Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM
Oh, no, is right.
Just when some folks were charting out their late-season plans to get to this year's BCS Championship Game in New Orleans along came the single-most destructive week of this whole 2011 College Football season.
Not only did headliners #2 Oklahoma State, #4 Oregon and #5 Oklahoma all get beaten - and keep in mind this trio was favored by a collective 59 ½ points - but #7 Clemson bit the dust too with that non-competitive 37-13 loss at 7 ½-point dog N.C. State and so now this whole BCS gig is a major mess.
Then, again, that serves 'em right.
The whole BCS idea of pitting the sure-shot #1 and #2 teams in the land at year's end really has only worked a handful of times since the current format went into existence back in 1997 and it's not as if the BCS guys/gals are gonna let unbeaten Houston crash their party on Jan. 9th for a showdown against LSU, let's say.
So, let the mad scramble really begin and - a word to the BCS folks - go ahead and put Alabama in the championship game without having the Crimson Tide so much as play in next month's SEC Championship Game and you'll be the laughingstock of sports ... again! Let's get in a quick-hitter line on all of this weekend's high-profile losers ...
IOWA STATE 37, #2 OKLAHOMA STATE 31 (2OT) - The Cowboys came into Friday night's game in Ames averaging 51 points a game but it's hard to get to half-a-hundred when you turn the ball over five times plus shame on the O-State defense for allowing 192 ground yards. So, down goes a 27 ½-point betting favorite and down goes Okie State's national title hope.
USC 38, #4 OREGON 35 - Let's face it: It was gonna be tough digging out of a 24-point third-quarter deficit but the truth is the Ducks (a 15-point favorite in this Pac-12 home game) really botched up the way they handled the clock late and shame on head coach Chip Kelly for not preserving more seconds when his club needed it. Please let's not hear anymore about how clueless Ducks defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti is some sort of genius 'cause he's not!
#22 BAYLOR 45, #5 OKLAHOMA 38 - No doubt that when your defense surrenders a five-play, 80-yard drive for a touchdown right after your offense just scored the game-tying points than it's safe to say the Sooners' stop unit isn't championship caliber. Baylor QB Robert Griffin III ran for gains of 22 and 8 yards on that final drive and his 479-yard passing game that also produced four aerial scores makes him the newest villain in/around Norman.
N.C. STATE 37, #7 CLEMSON 13 - Once upon a time this 2011 season the Clemson Tigers were a wonderful story but no more. Dabo Swinney's squad yielded 398 yards to a State club that has scored a total of 23 points in its three previous games. 'Nuff said. Go enjoy your now-meaningless ACC Championship game, guys.
NFL WEEK 11 SUNDAY NITE PREVIEW
PHILADELPHIA (3-6) at NEW YORK GIANTS (6-3) - 8:25 p.m. ET, NBC
Maybe it's easier here telling you who won't play in this under-the-lights tilt in New Jersey: Obviously, it's been confirmed that Philly QB Michael Vick is out as his two broken ribs will shelve him for this revenge game (see Giants 29, Eagles 16 back in Week 3 play in Philadelphia) and WR Jeremy Maclin (shoulder and hamstring woes) also won't suit up here and so get ready to hear a lot about QB Vince Young - and a little bit about Maclin's replacement (that's a chap named Riley Cooper).
The Eagles may indeed be in their last-stand mode here with their fearless leader - that's Vick, not Cooper - but maybe a change at quarterback can't hurt a team that's scored more than 24 points just once in the last seven games.
Note the Giants have their own injury woes here as RB Ahmad Bradshaw will miss his third straight game with a broken bone in his right foot and defensive leader (and signals-caller) LB Michael Boley also is expected to sit this one out after getting hurt in the third quarter of last weekend's loss in San Francisco.
What to watch for?
How about for the Jints not waiting for the final few minutes of the game to kick things into gear?
Note that quarterback Eli Manning does enter this divisional duel with 17 TDs and the NFL's second-best fourth-quarter QB rating (116.5).
Spread Notes - The Giants are just 4-5 ATS (against the spread) so far this season and note Tom Coughlin's club is now 17-24 versus the vig overall since the start of the 2009 season. On the flip side, the Eagles are 3-6 spreadwise so far this season and Andy Reid's squad has covered six of its last eight NFC East affairs.
NOTE: Catch our Monday Night Football Preview - that the Kansas City Chiefs at the New England Patriots - in the very next edition of Jim Sez.