Baylor, Oregon and Florida suffer embarrassing losses

Where are all of the so-called “experts” who said Baylor would “crush” teams like Ohio State? We’ve seen this before with Oregon. Running up the score against weak competition just because you run a no-huddle offense through the whole game means nothing when you’re facing better teams. It’s particularly true when you face more physical defenses.

Baylor was embarrassed last night by Oklahoma State. After this game they shouldn’t even be in the top ten, let alone in the discussion for the BCS.

Meanwhile, the arrogant Oregon Ducks got embarrassed as well by RichRod’s Arizona team after several Oregon players said that the Rose Bowl was beneath them. Where will they go now? The Tangerine Bowl?

Finally, the once-mighty Florida Gators managed to lose at home to an FCS team in Georgia Southern.

Which team should be most embarrassed today?

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Wisconsin misses opportunities as Tank Carder leads TCU to win in Rose Bowl

Here are five quick-hit thoughts on TCU’s 21-19 win over Wisconsin in the 2011 Rose Bowl.

1. Tank Carder is an absolute beast.
TCU linebacker Tank Carder isn’t a household name but after his performance in the Rose Bowl, his effort will be talked about around the water cooler come Monday morning. Every time the Horned Frogs needed a big play, it seemed like the junior linebacker was the one to make it. He harassed Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien, he blew up running plays in the backfield and he came up with the play of the night when he batted down a Badgers’ 2-point conversion pass attempt with two minutes remaining in the game. Holding a 21-19 lead, the Frogs were able to recover an onsides kick and run out the rest of the clock to preserve the victory. With the way Wisconsin was able to run the ball in the first half, it appeared as though the Badgers would hammer out a win. But Carder was one of the main reasons Wisconsin’s offense struggled mightily in the second half.

2. The Badgers missed several golden opportunities.
Wisconsin’s offense missed way too many opportunities in this game. They missed a field goal late in the second quarter that proved to be the difference on the scoreboard. They ran the ball well all night, but they abandoned their power rushing attack in the second half until late in the fourth quarter. Considering they were gaining 82 yards a play on the ground, Paul Chryst probably should have run the ball on that crucial 2-point conversion at the end of the game. Nothing can be taken away from the Frogs, but it was a night of what-could-have been for Wisconsin (which was also penalized at crucial moments throughout the game).

3. TCU’s defense stiffens up on its side of the field.
For much of the first half, Wisconsin’s offensive line absolutely manhandled TCU’s quick, but smallish front seven. It seemed as if Montee Ball was going to break a long run every time he touched the ball and it was going to be a long night for the Frogs’ defense. But until the fourth quarter when John Clay got going, TCU did its best work when Wisconsin crossed midfield. In the first half, the Badgers had six trips into Frog territory but only scored 13 points. The Badgers had scored more than 70 points in two of their final three regular-season games, but TCU tightened up on Saturday. In the end, the Frogs made plays when they needed to and the Badgers didn’t. That proved to be the difference in the outcome.

4. Andy Dalton is impressive.
I don’t know if Dalton can make the jump from the college ranks to the pros, but I’ll be rooting for him when he does. This kid was flat out impressive in Pasadena. He has good size, above average arms strength (how many times did he hit a receiver on an out-pattern to the sidelines, which is the most difficult throw for a quarterback to make?) and his accuracy is solid as well. His timing was often perfect and although he could have been intercepted on a couple of his throws, he usually hit his receivers in stride. On one of his throws, he threw an out route that hit the wide receiver out of his break and on the outside of his shoulder. It was a picture-perfect throw. Because the Mountain West is never on TV, it’s a shame that college football fans haven’t gotten to see more of Dalton. But if you were watching on Saturday night, it was hard not to walk away impressed with his performance.

5. Does this prove that TCU can hang with the big boys?
When TCU had an opportunity to prove itself last year against Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl, its offense fizzed and the Frogs took a backseat to the Broncos for most of the 2010 season. Even though TCU was favored against Wisconsin, many people thought the Frogs would get steamrolled by a bigger Badgers team from a better conference. But while it certainly looked like the Frogs would get run over in the first half, they held their own and proved that they could, at the very least, hang with top competition. Can they beat Auburn? Maybe, maybe not. Can they beat Oregon? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, nobody can answer “no” to either of those questions with any conviction. And thanks to the lame ducks at the NCAA, we’ll never know how far TCU could go in a playoff.

Friendlies can only help the MLS

Rose Bowl

When a crowd of 93,137 filled the Rose Bowl yesterday to see the Los Angeles Galaxy take on FC Barcelona, it was obvious that this is what the MLS needs more of.

