Clemson visits Florida State, Washington faces toughest test against Utah, Nebraska, Wisconsin in Big Ten West clash

Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh

We begin this week with an “Indian Summer” day, a note on climate change, a recruiting tool, and a coach who works in the cold, cold north.
When a mid-October heat wave settled over much of the country it brought summer-like warmth to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and that’s when the Wolverines eccentric coach Jim Harbaugh went into recruiting mode.
“Now we’re the new Mediterranean; a lot of coastline, and how about that out there today? Eighty-degrees out there. It is so beautiful here, it’s awesome.”
“Global warming is good for Michigan, it’s good for recruiting,” said the former Michigan QB who played under Bo Schembechler.
This weekend, let’s see which teams sweat out another close victory, and which leave its alums longing for the lazy, hazy days of summer, when the thoughts of a winning season by the alma-mater was better than an ice old beer.
No. 3 Clemson at No. 12 Florida State (Ch. 5, 8 p.m.) Both teams are coming off a bye adding to the intrigue of this defacto playoff elimination game for the “Sons of Strom Thurmond.”

Strom Thurmond WW II

The South Carolina Senator, Clemson Class of ’23, who graduated with a degree in horticulture, was a 39-year old decorated WW II officer, serving in the 82nd Airborne, and on D-Day landed a glider in the Battle of Normandy helping to liberate the town of Ste. Mere-Eglise.
Despite the preseason clippings of invincibility, in reality,s the Clemson offensive machine has sputtered more than the support for Obama’s Affordable Care Act. (Talk about an oxymoron.)
The undefeated Tigers have been living dangerously turning the ball over 16-times in its seven wins, and a whopping five in its last two. It is a recipe ripe for disaster for a team that before the season started was slotted in as a playoff participant.

Clemson QB and Heisman QB Deshaun Watson

Even its magical, dual-threat Heisman contender, QB Deshaun Watson (20 TDs – 8 Ints -63%) has been affected by the mysterious malaise, missing open receivers almost as often as Donald Trump stiffs another small contractor.
The “Clemson Catalyst” is assisted by struggling tailback, Wayne Gallman, and a trio of future Sunday field stretchers: Mike Williams, Ray-Ray McCloud, and tight end Jordan Leggett, who have also had their share of the dropsies.
And despite its youth, the nation’s ninth stingiest (15) D, led by backers: Ben Boulware, Kendall Joseph, and tackle Christian Wilkins (8.5 tfls – 3 sacks), has been tougher to penetrate than the penthouse which sits atop Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library in Fayetteville, and have kept the Clemson playoff drive alive.
In Tallahassee, “Tomahawk Nation” has been shakier than Ed Ames (played TV Daniel Boone) tossing his axe at the wooden cutout on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.” (For you young’uns you-tube it – and listen for Carson’s classic response.)
The “Sons of Fred Biletnikoff” led by its r-s freshman QB, Deondre Francois (10 TDs -3 Ints -62%), with assists from tailback Dalvin Cook (900 yds. – 5 yds. a pop), and receivers Travis Randolph, and Jesus Wilson, are searching, like Diogenes, for a consistent identity.
The D, led by end DeMarcus Walker (10 tfls-8.5 sacks), backer Matthew Thomas, and corner Trey Marshall, have been burnt more than the toast at a local neighborhood breakfast joint, surrendering an unacceptable 28-points a game.
In the spirit of Strom, we think Clemson, in a hard fought game, eventually finds a gliding path to victory.
No. 4 Washington at No. 17 Utah (Fox Sports 1, 3:30 p.m.) Coach Chris Petersen has put the bite back into the Huskies.
UDub is riding a ten-game winning streak, and scores quicker than the time it takes a spawning Coho salmon to climb the 21-step fish ladder at Seattle’s Chittenden Locks.

