I can't say that Week Three will be remembered as one of the exciting weeks of 2011 collegiate gridiron action. After all, not every week can surpass the drama from the week previous. However even a relatively ho-hum couple days of action still provide plenty of good stuff to chatter about in order to make it to Thursday.
A few Big Ten teams set off our fraud alerts, Clemson remains one of the nation's greatest enigmas, and we can hold off on that Notre Dame eulogy. USC appears poised to take off, Oklahoma can win a shootout or a dogfight, and Rick Neuheisel may want to contact his local PODS office.
One more week of nonconference action remains before we can look forward to the conference battles. And who knows, by this time next week we may have conference commissioners/university presidents conducting fantasy drafts in order to completely blow up decades of conference affiliations.
But that's for next week; first, we take a glimpse back at the weekend that was.
The Best Back Many Still Don't Know
Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden garner the lion's share of Oklahoma State attention, however the most dynamic performer in this offense may just be sophomore tailback Joseph Randle. Following a 25-116-3 outing against Tulsa, he now boasts 378 yards and seven touchdowns on just 62 carries.
Talented quarterbacks don't have much hope without a ground game that can make teams pay. Ask Nick Foles what it's like to try to wing the ball with little threat of an effective run attack. And while Weeden gets the ball to the right people and Blackmon is an absolute beast, it's been Randle stirring the Stillwater drink.
Baylor Heisman Hopeful?
Baylor's rain-shortened pummeling of Stephen F. Austin saw Robert Griffin post nearly 350 yards of total offense and three scores. And following his season-opening, nationally-televised show against TCU, he's in prime position to stockpile some serious numbers over the next month.
The Bears will face off against Rice, Kansas State, Iowa State and Texas A&M over the next four weeks. By the time he travels to Stillwater on October 29 we could be looking at the leader in the race.
Everything is in place.
A few more random thoughts from Week Three:
-So THAT was the Darrell Scott we have heard so much about. 12 carries for 146 yards and three scores to go along with one 84-yard touchdown reception is the epitome of better late than never. Yes, it was against Florida A&M, but this was one heck of a show by this USF Bull.
-The "Where Did That Come From Award?" goes to Missouri running back Henry Josey. The sophomore burner from Texas dashed for 263 yards and three scores on only 14 carries. I don't care if it was against Western Illinois, performances like this make it impossible to keep a player off the field.
-You know things are not going very well for Big Ten teams when the Zooker's boys post the week's biggest victory. The Spartans and Buckeyes stunk up the joint, Northwestern lost to Army and Penn State appears to be in for a long season. At least we can look forward to Nebraska's trip to Madison.
-Four members of the Five Score Quarterback Club this weekend as B.J. Daniels, Kellen Moore, Seth Doege and Matt Barkley were all outstanding. However the most impressive signal caller may have been Tajh Boyd, who went 30-42-386-4 in the big Clemson win over the defending national champs.
-Marcus Lattimore carried the ball 37 times against Navy. I just hope he still has plenty of tread left on the tires when he decides to get paid to play.
-So much for two of my Week Two sleepers, Toledo and Northern Illinois, making some noise this weekend. Both Boise State and Wisconsin clearly avoided the temptation to look ahead.
-Welcome to The Teddy Bridgewater Era at Louisville
-How about Wazzu wide receiver Marquess Wilson's stat line in the loss to San Diego State? Six catches for 236 yards and two scores comes out to 39.3 yards per reception. Of course an 80-yard and 78-yard score help the cause.
-Speaking of stat lines, Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato will want to forget his Saturday. 9-of-21 for 116 yards and a score is bad enough, until you factor in his four passes thrown to Ohio Bobcat defenders.
-Saying it's a challenge to overcome seven turnovers is a bit of an understatement, however Utah's 54-10 dismantling of BYU was very impressive, enough to make one think that the Utes will be a Pac-12 factor.
Five to Watch for Week Four
Oklahoma State at Texas A&M
Oodles of offensive skill on the field in this one.
San Diego State at Michigan
Ronnie Hillman won't sneak up on former coach Brady Hoke.
LSU at West Virginia
What's better for the Morgantown Police Dept., a Mountaineer win or loss?
Florida State at Clemson
What do you mean this isn't Bowden Bowl XIII?
North Carolina at Georgia Tech
Two undefeated ACC schools square off in this one