A News Sports — 21 September 2014

football1Saturday’s college football  action had some Biblical moments,  strange that these happened on a day when Notre Dame wasn’t playing.

For instance, consider the Big Ten and it’s Lazarus act. The proud conference had been–well let’s say it–just horrible this year. The only non-conference win over a Big 5 school had been Rutgers over Washington State.

People were justifiably throwing in the grave and proclaiming Big Ten dead, or worse, irrelevant.

And then the Indiana Hoosiers went to Missouri (an SEC Team no less) and beat the 19th rated Tigers in a win that can only be defined as unbelievable. Indiana is a basketball school, right?  Not yesterday.

Iowa, a team that has underachieved for years, actually came back and beat Pitt on the road, and we have a hunch that Paul Chryst is turning Pitt into a program that will compete in the ACC so that that’s a good win for Iowa (a phrase you don’t hear much when talking about Kirk Ferentz teams)

And of course, Nebraska beat Miami in a game that would have meant 20 years ago when both teams were great. But it is what it is. Another win over the ACC.

Rise up Big Ten. You ain’t dead yet.

(Notice we hardly mentioned Michigan getting handled by Utah, a game that tells us two things. Michigan isn’t very good and Utah is going to be a pain to play in the Pac 12.)

So the Big Ten rises from the dead, at least for a week, and then, as if a resurrection wasn’t enough, another miracle occurred, late Saturday night in Tucson.

The old Hail Mary.

Cal, which had a 31-13 lead in the 3rd quarter and looks greatly improved, doesn’t know how to close out a game. Arizona, which is typical of a Rich Rodriguez team, can really score, so to beat them you have to outscore them because he either doesn’t  how to recruit or how to coach defense.

The Cats ran up 520 passing yards and scored 36 points in the 4th quarter alone, including the final desperation pass at the buzzer by Anu Solomon to Austin Hill that will be talked about for a while. (That’s right, I said “at the buzzer” because all this happened at another basketball school.)

The SEC is already taking shape. We know Alabama is good (ask Florida), Texas A&M looks fine and Mississippi State came into Baton Rouge and slapped LSU. The SEC West is like an Afghanistan mine field. There’s trouble everywhere, except maybe Arkansas.

Congratulations Big Ten. You are relevant again–kind of.


About Author

Ed Coghlan

Ed is a former television news director at KCOP in Los Angeles and the Montana Television Network. He writes on health, economic and public affairs issues.

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