Tufts end 31 game losing streak, Harvard, Dartmouth, FLorida State win, LSU, Indiana stunning wins, UMass crushed

There are plenty of places to begin.

We could start in Columbia, Missouri, or Tallahassee, Florida, or Baton Rouge, Louisiana, or Ann Arbor Michigan.

But instead we’ll stay local, and begin in good old Somerville, Massachusetts home of the Tufts University Jumbos football team.

Yesterday the Tufts eleven did something that hadn’t been accomplished on campus in nearly four full years, celebrate a football victory!!

The Jumbos ended its elephant sized 31 game losing streak with a 24-17 victory over Hamilton. Good for them!!!

I know one thing, its starting quarterback won’t be jumping onto the top of a table in the middle of the student union, and screaming a disturbing obscenity about women.

Remaining on the local front, kudos to a pair of Silver Lake Regional teammates Coaches; Tim Murphy of Harvard, and Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth for opening their seasons with victories.

The Commonwealth’s flagship university UMass Amherst 0-4, was crushed by a superior Penn State squad 48-7, and is now a bottom feeding 2-26 since signing on to play with the big boys!!

DOUBLE YIKES!!!

But as we have said previously, if anyone can turn this rust bucket around, it’s Coach Mark Whipple, who once again didn’t do any coddling when he said he thought his team played “scared” at Beaver stadium.

Now on to the national scene.

In Tallahassee, it was Clemson, once again in a big game, being Clemson, as the Tigers missed a pair of chip shot field goals, and had a number of costly miscues that left points on the field, in losing in overtime to the “Crablegs” (QB Jameis Winston) suspended Seminoles: 23-17.

It was tough to watch the phony Heisman Trophy winner, wearing his number 5 jersey, cheering on his teammates from the sidelines. YUCK!!

It felt as sleazy as a Steve Wynn casino production.

And the Seminoles, winners of 19 straight, remain a front runner for the ACC Conference title, and a coveted spot in the playoff race.

Speaking of yuck, there is a whole lot of it going on in Ann Arbor.

The once mighty Maize and Blue lost yet again, in another desultory performance; 26-10, this time at the hands of the Utes of Utah.

Michigan has now lost 7 of its last 10, and Coach Brady Hoke’s popularity now rivals the bottom feeding numbers of Barak Obama, as UM was the only loser in the conference yesterday!! DOUBLE YIKES!!

The game was delayed for hours by a biblical rain and lightning storm, which may be a message to the Administration about the way it handled the firing of the coach it should have kept; Rich Rodriguez.

But most importantly for any program, it’s fannies in the seats that do the loudest talking.

And there were thousands of empty seats at the Big House, with tickets selling on Stub Hub as low as $19!!! Holy coffers!!!

That is the ultimate coach killer, and will most assuredly making this the last roundup for the “Meeechigan Man” at Michigan.

As Gene Wilder screamed in “Young Frankenstein” “It’s alive!!”

And yesterday, the conference everyone loves to bury; The Big Ten, had a very nice day, as; Rutgers, Iowa, Michigan State, Maryland, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, and Indiana all won.

We’ll highlight the Hoosiers in its stunning upset in Columbia, Missouri, a 31-27 victory, in which Indiana scored with 22 seconds leaving the Mizzou faithful heads down and slumping in its seats.

It was IU’s first victory over a ranked team since W occupied the White House in 2006.

Good for them, and good for the Big Ten.

In the stop the madness scheduling: Michigan State, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Texas A@M outscored its opponents by the combined aggregate: 265-37!!!! ENOUGH!! NOBODY WANTS TO WATCH!!!

In another stunner, Mississippi State (4-0) got its signature victory in the Coach Dan Mullen era; a 34-29 Saturday night smack down of the Bayou Bengals in Death Valley. WOW!!

It was the Dak Prescott show, as the Bulldogs QB passed, and ran around the overmatched Tigers.

And MSU marched out of Baton Rouge with its first victory since Old Man Bush occupied the White House; in 1991.

The Bulldogs had lost 15 in a row against ranked opponents, and the Starkville eleven who had been a pathetic 2-22 against top-25 opponents under Mullen, played like it is a legitimate contender in the rugged SEC West Division.

Hail the smart kids!!!

Duke using a stifling D, clobbered Tulane 47-13 to start 4-0 for the first time since 1994, while VaTech is losing the beam off “Beamer Ball” as the Hokies lost two in a row at home for the first time since” 1995. Ouch!!!

Finally, in Tuscaloosa, Groucho’s favorite town, Alabama found its QB, as Blake Sims sliced apart a – at least was thought to be – a good Florida defense passing for over 440 yards and 3 TDs.

Bama crushed the Gators 42-21 in a game that really wasn’t as close as the 21 point deficit, and are clearly once again, one of the nation’s best.

That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 5 Wednesday night, until then, Peace, and listen to the music!!   pk

Disney’s Donald find a home in Eugene

We begin this week with a special duck.

No, not the duck from the Groucho Marx classic ‘Why a Duck’ in the movie “Cocoanuts,” or the “secret word” duck in Groucho’s television show “You Bet Your Life,” but the University of Oregon’s mascot duck.

And if you thought it had a strong resemblance to Disney’s ubiquitous Donald, you would be correcta, or to prove to my mother that my BC High Jesuit education wasn’t a complete waste of dough; recte.

The reason it resembles Disney’s Donald, which debuted in 1934, revolves around a friendship and a handshake.

Oregon’s original nickname was the: Webfoots, which eventually morphed into Ducks. And live ducks, all named Puddles, took turns quacking up and down the sidelines during games.

But that all changed in 1947 when the university was searching for a more consistent style of mascot.

And in a fortuitous turn of events, Oregon’s athletic director Leo Harris happened to be a friend of Walt Disney.

Disney told Harris that the university was welcome to use the image of Donald as its mascot provided it was done in good taste.