Washington QB and Heisman candidate Jake Browning

The lead musher on the nation’s fourth highest scoring (48) eleven, is its Heisman contending QB Jake Browning (26 Tds-2 Ints -68%), who has surgically slices the opposition by operating as the country’s second most efficient pigskin spinner.
The peppermint-cool second-year rifleman is assisted by tailback Myles Gaskins (727 yds. – 6.3 yds-6TDs – no relation to King), along with a trio of touchdown makers; John Ross (9 TDs), who possesses Road Runner 4.25 – 40 speed, Dante Pettis (8 TDs), and Chico McClatcher (4 TDs).
The fearsome D of the “Sons of Hugh McElhenny, the nation’s sixth stingiest (14), hammers its opponents with the force of a show forging Smitty, and is anchored by end Joe Mathis (7.5 tfls – 5 sacks), backer Azeem Victor, and an All-America missile seeking safety Budda Baker.
In Salt Lake City, Kyle Whittingham’s Utes have operated as stealthy as its shadowy neighbor; the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.
The “Chief Preacher” of this pedestrian (63rd scoring) bunch is QB Troy Williams (7 TDs-5 Ints – 55%), who gets a huge boost from his cannonball tailback, Joe Williams, who returned to the team two weeks ago (he gave up the game earlier this season due to injuries), but because the Utes tailbacks are all in sick-bay, Williams returned to help out, and his two-game presence has been dominant.
When the Salt Lake QB has his GPS in working order, he can lock onto a pair of twin-tower wideouts: Tim Patrick, 6-foot-5 (5 TDs), and his 6-foot-3 partner; Raelon Singleton.
The D of the “Sons of Larry Wilson” led by backer Sunia Tauteoli, end Hunter Dimick (9.5 tfls – 6 sacks), and safety Chase Hansen, is as tentative defending against the pass, as Hillary negotiating a set of stairs, and that’s a loser’s hand against the Huskies.
This will be Washington’s toughest test, but unlike the Keolis Commuter service, UW keeps its playoff hopes steaming on the right track.
No. 7 Nebraska at No. 11 Wisconsin (ESPN, 7 p.m.) The Huskers are 7-0 for the first time since Stanley Kubrick’s “A Space Odyssey” year: 2001.
But as the faithful in Lincoln are well aware, its offense, with apologies to the great state of Maine; “So goes Tommy Armstrong, so goes Nebraska.”

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong

The senior Big Red QB (11 TDs-5 Ints – 55% – 6 rushing touchdowns) does most of his damage with his legs and continues to give the Lincoln brethren a better late game magic show than a David Copperfield encore.
But the “Sons of Johnny Rodgers” suddenly finds itself hamstrung by injuries to its offensive line, as well as its steady big-play receiver Jordan (back – might play) Westerkamp.
On a positive note, the Husker running game has shown some renewed life, courtesy of tailback Terrell Newby, and if it holds up, it will at least add a rhythm section to Armstrong’s band.
On D, the “Black Shirts” featuring backer Josh Banderas, safety Nathan Gerry (7-tfls), and end Ross Dzuris (8 tfls-4.5 sacks), has some issues defending the pass (55th), but as the nation’s 14th stingiest (17 pts.), has managed to keep the “Boys of the Corn” perfect in every game.
In Madison, the “Sons of Elroy ‘Crazy Legs’ Hirsch” are facing its fifth Top – 10 ranked opponent of the season.
And despite the fact that the Badgers have more offensive (96th in scoring) issues than John Kerry attempting to use a self-checkout scanner at a Home Depot, its brilliant D is worthy of a Mensa Society acceptance.
These defensive wizards, anchored by backers; T.J. Edwards, T.J. Watt (9.5 tfls-7 sacks, JJ’s brother), and safety Leo Musso, are ninth overall, fourth in points allowed (14), and have lock downed the opposition better than the guard battalion at Guantanamo.
[Note: Wiscy’s linebacker and tackling machine Jack Cichy is out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle – and his loss is significant.]
But as dynamic as the D’ performance, the offense (96th in scoring 24 pts), is as mundane as a policy discussion between Mitch McConnell, and Jeb Bush.
R-s freshman QB Alex Hornibrook (5 TDs -6 Ints – 56%) remains the starter, but his relief, Bart Houston (3 TDs – 2 Ints), has performed like Andrew Miller of the Cleveland Indians.
The Badgers signature ground attack, missing most of the season, is beginning to find his groove with Corey Clement, while a trio of solid chain-stretchers; tight end Troy Fumagalli, Jazz Peavy, and Robert Wheelwright, provide welcoming targets.
In a game that may determine the representative of the Big Ten West, we’ll take the “Mad-Town” Cheese Heads to drive the visitors back home in a “Red” Lincoln.
No. 10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State (Fox, Noon) With apologies to John Denver, what in the “Mountain Moma” is going on in Morgantown?
The “Rodney Dangerfield’s” of college football are 6-0 for the first time since W was struggling with the word nuclear (2006). And roll with a shut-down D, a phrasing not uttered in these parts with any seriousness, since HOF coach Don Nehlen was prowling the WV sideline.
And unlike his previous squads, Holgorsen’s offense is as balanced as; Nik Wallenda.

