Here’s the soundtrack for this week’s journey through the recent past. It’s from one of my favorite artists, and the greatest Thanksgiving movie ever ANDIWILLFIGHTYOUIFYOUDISAGREE. Ahem.
Although I usually don’t take requests, I almost made an exception for Coach Rodriguez.
What a great week of football- three days worth of collegiate goodness, interspersed with some NFL stuff, lots of food, and the occasional neighborhood game. Although, this year things ended up being a little messy.
I guess you could say that the mess all started on Thursday, when our friends in burnt orange managed to lose their rivalry game against the Aggies. As you can imagine, the good folks at Shaggy Bevo are taking this well, particularly given that most of the losses happened in Austin.
The Longhorn’s collapse is the first time in recent memory that a team has gone from the BCS championship game to not even being bowl eligible. As a “fun fact”; this BCS season will be without the following names: Pete Carroll, Mack Brown, Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Les Miles, with the jury still out on whether Bobby Stoops gets an invite. You know who’s going to be at the BCS Ball? Jim Tressel. Again.
Fridays’ games were just as exciting, with Auburn performing the “Greatest Iron Bowl Comeback Ever To Be Vacated” against ‘Bama after being down 21-0 in the first quarter. Granted, Alabama QB McElroy was injured in the second half, but the Tide followed their protocol and inserted the next person with the same haircut.
Also on Friday, everyone’s favorite squadron with questionable mascot clearance protocol had the chance to lock up a berth in the MAC championship, only to blow up against Kent’s Golden Flashes. Well done, Fighting Soliches.
Last week, I welcomed the Pitt Panthers to the realms of the bowl eligible. Of course, then, they choked at home against WVU. Following the game there were rumors of Bill Stewart retiring, which he refuted. I’m certain that he’s waiting to go work at Mich1gAAn; who are rumored to be courting the Mountaineer’s defensive coordinator. Didn’t we already have the conversation about not trusting Big lEast statistics? Should we have it another three times?
Friday’s other games saw Nebraska decimate the Colorado Intramural squadron for the last time in their “storied” (read “poor substitute for OU/Nebraska”) rivalry. Out in the PAC-10, the Sun Devils embarrassed UCLA; the most exciting thing was the kid who fell out of the stands and just shook it off. Oregon did what Oregon does- played around with Arizona for a half before putting them out of their misery. “Fun fact”- The only team to hold LaMichael James to under 70 yards in his career was Ohio State in last year’s Rose Bowl.
Which brings us to the late night game of the week- Southern Idaho State’s loss “anywhere, anytime” to the Wolfpack of Nevada after two missed field goals; first at the end of regulation, then in overtime. You’ve really got to wonder if, given the earlier “news”, President Gee is a member of this facebook group?
Connecticut beat “Ohio’s BCS Team” on Saturday, ensuring that they are in the driver’s seat for the Big lEast automatic bid (even though they are unranked in the top 25). Be ready to hear fans from TSUN crow about beating a conference champion during this off season; be also ready to remind them that Rich Rod could always win in the Big lEast.
Hey, just out 0f curiosity, you think there are any families in Utah with the “House Divided BYU/Utah” flag where it applies to both of the wives? Well, the Ute side of the family is happier today following their win in the Holy War
Michigan State won their share of the last Big T1e1n title by holding on to beat Penn State in Happy Valley. It’s good to see the Lion faithful pouring out to support their team, in spite of the weather and the record. That’s a proud tradition, there… Iowa maintained their tradition of not meeting expectations, falling to Minnesota and losing the bronze pig trophy. Purdue’s mustached man lost Ye Olde Oaken Bucket to Indiana; although it may not have been enough to hold off the mob looking for Coach Lynch’s head.
Indiana’s Bill Lynch has been fired by the Hoosiers, in spite of their win over Purdue. That’s two openings in conference (thus far, right Dave?), in addition to some national opportunities as well. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA can improve on their atrocious diversity numbers for coaches in D1 (FBS) schools (11 in 120 schools), or if the Pac 10 and Big T1e2n can finally hire an African American head coach.
