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Attention everyone, I have an important announcement to make. The M*ch*g*n at Ohio State game has been cancelled this year. It seems that M*ch*g*n can’t get around Toledo. (Thank you, Shawn Collier)
I love M*ch*g*n Week. As far as weeks go, I think it narrowly edges out the week of Christmas, the week of Thanksgiving (every other year for the family vacation) and the first week of the NCAA basketball tourney for my favorite of the year.
This weekend just adds to the lore of making fun of that hated state up north.
- At noon on Saturday it will have been 1,826 days since M*ch*g*n’s last win over Ohio State. Here’s to 365 more!
- This season’s 20.5-point spread in favor of the Buckeyes is the largest in the history of the rivalry. It’s opened at 19; who knows what it’ll be by Saturday.
- Last week established the first time M*ch*g*n lost eight games in a season in their 129-year football history. I’m sure the Buckeyes would gladly enjoy making this the first time they’ve lost nine.
- A win on Saturday gives Ohio State their first-ever five game winning streak over the state up north.
So it’s time to gear up for another Beat M*ch*g*n week, full of jumps in freezing lakes, daily singings of “We Don’t Give a Damn” and hopefully yet another Buckeye victory. Go Bucks!
Thoughts on Last Weekend
- What, you want me to elaborate in some profound way that makes last weekend seem important or entertaining? Not only were the games bad on paper, but they were bad on the field.
Only three Top 20 teams trailed at half (UC and BYU trailed, USC was tied) and only Georgia, LSU, UNC and Florida State were trailing in the fourth (obviously UGA and LSU won).
Mainly, it was a large dose of yawners; players’ mothers were bored watching; luckily we have this weekend to save us.
- Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, you coach at a smart school, so let me throw a big word for a small article out there for you: comeuppance.
Thanks to Coach Harbaugh’s end-of-game tactics (tactics in this article actually means stupidity), you’ll be able to use that word along with “2009” and “Stanford at USC game” in a sentence next season. Leave no doubt, the Trojans won’t forget how that game ended.
- We all are now aware that Steve Spurrier had never taken a beating like he did in the Swamp on Saturday. More interesting to me is that Spurrier now has four games in four seasons with the Gamecocks in which his team didn’t score a touchdown. That only happened once while at Florida, a 30-6 loss to Mississippi State in Spurrier’s second season in Gainesville.
- Vanderbilt is bowl eligible, congrats.
- Rutgers is still alive! After drubbing South Florida in Tampa, Rutgers is back to an even record for the first time since being 0-0. I know I’m grasping at straws here, but the opportunity for a 7-5 Big East team to make a BCS game doesn’t come along every day.
- Speaking of the Big East and BCS, bowl projections right now have either Maryland (7-3) or Miami (7-3) playing Cincinnati(8-2) in the Orange Bowl. I wanted to see UC in a top tier bowl this season, but man, what a terrible top-tier game this would be
And to recap, the Orange bowl has given us Kansas vs. Virginia Tech, Louisville vs. Wake Forest and Penn State vs. 8-4 Florida State. That was after the 55-19 National Championship embarrassment USC put on Oklahoma in 2005.
In other words, I haven’t really enjoyed an Orange Bowl in some time; I’m pretty sure most of the country hasn’t either.
- Seriously ACC, just flip a coin and stop playing the games. Adding to the madness this past weekend, former Coastal Division leader, and assumed front-runner North Carolina lost to Maryland to lose control of first place for the third time this season.
This was the same Maryland team who was shut out by 5-5 Virginia 31-0. Virginia then lost at Wake two weekends ago, but Wake followed that victory with a loss on the road to N.C. State.
However, N.C. State lost to Duke the same weekend Virginia was dumped by Wake, and Duke was just knocked off by Clemson this past weekend.
Clemson, amongst other losses, was beaten by Georgia Tech in their first game without Tommy Bowden back in mid-October, while GT lost to VaTech all the way back in September.
VaTech lost this past Thursday Night to Miami, but Miami had already been beaten by rival Florida State, who just lost to B.C. on Saturday.
And that, my friends, is how you link all 12 ACC teams together in one big circle. It didn’t take nearly as long as you’d think.
- Division III Mount Union finished their regular season last weekend a perfect 10-0 record, the 15th time in 17 seasons they’ve accomplished that feat. Mount scored 40+ points in all but one game (a 33-3 nailbiter over No. 10 St. John Fisher), and didn’t win by fewer than four TDs all season. They enter the D-III playoffs as the unanimous No. 1 team.
In case you hadn’t heard about D-III Mount Union, that’s just a taste of how good they are, every season.
- I have absolutely no power to decree such a thing, but I’m asking that this happen regardless. If you are attending a football game (or any sporting event actually) between Team A and Team B, and some d-bag fan shows up wearing clothing supporting Team C, fans of both teams A and B must unite to unmercifully berate and chastise said fan C until he either changes or leaves.
