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Does Damian Williams Get Frequent Flyer Miles for This Touchdown?

USC smacked Cal Saturday 30-3, solidifying its place as one of the top teams in the Pac-10 all the while making Cal look like a lightweight more than anything else. Ordinarily you wouldn’t say a turning point doesn’t happen in the first quarter of the game, but that’s when it happened to me. Cal drove all the way down to the USC five yard line and had the chance to take a 7-0 lead and put the pressure on USC. Kevin Riley then got picked by Taylor Mays and that was all she wrote. A TD and a field goal later and it was 10-0 early in the second quarter by the time the following play happened, putting the game out of reach. Check out the video of Damian Williams’ punt return for a TD and the impressive tight rope he walked the final 15 yards of the play:

Not that it matters, but it sure looked like Williams stepped out of bounds at the 4 before going all Superman with his dive for the pylon. That was a sweet TD by Williams and an easy win for the Trojans. Meanwhile, Cal continues to get its fans all pumped up before letting them down big time like usual. Same old story for the Golden Bears.

Joe Paterno Has No Time for Your Local Story Angles, Reporters

Tuesday news conferences for college football coaches are just what the name suggests — there for newspaper reporters. They use the Q&A session to ask the coach about information from either the previous game or the upcoming game, depending on what kind of story they’re working on. Often times you get the usual suspects which include the beat reporters who are familiar with the coach’s tendencies and habits and who know the routine. But you also get random reporters from the opponent’s city, and they’re often looking for a more local story angle. That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday in Joe Paterno’s news conference when he was asked by a local Deerfield, Illinois reporter about fullback Joe Suhey. Keep in mind that the Suhey’s are considered the first family of Penn State football, having family members from several generations play at the school. Joe Pa then gets off this classic quote:

You think the Illinois fans are going to be holding up tooth brushes on the sidelines? That’s what I would be doing. Classic Joe Pa. At least he’s still good for something.

Video: Tim Tebow Hit by Kentucky’s Taylor Wyndham, Suffers Concussion

With all the praise and accolades Tim Tebow receives, I have a hard time being a fan of him. But after seeing him get crushed in the 3rd quarter of Florida’s game against Kentucky on Saturday, I really felt badly for him. Honestly, Tebow looked like a cockroach after it’s been squashed by someone’s foot — he was laying flat and kind of twitching. And this is one of the toughest college quarterbacks around. Anyway, check out the video of the hit that has all of Gainesville holding its collective breath:

Man, and that wasn’t even from the blindside either! He really must have been locked in to not have seen that. Whoever missed that assignment’s going to get an earful after the game, you can believe that. Up until that point, Tebow had three TDs, one in the air and two on the ground. He carries the ball 17 times, gets lit up by Eric Berry, and this is what takes him out? OK, I guess it would take anyone out.

Indiana Screwed by Refs on 4th Quarter Interception for Michigan

It could have been a magnificent upset for the Indiana Hoosiers at the Big House but alas, the dominant program prevailed. Indiana led the game with about nine minutes left after scoring on an 85 yard touchdown run by Darius Willis. You knew that Michigan wouldn’t be held back and Tate Forcier led the team down the field, connecting with Martavious Odoms to give Michigan the go-ahead score. At this point all was right in the world for the Wolverines; they should never be beat by Indiana. But the Hoosiers still had a chance to pull out the win or try for a tie, down just 36-33 with two and a half minutes left. Now I’m not saying Indiana would have marched down the field but I am saying that terrible calls by the referees like the one below sure doesn’t help. Check out the last minute interception by Michigan around the 1:30 mark:

Like I said, the refs didn’t take a win away from Indiana, but they gave them a bad call on that interception. It should not have been ruled an INT since the two players held the ball simultaneously. I supposed the refs just sped up the inevitable though it’s not their place to.

Pete Carroll Must Have a Short Memory

jake-lockerIt’s fun to watch Pete Carroll and see the head games that he employs. Remember when he got pissed that Mark Sanchez declared for the pros early and he said Sanchez wasn’t ready? Not only does he look bad for that especially now that Sanchez looks really good, but he also realized how wrong he was and he started backtracking. He then explained his behavior saying he was “testing” Sanchez. I’m not sure who bought that because it was Carroll clearly trying to cover his tracks. Well Carroll used a similar tactic this week after suffering the upset loss to Washington (now you know why he was so pissed Sanchez was leaving). He tried to diminish the achievement by Washington by pumping them (specifically Jake Locker) up:

“I’m not saying [Locker] played the greatest game ever against us,” Carroll said chuckling. “I think the guy from Texas did. But I just think he’s one of the really, really fine complete athletes. I don’t know why I’m blowing him up all the time, but I just really like the guy.”

“I think this guy is the best quarterback we’ve played against,” Carroll said. “I thought Vince played the best game I’ve ever seen anybody ever play.”

Well to answer what Carroll’s thinking, here’s the logic: pump up Locker and Washington and then the loss no longer seems as bad. His goal is to get everyone to repeat his logic. Now don’t get me wrong here — Locker is a fine quarterback who is a huge part of Washington’s success, but to call him the best guy they’ve played against? Aside from the talented Kellen Clemens and Dennis Dixons they’ve faced, Aaron Rodgers to me would easily be the best quarterback they’ve played against. From what I remember, Rodgers led Cal to an upset win over USC and the next year took them down to the wire at the Coliseum, completing 20-something straight passes in the game. Like I said, he must have a short memory.

Why Is South Carolina Beating Ole Miss Considered an Upset?

Mississippi SCarolina FootballIf you watched highlight shows or read about the Ole Miss/South Carolina game from Thursday night, you heard many people term the outcome “an upset.” If you go by the poll rankings it was an upset, but if you actually use common sense, you’ll see that this was just a predictable outcome. What we had on Thursday was a couple of average SEC teams squaring off. What’s generally the difference in those games? Home field and usually nothing more than a touchdown or field goal. So when Ole Miss goes to South Carolina and loses by six points, why on Earth would that be considered an upset? It shouldn’t be other than the jacked up poll system.

In reality, the polls shouldn’t be determined until after a month of the season. After about four games people should be able to judge teams much better than they would prior to the season. What really goes into determining preseason polls anyway? How a team finished the previous year and tradition of the program? That doesn’t seem to be a logical way to determine how strong a team is in the current season. Even the Ole Miss players were relieved not to have such a high ranking anymore because they knew it hadn’t been earned.

Answer me this, why aren’t Auburn, Iowa, or UCLA in the so-called Top 25? Because they were not expected to do well prior to the year? It’s total b.s. and it sucks that preseason expectations impact rankings once the year actually begins. And the way Ole Miss’ offense looked last night, it will be surprising if they don’t lose four games this year.

You Buying Lane Kiffin’s Post-Florida Loss Spin?

89184623SG016_TENNESSEE_V_FLane Kiffin pissed plenty of people off with his comments upon taking the Tennessee coaching job. His “we’re going to sing Rocky Top” all night long after beating Florida certainly charged up the fans and it no doubt pissed Florida off. But as pumped as Florida had to be for the game, they really never unleashed the hounds against the Vols who played good defense and kept the game close, winning 23-13. When asked about his comments from months ago, Lane said it was all part of a master plan:

“It worked perfectly,” Kiffin said. “It took all the pressure off the players. We played the No. 1 team in the nation with no pressure on them. … It was all on me. We were 30-point underdogs in this place and it really helped them go out and play ball.”

So do you really buy Lane’s comments or is that the best way he can spin a loss his team that’s now a disappointing 1-2? While I do believe it’s all spin, I really think there is some merit to his comments. Since he’s made himself the face of the program and the target of opponents, the pressure is taken off the players. It’s the same way with Ozzie Guillen and all his crazy remarks — it takes the heat off the players. Here’s the deal though: Tennessee had strong defense and a good running game, but they’re just not getting enough from their quarterback to win. It’s actually pretty similar to Lane’s days with the Raiders — he should be used to it!