If the Mountain West is going down, it's going down with (another) fight. Two nights after Utah handled Big East favorite Pittsburgh, No. 6 TCU (against No. 24 Oregon State) and BYU (against Washington) continued the league's recent success against Pac-10 foes. It would all add to the league's cause in pursuing a future BCS berth -- if not for the fact that two of the three are bolting the conference.
The Horned Frogs did not dominate, their win only assured after Oregon State's muffed snap went into its own end zone for a safety, but it's hard to argue with the result. They held Beavers star
TCU's veteran QB
BYU is in a much different position than TCU, in a perceived "rebuilding" season. While it was favored against the visiting Huskies (5-7 a year ago), some (like me) thought sernior
Nelson and Heaps, who rotated series throughout, were solid; but give credit to BYU's defense for clamping down and shutting out Washington in the second half. Locker, whose hype continues to outpace his actual production, was 20-of-37 for 266 yards and zero picks, but he often found himself in difficult third- and fourth-down situations. The Huskies converted just 5 of their 18 attempts on those downs.
I must confess, I saw only one play of No. 7 Oklahoma's 31-24 win (
The good news: Senior tailback
New coach, new offense, new NBC color commentator (the impressive
The Irish, so pass-heavy last year behind
But the real story was Notre Dame's defense, which has struggled so mightily for so many years.
Before Saturday, Jacksonville State coach
It may not qualify as "revenge," per se, but 18 years later, Crowe's own FCS (I-AA) squad just handed Nutt's Rebels their own opening-day embarrassment. Down 31-13 entering the fourth quarter, Jacksonville State rallied to send the game to overtime on a touchdown and two-point conversion with 18 seconds remaining. But the real drama came in the second overtime. Down seven and facing fourth-and-15 in the second overtime, quarterback
The irony, of course, is that the game's original significance was due to Ole Miss' quarterback, Oregon transfer
Now we know why the Rebels were picked to finish last in their division -- and perhaps why Nutt so desperately wanted Masoli. They may have to score a lot of points come conference play.
Ever since visiting Eugene in the spring, I've maintained that Oregon is still the team to beat in the Pac-10, in part because you won't find a faster backfield tandem than sophomores James and Barner. But throttling New Mexico, a 1-11 team last season, is one thing. Next week will provide a better gauge of Thomas -- still admittedly a work in progress -- when the Ducks visit Knoxville.
There's no nice way to put it: No. 4 Florida's offense looked terrible in its first game A.T. (After
From their opening series, when center
As my colleague
Florida was never really in danger thanks to
Much like Florida, Texas ushered in a new era of offense Saturday, and much like Florida, the Longhorns took a while to get going against Rice (though it wasn't as ugly).
It may take a few games for Brown and offensive coordinator
Penn State's true freshman quarterback,
Obviously, how Bolden performed against the FCS Penguins is no indicator whatsoever of how he'll handle Alabama's defense next week. The more telling sign is the coaches' confidence in him. He wasn't part of a rotation with Newsome or
Chronically embattled Illinois coach
The Illini did an impressive job of holding down Tigers quarterback
Missouri prevailed 23-13