When Walt died in 1966, Oregon realized a contract for the use of Donald have never been consummated, so and the university and Disney officially put it in writing in1973, giving Donald a permanent residence in Eugene.

And now, as Paul Harvey used to say, “You know the rest of the story.”

This weekend, let see which teams play like it has webfeet, and which achieve such Magic Kingdom memorable moments, that even Walt Disney, would be impressed.

No.22 Clemson at No.1 Florida State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) The winner has the inside track to a December invite to Charlotte for the ACC Championship game.

The early version of Dabo Swinney’s 2014 Tigers are like Stonehenge, a total enigma.

The Sons of John Heisman (coached 1900-03) are now under the steady command of its senior QB, Cole Stoudt.

The Death Valley igniter is assisted by a pair of tailbacks; turbo-fueled Wayne Gallman, and his partner Adam Choice, and when Clemson takes to the skies Artavis Scott, and Mike Williams, are big play targets.

But the success of the Tigers season rest on the shoulders of its high caliber attacking D, led by All-America end Vic Beasley, and backers Tony Stewart, and Stephone Anthony.

No one ever accused FSU QB Jameis “Crablegs” Winston of violating his Mensa Club privileges.

This moron with the big arm, who is also the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, has been suspended for the first half of this game for using “offensive and vulgar” language in the middle of the student union.

Now, that my friends, is pure genius!!

Back to the game, in which sophomore Sean Maguire will be the FSU starter.

If Florida State was written up for a Car and Driver review, it would read: has a Porsche-like interior and exterior features, but sputters, as if it is using inferior fuel products.

So far, “Crablegs” has played as if he needs a dose of Low-T tablets.

But if the Tallahassee coaching mechanics are able to perform a quick tune up, watch out, there are more stars on the Seminole roster than a night sky in Wyoming.

Mr. “CL” has a pair of All-America targets; tight end Nick O’Leary, and wideout Rashad Greene, but despite the quality o-line, and the ability of tailback Karlos Williams, FSU’s ground attack has been grinding in neutral.

The imposing, and constantly attacking D, led by corner Jalen Ramsey, and backers Reggie Northrup, and Terrence Smith, possesses more speed than the raceway in Daytona.

We think, even if “Crablegs” started this game, that it will be closer than the experts predict, but ultimately the Sons of Bobby Bowden earn the inside track into the ACC Championship, and a possible playoff spot.

Mississippi State at No.8 LSU (ESPN, 7 p.m.) This game will be a pedigree barometer for the visitors from Starkville.

Is MSU still your father’s Bulldogs?

These Sons of Jackie Sherrill are directed by its dynamic dual-threat QB Dak Prescott (9TD’s-1Int.) who can be as dangerous as a late Friday night in Chicago’s Southside.

The sharpshooter is assisted by tailback Josh Robinson, but is hamstrung by a pair of pedestrian receivers; Jameon Lewis and Fred Brown.

The teeth of the Bulldogs D is a front seven featuring tackle Chris Jones, end Preston Smith and backer Benardrick McKinney.

The Bayou Bengals are coming off two weeks of cupcake gorging, but like Joey Chestnut, must now be ready to slice into this entrée of substance.

QB Anthony Jennings, who is showing signs, like the “Body Snatchers”, of emerging from his incubation period, is assisted by a pair of field stretching targets; Travin Dural and John Diarse.

But as always in Baton Rouge, the calling card remains LSU’s anvil-pounding ground attack led by Kenny Hillard, and a mercury-elusive freshman; Leonard Fournette.

The D swarms like a pack of Kenyans training in the Rift Valley, and is anchored by ends Jermauria Rasco, Daniello Hunter, and backer D.J. Welter.

Overall, this group is harder to penetrate than the crypt of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen controlled under the watchful eye of New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dalton, who is in a pitched battle with the Diocese of Peoria from the control of Sheen’s remains, while his canonization remains in limbo.

Only in the Catholic Church!!

In a solid test for both teams, we think the Tigers in Death Valley, on a Saturday night, slobber out; “Hold that Tiger,” over another victory.

Florida at No.3 Alabama (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) The Fun-n-Gun days of Steve Spurrier are a vague memory, as the Gator offense has been as stagnant as Congress trying to pass immigration legislation, scoring a touchdown about as often as California see some rain.

That impotency has the Gator faithful in a full froth over the employ of Coach Will Muschamp.

This moribund eleven is directed by dual-threat QB Jeff Driskel with assists from tailbacks Kelvin Taylor, Matt Jones, and receiver DeMarcus Robinson.

In contrast to its brothers, the Sons of Tim Tebow has a defense featuring All-America end Dante Fowler, backer Antonio Morrison, and All-America corner Vernon Hargreaves with moves like Jagger.

In Groucho’s favorite town, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (“…When we tried to remove the elephant tusks they were embedded so firmly, we couldn’t budge them. Of course in Alabama, the Tuscaloosa …..” “Animal Crackers,”) St. Nick rules all.

The Tide has settled on QB Blake Sims to drive this championship wagon, and luckily the youngster can rely on a pair of All-Americas; tailback T.J. Yeldon, and wideout, Amari Cooper.

The D, anchored by All-Americas safety Landon Collins, backer Trey DePriest, and tackle Jonathan Allen is disruptive, but still shows some fissures protecting against the pass.

In Gainesville, the pressure builds on Muschamp, as Bama takes another step toward its SEC Championship chase.

No.4 Oklahoma at West Virginia (FOX, 7:30 p.m.) “Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain…” is exactly how its offense has operated, sweeping behind its dynamic QB, Trevor Knight.

The big-armed sniper is assisted by tailbacks; Keith Ford (out ankle), and Samaje Perine, while wideout Sterling Shepard has the elusive touchdown moves of squirrel in the middle of traffic.

The Sooner’s swarming D, featuring All-America backer Eric Striker, end Chuka Ndule, and backer Caleb Gastelum, hits harder than an oil rig worker in a Saturday night saloon brawl on the prairie.

The Mountaineers Mad-Scientist, Coach Dana Holgorsen has been stirring up a surprising early season winning brew.

Gunslinger Clint Trickett is the triggerman of this offensive juggernaut, with assists from tailback Rushel Shell, and a pair of field-stretching receivers: Kevin White, and Mario Alford.

The WV D, featuring backers Nick Kwiatkoski and Brandon Golson, still has more holes than a Big Dig Tunnel, or the tax returns of former Turnpike “on time and on budget” Chairman, Jim Kerasiotes.

In what may well be a Wild West shootout, we think ultimately it will be a Sooner-Boomer night for Mr. Knight.

No. Illinois at Arkansas (ESPNU, 7:00 p.m.) This may not fall into the glamour category of a Hepburn and Tracey, or Liz and Burton, but it still carries a good deal of intrigue.

There are two questions in the lining of this game: How much have the Razorbacks improved in year two under man from Wisconsin Bret Bielema? And can the upstarts from Dekalb, Illinois stir things up in the South?

The Huskies are mushing along with the nation’s longest (17) road game winning streak.

Its lead dog is dual-threat QB Drew Hare, who is assisted by a pair of breakaway backs Cameron Stingily, and Joel Bouagnon, who nicely complement the field-stretching duo: Da’Ron Brown, and Juwan Brescacin.

The Dekalb Debunkers attack behind a relentless D, anchored by backer Rasheen Lemon, and end Jason Meehan, but has some vulnerability defending against the pass.

In his second year in Fayetteville, Coach Bret Bielema’s Hogs are starting to display some prime cuts.

The Sons of Bill Clinton, who run more than Althea Garrison, are directed by sharpshooter Brandon Allen, who has the luxury of leaning heavily on a pair of slippery game breakers: Alex Collins (8.2 yds. carry), and his partner Jonathan Williams (9.8 yds. a carry).

When the Razorback marksman takes to the air, Keon Hatcher, and Demetrius Wilson, are primary targets.

The D, led by tackle Taiwan Johnson, end Trey Flowers, and backers Martrell Spaight, and Brooks Ellis, is operating under its fourth coordinator since December 2011, and despite its lack of depth, is a vastly improved operation.

On Saturday night in Fayetteville it will be a Razorback “Woo, Pig Sooie” for the Sons of Frank Broyles.

Last week: 4-1                                                                       Season record: 12-3

That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our recap by noon Sunday. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk

BC stuns USC, UMass loses another heartbreaker, Duke, Mizzou, Georgia win, backup Jerry Neuheisel rescues UCLA

This is why we love college football!

It was the spirit of the Red Bandanna!!

In a student, field storming shocker, which resonated throughout the college football landscape, a

bunch of scrappy football players from Chestnut Hill stunned its visitors, the “mighty” ninth ranked Trojans of USC; 37-31.

Believe me, NOBODY saw this one coming.

It was the signature victory for BC’s second year coach Steve Addazio, the first victory for an unranked Eagles team against a top ten opponent since 2002 (Notre Dame), and one of the biggest wins in the history of the Boston College program.

But the way, the Sons of Mike Holovak did it, was even more eye-popping.

The Eagles chewed yardage like a Kenyan training camp in the Rift Valley, compiling a jaw-dropping 452 yards of rushing offense, on what was considered an elite defensive squad. OUCH!!!

The star of the game, and undisputed team leader, was QB Tyler Murphy, who garnered 191 of those yards on 13 carries, averaging 14.7 yards a pop, with the coffin nailer, a 66 touchdown scamper with 3:30 left in the game.

If the Eagles ground attack was deserving of its marquee billing, the defense was almost an equal co-star, stifling USC, making it a one dimensional neutral sticking jalopy, allowing the Trojans a miniscule 20 yards on the ground!!

BC literally floated out of the stadium, as its fight song “For Boston” coursed from the locker room.

For USC, a very long plane ride back to the West Coast awaited for a bunch of sullen, dejected, and ultimately defeated Trojans. What a victory for BC!!!

The 2-1 Eagles now find themselves in a great position.

With three winnable contest in the next three weeks, a bowl game invite, something that not even Coach Addazio would have envisioned before the season began, looks as promising as salmon fishing in Alaska.

How do you know you are old?

Answer: when you watch the son of a quarterback, whose father lead UCLA to victory in the 1984 Rose Bowl, throw a winning touchdown pass Saturday night against Texas!! Ouch, age is a wonderful thing!!

In a dramatic ending in Austin, UCLA, without it’s injured All-America, and Heisman candidate QB, Brett Hundley (elbow injury, first quarter), saw Jerry Neuheisel come off the bench and rescue the Bruins throwing a 33 touchdown pass (his second) with three minutes left, to preserve UCLA’s playoff hopes; 20-17.

At game’s end, an ecstatic group of Bruins, along with Coach Jim Mora, hoisted the kid QB on its shoulders, and with his shock of blond sweaty hair bobbing in the breeze, carried him to its sideline.

It was a great scene, and somewhere, daddy Rick, the Rose Bowl winning QB of thirty years ago, must have shed a few tears of joy and pride.

On the darker side, the Charlie Strong era in Texas now rests at 1-2. Yikes!! Sorry Charlie. That can’t sit well with the Horns faithful.

In the biggest game of the day, the ever resilient Steve Spurrier, one of the best the sport has ever seen, captured his 201st SEC victory, a 38-35 thriller over Georgia, tying him with the Bulldogs Vince Dooley for second place all-time.

The Dawgs have been the Head Ball Coach’s foil, as the Cocks have beaten the Bulldogs, four of the last five, and Spurrier holds a 16-6 all-time record against the Bulldogs, surpassing Auburn’s Shug Jordan.

The victory also puts the Gamecocks right back into the SEC East race.

