Tuesday November 15th, 2011

Best breakout performance.  Washington State had a plan Saturday that involved rotating quarterbacks, senior Marshall Lobbestael and redshirt freshman Connor Halliday, every two series. Lobbestael's two series passed without incident, and on his first play, Halliday hit Marquess Wilson with an 86-yard touchdown pass. Halliday, who had seen previous playing time in blowout wins over Idaho State and UNLV after original starter Jeff Tuel went down with a broken collarbone, had recorded no snaps since Week 2 according to his stat sheet. He would finish the night with 494 yards, four touchdown passes, and no interceptions, in conditions that alternated between snow, rain and sleet. Oh, and he was also once recruited by Dennis Erickson. Connor Halliday repays.

Play of the week. This Joe Adams target="_blank">punt return against Tennessee is mesmerizing in its execution, even before you remember Adams suffered a stroke as a sophomore in 2009 and came back to do ... this. Watching two, three, four, five defenders try to tackle him in succession and fall, fall, fall ... it's a work of art on par with those intricate fountains at the Bellagio.

Rivalry contraption of the week. What, you don't bring an oversized pedal-powered vehicle in the shape of your mascot to away games? Oregon sniffs at your amateurism.

Best use of Senior Day. Clemson OL Mason Cloy, who proposed to his girlfriend (successfully!) after his final run down the hill as a Tiger.

Best excuse for a conference loss. Louisville's "The video game ate our prep week." 

Grape job! I've never been shriekingly against guys getting punched in the head during football games, because it seems bound to do more harm to the guy punching a helmet with his bare hand than the punchee. But target="_blank">this Thursday-night display of petulance was just silly. It's not at all far-fetched to say Georgia Tech linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu's ill-timed and -aimed swing at Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas cost the Jackets the game. The Hokies now control the Coastal thanks to Thursday night, and really ought to send a fruit basket Attaochu's way.

GameDay sign of the week. Unknown geeks bringing the binary in Stanford.

Best special appearance by a Ghostbusters alum at an ACC football contest. Bill Murray, real live actual Bill Murray, popping up in Clemson! Bill Murray is legendary on the internet for just appearing for no discernible reason at events seemingly selected at random, but if you'll examine the photo closely ... are those seersucker pants? Yeah, he belongs.

Worst excuse for a consequential poll in recorded human history. No clue how it worked out that a third of today's honorees are somehow involved with Clemson, but this still bears noting: The Coaches' Poll, an important thing which is still allowed to exist and be part of the BCS rankings, continues to rank Virginia Tech above Clemson. Clemson beat Virginia Tech, at football, this year, 23-3, at Virginia Tech. Both teams have 9-1 records. The Coaches' Poll is not even trying to look legit, you guys. Best Pac-12 hipster. "I think Oregon is very good this year. But I think they were better when we played them in the past." -- Matt Barkley, who really prefers the Ducks' earlier work, y'know? Back when they were really into analog, warmer sounds, just more organic. You probably didn't know about them then. He's got some white labels he can lend you.

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