Week 8 - Falling like dominos
Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Week eight saw a few of the previously unbeaten teams lose. While the number one team stayed put in the top-25 for the first time in three weeks, the top team in the BCS poll fell hard. The Oklahoma Sooners weren't the only previously unbeaten squad to finally end up in the loss column and the fallout from the week may just present some really interesting scenarios heading into the homestretch.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: With Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and LSU all losing, there are only seven unbeatens left at the FBS level. The top five in the AP poll are Oregon, Boise State, Auburn, TCU and Michigan State, respectively. Seventh-ranked Missouri and eighth-ranked Utah round out the septet. They all have targets on their backs and the way teams have falling to the wayside recently, that number could dwindle in a hurry.
LAWS OF GRAVITY MAY NOT APPLY: Isaac Newton's laws of gravity seem to be a foreign concept to Auburn's talented Heisman frontrunner of the same surname or the team for that matter, as the Tigers have levitated past everyone and into the top spot in this week's BCS poll.
Likewise, Newton has been floating on air this season. There have been several examples of just that but none more convincing than on his long TD scamper against what was deemed an excellent LSU defense this past weekend at Jordan- Hare Stadium. Has he already done enough to earn a spot in New York for this year's Heisman presentation? Probably. Is he inching closer and closer to actually winning the thing? Absolutely. What he has done in just eight games as an Auburn Tiger has been unbelievable. He has been favorably compared to perhaps Auburn's greatest player in Bo Jackson. Of course, any such comparisons are premature to say the least, but Newton may put himself in rare company, joining Jackson (1985) and Pat Sullivan (1971) as the only Tigers to take home the Heisman.
|Auburn's Cam Newton has been floating on air this season.|
GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT: For fans of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, a victory at the FBS level has been a long time coming. The Hilltoppers came into this past weekend with a hideous 26-game losing streak, spanning three seasons. That all ended on Saturday however, as a pair of turnovers returned for scores led WKU to a huge 54-21 victory over Louisiana.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Cincinnati's Zach Collaros lit it up against South Florida on Friday night, throwing for 463 yards and three TDs in a win over the Bulls. He was joined among the best weekly performances by Baylor's Robert Griffin III, who passed for 404 yards and four TDs in a shootout victory over Kansas State.
Nebraska's Taylor Martinez and Auburn's Cam Newton were equally impressive under center. Martinez showed rarely-seen passing skills against Oklahoma State, throwing for 323 yards and five TDs, while also rushing for an additional 112 yards. Newton rushed for 217 yards and two scores, leading his Tigers to a huge victory over LSU in a crucial SEC West showdown and catapulting his team into the top spot in this week's BCS poll.
Other QBs with monster performances include Western Michigan's Alex Carder (372 yards, five TDs against Akron), Michigan State's Kirk Cousins (329 yards, three TDs against Northwestern), South Carolina's Stephen Garcia (355 yards, two TDs against Vanderbilt), Utah's Jordan Wynn (321 yards, three TDs against Colorado State),Oregon's Darron Thomas (308 yards, three TDs against UCLA) and Pittsburgh Tino Sunseri (307 yards, three TDs against Rutgers),
Baylor's Jay Finley racked up 250 yards and two TDs on the ground in a shootout win over Kansas State to headline the play by running backs this week. Navy's Alexander Teich was a close second, rumbling for 210 yards against Notre Dame. The Midshipman did not score on the ground, but did haul in a 31-yard TD reception in Navy's lopsided win over the Irish. TCU's Ed Wesley kept the Horned Frogs in the win column with 209 yards and two TDs against Air Force. Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter also eclipsed the 200-yard mark with 201 yards and two TDs in a loss to Nebraska.
Other tailbacks who earned their keep include Georgia's Washaun Ealey (157 yards, five TDs against Kentucky), Hawaii's Alex Green (172 yards, four TDs against Utah State), Arkansas' Knile Davis (176 yards, three TDs against Ole Miss), Clemson's Andre Ellington (166 yards, two TDs against Georgia Tech), Eastern Michigan's Javonti Greene (155 yards, two TDs against Virginia) and Stanford's Stepfan Taylor (142 yards, two TDs against Washington State),
Miami-Ohio's Nick Harwell (11 catches, 219 yards against Ohio) and Alabama's Julio Jones (12 catches, 221 yards) stood out among many top-notch outings by wide receivers this week.
Others with big days include Western Michigan's duo of Juan Nunez (six catches, 192 yards, two TDs against Akron) and Jordan White (eight catches, 168 yards, two TDs against Akron), Cincinnati's Armon Binns (12 catches, 158 yards, two TDs against South Florida), Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon (five catches, 157 yards, two TDs against Nebraska), Baylor's Josh Gordon (seven catches, 141 yards, two TDs against Kansas State), Kent State's Tyshon Goode (12 catches, 158 yards, two TDs against Bowling Green), Hawaii's Greg Silas (nine catches, 158 yards, one TD against Utah State), South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery (nine catches, 158 yards, one TD against Vanderbilt), Tulane's Casey Robottom (10 catches, 151 yards, two TDs against UTEP), Washington State's Marquess Wilson (six catches, 150 yards, two TDs against Stanford) and Minnesota's Da'Jon McKnight (eight catches, 103 yards, three TDs against Penn State),
SNEAK PEEK: Three top-25 showdowns highlight the play in the FBS ranks this week. It begins in Lincoln as seventh-ranked Missouri, coming off a huge win against Oklahoma, takes on 14th-ranked Nebraska and its freshman phenom QB. Big Ten action pits fifth-ranked Michigan State at 18th-ranked Iowa, while Oregon puts its number-one ranking on the line at the Coliseum against 24th- ranked USC.
Other games that may peak the interest include Thursday's matchup between 16th-ranked Florida State and NC State, as well as Saturday clashes between Florida and Georgia in Jacksonville, third-ranked Auburn at Ole Miss, 25th- ranked Baylor at Texas and eighth-ranked Utah at Air Force.