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Weekend wrap-up: Not the lightning we wanted
By Mike Diegnan

The Heisman race
1. Chris Weinke, Florida St. QB
Last week: 32-50-0-312, 2 TDs
This week: Off
Comment: The 28-year-old knows how to win. FSU didn't look overpowering in its 29-3 win over BYU, but Weinke was confident and commanding.

2. Michael Vick, Virginia Tech QB
Last week: Postponed vs. Ga. Tech
This week: Akron
Comment: Build a dome in Blacksburg.

3. Drew Brees, Purdue QB
Last week: Off
This week: Central Michigan
Comment: Brees begins his campaign on Saturday when the Chippewas of Central Michigan travel to West Lafayette.

4. Eric Crouch, Nebraska QB
Last week: Off
This week: San Jose State
Comment: No controversy this season who the quarterback is. Now Crouch can hook up with Bobby Newcombe on a weekly basis.

5. Quincy Carter, Georgia QB
Last week: Off
This week: Georgia Southern
Comment: He can boost his numbers this weekend against the defending Division I-AA champion.

6. LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU RB
Last week: Off
This week: Off
Comment: TCU will spend roughly $90,000 to help Tomlinson win the Heisman this year. He still needs to gain over 2,000 yards to win.

7. Freddie Milons, Alabama WR
Last week: Off
This week: at UCLA
Comment: David Palmer's third-place finish in 1993 is Alabama's best ever. If Milons can exploit the Bruins, it could change this fall.

8. Anthony Thomas, Mich. RB
Last week: Off
This week: Bowling Green
Comment: With Drew Henson out for at least three games, the Wolverines will ride the A-Train against Bowling Green and Rice.

9. LaMont Jordan, Maryland RB
Last week: Off
This week: Off
Comment: He passed his classes. He's back in the lineup. But he has to wait another week for his first game.

10. Jamar Fletcher, Wisc. CB
Last week: Off
This week: Western Michigan
Comment: He won't win the Heisman, but he could be the best defensive player in the country.

Maybe it was a sign for Michael Vick to stick around Blacksburg a couple more years and not play football on Sundays until his eligibility is exhausted.

We expected to see lightning on Sunday night, but little did we expect it to come from the sky rather than from the nation's most exciting player. Now we have to wait another week to watch him play.

Joe Paterno wishes the storm had hit East Rutherford earlier in the day and forced the Kickoff Classic to have been postponed. You have to feel for JoePa. His Nittany Lions are going to struggle this season with an inexperienced defense and it's going to be real tough for Penn State to win the seven games he needs to pass Bear Bryant on the all-time win list.

Leading into the game, JoePa had defended Rashard Casey regarding his arrest last May. Everyone down the line said the team wasn't distracted by the chaos it created, but Penn State did everything on the field that illustrates the team wasn't completely together. And that Casey has not become the team's leader like a quarterback needs to.

"I don't have to tell you this was a tough outing for a lot of reasons," said Paterno of Casey's outing. "It's been a tough preseason for a lot of reasons. He can go home now and just concentrate. I don't think he was having a lot of fun today."

Casey admitted it was no fun to be on the field. He completed just 7-of-24 passes and was 0-for-7 in the second half.

"Last year, when things started to go bad, I would go to the sideline, laugh it off and then go back on the field and have some fun," Casey said. "Today, I think I might have put too much pressure on myself."

Nittany Lions fans should be able to give Casey a break the next couple of weeks as Toledo and Louisiana Tech visit Happy Valley. But on Sept. 16, Penn State travels to Pittsburgh and that could be a tough game for the Lions.

Beasley earns a reprieve
Kansas State annually takes a hit for its schedule. This year's non-Big XII schedule once again lacks a powerhouse opponent.

But the Wildcats should face a number of challenges this year before their showdown with Nebraska. K-State has games at Colorado, at Texas A&M and home games with Oklahoma and Texas Tech.

By the time Nebraska rolls into Manhattan on Nov. 11, the 'Cats should know who their quarterback is. Or so we think.

Coach Bill Snyder was not pleased with the performance of Jonathan Beasley on Saturday. The senior quarterback, who has been battling murmurs of fans who want Michael Bishop-clone Ell Roberson to get playing time, led the Wildcats to an unimpressive 27-7 victory over Iowa.

Beasley completed 14-of-28 passes for 250 yards, threw for a touchdown and ran for a score, but threw two costly interceptions that halted drives into Hawkeye territory and fumbled twice.

"I thought he did a pretty nice job as far as making some decisions most of the time," Snyder said after the game. "For a first ball game, he did a fine job of making the right choices and getting us in the right plays. He just had trouble throwing the football."

With David Allen questionable for Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech (which defeated Alabama last year), and no other experienced option, the pressure will increase on Beasley to create a dangerous passing game.

Looking ahead
Almost the entire nation will be playing this weekend.

By far, the most intriguing matchup will be No. 3 Alabama traveling to the Rose Bowl to face UCLA. It will be the Tide's first game in Westwood since the 1946 Rose Bowl. The game should have a bowl atmosphere at a neutral site: Tide fans have bought up 22,000 tickets.

Other games to watch are No. 24 Texas A&M at Notre Dame as the Bob Davie watch begins, and No. 25 Southern Miss. at No. 12 Tennessee.

Unfortunately, Texas has the week off, so Mack Brown has another week to select his starting quarterback.

Mike Diegnan is editor of

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