Cyrus of Persia figured the Israelites had been beaten down enough. Not only did he let them go back home, but he also decreed the Temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem, which was swell, up until the Romans sacked it in 70 AD anyway. But that’s another story. Some of the Israelites went back to Judea because they liked the old country; some of them liked the life they built in Babylon and stuck around. A small few didn’t like either option and wandered around in the desert for a while.
What does this have to do with college football? Beats me. Ask Nebraska.
Texas A&M 9
They must be beside themselves. Their last go round in the Big 12 and not only did the Huskers lose to the worst Texas Longhorn team since 1956, they have now lost to the other Texas flagship school in a field goal kicking contest, one aided and abetted by a valid complaint about a horrendous roughing the passer call on A&M’s game-winning drive. Nevertheless, with a clearly hobbled Taylor Martinez and a clearly manic Bo Pelini losing it on the sidelines, this was the classic one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. The A&M defense couldn’t have played any better. Their counterparts couldn’t have failed to tackle Cyrus of DeSoto any worse.
The New Jerusalem for Nebraska is the Big 12 title game, in which they will still likely play, thankfully (probably) not against a team from Texas. But they will play in Texas. Do you think they will take comfort in being the designated "home" team?
Take Houston Nutt in a game he is not supposed to win and Les Miles in a game that he is definitely supposed to win. And the result is?
Les Miles somehow won anyway. That kind of year, I guess. LSU 43, Mississippi 36.
Hold the presses, Terrelle Pryor just made a clutch play. Yes, that Terrelle Pryor, who converted a key fourth and ten in a great comeback against Iowa. Buckeyes stay relevant in the Big Ten race. The OSU 20, The Iowa 17.
Their path is blocked by Wisconsin, who rolled over Michigan in the Big House, 48-28. Wisky then checked the scoreboard, believing they were on their way to the Rose Bowl, as Purdue led Michigan State 28-13 heading into the fourth. The Spartans threw off the Boilermakers and decades of choker-iffic football as Kirk Cousins led three TD drives for a 35-31 escape.
The Big Ten brought the excitement! Thrills! Chills! Comebacks! Running off-tackle on second and short! Long pants!
Other than Arkansas putting away Mississippi State in a dandy double overtime game (which I did not see), the rest of the weekend bored the heck out of me.
The two most exciting teams in the country took the day off. Alabama scored more TDs (nine) than Georgia State scored points (seven) in a Thursday night exhibition that made world team tennis look interesting by comparison.
Stanford, noting that Cal plays great football at home and nearly took down Oregon last week, left nothing to chance and routed the Golden Bears in Strawberry Canyon, 48-14. Strawberry Canyon? It’s not exactly The Swamp, is it? I’ll take "Intimidating Stadium Names" for 500, Alex.
Boise State, unsure of what else they are supposed to do at this point in the season, pistol-whipped poor Fresno State (the dangerous 6-3 WAC giant killers…zzzzzzzz), 51-zip.
Oklahoma routed Baylor, a good football team, 53-24. Oklahoma State routed Kansas, a terrible football team, 48-14. Thank God the Oklahomas get to play each other next week. Ah, but that’s next week, which was the entire problem with this week.
My mother told me not to ever "wish my life away." Of course, she grew up in an era without the DVR. She had no concept of fast-forwarding through the boring parts.
This week was so boring, four teams played novelty games in historic baseball stadiums. OK, outdoor hockey? Cool. Notre Dame and Army doing their best to prove their reputations as relics of a bygone era in college football by playing at Yankee Stadium? Not cool. It’s like Keith Richards being the spokesman for a methadone clinic.
I was amused by Northwestern and Illinois invoking the "losers walk the field" rule after each touchdown because Wrigley Field only has one usable end zone.
Missouri beat Iowa State, 14-0. I’m sure you are sorry you didn’t have tickets to that one.
South Carolina rolled Troy in a 56-point first-half that led one commentator to note that this was the start of Marcus Lattimore’s 2011 Heisman campaign, because of course late-season pay-to-play games in the SEC are where all legends are born.
Virginia Tech won the ACC Sea Breeze division with a 31-17 win over Miami. No, even after nine straight wins, the Hokies are not forgiven for losing to James Madison. Think about this: had Va Tech hung on and won the Boise State game, which they were seemingly in control of, then there is no way they lose to James Madison the next week. They would be 11-0 and solidly in the BCS top five. Somewhere a butterfly flaps its wings.
Florida State, the Hokies’ most likely ACC title game opponent, beat Maryland, 30-16.
Utah got off a terrible string by overcoming San Diego State, 38-34.
Nevada, the alliance’s last hope to take down the Boise State Death Star, thrashed, bashed and trashed New Mexico State, 52-6.
Some of you may have stayed up to watch Oregon State rip USC, 36-7. Sure, NOW you play great football screams TCU and Boise’s strength-of-schedule.
Anyone care that Pitt beat Syracuse, 17-10? No? Especially given that I have written about three words on Pitt all year since they lost in week one to Utah and haven’t sniffed the top 25 since? Well, I hope you enjoy watching them in a BCS bowl. I’m sure TCU’s athletic director will.
Impressive Showing of the Week: Stanford, actually
4. The Style Points
5. The Blood-Squirting Desert Reptiles (this does not refer to the UNLV basketball teams of the late 1970s, but good guess)
8. Oklahoma State
9. Ohio State