The Sweep

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Get to know this running back, who leads the nation in rushing.
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Here are 10 things I'm buzzing about at the outset of Week 10:

1. Colt McCoy vs. Graham Harrell ... Mack Brown vs. Mike Leach ... Texas Tech's O-line vs. Brian Orakpo and Co. By now, you've consumed enough Texas-Texas Tech breakdowns to make you sick. Well, sorry, I must force-feed you one more serving: Hook 'Em Horns vs. Guns Up. Just like in tonight's epic clash, I'm partial to Texas on the hand-signal front. Hook 'Em Horns has superior tradition, originality and aesthetic value. Guns down.

2. When it comes to Florida-Georgia, I'm rollin' with the burners. The Gators have 12 players who boast recorded 40 times of 4.4 seconds or better, including Jeff Demps, the fastest player in college football history according to some historians. The Dawgs possess big-play ability, but Florida's excessive speed will be the story of this "Cocktail Party." 

3. Donald Brown, I apologize. It took 10 weeks for me to mention Connecticut's star running back in this space, and that's an absolute travesty. He only leads the nation with 165.5 rushing yards per game, for Christ's sake. The strange thing about Brown is he doesn't possess top-tier speed or bone-crushing power. One thing he does have, though, is spectacular vision. If there's a hole to be had, rest assured Brown will patiently seek it out. In today's UConn-West Virginia game, the Mountaineers will feature more physically talented rushers, but none of them trump Brown in instinctual prowess. Donald Brown: the thinking man's tailback.

4. Remember when Oklahoma-Nebraska was one of the most anticipated showdowns in sports? Neither do I. And neither does Vegas, which has the Sooners as a three-touchdown favorite. Good thing ESPN moved this game to primetime!

5. What's the most shocking aspect of Boise State's 7-0 start? Ian Johnson has yet to record a 100-yard game. Johnson, who leads active players with 51 career touchdowns and rushed for 1,714 yards in the Broncos' magical '06 campaign, has taken on a reduced role this season. But with the Broncos facing New Mexico State and its 115th-ranked rushing defense, this feels like the week Johnson eclipses the century mark. And he deserves it. For the record, there may not be a more selfless athlete in the world than Johnson, who truly doesn't care about anything beyond winning.

6. This year's SEC is defined by its imposing defenses ... and largely underwhelming offenses. This will be on display in a pair of conference matchups today: Kentucky at Mississippi State and Tennessee at South Carolina. I'm setting the Splurge's combined over/under for both games at 70 -- two points less than that of Texas-Texas Tech.

7. If Michigan can't summon up a smidgen of offense and beat lowly Purdue today, there's a very real chance the Wolverines are headed for a 2-10 finish. I fully understand this is a transitional season, but 2-10 -- eesh!

8. Quick Gus Malzahn primer to spice up Tulsa-Arkansas: Houston Nutt hires Gus as Arkansas' offensive coordinator. Nutt poo-poos Gus' no-huddle spread offense. Gus ditches Arkansas for Tulsa. Tulsa becomes the nation's No.1 offense behind Gus' approach. Gus returns to Fayetteville. Game on.

9. Georgia Tech's triple-option offense is obviously run-heavy, but the Yellow Jackets have a true receiving threat in Demaryius Thomas. Thomas, or "Bay-Bay" to those who know him, must establish a presence today if Tech hopes to knock off Florida State. Can the 6-foot-3 pass-catcher get loose downfield against FSU's blitz-happy defense?

10. With Washington at 0-7 and Washington State at 1-6, the Evergreen State features two of the worst teams in all of college football. Which team stinks more? Unfortunately, we have to wait for the Nov. 22 Apple Cup to get a true answer. But after tonight's USC-Washington game, we can compare the two teams' blowout losses to the Trojans. Hey, Huskies, lose by less than 69 points ... and you win!

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