Hope you’re not too hungover from Homecoming… Not that there’d be anything wrong with that. This weeks’ TWTW is being composed with this concert in the background- say goodbye to your Pandora station for the next hour and 45 minutes.
This has been identified as the first “Shakedown Saturday” of the season, and we knew early on that this would be a heck of a week for college football. While #1 Alabama sat idle, the rest of the top 10 was involved in contests amongst themselves… where commentators chose to ignore the fact that this was destined to happen when you put all the teams in one conference in the top ten because they’re in that conference. But I digress..
Let’s start with the state of Florida, which went 1-2 on the weekend, and saw two “they’re back!!!” programs fall by the wayside. The exception to this, of course, are those poor souls in Gainesville, which were gutted and pillaged by the Evil Urban Meyer on his way to the greener pastures in Columbus. A miracle, then, that they managed to host the number four team in the nation and managed to pull together a 14-6 win, in spite of the fact that LSU is one of the greatest teams of all time and forever (note, applies to SEC teams but especially ones from the SEC West). It seems as if the Mad Hatter finally had the injuries that have plagued his team catch up with them… although, like many people, I wasn’t sure that they were ranked properly with a number of “close” calls and a “quality” win over Washington bolstering their resume. Hear me correctly- I think Coach Muschamp is doing solid things at Florida, in spite of the fact that Urban burned down every building and shot all the coaching staff on his way out… I just am not all that impressed with a win over an LSU team that might have more issues than their SECW status would allow anyone to talk about. Ah well.
In Chicago, we were given the chance to witness a game that would have been really interesting in the late 80′s… although, this version had a bit of intrigue as well. A resurgent Notre Dame team chose to play in Soldier Field in front of it’s biggest alumni base and revisit the good times that were the “Catholics -vs- Criminals” matchups that created must see TV when I was in high school and college. Even though it was a neutral site game, you’ve got to know that Miami felt daunted playing a) this far north and b) in front of more fans than they’d seen all season (and that’s just on the Loop driving into the game). The 41-3 Irish win came in spite of the fact that Notre Dame’s quarterback began the game on the bench for a violation of “team rules”. Huh. Perhaps he was found to be responsible for the horrible helmet design that they chose to wear this week. Again, I think that Coach Golden is doing good things in Coral Gables, and haven’t yet figured out how Urban Meyer is at fault for his struggles. But I will persevere on the case… be assured the truth is out there.
In our biggest upset of the week, third ranked Florida State (anointed by this very author as a solid candidate to play for the pretend championship) fell to a North Carolina State team that’s struggled to get out of their own way for the most part of this season, and who lost to ‘Da U just last week. It took a late touchdown to achieve the glorious victory for the Wolfpack, but it certainly was exciting enough that this young person chose to disregard what his parents taught him and rejoice in the moment.
While Notre Dame’s “wardrobe malfunctions” were the highlight of the week, no conversation about crazy outfits is complete without mention of the latest in the “Duck You” line from the good folks in Eugene. This week, in the blowout win against Washington, we saw a return of their “John Deer” look- a throwback of sorts to their green and yellow heritage, with a twist. In addition to the mirrored ball helmet wings that we’ve seen before, they decided to add a yellow and chrome facemask to the the ensemble, giving them sort of a “Bane Of The Northwest” appearance. As always, the Ducks are rolling up huge chunks of yardage and points, but have yet to face a defense with the size and speed up front to disrupt their schemes… and, looking across the PAC12, I don’t see that kind of challenge coming anytime soon.
Also in the top ten was the Ol’ Ball Coach and the “Good coach that can’t ever seem to win anything meaningful” in a matchup of the fifth and sixth best teams in the country. South Carolina is looking more and more poised after their season opening struggle against Vanderbilt, and might just be the challenger to Alabama that the SEC East has been looking for- although Florida certainly will have a lot to say about that in two weeks.
A mid-season “adjustment” for the Bulldogs is not all that unusual, so instead of focusing on the game let’s take a look at what might be the coolest non-Buckeye moment of the weekend:
Wow- dang autumn pollen. Just got really dusty in here.
