• Five days after Phillip Fulmer agreed to step down at season's end, the Volunteers officially threw in the towel on the '08 campaign.
With Neyland Stadium only two-thirds full, Tennessee lost 13-7 to lowly Wyoming. As 26.5-point underdogs, the Cowboys were supposed to play the role of sacrificial lamb in UT's homecoming celebration. But like many Tennessee fans, the Volunteers just didn't show up to the party.
There was nothing fluky about Wyoming's win. The Cowboys outgained the Vols in total yards 266-219 and converted a pair of Nick Stephens interceptions into 13 points. This was truly a wretched finish to a sad week for Tennessee football. After listening to their postgame commentary, I'm officially putting Vol Network announcers Randy Smith and Pat Ryan on suicide watch.
• Speaking of SEC suicide watch ... America's preseason No. 1 team, Georgia, nearly came undone completely today. But the 14th-ranked Dawgs escaped Kentucky with a 42-38 victory. Georgia's offense had no trouble, as Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno combined for six scores, but the defense was MIA. UGA entered the game with the nation's seventh-best rush defense (88.9 yards per game), but Kentucky piled up 226 yards on the ground. The Dawgs better shore up their run D before this year's installment of "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate." Paul Johnson's triple-option can crank out rushing yards with the best of them.
• Five of six teams in the ACC Coastal entered today with two conference losses. So today's North Carolina-Georgia Tech tilt had huge implications in the race to the ACC title game. And the 19th-ranked Tar Heels took a positive step toward Tampa with a convincing 28-7 win over the 22nd-ranked Yellow Jackets. The Heels won this game the only way they know how -- by dominating the turnover battle. Butch Davis' squad entered today with the nation's sixth-best turnover margin and UNC improved that mark today, forcing three turnovers without committing one.
• With 6:18 left in the first half and No. 5 Texas knotted up at 14-14 with 27-point underdog Baylor, Longhorns kicker Hunter Lawrence missed a 44-yard field goal and it couldn't have worked out better ... for the 'Horns.
In Baylor's first play following the missed FG, Bears WR Kendall Wright couldn't handle a high Robert Griffin pass. Texas CB Ryan Palmer gathered the tipped ball and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. The fired-up 'Horns D proceeded to stuff Baylor on its ensuing drive and Texas' offense marched down the field for another score. Just like that, the Longhorns went into the half with a 28-14 advantage, and they never looked back. Although Colt McCoy threw two first-half interceptions, he ended up with five touchdown passes and Texas won going away, 45-21.
• With Barack Obama's election on Tuesday, this week's buzz word has undoubtedly been "change." And suddenly, the beleaguered Michigan faithful have a new rally cry: "Yes, we can!" After losing their last five games by a combined 77 points, the Wolverines stormed the Metrodome and easily defeated Minnesota 29-6.
Now it's pretty clear that Tim Brewster's Gophers are running out of steam, so UM fans shouldn't go too crazy. That being said, this was a different Michigan team than we have seen in the Rich Rodriguez era. A complete Michigan team. A changed Michigan team. And the about-face began behind center. With Steven Threet sitting out due to a concussion, Nick Sheridan (or whoever that was in the No. 8 jersey) guided the Michigan offense to a season-high 432 yards of offense. One week after giving up 522 yards to Purdue, the much-maligned Michigan D held Minnesota to 188.
Has change truly come to Ann Arbor? We'll see next week when the Wolverines host Northwestern.
• Terrelle Pryor continues to grow on a weekly basis. In No. 12 Ohio State's 45-10 win over Northwestern, the true freshman quarterback threw three touchdown passes and displayed supreme poise in the pocket. Pryor escaped would-be tacklers numerous times, creating a bevy of big plays for OSU.
• How did Pitt beat Louisville 41-7 when LeSean McCoy managed only 39 yards rushing? Five Cardinal turnovers helped a bit.