Thursday, October 27, 2005

Big 10 Calculus (with Quiz!)

Greatest "Third-Best QB in America" of All Time?

12: TD passes for Northwestern's Brett Basanez
1: INTs.

  • Nobody else in a Big Conference is remotely close. Way back here, two laps down, in second place is Brian Boehm at Louisville (14 TDs, 3 INTs) or the absurdly-inflated Drew Olsen at UCLA (21-3).

311: Basanez's yds/game, 2nd among all major-conference QBs, which is really the same as FIRST among all such QBs cuz Texas Tech's QB is going to actually lead that category, hell or high water, every year so why even count them? (and, to be fair, Basanez is slightly behind ND's Brady Quinn, who's not in a conference).
5: Basanez Rushing TDs
38.8: Basanez rushing yards per game, 5th among major-team QBs.
62: Vince Young rushing yards per game.
50: Percent of Northwestern Big 10 games (2-of-4) in which Basanez has put up 49 points.
99: Points in NU's win over co-Big 10 leader Wisconsin, 51-48.
3: Consecutive wins over once-ranked teams (Ok, that includes Purdue..)

I love Basanez. Classic Warrior QB - never blinks, never misses, never panics. His team has failed him at key moments, but not vica versa. And the Index is delighted to gloat a bit over it's previous notices of Basanez.

Big 10 Calculus (with decimals!)

  • (assumption: the following Big 10 'contenders' each "win out" against non-contenders)

1: Magic Number, Penn State - must beat Wisco and it's over - Penn State owns
head-to-head tiebreaks with the other contenders.

1.3: Magic Number, Wisconsin - must beat Penn State, and it's probably over; does not play
Ohio State, so needs EITHER an Ohio State loss (see below) OR to win conference tie-break (that's 3 scenerios, 2 of which UW wins, 1 they don't - +.3)
(Mandatory Index Disclosure: Wisconsin played Temple. Cowards)

2.6: Ohio State - must beat Northwestern (and Michigan(+.3 for difficulty)),
need Penn State to lose and EITHER Wisconsin to lose or win conference
tiebreak (another +.3).

2 - Northwestern - just beat Ohio State and get PSU to lose - simple!

Quiz - Who are these guys?

Kai Ryssdal ("Riz-Dahl")
Scott Jagow
J.J. Yore
John Dimsdale

Is that....
A) The 2005 All Big 10 first team linebackers.
B) The male crew of NPR's Marketplace.

What the Media's not telling you today:

Just How Bad Tennessee Sucks

What that doesn't say - and it's irresponsible not to - is that if the
levees had held, Tennesse would be 2-4, with a bad loss at LSU. Any chance LSU physically
falls apart in the second half of their game if they hadn't spent the
two previous weeks emptying furniture from their apartments so homeless families could sleep on the floors?
Think maybe they missed a few protien shakes?
Think maybe that caught up with the D-line with a field temp of 98 degrees?

We're Number 2.75!

That Bowl System That Shall Not Be Named

I took a long look at BSTSNBN standings. 'Bout as fun as it sounds.

33: Percent of total formula that computers make up - 6 computers
each rank the teams; the highest and lowest ranking for each team gets
dropped; average of the other 4 becomes 1/3 of the BSTSNBN formula.
5: Out of 6, computers that have Texas #1.
5: Ranking, USC, in one computer. 4th in another. But here's the
real key one...
29: Out of a possible 30, (6 computers times 5 slots), Top 5 votes
that went to UT, USC, VT, UGA and Bama.
5: Computers which have 2-loss Auburn UNRANKED.
20, 20, 23, 23, 23, 24: Notre Dame.

What The Media Is Missing Today: It's not OK to roll your eyes and play cool at the
news that UT jumped SC under the "as long as they stay 1-2" pretense.
On its face, that's fine - UT-SC, and all's well that ends well.

But what every single serious commentator should be asking is: "Who's the next Cal?"
The real problem is the less-obvious but more important
jockeying down around the 8-9 slots, which will put one team in the BSTSNBN
for $10 mil, and one team in an off-brand game for maybe $1 mil. Is
someone down the list setting up as the next Cal?"

Monday, October 17, 2005

Index - Best Ever

Best Weekend Ever

(And I'll prove it by not even mentioning You Know Who-beats-You Know
Who-in-You Know What-Color Jersies
. If you'd like to know what i think about that game, read that link)
(and just for comparison, here's last year's Best Weekend, which was the best weekend since 2001. And it wasn't even close)

3: Still-undefeated teams that scored the winning points on their
final offensive snap (Alabama at the buzzer, UCLA in OT, and the
Heisman-pile-up in northern Indiana).
4: Still-once-beaten teams that scored the winning points on their
final touch (BC, Wisconsin, West Virginia (3OT), UVA)
2: Additional still-once-beaten teams that won by four or less (LSU,
Oregon State)

18: Games involving Top 25 teams this weekend.
8: Games in which teams came in with a combined two-or-fewer losses.
9: Top 25 games decided in Game Of The Year fashion - in the final
minute, overtime or with some neck-snapping twist of drama.
- BC, down big, scores go-ahead TD on Wake with 1:33 to go
- Wisconsin, down big, scores go-ahead TD on Minnesota on blocked punt
with 30 seconds to go
- UCLA beat WSU in OT
- West Virginia over LVille in 3-OT
- Florida State falls to UVA
- Alabama survives
And the Big Three:
- Penn State-Michigan
- the unimaginable events of Ohio State-Michigan State
- and the Northern Indiana affair

21: Points by which undefeated UCLA trailed Washington State... and
17: Points by which UCLA trailed in the 4th quarter... and won.
2: Undefeated teams suffering their first loss (Penn State, Florida
25: Avg number of seconds remaining in those losses when decisive play
was made (UVA intercepts Weatherford to end FSU's final comeback drive
at 50 seconds (more below); Penn State, well, ya know...)
3.5: Avg margin of defeat.
4: Unbeatens who cruised or sat it out (UGA, VaTech, UT and Texas Tech)
8: Number of real-time minutes it took for the following sequence of
game-deciding events to occur - one-loss Ohio State blocks a field goal
attempt by one-loss Michigan State and runs it back for a TD at the end
of the first half, turning a possible 20-7 halftime into 17-14;
one-loss Wisconsin, trailing by 10 late to one-loss Minnesota, scores a
TD, then blocks a punt for a TD to win; Alabama kicks a game-winning
field goal to win at Mississippi at the buzzer. Eight minutes (the
Index can attest to that time-frame because all three events were
described, live on ESPN radio, during an 8-minute car-ride).
17: Points by which Boston College trailed in the fourth... and won.
9: Points by which BC trailed with 3:29 to go... and won.

4: Games involving Pac 10 teams decided 3 or less
3: Big 10 games decided by 4 or less, plus Ohio State-Michigan State.
Speaking of which....

5:25: Time remaining in Ohio State-Michigan State game when Ohio State
Read that again. Now:
21: Points Ohio State had scored to that point, again, without a play
over the 50.
46: MSU Yardline that play was run on.
46: Yards in touchdown pass Ohio State scored on that play. So....
28, 1: Points scored by Ohio State and total snaps on MSU side of
field to do it. And here's how:
2: 50-yard Ohio State TD passes in the second half. And...
10: men on the field for Mich. State on field goal attempt on last
snap of half, allowing Ohio State to block it and run back the ball for
a TD - essentially, the game-winning play, the
Non-Northern-Indiana-Play-of-the-Week. And that coaching gaffe sent
MSU John Smith into a Nick Nolte-meets-Howard-Dean rage. LOVED IT. If
you haven't seen it, go find it. In fact, email me - i've got it on
tape, and i'll figure out how to send it to you.
4: Points in OSU lead, 28-24, with one snap inside the MSU 50.
28: Points OSU had scored to that point, leading 28-24.
4: TOTAL number of OSU offensive snaps on MSU side of the field.