But it was a curious call late in the fourth quarter by Coach Mark Richt that caused a great deal of head-scratching amongst the Athens faithful.

Instead of running the ball from the 6-yard line, with arguably the best player in the nation Todd Gurley, he elected to throw, an intentional grounding penalty, and an ensuing missed chip-shot game tying field goal, and the game was lost. Yikes!!

In Amherst, it was another tortuous loss for the Minutemen who are showing a lot of life under the guidance of their Football “Belle of Amherst” Coach Mark Whipple.

For the second week in a row, UMass saw an 11 point lead evaporate in the fourth quarter, but this 34-31 loss was even tougher to digest.

The Minutemen were on the Vanderbilt 6, with a dozen seconds remaining, when quarterback Blake Frohnapfel overthrew a wide open receiver in the end zone for the game winner.

You guessed it, the extra-point distance game tying field was wide, and UMass trudged off the field in Nashville with another stomach-acid churning loss.

Never one to pull a punch Whipple said simply, “Frohnapfel has to make that throw at the end of the game for a touchdown.” Nothing more need be said.

In Missouri, the Boys from the “Show Me State” are once again quietly putting on a great show led by its scintillating QB Matty Mauk – 4TDs- one of the nation’s best that nobody knows, in its 38-10 destruction over a good UCF squad.

Hail the smart kids as the undefeated Dukies of David Cutcliffe crushed the sorry Kansas Jayhawks of Charlie Weis; 41-3.

Tick, tick, tick!!!

That is the only sound coming from the KU football offices these days as the clock has to be finally winding down on the sorry coaching tenure of the overstuffed, and arrogant Weis, who is a pathetic 5-21 in his tenure on the Lawrence campus.

Sorry Charlie!@!!

It took a triple overtime, but Florida held on to defeat Kentucky: 36-30 for its 28th consecutive victory against the Wildcats. Double Yikes!!   But the Cats are improving.

Finally, kudos to Pitt tailback James Conner, who last week torched BC for 250 yards, then rolled up another 177 yesterday against FIU, for an eye-popping two game total: 427 yards!! Wow!!

For an undistinguished week of games on the card, it turned out to be a blue-ribbon day!!!!

That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 4 on Wednesday night.

Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk

Grass head not a winning formula for Michigan State

We begin this week, (the weakest of the year, as witnessed by Game Day heading back to Fargo for the North Dakota State game,) with an Oregon meat commodities trader, and a lot of grass.

Last week before its monster game against Oregon, Michigan State alum Brian Aust of Silverton, Oregon, which is approximately 78 miles northeast of Eugene, took a lawn rake to a field of grass seed, and using a template, scratched out a giant head of a Michigan State Spartan in the middle of the field.

The class of 1988 Animal Science major then had an aerial photo taken by his nephew, who flew a helicopter over the artwork. The picture was tweeted out with the caption:

“Flying into Oregon?”

“Hope your flight pattern takes you over Brian’s property. #GoState.

MSU’s athletic director Mark Hollis saw the picture and invited Aust to the game as his tailgate guest.

The grass-seed field is part of a ‘hobby-farm” said Aust. Despite the artwork, the Spartans went down to defeat at the hands of the mighty Ducks.

This weekend let’s see which team look like they have partaken in too much grass, and which scratch and rake out another victory, laying the seeds for a potential playoff spot.

No.6 Georgia at No.24 South Carolina (CH.4, 3:30 pm)The Dawgs are on the prowl, and showing, as if they belong at Westminster.

The best-in-show sled-leader is its All-America Heisman candidate, and Hershel clone; tailback Todd Gurley.

The Athens dynamo is under the command of its crafty commander, QB Hutson Mason, who has the luxury of choosing from a passel of receivers; led by Michael Bennett and Chris Conley.

The main artery of its improving D is a backer quartet of backers featuring All-America Ramik Wilson, and his talented partner, Amarlo Herrera.

Steve Spurrier’s Cocks are still searching for a game to crow about. [Note: Spurrier became the third coach in SEC history to record at least 200 wins, joining legends Vince Dooley and Bear Bryant with that milestone.]

Poised QB Dylan Thompson directs the Columbia eleven, ably assisted by All-America tailback Mike Davis, and his partner Brandon Wilds.

When the “Tambourine Man” goes aerial, Nick Jones and Pharoh Cooper are lyrical targets.

New York and Westminster had better watch out, a special breed of Dawg is residing in Athens, and it will be showing well in Columbia on Saturday.

Tennessee at No.4 Oklahoma (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) It’s been a long time since Rocky Top has been near the top, but the hiring of Butch Jones is the right step in restoring the Tennessee brand.

The Volunteers are directed by a talented, but oft erratic senior QB, Justin Worley, who is assisted by a pair of orange-clad bruisers; Jalen Hurd and Marlin Lane.

When Worley isn’t playing like Joanne [Laugh-In for you youngsters], wideouts Maquez North, Pig Howard, and Von Pearson (ankle) can test any defense.

The strength of the attacking D is its linebacking corps featuring A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt.

In Norman, Coach Bob Stoops, embarking on his 15th season has compiled numbers (88-5 at home) 162-39 overall that even Warren Buffett would admire.

The Norman conquerors are commanded by QB Trevor Knight, who if he continues his stellar play will be welcomed as Sooner royalty.

The QB’s supporting cast is also Round Table worthy, featuring tailbacks; Keith Ford, Alex Ross, Samaje Perine, while the receiving corps is led by one of the nation’s best; Sterling Shepard.

OU’s fuel-injected D returns nine starters, led by All-America backer Eric Striker, his partner Caleb Gastelum (walk-on), and end Chuka Ndule.

Once upon a time, before cable, Laugh-In was must watch TV.

And fifteen years ago this matchup carried the same cache, but now, it is simply be the Boomer Sooner show, and on Saturday night, it should be quite a spectacular.

