The Week That Were- 9.11.10

Written September 13th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Once again, it’s time for a quick tour de farce around the week in college football. You know, in case you don’t have ESPN and this is the only website you read (as it should be). Today’s musical accompaniment: This amazing cover. Good luck getting it out of your head during the TPS meeting.

So much for strength of schedule

James Madison, welcome to the BCS championship game!  Wait, you have to do something more than beat Virginia Tech? Since when?

Quick comment on the Miami game- I like Randy Shannon, and gained a lot of respect for Jacory Harris as a person during the game (as a QB? Nope). Just thought I’d put that out there, since there seems to be a conspicuous absence of the Miami fans that were so prevalent last week in our little corner of the interwebs.

So, the ACC is back to being a basketball conference, right? This week, all of their ranked squadrons went down, including the JMU upset mentioned earlier and The “Rambling Wreck” falling to a team that only scored three points in their loss to North Dakota State.  You want to fix the BCS? One could argue for taking away the ACC’s automatic bid and making them split it with the Big lEast, and then make the MWC and WAC fight over the other one. Problem solved.

That running back that Michigan lets throw the ball is pretty good.  Of course, their opponent wasn’t called Notre Ame for nothing… It would be interesting to see how the game would be different with Irish starting QB Crist in for the entire game, especially given what we’ve seen from the Wolverine defense.

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The Week That Were- Opening Weekend 2010!

Written September 6th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

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?

Ignore Akbar at your peril

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

The Week That Were: 12.05.09

Written December 7th, 2009 by MaliBuckeye

We’ve officially reached the final TWTW of the year; I’m not covering the Army/Navy game, as important as it is and as much debt we owe to our servicemen and women. Continuing with our holiday theme, today’s soundtrack has two phenomenal options- Christmas and Chanukah

Uh- not now, Ye

Uh- not now, 'Ye

So, there were four conference championships this past weekend, and we’ll get to them, but we’ve got other games to talk about as well.

The week started on Thursday, where we discovered that Ducks and Bucks both love Roses.  Who knew? We’ll obviously be talking about this matchup a ton in the coming weeks, so let’s move along…

On Friday, this guy’s Heisman favorite continued his record setting career, as #25 Central Michigan defeated Ohio to win the MAC Championship. In the game, QB Dan LeFevour was responsible for his 147th TD, an NCAA record. He also threw his 101 TD pass, a MAC record previously held by Chad Pennington.  Final career numbers: 12,501 passing yards, 101 passing TDs, 1295 rushing yards, 14 rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD. Tell me he doesn’t deserve at least an invite to New York.

On Saturday, there was fun for the whole family to be had over in the Pac 10. First, Cal completed their annual end of season collapse by falling to the Huskies in Seattle. Well, the good news is that at least people didn’t have to sit on the hill and watch it for free.

Speaking of things that shouldn’t have happened- U$C lost their second conference home game for the first time in as long as people can remember. I’m guessing that the Trojan athletes won’t be getting their Christmas bonus checks this year. When you talk about bandwagon fans, please remember the empty seats during this game- 5-4 in conference just isn’t interesting enough for people to put down their lattes and head to the game.  And this wasn’t even the biggest U$C story this weekend… That honor falls to whatever In N Out’s best customer said about Surfer Pete. Look, I lived in Malibu (hence the name), and never saw Carroll there. Although, I wasn’t a grad student, FWIW.

Our daily dose of schadenfreude comes at the expense of our friends the Fighting Zooks. Yes, the Illini fought valiantly to outscore Fresno State, and put 52 points on the board against the Bulldogs. But, it wasn’t enough as FSU scored in the final seconds, and went for two to win. The rest, as they say, is fat guy history:

Love to see the linemen celebrate.

Ok, now to the “championships”. Over in the ACC, Georgia Tech managed to hold off Clemson and CJ Spiller to win the conference title game and a berth in the Orange Bowl (more on that later). Good things happen to teams in their coach’s second season… well, not always.

Yeah, thats snazzy...

Yeah, that's snazzy...

Over in the Big LEast Amount of Defense I’ve Seen In A While, the River City Rivalry was a shootout that came down to the last minute. Sure, some of the glory was off the game since the Wannstache and friends dropped one the week before against WVa. Nonetheless, the Bearcats from UChickFilA were looking to finish their season undefeated and at a chance at a national championship bid. When the Panthers scored with less than two minutes to play, many assumed that the game was over. Yes, the home team had seen a 21 point lead collapse, and yes, they had missed an extra point, and yes, they had given up a kickoff return for a TD. But surely, the momentum had swung, hadn’t it? Welcome to the UC version of Holy Buckeye (or “Holy bUCkeye“, if you’re inclined. And stupid.)

So now, the BearCats sit and wait… and at first, they had their prayers answered.

#2 Alabama got revenge for the SEC championship last year, and defeated #1 Florida and Tim Tebow. Several observations: First, why would the Gators mess with karma and wear their “special” helmets for this game? Is this something they’ve done before? Just seems like it’s not a good idea. Second, Florida’s offense has been suspect all year, the Tide just proved that to the rest of the world. What was surprising was how well Alabama moved the ball against Florida’s defense… I wonder if the suspension of Carlos Dunlap had anything to do with this? Third, speaking of drinking, this game took it’s toll on more than just the athletes- Urban was treated for dehydration after the game. We’re glad he’s feeling better, and would advise him not to listen to Dr. Lou (end of clip).

