NCF Nation: Harvard Crimson
2. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and CIA director Robert Gates received the Gold Medal, the highest honor given by the National Football Foundation, on Thursday night. Before that, Gates served as president of Texas A&M. “I fired a lot of people when I was at the Pentagon,” Gates said. “But I don’t think I ever did anything as controversial as firing a football coach in Texas. I later told the media I had overthrown the governments of medium-sized countries with less controversy.”
3. Yale quarterback Patrick Witt, a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, the NFF’s “Academic Heisman,” turned down the chance to interview for a Rhodes Scholarship last month, in order to play his final college game against Harvard. “The quarterback position is unique. It wouldn’t be right to leave your guys as the leader of your team on that final game.” Witt will give the NFL a try. The Rhodes Committee told him, given his circumstance, they would consider waiving their age limit of 24, should he choose to apply again.
2. Yale senior quarterback Patrick Witt refused an interview request Monday after his announcement Sunday that he will forego his Rhodes Scholarship interview in Atlanta Saturday so that he may play in his final college game against Harvard. Bulldogs coach Tom Williams told me Monday that Witt has the opportunity to reapply for the scholarship. He has only one more chance to play in The Game.
3. Tennessee (4-6, 0-6) has scored 23 points in the four SEC games since losing quarterback Tyler Bray to a broken thumb against Georgia. Before Bray returned to practice Monday, Volunteers head coach Derek Dooley said, “if he’s ready to go we’d be crazy not to at least give him a shot.” Tennessee historically has cruised through November. An improved Vanderbilt (5-5, 2-5) arrives in Knoxville Saturday night. There’s a lot at stake. The Vols have never lost seven SEC games in one season.
2. In case you missed it, quarterback Andrew Hatch, who transferred from Harvard to LSU and back, made his first start for the Crimson on Saturday against Holy Cross. Hatch completed 20 of 25 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-6 victory. That adds up to an efficiency rating of 212.34. LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson, whose ascendancy helped Hatch decide to pursue an Ivy education, has a rating of 113.15. I know, I know: Jefferson isn’t playing Holy Cross.
3. Virginia Tech did not strengthen Boise State’s schedule the way that everyone thought. But Nevada might. The Wolf Pack stunned California late Friday night, winning 52-31 in a game that should remind everyone how dangerous Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick (181 yards and three touchdowns passing, 148 yards and two touchdowns rushing) can be. Thanksgiving Friday just got a lot more interesting. No. 3 Boise State plays at Nevada, and No. 14 Arizona plays at No. 5 Oregon.
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Todd from Mission Viejo writes: If you could add one out-of-conference game to each of the Pac-10 teams' schedule, what match-ups would you create?
Ted Miller: Oh, this is a good one.
Not only that, Todd, when I mentioned your outstanding mailbag contribution to my boss, Darth Duffey, he noted that such an entry had ALREADY BEEN ASSIGNED this week.
So the Force is with you on this one, dark side or not.
USC at Florida: One word: Yum. OK, a few more.
Florida won't leave the state for a nonconference game, so the Trojans just decide to show up. Grins all around on the West Coast. Everyday Should Be Saturday's Orson Swindle and Stranko Montana, who have been claiming to be "pushing 30" for a decade, commence writing a series of sonnets -- with multimedia effects! -- that rival Shakespeare during his most inspired period. The college football world rejoices. About the game, though the sonnets are nice, too.
And, of course, USC rolls. (Oh, stop it! You know that's what would happen, Gator fans!)
Ole Miss at Oregon State: Whose 2008 loss -- Florida's or USC's -- was "worse"? My guess is this one would have been more fun for the Beavers last year than this year.
Oregon at Oklahoma: Hey, Sooners, can the Ducks bring their own referees?
Texas at California: Mack Brown would get a warm welcome in Strawberry Canyon. And, golly, this would be a great help for the Longhorns, whose nonconference schedule features Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, UTEP and Central Florida. Guess that's why they say, "Don't mess with Texas ... purdy please."
Oklahoma at Arizona: Which Stoops would conquer? (Both, however, have said it will never happen.)
Arizona State at Miami: Dennis Erickson returns to the place where he won a pair of national titles. And then, you know, some other stuff happened after he left for the Seattle Seahawks.
Harvard at Stanford: Remember when the Simpsons went to jail and poor Lisa was worried that it might damage her college prospects? And then Bart and Homer mercilessly taunt her, "You're going to Stanford! You're going to Stanford!" You know most of the writers for "The Simpsons" went to Harvard. This would be payback. And Conan O'Brien might be on the sidelines with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, which would be the best thing ever. Other than USC at Florida.
UCLA at South Carolina: Ever heard Rick Neuheisel imitate Steve Spurrier? Hee hee hee. You would this week. And the golf stories would be priceless.
BYU at Washington: BYU stole a game from Washington in 2008, and then it stole touted quarterback recruit Jake Heaps from under the Huskies noses. Grrrr.
South Florida at Washington State (in December): Here's a guess that the kids from down South might not like Pullman in the winter.
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
2:00 PM ET Washington State Colorado State 3:30 PM ET 20 Fresno State 25 USC 5:30 PM ET Buffalo San Diego State 9:00 PM ET Tulane Louisiana-Lafayette
6:00 PM ET Pittsburgh Bowling Green 9:30 PM ET Utah State 23 Northern Illinois
2:30 PM ET Marshall Maryland 6:00 PM ET Syracuse Minnesota 9:30 PM ET Brigham Young Washington
12:00 PM ET Rutgers Notre Dame 3:20 PM ET Cincinnati North Carolina 6:45 PM ET Miami (FL) 18 Louisville 10:15 PM ET Michigan Kansas State
11:45 AM ET Middle Tennessee Navy 3:15 PM ET Ole Miss Georgia Tech 6:45 PM ET 10 Oregon Texas 10:15 PM ET 14 Arizona State Texas Tech
12:30 PM ET Arizona Boston College 2:00 PM ET Virginia Tech 17 UCLA 4:00 PM ET Rice Mississippi State 8:00 PM ET 24 Duke 21 Texas A&M
12:00 PM ET Nebraska 22 Georgia 12:00 PM ET UNLV North Texas 1:00 PM ET Iowa 16 LSU 1:00 PM ET 19 Wisconsin 9 South Carolina 5:00 PM ET 5 Stanford 4 Michigan State 8:30 PM ET 15 UCF 6 Baylor
7:30 PM ET 13 Oklahoma State 8 Missouri 8:30 PM ET 12 Clemson 7 Ohio State