The Week That Were: 10.13.12

Written October 15th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Here we are, mid-October, when everything starts getting pumpkin flavored for better or worse. So, you’ve got two choices for soundtracks this week, via the “full albums” on Youtube- Something October-ish, or something more Pumpkiny. Salud.

Foreshadowing

Ah, Texas… where dreams go to die.  Three of the most interesting storylines this week came Deep In The Heart Of, so let’s travel to Lubbock to get things started.  Really, there’s no other reason to head there.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an idiot. Well, when I get the chance… which was this weekend when the team I’d most like to see play Oregon in a bowl game ended up falling victim to the same Achillies Heel that Oregon has in the past- defensive line pressure. The Red Raiders’ ability to disrupt the Mountaineer passing game by owning their backfield was something that the rest of the B12 will certainly pay attention to; Geno Smith is much better in the pocket with his timing not hampered by large persons seeking to do him bodily harm of some sort.  Not that this should disrupt his Heisman candidacy; I know a number of quarterbacks who would love to go 29-55 for 275 yards, although West Virginia’s inability to score has got to be troubling with games against more stout defenses looming.  What really led to the 49-14 win, though, was the Mountaineer Defense’s inability to stop anything that Tuberville’s Raiders were dialing up… we saw that the the defense was suspect against Baylor and Texas, it finally caught up to them in a way that the offense couldn’t counter. /reads last sentence, looks at tOSU-v-Indiana box score, calls therapist.

If Smith’s Heisman candidacy was bumped at all on Saturday, it might open up the door for Texas A&M’s “Johnny Football”, quarterback Manziel managed 395 yards and 3 TDs through the air, and another 181 and 3 scores on the ground against a very game Louisiana Tech team that went toe to toe with the Aggies. We talked about Tech before; their offensive gameplan is quite unique and very high powered/up-tempo- very similar to what we’re seeing across the country. Don’t be surprised if their coach isn’t in the SEC or B12 in a year or two, given some of the frustrations that the “traditional” programs are having with their current administrations.

Which brings us to the Red River Shootout, a celebration of football and fried food from the Texas State Fairgrounds in Dallas. Over the past several years, though, the “shootout” has been more like shooting fish in a barrel, as the Sooners have absolutely owned the Longhorns on the scoreboard. For many ‘Horns fans, though, the 36-2 halftime score meant that they could head out to the midway to enjoy the Fair rather than watching their team continue to fall apart.  The RRSO brings us our first candidate for “hit of the week”, although, given how Texas played, it’s not surprising that the shot in question resulted in a penalty, and wasn’t even in the field of play:

This week’s news that Mack Brown had received a contract extension through 2020 makes even the most die-hard of Texas fans wonder if the people in Austin have lost their senses… in reading a number of fan sites, the consensus is that Brown has primarily rested on the laurels of two great quarterbacks, but otherwise has done little to develop the program. Personally, I feel that his work in keeping the Longhorn program out of the news and the NCAA’s spotlight is a significant accomplishment in this day and age… and I speak from experience here.

Coach Brown isn’t the only one on a slightly toasty seat these days- Gene Chizik’s recliner must be absolutely roasting. Again, the criticism is that, outside of one incredible purchase quarterback, the Auburn Tigers haven’t been able to keep pace with the rest of the country and their conference, as was evidenced in their providing Old Miss with their first SEC win in 16 attempts. Also on a somewhat warmer chair would be Tennessee’s Derek Dooley; although a loss against undefeated Mississippi State isn’t as big of a surprise as it may have been earlier in the year. Elsewhere in the SEC, Vanderbilt hung tough against Florida for the first half, but ended up falling into too deep of a hole in the third quarter. Amazing what that Muschamp feller is doing with so many castoffs and leftovers from the previous administration, isn’t it?  Here’s our second candidate for hit of the week:

Let’s take a quick jaunt around the world of fashion before we return to the contests that matter- this week saw a number of snazzy new threads and at least one that missed the mark pretty soundly.  Brigham Young chose to go with a really cool looking all black number in their home loss to undefeated Oregon State, a color choice that was ironic due to, well, you know. Washington broke out the white helmets and pantalones in their home loss to a Southern Cal team that’s still trying to find their way this season.  Even though it was a loss, I think the uniforms were the best looking of this week’s “alternates”.

Psst- Nike and Ohio State Administration… did you notice that teams with “new” uniforms are losing? Keep that in mind before you goof up The Game.

The award for the worst look goes to South Carolina, who decided to honor the troops in gear that was described by one person on twitter as “looking like the bugs from Starship Troopers“. The Ol’ Ball Coach was unable to maintain their undefeated season, falling in Death Valley to Les Miles and LSU by a two point margin as the Tigers were finally able to establish a running game.  The Hat -vs- The Visor is always a great sideline matchup, and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing it again in the SEC Championship Game.

