Daily Blog •December 5, 2011


During the offseason I had just one weekend blog but each week during the season I will take a look at the Top 25 performances from the just completed week with a little analysis as well as a quick review of the past weekend. On Monday I will give you my News & Notes where I delve deeper into every game that was played this past weekend, breaking down individual drives and giving you misleading finals and other interesting tidbits.

As far as my game grades go after the 2008 season was completed I devised a power ratings system, which lets me analyze at what level each team played during an individual game. This “game grade” takes into account the yards rushing, yards passing, points scored, rushing yards allowed, passing yards allowed and points allowed and factors them in against the opponent played and even factors in the site the game was played at.

With all these factors taken into consideration you will see teams that lost the game having a better individual game grade than teams that beat them simply because the team they played was superior and much less was expected of them.

Top 25 Game Grades (Team Performances) Week 14

OKLAHOMA ST Oklahoma 278 217 44 108 250 10 4 137 114.4
S MISS AT Houston 208 279 49 55 373 28 -1 59 106.7
CLEMSON Virginia Tech 217 240 38 56 274 10 3 127 106.15
LSU Georgia 207 30 42 78 218 10 3 -59 105.05
MICHIGAN ST Wisconsin 190 281 39 126 219 42 -2 126 101.2
OREGON UCLA 352 219 49 160 177 31 2 234 96.525
NEVADA Idaho 226 361 56 128 178 3 3 281 95.975
BAYLOR Texas 191 320 48 194 363 24 5 -46 93.775
N TEXAS Middle Tennessee 464 23 59 140 91 7 2 256 89.65
BOISE ST New Mexico 149 394 45 52 145 0 -1 346 88.825
BYU AT Hawaii 167 363 41 17 282 20 1 231 88.55
GEORGIA LSU 78 218 10 207 30 42 -3 59 87.45
WISCONSIN Michigan St 126 219 42 190 281 39 2 -126 85.25
TCU UNLV 187 198 56 116 48 9 0 221 84.15
IOWA ST AT Kansas St 215 153 23 202 158 30 -2 8 81.4


News and Notes Week 14

West Virginia qualified for a BCS Bowl but clearly caught a few breaks on the way. In the final 3 games they got past Cincinnati when the Bearcats lost starting QB Collaros in the 3Q with injury. Against Pitt, the Panthers lost their top 3 RB’s to injury and West Virginia came back from a 17-7 halftime deficit in a half they were outgained 216-141. Last week vs USF it appeared the Bulls had it wrapped up. WV had benefitted from a 52 yd IR TD and 90 yd KR TD in the game but USF did also have an IR TD. At the half WV led 13-7 but USF had a 196-138 yd edge. USF had a 1st & gl at the 2 late 3Q but settled for a 20 yd FG. With the game tied 27-27, USF got a 53 yd KR to the WV41. They had a FD at the WV28 and WV had no time-outs left with 3:00 to go when QB Daniels on FD fmbl’d. WV got 2 FD’s and on 4&10 from the USF42 got a 26 yd pass to the 16 with :08 left and they got a 28 yd FG for the win.

Tough loss in the MAC Title game for Frank Solich as Ohio U at the half led 20-0 and it could have been worse after settling for a couple of short FG’s. OU had a 302-92 yd edge. At the end of the game, a 12 yd punt set up Northern Illinois for a 57/6pl drive for the tying TD with 2:52 left and then a bad snap on OU’s first play lost 12 yds and they punted with 1:18 left and NI went 48/5pl getting the game winning 33 yd FG on the last play.

UCLA was playing with an emotional edge vs Oregon as they were off an embarrassing 50-0 loss and Neuheisel had been fired during the week. They carried the coach off on their shoulders after Thursday’s practice and played hard. Twice in the 1H the Ducks went for it on 4th down and got 30 and 25 yd TD’s off the 4th & 1 and 4th & 3 plays. It was 35-14 UO when on 4&10 they were SOD at the UCLA44 with :11 left in the half. LA got a 30 yd pass and then a 44 yd FG to pull within 35-17. The Ducks appeared headed for a 32 pt win when leading 49-24 on 4&9 they were SOD at the LA30 with 11:58 left and then on 4&3 were SOD at the LA6 with 7:13 left. LA drove 94/15pl and got a 19 yd TD pass with 1:51 left for the 49-31 final. UO rec’d the onside kick and took a knee three times.

got a FR TD when DL Stewart took the ball out of the QB’s hands then added a 15 yd IR TD but still dominated the 1H leading Connecticut 28-6 with a 225-64 yd edge. They led 35-12 after 3Q’s but Conn got a TD with 2:58 left, then after an int got a TD with 5:46 left to pull within 1 score. Cincy got 2 FD’s burning off the final 5:46 and their win put West Virginia into a BCS bowl.

Howard Schnellenberger was coaching his final game and the 30,000 seat stadium that he was mostly responsible for building was near empty and the OC went out with their 3rd shutout of the season. In the 1H ULM had a 260-78 yd edge and led 19-0 and FAU’s scoring opportunities ended on an int in the EZ from the 8 in the 1Q, they ran a fake 50 yd FG which was int’d at the 25 in the 2Q, in the 3Q FAU missed a 26 yd FG and their final offensive play they were SOD on 4&1 at their own 25 with 1:27 left.

Colorado St had numerous tough losses on the year and had another one vs Wyoming as they had a 25-18 FD edge. The Rams settled for a 21 yd FG on their opening drive, settled for a 44 yd FG and then backup QB Grayson who was forced to start his 3rd straight game, was int’d at the WY18 with 3:34 left in the half. The Rams had a 2nd & gl at the 1 at the end of the half and got a TD but it was called back for an illegal motion and on 3&gl they were int’d in the EZ with :11 left in the half. In the 2H, CSU had a 32 yd FG hit the upright when leading 19-14, fired incomplete on 4&3 at the WY41 and then was sk’d in the EZ for a safety with 2:43 left putting WY up by 3. CSU got it back at their 4 but it ended on an int at their own 37 with :28 left. TCU was not as dominant as the final score as they only led 14-3 late 1H vs UNLV when they blocked a punt to set up a 32/1pl TD run. TCU then got a 99 yd KR TD with 2:00 left in the half and :12 later a 16 yd IR TD to lead at the half, 35-6 but only had a 166-92 yd edge. They found out Houston had lost, giving them a possible BCS berth and opened the 3Q with 74/10pl, 81/8pl and 60/8pl drives for TD’s on their first 3 poss to go up 56-9 with 9:10 left and held UNLV to 6 FD’s.

Pitt had a 6-1 TO edge vs Syracuse as SU fumbled the opening KO setting up a 22/1pl TD pass for Pitt. SU was int’d on their 2nd play and Pitt got a 37 yd FG and at the end of the game, Pitt led 26-20 and SU was back at their own 18 with 2:34 left when Nassib was hit from behind, Reed caught it in midair and ret’d it 20 yds for a TD for the 33-20 final.

Houston controlled its own destiny just needing a win over Southern Miss at home to secure a BCS bowl berth but the Cougars couldn’t handle the pressure and Case Keenum fell out of the Heisman Trophy chase. There was 16-27 mph wind gusts. SM had the wind at their back in the 1Q and got a TD with 1:09 left in the half then went 36/3 after PF on the PR for a TD for a 14-0 lead. UH tied it at 14 going 65 and 61 yds on its next 2 poss for TD’s but SM went 75/3pl and got a 69 yd TD pass to make it 21-14 at the half. SM blocked a punt for a TD and Keenum was int’d in the EZ on 1st & gl at the 1. Leading 28-21 SM went 80/11pl, 81/3pl for TD’s to lead 42-21 and even fmbl’d at the UH8 with 12:15 left. SM got a 25 yd IR TD with 2:41 left and UH went 70/12pl getting a garbage TD with :03 left.

