The Week That Were: 11.05.11

Written November 7th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

The Week That Were looks at the hyperbolic and the unexpected. Once again, I was wandering around the wilderness on gameday, which explains why Stevie makes a repeat appearance as our soundtrack for “The Review Of The Century”:

NOTE- Scroll down for our comments regarding Penn State coverage.

Knowing Your Target Demographic

Well, let’s get right to it… the game that many saw as a pick-em at kickoff, between the top two teams in the country, was the “highlight” of an interesting week.  Sorry for those of you playing the “oversigning” drinking game- in the hours and hours of lead up and coverage, not a single mention of the biggest issue behind the scenes for this matchup. At least you could be the Designated Driver, right?

As for the game itself- it was a classic matchup of two solid defenses. Or, it was a clash between two teams that could not offensively amount to much of anything. It all depends on your perspective, I reckon.

That’s not to say that there weren’t moments to enjoy, though. I’m someone who normally appreciates defensive struggles but also hates soccer,  and I can admit the players that Alabama and LSU didn’t run off during the offseason put on the field showed the “SEC Speed” that we continue to hear so much about during home game bowl season. To keep Trent Richardson in check when he’d been running through offenses like he was a fancy car or something… that’s significant. These teams both were firing on all cylinders on the defensive side of the ball, even if they couldn’t outscore a baseball game.

Only one thing frustrated me, to be honest- Les Miles absolutely should have faked the third down field goal and gone for the touchdown.  Lester… man, you’re getting soft. Saban, on the other hand, was in championship form- I can see why people want to play for him… he’s so cuddly!

Yup. Ain't NOBODY Scoring Tonight.

Speaking of one dimensional, the good folks at T. Boone Pickens University decided to play a little XBox game against Kansas State, and the four letter network was there to cover it. It was a great offensive clinic; even UberMan Mike Gundy said after finding out the “Game Of The Century” score- “They should have been watching our game”.  Oklahoma State bumps up to the #2 slot in the BCS poll, which further solidifies their role as this season’s Oregon (as if the booster built program and veritable cornucopia of game day costumes coupled with a hurry up offense wasn’t indication enough).

Here’s an honest suggestion for a game that I’d pay per view without hesitation- Team Will Lyles (Oregon’s O, LSU’s D) versus Team BamaBoone (toOSU’s offense and Alabama’s D). There’d be enough money to surpass whatever bowl payouts each team would normally see… Shoot, you could flip it and have Miles’ current and former programs versus Chip and Nick- either way, can we get Mark Cuban to get on this ASAP?

One story that shook up the college sports landscape also happened in Stillwater (not so still, huh? Good one, Mali…), where Kirk Herbstreit demonstrated the finest journalism and professionalism that the four letter network has seen in a while:

Seriously, I would have been underneath the desk once things started shaking, although given that it was Oklahoma there are always other explanations for that type of incident.  All I know is, if it’s enough to make the birds and bugs leave, then you can count me vapor trails.

Not Gonna End Up Well

Time for another photo from our Midwestern Correspondent- this one from the OU/aTm game, as the “farewell tour” for the Aggies continues on as you’d expect it to. As a reminder, if you go to a game, send us a photo and we’ll run it that week!

OU continues to press towards an epic version of “Bedlam” against the Cowboys- again, with national title considerations involved. While they’ll miss the services of WR Ryan Broyles, who suffered an season ending ACL injury against the Aggies,  they’ve more than got a  great replacement in the person of Jaz Reynolds, who makes a spectacular catch for the second straight week. Here’s the video of “The Catch Of The Week:

 

aTm isn’t the only team leaving the SEC; as it became official that the Missouri Tigers will start playing “Big Boy Football” in the fall of 2012. They’ll be playing in the Eastern Division, which only makes sense in the SEC and in a world where the Big East conference includes a team from Idaho. And we wonder why my daughter can’t learn geography. You’ve got to wonder if the Boise State contingent is ready for the mandatory makeover that comes with Big East membership, though… On second thought- that’s a Big Integer haircut, and may be again someday.

Rumors were swirling on Sunday that Old Miss coach Houston Nutt had been fired following a loss to Kentucky in a game not named “basketball”. Although, coach Nutt was a bit confused by the matter and has denied it thus far, saying that it’s actually a case of Old Miss signing another coach to take his place, and that they’ll work the numbers out in the off season.

Also in the SEC- seems that the horticulture department at Georgia is excelling yet again.

 

We talked briefly about Mike Gundy, but the Louisville Cardinal head coach one ups his wicked dance moves by taking a great leap of faith after Saturday’s win.

As the brother of a high school official, I would be incredibly remiss if I didn’t make this play from the Vandy/Florida game the “Hit Of The Week”

Every Lineman's Dream

In the “Our Ten Goes To Twelve” conference, there were a couple of surprising games. First, as we’ve covered extensively, the Ohio State team got a surprise from Indiana in a win that only looked good on the scoreboard. Or if you’re Woody Hayes. The Hoosiers got inspiration from a surprising source, which is why we’re always cautious hereabouts… although I understand that the former administration made an impact Up North (scroll down).

Up North, they’re still complaining about the Pass Interference That Wasn’t Called. Another option is that they ran into a team that knew them all to well- when your logo looks like the other team’s head coach, there’s trouble brewing (ht MZone). Following the game, Wolverine fan(s) got another dose of bad medicine- their “we’ve got to outscore them” defense lost a DB for the second straight week. And yes, Michigan does have a semblance of a defense this year. Ah well… those who stay will have stayed, and all that. Meanwhile in the game that my wife won’t let me talk about, Northwestern upset the Huskers and established consonant supremacy in the “whatever division Ohio State’s not in” Division of the B1G.

