Daily Blog •November 21, 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 12

*Means Garbage Yards/Pts Were Subtracted (Includes all OT Yds/Pts)


BAYLOR Oklahoma 144 485 45 157 446 38 3 26 103.4
USC AT Oregon 146 323 38 205 268 35 -1 -4 103.3
LSU AT Mississippi 353 105 52 147 47 3 3 264 102.9
ARKANSAS Mississippi St 165 376 44 84 127 17 0 330 102.3
MICHIGAN Nebraska 235 179 45 134 122 17 2 158 99.3
UCLA Colorado 328 225 45 87 142 6 2 324 99.3
HOUSTON SMU 148 365 37 24 239 7 2 250 97.6
TEXAS A&M Kansas 189 280 61 64 133 7 2 272 96.8
MICHIGAN ST Indiana 172 297 55 95 142 3 2 232 94.6
IOWA ST Oklahoma St 167 351 24 52 459 24 2 7 94.3
NC ST Clemson 147 251 37 31 307 13 4 128 91.9
OREGON USC 205 268 35 146 323 38 1 4 91.6
CALIFORNIA AT Stanford 79 278 28 149 253 31 -1 -45 91.3
OREGON ST Washington 145 339 38 160 155 21 0 169 91.3
BOISE ST AT San Diego St 131 366 52 119 266 29 1 112 90.8
RUTGERS Cincinnati 203 182 20 67 158 3 2 160 89.9
STANFORD California 149 253 31 79 278 28 1 45 87.5
ILLINOIS Wisconsin 150 152 17 194 90 28 -3 18 86.9
N CAROLINA AT Virginia Tech 134 224 21 145 195 24 0 18 86.6
MIAMI FLA AT USF 57 259 6 116 133 3 0 67 86.4
WISCONSIN AT Illinois 194 90 28 150 152 17 3 -18 85.8
ARKANSAS ST AT Middle Tennessee 203 333 45 80 219 19 -2 237 85.3
GEORGIA TECH AT Duke 364 185 38 101 250 31 -1 198 85.0
VIRGINIA AT Florida St 89 238 14 183 200 13 1 -56 85.0
PENN ST AT Ohio St 239 88 20 206 83 14 1 38 84.7
BYU New Mexico St 173 238 42 90 159 7 1 162 84.7
TULSA AT UTEP 217 283 57 177 266 28 0 57 84.7


News and Notes Week 12 Part 1

Teams playing with BCS pressure have struggled, like in 2007 when all of the teams that controlled their own destiny lost. Oklahoma St had it all in their favor. They were ranked #2 in the BCS, would play in the National Title game if they won their final 2 games and Brandon Weeden had moved to the top of the Heisman polls. They were taking on an Iowa St team that entered play 0-56-2 vs teams ranked 6 or higher in the AP poll. Paul Rhoads was the DC at Pitt when the Panthers knocked W Virginia out of the #2 spot and National Championship game back in that wacky 2007 season with a huge upset as a 4 TD dog and now engineered a 2nd one. At one point, ISU actually had an 8-3 FD edge but gave up a 70 yd IR TD and trailed 7-0. For the game ISU had a 33-24 FD edge and it was 24-24 after regulation with ISU winning in the 2OT.

Illinois outgained Wisconsin 301-285 but was done in by 4 TO’s and ST mistakes. The Badgers’ 4 TD’s came on drives of 2, 30, 44, and 39 yards. Illinois had leads of 14-0 and 17-7 (after a PI wiped out a TD IL kicked a FG) at the half and IL had 15-5 FD and 224-93 yd edges. IL had TO’s on 3 of their first four 2H poss setting up 2 UW short TD drives and at the end IL got to the UW29 and was int’d at the 19. Also, with the wind at the back of the punt, IL’s PR let the punt sail over his head and it ended up going an extra 25 yds to the 3 yd line for a 74 yd punt.

Buffalo scored its most points S/’92 with 51 vs Akron and had a 497-239 yd edge. It was 30-3 at the half.

Munchie Legaux got his first QB start at Cincinnati as Zach Collaros was out. UC was held to a season low 225 yds by Rutgers. The Big East now has 5 teams with just 2 losses on the season and the race for an automatic BCS bowl berth is wide open. RU did have 385 yds offense and a 23-11 FD edge.

Georgia clinched an SEC Title game berth but were very unimpressive vs Kentucky. They did have a 317-165 yd edge but settled for short FG’s. In the 1H they settled for 5 FG’s, missing 1. In the 2H UGA was int’d in the EZ and fmbl’d at the UK40 before finally getting a 7 yd TD pass with 14:55 left to get up by 2 scores. UGA was SOD at the UK27 with 3:39 left.

