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The College Football Report

By Mike Luce

Patrick Wayne Swayze bowed from the stage last week at the age of 57. I would like to dedicate this week's Report to the departed. Here is a recap of Week 3, punctuated by some of Swayze's best lines. I'd like to think he would get a kick out of it.

Game: # 14 Georgia Tech 17 @ #20 Miami 33 (-4)

Beachwood Baseball:
  • How Milton Bradley will spend his suspension. In The Cub Factor
  • Hendry's Folly. By George Ofman

  • What was supposed to happen? The betting public showed some confidence in Georgia Tech. The point spread crept up to -5.5 before a late rush for the underdog Yellow Jackets pushed the number down to -4. Yet in the pre-game coverage, no one seemed to have an adequate answer to a basic question: what will Georgia Tech do if forced to throw the ball?

    What actually happened? For Miami QB Jacory Harris: "You are one radical son of a bitch!" - Bodhi, Point Break

    Jacory earned the ACC Offensive Back of the Week again after winning the award against FSU in Week 1. If he wins the Heisman - a possibility if he keeps this up, because voters tire of Tebow, et al - Harris claims he would like to wear a pink suit to accept the trophy.

    Georgia Tech stayed in the game for much of the first half. But Harris calmly stood in the pocket delivering bombs. Meanwhile, Tech QB Nesbitt couldn't keep up. Setting aside a meaningless late TD pass, Nesbitt went 5-of-14 for 77 yards. The linemen on both sides of the ball for The U deserve some credit as well. I imagine the tape from this game will cause heartburn in Blacksburg this week.

    *

    Game: # 10 Boise State 51 (-8.5) @ Fresno State 34

    What was supposed to happen? The Report figured out this game, but we weren't alone. Boise went off a full point higher than the midweek spread. A team not typically known for defensive prowess, the Broncos had limited Oregon's offense and looked to bottle up Fresno as well.

    What actually happened? I stopped watching this game in disgust. The teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of offense, and there were five scoring plays of 60 yards or more. I like scoring as much as the next guy, but that is ridiculous.

    "Well pumpkins, it comes down to that age-old decision: style . . . or . . .substance?" - Vida Boheme, To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar

    *

    Game: Tennessee 13 @ #1 Florida 23 (-30)

    What was supposed to happen? Lane "Kid Smirk" Kiffin started taking shots at Florida within days of accepting the UT top spot. Florida's head coach Urban Meyer, not a bastion of sportsmanship himself, has been known to run up a score or two. And this is The Year of the Quarterback . . .

    What actually happened? Opinions vary. But the game was a dud. Tim Tebow stubbed his immortal toe, throwing for 115 yards, an interception, and no touchdowns. Tennessee ran the ball repeatedly while trailing late in the game, opening the door to less than flattering post-game analysis by Meyer and others. In response to his own critics, the Florida head coach claimed that flu-like symptoms limited many of his top playmakers.

    Urban, this one is for you: "YOU SHUT UP! I'M SICK AND TIRED OF HEARING YOU STICK UP FOR HIM! YOU HEAR ME?" - Darrel Curtis, The Outsiders

    Note: For the week ending September 12, the CDC reported "widespread" influenza activity in Florida. Across the Southeast, the Influenza Illness Surveillance Network (ILINET, replacing Skynet as my new favorite network) showed that out of all outpatient visits, flu-like illnesses represented nearly 8%. The 2009 SEC season, brought to you by H1N1 . . . !

    *

    Game: Texas Tech 24 @ #2 Texas 34 (-19.5)

    What was supposed to happen? This was it. McCoy's chance to shine. After Florida spent the afternoon in a Tylenol-fueled haze, the Longhorns stood alone in the spotlight Saturday night.

    What actually happened? Well, well, well. Who could have seen this coming? Oh, wait. That's right - we called it here last week. I continue to be unimpressed with this Texas team.

    *

    Game: #3 USC 13 (-19.5) @ Washington 16

    What was supposed to happen? One thing we knew for sure, USC wasn't going to lose to another unranked team. Not for the fourth year in a row. And not the week after beating Ohio State. Again.

    What actually happened? I feel for USC head coach Pete Carroll. He started warning his players about a letdown in the locker room in Columbus. Last Saturday. You can't fault him for this game. The Football Gods need USC to lose, so that the Trojans can destroy some hapless Big 10 victim (see Penn State in '09, Illinois in '08, and Michigan in '07) in an also-ran BCS game. Otherwise, what would we talk about during the off-season?

    "Shit happens." - Bodhi, Point Break

    *

    Game: North Texas 7 @ #4 Alabama 53 (-37)

    What was supposed to happen? Can a heavily favored team step up? Anyone? You there, the pachyderm in the red sweater. You'll do.

