Scattershooting the college football scene while gearing up for the return to Provo of Dr. Norm Chow.

THUMBS UP: The East Carolina Pirates for their rocking upset of No. 8 West Virginia, its second win over a ranked opponent this season.

THUMBS DOWN: Notre Dame, a team flawed in the fundamentals of football, needed a San Diego State fumble at the goal line to avoid falling behind by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, thus, Charlie Weis avoided a home opening loss. And, yes, the Aztecs lost to Cal Poly at home

THEY SAID IT: Larry Farina, the lead Pac-10 official for the BYU-Washington game, in his released post-game statement said officials were required by rule to penalize Jake Locker's throwing of the ball. "It is not a judgment call," said Farina. However, Dave Parry, the NCAA national coordinator for football officiating said while Farina obeyed the rule, "It really is a judgment every time you throw a penalty flag." Parry believes Farina must have felt it was an obvious infraction of the rule "in his judgment."

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: In the past six BYU games against Pac-10 opponents, three of which were against UCLA, the Cougars have outgained those foes in total offense 2,428 to 1,657 yards, or an average of 404.6 to 276.1 per game. BYU is 4-2 in that span, both losses at Pac-10 venues. Three MWC defenses are currently limiting opponents to less than 100 yards rushing entering Week 3. TCU ranks third nationally with a rush defense allowing just 29.5 yards per game. Air Force is 26th in the NCAA allowing 73.5 rushing yards per game, and Utah ranks tied for 30th,

holding opponents to 82.5 yards per game on the ground.

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW: When BYU senior linebacker David Nixon went to the center of the field for the coin toss against Washington on Saturday, he recognized the officials and asked one, "Haven't we seen you before somewhere?" The official said, "Yes, two years ago at Arizona." Nixon grimaced inside.

MY MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: I'll go with the official choice, Max Hall. He was sharp and confident against the Huskies in registering a 168 pass-efficiency rating and breaking a 0-9 Cougar losing streak to non-league teams on the road.

DUMB AND DUMBER: If you wear an Ohio State uniform and you barely beat Ohio, why incite upcoming USC? Buckeye receiver Ray Small, who was recruited by the Trojans, told ESPN that being at OSU instead of USC is "a class thing," then he said: "Here at Ohio State, they teach you to be a better man. There, it's just all about football."

YEAH, BUT: BYU's 12-game win streak leads the nation. Here's a list of Cougar win streaks and who ended them:

1985 — UCLA, 25 games

1981 — UNLV, 17 games

2001 — Hawaii, 14 games

2008 — (TBA), 12 games

1997 — Washington, 12 games

2007 — UCLA, 11 games

1992 — San Diego State, 11 games

1979 — Indiana, 11 games

1938 — Portland, 8 games

1998 — Air Force, 7 games

1988 — San Diego State, 7 games

1974 — Oklahoma State, 7 games

TRENDSETTERS: The Big 12 went 12-for-12 against non-league foes this past weekend, a first in the league's 13-year history. But Colorado needed a late rally to hold off Eastern Washington, a "cupcake" game the Buffs bought for about $450,000.

OVERRATED: The Big Ten and Ohio State. Again. The Buckeyes needed a great closing fourth quarter to hold off Ohio 26-14, a team Wyoming clipped in Laramie the week before.

UNDERRATED: Florida under Urban Meyer has gone 6-0 against instate Florida teams by a combined score of 227-56.

BOTTOM LINE: By virtue of it's big upset wins over ranked foes, East Carolina might hold the inside track to an undefeated season and BCS berth over BYU, Utah and Fresno State.

MY TOP FIVE: 1. Southern Cal, 2. Georgia, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Florida, 5. Missouri.


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