UCF(Central Florida) at No.20 Missouri (SEC Network, Noon) The Knights playing style is reflective of its owly, gruff, profane, and leather-neck, red-faced tough 68 year old New York City Irishman Coach, George O’Leary.

(A UNH graduate by the way.)

Sophomore QB Justin Holman is expected to be the starter, and the fearless leader will be able assisted by tailbacks; William Stanback, Dontraviouis Wilson, and a trio of receivers; led by Rannel Hall that will stretch any defense.

UCF’s stout intimidating D, employs eight returning starters, anchored by backer Terrance Plummer, and corner Jacoby Glenn.

The Boys from the “Show Me” state’s spread attack has been on full parade display.

Dual-threat QB Maty Mauk is the drum major, with a huge assist from a trio of glue-fingered receivers; Bud Sasser, Darius White, and Jimmie Hunt.

When Mizzou plows the fields, tailback Russell Hansbrough is the principle load carrier.

The D utilizes a pair of disruptive ends, Shane Ray and Marcus Golden, while backer Michael Scherer is a tackling machine.

In what we believe will be a very tight game, the show in Columbia, belongs to Mizzou.

N0.12 UCLA at Texas (FOX, 8 p.m.) Since his arrival onto the Westwood Campus two years ago, Coach Jim Mora has taken UCLA on a ride of Dow Jones proportions.

The big kahuna of the lads from LA is its All-America, and Heisman candidate, QB Brett Hundley.

The Bruins dual-threat maestro is assisted by a trio of field-stretchers; Jordan Payton, Devin Fuller, and Thomas Duarte.

But so far, the UCLAns running attack featuring Paul Perkins, has been as anemic as the Feds case against Jack O’Brien, hamstrung by an ineffective offensive line.

It needs to be corrective quickly if the “other” team from LA is going to be a legitimate playoff contender.

The talented D attacks behind All-America backer/fullback Myles Jack, his partner Eric Kendricks, and nose Kenny Clark.

In cleaning house, newly minted Texas Coach Charlie Strong has sliced off more Texas beef than a cook at a roadhouse rib joint.

Unfortunately, many of these “last men standing” are missing gristle, and have as much experience as Pope Francis at a roulette wheel, or the Mass Gambling Commission with casinos!!!

With the loss of its starter David Ash (concussions – maybe career ending), newbie QB Tyrone Swoops is shakier than a newborn calf.

And with the replacements on the offensive line, the expected powerful run game of Johnathan Gray and Malcom Brown has been immobilized.

It also appears that the D, led by All-America end Cedric Reed, and backers Jordan Hicks, and Steve Edmond, has more holes than a Lady Gaga outfit.

We don’t think it will be a repeat of the ’97 rout 66 game (UCLA 66 Texas 3), but we don’t expect the Horns to emerge victorious, leaving the start of the Strong era a weak 1-2.

Minnesota at TCU (FS1, 4 p.m.) This is the fourth year in what the Gopher faithful lovingly refer to as: Jerrysota.

Minnesota Coach Jerry Kill has designed, and instituted a Frank Lloyd Wright type of building job at the once moribund program.

And in a throwback to the days of Woody Hayes, the Gophers utilize a relentless running attack, while tossing in an occasional pass, the way a chef tosses in a pinch of parsley.

Minnesota’s blue ribbon plough horse in its senior tailback David Cobb, who is averaging an eye-popping 7 yards per carry.

Option QB Mitch Leidner (sprained mcl) oversees the entire offensive operation, and when the Sons of Bruce Smith (’41 Heisman winner) decide to take to the skies, Donovahan Jones, and tight end Maxx Jones, are viable targets.

But the calling card of the Gopher renaissance has been a defense led by backers Damien Wilson, and Jack Lynn, that is harder to penetrate than the night collection box at the Eire Pub.

[Note: When the Gophers have the lead at the half, they are a perfect 16-0 under Coach K.]

TCU’s Coach Gary Patterson is so desperate for some offense, that in the off season he hired a pair of o-coordinators, Doug Meacham, and Sonny Cumbie, to try and infuse some life into these Sons of Davey O’Brien

The Horned Frogs newly installed no huddle attack, will be under the direction of QB Trevone Boykin, with assists from jet-fueled tailback B.J. Catalon, and the hopefully rejuvenated receiving corps; Ty Slanina and David Porter.

But as always, the identity of the Fort Worth program, is a defense that would be the envy of General Motors.

This snarly group attacks with a trio of backers, Marcus Mallett, Paul Dawson, Mike Tuaua, and is boosted by the return of starry end Devonte Fields.

On Saturday, in a close anvil hitting contest, we think it will be a Gopher kill by the Frogs from Fort Worth.

Last week’s record: 4-1                                                                     Season’s record: 8-2.

Be sure to read our recap of week 3 which will be up and running by Sunday at noon. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.   pk

Ohio State, Michigan State, lose, Michigan crushed, USC wins thriller, Texas embarrassed, Oregon real deal,

Yesterday, the Big Ten Conference sank faster than the Lusitania, and she went to the bottom in a mere 18 minutes!!

Picking through the smoldering embers, when its Glitter Twins, Michigan State, and Ohio State lost within hours of each other, any hopes for a Big Ten Team in the college playoff virtually disappeared.

In addition to the “big boys,” Purdue was crushed by Central Michigan 38-17, Northwestern lost to Northern Illinois 17-13, and Nebraska needed a last second TD to avoid disaster and defeat 1AA McNeese State.

But the topper was Michigan, who was annihilated by Notre Dame; 31-0.

It was the most dominate performance by a team in the history of the series, which stands, and may stand forever at: 26-16-1 for Mighty Meeechign.

In addition to suffering its first whitewash between the two legendary programs, it was the first time Michigan failed to score a point in a game in 376 contests, which dates back to Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Double Yikes!!!

We think it is time for Coach Brady Hoke to do some serious resume polishing, and we are not alone. There is a great deal of grumbling amongst its influential alums.

