Quick Hit Observations from College Football Week 12

USC-Stanford– Raise your hand if you thought Stanford would upset USC again when the score was tied 17-17 at halftime. (Hand raised.)

– Not that a ton of people care about Conference USA, but what a statement by Houston. I don’t know what was more impressive, the fact that the Cougars scored 70 points or that they held Tulsa to only 30 points.

– Iowa’s Shonn Grenne (30 carries, 211 yards in a 22-17 win over Purdue) is a legit Heisman candidate for 2009.

– What happened to Kansas? I realize they didn’t play any of the top teams in the Big 12 last year, but they’re better than 6-5 aren’t they?

– They might have won 34-7, but Penn State’s win over Indiana was the least impressive 34-7 victory in some time.

– One of the more underrated rivalries in college football is Georgia-Auburn. And the Tigers easily have one of the more underrated defenses in the nation.

– Early upset watch for Week 13: Nevada over Boise State. The Wolf Pack’s offense is good enough to keep pace with the Broncos’ explosive attack and Boise hasn’t faced a tough opponent all year. (Unless you consider when they faced Oregon and their fourth string quarterback a tough opponent.)

– Worst…Michigan…season…ever.

– Underrated game of the week: No. 14 Ball State at Central Michigan next Wednesday.

– College football fans were cheated by not getting to see Beanie Wells run for a full season. He was amazing against Illinois.

– How about Troy hanging with LSU in Baton Rouge? Had they not turned the ball over three times, the Trojans could have pulled off one of the best upsets in college football this season.

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Six Pack: 6 Observations from Texas-Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s reign as the best team in the nation lasted only one week as the top-ranked Sooners fell at home to Big 12 rival Texas 45-35 on Saturday. Below are six quick-hit observations from the game.

Colt McCoy1. Colt McCoy has become more than a fantastic player. The Longhorns’ junior QB has been one of the more talked about players in college football since his freshman year. But it was evident in UT’s win over OU that McCoy has become much more than that – he’s also become a leader for Mack Brown. Despite being down 11 on two separate occasions in the first half and playing through four lead changes, McCoy never panicked. He also didn’t make a mistake and while fellow candidate Sam Bradford had flashier numbers, McCoy proved why he should be the front-runner for the Heisman this year. McCoy certainly benefited from Chris Ogbonnaya’s (15 carries, 127 yards) as well, who had one of most pivotal plays of the game when he broke a 62-yard run to set up a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

2. While it was in a losing effort, Sam Bradford’s performance was phenomenal. It’s easy to forget that he’s only a sophomore with how mature he has looked this year. And while he did throw two interceptions (one was on the last play of the game on a desperation pass), his performance isn’t why OU won’t find themselves at the top of the rankings when the new polls are released.

3. Where was the defense? For being the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, Oklahoma’s defense just wasn’t that good to begin with and it showed today. The Horns racked up 45 points and 438 yards of offense sure, but the bottom line is that the Sooners’ defense couldn’t come up with the big play when it mattered most. And they allowed UT wideouts to roam free too many times in the secondary.

4. What was the game plan again? Speaking of OU’s defense, coordinator Brent Venables continues to make zero adjustments when his unit is being scorched. The amount of openings that McCoy and the Longhorns had offensively couldn’t have only been because the Sooner defenders were missing assignments. OU’s overall defensive game plan was weak from the start.

5. The officiating in his game was brutal. Blown calls were the norm and there were two plays that were inexcusably not reviewed. At least it was bad on both sides.

6. The Big 12 is still up for grabs. Looking ahead, Texas certainly isn’t in the clear yet to win the Big 12. The Longhorns host No. 3 Missouri and No. 17 Oklahoma State the next two weeks, then are at No. 7 Texas Tech and No. 16 Kansas in November. OU hosts Kansas next week, but doesn’t have to face Missouri and gets Texas Tech at home before facing in-state rival Oklahoma State to wrap up the season.

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