17: In yards, margin of error in Alabama Brody Croyle's estimate of
his own game-winning drive (``We hadn't played well all day, and to go
80 yards to get a simple field goal ... That's what it's all about,''
Croyle said. In fact, the Tide went 63.) That said, a lot was on
display in that game - Alabama's resurgance behind the sublimely named
Croyle, and the first real game for Ed Orugun's Ole Miss - Oregun,
recall, was USC's defensive line coach before leaving this year to take
over Mississippi.
234: Passing yards Ole Miss held Croyle to.
100: Yards rushing for Kevin Darby.
283, 101, 31: Comparable stats and total Alabama points scored in
Florida game (yes, they had Protho in that game).

2: "Dadgums" issued by Florida State coaches/coaching alums this week
in a national setting 1) Bobby Bowden after Virginia's Marques Hagans
led UVA over FSU; ``We couldn't stop that dadgum No. 18."; 2) Mark
Richt, UGA coach and former FSU o-coordinator, discussing with Jim Rome
his experience as Miami's QB, where he was supplanted at starter as a
sophomore by then-freshman Jim Kelly. "That dadgum Jim Kelly. He's
living my life." Mandy couldn't have been happier with that one.
As for comments issued by SEC coaches Mandy had less love for:
0: "Great" teams Lou Holtz sees in the SEC, a comment he decided to
issue aprapos of nothing on Game Day Final. Lou's point - badly
delivered as it was - was that USC, Texas and possibly Va Tech are
playing quite a bit above the next tier of teams in the nation.
However, Lou delivered it as a two-senence chop at the SEC, causing a
napping Mandy to spring back to life on the coach and back up Lou by
affirming that "yeah, we suck so bad we have three teams in the top
ten. Who the Hell does Lou Holtz think he
2, 30: Number of times Lou said "Notre Dame did not lose" and the
number of seconds he needed to say it.
- and let's just say it: a Trev-less GameDay is a trainwreck.

5: TDs accounted for by Vince Young (3 runs, 2 passes) in blowout of
Colorado in a classic trap game.
336: Young passing yards.
2: Minimum number of national writers reported or confessed to have
declared Bush the Heisman winner in the ND press box. Over Vince
Young? Really?
2: Teams remaining on Texas schedule that scored 59 or more this
weekend (Texas Tech 59 and left-for-dead A&M with a holy-crap 62)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Cash Me Out

Cash me out.
I'm rakin' in my chips and pushing back. If, as ol' Kenny said, you
have to know when to hold 'em, fold 'em and when to walk away, then now
is most emphatically the time to run.

28 wins. "I was there." Cash me out. Call me Alan Greenspan cuz
I'm walking away from this irrational exuberance before it swallows my
rationality, my 401K and possibly cardiac health.

Because what could be more irrational than the final 5+ minutes of
that game? If ever USC was Yahoo! at 120, it was the moment Brady
Quinn - so young, alone and unafraid that he looked embarrassed to be
there - trotted out, down by 4 and 85 yards away.

In keeping with any close Notre Dame game, I was desperately
reciting the rosary of Close Calls in the last 2 years and the escape
hatches SC had found each time. Moments that, at the time, felt big.

Though, we know now, they weren't.

There was the 2nd half dominance at Stanford 2 years ago. The way
they kept UCLA at bay in the final game. And Cal, when Aaron Rodgers
couldn't do it all. Last week there was Arizona, a mentally strong
team playing it's biggest game of the decade against a distracted SC;
one-trick but talented ASU the week before; and a lucky and brave, if
overmatched, Oregon the week before that. Hell, there was even VaTech
from 2 season-openers ago, the phantom pass interference and the way SC
capitalized on that sliver of opportunity.

All, in retrospect, were sure-thing, easy wins made dramatic not be the events on the field but
the ever-increasing weight of all the moments before piled on top.

I was madly flipping through those mental index cards - a fumble? A
key sack? Poor clock management and they'll run out of time? - as
Brady Quinn trotted out.

Afterall, hadn't SC just done The SC Thing? March down the field,
late, like the other team was wearing high heels? (nice grass, by the
way - we'll get to that).

And with all those thoughts, I was absolutely sure Brady Quinn was
going to- well, do what he did.

Drive ND down the field. mechanically, with trickery, smarts and
talent, take the lead and smoke off just enough clock to end the game.

And he did. Almost.

Three minutes later he made one mistake -
on a first-down inside the 30, he handed off to Walker, who gained
almost 20 yards, nearly scoring right there and insuring ND was going
to get in with about 2 minutes left, which they did.

(well, sort of - they gave Quinn the TD on a scramble where his
knees sure looked down at the 3 - NBC, house-organ to the end, never
replayed the decisive angle).

Only, thanks to that big gain, he did it with 2:04 left.

Door slightly open. Well, more like not double-bolted.

But out trotted Leinart and Bush and White and the rest, and they
looked beat. Slow, heads tilted almost imperceptably but vitally down.
NDs defense met at midfield. They looked smaller - they were - but
more alert and hungrier. They had only to play out the inevitable and
that would be it.

Then that sack. Third and 19. Hardly a whimper.

Underneath to Reggie, two jukes and dropped.

4th and 8. 4th and forever. 4th and 27-wins. 4th and the those
cheap-gimmick jersies. 4th and the whole unbearable, hometown-honk NBC

Time out. the last time out. Oh, get it over with...

To the line. Leinart waves his arms - an audible? You mean they
blew the timeout to salvage their whole season and he STILL thinks he's
so smart that he's gonna call a- HE CAUGHT IT! HE'S RUNNING! ANY FLAGS? NO FLAGS! STILL RUNNING! TOUCHD- tackled at the 10! Ok, fine, tackled at the 10, i mean, that's
good, right? it still counts, right? he, he, he- AT THE 10!

(here it comes, an oldy but goody, and if Dan Jenkins ever had a
moment in mind when he put it in the playbook, this is it:)


So now they're at the 10. The market held. Hoth held. Impossible

Fortunately somebody - certainly not me - was aware that SC still
had to, ya know, score the requisite points to exceed Notre Dame's
total score. It was a requirement - trivial as it seemed - that could
not be waved.

And they had a minute to do it.

Reggie run. Nope. Less than a minute.

Clocks running here - do we need a FG? They're gonna pass, right?
I mean, I know it's all just a matter of semantics now, getting the
points and flying off into history, but they actually HAVE TO DO IT so-
Leinart, keeper, SMASHES into three guys in the corner, lands in the
endzone - Touchdown!!!

No? Down at the- seven seconds left!!! We can't los- wait, he HAD
to get in- this can-

And we lost. Right there, on the no-inch(sic) line, on the last
desperate dive, on the shoulders of the defending Heisman winner, in a flurry of
confusion and fear, we lost.

And, after 15 seconds, I was feeling good - boots on, blaze of glory. We would have
the dignity of falling to the sword of desperation and effort, not on the
tip on an NBC script, and that, for me was going to be enough.

Oh well. We lost.

And then, impossibly, we didn't.

Fumble out of bounds.

Not, vitally, a fumble THROUGH the endzone, which would have been a
touchback and the ballgame, but an honest fumble out of bounds, to,
preposterously, stop the clock.

It even looked - and here's the kicker - totally accidental.

Luck? Hey ND, you can complain as soon as you stop somebody on 4th down and CUT YOUR GRASS!!! Maybe next time, Lucky Shirts. Until then, no complaints entertained.

Camera shows Carroll - spike it! Spike it! Translation: field
goal and overtime. Of course. What ELSE could you do?
Unless that's a fake. Or unless Matt and Reggie and the 11 guys out
there living this absurd moment decide to ride one more crest.

