Sunday, November 19, 2006

I Love College Football

This past weekend was a showcase as to why college football is so great (and next week may be better). Another chapter was written in the Iron Bowl series, Arkansas clinched a berth in Atlanta, and a showdown of sorts next week at Maryland.

In the world of odds and spreads, it was not a good one. 1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS, 3-1 O/U

The Tigers won their fifth straight in this bitter rivalry behind the running of Kenny Irons and Brad Lester. Alabama coach Mike Shula lost his fourth straight as the Crimson Tide becoming the only coach in Alabama history to do so. Despite being outgained by over 100 yards, Auburn came up big on turnovers creating four Tide turnovers, including the game-clinching interception by David Irons. Brandon Cox struggled again, but relied heavily on his talent tailback tandem.

The Tide finished their 2006 SEC campaign with just two conference wins. Alabama is bowl eligible with 6 wins, but it is unclear whether they will be invited to a bowl. Shula is likely on the hot seat next year with a win over Auburn priority number one. Next season will be just Shula's second with a full alottment of 85 scholarship players.

Virginia Tech won decisively in Winston Salem as Sean Glennon threw for two touchdowns and Xavier Adibi returned a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown. The joy of the victory was dulled with the injury to star tailback Branden Ore. It is not clear how long Ore will be out. Wake Forest was stiffled much of the night on the ground, but Riley Skinner did manager 195 passing yards playing from behind the whole game.

Wake still controls its ACC destiny though as they travel to Maryland next week - if the Deacs win they are in. The Hokies speed proved too much as Jim Grobe's club looked like you think Wake Forest should look. Va Tech has won five straight since a loss to BC.

The Yellow Jackets matched a team record with five touchdown passes - three by Reggie Ball and two by backup Taylor Bennett. Tech now has seven ACC victories, its most since 1998, and nine wins, most since 2000. Calvin Johnson caught two touchdowns in possibly his final home game in Atlanta. Ga Tech played its second string offense after running to a 28-7 halftime lead.

Georgia Tech now turns it attention to their in-state, rival Georgia in a game that will likely decide how Reggie Ball's four year career will be remembered (Ball is 0-3 vs UGA). The Yellow Jackets must also wait to find out who their ACC Championship Game opponent will be. If Tech loses its final two games, they cannot be passed over by a bowl for any team with three losses in the ACC due to a new rule by the conference.

Jameel Sewell ran for two scores and the Cavaliers handed Miami their fourth straight loss. The Cavs also rushed for a over 100 net yards, the first team to do so against Miami this year. The Hurricanes turned the ball over twice and netted just 263 total yards just days after attending fallen teammate Bryan Pata's funeral

Virginia still needs a win in Blacksburg next week to become bowl eligible. Miami can still go to a bowl if they beat BC this Thursday in what might be Larry Coker's last home game, but I don't the Hurricanes playing with much passion and who could blame with all that has gone the controversy and tragedy season

Other SEC Action:
Arkansas wrapped up the SEC West with a two touchdown win over Mississippi State. The Razorbacks must beat LSU this week to remain in the national title hunt. Tennessee bounced back after two straight losses as Erik Ainge returned to action in a 39-10 win over Vandy. LSU needed a second half comeback and overtime to defeat Ole Miss in Baton Rouge. South Carolina trounced Middle Tennessee St 52-7 allowing them to become bowl eligible.

Other ACC Action:
NC State's troubles with North Carolina continue after the Tar Heels scored their first Division I-A win over the Wolfpack. I think Amato comes back next year, but it may be his last unless significant improvement is seen. Florida State survived a homecoming date with Western Michigan as a touchdown was called back by penalty in the final moments. Boston College defeated Maryland off of three defensive touchdowns. The Eagles can go to Jacksonville with a win over Miami and Maryland win over Wake next week.

Pictures from this weekend

from the AP, Reuters, and Yahoo

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