    What actually happened? Hurray! Order has been restored.

    *

    Temple 6 @ #5 Penn State 31 (-29)

    What was supposed to happen? I don't understand why Temple fields a team. The Owls began playing organized games in 1894 and legendary coach Glenn "Pop" Warner led the team to the inaugural Sugar Bowl in 1935. Temple lost. With the exception of a blip in the late 70s, relevance has eluded the Owls since.

    By contrast, my alma mater dropped football in 1930 and nobody noticed. Then again, the Loyola University Ramblers don't collect huge checks for getting pasted by BCS teams.

    What actually happened? Maybe Temple is on to something. At least they scored.

    *

    Game: SE Louisiana 6 @ #6 Mississippi 52 (n/a)

    What was supposed to happen? Another "directional" team from Louisiana! We may need to rename the Creampuff Equation to the Directional Louisiana School Creampuff Equation.

    What actually happened? I think SE Louisiana should find a new mascot. "The Lions" is not adequately obscure. How about . . . the Ocelots? Or the Clouded Leopards? Get to work on this, people. I expect results.

    *

    Game: Florida State 54 @ #9 BYU 28 (-8.5)

    What was supposed to happen? This game could determine BYU's chances to play in a BCS bowl. Despite Bradford's injury, the win over Oklahoma in Week 1 would look better over time. If only BYU could handle Florida State and TCU, both at home, and remain undefeated . . .

    What actually happened? So much for that idea. Florida State played angry. Despite a significant home-field advantage, much less years of clean living, the Cougars wanted to be somewhere (anywhere) else by the third quarter.

    Some advice for BYU: "There's always barber college." - Dalton, Road House

    *

    Game: #8 California 35 (-13.5) @ Minnesota 21

    What was supposed to happen? I can't quite figure Cal out. They play well. Jahvid Best ranks among the best running backs in the country. If they aspire to greatness, they should win by a wide margin.

    What actually happened? The Bears entered the fourth quarter tied 21-21 with the Gophers. But Best took over late, scoring two of his school-record five touchdowns in the final frame. I wouldn't suggest California try this approach in conference play. As for Minnesota, they might be a lively underdog pick this season at home in the new TCF Bank Stadium.

    *

    Game: Louisiana-Lafayette 3 @ # 9 LSU 31 (-27)

    What was supposed to happen? Does Louisiana-Lafayette count as a Directional Louisiana school? I need a ruling.

    What actually happened? Another week, another boring win by LSU.

    *

    Game: #11 Ohio State 38 (-22.5) @ Toledo 0

    What was supposed to happen? A week after the USC fiasco, the Buckeyes escaped Columbus for a well-deserved break in Toledo. Ah, Toledo. "A business friendly city of the future." Indeed.

    What actually happened? Last weekend in Toledo, the business was butt-kicking. And business was good.

    *

    Game: #12 Oklahoma 45 (-18) @ Tulsa 0

    What was supposed to happen? No one was quite sure. Tulsa entered the game 2-0, while Oklahoma practiced against Idaho State last week. With Bradford at the helm, the Sooners might have been favored by thirty.

    What actually happened? Holy pornstache! Landry "Like That Kid in Friday Night Lights" Jones completed twenty-five passes for six TDs. The redshirt freshman broke a few notable records and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops reportedly teased injured QB (and defending Heisman winner) Sam Bradford about Landry's success in the locker room afterward.

    In other news, Sam Bradford didn't murder anyone Saturday night.

    *

    Game: #19 Nebraska 15 @ #13 Virginia Tech 16 (-5)

    What was supposed to happen? I wish I knew more about this game. I could sense an interesting matchup. But with Michigan State-Notre Dame kicking off at the same time, I couldn't pay attention.

    What actually happened? As it turns out, I didn't miss much. The game featured two touchdowns . . . and six field goals. I thought the winner of this game could emerge as a serious contender. Now, both teams just seem pleasantly mediocre.

    *

    Game: Texas State 21 @ #15 TCU 56 (n/a)

    What was supposed to happen? Assuming TCU prevails against Clemson this weekend, the Horned Frogs won't play another interesting game for a month. The Texas State Bobcats did not attract much attention leading up to that matchup.

    What actually happened? TSU put up more of a fight than most would have guessed. TCU did not win as easily as the final score would suggest. Regardless, this game hurts TCU's schedule strength. Voters want to see blowouts, and with the non-conference game against the Tigers next week, Texas Christian can't afford a slip.

    *

    Game: Rice 24 @ #16 Oklahoma State 41 (-33.5)

    What was supposed to happen? Fresh off a stunning upset by Houston, Okie State looked to rebound against defenseless Rice. The Cowboys climbed to #5 only to plummet back to Earth with the Week 2 loss. Dropping 11 points in the polls leaves most teams disoriented. Like, maybe the Cowboys needed a strong cup of coffee and a brisk walk. Against a lesser opponent, Week 3 could have been disastrous.

