There’s no way that we can start this week’s post without wishing Happy Birthday to Coach Jim Tressel. Ironically, it’s also the day of the ninja; although I can’t imagine the silent assassins being as polite or methodical as Senior Sweatervest- how would you write “Dave” in kanji?
While there were several significant games on the old telly this week, there were also off field doin’s that should not be left undiscussed. First, in this year’s addition of the River City Rivalry/Snow Bowl, Pittsburgh easily handled Ohio’s BCS team. That didn’t, however, keep the Bearcat mascot from getting arrested and escorted out of the stadium. Video and such, for those of you who are into that kind of thing, can be found here.
The Big lEast ended as it started, with a three way tie at the top of the conference. Pitt’s victory, along with West Virginia’s win over Rutgers that seemed to make their fans filled with glee, meant that UConn was still in the driver’s seat should they hold off South Florida. A late, long field goal meant that the 8-4 Huskies have earned themselves a bid to a BCS game.
As we mentioned earlier, this means that a team that only managed 10 points against the Wolverines will get to face off against, most likely, the Oklahoma Sooners. While we’ve given the Big lEast grief here in the past, it should be noted that the conference only has two teams that don’t have the requisite 6 wins necessary to go to a bowl game, a much better experience than our west coast stalwarts in the Pac-10. At this juncture, only four teams from that conference will be headed to the post season, since Southern Cal is on probation (sorry, that’s still awesome to write) and Arizona State’s 6-6 record includes too many victories over FCS schools. So, with two teams going to the BCS, this means that there’ll be four bowls looking for help with the automatic tie ins.
Let’s stay in the Pac-10 and visit the Civil War between Oregon/toOSU- it’s probably a good thing that the Bearcat didn’t try to attend this matchup.Even though it ended up being a lopsided affair, that doesn’t mean that Oregon State went quietly.
We’ll join the Heat Miser and the game in progress at the start of the fourth quarter, where the Beavers forced a third and long for the Ducks. You know how I know? Because they played the “third down chainsaw noise” in the stadium. When even Beavers start outsourcing their lumber cutting needs, you know the economy is struggling.
The next play saw an underthrown pass up the sideline; the Duck receiver didn’t know where the ball was, and turned to go through the Oregon State player who had position. Of course, the flag was thrown on the Beavers… and the Ducks went on to score and essentially put the game away. Interestingly enough, on scoring the running back immediately made an “O” to the crowd and was called for a fifteen yard penalty congratulated by his teammates.
That’s not to say that there wasn’t excitement off the field; according to Erin Andrews, life many have just gotten less annoying on the Gameday set. And if anyone knows off the field issues, it’s EA.
Although, there’s no competing with the off field activities in Los Angeles, where the LA Rivalry gotz realz.
Look, I’m from LA- these guys should be grateful that they didn’t have to go inside the Rose Bowl and sit through the craptacular game between the Bruins and the Trojans- in the three minutes that I watched, there were four exchanges… seemed like no one wanted to win and be bowl eligible. From LAist:
Here’s what happened in the third quarter: UCLA Kickoff; USC punt; UCLA interception; USC interception; UCLA fumble; USC turnover on downs; UCLA punt; USC interception; UCLA punt; end of quarter.
In the end, USC won and begun their prep work for the team’s bowl plans. Also out west, a late win by the Washington Huskies won this year’s “Crapple Cup” and sent Jake Locker to a bowl game against a Big 12 team that has a much better record than 6-6.
I’m beginning to be an advocate for non- conference officiating for the last four weeks of the season. Conferences have just too much at stake to not risk questioned integrity for their calls… there’s certainly enough criticism for referees anyway, to think that a crew may be working to ensure their undefeated team stays that way and on the path to a big payday for every team in the conference. Of course, you’d have to work to make sure that the crew involved didn’t also have a perceived bias; a Mountain West group handling a SEC Championship Game, for instance; but it is something to look into.
We’ve already talked about one half of the eventual national championship matchup, we might as well get to the Auburn/South Carolina game. Cam Newton all but locked up the opportunity to vacate the Heisman Trophy with his spectacular performance on the field. At least, that’s what anyone who watched the broadcast on CBSEC would be able to conclude- it was pretty obvious that the network’s representative had drank the Kool-Aide regarding talking points that did not include mention of the allegations and scandal. You know who did have an opinion on the NCAA’s decision regarding Cam Newton? Jim Delany.
“We’ve gone to the board of directors to create bright lines, to encourage the N.C.A.A. to take creative risks to get everyone on a more level playing field. This was an opportunity to apply a very reasonable concept. They chose to go with a very high standard instead of what’s more of a reasonable application given the facts and reality that we’re dealing with.
In response to the Newton decision, Nick Saban was so angry that he cleared even more space on his roster for athletes who don’t know what their parents are doing.
Which do you think is more embarrassing, being a guy who loses the Dr. Pepper challenge to a girl, or to a person who uses a chest pass? Luckily, this young man won’t have to make that decision:
In the ACC- don’t look now, but the Hokies have turned a joke of a season around and are the winners of eleven straight. I’d give you more details from the conference championship, but I watched just as much of it as I watched of the MAC title game. Congrats, then, to Virginia Tech and the Miami Redhawks. Moving on…
For the second straight year, the Cornhuskers dropped a close game in the Big 12 title match up, this time to their rivals from the University of Oklahoma. That this only the second time in 14 years that these two met in the final game; reason enough to fight to keep the Buckeyes and Mich1gAAn in the same division in the new conference. While Nebraska fans were described as folks who were seldom happy with the officiating (for good reason, it seems), this game falls on Nebraska’s inability to win the turnover battle. While not the way Big Red wanted to end their tenure in the Big 12, it was an exciting season where they seemed to continue the defensive excellence from last year to go along with an exciting offensive firepower. It looks promising for them to end up in their third straight (and first Big T1e2n) conference championship game next year; whether the results are the same as the last two is something I refuse to discuss since my wife has yet to go Christmas shopping.
Since we’re on the topic of the Cornhuskers, it looks like the Big T1e2n is content to see if they can play well with others before growing the need to redo their logo again. This doesn’t mean that expansion is completely off the table, though- only that the Conference isn’t pursuing it aggressively. I’m sure that they’ll continue to be as passive-aggressive as is appropriate.
Mount Union easily handled Alfred, while D3 power Wisconsin Whitewater struggled early in their matchup. Be on the lookout for this weeks’ “Game From Obscurity”- it’s sure to have folks seeing red.
Since there’s no real Buckeye news to review this weekend, it’s also important to give a huge shout-out to team MVP Dane Sanzenbacher. Terrelle was the offensive MVP while Cam was the defensive award winner; the Dispatch has all the details from this week’s team dinner.
To celebrate Minnesota’s hire of Jerry Kill away from Northern Illinois, here’s my all time favorite televised NIU moment: