Around Campus: Nov. 8-9 Edition
Hey, everyone. It’s Dan Mount and I’m here with another edition of Around Campus. Sorry that the column isn’t in its usual Thursday slot due to me being under the weather. It’ll be back to its old place next week. I do apologize for the delay. As always, leave comments below or tweet me @DanMountSports.
Stanford runs over Oregon
For the second straight year, the Stanford Cardinal used a punishing ground game and tough defense to put a dent into Oregon's national title hopes with a 26-20 win Palo Alto, California. Tyler Gaffney ran a whopping 45 times and gained 157 yards and scored a touchdown. The Cardinal once-again schooled the Ducks in the fundamentals of power-football and tough-nosed defense. It has been the fourth straight season the loser of this game had its national title hopes dashed. Stanford held the ball for an astonishing 42 and a half minutes and kept Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota and the high-powered Oregon off the field.
Mariota did all he could to lead the team back, but time ran out for him. Oregon is going to have to rely on some help in order to get back into the national title game picture. They’ll need Florida State, Alabama and possibly Baylor to lose in front of them. The Pac-12 has been one of the better conferences in the last few years, but can never seem to get over the hump and get back into the title game. (The lone exception being Oregon’s 2010 title game appearance, where it lost to Cam Newton and Auburn.)
Baylor is for real
Thursday night also saw another surprising result as fifth-ranked Baylor ripped No. 10 Oklahoma 41-12. The win gave the Bears its first-ever 8-0 start in program history as Bryce Petty inserted himself into the Heisman race with a five-touchdown performance. (He threw for three and ran for two more in a Robert Griffin III-like performance.) Petty may not have put the sexy numbers that he’s been putting up all season, but he helmed the team to its biggest win in program history.
Baylor head coach Art Briles has done one heck of a job in making this program a possible national title contender in six years. Briles called the experience "humbling". The program used to be a doormat in the old Big XII, but it has really turned around. Even the tarp that used to cover up the one side of Floyd-Casey Stadium was off for this game. If things keep going the way they are going, I don’t see the tarp ever being put back on.
All eyes on Jameis
Florida State and their stud-freshman quarterback Jameis Winston rolled to an easy 41-14 win over in-state rival, Miami last weekend. However, the big story coming out of the game was the eyes of Jameis. The story came about when Winston threw a couple of early interceptions and the ABC cameras caught him squinting when trying to get the play calls from the sideline. (The story really took off when he was spotted leaving an eye clinic earlier in the week.)
Winston may or may not have vision problems, but he’s still cutting through teams with only have vision… then that’s impressive.
Here’s a look at the BCS Standings. (Which will change after the Oregon loss.)
Here are some games to watch this weekend.
BYU at (24) Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): Usually when a factbox involving Wisconsin says the team boasts two 100-yard a game runners, it’s the Badgers. However, it’s the Cougars with running back Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams. Wisconsin has sixth-leading rusher Melvin Gordon and James White both averaging over 100 on the ground.
Virginia Tech at (11) Miami (Fla.), 7 p.m. ET (ESPN): This used to be the matchup that would decide the Big East and the ACC, but the Canes are reeling after a loss to Florida State. (Including the loss of tailback Duke Johnson). The Hokies need some help to get into the Coastal Division race.
(13) LSU at (1) Alabama, 8 p.m. ET (CBS): Despite the college football world being turned on its head this year, these two programs are still consistent. Tigers’ quarterback Zach Mettenberger has thrived under Cam Cameron, but the team lost its last conference game against Mississippi. Alabama’s defense will be a stiff challenge for Mettenberger as the Tide have only given up 17 points in its last three games.
That’s it for this week. I promise to be on time with next week’s Around Campus.
Dan Mount is a college football and NHL writer for TJRSports.com. He is based out of Watertown, NY.