Around College Football
Week Six (October 9 Games)
Running … but no hiding.
In June of 1946, heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis responded to a question about the “hit and run” tactics challenger Billy Conn planned to use against him in their upcoming fight at Yankee Stadium.
The great Brown Bomber, who would successfully defend his title a record twenty-five times and who had escaped Conn’s slickness with a dramatic 13th round knockout in their classic 1941 meeting, simply said “he can run, but he can’t hide.” Louis managed to knockout the game little “Pittsburgh Kid” in the 8th in the rematch. That was the first televised heavyweight championship bout ever.
Athletes – and coaches – have never really been able to hide since.
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Les Miles and Derek Dooley probably sympathized with Conn after last weekend’s end of game shenanigans in the LSU-Tennessee fiasco on the bayou.
Much as they might have wanted to, neither could hide.
First to flinch was all-hat no-sense of time Les Miles. Like a golfer falling back into bad habits under pressure, Miles reverted to his old habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The worst clock manager since Chris Webber, Miles and the LSU Tigers should have lost to Tennessee. After inserting QB Jordan Jefferson into the game and seeing him stopped at the 1-yard line with 28 seconds remaining, the Tigers trailing, and the clock running, Miles went mind blank (perhaps that is redundant) as did his Bengal Tigers while time ticked away. Except for center T-Bob Hebert having the sense to snap the ball before the clock expired – said snap sailing past the hapless Jefferson to seemingly end the game – Dooley and the Vols would have the first big win of his career with the Big Orange.
Instead, the Vols pulled the old “I can take my thirteen and stop your eleven” anyday routine. Yes, the defensive staff – apparently hoping to exceed LSU for confusion – tried to match personnel changes with the Tigers and ended up with two extra players on the field (although in fairness, the officials should have given them time to substitute properly). One the “last” last play of the game, LSU scored to win.
An ugly loss. An ugly win. Nobody can hide.
Around the Nation
The Great Lakes region is home to what may be the weekend’s best game.
Unbeaten Michigan welcomes state rival – and also undefeated – Michigan State to the Big House. Winner moves to top tier of contenders with Ohio State and Wisconsin for the Big Ten title.
Another battle of teams yet to lose takes place Thursday night under the bright lights of Manhattan (the other one). Nebraska and Kansas State square off with Big 12 North division hopes on the line.
Utah has quietly slipped into the top ten, and faces a decent test at Iowa State.
Out West, Lil Lane Kiffin and USC lost the first of what I expect to be at least four games last weekend against Washington. Stanford in Palo Alto will be even tougher and should be fun if for no other reason that watching Kif and Jim Harbaugh of the Cardinal shake hands at midfield. Both are somewhat combustible.
Around the South
Alabama looked like a team on a different level than everybody else last weekend, handling Florida easily. The Tide cannot let down against South Carolina in Columbia.
LSU puts its unbeaten record on the line at the Swamp. Florida will need to recover from the Bama beatdown because the Tigers play outstanding defense.
Watch the Auburn at Kentucky game. There should be plenty of points, and do not be surprised if the Wildcats knock off the Plainsmen.
Here are the Campus Game SEC Rankings for the week.
1. Alabama … Complacency may be most potent enemy of Crimson Tide right now. A trip to the Palmetto State is no picnic.
2. Auburn … Lucky and good, Tigers may need to be both at Kentucky.
3. South Carolina … will Steve Spurrier leave Stephen Garcia alone and let him try to stem the Tide?
4. Arkansas … Hogs play Texas A&M at Cowboys Stadium in what will be an annual event for years to come.
5. Florida … Gators are better than they showed against mighty Alabama … aren’t they?
6. LSU … how can an unbeaten team rank so low? Go watch those last few seconds against UT again – that’s how.
7. Kentucky … Cats better crank up the scoring with Auburn arriving.
8. Ole Miss … like them or not, the Rebels are looking better and better.
9. Miss State … Bully boys face tough task against high-scoring Houston on the road.
10. Vanderbilt … Commodores should move to within a game of .500 by beating Eastern Michigan in Music City.
11. Tennessee … Vols defense may need remedial math, but at least they were hustling.
12. Georgia … Colorado game in hand with nation’s best FG kicker so let’s try a delayed sprint draw to a RB who fumbles a lot. Maybe not.
College Football News and Notes
Courtesy of National Football Foundation
New Football Programs
Reinhardt University (Ga.) president Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood announced that he will assemble a committee to explore adding football. The committee is expected to make a recommendation by May 2011.
NFF Chairman Archie Manning will give the keynote address at the CASE Fusion Conference on February 20, 2011 in New Orleans.
NCAA Football has announced a partnership with Big Screen Network Productions to make video board graphics available to all NCAA Football programs free of charge. Through this partnership, NCAA Football and BSN aim to enhance the game day experience for fans, while creating incremental opportunities for sponsorship sales. BSN is the exclusive video board production company for the NCAA and its 88 national championships.
The NFF St. Louis/Tom Lombardo Chapter will host its October luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 13 with the St. Louis Rams’ La’Roi Glover serving as the guest speaker.
