No Southern comfort for Seminoles
It almost seemed as if Bobby Bowden could feel it coming.
Florida, he said last week, was already flush with too many college football powers -- the “Big Three” being his Florida State program, along with Florida and Miami.
“You don’t want them to come up here and join you,” he said of South Florida, before the Seminoles played the Bulls on Saturday. “We’ve got too much company the way it is.”
Too bad, Bobby. South Florida, with its 17-7 victory, made room for one more.
“It changes history,” Bulls Coach Jim Leavitt said afterward. “You have to beat them to get talked about. Now I can say we should be talked about.”
Worse for Florida State, it came in front of a home crowd of 83,524, its biggest in four years.
Worse still, it was led by B.J. Daniels, a redshirt freshman who grew up in Tallahassee.
Making his first career start replacing injured Matt Grothe, the Big East Conference’s total offense leader, Daniels accounted for 341 of the Bulls’ 368 yards of offense, passing for 215 and running for 126.
Before Saturday, Daniels was best known for being a point guard on the South Florida basketball team.
Said Bowden: “He killed us. Boy, they got a good one there.”
Thanks . . . a lot
Texas Christian has 1,000,001 reasons to thank Clemson. And Central Michigan.
Because Central Michigan backed out of the game it had scheduled at Clemson on Saturday, Texas Christian was able to bolster its Bowl Championship Series credentials with a 14-10 victory.
As for Clemson, the Tigers lost more than a game. They also paid TCU a $1-million guarantee just to show up.
The arrangement was made in February by Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips after Central Michigan reneged on an agreement and the expected fill-in, Idaho, couldn’t take the game because of a scheduling problem.
Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney said last week that he was “trying to cook a hamburger or something” when he was called to Phillips’ office on a Friday evening to be told TCU was coming to town.
He called his reaction to being summoned by his boss: “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s not good.’ ”
He can say that again.
After the losses by Utah and Brigham Young the week before, TCU Coach Gary Patterson didn’t want to talk about his team being the latest BCS buster.
“I’m not drinking that Kool-Aid,” he said.
Clemson’s C.J. Spiller rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown against TCU.
He joins Reggie Bush as the only major college football players with at least 2,500 yards rushing, 1,500 yards in kickoff returns, 1,000 yards receiving and 500 yards in punt returns.
Lots of 0s
Ohio State started the day at the big block O and ended it with a big round 0 -- a 30-0 shutout of Illinois.
The Buckeyes didn’t take kindly to Illinois players celebrating an upset at Columbus two years ago by stomping and dancing on the block O of the Ohio State logo at midfield. So before Saturday’s game the Buckeyes gathered in the same spot, where they exchanged taunts with the Illini.
The game itself was one-sided. Illinois quarterback Juice Williams, who had a huge day in the 2007 matchup, had three passes intercepted and the Illini offense generated only 170 yards.
The victory was No. 500 in college football for the Tressel family. Jim Tressel has 221 victories at Youngstown State and Ohio State. His brother, Dick, had 124 wins at Hamline, and father Lee had 155 at Baldwin Wallace.
Coaches in hundreds of games nationwide Saturday wore a “Coach to Cure MD” patch to raise awareness about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a prolific genetic killer diagnosed in children for which there is no cure. The American Football Coaches Assn. sponsored the project.
Besides Oregon, the other big winner in the Ducks’ 42-3 victory over No. 6 California was No. 8 Boise State, which surely will move up in the polls after crushing Bowling Green, 49-14.
The Oregon-Cal result made Boise State look that much better because the Broncos beat the Ducks in their season opener.
Now if Cal could rebound with a victory over USC next weekend, Boise State will look even better in the “we beat the team that beat the team that beat the team” game.
And that’s the Broncos’ best hope for BCS busting, because they don’t have much of a remaining schedule. In fact, their biggest challenge might be jet lag.
After Bowling Green, they return home before traveling to Tulsa and Hawaii in October and Louisiana Tech in early November. They’ll log about 14,000 miles in the air on those four trips.
Isn’t the Army supposed to control the ground?
The nation’s top rushing offense coming into Saturday’s games belonged to . . . Air Force?
It’s true. The Falcons, as the motto goes, really are “above all” running the ball.
Air Force, which came in averaging 344 yards rushing a game, ran for 243 in a 26-14 victory over San Diego State. But even though the Falcons were slowed some, they were no less efficient. Throwing only seven passes, they kept the ball 33 minutes and 23 seconds.
Speaking about running and time of possession . . .
Fresno State ran for 290 yards and kept the ball for 43:42 against Cincinnati -- and lost, 28-20.
Fresno State’s Ryan Matthews carried a career-high 38 times for 145 yards, making him four for four in 100-yard rushing games this season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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At home with the Huskers
On Nov. 3, 1962, a capacity crowd packed into Memorial Stadium in Lincoln for Nebraska’s game against Missouri. The Cornhuskers lost, 16-7, but have won 261 of the 299 home games since then -- all sellouts, an NCAA record. For their 300th consecutive sellout on Saturday, No. 25 Nebraska defeated Louisiana Lafayette, 55-0. And the Huskers win at home in more ways than one: Each home game generates about $5 million in revenue. So Nebraska’s seven home games this season will cover nearly half of the school’s $74.3-million budget for athletics.
Here’s a look at how the Cornhuskers’ sellout streak compares with the top marks in professional sports:
*--* NFL Washington Redskins 341* 1966-present Baseball Boston Red Sox 542 2003-present NBA Portland Trail Blazers 744 1977-1995 NHL Colorado Avalanche 487 1995-2006 *--*