We’ve got two weeks left.
But I have managed to close the gap the last couple weeks and one game separates us thanks to my brilliance the last half of the season.
Recapping last week, Gary went 3-2, missing the Northwestern and Sparty games. I was 4-1, whiffing on Northwestern as well.
Interesting games this week. Several could go either way and we are both apparently being cautious with our picks.
“I have to get serious now because I’m done letting (Scott) get back in this thing,” Gary said.
He likes OSU, Sparty, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin and Penn State. I agree with him on OSU, Northwestern, Michigan and Whiskey. I would love to take Iowa and Northwestern as upset specials, but I’ve got a chance to win and I refuse to do anything stupid. I’ll go along with Penn State just to stay on pace with Gary, but I can’t take Purdue. Even though it’s a road game, I’m gonna take the Illini. I have confidence in them. Someone else doesn’t.
“Illinois apparently never wants to win in the B1G again,” Gary quipped.
Yes they do and yes they will.
So to recap:
In a week full of surprises, this is a pretty good soundtrack for your Monday morning reading.
Sometimes life gives you some unexpected gifts. You’re set up on a date to be a wingman for a friend who’s girl has a cousin in town, and you end up in an amazing marriage together. You open a book and find an old letter from a friend that you’d forgotten about. A seldom worn jacket has cash in the pocket. Mowing the grass reveals a dog you’d forgotten you had. You let a friend borrow your truck and he has it detailed while he’s got it.
On second thought, that last one probably means that he used it to transport a body or something. Let’s move on.
This week in college football was like that- on paper, there weren’t any marquee “games of the century”. But, as we know, games aren’t played on paper- instead the tiny men who square off in our TV sets gave us some fantastic finishes and an incredible weekend of sports.
Let’s start in the B12… We give Charlie Weis and the Jayhawk program a lot of well deserved grief hereabouts, so I’ll be among the first to celebrate their win over the couch fire that has become the West Virginia program. It’s hard to say that Coach Holgorsen might be in a bit of a rebuilding year, but it’s certainly difficult to see the Mountaineer program fall so quickly from the tops of the conference.
That’s not to take anything away from Kansas- great win, gang. However, let’s not get all carried away, shall we?
Ohio State fans are certainly well aware of the Baylor Bears, who now are poised to jump the Buckeyes in the “we’re still totally making this up as we go” BCS standings. Baylor continued their undefeated season with a big win over Texas Tech on Saturday, a Raiders team that was a media darling following a soft early season schedule, but has now dropped four straight games. What the #narrative won’t tell you as they tout Baylor’s 63-34 win is that the Bears were trailing 20-7 in the first quarter. But hey… shiny!
With all the firepower that the Bears bring to the table one of the surprises is that it was Tech that gave us our first “catch of the week” nominee. For another angle, check this out:
Interestingly enough, the B12 also brings us the hit of the week, which was 100% targeting. It’s a Vine, but check out the shot that this trooper puts on this fan who decides that he wants to be a part of the action… If only Stoops’ team had tackled that well against Baylor. Read More
Today’s soundtrack thanks our Veterans for all that they’ve done…
Ok, class… time for a quiz. What did we learn this week?
We learned that the template for beating Oregon has not changed. Control the ball and the clock with power running, Don’t turn the ball over, Take advantage of turnovers, and Hold on for dear life.
While this would seem to be the obvious solution to beating any team, Stanford has certainly shown that it’s a template for stopping one of the most powerful offenses in the country. By continuing to do so on Thursday night, the Cardinal looked like Ohio State and Auburn and LSU… and the Duck Dynasty were bumped off the path to the National Title game.
If that wasn’t enough, on Saturday the Head Duck even showed his newest uniform… and this one will probably not be welcomed with open arms in Eugene.
We also learned something that we should have already known; sometimes these are the most difficult of lessons. Even here at tBBC we’ve highlighted again and again that “Big Game Bob” is a myth, that other than a BCS game against UConn (not a difficult thing, no matter what Michigan fans will tell you) and some wins over Texas during their programmatic slide, the Sooners have not managed to win the big one at anywhere near a dominant success rate.
Even this year they were embarrassed by a Texas Team that was searching for it’s identity, and have a “quality win” over a Texas Tech team who’s now dropped three in a row. We should have known better than to expect wonders from the team from Norman, but there Buckeye fans were, hoping that they’d handle a Baylor team that’s been setting scoreboards on fire.
We forgot that they have no downfield passing game, and their running game is predicated on a fullback at quarterback. And so, even though it looked close at the outset, we couldn’t be too surprised when Oklahoma collapsed in a heap of it’s own making.