New Mexico St got Matt Christian back at QB and led Utah St 21-17 in the 4Q. They punted with 5:04 left and Utah St went on an 83/13pl drive incl a 4&1 conversion and got a TD with :35 left to pull out the win, 24-21.

Case McCoy threw for 356 yds vs Baylor and Texas finished with a 557-511 yd edge but 5 TO’s by McCoy were the key and none were more important than with 1:18 left in the half. Texas, leading 21-17, had the ball when on 3&4 McCoy was int’d on the sideline and returned 28 yds to the 2 with 1:18 left. Two plays later Griffin got a TD to take a 24-21 lead. Texas had the ball for 21:02 of the 1H and had a 339-249 yd edge but trailed. UT settled for a 39 yd FG, was int’d at the BU27, int’d at the BU19 then dropped a TD pass and a few plays later fumbled at the BU12. On their next drive, UT turned it over a 4th consecutive time when they were int’d in the EZ and BU got a 48-24 win. Baylor reached 9 wins for the first time since 1986.

Lance Dunbar set a single game rushing record at North Texas with 313 yards on 40 carries and he was the only 300 yard rusher in college football this year. He leaves as NT’s all-time career leading rusher with 4,224 yds topping Patrick Cobbs (4,050). Interestingly, Middle Tennessee’s coach Stockstill said during the week, that their season was over but that next year would be promising. NT played like their season was over as they trailed 52-0 in the 3Q and MT had a 487-231 yd edge.

Tyler Lantrip got the start in place of the injury Cody Fajardo and hit 24-31-340 yds as Nevada steam rolled Idaho. At the half Nevada had a 319-140 yd edge and led 28-3 and would roll 56-3 punting once in the 2H and ending the game at the ID10.

Troy was more competitive than the final score vs Arkansas St. In fact, ASU had a 17-0 lead with 1 FD as they blocked a punt for a TD and had a 60 yd FR TD. Troy, trailing 24-14 missed a 48 yd FG with 7:34 left in the 3Q and then ASU took over driving 69/12pl, 84/13pl and after Troy was SOD, ASU went 84/8pl for TD’s for the 45-14 final.

Tajh Boyd came in having a 4-7 ratio in his previous 4 games but hit 20-29-240 yds and was the MVP as #21 Clemson beat #5 Virginia Tech for the 2nd time this year. It’s the first time CU’s won 10 games in a season since 1990. David Wilson, the ACC Player of the year, was held to 32 yards on 11 carries. Things started right for CU early as VT fumbled on their opening snap and CU went 24/3pl for a TD and a 7-0 lead. The score was tied at 10 at the half and CU would then score 3 TD’s in 4:24 to blow it open, 31-10. VT dropped a FD pass on 4&2 at the CU30 and CU went 70 yards for a TD for the 38-10 lead. VT was int’d at the CU10 with 9:32 left and int’d in the EZ from the 8 with 4:51 left. There was an ACC record 73,675 on hand and with the game in Charlotte, NC the crowd surprisingly sounded like a Clemson home game.

The Georgia/LSU game was a story of 2H and even then, UGA finished with a 296-237 yd edge but were done in by 3 TO’s and 2 long PR’s. The most amazing stat in the game was that at the half UGA had a 9-0 FD edge and 135-12 yd edge but they only led 10-7. LSU’s only TD in the 1H came when Mathieu ret’d a punt 62 yds for a TD but he actually tossed the ball to the ref prior to crossing the goal line and it should not have counted. As is the case in most of their games this year, UGA’s RB Crowell was hobbling around on a sore ankle and only got 9 carries for 14 yards. UGA dropped a TD pass on their opening drive and settled for a 40 yd FG. They rec’d the onside kick but dropped another TD pass and then missed a 45 yd FG. UGA got a 44/6pl drive for a TD and led 10-0 after 1Q. LSU got a 62 yd PR to make it 10-7 at the half. UGA fumbled to open the 3Q and LSU went 26/2pl for a TD then after a 47 yd PR, LSU went 17/4pl for a TD. At this point, LSU led 21-10 with 55 total yards offense for their 21 points. LSU’s most impressive drive came when they took over with 8:08 left, up 28-10 as they got 17, 13 and 15 yard runs followed by a 48 yd TD run by Blue on the fourth play, 35-10 and they then added a 45 yd IR TD with 4:21 left. UGA’s last drive was led by backup QB Mason and on 4th down they were SOD at the LSU10. LSU had 8 wins vs AP Top 25 foes, the most previously was LSU (7, 2007), Michigan (7, 1997) and Oklahoma (7, 1975).