Snap. Push. Not in. Not even close. Roll right. Second surge.

Over, maybe- maybe-

Ref throws up his arms.

Leinart did it.

He limps and lunges to the sideline, alone and unafraid, and totally
empty. Two teammates carry him from the scene. He can't even stand.
They follow him to the bench. His teammates swarm him, he shrugs them
off. In the densest, brightest stadium on earth, he finds a quiet spot on the
bench and the hero of the moment - the man who led the drive, who made
the throw, who made the call, who made the dive, who won the day -
drops his head in hands and appears to start crying.

I've been saying all year there was too much between SC and the
finish line to pull it off - too much Pac 10, too many ND and Fresno,
too many chances to not win 32 straight.

I still thinks so. Now more than ever. I wrote a year ago that, to
build a 10 point lead on USC, Stanford cashed in 11 years of good
luck in 30 minutes: a once-a-year play (fake punt for TD) and once a
decade play (70 yard belly-run on last play of the half). They had no
more luck to trade away, which made SC's 2nd half comeback inevitable.
USC, winners of 28 in a row, 2-time national champs, with the last
Heisman winner and the but-for-Vince-Young next Heisman winner in the
backfield, has no more luck to trade away.

Legacy? They won, in a gaudy blowout, the 'Heaviest' game of all time - the
first-ever dueling Heisman winners, in a 1-vs-2 Orange Bowl showdown.
But that was no legacy. Too easy, and what was worth remembering,
Ashley Simpson ruined. In a way, they were cheated.
In fact, prior to last night, they had a shootout with surface-of-mercury-hot QB in Aaron Rodgers, and that was it.

Not anymore - now they've stared down Notre Dame in the only game Notre Dame will ever
have to beat the best USC team of all time, to break the streak, to do it
in South Bend, to grow the playbook and the grass for 2 weeks, to
wear the 'undefeated' jersies, yada yada yada.

Charlie Wiess could win three national titles, but he'll never be remembered more vividly for another moment.

Nothing more you can ask of a season or a team.

Now I'm gonna watch UT and stop trying to think of phony reasons that SC would stop Vince
Young. Now I get to watch UGA-Florida with Mandy and not worry about
secretly scouting their secondary. Now I get to find the next
Furman-Appalachian State crazy-finish on obscure cable and brag about
having seen it.
I'm gonna check into this Wisconsin offense, this Ohio State D and
this Penn State everything. And hey! Didn't you used to be Alabama?!?

Come to think of it, this might have been the greatest
college game of all time but this SURELY was the greatest football
Saturday that ever was. The Big 10 played 5 games and they all came down to the final snap. Same with Alabama. And UCLA/WSU. And West Virginia/Louisville. And UVA/Florida State.

And I pretty much missed it cuz of this whole
streak/jersies/legacy/7-inch-turf thing.

No more.

If SC loses out from here - even to Fresno St. (lousy Freedom
Bowl....) - my smile won't fade a shade (yes, even UCLA - i'll take a
loss there. It's time for that game to mean something again, and unlike ND, USC is the only road home for UCLA).

I wrote an essay two years ago - the night Carson beat ND, the night
the run truly began - where i asked for a moment of forgiveness while i
looked around and admired the view from the up here, cuz i'd never been
so high up the mountain.

Well, here's the top. Let me off. No more admiring the view - time
to head back to the lodge.

Good luck with Cal and UCLA and whoever you end up with in a bowl. I hope you win'em all (and I hope you don't get Texas, for your sake,
or Georgia, for mine). I hope you end up #1, three in a row. After that, you deserve it.

