We’re in uncharted waters here… it’s really an odd feeling to have a game after THE GAME. If you’re heading to the game, be sure to check out a great blues bar downtown… these guys are playing this weekend!
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
You can’t tell me that you were surprised.
I have a hard time believing that anyone, particularly Ohio State fans, thought that the NCAA’s decision regarding Miami’s morass would be severe.
If you were, then I have some lovely desert space in that state up north to sell you.
That Tuesday’s announcement of the Hurricane program finally receiving it’s clarification following a two year process filled with grandstanding, ineptitude, and foot dragging would shock some folks is difficult to fathom. In spite of the allegations, in spite of the evidence and information gathered by an outside source, in spite of what seemed to be a tsunami of facts and accounts that was described as “the biggest scandal in college sports”, the NCAA’s decision to accept Miami’s self imposed sanctions and add a few minor flourishes was just the latest in the long decline in that Association’s ability to be considered integrous.
Actually, that’s not correct. Being consistently inconsistent has a certain integrity of it’s own, right? Broken clocks being right twice daily and all that.
Before we go much further, let me state that this is not an attempt to critique the Hurricane program or it’s fans. I’ve long believed that consequences should be levied at the players/coaches/administrators who were involved, and am glad that the ‘Canes are now able to move past Damocles’ sword and instead focus on the upcoming run at an ACC/BCS title.
However, it’s difficult to not see Tuesday’s decision as anything other than a justification for what many have been calling for in a while- a complete overhaul of the NCAA’s “judicial” arm, if not a full dissolution of the Association itself. Read More
For some reason, I’ve had this song stuck in my head lately. And now, you will too. You’re welcome.
The story of the weekend certainly happened off the field… off the field, off the tarmac, and off the bus; as the leadership at Southern Cal had seen enough and decided that the Lane Kiffin Experience was overdue for termination.
According to reports, the decision was made at some point during the third quarter of the Trojan’s blowout loss to Arizona State (this time with no officiating issues!).
Again, this is something that had been coming for a while- after squandering what many believed to have been a top 5 team and Heisman Candidate QB last year, there was speculation that Kiffin’s leash was already shortened. Given his “career”, it’s completely understandable- Fell into failure with the Raiders, tried to turn Tennessee into Trojan East and left the program in shambles that they’re still recovering from, and sliding into mediocrity in Los Angeles… that doesn’t go over well for anyone who can’t remember Trojan football BC (Before Carroll).
To be fair, though- Southern Cal is suffering under the weight of recruiting restrictions due to the
arbitrary randomness wisdom of the NCAA; restrictions that were laughably upheld this week after a brief review in the strangest of circumstances. But to see other PAC12 teams strengthen themselves (Stanford, Washington, and cross-town rival UCLA), Kiffin’s inability to succeed at a program that has everything to offer ended up being too much to continue.
For more on the Southern Cal situation, I cannot recommend our friend Paragon’s take on this decision. As for me, I’m still a believer in Barkley’s theory and am confident that Kiffikins will land on his feet.
The short lists of replacements are already under consideration: Boise’s Peterson, Vanderbilt’s Franklin, Jack Del Rio from the NFL are among the common names. I posited this on twitter, but can only offer the most logical decision in this matter. Bucket not included.
Out west, among teams with an offensive philosophy that matters, it was “Fun With The Transitive Property!” day for pollsters, as #2 Oregon hosted Cal. Certainly voters could learn something about the Buckeyes’ rankings with a shared opponent in the Ducks… and what they learned is that Ducks don’t mind monsoons. Jared Goff was replaced early in the game, but the turnovers and wet conditions didn’t slow down the Oregon offense, even after LaMichael James left the game with a leg injury. Not sure what happened… perhaps he just got winged. Read More
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. Read More
Lotta stuff rattling around the ol’ brainpan the last couple of days… sometimes it’s good to have a bit of distraction from the harshness of our realities. Here’s the song that’s been stuck in my subconscious…
It’s a relatively quiet week for Ohio State sports (*knocks on wood*); coaches are recruiting, hoops is preparing for an attempt to sweep That State Up North, and all the students are above average. So, let’s dig around the ol’ interwebs and see what we can find to chat about today, shall we? Oh, and I’m enjoying this at the moment.
The History: Did you know that the Sun Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and the Orange Bowl are the second-oldest bowl games in the country (behind the Rose Bowl)? The first three Sun Bowl games were played at El Paso High School Stadium (1935-1937). The next 24 were played at Kidd Stadium until 1963. After that, the game was moved to it’s current venue, Sun Bowl Stadium. Hyundai, the fourth sponsor of the Sun Bowl, holds a contract to sponsor it through this year’s game. The Sun Bowl has the third selection after the BCS from the Pac-12 and either the ACC Championship Game runner-up or the third pick after the BCS from the ACC. It is one of only two college football games on CBS that does not involve the SEC.
Georgia Tech Scouting Report: Georgia Tech comes into the Sun Bowl with a 6-7 record after losing the ACC Championship Game to Florida State 21-15. They had to get a petition from the NCAA to be able to play in a bowl game after finishing with a below .500 record and therefore, they are looking to prove that they belong in this game. Quarterback Tevin Washington will be the key for the Yellow Jackets. USC’s defense gave up 24.6 points per game and allowed quarterbacks to throw for 18 touchdowns. If Washington can get some rhythm, Georgia Tech will have a chance. Additionally, the Yellow Jackets need to put lots of pressure on Max Wittek or Matt Barkley.
Buckeye Connection: The Buckeyes have never faced off against the Yellow Jackets on the gridiron. That may change, if conference expansion rumors are correct. Read More