VETTEL: Week Eight Musings

The off week offered the opportunity for the Florida Gators to make up ground in the BCS standings and strengthen their hold on the SEC Eastern division race if just a couple of games would go the Gators’ way. Well several games had the chance to do just that… but none did.

The Gators ended the weekend just where they started it; Florida is sixth in the BCS rankings and leads the SEC east but with no margin for error. And on we go to this week’s musings.

CJ STAY HOME: Florida put together an amazing recruiting class last February, but it’s becoming increasingly clear there was one guy who got away. Florida didn’t make a “mistake” on CJ Spiller. The Gators made every effort to get the speedy runner form Union County High School to wear Orange and Blue. Trouble is he chose to just wear orange. If you saw the Clemson/Georgia Tech game you saw the explosiveness Spiller brings to the field every day. Spiller ran for 116 yards on just 16 carries and added a 50-yard TD on a pass reception that included two of the sweetest moves you’ll ever see. It would be interesting to see if the Gators match up with the Tigers during the Bowl season.

FINISH THE DEAL BOYS: Nebraska was on the verge of re-establishing itself among the nation’s elite, but the Cornhuskers fumbled away the chance to beat Texas. Duke almost had an upset for the ages, but was intercepted at the Miami goal line on the final play. UCLA was up four with the ball and less than 2:30 to play, but let Notre Dame go 80 yards in less than a minute. Mississippi State had the ball deep in Georgia territory in the final minute, but lost the chance for a tying field goal on a fumble. Washington took California to overtime only to lose and Alabama led Tennessee in the final five minutes but the Vols rallied. Six teams in position to pull major upsets, but they all spit the bit.

CALL THE ENGRAVERS: Troy Smith is ruining the Heisman Trophy television show. The Ohio State quarterback threw four TD passes in the first half as the Buckeyes blew out Indiana 44-3. It’s almost impossible to envision a scenario in which he doesn’t win the Heisman.

SEMINOLE SPIRAL ACCELERATES: In 2000 the FSU football team went 11-2, marking a 14th consecutive year with 10-plus wins and top five national finishes. It remains one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of college football. That said, FSU has officially joined the ranks of better than average. The ‘Noles loss to Boston College on Saturday (24-19) dropped them to 4-3 on the year. That gives FSU a 48-23 record over the last five-and-a-half years. That’s not bad, but it’s four more losses than FSU suffered in the previous 14 seasons combined.

THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY: Rutgers rolls on, now 7-0 after beating Pittsburgh 20-10. The Scarlet Knights are a legit team that has the best player in the nation nobody talks about in running back Ray Rice. Rice carried an incredible 39 times for 225 yards in leading Rutgers to its biggest win perhaps ever, and kept them unbeaten this late in a season for the first time in 30 years.

BOISE IS NOISY: Boise State continues its drive to earn the bonus slot in the BCS. The Broncos were challenged Saturday, leading Idaho just 28-26 with seven minutes to play. However two late touchdowns made it a 42-26 final and kept Boise unbeaten. I wonder which “major” bowl will have the thrill of Boise coming to town. Most likely it would be the Fiesta Bowl which is really rooting for San Jose State to knock Boise State from the ranks of the undefeated.

MEMO TO MY BROTHERS IN BROADCASTING: Fellas, and lady… there is no such thing as the “23-and-a-half yard line.” Nor is there a half inch line, a one foot line or anything other than YARD lines. It’s not that hard to say, “a foot short of the goal line” and it makes a lot more sense than an idiotic reference to a mark that does not exist!