College Football Week 11 – Southern Cal’s 7 Years of Excellence Ends, Stanford Wins, 55 – 21

It’s over for Southern California. Coach Pete Carroll will be dining with some lesser light Hollywood celebrities in the near future.

Gone are the USC streaks of 7 straight BCS bowls, 7 straight 11-win seasons, and 7 straight top-4 AP poll finishes. Gone also is USC’s 7-year stranglehold on the Pac-10 Conference title.

After 60 excruciating minutes of watching Stanford’s Toby Gerhart-The Cardinal Battering Ram-run all over USC’s home field for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns, Pete Carroll and his Trojans were handed their second major trouncing in two weeks. There was no stopping Gerhart as 25th-ranked Stanford (7-3) did a number on the 11th-ranked and soon dropping USC (7-3) Trojans, 55-21. Adding insult to injury, it was USC’s 2009 homecoming game.

Just two weeks ago, USC was upset at Oregon 47-20. Saturday’s loss to Stanford was the Trojans’ worst since a 51-0 drubbing at home against Notre Dame in 1966, 43 years ago.

Pete Carroll had to be bummed out. He lost in November for the first time after 28 straight victories in the toughest month for every college football coach during the season. And for the second time in three weekends, Carroll endured the worst loss of his 9 seasons at USC. The perennial flower that bloomed at USC for 7 consecutive years has now faded.

After leading 28-21 after 3 quarters, Stanford piled it on with 4 touchdowns in the last quarter, just rubbing it in a little bit for past indiscretions by the Trojans. Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh’s 2007 team also upset then 2nd-ranked USC 24-23 on the Trojans’ same home field.

Harbaugh has made it quite clear that he is sick and tired of USC’s past dominance in the Pac-10. Virtually everyone thought that the California Bears would be the team to bring the Trojans down a peg or two, but it was Harbaugh’s Cardinal team that has gotten the job done.

Stanford’s victory over USC was only 1 of 5 upsets among ranked teams this week. The other 4 were recorded by unranked teams:

North Carolina (7-3), unranked and smarting, won 33-24 at home over No. 12 Miami of Florida (also 7-3) as Coach Butch Davis notched his 3rd consecutive victory over his former program, and made North Carolina bowl eligible for the 2nd straight season.

Central Florida (6-4) handed No. 13 Houston (8-2) its second loss 37-32, closing the door on Cougar quarterback Case Keenum, who had a couple of last-minute rallies in Houston’s last 5 wins. The Central Florida Knights rallied at home from a two-touchdown deficit to build a 17-point lead before Keenum threw two late TD passes to make the final score appear closer.

California (7-3) stuck a fork in No. 18 Arizona’s (6-3) hopes for a better season as the Bears finally roared again at home, beating the Wildcats 24-16. Rutgers (7-2) was hardly impressed with No. 23 South Florida (6-3) as the Scarlet Knights took the South Florida Bulls to school by shutting them out 31-0. Rutgers forced 4 turnovers, blocked a punt and recorded 7 sacks, and freshman quarterback Tom Savage threw for two touchdowns.

Stanford’s upset of Southern Cal was 1 of the 3 great games of the day. The other two involved No. 4 TCU and No. 10 Ohio State.

No. 4 TCU (10-0) remained unbeaten by really making 16th-ranked Utah (8-2) look bad in a 55-28 win. TCU leads the mid-level Mountain West Conference with a 6-0 record. Utah had been running around all season acting like the Utes were something special, and then they arrived at TCU and found out why they are not so special. As if to erase any doubt, TCU led 38-14 at the half.

No. 10 Ohio State (9-2) brought No. 15 Iowa (9-2) into its view as the Buckeyes welcomed the Hawkeyes into their 101,568-seat Horseshoe Stadium before taking the game into overtime and earning a trip to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 13 years. Ohio State last visited the Rose Bowl in 1996 when the Buckeyes were ranked 2nd in the nation after beating Arizona State 20-17.

But back to Saturday’s game, which will provide fodder for sports talk radio shows for months to come as neither Ohio State or Iowa would go for a last minute victory when they had the opportunity to do so. The game ended at 24-all after Marvin McNutt threw a 10-yard scoring pass to James Vandenberg.

The Buckeyes had blown a two-touchdown lead in the 4th quarter. The Hawkeyes had the ball at their 33 with 52 seconds and two timeouts left, but chose to run out the clock and send the game into overtime. Ohio State had the ball on its 18 with 2:37 left and multiple timeouts, and didn’t try to win it.

Both coaches-Kirk Ferentz of Iowa and Jim Tressel of Ohio State-wanted overtime to get it settled because they did not trust their kickers; Iowa had missed a 22-yard field goal attempt earlier in the game, and Ohio State’s kicker had missed from 47 yards out.

When push came to shove, Tressel basically took three runs up the middle for all of 2 yards before letting replacement kicker Devin Barclay come up with the winning 39-yard FG to put the Buckeyes on top, 27-24. The Hawkeyes were unbeaten this year until losing 17-10 at home to Northwestern last week.

Barclay, a 26-year-old former pro soccer player and first-year, walk-on kicker, was forced into duty as a replacement three weeks ago when starter Aaron Pettrey injured his knee. บาคาร่า

And now for the expected happenings of week 11. Here are another 8 ranked teams that won home games:

No. 5 Cincinnati (10-0) remained unbeaten by using a field goal advantage to beat a 7-3 West Virginia team 24-21. No. 6 Boise State (10-0) remained unbeaten by easily handling a 7-4 Idaho team 63-25. No. 8 Pittsburgh (9-1) led Notre Dame (6-4) 20-3 after 3 quarters and almost let things get out-of-hand before putting away the Fighting Irish 27-22.

No. 9 LSU (8-2) notched an unspectacular win over Louisiana Tech 24-16. No. 14 Oregon (8-2) ripped Arizona State 44-21. No. 17 Oklahoma State (8-2) was behind 10-7 at the half but beat Texas Tech 24-17. No. 19 Penn State beat Indiana 31-20 despite having 4 first-half turnovers. No. 21 Wisconsin (8-2) took apart a struggling Michigan team 45-24.

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