In the games I mentioned this week I was 6 for 6. I brag because it's rare I have the opportunity to do so. My three games to watch were:
Alabama/ Arkansas, Oregon State/ Boise State, and LSU/ West Virginia.
The true best games were:
Alabama/ Arkansas: This was one great comeback and one painful meltdown. It proved a lot of critics right. Mallett can't handle the pressure against the top defenses. He's a great talent but he starts to make mistakes when there's a late threat of a momentum change. I'd like to see an alternate version of this game where he doesn't throw the late pics. Might the Hogs have won this one? Why didn't Arkansas lean on their running game a bit more in the second half. Knile Davis was having a great game. I'd be in the mindset of, "Don't unneccessarily pressure our QB who has a history of throwing interceptions when we seem to be running the ball against this monster defense." Maybe Alabama was just too talented in the long run and would have taken this one in any scenario. Too bad for the Razorbacks, they can join Iowa, South Carolina and many others who temporarily had national championship ambitions. These guys won't get the votes at the end of the season, they can only hope for a lesser BCS bowl.
LSU/West Virginia: Looking at some of the stats you wonder why the Mountaineers didn't take this one. LSU's defense is just too athletic, too physical for a mid-level team, which is what WVU is. The Mountaineers still might be the best team in the Big East but that only underlines the separation of the conferences. LSU is probably the third or fourth best in the SEC. The Tigers simply shut WVU down and did enough offensively to win. Which is how they'll have to win most of their games this season. Jordan Jefferson had a 55.9 QB rating for the Tigers, which is quite an accomplishment in college football. In a bad way. However, LSU's run offense did its job and the Tigers roll on.
Auburn/ South Carolina: Poor Stephen Garcia. He has a great day passing, 235 yards, 3 tds, and a 212.6 QB rating. Unfortunately he fumbles twice in the fourth quarter and gets pulled in favor of a guy who then throws two 4th quarter ints, (Conner Shaw). To me taking out a QB in the 4th quarter is almost the same as resigning. I understand Spurrier has been using a 'tandem' system but he let Garcia take control last week and the QB has performed well for the better part of two games other than the fumbles. I think keeping him in gives you the best chance at winning. As it stands Auburn proved to have the 'tougher' team. Making the plays it needed in the 4th quarter and defeating what must be a heartbroken Gamecocks team.
Boise State was predictably dominant against Oregon State. They let the Beavers hang around by making a few mistakes but in my mind the game was decided by half time. Moore was effective and late in the game the Broncos' running game made sure OSU never got a real opportunity to win. From this point on will Boise be challenged? They visit Nevada on November 26th. The Wolfpack are playing well but it seems the only team that can beat Boise this year before their BCS bowl will be themselves. Not likely.
UCLA gave Texas a rude wakeup call. The only question now is," Will the Longhorns expose how overrated the Oklahoma Sooners are?". The Big 12 seems down this year. Nebraska's struggles with South Dakota State don't help change the perception. Three top twenty five teams, three head scratching performances.
Oregon beat the heat, massive expectations, and a gritty Arizona State team. In a season full of falling posers the Ducks seem like the real deal. Stanford looms, and both teams are on trial.
Highly enjoyable week in college football, my preview for week 5 will be out shortly, Bones out.