Given the rain delay in the BYU /UT game this week and the deluge of rushing that befell the Longhorns after kickoff, there’s only one option for this week’s soundtrack.
See, this is why there should be no polls before the first weekend in October.
Once again, we see a number of teams that got votes due to their “name recognition” shown up early in the season, and others who are rising to the occasion still find themselves with a long way to go until November.
Cases in point: Texas, Notre Dame, Florida, and Southern Cal; all of whom lost on the same Saturday for the first time since September 11, 1976.
For the Longhorns, it’s been a slide into mediocrity for a while now. I’m not sure that people really understand the significance of the Mack Brown era… As the flagship school in of the top three recruiting hotbeds in the country, Brown’s teams have historically underwhelmed with the exception of two “lightening in a bottle” moments- Vince Young and Colt McCoy. Outside of their leadership behind center, the program has struggled; and it can be argued that some of this is due to poor coaching (see the Major Applewhite -vs- Chris Sims debacle) or poor recruiting (Texas recruited the last two Heisman winners as defensive backs, and didn’t reach out to Jamies Winston- this year’s new hotness).
While those things may be true, Mack seems to think that the issue is defense; as evidenced by the 550 yards rushing that they gave up to BYU on Saturday, the majority of which happened in the first three quarters. In response, Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz was fired on Sunday. Before you get excited, Austinites- his replacement is none other than Greg “GERG” Robinson, who’s amazing Michigan defenses gave up over 100 points in two games against Illinois. I’m sure he’ll get the team motivated to return to the lofty status that UT should assume.
But you’ve also got to think that this is merely shuffling chairs on the Titanic- when your team plays so poorly that Shaggy Bevo’s servers go down as they did on Sunday, then you’ve got yourself a problem.
Southern Cal is also sure to have a coaching vacancy in the near future; if you listened to the fans at the end of the Trojan’s first home loss to Washington State since 2000, you might believe that a coordinator’s termination won’t suffice this time. Especially since Kiff already threw his dad onto the sacrificial pyre after last season’s collapse by the preseason #1 team.
Again, I feel bad for Trojan fans- their program deserves better than this; but I also am aware that this is one of those “you get what you ask for” situations… they had to know that Lane might not be the best person for the job after his stint in Oakland and Knoxville, but seemed to make a rushed decision in the midst of sanctioning concerns. And, the sanctions are certainly hurting the Trojans, but we’ve seen Penn State prove that a program can survive and thrive in similar circumstances with the right leadership.
A positive from the Coug win? We get to have more Mike Leech postgame comments. Amazing.
This Doesn’t Sound Good, Chapter One: Ummmm… Vanderbilt? There may be a problem here that you’re not quite ready to deal with.
You know how good Urban Meyer is? Not only did he coach Ohio State to victory with a backup quarterback on Saturday, he also made Florida Quarterback Jeff Driskel turn the ball over three times in the Gator’s loss to the unranked Miami Hurricanes. It was one of those days for the Gators, who had continuous problems in the redzone as they fell to their cross-state rival. Hats off to the ‘Canes, though… they played the type of aggressive football that their fan has grown used to. Is it wrong that I think their getting their sanctions announced by the NCAA sometime this week would be hilarious? No? Alrighty then.
Which brings us to this year’s “Praying to Zuul for an Asteroid Strike” game between Michigan and Notre Dame. You know, the one with 115K idiots dressed in yellow screaming “Go Blue”? And flashing their blue lights as if AD Brandon had signed them up for a corporate deal with KMart?
And that wasn’t even the strangest thing that happened in Ann Arbor, as evidenced by the photo on the right that shows what Marshall must have been seeing during his odd interview with Herbstreit and Musburger.
When the gun sounded, though, Coach Hoke’s record at home remained perfect, and the Wolverines managed to hold off a late Irish surge with some theatrics of their own.
With Michigan driving for the go-ahead and eventual winning score, on at least two occasions did friendly flags from the officials continue the drive; and one ruling may have even cost Notre Dame an interception with the momentum in hand. That’s not to say that there may not have been contact on the second play, but in a game where even Wisconsin linemen could watch and be astounded by all of the holding going on from both sides of the ball, it certainly was
convenient interesting to see penalties that helped the home team.
Michigan quarterback Devan Gardner made a strong case to be the third consecutive UMQB to win the September Heisman, with smart play management and the ability to create chaos with his legs. Except for this thing, that brought Notre Dame within one score late in the game:
ESPN’s College Gameday was at the Big House, which meant that all of the amazing poet-laureates of That School Up North were able to showcase their finest work for a national audience. Proud… at least they spelled everything right. One sign that caught everyone’s attention was the one on the right here; should you need more background on that situation, you can read this article from last year.
