Thursday, September 25, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
Huge win for MSU
One might call week four in the NCAAF (D-1) a presentation by the SEC.
The game which was rated as the number one contest to watch was the Crimson Tide and the Florida Gators. There would have to be a toss-up for number two – Mississippi State vs. LSU and Florida State vs. the Tigers of Clemson.
These two would have to be rated thusly on sheer popularity. Granted, Clemson and Florida State are not members of SEC (both are in Atlantic Coast), but the Seminoles are ranked number one throughout collegiate football land and the Tigers are way down at number 22.
Probably the best attended game will be number eight LSU against the unranked Bullies of MSU. The LSU Tigers have been known to draw more than 100,000 spectators at their games. Besides, LSU might think it kosher to beat upon fellow statesmen (LSU 31, UL Monroe 0) but rankle when some outsider does it (#10 Ole Miss 56, UL Lafayette 15). Outsiders being teams outside of Louisiana.
The Bullies just might look upon this game as a revenge proving ground since they have lost 14 straight tilts to LSU. If one goes back 22 years one would find that loss tally goes to 21 of 22. Coach Les Miles has been consistent in night games in Death Valley. MSU and LSU were both 3-0. Most predictors gave the Bulldogs no chance at all.
The Tide and Gators got their gridiron battle off to a blazing start with Alabama sticking in the first dagger, an 87-yard trek by Kenyon Drake. The Gators showed a lot of teeth, tying it three different times before the Tide really came rolling in. In the first third of the fourth quarter, Alabama took a 42-21 lead. The Tide had been ranked number three all week but was carried as number two on the rating trailers throughout the game. However, late Saturday night, Oregon was again listed as number two and the Tide number three. I found no explanation for this. Tide QB Blake Sims went to the bench after throwing for 445 yards in the 42-21 victory.
When the final whistle blew in Death Valley, MSU had wiped away a lot of shame and left a real frown on Les Miles’ countenance. The Bullies, also unranked heretofore, broke into the top 25 at number 14 with a 4-0 start.
If this writer was pressed to pin the tail on the best game of the day, it would have to be a dead heat between MSU-LSU and Clemson-FSU. The way in which these games were managed was sheer enjoyment. Plus, the star of FSU was suspended for the entire game. QB Jameis Winston was on the sideline but not padded. These games mark the reasons why we football buffs are football buffs.
The reigning Seminoles were fortunate to escape with all of their scalps. They are still number one but I would bet the contents of the cookie jar that this will change in the next few weeks.
Incidentally, the Big Ten was the only conference which won all of its scheduled contests. I don’t know how much pleasure factor this tidbit carries; just thought I would throw it in.
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