For those not interested in reading full articles
Trying to make sense of what happened last weekend?
I’m not going to waste hot air this weekend and argue the atrocities of a system that could leave an undefeated team out of the national championship game. I will, however, bang my head on my desk until I have brain damage at the mere possibility of potential playoff matchups: Texas Tech vs. Florida, Penn State vs. USC, Oklahoma vs. Alabama.
My oh my.
When the NCAA and individual schools corporatize and profit off anything they possibly can, from timeout sponsors to seat licenses, I really cannot understand how they miss out year after year on multimillion-dollar postseason games. They have a bowl named after a credit union and one after very bad cologne...COME ON ALREADY!
Oh, and Pete Carroll, great rant yesterday. Coming from the coach of a team that year after year gets bashed by critics for playing in a weak conference, his teams have gone 5-1 in BCS play in the past six seasons. Yup, I’d want a playoff too.
Enough of that. Next subject please!
- To quote a great man, Harrell to Crabtree, touchdown. That great man was me in my abbreviated preview of the Texas Tech-Texas thriller. What a game...it’s been four days, and I still have no idea how that ball made it into Crabtree’s hands.
- I’m looking for some info on this because it really intrigued me. How do Red Raiders fans tailgate and/or celebrate post-game with Lubbock being in the middle of a dry county? How far do you have to go to get booze, how do the college folk acquire it for parties or game day, etc.?
I know of counties like this in Kentucky, so it really didn’t surprise me too much...minus the fact that there’s a 28,000-student campus in Lubbock.
- Texas Tech didn’t get the only program-defining win this weekend. Georgia Tech’s first-ever ACC win over Florida State was just as clutch for them as the Red Raiders’ was. I made light of the ACC’s Coastal Division championship last weekend, but seriously for Tech, what a win, and they only threw six passes all game. That’s how Paul Johnson does his thing. Kind of the anti-Mike Leach thing.
- I get that the computer polls factor thinks a lot differently than humans do. That’s why I’ll overlook something like Texas still being ranked No. 1 in one of those polls. But whoever the Harris Poll voter was that still gave Texas a No. 1 vote, he needs to have his membership revoked. I want his/her name.
- More poll complaining: To all the members of all the national polls that placed Oklahoma ahead of Texas...that’s my opening statement for a playoff system. Idiots.
- Explain to me why Bret Bielema called that timeout for Wisconsin against Michigan State.
You have two options, coach: 1) Force Michigan State’s kicker Brett Swinson (who was 3-for-3 in FGs on the day) to rush on the field as time was running down to boot the game-winning 44-yard field goal on the fly, or 2) Call timeout, giving Swinson time to relax himself, so you can set up a kick block, which works what...once every 25 times you try it?
This is why Wisconsin will be going to Detroit for the Motor City Bowl—if they’re lucky.
- Other than the obvious Indiana, the remaining teams from the Big Ten that haven’t earned their bowl eligibility yet are Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Purdue. Those are the usual suspects at the top of the Big Ten. Weird to think Minnesota, Northwestern, and Michigan State have already clinched.
- Oregon State...they keep on winning. Only four games left for them to lose—otherwise the Pac-10 Championship is theirs. Let me know when you hear someone else pick up on this.
Michigan State is in the same situation. With three games remaining and only one conference loss, if MSU wins out, they make the BCS game. Of course they have to beat Penn State, but if they do, they’ll be in a complicated Big Ten, three-way tiebreaker that penalizes teams with non-Div. I-A wins. Yup...Ohio State could get screwed by Youngstown St.
- Here’s the answer everyone will be looking for in a few weeks: If Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma all win out and Oklahoma beats Texas Tech, all three teams will be 11-1 with 7-1 conference records and 4-1 divisional records. The tiebreaker in this scenario for who will play in the Big 12 Championship for the South will be the team ranked highest in the BCS Standings.
Please don’t let it come to that...
