Fiu's Cavalcade of
Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances
What's your beef? ... E-mail with your
2006 Season | Preseason
Part Two |
Week 9 |
Week 11 Cavalcade of
Whimsy, Part 2
If this column sucks, it’s not my
fault … like Nebraska head
coach Bill Callahan, I’m not quitting before the season ends. Although
for a $3.1 million buyout, I might give it a little bit of thought.
“He’s spinning the ball on his finger! Just take it!” … Uh, Ohio
State, Juice Williams is going to run the ball on the next play. He’s
going to run it up the middle, and then after that, he’s going to run it
up the middle again. He might have burned you early through the air, but
make him try doing that for an entire game. Illinois told the Buckeyes
what pitch was coming, and it was still unhittable.
Losing to Urban Meyer is one thing, but … You just know that Jim
Tressel, once he was able to retreat to the privacy of his office, broke
something tasteful and mumbled under his breath, “I can’t believe I lost
to Ron (bleep)ing Zook.”
Juice Williams just ran for eight more yards on the OSU linebackers.
And the funny part is that the most entertaining matchup of the bunch
would be a 13-0 Kansas vs. a 12-0 Hawaii … You want the season to
take a wild and chaotic twist? Take a moment and wonder what will happen
if both LSU and Oregon lose. Much, much more on this in a moment, but
it’s not as far-fetched as you think, and it would send the season into
a further tailspin.
It’s $50 if you want to “Dot the i” … Ohio State third string
quarterback Antonio Henton pleaded guilty last week to a misdemeanor
count of loitering for prostitution when he allegedly offered an
undercover police officer $20 for sex. 1) If Henton had been offered,
and accepted, $20 for sex, would that be an NCAA violation? 2) I’m not
exactly up on the current fair market value for booty, but $20? I’m
guessing you don’t get fries with that shake. 3) If an Ohio State
football player has to pay for sex, what hope is there for the rest of
us? No wonder the team played tight against the Illini.
But who cares about football when you live in a city where an Andy
Jackson gets you a little yee-ha time … To Buckeye fans currently
wondering aloud why their team is out of the national title picture with
a loss, while LSU, Oregon, Oklahoma, Missouri and West Virginia are
still in the race: you already know the answer to your beef. You can’t
lose late and play for the national title, unless you’re 2003 Oklahoma
or 2001 Nebraska. It's not necessarily fair, and that's why the
computers should be more involved in the overall formula, but that's the
way the world works.
Note to the Cleveland Browns: He’s Derek Anderson. Don’t open up that
checkbook quite yet … In retrospect, how good was Brady Quinn?
Basically, this is the same Notre Dame team that went to a BCS game two
years in a row, but it doesn’t have Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, Rhema
McKnight, or Darius Walker. Think about it. The Irish defense, despite
not generating any pressure, is giving up fewer yards per game than last
year. The offensive line is just as awful, but Quinn, unlike the current
Irish quarterbacks, was able to get rid of the ball faster and was
decent at avoiding sacks. The punt return game is a wee bit better, and
the secondary is playing far better. It’ll be interesting to see how
history judges Quinn and the 2005 and 2006 Irish seasons if Charlie Weis
isn’t able to turn this around.
Juice Williams just ran for six more yards on the OSU linebackers.
Mostly, I’d like to thank the head man for making it reasonably
acceptable for me to wear a hoodie on a daily basis … Bill Belichik
might be a world-class mellonhead, the defensive stars might be
insufferable blowhards, and Tom Brady, well, Tom Brady might be the
greatest quarterback not named Elway, but I have the New England Patriot
pom pons out to go 19-0 if only to finally crush the sad and bizarre
world of the 1972 Miami Dolphins who refuse to acknowledge that their
team was the equivalent of Hawaii winning the BCS Championship. This was
a very good team that played a mediocre schedule, and it just so
happened to get through unscathed. In any order you want to put them in,
the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1977 Dallas
Cowboys, 1989 San Francisco 49ers, 1985 Chicago Bears and the 1976
Oakland Raiders were all better. From Don Shula popping off about “Spygate,”
which by all insider accounts really wasn’t as big a competitive
advantage as many has made it seem, and wasn’t a practice exclusive to
the Patriots, to the crew that pops Champaign every year to celebrate
when the last NFL unbeaten team loses, this group needs to be shoved
And while we’re on the topic … Former Miami Dolphin and Irish
offensive lineman Bob Kuchenberg has been popping off about Charlie
Weis, calling him an ogre and questioning his character for leveraging a
little bit of early success, and a pro offer, for a big contract. You
might not like Weis. He might not be a barrel of laughs and he might not
be the warm and fuzzy coach Irish fans might like, considering Lou Holtz
is in the spotlight with his prominent gig at ESPN, but all coaches are
ogres. That's part of the job description. You don't get to be the head
coach of a major college football program without being a jerk. With the
possible exception of Joe Paterno, there's not a coach in the history of
the planet who wouldn't take advantage of the situation that Weis was in
to get more money. That's not questionable character; that's good
But they’ll be fully healed just in time to lose yet another Rose Bowl …
All Michigan stars Chad Henne and Mike Hart talked about in the
off-season was how they needed to beat Ohio State and win a bowl game to
cement their legacies. 0-3 against the Buckeyes, if they play a few
series this week and have to come out because of their injuries, and
then the Wolverines win because Ryan Mallett goes nuts, do they really
get to say they beat Ohio State?