Finally, Alabama won with two things: Ball control running offense and Lights out defense. Given that Saban is a defensive coach, this isn’t that surprising. However, it sounds very familiar…

Which brings us to the game that everyone’s still talking about- the Big 12 Championship between Texas and Nebraska. The story of the game (not the last few seconds) was the Blackshirt defense. Any hopes that Colt McCoy had of this being this Heisman Moment were destroyed by the schemes that former Buckeye Bo Pelini and his team created to address Texas and win this game. Again, defense wins championships- Nebraska had zero offensive success, and yet almost pulled off the upset of the “championship season”. It was an amazing performance by all of the Nebraska players, but may have actually created a Heisman Moment for Suh, who also made a ton of money for himself over the past few weeks.

The blackshirt defense put the Huskers in a position to win, and then the last two minutes happened. As you may know, Nebraska’s lead started to fall away when the kickoff went out of bounds and Texas was given the 40 yard line as a starting point for the final drive. Then, a “horsecollar” penalty added even more yardage, and the ‘Horns were in field goal range.  Let the chaos begin:

“I don’t think Bo agreed with that clock decision at the end…” Yeah, that’s an understatement.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, there was a lot of ‘splaining to do afterwards-

…he went back toward the locker room, where he saw Marc Boehm, NU assistant athletic director.

“Marc, I want to see (Big 12 head of officiating) Walt Anderson in there right (expletive) now!” Pelini shouted.

“BCS!” Pelini said as he entered the locker room. “That’s why they make that call!”

The refs hold that it wasn’t controversial. But of course they do.

Here’s my problem… It was the right call, but it’s never EVER made. Watch games this bowl season; how many “lost” seconds are there- after a TD, on an out of bounds play, even on a kickoff. And there’s never anything done to  make that right. So to do so in this case seems, well, like shenanigans.

Especially when one of the BCS “Dream Match” already lost earlier in the day. A Nebraska win would have meant a UC/TCU bid to play Alabama, and very few, I imagine want that. Ironically, Texas also hosed the Big 12 with their win- a Nebraska victory would mean that the Big 12 would have two teams in the BCS, for twice the conference payday.

Again, let’s look at Nebraska’s success in this game: Defense. When you compare storied programs who are looking to restore and rebuild, you can’t help but notice that the Alabama and the Husker coaches have come in to change the defensive attitude at these programs. And, two years later, they have success. Stoops saw the same results, as did Meyer (I’m convinced that 41-14 happens because the Gator D makes tOSU change their gameplan). Up north, they decided to bring in a “flashy” coach who needed to put points on the board and needed players to do that.  Like I’ve said before, Mich1gAAn made a mistake.

I agree with others who also point to this being a positive sign for Ohio State in their preparation for the Rose Bowl against an powerful Oregon offense. Defense wins championships.

Small schools: Tuskegee’s Golden Tigers won the Pioneer bowl, defeating Elizabeth City State 21-7.  Mount Union also continued to roll, beating Albright 55-3. They have outscored their opponents 625-100 this season.

Special. Just like everyone else...

Special. Just like everyone else...

So now, here we are. Bowl season. Hoorah. I’m sorry I can’t get any more excited, but it’s like looking at Adam Sandler’s career. Sure, there’s “Happy Gilmore” and “Spanglish”, but there’s a whole lot of “Click” and “Mr Deeds” and “Little Nickey” too. And, it seems like the post-season has turned into Lake Wobegon; where, according to Garrison Keillor, “all the children are above average“.

Look at it this way- There are 120 NCAA Division 1/NCAA FBS schools. There are 34 bowls. That means that there are 68 teams playing in bowl opportunities: 57% of teams get to go.  In 1973, after a 10-10 tie, Ohio State went to the Rose Bowl and co-champ Mich1gAAn went home. This year, 6-6 MAChigan State gets to play in the postseason. Mich1gAAn? Let’s just say that they’re honoring the ’73 team… sounds better that way.

This may be one of the few moments this season where Notre Ame has taken the high ground- They have voted to decline any invitation given them for bowl play. While this may be as a result of a great ethical discussion, there’s a part of me that thinks that there may be other reasons (“unique circumstances” as it were):

  1. They didn’t want to risk the embarrassment of losing another game; making their re-build all the more difficult in regards to attracting recruits.
  2. They didn’t want to have to pay Charlie and staff to coach another game; his exit is already costing the University about $20 million.
  3. They didn’t want their new coach (more than likely at a BCS program) to have to try to coach their bowl game and also recruit for ND. Although, if memory serves me, it worked out OK for Pelini.
  4. It doesn’t really matter- they still get a one million dollar payout from the BCS even if they don’t play.
  5. Finally, and I think this is the real reason; they wanted to continue their three year streak of being undefeated in bowl games.

I’ve got lots and lots of thoughts about bowls, and starting this week we’ll be looking at the history and reality of these post-season realities. ‘Cause really, what else do I have to rant about?

But first, let me also say that I’m excited about the BCS games this year. Alabama/Texas is the best match up of the five undefeated teams, we get to see two others square off in the Fiesta (like I’ve been asking for), Iowa and Georgia Tech match up well, and UC gets a chance to prove whether or not it’s an elite program.

And, of course, we’ve got Bucks and Ducks. And Roses.  Life is good.