And Baylor? Well, Baylor continues to look absolutely fabulous. With contests against TTU, TBPU and Texas upcoming in their season, the Bears are by no means shoo-ins for the conference title, but the path is pretty clear.
To be fair to the Longhorns, they’ve turned the season around and remained undefeated after their overtime win in the first Texas trip to Morgantown as a part of the new conference configuration. Judging by the responses on Shaggy Bevo, fans are somewhat torn by this turn of events- Winning is good, but how can they fire Mack if he manages to bring home a B12 Title this year? Read More
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
I was only able to narrow the gap by one game, thanks to Michigan’s choke job against Big Brother in East Lansing and thanks to Gary for deciding to pick every other game the same way I did.
Way to be original. Should I do your laundry and make your bed for you too, Gary?
I’m running out of chances to catch up so I may have to take a few chances the next couple weeks.
Just to recap last week, we had a decent record. We were right with our picks of Wisconsin, Nebraska, OSU and Penn State. We missed with Indiana over Minnesota.
Looking at today’s games, Gary likes Iowa over Purdue, Illinois over Indiana and Michigan over Nebraska.
“Purdue is awful in every category … Illinois can’t outscore Indiana and Pelini is working on his walking papers,” said Gary.
He forgot to give me a pick on Penn State at Minnesota so I shall pick for him and give him Penn State. The Badgers have a bye week with BYU.
Not a bad selection of winners. Of course it wasn’t that difficult. I like Iowa and Michigan as well. I know Illinois is due for a win, but it won’t happen in Bloomington. I’ll agree on Wisconsin and I shall take my first calculated risk and take Minnesota over Penn State.
I think Penn State has more talent but I can’t make up games if I’m not different.
Not sure who is worse, Purdue or Illinois and I wouldn’t dare take either of them this week.
So to recap:
Gary: Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin.
Scott: Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“November is for champions”. Guess what, folks… it’s champions time.
For the first time this season, the memorable games from The Week That Were found themselves coming from B1G Country. And, if I’m completely honest, the top two made my weekend pretty fantastic.
First, let’s go to the “What’s NU With You?” battle, as Nebraska and Northwestern squared off in a battle of the walking wounded. Taylor Martinez and his magnificent aerial attack was on the sidelines again, while Northwestern’s Venric Mark missed yet another game… and more Wildcats would go down as the game transpired. If Ohio State hadn’t already broken Northwestern, Nebraska certainly would have.
And yet the Wildcats were leading by three, in Lincoln, as time was winding down.It certainly looked like it was going to be a bad weekend to be a Pelini.
The Huskers brought in their version of the Pillsbury Throwboy, who led the team to the memorable last second finish that you see gif-ing there on the right. Best “Fat Guy Touchdown” ever?
For full coverage and reaction, let’s turn to my wife’s play by play from the moment:
Yeah, it was that kind of moment… Buckeye fans know the feeling, and Coach Fitzpatrick certainly could find a Bert to talk to as well.
Several people pointed out that, in the mayhem that followed, Coach Pelini looked stunned and no one chose to celebrate with him. That could just be his normal demeanor, though… although it might also point to his having “lost” his team. A word of warning to Tommie Frazier and all of the others looking to make a change… be very very careful what you wish for.
So now a Cornhusker team that has a huge emotional win to build on travels to Ann Arbor to face a Michigan squad that’s coming off what may be one of the worst beatings that they’ve encountered in a long time.
While it’s been well documented that Coach Hoke can’t win on the road, to lose yet another game to “Little Brother” never feels good- particularly when you end the game with negative 48 yards rushing. That’s why Wolverine running backs should keep their mouths shut… although, this should have already been perfectly clear to anyone who pays attention.
Huge kudos to Coach Dantonio and our favorite Spartan, Coach Harley- not only did the defense rise up and make Devin Gardner look like the wide receiver playing QB that he is, they also managed to put points on the board for the second straight week. Granted Michigan’s defense has some holes (as Indiana and Penn State showed), but to see MSU’s offensive evolution over the season is impressive. Read More
Great week to be on a bye- Three undefeateds and a top ten team lost, and two other top 10 teams struggled… And, as much as I hate to admit it, only one song came to mind for Monday’s soundtrack. Enjoy.
Of course we’re going to start off in Happy Valley, where Michigan’s Brady Hoke continued his longstanding legacy of struggling on the road. As excellent as the Wolverines have been at home under his tenure *coughhomecookingcough* he’s only 6-8 on the road, including a nailbiter of a win against something called a UConn this season.
Hats off to the Penn State coaching staff, who essentially nullified Michigan’s running game- Toussiant and Green had 30 rushes for 28 yards. And big kudos to the Lion’s Christian Hackenburg and Allen Robinson, who made big plays late to tie the game and send it into what would be four overtimes.
