11.01.08

Kafka Tebowesque, Tebow Emmit Smith-like, TTU SEC-Worthy

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 11:39 pm by

And Colt McCoy a little Simms-ish.

Or so I said midway through the third quarter, when the Longhorns could have taken back the game following a big defensive stop while trailing 22-13. McCoy’s INT-returned-for-a-TD capped off an already dismal sequence of offensive plays (incompletion, penalty, penalty), though the Longhorns QB’s absence of rhythm was surely more a product of his line (and perhaps the absence of Quan Cosby). Kid got knocked around for most of those three quarters, than came back and got it done.

The only problem wasn’t too tough to foresee — when UT took its 33-32 lead (its first one of the game), Mike Leach’s offense still had 99 seconds to work with. In need of just three points, they got a TD on some nonpareil Michael Crabtree footwork, after chipping at the Longhorns defense 10 yards and 10 seconds at a time. Texas Tech 39, Texas 33. Anybody have “Red Raiders safety” as a Vegas prop bet for first score?

If I was voting, I would make the Raiders #2, and I say that as a Penn State fan. The only reason they can’t leapfrog all the way to #1 (as Texas did) is ’cause they didn’t start out higher (and because they’re Texas Tech). Of course, as a Penn State fan, I also hope they lose to Oklahoma State (and then beat Oklahoma).

Also, now that Georgia has two losses, are we allowed to wonder if they aren’t a top team (and therefore the SEC is not as good?) instead of going, “wow, if Alabama beat the preseason #1 they must be awesome too.” (And yes, again, I say that as a fan of the team from the weak conference).

As exciting as the UT comeback and Tech finish was, it would have been quite fitting had the Horns returned the final kickoff for a score – the Raiders had to launch it from their five seven because of not one, but two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the home fans with 1 second left. Yeah, I get it, it was the school’s first win ever over a top-ranked team, and they are Texas Tech not Texas. “Act like you’ve been there before” does not apply.

I already got this game wrong – should have watched more film (though that didn’t seem to help Will Muschamp’s scheme against the jailbreak screen) – but my prediction: Everybody loses still. Alabama, Texas Tech, Penn State. Of course, I’m hoping for a nice, dull, low-scoring rematch of the 1979 Sugar Bowl. And any Big 12 school against Florida or USC could be quite entertaining.

In other news, it’s just a little weird that Tim Tebow passed Emmitt Smith as Florida’s all-time rushing TD leader. I suppose at some point we could also see a running back break somebody’s all-time receiving record, right?

Similarly, it turned out Northwestern’s replacement for injured tailback Tyrell Sutton plays the quarterback position. Mike Kafka, himself a fill-in for CJ Bacher, had 216 rushing yards against the Gophers in a 24-17 win that ended on an NU interception return for a TD. Can’t see the Wildcats beating OSU, but they better handle Michigan, and the Illini game could be as entertaining as that intra-state game ever is. Alamo Bowl, here they come!

Update: I did not realize… Tech is already #1… in graduation rates among all Top 25 teams, at 79%. Penn State is second (78%, behind unranked Northwestern in the Big 10) while UT and Oklahoma (50% and 46%, respectively) continue to bring up the rear of the Big 12.

6 Responses to “Kafka Tebowesque, Tebow Emmit Smith-like, TTU SEC-Worthy”

  1. GC says:

    Disappointing result in my ‘hood tonight but a terrific game, just the same. UT’s comeback was a surprise — Harrell to Crabrtree for the win, wasn’t. But much like a handful of instances in his freshman year, McCoy gets off the canvas pretty well. I’m already looking ahead to ’09, the heck with this season…

    only kidding. I’d have taken an 8-1 start to the season, especially considering the inexperience on the part of the secondary. If Blake Gideon had stickier hands, we could well be talking about how Will Muschamp’s guys held Harrell to 32 points.

  2. Jason Cohen says:

    Yeah, it’s easy to forget that expecations weren’t quite this high back in the summer i.e. they were rated third-best Big 12 team in the preseason (before knocking off the top two) and roughly equal with Tech and Kansas.

    Still, if Penn State and Alabama already rose from 22 and 24 to 3 and 2 (and UT from 11 to 1) how is it Tech began at 12 but only ever got to seven?

  3. GC says:

    can’t rationalize the no. 12 beyond potential, but Tech have finally knocked off a quality opponent, something Texas has done the prior 3 weeks in a row.

  4. JayDDrew says:

    Well, the UT-TTU game briefly led me to believe someone in the Big-12 could paly defense – till the second half! The TTU became a sieve just like the rest of the Big 12. Seriously, can Texas be considered national championship quality after giving up nearly 600 yards of offense? Or 38 points, afte giving up 30-something to Oklahoma?
    Big 12 fans, I just don’t see that happening against Florida, Alabama, USC or perhaps even Penn State. Your best chance of having a BCS winner would be Penn St. You’re not going to be able to go up and down the field on USC or an SEC team, unless something flukey happens.
    That said, I’m rooting for TTU because I sure don’t want to see Penn St. in the BCS championship game when their only signature win is over an overrated OSU team. The Big 10 needs to find another team, go to an East-West division format, and add a championship game. The PAC 10 needs to add two teams and do the same. It’s totally unfair that TTU and Alabama could go undefeated, then STILL have an extra hurdle to the BCS championship. Alabama would be a shoo-in, but they will NOT be favored in the SEC championship game against Florida.
    We may see Penn State vs. USC in the BCS championship, while the two best teams, the Big 12 and SEC champions, don’t even play ech other, crushing opponents in the Orange and Sugar Bowls.

  5. Jason Cohen says:

    Yeah, but they only had to win the one game to be #1. Then they shored up their base with the next two impressive wins. As Tech can now do.

    Their issue should be with Penn State and USC. Before Penn State beat Wisconsin they were 6th and Tech 7th, but at the time no one realized how down the Badgers were and PSU got credit for a giant road win, moving up to 3. I don’t recall who USC played that day but they moved from 8 to 6 (and Tech dropped from 7 to 8 to make room for Missouri-slayer Oklahoma State).

    Most years it all works out eventually, despite the noise. And actually the coaches and the Harris voters, i.e. the ones that count, have given Tech a better shake – they are fifth in both those polls, not seventh. So alas for me, but justifiably, I think they get third easy, and maybe 1/3 of the first place votes.

  6. Jason Cohen says:

    The championship game system isn’t really any better than the the Pac 10 Big 10 system. Those games came into being for $$$, not to reform college football – fans and coaches from those conferences should continue to address all complaints to their presidents and athletic directors. Honestly, I would have rather seen a Big 12 schedule last year where Kansas and Missouri played Texas (and Kansas played Oklahoma) in the regular season than the boring rematch championship game we got. I’d also be quite happy if the Big 10 would drop two of the nonconference games (leaving teams to play one cupcake and one meaningful game) and play a true round robin. No matter what, there are always strength-of-schedule inequities, based not just on your conference and your non-conference games, but also which division you are in.

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