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College football bests and worsts halfway through


"It's not as easy as I'd thought it would be."

Randy Shannon, second-year Miami coach, whose team has lost eight of its past 10 ACC games

For FIU, this is all new

At the Florida International bookstore, they're having trouble keeping football items in stock.

This is not an unheard-of problem for most major colleges, but at FIU, it's definitely a new trend. A three-game winning streak has the Golden Panthers tied for first in the Sun Belt Conference and might have erased any remaining stigma of the brawl against Miami in 2006 and the 23-game losing streak that FIU lugged around for nearly two years.

It's a new day, and FIU (3-3, 2-0) is basking in it.

"You look around and instead of seeing University of Texas sweaters and University of Miami sweaters, you're seeing FIU sweaters," QB Paul McCall said Wednesday.

"It's starting to feel like a Division I college campus around here, which is great."

Turn on the lights …

Don Meredith will return to Southern Methodist to have his No. 17 jersey retired. Before "Dandy Don" starred for the startup Dallas Cowboys and became a broadcaster on Monday Night Football, he was a star quarterback for the Mustangs from 1957 to 1959.

Meredith will be honored at halftime of the SMU-Houston game today.

He will be the sixth SMU football player honored, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson, Raymond Berry, Doak Walker, Forrest Gregg and Lamar Hunt.

By the numbers

3 Times that Washington State has given up 60-plus points in Pac-10 games this season (66-3 vs. Cal, 63-14 vs. Oregon, 66-13 at Oregon State). With USC visiting today, it could be four.

4 Teams that have been ranked No. 1 this season, the same number as all of last season.

7 Record for number of teams ranked No. 1 in a season (1981).

33 Brigham Young players who are married

Information from the Associated Press and Philadelphia Daily News was used in this report.

Some of the Associated Press' bests and worsts of the first half of the season:

Halfway Heisman: Texas QB Colt McCoy. His numbers are great, 79 percent completion percentage and leading the team in rushing, and he came up huge in the biggest game of the year (so far).

Best player who won't win the Heisman: Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin. The Chase Daniel hype machine is going full steam, which means the Tigers' most talented player is relegated to second banana on his own team.

Best performance by a brother tandem: The Rodgers brothers of Oregon State against Southern Cal. Jacquizz, a freshman running back, ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns, and his older brother, James, caught two touchdowns, including that tip-drill, toe-dragger right before halftime, to help the Beavers take down the top-ranked Trojans 27-21.

Worst special teams performance: Connecticut had three punts blocked by the same player, North Carolina's Bruce Carter, in a 38-12 loss to the Tar Heels.

Worst performance by a new coach: Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman. The Aggies (2-4) lost their opener at home to Arkansas State, barely beat Army and were pounded by Kansas State in College Station. Wonder what R.C. Slocum is up to these days?

Most likely coach to go next: Washington's Tyrone Willingham and Syracuse's Greg Robinson are neck-and-neck heading to the finish line of their respective tenures.

College football bests and worsts halfway through 10/17/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 4:10pm]
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