The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


BCS again a mess; Utah’s Smith deserves Heisman

The Red Zone
 BCS again a mess; Utahs Smith deserves Heisman
BCS again a mess; Utah’s Smith deserves Heisman

BCS again a mess; Utah’s Smith deserves Heisman

Power failures, fog and ranked opponents — oh my!

This is what’s been put in front of the undefeated college football teams in the last couple weeks, and although Wisconsin fell by the wayside, USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Utah and Boise State are still undefeated.

This holds the record for the most amount of teams this late in the season to be without a loss since … well, since my unofficial stat book has been in existence. The national title chase really comes down to three teams with two games remaining, but it has been what goes on away off the field that is very interesting.

Tommy Tuberville said he would run up the long-distance bill calling his fellow coaches that voted in the Coaches Poll after his Tigers rolled against then fifth-ranked Georgia, 24-6.

Evidently, Tuberville’s calls were the most-convincing set of stump speeches since the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Auburn closed 43 points on Oklahoma to tie for second in the AP Poll and made up 34 points to pull within two points of Oklahoma in the Coaches Poll.

Therefore, 43 media members and 34 coaches felt the need to swap Oklahoma and Auburn in the positioning they had them in all season.

This sets up an interesting scenario. Auburn sits third in the current computer polls with Oklahoma, the number one team in the mathematical computations.

Auburn has two tough tests remaining as they travel to Tuscaloosa to meet a 6-4 Alabama team, and will play what should be a 9-2 Tennessee team in the SEC championship game.

Those two games will continue to increase the Tigers’ strength of schedule, while Oklahoma’s will significantly decrease as it plays the 3-7 Baylor Bears.

USC has a somewhat tough finish with 6-4 UCLA and 6-4 Notre Dame, which should pretty much keep their rankings stable.

The question is whether or not Oklahoma will drop low enough in the ranks to allow Auburn to go in front.

If this happens, there is approximately a 50-50 chance the Sooners will be the team left on the outside looking in when its time to play for the national championship.

Further down the polls, Wisconsin’s loss was the most painful to fans of Texas. Why? Because Texas was No. 6 in the BCS with Utah at No. 7, outside the Top 6 spots that guarantee teams from outside the six major conferences, access to a BCS bowl.

With the Badger loss, Utah moved to six in the BCS and into a guaranteed slot. Utah controls its own BCS destiny since Michigan is too far back to catch them. Also, California is in fourth place, which guarantees the Bears a BCS at-large bid invite, which means the Longhorns will be back in the Holiday or Cotton bowls because there are no more spots in the BCS.

Yes, that means we will probably be seeing Utah-Boston College in the Fiesta Bowl, but there is a very simple way to fix this: get rid of the Big East’s automatic bid because the conference is not “major” anymore.

Seriously, can anyone look me in the eye and say with a straight face that the Big East is better than the Mountain West?

This is the league that saw its conference-leading Eagles fall to Wake Forest, and other bowl-eligible teams, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, lose at home to Nebraska, and to a school most people didn’t know had a football team anymore (Temple).


Heisman Watch

“The Red Zone” will come out with its own prestigious year end awards in December, but we’ll take advantage of the slow week by throwing our own two cents into the Heisman Race.

Oklahoma has the best college football player we’ve ever seen in person (Adrian Peterson), and the current trophy holder Jason White. They both battle stigmas attached to them — Peterson is a freshman, while White is the guy that played God awful in the two games (both Sooner losses) after the votes were turned in last season.

We just think that White is a good-not-great quarterback who gets the advantage of throwing to Mark Clayton and Michael Bradley.

The two Sooner players rely so much on the other opening up plays that neither has carried their team this season. Both finish in my Top 7 but they aren’t my favorites.

Braylon Edwards is not getting the hype he deserves, which is a shame because he is the first player in Big Ten history to have three 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

This season, while having a true freshman quarterback throwing to him, he has 1,059 yards on 76 catches and 11 touchdowns. His performance against Michigan State — he led the Wolverines from 17 down with six minutes to play with his 11 catches, 189 yards and three touchdowns — was the best second half act since Shane Falco’s performance in The Replacements.

Matt Leinart is at No. 4 because he is Al Davis’s favorite player — he just wins baby!

Leinart sits at 20-1 as a starter, has one national title under his belt and completes 64 percent of his passes. In his two years as starter, Leinart has 58 touchdowns to 14 interceptions for 5,624 yards in 21 games.

This year he has slowed down slightly with only 20 scores, but that has more to do with the fact USC is playing three freshman receivers than anything Leinart is doing wrong.

He sits fourth because he was the second best quarterback on the field in a tight victory over Cal.

The quarterback that outdueled Leinart that day was Aaron Rodgers. He is the smart, canon-armed quarterback that runs Coach Jeff Tedford’s offense to perfection for California.

He took an odd route to stardom, growing up in small-town Chico, Calif., before starting for a year at Butte College in northern California. Tedford spotted him while scouting a teammate and the rest is history.

Cal sits at 8-1 with a possible Rose Bowl birth as Rodgers completes 70 percent of his passes for 18 touchdowns.

The one thing that Rodgers lacks is some highlight reel plays that really stick out in voters minds — something Reggie Bush has no problems with.

Mr. President is my Heisman runner-up at this point in the season because he is the biggest playmaker in the nation.

Bush has six touchdowns receiving on 10.6 yards per catch, four touchdowns rushing on a 5.5 yards per carry. He also has a perfect completion percentage of 1-1 for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Bush also returns punts, taking three for touchdowns. He also may have the highlight of the year in a 65-juking-come-to-a-complete-stop-and-then-start-back-up-again return against Oregon State in the heaviest fog this side of a 21st birthday hangover.

Stats really don’t fully represent how Bush changes the game, as he must be accounted for wherever he lines up, be it wide receiver, running back or behind center. The problem is, he has had only the second-best performance by someone from Helix High School in San Diego, let alone the nation.

Sometimes stats tell the whole story: A 66 percent completion percentage, 2,440 yards passing for 27 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and 544 yards rushing for nine touchdowns.

Sometimes they don’t: No count of how many times he has audibled into the right play, no way to measure how much he means to his undefeated team, no indication of what he means to every other non-BCS school in the nation.

We’re talking about Alex Smith, the quarterback that finally stepped out of the shadow of his more prestigious Helix teammate, Bush, to be “The Red Zone’s” pick for the Heisman trophy.

He will lead the Utes to a 10-0 record and a BCS birth if they beat BYU Saturday. He has beaten great competition (Texas A&M by 20, North Carolina by 30) and poor competition (UNLV by 35, Utah State by 42) with the same force. The small school will work against him but if Utah
finishes up with a win this weekend, the Heisman should reside in Salt Lake.

Big Game: No. 17 Iowa continues No. 9 Wisconsin’s misery, 24-17, in the only game between ranked teams.

Season Record: 29-18, 3-0 last week due to Michigan State’s huge upset and Miami and Auburn’s big wins.

Trent Redden is a junior public policy and finance double major. He may be reached at [email protected].

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