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College Football Recap
Monday, 2006 November 13 - 8:06 am
Michigan 34, Indiana 3. N.C. State 14, Clemson 20.

Michigan 34, Indiana 3. Well, so much for talk of a "trap" game. Michigan came into Indiana focused and ready, and utterly dismantled the Hoosiers. Michigan racked up 208 yards rushing and 376 total yards; Indiana didn't have a positive-yardage play until near the end of the first quarter, and ended up with just 26 yards rushing and 131 total yards.

Steve Breaston caught his first touchdown pass of the year, a (gasp!) long, over-the-shoulder catch for 62 yards. Breaston also scored on a punt return. Mario Manningham saw action and caught two passes. Mike Hart ran for 92 yards and Jerome Jackson added 65. Jackson also scored a touchdown, which is nice for the senior running back who's patiently waited on the bench for his opportunities to play.

Grades: Offense A, Defense A.

N.C. State 14, Clemson 20. Another close loss for N.C. State. This game could easily have gone the other way if N.C. State had been able to execute just a little bit better on offense. A key sequence: in the second quarter, with first-and-goal from the Clemson 3 yard line, N.C. State came away with zero points. They had five tries at running the ball into the end zone (thanks to a penalty from Clemson) and couldn't get in. That's the difference between good teams and mediocre teams: A good team can make a 1-yard run when it needs to.

Though Toney Baker had 174 yards rushing for State, it just wasn't enough to overcome two turnovers and an anemic passing attack. And on defense, State wasn't able to stop Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, who ran for a career-high 154 yards.

Grades: Offense C, Defense B-.

Other News

Ohio State demolished Northwestern in its tuneup game, 54-10, setting the stage for the epic battle with Michigan next week.

Louisville's BCS hopes were dashed by Rutgers, who came back from an 18-point deficit to win 28-25. Rutgers, as the lone undefeated team in the Big East, now has a slim chance of getting to the national championship. West Virginia won its game against Cincinnati, 42-24, but a one-loss West Virginia still figures to be a long shot to make the title game.

Texas hoped to improve its BCS chances after seeing Louisville lose, but didn't take care of business and lost to Kansas State 45-42. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was injured, but Texas can hardly blame its loss on that. 45 points? Kansas State only managed to score six against Louisville and three against Nebraska. Texas has defensive matchup problems to solve before it can consider itself a national title contender.

Adding to the epidemic of BCS contenders losing their games, Auburn lost badly to Georgia 37-15, and Cal lost to a mediocre Arizona team 24-20. Again, this is I don't want a playoff system... with the current setup, every game is a potential elimination game.

Florida hung on to squeak by South Carolina 17-16, though it took a blocked last-second field goal to do it. Arkansas stomped a good Tennessee team 31-14. These two schools figure to play in the SEC championship, and the winner may well go on to the national championship.

Boise State managed to stay unbeaten, getting past San Jose State 23-20.

Notre Dame stomped Air Force 39-17, and USC beat a good Oregon team 35-21. Both of those schools still have national title aspirations, and their meeting at the end of the year has regained importance in the title race.

Wisconsin beat Iowa 24-21, making them 10-1. A likely win over Buffalo next week would put them at 11-1, with their only loss to Michigan. I still think they're an underrated team.

Wake Forest humiliated Florida State 30-0, in Tallahassee, where the Seminoles had not been shut out since 1988. Maryland beat Miami 14-13. Wake Forest and Maryland are battling for the ACC Atlantic title, with the chance to meet Georgia Tech in the ACC championship. Both Wake Forest and Maryland have tough opponents next week (Virginia Tech and Boston College) before meeting in a showdown on November 25th.

BCS Race

Let's look again at the list of contenders from last time. I've re-ordered them according to their current probabilities.

1. USC. I had neglected to list them right after their loss, but I guess that was premature. They're suddenly the favorite again, and a win against Notre Dame will give them a huge boost.

2. Winner of the SEC. Though still a good possibility, Florida is hurt by having two weak opponents left to play, and USC would make a strong case to be selected ahead of Arkansas.

3. Loser of Michigan-Ohio State game. This is still a distinct possibility.

4. Notre Dame. They're moving up in the rankings as the teams above them fall. I'm sure TV executives are drooling. If they can beat USC, they'll be right up there... but can they pass Michigan in the rankings?

5. Winner of the Big East. With Rutgers at the top of the Big East, this is looking less likely now. However, the computers all have Rutgers ranked #2... ahead of Ohio State at #3, and just behind Michigan at #1. If they beat West Virginia at the end of the year... they've got a chance.

So that's current list of potential #2 teams at the end of the season: USC, Florida, Arkansas, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Rutgers.

The rest of the teams are probably out:

6. Wisconsin. They won't make it, because they can't pass the Michigan/Ohio State loser. They can't even make the BCS, because only two schools from the same conference can get in.

7. Winner of the ACC. Wake Forest could end up 12-1 after the ACC Championship, but I'm confident they still won't make it to the championship game.

8. Boise State. They still won't make it.

9. California. They're out.

10. Winner of the Big Twelve. This won't happen; every Big Twelve team has at least two losses.
Permalink  2 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: sports

Comments

Comment #1 from JohnC (Guest)
2006 Nov 14 - 11:07 pm : #
RE: Michigan OSU? It is ON! Bo was on the radio today, and I am ready to put on some pads and go hit somebody. GO BLUE!
Comment #2 from Phil (Guest)
2006 Nov 14 - 11:27 pm : #
And in local Div II news: NCCU beat Elizabeth City State University for the CIAA championship with an end-of-regulation field goal. In the Div II national championship tournament, NCCU gets a first round bye and a second round home game. ECSU may get a re-match against NCCU if it wins its first round game against Delta State.

For me, this is much more exciting stuff than the Div I football across town at Duke.

In other fun things, I saw exactly three Asian people at the NCCU game last weekend: me, my Mom, and my Dad. The only white person I saw (other than a few folks on the field) was my friend Kaudie who came along with the family. It was nice to be a different sort of minority. And nice, too, to spend time with the "other" part of Durham -- though I'm sad the overlaps are so few.

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