It’s probably no surprise to anyone that I’m a big fan of the “Trillion Man March”, and love OSU guard Mark Titus. However, his recent work to raise funds for A Kid Again really impress me. So, we’ll close with two things- First, give the links a click and go make a difference (or just enjoy the hilarity). Second, here:

The Week That Were: 11.28.09

Written November 30th, 2009 by MaliBuckeye

Last TWTW of the season before we start talking about conference championships and the like. Since we’re all recovering from tryptophan overdose and 4 AM shopping trips, you’ve got two choices for the sound track for this edition.

With a bang and a whimper, the college football season drifts away like so many autumn leaves down the gutter. Can you tell I didn’t do well in college writing class?

This week we stopped as a nation to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Even though times are difficult, we have so much for which to be grateful. For instance- I’m thankful I’m not either of these guys:

I’m thankful that I understand the media’s rules for covering college football. On Thursday, Texas was in a shootout with an aTm team that can graciously be called “woeful”. But that just shows how awesome the Big 12 is and how important rivalry games are. But when a team from the Big T1e1n is in a close game against… well, you know.

I’m thankful for Nebraska- not only have they returned to greatness through solid defense, they understand the important aspects of the game.

“Everybody wants lofty numbers on offense and everybody gets caught up in that stuff,” Watson said. “I’ve always been a huge fan of (Ohio State coach) Jim Tressel because he’s never let any of that stuff bother him. He’s played his brand of ball, and you look, in this modern era, he’s been a guy who’s won a lot of games. Because he’s done what his team needs to do to win.

snot coaching much longer

'snot coaching much longer

I’m thankful that someone, somewhere, still thinks running the ball down your opponents throat is an acceptable way to win football games. Stanford’s offense is Mich1gAAn, circa 1999; power running, play action bootlegs. Poor Notre Ame- they couldn’t beat either the current incarnation of TTUN or what they used to be.

While I’m thankful that the abomination that is the Weis administration is coming to an end in South Bend, I’m sad that we won’t have Charlie to kick around anymore.

Like many Sooner fans, I’m thankful that “Big Game Bob” finally won a game that matters. Now they’ll have warm memories of him when he’s coaching in South Bend next year. (that’s your “I think I’m Nostradamus” prediction of the week- Remember you read it here first)

I give thanks every year for the coaches I’ve known- theirs is a thankless job. You lose, and you’re out at Louisville, Marshall, and Virginia. You win, and you’re still out at Akron.

It’s good to see another team from Ohio lifting high the banner of excellence, even if they’ve got a little bit of asshat in them. It’s also good to see that the old philosophy “Score bunches of points, don’t play defense” isn’t limited to Ann Arbor.

I’m thankful that my favorite squadron didn’t wear chaps this weekend. Or, has to have a discussion about “do you think it’s time for coach to retire?” I’m also thankful for Tim Tebow… there, I said it. No maybe ESPN will stop singing his praises.

As grateful as I am about not choosing certain uniform styles, I’m still glad that this awesome helmet exists. And that they were “stealthy” enough to help Mizzou beat Kansas. The Jayhawks are celebrating the fact that, for the second straight week, Mangino didn’t kill someone.

I’m also thankful that, as urgent and dire as my favorite rivalry can be, we don’t have coaches who do this. To set the scene, U$C was up by 14 at the time, had just received the ball back on downs, and had taken a knee to run the clock out. UCLA’s coach had called a time out (looking to cover the spread?), and Pete Carroll took umbrage to that. And the result- Deep pass for a TD, Trojan players acting like jerks, UCLA players responding, etc. What do you expect, though- someone painted the bear!

What bothers me (seriously, watch the video) isn’t the “go for the bomb” mentality; heck, St. Woody famously wanted to go for three at the end of a blowout against Mich1gAAn. What doesn’t sit well is Carroll’s gleeful antics- as a leader of men, you can only lay the blame for his team’s response at his feet. I am thankful, though, that he gets to answer questions about being in a close game with a mediocre opponent in a rivalry… whoops, it’s not the Big T1e1n, so never mind. Enjoy the “whatever bowl the 3rd/4th team in the Pac 10 goes to”, Pete.

The Iron Bowl left me with mixed feelings- I’m thankful that our “ApocalypSEC 09” game is still afoot, but not happy that Auburn lost given that they unleashed some of the greatest trick plays assembled.

I’m thankful that the games are actually played rather than just done on paper. It makes rivalry so much more important, and gives us upsets like The Irrelevant Ball Coach over Clemson, Gawguh winning a big one for Uga against a one loss Tech, WVa overcoming The ‘Stache, NC State beating UNC, Kentucky taking Tennessee to overtime, Houston hanging 73 on Rice. Football is good.

I’m always grateful for the small things, too; sweet potato pie, fried turkey, time with family, high school football (even if it is JV). That’s why Kirkwood’s win on Thanksgiving is sweet, and Webster’s Grove’s championship adds a double dose of awesomeness to the weekend.

People who want my opinion

People who want my opinion

It’s almost time to hand out gaudy gifts- nope, not a stupid hamster that you bought on “chartreuse Saturday” or something- it’s “Year End Awards Time”.

Since I’m a) a blogger, b) not important and c) not a former Heisman Trophy winner, I don’t get to vote for the “Big Statue that only one person has won twice, and don’t you forget it”.

But, let’s say I did… my ballot would look a little something like this:

  1. Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan- Better career numbers than Tebow, passing AND rushing.
  2. Toby Gerhart, Stanford- This year’s Bo Jackson. He’s getting the ball, and there’s not much you can do about it.
  3. Colt McCoy, Tejas- Should have won it last year, and has been the sole offense for a team that may be playing for the glassy trophy.
  4. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska- Other teams have to change their game plans to deal with him. That’s enough for me.
  5. St. Tebow of Gainesville- Yeah, if only he hadn’t been concussed. Or playing with a limited offense this year.

This week, it gets serious (unlike all the other weeks, when we were just goofing around):

  • Pac Ten championship: Nike University vs toOSU- Winner to play the Buckeyes
  • ApocalypSEC 09: ‘Bama vs The Tebows
  • Big 12 Shootout- Bo’s Boys against Colt
  • Big lEast title bout- U Chic fil a and Pitt
  • Ohio and my Heisman Candidate meet for the MAC championship
  • Conference USA championship has Houston and East Carolina squaring off

And, of course, there’s still the playoffs in every other division of college football. Heck, even Canada figured out how to do it, and they can’t even get the number of downs or size of the field right.

We’ll be back on Thursday to talk about a game from the “minor leagues” of college football, and will highlight Ohio’s true dynasty.

Until then, since I’m feeling all warm and Christmasy, here you go:

The Week That Were: 11.21.09

Written November 23rd, 2009 by MaliBuckeye

Here’s the music that will go with your weekly recap like a tasty Diet Coke goes with a strawberry doughnut.

As we enter the last weeks of the college regular season (who’s excited about the season getting irregular? Anyone?), a lot of people are complaining about how “boring” the season is. Florida and Alabama are on a collision course, Texas looks to be a lock… ho hum. Why even bother with the rest of the games, right?

Better resume than George OLeary

Better resume than George O'Leary

Wellsir, that type of attitude would have deprived us of the goin’s on this week. Starting in South Bend, where the Offensive Sooper Genius has surely spent his last afternoon on the Notre Ame sidelines. Losing is one thing, losing at home another, but losing on senior day to a team that wasn’t even above .500 for the season? That’s a paddlin‘. Granted, UConn was playing for their fallen comrade, and we salute their effort and remember his family. But we also rejoice with the autumn whispers swirling over the Irish’ campus. Sounds like… “We told you so…” For the record, I always get my “autumn whispers” and “Willingham whispers” confused- comes from living in Seattle.

Speaking of Geniuses, the Mad Hatter is looking a bit more like the old western adage- “all hat, no cattle”. It’s bad enough to have lost to Ole Miss, but to do so in such a boneheaded fashion has got to be a new low. I haven’t seen that level of clock ineptitude since, well, the end of the first half of the Ohio State U$C game. And at least be honest and own up to the mistake, champ. Because, as they say, the internet never forgets. And before the rebels and Coach Giggity get their fans too excited, let’s remember the other story out of Oxford this week. When the Klan shows up, you know there’s going to be all kinds of stupid happening.

Weis’ impending exit has garnered a lot of speculation regarding who would replace him. Amongst the names bandied about (Sorry, word of the day calendar) is “Big Game Bob” Stoops, who continued to watch the Sooner collapse this week against Texas Tech. For a system guy, he sure seems to struggle when his personnel changes throughout the year. I would, for what it’s worth, wholeheartedly support a coach from the game heading to South Bend- Mike Leach at Notre Dame press conferences would be worth whatever they wanted to charge to attend. I’d also pay to watch meetings between him and the University president… those would be amazing.

As always, I’ll defer my gloating regarding the Annual Beatdown to others more adept than I. However, I will make these observations about the Ohio State/TTUN tilt:

  • Mr. Shaw- While you were at least smart enough to dodge the two large men in pads, you should have also kept your mouth shut until you’ve actually done something. Having one net yard for the game is not worthy of bluster. Mike Hart (previous #20) should have filled you in.
  • Mich1gAAn’s front was their strength (anchored by Graham, who will be a great NFL athlete), but the Buckeyes ran for over 250 yards none the less. Fancy? Nope. Worked? Yup. Don’t need ribbons or glitter on the sledgehammer.
  • Is that really the game that you wanted to bring all your recruits to, Rich? Especially those who are also considering playing in Columbus? Unless you’re selling “We need help NOW!”, it seems to have been not well thought out.
  • Finally, they decided to honor the 1969 team at the game. For those of you living in Rancho Cucamonga, 1969 is the year that Bo Schembechler led Mich1gAAn to upset what Woody Hayes called his greatest team ever. The metaphor is clear- “These guys shocked the world… we will too”. However, if you’re planning on honoring those guys every time UM is an underdog to Ohio State, it feels like we’ll be seeing a lot of them.

Speaking of “Mich1gAAn Men”, remember last week when I said that Stanford’s Harbaugh understood the importance of The Game? Yeah, I’m an idiot- his Cardinal fell to rival Cal in The Big Game. You’d think adding the modifier “Big” would improve his team’s focus, but what do I know? I’m just a lowly blogger.

Also on the Left Coast- a great game between Arizona and Oregon last night ended in overtime. Also ending last night- Arizona’s hopes of their first Rose Bowl, and any impression that Wildcat fans are not jerks.

