Some random thoughts, a few potshots and maybe even a called shot or two in the future following a weekend of college football …
– Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly ain’t the only guy who thinks his Irish ain’t all that and a nag of chips. But this isn’t the week to point out their flaws or good fortune. Yeah unranked and underachieving Pitt has ND on the ropes Saturday in South Bend, Ind. – on the scoreboard. In reality, the Irish dominated, outgaining the Panthers by better than 200 yards in a 29-26 overtime victory. In short, they deserved the outcome they got.
– Conversely, what in the world is Florida doing on offense? A couple weeks ago everyone went nuts when the Gators beat South Carolina by 33 – and got outgained in the process. Folks, no matter how you slice, that isn’t impressive. It’s winning on luck, circumstance … and, sometimes, when actually being beaten. Such was the case in their 14-7 decision against visiting Missouri on Saturday. Just chill a bit on the Gators’ greatness. There is none at this point.
– The Heisman race is crazy this season. Ever since Geno Smith’s candidacy went up in smoke at midseason, we have a new guy pop up as a potential front-runner seemingly every week. Alabama QB AJ McCarron and Kansas State QB Collin Klein kinda had the spotlight entering this past weekend, and then the former had less-than-vanilla impact in his top-ranked team’s thrilling win at No. 5 LSU and the latter got hurt in his No. 2 team’s thrilling win against No. 24 Oklahoma State.
– Texas A&M freshman QB Johnny Manziel stole the show Saturday, throwing for 311 yards and running for 129 and two scores in the Aggies’ blowout once-beaten Mississippi State.
– Or Oregon senior RB Kenjon Barner did in rushing for 321 yards and five TDs on 38 carries in the fourth-ranked Ducks’ wild, 62-51 victory at Southern Cal.
– Speaking of wild, can someone, anyone, get a handle on what Arizona is doing? A week after outlasting USC itself in an offensive shootout, the Wildcats got waxed by the Trojans’ crosstown rival, UCLA – 66-10.
– Kudos to Oregon State coach Mike Riley for going back to backup QB Cody Vaz a week after forcing star Sean Mannion back into the lineup off a knee injury – a move that cost the Beavers an unbeaten season, likely the Pac-12 title and definitely any shot at a national one. Vaz struggled a bit against Arizona State, but still guided the Beavers to a 36-26 decision a week after their dreams went up in smoke at Washington.
– Bad weekend (if not season) to be yours truly. Have degrees from two schools … and the football programs at each have serious QB issues. The one – Temple – likely will see a change as lefty Chris Coyer just cannot seem to get it going. Maybe he’s been hampered by bad playcalling and a bad line, but there are no excuses for coughing up the ball like he does. Three fumbles against No. 10 Louisville in a 45-17 loss probably sealed his fate, leaving the door open to Clinton Granger and/or Penn State transfer Kevin Newsome. The other – Illinois – appears steadfast in waiting things out until Nathan Scheelhaase becomes a star. Note to new head man Tim Beckman – that might be a long wait, bud. Thirty-four pass attempts by No. 2 yielding just 96 yards (and one pick)? Coach, it’s time for a change. Reilly O’Toole at least can average more than 2.8 yards per attempt.
– Early word on future upsets to watch: Notre Dame at Southern Cal on Nov. 24, and Louisville at Rutgers on Nov. 29. The Irish and Cards are both top-10 unbeatens, and just lack the overall quality to dominate opponents. In those matchups, each will be playing more talented, more physical teams and ones with a chip or two on their shoulders and something to prove.