But cash me out.


ps - got UGA-Vandy on in the background as I type this. Somebody from
Vandy is from Howey-in-the-Hills, FL. See? Now I get to pay attention
to more shit like that.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Texas-OU and others

Considering that streaks of all kinds were the hot topics this week -
OU's 5 over UT, SC's 27-and-counting with streak-breaker ND looming -
let's start with THE Streak and some fantastic trivia about it the
Index just stumbled across:

Streak Shots

47: In games, NCAA-record OU win streak, accomplished
under legendary coach Bud Wilkinson.

37: In years, length of Wilkinson's first marriage before divorce.

27: Age of woman he married within a year.

17: Years Wilkinson was at OU.

0: Wilkinson home games during which it rained.

100: Percent of OU home games I've attended where it did (1/1).

As They Say On Hoth, "Here They Come."

299: Yards accounted for by UCLA's Maurice Drew in 47-41(!) win over

162: Drew punt return yardage.

65: Drew rushing yards.

52: Drew recieving yards.

20: Drew kickoff return yards.

135: Minimum rushing yards, each, for Cal's top 2 runners.

7:48: Time remaining in game when UCLA trailed 41-24.

- UCLA isn't demonstratably "better" than SC. But the trend lines are
sure starting to bend their way, huh?

As They Say In That Diet Coke Ad, "Dance All Night To
This DJ"

286: Yards accounted for by presumptive-Heisman
winner Vince Young in as-suspected-mismatch over unranked Oklahoma,

258: Yards accounted for by presumptive-liability DJ Shockley in
unanticipated-mismatch over No. 8 Tennessee, at Tennessee, 27-14.

27: Passing attempts for both QBs.

51.85: VY completion percentage.

59.25: DJ completion percentage.

70: Avg. Length of VY-led UT scoring drives.

73.5: Avg. Length of DJ-led UGA scoring drives.

(66.5: Avg. Length of VY-led UT scoring drives if you don't count the
1- and 2-play "Where'd-Who-Go?" busted play strikes in the second
quarter. Not Vince's fault OU can't tackle a running back dive - but
then, not exactly a resume bullet, either).

73: Yards in UGA's nail-it-in, fourth quarter scoring drive to go up
by 3 TDs.

9: Plays in drive - all runs by freshman T. brown.

30: Seconds remaining in first half when UGA's huge tight end Justin
Pope caught a DJ pass inside the 1yardline but failed to get in on
third down, with no timeouts left.

0: Seconds remaining when kicker brandon Coutu's field goal sailed
through after UGA successfully executed a clock-running field-goal
line-up. Pope was ruled down on about the 1-inch line - the REAL call
would have been to have DJ line everybody up real fast and take it in
on an unsettled sneak. But it was a terrific bit of hustle,
co-ordination and discipline to get that kick off.

1,1: Length in yards and plays of Tennessee's only scoring drive
prior to final two minutes - a QB dive after an INT return to the UGA

0: Seconds remaining in game when Tennessee scored it's second TD,
which is to say: don't let the score fool ya - UGA tore Tennessee
apart. In the two-tier list of unbeatens - SC and Contenders, Florida
State and Pretenders - DO NOT talk yourself into thinking UGA is in
the latter.

Big 10^2

99: Points scored by Northwestern and Wisconsin.... WHAT?

98: Total points in week 1 Wisconsin-Bowling Green game.

27: Total points at the half (17-10 UW)

41: Northwestern second-half points.

77: Completion percentage for losing QB, John Stocco, Wisconsin.

72: Comp. percent for Brett Basanez, NU.

244: Rushing yards for NU freshman Tyrell Sutton.

674: NU total offense (school record).

250: yards accounted for by UW's Brian Calhoun, 122 rushing and 128
receiving - first UW player ever to get 100+ in both categories in a

4: TD receptions by UW's Jonathon Orr.

16: Kicks attempted - 13 PATs, 3 Fgs

15: Kicks made - NU's kicker missed one PAT.