We’ll be talking about The Game all week, but I wanted to draw your attention to the fine job that the officials did. For the second straight week, the Big T1e1n deserves kudos for having their brightest and best assigned to the Buckeyes.
“Fun Fact”- Michigan has scored 24 points against Ohio State under Rich Rodriguez’ offensive genius (take that as you will). Denard was held without a score for the first time this season, and the Buckeyes held Tate to only two interceptions; well below his average for the series.
Speaking of former proud programs who’ve lost their “swagger”, here’s a photo taken at halftime of Miami’s home loss to South Florida. Probably not surprising that Coach Randy Shannon was fired after the game, although I know other coaches with worse records who are still employed. Hey, you know what Miami needs? Pirates. Wonder how our favorite Hurricane is feeling today?
In the SEC, Kentucky fans drove back to Lexington with dreams of basketball championships, as the Vols defeated them for what seemed to be the billionth time in a row. Vandy’s coach resigned following their game with Wake Forest, something the Commodores seemed to have done as a team much earlier than that. Urban Meyer’s squadron lost to Florida State for the first time in six years. Wishing you’d stayed with that leave of absence, Urb? Georgia was able to beat Georgia Tech, perhaps due in part to their allegiances with Sith Lords.
The SEC Game of the Century For Saturday was the Western Conference battle between Arkansas and LSU’s vaunted defense. It’s unfortunate that the Tigers’ quarterback fumbled away a chance for Les Miles to figure out a way to mismanage the gameclock at the end. With the win, the Razorbacks are in consideration for the SEC “at large” bid to the BCS, and many see them playing the Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl should Auburn win this weekend. I guess we’ll know for sure when we see this in the parking lot. If it does happen, I’d love to be a fly on the wall of the conversation between the Mallett and Boren families.
Since I live in Southern California, I “got” to miss the Bedlam game between Oklahoma and T. Boone Pickens University. However, I did see the defensive highlight of the year numerous times on ESPN- if you missed it, here:
The Sooner win means that the Big 12 South is in the same position they were in 2008, with three teams tied and the BCS ranking being used as the final default. As such, we’ll probably have an OU/Nebraska championship game; ironically the thing that everyone pointed to when the conference was initially formed and the rivalry not protected. And you wonder why we were so concerned about divisional alignments and The Game.
The BCS will also be used to determine the Big Ten placement, although this will be for the bowl games. As it looks now, Michigan State will be on the outside of the BCS… although next year they’d be playing Wisconsin in the Championship Game. There are rumors that Ohio State could end up in the Rose Bowl, although it’s not likely. In my opinion; if it happens, fine. However, I think Wisconsin won the right to represent the conference on the field. Please see Oklahoma/Texas debacle of 2008 for reference. The Buckeyes had their chance to play for the National Title and lost their focus; even though they’ve been playing well as of late, you can’t argue head to head (unless you don’t like playoffs).
Here’s one guy’s pretty predictable bowl matchups, for your consideration and the sake of argument:
Well, since I had to watch it, congrats to Brian Kelly and Notre Dame for being bowl eligible (just like Mich1gAAn and more than 50% of FBS teams) and for their win against Southern Cal. The game affirmed for me that Lane Kiffin is the perfect fit for the Trojans; like many LA celebrities, he seems to be over his head and only has his position because of his father. Fight on.
This week’s slate of games include the ACC/SEC/Big12 championship games, as well as the LA Battle between Southern Cal and UCLA, the “Civil War” in Oregon, Washington’s “Two Teams, One Cup“, and the River City Rivalry With A Gaudy Piece Of Hardware. In addition, the Illinois/Fresno State and Arizona/ASU games might have an impact on the Big Ten bowl placement, since Ohio State and Wisconsin have an interest in seeing their strength of schedule improve. Buckeye fans should cheer for Illinois and the Wildcats, FYI.
Since we’re all headed back from being home over the Thanksgiving holiday, you’re probably happy to hear that our air travel is safe and secure: