of the offensive line's attention, it's to-tally allowing freshman defensive lineman Jeffery Fitzgerald to make a ton of plays in his own right. With Fitzgerald's 11 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks on the season, don't be surprised to see him popping up on most, if not all, freshman All-America lists at the end of the year.
First, you've got Colt Brennan hurling about five touchdowns a game, and he's surrounded by seemingly dozens of talented pass-catchers. When they aren't throwing the ball, they're hand-ing it off to their 250-pound running back Nate Ilaoa, who's run-ning wild over everyone. When Ilaoa comes out of the game, they replace him with a 350-pound running back, senior Reagan Mauia. Variety is the slice of life, so I can kick back and watch a team that throws for 400 yards, then hand the ball off to guys that outweigh defensive tackles any day.
Eric Moneypenny is a frequent contributor to FOX-Sports.com.
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