Week 10 - Heading down the stretch
Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Postseason destinations are earned in the month of November. The first action of this month could fall under that category, as conference rivals going after one another, with some marching forward and others wondering where to go from here. Subplots also came to the forefront in week number 10, with a Hall of Fame coach adding to his legacy and a Heisman frontrunner hitting a little road block on his way to winning the coveted award.
BUMPS IN THE ROAD: You didn't think we would get through an entire Heisman run without someone digging up dirt on the frontrunner did you? Just when Auburn's Cam Newton seemed to be distancing himself from the pack, it seems there are alleged skeletons in his closet. The Auburn quarterback has been literally unstoppable on the field, but will recent allegations of academic impropriety while at Florida, along with a story surfacing that his camp sought a payment to secure his talents at Mississippi State out of junior college tarnish what he has done in his first year with the Tigers? This seems like a lot of hot air and really shouldn't affect his Heisman campaign. On his weekly radio show, Auburn head coach Gene Chizik had this to say.
"I will say this, very loud and very clear. Cameron Newton is eligible at Auburn University."
When it comes down to it, that is all that really matters, isn't it?
THE AIR UP THERE: Joe Paterno has long been a legend in college football, but with his Nittany Lions knocking off Northwestern this past weekend, JoePa picked up career win number 400. In the process, Paterno became the first coach in the history of major college football to reach the 400-win plateau. It's safe to say that when all is said and done, Joe Paterno's win total will be one of those mythical records that will likely stand the test of time, much like Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak or Pete Rose's 4,256 hits.
CONFERENCE CLOSEUPS: It is coming down to the wire in most conference races, but TCU took a huge step toward the Mountain West crown with its thumping of Utah on the road this past weekend. Auburn has fortified its hold on the SEC West, not so much due to the beating it laid on Chattanooga, but more for the fact that LSU knocked off Alabama. With wins already over LSU and Arkansas, the SEC West (and by default, the SEC as a whole) is clearly Auburn's to lose. The Pac-10 is now a one-horse race, and Oregon looks like "Affirmed" these days. Virginia Tech has come back from an awful start to the season to be in the driver's seat in the ACC. The Big Ten and Big 12 waters aren't as clear, with a number of teams still in the mix in both conferences.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Boise State's Kellen Moore had the best outing by a QB this week, hitting 30-of-37 passes, for 507 yards and three TDs in a lopsided win over Hawaii.
|Kellen Moore had the best outing by a QB this week, hitting 30-of-37 passes.|
There were plenty of other gunslingers throwing it around last week, including North Carolina's Tyler Yates (439 yards, three TDs against Florida State), Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden (435 yards, three TDs against Baylor), East Carolina's Dominique Davis (413 yards, five TDs against Navy), Virginia's Marc Verica (417 yards, four TDs against Duke), Tulsa's G.J. Kinne (371 yards, four TDs against Rice), Temple's Mike Gerardi (368 yards, two TDs against Kent State), TCU's Andy Dalton (355 yards, three TDs against Utah), Troy's Corey Robinson (347 yards, three TDs against North Texas), Houston's David Piland (344 yards, four TDs against UCF), Tennessee's Tyler Bray (325 yards, five TDs against Memphis), Nevada's Colin Kaepernick (320 yards, five TDs against Idaho) and Auburn's Cameron Newton (317 yards, four TDs, one rushing score against Chattanooga).
Fresno State's Robbie Rouse defined the term "workhorse" this past weekend, carrying the ball an eye-popping 43 times, for 286 yards and one TD in a victory over Louisiana Tech.
Other backs with superb outings include Boston College's Montel Harris (183 yards, three TDs against Wake Forest), Michigan State's Edwin Baker (179 yards, four TDs against Minnesota), Rice's Sam McGuffie (178 yards, one TD against Tulsa), Wyoming's Alvester Alexander (151 yards, three TDs against New Mexico), Illinois Mickel Leshoure (120 yards, three TDs against Michigan), Colorado's Rodney Stewart (175 yards, three TDs against Kansas), Kansas' James Sims (123 yards, four TDs against Colorado) and Oregon's LaMichael James (121 yards, three TDs against Washington).
Michigan's Roy Roundtree (nine catches, 246 yards, two TDs against Illinois), North Carolina's Dwight Jones (eight catches, 233 yards and one TD against Florida State) and Virginia's Dontrelle Inman (10 catches, 239 yards, one TD against Duke) all eclipsed the 200-yard mark in terms of receiving yards to pace all wideouts across the nation.
Other WRs of note include Central Michigan's Cody Wilson (12 catches, 185 yards, one TD against Western Michigan), Ball State's Jack Tomlinson (seven catches, 175 yards, three TDs against Akron), Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon (173 yards and one TD, one carry, 69 yards, one TD against Baylor), Stanford's Chris Owusu (nine catches, 165 yards, one TD against Arizona), Tulsa's Damaris Johnson (eight catches, 163 yards, two TDs, 94-yard kickoff return for a TD against Rice), Houston's Patrick Edwards (10 catches, 162 yards, three TDs against USF) and Nevada's Rishard Matthews (seven catches, 151 yards, two TDs, one rushing score against Idaho).
SNEEK PEAK: There are two top-25 showdowns this week and both are in the SEC, with 17th-ranked Mississippi State at 11th-ranked Alabama and 22nd-ranked South Carolina visiting 24th-ranked Florida.
Other games requiring national attention include Georgia at second-ranked Auburn, 16th-ranked Virginia Tech at North Carolina, Penn State at (8) Ohio State, USC at 18th-ranked Arizona, 12th-ranked Oklahoma State at Texas and 21st-ranked Nevada at Fresno State.