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1. That Alabama's O-line is Overpowering. Of all the impressive moments in the Crimson Tide's depantsing of Georgia -- and if you watched, you know there were many -- the one that stood out to me most was a seemingly simple four-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter. Roy Upchurch took a quick handoff on the draw -- and proceeded to run through a hole the size of Athens. Each 'Bama blocker sealed off his man like he was forming a police baracade, and Upchurch was not touched until his teammates were congratulating him.
It was like that all night for the Tide, just like it was in their season-opening rout of Clemson. A replay of one long running play showed tackle Andre Smith manhandling an opposing defender 10 yards downfield. Meanwhile, 'Bama QB John Parker Wilson (13-of-16, 205 yards and a TD) spent most of the night standing on his own private island. Other top-10 teams may have more stat-happy QBs or more flashy skill players, but if, like me, you believe games are won in the trenches, you know why Nick Saban's team is as suited as anyone for a national-title run.
2. That the Urban Meyer aura is wearing off. He arrived from Utah as the sport's most intriguing new coaching figure, and he backed up the hype almost immediately by delivering a national title in just his second season. But following the Gators' inexplicable home loss to Ole Miss on Saturday, Meyer's team has gone just 6-4 over its past 10 SEC games. Most puzzling of all is how the coach's once-feared offense -- the one that was expected to truly take off once he had "his own guys" -- has regressed considerably in Tim Tebow's second year at the helm.
While Tebow, whose rushing stats are way down from his Heisman season, is the easy scapegoat, the bigger mystery is how, despite four loaded recruiting classes, there are seemingly so few weapons around him. On Saturday, stars Tebow and Percy Harvin combined for 401 of the Gators' 443 yards. Where were RBs Chris Rainey and Emmanuel Moody (six combined carries)? And how is it that none of Florida's young pass-catchers have stepped up to fill the void left by Andre Caldwell and Cornelius Ingram? Until they do, the Gators will be very predictable.
3. That Penn State is the class of the Big Ten. I realize many of you feel this is akin to being dubbed the prettiest girl in Pittsburgh, but last we checked, at least one of this conference's teams will be playing in Pasadena, if not Miami -- and the Nittany Lions look more and more like they could be that team. I had been leaning toward Wisconsin, but the Badgers' offense leaves a lot to be desired. While Michigan's fourth-quarter surge ultimately did in Bucky, the seeds were sown when it failed to convert any of the Wolverines' five first-half turnovers into a touchdown.
In its first game against a ranked opponent (Illinois), Penn State showed exactly what the skeptics were waiting to see: An explosive spread offense with a plethora of weapons and a defense that wasn't exactly immune to big plays but produced enough turnovers (three) and key stops that the Illini couldn't close the gap. The Nittany Lions are the league's most complete team right now. Ohio State could soon reclaim that status with Beanie Wells back, but it's a lot to ask of a true freshman -- even one as talented as Terrelle Pryor -- to lead his team to a championship.
4. That Tommy Bowden and Al Groh have hit their ceilings. The last time I did a "worst coaches list" in the summer of 2007, three of the five choices (Dennis Franchione, Bill Doba and Karl Dorrell) were fired by season's end. The other two, Clemson's Bowden and Virginia's Groh, came within a game of winning their respective ACC divisions, achieving temporary redemption and earning fat offseason contract extensions. A year later, any semblance of momentum is shot.
Following Saturday's loss to Maryland, the most talented team of Bowden's tenure is 3-2 and Clemson fans are likely resigned to the likelihood that no Bowden-coached team is ever going to make it past the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Meanwhile, Groh's program is sinking like a rock. It's one thing to have a down season; following a 31-3 loss to Duke, the Cavs -- a year after reaching the Gator Bowl -- appear well on their way to a 1-11 nightmare. It appears both schools have a whole lot invested in a pair of coaches who will never eclipse anything greater than they already have.
5. That anything other than the "White Out" is not worth it. If I was a Circuit City employee trying to woo a customer into buying a $2,000 HD plasma TV, the first thing I would show him is Saturday night's broadcast of the Penn State-Illinois game. Even seeing it for a third time, it was impossible not to be awed by the visual grandeur of Penn State's "White Out," which manages to turn a 110,000-seat stadium one enormous flashbulb. It's powerful, it's organized (right down to the block "S" in one corner) and, quite frankly, it's awesome.
Two words of advice to all the other schools trying to mimic it: Just stop. Seriously. The only tangible effect of Georgia's much-hyped "Black Out" was to turn Sanford Stadium into exactly what that Alabama strength coach prophesized: A funeral. And while the electric atmosphere at Reser Stadium last Thursday unquestionably contributed to Oregon State's upset of USC, an "Orange Out" doesn't make the slightest linguistic sense. (Is it akin to peeling an orange backward?) College kids are a creative bunch. I'm putting my trust in you to come up with something new.