GOOD HELPER! Dan Hawkins, Todd Dodge, and Tim Brewster's teams all won without them Saturday. If that sentence made you giggle, you'll love this shot of the Hawk watching the game from the balcony of his old office.
SUPERSTAR! Their production has been marked with the inconsistencies you'd expect from first-year starters, but they're getting there: Marcus Lattimore, Aaron Murray, and Justin Hunter, all some form of freshmen, are going to give SEC defenders fits for the next couple years.
HAND UP! TCU is fixing to get hopped by Boise State in the standings, if this week's gap-closing is any indication, and they owe it to the severe misfortune of having San Diego State scheduled in Week 11. The Aztecs are, by all indications, an actually-good football team, but the Horned Frogs' first remotely close game since Week 1's Oregon State win could not have been more ill-timed. Somebody's going to be sitting at home with a wilted corsage in January, and right now we'd bet against that team being the Broncos.
IMPROVING! This, too, bears repeating: The Big East has three bowl-eligible teams! And it only took eleven weeks to get them there! Huggles!
TAKE TURNS! UTEP, hanging with Arkansas for four touchdowns' worth of tradeoff scoring in the first quarter, callously neglected to deliver us our most favored upset projection of 2010. Fuckin' Mike Price, WHERE ARE YOUR LIGHTNING POWERS NOW?
ADEQUATE! UCF will have to settle for being merely very good, as the unexpected C-USA frontrunners saw a brief window of rankings glory slam shut thanks to an untimely loss to Southern Miss.
TEACHER'S PET! Our other idle summer fantasy is bearing sullen fruit at last. Steve Spurrier is bound for the SEC Championship Game with a quarterback in tow that he clearly loathes. Stephen Garcia, you were not the EDSBS Presented By Turfman's Key To Victory this Saturday, but you remain our unquestioned show pony, up to and including every time you're about to be yanked off the Georgia Dome field by your angelic mane by a frothing OBC.
SIT STILL! Utah? Hey, anybody in there? Western Michigan scored almost seven times as many points as you managed against Notre Dame, so it's a fair question.
I BUMPED MY HEAD! Oregon State is going to need to be monitored closely for signs of imminent and irreversible death, as they lost James Rodgers but retained the services of Jacquizz and still managed first to lose to a wildly inconsistent UCLA and then to hand Wazzu Paul Wulff's first road win as the Cougars' skipper.
YOU TRIED! The official word has the ball getting blown off the tee, but it sure looked on Saturday like Vandy's kicker just whiffed on the opening kickoff. We don't have video of this. Do you?
CREATIVE! It wasn't Oregon's own creativity that assured the Ducks' late victory over Cal, but Crazy Old Testament God's. Make no mistake.
Houston Dale Nutt needed two full seasons to ruin Jevan Snead. He's managed to psychically torpedo Jeremiah Masoli in less than one.
JAUNTY POSSUMDRAGON! Can go to no other outfit than Wisconsin, although we're seriously still reconsidering our collective ironic mancrush on Bielema after he neglected to go for 90 against Indiana. Note that putting the backups in for the fourth quarter actually netted the Badgers their second-highest scoring period of the game, and giggle in survivors'-guilty relief that you don't actually know any Indiana fans.
GRAPE JOB! We mentioned this in the mag yesterday, but a 4-5 team leads the Sun Belt, and that team is Florida International, and that's due to their thorough trouncing of Troy. The six or seven of you who follow the mids with us will recognize the majesty of this occasion. Also, FIU put serious scares for a quarter or more into Rutgers, Texas A&M, Maryland and Pittsburgh to open 2010, so we've developed a particular affection for them that has no other basis.