Army ret’d QB Trent Steelman but he lasted just 2 plays. Temple led 28-0 at the half. Last year TU had 8 wins but did not get invited to a bowl and they now have 7 wins this year.

Michigan St clinched the Big Ten Legends div when Nebraska lost to Michigan. UM now has a shot at 10 wins and a win over Ohio St making it a glorious season in Brady Hoke’s first year. The Wolverines did benefit from some short fields in the game but finished with a 418-260 yd edge and had a 24-11 FD edge. It was NU’s first game in Michigan Stadium since 1962. The game was tied at 10 and UM led 17-10 at HT before rec’d the 2H KO at the NU33 which set up a TD. They blk’d a punt setting up a 50 yd drive for a TD, got an 11 yd PR setting up a 31 yd TD drive, rec’d a fmbl.

Wake Forest WR Chris Givens had 191 yards receiving and WF had a 514-415 yd edge snapping a 3 game losing streak and becoming bowl eligible. Maryland is one of the most banged up teams in football and fell to 2-9 and gained 68 of their yards on an 11 play drive at the end of the game.

Miami and USF, a couple of disappointing teams were tied at 3 when UM drove 61/15pl to get a 36 yd FG on the final play of the game. One key play was that BJ Daniels, the starting QB for USF, left in the 3Q with a shoulder injury. Daniels had accounted for 371 yards total offense the previous week. The surprising number in this game was that at the 1H, UM had a 205-162 yd edge and the teams had combined for 6 points. The usual average in the NCAA is 13.8 yards for every point scored but this 1H had 367 yds for 6 pts - or 61.2 ypp.

Rice had a 13-0 lead hitting 54 and 51 yd FG’s but Tulane got a 4&7 TD pass with 10:03 left. Rice got a TD with 1:04 left and opted for 2 but the 2 pt failed. TU did get to the Rice37 on their last drive, which helped them finish with a 289-237 yd edge.

San Jose jumped out to a 10-0 lead and led 20-14 at the half with a 264-153 yd edge. Navy went for it on 4&19 and were SOD at the SJS38, punted with 7:03 left and fired incomplete on 4&3 at the SJS45 with 2:29 left on their final 3 poss after SJSt went ahead 27-24 on the 4Q’s 1st play.

Luke Kuechly set the career ACC record for tackles with 523. Notre Dame took their opening drive 80/7pl for a TD and their 2nd 46/9pl for a 40 yd FG and while they finished with a 417-250 yd edge, this one was ugly. ND only led 13-7 at the half and in the 2H, 8 of the first 9 poss were punts with the other being an int. Boston College got a TD with 1:57 left to pull within 16-14 but ND rec’d the onside kick.

It was a tough loss for Texas Tech who had been beaten by an avg of 42 ppg the prior 3 wks but led for all but the final 2:22 vs Missouri. TT jumped out to a 14-0 lead and led 17-10 at the half, 27-17 after 3Q’s and finally with 2:22 left MO got a TD for the lead. TT lost 3 players to injury (WR Torres, RB Washington and OG Edwards) and were the 2nd straight team to complain about the condition of MO’s artificial turf. MO was without Coach Gary Pinkel who was susp’d for the game due to a DWI. After leading the entire game, TT got the ball and drove right down the field and had a FD at the MO11. On 2&6 from the 7 a pass was tipped and int’d at the 4 with :32 left and MO got the fortuitous win.

Oregon St beat Washington for the 7th time in the last 8 meetings. UW was starting Nick Montana at QB as Keith Price was banged up. Montana hit 11-21-79. When Oregon St went up 31-14 Price came off the bench and led an 85/10pl drive and got a 4&9, 20 yd TD pass. OSU fmbl’d the kick at their own 17 but Price was int’d at the 1 and the Beavers went 99/12pl getting a 4&gl, 1 yd TD run with 2:06 left to go up by 17 and Montana came back in. OSU had a 484-315 yd edge.

TCU showed some clear letdown after their upset win over Boise St which basically handed them the MW Title this past week. In fact in the 1H vs Colorado St they were outgained 183-148. TCU did end up recording its 45th victory for its senior class, a school record in a 34-10 win and extended their MW records by winning a 23rd straight league game and 16th straight league game at home. CSU had a first time starting QB in true frosh Garrett Grayson (14-24-228) and CSU finished the game with a 408-372 yd edge with TCU getting a 69 yd IR TD in the 3Q.

NC State did indeed blow out Clemson but they benefitted from a short field the majority of the 1H. NCSt finished with a 398-337 yd edge. Clemson had just clinched the ACC Atlantic and decided to rest Sammy Watkins who was banged up. In the 1H NCSt led 7-3 when CU fmbl’d at their own 6 setting up a 6 yd drive for a TD, fmbl’d at their own 18 setting up an 11 yd drive for a 21 yd FG. NCSt got a 34 yd PR setting up an 11 yd TD drive to go up 24-3. CU did take over with 2:35 left trailing 37-6 and went 68/8pl getting a 2 yd TD run with 1:22 left.

