As quickly as teams ascended through the rankings in the first month, many of them fell just as quickly on Saturday.
Four teams ranked in the AP top ten were upset, and in a few cases it was not very pretty.
As the new polls came out this week, they looked completely foreign in relation to previous weeks.
A crazy college football season just got a lot crazier. Let’s try and make sense of what we can, shall we?
The Red Cross’ award for biggest cause of mass heart attacks – Tim Tebow, Florida
The entire state of Florida held their breath Saturday evening, as their beloved legend in human form, Tebow, lay motionless on the turf.
The Gator quarterback suffered a concussion after vicious hit from Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham threw Tebow’s head back into his own lineman’s leg, snapping it violently forward.
As he lay motionless on the grass for several heart-stopping minutes, Florida fans not only were scared for Tebow’s health, but for the fate of the Gators’ season.
Without their Heisman Trophy candidate leading the way, John Brantley would take over at quarterback. Despite Brantley’s flawless track record in high school, he does not have the experience to lead a team, even one this talented, to a national championship.
Thankfully, reports say Tebow will be back in two weeks, when the Gators hit the field next against the LSU Tigers. The idle week this Saturday could not have come at a better time for Urban Meyer and company. Several Gator players have not been at full strength the last few weeks due to flu-like symptoms.
The muzzle award – Jacory Harris, Miami
Harris was the talk of the town; well, actually the whole darn country last week after a couple big games to start the season.
All of his success, along with Miami’s, led to hype of Miami returning as an elite program, and Harris as one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
Harris was even quoted as saying “I refuse to lose,” and about how great and not intimidated this Miami team was.
After a 9-for-25 performance and two turnovers, Harris should probably quell his enthusiasm just a bit.
The Hokies embarrassed Harris and his cohorts, beating Miami in every facet of the game. It was clear that if teams can blitz the Hurricane quarterback and force him into hurried decisions, Miami is very beatable.
That being said, coach Randy Shannon’s team clearly has as much talent as anyone in the ACC, and can still win this conference before it’s all said and done.
Shannon’s bunch learned the following lesson the hard way: it takes more than two games to call yourself a big dog.
The "what the hell?" award – Cal
I’ll be honest, when I looked up at the video board in Lane Stadium Saturday evening, I did not believe the 42-3 Cal-Oregon score was correct.
How could an offense that took over a half to move the chains against Boise State (which, in turn, allowed over 300 rushing yards to Fresno State) drop six scores on the Bears? That was impossible.
Sure enough, the Ducks laid the beat down on Cal, and probably squandered Jahvid Best’s chance at a Heisman down the drain as well.
Best averaged a paltry 3.4 yards per carry, totaling only 55 yards on the ground.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah Masoli and the Oregon offense pasted the Bears for 524 yards of total offense.
After the Boise State loss, Oregon and head coach Chip Kelly were left for dead. After all, the offense had looked atrocious in that game, and a post-game boxing tryout it seemed from running back LeGarrette Blount left him suspended for the year.
Cal was coming in on the highest of highs, beating Minnesota a week earlier thanks to five touchdowns from Best. After USC’ loss to Washington, the Bears were everybody’s pick to win the Pac-10.
Instead, Oregon repaired its reputation with the demolition of the sixth-ranked team in the country, and left college football experts scratching their heads with this topsy-turvy conference.
The award for blowing a chance at an easy national title run – Penn State
Hard to come up with a good name for this award, but this week can not be summarized without shedding light on the Nittany Lions’ blown opportunity at a national title.
Over the last few years, the Big Ten has lost a great deal of respect in terms of competing with the Big 12, SEC, and USC (you know who you are…Ohio State…). Therefore, it is virtually impossible for conference team to lose a game and still make a case to play for the national title in a give year.
Penn State had the perfect chance to make a trip to Pasadena January 8 a reality. They had one of the softest non-conference schedules in the country, had Iowa and Ohio State at home, and missed Wisconsin altogether.
Seems like a great set-up for a team with top-five talent. Unfortunately, Daryll Clark pulled…well…a Daryll Clark, in failing to live up to the occasion against the Hawkeyes for the second straight year.
After throwing a touchdown on his first play from scrimmage, Clark finished 12-of-32 for 198 yards with three interceptions. He looked erratic, inaccurate, and out of control much of the game. In other words, he looked everything but a senior leader of the Big Ten favorite.
The Iowa bandwagon just got about a billion times bigger, but I’m not quite buying it. The Hawkeyes are always a tough team, but seem to play to the level of their opponent far too often.
Kirk Ferentz is a great coach, but there is a reason he is not one of the hottest names in college football. The Hawkeyes have only played in one BCS bowl game during his tenure. They will find a way to lose a game or two down the road, and will be playing in the Outback or Capital One Bowl come season’s end.
The Don’t Judge a Book by the Last One in the Series’ Cover Award – Ole Miss
People were salivating over Houston Nutt’s squad entering 2009. In 2008, they beat Florida and Texas Tech, and Jevan Snead was slicing up defenses left and right.
After those marquee victories last season, expectations were sky high in Oxford. However, the Rebels looked average at best in their first two games against Memphis and Southeast Louisiana.
It was the perfect storm for the South Carolina Gamecocks, who hosted Ole Miss on Thursday night. Snead was held to a pitiful 33% completion percentage, and the Rebels scored only three points until midway through the third quarter.
The Gamecocks looked like the fourth-ranked team, while the Rebels looked unranked. Steve Spurrier’s defense flew all over the field, pressuring Snead all night and making numerous tackles in the backfield.
As the Rebels faded into the night, along with their high ranking, the Gamecocks entered the scene as a darkhorse in the SEC East. They already lost to Georgia two weeks ago, but if they run the table from here on out they would win the division and play for the conference championship.
That is of course an unlikely scenario, but if Spurrier’s bunch keep up their level of play, well…the ole’ ball coach has done crazier things.