- I want to see Cincinnati in an upper-tier bowl game this season just to see how they match up. I think they could give a top ACC team a fit in the Gator Bowl. What I don’t want to see is them whup another non-BCS team in the Papajohns.com Bowl (I know, that was a really random thought).
- So much for a Cialis Special for Oklahoma State against Iowa State. Think they’re ready for Saturday night? The two best receivers in the country will be on the field in Dez Bryant and Michael Crabtree. It’s gonna be chaos again in Lubbock.
- Pat Forde: great comparison between Phil Fulmer’s reign in Tennessee and Tubby Smith’s at UK. As a lifelong Wildcats basketball devotee, I couldn’t agree more with the exact parallel. Eerily similar I’d say.
Last Week’s Picks
Texas at Texas Tech: I took the over, 75. I missed by three.
South Florida at Cincinnati: I took UC on the moneyline That’s a yes for me.
Washington at USC: I took USC -45. They almost covered by halftime.
Wisconsin at Michigan State: MSU -4.5, I lost—stupid Wisconsin still thinkin’ they could play football.
Kansas at Kansas State: Thanks for the win on this one KU (-10).
Missouri at Baylor: Took the over 69.5—they only hit 59.
BYU at Colorado State: Took BYU (-14.5), lost.
Arizona State at Oregon State: Took ASU (+15), got it, and they almost won outright.
Total Record: 4-4
Random Thoughts on This Week’s Events
It was rather nice to have a weekend off from Ohio State football and get to enjoy all the games without worrying about when your coach was going to call the QB draw on 2nd-and-7 when everyone knows it's coming, or if your punt returner is going to not fair catch yet another punt and get blasted. Yup, pretty relaxing.
This weekend’s Big Ones
No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 2 Texas Tech
You tell me what order the Big 12 South’s teams should go in the polls if Ok State knocks off the Red Raiders. Out of protest, I think it should read No. 3—Ok State/Oklahoma/Texas/Texas Tech until they all play their games.
I want to say a lot of points will be scored here tonight, but then again, last week was actually a defensive game until the fourth quarter...odd. I’m pulling for Tech.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 16 LSU
The first time you hear someone from talking-head nation mention the actual players and not the Nick Saban returning to LSU angle, let me know. I haven’t heard it yet.
For as much crap as I’ve given LSU lately about not playing well, they actually rank second, third, or fourth in total yards, rushing yards, passing yards, and points/game in the SEC. This game comes down to John Parker Wilson—you know, the guy whose brother was the QB on MTV’s Two-a-Days . We all remember that show, right?
Wilson's thrown an INT in three of his last four games, and while all the experts will dismiss LSU, I’m thinkin’ this one may be real close thanks to him...home field advantage decides it?
Other Conference Games of Note
ACC: No. 20 Georgia Tech at No. 19 North Carolina
Who had this pegged as the biggest conference game in the ACC this year? These are the two best ACC teams, and we all know my feeling on how good UNC is. Butch Davis is the greatest coach ever—just ask a Browns fan.
Winner gets a one-game lead in the Coastal Division with a tiebreaker. I’m taking the under on O/U 8.5 of how many passes GT attempts. Takers?
Big 12: Baylor at No. 4 Texas
While everyone salivated over the matchup in West Texas last weekend, Baylor almost pulled off a bigger upset in Waco over Missouri. I can see this game being way closer than the 26-point spread the ‘Horns are getting. True freshman QB of the year trophy goes to Robert Griffin of Baylor, hands down. Yes, even over Boise State freshman Kellen Moore.
Big Ten: No. 11 Ohio State at No. 24 Northwestern
I couldn’t go a full article without getting into this matchup. Not gonna happen. The Bucks spent the past two weeks licking their wounds from that Penn State war, thinking about what could’ve, should’ve been (umm...a win would have them sitting around No. 7 right now, with the lowest they could finish being No. 4 if they won out.). OK, I’m still dreaming about what might have been.
