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Kicking Off Week 8 Behind Schedule But Still With Mark Ingram for Heisman // 10.19.09


On a scale of 1 to 100

Win against unranked Arkansas is mired in officiating controversy, while Alabama takes away the top spot in the AP poll. At least the BCS still believes in them.

A look at who's going which way in college football 

Takeup_medium MARK INGRAM
Sparks Heism@n talk with stellar performance against South Carolina. Not that that helped Darren McFadden overcome the Tim Tebow media machine.

Takeup_medium TIM TEBOW
The horrible refereeing can't entirely erase a great fourth quarter that helped the Gators come back. But even you don't think that was pass interference, right?

Takeside_medium GEORGIA
Win against Vanderbilt proves that the season is not yet lost. Who's next on the slate? Oh, yeah ...

Takedown_medium SEC OFFICIALS
They didn't tell us about the rule change that made tackling someone a personal foul.

Takedown_medium KANSAS
Colorado? [Shakes head] 

A few things to think about

A lesser kind of revenge
There are plenty of grudge matches coming up this week in college football, though some of them aren't the marquee rivalry games that we've become familiar with.

Of course, everyone knows about the Third Fouth Saturday in October, the annual showdown between Tennessee and Alabama. Sure, it might be only the second most heated rivalry for the Tide. But with Boy Wonder running things in Knoxville, it should have some extra juice this year.

No, there are other more nuanced hatreds at play this week.

Florida goes to Starkville to face former offensive coordinator Dan Mullen in a year when most Gators would gladly have him back. Not to mention the fact that Starkville has turned into a house of horrors for Florida in recent years, its most recent loss on the road to the Western Division Bulldogs being the final nail in the coffin of the Ron Zook Era.

South Carolina faces the ghost of their past two seasons, specifically Vanderbilt, a loss that prevented an eight-win season in 2008 and began a five-game slide out of the BCS and then postseason picture the year before.

And Ole Miss and Arkansas meet in the Houston Nutt Bowl, though he would probably just as soon the focus be on the university. Given the back and forth between Arkansas fans and Ole Miss fans on the Interwebs, though, I think the hatred between the two fan bases has only grown in last year.

Finally, it's a battle of the Tigers between LSU and Auburn. Something bizarre almost always happens when these teams meet, whether on the field or outside the stadium. It will be worth watching.

Watching the polls
What's fascinating about Alabama's move to No. 1 in the AP poll isn't just that the Tide claimed the top spot, it's the change in the first place votes: From a 50-10 edge last week for Florida to a 39-20 Alabama lead this week. I don't know that I've ever seen that big a move in first-place ballots this late in the season between two teams who both won. Obviously, I don't think this was the wrong decision; it's just a strange happening and perhaps a watershed moment for the AP poll.

The coaches are more stubborn. Last week it was 53 Florida, 1 Texas, 5 Alabama; this week, it's 49 Florida, 9 Alabama, 1 Texas. The Tide finally moved ahead of the Longhorns, whom they've been tied with or outpolling in first place votes for three weeks now.

South Carolina manages to hang around at No. 23 in both polls despite the loss to Alabama, while Ole Miss re-emerges in the coaches' survey at No. 25. The Rebels would be No. 27 in the writers' poll, because the scribes want to reward Oklahoma's resounding 3-3 start and were just so impressed with Notre Dame's loss to Southern Cal THEY ALMOST WON DID YOU SEE THAT AMAZING LAST-SECOND PLAY RETURN TO GLORY!!! The Fighting Irish were imaginary No. 26.

About Mark Ingram for Heism@n
Anyone who thinks I might be going overboard touting Ingram's Trophy bona fides, look at his stats for a moment.

Rushing Receiving
G Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Rec Yds Y/G Avg TD
2009 - Mark Ingram 7 135 905 129.3 6.7 8 19 186 26.6 9.8 3

Assuming Alabama makes it to the SEC Championship Game, that average puts him on pace for 1,681 yards and 15 TDs rushing by the time the invitations to NYC go out.


The Senator puts it best
I couldn't agree with him more strongly.

By the way, Gator fans, the point here isn’t that Florida won the game because of the refs, or that there’s a conspiracy to put Florida and Alabama together in the SECCG.  It’s that too often SEC officiating is sub par. Those are the kind of calls that get made by lazy officials who find themselves swayed by a program’s or a player’s reputation instead of keeping up with what’s actually happening on the field in front of them. ...

If nothing else, these kids need to feel like they didn’t get cheated giving their best.  How hard is that to acknowledge?

No one is trying to delegitimize a win. It's a larger issue for the conference to face up to, for the athletes as much as if not more than for the the fans.

Maybe CBS' line was just really far off
The Senator highlights another interesting call in the Arkansas-Florida game.

If Auburn can use a tricked-out limousine, why not?
Boy Wonder takes to the skies to evaluate talent, sort of like Sarah Palin hunting for caribou.

Georgia-Vanderbilt: Glass half empty. Half full.

It's better than SpongeBob SquarePants
Saban shows his players a LeBron James movie, which is totally why they won Saturday as opposed to being the better team.

He's down near two of Freddie Kitchens' worst games
A look at how badly Greg McElroy did against South Carolina.

Any when you say fun, you mean for everyone except Auburn fans
John Clay highlights "Some fun stats on that UK win at Auburn." NO TIGER FAITHFUL DON'T LOOK I WARNED YOU

Well, Track Em Tigers is taking it well
Coulter on the UK loss:

Last week's loss at Arkansas was a setback. Saturday night's defeat was a game changer for first year Auburn coach Gene Chizik. ... What we witnessed against Kentucky was something far worse than a young team trying to find its way. Auburn football is in full meltdown today.

I'm glad Auburn fans are viewing this loss with the same balance with which they viewed the initial good fortune.

Low says an Alabama-Florida rematch in the BCS is unlikely
It would require at least two Texas losses, another Southern Cal loss and an Iowa loss.

Barnhart says there can be a rematch in the BCS title game
He's going against a one-loss Texas and an undefeated Iowa.

Then why even play the games first?
The article is headlined "Tebow's Heisman candidacy isn't about stats this season," and then goes downhill from there.

Florida's quarterback, who is 97th in the country in passing yards (777), no longer needs monster games like he had two years ago to capture the award. As long as the No. 1-ranked Gators win, his career achievements will be too much for anyone to overcome.

The problem with the Heism@n in recent years is that it's become too much like the MVP award at the same time that baseball's MVP award has become too much like the Heism@n. If Tebow has a great year on the field, give him the trophy because he deserves it. Otherwise, find someone else.

Injury Report

WR Moe Brown (South Carolina)
Concussion, uncertain

CB Javier Arenas (Alabama)
Ribs, unclear

LB Brandon Spikes, DT Jaye Howard, DT Lawrence March, DE Justin Trattou (Florida)
All seem pretty uncertain at this point.


Here's hoping they find whoever it is
I can't even find the words for this. It's not just that a young football player is dead, though that's why we're all paying attention to it. It's that a young man is dead, a soon-to-be father with two teenage sisters whose mother --

All I wanted him to do was go to school and get an education, and he was doing what I asked him to do.

When did that become dangerous?

Nothing new on Bradford's MRI
Sam Bradford's injury appears to be an aggravation of the injury he suffered during the BYU game.

Crimson and Cream Machine turns out the lights on Oklahoma's 2010 season
It's time to start putting things together for the post-Bradford Sooners.

Tony Pike:Big East::Tim Tebow:SEC
He could play this weekend.