The NFF Northern Connecticut Chapter is holding its annual membership drive. To join, contact chapter president Larry Olsen at 860-644-1243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Big 12 Conference has released its tentative league schedule for 2011 and 2012. . . . Wake Forest will host Notre Dame in 2011 and visit South Bend in 2015. The teams have previously scheduled a game in South Bend in 2012. . . . Penn State and Temple will play a three-game series from 2014-16. . . . Hawaii will host Tulane in 2011. . . . Tulane and South Alabama will play a three-game series in 2013, 2019-20. . . . Georgia will host Charleston Southern in 2014 and Georgia Southern in 2016. . . . Air Force and Notre Dame will play a home-and-home series in 2011 and 2013. . . . Oklahoma will host Ball State in 2011. . . . Ole Miss will host Southeast Missouri State in 2013 and South Alabama in 2017.
Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has signed a contract extension through 2015. . . . Mike Waddell has been named athletics director at Towson. . . . Lamar has tabbed Larry Tidwell as its athletics director.
CBS’s broadcast of Alabama at Arkansas on Sept. 25 scored the highest afternoon rating for SEC on CBS since 2003. So far this season, SEC on CBS ratings are the highest since 1999. . . . USA Today has released a report stating that attendance is up at 76 of the 120 FBS schools this season. Read the full report by clicking here.
The Heisman Trust has tabbed former Heisman Trophy winner Warrick Dunn as the fifth Heisman Humanitarian recepient. . . . The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced that Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corp., is its 2010 CEO Coach of the Year Award winner. . . . The Fred Mitchell Award has recognized 32 place-kickers for their efforts in the month of September. To see the full list, click here. . . . The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Discover Orange Bowl, for the fifth consecutive year, announced they will continue to present weekly nominees for the Courage Award. Auburn safety Zac Etheridge and Ole Miss running back Rodney Scott are the first nominees. . . . TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte has won the 2010 Bobby Dodd Athletic Director Award.
Arkansas honored the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation in the inaugural “A” Walk of Honor before the Alabama game. . . . Ike Forte, Greg Koch, Kevin Scanlon, Terry Don Phillips, Jim Williams and Milan Creighton have been selected to the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor. . . . Texas A&M – Commerce will play in its first live televised game when it hosts Tarleton State (Tex.) on Oct. 16. The Lions’ 1990 Lone Star Conference Championship squad will be honored at halftime. . . . Temple will present long-time sports information director Al Shrier with an 80th birthday roast. . . . Former football players Ed Budde, Steve Garvey, Percy Snow and Lorenzo White, and athletic director Ron Mason entered the Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday. They were honored at halftime of the Spartans’ game versus Wisconsin. . . . The USAFA Endowment, Air Force Academy, and the AFA Association of Graduates held the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Holaday Athletic Center last Friday.
This Week in College Football History
Courtesy: The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
October 10, 1992– No. 22 Clemson staged a massive comeback to defeat No. 10 Virginia, 29-28 in Charlottesville. Trailing 28-0 in the second quarter, freshman backup quarterback Louis Solomon ignited the Tiger offense with a 64-yard touchdown run to close the first half. Clemson, who ran for 288 yards in the second half, got touchdown a run from tailback Rodney Blunt (16 rushes for 141 yards) and two more from fullback Rudy Harris, who gained 96 yards on 12 carries. Nelson Welch made a field goal with 55 seconds left to complete the biggest comeback in school history. Virginia had a final shot to claim victory, but a hail mary attempt bounced in a crowd and hit the ground.
OTHER NOTABLE DATES:
October 4, 1958– Holy Cross handed Syracuse its only regular season loss in a span of 24 games, 14-13 in Worcester. College Football Hall of Fame head coach Eddie Anderson led the upstart Crusaders back from a 13-6 deficit, as quarterback Tommy Greene ran in a touchdown and the game-winning two-point conversion. College Football Hall of Fame head coach Ben Schwartzwalder’s Orangemen rebounded to reach that season’s Orange Bowl and win the 1959 national championship.
October 5, 1940– College Football Hall of Famer Tom Harmon and Michigan beat rival Michigan State 21-14 in Ann Arbor. The win was the Wolverines third in a row over their in-state rival and was part of a streak that stretched to 10 games before the Spartans won in 1950.
October 6, 1956– In its first Ivy League game, Penn beat Dartmouth 14-7 in Philadelphia. The win snapped a 19-game losing streak for the Quakers. Penn marched 73 yards late in the second quarter to score the go-ahead touchdown and held on for the victory.
October 7, 1995– Texas Tech stunned No. 8 Texas A&M, 14-7 in Lubbock. The Aggies entered the contest with a 29-game Southwest Conference unbeaten streak, but Red Raider linebacker Zach Thomas intercepted a Corey Pullig pass and returned it 23 yards for a score, breaking a 7-7 tie and clinching a monumental victory for Texas Tech.
October 8, 1966– In a 40-7 victory over Utah in Laramie, Wyoming kicker Jerry DePoyster became the first kicker in NCAA history to make three 50-yard field goals in one game. DePoyster connected on field goals of 54, 54 and 52 yards to set the record. The win was part of a 10-1 season for the Cowboys that included a WAC title and a Sun Bowl triumph over Florida State.
October 9, 2004– Aaron Rodgers set an NCAA record for consecutive completions as No. 7 California fell to No. 1 USC, 23-17 in Los Angeles. Rodgers began the contest with 23 straight completions, tying the single-game mark with Tennessee’s Tee Martin. Rodgers, who entered the game with three consecutive completions, set the NCAA record with 26 consecutive passes completed.
Nelson Welch made a field goal with 55 seconds to play to complete No. 22 Clemson’s school-
record comeback over No. 10 Virginia this week in 1992. (Photo credit: Clemson Athletics)
Check back Friday for Professor’s Picks … see you at kickoff!