The two most “interesting” programs in the SEC faced off on Saturday as well, with the Tigers of Auburn giving Arkansas’ traveling clown show (motorcycle no longer included) a warm welcome in the form of the Razorbacks first win of the season. Again, only two years after his national title, and Gene Chizik already finds himself in the hot seat as Auburn languishes in the bottom of the SEC West. Yup, that division sure is a powerhouse…. (/looks at Legends, notes eligible teams, shuts the hell up).
Mizzou is having a rough transition to the SEC as well, and fell to a vastly improved Vanderbilt team at home. One are where they’ve found a way to fit in with their new conference mates? The great challenge of “math”. Mississippi State remains undefeated in the SECWest due to a victory over Kentucky that happened in the most elementary way possible.
The game that we knew would be a shootout: West Virginia traveled to Austin for their first significant matchup of B12 play. While the much-maligned defense of the Longhorns (maligned by their fans, that is) played admirably in the game, the offensive firepower of Geno Smith was too much in the long run, and the Mountaineers held on for a three point win… much to the excitement and enthusiasm of their well attired fanbase. “Keep Austin Weird” indeed. Oh, and given the circumstances, you just knew that The Freek would have an offering for us to commemorate the Dance In Austin.
The second biggest upset of the week was in the B12 as well, where TCU fell to Iowa State in a game that certainly could have used a more steady hand under center. No offense meant to the Cyclones, but the Little Sisters certainly play differently when their starting quarterback hasn’t been arrested and suspended. Oklahoma held off a courageous Texas Tech team in Lubbock, and Baylor spent the week recovering from their loss to in Morgantown last Saturday.
The B12 also brings us the “hit of the week”, this time from the Kansas/KSU game. No, it wasn’t a certain coach attacking an area drive-thru with a schematic advantage… instead, here’s the shot from the staged pregame festivities featuring Willie the Wildcat:
Hey! Let’s play “Fun With The Transitive Property”, shall we? UCLA beats Nebraska~ Ohio State barely beats Cal~ Ohio State pounds Nebraska~ That means that… carry the two… Cal beats UCLA by 26 points? Huh. Math is hard.
Elsewhere in the PAC: For as powerful as Oregon State has been portrayed to be this year, you’d think that a home game against a battered Washington State team would result in more than a thirteen point win. As much as I giggle at the idea of Rich Rodriguez, this latest loss seems really really tough: up two touchdowns against Stanford, the Wildcats were unable to hold on and lost in overtime.
Here in the great midwest, Michigan brought Purdue back to reality as Al Borges finally remembered that Denard should be used as a runner and not a passer. Indiana fought bravely but Michigan State skipped the “trap” and kept the Hoosiers at bay. Wisconsin defeated Illinois, even though a) Nathan Scheelhase played and b) Nathan Scheelhase freaked some official out. Northwestern’s “dream season” came to a halt in Happy Valley, where McMoxie managed to keep it together long enough to look really really ridiculous.
You know how we started off by highlighting Florida going 1-2 this week? Ohio went 3-o, as the Buckeyes, Bobcats, and Bearcats all remained undefeated.
“Wow, I’d totally ignore my family during the holiday season to watch that” Bowl Matchup Wish List for this week: I still want to see West Virginia and Oregon in a game, and would giggle a lot at an Alabama/Notre Dame matchup (and not because I’m a fan of either team). Of course, I’d really like to see Ohio State in a post season contest… but at least I’ve got last year’s Gator Bowl still on the DVR! Gene Smith can’t take that away from me, now can he?
The game of the week this week is the Red River Shootout between #15 Texas and #13 Oklahoma… which means it’s time again for ShaggyBevo’s great (and VERY NSFW) MSPaint/.gif thread. Old Miss has not won an SEC game in 16 attempts, but is a three point favorite against Auburn… do with that as you will. Stanford travels to Notre Dame, and aTm will galavant over to Louisiana Tech (who we love for their offensive strategy). Ohio State travels to Indiana, and by “travels”, we mean “sells most of their seats to Buckeye fans and turns Memorial Stadium into Horseshoe Bloomington”- stay here at tBBC for full coverage.
It’s a pity we couldn’t take the band with us, right? They could just re-do the show from Saturday and still blow everyone away: