- Time to pack up the old wagon and load up on the grillable items: It’s time for some road trips. Twelve of the top 25 teams in the Coaches’ Poll are on the road this Saturday, and 13 of 25 for the AP poll. Gonna be a lot of home teams hoping for the upsets this week.
- The ACC’s leaders in both the Coastal and Atlantic Divisions will be on the road this weekend. Florida State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest all travel for conference games.
- North Carolina, coming off both a clutch and controversial win (but it was against Notre Dame, so 95 percent of the country doesn’t care about Notre Dame’s complaints), will play in Charlottesville against the enigma that is the Virginia Cavaliers football team. The Tar Heels haven’t won there since 1981. Virginia doesn't know if they want to be good or dreadfully horrible this week.
- Texas has the toughest stretch of games in the country. I said it two weeks ago, and now this is all that ESPN will talk about. Why couldn’t they have listened to my rants earlier? I feel like I’m getting scooped.
- Nothing could’ve stunned me more on Saturday than Missouri’s loss to Oklahoma State. That has nothing to do with my faith, or lack thereof, in the Cowboys, but more about what I thought of the Tigers. If I was stranded on a desert island and could only pick one of this weekend’s games to bring with me, it’d be Missouri at Texas in Austin. This one will be fun.
- Anyone remember when Skip Holtz was going to be the next major college football hire?
- I’m both rubbing it in and stating a fact at the same time when I say I knew Michigan would have epic issues this year. I believe my direct words were “a Notre Dame-like collapse from greatness.”
- In order for Michigan to finish better than the Domers' 3-9 mark from last season, they’ll have to win a game where they won’t be favored—which is funny to say when you see that they’ll be underdogs at Minnesota and home vs. Northwestern.
- ADD(ers), I need help. We need to replace the term “trap/letdown game” or “look-ahead game”. It’s annoying, overused and most of all, not catchy enough.
My suggestions for a new phrase:
1) The “Cialis Special.” Ex: Ohio State suffered a Cialis Special last week. They couldn’t get up for Purdue with Michigan State and Penn State to look forward to. (also known as an “E.D. Game”)
2) Saying a team “Tommy Bowden-ed” it. Ex: With their 6-0 start all but assured heading into their matchup vs. Georgia this week, Vanderbilt “Tommy Bowden-ed it” against a lesser Mississippi State team.
- Penn State fans...I believe you are about to learn why Ohio State fans have an undying hatred for Mark May. His quote: “...the bottom line is that I still have to see more out of this team before I put it with the top echelon.”
It’s the same BS we’ve listened to (and unfortunately at times, lived up to) for years. He’s more annoying than JoePa when he has to take a crap in the middle of the second quarter.
- Anyone want to ask Tommy Bowden what he's doing this weekend? I've got an extra ticket to the Clemson game.
- Vandy fans...yes, all 32 of you—explain something to me. Mackenzi Adams goes 13-of-23 for 153 yards and your two TDs in the win over Auburn while replacing completely ineffective Chris Nickson. So Bobby Johnson is dumb enough to start Nickson again last week vs. Mississippi State.
You deserved to lose because of that move alone. Nickson is TERRIBLE! And I guess Johnson now agree: Adams was named the starter for this week. At least he didn’t make that decision a week late or anything.
- Maryland is the most unexplainable team in the country, more so than Virginia, ECU, or Minnesota. But the Terrapins are also the team that kept Cal from an undefeated record on the season.
Cal is quietly undefeated in Pac-10 play, have a win over what week after week looks like a legit Michigan State team, and head into this week’s game in Tucson with hopefully a recovered and rested Jahvid Best.
Insert the “we’ve heard it before” remarks here as pertaining to Cal after their fall from grace last season (from 5-0 and No. 2 in the nation to 7-6 after their Armed Forces Bowl victory), but it very well could happen again.
Before you go jumping on the Bears bandwagon, let it be known they finish the season with games at Arizona, home vs. UCLA and then a three-game stretch of Oregon, at USC, and at Oregon State. Tough trails.
- If I hear the phrase “it’s just the beginning of a happy go fun day” one more time...I may snap. State Farm has this year’s “There’s only one October!” most annoying commercial of the year title. And I still dislike Dane Cook.
- I hate when I read an article and have absolutely no way to write it better or add to it. Stewart Mandel, well said about people complaining about the stupid polls. You took the unwritten words right off my keyboard.
Every team in the Top 25 has at least five weeks of games left. Five weeks ago, USC was No. 1 and Auburn, Wisconsin, East Carolina, Arizona State, Illinois, Oregon, Fresno State, and West Virginia were all ranked in the AP Poll. UCLA was No. 26.
The Cialis Special
Since I coined the phrase (OK, I can’t lie, my buddy did), I have to use it. This week’s E.D. game is Michigan at Penn State.
I’ve taken my hacks at the Wolverines, but they still have won nine straight over the Nittany Lions. That’s right, nine times... (Principal Mooney voice).
Penn State has a No. 3 ranking and all sorts of expectations leading into their game at Ohio State next week. Can they avoid the Cialis Special?
I’m focusing on the SEC this week as I bask in the glory of calling out, and yelling at certain people on Bleacher Report, that LSU was a fraud.
But then again, I don’t know if I want this obligation. I mean, you look at how the SEC could shake out and tell me what to write.
Things that confuse me:
- What does Florida’s drubbing of LSU tell us? That they forgot what a draw play was vs. Ole Miss, or that Ole Miss should be the favorite to win out in the SEC West?
- Does Georgia know what the term “convincingly” means?
- How bad is Auburn? And for the love of God, tell me West Virginia beats them on Oct. 23. Otherwise, we revert back to the whole “out-of-conference superiority” thing where people (by people, I mean SEC fans) believe Auburn is good but are merely a victim of the tough SEC conference. I’ve watched Auburn four times this season (MSU through Vandy games): defense gets a B+, offense gets a negative four.
- My SEC thought of the week that’s made just to confuse you: Texas goes undefeated and earns their spot in the BCS championship game. No. 2 Alabama is undefeated heading into the SEC championship where they face Georgia, who won out and sit at 11-1 and No. 3 in the polls.
Georgia beats Alabama. Both are now 12-1 with a split in the season series, and both games played in Georgia.
My question, does Stewart Mandel’s head explode? Or would Pat Forde’s do it first? I'm going with Lou Holtz's because Colt McCoy is involved.
- Which game will be more important to end the season: Georgia Tech at Georgia, Vanderbilt at Wake Forest, or Auburn at Alabama? Look over those games for a second, really think about it, and you’ll come to the conclusion that you just don’t know right now.
- I said LSU would lose at least three of its next five prior to the Florida game. They only need two of four now, and I could see another one of those this weekend against South Carolina.
If you haven’t paid attention, South Carolina’s won four straight. Often erratic, always unreliable Chris Smelley (aka, greatest QB name other than Casey Dick) has been finally replaced as the Gamecocks' starting QB, and we all know Spurrier is good for pulling off one SEC upset a season (Georgia ’07, almost Florida in ’06, Florida in ’05).
- Kentucky’s defense has given up only three touchdown drives of 30-plus yards. Two of them were the result of the big play: a 62-yard pass by Middle Tennessee State and a 78-yard run by Alabama.
Every week, I seem to come across a stat line or historical reference that dumbfounds me. This marks the second time this year it involved Nebraska. This is from ESPN.com Big 12 blogsman Brett Edgerton:
During the past seven seasons, 63 of the 65 BCS conference teams have beaten a team ranked higher than 20th in the AP poll. ... Just two teams have not.
One of them is the Duke Blue Devils, and that should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed college football at any point in the past 70 years.
But the other? Oh, the other is a whole different story altogether. That second team is the mighty Nebraska Cornhuskers, a program that is steeped in tradition and ruled most of the 1990s with an iron fist.
Sorry for the triple stomach punch Huskers fans (that being on top of the overtime loss to Texas Tech and the first 0-2 conference start since 1968), but things always seem the worst when Duke is involved.
Conference Viewing Schedule
Just to inform you, this is my opinion based on which game I’d like to watch/think is most important, not what the media believes. So last week, when everyone told me Penn State/Wisconsin was a better game than Michigan State/Northwestern, well, how’d that work out?
ACC: Virginia Tech at Boston College
Last year’s ACC Game of the Year is about the 16th-most important this weekend. Yeah, yeah, the ACC’s improving its status every week. Uh huh, call me when someone plays a complete game two weeks in a row.
Big East: Connecticut at Rutgers?
Yeah, that’s a question.
Big 12: No. 16 Kansas at No. 4 Oklahoma
Why? Because Kansas is the last undefeated team in the Big 12 North and have a whole lot more to lose than Missouri this weekend.
Same goes for Oklahoma as opposed to Texas. If Texas loses it will be because they faced two tough tests in a row. If the Sooners lose, it will be a two-game losing streak, regardless of the competition.
And never sleep on the team coached by the defending wing eating champion of Lawrence, Kan.
Big Ten: No. 12 Ohio State at No. 20 Michigan State
Ohio State fans (myself included) are on edge for this one. First, even if we win the game, we’re more concerned about how we look winning the game.
After last week’s performance, most of the Buckeyes faithful are ready to hang ‘em up against Penn State already.
Michigan St. superstud Javon Ringer will be out to prove one last time that the Buckeyes slighted him in recruiting four years ago. He hasn’t had much success vs. the Bucks in his career though, with 34 carries for 125 yards (3.6 ypc) and zero TDs.
Pac-10: No. 25 Cal at Arizona
I swear, Cal may be legit as long as they don’t have to go back to the East Coast.
SEC: Ole Miss at No. 2 Alabama
I pick this because I’m really interested to see if ‘Bama can put together a complete game again like they did vs. Georgia, or if they mail it in like they did vs. Kentucky. Plus, Ole Miss did win in the Swamp—they won’t be intimidated by the Tide.