I was in Knoxville for UT-Florida, a game with all the suspense of watching one of those live chickens try and survive hanging over the alligator pits. Occasionally the chickens break their neck in a fearful attempt to escape. Which is sort of what the UT football team did on Saturday. Right now UT quarterback Jonathan Crompton is playing with all the intelligence of the guy who buys pre-frayed baseball caps. There’s a real argument to be made about which of the plays during this game summed up the Tennessee season best. A roster of possibilities: a. Guard Ramon Foster picks up his arm to turn around and try to hear what audible Jonathan Crompton is calling. My best guess as to this audible? Watch me throw it really hard into the ground. b. Tennessee kicks to Brandon James allowing him to return a punt for a touchdown against us for the third consecutive season. (The 2006 return was negated by a phantom block in the back call). Think about how amazing this is. Next year he’s going to become the first player in history to return a punt for a touchdown in four consecutive seasons. c. Jonathan Crompton decides to run for it on 3rd and 21 after facing modest pressure. d. Despite there being no one lined up over the center (meaning even I could have scored from one yard out on the quarterback sneak) Crompton goes play-action. e. The Arian Foster fumble montage aired by CBS. I got more emails about this than anything. Also, after his third quarter touchdown to Percy Harvin, Florida had outscored UT 58-0 since the third quarter of last year's game. And I'd seen all those points in person. This is no rivalry anymore. Here’s a round-up of 11 other notable things in college football this week after the jump:1. Scene: Knoxville bar on Thursday night. Guy in West Virginia baseball cap has his back turned to the game during overtime of the Colorado game that his team would lose 17-14. Leaving aside the questionable decision to roll solo to a bar for a game night, how are you actually clad in team gear and not watching while your team is in overtime? Anyway, good hire on Bill Stewart. The guy knows his clapping. 2. The Terrelle Pryor Experience has officially begun. Four touchdown passes and 66 yards running in the 28-10 win over Troy. Are Ohio State fans starting to do the BCS math on 11-1? Former starting quarterback Todd Boeckman ran two plays and was booed mercilessly by the crowd. Prompting this response from defensive lineman Lawrence Wilson:"Hey, we're just kids. We're not professionals. There's no way that adults should treat us that way." News flash, you’re also adults. People younger than you get killed in Iraq every day. But at least no one boos them. 3. Wake Forest over Florida State for the third consecutive year. Third. Think about this, prior to the 2006 season what odds could you have gotten that Wake was going to be beat FSU three times in a row (and twice at Doak-Campbell)? Would there have even been a line? What if you’d shown up at a Vegas casino with a truck of cash and asked them to come up with the odds for you? You’d own the Strip now. In other news, FSU still sucks at quarterback. This level of futility is mind-boggling. Year after year FSU knows they suck at quarterback, everyone (including dozens of blue-chip quarterbacks) know they suck at quarterback, and yet nothing is changing. Chris Weinke is going to end up with a bronze statue outside the stadium soon.
4. Charlie Weis and Notre Dame took a beating from Michigan State. In the process, the horribly named Laptopgate arose because Notre Dame had a laptop in the press box. Fortunately Charlie Weis shot down the problems with that. "The last thing I ever want to do is lie," he told the AP. Of course, why would we ever think otherwise? 5. Vandy is in the top 25 for the first time since 1984 after a 20-17 road win over Ole Miss. No one saw this game because it wasn’t televised anywhere but it featured the inexplicable (a fumble into the end zone as Ole Miss prepared to score and take the lead), as well as four picks from Jevan Snead and a winning team that put up half the offensive output as the losing team. Regardless, the Vandy win has some Auburn fans saying they’re more scored of the ‘Dores in two weeks than they are UT next week. This is ominous. What’s best of all for Vandy about the timing of their ranking? They have a bye week this week so they’ll be ranked for two consecutive weeks. Meaning they’ll set a new record since the 1984 ranking only lasted for a single week. There hasn't been partying like this on campus since the AP test results came back. A 4 in English Composition. Score! 6. Miami stomped Texas A&M 41-23. Admit it, you didn’t know this game was happening either, did you? Miami is still floating under the radar, but I think there’s a decent argument to be made that Randy Shannon has got them on the way back up. As for A&M? Wow. Things aren’t turning so quick. Maybe that two-day coaching search was a bit abrupt? 7. Oregon goes down to Boise State 37-32 meaning USC is already the only remaining unbeaten Pac-10 team. I have lots of Pac-10 readers at Oregon. This makes perfect sense. So, soon after Brandon James’ punt-return for a touchdown, I get this text message, “It could be worse, you could be losing to Boise State.” I think my situation is worse. I’d rather lose to Boise State once than have Brandon James return a punt for a touchdown against my team for the third consecutive year. 8. UCLA’s continuing demise. For two weeks the question was whether UCLA was good or UT was bad. The latter has been confirmed. Since the UT win UCLA has been outscored 90-10: 59-0 by BYU and 31-10 by Arizona. This means UCLA is almost more painful than the Florida loss. Almost. 9. The Big 12’s top teams continue to avoid one another and all remain in the top 10. Texas Tech puts on a 56-14 beat down of UMass. (This would have been a better basketball game. Maybe.) Texas beats Rice 52-10, Missouri beats Buffalo 42-21, and Oklahoma has a bye week. In the Missouri game Chase Daniel completed 20 straight en route to 439 yards passing. Yet, every time I see him, Daniel looks fatter. You too, right? He’s definitely gorging on giant drum sticks. I picture him living in an old house off campus with only one large room. It’s just got a giant chair-throne in the shape of an M that also doubles as a bed. He has a remote control that raises him up to eat and then lowers him back down when the groupies arrive to service him. Occasionally he has sex while eating the giant drum stick.
So it’s probably fortunate that Missouri doesn’t get Oklahoma or Texas Tech on the regular season schedule this year. If they can both get past the Texas game (Oklahoma also gets Texas Tech), it really looks like a Big 12 title game between Missouri and Oklahoma could be a match-up of undefeated teams. At least the Big 12 has a title game. If this was the Big Ten and the teams didn’t play we’d all be subjected to a month’s worth of Herbstreit telling us why the two teams should be given co-national titles without playing. 10.The best game of the day was LSU-Auburn. LSU comes from down 14-3 at the half to win 26-21 on the road against one of the best defenses in the country. Meaning that, at times, it remains more important to have a confident coach than an intelligent coach. Credit to Les Miles for dialing up the trick play score and the ballsy (as if that’s a surprise by now) late touchdown pass on the final drive (although not nearly as late this year). Question for ESPN: Why did we need shot after shot of a clearly disoriented Andrew Hatch on the sideline? Yeah, it sucks he had a concussion, but this was borderline making fun of his injury. Imagine if someone had a hurt knee, would they keep showing him sitting on crutches while making fun of the fact that his leg wasn’t working? Why do that with Hatch when a head injury is clearly much more dangerous than a leg or arm injury would be? Credit to redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee bouncing back from the worst interception of the year to lead LSU on the comeback. After he threw the first pick, there was zero faith among LSU fans that he could seal the deal after the Hatch injury. Well done by Lee. I can’t help but think that Miles being insanely confident rubs off on his team. Sometimes insane confidence is better than intelligence. Just ask George W. Bush.
11. There are six non-BCS teams ranked in the top 25. Three from the Mountain West (BYU, Utah, and TCU.) If anyone but USC wins the Pac-10, the Mountain West should take out a newspaper ad on the west coast and proclaim their top team the Pac-10 champion as well. East Carolina hung in despite finding a way to lose to N.C. State and Boise State joined Fresno State, who survived after their crazy overtime win, in the top 25.