Just as I was beginning to believe the Florida Gators deserved their #2 BCS ranking, problems that had surfaced occasionally during their first few games came out full force in an upset by Georgia on Saturday. It was a depressing day at my house, with all the teams we follow losing during the final minutes of their games. Add to that the annoyance of three games being on simultaneously!
My daughter’s alma mater and regional favorite, the University of Nevada, Reno, foreshadowed the weekend when the Wolfpack lost to Air Force 48-31 on Thursday.
Saturday our other teams went down like dominoes. We initially had hope as the score for my spouse’s home state team, Wisconsin, and Michigan State remained 3-7 in favor of the Badgers until halfway through the fourth quarter. A Wisconsin field goal and a MSU touchdown tied the game at the end of regulation time. The Badgers had possession first in OT. They couldn’t make any yardage and settled for a field goal. Michigan State ran for 14 yards, followed by a 12 yard touchdown pass that ended the game at 16-13. This broke the Badgers 21-game winning streak at Camp Randall in Madison.
My alma mater, Arizona State, gave us some encouragement as they brought the score to within 2 points early in the fourth quarter of their match against UCLA. But minutes later the Bruins scored a touchdown. Another Sun Devil touchdown with only a minute and a half to go had us feeling pretty secure. Then inexplicably ASU allowed UCLA to get four first downs. With two seconds on the clock, nervous freshman Bruin kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn booted a 33-yard field goal to give UCLA a 45-43 win. This will likely be the biggest play of Fairbairn‘s collegiate career. It has been a very long time since I’ve seen a team carry a player on their shoulders.
Our last hope for a victory was Florida (daughter‘s grad school). The largely defensive game was grinding to its conclusion as the Gator offense was making a strong push down field. (If they had played like that in the first half, the outcome probably would have been different.) But Bulldog defender Jarvis Jones knocked the football out of the Florida receiver’s hands. It flew/bounced halfway across the end zone into the hands of Georgia’s Sanders Cummings. With only two minutes left in the game, we knew the Gators were destined to fall in the BCS. I’m surprised they only dropped to #7.
A very tough day and next week unlikely to bring much overall improvement. The Green Bay win in today’s NFL play made us feel a little better. We’ll see if my Forty-Niners can lift my spirits more Monday night.