Ferringo College Report: Miami, FSU not Only Florida Teams in Trouble
by Robert Ferringo - 10/23/2006
Well, I had my College Game of the Month going this weekend and was treated to three-plus hours of frustration, angst and general feelings of dread. I took Missouri laying just a couple of points at home against a ho-hum Oklahoma team. The Tigers proceeded to lay a fantastic egg, losing 26-10 in front of 60,000 disappointed fans.
This game definitely doesn't count as a bad beat, but I still feel like I was on the right side on this one. Yes, I may be delusional. But I'm taking pills and whiskey for that. However, there were four separate sequences that doomed us. And if one of these had gone the other way things likely would've been different:
1) Missouri's first drive, Chase Daniel hit Greg Bracey up the left sideline for 46 yards. Bracey barely stepped out of bounds at the 26-yard line and Mizzou had to settle for a field goal. A touchdown on the opening drive may have opened the floodgates.
2) After a three-and-out on OU's first drive, Missouri took the ball and then suffered the blunder that changed the game. Tight end Chase Coffman dropped - and when I say dropped think Robin Williams in "The Best of Times" - what would have been a sure touchdown. That score would've made it 10-0 and would have opened the floodgates.
3) Trailing 16-3 at halftime, the Tigers scored in under two minutes the first time they got the ball in the third quarter. It's now 16-10 and Missouri's defense forced another three-and-out. The Sooners punted and the kick was fielded at midfield. The Tigers would have had the ball in OU territory with all the momentum. But an atrocious roughing-the-kicker penalty occurred when the punter landed on an idiotic Missouri rusher. Oklahoma scored on the extended drive to go up 23-10 and things were looking bleak.
4) However, even after that disheartening drive the Tigers marched down to the Oklahoma 1-yard line. However, four terrible play calls (why keep going to the short side of the field?) the Tigers were stuffed and the game was essentially over.
Again, a loss is a loss and I do apologize. However, I'm trying to look at it like that was a game that should have went our way but didn't. That means that the Gambling Gods have something big in store for us down the road, and hopefully we may end up winning a game that we shouldn't.
But I'll still kick Chase Coffman in the nuts if I ever see him on the street.
Anyway, here are some random, scattered thoughts for a bittersweet weekend of college football:
- Two things are going to keep Florida from playing for a national championship or winning their major bowl game. No. 1: they take waaaaaaaaaay too many penalties. Bettors need to always beware the sloppy team. No. 2: their kicker is horrendous. Chris Hetland is just 1-for-7 on the season, and may lose his job.
- The number of wide receivers averaging more than 100 yards per game has dropped from 34 in 2005 to 17 in 2006. The number of running backs averaging 100 yards has also been cut in half, from 12 last year to six this year.
- I'm calling it right now: neither Louisville nor West Virginia are going to run the table in the Big East. Clearly one of them will lose on Thursday. But both also have to travel to Pittsburgh and neither has faced Rutgers yet, either. Toss in tricky games against teams like Cincinnati and South Florida and I think both WVU and Louisville will lose and one of them will have two losses.
- There were 21 games last week where a favorite was posted at six points or less. The underdogs went an outstanding 11-10 straight up in those games. On the whole, underdogs were just 26-25 ATS.
- USC had been flashing all the signs of a fading team for weeks. With six-point wins over Washington State and Washington, and a seven-point victory over Arizona State, the Trojans were stumbling like Drago right before he got knocked down by Rocky.
And how about Doc's Sports own Jordan Adams? On Wednesday Adams proclaimed the Trojans as the most overrated team in all of football - college or pro. Just three short days later Pete Carroll and Co. were ambushed in Corvallis. Great call.
- Florida State is just 7-9 over the course of its last 16 games. They have the same problem as Miami - too many head cases and pure athletes and not enough refined players. Throw in the fact that they've both whiffed on their quarterback signings over the past five years and you have two mediocre programs.
- This one is courtesy of Stuart Mandel, and it explains why Notre Dame may be the most overrated team in football:
"In 2005, Notre Dame finished 10th nationally in total offense. This year it's 34th. The Irish have gone from eighth in scoring offense to 37th. Quinn, the nation's seventh-rated passer last season, has slipped to 34th. Walker, who averaged 99.7 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry in '05, is averaging 82.7 and 4.1 in '06.
"Notre Dame has improved on defense, allowing 64 fewer yards per game than it did last year (332.7, down from 396.9), but its ranking has only gone up from 75th to 61st. In terms of scoring defense, the Irish have actually gone down, from 53rd to 65th."
- You can't say enough about how completely dominant Michigan's defense is.
- If Ohio State had to travel to Austin to face Texas right now I think the result might be a bit different than what it was in September. The main reason: the maturation of Colt McCoy. The young colt has the benefit of playing on a veteran squad, but he's still two touchdowns away from tying the school record for touchdown passes (24).
- Boston College held Buffalo to -12 rushing yards. The Bulls top runner had just one yard on nine carries. I also protest that B.C. may be the ACC's best team.
- Flip a coin to determine the best team in the MAC.
- I didn't have a strong feeling either way about last week's Clemson-Virginia Tech game. But after taking one look at the crowd about five minutes before their primetime match-up, I ran to my computer and made a wager on the Hokies. Clemson really never stood a chance in that game, and Blacksburg is still intimidating.
- You know those elements and that wind that dominated the Western Michigan-Eastern Michigan game, holding it to 3-3 at halftime and sending it easily under the projected 42-point total? I expected that to be the situation throughout the Great Lakes states this weekend, but it wasn't so.
The weather clearly was a factor this weekend, as the total posted just a 22-29 mark.
- Where did Washington State come from? Quarterback Alex Brink is having an outstanding season and has the Cougars at No. 25 in the AP poll and No. 23 in the BCS standings. They are raking it at 6-3 ATS, and have only lost SU to powerhouses Auburn, USC and Cal.
- Bad beat for Baylor backers. They were down 24-21 and Texas A&M seemed perfectly content to run out the clock before Mike Goodson broke a 64-yard touchdown run with just two minutes to play.
- Kudos to San Jose State. The Spartans have benefited from a kindergarten schedule (five home games to two away games) en route to a 5-2 SU start. However, the schedule is going to beef up over the next three weeks and we'll see how they handle three Tecmo Bowl offenses in New Mexico State, Boise State and Hawaii.
- Speaking of the Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii is the new Boise State. The Warriors are just dominating people, posting a 5-1-1 ATS mark in the meantime. The Broncos, on the other hand, are 8-0 and looking to crash the BCS party but they are just 3-4 ATS.
- I would say that Texas Christian's 26-3 demolition of Wyoming was one of the more impressive performances of the weekend. TCU is 5-2, but are just sixth in the Mountain West. With a favorable schedule in November, look for these Horny Frogs to get hot.
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