Big 12, Big Ten and SEC races should become more clear today

University of Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones drops back to pass against the University of Texas in the first half of their NCAA Big 12 football game played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, October 2, 2010.  REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

My wife essentially makes the schedule in our house. My job is to make sure I stay gainfully employed and just show up to the things she’s set up for us. It’s normally pretty easy and painless, to be honest. And since I’m a scatter-brain most of the time, I completely relinquish the scheduling.

But she messed up this weekend. Big time. We’re signed up for a wine tasting at 6 p.m. (EDT) today, which will be smack dab in the middle of some of the best college football finishes of the day. It also means I’ll be out of commission after 6 p.m. (never drink and blog kids, it never ends up well), so expect heavier blogging early in the day, and not much later. I’ll let you decide if that’s good or bad.

After the jump, I’ll dissect some of the great matchups of the day (there a couple of huge ones), and introduce a couple of new features for this morning forecast post. Read the rest of this entry »

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The coronation of Taylor Martinez and Nebraska came a little too early

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 11: Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Taylor Martinez  runs for his first touchdown fo the day during first half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on September 4, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Idaho 38-17. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Taylor Martinez went off a week ago against Kansas State, leading many (including myself) to think he could be the second coming of Tommy Frazier and lead Nebraska back to the promised land.

Not so fast.

Nebraska fell 20-13 today to a Texas team that has been listless at times this season. The Longhorns held the explosive dual threat quarterback to 21 yards rushing on 13 carries. Nebraska only mustered 125 yards on 44 carries as a team. It wasn’t much better through the air, as Martinez and backup Zac Lee combined for 77 yards on 8-of-21 passing. On the bright side, they didn’t throw any interceptions. So there’s that.

It’s a big step for the Texas defense, which three weeks ago was embarrassed by UCLA. But mostly it’s a big wake-up call for Martinez and the Cornhuskers, who had moved all the way up to No. 5 in the rankings despite really not having beat anyone of consequence.

It’s too early to completely write off the Cornhuskers. Texas was coming off of a bye week, so that definitely helped. Plus, Martinez is young and he’ll have games like this every once in a while. Nebraska will just have to hope that when that happens, its defense can do enough for the win.

This is a stark reminder, however, that what you think you’re seeing in college football is normally not what you’re really seeing. This is one of the only sports in which that sentence makes sense.

Mallett and Newton’s Heisman hopeful battle leads Week 7 action

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Cameron Newton  of the Auburn Tigers reacts after rushing in a touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Two of the best quarterbacks in the nation will square off today when unbeaten Auburn plays host to Arkansas. Auburn’s Cam Newton is a big, physical dual threat, while Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett is a big-armed gun-slinger who can make all the throws.

Both are dynamic players in their own right, and with the success of their respective teams, they’re also right in the middle of the Heisman Trophy conversation. Today’s game could push even further up the chart, and perhaps even to the top.

Both should be able to put on a show, as well, as neither defense is overpowering. Arkansas is improved on that side of the ball from last year, but not by a ton. Auburn, meanwhile, just allowed 34 points to Kentucky. So expect some serious fireworks.

It’s one of — if not the — biggest games of a weekend that isn’t exactly as strong as the last couple have been. But there’s still plenty to take in. Read the rest of this entry »

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