Lord please don't burn us/don't grill or toast your flock./Don't put us
on the barbecue,/or simmer us in stock.”
... Just once I’d like to see
a sideline reporter have some stones to cut off a player in a post-game
interview who goes off on a God rant without answering the question.
Reporter: “Steve, obviously this was one of the biggest wins in the
program’s history. Describe what the offense did to move the ball on
this seemingly impenetrable defense.”
Player: “I’d like to thank God for making all this happen. Without him …
Reporter (shoving the player out of the way while going to another
player): “Yeah, yeah, yeah, rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub, yay God.
So, Greg, tell me what did you do to slow down such a hot running game?”
Players, if you feel the need to praise God for what just happened on a
dumb ball field, that's fine, but do it at the very end after you've
extended the courtesy to talk about the game itself. And if you get your
chance to throw your shout out, thank your higher power for giving you
the strength to be the best you could be, and not for beating a team of
apparent heathens who obviously didn’t pray hard enough.
But I’ll only vote for him if stops preening around in that skintight
performance-wear thing while I’m polishing off brownie number four …
Despite cries to the contrary, there actually is a runaway Heisman
candidate with impeccable credentials. He was the nation’s leader in
passing efficiency for most of the year before plummeting all the way to
No. 2 last week. In other words, he’s one of college football's best
passers completing 68% of his throws for 2,532 yards and 23 touchdowns
with five interceptions.
There are only five quarterbacks, UL Lafayette’s Michael Desormeaux,
West Virginia's Pat White, Washington’s Jake Locker, Navy’s Kaipo-Noa
Kaheaku-Enhada and Texas A&M’s Stephen McGee, who are averaging more
rushing yards per game. He’s third in the nation in touchdown runs, with
at least one in every game, obliterated the conference record for most
rushing scores by a quarterback in a season, and set the school’s
all-time season record for rushing touchdowns in a season, passing
Emmitt Smith along the way. In other words, he’s one of the nation’s
Meanwhile, with a bull’s-eye clearly on his back, and playing in the
nation’s toughest conference in the brightest of weekly spotlights, he’s
always producing despite suffering a shoulder injury a few weeks ago.
So if Florida's Tim Tebow is having the best all-around statistical
season of any quarterback, and it’s not even close, then why isn’t he
getting any Heisman love? Why, and how, is this still a race?
The biggest problem is the record, losing three games so far. However,
in the losses to Auburn, LSU and Georgia, Tebow wasn’t bad; it’s not his
fault the defense is average, and it wasn't his fault the Gators lost.
Second, he’s a sophomore. The Heisman always goes to running backs and
quarterbacks, and it always goes to upperclassmen. If Tebow was a
senior, this might be over. In 2001, Florida’s Rex Grossman was the best
player in America, but he was a sophomore, Nebraska’s Eric Crouch was a
senior, and the voters stayed true to form.
There’s certainly still time for things to change, but at the moment,
there’s no other choice.
Juice Williams just ran for seven
more yards on the OSU linebackers.
However, it doesn’t look great when the conference has losses to an FBS
team, Duke, and Florida Atlantic … I groused earlier in the
year that you can’t overhype SEC teams when the above-average teams
start beating each other, and in the same way, you can’t dog the Big Ten
when the losses come to each other. Continually a national punching bag,
mainly because Michigan tanked early on, the rest of the league was
solid in non-conference games and now is struggling to get back on the
radar after a relatively even conference year with everyone but
Minnesota getting bowl eligible. Wisconsin’s losses came to Penn State,
Illinois and Ohio State. Penn State’s losses came to Michigan, Illinois
and Ohio State. The Illinois losses were to Iowa (lousy), Michigan (not
that bad), and out of conference to Missouri (more than acceptable). No,
this isn’t a great league this year, but outside of the SEC, what is?
Like you needed to see another Northwestern game anyway … If you’re
a big fan of Northwestern, Indiana or Michigan State, then get your
Maize and Blue sweatshirt out. If Michigan beats Ohio State, then it’ll
go to the Rose Bowl while the Buckeyes have a shot at an at-large BCS
bid, opening up a bowl slot for another Big Ten team. Ten Big Ten teams
are bowl eligible, with Minnesota being the one left out of the fun, but
there aren’t nearly enough openings for all to get a 13th
game. Considering the Motor City Bowl will likely want to sell tickets,
it’ll probably want Michigan State, and considering Iowa fans go
everywhere, someone will want the Hawkeyes. That means Indiana and
Northwestern will be left out in the cold. Meanwhile, ten SEC teams are
bowl eligible, and there could be an 11th if Vanderbilt gets one more
win. Unless a league like Conference USA doesn't fill its open slots,
South Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi State will all be
sweating it out.
This just in. Gordon Riese has been named the new head of the BCS …
Considering all the weeping and gnashing of teeth after the ugly replay
incident in last year’s Oregon win over Oklahoma, the Sooner fans'
feelings towards the Ducks, can you imagine the nuclear bomb of angst
that’ll go off in Norman if the Sooners breeze their way to a Big 12
championship and get passed over for Dennis Dixon and the boys for a
spot in the national title game?
And by the way, Appalachian State is 8-2 … Least anticipated sequel
ever: Teen Wolf II vs. a Michigan – Oregon Rose Bowl. Discuss.
SEX!!! Now that we’ve got your attention, the game starts at 7:30 …
At some point, someone is going to realize that there should be a
reclassification of the D-I/FBS teams. Explain how Eastern Michigan, who
got 4,304 fans to show up for the final home game of the year against
Bowling Green, is supposed to compete like Michigan,
who’ll bring in over 110,000 fans this week against Ohio State. There
should probably be a cutoff of at least 30,000 fans per game to be D-I.
Nuggets for the upcoming week, now
made with white meat, at participating restaurants …
- Remembering that Internet rumors as worth the paper they're printed
on, there appears to be some life to the idea of Lloyd Carr announcing
his retirement soon after the season. LSU head man Les Miles is all but
been handed the gig by many Maize and Blue fans, but a national title
this year in Baton Rouge would chance all that.
- The ACC’s best quarterback right now isn’t Boston College’s Matt Ryan,
it’s Clemson’s Cullen Harper. Don’t think that Ryan isn’t hearing that
going into this week’s showdown in Death Valley. Watch out for his A
- If you’re a stathead, keep an eye on the Tulane-Rice game. Jarett
Dillard, last year’s breakout receiving star, has found his groove with
24 catches for 296 yards and four touchdowns in the last two games.
Tulane can’t defend the pass. Tulane’s Matt Forte leads the nation with
1,813 yards and 17 touchdowns with two games to go, and Rice can’t
defend the run.
- How much has the world of college football changed? Watching a classic
replay of 1978 USC over Alabama, one of the regional action games
available the following week was Hobart vs. St. Lawrence
- Forget about any thoughts of
Nebraska looking for a Nick Saban-like outside-the-family hire after
Bill Callahan is booted. As long as Dr. Tom is around in some way, this
is his program, and no star coach will be able to put his personal stamp
C.O.W. shameless gimmick item … The weekly five
Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world
over Michigan ... Underrated: Gardner-Webb over
2) Overrated: Don Shula … Underrated: Shula’s Steakhouse
3) Overrated: Ohio State losing late ... Underrated: Oregon and Oklahoma
4) Overrated: A D-II playoff system with 24 teams getting in...
Underrated: The BCS
Chase Daniels, as all the ESPNers call him
My Heisman ballot this week would be … I vote based on a
combination of three things: Most valuable player, most outstanding
player, and the signature player of the season. I might wildly change my
mind weekly, but I’ll sort it all out at the end. 1) Tim Tebow, Florida,
2) Dennis Dixon, Oregon, 3) Pat White, West Virginia, 4) Glenn Dorsey,
LSU, 5) Chase Daniel, Missouri
“You know I'm born to lose, and gambling's for fools/But that's the
way I like it baby, I don't wanna live forever” … The three lines
this week that appear to be a tad off. (1-1-1 thanks to Central
Michigan’s three point win over Western Michigan … 10-20-1 overall.) …
1) New Mexico +14.5 over Utah, 2) Arizona +12 over Oregon, 3) Duke +6
over Notre Dame.
Sorry this column sucked, but it wasn’t my fault … I thought I wrote
a strong article, and then Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn gave his
one-finger opinion of it.
Week 11 Cavalcade of
Whimsy, Part 2