Cavalcade of Whimsy
Sept. 13, 2011
- Part 2. Ten Best New
Things In The College Football World
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167 days since Stanley McClover's claims
against Auburn, Ohio State, Michigan State, and LSU
with no repercussions.
Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … According to Brian Kelly, it's just not good enough. There's not one part of the column in that locker room, including the coaches, that are good enough right now.
I will not call him Malcom Floyd … I will not call him Malcom Floyd … I will not call him Malcom Floyd … Fine, Kelly, you might be right, but that No. 3, with his 25 catches for 313 yards and two touchdowns in two games might be a keeper.
"I never liked you. You know why? You don't curse. I don't trust a man who doesn't curse. Not a "(bleep)" or a "(bleep)" in all these years. Real men curse." … Look, (bleep)ing Notre Dame, it's time to (bleep)ing get over your (bleep)ing self when it comes to a (bleep)ing coach going bat(bleep) on the (bleep)ing sidelines. Brian (bleep)ing Kelly is a (bleep)ing football coach - A (BLEEP)ING FOOTBALL COACH - and (bleep)ing football coaches (bleep)ing swear every other (bleep)ing word. The ones that don't, like Tony (bleep)ing Dungy and his dopey (bleep)ing books, are (bleep)ing weird. It's September (bleep)ing 13th, 20(bleep)ing11, and in today's day and (bleep)ing age, and with all the (bleep)ed up things that have happened at Notre Dame in the past (bleep)ing year, you're really that (bleep)ing upset over a (bleep)ing football coach screaming at a (bleep)ing player? Two words for you: Lou (bleep)ing Holtz. When he got on a (bleep)ing roll, that (bleep)ing dude could make Denis (bleep)ing Leary sound like a (bleep)(bleep) Wiggle.
"The Defense Department regrets to inform you that your sons are dead because they were stupid." … There's no question whatsoever that Michigan's win over Notre Dame on Saturday night was one of the most amazing, most thrilling, most edge-of-your-seat phenomenal games in the history of college football, and it became such a classic for one reason and one reason only.
Both defenses were AWFUL.
First of all, when Kelly is talking about not being good enough, it all begins with holding on to the ball, but it's also about the inability to adjust to the simplest of passing plays that Michigan kept running late in the game.
Yes, Denard Robinson, with defenders around his ankles, made a brilliant play to connect with Junior Hemingway for a 77-yard pass in the third quarter, and yes, he was able to get loose and make the key throw on the move to Jeremy Gallon for 64 yards to set up the final score, but both of those were helped by the Irish defensive backs that inexplicably went bye-bye in coverage.
On almost all of Robinson's key throws, including the game-winner, all he was doing was hanging it up short and letting his receiver go get it. It wasn't even like Jeff Blake-to-Carl Pickens for the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1990s, when Blake made an art form out of throwing a beautiful arching rainbow and letting his target run under it. Robinson heaved his throws in an area code and made his receivers do something on the short ball, and for some reason, Notre Dame only figured this out once. When Robert Blanton turned around early and came up with a pick in the end zone with just over four minutes to play, it seemed like the Irish finally caught on and adjusted.
Michigan took a chance on the game-winning touchdown pass, and the Irish didn't seem to get that Robinson wasn't going to whiz an Aaron Rodgers-like dart past the defender's earhole.
Of course, it wasn't exactly Revis Island time when it came to the Wolverine defensive backs.
With everything on the line, Michigan couldn't generate a lick of a pass rush on Tommy Rees, and boom, boom, misfire, boom, Notre Dame went 61 yards in a hiccup with a wide open Theo Reddick catching the game-leading touchdown pass in the final minute.
Both teams committed nine penalties, there were missed tackles all over the place, the Wolverine D allowed the Irish to convert on 8-of-14 third down chances and the O didn't get a lick of production from the running backs, and the Irish kept the game alive by screwing up time and again – but who cares?
Bad defense equals fun shootouts, and if Michigan and Notre Dame can come up with more games like this one, once in a while, the defense can take the night off.
"You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, or you can call me Johnny, or you can call me Sonny, or you can call me RayJay, or you can call me RJ… but ya doesn't hafta call me Johnson." … I will not call him Roy Roundtree ... I will not call him Roy Roundtree … I will not, wait … I will not call him Ray Roundtree … I will not call him Ray …
It was an unremarkable spot … It's time to beef up your school of public relations. In Notre Dame's promotional ad during the Michigan game, the voice-over reads a well-known Irish blessing that includes the lines, "May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back."