    What actually happened? Rice didn't have it in them. Texas A&M, Missouri, maybe even Baylor could have jumped all over the vulnerable Cowboys. Instead, Oklahoma State dated the Owls for two quarters, fooled around at halftime, and then broke things off.

    "Do you believe in the Here-After? Then you know what I'm here after . . . !" - Truman Gates, Next of Kin

    (A brief aside on Next of Kin . . . would you believe that all of the following actors played a role in this cult classic? Liam Neeson, Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, and Ben Stiller. Throw in a random Baldwin - Adam, as it happens - and that is a blockbuster group.)

    *

    Game: #17 Cincinnati 28 (-1.5) @ Oregon State 18

    What was supposed to happen? Are the Bearcats for real? Is Tony Pike a longshot Heisman candidate? What happens if Cincinnati runs the table? Would UC stand a chance in a BCS bowl game?

    What actually happened? We are intrigued. Cincinnatians (real term) love their Bearcats, and for good reason, having suffered with the Bengals for years. Remember, this team won the Big East last year. Something is cooking in the Queen City. And we're not talking about 5-Way Chili.

    *

    Game: #18 Utah 24 @ Oregon 31 (-4)

    What was supposed to happen? Utah had a chance to revive its season. Oregon wanted to right the ship. Someone had to go home unhappy.

    What actually happened? We learned a valuable lesson in this game. Week 3 marked a transition from teams with no business in the Top 25 (Utah, GA Tech) and others who solidified their positions (UNC, Georgia, Michigan). A few will come and go (umm, Washington) but all of the teams ranked this week should play in bowl games. Further, the Top 25 contains all the BCS teams as of today*.

    (*: Probably.)

    *

    Game: Duke 16 @ #22 Kansas 44 (-24)

    What was supposed to happen? I haven't paid close attention to the Jayhawks this year. In part, because KU hasn't played anybody and also because I can rely on a few passionate fans (let's call them "Nick" and "Rich") to share more than I care to know about their beloved Jayhawks.

    What actually happened? Mark Mangino tore himself away from the local Golden Corral long enough to draw up a winning game plan over Duke. We applauded Ralph "The Fridge" Friedgen's dietary accomplishments earlier this season. Maybe Ralph and Mark can hook up. Soon.

    *

    Game: #23 Georgia 52 @ Arkansas 41 (-2) O/U was 54.5!!!

    What was supposed to happen? I'm surprised every time Bobby Petrino takes the field and doesn't get struck by lightning. If Nick Saban wrote the book on shameless behavior, Petrino released a new edition, blog and monthly newsletter. That said he sure can put points on the board.

    What actually happened? The over/under for this game was 54.5 points. For reference, the over/under (abbreviated as O/U) indicates the predicted point total for both teams. Vegas being Vegas, the actual total rarely varies dramatically from this line. I don't need to do the math for you - the scoreboard operator was busy in this game.

    Just for fun: "Well, when you grow up . . . then you'll know these things, Danny. Now get up here and piss in the radiator." - Jed Eckert, Red Dawn

    *

    Game: East Carolina 17 @ #24 North Carolina 31 (-9)

    What was supposed to happen? UNC could be the Jeckyl/Hyde team of the 2009 season. A 12-10 victory last week at UConn left most unimpressed. We predicted a Tar Heel victory in last week's Preview, but didn't feel too good about it.

    What actually happened?
    Sure enough, UNC played much better at home. We have a hard time believing that UConn is dramatically better than the Pirates (a bowl team last year), and will be interested to see what happens to the Tar Heels on the road this season.

    *

    Game: Eastern Michigan 17 @ #25 Michigan 45 (-24)

    What was supposed to happen?
    Michigan's love affair with freshman QB Tate Forcier looked to take the next step during the clash with in-state patsy EMU.

    What actually happened? Looks like the crush might have hit a rocky patch - Forcier went 7-of -3 for 68 yards, but the frosh didn't need to do much besides hand the ball to RBs Shaw, Brown, and company.

    And Tate, this one's for you . . .

    "You just put your pickle on everybody's plate, college boy, and leave the hard stuff to me." - Johnny Castle, Dirty Dancing

    *

    Well, that does it for another Week In Review. Stay tuned later this week for the Week 4 Preview. In the words of Biggie Smalls, "I'm Swayze."

    -

    Mike "Dr. Dude" Luce brings you The College Football Report on Tuesdays and Thursdays, first as a look back at the festivities, and second in a look ahead at the festivities. He welcomes your comments.

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