This weeks’ post comes with a soundtrack:
Not all that original, so if you want to get your “Gospel” on and hear the song that was going through my head all day yesterday, this is the link for you.
Like a no-hitter blown at the last minute, yesterday was this close to being the apex of the college football season. Ohio State won, as you know, and so many other teams failed to meet expectations (or came back to reality), all in all pretty good. Before we get to the good stuff, let’s get the disappointment out of the way.
To be honest, I’m being a bit nit-picky here, since there was really no way to reach perfection in this matter. Someone playing in the Pitt/Notre Ame game had to win, thus screwing the shutout. Since my beef with Notre Dame is longer and more deep seated than my problem with the Panthers (rhymes with Fark Fay), an Irish loss would have been significantly more enjoyable. But, to console myself, I’ll just enjoy these pictures of Brian Kelly’s team festooned with lovely pink accessories. Yes, I know what it represents and fully support the cause. However, I prefer to do so with donations and education rather than slacktivism and symbolic gestures. Plus, it’s Notre Ame- Pink and Green make me laugh…
Other than an Ohio State victory, the thing that makes my weekend is an Mich1gAAn loss- especially one that comes with a healthy dose of “we told you so”; facing a disciplined Michigan State defense, the Wolverines finally seem to be confronted with the reality that 2010 could be a heck of a lot like 2009- Win non conference games, have “Heisman” QB, beat Indiana, fold against the rest of the Big T1e1n.
Robinson was held well below his stratospheric numbers, and several times seemed to slip- you’ve got to wonder if the shoelace tradition will soon be a thing of the past. The UM defense, what there is of it, was gashed by a team with a balanced attack, so it’s not just the Wolverine secondary that’s the problem. Or, as was remarked on a UM bulletin board “We were ranked last in passing defense and 109th in total D while not playing ANY ranked teams“. Yeah, it’s not going to get any better…
Congrats to the Spartans, who now have bragging rights and the Paul Bunyan trophy. It was good to see Coach Dantonio on the field again… Here’s hoping his speedy recovery continues. Two undefeated Big T1e1n teams in the BCS would be pretty sweet- Three if you count Nebraska.
Quick note about the Huskers- The game on Thursday proved again that teams who are wanting to rebuild should focus on defense first. Big Red is what Michigan would be if they had any dedication to the defensive side of the ball at all.
We give the “old ball coach” a hard time hereabouts, but he’s still among the best post game interviews out there. Which is why, on top of the Gamecocks’ knocking off #1 Alabama with an mulleted quarterback, I was excited for the end of the contest. To see Spurrier in the post-game interviews, relaxed and cracking wise was a thing of beauty.
As you watched the Alabama game, I’m hopeful that you noticed something. The Tide went away from what they do best (running the ball) and it cost them. Given the cries amongst Buckeye faithful to change the offense, it important to remember that change is not always good. Are there issues? Always- but you dance with the one that brought you (after getting her some dance lessons, of course).
The wacky moment in the Bama game was the fake field goal that was just flat out dropped. The defensive player who was the intended receiver had a lot of grass in front of him, and just whiffed on his assignments. Like we said, though, there’s a lot of football still to be played.
Speaking of fake field goals- Les Miles discovered that having time outs at the end of the game is oftentimes a good thing. There’s a lot of discussion about the fake- was it a lateral or a fumble? can it be picked up? can someone other than the person who botched it advance it?, but the SEC has said that it was the right call. So right, in fact, that it converted known college football atheist Bill Simmons to watching the best game on the planet.
With all of today’s action, LSU stands toe to toe with Auburn as the only undefeated teams left in the SEC. Of course they haven’t started divisional play as of yet, so Bama, Auburn, LSU, and Arkansas (only loss to Alabama) will have some exciting moments in the coming weeks. Especially if the game between Auburn and Kentucky are any example- yet another Tiger win on a last second field goal. Another lesson for the Big T1e1n- the original SEC divisions were seen as being unfair, with Tennessee/Florida/Georgia in the same one. Oh how the Tide has turned- feel free to reevaluate the current Big T1e2n mess in a couple of years.
The day was capped off with a loss by Southern Cal to Stanford; although it didn’t come easy for the Trees. Needing a last second field goal to hold on to the victory, Stanford would have lost for certain if their quarterback wasn’t such an amazing open field tackler:
Interestingly enough, there wasn’t a “leading with the helmet” call on the play. Surprising, I know. Oregon had some injury problems on offense, but still managed to roll over Wazzou; although the ‘Cougs did manage to put up points on the Duck defense. You don’t think they’re playing by the Wolverine philosophy in Eugene, do you? Arizona is no longer undefeated, courtesy of toOSU- Go Beavers. Washington fell to Arizona State at home- wonder how the “Locker for Heisman’ campaign is going?
Also west of the Mississippi, this year’s BCS Busterellas both destroyed the inferior competition they faced- TCU pounded Wyoming, and Southern Idaho State beat Toledo. Of course they did- national “powers” are supposed to beat Toledo.
Utah, Air Force, and Nevada also won on Saturday. As a note- tBBC will continue coverage of all of college football through these weekly features because we never want our readers to have a limited worldview in regards to what quality performance might look like. That is all.
In the basketball conference known as the ACC, Butch Davis found enough players who hadn’t been involved with agents to beat the Clemson Tigers, and Florida State put a beating of epic proportions on the Hurricanes. As Eric pointed out earlier, this doesn’t help Ohio State’s “case” for a national title at all, but does reinforce what I said earlier. The Seminoles are getting things done on defense; they managed to control the game with only one Jacory Harris gift pick.
A bit closer to home- Bret Bielema continues to make friends, and the Gophers continue to struggle. Wisconsin’s coach decided to go for two up 25 points; something that Tim Brewster took significant offense to. Can you blame him? He’s already on the hot seat, losing in a huge stadium built to encase his “developing” program, and now he sees The Axe go back to Wisconsin for the seemingly billionth time. It’s easy to see how he might be a bit difficult to live with these days. Gopher alumni- Mike Leach is available. Just sayin’.
Also in the Big T1e1n- Purdue stopped being Purdue just in time to upset the previously undefeated Northwestern Wildcats. So much for three undefeated conference teams- thanks, gang.
Ohio State’s struggles against the Fightin’ Zooks look a lot different now that the team from Champaign headed to Happy Valley and upset Penn State. Stat warning: the teams that have beaten the Illini are currently undefeated this season. Illinois could end up as the number three team in the conference when it’s all said and done- just good enough for Ron to keep his job. Everything is moving according to plans…
This week: Thursday night opens the weekend with the Governor’s Cup game between the KU and KSU teams from the Big Twelve-2. Illinois and MSU looks a heck of a lot more interesting than it did at the beginning of the season- is Sparty ready for a let-down? Arkansas travels to Auburn, while Cal comes to Southern Cal.
Also in the Big “We’re saying it’s Twelve” is the game everyone’s been waiting for- a rematch of last year’s conference championship game, as Texas travels to Lincoln to play the #5 Huskers. In case you’ve forgotten (or are a masochistic Nebraska fan):
The “We play defense, son” tour continues as the Hawkeyes come to Ann Arbor for a dreadlock battle between Denard and Adam Clayborn. I know who I’m taking…
Given that we’re publishing this on 10.10.10, it’s probably worthwhile to end with this: