Each week I do this wrap up, and each week I include what happened in the Notre Dame game...I don't always lead with it, and I try to stay semi-objective, and not get to rah-rah, go Irish! But screw it...This week I may have to...I've heard, and read too much of people shitting on Notre Dame and their undefeated start to this season...People saying their schedule is weak...The same schedule that every publication, and every poll said at the start of the season was the toughest in the country...Who knew Michigan State was actually going to repeatedly blow games? Maybe it's time everyone realizes that preseason polls and rankings are mostly guess work...
Saturday's game in South Bend between #17 Stanford and the #7 Irish was hyped up all week...Everyone saying it's Notre Dame's biggest game...Their real test...Well, those Notre Dame kids know how to to take tests...Once again, the Irish defense lead by captain Manti Te'o, didn't give up a touchdown...That's right, four straight games without giving up a TD...The one Stanford got was scored by their defense on a sack/fumble in the end zone...And this was without a doubt, a defensive battle...Both teams were hitting hard...Both defenses causing turnovers...
Stanford was up 10-3 at halftime...But the Irish battled back, and with under a minute left, they knocked through the tying field goal...Then it was OT...The Irish scored first...Then the defense was pushed to the limit, but held their ground at the goal-line...Stuffing Stanford 4 times inside the 5...twice at the goal-line...Winning 20-13...
Yes, there are people saying the Stanford running back wasn't down on the last attempt, and eventually squeaked over the line...But the replay couldn't prove them right, because the refs had already blown the play dead before he wrenched himself over...The game was already over...Take your crying somewhere else...The Irish won...They are now 6-0...And they should be ranked in the top 5...You don't like it...Either beat them, or fuck off!
Here's the highlights...
The Big-12 had it's premiere game of the season...The infamous, "Red River Shootout"...Sadly, it wasn't the battle of two Big-12 powers that people were hoping to see...Instead it was a 63-21 ass beating of #15 Texas at the hands of rival #13 Oklahoma...And that score...Well, it wasn't even that close...The second week in a row that I was shocked by the lack of defense from Texas...
But there was a Texas team that finally showed up with some D...#5 West Virginia brought their high-octane offense to Lubbock, Texas to take on Texas Tech...I was expecting another Big-12 game full of all offensive highlights from both teams...Just like WV's games against Texas and Baylor...But Tech decided to mix in some D, in a game that Vegas had the "over" just under 80...
While WV's Geno Smith played well, he was not this week's star...Instead it was the Red Raiders' QB Seth Doege, who passed for 499 yards, and 6 TD's...Leading his team to a 49-14 win...Hey WV, maybe it's time you start practicing some defense, because hoping you can out dual everyone in shoot-outs isn't gonna cut it...
This game leaves #6 Kansas State at the top of the Big-12, after they won a close one with Iowa State...27-21...Again, it was QB Collin Klein leading the Wildcats to victory, and a 6-0 record...Klein passed for 187 yards, and rushed for 105yards and 3 TD's...But pay attention people...Iowa State, who no one expected to do much this year, is 4-2, and playing tough...
Now we get to the big prime-time match up in the SEC...#3 South Carolina at (shouldn't be) #9 LSU...LSU finally found some offense, mostly on the ground, gaining 258 yards rushing...While their defense, held Marcus Lattimore and the Gamecocks to just 34 yards on the ground...And yet, South Carolina had a 14-10 lead after 3 quarters...But LSU kept pounding, and eventually won 23-21...
The two biggest stats from this game, in my eyes are, Connor Shaw's two interceptions thrown, and South Carolina converting on only 3 of 13, 3rd downs...When they needed to burn clock, they couldn't...And they stalled on too many drives...LSU's defense is the key to their team...Will they be able to find a passing game to go along with their new found, power running?
In another good SEC game, Tennessee went to Starkville to take on #19 Mississippi State...While the Volunteers are now 3-3, they have shown improvement and toughness this year...The Bulldogs were ahead 27-14 at halftime...Half-way through the 4th quarter their lead was only 34-31...But Miss State QB, Tyler Russell and company were too much for the Vols, winning 41-31...Russell passed for 291 yards and 2 TD's...
Don't look now, but #10 Oregon State is 5-0 after rolling BYU 42-24 Saturday...And they did that with their backup QB, Cody Vaz, who hasn't started since high school...Vaz decided to make a good first impression by passing for 332 yards and 3 TD's...That's nice when the backup can put a game like that together...I'm just saying, if I see USC or Stanford ranked ahead of of the Beavers this week, in any poll, that poll has no credibility at all...
And this week's battle of no defense goes to Texas A&M and #23 Louisiana Tech...In a game that came down to the very end, Texas A&M squeaked out a 59-57 win...A&M put up 691 total yards, while Tech racked up 616 total yards...The Aggies offense was lead by QB Johnny Manziel who passed for 396 yards and 3 TD's...He added 3 more TD's and 181 yards on the ground...Tech's QB, Colby Cameron passed for 449 yards and 5 TD's...And his top target was Quinton Patton, who caught 21 passes for 233 yards and 4 TD's...
Second place for the no defense bowl this week was Ohio State and Indiana...I don't include Ohio State's ranking, because they aren't eligible for anything this year, so the ranking is voided in my eyes...The Buckeyes showed some big offense again this week, putting up 578 yards and 52 points on the Hoosiers...Hey, Indiana is a joke when it comes to football, so who's surprised by this? No one...It's the fact that Indiana hung 481 yards and 49 points on Ohio State...Yeah, the Buckeyes won, but they should slap the shit out of themselves for that defensive performance...
That's it for this week's wrap up...Feel free to leave the highlights of the games you were paying attention to...See ya Monday...
Before I start, I wanted to remind people of my LSU/Florida rivalry blog. I update these(the records anyway) after each game. The two teams have played one another for about 40 years in a row, and they were the first two teams to win two BCS titles apiece, so it’s been an interesting last 10 years especially.
This is the week (the week before the first computer ratings) every year where people try to destroy me and everything I stand for sports-wise because I try to be objective, which is bound to ruffle feathers in small doses, so it’s really big when the whole football world is shaken up if one goes by my rankings. Also, people don’t like that this is a change from going more with the flow in prior weeks. We’ve played nearly half a season, time to take the training wheels off, and if there are scraped knees, spray some antiseptic on it and move on. After all, we’re not talking about shuffleboard, we’re talking about football.
I’m going to start with my rankings since I don’t want to confuse people into thinking I’m giving primary importance to what the voters do, but being unhappy with the voters goes all the way back to 1994 for me—and LSU wasn’t even a team at much risk of having a winning record that year—and that’s what got me started with my own rankings system, which started as purely subjective until it got too difficult to be consistent.
I still use subjective measures early in this season, but as is typical, I try to phase out things like preseason projections, historical strength of programs, and margin of victory before I turn it over to my arithmetical rankings system. This happens every year, it has nothing to do with LSU having less-than-impressive score lines the past two weeks.
So how I did it this year was to basically use a blind resume. I looked at which teams have been beaten and when relevant, I looked at losses. I went ahead and put a couple teams in there with more than one loss, because I couldn’t say any of the unranked undefeated or 1-loss teams fall into the category of having beating someone who at this point seems worth much of anything. I’m going to list the rankings now (after three more sentences). I’m going to go on to give some basic responses to things I’m expecting people to say, and then I’m going to talk about how silly it is to keep moving LSU down. I understand this is mostly just preliminary quibbling with so many teams still undefeated, but if LSU is fortunate enough to win this week and someone complains it was too close, they should be laughed at. If LSU loses, I will just have to be grateful that unless it’s like a Spurrier-era score, we will still look better than USC.
rank / team / prior
1 Alabama 1
2 LSU 2
3 Kansas St. 5
4 Oregon St. 16
5 Florida St. 6
6 Notre Dame 15
7 W Virginia 8
8 Washington –
9 Stanford 10
10 Georgia 3
11 S Carolina 7
12 Cincinnati 17
13 Oregon 4
14 Florida 14
15 Ohio St. 22
16 UCLA 24
17 Nebraska –
18 Texas 13
19 Miss. St. 19
20 Clemson 20
21 Mich St. –
22 Arizona –
23 Missouri –
24 Wisconsin 18
25 Baylor 21
Out of rankings: (9) USC, (11) Oklahoma, (12) TCU. (23) Michigan, (25) Tennessee
I’m not one of those “homer” types who likes to dwell on how great my team is, but I am impressed with the fact that LSU hasn’t lost a regular-season non-conference game since opening the 2002 season with a road loss to Virginia Tech (then ranked #16). The streak of 40 wins in such games broke the mark completed by Kansas St. in 2003.