Time for “You Make The Call” here at tBBC: Is this the right interpretation of the rules regarding helmet to helmet contact or is this the PAC12 once again doing what it can to make sure that the conference front runner gets an advantage. You Make The Call!

 

While the big matchup on the left coast next week is the Stanford/Oregon clash, the “did you know?” moment comes in the southern division, where UCLA holds the keys to playing in the first ever conference championship game. Granted, they have to beat Southern Cal first, but with Neuheisel at the helm I wouldn’t bet against it.

If you’re in Southern California and see any timeouts laying around, be sure to pick them up- they’re worth valuable cash on Ebay!

Ohio Dominican upset number one Ashland, due (of course) to the excellent coaching by Rob Harley. Go Panthers!

We talked about the major game of the week this week, Luck vs. Ducks, but there are other games on the slate as well. TBPU looks to keep from allowing TTU to knock off both teams from Oklahoma this year, and Beamer Ball will square off against the Georgia Tech running attack. Iowa looks to go 2-0 against the state of Michigan, and Auburn/Georgia is a more interesting matchup than it would have been a couple of months ago. The Old Ball Coach Bowl (Florida/USCe) is upon us, as is the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe in Minnesota. TCU and Boise State would have been interesting earlier in the year as well; now it’s the “Yup, we’re outta here” game before both jump to greener pastures. aTm and KSU match up, and Texas gives a farewell present to Missouri. Ohio State travels to West Lafayette looking to avoid something that I can’t remember and to repeat something that didn’t happen according to the NCAA. Nebraska’s Cornhuskers will get their first conference trip to Happy Valley- I hope they’re received as well as they treat others.

—–

The story of the weekend, though, was the unfortunate situation in Happy Valley; I’m thankful that Nebraska is the fanbase coming into Beaver Stadium after such a horrible week of news for Nittany Lion fans.  Here’s a quick summary of what you can find out on the googles; after that, I’ll talk a little bit about tBBC’s coverage of this story.

OK.

First- a personal note. I’ve had friends and family members whose lives have been wrecked by allegations  and facts regarding inappropriate sexual conduct with minors. So, this may hit me a bit differently than someone else.

That being said, let me state that we here at tBBC, while not avoiding this matter, will not be seeking to keep up with it as every breaking event or new piece of allegation comes forward. It is an important story, it does and will have an impact on the world of college sports and the B1G Conference, but we’re going to allow others to give it more extensive coverage as it progresses.

My rationale for this has several tenents:

  • First, this is not a story about Ohio State sports. While there are some who would mistakenly attempt to make it so, to do so is wrongheaded. To do so, as a reaction to something that another college football fan would say or in a response to some previous transgression from those who follow another program does a disservice to what is truly at issue here and those impacted by it.
  • Second, this is not a story about sports. While the people who are in the headlines are figures from the sporting world, while football plays a central role in this unbelievable narrative, the fact of the matter is that this is about the abuse of minors. Just as an episode of “To Catch A Predator” is not about Facebook, this is not, at it’s heart, about sports.
  • Third, the victims deserve better. The young adults at the center of this issue, their families, the families and friends of others caught up in this need to be recognized as individuals rather than used as pawns for whatever agenda might creep into our coverage and discussion of this.
  • Fourth, Penn State deserves better. I realize that, for many readers of this website, this might be the place where my logic train goes off the track- I know that many visitors to Happy Valley or other venues across the college football landscape have been treated poorly. This happens in person and behind the anonymity of the internet; but that doesn’t make it right. Columbus, Ann Arbor, Madison all have elements that fail to represent their university’s ideals- it’s up to someone to seek higher ground.
  • Finally, I believe in the Golden Rule. Over the past few months, Ohio State fans have learned the hard way what it’s like to be on the other side of schadenfreude; the ongoing allegations, rumors, and “breaking news” of a much lesser story have broken the spirit of many Buckeye fans, and led others to assume a bunker mentality where we attack first and sort out the pieces later. There’s no way that I would wish this type of ongoing scrutiny and speculation and hyperbole on any fanbase; to raise it up to the level that the Penn State situation achieves magnifies my position on this. Yes, Buckeye Nation has been the scourge of the college football world in the eyes of many outsiders. My opinion is that this should encourage us to respond with more grace rather than respond with more venom… to treat others with the respect that we believe we should have been given.

In none of this am I seeking to excuse any of the behavior alleged in this situation- it is not possible. Instead, I’m trying to gather my thoughts on a difficult matter and set a foundation moving forward.

College sports is transcendent in my life- a blessed distraction and a place where the values and ethics of community, hard work, enthusiasm, and commitment are paramount and should be evident to those who witness a contest between young adults who have hopefully set themselves to this ideal. When these values are betrayed, our goal is to point back to the good that can and does exist rather than focus solely on the negativity that might be occurring.

Or, in other words- “On your best days, be great. On your worst days, be good. Every other day, get better.”

1 Comment

  1. KenNo Gravatar
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Some week, eh? I think your decision on how to cover the PSU situation is appropriate, for all the reasons you’ve stated. Although the volume and detail of GJ testimony is pretty damning and as much as our gut instinct is to do otherwise, we need to let this legal process play out. You are correct to point out that these are non-sports related allegations. Frankly, I don’t think there would have been this level of indignation if the allegations, although no less heinous were against someone from their English or History departments.

    [Reply]

Comment On Article

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE
Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE