VETTEL: Week Six Musings

I don’t know about the rest of you but I was shocked and appalled to see Chris Leak head out for the opening coin toss Saturday afternoon and hear all the booing. I mean enough already!

Oh, the LSU team was running on the field at the same time? Well, then maybe that’s what the booing was all about.

I kid about such things, but it would not have shocked me to see one of the dingleberries covering the LSU game to write something to that effect. That is the price that is paid for there not being a prop 48 for the media.

On to this week’s musings on college football.

And then there were nine —– 13 teams entered the week as the remaining undefeated teams in college football and four of them went down to defeat. Three of the four, Auburn, Georgia and Wake Forest saw their perfect seasons end at home. Oregon fell to a very good California team in a road game to join the Bears in the one-loss club. One of the more surprising teams in the final nine with perfect records is Missouri, which drubbed Texas Tech 38-21. The Tigers are tied with Nebraska atop the Big 12 North and appear headed for their biggest game in years when they visit the Cornhuskers November fourth.

Coaches under pressure update —– It was a bad week for some coaches who are under pressure at their schools. Rich Brooks at Kentucky fell to South Carolina, North Carolina’s John Bunting was on the short end against Miami and John L. Smith and Michigan State fell to Michigan. Wouldn’t bet on any of them making it beyond this fall. Then again, Gary Pinkel (29-and-30 in 5 years) was on the hot seat when the season began and the Missouri coach is now the favorite for Big 12 coach of the year.

New school, same colors, same results —– A week ago I wrote about Ron Zook and Illinois having a great chance to get a little win streak going and maybe get to six wins this season. They started out fulfilling that promise, taking a 25-7 lead over Indiana. Then the Illini allowed the Hoosiers to score 24 unanswered points and trailed 31-to-25 before a trick play gave the lead back to the Zooker 32-31 with 46 seconds left in the third quarter. Indiana still trailed by that score with 2nd and 12 on their own 30 with no timeouts and 1:14 to play. No problem, a few plays later they won it with a field goal. I’ll say this for the former Gator coach…. His teams are hard as heck to predict.

And the front-runner for Atlanta is… —– Ok, everyone who picked Arkansas to win the SEC West with a freshman quarterback and a high school coach as offensive coordinator raise your hands. LIARS! The surprise of the SEC season continued with a domination of then second-ranked Auburn at Jordan Hare Stadium. The 27-10 win is my pick for the biggest SEC shocker since Mississippi State beat the Gators 47-35 in 2000. Arkansas ran for 279 yards against the highly regarded Auburn defense. The Hogs are now the only undefeated team in the division and will enjoy a homecoming weekend with Southeast Missouri State this weekend. Big tests remain for Houston Nutt’s squad, but they get the toughest teams, Tennessee and LSU at home.

Southern Cal is vulnerable —– Southern Cal has been the best team in the country over the last three seasons, but the men of Troy are no world beaters in 2006. USC survived a scare from Washington Saturday to stay unbeaten, but lost significant support in both polls. The Trojans have not scored 30 points since opening day and have registered consecutive six-point squeakers against unranked opponents. The toughest part of the schedule is the finish, which features Oregon, California and Notre Dame at home followed by UCLA on the road. That’s a type of four-play these Trojans can’t handle.