The Florida Gators have played and defeated 2 top ten opponents, outscoring LSU and Georgia by a combined total of 100-31. The Georgia Bulldogs have lost to 2 top ten opponents, getting outscored 90-40 in those meetings. If we look at the ground Florida has covered, it can be said that the Gators played down to the competition, with the only loss coming against the lowest profile team on the schedule (Ole Miss), with none of the higher profile programs even posing a threat. As for the Bulldogs, who opened as the nation’s No. 1 team, the lackluster play early began their slide, and punches delivered by conference heavyweights completed it. This would leave you to believe either Georgia was highly overrated to begin the year or the roster hits eventually took their toll. I choose the latter.
THE ORANGE WAS BURNT
The Longhorns were making an unbelievable run through ranked opponents, until they reached Lubbock. The speculation has always been that neither of the ranked Big 12 programs is strong on the defensive side of the ball, and it was Texas’ 116th ranked pass defense that eventually led to their fall. Not that the Red Raiders are much better at defending the pass, as the teams combined for 768 passing yards on Saturday night. But when you play a game of “last with possession wins”, even with a lead and under 2 minutes to play, you’re left at the mercy of your defense and the opponent.
THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
Be it the dogs or cats, Washington’s FBS programs are equally terrible. On Saturday, both Washington and Washington State were outscored 114-0 in losses to USC and Stanford. The 56-0 beating of Washington enabled the Trojans to record their third shutout victory of 2008. It’s the first time USC has shutout 3 Pac 10 opponents since 1965. If I’m choosing the better team in the state of Washington, I’d probably look at the lower level. Willingham’s Huskies nearly pulled an upset victory over BYU, but the greater feat may have been Eastern Washington’s fight with Texas Tech for a half, before being dominated in the second.
We knew things would be tough in Ann Arbor for a transitioning program, but we also thought the likes of Toledo, Utah, Notre Dame, and Miami of Ohio on the schedule would soften the misery. Instead, having those scheduled games makes the Michigan Wolverines appear even more woeful, as they managed to defeat just one of those opponents. Combine those losses with those in the Big 10, and I’ll witness something I’ve personally never experienced in my lifetime, a Wolverine team that will have a losing finish. Saturday’s loss to Purdue kills any hopes of Michigan having Bowl eligibility, snapping a streak of 33 straight. It also guarantees that for the first time since 1967, the Michigan Wolverines will finish below .500. And just think, the announcement that Lloyd Carr would be stepping down as the Michigan head coach last year actually led to celebrations. I think the only celebrations now sparked by the play of the Wolverines are in Columbus and Morgantown.
The Oklahoma Sooners currently own the nation’s longest home win streak (23), and have won 43 of the last 44 in Norman.
Iowa State’s Leonard Johnson set a FBS record with 319 yards on 9 kick returns against Oklahoma State.
Missouri and Baylor combined for 928 total yards of offense.
Georgia Tech’s victory snapped a 12 game losing streak to the Florida State Seminoles.
Arkansas has won 17 straight against Tulsa.
Tulane’s last victory over a ranked opponent occurred against LSU in 1982. Since then, the Green Wave is 0-32.
LSU has notched 22 consecutive victories over non SEC opponents.
Wisconsin’s defense held Michigan State’s Javon Ringer to his lowest output of the season, 54 yards on 21 carries.
West Virginia’s Pat White has now eclipsed the 4,000 and 5,000 yard marks in career rushing and passing.
THE GALLOPING FINISH
Oklahoma- an offensive machine
Auburn- an offensive catastrophe
Tennessee- offense transferred to Duke
Florida- Chomping towards the top spot
TCU- the best in the Mountain West
Duke- instant improvement despite the losses
Minnesota- got greedy
Arizona State- pitiful
West Virginia- rising
USC- still trails Oregon State in Pac standings
Notre Dame- just one victory over programs with winning records.