I didn't even want to go into winners and losers from this weekend because we all know both sides are dominated by that one game in Morgantown on Saturday. So, I thought I'd start with a version of "numerology".
7 - The number of points that Illinois had on Saturday against Penn State...
...barely a couple of points more than coaches (5) it sent to State College this summer to recruit Nittany Lion players after sanctions were levied against PSU.
Yes, Bill O'Brien is a good friend of mine, but that's some bush league bullish--. There's pushing the envelope and then there's sending your assistant coaches to a school IN YOUR OWN CONFERENCE to recruit players. It got chippy on Saturday and that's on Illinois head coach Tim Beckman. He ordered the Code Red back this summer, but it was Penn State that administered it by shoving it square up Illinois's backside all day long in a 35-7 pasting in front of the embarrassed home folks in Champaign.
22 - The number of points that LSU allowed to Towson, one week after only scoring 12 points against Auburn. Now before you LSU homers start jumping down my throat about the "well that was against LSU backups" song and dance, take another look at the game tape. It wasn't. Towson's offense took a drive right down the field with LSU's top players still in the game in the second half and then did it again (against backups) to end the game. I'm not sure what it is, but this team misses its swagger…something that 'ol Honey Badger had that emanated throughout that defense.
2 - The jersey number of Northwestern's Kain Colter, the only player this weekend that registered rushing, passing and receiving yards.
He completed one pass for two yards, but he ran for 161 yards and had 131 receiving yards against Indiana to keep the Wildcats undefeated. With all-around RB Venric Mark and the aforementioned Colter, the Wildcats may have the best 1-2 punch of explosive weapons in the B1G…although that's not saying a whole heck of a lot.
0/3 - The number of losses La. Tech and Ohio have combined/number of wins for La. Tech and Ohio against BCS conference opponents.
The Bulldogs started the season with a cancellation of the Texas A&M game, then exploded on the scene with three wins of four games on the road, including two wins at BCS conference locations (Illinois and Virginia) in back to back weeks. Escape with a win over UNLV and the matchup with Texas A&M may be one of the best games of the month of October.
Ohio beat Penn State in its opener and won't be an underdog the rest of the year, so an undefeated season is a distinct possibility. As such, La. Tech may struggle with a powerful TAMU squad, but these two won't have more than two combined losses this season.
4 - The number of interceptions former 5-star QB Garrett Gilbert had for the SMU Mustangs against the hated TCU Horned Frogs in the rain on Saturday.
He now has nine interceptions this year, a TD to interception ratio of 4 to 9 and a 49.5% completion rate in June Jones's Run-and-Shoot offense. Gilbert's transfer to SMU was supposed to rejuvenate Gilbert's career and give the Mustangs a kick start on offense. However, it's been a disaster on a number of different levels for both Gilbert and the Mustangs offense.
Put it this way: I went to check where he ranked on the NCAA passing efficiency listing. 100 names. Couldn't find his name. I thought I was losing my mind. Then I checked his rating: 87.6. The last listed QB's rating is 116.6 at number 100. He's nearly 30 points below that!?! It might be time for Jones to pull the cord and spare Gilbert any further harm.
99 - Yards that Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti ran with an interception near the end of the first half that DIDN'T result in a touchdown.
That big 'ol piano crawled on his back around the 15 yard line and an Illinois offensive player got enough of his leg forcing Mauti's knee to hit down at the one yard line. However, Mauti was brilliant leading this defense/team in a 35-7 whitewash over Illinois in Champaign.
0 - The number of conference wins that teams eligible to represent the B1G Leaders division in the B1G championship game have currently (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue).
2 - The number of conference wins that teams ineligible to represent the B1G Leaders division in the B1G championship game have currently (Penn State and Ohio State).
58 - Points Arkansas yielded in a loss (naturally) to Texas A&M.
It's the most the Hogs had ever given up to Texas A&M in the history of that rivalry. What started as an upset to a very good ULM team has disintegrated into a 1-4 start to the year and the most embarrassing season in the great history of Arkansas football.