I'm Learning Excel

Points per game per team by conference

26.19: SEC (Miss St 14.1, worst in BCS)

26.7: ACC

27.75: Big East

30.71: Big 12

32.67: Big 10

34.69: Pac 10

Hello, operator? Connect me with the police. Somebody stole the Big

(With thanks to the Rabbi)

<bold><bigger>Dwindling Cast

</bigger></bold>9: Unbeatens - SC, UT, VaTech, FSU, Bama, UGA, Texas
Tech, UCLA, PSU.

2: Weeks until we can seriously consider what-ifs, but let's take a
preview, shall we?

5: Maximum which could be unbeaten for the bowls - each of the above
teams except Penn State must face another of the unbeaten teams by
season's end (SC-UCLA and UT-TT; VaTech-FSU and UGA-Bama in conference

Major Hurdles
(excluding Conf. Title

4: Penn State (Michigan, Purdue, Wisc- oh, forget it. Great year for
Paterno, but not that great).

3: SC (ND, Cal, UCLA), Bama (Tennessee, LSU, Auburn), UCLA (Oregon
St., ASU, SC)

2: FSU (Clemson, Florida), UGA (Florida, Auburn), TT (UT, OU)

1: VaTech (Miami)

0.5: UT (Greg Davis)

The Index Supports Our Troops

TCU Supports
the Troops

1:45: Time remaing in OU-TCU game when The Index walked into the Navy
bar in Naples, Italy, OU with a first down on it’s own 30, trailing

10: Hours of travel to that point in the Index’s return flight from a

47: Total hours of unbroken travel (“travel” = on a flight or waiting
for one in an airport) that trip would eventually add up to.

2: Yards gained in OU’s ensuing four plays, ending the game.

2: Out of 2 trials, number of times the Index’s Playstation predicted
a TCU win on Blaine 06’s Dynasty mode.

7: OU rank prior to losing at home to TCU.

7: Rank of Baylor(!) when beat by TCU in 1960, the last time TCU beat
a team ranked that high.

63: Adrian Peterson rushing yards.

7: Adrian Peterson first-half rushing yards.

- hard to know what to make of that. How totally has OU imploded
after the SC game last year? They got Tulsa before the season gets

<bold><bigger>Stat of the Week</bigger></bold>

6: Field goals by Clemson kicker Jad Dean (Jad Dean!) in 25-24 win
over Texas A&M.

2: Seconds remainng when he hit the 42-yard game winner.

5: Previous school record, held by Nelson Welch (Nelson Welch!).

3: Number of times Welch hit 5 in a game.

9:43: Time remaining when A&M coach Terry Franchoine passed up a 2pt
play that would have put A&M up by 3 (or 1) – arguably allowing Jade
to kick the winner 9:41 later.

3, 80: Plays and yards in that go-ahead drive.

3: Yards in third-down A&M failed to pick-up in 3-and-out possession
prior to Clemson’s game-winning final drive.

8: Consecutive carries by freshman running back James Davis on final
33-yard, 8-play drive to set up Jade’s winner.

4.7: Yards per carry for Davis on that final, four-minute drive.

(the Index chimes in: A&M had about ample chances to win that game
after Franchoine’s decision – their own three-and-out drive that could
have run out the clock and a third-and-4 where they failed to stop a
freshman running back)


</bigger></bold>98: Points scored in Wisconsin-Bowling Green game
(Wisc 56-42).

106: Points scored in only higher scoring Wisconsin home game
(Wisconsin 106, Wisconsin-Whitewater 0, in 1890). Write your own
Hillary joke.

258, 5: Yards and touchdowns rushed for by Brian Calhoun in his
Badger debut.

458: Yards passing for Bowling Green QB Omar Jacobs.

305: Jacobs first half total

4: Drops in second half – two for likely touchdowns – by BG’s top

24: Yards rushing for BG tailback PJ Pope before leaving the game
with a sprained ankle suffered when he was hit from behind while
blocking on kick-off duty (!?!?!).

13: Point in leads held twice by Bowling Green.

35: Wisconsin points in 2nd quarter.