Until you get to the show, think classy and you’ll be classy. When you get to the show, you can do this kind of stuff and people will think you’re colorful- until then, they’ll think you’re a slob.

In the world of disappointments, Georgia’s season came to a train wreck when they fell to Kentucky at home. While you never hear Mark Richt’s name as one on the hot seat, it surely didn’t help Dawg faithful feel any better about their prospects, especially with arch rival Florida continuing their dominance. Sure, Florida’s playing a correspondence school, but still.

Nebraska has found it’s way again, it seems, bolstering their defense to the point that KSU’s Bill Snyder couldn’t be certain that Osborne wasn’t on the other sidelines. Bo Pelini is the Anti-Rich Rodriguez; he came in and decided to restore the defensive excellence that the Blackshirts have been known for, and is content winning games 10-3. In Ann Arbor, the philosophy seems to be “let’s just outscore them”… so far, it’s not working all that well.

As mentioned last week, we dispatched an intrepid correspondent to the TBPU/Colorado game, where he watched the Buffaloes fold against the Black Plague. At least, given the photo he sent back from the game I think that’s the new Cowboy nickname.

Down in front...

Down in front...

Black unis- nice look. Of course, most would have sent me a photo of the game’s action, but I’m not going to judge if he wants to report on fashions. This would have won the “best photo from a game” award for the week, if it weren’t for this glamor shot from the CPD.

Free Shoes also broke out the all-black helmets with Nike “combat and death and lots of money” gear this weekend, sending longtime coordinator Mickey Andrews out with a come from behind win over Maryland. Interviewed after the game, Coach Bowden was reported to have said “I thought that Andrews boy died years ago…”

Other games of note: State Penn beat MSU in a game that I forgot was not in Happy Valley; Texas squashed Kansas (and Mangino didn’t assault anyone as far as we know), Houston and TCU and Boise State continued to roll, The Nerds upset the Badgers, UCLA (pronouced UHK-la) won, Purdue claimed the Bucket, and Vandy is still the second class football program in Tennessee.

Small schools- Trine upset Case; last year the Thunder did not even score in their playoff game, this year they hung 51 points on their rivals. Kean overcame Ursinus to win the ECAC Southeast Bowl, or as it’s known around here- “another bowl game Mich1gAAn won’t be going to”.

Since we just finished “The Game”, let’s take this week to be thankful- both for another victory, and for the fact that our rivalry doesn’t have a stupid nickname. For instance, this week’s games include:

  • ­         “Bedlam” between T. Boone Pickens University and Oklahoma
  • ­         “Battle for the Victory Bell” between UCLA and U$C
  • ­         Alabama and Auburn’s “Iron Bowl”,
  • ­        ” Lone Star Showdown” of aTm and Texas
  • ­         Pitt and WVa are in  “Backyard Brawl”
  • ­         Kentucky and Tennessee =  “It’s All Relative”
  • ­         Clemson and USCarolina have the “Battle of thePalmetto State”
  • ­         The crApple Cup with WSU and Washington
  • ­         The “Egg Bowl” between MSU and Old Miss
  • ­        The Border War of Missouri and Kansas
  • ­         Georgia and Georgia Tech call their game “Clean, old fashioned Hate”
  • ­         BYU and Utah enjoy the “Holy War”
  • ­         ASU and UA have a “Duel in the Desert”
  • ­         UNC and NC State play the ” Battle for Carolina”

If you’ve been paying attention, you should do well in this quiz and impress all your book-face friends.

Boringly enough, the Florida/FSU game doesn’t have a nickname, nor does Nebraska/Colorado. However, Stanford hosts Notre Ame in “Charlie Weis’ Last Game”. Me, I’m gonna’ buy a t-shirt.

We’ll be back on Wednesday for our Game from Obscurity (it’s a doozy, trust me).  Other than that, I’ll probably just spend the rest of my week searching craigslist for Rose Bowl tickets and watching this over and over and over:

The Week That Were: 11.14.09

Written November 16th, 2009 by MaliBuckeye

The only weekly update guaranteed to not use the “M” word. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get this song out of my head while working on this. Probably because it’s about “relations” with an unattractive woman that you can’t get enough of (like, you know, a certain Ann from up north). Either that, or because in my head the chorus is “A Whole Lotta Roses…” If it’s not your cup of tea, try this one.

You know, not to step on anyone’s toes here, but it was a pretty fricking great Saturday.  Seriously, it made me spend all day today looking over my shoulder afraid for karma to kick in- surely Jeff and I can’t have back to back great weekends, right?

Ohio State won the Big T1e1n championship with a typical “Tresselball” game- play conservative, and not to lose. While some people see this as infuriating, those of us with “Rose” colored glasses can also point to these numbers: Both running backs almost hit 100 yards in rushing against a solid, nationally ranked defense; This is the second week in a row that the Buckeyes beat a top 15 opponent, and This is their fifth consecutive Conference Title. Other people have written better about the game itself, so I’m just gonna’ move onto other blessings.

U$C lost, and lost big. To Stanford. At home. Nothing against Stanford- I’ve got a lot of love for them, and hope we see them in Pasadena. But to see a Pete Carrol team embarrassed like that- well, it makes me giggle. I know, I’m petty. Even funnier? When Stanford’s coach (a Mich1gAAn man) pulls a play out of Woody’s playbook, and when the local paper indicates that the Trojans are being beaten by superior athletes. The times, they are a changing. As someone living behind enemy lines, the second best part of my weekend may have been texting all the bandwagon Trojan fans with the following- “We won our conference today, and are headed to the Rose Bowl. And you?” Beautiful.

