—Mark Ingram passed his Heisman test against LSU, rushing for 144 yards on 22 carries. But those had to be the quietest 144 yards I’ve ever seen. Great sign that the attention isn’t going to Ingram’s head: He thinks his teammate Rolando McClain deserves the Heisman.
—Colt McCoy is ready for the stretch run after throwing for a career-high 470 yards against UCF. Will Mack Brown do what he can to help get him the Heisman? McCoy was still throwing well into the fourth quarter against UCF, so it sure looks like he’s going to be given every opportunity.
—Speaking of quiet yardage, Clemson’s C.J. Spiller is on pace to top over 7,000 all-purpose yards in his career. You have to wonder how much more yardage he would have if he had been the full-time back instead of sharing carries with James Davis his first three seasons. Here is a link to his Heisman page.
—I wrote it last week and I’ll write it again: As good as Tony Pike is, Zach Collaros is better right now and should remain as the starter at Cincinnati. Since taking over three games ago, Collaros has 1,229 passing yards, 10 TDs, one interception, is completing 76 percent of his passes and has also rushed for 288 yards and four scores. I understand loyalty to a former starter, but those numbers are hard to ignore.
—I still don’t understand how Notre Dame can get over 500 yards of offense and yet lose to Navy by two points. That’s got to be the last straw for Charlie Weis. Isn’t it a no-brainer that Brian Kelly would be a great fit in South Bend? After all, he’s Irish…
—I don’t care if you call me a West Coast homer, a fact is a fact: The Pac-10 is the strongest conference top to bottom so far this year. If you disagree, sorry, you are just wrong. Six of the nine toughest schedules in the Sagarin rankings have been played by Pac-10 teams and yet six of the conference’s teams are in the top 25 in Sagarin’s rankings. We’re likely to see six teams from the conference win at least seven games and a seventh win six–again, against the hands-down toughest schedules in the country. True, there are no national title contenders, but if you rank a league based on overall quality and fewest weeks off, it’s the best in 2009. Of course, the chances of a national sports magazine acknowledging this with a cover story are about as likely as the national news media admitting that Nidal Hasan is an Islamic terrorist.
—Who’s to say TCU isn’t the best team in the country this year? In my book, no other team has looked as dominant. And what about that schedule? Well, according to Sagarin, the Horned Frogs have played the 47th toughest slate. That’s better than Texas (52nd), Cincinnati (67th) and Boise State (82nd) and not far off from Florida’s (42nd). So TCU has a case, right? Now watch them lose to Utah…..
—Questions are abounding in the comments section regarding the double standard of holding Houston’s Case Keenum accountable for playing a weak schedule while not doing the same for Colt McCoy. Again, Texas’ schedule to date is ranked 52nd by Sagarin, while Houston’s is ranked 94th (please don’t tell me about the NCAA’s strength of schedule rankings, which has major flaws). And besides, McCoy already showed last season that he can play well against top competition. Voters remember that and that’s why they are not caring that much about McCoy’s level of competition in 2009. I’m not endorsing this position; I am merely pointing out the reality of it.
—More schedules: Can someone explain to me why/how Furman, Northern Arizona, Chattanooga, Florida International, Tennessee Tech, Eastern Kentucky and Troy manage to appear on so many SEC schedules this late in the season and all at about the same time?
—The regression of the USC offense continues. The Trojans have scored one offensive touchdown in the last six quarters and just three in the last two games. All the talk of Matt Barkley being an ‘outlier’ has vanished and one wonders if Aaron Corp couldn’t have also gone 7 for 22 against ASU.
—Meanwhile, across town, UCLA freshman QB Kevin Prince is starting to heat up. After a slow start due to a broken jaw, he has two 300-yard passing efforts in his last four games and was on his way to a third before being knocked out of the game against Washington. Is Norm Chow starting to work his magic yet again?
—BCS Bowl Projections:
Title Game: Alabama vs. Texas
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Boise State
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Cincinnati
Fiesta Bowl: TCU vs. Miami
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State