1: First place. That's where Duke stands in their Division. In November. In football. They put up 300+ rushing yards on Miami yesterday and beat two ranked opponents in a row for the first time in two decades. Hats off to Coach Cutcliffe for the job he's done there.
2: The conversion. Vandy took on Kentucky at home with the chance to become bowl-eligible for their third straight year. The 'Dores looked like warmed-over refuse early, getting nothing done on offense. They even let Kentucky score the first touchdown. Then they blocked the extra point and returned it for the deuce, and that kickstarted the entire team. They didn't allow another Kentucky score and went on a 20-0 run to close out the game. Nice job by James Franklin and crew.
3: The field goal. Is it okay to play for the three? Should you always try to score the touchdown? Well, DACOACHO answered this for us last night: if you're shutting down the #4 team's vaunted run game and you're tied late and you have a roster full of elite players, then yeah, you kick the field goal. You win, and unranked USC upsets Stanford and the fans rush the field. Remember that time six years ago when Stanford was a 40+ point underdog and won in the Coliseum and that was a big deal? Look at those trajectories.
4: Fourth down. Let's talk about the play of the season. All great teams occasionally require luck, and Auburn got theirs and then some on that tipped pass on fourth-and-18 to Ricardo Louis. Aaron Murray put on a tremendous show in the fourth quarter to get the Dogs back into a position to win, including a brutal mauling of his forehead on his last touchdown run, but in the end it still wasn't enough on The Plains. This upcoming Iron Bowl...wow.
5: Turnovers. Nebraska had the chance to take the drivers' seat in who would face Ohio State in the B1G Championship Game at home against Sparty but for their five turnovers. They did put up almost 400 yards on Michigan State's vaunted defense, but the Spartans made up for it by getting the turnovers. And these weren't freebie bad throw interceptions. Four of the turnovers were fumbles caused by hard defensive play. Michigan State appears to be Ohio State's final obstacle in their quest for another undefeated season.
6: Yards per rushing attempt by Baylor.
"Oh, that's nice...how many attempts did they have?"
It seems the Red Carpet Defense was back in effect for Texas Tech at JerryWorld last night, despite the early lead and Kliff's team putting up 34 points. The Briles machine still managed 63 points and a quarter-hundred under 700 yards after a semi-sluggish start where they fell behind 20-7. GameDay in Stillwater next week? Did they already play their FCS card this year? Oh yeah, Fargo. Have fun, Lee, Kirk, and crew.
Yesterday was an example of everything that's great about college football: a top-five team lost to an unranked team, a perennial doormat beat a perennial powerhouse to take control of their division, Texas got embarrassed at home (the worst home loss in the Mack Brown era), there were crazy last-second field goals, coaches getting in fights on the sideline, and oh yeah, the play of the year. I got the opportunity to watch all of this with a really good friend of mine (and fellow college football junkie) who I worked with for years, but who recently moved out-of-state. He was in town for the week, and it was just like the old Saturdays. Best bye week ever.
So much happened yesterday that I know I left many things out. What were your biggest impressions?