Posted on: October 8, 2010 4:40 pm

Insane Predictions: Week 6

Posted by the College Football Blog Staff

Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Les Miles wouldn't be the coach that screwed up the endgame the worst during Tennessee-LSU? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.

Highly Unlikely

Utah punishes every single "win-go-up, lose-go-down" poll voter by dropping their night game at Iowa State, 31-20. The previously comatose Cyclone defense comes to life against the Utes, sacking Jordan Wynn four times and picking him off twice. The exasperated Utah coach, Kyle Whittingham, will blame the pollsters for Utah's upset loss, saying "I wasn't the one telling my guys they were the tenth best team in the [censored] nation." -- Adam Jacobi

Washington State slows down and upsets Oregon in Martin Stadium, claiming their first conference win with a 24-0 victory over the Ducks. The shutout will be thanks to the defense who, despite starting the day ranked 118th in the nation in yards allowed per game (509.8), shut down the best offense in nation by simply putting 11 linebackers on the field at all times. -- Chip Patterson

Michigan's defense actually shows up to play on Saturday, allowing Denard Robinson to see even more snaps behind center.  The end result is a 600-yard performance from Robinson as the Wolverines coast to a surprisingly easy 42-17 victory over Michigan State, giving Denard an even firmer grasp on the Heisman Trophy. -- Tom Fornelli

Severely Unlikely

Michigan and Michigan State's defenses completely shut each other down in a 3-2 Spartan victory in the Big House.  Denard Robinson attempts to run 18 times, but is only held to 14 yards.  Braylon Edwards gets behind the wheel and drives the Spartans back to East Lansing, hitting every bar on the way. At 73 mph. -- Chip Patterson

A week after having a huge day in a losing effort against Michigan, Indiana's Ben Chappell does even more damage in the Horseshoe.  Chappell picks the Ohio State secondary apart for 520 yards and 5 touchdowns. Terrelle Pryor's leg injury reappears and the Buckeyes offense has absolutely no answer. The Hoosiers shock the world, picking up what would be considered the biggest win in the program's history.  Final score: Indiana 45, Ohio State 31. -- Tom Fornelli

Oregon pours it on hapless Washington State for the full 60 minutes and becomes the first I-A team to hit the century mark since Houston beat Tulsa 100-6 in 1968. LaMichael James reclaims the top spot in Heisman consideration with 532 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Oregon cruises, 113-0. -- Adam Jacobi

Utterly Preposterous

The game between LSU and Florida is an all-time epic performance that will be talked about 50 years from now.  The game goes back and forth as the offenses take turns destroying the defenses, and the defenses respond in kind.  Finally, in the fourth quarter Jordan Jefferson takes the field with LSU down 24-20 and two minutes left on the clock.  He has yet to throw an interception as the Tigers begin their drive.  They enter get inside the Florida 20-yard line as the clock goes under the minute mark.  Les Miles stands on the sidelines with no worries in the world.  Amazingly, he still has all three of his timeouts left.  He uses them well, and Gary Crowton calls the perfect plays as Jefferson hits Terrence Toliver for the game winning touchdown with 12 seconds left.  LSU wins 27-24. -- Tom Fornelli

In a scene reminiscent of the realistic football documentary Varsity Blues, the Texas Tech players rise up in mutiny against head coach Tommy Tuberville at halftime as they trail Baylor 21-3. Red Raiders QB Taylor Potts makes one call on his cell phone, and five minutes into the third quarter, Mike Leach parachutes onto the field, delighting the Cotton Bowl crowd. Leach, seeing no sheds present at the game, has WR Adam James locked in a bathroom stall for the rest of the game. Leach re-installs the spread, Baylor's defense is overmatched, and the Red Raiders prevail 34-31. -- Adam Jacobi

South Carolina upsets Alabama 28-24 after Mark Ingram has his 5th fumble of the game on the goal line in the final seconds. Trent Richardson, who had 250 yards rushing in the game, erupts with rage that he did not get a chance to win the game himself.  In the locker room, things get heated. Our own Tom Fornelli emerges from Richardson's locker and pins Ingram's arms behind his back, allowing Richardson to head-butt Ingram and knock the Heisman Trophy winner to the ground. Alabama coach Nick Saban suspends Ingram for the confrontation, claiming "the kid showed no fight." -- Chip Patterson

Posted on: October 8, 2010 3:19 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 5:15 pm

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 6

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.