Mountaineer QB Skyler Howard

These “Sons of Sam Huff” are under the command of QB Skyler Howard (12 TDs- 4 Ints -66%) who has operated as quietly, and effectively, as a sniper on an Aleppo rooftop.
The silent assassin is assisted by a pair of quality tailbacks; Rushel Shell, and Justin Crawford, and a quartet of game-breakers: Daikiel Shorts, Ka’Raun White, Shelton Gibson, and Jovon Durante who have combined for; 103-grabs and 9 TDs.
The aforementioned D, the nation’s 15th stingiest (17), is anchored by backers Justin Arndt, Al-Rasheed Benton, and corner Kyzir White, and has forced more turnovers than the presidency of Suffolk University, while earning the respect of the coaches throughout the league.
In Stillwater, at “Boone Pickens U,” aka Oklahoma State, it’s homecoming for the alumni of the Cowboys.
It’s also a homecoming for West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen, who was on the staff of Ok State Coach Mike Gundy (2010), before taking over the Mountaineers the following year.
But Oklahoma State, in the words of Dan Rather, is a team that is: “All hat and no cattle.”
Its offense is as unbalanced as Bogart’s “Captain Philip Francis Queeg” character in the “Caine Mutiny,” (he won the 1954 Academy Award for best actor), combined with a defense that is as porous as the Iraqi Army without US air support.

Ok State QB Mason Rudolph

QB Mason Rudolph (14 TDs – 2 Ints – 62%) with assists from wideouts; James Washington, Jalen Mccleskey, and Jhajuan Seales (a combined; 96 catches – 13 TDs) is the Stillwater bombardier, who puts more balls in play, than Chrissie Evert. But that’s the Pokes only option for success, as its ground game bottoms out with a 99th muckraking ranking.
But what makes the Big-12 unwatchable, (at least from our football purist eye), is the flag-football aspect of a league, where 70-combined points is the norm for a single half, and Ok State, fits that profile like a finely tailored Joseph Abboud suit.
The Cowboys D, with apologies to the ’85 Bears, (104th overall, 82nd against the run, 106th defending the pass) is led by backers Devante Averette, Jordan Burton (13 tfls), and safety Jordan Sterns, displaying numbers not seen since; George McGovern faced Richard Nixon in 1972. (Massachusetts was the only state poor Ol’ George captured; hence the classic bumper sticker: Nixon 49 – America 1).
All that said, there does remain a Dangerfield quality to these Mountaineers, but respect, or not, we’re going with the “Mountain Momas” to carry the day by walking, running, and passing down a country road.
No.13 Boise State at Wyoming (CBSS, 7 p.m.) The Blue-Field turf monsters are like the swallows returning to Capistrano, always firmly perched in the rankings.
The unblemished Broncos are under the command of Boise’s next great gunslinger, QB Brett Rypien (15 TDs – 5 ints – 62%) who gets a huge assist from the nation’s sixth ranking road-grader Jeremy McNichols (915 yds. – 12 TDs) who is also explosive catching passes (4 TDs) out of the backfield.

Boise State QB Brett Rypein

When the Boise dart-thrower goes aerial, touchdown makers Thomas Sperbeck (7 TDs), and his partner Cedrick Wilson (6 – TDs), are comforting targets.
The D anchored by the backing threesome; Ben Weaver, Tanner Vallejo, and Darren Lee isn’t vintage, but has been stouter in the red zone than sweater-wearing Ken Bone, surrendering a respectable 20-points a game.
In Laramie, after enduring a pair of rebuilding seasons, Coach Craig Bohl of North Dakota Bison fame, has his Cowboys once again lassoing its way to victories.
Wyoming has done it almost exclusively with a prairie turning ground assault, because its aerial attack featuring QB Josh Allen (10 TDs – 6 Ints -58%) has been drier (102nd) than the Ipswich River.
The diesel driving the Cowboys wagon train is tailback Brian Hill (1010 yds -11 Tds), the nation’s second ranked rusher, who plows under an opponent with the same animosity as Gore Vidal toward William F. Buckley, or Bobby Kennedy toward Herbert Hoover. (Read: “Collision Course.”)
The D, featuring safety Andrew Wingard (he leads the team in tackles), end Carl Granderson (6 tfls-4 sacks), and backer Lucas Wacha, has struggled like the Egyptian Tourism Bureau defending (123rd) the pass, which is a losing proposition against the Boys from Boise, who remain in the hunt for a New Year’s Day bowl invite.
Last week: 4-1 Season record: 24-16.
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our recap by Sunday a 1 p.m. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk

Penn State shocks Ohio State, Alabama wins 20th in a row, West Virginia remains unbeaten

We’ll begin in Happy Valley where the Saturday night movie feature was the 1969 classic “Goodbye Columbus” as Penn State stunned the college football world, overcoming a 14-point fourth quarter deficit, shocking the second ranked Buckeyes Ohio State: 24-21.
It was the signature victory the faithful had been looking for since James Franklin took over the Nittany Lions helm three years ago, and it ended the Urban Meyer’s and Ohio State’s 21-game road winning streak.
It was also the first victory by an unranked Penn State squad against a Top-2 team, since LBJ was occupying the White House -1964. WOW! Can you say the Beatles and the British invasion?
And it happened quicker than Muhammad Ali’s fathom right to Sonny Liston’s jaw in their rematch in Lewiston, Maine.
Early in the fourth quarter the “Sons of JoePa” went on a 90-yard five-play scoring drive to cut the lead to seven (21-14), but Ohio State was still in control.
Then as quick as you can say, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” it was stunningly over.
Penn State’s Cam Brown blocked a Buckeye punt which turned into a 34-yard field goal cutting the lead to 21-17 with 9:33 left.

Penn State cornerback returns blocked field goal for winning touchdown

Penn State cornerback Grant Haley returns blocked field goal for winning touchdown stunning Ohio State

Then out came the “Et tu Brutus” dagger as PSU’s Marcus Allen blocked Ohio State’s long field goal attempt, which was scooped up by Grant Haley who rumbled 60 – “Goodbye Columbus” yards to seal the shocking upset, that sent shock waves through the college football world and sent the Buckeyes back to Columbus to regroup. Good for the Nits!
Ohio State is not out of the playoff picture. But it must run the table, which would include victories over Michigan, and more than likely Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game. Not an easy task.
From Happy Valley we’ll move to the Chestnut Hill Heights, which is a misnomer of major proportions when describing the condition of the irrelevant Boston College football program, which has fallen into the darkest of abyss’ after its 28-20 loss to a pedestrian bunch of Syracuse Orangemen.

embattled BC Coach Steve Addazio

embattled BC Coach Steve Addazio

BC (3-4) has now lost a jaw-dropping 12-consecutive ACC conference games.
And that streak of monumental ineptitude now stretches back a mind-numbing 692-days since it had its last taste of victory against an ACC opponent. BC also has a decent chance of going 0-2, meaning no conference victories for two consecutive seasons. YIKES!
The Eagles, who had a total of 64-net passing yards against the Cuse, must now somehow find a way to scratch out 3-wins from its final five games to become bowl eligible, a challenge which appears more daunting than Donald Trump’s presidential hopes.
And with season ticket sales at a record low, and fan interest ebbing like the support for the Boston Grandprix, it’s time for Coach Addazio to do two things; polish his resume, and check the schedule of the Mayflower Moving Company vans, he needs a new address, and everybody (including the administration) knows it.
Speaking of new addresses – it could also be moving day in Austin, and Eugene, very soon.

Texas Coach Charlie Strong

Texas Coach Charlie Strong

Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns (3-4, 1-3) suffered its fourth loss in its last five games, this time to the Wildcats of Kansas State; 24-21.
The Horns looks more like the old afternoon soap “The Days of Our Lives,” like the sand through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives….
And the sand has run out for Texas coach Charlie Strong.
The Longhorns head man is staring at his third consecutive losing season, and the feeling in Austin is that unless the Texas wins out, highly improbable, Mr. Strong will be on his way out.
How bad are things? Well, the “Sons of Darrell Royal” are currently eight in the 10-team Big-12 ahead of only Iowa State and woeful Kansas. OUCH! Sorry Charlie, but Houston coach Tom Herman is on the UT speed dial.
In Eugene, Phil Knight University, aka the Ducks of Oregon, has also fallen in the Boston College category of irrelevancy.
Coach Mark Helfrich’s Ducks (2-5) are winless (0-4) in the Pac-12, and surrender points, (an eye-popping average of 49.8) faster than Hillary Clinton nods her head and widens her eyes. It’s enough to give a colander a bad name.
We think “Mr. Nike” aka Phil Knight has Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin on his personal speed dial.
In Amherst, the “Belles of Amherst” football eleven went down for the fifth consecutive time, a 34-28 loss to the SEC’s South Carolina Gamecocks dropping to 1-7, with nary a victory on the horizon.
It will be interesting at season’s end if the powers-to-be pull the plug on the struggling program which continues to hemorrhage money and draw more seagulls than fans.
No.1 Alabama took care of business wining its 20th consecutive game, a hard-fought 33-14 victory over Texas A&M, but it better be on alert for a rejuvenated bunch of Auburn Tigers who will be a dangerous threat to the Tide in the season ending Iron Bowl.
In Morgantown, the undefeated Mountaineers (6-0) continue to impress with it 34-10 victory over TCU. And the last time WVU, who also have a stout D, were unblemished this late in the season, Rich Rod was coaching, and W had two more years left in his administration – 2006. Ah, those were the days!