Although there are certainly more daunting non-conference schedules around, LSU has put forth a serious effort to have at least one non-conference opponent that at appears to be formidable on paper every year.
The other record is more of a “personal best” as LSU has won 20 consecutive home games since the 13-3 loss to Tim Tebow’s #1 Gators in 2009. This is the only time in its history that LSU has won so many consecutive home games.
I wanted to go through them and talk in detail about some of the close calls and big games (some of which were not so close) during the longer streak.
This piece at “Nola.com” covers several of them, but I’ll mention a few more...
Most of the following is adapted from a blog originally published on TSN on September 13, 2009. When details of a recent LSU season are not mentioned, this is because LSU played multiple Pac-10/current Pac-12 opponents in a season (1976, 1977, 1979, and 1984).
I’ll start with Washington since that’s the team LSU played last week, then I’ll go in alphabetical order for the Pac-10 teams, followed by the new Pac-12 teams. Washington was the seventh game against a Pac-10/Pac-12 team for LSU in the past 10 seasons (2003 to present). All of them were the first major-conference opponent of the respective seasons for LSU. The game last week was only the third between the Huskies and Tigers.
In the first meeting, LSU’s second home game in 1983, LSU broke a record for attendance at Tiger Stadium and beat the 9th-ranked Huskies, 40-14. LSU would only win 2 subsequent games on the season, finishing 4-7. That season, combined with a 1-3 end to the previous season, cost head coach Jerry Stovall his job. Washington finished 8-4.
Many of you probably remember the second meeting between the two, in 2009. LSU was ranked #11 going in, so many found the final score underwhelming in light of the Huskies’ 0-12 season the year before. Meanwhile, LSU had its most losses since 2002 in the prior year. The Tigers only won by 8, but it was only that close because Washington had scored as time expired. There was also a point earlier in the fourth quarter where the Huskies closed to within 8 with a field goal. Washington’s game-ending touchdown had been the first since its opening drive.
Washington would lose three subsequent games by even fewer points (one of those in OT) and would barely miss bowl-eligibility after a 5-7 campaign. LSU would finish 9-4 (only one game better than 2008) after losing to Penn St. in the CapitalOne Bowl.
LSU is 3-0 against Arizona. The first game, in 1984 (see USC for more details on that season) was close, with LSU winning 27-26. Arizona would finish 7-4 but failed to make a bowl game. LSU blew out Arizona in both games in the last decade, with LSU winning 59-13 in Tucson in 2003 and 45-3 in Baton Rouge in 2006. The 2003 game was the first time LSU had played a Pac-10 team since 1984, when the Tigers played Arizona and USC in consecutive weeks. LSU would win the BCS national championship in 2003 and the Sugar Bowl in 2006 (finishing 11-2 after 7 straight victories to close out the year). Arizona finished 2-10 in 2003 and 6-6 in 2006.
The only game against Arizona St. was in 2005. Some call it the Katrina Game. LSU’s original opening-game opponent that year was North Texas, whom the Tigers played on schedule this season after another hurricane passed through Louisiana almost 7 years to the day. In 2005, however, that game was canceled in anticipation ASU was supposed to have been the first game of a home and home in Baton Rouge, but with the LSU campus playing a large role in shelter and triage in the week after Katrina (the game was less than two weeks afterward), it was moved to Tempe, and Arizona St. donated the profits to hurricane relief, so it didn’t count toward the home and home, which was moved to 2015-16. 2015 is the next game LSU is scheduled to play against a Pac-12 opponent.
LSU (led by JaMarcus Russell and Joseph Addai) won an exciting back-and-forth game, 35-31, after Early Doucet scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 39-yard pass with 1:13 left in the game. Sam Keller of ASU threw 4 touchdowns in the loss. Arizona St. out-gained LSU 560-434, but the Tigers (in the first game with Les Miles at the helm) converted all three fourth-down-conversion attempts and blocked a field goal, returning it for a touchdown. 28 of the Tigers’ points were scored in the fourth quarter.