Notre Dame, for the forseeable future, you need to avoid the word wind like you would an applicant with a 1,500 SAT score.
"Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?" … Michigan fans, forgive me, but I'm about to fire you up and tick you off at over something that won't happen.
In 2009, it didn't matter what anyone else did; the Alabama/Florida winner was going to play Texas for the national title if both teams were unbeaten. This year, it doesn't matter what the Wolverines do the rest of the way if Oklahoma and the Alabama/LSU winner and finish undefeated.
It's the problem that BCS types don't want to talk about at parties, but someday, we're going to get a 2004-like situation again with three big name unbeatens trying to squeeze into two spots in the BCS Championship. It was one thing to leave out Auburn seven years ago, considering the SEC wasn't considered the be-all-end-all it is now, but just imagine for a moment if Michigan goes 13-0 – let me finish – and doesn't get to play for the right to take a trophy to Wal-Mart.
It sounds crazy, right? Michigan isn't that good. Yeah, but neither is the Big Ten.
Barring a mega-upset, these games are locks: Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, Minnesota, Purdue. Going to Northwestern is never easy, and the trip to Michigan State will be a problem, but if the Wolverines can get to 8-0, they then get Iowa at Iowa, Illinois at Illinois, and then home games against Nebraska and Ohio State. With the way the Huskers and Buckeyes played this weekend, Michigan has more than just a fighting chance in those two games.
The same problem goes for Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Stanford, Boise State, and any other non-Big 12 or SEC unbeaten team you can name. If the Sooners and Tide/Tigers do what they're supposed to, the rest of the college football season is just an entertaining exhibition.
"You going to the Gophers on Sunday?"
"Oh, you betcha." … In just about every way possible, it's hard to come up with a worse defeat than Minnesota's 28-21 gaffe to New Mexico State. There have been bigger upsets – the Gophers were 20 point favorites – but 1) it was the home opener for new head coach Jerry Kill, 2) New Mexico State hasn't won a game against a BCS conference team since beating Arizona State in 1999, 3) and Kill suffered a frightening seizure late in the fourth quarter.
Last year, the Aggies allowed fewer than 23 points just once – a 16-14 win over a New Mexico team that finished 1-11 – and they're coming off a 44-24 loss at home to Ohio. This was the type of loss the Gophers were supposed to avoid by hiring Kill, and now it'll go down as one of the ugliest, and one of the scariest.
But after the fun the guy allegedly has had since being in South Beach, who cares? … To save us all the time and effort so we can all move on and do other things with our lives, let's just assume Jacory Harris is going to give the ball to the Buckeyes in a variety of fun and creative ways. Set the over/under on Harris turnovers at 2.5, and it would be higher if he wasn't likely to be replaced by Stephen Morris.
"Me fail English? That's unpossible" … There's only one human being in the history of our planet, play-by-play man Mark Jones, who can correctly use the words unpropitious and mojo in the same sentence, which he did when referring to Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert.
"I tell ya, there's some people, they just wear a ribbon and they think they're doin' something? Not me. I talk the talk, and I walk the walk, baby. I'll be right back." … There's a very fine line between honoring the victims of tragedies, and the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe, and exploiting them.
If money is being made in any way because of the victims of 9/11, or because of the troops, or because of the first responders, then there's something wrong. In today's day and age, using tragedy for profit is so subtle and so slick that no one even notices anymore, and even when the hearts and thoughts are in the right place, it's still not right.
When a pregame show promotes a special piece about the family of a fallen victim by saying it'll be on after the break, it's doing that so you'll stick around and watch the commercials. If a college football highlight show asks you to come back because three very special helmet stickers are being handed out, that's a tease, and that's to get you to watch the ads for dating sites, 19-hour energy shots, and male enhancement pills.
If a company runs a television spot with children singing about New York, or tries to jerk a tear by playing on the emotion of soldiers reuniting with their families, or brags about a donation being made to some fund, the moment the corporate logo is attached, the idea is to improve and enhance the brand name so you'll eventually buy a product.
Remember, unless the TV networks go ad free, like they did during 9/11, they make money off of tragedies because of the ratings boost. NBC didn't go commercial free on Sunday night, and it was able to sell to advertisers the New York Jets playing in New York on September 11th, just like ESPN was able to upsell for the first Saints game in New Orleans after Katrina.
9/11 will always coincide with the start of the football season, and we're going to do this all again in five, ten, and 15 years. And some media planner will have a package all ready to fly.
- Part 2. Ten Best New
Things In The College Football World