“We’re all going to be dreaming it for the rest of our lives, but even if it ends right here you’ve got the happiest group of students and alumni and townsfolk in the whole wide world. If we don’t win another game again we can die happy.” — Texas Tech 1972 graduate Bill Windsor on the Red Raiders’ 39-33 win over Texas
1. High Tech: Who knew it could actually be fun to be in Lubbock, Texas?
If you didn’t find Texas Tech’s win thrilling Saturday night, you must be too numb from watching Big Ten football.
“Play 60 minutes. You may have a second to spare,” Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach said after the game.
Leach was right about that, and everything else so far this season. His unbeaten Red Raiders won the Game of the Year on the Play of the Year, Graham Harrell’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree.
Crabtree went all-or-nothing on the play with time slipping away. Instead of slipping out of bounds after the catch to set up a chip-shot field goal, he tightrope-walked the sideline after shedding a tackle, then veered into the end zone with: 01 left.
“On the sideline, I dreamed that I would catch a pass and go in the end zone for a game-winning touchdown,” Crabtree said afterward. “But I do that every game.”
For those thinking the win was a fluke, Tech outgained the Longhorns 579 yards to 374, and only trailed for a minute and 28 seconds all night. Harrell vaulted into Heisman Trophy contention after completing 36 of 53 passes for 474 yards. Suddenly, Texas counterpart Colt McCoy isn’t a lock to win the Heisman.
“Colt’s a good quarterback. But I think the best quarterback lives in Lubbock,” said Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill.
Leach took the win, called the biggest in Tech’s history, more in stride more than anyone in Lubbock. His team hosts No. 8 Oklahoma State Saturday.
“Now the biggest game in history is Oklahoma State,” Leach said, “or the history of this year, anyway.”
2. Dawgs Pounded: Florida’s players were ordered to do 42 repetitions at each weight station during summer workouts, one for each point they allowed in their 42-30 loss to Georgia last year.
The Gators also did 188 sit-ups, push-ups and crunches each during those workouts, one for each yard Georgia back Knowshon Moreno rushed for in that game.
After Moreno scored Georgia’s first touchdown against Florida last year, 70 Bulldog players rushed to the end zone to stomp around. In his biography called “Urban’s Way,” Florida Coach Urban Meyer said “That wasn’t right. It was a bad deal. And it will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. . . . So we’ll handle it. And it’s going to be a big deal.”
Meyer called timeouts with 44 and 30 seconds left in the game and his team ahead by 39 points.
The Hlist thinks Urban’s Way could use some Urban Refinement.
3. Kafka No Nightmare: Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka set a Big Ten record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 217 in the Wildcats’ 24-17 win at Minnesota.
Kafka, playing because starter C.J. Bacher was out with an injury, also passed for 143 yards.
“That kid was good,” Minnesota defensive end Willie Van DeSteeg said. “It was like having two running backs out there.”
“And only the Northwestern eggheads could have a quarterback named Kafka, by the way,” wrote Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “His wideouts were Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy.”
The Wildcats, 7-2, were playing to hang on for an overtime. But Brendan Smith returned an interception 48 yards for the winning score with 12 seconds left. The ball bounced off cornerback David Oredugba’s hands and into Smith’s.
“They always make fun of me for my bad hands,” Oredugba said, “so thank you, Lord, for giving me bad hands.”
1. Bo-loney: Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini was a little miffed after his team got crushed at Oklahoma, 62-28. The Sooners had a 28-0 lead six minutes into the game.
Pelini refused to make his players available to the media afterward. Which was kind of a rotten deal for the dozens of traveling reporters from Nebraska, where Cornhusker football is still bigger than life even though the Huskers are a humble 2-3 in the Big 12.
A city named Lincoln shouldn’t have a dictator as a prominent resident.
When asked to explain his decision to muffle his team, Pelini’s voice started rising.
“You know what,” he said, “I will make them not available the whole week, if that’s what you want me to do. Is that what you want me to do? I thought I made it clear where we stand on that.
“The players are not available for comment, OK? If you don’t like it, tough. Ask me the questions you’d ask the players.”
To which a good first question would have been, “How come your head coach didn’t put you in a position to compete tonight?”
2. Michigone: How bad is it for Michigan? Toledo shoved coach Tom Amstutz out of his job Monday even though the Rockets won at Michigan last month. In years past, Toledo would have given a coach a lifetime contract for beating the Wolverines.
Michigan secured its first losing season since 1967 with its 48-42 loss at Purdue. The 2-7 Wolverines won’t go to a bowl for the first time in 34 years.
“We’ve had great tradition and we still have great tradition,” said Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez.
Well, at least he’s half-right.
3. Bottomed Out: Wisconsin was ranked ninth in the nation in September. Now it’s November, and the Badgers are 1-5 and alone in last place of the Big Ten.
The Badgers only trailed for seven seconds of their game at Michigan State. They were the wrong seven seconds, the last seven seconds. After their 25-24 loss, UW safety Chris Maragos said “Everything is kind of in disarray right now.”
“We are just trying to get to a bowl game,” Badger wide receiver David Gilreath said. “You don’t want the season to go down the drain.
“You want something good to come out of it. I guess a bowl would do that.”
Uh, David, what if the bowl is the Motor City?
“I stayed up watching the game again until 2:30 (a.m.). I didn’t erase it and I’m going to watch it a couple of other times.” — Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance