|Terry's new Sweet 16|
|First number denotes AP ranking. |
Next number is coaches' rank.
Big number is Terry's rank.
|NR = Not ranked last week. |
Last week's rank in parentheses.
There's no change at the top of the Sweet 16 after USC and Virginia Tech manhandled ranked teams.
But there's plenty of shuffling in the middle, where Louisville and Purdue drop out, and at the bottom, where four new teams join the Sweet 16.
USC 45, Oregon 13 Recap - Box score
I finally saw a team that can beat USC this year – themselves. In the first 24 minutes, USC had nine penalties, two turnovers and several dropped balls. Definitely there was a lack of focus, intensity and maybe even interest.
Because the Trojans have been told repeatedly by folks across the country that they may be the best team ever, I see how this could happen. But the Trojans settled down and showed they still are better than any other team.
USC has shown it can give up some points, but its offense remains absolutely scary. Matt Leinart never panicked, and Dwayne Jarrett is one of the best big-play receivers in the country. LenDale White had 111 yards and two scores. But Reggie Bush is at a whole different level than anybody else on that team and maybe in the country. Bush left so many jocks on the field against Oregon you could start your own sporting goods store.
The Trojans have an even tougher road ahead, playing at Arizona State, Cal and Notre Dame and having a big rivalry game against UCLA. And the Trojans have shown they can be beaten, even if to this point, it's only by themselves.
Virginia Tech 51, Georgia Tech 7 Recap - Box score
If anyone wants to know what a Beamerballer is, look at Hokie tight end Jeff King. He caught a touchdown pass, and on Georgia Tech's ensuing possession, he blocked a field goal that led to another VT touchdown.
That's why Frank Beamer wins more games with special teams than anyone else. He doesn't just give lip service to special teams. He makes sure his very best players are in the very best positions to help the Hokies.
GT coach Chan Gailey said that this Hokie team is the best team he's seen since coming to the ACC, but I still don't buy that the Hokies' talent is any better than Florida State's and Miami's. VT is just the best all-around team.
Kudos to Reggie Ball for trying to come back from his illness, but he wasn't on his game.
But I'll continue to say that Ohio State is a different team with Troy Smith in the backfield. When Smith's in the shotgun and the Buckeyes spread out the offense, it opens up the running attack even more than when they're in their conventional I-formation.
Ohio State had both a quarterback and running back go for more than 100 yards rushing in the same game for the first time since 1974. OSU looks to have a highly effective offense to go with its bone-crushing defense.
South Florida 45, Louisville 14 Recap - Box score
Of all the upsets of the season so far, this is the most unbelievable. I didn't see how it was possible for South Florida to stay within three touchdowns, especially on the heels of Louisville's rout of Oregon State.
The sad thing for Louisville is that the Cardinals had done a lot of work the past couple of seasons to position themselves as a top-10 team, and this one unbelievable loss will have folks thinking of Louisville as a mid-major again. Thank goodness Louisville now is in the Big East and has a chance at a BCS game; it may take a BCS trip to restore some credibility.
One of my favorite pregame speeches as a football coach was to tell players that after this game, someone nobody's heard of is going to be a hero. Anyone – even the player everyone least expects – has a chance to be the guy who does the thing that wins the game. USF's Amarri Jackson, who entered the game with two catches, contributed to four of the Bulls' first five touchdowns. That's what I was talking about.