Main Course - #2 Ohio State vs. Indiana - Noon - ESPN

You know what the real problem is with the ACC and Big East being so awful/mediocre this year?  It really leaves the early menu of games leaving a lot to be desired.  I mean, I have Ohio State and Indiana as the morning's best option.

Think about that for a second.  Ohio State and Indiana.  A game which hasn't seen the Hoosiers get within more than 19 points of the Buckeyes in every meeting since 2002 -- though the teams didn't meet in 2007 or 2008.  The good news for Indiana is that the 19-point loss came last season, with Ben Chappell at quarterback.

The Hoosiers offense has been very impressive this season, but the Buckeyes will be by far their biggest test six weeks into the year.  Considering that we can't be sure just how healthy Terrelle Pryor is, and the struggles the Buckeyes had in Champaign last week, this game could prove to be more interesting than you'd think.

Side Orders: Should that game go the blowout route, your other options Saturday morning would be the ACC fare of North Carolina State and Boston College.   One is a team looking to rebound from its first loss, the other is a team that is having its three quarterbacks pick a number between 1-10 to see who gets to start.  If you prefer something else, you can watch Georgia and Tennessee fight to see which school's season is more far gone than the other.  It's a must win for Mark Richt, because a loss to Tennessee at home would only send him to the hospital with third-degree burns on his backside.


Main Course - #19 South Carolina vs #1 Alabama - 3:30pm - CBS

If there's one thing I think we can all be certain at this point of the college football season it's that Alabama is the best team in the country.  There's a bit of a gap between them and Ohio State and Oregon, but after the Ducks, things drop off quite a bit.  That being said, going in to Columbia to take on the Gamecocks shouldn't be a cakewalk for the Tide.

What I think will be the key to this one is if Marcus Lattimore can do anything against the Alabama defense.  While the Alabama defense is barely giving up nine points a game, they are allowing an average of 101 yards per game on the ground. 

Though even if the Gamecocks do get a ground game going, they still have to stop Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, which no one has done to this point ('Bama is averaging 230 yards a game rushing).  Considering the Gamecocks allow 128.3 yards a contest on the ground, I'm not sure they're up for the challenge either.

Side Orders:
Listen, if people are taking this Michigan/Michigan State game so seriously that they're willing to die in order to see it, maybe you can take a few hours of your Saturday and do the same.  There is never a bad time to watch Denard Robinson play football, as he is without question the most dangerous one-man show in the sport right now.  If that's not good enough for you, check out Arkansas and Texas A&M.   One team has a quarterback who lives up to the hype, and the other has a quarterback who lives up to the hype on one series and then proceeds to get that hype lodged in his throat, suffocating himself and his team.  See if you can tell which one is which.


Main Course - #14 Florida vs. #12 LSU - 7:30pm - ESPN

This game will be interesting for plenty of reasons, but perhaps none more so than the battles between the fans in the seats.  Watch as LSU and Florida fans argue about which team's offensive coordinator is going to drive some student to the top of the nearest bell tower with a sniper rifle sooner.  Then watch the other fan base tell them that if their offensive coordinator climbed up that same tower he'd only manage to fall out before getting a single shot off.

Then watch both fan bases fall into each other's arms in tears, unified in despair.  Then they'd smile when both agreeing that if it were Les Miles atop that tower, he'd kill 40 people before going to trial and being found not guilty on some technicality.

Side Orders: Though the rivalry between Florida State and Miami has lost some of its luster the last few years, the fact is both teams come into this game ranked and looking to stay on top of their respective divisions in the ACC.  Or you can watch Stanford try to run its win streak over USC to three games in Palo Alto as Ed Orgeron yells incoherently from home thanks to that staph infection in his leg.

Late Night Snack

The Washington Huskies look to build on any momentum they picked up by beating USC on the road last week against an Arizona State team that couldn't headbutt its way to a victory against Oregon State.
Posted on: October 7, 2010 1:51 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2010 1:51 pm

MSU fan risking life to watch the Spartans

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Yesterday we told you about how tickets to this week's game between Michigan and Michigan State is the hottest ticket in all of college football right now.  The matchup between the two state rivals is so big that some people are willing to spend $1,000 just for the privilege of sitting in the stands and watching it in person.  Which is a pretty big commitment to make.

Though not as big as risking your life so you can see it.

Major Hester is a Spartans fan living in Detroit who was scheduled to have a pacemaker put in this week but he asked his doctor to postpone the procedure because he's afraid he might not make it through.  Which would mean he wouldn't be able to watch his Spartans take on the Wolverines.