T0 get there, though, the road for LSU runs through Alabama, who spent the afternoon destroying a Missouri team that probably still waits by the phone for Jim Delaney to call.  The Tigers are now 0-4 in the SEC, and it doesn’t look to get any better in the near future.  Alabama joins our “hits of the week” list for this play; would have been number one if it weren’t for the fact that it’s a personal foul and he didn’t get any back points for it. This might also look a bit familiar to Browns fans:

This Week In Crowd Noise is brought to you by the folks in Bloomington (15 minutes before kickoff, although the students were on fall break) and West Lafayette (end of a blowout game in crappy weather). The reigning champ, though, continues to be the great fans in Coral Gables- here’s the pre-game crowd at the conference match against North Carolina.  Next time the Hurricanes are on Television, watch the coverage closely- there are never shots that show the stadium or the crowd, only the field and sidelines.  When your fanbase makes television production adapt the way it does business, then you’ve really accomplished something.

Ok, it’s time to talk about the other huge storyline of the weekend- Officiating in Indiana. First, the good news… that annoying Notre Dame fan in your office? Yeah, he just got a ton more annoying, as the Irish are still undefeated following their victory against Stanford in South Bend on Saturday night.  As much as I hate to do it, I have to take my imaginary hat off to the Irish defense, who still have not allowed a rushing touchdown this season… how nice would that be?  Of course, that statement comes with an asterisk, as anyone who watched Saturday’s contest on NBC can attest.  If you missed it, here’s the final play from a couple of angles:

And here’s a .gif of the same play, slowed down just a bit.

After the game, several experts weighed in on the call, with even NFL officials saying that they would have reversed the on field decision and given Stanford the score.  Although, given their track record, I’m not sure that’s much of a vote of confidence.  At any rate, Sunday morning’s college football shows also included an interview with a collegiate official who said that the burden of proof they use required “indisputable evidence”, and given that there were questions about if the player’s lower body was down, if his forearm was down, if he maintained possession, and when the play was blown dead there was not enough solid evidence to overturn the field’s call.  I disagree, but I appreciate the clarification.

What I don’t understand then {puts on “homer” hat} is how the same burden of proof denied Carlos Hyde a touchdown against Indiana, denied Christian Bryant an interception against the Hoosiers, and overturned the onside kick call.  It sounds as if the evidence must be “indisputable” and have leave no possibility that something else has happened in order to make a change; in these three plays from Saturday Night, that simply wasn’t the case.  Hear me correctly: this didn’t change the defensive lapses or the Hoosier’s efforts, and didn’t cost the Buckeyes the game, but it shows an inconsistency that is incredibly frustrating to a fanbase that already has reason to be skeptical against the B1G’s officiating acumen.

And that’s not even the sole instance of possible “home cooking” for the Irish- in the drive that led to the game tying field goal, there was a personal foul and a pass interference penalty that kept the drive alive for Notre Dame, both of which were 50/50 calls at best. Given that the fact that the crew was from the Pac12, it’s difficult to understand how they dropped the ball so badly.

As we mentioned, the calls in Bloomington didn’t cost the Buckeyes the game; they were among a spate of visiting teams that won on Saturday. We talked about Purdue’s failure to contain Montee Ball, Michigan handled Illinois in spite of Denard hurting his spoonin’ pinky.  Michigan State lost to Iowa in overtime, and Minnesota was unable to hold off Northwestern in a game that brought us our hit of the week:

There’s “Trucked”, and there’s “Trucked so hard your logo flew off your helmet”- This is the latter.  Following the game, Coach Jerry Kill was rushed to the hospital following another seizure, although reports are that he has been released and will be in the office on Monday.  We wish nothing but the best for our favorite “looks like their mascot” coach.

Sunday saw the release of the first BCS rankings, and as you can imagine they’re pretty SEC heavy- Alabama, Florida and LSU all in the top 6. If eligible, Ohio State would be 5.25; as it is there are no B1G teams in the rankings at this point. I can’t figure out how that’s possible- Texas is in despite back to back losses to one-loss teams, Stanford is also in with two deficits. As a reminder, Mich1gAAn’s two losses came to two undefeated teams, both of whom are currently in the top 5 of this poll. Even more embarrassing for the B1G is the reality that three Big lEast teams are ranked… four, if you count Southern Idaho State University. Ah well… it’s only one more year, right?

Before we jump into the upcoming matchups, here’s the catch of the day from Pitt’s loss to Louisville.  It’s no Devin Smith, but it’ll do:

We’ve got you all covered for the Purdue matchup this week, but there are some significant games that you’ll want to keep an eye on as well.  Consonants galore in the B1G, as Ns (Nebraska and Northwestern) and Ms (TTUN and MSU) match up, the latter being another chance for little brother to rise up. Cal and Stanford meet up for the Axe, while Florida hosts their former coach (the one who didn’t leave the cupboard bare) when the Gamecocks come to town.  We’ve got a B12 quarterback duel when Smith and the Mountaineers host Kansas State and Klein, who look to stay undefeated. Also, Penn State’s new coach tries to overcome whatever jinx that Iowa had on their previous administration.

But the battle of the week is in the SEC but not on the field.  While LSU and aTm will be an amazing game, this week marks the showdown between the LSUFreek and CuppyCup, both maestros in the realm of .gif/video/farks. We’ll leave you with one piece each from their great repertoire… we’re sure to be the winner no matter who emerges victorious this week.

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