The results of Saturday’s “Cupcake Weekend” in college football were exactly like the first-round tennis matches of the US Open; a plethora of three set, love game, yawning blowouts.
A perfect forehand example came from the big three of; Clemson, Alabama, and Auburn, each of whom are striving for a coveted playoff spot, who put on its helmets and toyed with its “opponent” shellacking them by the combined aggregate score of: 159-17! Really??!!
Totally uninteresting, and in our view totally unacceptable, especially when two of the three; Clemson, and Alabama cashed out against non-FBS teams by the combined score of: 117-3! What a joke!!
That said there was some good news in many other places, especially on the home front, as the Eagles of Boston College, left for dead six weeks ago (6-5) when Coach Addazio delivered what many felt was a “Captain Queegesque” “Caine Mutiny” soliloquy, then went out in a 180 degree turnaround, and won for the four of its next five games.
The seamless steaming makes the Eagles bowl eligible something few envisioned back then, as it pounded out a 39-16 rain-soaked victory at Fenway Park against a woeful (3-8) bunch of UConn Huskies.
BC’s bruising tailback A.J. Dillon (associated press)
Once again its true-freshman tailback A.J. Dillon, who runs and punishes like Earl Campbell provided the offensive spark, garnering 200-yards on 24 carries, as the “Sons of Mike Holovak” carved up the Fenway turf for 330-rushing yards.
And with next week’s game at Syracuse against a slumping bunch of Orangemen (4-7), losers of four in-a-row the Eagles have a great opportunity of finishing an eye-popping 7-5. Not even a tarot-card reading gypsy could have foreseen that turnaround.
BC Coach Steve Addazio (associated press)
If BC captures that W, Coach A, certainly not one of our favorites is deserving of some serious ACC Coach of the Year votes. Good for the Eagles.
As for the Silver Lake Regional High teammates, Saturday mixed as a day of mixed emotions, as Dartmouth’s Buddy Teevens saw his Big Green score 34-points in the fourth quarter to pull out a wild 54-44 victory against its rival Princeton finishing 8-2 overall, and 6-2 in the Ivy League.
The 98-combined points were the most scored in a Dartmouth game in over a century, 133-years to be precise.
The record occurred during the administration of Chester A. Arthur 1884, when the Eilis of Yale crushed the Big Green; 113-0. WOW!!
But there is an explanation: it was only the sixth football game ever played by the Hanover Green, yet despite that beating, they managed to keep on trucking.
In “The Game” in New Haven it was another desultory offensive performance by the “Boys of Veritas” as Harvard (5-5) fell to Yale for the second consecutive season, this time; 24-3.
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy (associated press)
It was the first five loss season for Timmy Murphy, since Bill Clinton was leaving the White House with the silver ware in 2000, and its first losing league record (3-4) since 1999.
It was also the first time that the Crimson failed to score a TD in consecutive games since Ronald Reagan was reminiscing about playing George Gipp – 1986, and ended Murphy’s 16-year streak of winning at least 7-games.
Meanwhile the Elis finished 9-1, 6-1 and in doing so captured its first outright Ivy League title since the final days of Jimmy Carter – 1980. Good for the Bulldogs!
UMass Coach Mark Whipple
Staying on the local scene, break up the “Belles of Amherst” as the “Fighting Whipple’s” who for the first time since it joined the big-boys AKA the FBS have won four games (4-7), knocking off the Cougars of BYU 16-10. Good for the Minutemen and our friend Coach Mark Whipple.
Our other coaching pal, the future HOF-er Al Bagnoli, in only his third year at the helm of the Lions of Columbia, knocked off the Bears of Brown; 24-6 to finish its season with a truly remarkable (8-2, 5-2) Ivy record.
It was only the third time since WWII (1945) that Columbia, who once went 44-games without a victory, has finished a season with 8 wins. WOW!
Good for class guy Coach Bags, and more importantly great for Columbia football and its football future.
Hail the “Smart Kids” as Northwestern, in the wind and rain in Evanston, won its sixth game in a row, a 39-0 destruction over the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald (associated press)
The Purple Cats in the midst of its longest winning streak since Billy C was visiting with Monica – 1996, are now 8-3, and staring at a very winnable game next week against its rival Illinois.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald, one of our favorites, and one of the best and most underrated coaches in the nation, described the win, and his play of his squad team simply; “Blue collar Chicago football.”
And as for the way his team embraced Saturday’s weather, which was better suited for the British Open he succinctly summarized; “The guys were embracing the suck.”
Well said Coach, who, when the next opening occurs in South Bend, should be the first call Notre Dame makes.
In addition to BC, we’d like to acknowledge a couple of other teams that reached bowl eligibility on Saturday, the Longhorns of Texas with its surprising 28-14 victory over West Virginia, will be going bowling for the first time in three years.
Yes Virginia, we said three-years. That is how far the fortunes of Texas football has fallen.
KState coach Bill Snyder (associated press)
And in “The Little Apple” AKA Manhattan, Kansas, KState Coach Bill Snyder, the 78-year old patriarch of the Wildcats upset the “Boys from Boone Pickens U” AKA Oklahoma State; 45-40 becoming bowl eligible for the eighth consecutive season, and 19th time during the coaching tenure of “Mr. Turnaround” Snyder.
And if in fact this is his swansong season, he is battling throat cancer, it’s a great way to celebrate and embrace his HOF career.
In Madison, our pal Tucker from Dorchester was in the stands to watch Wisconsin handle the visiting Wolverines of Michigan 24-10, dropping Blue’s “Golden Boy” coach Jim Harbaugh, into the Brady Hoke and John Cooper levels, as the Wolverines are now an unsatisfactory and native restless 1-6 against top-10 teams, and more importantly 0-2 against its despised rival: Ohio State. OUCH!!
Wisconsin Coach Paul Chryst (associated press)
Staying on the Mad-Town side of town; Wiscy, the “Rodney Dangerfield of College Football” is a perfect 11-0 for the first time in program history, while another of our favorites Coach Paul Chryst, another underrated headman, has his team is two victories away from winning a spot in the four-team playoff.
The Badgers have outscored its opponents by 195-55 in the second half, and have yet to trail in the fourth quarter, as its Heisman contending freshman tailback Jonathan Taylor continues to impress.
Speaking of the Heisman, it was a disgraceful sideline performance by the current frontrunner, Oklahoma’s QB Baker Mayfield, who was caught on camera grabbing his crotch (not a smart move at any time, but certainly not in today’s highly charged climate) while screaming out f-bombs toward the Kansas sideline.
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield and Heisman front-runner sideline tirade
As Mr. Rogers might ask on Sesame Street; “Can you say; “MORON.”
Or as we like to say; “What a DOPE!” And as far as we are concerned, he isn’t worthy of being on the top spot of anyone’s Heisman ballot.
In Coral Gables, Coach Mark Richt’s Hurricanes overcame a pair of 14-point deficits, before taking charge and knocking off a game visiting bunch of Cavaliers from Virginia: 44-28.
It was the Hurricanes nation’s best 15-victory in a row, as it continues on its Armageddon path toward the ACC Championship title game and a date with the Tigers of Clemson to determine which team will earn its playoff invite.
KU former coach Charlie Weis (associated press)
Finally, as always, we close with our bloviating gas-bag pal Charlie Weis and the woeful (I know, that’s redundant) Jayhawks of Kansas (1-10), who were easily handled by the aforementioned Sooners of Oklahoma 41-3. OUCH!! Sorry Charlie.
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 13 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk