1. West Virginia's Offensive Explosion Continues
Despite contributions from quarterbacks Major Harris, Pat White and Geno Smith in addition to Bobby Bowden and Rich Rodriguez over the past half-century, No. 9 West Virginia remains the winningest football program without a national championship.
However, 2012 may be their only shot at winning at a national championship and it's the final season for senior flamethrower Geno Smith. Including the Orange Bowl, West Virginia has now outscored its last two opponents 139-77. In his last two games, Smith has completed 81 percent of his passes for 730 yards, ten touchdowns and topped it all off by tossing his name atop the Heisman conversation alongside names such as Matt Barkley, Le'Veon Bell and...
2. Logan Thomas Saves Hokies National Title And Heisman Aspirations
Likened to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Virginia Tech junior Logan Thomas is just as nimble, quick, an inch taller and 15 pounds heavier. He is also a dark horse to win the Heisman Trophy and may be the first player taken in next April's NFL Draft.
Thomas' rally on the Hokies final drive wasn't quite Cam Newton's 49-yard touchdown run against LSU or Robert Griffin III's touchdown dagger against Oklahoma but Thomas may have saved his Heisman candidacy on national television during a game-tying final drive against Georgia Tech. Thomas capped off regulation by leading Virginia Tech on a 51-yard drive capped off by Thomas' 27-yard completion on 4th and 4 to receiver Corey Fuller.
3. Have Alabama, UGA And The U. Found Their Next Great RBs?
UGA, Miami and Miami have a tradition of producing elite running backs and over the weekend a trio of freshman ballcarriers pulverized defenses and left a wake of destruction in their rear view mirrors.
UGA tailback Todd Gurley gained 100 yards on eight carries in addition to a 100-yard kickoff return against Buffalo. However, besides Knowshon Moreno, you can't rely on a UGA running back to become a workhorse back under Mark Richt who loves to rely on platoon backfields. In all likelihood, Gurley, Keith Marshall and sophomore Ken Malcome will rotate as the primary ball carriers within the shadow of Hershel Walker.
Under Nick Saban, Alabama's backfield has become the 80's cast of Saturday Night Live. Instead of Eddie Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Dana Carvey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus Bama has produced Glenn Coffee, Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram. Senior Eddie Lacy is the No. 1 back on the depth chart but TJ Yeldon turned heads in his 100-yard debut.
However, the most impressive freshman back was Miami's Duke Johnson, who ran for more yards than any other freshman back in the nation. Of his 135 yards, 110 came on a pair of 50+ yard tackle-busting touchdown runs that had Miami's King James giving the new Duke of Miami his ring of approval via Twitter.
4. Kellen Moore Award(Top Non-BCS Performance Of The Week): Tyler Tettleton
Since being fired as Nebraska head coach following a 9-3 season with a 54-19 record in 2004, Frank Solich has elevated the Bobcats from a lowly 4-7 MAC football team to a 10-4 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl champ and now possible BCS-busters. In Ohio's upset of Penn State, Tyler Tettleton completed 31-of-41 passes for 314 yards, two touchdowns in addition to 48 yards and a touchdown.
Saturday's result wasn't so much a Penn State loss more than it was an Ohio Bobcat victory and Tettleton is the driving force in what many believe could be a special season for the Bobcats.
5. Anti-Heisman(Most Disappointing Performance): Denard Robinson
Last week, Nick Saban compared Robinson's impact to that of Cam Newton's, however, on Saturday night, Robinson was as present as Invisible Obama during Clint Eastwood's RNC monologue.
Not only was Shoelace left shoeless after getting his socks knocked off by Alabama's hard-hitting defense but Denard Robinson's 11-for-26 passing performance was compounded by poor decision-making which further exposed his penchant for lobbing poorl thrown passes up for grabs.
Robinson's reputation also took a bigger hit than any licks laid upon him by Alabama's defenders. During the Wolverines home style whooping, Michigan State players had fun at Robinson's expense on Twitter. He'll have to wait until Oct. 20 for his chance at payback against Michigan State, whom he is 0-3 against in his career.
6. Unanswered Questions: Who Is The Big Ten's Best Team?
Before the Michigan Wolverines were declawed by Nick Saban's suffocating defense, the defending Big Ten champs, Wisconsin barely squeaked by Northern Iowa. Although, Michigan State running back Le'deveon Bell carried the rock 44 times for 210 yards by ground (and a few by air) in a physical 17-13 win over a Boise State unit that returned just five starters, Kirk Cousin's replacement Andrew Maxwell threw three picks and just one touchdown-to the Boise State defense. Judging the Big Ten based on Week 1's action, the most favorite to be Rose Bowl representative on New Years Day may be Ohio State. Oh wait...
The weekend did nothing to upgrade the dwindling level of respect for the Big Ten. After Saturday's loss, the Big Ten has now lost ten straight nonconference games against top-5 opponents by an average of two touchdowns, since the 2007 national championship game.
7. Alex Smith, Tim Tebow. Meet Braxton Miller
Urban Meyer has an impressive history of developing quarterbacks. During his first pit stop at Bowling Green, Josh Harris established himself as the leading rusher in school history and the school's third leading passer.
Utah's Alex Smith was taken No. 1 overall in the 2005 NFL Draft and Tim Tebow bulldozed his way to two national championships, a Heisman Trophy and a cult following.
On Saturday, Miller began his ascent after a rocky freshman campaign by scoring three touchdowns, passing for 207 yards and gaining another 161 yards. 98 of those yards came on a 65-yard option keeper and a 23-yard dash on 3rd and 21.
8. Oregon Has Their Ducks In A Row
Marcus Mariota showcased why he could be the next great Chip Kelly quarterback in a lineage that includes Dennis Dixon, Darron Thomas and Jeremiah Masoli. In one half, the redshirt freshman threw for 200 yards, 3 touchdowns, completed over 81 percent of his attempts and flashed his mobility in the option by tacking on an extra 24 yards rushing.
De"Anthony Thomas gained over 119 yards from scrimmage and improved his claim as the most exciting 'little man' in the absence of LSU's Tyann Mathieu. However, Oregon's backfield is so crowded it's unlikely he'll get enough touches to earn a Heisman invitation. Kenjon Barner and freshman Byron Marshall combined for 33 carries, 170 yards and three touchdowns. Besides if Mariota keeps up this pace, the Oregon Duck's Heisman invitation won't be extended towards a running back.
9. True Freshman Throws Perfect Game
There have been three perfect games in Major League Baseball this season. True freshman Wes Lunt was only eight years old when Brandon Weeden began pitching in the minor leagues. While Lunt didn't jump into his center's arms at midfield ala Yogi Berra and Don Larsen, he did complete all 11 of his pass attempts for 129 yards.
However, it wouldn't be a perfect game without the defense's shutout during the Cowboys 84-0 shellacking of the late Savannah State football program.
10. Is Brett Hundley Southern California's Next Superstar QB?
As USC's Matt Barkley began his final collegiate season by connecting with Marquise Lee for an emphatic 75-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage their crosstown rivals christened the emergence of freshman Brett Hundley and his quest to restore the UCLA Bruins to respectability.
On his first career snap against Rice, the 6-foot-4 dual threat quarterback faked a handoff, found a seam outside the tackle and sprinted upfield for an 82-yard touchdown. Hundley also threw for an extra 202 yards and tacked on a pair of passing touchdowns for good measure.