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Monday, September 5, 2011

Tressel Will Sit Until Week 7-Big Ten Week 1 Review - Week 1Scoreboard

• Perhaps Ohio State's two-quarterback system won't just be temporary. The common belief was that true freshman Braxton Miller will eventually supplant fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman, but both players were highly effective against admittedly overmatched Akron. Bauserman went 12-of-16 for 163 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a 15-yard score; Miller was 8-of-12 for 130 yards and a score.

Current BCS forecast
Each week, I'll update my projected BCS lineup (as necessary) based on the latest week's games. Here's my current edition:
Title game: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Rose: Stanford vs. Nebraska
Fiesta: Wisconsin vs. Boise State
Sugar: South Carolina vs. Florida State
Orange: Virginia Tech vs. USF
So, my "no non-AQ this year" stance ended after just one week. In fact, depending on when and against whom, it's conceivable Boise could lose a game along the way and still finish high enough to be guaranteed an at-large berth. It may depend on how the Georgia win is viewed three months from now.
Though Oregon will likely rebound, I'm subbing in Stanford as projected Pac-12 champ until the Ducks show signs of life and/or Andrew Luck proves mortal. And I'm sure I'll get my share of angry e-mails from Baton Rouge this week because the Tigers still aren't in here, but as I wrote Saturday night, LSU's convincing win didn't necessarily answer its most pressing question: quarterback.

Big Ten Week 1
Team of the week: Northwestern. Missing star quarterback Dan Persa, the Wildcats still went on the road to Boston College and won 24-17. Most impressively, their offensive line pushed around what had been the nation's stingiest rush defense a year ago. If the offensive line can continue to play like that, and Persa can come back (Persa) strong, then Northwestern will be a factor in the Legends Division race.

Best game: Northwestern's win, again. The game was close throughout, and Boston College drove into the red zone in the waning seconds before a Vince Browne sack ended matters.

Biggest play: Purdue's Ricardo Allen blocked a 47-yard field goal attempt by Middle Tennessee's Alan Gendreau on the game's final play, preserving a 27-24 victory. It was sweet redemption for Allen, whose earlier fumble on a punt return set up a Blue Raiders touchdown. And had the Boilermakers lost this game, it could have set a bad tone for their season.

Best call: This one happened on Wednesday of last week, when Michigan State senior guard Joel Foreman approached coach Mark Dantonio and asked if Arthur Ray Jr. could start in his place. Ray is a cancer survivor who had never played in a college game before. Foreman made a selfless decision, stopping his personal 22-start streak. Ray was in tears before the game and played the Spartans' first offensive snap before coming out.

Best meaningless play: The game was wildly out of hand by this point, but Ohio State receiver Evan Spencer made a spectacular, twisting, one-handed catch during the fourth quarter of a 42-0 blowout of Akron. It ultimately meant very little, but Spencer now has his own YouTube moment.

Big Man on Campus (Offense): Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson. There was considerable hype accompanying Wilson's debut after his highly publicized transfer from NC State, and Wilson lived up to it. He accumulated 317 total yards, including 255 passing yards and two touchdowns while completing 10 of his 13 attempts. And his sizzling 46-yard touchdown run was something Badgers fans have rarely if ever seen out of the quarterback position.

Big Man on Campus (Defense): Michigan linebacker Brandon Herron. Things might be changing in Ann Arbor when a Wolverines defender is garnering all kinds of recognition. Herron deserves it after scoring two defensive touchdowns, one on a 94-yard interception return and the other on a 29-yard fumble recovery. Raise your hand if you predicted Herron would have two more scores than Denard Robinson in the opener.

Big Man on Campus (Special Teams): Chaz Powell, Penn State. Clearly, you should never kick to Powell to start a season. The Nittany Lions senior returned the opening kickoff against Indiana State 95 yards for a touchdown. That matched his performance from last year, when he took the first kick of the year to the house against Youngstown State.

Worst hangover: Indiana. I remain convinced that Kevin Wilson will eventually do very good things in Bloomington, but Saturday was a very bad start. The Hoosiers lost to Ball State 27-20 at Lucas Oil Stadium, a place in which they're highly unlikely to play in December any time soon. It's hard to use the first-year coach excuse, since Ball State also had a new guy on the sidelines. What's worse, IU got pushed around in the trenches. If that happens against a MAC foe, what will the Hoosiers do against Ohio State, Wisconsin and other Big Ten opponents?

