One Great Season
ESPN College GameDay's Desmond Howard made a good point Friday about the difference between star quarterbacks Taylor Martinez and Denard Robinson.
Martinez, who led Nebraska's rout of Kansas State with 369 total yards and accounted for five touchdowns Thursday night, might have a clearer path to the Heisman Trophy than Robinson. Howard opined that Nebraska's redshirt freshman sensation doesn't need to press too hard to lead his team to victories because the Huskers defense is lights out.
Robinson, on the other hand, will continue to find himself in shootouts because Michigan's defense is among the worst in the country. Fatigue or even injuries eventually will catch up to the 6-foot, 193-pound sophomore, who will be carrying his team in many fourth quarters while Martinez lets his backup take some mop-up reps.
Howard's ESPN colleague, Robert Smith, said Thursday he thinks Michigan State will game-plan to hit Robinson early and often Saturday, but quite frankly, I'm sure everyone Michigan's beaten so far this season has hoped to do exactly that ... and failed. Even my friend Erin called and left a message Thursday, saying that tomorrow's tilt against Sparty will be Robinson and the Wolverines' first against a Top 50 defense, so look for Michigan State to slow him down some.
True as that stat may be, I still think Robinson's mix of explosiveness and elusiveness will be too much for the Spartans.
COLUMBUS IS NOT DEAD: Contrary to what you may have heard or read on some outlets this week, Ohio State still has a pretty decent football team.
The Buckeyes trounced four early season opponents, including a good, highly ranked Miami team, then struggled in week five to win a game by only 11 points at Illinois.
And that was more than enough to give the critics reason to start their annual Ohio-State-is-overrated rants. Sure, Tyler Moeller is now out for the season. And tight end Jake Stoneburner will miss his second straight game against Indiana Saturday. Even Terrelle Pryor is a little gimpy.
But guess what? The Bucks are back at home tomorrow and should beat the Hoosiers by several touchdowns, giving coach Jim Tressel his 100th win at Ohio State. Then they'll take 6-0 and 2-0 records into a large tilt at Wisconsin next week. Think there's no hope for the Buckeyes in Madison? Don't forget, Pryor won there as a true freshman in 2008, leading a late drive that culminated in his short touchdown run to win a close game. Think he doesn't remember that?
WHO'S BACK? Remember how Oklahoma, Penn State and USC — even reigning champ and current No. 1 Alabama — were among a few of college football's bluebloods who disappeared for at least a portion of the 1990s before each staged a return to prominence in the new century?
I overheard someone talking this week about how Texas is spiraling out of control and I had to keep myself from joining in the conversation. As long as Mack Brown is bringing in great recruiting classes every year, which he appears poised to do once again in 2011, the Longhorns have nothing to worry about. Texas will be good for a long time.
But I would like it if Florida State made up its mind already and decided to be "back" once and for all. A win over hated in-state rival Miami would be a good step for the Seminoles Saturday.
YO QUIERO A PILLOW AND A BLANKET: Two Baylor players out celebrating after their 55-7 demolition of Kansas Saturday were cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession.
How'd the cops find them?
They were called to a Taco Bell near the Waco campus, where they found Josh Gordon and Willie Jefferson in a car in the parking lot. The driver was passed out, in fact, according to police.
Neither investigators nor athletic department officials said which player was the one asleep in the driver's seat. Coach Art Briles and athletic director Ian McCaw also refused to comment on whether the players will suit up Saturday against Big 12 rival Texas Tech.
Gordon's 94-yard touchdown earlier that day was the longest play from scrimmage in Baylor history.