Man, what a great idea like Jay said on Friday to have the whole weekend free with your game already in the books so that you can enjoy a great slate of matchups without any anxiety, interruption or displeasure. I took the time to take in as many games as I could over the weekend, from Friday night until the early hours of Sunday morning with the west coast games and wasn't disappointed. Other than Auburn, I'd say the top five for the weekend were:
Ohio State-Miami:At first, I thought Miami might have gotten blown out, but they played right with the Bucks until turnovers killed them. Jacory Harris threw 4 ints and this game even had more big plays than the second half of the Oregon-Tennessee game (shudder). Terrelle Pryor looks every bit as mobile as Cam Newton, but trails him by about five stone in weight, which translates to he doesn't run up the middle much.
Alabama- Penn State: I didn't think this one would be pretty, but like Tony Barnhart said yesterday, Saban took it easy on JoPa out of respect. Trent Richardson looked even better than Mark Ingram, gaining 144 yards and averaging 6.5 a carry. Alabama outgained the Nittany Lions by 126 yards, but it wasn't even that close. Bobby Bowden got invited to this game but not my favorite Bammer Joe, Joe Namath. Who made that guest list? Suzy Kolber? Lou Holtz predicted an upset in the pre-game, and even managed not to slobber on himself, literally, at least.
S.Carolina-Georgia: Two words: Marcus Lattimore. The way he ran and took over that game defies words. Georgia was helpless to stop him as he rushed for over 180 yards. Think about what it would have been like for Auburn to have him and Michael Dyer in the same class. The Cocks worked him hard though, tallying 37 carries, for just under 5 YPC. Imagine if Dyer and/or McCalleb were given even half that apiece. They both averaged about a half yard more per carry against MSU than Lattimore against the Dogs. Dyer only had nine, and that's just not enough to properly evaluate him credibly against Lattimore. We will have that chance ourselves in two weeks in JHS though. Think the talking heads will be noting that particular matchup?
West Virgina-Marshall: The whole time I'm watching this game, I'm thinking it's like a bad Auburn 4th quarter lead-protect nightmare under Dye or Tubs. The Eeers convert two consecutive 95 yard TD drives in the last 5 minutes, plus a two-point conversion to tie this game up, and then win it in overtime. Marshall in their prevent defense gave me flashbacks to quite a few Auburn blown saves over the years.
Georgia Tech-Kansas: Paul Johnson's offensive trickery, possibly even more mind-boggling than Gus Malzahn's, seems to give everyone but out-of-conference opponents fits. The Jackets are simply not the same team when playing a BCS OOC team, going back to last season's late losses to Georgia and then Iowa in the Orange Bowl, and followed up by this debacle against the team formerly known as the Fighting Manginos. Put Tech QB Josh Nesbitt on the list of Heisman trophy hopefuls who have already had their failure to launch. Oh well, there's always Virginia Tech to prove yourself against.
Honorable Mention I: USC-Virginia. Way to hang on Virginia Cadavers, on the road even! Most of us who are honest can admit to an embarrassing amount of schadenfreude when it comes to anything associated with Lane Kiffin, but reasonable people didn't expect much in the way of a gift from ACC middle-roader Virginia, who scored a TD late, only to fall 17-14. That's a tad better than the 52-7 outing in Charlottsville two years ago.
Honorable mention II, but only because I didn't watch the game: Wake Forest and Duke. With apparent reckless disregard for defense in this high-scoring affair, Duke came storming back long after I thought this game was over to try and beat the Deacons, but was able to push the +6 line and end with the final, 54-48, Wake. Wow. That's normally their basketball score.
For time constraints while writing this, I'll stop for now, but will get back later in the day or add some additional stuff later in the week. War Eagle!