What We Learned This Weekend

1. The Big 12 is amazing. At the top, at least. Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas Tech all won in impressive style. The latter three were explosive offensively, and Texas got a hard fought win over another impressive Big 12 squad in Oklahoma State. If this conference can manage not to cannibalize itself then it could do some real damage. The winner of the Texas – Texas Tech game this weekend should manage to make it to the championship game without a loss. Then it gets tough with the conference championship, but that’s another story.

2. Penn State is on the fast track to the BCS Championship game. They have three relatively easy conference games left, and no championship game to play. People may not want to see it happen, but it seems likely. Only Texas and Alabama can reasonably keep them out of the big game, and they both have places to trip up looming. It seems unlikely that both will make it through unscathed. That means that Penn State looks good. Hopefully they can do bet under the brightest spotlight than their conference mate did the last couple of years.

3. Speaking of teams heading for a date with the BCS, Tulsa is looking better and better every week. They crushed Central Florida, and they only have one real test left. They have to get past Arkansas this coming weekend, but that’s something that they certainly could do (the Golden Hurricane are favored by a touchdown). From there it is just three easy-ish conference games between them and 12-0. They are ranked too low at this point, but it would be hard to ignore them at 12-0.

4. Dave Wannstedt is not a great coach. He keeps finding ways to prove that. He’s much better than Ty Willingham, though – the greatest gift Willingham has ever given a team is promising to resign from Washington at the end of the year. Hopefully someone can come in next year to salvage the ridiculously talented Jake Locker’s career.

5. Mike Stoops might just save his job at Arizona. Sure, they lost to USC, but they sure looked good doing it.

6. Indianapolis is not going to make the playoffs. Tennesse is pretty good, but they shouldn’t be good enough to make the Colts look like that. Manning was okay, but he wasn’t precise, and his imprecision was very costly. This team just has too many flaws to be a contender. Seeing them on the sidelines will ber very strange. Kind of nice from my perspective,  but still strange.

7. Speaking of teams strangely headed for an early offseason, I can’t believe where San Diego finds themselves. New Orleans had dozens of excuses for losing that game, but the Chargers couldn’t make them use a single one. It could be a long year in the sun, and that could cost Norv Turner his head. That would be a good thing for that team.

8. The Cowboys were very lucky not to lose that game against Tampa Bay. They may have won, but they certainly didn’t play like a team that is going tokeep doing it. In other words, the bleeding is somewhat under control, but it hasn’t stopped. In fact, I’m not yet convinced that Dallas isn’t a hemophiliac.

9. I can’t help but notice, and take some perverse pleasure in the fact, that Chad Pennington is doing more for his team than Brett Favre right now. Karma is a bitch.

10. I think I still like Carolina a lot. Their blowout loss to Tampa Bay was more than a little concerning, but they have come back with two very nice wins since then. Only Tennessee has more wins this year. They’re positioned well for at least a wild card, and perhaps even more.

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