Where’s Lloyd Carr when you need him? Or even, dare I say, Rich Rod?!!

Sadly, Notre Dame decided to pull the plug on this great rivalry, one in which Hoke said the Irish were “chickening out,” and one in which Irish Coach Brian Kelly said was a “regional game.”

Yeah, it is so regional that is why ESPN televised it in prime time on Saturday Night. PLEASE!!!

And on an historical note Notre dame’s first “Football” game took place against Michigan on November 23, 1887.

It is reported that Michigan came down to visit South Bend and teach the Catholics how to play football.

I wonder how Touchdown Jesus, or Knute, or Ara, feels about the lads pulling the plug??

In the game of the day, Oregon was able to edge away late in its battle against a tough, resilient group of Spartans, as Heisman contender Marcus Mariota was magnificent, leading the Ducks to 28 unanswered points in its; 46-27 win over Michigan State.

The win snapped the Spartans 11-game winning streak, and catapulted Oregon into a prime playoff position.

In the Horseshoe in Columbus there were no ringers for the Buckeye Faithful, as the largest crowd in Ohio Stadium 107,517 watched as Virginia Tech knocked off the Bucks 35-21.

The growing pains were evident for Buckeyes QB J.T. Barnett, who in fairness played tough against a Prime Rib bunch of VaTech Hokies.

Unfortunately, the newbie had little support from his supporting cast, which included a dropped game tying TD pass late in the second quarter.

This may be Coach Frank Beamer’s (226-109-2) best squad in several years, as Texas Tech graduate, QB Michael Brewer, provided a certain leadership that has been missing in the last few years in Blacksburg.

It also showed that VaTech may have a great deal to say about the dynamics of the ACC Conference race.

In Austin, with apologies the “WHO” it was more of “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

The Horns 41-7 beat-down by BYU, its second consecutive shellacking by the Cougars was UT’s second worst home loss since the infamous rout 66 game: the 66-3 bust out against UCLA in 1997. OUCH!!

Somehow, even though he lost all his Texas memorabilia in a house fire in North Carolina, we think Mack Brown might just have a smile on his face.

On the local front, it was a much more spirited bunch of Minutemen, who held an 11 point second half lead on its bigger brethren of Colorado, but the D couldn’t hold the lead, falling: 41-38 to the Buffs.

On the Heights it may be a long season for Coach Steve Addazio’s chargers, who were run over by the Panthers of Pitt: 30-20.

The Sons of Dan Marino ran for over 300 yards on the Eagles, but more disturbing was the lack of protection by the BC offensive line.

I don’t want to say it was porous, but it made the Big Dig Tunnel look like the drought in California!! YIKES!!

QB Tyler Murphy must improve his passing if BC is to have any chance of scrapping out six victories.

Clemson puts up 73, and Arkansas snaps a 10 game losing streak by also hanging a 73!!

Please stop the nonsense. No more of these meaningless exhibitions.

The fans don’t want them and it only hurts the sport. Enough!!!

And finally, in an old fashioned to quote Keith Jackson, “slobber-knocker” USC took, and gave, snapping Stanford’s 17 game home winning streak in a thrilling; 13-10 victory over the Cardinal.

It showed the college football world that a low scoring game is indubitably more interesting than a 52-50 “football” game. To paraphrase Casey Stengel, “Can anyone here play defense?”

Fight on!!

That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 3 Wednesday night.

 

Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk

A teenager’s visit to the Hall, leads to sculpting the greats

A teenager’s visit to the Hall, leads to sculpting the greats!     By Paul Kenney

We begin this week with arguably the “best” pair of hands in football.

Fifty-Seven year old Blair Buswell only carried the ball once in his football “playing” days at BYU, and that was for two yards.

But since 1983, his talented hands have sculpted the busts of the last 84 players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The germination of his career took root from a visit to the Hall when he was a teenager. Looking at the busts, he marveled at their strength staring back at him.

And when he discovered that someone actually made the visages of these great players, he thought to himself, “This would be a great job to have someday.”

A typical posing session for a player lasts five to seven hours, and during that period the sculptor incorporates vintage photos into his work.

And when asked about his job, Buswell simply said, “I love working with my hands.”

This weekend, let’s see which teams play as if it has feet of clay, and which perform as such a high level, they seem destined for the Hall of Fame.

No.7 Michigan State at No.3 Oregon (FOX, 6:30 p.m.)The last time the Spartans faced such an ominous opponent the Athenians were staring across the Peloponnese Peninsula.

In arguably the showcase game of the year, the Big Ten with a victory, will elbow its way into the playoff conversation.

The Sons of Duffy Daugherty are directed by its resilient junior QB Connor Cook, with assists from starry tailback Jeremy Langford, and his Prudential sized (6’3) receiver, Tony Lippert.

But as always in East Lansing under Mark Dantonio, the MSU calling card remains its Fort Knoxian D.

Sparty’s “Green Curtain” is anchored by All-America end Shilique Calhoun, with assists from bookend Marcus Rush, and a pair of ball-hawking corners Trae Waynes, and Darian Hicks.

With apologies to Mel Brooks, and his classic movie “Space Balls;” Oregon moves in “ludicrous speed.”

The captain of this rocket ship is the Ducks dual-threat All-America, and Heisman Trophy candidate, QB Marcus Mariotta who tossed an eye-popping 31 TDs against 4 interceptions last season.

Road grading tailbacks Byron Marshall, and Thomas Tyner till the soil behind five returning o-line starters, anchored by its All-America center Hroniss Grasu.

When the Ducks take to the air, wideouts Dwayne Stanford, and Darren Carrington are high cotton targets.

The D featuring All-America corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, end Tony Washington, and tackle Arik Armstead must be better preventing third down conversions if Oregon is going to be playoff bound.

In a classic green versus green chess match, we’re going with the Sons of Phil Knight, who have a huge home field advantage at Autzen Stadium.