Strangest moment: Mother Nature wins this award in Week 1. Storms and lightning gave us the odd sights of both Kinnick Stadium and the Big House being evacuated -- that's more than 180,000 people who had to be moved out of harm's way. Iowa hadn't experienced an in-game weather delay in the 82-year history of Kinnick Stadium. Things were even crazier in Ann Arbor, where Michigan and Western Michigan agreed to end their game with 1:27 left in the third quarter after a couple of lightning delays. It was the first weather-shortened game in Wolverines history, and who knows what would have happened had the game actually been close at the time.

Week 1 suggests that deciding to play the Big Ten title game indoors might have been the right call.

Jim Tressel won't begin his tenure as replay-game consultant with the Indianapolis Colts until the seventh game of the regular season.

Colts vice chairman Bill Polian said the move came at the former Ohio State coach's suggestion after discussions over the weekend.

"In addition, we had a conversation with league officials to apprise them of the details of Coach Tressel's employment and the issues we were reviewing," Polian said Monday morning in a statement.

Polian said questions surfaced after the announcement of Tressel's hiring "with respect to the equity of his appointment as opposed to suspensions being served this season by present and former Ohio State players."

Tressel was hired Friday by the Colts as a game-day consultant to help determine when the team should challenge plays.
"We have informed the league office of our decision and expect that they will be supportive of it," Polian said in the news release. " We are very happy Coach Tressel will be joining us."

Coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that Tressel's new role was a position he's wanted to fill for the past couple of years.

Tressel had been actively seeking employment after resigning from Ohio State on May 30 amid a damaging NCAA scandal. He had been seen at practices in Cleveland and Indianapolis recently and attended the Colts' preseason finale Thursday in Cincinnati.

But his job with the Colts, Caldwell said, will be limited exclusively to working game days from the coaches' booth.

Top 25 scoreboard

This week’s games
• No. 1 Oklahoma 47, Tulsa 14
• No. 2 Alabama 48, Kent St. 7
• No. 4 LSU 40, No. 3 Oregon 27
• No. 5 Boise St. 35, No. 19 Georgia 21
• No. 6 Florida St. 34, Louisiana-Monroe 0
• No. 7 Stanford 57, San Jose St. 3
• No. 8 Texas A&,M 46, SMU 14
• No. 9 Oklahoma St. 61, Louisiana-Lafayette 34
• No. 10 Nebraska 40, Chattanooga 7
• No. 11 Wisconsin 51, UNLV 17
• No. 12 South Carolina 56, East Carolina 37
• No. 13 Virginia Tech 66, Appalachian St. 13
• Baylor 50, No. 14 TCU 48
• No. 15 Arkansas 51, Missouri St. 7
• South Florida 23, No. 16 Notre Dame 20
• No. 17 Michigan St. 28, Youngstown St. 6
• No. 18 Ohio St. 42, Akron 0
• No. 20 Mississippi St. 59, Memphis 14
• No. 21 Missouri 17, Miami (Ohio) 6
• No. 22 Florida 41, FAU 3
• No. 23 Auburn 42, Utah St. 38
• No. 24 West Virginia 34, Marshall 13
• No. 25 Southern Cal 19, Minnesota 17
Other top games
Ball St. 27, Indiana 20  |  BYU 14, Mississippi 13
Cal 36, Fresno St. 21  |  Clemson 43, Troy 19
Colorado St. 14, NM 10  |  Connecticut 35, Fordham 3
Hawaii 34, Colorado 17  |  Houston 38, UCLA 34
Illinois 33, Arkansas St. 15  |  Iowa 34, Tenn. Tech 7
Iowa St. 20, N. Iowa 19  |  K-State 10, E. Kentucky 7
Michigan 34, W. Mich. 10  |  Navy 40, Delaware 17
North Carolina 42, JMU 10  |  N. Illinois 49, Army 26
Northwestern 24, BC 17  |   Penn St. 41, Ind. St. 7
Pitt 35, Buffalo 16   |  Purdue 27, Middle Tenn. St. 24
Richmond 23, Duke 21  |  Sac. St. 29, Ore. St. 28, OT
So. Miss 19, La. Tech 17 | Tennessee 42, Mont. 16
Texas 34, Rice 9  |  UTEP 31, Stony Brook 24, OT

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