Normally when I do the Sports Brew Top 25 I don’t get a lot of feedback, but this week I received some from the Captain and D-Stat. These guys are fans of Duke and were wondering why I left them off the Top 25 this week. The Blue Devils (6-2) defeated Virginia Tech for the first time since 1981, breaking a 12-game losing streak and won a road game vs a ranked team for the first time in 42 years. The victory clinched what will most certainly be the first consecutive bowl seasons in the program’s history. Not bad, right?
The victory was about as ugly of a win you’ll ever see. Now, I’m the first person that always says I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day but this game takes the cake. 387 to 198 deficit in total offense, 39:27 to 20:33 in time of possession and the Blue Devils were 0-11 on third down. Duke QB Anthony Boone was 7/25 for 107 yards and 4 Int. Seriously, how did they win this game? Defense and special teams. The Blue Devil defense bent but didn’t break. They intercepted Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas four times and didn’t surrender a point until very late in the third quarter. Duke kicker Ross Martin became the first FBS kicker to make two 50 plus yard field goals in the same game this season (51 and 53). Duke has an open date this weekend and will finish their season vs N.C. State, #6 Miami, FL, AT Wake Forest and AT North Carolina. There’s a good chance the Blue Devils will end up with 8-9 wins and be ranked.
Minnesota is a second team I gave serious consideration to putting in the Top 25 this week. The Gophers victory over Nebraska this past weekend also made them bowl eligible (6-2), but it was how they did it. The Gophers went old school and ran the ball down the Cornhuskers throats. 54 rushes for 271 yards and three rushing touchdowns, including the dagger with 48 seconds remaining in the game. This was Minnesota’s first victory against Nebraska since 1960. However, they’ve been doing this with their head coach Jerry Kill taking a leave of absence due to game day epilepsy seizures. (Five of them since he began coaching at Minnesota). Tracy Claeys has been the acting coach and has had a calming effect on the team after a rocky 0-2 start in Big Ten play. Minnesota plays at Indiana this weekend.
Games to Watch This Weekend
1. #6 Miami, FL @ #3 Florida State
2. #20 Oklahoma State @ #16 Texas Tech
3. #18 Michigan @ #12 Michigan State
Next week (Thursday and Saturday) may end up being the best of the college football season. You have #13 Oklahoma at #5 Baylor, #2 Oregon at #7 Stanford and#15 LSU at #1 Alabama.