Fresno St blocked a FG and returned it 59 yards for a TD and they also go an 88 yard TD pass 4pl after San Diego St was SOD on 4&gl at the 1. Fresno led 21-0 mid-2Q but SDS drove 81/11pl then 78/10pl and on 4&gl from the 1 with :11 left in the half got a TD to make 21-14. It was tied at 28 when Fresno had the ball at midfield when they were sacked and punted with 2:13 left and the Aztecs drove 66/9pl and got a 2 yd TD run with 1:09 left. Fresno ret’d the KO to the Aztec 47 and on 3&1 Carr was int’d at the 24 with :32 left.

Oklahoma QB Landry Jones had not thrown a TD pass in the previous 2 games since he lost his top weapons RB Dominque Whaley and WR Ryan Broyles for the season to injury. A banged up OU team lost for the first time to Oklahoma St in nine games and OSU got their first outright conf title since 1948 when they played in the 3-team Missouri Valley conf. OU was hoping to impress the pollsters and move up to #2 and a shot in the National Title game. TO’s were huge as OU had 5. Twice the ball just fell out of Jones’ hands. At the half OU had a 15-11 FD edge but OSU a 249-204 yd edge. The key play of the game happened with OU trailing 10-0 and at the OSU19 with 4:42 left in the 1H. Jones was sk’d and fmbl’d and it was ret’d 59 yds to the OU1 setting up a TD and OSU blew it open to 24-3 at the half. OU fmbl’d at the OSU30, was int’d at the OSU13 in the 2H.

When Michigan St and Wisconsin met the first time, a Hail Mary pass decided it and once again a Hail Mary-type pass would decide this one along with a running into the P call. MSU had 471-345 yd and 23-16 FD edges and led most of the game but on 4&6 Wilson threw up a jump ball with 2 DB’s around Duckworth but he hauled it in for a FD at the 7 with 3:45 left and they got a TD on the next play to go up 42-39. UW punted with 2:40 left and the punt was ret’d 64 yds to the 1 but running into the K gave UW a FD and they were able to run out the clock.

Hawaii needed a win to get to a bowl game but BYU welcomed back QB Riley Nielson (25-37-363). The Cougars missed 48 and 38 yd FG’s after 11 and 9pl drives in the 1H and despite a 16-9 FD edge, actually trailed 13-7 with 3:41 left in the half. They would score the game’s next 34 pts. They trailed 13-10 at the half but scored TD’s on all three 3Q poss and added a 26 yd FR TD to lead 38-13 after 3Q’s. UH did get an 85/12pl drive for a garbage TD with 5:55 left to make the final 41-20 as UH converted on 4&1 and 4&2 on that drive.

Boise St was the highest ranked non-AQ team but not eligible for an automatic BCS bowl berth as they did not win their own conf, losing by 1 pt to TCU. Kellen Moore, in his FHG, hit 28-33-313 yds and guided BSU to 38 pts in 3Q’s before being pulled with 7:20 left 3Q and a 38-0 lead as Southwick handled 3 poss and BSU was SOD a the New Mexico24, int’d at the 10 and got a TD with 5:01 left. BSU’s first punt of the game came with 1:07 left and 3rd string QB Hendrick at the controls.