I saw a man wearing an Iowa sweatshirt on the coverage of the Ohio State/Illinois game. I saw a man wearing a Steelers coat on the Monday Night Football game between Cleveland and Buffalo. Through the years I’ve seen various forms of retarded fans doing this when I go to Ohio State games; it must stop now!
- We may witness a second-coming of the depressing grunge rock era if Washington’s football teams don’t turn around. A 3-28 record between Washington, Wazzu and the Seahawks makes me wonder what the Pacific Northwest did exactly to make the football gods mad.
All of that bad, and yet the Wazzu faithful continue to keep alive one of the coolest under-the-radar traditions in all of college football each Saturday morning at ESPN’s Gameday.
Football theme grunge band names for the new era: Hasselbeck in Chains, Tyrone-ic Youth, Stone Temple Dobas, and my favorite, Temple of the Husky.
- And in my weekly watch of the stupidity that is the college football polling landscape, two AP Poll voters now have Florida as their No. 1 team. One Coaches’ Poll voter and one Harris Poll voter has them there as well.
I get it; Florida looks really good right now. They’re playing great. But they have this one little thing called a loss at home to 6-4 Ole Miss. Until ‘Bama or Texas Tech lose, the Gators do not belong at No. 1. That’s final; end of discussion.
So, little happened last weekend except serve as an appetizer for our palate this Saturday. Well…I can deal with that.
Last Week’s Picks
VaTech(+4.5) over Miami – VT only lost by 2
Northwestern (+3.5) over M*ch*g*n
Oregon (-4) over Arizona
The Over on O/U 79.5 in the Tulsa/Houston game
Florida (-21) over South Carolina
Cincy (-6) over Louisville
Texas (-21) over Kansas
Florida State(-7) over B.C. – so I made that pick before the five WRs were suspended.
Georgia (-8) over Auburn – that’s two pathetic UGA games in a row. And they’re makin’ me look bad!
The Under on O/U 71.5 for Nebraska/K-State – the game hit 84 pts.
Oklahoma State (-17) over Colorado – Ok State won by 16
7-4, same record as last week.
Thoughts on this Weekend’s Events
- So ESPN has the rights to all the BCS games starting in 2011. You tell me that, but all I hear is the possibility of Dave Pasch and Andre Ware doing a major bowl game and I instinctively move to the fetal position.
- I’m not a huge conspiracy theorist, but this is something I’ll be watching for ESPN over the next few seasons. I don’t know if a college football playoff system will be implemented before 2011, or what sort of financial impact that could have on ESPN’s deal. But if it does affect it, I bet you see less and less coverage and talk about a playoff on the Worldwide Leader.
If that annual “ESPN Playoff” they do every December before the start of the bowls disappears, it would be my first indication.
- If he was standing on the other sideline, what would the records be? That’s the question I’ve decided is the most intriguing for the Ohio State/M*ch*g*n game. If Pryor would have signed with the state to the north, how much impact would there have been?
What would’ve happened in a Boeckman season? Could Pryor have worked the same magic as a freshman for M*ch*g*n as he’s done for OSU? It’s interesting to ponder in my opinion.
- You call it a Holy War huh? I’m listening…not watching because I have other games, and better games to watch that don’t involve the state of Utah duking it out, but I’ll read about it on Sunday.
- Will the ride continue for the Beavers in Tucson? Arizona and Willie Tuitama put up 45 on Oregon State’s Civil War partner Oregon last weekend…but their defense subsequently allowed 55 points.
- Tennessee is a three-point underdog at Vandy this weekend.
- Ball State had its closest MAC contest of the season last week at Miami (OH), only winning by 15. They’ll be playing top two other MAC teams over the next two weekends in 8-2 Central Michigan and 9-2 Western Michigan. And they’ll continue to drop down the BCS.
- If Crabtree doesn’t score that touchdown against Texas and thus Texas Tech enters this weekend’s game with one loss, what’s their line at Oklahoma? Right now, the Sooners sit seven-point favorites. I think that line would be near 20 if Tech had lost. And here’s to hoping the Red Raiders keep on proving “them” wrong.
- The Miami Hurricanes spent 107 consecutive weeks ranked in the AP poll from 1999 until the Sept 17, 2006, poll. This week marks the first time they’ve been ranked since, as they come in at No. 23. They still aren’t ranked in the Coaches’ or Harris Polls.
This Week’s Big Ones
M*ch*g*n at No. 10 Ohio State
My column, my bias. Sorry.
Outside of these two states, this game means as much as the Harvard/Yale game this season. But to me, it’s still that a**-hole Desmond Howard striking a pose, it’s David Boston and Charles Woodson coming to blows, it’s Will Allen making the leaping interception that sent Ohio State to the 2002 National Championship.