“You never know,” Hester told the Detroit News . “It’s like going into combat. You may come home alive or you may come home dead."

Of course, considering watching the Spartans play football helped contribute to Hester's heart condition -- he says he first felt symptoms watching a game three years ago -- who knows if he'll survive what should be a close game?  I mean, he wouldn't be the first person the Spartans sent to the hospital with heart problems this season, would he?

To that Hester said, "Whatever happens, I just want to see the game."

I want to as well, but not as much as I want to see Sunday.

Hat tip: CFT

Posted on: October 7, 2010 9:45 am
Edited on: October 7, 2010 9:59 am

Rodriguez 'optimistic' Shaw will play Saturday

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Michigan State Spartans have plenty to worry about on the defensive side of the ball Saturday against Michigan in the Big House.  You could spend the entire week studying film of Denard Robinson, and still not be completely prepared for the all-purpose production machine that currently leads the nation in rushing.  His 382.6 total yards per game has single-handedly carried the Wolverines to their current 5-0 record, Top 25 ranking, and barring a complete meltdown in the second half of the season: their first bowl appearance in the Rich Rodriguez era.

Making matters worse for the Spartans, Michigan appears to be getting back another ground weapon for Saturday's game.  Michael Shaw has missed the conference opener against Indiana with a knee injury, but Rodriguez is "optimistic" that Shaw will be available against the Spartans.  Shaw has increased his workload in practice over the week, slowly making his way back to 100 percent.

Shaw is Michigan's third-leading rusher behind Robinson and sophomore Vincent Smith, but has shown his big-game potential once already this season.  In the Wolverines 42-37 victory over Massachusetts, Shaw had a career day with 126 yards rushing and three touchdowns.  When given an opportunity, he wastes no time getting downfield and has the potential to burn the Spartans if they are too keyed in on Robinson.

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Posted on: October 6, 2010 1:09 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2010 1:10 pm

Everyone wants to be in Ann Arbor this weekend

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State has always been huge in both the state of Michigan and the Big Ten, but this year's game holds even more significance.  This year both teams enter the game 5-0 and winning this game could be the difference between playing in a January bowl game or the Texas Bowl.

Maybe even the Rose Bowl.

So this game has big implications for both teams, which is why it's not surprising to hear that it's the hottest ticket in town.  What is a little surprising, though, is that it's the hottest ticket in the entire country.

"This is actually the No. 1 college football game of the week based on gross sales on our site," Joellen Ferrer, Stubhub's spokesperson, said Tuesday. "It's also among the top five college football games throughout the entire season."

On the site's average, fans have paid $200 a ticket, with ranges from $50 to $600. Some fans are asking $1,400 for the better seats. Ticket face value is $65.

Taking a quick look at the game on Stubhub right now, the cheapest ticket you can find is one seat for $175, and that's located in the 88th row of section 29, which is in the northwest corner of the stadium.  The most expensive seats are $1,000, which means for $2,000 you and a friend can hang in the outdoor club of section 415 above the stadium around the 50-yard line.  Though if seats are more your thing, there are two tickets available in section 1 -- also on the 50-yard line -- in the 38th row.  Those two tickets will only cost you $999 apiece.

Or you can sit at home and watch it on television for free.  It's your choice.

Posted on: October 5, 2010 1:54 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 1:55 pm

Denard Robinson resting, will play against MSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has quite literally done it all this season, and can be credited as the biggest reason the Wolverines enter Saturday's showdown with Michigan State 5-0.  Head coach Rich Rodriguez finally developed the weapon he needed to run his option-based offense that worked so well at West Virginia.  Robinson, the early Heisman frontrunner, has accounted for 1913 of Michigan's 2822 total yards of offense on the season.  Robinson has been able to accomplish all of that while sitting out three quarters of Michigan's 65-21 rout of Bowling Green with a bruised left knee.

Robinson returned on Saturday against Indiana and racked up 494 total yards and five touchdowns, including the game winning touchdown.  Robinson did miss a few plays are tweaking the same knee he injured against Bowling Green, but returned to action and appeared to be fine.  After all the work Robinson has done, it is not surprising to see Rodriguez limiting Robinson in practice this week.
“Yeah, he'll be a little limited, just because he’s been running so much,” coach Rich Rodriguez said Monday. "You want him 100 percent on Saturday. Denard is one you have to jerk out of there because he wants to take so many reps. He’s walking around fine. Everything is fine.”
Robinson is currently the nation's leading rusher, and has already become the first player in FBS history to pass and rush for 200 yards in a game twice in a season.  When the Wolverines welcome MSU to the Big House on Saturday, they will need a 110% Denard to emerge victorious.  The match up between in-state rivals now has conference implications as well, with the Wolverines and Spartans being two of the four remaining undefeated teams in the Big Ten.  

For more breaking news and analysis follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 4, 2010 2:49 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2010 2:52 pm

Mark Dantonio released from hospital

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The man that is so dedicated to his job he's willing to give himself a heart attack to win a football game, Mark Dantonio, has been released from the hospital.   Dantonio, who suffered a heart attack hours after a thrilling Michigan State win over Notre Dame -- which featured one of the braver play calls we'll see this season -- had to go back in to the hospital after a blood clot was found in his leg.

It was discovered during a routine post-surgery checkup with doctors.

Dantonio had been hoping to coach from the coach's box during the Spartans game against Wisconsin, but instead had to settle with texting defensive coaches from his hospital bed as Don Treadwell ran the show from the sidelines.

Now that he's been released from the hospital it's likely that Dantonio will return to his team in time for their showdown against Michigan in Ann Arbor this weekend.  There's no word on what capacity Dantonio will serve in, be it from the sidelines or above the field, but there's no questioning this is one of the biggest games in Michigan State's recent history.

The rivalry between the Spartans and Wolverines is big enough during any season, but this year the two teams are both 5-0 heading into their meeting.  A win for Michigan State this weekend could help set the Spartans on the path to a BCS bowl game.  After all, they don't have to face Ohio State this season, and aside from a trip to Iowa City at the end of October, there isn't much left in Michigan State's path.

In other words, a win this weekend could be so big for Michigan State that Dantonio might even be willing to have another heart attack to get it.

Posted on: October 3, 2010 1:14 am

Iowa's defense excels in 24-3 win over Penn State

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Iowa 6, Penn State 3. That's the score if Iowa's offense or special teams didn't contribute a single point today, and the defense was left to score for itself. Score it did, as an interception returned for a touchdown by cornerback Shaun Prater late in the fourth quarter perfectly punctuated a 24-3 victory for the Hawkeyes.

When asked if it was the defense's best performance of the season, senior safety Brett Greenwood seemed to think so. "Emotionally, we feel like it was. I know we gave up a few throws there that we need to correct, but right now, it might be."

The defense was led by Adrian Clayborn , who broke out of a slump -- or at least what would qualify as one for the All-American defensive end, anyway -- with 10 tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack. Clayborn was at his most dominant in the fourth quarter, registering 2.5 TFLs and the sack on a forced intentional grounding by quarterback Rob Bolden .

"I had to get back to the basics. That's how [defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski ] told us to be, just play [ticked] off," Clayborn said. "You have to get after it; you can't be a nice guy on the field, and I think that's how we played as a defensive line."

That line made Bolden's evening the worst, though, on a 4th and goal from Iowa's 1-yard line. Bolden lined up in the shotgun and scrambled for the goal line, a run that was stretched out by end Broderick Binns and then snuffed out by tackle Christian Ballard inches from the goal line.

"I saw a little bit of green left, and I knew I had to make a play," Ballard said of his touchdown-saving tackle.

Senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi was a rock for his offense, completing 16 of 22 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown. Stanzi also scored on a sneak from a yard out to give Iowa a 17-point lead late in the first half. Stanzi attributed his efficient game to the game plan put in by offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe .

"They're short passes, they're dump-downs, the checks are built in, and we're able to get the ball downfield if we want to," said Stanzi.

For the Hawkeyes, the win's nice, but so is what comes next: a bye week. Head coach Kirk Ferentz said he ran running back Adam Robinson 28 times and said "he could have gone 50" because of the bye week, and Robinson, who gained 95 yards on the ground Saturday, said he's never been sorer after a game.

The bye week will also help the Hawkeyes get their linebacker corps healthy; middle linebacker Jeff Tarpinian ceded his starting role to Troy Johnson , and both players left the game with minor injuries. From there, the Hawkeyes depended on true freshman James Morris , and Morris was tied for third on the team with seven tackles on the day.

"He was ready to go when called upon," Ferentz said of Morris. "First thing you hope he doesn't do is blow something, leave something just wide open, give them an easy big gain. It didn't seem like he did that, and that's a real credit to him."

What's more, the bye week gives Iowa an extra week for arguably their defense's biggest task of the season: find a way to shut down Michigan and Denard Robinson .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com