Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
A lot was found out about certain so-called national title contenders this past weekend. Some teams lost their way en route to Glendale, others lost key personnel, while others simply lost their minds.
BAD BREAK: Just when Adrian Peterson was starting to get back to his freshman form, the talented Sooner tailback is now gone for the season. Peterson finished second in the Heisman voting as a freshman and after a mediocre sophomore campaign, was really lighting it up this year, including 183 yards and two TDs in last weekend's rout of Iowa State. Unfortunately, the ultra- talented Peterson suffered a broken collarbone and will be lost for the season. Of course, the big question is whether or not Peterson will suit up in an Oklahoma uniform again, or bolt for the NFL. The latter seems more reasonable at this point. There is nothing left to prove at the college level for Peterson, who would clearly be a top-10 selection in the upcoming draft.
JUST STOP IT ALREADY: Can anyone offer up a good reason why Temple should still have a football program at the I-A level? Last week's 63-9 whipping at the hands of Clemson is just the last in a long line of lopsided losses for the program. Earlier the Owls were shutout in back-to-back games against Louisville (62-0) and Minnesota (62-0), followed by routs suffered at the hands of Western Michigan (41-7) and Vanderbilt (43-14). Al Golden may be an up-and-coming coach, but he is at a real disadvantage trying to recruit quality players to Broad Street. On a national level, recruiting is impossible. Even locally, area kids would do much better taking their talent to Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers and perhaps even Villanova and Delaware at the I- AA level. There is just no way this team should be playing in the MAC (next year) or any other I-A conference for that matter.
ANY GIVEN SATURDAY: The popular phrase has not caught on Saturdays like it has on Sundays, but upsets are still commonplace in college football. This week featured some real surprising results. The Indiana Hoosiers for one recovered from an big, early deficit to send the Iowa Hawkeyes out of the top-25 with a 31-28 decision. About the same time, Vanderbilt, one of the SEC's lapdogs for years, got by the Georgia Bulldogs, 24-22. To a lesser extent, Texas A&M jumped into the top-25 with its win over previously unbeaten Missouri (25-9). Finally, Auburn put the final nail in the Sunshine State's national championship dreams with a 27-17 win over then second-ranked Florida.
After a bench-clearing brawl during the FIU-Miami game, Larry Coker's job security comes even more into question than before.
EMBARRASSMENT IN THE SUNSHINE STATE: The 2006 college football season was chugging along without incident. Football in the state of Florida is highly competitive and perhaps some of the best football in the country. It comes with a certain amount of swagger that some would deem unsportsmanlike at times. That was taken to a new low this past weekend at the Orange Bowl, with a melee between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida International Golden Panthers. The bench-clearing brawl is an embarrassment to both schools. Thirty one players in all have been suspended, including a pair of Hurricanes, one for attempting to stomp on players and another for swinging his helmet as a weapon. An injured FIU player was also seen swinging a crutch with intent to injure. There is certainly no place in college football for such reprehensible actions. The two programs and conferences have acted swiftly, but a one-game suspension is just not long enough for some of these players. Those who completely lost control of themselves should not be allowed to suit up again this season. The fallout of the fight will have lasting repercussions, including the possible firing of Miami's Larry Coker at the end of the season. There is just no room for that kind of behavior at any level of the game and harsher punishments should come down from above.
BCS BREAKDOWN: Well, the BCS rankings are finally out and there are very few surprises. Ohio State is perched atop the standings and for good reason. USC follows, but a treacherous three-game stretch to close the season (Oregon, California, Notre Dame) will either solidify the lofty ranking or be the Trojans' demise. The Michigan Wolverines follow and control their own destiny. If they can knock off the Buckeyes in the regular season finale, a trip to Glendale is a lock. The Auburn Tigers are next and have seen the spectrum of emotion in the last two games, looking terrible against Arkansas, but bouncing back with a dominant performance against Florida. Winning the SEC Title could have Tommy Tuberville's squad in the national title game. West Virginia, Florida and Louisville are the next three teams. The Mountaineers and Cardinals will battle it out for the Big East crown and the privilege of remaining in the upper echelon of BCS qualifiers. Florida is in a similar position as Auburn. An SEC Title will go a long way for the Gators. Rounding out the top-10 are Notre Dame, Texas and California. The Irish, who already have a loss on the season, lack any real competition down the stretch with the exception of USC to close out the regular season. The Longhorns and Golden Bears also have one loss and even winning the Big 12 and Pac-10, respectively, may not be enough to elevate them to the national title game.
WEEK EIGHT'S SLATE: Top-25 matchups for this week are few and far between. An intriguing Saturday afternoon tilt has fifth-ranked Texas invading Lincoln to battle 17th-ranked Nebraska. The Longhorns are still very much in the hunt for a national title, although they will need plenty of help. The only other top-25 game takes place Saturday night, with 13th-ranked Georgia Tech traveling to Death Valley to take on 12th-ranked Clemson. The Yellow Jackets and Tigers are the new breed in the ACC, representing the upper echelon, that used to be reserved for Florida State, Virginia Tech and Miami. This game is an inter-divisional clash between the divisional leaders. Tech is the only undefeated team in ACC play, while Clemson is clearly the most explosive. Other games of note include 22nd-ranked Boston College at Florida State, Alabama at seventh-ranked Tennessee and 19th-ranked Rutgers at Pittsburgh.