It’s cursing the name of Tshimanga Biakabutuka, it’s refusing to wear any clothing that combines yellow and blue, it’s reliving Woody and Bo, it’s forgetting John Cooper and Shawn Springs’ “slip.”
For all who were a part of a college experience that included a major rivalry like this, you all know what this weekend is like in Columbus. At 9-2, we aren’t going to the big dance this year (I know, about half of you just said “thank God”), so this is our BCS Championship Game. F-M*ch*g*n and bring on the 2008 Big Ten Champion Ohio State Buckeyes!
No. 2 Texas Tech at No. 5 Oklahoma
This is “the game” which happens to fall on the same weekend as “The Game”. My apologies to Big XII fans everywhere.
I’m not going to say too much different than what you’ll hear all week from talking-head nation. Oklahoma can’t outshoot the Red Raiders; they have to find a defense somewhere. Tech held Texas to its second-lowest score of the season then turned around to hold Okie State to its lowest.
I want to believe the Red Raiders win this game, but in Norman, under the bright lights for the third time in four weeks…I have to go against Crabtree and Evelyn (Evelyn doesn’t really play for TT). Sooners by 10.
No. 15 Michigan State at No. 8 Penn State
It’s been a long, long time since Penn State lost itself a game at home to Michigan State. So long in fact that the last time it did happen, 1965, JoePa wasn’t presiding over the sidelines at the foot of Mt. Nittany. Paterno’s first season was 1966.
Ohio State fans, what I’m sayin’ is, don’t hold your breath. I take the Spread HD and their -14.5 line all the way to Pasadena.
Other Conference Games I’m Watching
ACC – Florida State at No. 25 Maryland
How much of a revolving door have the poll rankings from No. 20 to No. 25 been this season? Nine of the 12 ACC teams have been ranked at some point this season, with Miami and Maryland now joining the crowd.
Maryland has beaten four ranked teams this season, which would mean something except only one of those teams is currently ranked.
Seriously, I could go all day with the random oddities about the ACC. There’s millions.
Big XII – Iowa State at Kansas State
This is the only Big 12 game this weekend besides the TT/Oklahoma tilt.
Big East – No. 20 Pittsburgh at No. 18 Cincinnati
It’s the biggest game of the year for both teams. If UC wins, it would all but clinch the Big East title (UC only has one conference game left, vs. Syracuse), while a Pitt win gives them control of their own destiny with two conference games left.
And yet Cincy fans will be torn between going to this night game at Nippert Stadium or driving up I-75 forty-five minutes north to see Cincinnati Elder battle Pickerington Central in the Division I State Semis.
You think I’m joking? UC football isn’t exactly the traditional powerhouse and we all know the Bengals are terrible. High school football is the only hope for a winning team in town.
I’d take Pitt +5 to cover, but not to win.
Big Ten – Illinois at Northwestern
If the Purple Kitties win, they could be playing in a New Year’s Day bowl, and subsequently keep Illinois from playing in a bowl, period. After the non-ferocious fight they put up against the Buckeyes two weekends ago, and subsequent punting contest vs. M*ch*g*n last weekend, I’m gonna think that probably won’t happen.
Take Illinois -3.
Pac-10 – Washington at Washington State
The Apple Cup has never seen a match-up like this before. Although 1969’s battle of 1-9 teams comes close, this game is just going to be horrendous on the eyes.
SEC – Ole Miss at No. 18 LSU
You want the definition of the Cialis Special again? It’s not getting up for a game after a major letdown from the week before or before a big game the following week. LSU just suffered the biggest Cialis Special of the season, nearly losing to Troy.
Ole Miss has lost their four games by a combined 19 points, and just handled a Sun Belt school the way an SEC school should - by beating them 59-love.
I’m taking Ole Miss and Jevan Snead +4.5 over “Pick-6-R-Us” Jarrett Lee.
My Top Ten
1.) Alabama (11-0)
2.) Texas Tech (10-0)
3.) Texas (10-1)
4.) Florida (9-1)
5.) Oklahoma (10-1)
6.) USC (9-1)
7.) Penn State (10-1)
8.) Utah (11-0)
9.) Ohio State (9-2)
10.) Boise State (10-0)
Quick Picks (HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
Ball State (-7) over CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Washington (-7.5) over WASHINGTON STATE
Air Force (+18.5) over TCU
Boise State (-6) over NEVADA
RUTGERS (-17.5) over Army
Lines I’m Staying Away From
All ACC, Notre Dame or Georgia games.
Tulane (+28.5) at Tulsa– you want a team that just lost by 40 to turn around and win by 4+ TDs?
Stanford (+9) at Cal – Rivalry game theory.
Iowa (-5) at Minnesota – Seems almost too easy to take Iowa with how Minnesota is playing these days…I don’t like that feeling.
Thus concludes my M*ch*g*n Week A.D.D. Happy Mirror Lake jumping and Go Bucks!
As always, please tip your wait staff, they don't make that much, seriously. I am spent.