This Saturday of College Football can for certain be called "the week of the upset that never was" as #1 Oregon, #3 TCU, #8 Stanford, and #21 Nevada all experienced scares of loosing what they hoped for that season, as all had close games to the wire, but came out with the win.
In fact, only three ranked teams lost this Saturday to unranked opponents. That being #14 Iowa, #16 Utah, and #18 Arizona.
But the majority of close, down to the wire games this weekend ended up not being in the underdogs favor.
For the top ranked Oregon Ducks, they played Pac-10 foe Cal. Cal needs one more win to become bowl eligible, and next week have a game against #8 Stanford.
But to be sure of an invitation, the Golden Bears must win at least one of their games against the two top teams in the Pac-10, and then a win against Washington, who is in a similar position.
It looked like Cal might be able to get that win as the halftime score was 8-7 at halftime in the Ducks favor. Near the beginning of the fourth quarter, Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio made a field goad, but took a step forward to early. This causing a penalty and a re-kick.
Now only needing to make a 29 yard field goal, Tavecchio missed. Cal stayed down 15-13, and that's how it stayed. And Cal could not pull off the victory.
Similar situations occurred for #3 TCU who beat #25 San Diego State by four points. This game came right down to the end, but TCU escaped with the win.
SDSU definitely showed they are legit, and while they will fall out of the Top 25, they should win out the rest and finish in the rankings. Utah is up next week, followed by UNLV.
I project a win for the Aztecs, due to the fact that Utah was supposed to beat Notre Dame and be motivated due to the whipping received at the hands of TCU. But an embarrassment came once more and they lost 28-3.
Utah seems to have lost confidence. Two straight losses have shown an affect on this team, and they need to turn it around to salvage for a better bowl game then the likes of the Independence or Emerald Bowl.
The other types of game that happened over the weekend were games where a top ranked team was behind for a lot of the game, but able to pull away with a big win. A good example of this went down in Columbus, Ohio were Penn State and Ohio State battled it out.
The ninth ranked Buckeyes for Ohio State were down 14-3 at halftime in Columbus against the 6-4 Penn State Nittny Lions. An upset was sensed all over the state. But right out of the gate starting the second half, Ohio State went on a tear, and scored 35 unanswered points to beat Penn State 38-14, and remain keep BCS hopes alive.
The first half was rough for the Buckeyes, who gave up two touchdowns to Penn State quarterback Mathew McGloin. Penn State was tearing up the Buckeye defense, and Ohio State fans remembered this defense as the one who gave up 21 points in the first half to Wisconsin.
In the second half however, it was a completly different story. McGloin threw two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns. Soon, after only gaining 17 yards after halftime, he was benched and backup quarterback Robert Bolden was brought in. But Bolden went 0/3 in pass completions and soon McGloin was put back in but could not do anything.
McGloin did have an apparent hand injury in the seconed quarter, but played through it.
This could have been contributing to his problems and poor play.
As for Ohio State in the seconed half, they played almost perfect football. The Buckeyes had three offensive touchdowns, and two defensive. If not for a Terrelle Pryor interception in the third while in the red zone, it very well could have had anothe six points.
Regardless, Pryor had two touchdown passes. One was a three yard pass to tight end Jake Stoneburner, and another was a 58 yard pass that was intended for DeVier Posey, was then tipped by a Penn State defender, but snatched by Buckeye Dane Sanzenbacher for the touochdown.
Ohio State running back Dan Herron added a touchdown starting the second quarter, making it 13 total touchdowns to his All-American worthy season. He also gained a career high 190 yards rushing on 21 attempts.
In all, Ohio State can expect to jump in the rankings, and Penn State needs a win next week against the 4-6 Indiana Hoosiers to get into a respected bowl game.
So many games this weekend came down to the wire, but not many were able to pull of the upset. So not much will change in the Top 25. But you can expect to see some shifts.
TCU's victory over San Diego State was to close for comfort, and the Horned Frogs, while still having a tougher conference and more games, will not maintain the lead over Boise State and will move down a spot to #4. But a national title spot is not out of reach if Auburn or Oregon loose. They can always jump Boise State for that spot.
1. Oregon 10-0
2. Auburn 11-0
3. Boise State 9-0
4. TCU 11-0
5. Wisconsin 9-1
6. LSU 9-1
7. Ohio State 9-1
8. Nebraska 9-1
9. Stanford 9-1
10. Alabama 8-2
11. Michigan State 9-1
12. Oklahoma State 9-1
13. Arkansas 8-2
14. Oklahoma 8-2
15. Missouri 8-2
16. Virginia Tech 8-2
17. Texas A&M 7-3
18. South Carolina 7-3
19. Iowa 7-3
20. Florida State 7-3
21. Nevada 9-1
22. Mississippi State 7-3
23. USC 7-3
24. Arizona 7-3
25. Temple 8-2
Next 5 in: Miami (FL) 7-3 N.C. State 7-3, San Diego State 7-3, Northwestern 7-3, Michigan 7-3
Before we start What To Watch, I would like to point out that the reason Georgia State vs Alabama is on this list, is that this is Georgia State's first year of having a football team. The Panthers are 6-4, and have had a very impressive inaugural season. While they will most likely finish there first season 6-5 after a loss to the Crimson Tide, it is very hard to go above .500 in your first season. It would be worth your while to tune in to the Thursday night game, even for a possession or two to see this game on ESPNU. Congratulations Panthers on a great season and good luck in the future.
What To Watch
Georgia State @ #10 Alabama (Thu, 7:30pm ET, ESPNU) Prediction: ALA 59 GSU 7
Fresno State @ #3 Boise State (Fri, 9:30pm ET, ESPN2) Prediction: BSU 37 FSU 10
#5 Wisconsin @ Michigan (Sat, 12:00pm ET, ESPN) Prediction: WIS 34 MICH 21
#7 Ohio State @ #19 Iowa (Sat, 3:30pm ET, ABC) Prediction: OSU 31 IOWA 28
#16 Virginia Tech @ Miami (FL) (Sat, 3:30pm ET, ESPN) Prediction: VT 28 MIA 13
#22 Mississippi State @ #13 Arkansas (Sat, 7:00pm ET, ESPN) Prediction: MSU 34 ARK 28
#8 Nebraska @ #19 Texas A&M (Sat, 8:00pm ET, ABC) Prediction: TAM 49 NEB 43
#20 Florida State @ Maryland (Sat, 8:00pm ET, ESPN) Prediction: MARY 20 FSU 15