Interestingly enough, the alleged “creator” of the sign reached out to Deadspin to indicate that he held it up as a form of protest and to indicate the type of scandal that would never be tolerated at the fine institution in Ann Arbor. Which is hilarious, given that the Sun and Blue may have kicked away their moral high ground a while back. You can’t spell “smug” without “UM”.
Play Of The Week, Candidate One- From Ohio State’s next opponent in their “hold on to win” victory against FCS’ Portland State:
Folks often ask me (well, never) “Mali, why do you pay attention to what teams are doing with their uniforms?” Because it makes situations like the Arkansas State decision to cost their team 30 yards in penalties all that more hilarious.
Georgia and South Carolina was the marquee matchup for the week in the Some Extra Cash conference, and the game ended up as good as was billed. Interesting that Jadaveon Clowney finished the game with only three tackles, which has to make scouts wonder if the knock on his inability to play every down is indeed true. Either that, or there’s speculation regarding his strength conditioning regime.
After a week where Mark Richt’s name was right there with Brown and Kiffin, it’s interesting to see that the Bulldog fans have now set their torches to “simmer”, at least for another week. As for Spurrier, well…. you get the picture. His biggest problem might be dealing with his assistants… or keeping them from “dealing” with each other in less than gracious ways.
Back to our opening topic- This week’s AP and Coaches’ polls are out, and Ohio State fell to 4 and 3 respectively, in spite of their win with their backup quarterback. I’ve always been a believer that things will work themselves out, but the “confirmation bias” situation with SEC schools is always interesting to watch. Currently, four teams from the SEC are in the top 10, with a one loss Georgia ranked ahead of the undefeated B12 favorite Cowboys of TBPU. When you start a season with rankings based on nothing and then the teams lose to each other, it creates a sense that the conference is stronger than it is. Again, it’s possible that these four or five teams are among the best in the nation, and the bowl record certainly proves it. However, it should be something that they earn rather than just handing it to them based on nothing… particularly when it makes it difficult for late season “moves” by teams that started out off the radar.
This Doesn’t Sound Good, Chapter Two: Speaking of Oklahoma State… it sounds like they’re finally getting the “big time media treatment” that no one wants. Our B12 Correspondant sends along this handy “counterpoint” to keep you busy during what may be an “interesting” week in Stillwater. As a reminder- much of the allegations are supposed to have occurred under former coach Les Miles, a “Michigan Man”. I’m sure he’ll get half of a half of a half of a half of a game suspension or something from the NCAA; although, knowing Les, he could screw up the timing on that and end up vacating all of his wins over the past ten years.
Play Of The Week, Candidate Two/Three- In Tennessee’s victory over Western Kentucky, we’ve got these two great performances:
Pretty impressive, but not quite as impressive as the efforts Coach Petrino’s team put together during another quick period of play.
In B1G Play, Nebraska rebounded from a rocky start against Wyoming and destroyed Southern Miss with two defensive scores. That’ll teach them. Penn State continues to cruise, while Indiana fell to Navy at home… should have saved some of those points against Indiana State to use on the Midshipmen. Minnesota is 2-0, and has five (!) non-offensive touchdowns thus far in 2013. The team to watch, though, is Wisconsin; the Badgers and their new helmets had their second straight shut-out with three 100 yard rushers on Saturday. It was also their second straight game against teams that were FCS as of two years ago, so let’s temper expectations just a bit, shall we?
You guys… you can return turnovers for touchdowns AGAINST Buffalo! Why didn’t someone tell Shazier about this???
Play Of The Week Winner- And, to be honest, this may just win as the “Play Of The Year”:
Congrats to Mount Union’s Vince Kehres, who’s Purple Raiders held off Franklin College for his first collegiate coaching victory. Big shoes to fill, but Alliance seems to be in good hands.
Several big games this week, including UCLA traveling to Nebraska after a week off. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Bruin family after the tragic loss of Nick Pasquale.
Speaking of preparation, Alabama travels to College Station after a week off, and you know that Saban’s team has been preparing for this moment since the upset last season. TCU and Texas Tech match up on Thursday, while Louisville and Kentucky battle for the
plug of tobaccy literacy award kissin’cousin trophy ol pair of britches Governor’s Cup. Tennessee travels to Oregon, a feisty Illinois hosts a resurgent Washington, Wisconsin heads out to Arizona State, and Old Miss travels to Austin to fight the Ticklebears.
The Buckeyes will be traveling out to the Left Coast for their marquee out of conference matchup against the Cal Golden Bears. In addition to our regular stalwart coverage, I’ll be at the game on Saturday and will leave you in Scott’s well manicured hands for next week’s TWTW.
Until then, though, we’ll leave you with Saturday’s halftime extravaganza from TBDBITL-