Tuesday, September 19, 2006

NCAA recap, September 16

I know, days late, sorry. I thought I might have broken my legs this weekend, but thankfully, it was just a little inflammation. More training next time. As a bonus, I got some Favres (yes, I realize it's extremely hypocritical for me to make fun of him), but then again, it's probably not so much of a bonus. I would have taken one on Saturday if I'd had them, but now it's not so bad, and I can get back to the business at hand:

Cincinnat 7 at Ohio State 37: I was tired from the 5K walk Saturday morning, so I napped when I got home (before the pain got too bad) and missed the part where the Bearcats led. Ohio State basically controlled the game, a far cry from the 2002 game that Cincinnati should have won. This is how a top-10 team should play in a game against a non-top-10 team.

Michigan 47 at Notre Dame 21: Wow. This was all I could have expected and then some. This area is far from being neutral – it's heavily IU and only slightly Purdue, with just about as many Irish as Boilermaker fans – but not only did we see just one table of fans, they left at halftime, probably having their appetites spoiled. Surprisingly, Michigan leads the series 16-14-1 (yeah, they played twice in 68 years, babies on both sides). With 2003, this makes up for a lot of other games.

Oh yes, analysis. Michigan capitalized on Irish mistakes, that's for sure, but it's not the same as piling up the offense. You'll notice that Henne only threw for 220 yards (which was partly because Michigan quit trying at 34-7, yes they did), but still, the Wolverines' offense has yet to prove it can win a high-scoring game. Remember, the defense scored twice and also set up a one-yard FG drive in the third quarter.

Notre Dame may be all right, but if they can't beat an above-average Big Ten team at home, they really don't want to play in January.

Miami 7 at Louisville 31: Caught glimpses of this during the UM-ND game. I looked up when the score was 7-0 Miami and the 'Canes had just recovered a Louisville fumble (their only turnover of the game), and I said something to the effect that a blowout was coming. Yes it was, but not the way I thought it would go at that point.

Larry Coker's doing a terrible job, isn't he? Why, Miami might lose four games this year! Yeah, it's awfully tough when a once-dominant program falls into the ranks of the very good. Lloyd Carr was having the same problem until Saturday, when he suddenly became a genius. College alumni are worse than NFL owners: eventually they expect you to go 13 and minus 1, plus two bowl wins. Oh yes, and beat your rivals by 70.

Losing your starting quarterback is always tough, so it remains to be seen how Louisville will cope with the loss of Brohm. Middle Tennessee State and Cincinnati should be wins; Kansas State might be, but funny things can happen on the road. (I'm pretty sure Bill Snyder didn't schedule this game before he retired.) If it's longer than three weeks, the next game is Syracuse, but the one after that is the biggie, West Virginia, and if Brohm's out for that one, so will the Cardinals be.

BYU 23 at Boston College 30, 2 OT: Heck of a game, and heck of a finish. Nice catch on that interception. The Eagles need some help, though. Having an inconsistent kicker can be a real problem in college, especially when a blocked extra point can cost you three points (one you don't get, two they do). On the other hand, maybe simply missing them isn't that much of a problem ... both teams threw the ball a lot this game, and they combined for only seven points in four overtime possessions. I'll let you decide what that means.

I caught bits and pieces of other games, but not enough for me to make comments, other than that I think Terry Hoeppner has a lot of work to do, as does Pat Fitzgerald, and it wouldn't surprise me if Joe Tiller resigned at Purdue. This is easily his worst team to date, and if they struggle to win in a mediocre Big Ten, I can't see much keeping him around any longer. He's proven he could coach in the conference, has done more for the program than any other coach to date, and is rapidly exhausting the capital he's earned from that run of bowl appearances. I'm not sure this defense can stop Indiana, and he's lucky it won't face Ohio State.

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