Rivalry weekend was pretty entertaining for the better part of the last three days. For starters I’ll say that just about every team that agreed to wear the Nike "Pro Combat" uniforms over the course of the last couple of weeks ended up looking like an Oregon knock off. Nice work. I think Texas is the only one that stuck to their guns and made sure the uniform was a relatively minor departure from what they normally wear. You can’t mess with the classic whites! I thought the Missouri getups took the cake with the black "M" on a charcoal helmet. That was just a little too over the top for me. As for the actual games there were several good ones this weekend. I suppose the rivalries bring it out in everybody.
Texas 49 at Texas A&M; 39- Colt McCoy went berserk and was able to keep the Horns one step ahead of the TAMU counter punch all night to hang on for a 49 to 39 victory at Kyle Field. I have to say I was impressed with the farmer offense and QB Jerrod Johnson. It will be interesting to see what Sherman’s crew looks like next fall. As for the Horns they have one more victory to pick up in the Big 12 Championship game this weekend to lock up a spot in the BCS Championship game.
Illinois 36 at Cincinnati 49- I am still not sure what to think of Kelly’s Cincinnati squad. I watched them more closely on Saturday than I have all season and they remind me a lot of Texas Tech. Cincy runs a very similar offense and has an equally suspect defense. I’ll be interested to see them against Pitt this week and against an even better team in a bowl game. By that point it may no longer matter as Brian Kelly may already be pitching camp in South Bend. We'll see....
Alabama 26 at Auburn 21- Auburn gave the Tide everything they could handle at Jordan-Hare on Saturday but couldn’t hang on in the end. Auburn could be a legitimate factor in the SEC West the next couple of years. The Tide on the other hand control their own destiny heading into the SEC title game with Florida this Saturday. That will be fun to watch.
Nebraska 28 at Colorado 20- Nebraska picked up another blue collar win in Boulder and now focuses on playing spoiler to Texas in the Big 12 title game this weekend. That will be a huge test for the resurgent Blackshirts. I wonder how many TCU fans will drive across town to cheer on the Huskers?
Pitt 16 at West Virginia 19- Check out West Virginia edging Pitt in the Backyard Brawl. In reality this one was relatively meaningless to Pitt. The game that really counts for them is the de facto conference championship game with Cincinnati this weekend. They weren't going to get a BCS at large slot if they lost to Cincy anyway.
Nevada 33 at Boise State 44- Just watching this game made me cold as it looked pretty miserable in Boise on Saturday night. The Broncos stuck to the script and outscored the Wolfpack to remain undefeated and control their BCS destiny.
Notre Dame 38 at Stanford 45- Charlie Weis said it best. "This game was a microcosm of the season." So true. Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate and Michael Floyd put on quite a show but in the end the Irish defense was unable to stop the run and the offense couldn’t convert a 3rd and 2 or protect Clausen when it mattered most in the 4th quarter. This second consecutive November flameout was tough to watch. I’ll have plenty more to say about the Irish and the 2009 season in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be closely following how this coaching change shakes out as well.
Clemson 17 at South Carolina 34- Clemson’s C.J. Spiller took the opening kickoff to the house then it was all Gamecocks from that point forward. Steve Spurrier probably had some flashbacks to "Bandit Ball" during this one. This coupled with the Georgia Tech loss are a big black eye for the ACC as both of their divisional champs lost to SEC teams that came into the weekend with 6-5 records.
North Carolina 27 at NC State 28- The Heels were cruising along nicely heading into this game but the Wolfpack wasn’t having it. Russel Wilson threw 4 TD passes for NC State in an exciting game that went down to the wire.
Oklahoma State 0 at Oklahoma 27- Oklahoma rolled into Bedlam staring at a possible .500 finish but the Sooners were having none of it. Oklahoma State was completely shut down offensively as the Sooner defense controlled the entire game.
Florida State 10 at Florida 37- I turned down the volume on this one. I didn’t think I could handle the Tebow love fest. Great kid but man they go overboard with it. Florida rolled right over the Noles and now sets their sites on a big time showdown with Alabama in the SEC Championship with a title shot at stake. The Seminoles finish at 6-6 sending Bobby Bowden home to contemplate his future.
Virginia Tech 42 at Virginia 13- I watched this one with the Deer Hunter so I got a full dose of the "Ryan Williams for Heisman" pitch. I have to say I felt bad for Al Groh while watching the game. It will be interesting to see who the Cavs hire to replace him.
Miami 31 at USF 10- I don’t even know why I mentioned this game this week. Pretty lame.
Utah 23 at BYU 26- Max Hall tossed a TD pass that split two defenders to beat Utah in overtime to win the Holy War in exciting fashion.
Washington 30 at Washington State 0- Check it out Wazzu went 1-11 again. Only this year the 1 wasn’t against Washington.
Arkansas 30 at LSU 33- This was another crazy game. I thought Petrino and the Hogs were going to get it done but Les Miles and the Tigers survived in overtime due to an Arkansas missed field goal. Arkansas could be a serious factor in the SEC next season.
Georgia 30 at Georgia Tech 24- I was honestly surprised to see Georgia look as good as they did in this game. This was part 2 of the ACC black eye heading into their conference title game next weekend.
UCLA 7 at USC 28- Pete Carroll stirred the pot by tossing a bomb for six in the waning moments of this rivalry game. Whatever.
Arizona 20 at Arizona State 17- Talk about a crazy ending. A Sun Devil muffed punt led to a winning field goal for the Wildcats. I felt bad for that kid.
The closing out of week 13 also represented the end of the season for several teams that are not bowl eligible. Many playing careers came to an end as did a few coaching tenures. I’ll discuss that more later. In the mean time we have the conference championship games and bowl bids to look forward to this weekend.