No.14 USC at No.13 Stanford (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) Unlike Thomas Wolfe, USC Coach Steve Sarkisian is living proof that you in fact, “Can go home again.”

If they can remain healthy, this Trojan team, directed by its bolt tosser, QB Cody Kessler, will be a Zeus-like force in the PAC-12 Conference.

The USC field general is assisted by tailback Javorius Allen, and glue-fingered wideout Nelson Agholor.

But it will be Southern Cal’s smothering D, anchored by All-America tackle Leonard Williams, with assists from backer Hayes Pullard, and safety Su’a Cravens, which will determine the heights of USC’s season.

In addition to the classroom, the Boys on the Farm have also aced its performance on the field.

The Cardinal flies on the arm of its QB Kevin Hogan, who is assisted by tailbacks Barry Sanders jr. (how’s that for pedigree?), and Kelsy Young.

The Cardinal leader also has a Linus-blanket target in field stretching wideout Ty Montgomery.

Stanford’s rebuilding D, featuring backer A.J. Tarpley, Escalade-sized (6-6, 295) end Henry Anderson, and safety Jordan Richards has more questions than a Calculus II exam.

For the Trojan faithful, the homecoming remains in the honeymoon stage, as USC aces its first big test.

Michigan at No.16 Notre Dame (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.) One tradition ended earlier this year when the powers to be, (geniuses?) ripped out Notre Dame Stadium’s natural grass, replacing it with turf. UGH!!!

By the way, one can purchase a piece of “actual” turf for the giveaway price of; $149.95. Oh those good fathers!!! Only in America!!

(That must bring a smile to the visage of John Henry, and his merry band of Fenway money makers.)

The other ending tradition is this classic rivalry.

The Irish are sadly saying; “Oiche mhaith agus codladh samh”, translation: “Goodnight, and sleep well,” to its Wolverine rivals.

It was ND’s choice, not Michigan’s. Ah yes, progress!!

But on to other matters.

The Coaching seat of Wolverine Coach Brady Hoke is hotter than the volcanic eruption on the Holuhrasn Lava Field located in Iceland.

Meeechigan’s attack is directed by it oft erratic QB Devin Gardner, who is assisted by tailbacks Derrick Green, De’Veon Smith, and quality pass catcher; Devin Funchess.

If The Big House is to have any special moments this year, and Hoke is to remain in the employ of the Maize and Blue, it is imperative that the Wolverines be able to run the ball.

On the defensive side, experience abounds, but none more so than its trio of backers; Desmond Morgan, Jake Ryan, and James Ross.

The Irish are back under the direction of its scintillating dual-threat QB, Everett Golson, who is assisted by tailback Greg Bryant, and Tarean Folston.

When the Irish go aerial, William Fuller, and Amir Carlisle are quality targets.

With the academic investigation ongoing, ND’s D took a significant hit, but backer Joe Schmidt, and tackle Sheldon Day, are quality disruptors.

It pains us to watch the direction of college football, in which conferences, and century old rivalries are tossed aside to grab a bigger piece of the almighty $$dollar.

That said, we’ll take the Irish, and its phony turf, to cash in the W.

Virginia Tech at No.8 Ohio State (ESPN, 8p.m.) Coach Frank Beamer’s twenty-eight year run rivals that of most US Senators.

But after an unprecedented eight year run of 10 or more wins a season, the mediocrity of the past two seasons (15 victories) has the Blacksburg faithful beginning to grumble.

The reins to the Hokie hoedown, which has been stuck in neutral the last two seasons, have been handed to Texas Tech transfer QB Michael Brewer.

The big-armed signal caller is assisted by tailback Shai McKenzie, and wideouts Isiah Ford, and Bucky Hodges.

But as always in Blacksburg, the football identity begins with the letter D.

And this year’s edition, led by tackles Luther Maddy, Corey Marshall, and All-America corner Kendall Fuller is constantly on the attack and hits harder than Smokin’ Joe.

With the season ending injury to its starry QB Braxton Miller, the two time offensive Conference Player of the Year, the Buckeyes, like that other great searcher, Diogenes, are looking for an identity.

Coach Urban Meyer has slotted r-shirt freshman QB J.T. Barnett into that breach, and the kid will lean heavily on tailbacks; Ezeckiel Elliott, and Curtis Samuel, as he indoctrinates into Big Ten Football.

When Meyer calls their numbers, wideouts Devin Smith, and Dontae Wilson, are comforting targets.

But if the Boys from Columbus are to make noise in the national picture, the D, particularly its line, anchored by All-America tackle Michael Bennett, his partner Adolphus Washington, and end Joey Bosa who will do most of the “I” dotting regarding the success of the Ohio State season.

On Saturday the Bucks sing “Goodbye Columbus” to its visitors from Blacksburg.

BYU at Texas (FS1, 7:30 p.m.) If the Cougs can hook the Horns, the Provo faithful will lift its voices in song.

Bronco Mendenhall’s bunch is directed by its dynamic dual-threat QB Tayson Hill, who like David Janssen, is better on the run.

The rest of the offensive cast tailback Paul Laske, and a trio of receivers; Mitch Mathews, Teren Houk, and Algernon Brown, are more like backup singers.

BYU’s “higher calling” is its stout D, which attacks behind backers Zac Stout, Bronson Kaufusi, and corner Jordan Johnson.

The new Sheriff in Austin, Coach Charley Strong, is intent on stamping his own brand on Bevo.

And with QB David Ash suffering what might be a career ending concussion, The Burnt Orange will turn to its sparingly used sophomore QB Tyrone Swoopes to fill the void.

Luckily, he can blindly rely on a pair of quality road runners; Malcolm Brown, and Johnathan Gray to ease the pressure, while receivers Jaxon Shipley, and John Harris are glue-fingered targets.

