What We Learned This Weekend

1. Texas Tech has arrived. The last thing I said yesterday morning was that I thought that this one could be a classic. I was right. The Red Raiders played fantastic, game changing defense in the first half – quite the feat for a team that doesn’t play defense. They had every excuse to lose it in the second half, but they kept fighting and pulled out the miracle. Graham Harrell was spectacular, and Michael Crabtree proved why he is so highly regarded – only a very small handful of receivers would have ended up in the endzone on that game winning catch. Despite not being a Texas guy at all, though, I do have to give Colt McCoy a world of credit in the second half. He had been beaten and battered all game, but he stood right back up and scored what should have been the game winner. His Heisman hopes took a blow, but he was still very impressive.

2. Florida is in it for the long haul. There are only barely words to describe how dominant the Gators were against Georgia. Tim Tebow looked as good as he did at any point last year, and Florida’s ridiculous speed advantage was way too much to overcome. The most shocking part of the game, though, was that Georgia didn’t put up a fight. I thought that they were better than that. There is now a very solid chance that Florida winds up in the national championship game. They need some help, but I think they’ll keep doing what they need to do.

3. So much for Tulsa. I thought that the Golden Hurricane stood a good chance against Arkansas. Not so much. They lost, and they looked outclassed. That doesn’t say much for the quality of Conference USA – obviously a step or three behind the MWC, MAC and WAC.

4. Missouri is a total mess. They only barely managed to squeak past Baylor. Good teams do not struggle against Baylor. It has somehow turned into a wasted year, and that’s not a good thing when you are in your last days with Chase Daniel.

5. Oklahoma State impressed me. It was only against Iowa State, but they still asserted their power and showed that they are a force. Dez Bryant was a one man wrecking ball. He caught four touchdown passes, and basically did whatever he wanted to do. He only needs two more scores the rest of the year to become Oklahoma State’s all-time single season leader. Not bad for a school that produces receivers. I can’t wait to watch them travel to Texas Tech next week. It should be yet another scorcher from the brilliant Big 12.

6. JaMarcus Russell is an absolute joke. Six of 19 for 31 yards and a pick. How is that even possible? I know that the team has more than their share of troubles, but there is no excuse for this. The scary thing isn’t that he had a bad game – that happens, though not often like this – it’s that Russell isn’t showing any signs of improvement. Maybe a new coaching staff will make a difference, but at this point it looks like Russell has the potential to redefine the word bust.

7. There have been a lot of disappointing things in the NFL this year – more than usual, it seems – but none are more disappointing to me than the Jaguars. They have wasted every opportunity this year. The latest debacle is this loss against Cincinnati. They only lost by two, but it was really a worse loss than that – they scored the last 16 points once Cincinnati’s bare bones defense was spent. A team like Cincinnati should not be able to beat a supposedly good team like the Jags. Jack Del Rio seems to have lost control – a shame for a team that was moving so definitively in the right direction the last couple of years.

8. The Cowboys are a disaster. I’m not surprised that they lost to the Giants – no shame in that. I am surprised, though, that no one on that team has enough pride to give a better effort than that. They didn’t even show up. The quarterbacking was absolutely brutal, the running game didn’t exist, and there was absolutely nothing redeeming in the performance. If I was Jerry Jones I’d start firing everyone I saw. Or shooting them.

9. With the cover of the 12.5 point spread by the Lions (and an almost win, at that – the team actually led at the half. Has that ever happened with the Lions?), double digit underdogs are now 13-1 ATS on the season. This is one of those trends so bizarre and incomprehensible that you can’t even begin to guess how it will wind up on the season. There really shouldn’t be another double digit underdog that covers again all year, but at this rate the opposite could be true.

10. Even his staunchest fan has to admit that Brett Favre never should have come back. Yet another bland, uninspired performance. The only saving grace is that the team keeps winning – even if it is despite Favre.

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  1. Texas Tech was great and I loved the outcome of the game, but it should not even have been close. They had the ball inside the 10 yard line twice in the fourth quarter and couldn’t score. The spread offense puts up a lot of points, but when you need to run the ball it doesn’t work. Texas can’t run the ball either. The only team that looks impressive running the spread is Florida. Tebow and the Gators are going to be hard to beat.

    There is a new number one in town, and I am going to enjoy it.

    With the way things go with the BCS in November, who knows? Roll Tide!

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