By Josh Kramer
Despite the absence of the top two teams in the nation, Week 9 was pretty fine. There was a major shakeup in the Big Ten. A QB out West, who is definitely no “fluke,” continued his Heisman Campaign. And another unbeaten from the ACC went down hard (Clemson).
Big Ten Bonanza
-Yesterday in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers hushed the nay-sayers laying a good old-fashioned butt whipping on the Michigan State Spartans. Mark Dantonio’s crew was undefeated in Big Ten play heading into tomorrow’s showdown. How many times will a team win a game in which at the half, they have as many INTs as they do completions (1)? Much less win by 21 points?
-I will admit that Taylor Martinez did not put on a show worthy of hushing the critics about his inability to throw the ball effectively. I mean the guy went 7 of 13 for 80 total yards. Not exactly “Andrew Luck” caliber numbers. Really they sound like pee-wee stats. Luckily he had Rex Burkhead on his side. Another major question coming into this game regarded the Cornhuskers lackluster defensive unit. Well I think they showed what they are capable of today. They held a solid Spartans offense to three total points and under 200 total yards. In addition, they held Kirk Cousins, a very experienced senior QB to an extremely pedestrian 86 yards passing.
-Now there is a three-way tie atop the Big Ten Legend’s division. You better believe that is it going to be a dogfight to see who comes out of the Legends division to take on the Leaders champion. Plus Ohio State broke the hearts of Badgers fans for a second consecutive weeks. How many teams have lost basically on a hail mary two consecutive weeks? Either way, Wisconsin has now gone from a National Championship contender to a team that will need some luck to make it to the Big Ten Championship game.
What could have been?
-In the early slate of games, two elite teams almost went down to very lackluster opponents. Arkansas once again forgot when the game started (similar to last week), while Virginia Tech barely escaped against a school that is much more well-known for their basketball prowess.
-I feel bad for Vanderbilt. I feel like every year is “the year” when they are supposed to breakthrough and actually win a couple of conference games. Yesterday, they had a very good Razorbacks team on the ropes in front of a big time home crowd and could not capitalize on a golden opportunity. Duke on the other hand had a very legitimate shock to knock off the Hokies at home. In the words of Dickie V, “It could have been upset city early this afternoon.” It just wasn’t meant to be. Luckily for both Duke and Vanderbilt, they both look to be on the verge of very exciting basketball seasons.
Big 12 big games not so big
-It is no secret that this Saturday was supposed to be a big one for the Big 12. A couple of matchups between the elite teams in the conference. Oklahoma traveled to Manhattan, while the other team in Oklahoma (Oklahoma State) hosted Baylor. Many expected both of these matchups to be close. Boy were many wrong.
-Landry Jones became the first Sooner QB to throw for over 500 yards in a game. And the trio of Weeden, Blackmon, and Randle continued to flex their muscles in Stillwater. Though I was quite disappointed that these highly anticipated matchups ended up being extremely one-sided, I am very excited for December 3rd. This of the course is the day that the Sooners head to Stillwater to take on the high-flying Cowboys offensive attack. The winner of this game will likely win the Big 12 and clinch the coveted BCS bid. So at least there is something to look forward to after a day that failed to live up to the hype in the Big 12.
The streak continues
-For a second consecutive week, ESPN’s College GameDay chose their site wisely. This week they camped out in the Coliseum. And boy did this game live up to all the hype and more. In the end though, the Heisman frontrunner, who also goes by the name Luck, kept his teams hopes of a National Title alive.
-Stanford has now won 16 consecutive games and sits at 8 and 0 on the year. If you had any doubts about Andrew Luck, which not people did going into tonight, all of your questions and more were answered during this instant classic. The kid did everything and more, willing his team to a victory over a much better than advertised USC team. If Stanford can find a way to take down Oregon on November 12th, an undefeated season is a real possibility. Could Luck do what Cam Newton did last year, taking home both the Heisman and the National Championship? With Andrew Luck, there will be no extra luck necessary.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.