This Week’s College Football Round-Up
Eight reasons from the past weekend why, when it comes to predicting college football, you'd be better off using a Ouija board.
In other words, previous results are old, and often misleading news.
1. Old Iowa: Should have lost at home to Northern Iowa.
New Iowa: Blows into Joe Paterno's town and turns Penn State's offense into the Nothiny Lions, reducing six second half possessions to an interception, missed field goal, blocked punt, interception, fumble and interception.
"I've heard stories about how loud it could be," defensive end Broderick Binns said of Happy Valley. "Today we saw how quiet they can be."
2. Old Florida State: Pounds BYU in Provo. The Seminoles are back!
3. New Florida State: Loses 17-7 at home to a South Florida team that had to give a backup quarterback his first college start.
And after B.J. Daniels passed for 215 yards and ran for 126, it was duly noted he grew up in Tallahassee. Plus, Florida State is 2-2 for the first time in 20 years.
The Seminoles are finished!
"Somebody did a better job than we did in evaluating," Bobby Bowden said of Florida State's recent recruiting troubles. "Some kids we didn't consider have come back to beat us."
He said that in July.
4. Old California: Trendy national darling after scoring 146 points in three games and heading for Oregon, which had allowed 60 points its last two games.
New California: Never gets inside the Oregon 20-yard line.
5. Old Miami: More momentum than any team in the country. Watch the Hurricanes storm into Blacksburg.
New Miami; Halftime score, Virginia Tech 21, Miami 0.
6. Old Florida: Worried sick about Tim Tebow's flu, but who needs him at Kentucky?
New Florida: Worried sick about Tim Tebow's concussion, with the LSU trip two weeks away.
7. Old Washington: Huskies stun USC, bathe in week of adulation, plan to enjoy renaissance.
New Washington: And Stanford returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown!
8. Old take on the main national title contenders: More names on the list than a choir tryout.
New take on the main contenders: Until further notice, it's Florida, Texas and Alabama.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
The six ranked teams in the USA TODAY poll to lose last week - California, Florida State, Miami, Mississippi, North Carolina and Penn State - combined for 16 turnovers but only five touchdowns. All together, the dirty half dozen scored 16 points in the first half.
"If I had to pinpoint one emotion, I would say awesome." - Houston quarterback Case Keenum, on his feeling after scoring with 49 seconds left to beat Texas Tech 29-28. "Awesome" might not qualify as an emotion, but who's to quibble with a guy who just passed for 435 yards?
"At one point during the season, he said he feels like he's got the whole weight of the world on his shoulders. And I said, 'Me too.'" - Texas coach Mack Brown about quarterback Colt McCoy, and the pressures of playing for Texas.
"Losing is the same, whether it is by 100 points or six inches." - Mississippi State's J.C. Brignone after the Bulldogs failed three times from the one-yard line to score the winning touchdown against LSU.
"Some have written us off, and I don't blame them. We're a much better team than this." - Illinois coach Ron Zook. The Illini have been battered 37-9 by Missouri and 30-0 by Ohio State.
THUMBS OF THE WEEK:
Up to Houston. Meet the new BCS-buster after beating Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. But watch that October trip to Mississippi State.
Up to Jimmy Clausen. Comes off the bench on a bum turf toe and leads Notre Dame to a fourth quarter rally past Purdue. Circa Joe Montana.
Up to Nebraska. Sellout streak hits 300 - for a 261-39 record - going back through 10 U.S. presidents. Last unsold ticket in Memorial Stadium came during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. "It's very special to Nebraska," quarterback Zac Lee said, "and it will never happen again."
Up to SEC. As if the league didn't have enough to gloat about with three teams ranked in the top four, its nonconference record goes to 24-2.
Up to Ohio State defense. Buckeyes throw two straight shutouts. Nor should it be forgotten that USC had only one touchdown drive against them of more than two yards.
Down to Fresno State. Tough-luck Bulldogs control the ball nearly 44 minutes but lose at Cincinnati. Plus, they must be road-weary. This made four time zones in four weeks, and the next game is at . . . Hawaii.
Down to Maryland. Here's one way to start 1-3. More turnovers (13) than touchdowns (11).
Down to Kentucky. Florida (31-7 shellacking) one week, Alabama the next. That only works in basketball.
Contact Mike Lopresti at mlopresti(AT)gannett.com