I've done the math for all of you as it pertains to the Hogs. This team WILL not go to a bowl; that's my bold prediction of the day. And that's not even that bold at this point. Best thing for Arkansas fans to do now is to fantasize about the next head coach. Art Briles? Charlie Strong? Sonny Dykes? Jon Gruden? Well, heck, we can dream, can't we?
18 - The jersey number of Texas TE D.J Grant who may have helped save the Longhorns season with his one and only catch on Saturday night.
Seeing Grant on the field should be victory enough as there were many that thought that the knee injuries, plural, he sustained throughout his career would end it well before it should. However, on the penultimate drive of the game, on 4th and the season from the Texas 29 yard line and the clock as much an enemy as the Oklahoma State Cowboys, QB David Ash found an open Grant across the middle.
On his rebuilt wheels, he turned the 10 yard catch into a 29 yard gain that put the ball in OSU territory, giving the Longhorns a shot to win the most exciting game of the night. In a night of heroes, it was one whose body had failed him plenty in his career at Texas that succeeded on the most important play of the game.
4 - Lead changes in the fourth quarter of the Texas-Oklahoma State game in Stillwater.
Sure, all anyone will be talking about after Saturday is the 133 point explosion that occurred in Morgantown, but the Texas-Oklahoma State had a little bit of everything, including a ping pong, back and forth fourth quarter.
Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle doesn't get talked about much around the country, but he was the best running back I saw on Saturday. He ran for 199 yards on 25 carries and accounted for a total of 3 touchdowns on the night, but it wasn't enough.
Texas QB Ash played out of his mind, completing 30 of 37 for 304 yards and three touchdowns and led the Longhorns to two fantastic drives in the fourth quarter. The Texas running game got contributions from just about everyone, including underrated and versatile threat DJ Monroe (KO return for a TD).
566 - Yards that NC State's secondary yielded on Saturday afternoon to Miami's Stephen Morris.
The secondary that was thought to be one of the best in the nation prior to the start of the season? Yep, that one. Torched all day and adding insult to repeated insults, it gave up a 62 yard bomb for the game-wining touchdown to Phillip Dorsett with :19 left, after the offense had rallied back to tie the game 37-37.
453 - A school record number of yards that Texas A&M freshman Johnny Manziel threw for against Arkansas...
...along with 3 touchdowns. He added 104 yards on the ground with one rushing touchdown as well. So, on a overcast, rainy day against an SEC defense (yeah, right), a rookie QB accounted for 557 yards and four touchdowns. THAT has to be some kind of NCAA record as well - 400+/100+ in the same game. Has that ever been done before? I'd say no, and I know Cam Newton, RG III and Tim Tebow never did it. But, I'll get my crack staff on it, stat, to confirm.
14 - Number of points that Ole Miss scored against Alabama.
This tied for the most points that any D1A team has scored on Alabama since Cam Newton rolled up 28 on them the day after Thanksgiving 2010. Of course, Georgia Southern's option attack registered 21 on the Crimson Tide in 2011, but that's a powerhouse D1AA team. Wait, what now?
5 - Touchdowns scored by Middle Tennessee State RB Benny Cunningham in an 49-28 win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
So, MTSU started this year losing to D1AA McNeese State, yet has won three in a row, including Saturday's three touchdown win over Georgia Tech.
95 - Combined points in an SEC game…
SAY IT AIN'T SO, SEC FANS!!! What is this thing we call offense? Of course, I'm kidding, but if I hear SEC fans brag about "great defense" like the SEC owns it and it's the only conference that plays defense, I'll puke.
4 - Total turnovers for Tennessee QB Tyler Bray, heralded as a soon-to-be first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Three of those turnovers were in the fourth quarter and could have been avoided. Good luck taking a poor man's Jay Cutler and turning him into a star, NFL team to be named later. In crunch time, Bray has folded like a lawn chair this season…and badly. Don't believe me, Vols fans? Go watch the fourth quarters of the Florida and Georgia games. Wait, on second thought, I need you here…put the tape down. Whew, sorry about that.
0 - Total wins for Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley against Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina in ten meetings, including three losses each to main rivals Florida and Georgia.
