Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Strength of Schedule Watch: Week 2 recap

I really meant to get to this yesterday but...I didn't. After a fortuitous Week 1, things did not work out so well for the Frogs' opponents this week.

What went right:
-BYU 54, Tulane 3. Don't you know the tourism industry in New Orleans always likes to see what teams Tulane has coming to town....and don't you know they were probably more than a little disappointed to see BYU on that schedule. I'm going to go ahead and guess that Bourbon Street wasn't over-run with Cougar fans at 4:00am the night before this game. Speaking of the game, BYU performed like a Top-10 team ought to, playing well enough to move up two spots in the polls thanks to losses by Oklahoma State & Ohio State. This one was ugly from the start, and I'm not sure New Orleans has seen such utter destruction since, well...

-SMU 35, UAB 33. For the second straight week, Bo Levi Mitchell threw for multiple interceptions and the Mustangs were out-gained by their opponents, but found a way to record another W. This is their first 2-0 start since 1996, and ensures that they will have a winning record when they come to Fort Worth on October 3rd. Also, as down as we were on our Saab-driving, coke-loving neighbors to the East last week for barely squeaking past Stephen F. Austin...it should be noted that the Lumberjacks roared back last week and beat someone called "Texas College" by a score of 92-0. Aside from the fact that most of us could probably start for Texas College, beating anyone that soundly is pretty impressive.

-San Diego State 35, Southern Utah 19. After a shaky opener against UCLA, the Aztecs finally found their offensive rhythm with Ryan Lindley going 20-of-30 for 287 yards and 2 TD's, his new go-to receiver Vincent Brown hauling in 6 catches for 142 yards and a score and Brandon Sullivan rushing for 111 yards.

Glad they got a win, but...
-Utah 24, San Jose State 14. Sure, the Utes extended their nation's-longest winning streak to 16 games, they were tied with San Jose State 7-7 going into the 4th quarter and had to resort to a lead-padding field goal with :13 seconds left to make this narrow victory look a little better in the eyes of the voters.

-Colorado State 24, Weber State 23. Gosh, we were so high on the Rams last week after they beat Colorado in Boulder. I think we're all reconsidering now, after seeing Colorado get DESTROYED by Toledo and the Rams being the second MWC team in as many weeks to barely escape 1-AA Weber State. If not for 3 turnovers by WSU, this one might have been a big embarrassment for the league.

The ones that juuuuust got away:
-Georgia Tech 30, Clemson 27. After falling behind 24-0 very quickly, Clemson showed us just how dangerous C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford can be, as both had long touchdowns in the Tigers' comeback to take a 27-24 lead early in the 4th quarter. But the Yellow Jacket offense, as visibly exhausted as they were, cobbled together two drives to set up field goals- the last coming with :57 seconds left to preserve the victory on national television. This one hurt not only in terms of SOS, and not only because Georgia Tech was ranked one spot above the Frogs, but also because it likely caused the TCU-Clemson game to tumble in the TV priority list for September 26th. It's now relegated to the web-only service ESPN360.com.

-Minnesota 20, Air Force 13. The Falcons actually led 10-3 heading into the 4th quarter, but two Gopher touchdowns in less than two minutes (including a 52-yard fumble return) sealed their fate. This really would've been a nice win for Air Force and the Mountain West, but Minnesota was able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for a second straight week.

-Oregon State 23, UNLV 21. What a heart-breaker for the Rebels. After trailing 20-7 early in the 4th quarter, they rallied to take a 21-20 lead with 4:16 remaining before OSU kicker Justin Kahut won it with a last-second, 33-yard field goal.

What went wrong:
-Tulsa 44, New Mexico 10. You never want to get beat by a CUSA team, but Tulsa just absolutely put on a clinic in Albuquerque. The Lobos managed just 171 total yards, and their only touchdown came from their defense.

-Texas 41, Wyoming 10. War Memorial Stadium was absolutely going bananas when Wyoming's Ghaali Muhammad scored a touchdown on a blocked punt to give the Cowboys a 10-6 lead over the #2 Longhorns in the second quarter. But Colt McCoy and Texas were able to shake off their rusty 1st half and went on to an easy W.

How you can actually lose a bye-week:
-Texas State did not play this week as they prepare for the Frogs this coming Saturday, but they received some bad news as their star running back, Karrington Bush, had an MRI revealing a sprained MCL in his right knee. He'll miss 3-4 weeks.