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.
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! Read More
Quick announcement and some short news updates this morning…
Introducing: tBBC Mobile platform. If you’ve been reading us on your iPhone or Android Device, hopefully you’ve noticed that we’re a lot more user friendly these days. Thanks to the great work of Chad at digital:construct, we’ve launched a version of this that you can take with you- especially helpful in solving bar arguments with fans from other programs.
Over the next couple of months, we hope to roll out a couple of other ideas and initiatives to help our goal of getting you the news, commentary, and shenanigans that you’ve come to expect whenever and wherever you want it. Now, there’s no excuse to not get involved… in your tweets, on your book of face, or on your phone. In spite of what they say, we think it’s awesome.
As the days grow shorter, so too do the press conferences. Here’s what we’ve got:
They do what they do and they do it so well. They believe in it. Their players believe in it. They’re very, very physical at what they do and the schemes back that. They want to be a balanced offense and they’ve probably, over the past couple years, gotten more balanced, and so they’re not going to change. Now, they may change a little play they run because of what people are doing against them or they — in ’06 they blitzed us a lot more than they ever did. They came after us pretty good, but it was within their system. It wasn’t as if they’d never run those blitzes, they just did their blitzes rather than eight percent of the time they did it 15 percent of the time and it felt like they were blitzing every down, that’s what you admire about them, that’s what you admire about Penn State, that’s why you come out, we got behind Penn State and that wasn’t a shock to me that we were behind Penn State, Penn State plays their defense, they play their offense, they do what they do, they’re very capable as anyone else is, they have good athletes. How we were behind was a little bothersome, but scheme-wise, the good teams, they’re going to do what they do, and Iowa will do that.
REPORTER: Your players talked after the game about the, job if speech is the right word, but the talk you gave them before they went back out for the second half and just did you feel disappointed that you had to make that speech at that point or that you needed something like that and just what were your thoughts there during that? Did you think you were at kind of a junction of the season there a little bit?
COACH TRESSEL: I was disappointed that we weren’t playing like we were capable of playing. We’ve all been in games where you’ve played as well as you could and you lost and that happens, or you played as well as you could but you made those two mistakes and, therefore, you lost. I didn’t think we were playing anywhere near we were capable of playing and we were playing against a team that they knew was good. We play them every year, it’s not like we hadn’t played them in a while, and we were playing in our stadium and all the rest, and at this time of year when you’re supposed to have been improved, so, yeah, I was disappointed in our — and up until that stop, I wasn’t disappointed in that, in fact, I was energized by that, but disappointed up to that point.
REPORTER: How often do you have to go to that big halftime speech to get your guys motivated?
COACH TRESSEL: You only do what’s going on in the course of the moment, so you don’t sit there saying, okay, it’s game seven and I haven’t played that card because you can’t play a card. I mean, you have to react to what’s going on and, you know, typically what’s going on is that we’re playing near to our ability and we’re maybe not doing some little things, it’s atypical that we just weren’t ourselves.
I really can’t repeat that. He got pretty animated. He definitely, you know, spilled his heart out to us and he challenged us, he challenged us to go out there the first play, you know, the kickoff team to make an impression and defense to get a stop and once we got the ball back in the huddle, he was like, you know, we had those — we had that penalty and then we had another penalty, but his attitude didn’t change. His eyebrows didn’t go up. They were still down. And he was like, well, let’s just make the drive a little bit longer.
They’re a little bit thicker on you, a little bit stronger on you…
Late Sunday/early Monday during the season (what can I say- west coast timezone), tBBC will be bringing you reflections on that week’s game. And, since it’s always great to have mood music to read to, let’s start with this clip from Pitchfork’s top ten videos from the ’90′s
All is right with the world- football is back, baby! And what a slate of games we had… although, for Buckeye fans, it all seems anticlimactic after Thursday night, amiright?
In case you’ve forgotten, Houston Nutt has a penchant for overtime games, being on the sidelines for several of the longest contests in history while at Arkansas. The one thing, though- he needs to remember how to “win” in OT and not just “play for OT”, as the Rebels were upset Saturday by the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. As a public service announcement, tBBC would like to remind you that Jeremiah Masoli is now 0-2 in his last two games. Best part? Ole’ Miss paid $300,000 for the pleasure of the upset. Almost as much fun as my favorite season opener ever.
We talked about Mich1gAAn during the livechat, and will do so again later on Monday. I will say this; their version of the wildcat offense looked pretty good. And UConn’s defense and offense looked pretty terrible. In my opinion, the highlight wasn’t the running game but something far more significant.
Kentucky’s new coach beat Louisville’s new coach, in the first match up of these two teams while each had an African American at the helm. Interestingly enough, Kentucky’s three major programs (UK, UofL, WKU) are all led by African American head coaches- there are only nine others in Division 1A (FBS, whatever). For the Kats and Cards, it’s probably exciting to talk about coaches and not use the word “investigation” or “payoff“.
Late Saturday night “Ohio’s BCS Team” gave up a late comeback to lose to Fresno State… Are we sure they didn’t import the entire Western Michigan team along with their coach? In addition on Thursday, The Utes upset the Pitt Stachers, in overtime. Let’s see- UofL, UC, UConn, Pitt all blow opening weekend games… Yup, Big lEast it is. I hope Jim Delaney was watching as he ponders even more expansion options… each of these teams has a chance to win that conference. Read More