Northwestern may have their starting QB back in C.J. Bacher, but without RB Terrell Sutton, I can’t see these ‘Cats beating the Bucks. I’m looking for a big, leave no doubt win this weekend. I’d like to see the defense stand up to the spread, especially if Kafka’s running the show again this weekend, and for Beanie and Pryor to open up more option and option read plays.
All I’m asking for is one option-read pass...one time...I swear it would work.
Big East: Cincinnati at No. 25 West Virginia
The Mountaineers are on a roll...five straight wins since the collapse/most idiotic play calling not done by a man named Weis at Colorado. Cincinnati, on the other hand, just got a visit from Erin Andrews on Thursday Night Football and won convincingly over South Florida. It’s a good time to be a UC fan.
The line says WVa -8—I say take the ‘Cats and the points.
Pac-10: No. 21 Cal at No. 7 USC
Cal has been ranked in the AP Poll three times this season (Sept. 7, Oct. 12, and this week). The previous two times Cal has invalidated that ranking by losing, once to the enigma that is Maryland, the other to the Fighting David Hasselhoffs (Arizona).
That’s the best analysis I can give you as USC has dominated any and all competition this season not named Oregon State or Arizona...and those were completely unexplainable. USC, where unexplainable letdowns happen.
My advice: If you are looking for a teaser bet, add six points and take Cal at +25.5.
SEC: No. 5 Florida at Vanderbilt
The Commodores, remember them? Possibly the worst GameDay selection in history in retrospect as Auburn and Vandy have combined to go 0-6 since. Florida thinks nothing but a rivalry matchup vs. Florida State and a meeting with No. 1 Alabama stand in their path to a BCS Championship berth. Looking past this game would be very easy.
Take the ‘Dores +24, I’m almost certain of it...and no, I didn’t learn my lesson from taking UK +23 against Florida. Thank you.
Non-BCS Game of the Season, thus far: No. 12 TCU at No. 8 Utah
Things I don’t understand about Vegas:
1) How it’s the only place in the U.S. where prostitution is legal.
2) How changing a blackjack dealer makes so much difference (it does, trust me).
3) How more people don’t know about the great brew-pub inside Main Street Station downtown (probably because it’s downtown)
4) How TCU is a 2.5 favorite on the road vs. Utah.
Then I looked at the stats...TCU hasn’t given up more than two TDs in a game all season, minus the Oklahoma game. Further, TCU leads the Mountain West in nearly every major statistical category except total offense (they’re second behind BYU). If you don’t have anything to do Thursday night, and you aren’t a fan of The Office or CSI , you can join me watching this game.
My Top 10
1) Alabama (9-0)
2) Nittany JoePa’s (9-0)
3) Texas Tech (9-0)
4) Texas (8-1)
5) Oklahoma (8-1)
6) Florida (7-1)
7) USC (7-1)
8) Utah (9-0)
9) Oklahoma State Cowboys, sponsored by T. Boone Pickens (8-1)
10) Boise State (8-0)
Quick Picks (pssst, I’m taking the first team)
No. 8 Utah (+2.5) vs. No. 12 TCU
No. 18 Michigan St. (-10) vs. Purdue
No. 13 Georgia (-10.5) at Kentucky
Kansas (-1.5) at Nebraska
No. 6 Oklahoma (-25.5) at Texas A&M
Oregon State (-7.5) at UCLA
Vandy (+24) vs. No. 5 Florida
Lines I’m staying away from
All ACC games
All Notre Dame games from here out as well...what kind of dumb play calling was that, Charlie Tuna?
Illinois (-7) at Western Michigan: Have you seen the Illini lately? I’m not confident in them, and this line seems too easy.
Louisville (+6.5) at Pitt: Which Pitt and/or Louisville teams show up?
Penn State (-7.5) at Iowa: Iowa has lost by 1, 5, 3, and 3 this season...do you really want to mess with that trend?
And that’s my ADD for the week. Hope you all voted yes for all school levies and no on anything that gives a win to Michigan. Tip your wait staff—I’m out.