Saturday, November 08, 2008

CFB Saturday Viewing Guide and Live-Blog:
And That'll Be All For This Penn State Talk

Evening Update 3: So I'm watching Florida eviscerate Vanderbilt (remember when Vandy was 5-0 and a Top 10 team?), and even though the Florida offense is toying with a very respectable defense and the Florida defense is totally shutting down the Vandy offense (as they should), but it's the special teams.

Here's how good Florida's special teams are: They are the best punt-block team in the country... AND they have the best punt returner in the country (Brandon James). Cripes: Who has BOTH? This team is playing better right now than the 2006 national-champ edition ever did.

Evening Update 2:
So Alabama survives. I didn't have them ranked No. 1 last week, and as long as Texas Tech beats OK St tonight, the Tide won't be No. 1 for me this week. If TX Tech loses, Bama will be -- should be -- No. 1. (BTW: No one can make the case that Julio Jones is "too young" for the NFL. That guy is the second-best WR in the country, after Crabtree.)

Evening Update:
Normally, I hate Iowa. Tonight, I was rooting for them like a nutjob fan. I feel bad for Joe Paterno and for Penn State, but I was in the camp that Penn State was just that smidgen unworthy of playing in the national title game ahead of the Big 12 and SEC champs. Now, it's a moot point.

What a massive win by Iowa. Look at the fans on the field. It's like Texas Tech fans, only colder. God, I love college football.

All the playoff talk and debate over Who's No. 1 or No. 2 or No. 3... it's all so freaking premature. Because results like this happen that solve the debate for us. That's why I will continue to insist that college football regular season is, itself, one long playoff.

There are now 7 teams with any shot at playing for the national title. And by the time Texas Tech and OK State finish tonight, it will be 6, max. And there's still time for Alabama to lose at LSU, as well as Florida and USC to be shocked tonight by talented opponents.

But we know one thing for sure: Penn State is finished. Wow.

Late-Afternoon Update:
Bama-LSU is really a good -- if turnover-filled -- game. Looks like Iowa won't be the team to derail Penn State.

Big bounce win for Texas -- Colt McCoy won't hurt his Heisman chances with today's performance. Huge blowout for Ohio State -- as usual, vs. Northwestern.

Hmm: You think Boise State is trying to slow down the Utah bandwagon by racking up points? It won't help. If both Boise and Utah go unbeaten, can't we see them play each other in a BCS bowl?

In the aren't-they-all-just-kind-of-mediocre ACC, UNC has staked its claim as the league's best, with that big win over Georgia Tech.

Tennessee lost at home to Wyoming: Just when you thought the Vols hit rock bottom, they show you the skills they have to go even lower. Yeesh.

I think I'll be ranking Western Michigan in this week's BlogPoll Top 25g - they beat Illinois in Detroit. That WMU-Ball St game on Tuesday 11/25 could be a biggie.

South Carolina is going to be a test for Florida next week at the Swamp: The Gamecocks have only lost to Vandy, Georgia and LSU -- each by only a TD.

Ohio State fans who hate how much I rag on the Buckeyes enjoy at least one measure of payback every year -- the annual OSU ass-kicking of Northwestern. In my lifetime as a Northwestern fan, there have been a grand total of TWO moments of joy:

1995: Northwestern's dream season. Incidentally, that season didn't involve actually playing Ohio State. Instead, NU's trip to the Rose Bowl was sealed when favored Ohio State lost to Michigan, sending the Wildcats to Pasadena. Thanks for choking, Buckeyes. (OSU fans earned a measure of payback when Eddie George undeservedly beat out Darnell Autry for the Heisman.)

2004: The night before my wedding, Ohio State was playing at Northwestern in primetime. The rehearsal dinner festivities turned into a crazy game-watching party, where my Northwestern friends all went crazyin front of the TV -- and then my wife's Florida family all adopted the Wildcats for the game. When Northwestern won the game -- a rarity vs. tOSU -- everyone went crazy, adding to an already awesome weekend. (It helped take the sting from those on my then-fiancee's side who had to miss a Florida home game in order to be at the wedding, which was located close enough that they were still in Florida, but just too far away to go from the wedding destination to Gainesville and back, without missing a ton of festivities. Fortunately, we turned that into an excuse for a day-long tailgate/game-watching event.)

Noon: Ohio State at Northwestern
, ESPN2.
(Mildly Tracking: GA Tech/UNC)
3:30: Alabama at LSU, CBS
(Closely Tracking: Penn St at Iowa, ABC)
8:00: Florida at Vanderbilt, ESPN2
(Very Closely Tracking: OK St at TX Tech, ABC)

Who says championships can't be won the second Saturday of November? Tonight, Florida can clinch the SEC East title -- their first (and most valued) step in winning a national championship (just ask Georgia a year ago). Urban's thinking is that if your season ends with an SEC East title, you will likely be in a position to be in the picture for the national title.

Live-Blog follows all day.

-- D.S.

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