Speaking of “them”… Whiskey is probably the only thing keeping TTUN’s fans alive after the beating that Wisconsin put on them. In a week where buzz swirled around the storied program’s new savior, the former “Star QB” and offensive lineman took steps towards record seasons. Remember, those who transfer will be champions.  Not to belabor this (well, OK, a little), but I’m really starting to love Henri.

Ntre Ame lost, even if it was a bit controversial. That means that Charlie Weis has yet to beat a team that finished the year over .500, and is a good bet to lose his next two as well. Hot seat? You betcha- but someone’s been saying that for a long time.

To wrap up my dia del awesomo, Nebraska won in convincing fashion, taking control of the Big 12 North race. Against an always potent Kansas offense, the Blackshirts only allowed 17 points and under 350 total yards. Before you wonder “huh?”, remember two things. 1) Their coach is a former Buckeye captain. 2) My grandfather-in-law was head of athletic medicine in Lincoln for years. When the Huskers win, the spouse is happy. When she’s happy, I get to watch more football than should be legally allowed. My graduate alma mater capped things off by defeating Vanderbilt and not getting put on probation somehow. As someone who was at UK back when everyone scheduled them for homecoming, I’m just happy that they beat someone. Heck, even my adopted “third favorite team” won; the Longhorns easily handled Baylor. A good Saturday, all around.

Elsewheres in college football- “Ohio’s Real Team” managed to continue towards an unbeaten season, with the help of some “love” from the officials. We couldn’t have a week without an officiating controversy, could we?

Florida’s offense was just good enough to beat The Irrelevant Ball Coach, even as the Gamecocks were wearing some amazing uniforms. In this game, St. Tebow tied Herschel Walker’s record for SEC Touchdowns- I wonder how Herschel would have done in a 12 game season, with a couple of extra SEC championship games? TCU continued to roll, and sported new gear of it’s own. Seriously, though- the pants look like something professional wrestlers wore in the 80′s.

Houston fell, as did media darling Miami. Florida State managed to get out of it’s own way long enough to win another game, while Northwestern defeated the Zooks for the Souix Tomahawk. Colorado’s woes continued against Iowa State (at least one team from Iowa won this weekend), and the Huskies also continued to lose. LSU was almost upset by Louisiana Tech, and Georgia rallied to defeat Auburn at home. Cal showed a bit of a pulse, and knocked Arizona’s hopes of their first Rose Bowl into oblivion. We dispatched a correspondent to cover the TBPU defeat of Capn’ Leech, but he claims his awesome iPhone couldn’t get the pictures. Wonder if there’s an app for that? In our small schools/big game, Wabash took home the Monon Bell, defeating Depauw 32-19 and sending Tiger QB Spud Dick (I wish I was making that up) home with the loss.

Time once again for the “What Do I Think The Bowl Matchups Should Be?” brought to you by the Sonic they’re building within 3 miles of my house. For the record, they’ve opened up a Papa John’s right behind it- Don’t think I’m not going to ask for the delivery guy to bring me a shake on his way.

Anywho- Here’s what I’d love to see:

  • ROSE: The Ohio State University -vs- Stanford. Yeah, I know that Oregon will probably win this thing, and would mean more available tickets. But I’d love to see the Buckeyes play Harbaugh’s team- A win is a great win, and even a loss would really shove their current coaching situation in Mich1gAAn’s face. Plus, I don’t want to have to deal with those uniforms.
  • ORANGE: Cincinnati -vs- Georgia Tech. Let’s see how Kelly and Co deal with an offense designed to keep the other team’s O off the boards.
  • SUGAR: Alabama -vs- Iowa/Oklahoma State. By my rules, Alabama wouldn’t be playing, since they lost their conference championship game (first round of the tourney). As for the other participants,  TBPU would bring a closer fanbase, while an Iowa bowl game would allow us to see more of Mrs. Vandenberg in HD.
  • FIESTA: TCU -vs- Boise State. The Fiesta has no conference ties, so these two “rogue” teams would fit in, and Tempe is close enough to both fan bases for a good amount of ticket sales. I argued about this over the weekend- if you end up with five undefeated teams, why not let four of them play each other? Otherwise, you risk ending the season with four undefeateds rather than three- and the BCS don’t need that kind of publicity these days.
  • GAME FOR GLITTERY BALL: Florida -vs- Texas. Last time the Horns were in Pasadena playing as underdogs, we ended up with one of the greatest games ever. I’m all for sequels.
  • LITTLE CAESAR’S BOWL: CMU (Led by Heisman Trophy winner Dan LeFevour) against anyone but Mich1gAAn.

This week’s games: Hopefully our correspondent will remember his camera if he heads to the Colorado/TBPU game. Ridiculous trophies watch: Cal and Stanford play for the Axe, Purdue and IU square off for the Old Oaken Bucket, and Minnesota meets Iowa for Floyd of Rosedale. Florida plays… get ready for this… Florida International. Wonder if their mascot is the “Men of Mystery“? Nebraska looks to win the North against KSU, and Kentucky travels to Georgia for some mass hysteria. Charlie tries to keep his job against UConn, now that they’ve got the home and almost home controversy worked out.

