"The Spread" College Football Podcast: Week 10 Winners and Losers
Andy Dalton and TCU sent a message to the BCS in their romp at Utah (George Frey-Getty Images)
Utah had all of the mojo in their direction. After last season thrashing in Fort Worth to the Horned Frogs, the Utes were primed for revenge. It was a prime matchup at Rice-Eccles Stadium, where Utah won 21 in a row. They had special camouflage and black uniforms and the home crowd participated in a "black-out" to set the atmosphere. All TCU did was blow out Utah and hold the Mountain West's top scoring team virtually inept in a 47-7 thrashing that stated its intentions to the rest of the country. The Horned Frogs' top-ranked defense stifled the explosive Utes to less than 200 yards total offense and forced four turnovers. Andy Dalton, who may be throwing his name in the Heisman race, was flawless. What TCU did in Salt Lake City shouldn't be understated. Any team with a defense that plays like that and an offense that is as balanced and efficient as any in the land deserves to be in the discussion.
We all know the deal. Les Miles' teams are always prepared after a loss. Saturday, the Tiger threw their name back into fray for the SEC West title. Jordan Jefferson finally got off the snide, throwing the go-ahead strike pass to Reuben Randle on a frozen rope. Even more impressive, the Tiger defense contained Alabama's running game and forced Greg McElroy to turn over the ball twice. Say what you will about LSU and the way that they win. The fact is is that they do, and if they continue they will be up for an at-large BCS bid at the least.
Despite the fact that the Razorbacks leading receiver Greg Childs was sidelined, Arkansas found a new way to destroy the Gamecocks at home. Knile Davis rushed for 110 yards and 3 TDs and surprisingly the Razorback D held Marcus Lattimore to 34 yards rushing, forced 3 turnovers and held a Gamecock unit that was averaging 400 yards a game to less than 300 net yards.
Do you think that the Cowboys missed Justin Blackmon? The sophomore wideout, who was suspended for a DUI charge, returned in big fashion against Baylor in a battle for first place in the Big 12 South. Blackmon totaled 13 grabs for 173 yards and a touchdown. Everyone for in the act for Oklahoma State which rolled up a school-record 725 yards on offense. Brandon Wheeden continued his stellar season, passing for a school –record 435 yards and 3 TDS and Kendall Hunter lead a rushing attack that compiled 290 yards on the ground. Now, they control their own destiny in the Big 12 South.
They outgained Hawaii 737-196, held the nations' top pass offense more than 200 yards below its average and won going away. What did the Broncos do wrong Saturday? If anything, they didn't win by enough. Boise State did everything right and they still tumbled in the rankings? The biggest contribution to that might be the role that TCU is on and the display they had against a better quality and higher ranked opponent in Utah. It may not be what's right, but if TCU finished undefeated, an undefeated Boise State might be on the outside looking in at the BCS.
After a crushing loss to N.C. State where they literally fumbled the game away, the Seminoles returned at home to face a North Carolina squad which has faced their share of off-the-field problems. Earlier in the day, the Wolfpack were upset at Clemson, leaving Florida State a prime opportunity to take control of the ACC Atlantic Division. The Seminole defense laid an egg, allowing T.J. Yates to pick them apart with the most passing yards against a Florida State defense in 15 years. In the end, a furious rally was snuffed out when kicker Dustin Hopkins who is considered on the best kickers in the country, missed two kicks in the 4th quarter including the potential game-winner with seven seconds remaining. Now the Seminoles will have to hope to win out in conference and hope for help to make it back to the ACC championship game for the first time since they won the inaugural game in five years ago.
After seeing what their in-state rivals did earlier in the day, the Sooners had to win in College Station to keep pace in the Big 12 south. After the Aggies tried to give the game away with 13 penalties, Oklahoma could not convert points in the 4th quarter save for a blocked punt for a safety. Now, much like Florida State, they have to hope for help in the next couple of weeks and win against the Cowboys in 'Bedlam' at the end of the regular season.