Sweetest college football Satur-(Day)

Breakdown of the past weekend's sweetest college football matchups.

October 19, 2009, 2:55 PM

By: Jonathan Hood

I live for Saturdays.

I love college football. Each Saturday, there is always something to look forward to. This week, my college football "Sweetest Day" began after co-hosting Talkin' Baseball with Bruce Levine.

No. 20 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Texas in the Red River Shootout

It wasn't a great game, but I'm sure that Texas coach Mack Brown will take the victory in one of college football's oldest rivalries.

I was looking forward to a great quarterback matchup between the Longhorns' Colt McCoy and Heisman Trophy winner and Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford. Instead, we saw Bradford knocked out of the game in the first quarter. The Longhorns' Aaron Williams sacked Bradford forcing him to leave the game after re-aggravating his left shoulder -- the same shoulder he injured in the Oklahoma-BYU game in September.

As of Sunday, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he doesn't know when or if Bradford will return.

Sooners backup quarterback Landry Jones will need some seasoning. The true freshman was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter.

McCoy was good enough to help Texas win 16-13 even though he wasn't sharp. (127 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.)

Oklahoma had five turnovers, their most since 2006 and were held to 16 rushing yards. With or without Bradford, the Sooners are an average team in the Big 12.

And what about Texas? They weren't stellar against Oklahoma in a high profile game.

What does that do for the (6-0) Longhorns in the polls?

In the BCS standings, Texas is No. 3. Is Mack Brown's team really the third best in college football? After watching them Saturday, it makes me wonder if they can win in convincing fashion on the road against Missouri (4-2) and No. 15 Oklahoma State (5-1) in back-to-back weeks.

No. 6 USC, 34 vs. No. 25 Notre Dame, 27

I knew that Notre Dame would lose this game. I just couldn't determine how many points they would lose by. USC is a track team. The Trojans are so swift that I thought Notre Dame would grow the grass longer on their field to slow them down. USC head coach Pete Carroll is one of the best leaders of men in college football. I really appreciate the youthful enthusiasm that he has for each game.

If the Irish had any chance of defeating the Trojans, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen would have to exploit the USC secondary. In the second half, Clausen proved why he should be in the running for the Heisman Trophy. Clausen was 24/43, good for 260 yards and 2 TD's. He helped ND come from a 34-14 deficit with a two-yard TD run and a 15-yard pass to wide receiver Golden Tate to make the score 33- 27 with 7:28 remaining in the game. The game was very interesting throughout, especially at the end. Clausen had a chance to tie the game with 0:00 left on the clock when the pass fell incomplete.

Trojan's quarterback Matt Barkley really impressed me. He set a career high with 380 yards passing and two touchdowns. Barkley is learning on the job but he really could be yet another cornerstone quarterback for USC. The next Mark Sanchez? The next Carson Palmer? I look forward to seeing more from Barkley in the next seven games.

No. 1 Florida, 23 vs. Arkansas

The third game that I watched was Florida (6-0) against Arkansas. I wanted to know if the Gators were as mediocre as they played against LSU several weeks ago or if would they come out with a superior offense against the Razorbacks.

Florida is good, but they are more survivors than warriors on the gridiron.

After a scoreless opening quarter, I thought, 'Oh no, not another low scoring, grind-it-out-Gators game!' I lived that nightmare two weeks ago so I was hoping for some sizzle from the No. 1 team in college football.

When you look at this game's statistics, there are some similarities.

Total yards - Arkansas 357, Florida 391
Passing - Arkansas 224, Florida 255
Rushing - Arkansas 133, Florida 136

But there are two reasons why Arkansas is unranked and now (3-3) this season.

The Razorbacks couldn't capitalize on the Gators' four turnovers and they don't have a special quarterback like Florida's Tim Tebow. He rushed for 69 yards on 27 carries while Arkansas' defense looked lost. I was thinking, Tebow's either going to run right or run left. Why couldn't LSU or Arkansas do anything about it? Tebow and Florida coach Urban Meyer are just that good... so far.

I saw some weaknesses on Florida's team that could be exposed if their opposing team were to take advantage of them. Arkansas' defense is the worst in the SEC, yet they stopped Florida's running game, holding running back Jeff Demps (9 carries for 54 yards, 1 TD). Their defense made some big plays at times, but in the end Caleb Sturgis' 27-yard field goal gave Florida their sixth win of the season.

I'm an SEC fan, so I enjoy watching two teams from the conference play, but after watching the game it made me wonder if Florida will be able to maintain their No. 1 spot? They appear to be a weakening heavyweight fighter in round nine of a 12-round fight.

No. 2 Alabama, 20 vs. No. 22 South Carolina, 6

Nick Saban, in my opinion, has the number one team in college football right now. I know the polls don't say that, but I'm very impressed with the Crimson Tide (7-0) this season. To date, Alabama has convincingly defeated three ranked teams.

No. 7 - Virginia Tech - 34-24
No. 20 - Mississippi - 22-3
No. 22 - South Carolina - 20-6

The only hiccup on their schedule could be LSU on November 7. Otherwise, Alabama could run the table to a BCS National Championship game. We'll see.

Alabama's tailback Mark Ingram had a career high 246 yards on 24 carries and 1 TD. (Third best in Alabama history.) Ingram was the only reason to watch that game last Saturday.

It almost seems like Ingram has a motor. He rushed for 568 yards in three games, all against ranked teams.

This particular game didn't have great quarterback play. South Carolina's Stephen Garcia was lackluster. His first pass was an interception. Alabama's Greg McElroy either had to get out of Ingram's way because of the wildcat offense or just hand the ball to an electric Ingram who had some jaw dropping runs.

This weekend, I watched four games, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I can't wait to see if next Saturday's college slate will be as sweet as "Sweetest Day."


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