College Football Recap- Week 10

I’m sure there were lots of great games earlier in the day Saturday, and I watched them all, but somehow I forgot about all of them after seeing that amazing showdown in Lubbock. In what was easily the best game of the year up to this point, Texas Tech kept its amazing run alive as they battled back to beat Texas 39-33 in a game that they really controlled from start to finish. When Texas drove down the field and took the lead 33-32 late in the fourth quarter, it was hard to figure out how the Horns were in position to steal this one away after being outplayed from the onset. Texas Tech suffered late in the game from its lack of a strong field goal kicker, which forced them to play for touchdowns rather than field goals when the latter would have been more than enough to seal the victory. But, this time, Texas scored too fast, and gave the Red Raiders another chance with about a minute and a half to play, more than enough time for such a deadly offense. QB Graham Harrell nearly threw an interception that would have ended the game, but was fortunate to have Longhorn Blake Gideon drop the pass. Harrell made the best of his second chance, and connected with Crabtree on a risky timing pattern with 8 seconds left for the TD that was again a function of the uncertainty in the kicking game. Crabtree pounded this reality home as instead of diving out of bounds and setting up a chipshot field goal, he pivoted into the endzone for the game winner. Had he been tackled, the game would have been over. True drama.

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Now, Texas Tech has to maintain the same intensity they demonstrated Saturday night in winning the biggest game of the program’s history, as Oklahoma State comes to town. The Raiders would be wise not to overlook these guys, who proved two weeks ago that they are right on the same level as Texas. After that, a trip into Norman to face Oklahoma is a tough spot, but not impossible. And of course, if they can get through all of that, they’ll be rewarded by facing a tough Missouri team (that everyone seems to have forgotten about) in the Big 12 Championship Game. A tough rough to be sure. More interesting is the likely scenario that Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech all end up with one conference loss and are all 1-1 against one another. The tiebreaker in this case? The team with the highest BCS ranking gets the nod. Whatever that means. Anyone that has an idea how you can separate these three teams in that scenario, please explain. We’ll deal with that when the time comes though.

Meanwhile, Florida is playing as well as anyone right now, and devastated hapless Georgia 49-10 in a Cocktail Party Game that certainly never lived up to its potential. It’s starting to make we wonder how on earth Florida lost to Ole Miss at home. I mean how is that even possible? However, I am getting tired of hearing pundits justify a one-loss Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech or Oklahoma State team getting into the championship game ahead of a one-loss Florida team on the basis that Ole Miss is a “bad loss”. The Rebels have lost four games, to Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Alabama by an average margin of just under 5 points. Read: Ole Miss is a good football team, and finishing the season 8-4 is not impossible. In fact, 7-5 looks worst case right now, with a road trip to LSU the lone obstacle. It should be interesting to see how the argument shakes out between a one-loss SEC Champ and a one-loss Big 12 Champ, because I don’t foresee either jumping ahead of a Penn State team that looks likely to be undefeated. Of course, Alabama and Texas Tech still control their own destinies.

TOP 25 OF THE MATTY

  1. Alabama (9-0)
  2. Penn State (9-0)
  3. Texas Tech (9-0)
  4. Florida (8-1)
  5. USC (7-1)
  6. Texas (8-1)
  7. Oklahoma (8-1)
  8. Oklahoma State (8-1)
  9. Utah (8-0)
  10. Boise State (8-0)
  11. Ohio State (7-2)
  12. Georgia (7-2)
  13. TCU (9-1)
  14. Missouri (7-2)
  15. BYU (7-2)
  16. LSU (6-2)
  17. Ball State (8-0)
  18. Maryland (6-2)
  19. California (6-2)
  20. Michigan State (8-2)
  21. West Virginia (6-2)
  22. Kansas (6-3)
  23. South Carolina (6-3)
  24. Georgia Tech (7-2)
  25. Pittsburgh (6-2)

HEISMAN WATCH

  1. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
  2. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech
  3. Colt McCoy, Texas
  4. Tim Tebow, Florida
  5. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech

GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEK:

#13 TCU at #9 Utah, 7:00 CST, Thursday- The Mountain West is certainly having its best year ever, and it would be tough to imagine one of its three top-15 teams not finding their way into a BCS game. Utah is no stranger to undefeated seasons, but they’ll face their toughest foe of the year here in the Horned Frogs, whose only loss against Oklahoma shouldn’t keep them out of the BCS if they can win a big one on the road here.

#24 Georgia Tech at North Carolina, 11:00 AM CST Saturday- Don’t look now, but the winner of this game controls their own destiny in the Coastal division and should become the favorite for a BCS berth over the Atlantic division representative, who at this point is anyone’s guess (could be Maryland, Florida State, Wake Forest or even Clemson).

#1 Alabama at #16 LSU, 2:30 CST, CBS- This will be a big test for the Crimson Tide, although they’ve played better away from home this season. Going into Death Valley is never an easy task, but I think the Tide offense should be alright here against an LSU defense that is clearly a shadow of its former self. With a win here, Alabama will look towards Auburn and then the SEC Championship game against a hungry Gator squad.

#8 Oklahoma State at #3 Texas Tech, 7:00 CST, ABC- I for one don’t think that Texas Tech is going to be taking this game very lightly, but for some reason I think that the Oklahoma State offense could give them a bit more trouble than the Texas offense did, and that wouldn’t be a good thing. The Cowboys have such versatility with QB Zac Robinson, RB Kendall Hunter and WR Dez Bryant, all three of whom rank in the top four in the nation for yardage at their respective positions. It should be another high scoring classic that could go either way. I can’t remember a year with such great Big 12 games.

#19 California at #5 USC, 7:00 CST, ABC: USC doesn’t lose at home often, and they’d be wise to gain some style points here against the only other ranked team in the conference. If Cal can pull off a shocker, guess who else controls their destiny in the Pac-10? The mighty Oregon State Beavers, who get Cal at home in a week and are a loss to Stanford away from being 6-2 with losses at Penn State and Oregon. More amazingly, if Oregon State wins out, they technically should win the tiebreaker over USC and be the Pac-10 representative in the BCS, leaving USC dependant on an at-large berth that they aren’t likely to receive over a one-loss Big 12 team that gets left out of its conference championship. That would be hilarious.

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