These fans, part of the largest crowd to see a soccer game in the U.S. since the 1994 World Cup, didn’t need to be told to clap or to scream loud enough to ratchet up a phony noise meter.

They appreciated the jaw-dropping passing of Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodriguez, the speed and skill of a game played with fervor and at a high level, and they showed it at every turn. They also showed their passion by booing Beckham for the nearly 87 minutes he played, still scornful that he’s an MLS drop-in.

Beckham, fined $1,000 last month for attempting to combat a heckler during the Galaxy’s friendly against AC Milan, silenced the jeers when he powered a free kick through the defensive wall for the Galaxy’s goal in the 45th minute.

There is an audience for soccer, for the big occasions when remarkable club teams such as Barcelona visit. Yet, Saturday’s crowd was about six times bigger than the average MLS crowd, which was about 15,515 through mid-July.

It’s funny to think that more than 70,000 people would rather watch an MLS team take on a European squad rather than one from their own league. This shows us that American soccer fans follow, or are at least more interested, in foreign teams. Of course, these teams have been around decades longer than those from the MLS, amassing diehard fans whether or not they are from the team’s country.

Fact is, these friendlies are extremely helpful for the MLS. This ideal situation is one where a big-market team like the Galaxy actually beats the stronger foreign opponent. There’s nothing European and South American soccer fans hate more than losing to a team from the United States.

The goal here is to generate more interest from both American fans and those abroad. Like the U.S. national team beating Spain in the Confederations Cup, if an MLS team can grab a victory against a club like FC Barcelona, ratings and attendance will gradually increase. It didn’t happen on Saturday, but hopefully it will in the future.

USC linebacker sorry he faked getting busy with Erin Andrews

By now most of you have seen the video of USC linebacker Rey Maualuga dancing behind Erin Andrews following the Trojans’ victory over Penn State in the Rose Bowl.

According to, Maualuga is now sorry for the dance.

Why was the “apology” necessary? Because, as USA TODAY says, certain women’s groups are still upset with his barbaric behavior:

But Donna Lopiano, former CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, called Maualuga “my first-round pick for ‘offensive’ player of the year” and his dance behind Andrews “another example of a narcissistic, high-profile athlete believing that any behavior, no matter how inappropriate, is acceptable because of his status.

“For those who would laugh off, celebrate or enable this behavior, think twice. Ms. Andrews could be your sister, daughter or wife.”

Yes, because if someone dared do a white boy dance for all of two seconds behind my sister…well, let’s just say that it would be like the “curbing” scene from “American History X,” except not as family-friendly.

Again, to make sure we’re clear about this: Maualuga never touched Andrews, didn’t lay a finger on her. He merely danced behind her for about two seconds while she wasn’t looking in order to crack up a few Trojan fans who were watching. Let’s face it, Bruce Pearl was way more handsy with Andrews than Maualuga ever got.

Would Maualuga have done the same thing if it was, say, Todd Harris working the sidelines instead of Erin Andrews? Probably not. But in terms of actions that degrade women, this seems pretty mild. Plus, Andrews should consider herself lucky. When Maualuga parties, he has a history of being a bit more physical.

Agreed. I don’t think you can go into this situation too deep and say, “Maualuga did this because he’s a football player and knows he can get away with anything.” I think he was just trying to be funny.

Pete Carroll, you cocky S.O.B.

Behind quarterback Mark Sanchez’s four touchdown passes, the USC Trojans crushed the Penn State Nittany Lions 38-24 in Thursday’s Rose Bowl game.

Following the win, USC head coach Pete Carroll had this to say:

Pete Carroll“With all due respect, those are two great programs, I don’t think anybody can beat the Trojans,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “I just think we can beat anyone we played. That’s happened a lot to us late in the season. This is a terrific finishing program. There are so many things we can do. We’re just hard to beat right now.

“I just wish we could keep playing. Unfortunately, we don’t get to. Maybe someday there will be a chance, but not now.”

You didn’t get the chance because you lost to an unranked Oregon State team, Pete. And while I agree with your hinted suggestion that their should be a playoff format, with the way the current system is set up, the Rose Bowl is exactly the game USC should have been playing in – not the national championship.

While the title would suggest otherwise, I actually don’t think Carroll’s, “I don’t think anybody can beat the Trojans,” comments were that bad, although I still don’t think he should have made them. Tell your team that nobody can beat them – not the national media. The politicking for this year is over, Pete.

As for the game, it essentially played out like I thought it would. USC’s defense was too fast for the PSU, although I thought the Lions would keep the game close after the first quarter. The key was Sanchez not turning the ball over. Several times throughout the course of the year, Sanchez killed scoring drives for the Trojans with costly interceptions. But he kept the ball moving last night and easily played his best game of the year.

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