Cavalcade of Whimsy
Season | Sept.
1, Part 1 |
- Part 2
1 (The Bradford Shoulder) |
(Time To Boot the Big East?)
- Week 3 (The Ten New Stars)
- Week 4 (ESPN's responsibility)
- Week 5 (The incomparable Bobby
- Week 6 (The 10 big college
- Week 7 .. Part 1
| Part 2 - The Ten Best Players
In College Football ... so far
- Part 2 - You're an idiot if ...
Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … I had a bunch of great lines, but Terrence Cody barreled his way in and blocked them.
When 6-2 (5-2 at the time) means the end of the universe and your place in it … (panting and breathlessly) OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD … In case you didn't hear the screaming from Columbus throughout last week, sit down, Ohio State lost a football game to a mediocre team. Yes, The Ohio State Buckeyes lost the The Purdue Boilermakers. And the world really is flat.
Oh was that a fun week around Buckeyeland before the shellacking of Minnesota. All of a sudden, Jim Tressel couldn't coach (I was asked on two radio shows if he was on a hot seat … really), Terrelle Pryor was the biggest bust since Christina Hendricks (more on that in a moment … on Pryor, not Hendricks, unfortunately), and the program was on the verge of a collapse which would've cause a global economic meltdown and the end of capitalism as we knew it. Of course, Ohio State was Ohio State again the week after the 26-18 disaster in West Lafayette, there won't be a problem with New Mexico State next week, and the team still controls its own destiny in the Big Ten title chase with Penn State and Iowa still to play. Is this a national-title good Buckeye team? It's not even close, but that doesn't mean that this won't be another ten-win season, making it six in a row and the eighth in the last nine, and it certainly doesn't mean that Tressel can't coach.
It's a part of life that teams often lose games they shouldn't. USC has made an annual habit out of that, and it bears repeating one more time one of my favorite recent fun stats. Ohio State played 59 straight games without losing to a team that didn't play in a BCS game. The current record holder is Alabama, who's on a 23-game streak. Ohio State is fine. It was one loss on a bad day. Of course, if the Buckeyes lose to Michigan …
"It's a topsy-turvy world, and maybe the problems of two people don't amount to a hill of beans. But this is our hill. And these are our beans."
... I have the same complaint about the current Ohio State running back situation that I have about the UCLA quarterbacks. How could the Bruins not have a stockpile of 6-5, 220-pound elite-level, GQ-model quarterbacks from places called Rancho Del Boca Vista waiting for their turn at bat, and how can Ohio State not have 27 Beanie Wells-like running backs from places called North St. Moeller Cleveland Heights West? You're Ohio State. The kid doing the crossword puzzle and listening to Vampire Weekend in one ear sitting in the third row, four chairs from the left in Chemistry and Society 100 should be able to come in cold and tear off 113 yards and two scores.
"From this day on,
the official language
of San Marcos will be Swedish.
In addition to that,
all citizens will be required
to change their underwear
every half hour.
Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check." ... I'll continue to ask this week after week until everyone recognizes the ridiculousness of the rule's intent. If it's an automatic 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for taking off your helmet after a play, or for excessive celebrating, then shouldn't the rule apply to the entire game?
Work with me here. Alabama's Terrence Cody blocks the final Tennessee field goal attempt and
his momentum carries him into the kicker. Wouldn't Cody be flagged for roughing the kicker? Then why is it any different that Cody ripped off his helmet and ran around screaming with his teammates who ran off the bench after blocking the kick (and, of course, not running into the kicker)? If that's not excessive celebrating, then what is?
I know, I know, dead ball fouls, but the whole
celebration rule is insane, and it should be killed
If it's your argument that the Bama game would be over, then what about the Iowa – Michigan State game when the Hawkeye bench erupted and ran out on to the field after the last-second touchdown pass? The game, technically, wasn't over; Iowa still had to attempt the extra point. If the intent of the rule is to show sportsmanship and to not make anyone feel bad, then what's worse than the insanity after a game-winning score? The whole concept needs to be eliminated, especially if it's not going to be consistent.
And I'm shocked there isn't some classless offshore sportsbook giving odds on this … Call me old fashioned, but I find the clock on the official Florida web site (hitting 429 hours, 32 minutes, and 23 seconds as of … now) counting down the time until the second Tim Tebow concussion is in poor, poor taste.
Oh relax. He's choosing to play and he's choosing to take the chance. He knows the risks.
" But Mr. F. G. Superman has a secret identity...when trouble strikes at any time...at any place...he is ready to become... Bicycle Repair Man!" … If you want to make the case that Tebow is the greatest college quarterback of all-time, fine, I've been in the debate time and again over the last several months, but being the greatest college quarterback and the greatest college player are two different things.
Tebow tied Walker's SEC record for rushing touchdowns last week on a dive at the pylon in the win over Mississippi State, and while Tebow will go down, obviously, as an SEC legend, he's not Herschel Walker.
Georgia was 20-13-1 under former head coach Vince Dooley before Walker took the program on his back and pushed it to the head of the college football pack in the early 1980s. With Superman at the helm, the Bulldogs had a three season record of 33-3 with a national title, a loss in another national title game, and three straight SEC championships. Two of those three losses came in bowl games, and the one regular season loss came to a Clemson team that went on to win the 1981 national title. Had Walker returned for his senior year and had, for him, a pedestrian 1,700-yard season, he'd have been the NCAA's all-time rushing leader with a record that would still stand today.
Nice job, West Virginia fans. Nice job.
Life is life, football is just one of the details ... The next time the media gets lazy and tries to exploit a tragedy for a storyline by suggesting that the spirit of a dead person is responsible for something as insignificant as a victory on a field, feel free to bring up the 56-yard Noel Devine touchdown run to give West Virginia the win over Connecticut. And the next time anyone wants to assume that winning a game is based on anything more than one team executing better than another, feel free to find a highlight clip of Tavon Austin of the Mountaineers taking the opening kickoff 98 yards for a score.
Of course Connecticut deserves all the credit in the world for trying to play after the heartbreaking death of Jasper Howard, and of course there were moments when the team might have played with extra focus and a bit more adrenaline because of the circumstances. But that's where it all ends. Connecticut obviously didn't dishonor Howard's memory in any way by losing, just like it wouldn't have done anything more special than win a football game had it held on in the final minutes.
Shhhhhh, if you listen quietly, you can head Iowa State coming up with yet another takeaway…
Cc: Bo Pelini
Subject: My ass, your kiss.
Knock, knock … Who's there? … Nebraska's offense. … Nebraska's offense, who? … Exactly.
Or how about this? What do you get when the Nebraska offense meets the inside of the five-yard line? The ball!
No, smell you later!
Last year: Nebraska 35 … Iowa State 7 … How much does Gene Chizik suck?
Unfortunately, he didn't pray for an interesting game … Unless you let a football game to break out in the middle of your church service, you're not allowed to get your undies into a twist when some goofy mascot mimics a player who's praying on the field.
Last week, the University of Minnesota sent out an apology for Goldy Gopher, or the kid inside of the costume, for kneeling down across from Penn State's Jerome Hayes, who was in the back of the end zone praying during warm-ups before the 20-0 win over the Gophers. If you're really that devout, then it shouldn't matter what someone in a rat costume does. Prayer is prayer, and if you're going to do it on a football field in front of a lot of people, then you have to accept the reality that there's a segment of the world that thinks what you're doing is silly. But if you're a true believer, not only doesn't it matter what anyone else thinks or does while you're practicing your faith, but being questioned, and yes, mocked, is supposed to be part of the deal. Had Hayes simply given Goldy a fistbump at the end this would've all been a non-issue.
The issue here is not
whether we broke a few rules or
took a few liberties
with our female party guests.
The NCAA has asked Michigan to do more to look into the whole extra practice time thing that allegedly happened before the season. Michigan should throw a threat back the NCAA's way that if there are any sanctions, no matter how light, Delaware State will be on the schedule for each of the next ten years.
"And Cliff's response … Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?" I want a helmet sticker.
For writing this column over the last seven years armed each week with three hours of sleep and with no discernable writing talent whatsoever, I'm going to be like Ellen trying to get on the cover of Oprah in my quest to get a coveted Helmet Sticker from the ESPN College Football Final show. I would prefer it to be presented by Lou Holtz, but I'd take one from Rece Davis or Mark May, too.
Who cares if MiQuale Lewis ran for 301 yards for Ball State? I watched him do it, meaning I actually watched Ball State beat Eastern Michigan. Helmet sticker.
So what if West Virginia fans showed the utmost in class in the way they honored and respected the Connecticut team? I held back on my overly snarky comment (instead of the one I went with), deleting it at the last second. Helmet sticker.
Whoop-dee-doo if C.J. Spiller went ballistic on Miami. I just spilled my entire Buffalo Chicken $5 Foot Long on my chicken-scratch notepad for this week's column, meaning that writing this thing is the equivalent of Tom DeLay trying to win Dancing With The Stars without Cheryl Burke. Helmet sticker.
My original goal was to try to lobby GameDay to do its live pregame show from my breakfast nook, but then I'd have to buy the bagels, I'd have to explain to Herbstreit what a bialy is, I'd have to get into the whole pulp/no pulp debate on the O.J., and it would've been a logistical nightmare.
"Do the dog, not the donkey/Do the dog, don't be a jerk./Do the dog, watch who you work for/Do the do the do the do the do the dog."
So how did it work? Two weeks ago the Double Digit Home Dog (D.D.H.D.) went 5-1 against the spread. The theory is that the bad home team almost always catches the favorites napping at this time of the year, and in 2004, this happened 71% of the time according to the spread over the middle of the season until the final few weeks.
I thought the theory would take a beating last week because several lines were off, and I pointed that out, like Oklahoma State being only a -10 against Baylor and Boise State a mere -24 vs. a bad Hawaii. It showed.
Missouri +13 vs. Texas (LOSS), Baylor +10 vs. Oklahoma State (LOSS), Rice +10.5 vs. UCF (LOSS), Miami University +10.5 vs. Northern Illinois (WIN), Mississippi State +22 vs. Florida (WIN), New Mexico State +25 vs. Fresno State (LOSS), and Hawaii +24 vs. Boise State (LOSS). That's an ugly 2-5. Unlike last week, the lines appears to be closer to reality, so to see if the theory still holds, for this week …
Syracuse +16 vs. Cincinnati, Vanderbilt +10.5 vs. Georgia Tech, Baylor +12 over Nebraska (I hate this one, by the way), Northwestern +14 over Penn State
- Part 2 - You're an idiot if ...