Saturday night the college football fan in me came face-to-face with the college Fantasy football junkie. It was like that Superman (the one with Richard Pryor) where the good man of steel fought with the bad, unshaven one.
The kids were asleep, the wife was reading, and I was relaxing on the couch following an earlier tailgate and noon kickoff at the alma mater. While the majority of the nation was undoubtedly glued to the LSU vs. Alabama slugfest, I found myself gravitating to that wild and wooly showdown in Stillwater between Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
This is not to say that I necessarily chose Fantasy fireworks over the 2011 version of "The Game of the Century", but I certainly gave the remote control one hell of a workout. Because what was going on in the Big 12 was a Motley Crue concert while the SEC was the symphony. Sure the latter is a higher quality, but the former is just too much fun.
Collin Klein and Brandon Weeden combined for nearly 900 yards of offense while scoring eight times. Justin Blackmon was simply unstoppable while Joseph Randle's three scores gave him 30 on the campaign. All the while we had Bill Snyder looking to outlast that whippersnapper Mike Gundy. From a pure entertainment perspective, this beat missed field goals and a very angry Nick Saban.
The nation's two best teams were playing in the State of Alabama Saturday night. But fellow Fantasy owners should feel no shame in admitting they spent plenty of time glued to some Big 12 football. After all, sometimes you just don't feel like the symphony.
Madman in Madtown
Ron Dayne's Heisman campaign saw him post 1,843 yards from scrimmage and score 19 times, impressive stats indeed. His senior year was the culmination of four unbelievable seasons as a Badger.
With three games to go Montee Ball has accounted for about 1,330 yards from scrimmage to go along with 25 -- yes, 25 -- total touchdowns. He's scored multiple times in every single Badger game this season, and he has roadies with Minnesota and Illinois remaining before a season-ending clash in Madison against Penn State.
Thus it's feasible that Ball will push towards 1,900 yards with more than 30 touchdowns ... and this may not be enough to even warrant an invitation to NYC in mid-December.
While the college football world with enamored (rightfully so) with what Russell Wilson was doing, many forgot to note that the reason Wilson was throwing against overmatched man coverage was because #28 was lining up behind him.
A few other random observations from the first week in November
Matt Barkley threw six touchdowns and his was the fourth-best quarterbacking performance of the weekend. What is this, the NFL?
Four Big 12 games (refuse to count Kansas vs. Iowa State) saw an average of 79 points scored in each. This is why you ignore the SEC for much of your Fantasy draft and shift your focus to Oklahoma and Texas.
-Nothing like turning on a Wednesday night MAC contest to the find the score is 42-38 ... in the third quarter. The game between Northern Illinois and Toledo was more than a shootout; it was a nuke-a-thon. Quarterbacks Chandler Harnish and Austin Dantin combined for 11 touchdowns, and Toledo's dynamic wide receiver Eric Page had five of his nine catches go for scores. Holy Tony Packos!
Was able to see Minnesota's MarQueis Gray up close and personal on Saturday, and it was an eye-opening experience. Gray was an absolute beast, the rare "run-first" quarterback who is always looking to throw the ball while moving around in the backfield. He's poised to make a huge jump in 2012.
Speaking of overlooked Big Ten performers, Northwestern's Kain Colter could be the best quarterback ever in Evanston before he's done. He has that it factor to go with an impressive array of skills.
Maybe I'm just bitter, but I don't get this move away from tight ends. This year the top Fantasy tight end boasts only 93 points. Show me a dude who's bigger and just as fast as the guy that's often covering him and I'm throwing him the ball with great frequency.
It's an absolute shame that Ryan Broyles' Sooner career will come to a premature end with an ACL injury. Outstanding production from his first day on campus.
From "The Show Must Go On" category, now would be a good time to nab Sooner wide receiver Jaz Reynolds.
Case Keenum accounted for 51 touchdowns way back in 2008. Currently sitting at 36 and with games left against Tulane, SMU, and Tulsa, I'm not going to bet against him getting past the big 5-0 once again.