Other than that- you already know what week it is:

The Week That Were: 11.7.09

Written November 9th, 2009 by MaliBuckeye

Following up to the great recap that Jeff posted on Saturday, here’s your weekly update. Oh, and good luck getting this song out of your head today.

As you may have heard; U$C’s “letdown jinx” is contagious, and was passed to the Oregon Ducks. Who would have guessed that, after such a historic beating of the Trojans, Eugene’s finest would fall apart against an up and coming Stanford team. While Oregon still controls it’s destiny for Pasadena, it’s now looking at Roses instead of possible crystal footballs. Stanford played smart football; which is not unexpected given their academic acumen. Coach Jim Harbaugh has turned things around there, much to the chagrin of…

Mich1gAAn fans, whose “savior” has led his team to only 8 wins in two years. Harbaugh, in many people’s opinion, is a true “Michigan Man”; an alum and a person who strives for excellence in his players on and off the field. Which may be why he’s burned so many bridges.

While Rodriguez may also “strive” for that, it’s clear that this year’s version of the team has next to no idea about defense. As TTUN drops to 1-5 in Big T1e1n play after their loss at home to Purdue (and that one win came at the result of some questionable officiating), you have to wonder what Rodriguez’ hopes for the rest of the season are. Other than making some new friends, that is.

It wouldn’t be a Saturday in the south without some questionable SEC officiating. As seems to be the case, an undefeated team benefits from a dicey call, as Alabama goes on to defeat LSU in a game that was much closer than the scoreboard would indicate. With Florida’s win over Vandy (whew- I guess you didn’t need Spikes after all…), this sets up an undefeated vs undefeated SEC championship game, as long as UA and UF don’t drop one before then. For Florida, the rest of the season seems to be a walk; for Bama, though, there’s always the Iron Bowl against a resurgent Auburn team who beat Furman on Saturday.

Speaking of shady calls- I’m still not sure that Darryl Clark has scored yet in Happy Valley, but it didn’t matter as Ohio State defeated the Nittany Lions 24-7. The highlight video for me didn’t occur on the field, but afterwards when the Buckeye team gathered to sing Carmen Ohio with the fans in scarlet and gray. These folks decided to mock Penn State’s use of Seven Nation Army, and the team… well… here:

Best part? Tressel’s face right before he joins in… “Eh- Why not?”

The ranks of the undefeated were lessened by one, as Iowa’s dream season collapsed with their QB’s sprained ankle. Northwestern’s upset of the Hawkeyes guaranteed that this week’s game against Ohio State will decide the Big T1e1n champion and a bearth in the Rose Bowl. Iowa will give their backup QB his first start ever in Columbus. I hope he doesn’t get killed.

Notre Ame couldn’t stop the Navy attack or score in the red zone, and have lost at home to them in back to back attempts for the first time since the 60′s. Heisman candidate Pickles Clausen was sacked for a safety (the margin of victory) and was intercepted by linebacker Ram Vela. Where have we heard that name before? Oh. Right. I’m sure that the ND faithful are taking this well.

While NA, TTUN, Iowa, and PSU all losing made some people’s day, it was capped for others by a huge win in Lincoln.  For the first time since 2001, the Huskers defeated Chokelahoma in a defensive shootout 10-3. A tru case of the pupil defeating the master- Nebraska (and Ohio State alum) coach Bo Pelini worked with Oklahoma’s Stoops, and learned defensive philosophy from Bob’s father when they were both in Youngstown OhioTo reiterate- Oklahoma doesn’t seem to be able to beat their first rival (Texas) and their loss to a former rival has got to hurt. But, I’m sure he’ll still be known as “Big Game Bob”.

Illinois has seemingly found it’s way, and won it’s match against Minnesota. Kansas State upset the Jayhawks- I guess EMAW after all. UCLA squeaked by UW in this year’s addition of the Neuheisel Bowl. TCU continues to roll, and Kentucky manhandled a much lesser opponent. Oklahoma State pounded the Cyclones, while Georgia Tech showed that the option is best built for overtime victories. The Beavers defeated Cal- our thoughts and prayers are will Jahvid Best after his horrific accident. Cincinnati and Boise State stayed perfect, each doing just enough to beat their inferior opponents.

I’ve complained before about the idiots on the Big T1e1n network- I doubt I’ll do so again after watching this highlight from Comcast’s coverage of Villanova and Richmond. Warning- crass language and even worse football.

Over in the world of lesser schools: Frostburg State held off the Apprentice School 35-30. Don’t mess with the Bobs.

This week: We’ve talked already about the big game in the Big T1e1n- Iowa at Ohio State for all the marbles.  In the Big lEast (where big games are televised on Fridays), the Bearcats and the Mountaineers meet up as ranked foes in Morgantown. Mich1gAAn travels to Wisconsin, Illinois and Northwestern play for the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk. Kentucky and Vandy square off  in the SEC Irrelevance Game, and Boise State meets Idaho for the Big Bag O Taters.  UW and toOSU continue to battle for Northwestern supremacy, while Nebraska tries to slow down Mangino’s boys.  T. Boone Pickens University hosts Cap’n Leach’s Pirates, Notre Ame travels to Pittsburgh, and TCU tries to stay unbeaten against #16 Utah’s Utes.

