by Pat Dooley
Things that lived up to expectations on a Saturday night I’d been looking forward to for three weeks:
1. The salmon burger with chipotle mayo that I made.
2. My ability to avoid commercials and be sure there was action on the screen at all times.
3. Oregon’s offense.
To list the things that did not live up to expectations would fill this screen. There was Clemson’s defense and LSU’s offense and Denard Robinson and my wife, who found the only channel on cable that was not showing football and watched an infomercial while I grilled. I don’t know who I married.
At any rate, it was still a great way to spend a Saturday night. At one point, it felt like there was too much college football to digest, but as we all know there is never too much.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25
1. Alabama: The Tide continued to roll through lesser opponents.
2. Oregon: The Ducks jump up to this spot after destroying Arizona.
3. Florida State: While the defense was shaky, this was a huge win for Jimbo Fisher.
4. LSU: Not very impressive at Auburn, but got the win.
5. Georgia: Bulldogs may be the real deal.
6. South Carolina: Connor Shaw’s shoulder must be just fine.
7. Kansas State: To go win like that over Oklahoma showed something.
8. West Virginia: Surprised Mountaineers struggled so much against Maryland.
9. Notre Dame: The Irish defense is one of the stories of this season.
10. Florida: The Gators are the only team who are 3-0 in conference play.
11. Ohio State: Another win that was less than impressive.
12. Texas: Longhorns get a test this week with Okie State.
13. Stanford: You get to see the Cardinal on Thursday night.
14. Oregon State: Two games, two wins over ranked teams.
15. Southern Cal: Seeing Lane Kiffin angry made my week.
16. Louisville: Cards struggled with FIU in a revenge game.
17. Oklahoma: Another year with no cigar for Bob Stoops.
18. TCU: Horned Frogs have their schedule in front of them.
19. Oklahoma State: Let’s see what the Cowboys have this week.
20. Clemson: That won’t be the last loss with such an awful defense.
21. Nebraska: Scored 73 points despite three turnovers.
22. Rutgers: Never thought they’d be in this top 25, but here they are.
23. Michigan State: Big game for Sparty this week.
24. Mississippi State: Bulldogs are off this week before tackling meat of their schedule.
25. Virginia Tech: Somebody has to be No. 25.
THE SEC FOUR-PACK
1. You had to feel for Morgan Newton, who has been practicing mostly as an H-back this year, but was pressed into service when Max Smith couldn’t go for Kentucky. Newton was hyped up when he chose Kentucky, but it hasn’t worked out. “Over a career, it seems like inopportune, a lot of things,” Newton said. “It’s just bad timing, bad situations, bad circumstances. It just has been tough, and it makes me look like a lot worse player than I probably am.”
2. OK, raise your hand if you fell for Vanderbilt this summer. Yep, me too. I thought this was a different Vandy team after last year and even when they lost a tight game to South Carolina to open the season they looked like a solid football team. But the Commodores are 1-3 and were dismantled by Georgia. It’s funny how you look at Florida’s schedule one way in August and by October it’s changed. LSU looks beatable and that trip to Nashville doesn’t look as difficult.
3. Also at 1-3 are Arkansas and Auburn and they got there in different ways Saturday night. Arkansas’ defense continues to be awful and the Razorbacks wasted 303 receiving yards by Cobi Hamilton. Auburn showed some backbone in a tough loss to LSU. Maybe Gene Chizik can turn it around, especially with a manageable schedule in October. I know John L. Smith won’t.
4. We talked a lot about Zach Mettenberger in the summer and how he would add a missing element to LSU’s offense. But Saturday night I saw a plodding quarterback who looked wide-eyed on the plains of Auburn. Why LSU insists on rolling him out is beyond me. He looks like he’s running in mud and isn’t accurate on the run. That’s what I saw anyway.