Teams that have unbeaten seasons and National Championship hopes dashed, usually have a letdown spot the next week. Stanford struggled to get past Cal and Boise St gave up plenty of yards and pts vs San Diego St. BS did benefit from 3 early TO’s by SDSt as after an int they went 24/4pl for a TD, SDSt fmbl’d a punt on their 10 setting up a BS TD and SDS fmbl’d the ensuing KO at their own 23 and BS on 3&14 got a 14 yd TD pass to lead 21-0. BS did lead 42-14 at the half. Leading 45-14 BS fumbled at the SDS3. SDS got to midfield and punted but roughing the P gave them a FD and they would get a TD 2pl later to pull within 45-21. SDS got a TD with 6:25 left to make it 45-29 with the 2 pt conv. BS rec’d the onside kick and went 36/4pl for a TD, 52-29 with 4:11 left. The Aztecs went 76/17pl converting on 3&13, 4&14, 3&8 and with just :05 left in the game, got a 1 yd TD pass to make it 52-35. BS rec’d the onside kick.

When Penn St took the field against Ohio St it was basically a meaningless game and the winner of next week’s game vs Wisconsin will be the winner of the Big Ten Leaders div whether PSU beat or lost to OSU. The Lions showed great character and pulled out the road win. They led after Stephfon Green ran 39 yds for a TD 1:30 in and led the rest of the way. PSU had won just 2 of their last 10 games in Columbus but both came vs true frosh QB’s in Art Schlichter in 1978 and Terrelle Pryor in 2008 and now a 3rd time vs Braxton Miller.

Tulsa was playing in basically a meaningless game vs UTEP. If they beat Houston next week, they get a spot in the conf champ game. TU showed no look ahead but did only have a 500-443 yd edge. In fact, at the half it was TU 297-263 and they only led 21-15 when they got a 94 yd KR TD with 2:45 left in the half, 29-15. TU got a 37 yd IR TD to go up 50-15 and UTEP did gain 64 of its yards on 11 plays in the final 4:00 after TU had scored a TD to make it 57-28.

Texas A&M went to backup QB Showers with 8:00 left in the 3Q as the game vs Kansas was a rout. A&M finished with a 469-197 yd edge. KU took over with 6:52 left trailing 61-0. They would convert on 4&6 for a FD to the 13 and then with just :46 left in the game, got a 15 yd TD run by Sims on 2&12 for a TD which all’dd KU to avoid the shutout.

It was a shocking early score in the Furman/Florida game as FUR jumped out to a 22-7 1Q lead. UF used big passes. In the 1Q FUR had a 196-72 yd edge. UF got 80, 29, 64 yd TD passes and a 77 yd TD run then added 27 and 75 yd IR TD’s for a very misleading 54-32 final in which FUR had a 20-19 FD edge.

At the half vs Louisville, Connecticut had a 165-105 yd edge but gave up a 100 yd KR TD to open the game and settled for a 24 yd FG and trailed 14-10. The game was 28-20 when UC rec’d an onside kick at their own 41 with :13 left when they tried the lateral play and UL ret’d a fumbled lateral 36 yds for a TD with no time left on the clock to make what was a 1 score game into a 34-20 final.

I’m not sure if we should classify Nevada as a Misleading Final or just a brutal loss for the Wolf Pack. In the 1H NV had an amazing 272-43 yd edge. They fumbled at the LT22, were int’d at the LT30 and were SOD at the LT33. NV had a 15-2 FD edge. NV still dominated the 3Q as well going 67/12pl for a 19 yd FG, 59/6pl settling for a 24 yd FG and on their 3rd poss, went 49/9pl for a TD. With 13:01 left, NV had a commanding 20-3 lead that should have been much worse and a 437-118 yd edge. LT got 84, 89 and 92 yd drive on their final 3 poss for the win.

Three big plays hurt Alabama and we have to wonder why FBS schools even schedule an FCS school which runs the option as it is very difficult to prep for. Georgia Southern basically had 2 big plays on its triple option offense and a ST play for their 3 TD’s. Bama jumped out to a 17-0 lead but GS got an 82 yd run by FB Swope. With :52 left in the half GS had just converted on 4&1 at its own 32 and 5pl later got a 39 yd TD pass. GS also got a 95 yd KR TD and the confounding option had by far the best effort vs Alabama’s D all year with 341 yards. Jaybo Shaw is a Georgia Tech transfer and hit 1-5 passes for 39 yds. GS did gain 37 of its yds in the final couple of plays when trailing 45-21. Trent Richardson rushed for 175 yds and had 3 TD’s.