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State's turn to running not just passing fancy

Scattershooting while enjoying another delicious week of a roller coaster ride in college football.

Thumbs up: BYU's Harvey Unga and Utah's Darrell Mack combined for 308 yards on 47 carries for an average of 6.5 yards per carry over the weekend. Those are numbers that get attention in the league. Harvey's 177 is a career high for the freshman from Timpview.

Thumbs down: Cameraman for The mtn., broadcast of BYU-UNLV who whiffed finding the football on about ten plays. Was this person A. drunk, B. blind, C. a parking lot attendant masquerading as a technician or D. thinking pingpong tournament.

They said it: In the "Where Have We Heard This Before Department," after Washington lost to Arizona State 44-20, the fourth straight Husky loss, UW coach Tyrone Willingham said, "I really don't know how to explain it."

Statistically speaking: BYU currently has a nine-game road win streak in MWC contests. The current streak breaks the old MWC mark of eight held by Utah from Nov. 16, 2002 through Nov. 13, 2004. BYU's streak started with a 27-24 win at New Mexico during the 2005 season. TCU did not record a takeaway at Stanford, breaking the streak of 15 consecutive games with a takeaway. The Frogs had forced an opponent turnover in 33 of the last 34 games entering the game. Frog QB Andy Dalton had a career-high 344 yards passing at Stanford, the most for a TCU QB since Tye Gunn threw for 368 in a 48-45 double-overtime victory over Northwestern to open the 2005 season.

After further review: Prior to kickoff of BYU-UNLV, Poinsettia Bowl executive Bruce Binkowski leaned over and said he'd offer BYU a bid right then so San Diego could put BYU against Navy in a 30th anniversary game. But Las Vegas Bowl executive Tina Kunzer-Murphy looked pleased as a bird in a seed factory Saturday when half Sam Boyd Stadium (15,000 to 20,000) were BYU fans. Asked if Las Vegas would give up BYU for a new face if the Cougars were champs this year, Las Vegas Review Journal columnist Ed Graney and reporter Mark Anderson looked if they'd just been asked if Boulder Dam was nearby. Said Anderson, "You kidding? Did you see Tina's smile?"

My MWC Player of the Week: UNLV linebacker Beau Bell for three forced turnovers, two picks and 13 tackles against BYU.

Dumb and dumber: About 90 days after extending Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson's contract to five years, the university chancellor fired Pederson on Monday for "lack of progress."

Remember when Nebraska fired football coach Frank Solich in 2003 after his team went 9-3 one year after having Nebraska in the national championship game? Pederson's buyout will cost Nebraska $2.2 million.

Unsung hero: Ute kicker Louis Sakoda remains clutch with three field goals including a career long 51-yarder that kept Utah in position for a second half punch in Utah's win over the Aztecs. He had 11 of Utah's 23 points.

Yeah, but ...: BYU sits atop the MWC with wins over AFA, New Mexico and UNLV, but in the AP poll, Air Force (4) received more vote points than the Cougars (2). South Florida was picked to finish fourth in the Big East.

Trend setters: OK, test yourself. Where is the campus of No. 2 South Florida?

This season proves once and for all to the conspirators who created this BCS debacle, we need a fair and equitable playoff system. If the Bulls keep it rolling, one side of the title game will be from a total nontraditional, nonpolitically plugged in football program that started up about 11 years ago.

Said South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt: "We just want to keep our mouths shut, go out and play football." Answer to the trivia: Tampa.

Overrated: 6-1 Cincinnati, a 28-24 loser to defenseless Louisville, doesn't belong at 23, and Boise State ought to be ashamed taking Nevada into all those overtimes with near 80 pass attempts. Gratefully, Wisconsin, who almost lost to UNLV, who blanked Utah, dropped out of the Top 25 and took sidekick Purdue. with them.

Underrated: Kentucky might be better than the computers peg them at 11 in the BCS poll. But this season, who knows how good anybody is.

Bottom line: Odds of Ohio State remaining undefeated? About 1 to 5.

My Top Five: 1. Ohio State, 2. Boston College, 3. South Florida, 4. LSU, 5. Oklahoma


E-mail: dharmon@desnews.com