14: Total points scored in the final 41 seconds of the first half

1: Total yards of offense for Bowling Green in pivitol third quarter.

<bold><bigger>Game Everyone Is Wrong About, Part 1: Michigan-Notre

</bigger></bold>32: Total games between Notre Dame and Michigan
(18-13-1 UM).

411: Yards of offense allowed by Michigan in 33-17 win over Northern
Illinois in opener.

1: Fumbles lost by Northern Illinois in 2004.

4: Fumbles lost to Michigan.

148: Yards rushing for NIU’s Garrett Wolfe.

7: Points separating Notre Dame from a 2-loss season in 2004.

0: Sacks allowed by ND against Pitt.

5: ND sacks.

5: ND running backs with better than a 5-yard-per-carry average
against Pitt.

0: ND three-and-outs prior to 4th quarter.

<bold><bigger>Game Everyone Is Wrong About, Part 2: Ohio State-Texas</bigger></bold>

15: Questions posed to and not answered by Ohio State coach Jim
Tressel at weekly press conference about which of his quarterbacks
will play against Texas.

155: Passing yards for OSU’s Justin Zwick, starting for the first time
since being benched in the middle of 2004 after dropping three
straight Big 10 games.

500: Dollars accepted by OSU QB Troy Smith, who replaced Zwick and
went 4-1 as starter down the stretch, from an OSU booster, causing him
to be suspended for the opener.

135: Rushing yards for Texas freshman Jamaal Charles, the
highest-ever total for a UT running back in a debut, against

21: Texas wins in its last 22 road games.

0: All-time Ohio State losses in home night games.

1990: Last Ohio State home non-conference loss.

0: Total games between Texas and Ohio State (also between Texas and
Michigan prior to last year’s Rose Bowl).

24: Age of OSU starting linebacker Anthony Schlegel, a transfer from
Air Force. Schlegel, who is married, is plays with AJ Hawk and Bobby
Carpenter, pretty much the only unit on the field where OSU has the
better players, and there its pretty close.

<bold><bigger>Again: Tennessee - Really?

</bigger></bold>12: Tennessee Yardline reached by visiting
Alabama-Birmingham, trailing UT 17-10 with less than four minutes
left. UAB QB Darrell Hackney overthrew his receiver in the endzone to
turn the ball over on downs.

86: Yards in UAB TD drive in the fourth to pull within 7.

274: Passing yards for Tenessee’s two QBs against UAB.

284: Passing yards for Hackney against Tennessee’s defense.

2: Tennessee’s pre-season ranking, according to Athlon.


20: Consecutive weeks USC has been ranked #1 in the AP poll.

21: Record number of weeks, held by Miami.

74: Matt Leinart career TDs, USC record. Leinart broke Carson
Palmer’s mark of 72 somewhere in the blizzard of TDs against Hawaii.

46: Points USC is better than Hawaii.

34: Points USC was better than OU.

7: Points TCU was better than OU.

<bold><bigger>Quick Hits


9: Sacks allowed by Miami against Florida State.

3: Field goals missed by Miami.

28: South Carolina rushing attempts against

32: South Carolina rushing yards.

56, 40, 31: Length of three Georgia scoring plays against Boise State.

6: First-half turnovers by Boise State QB Jared Zabransky, 4
interceptions, 2 fumbles.

2: Interceptions thrown in first two passing attempts.

3: Opening Boise State possessions that

5: Touchdown passes for Georgia’s DJ Shockley in three quarters.

105, 102: Yards receiving for Central Florida’s top 2 recievers.

79, 76: Yards receiving for Spurrier-coached South Carolina’s top 2

10: Scoreless snaps inside USC’s 20 for UCF in the 4th quarter.

17: Consecutive passes completed by Florida’s Chris Leak against
Wyoming, a school record, en route to 320 yards in passing.

16: Previous record, held by… Steve Spurrier.

66: Yards in kickoff return for TD by Wyoming’s… Jovon Bouknight!