Zemek Final Thoughts: The Big Red's Big Year

Posted Nov 22, 2012

Matt Zemek Final Thoughts: The Big Red's Big Season

TCU-TEXAS: Texas is 8-2. Do we still have any clue about the Longhorns and their level of actual quality? Remember: College football seasons can and do camouflage the true merits (or demerits) of teams, especially when cupcake non-conference schedules and diminished levels of conference performance exist, as we've seen this year in abundance.

NEBRASKA-IOWA: It would be a terrific achievement for Big Red to win the Big Ten Legends Division. Say what you want about the league's quality this season; Nebraska still had to overcome three double-digit second-half deficits to put itself in this position. Taylor Martinez deserves an enormous amount of credit for his perseverance in 2012.

NEBRASKA-IOWA, PART TWO: On a completely different note, this is the worst Thanksgiving Friday schedule I can ever remember. Thanks, Arkansas and West Virginia. Thanks a lot. No other Friday games will be mentioned in this week's roster of "Final Thoughts-worthy" contests.

GEORGIA TECH-GEORGIA: Mark Richt has lost only one game against Georgia Tech. Think about that fact when realizing how frequently Richt's employment status has been protested by Georgia fans and outside/neutral observers over the past three seasons.

MICHIGAN-OHIO STATE: Gene Smith. Man, what a fool.

VIRGINIA-VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies were THAT CLOSE to falling to 4-7 and out of bowl contention last week at Boston College. The Mayans continue to rule.

MIAMI-DUKE: Gene Smith, are you paying attention to what Miami has done each of the last two Novembers?

OREGON-OREGON STATE: Will Oregon's offense struggle for a second straight week? Is Pope Benedict a devout Buddhist?

FLORIDA-FLORIDA STATE: Last year's game was ugly as sin. This year's game might not be much more aesthetically pleasing. In related news, it's rather remarkable that these two teams are in the national title hunt, albeit on the periphery of it.

OKLAHOMA STATE-OKLAHOMA: Mike Gundy has fashioned one of the quietest top-shelf coaching jobs of the 2012 season, a point emphasized earlier this past week by Ralph Russo of the Associated Press, who gets full credit for that observation. It's an observation so good that it was worth repeating here.

STANFORD-UCLA: Hey, there's nothing wrong with thinking that UCLA should go all-out to win this game. Just give a lot more thought to "the good loss" in sports. It exists. Also realize that UCLA playing backups would be akin to an NFL team resting its starters in week 16 when a first-round playoff bye is secure. Zealots on this issue need to look at a wider context as it relates to all sorts of competitive situations.

SOUTH CAROLINA-CLEMSON: Connor Shaw, will you play well on the road for the first time in this 2012 season? That's the only question worth asking in this game. The answer will tell the tale.

NOTRE DAME-USC: Max Wittek will either become a Joe Namath-level celebrity or a really dumb person after this game is over. Bet the house on the latter.