Notre Dame, Auburn, Oklahoma State among teams looking for do-overs
Season Starts Today
By Ivan Maisel, ESPN.comToday is the first day of the rest of your season, as the refrigerator magnet in Charlie Weis' kitchen says. The season is three games old -- one-quarter over, and it's not yet autumn. Yet on campuses in South Bend, and in Westwood, and in Auburn and Fort Worth and Stillwater, football teams already have used up their season's worth of margin for error. Notre Dame is playing as if it has begun borrowing on its errors for the next five years -- and, boy, will that balloon payment be ugly.
|Coach||Record in third season|
|Knute Rockne, 1920||9-0|
|Frank Leahy, 1943||9-1*|
|Ara Parseghian, 1966||9-0-1*|
|Dan Devine, 1977||11-1*|
|Lou Holtz, 1988||12-0*|
|Charlie Weis, 2007||0-3 and counting|
-- from ESPN Research
Heisman Hopefuls Hurt By Losses
By Pat Forde, ESPN.comCan a quarterback lose a Heisman Trophy because his team's secondary can't find a wide receiver without a searchlight and a pack of bloodhounds? We're going to find out. Louisville's Brian Brohm is putting up Heisman-esque numbers this season: more than 1,100 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, just one interception, 67 percent of his passes completed. Saturday night against rival Kentucky on the road, Brohm brilliantly led an 83-yard drive -- completing six out of seven passes -- for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:45 left.
AP Photo/Ed Reinke
Louisville's Brian Brohm put up huge numbers, but could take a fall in the Heisman rankings.
Notre Dame's O-Line Going Back To The Mat
By Adam Rittenberg, Special to ESPN.comANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Donovan Warren couldn't wait for another whack at the big golden piņata. Warren and his Michigan teammates seemed to have thwarted yet another Notre Dame drive in the second quarter Saturday after running back Junior Jabbie dropped a swing pass on third-and-20. But referees flagged the Fighting Irish for delay of game, setting up a third-down replay. Upon hearing the penalty, Warren, a freshman cornerback, began clapping his hands. And who could blame him? Name a defender who wouldn't get giddy about facing an offense with zero touchdowns this season and complete open access to the backfield.
Ned Dishman/Getty Images
Notre Dame's offensive line has to play well for the Irish offense to work.
Irish's Offensive Offense
By Brett Edgerton, ESPN.comThe NCAA rankings are probably enough. When one sees that Notre Dame ranks dead last among 119 Division I-A schools in scoring (4.3 PPG), offensive touchdowns (0), rushing yards (-14), total offense (115.0 YPG) and sacks allowed (23), one can come to the conclusion that the Irish offense is, well, not so good. But a little comparative perspective might be needed to truly appreciate how bad it has been for the Irish.
|Time of possession||1:31||82:36|
Balanced Buckeyes Make Statement
By Ted Miller, Special to ESPN.comThe final tally of Ohio State's 33-14 pounding of Washington both distorts and perfectly relates what happened Saturday at Husky Stadium. On one hand, the 10th-ranked Buckeyes wore down Washington with their physical style of play. They waited patiently for the young Huskies to make critical mistakes. And they pounced on opportunities.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Chris Wells and Ohio State flexed their muscles against Washington.
By Mark Schlabach, ESPN.comGAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Before each of its games, Florida's football team gathers in the locker room around its quarterback. The quarterback leads the team in a clapping drill, which Gators coach Urban Meyer says builds unity among its ranks.
Tom Hauck/Getty Images
Florida's Tim Tebow has learned to lead an explosive unit.
Three Weekend Observations
By Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com
GameDay Crew Final Thoughts
• John Parker Wilson, QB, Alabama
327 yds, 4 TDs (both career highs)
• Robert Johnson, FS, Utah
2 INTs, 1 forced fumble in first career start
• James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
2 INTs, 1 sack, 8 tackles
• Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
360 total yds, 4 TDs
• Andre' Woodson, QB, Kentucky
30-of-44 passes, 275 yds, 4 TDs
•Mike Hart, RB, Michigan
187 rush yds, 2 TDs
By Brett Edgerton, ESPN.comSince arriving at Florida in 2005, coach Urban Meyer is an incredible 10-0 in what are considered "big games" at UF. Against the Gators' three biggest rivals (Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State), he is 7-0. In the SEC championship game, he's 1-0. And in bowl games, he's 2-0, including a walloping of Ohio State in last year's BCS title game. Counting his time at Bowling Green and Utah, Meyer has lost only two of his 40 career home games -- neither loss came at The Swamp, a place where Ron Zook was just 13-6 but where his successor is 16-0 after Saturday's 39-point romp over the Vols. In fact, throw in a win in the Outback Bowl, a win at FSU and a pair of wins over Georgia in Jacksonville and Meyer's Gators are an unblemished 20-0 in the state of Florida.
Looking Back ...Notre Dame starting from scratch
Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis was so disgusted with Saturday's 38-0 loss at Michigan that he has decided to start the 2007 season over -- literally., writes Gene Wojciechowski. Story
Florida poised for a title defense
Too young to be trouble? Florida served notice Saturday that the '07 Gators are even better than last season's title team, writes Mark Schlabach. Story
Bedlam in the Bluegrass State
In an instant, Saturday became one of the best nights in the largely miserable history of Kentucky football -- thanks to a last-minute play by Andre' Woodson, writes Pat Forde. Story
USC mimics the past as it marches on
On Saturday night, Pete Carroll's Trojans looked like a throwback to the glory days of USC football when they ran every which way past an overmatched Nebraska Huskers outfit, writes Ivan Maisel. Story
End of an Era for Duke
By Brett Edgerton, ESPN.comIt was a rough Saturday night for anyone who happened to play football at Northwestern in the early 1980s. As if having your alma mater lose to Duke isn't bad enough, it was compounded by the fact that the Blue Devils' national-worst 22-game losing streak came to an end. Duke's remaining schedule made it look as though another winless season was quite realistic, which would have put the 2008 Devils dangerously close to Northwestern's dubious Division I-A record of 34 consecutive losses (1979-82). Instead, Ted Roof's squad won its first game since beating The Citadel nearly two years ago to the day. It was Duke's first win over a I-A opponent since 2004 and its first road win since 2003.
Balance Of Power
By Brett Edgerton, ESPN.comIn the five seasons from 2002 to 2006, Alabama trailed in 27 fourth quarters -- and failed to rally for the win in any of them. So what did the Crimson Tide do when faced with their first fourth-quarter deficit of the Nick Saban era? They won, of course (hey, he doesn't get paid the big bucks for nothing). After Darren McFadden and Arkansas scored 28 straight points to take a 38-31 lead in the last stanza, Bama responded with a field goal, then a game-winning touchdown with 8 seconds remaining. It was the program's first fourth-quarter rally since a Dennis Franchione-led Tide team beat Iowa State 14-13 in the 2001 Independence Bowl.
Highlights: Notre Dame-Michigan
By Jorge Milian, ESPN.comMIAMI -- The Miami Hurricanes showed on Saturday that they can play Florida International and not engage in a full-scale riot. Now, the Hurricanes must prove they can beat a ranked team. A year after Miami and FIU participated in a nasty brawl that resulted in mass ejections and suspensions and left both programs with national black eyes, the teams played Saturday in the Orange Bowl without any incidents. The Hurricanes, a 33-point favorite, struggled a bit before putting away the Golden Panthers in a 23-9 victory. With Duke's win against Northwestern on Saturday night, FIU now has the nation's longest losing streak at 15 games.