Daily Blog •November 28, 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 13

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


LSU Arkansas 286 208 41 47 207 17 1 240 112.2
HOUSTON AT Tulsa 84 474 48 159 175 16 2 224 111.4
USC UCLA 149 424 50 124 260 0 1 189 107.8
WISCONSIN Penn St 263 185 45 111 120 7 3 217 104.0
OREGON Oregon St 373 294 49 12 307 21 1 348 104.0
VIRGINIA TECH Virginia 189 226 38 33 210 0 4 172 103.7
ALABAMA AT Auburn 218 184 42 75 63 14 1 264 103.7
S CAROLINA Clemson 210 210 34 70 83 13 1 267 99.0
OKLAHOMA Iowa St 253 256 26 128 126 6 0 255 97.6
STANFORD Notre Dame 196 233 28 57 252 14 1 120 96.5
VANDERBILT AT Wake Forest 297 184 41 146 183 7 1 152 95.2
BOISE ST Wyoming 210 264 36 97 80 14 0 297 92.3
MINNESOTA Illinois 248 85 27 82 78 7 1 173 91.6
CALIFORNIA AT Arizona St 247 237 47 148 257 38 1 79 90.8
GEORGIA AT Georgia Tech 128 252 31 243 112 17 1 25 90.8
BAYLOR Texas Tech 377 266 66 51 386 42 2 206 90.1
WASHINGTON Washington St 143 291 38 38 344 21 2 52 89.4
TEXAS AT Texas A&M 86 151 27 104 224 25 2 -91 89.1
TEXAS A&M Texas 104 224 25 86 151 27 -2 91 89.1
LOUISIANA TECH New Mexico St 202 217 44 160 119 0 1 140 86.9
MICHIGAN ST AT Northwestern 166 214 31 117 253 17 0 10 86.6
BOSTON COLL AT Miami, Fl 153 196 24 122 245 17 3 -18 86.1
LOUISVILLE AT USF 132 241 34 64 247 24 2 62 86.1
FLORIDA ST AT Florida 30 65 21 54 130 7 3 -89 84.7
S MISS Memphis 255 285 44 7 174 7 0 359 84.4


News and Notes Week 13 Part 1

Texas A&M dominated the 1Q with Texas not even getting a FD and the Aggies getting the ball at midfield on most of their poss. A&M got a TD and 2 FG’s to lead 13-0. The FG’s were 49 and 52 yds by Randy Bullock. The game started to change when A&M fmbl’d a punt at its own 41 and on the next play UT got a 41 yd trick pass from WR Shipley to Irby, 13-7. UT trailed 16-7 at the half but got a 58 yd IR TD then an 81 yd PR but after the PR they settled for a short 23 yd FG, 17-16. Ryan Tannehill had 3 int’s and his 3rd set up UT for a 24/6pl drive for a TD and a 24-16 lead. A&M battled back and actually took the lead with 1:48 left but UT QB McCoy ran 25 yds down the middle of the field to the Aggie 23 setting up a 40 yd FG for the win in what figures to be a final game for quite some time in this storied rivalry.

Eastern Michigan had an 18-11 FD edge vs Northern Illinois but a couple of big plays allowed the Huskies to escape and advance to the MAC Title game. EM had 1st & gl at the N12 and 8 but they settled for FG’s each time on a windy day. Once they passed up a 43 yd FG as they were going into the stiff wind and were SOD on 4&3. NI’s big play was a 3&1, 68 yd TD run by Harnish in the 3Q which made it 18-6. Trailing 18-12 EM got to the NI32 but a pair of sks forced a dropped pass on 4th down.

USF played without starting QB BJ Daniels and Bobby Eveld hit 20-35-210 yds. Louisville clinched its share of the Big East Championship with the win and snapped a 16 game losing streak in reg ssn games played in the state of FL dating back to 1972. USF took a 17-3 lead on a 1 yd TD run with :35 left in the half and appeared in control but UL got a 54 yd KR and 2pl later an 18 yd TD pass to make it 17-10 at the half. UL trailed 24-20 but took the lead with 9:38 left, 27-24. USF was int’d and UL drove 17 yds for a TD. USF was SOD on 4&4 at its own 34 with 2:59 left.

Tulsa and Houston were playing for the CUSA West Title and UH was also playing to keep their BCS bowl bid alive. The Cougars moved to 12-0 for the first time in school history and the game was close at the half with TU having a 226-224 yd edge. Trailing 13-10, TU fmbl’d at the UH10 with :47 left in the half. UH got 2 big plays in the 3Q. On 4&10 they got a 33 yd TD pass to increase their lead to 20-10 and later on 4&1 got a 38 yd TD pass with 1:23 left in the quarter, 27-16. Case Keenum was pulled after an 8 yd TD pass with 7:16 left and UH added a 14 yd TD pass from bkp QB Turner with 6:18 left.

In Western Michigan’s FHG QB Alex Carder DNP due to injury and Tyler VanTubbergen hit 19-21-252 yds. WM had a mistake-filled game and yet still won 68-19. WM fmbl’d a punt at their own 49 then after an Akron punt was tkl’d for a safety and only led 10-2. The Broncos fumbled a 2nd punt at their 46 setting up a UA FG and only led 10-5 but then scored TD’s on their next 8 poss to go up 66-5. UA went 80/9pl for a TD then ret’d a fmbl 72 yds for a TD to make it 66-19. WM was also SOD at the UA5 and 12 on their final 2 drives.

Arkansas and LSU’s last 6 meetings had all been decided by 8 pts or less and Ark jumped out to a 14-0 lead after a 47 yd FR TD but in the first meeting of 2 teams ranked in the Top 3 in Death Valley since 1959, when Billy Cannon got his famous PR vs Ole Miss, Tyrann Mathieu ret’d a punt 92 yds for a TD which tied it at 14. While LSU only had a 201-166 yd edge at the half and led 21-14, they dominated the 2H with a 293-88 yd edge and finished with a 26-11 FD edge, even taking a knee at the AU18 at the end.

Pitt had a commanding 217-74 yd edge at the half vs West Virginia but lost RB Zach Brown to injury on their 2nd to last play of the half. Isaac Bennett spelled him in the 3Q before he also went out with injury. Keep in mind, earlier in the year, Pitt had lost their top RB Ray Graham. Without their RB’s, the offense stalled in the 2H and was held to just 79 yards. WV made a big rally and went for it on 4&6 at the Pitt24 when a FG would have put them back within 3 but the gamble paid off and they would get a TD 4pl later for their first lead of the game with 6:10 left and Pitt punted with 2:30 left and their final 3pl were 2 sacks and an intentional grounding.

Denard Robinson accounted for 5 TD’s and Michigan snapped a school record 7 game losing streak to Ohio St. Braxton Miller threw for 235 yards and rushed for 100 and UM may have locked up their first BCS bowl since 2006 as the fans rushed the field afterwards. A key play late kept the Buckeyes in the game when UM appeared to get a TD to go up by 10 but it was overruled by relay as the RB was ruled down at the 1. Robinson’s TD on the next play was called back due to a hold and a PF and they settled for a FG and only led by 6 with 1:59 left. OSU only got to their 35 and their final pass was int’d at the UM48 with :39 left. Brady Hoke is the first coach in UM history since 1901 to win 10 games in his first season. OSU will not win the Big Ten Title for the first time since 2004 and they lost 3 str Nov games for the first time since 1999.

It was Deja Vu all over again for Nevada. Last week vs Louisiana Tech they had a 465-412 yd edge and this week vs Utah St they had a 290-134 yd edge but only led 10-7 at the half. NV lost starting QB Fajardo to an ankle injury late 3Q while leading 10-7. Backup QB Lantrip led 1 TD drive and NV took over at their 27 with 10:26 left. On 4&1 NV got a FD at the Utah St 11 on a Lantrip run but he fmbl’d and Utah St would get 4 FD’s incl 4&1 and 3&10 conv and took a knee.

Oklahoma had allowed a school record 616 yards last week vs Baylor but held Iowa St to a season low 245 yards and ISU did not have a drive longer than 35 yards with their only TD coming on a 10 yd drive (after a bad punt). It was ISU’s lowest yardage total since last year when they only got 183 being shutout by Oklahoma. Iowa St had not beaten ranked foes in B2B weeks since 1974. Even though it was the home finale for Oklahoma, there were thousands of empty seats and the winds were 30-40 mph which slowed down the OU offense. OU settled for a 20 yd FG, on 2nd &gl from the 1 was int’d in the EZ and settled for 27 and 36 yd FG’s in the 1H. OU fmbl’d at the ISU20, was int’d at the ISU12, settled for a 21 yd FG and was int’d at the ISU20 in the 2H which is why they only won by 20 points.

Tennessee blew a chance at a Liberty Bowl bid by losing to Kentucky in their final game. It was UK’s first win in the series since 1984 breaking a 26 game losing streak to Tenn. UT had a 15-10 FD edge and a 276-217 yd edge. UK wore black jerseys for the 2nd time this season at the request of its 21 seniors. UT had 3 TO’s late which cost them a shot at the win. UT had a 46 yd FG blk’d in the 1H and on 4&4 were SOD at the UK31. In the 2H UT had a 1st & gl at the 8 and went to the Wildcat but fmbl’d. UK fmbl’d and it appeared to be a clear recovery for UT but it was not overturned and 3pl later UK got a TD.

Another game with late 1H heroics, Michigan St and Northwestern were tied at 3 and NU at the end of a 15 pl drive and at the MSU4 when they fumbled with 5:25 left in the half. MSU went 97/8pl getting a TD with 1:40 left then got a 57 yd PR TD with :34 left in the half and a 3-3 game blew open a 17-3 and MSU never led by less than 7 after that. Trailing by 7, NU did have the ball but punted with 10:22 left and on 3&17, MSU got a pass to Cunningham which he bobbled 3 times but hauled in for a 29 yd TD. MSU was playing with the Big Ten Title game on deck.

Kansas and Missouri have a long rivalry, second in games played only to Wisconsin and Minnesota but only 47,059 were on hand at Arrowhead Stadium in what was likely the final of the series on a cold, wet afternoon. KU led 10-3 at the half but fmbl’d a punt snap on their own 14 at the start of the 3Q and MO went 14 yards for a TD then 93 and 82 yds for TD’s and rolled to a 24-10 win and finished with a 357-137 yd edge.

MarQueis Gray ran 27 times for 167 yards and set a Minnesota record for rushing yards by a QB with 966 topping Billy Cockerham’s 831 (1999). Illinois actually held an opponent under 100 yards passing for the 5th time this season but in the 1H UM had an amazing 217-18 yd edge and led 20-0 and extended it 27-0 en route to their 27-7 win. Ron Zook is 34-51 in 7 seasons, a winning % that is 11th among the 13 UI coaches who have coached more than one season and was fired the next day after the Illini’s 6 game slide.

NC State had the 2nd biggest comeback ever in an ACC game as they amazingly trailed 41-14 in the 3Q but rallied for the win and won by 15, 56-41 over Maryland! The key play of the game was a 59 yd IR TD by CJ Brown with 1:00 left. The previous high was when Clemson came back 28 pts down to beat Virginia in ‘92, 29-28. NCSt turned it over on each of their first 3 poss of the game incl when James Washington fmbl’s with nobody around him for 5 yards which MD scooped up and ret’d it 66 yards for a TD and a 7-0 lead early.

Virginia Tech usually peaks at the end of the year and they had their best game of the season vs Virginia with a 38-0 win and a 410-241 yd edge.

Alabama was even more dominating than their 42-14 final score would indicate. The Tide entered the 4Q with a 309-44 yd edge. In fact, after the opening KO of the 3Q, Bama had 221-31 yd edge and 13-1 FD edges but fmbl’d into the EZ which Auburn fell on for a TD and AUB ret’d the opening KO of the 3Q 83 yds for a TD and Bama at that point only led 24-14. Trent Richardson rushed for 203 yards on 27 carries and also had a TD receiving in the Tide’s 42-14 win. Richardson has avg’d 198.4 ypg vs ranked foes (all-purp yds).

Penn St jumped out to a 7-0 lead vs Wisconsin but the Badgers led 28-7 at the half incl a fmbl’d KR with 2:09 left in the half setting up UW for a TD. PSU then fmbl’d to start the 3Q and the Badgers got another TD and rolled to a 45-7 win. They did have a 450-223 yd edge.

Southern Miss got their first CUSA East Title since 2006 and first 10 win season since 1988. Memphis avoided a shutout when trailing 44-0, SM fmbl’d into the EZ and UM fell on it for a TD with 6:54 left. While SM had 2 IR TD’s in the game, they also fmbl’d into the EZ for a TB on the last play of the 1H on 1st & gl from the 1.

Louisiana got their 7th IR TD of the season which tied an NCAA record which was set by Tennessee in 1971. While UL jumped out to a 7-0 lead at Arizona, AZ did not start QB Foles who was ? coming in but AZ rolled to a 45-37 win with Foles hitting 33-43-352.

Boise St trailed Wyoming 7-0 with 2:00 left in the half. They got a TD with 1:10 left in the half then forced a punt with :08 left. Kellen Moore threw up a prayer and the ball was deflected at the goal line by a WY DB and fell into the hands of Miller for a 46 yd TD on the final play of the half giving Boise St some momentum into the locker room.WY went 3&out on their first 2 poss and were int’d on their 3 in the 3Q while BSU built a 36-7 lead.

Louisiana Tech wrapped up a bid to the Poinsettia Bowl with the win over New Mexico St giving them the WAC Title. Louisiana Tech led just 9-0 when they got the ball with 4:00 left in the half at their own 4. They went 96/13pl and got a 1 yd TD run with :28 left in the half. NMS opted to not take a knee and instead threw it and LT got a 45 yd IR TD with :07 left to blow it open 23-0. LT did have a 295-178 yd edge at the half and would roll 44-0.

FAU got a TD with 3:18 left in the half to tie at 14. UAB was sk’d and fmbl’d at their own 9 with 1:30 left and FAU got a 28 yd FG to take the lead, 17-14 with :10 left. FAU took that momentum into the 2H and built a 38-28 lead before UAB got a TD with :33 left to pull within 3 but FAU rec’d the onside kick.