But “player of the game” award goes to that upstanding citizen Brendan Gibbons, who missed three of four field goals, including big shanks in overtime and a kick at the end of regulation that was just short. Penn State played to win, Michigan played not to lose and still managed to do so. The Lions will now have a bye week before heading to Columbus to face Ohio State in what’s sure to be a hard fought battle.
Because I’m a petty person, we’ll be enjoying visual reminders of this game throughout the rest of this post… but let’s talk about the other games of note.
We’ve talked before about “Big Game Bob” and the pass that Coach Stoops gets in spite of some collapses on the national stage; recently, though, his Sooners have made hay in the Red River Shootout at the expense of a down Texas program. So much so, in fact, that they even tried to make a clever graphic about it- it was assumed that yesterday’s game would be the final straw to lead to Mack Brown getting the Lane Kiffin treatment on the grounds of the Texas State Fairground. Funny thing about narratives, though…
Not only did Texas dominate the Sooners from the opening snap on their way to a 36-20 victory, they also gave us that greatest of college football gifts: a fat guy touchdown. Enjoy the majesty:
Monday’s menagerie of thoughts and wonderings on Saturday’s shenanigans comes with music. It was an “ugly” weekend, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make a silk purse out of it all.
Before we dive into the scores, it’s important to remember how trivial college athletics is in the big picture of things. Unfortunately, this is only brought home when we remember the frailty of life, and there were three chances for reflection this weekend.
Ohio State started with a tribute to Columbus Newscaster Dom Tiberi’s daughter Maria, who lost her life in a traffic accident this week.
UCLA followed suit later on Saturday with a 10 man play from scrimmage to honor wide receiver Nick Pasquale, who was killed in a traffic event last week.
And sadly, we found out on Sunday that Cincinnati freshman Ben Flick died after yet another motor vehicle incident.
Again, football is fun… but it ain’t life.
Let’s stay in the Buckeye State with a reminder of the awesomeness that Ohio State unleashed on Saturday. Sure, it was an undermatched opponent, but that doesn’t mean that the game was insignificant for those that played in it. And, while this was the best block of the week by FAR, the game was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Ohio State did allow ten runs and have two errors in the victory.
PS- I didn’t know that Pam Oliver was a Cal grad. At least TBDBITL seems to think so and responded to criticism in a different way than Charles did earlier.
Ken will be by later to respond to those pundits who seem to have issues with Ohio State’s 76 point victory, but I’ll add only this- I sure don’t hear any bitching about Baylor or Louisville or Miami doing the same on Saturday, and when Oregon did it earlier in the year against an FCS program, they jumped Ohio State in the polls.
You know who doesn’t have a problem with playing until the final gun? The Pirate Cap’n… that’s who.
As you can see up there in the right corner, Coach Kelly and the Irish are celebrating another win in the very friendly confines of South Bend. And by “very friendly”, I mean the kind of affectionate that allows a receiver to climb over the back of a defender and still benefit from the pass interference call. The “Sparty NO!” moment might have happened as soon as Michigan State left the locker room; it’s certainly an uphill battle when you’re playing 11 on 16. Read More
Where to start, where to start.
Alabama got revenge, Michigan almost got upset by Akron, Texas still can’t play defense and Nebraska, well, Bo Pelini better have his resume updated.
But we must start with the odd finish to the Wisconsin-Arizona State game in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
The Sun Devils led 32-30 in the waning moments. The Badgers had executed the 2-minute drive to near perfection and were in position to attempt a game-winning field goal.
Yawn, yawn. Sounds like a typical game. OK, here’s where it got weird.
Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave did something that resembled a stumble, kneel down or plopping down of the ball.
Perhaps his knee touched, perhaps there was a whistle. Arizona State players saw a loose ball and hopped on it, and stayed on it.
The officials eventually decided it was still Wisconsin’s ball, but time ran out before the Badgers could get the field goal unit ready.
Problem is, according to the rule book, the officials should have been flagged for illegal procedure because they gaffed big time.
Worse than Leon Lett in the Super Bowl. Worse than Ray Finkle and the laces facing the wrong way (thanks Marino). Worse than Marty Mornhinweg electing to kick after winning the OT coin toss.
According to an excerpt from rule 4-1-3-o “A live ball becomes dead and an official shall sound his whistle or declare it dead: When a ball carrier simulates placing his knee on the ground.”
Stave was attempting to take a knee. This much we know. So he was down and either ASU should have been hit with a delay of game or the crew should have stopped the clock to sort it all out.
Oops. Read More