Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The month of October kicks off Autumn and last week was exciting in the world of college football. The wheat is beginning to be separated from the chaff if you will and what is left standing will make a mad dash for postseason positioning. With that in mind, here are a few things to think about.
The forecast does not look good in the Sunshine State. It has certainly been a long time since both Florida State and Miami-Florida were missing from the top-25. However, that is exactly the scenario this week following Florida State's recent upset loss to NC State. The Seminoles and Hurricanes both suffer from a lack of talent on the offensive side of the football, a notion that would be deemed as crazy in the recent past. While Bobby Bowden is in no danger of losing his job, Larry Coker may be. Not only are the Hurricanes misfiring on offense, but the vaunted Miami defense may not be as good as advertised either. There is a break in the clouds in the Sunshine State however, as the Florida Gators are better than expected. Urban Meyer's squad is getting it done in every facet of the game and the win over a good LSU team may just propel the program into a run at the national title game.
Urban Meyer's squad is getting it done in every facet of the game and the win over a good LSU team may just propel the program into a run at the national title game.
GOLDEN BEARS SHINING
Few teams in the country are getting it done like the Golden Bears. Jeff Tedford's team came up small in the season-opener at Tennessee, but the correct adjustments have obviously been made and this team is off and running. The quick maturity of sophomore signal-caller Nate Longshore is the reason why and his ability to abuse a good Oregon team last week will do wonders for him down the stretch. USC's death grip on the Pac-10 title may just come to an end in 2006.
The Heisman Trophy race is starting to shape up and while some of the preseason favorites have fallen to the wayside, there are others that have stepped up in a big way to make this race exciting. The award is supposed to go to the nation's top player and in my opinion, that player is Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson. A man among boys, the 6-5, 240-pounder has it all. His size advantage is one thing, but put that together with great hands and straight line speed and it is almost unfair to have him line up and attack defenses. Regardless of how he finishes in the Heisman balloting, it is hard to envision him in the college ranks next year. Brady Quinn may be the top pick in next year's NFL Draft, but his Heisman run is probably all but over. Sure he can make all the throws and is a savvy field general, but the numbers simply aren't there. He didn't win it last year with superb numbers, so he won't win it this time around with just mediocre numbers. Troy Smith is another favorite to win the coveted trophy and although he plays for the top team in the land, his numbers are just so-so. Ditto for Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson, who has been a one-man-show in Norman this season. Garrett Wolfe leads the nation in rushing and while the Heisman is not limited to BCS-type players, it is hard to pick the MAC's most explosive performer. The second half of the season will be fun to watch.
DOING MORE WITH LESS
No team has suffered through more adversity this season in terms of injuries than Louisville. The loss of a pair of All-American candidates on the offensive side of the ball would cripple most teams, but Bobby Petrino's Cardinals haven't missed a beat without standouts Brian Brohm and Michael Bush. Despite the lack of household names, Louisville still leads the nation in scoring (44.0 ppg) and total offense (523.6 ypg), coming in 10th in passing (286.8 ypg) and fifth in rushing (236.8 ypg). It is scary to think what this team could do with Brohm pulling the trigger under center and Bush running around and over would-be tacklers.
WEEK SEVEN SNEAK PEEK
The only top-25 matchup on the docket is second-ranked Florida at 11th-ranked Auburn. This would have been a marquee matchup had it not been for Auburn's demise last week at home against Arkansas. Still, the Gators are coming off an emotional win over LSU and this could be a trap game with Florida settling into its surroundings atop the SEC. Other games of note in week seven include Penn State hosting Michigan and Virginia Tech at Boston College. The Nittany Lions' only loss in 2005 came in controversial fashion at Michigan and getting some payback could be in the cards in Happy Valley. The Hokies will travel to Chestnut Hill in a game that both Virginia Tech and Boston College need in their quest for an ACC crown.