by WCT, The Ship of Fools
Every time you think you have a grip on things, you have a Saturday like that, and everything is F'ed up again.
I was all ready to kill the University of Pittsburgh's Athletic Department for signing Dave Wannstedt to an extension through 2010. Then he goes out and does that.
The Pitt Panthers overcame questionable coaching decisions, comically predictable play-calling, and dubious-at-best officiating to pull of what would be, in any other year but this one, a monumental upset.
Coming into the game, Pitt had only one win over a D-1A team with a winning record, and were one game up on Syracuse, just out of last place in the Big East. West Virginia was in the midst of a six-game winning streak, first place in the conference and fresh off of a 66-21 drubbing of the second-place team.
Pitt held West Virginia's offense to seven meaningful points in the game (the Panthers took an intentional safety as time expired). Seven points. In the six previous games, the Mountaineers had scored 55, 38, 31, 38, 28, and 66 points, and Pitt held them to seven.
- The BCS matchups were released Sunday night, and there really was only one surprise: Kansas. How Kansas ended up in a BCS bowl over Missouri is beyond me. Neither team has a particularly large national following, so Kansas wasn't chosen because they "travel well." Missouri won the head-to-head matchup, and has the most recognizable player in Chase Daniel. Missouri also played the tougher schedule, as Kansas has the 109th ranked schedule in the nation and didn't beat anyone that is any good. Your guess is as good as mine.
- If not for the two primetime upsets, the story of Saturday would have been the Les Miles rollercoaster. First, Kirk Herbstreit was telling anyone who would listen that he had a source who told him that Miles would be announced as the Michigan coach next week. The topic on College Gameday then shifted to his possible successors at LSU. Then, at around 1:45pm Les Miles calls a press conference and announces that he is staying at LSU. In my opinion, I will believe that he is staying when I see someone else hired in Ann Arbor. That press conference could have been a ploy to keep his team focused, and I would not put it past him to pull a Nick Saban and end up in Michigan.
- I should have known that when Skip Bayless called Missouri "a lock" in the Big 12 Championship Game that they most assuredly would lose.
- The "Chase Daniel for Heisman" campaign also died Saturday night. His lackluster performance (second-lowest yard total of the season, one interception, and for the first time all year, no touchdown passes) in the season's biggest game should take him out of the running.
- USC looked very sloppy for long stretches against a bad UCLA team. A lot of people have the Trojans as the best team America right now, but I don't see it. The Trojans only beat two teams with winning records this year, Oregon State and Arizona State. I don't know about you, but that doesn't really impress me.
- Did anyone else catch the crowd shots that ABC was showing of the ACC Championship Game? That game was played in front of close friends, family members, and a whole lot of empty seats. The official attendance was listed at over 53,000, and that would be bad, if it were within 20,000 to being true. There weren't 30,000 people there, and that really says a lot about what people think about the ACC. If your conference title game cannot fill a 67,000 seat stadium, it might be time to rethink it.
by WCT, The Ship of Fools