Week 5 Thoughts From Across The Nation

Like Penn State Football, this blog has been in a bit of adjustment mode after the loss of Joe Paterno, and we didn't really know what to say about the team.

You couldn't complain after Ohio because the team was threadbare.
You couldn't complain after Virginia because the kicking sucked. Last year's kicker is in Texas, being injured, and hasn't kicked a ball in anger yet.
You couldn't complain after Navy because Bill O'Brien had his first win on the board, and it was convincing.
You couldn't complain about an 11-point win over Temple, because at this stage, a win's a win. And the rest of the Big Ten haven't exactly been experts at beating non-conference opposition, had they?
And you certainly couldn't complain about the complete performance of the Nittany Lions at Illinois, where they dominated and stamped the Illini into Champlain, in a manner that if you've stayed around for the weekend, you would have seen the Europeans do the same to the US team in the Ryder Cup.

But for this week, there have been no complaints, because there was fun to be had all over the land.

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ESPN College Gameday presented us with a potential brawl when Ohio State travelled to Michigan State, and we got one full in the face. The Bucknuts escaped with a 17-16 victory, but it was a hard-hitting affair that made us realise: Maybe Michigan State CAN'T survive with good defense, an OK offensive line, and a crappy QB. And maybe Ohio State CAN survive with a good QB and, er, that's about it.

Then again, ESPN delivered on atmosphere on Saturday night, when it pitched Wisconsin and Nebraska together. What a game. And what an atmosphere in the stadium. You're right God, night games in the Big Ten are better.
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The Big XII had a great day. 

There might as well have been no defensive co-ordinators working as West Virginia played Baylor and beat the Bears 70-63 IN A FREAKING BASKETBALL GAME. Did you know, that the original over/under was 84, and the final combined score was 133. In other words, if you'd bet $100,000 a point on the over, you would have made a cool $4.9m. 

And the game of the week (that no-one talked about because of Geno Smith hogging the headlines - despite Nick Florence having an exceptional game too) was in Stillwater, OK, where the Texas Longhorns came back from a late fourth quarter deficit to beat Oklahoma State 41-36 in a game highlighted by great plays across the board, not just those from a quarterback. Although David Ash's fourth quarter drive takes some watching folks.

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And the SEC? I'm trying hard to love the SEC, but it's freaking difficult right now. Yes, we know that Alabama's the top team in the country, but it struggled to beat Ole Miss, who aren't that great, let's face it. The No.2 team in the Nation (actually, it was the third and is now the fourth at the time of writing, folks), LSU couldn't handle mighty Towson, only winning 36-22 in a game that we couldn't quite believe. Everyone likes to talk up Georgia, but its secondary looked shoddy and offense was turnover-ridden as they beat Tennessee 51-44 (although our Twitter tip that UGA was only worth 7 points over Tennessee was indeed proved right). As for Dooley, the orange of his pants just got redder. And South Carolina could only play one half of good football in beating Kentucky. That was the second half. And Arkansas? Ha. Ha. Ha. The SEC is looking like the most overrated conference in college football by a mile.

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The Stanford-Washington game was a great upset, but an unbelievably boring game. The Oregon -Washington State saw Mike Leach get run over by a freight train, and we had to comfort our buddy Gerald about the woes of Cal. "Tedford out. Tedford out. Tedford out," he could only say next to me, while nursing his tonic and gin. I said: 'Gerald I'll play you a memory', and showed him a video of Aaron Rodgers from the Good Ole Days. He was happier, and called me "Piano Man". 

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And a quick, insightful run-down of the ACC

1) Florida State won.
2) Who cares what the rest did?


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Loving this song tonight. It's got nothing to do with Golden Flashes or Bucknuts.