Who Wouldda Thunk It?
We figured Tajh Boyd could be good. After all, quarterbacks that bring such great credentials to campus, and then show serious flashes as a redshirt freshman can be expected to be a factor during their collegiate careers. However after having heard so much about the likes of Willy Korn and Kyle Parker, it was forgivable to look at this Clemson Tiger, hell any Clemson Tiger, with a wee bit of uncertainty.
There is no more uncertainty. Tajh Boyd is spectacular.
Certainly a great deal of credit must be tossed the way of offensive coordinator Chad (Gus is my mentor) Morris, who was a hugely successful Texas HS coach and spearheaded the 2010 Tulsa offense. But the lion's share belongs to Boyd, who has really put it all together when there were serious doubts heading to the season. Following a 367-yard, six-score outing against a poor Tar Heel defense, Boyd is now the top fantasy quarterback in the nation. He's supplanted Robert Griffin for the role of "Heisman contender who has no real chance because he doesn't play for a college football blue blood" and he has the Tigers poised for a season for the ages.
Boyd has accounted for 28 touchdowns against only four picks. He isn't blessed with Cam Newton's size, Andrew Luck's arm strength or Denard Robinson's speed, but he's got a little bit of everything. And this may eventually include screwing up the BCS by adding a team to the mix from a conference not many expected to be a factor come early December.
One of the more intriguing subplots to USC's visit to South Bend was supposed to be the matchup between two of the nation's top receivers, Robert Woods and Michael Floyd. One showed up while the other joined his program in stinking up the joint.
Matt Barkley spoke of the Irish crowding his star receiver "almost every play" and still the 6-1 Woods was able to nab 12 balls for 119 yards and two scores. Meanwhile the 6-3 Floyd was held to four catches and a measly 28 yards.
Obviously there is a lot more to a receiver's production that just his talent/effort on a particular Saturday. Tommy Rees isn't Matt Barkley. However one player seems to always find a way to get it done, while the other seems to often disappear when he's needed to take a game over.
A few other fantasy tidbits from a thrilling weekend
-It's safe to say that Texas Tech (the nation's 120th ranked defense against the pass) holding Landry Jones to 412 yards and five scores could be deemed "keeping him in check." This was just enough for Seth Doege, who threw for 441 yards and accounted for five scores of his own.
-Even in a big loss there's no doubt that Chris Polk is among the nation's top backs.
-The meat of the schedule (Nebraska, at Ohio State and Wisconsin) remains, but the Nittany Lions are getting their offensive act together in time to maybe make an early-December trek to Indy. Silas Redd is picking up steam.
-Really nice to see Juron Criner explode on Thursday night. The Wildcats took out a little aggression against a lost UCLA team.
-Would you believe that one of the nation's hottest receivers plies his trade in Winston-Salem, NC? Chris Givens is on fire.
-While watching Syracuse tight end Nick Provo gash West Virginia for three scores on Friday night, I couldn't help but wonder if the Mountaineers knew that the big fella was an eligible target.
-Pretty tough that many consider Hokie David Wilson's 165-1038-7 to date a bit of a bummer. We're a rough crowd.
-We've always emphasized the difficulty for a freshman wide receiver to make an immediate impact. Sammy Watkins says hogwash. The youngster is the top fantasy wide receiver in the country through eight games. Gee, can't wait until he figures this college thing out.
-Memo to Bret Bielema: when you've got an opponent leaking more oil than the Exxon Valdez, sometimes it's not a bad thing to pocket the timeouts and take your chances in overtime.
Big Ones for Week Nine:
Michigan State at Nebraska: Spartans have become regulars on this list as they look to conclude one of the greatest months in program history.
Clemson at Georgia Tech: Can Paul Johnson circle the wagons and derail the Tigers?
Stanford at USC: Now the real fun begins for the Cardinal.
SMU at Tulsa: First one to 50.
Oklahoma at Kansas State: Can Billy Snyder and Collin Klein take advantage of a Sooner hangover?