So Penn State fans react to Joe Paterno‘s firing by rioting and demeaning a fan who displayed signs outside Beaver Stadium reminding everybody to remember the victims of this tragedy. Sure one of his signs suggested canceling the rest of the season—which I do not agree with—but in the last week fans have done their part to tarnish their program’s squeaky clean image.
The fan was berated, slapped in the stomach, had beer poured on him, and one fan suggested that Saturday’s game was about the players. Awful. This isn’t to say that the fans at large are not concerned with the victims. But for a fan base so enamored by its doing-things-the-right-way coach, the reaction ran counter.
The fans don’t come close to the damage done by Jerry Sandusky and the administration that kept things quiet, but who thought that an appropriate way to protest the firing of a man they admire for his contributions to the community was to literally and physically destroy that same community?
Recapping the week in 500 words or less, this is what we learned about the season:
- Houston moved to 10-0 on Thursday, but the toughest part of the schedule is ahead of them with SMU and Tulsa upcoming. The Mustangs have already upset TCU.
- Oklahoma State is playing like it isn’t about to let another opportunity slip through its fingers like last year. And this year the stakes are much higher.
- Kansas State is back on the winning path with a quadruple-overtime victory against Texas A&M. Collin Klein rushed for four touchdowns, and the Aggies let a 10-point fourth quarter lead slip.
- Just when we thought Clemson was pulling another Clemson, they escape Wake Forest to clinch the ACC Atlantic. They’ll face Virginia Tech—whose one loss is to the Tigers—or Virginia—who has won three straight and five of the last six—in the ACC Championship Game.
- A flurry of strange reviews and penalties on both sides played too large a role in the latest chapter of Miami-FSU. Special teams were the difference in the Noles win. What a weird one.
- Nebraska stays alive in the Big Ten Legends after pulling out the win in the defensive struggle with the Nittany Lions, but Michigan State has two games left—vs. Indiana and at Northwestern—and needs only to win out to clinch the division. But don’t sleep on the Wildcats; they already upset the Huskers.
- Wisconsin was the biggest winners in the Leaders with the Penn State and Ohio State losses. If they win out, they’re in the conference title game.
- Florida finishes SEC play sub-.500, and South Carolina is in a tight race with Georgia for the East crown.
- After starting the season 0-2, the Bulldogs haven’t lost thanks probably to a schedule that doesn’t include the best of the SEC West. They need only win next week against Kentucky and they’re going to the SEC title game. It’s similar to Virginia Tech last year, who after losing the opener to Boise State and then losing again the following week went onto finish the rest of the regular season undefeated. Of course, the Bulldogs still have two games left.
- Arkansas could have something to say about the SEC West. They’ve surpassed 40 points in each of the last two games, and if they beat Mississippi State next week and then beat LSU in the finale—in Baton Rouge—the SEC West will be thrown into chaos and the BCS rankings will decide who represents the West.
- Speaking of the Broncos, for the second year in a row their BCS title hopes go up in smoke on a missed field goal. TCU went for two late in the fourth quarter to go up one, and snapped Boise State’s 35-game home winning streak.
- You never want to play catch-up with the Ducks. That’s a battle you’re not going to win easily. The Cardinal weren’t completely out of it, but Oregon kept a comfortable distance in the second half.
This week’s Player Who Proved He’s Worth the Hype is Ducks running back LaMichael James. James was explosive in the win over Stanford, rushing 20 times for 146 yards and three touchdowns. He leads the country with 150.88 yards per game, and reasserted himself in the Heisman race with another very impressive performance.
A football-filled week gets started on Tuesday with a MAC showdown.
Tuesday, November 15
- Ball State @ Northern Illinois, 8:00 PM ET, ESPNU
Wednesday, November 16
- Ohio @ Bowling Green, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN
- Western Michigan @ Miami (OH), 8:00 PM ET, ESPN2
Thursday, November 17
- North Carolina @ Virginia Tech, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN
- Southern Miss @ UAB, 8:00 PM ET
Friday, November 18
- Oklahoma State @ Iowa State, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN
- Toledo @ Central Michigan, 8:00 PM ET, ESPNU
Saturday, November 19
- USC @ Oregon, TBA
- Virginia @ Florida State, TBA
- Nebraska @ Michigan, 12:00 PM ET
- Mississippi State @ Arkansas, 3:30 PM ET, CBS
- SMU @ Houston, 3:30 PM ET
- Penn State @ Ohio State, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN/ABC
- Texas Tech @ Missouri, 3:30 PM ET, ABC
- Oklahoma @ Baylor, 8:00 PM ET, ABC
- Kansas State @ Texas, 8:00 PM ET, FX