See you on Thursday for a preview of one of the longest standing small school rivalries in the country. And now, as a service for your tailgating needs:

The Week That Were: 10.31.09

Written November 2nd, 2009 by MaliBuckeye

Here’s your weekly wrapup, guaranteed to not give you cavities.

It was just one of those weeks in college football… must have been the haints and boogers out in full force, because some interesting doings were afoot.

For instance, the three “marquee games” didn’t live up to the hype; resulting in three blowouts. T. Boone Pickens University couldn’t channel the Black and Orange holiday mojo to overcome Texas, even at home. Looks like Texas will be headed back to Pasadena in January (more on that later). Florida obliterated Georgia in the “Beverage Redacted” bowl; St. Tebow again did the impossible by breaking Herschel Walker’s SEC Touchdown record. Georgia was lucky to be on the field with Tebow, since he was able (as far as we know) to use his super powers to heal Washaun Ealey’s eyes:

I’m certain that the SEC will be looking into Mr. Spike’s actions, although with the level of respectability that their conference’s officiating program has developed, you can’t be too certain. To be honest, if Urban Meyer is the coach that they say he is, he shouldn’t wait for the conference to make a decision.

In the other “big game of the week”, we sent a correspondent to Autzen for the sole purpose of seeing which of the stupid uniform combinations the Ducks would come up with. Little did we know that he’d get to watch a dismantling of U$C, who gave up the most offense in the Pete Carroll era.

Ducks fans, acting like they'd never won a big game before...

Ducks fans, acting like they'd never won a big game before...

There will be tons of debate about the Oregon/Boise State rankings- should the Ducks, who undefeated against better competition, jump the Broncos team that beat them in week one. I would vote “yes”, but we’ll get into that a bit more in a minute.

Our “This week in Schadenfreude” moment comes from Champaign, where the Fumbling Zooks got their first victory against a Division 1 opponent. That team? Mich1gAAn. Ah, the sweetness. But, Wolverine fans, it could be worse- Your punt return unit could look like this:

Come to think of it, there are blue/yellow winged helmets involved…

The whole weekend started off strangely, with another ACC BCS team dropping a game to an unranked foe as North Carolina defeated Virginia Tech. Iowa continued whatever “black magic” they’ve got going, coming back from a 21-7 halftime deficit to manhandle Indiana at home. Hoosier fans- Basketball season is coming… oh, wait.

Ohio State handled their warmup game, and covered a 44.5 point spread. This season, Ohio State has three games with over 500 yards of offense… but what’s next is more important. You really can’t blame the Aggies of NMSU for scheduling this game- given the economy and the fact that only 25 NCAA programs were in the black last year, a man’s got to do what he’s got to do.

Notre Ame had a similar scrimmage/game, paying out the Wazoo to have the Cougs play a game in Texas. Yawn… I’m still pulling for them to be BCS elligible and return to the greatness of losing bowl games against teams not named “Hawaii”. Auburn proved how “aw350m3″ the SEC is,  upsetting #25 Old Miss. Miami squeaked by Wake Forrest, and aTm won their second straight game.

Mike Leach’s guys were able to look past their fat little girlfriends and beat a team coached by a… uh… well… “fluffygentleman. State Penn handled Northwestern, TCU continued to cruise, and Kentucky faithful are also ready for some roundball. Georgia Tech optioned all over Vanderbilt while LSU won the battle of New Orleans (oooh! All the etouffee you can eat!).

Looking to the end of the year, the Trojan’s loss still doesn’t change much in terms of what I’d like to see during BC$ week; if it were up to me Texas and Florida would still play for the shiny ball, Oregon and Iowa would be a good Rose Bowl match up (although I know Iowa’s losing in two weeks and think that the Ducks would beat them like a rented mule), Let Cincinnati and whoever comes out of the clowncar that is the ACC play in the Orange Bowl (thems some guaranteed great ratings!), have Alabama embarrass Notre Ame in the Sugar Bowl, and showcase TCU and Boise State in the Fiesta (no conference affiliations required). Did I leave anyone out?

Play one game at a time, etc… but with U$C out of the Rose Bowl picture, tickets will be a lot easier to get come January 1. This is doubly true since the “grandaddy” will be a warm up game for the MNCG on the 8th.  So- feel free to put hotel reservations on your list to Santa, and prepare to come out and enjoy the ridiculous flowery wagons. Even if the Bucks end up somewhere’s else- Pasadena is better than certain parts of Cleveland.

Big games coming up this week: Ohio State begins the “murders row” of it’s schedule as it travels to “Crappy Valley” for a huge game against the Lions. A friendly reminder from the Ohio State Travelers Board- Be prepared for a unique welcome:

Mich1gAAn plays Purdue and looks to get off the schnide. The big question for this game will be whether or not Mark Ortmann will be suspended for the game. Given Rich Rod’s passion for video review, I’m sure he’s already sent this tape up to the Big T1e1n offices. Just like Urban has already benched Brandon Spikes.

LSU goes to Alabama in a big SEC West conference matchup. Oklahoma returns to Lincoln for another historic match up of two Big Eight powers. Florida hosts Vandy, U$C travels to Sun Devil Stadium, while Auburn writes a big check to Furman. UK has a bye against Eastern Kentucky, and Illinois hopes to continue it’s winning ways as it meets up with a resurgent Minnesota.

No better way to close out Halloween weekend than with a visit from drunk Ewoks: