Commentary

This and That

Updated: October 13, 2008, 2:31 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Each week I'll talk about the world of sports...

•What a great college football game as the Oklahoma-Texas showdown lived up to its hype. The Longhorns were down 14-3 when Jordan Shipley returned a kickoff for a touchdown that helped change the momentum of the game. Mack Brown's team fought hard and ended up with the big W over numero uno, baby! Colt McCoy of Texas willed his team to victory. There have been a lot of special moments in college football this season, and Texas over Oklahoma ranks up there.

•The Tampa Bay Rays just don't quit. This team could have easily folded after falling behind early in Game 2 of the ALCS. Instead it fought hard and got a key victory to even the series, winning 9-8 in 11 innings over the Red Sox. Baseball has to find a way to speed up these games. Yes it was an emotional, up-and-down game. My friends, when I look at the Boston lineup, there are really no easy outs when you see Pedroia, Ortiz, Youkilis, Bay and on and on. David Price, the number of draft pick out of Vanderbilt, is going to be very special. Imagine going from Single-A ball to pitching in a key spot in the postseason, with your team needing a win or else it is 0-2 going to Fenway! Talk about a pressure situation, and he came through like a veteran, not a 21-year old. It was so special to throw out the first pitch before game two. Thanks to the Rays organization for treating me to that incredible honor. I also realize how brilliant Daisuke Matsuzaka was in game one, pushing for a no-hitter.

•I was not that surprised that Florida beat LSU, though the margin was impressive. Playing in the Swamp in prime time leads to great emotion and passion as the Gators rolled. Tim Tebow had something to prove after a tough loss at Baton Rouge last year. Now the SEC East is interesting as Vanderbilt was upset by Mississippi State. Georgia takes on the Commodores this coming week.

•Joe Paterno has something great going on this season. It is one thing to win in Madison, a very tough place to play. The Nittany Lions provided blowout city, and Paterno's team has a legitimate shot to win the Big Ten and get a chance at the BCS title game. That is how good this team really is.

•How about a salute to Oklahoma State, going into Missouri and beating the #3 team in the nation. It has already been a wild season and I wonder how many squads will finish the regular season with that zero in the loss column.

•When I think about the passion and enthusiasm of sports, I look at what happens when basketball season begins in Lexington, Kentucky. Over 23,000 fans turned out in blue and white for the preseason practice. Billy Gillespie has inspired a new enthusiasm looking to the future. The school unveiled its new checkerboard uniforms and from all indications, the fans loved them. With a healthy Patrick Patterson, the 'Cats have the potential to make some noise in the SEC this season. I believe the Wildcats will be better than people think.

•These are tough times in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the football fans of the Maize and Blue. The expectations were down going into the season since new coach Rich Rodriguez inherited a team that had very limited offensive experience. Just how far have things fallen down? The Wolverines fell to a MAC team for the first time, losing at home to Toledo. The big house was the home for big disappointment. How many players on the Toledo roster were even looked at by Michigan? I bet that is a small number, my friends.

•The NFL has had some great finishes this season, but there was a stretch on Sunday where four games went to the wire in a matter of minutes. Houston scored a late touchdown to beat Miami; St. Louis got a major upset with a last-second field goal over Washington; Minnesota hit a late field goal to keep Detroit winless; Atlanta's Jason Elam converted a trifecta to end the game and give the Bears a tough loss.

•The Colts looked like the Indianapolis of old. The defense did a great job stopping the Ravens and Peyton Manning found Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne often in a rout of Baltimore.

•All of a sudden NASCAR looks like the WWE! Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick could be the main event after their little incident recently. Wow, there is no love lost between some of the drivers, and the emotions can spill over. This is not the first time we have seen guys go at it, and I am sure it will not be the last. When you are going at such high speeds, with so much at stake, it is easy to see why guys compete with so much passion.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.