1 - Number of wins over ranked teams for Derek Dooley in three years…
The Vols beat Cincinnati in 2011. The Bearcats were ranked #25.
Now, just like when you go to the movies and there's a rating to alert you to language or nudity or drug use or whatever, I'm giving this next section a J for jaw dropping. Good luck trying to comprehend how this all went down in Morgantown…#SMDH.
180 - combined plays run by both sides - 92 for Baylor and 88 for West Virginia.
88.2% - completion percentage for West Virginia QB Geno Smith.
20 - yards per completion by Baylor QB Nick Florence. Smith was outstanding, but the Baylor QB completed 29 passes for 581 yards and 5 TDs.
1,237 - combined passing yards for Smith and Florence…in one game.
280 - combined yards rushing for both teams.
6 - number of receivers with 100+ yards in the game.
3 - number of receivers with 200+ yards in the game.
2 - number of receivers with 300+ yards in the game.
40 - number of receptions for the West Virginia trio - Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and J.D. Woods.
5 - number of receiving touchdowns for West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey.
23 - number of third downs converted (total: 31…74.2% third down conversion rate).
2 - number of punts for each team.
36 - number of games involving D1A teams that combined for fewer points than West Virginia's 70 points (total games - 53).
1 - number of SEC teams' season point output that West Virginia equaled in one game (Auburn has 70 points total in four games).
6 - D1A teams that have scored fewer points on the season than West Virginia scored on Saturday.
8 - D1A teams that have thrown for fewer yards on the season than Geno Smith (656 yards) did on Saturday.
78 - D1A teams that have thrown for fewer yards on the season than Smith and Florence (combined) did on Saturday.
617 - number of yards that the two teams' leading receivers combined for on Saturday (Baylor's Terrence Williams - 314 yards and West Virginia's Stedman Bailey - 303 yards).
34 - D1A teams that have as many (5) or fewer passing touchdowns on the season as Stedman Bailey (5) had on Saturday.
11 - times that BYU-Boise State (13 combined points) would've had to play to surpass the game's point total in WVU-Baylor game.
83.4% - Geno Smith's completion ON THE SEASON through four weeks.
20/0 - Geno Smith's TD to interception ratio after four weeks of the season.
* Each team had more individual points than all games involving Big East teams on the weekend.
What else is there to say after that game? Not a whole lot. The numbers speak for themselves.
1. Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle is a full-on beast and his performance against Texas left me thinking that his pro future is bright as can be.
2. On the other side of the field, Texas QB David Ash quieted a great many doubters with his performance - 30 for 37, 304 yards and 3 touchdowns. He made clutch throws at the right time. He had command of the offense and before I leave this bullet point, I want to give some love for the game that Texas OC Bryan Harsin called - just stellar.
3. Keep an eye on this cat from Oregon State, QB Sean Mannion. He lit up Arizona for 433 yards and three touchdowns, including the game winner with just over a minute left to play.
4. Who'd have thought, back in August, that the Northwestern/Penn State game next weekend would be one of the best match ups of the first weekend in October? Hint: It will be.
5. Memo to Wisconsin DE David Gilbert: If you're going to call out Taylor Martinez during the week, you better stop him in the fourth quarter, there big fella. Okay, so you had one sack, but Martinez brought his team all the way back "skipping rocks" in the process in a stirring 30-27 comeback win over the Badgers.
6. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller isn't the best quarterback in the nation and he's not going to win the Heisman, but he sure as heck is one of the best football players in the country as a sophomore.
7. The Georgia rookie RB duo, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, is legitimately the best duo in the SEC and perhaps in the nation.
8. Stony Brook beat Army…at Army. Should that be allowed to happen to our military?
9. The state of Michigan is having a tough time, to be honest. It's two marquee teams, Michigan and Michgian State, are 0-2 against Notre Dame and 0-1 against Ohio State. MSU lost to ND and Ohio State at home, no less. This was supposed to be a dream season for the Michigan teams and it can still be that way if either one is able to get to the B1G championship game. But, this is a nightmare at this point for these two.
10. Keep an eye on Alabama true freshman WR Amari Cooper. Stud. Enough said.
11. Munchie Legaux… What else is there to say?