Despite the Keith Jackson “stumbling, bumbling” nature of last season’s D, hopes are higher for this year’s eleven, featuring All-America Cedric Reed, tackle Hassan Ridgeway, and safety Mykkele Thompson.

In Austin, Sorry Charlie, we think’s its BYU who brands Bevo with an L for loss.

Last week: 4-1.                                                   Season record: 4-1.

That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our recap by noon on Sunday. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.   pk

Florida St, Alabama, Ohio State, UCLA survive, LSU stuns Wisconsin, BC wins, A@M rolls

Paul Kenney – Sunday Recap

Wow!!

Maybe it was the result of the Polar Vortex, but Broadway should hope for such boffo openings as we saw in the first week of the 2014 college football season.

It was a “Phantom of the Opera” evening for the so called “elite” of the 2014 season.

We’ll begin in Arlington, Texas and Jerry Word, where the 18 point favorite No.1 Florida State Seminoles, after jumping out to a 17-0 lead, hung on for a 37-31 victory against a bunch of gritty Oklahoma State Cowboys.

It was a sloppy dog-fight for the defending National Champions which won its school tying record 17th straight game, but ominously, FSU were only able to rush for 107 yards against a young rebuilding Pokes defense. Yikes!!

“We all preached it, but I do think that they felt the pressure of being No.1, now I think, we can relax and go play football,” said Coach Jimbo Fisher.

They’d better, or the dream of a repeat will disappear quicker than gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick. Who?? Exactly!!

In the other surprise, Alabama a 26 point favorite over West Virginia, found itself “tied” 17-17 late in the first half, and if not for a half dozen drops, including a sure TD pass in the fourth, the Mountaineers may have been on the cusp of springing the monster upset.

What was very disturbing for the Crimson faithful was the exploitation Alabama’s secondary which once again struggled (365 yards passing) against a spread offense.   Double Yikes!!

But if anyone can figure it out, it is the “Bear” clone, St. Nick, Nick Saban.

In Baltimore the Midshipmen of Navy held a 7-6 halftime lead against the mighty Bucks of Ohio State, and were down 3 to start the fourth quarter, leaving the Middie Faithful with a sense that Navy just might torpedo the mighty SS Urban Meyer.

But a pair of late TD’s, and the solid play of r-shirt freshman J.T. Barrett, only the second freshman since the Truman Administration (1950) to start an opener for the Boys from the Horseshoe, finally prevailed.

WOW!!!

Rule number one, if the urge to place a few shekels on a team should bubble up inside, remember, noon kickoffs, especially for West Coast teams traveling east, is a very dangerous proposition.

That premise once again reared its ugly head, this time in Charlottesville, Virginia as the mighty Bruins of UCLA, and its Heisman candidate QB Brett Hundley hung on for a 28-20 win over lowly UVA.

The other team from LA, a 22 point favorite over the Cavaliers, needed three TD’s from its defense, a first since Ronald Reagan occupied the White House – 1986 – to avoid the upset. Yikes!!

Virginia was able to sack the athletic Hundley (who scored the only offensive TD on a tough run) five times, and kept him under duress the entire game.

Despite the smallest home crowd since 1998, maybe there is some fight in the Sons of Thomas Jefferson, there certainly was on Saturday.

On the debut stage James Franklin’s Nittany Lions of Penn State won a dramatic last second (3 on the clock) victory in Dublin over a very good Central Florida squad, when PSU kicker Sam Ficken booted a 36 yarder for the 26-24 victory.

Somehow it just doesn’t seem right that a coach with the surname of O’Leary should lose in the last second in Dublin!!   Oh well, I’m sure he was able to find comfort with a few Guinness!!

So much for controversy, as newly minted USC Coach Steve Sarkisian saw his Trojans, and QB Cody Kessler run a PAC-12 record 105 plays, as Southern Cal crushed Fresno State; 52-13.

Sark, who was once the offensive coordinator for Pete Carroll’s championship teams, proved you can come home again.

In another truly entertaining game with massive playoff implications, LSU came roaring from a 17 point second half deficit to knock off the Badgers of Wisconsin: 28-24.

LSU under the “Mad-Hatter” aka Coach Les Miles has now won a school record 46 in a row against non-conference opponents.

Wiscy was no pushover, and under Miles the Bayou Bengals are a jaw-dropping 22-21 when trailing in the fourth quarter.   Amazing!!!

The grass chewing head man, who is 11-0 in season openers, used his patented bold move, after what appeared to be a three and out to start the second half, and called for a fake punt to secure the first down, and change the entire momentum of the game.

The victory propels LSU into the playoff race.

But the most impressive team of the first week was the Aggies of Texas A&M, who marched into Columbia, South Carolina, and marched out with a stunning 52-28 victory over Steve Spurrier’s Cocks.

In the distant days of Spurrier’s Florida “Fun-n-Gun” the Head Ball Coach used to say, “We hung a half-a-hundred on ‘em.”

Well this time it was the Aggies freshman QB Kenny Hill, who torched the Gamecocks for school record 511 yards through the air, as the Sons of George H.W. Bush scored 7TDs in its first eleven possessions.

Truly a Fifth Avenue penthouse worthy performance!!

And as always, the man who retired the MOO Award (Master of the Obvious) Mr. Obnoxious, analyst Gary Danielson said in the Navy – Ohio State game, “I would take the penalty, because if you don’t OSU will be in field goal range.”

Really!! And for this they pay him large dinero. Only in America!!!

On the local front it was close for a half, but BC exerted itself in the second, and defeated UMass 30-7 spoiling the debut of Coach Mark Whipple.

Finally a shout out to the Temple Owls who stunned Vanderbilt 37-7 as the Commodores turned the ball over seven times.

It was Temple’s first victory over a SEC opponent since FDR sat in the Oval Office in 1938!!

Good for them – and Temple which won a total of 2 games last season, just may be ready to do some flexing this season.

That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 2 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.   pk