Harrison Final Thoughts: More Drama To Come

Posted Nov 22, 2012

Phil Harrison Final Thoughts: There's More Drama To Come

By Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFN

- It seems every year we think we have it all figured out. We should all be ashamed of ourselves because EVERY year, college football throws us more twists-and-turns than a figure-skating competition. Here's betting that things will have more supreme drama beginning this week and through the remainder of the season.

- I always love this week on the calendar because there are rivalry-games galore. You'd be well-advised to get all of the work around the house done, order up some wings and pizza, and retreat to a corner of your happy-place so you can get into a post-turkey, college-football-binge-eating induced coma.

- Remember when Iowa and Nebraska were supposed to be the next IT rivalry in the Big Ten? Well, one invited guest showed up to the party late and half-showered before falling asleep on the couch. It isn't Nebraska we're talking about.

- Speaking of which, were does the Iowa program go from here? Things have gotten REALLY bad in Iowa City. Ferentz is loved in the community, but you get the feeling the bushes need shook a little. Whether that shake-up involves some assistants or something else remains to be seen.

- Thursday welcomes in a new burgeoning-rivalry between TCU and Texas on Thursday. Now that A&M has improved its lot in life, the Horned Frogs get to take on the role of little-brother to the Longhorns in the great state of Texas. Maybe, but it feels more forced than a sumo-wrestler trying to fit into panty-hose at this point.

- Washington vs. Washington State: From the apple cup to rotten-apples...does anyone really see the Cougars having a chance to pull this out?

- Welcome to the rivalry Urban Meyer. Michigan will be traveling to Columbus to begin what should be a whale-of-an-era with Hoke and Meyer stalking each sideline. Neither coach likes to call the other school by its rightful-name, but you can bet there are other four-letter superlatives that come to mind. It should be fun on Saturday.

- Remember when Northwestern used to be the doormat of the Illinois vs. Northwestern rivalry? It seems so long ago....Advantage Wildcats in a big way.

- Oregon vs. Oregon State bigger than it's been in a long time. The Ducks want desperately to win the Civil War and hope for a Stanford loss at UCLA so it can have a shot in the Pac-12 title game, but it might actually benefit the Ducks to sit at home and watch everyone lose. Remember Ohio State circa 2007?

- Is it just me or does this year's version of the Iron Bowl look a little rusty? This game could be the swan-song for Gene Chizik. Even an improbable win won't likely afford him the ability to walk backwards from the plank.

- Ah yes, Florida is traveling to Tallahassee and nobody, I mean nobody is giving the Gators a shot. Apparently everyone forgets that we're talking about a Seminole team that has lost its mojo at inopportune times over the last few years. Win and Florida is sitting pretty if the Irish fall to USC on Saturday. Nah, fear the spear.

- This year Bedlam is sure to involve a bushel-of-points and less defense than the a Swiss border.

- Does anyone else find it hard to believe that Michigan State still has to beat Minnesota on the road to become bowl-eligible on Saturday? Sparty is one flukey game away from sitting home for the holidays. Nineties band Milli Vanilli would be proud of the decline Marc Dantonio's crew has experienced in 2012.

- Underrated game of the week goes to Wisconsin at Penn State. This should be an old-time slobberknocker with two very physical-teams colliding like two atomic-particles at warp-speed.

- And why does everyone like to rag on the Badgers so much? Seriously. Wisconsin is not that bad of a ball-club. Sure there are four losses out there, but two were in overtime, and two were by three points. The Big Ten could do a lot worse than Bucky the Badger making it through.

- While we are on the topic of the Big Ten, who else is going to feel cheated if Ohio State beats Michigan and Notre Dame beats USC? Okay, maybe folks in the south won't, but television would love that marriage.

- The best game of the holiday-weekend just might be Stanford at UCLA. Surprisingly, the winner might be considered the best in the Pac-12. Who would have believed we'd be talking about teams other than Oregon and/or USC as a part of that equation in 2012?

- And let's end it on a very, very high-note. Many have been pining for Notre Dame to be back, and that's exactly what has happened this year despite what transpires against USC in the L.A. sunshine. But doesn't it feel like the Irish are a team living a charmed-life this year? Dare we say "team of destiny?" The Golden-Domers have gotten more breaks than a splintered windshield in 2012. Still everyone pointed towards the game against USC as a Waterloo moment. Then, Matt Barkley goes down last week with an injury to jostle the universe back into order and pave the path for a dream season. Then again, this is college football. Be prepared to expect the unexpected.

- Happy Turkey Day!