West Virginia is a surprising 6-0

West Virginia Mountaineers are a surprising 6-0 and a playoff contender

And a note; keep your eye on West Virginia QB Skyler Howard who’s been as quietly effective as a Mosul sniper.
Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies are 7-0 for the first time since the last days of the George Herbert Walker Bush Administration (1992), and for the moment have secured one of the four playoff spots.
[Just a note: before the internet, when Newsweek magazine was still being published, it had the audacity to put a picture of Bush 41 on its cover in his campaign against Bill Clinton with the caption: “Wimp Factor.” A legitimate war hero, Ambassador to China, VP, successful businessman, and head of the CIA – really!! – no wonder the media is despised.]
Also on the rise are the Tigers of LSU, under the leadership of its interim headman and fellow Louisianan; Coach Ed O (Orgeron) who finally has a healthy tailback Leonard Fournette to unleash on the opposition.
The brutish road-runner is arguably the best player in America, just set an LSU single game record with 284 –yards on only a jaw-dropping16 carries – (that’s an average of 17-yds. a pop for those at home keeping score). WOW!
Alabama visits Baton Rouge in two weeks, and if the Tigers pull the upset, the interim tag may disappear from Coach O’s door.
In Kalamazoo, Coach P.J. Fleck’s Broncos of Western Michigan are 8-0 for the first time since FDR was making war preparations – 1941, while the boys who carry out those wars the Midshipmen of Navy (5-1) continued its winning ways with its 42-28 victory over Memphis – good for both.
On the local front the “Boys of Veritas” aka Harvard football (5-1, 3-0) won an overtime thriller against Princeton 23-20, to keep it on track with its late season showdown against the Quakers of Penn.
Finally, as always, we end with our tribute to our bloviating gas-bag pal Charlie Weis and Kansas Football (1-6, 0-4) the last program Charlie “fixed” who lost once again; 44-20 to Oklahoma State. As the “Star-Kist” commercial used to say: “Sorry Charlie!”
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. PK

In battle of unbeatens;Texas A&M visits Alabama, West Virginia tries to remain perfect, ‘Ole Miss visits LSU

Arkansas associate professor Lawton Nalley arrested for screaming profanities and public intoxication at Razorback game Arkansas associate professor Lawton Nalley arrested for public intoxication and profanities for screaming at Arkansas coach Bret Bielema

We begin this week with an associate college professor, the intoxicating mixture of alcohol and football, a dash of profanity, and the long painful walk to the locker room by a losing coach.
Two weeks ago in Fayetteville, Lawton Nalley, a 37-year old associate professor of business and economics specializing in agriculture at the University of Arkansas, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, and public intoxication, for screaming obscenities at Razorback Coach Bret Bielema as he trudged off the field after the Hogs 49-30 loss to number 1 Alabama.
Lawton, who was briefly held at the local jail, has since apologized to the University, and more importantly to Coach Bielema. He remains employed at Arkansas.
This weekend, let’s see which teams give a teaching moment on how the game should be played, and which leave its profane alums crying in its beer after another loss.
No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama (Ch. 4, 3:30 p.m.) It was the second year of the Harding Administration (1922), when Texas A&M started its 12th Man tradition in which all 38,000 students stand the entire game, metaphorically at the ready, if called upon.
Unfortunately, for the Aggies it’s going to take more than a tradition to bowl over Alabama.
In College Station, it’s been a season of glad tidings for the “Sons of John David Crow,” who surprisingly are 6-0 for the first time since its old Southwest Conference reigning days under Coach R.C. Slocum.
[Note: The joke around the nation was that the acronym of SWC translated: – ‘sure we’ll cheat.’
The leader of this Kevin Sumlin revitalization tour is Oklahoma graduate transfer, QB Trevor Knight (9 TDs-5 Ints -53% – 502 rushing yds. – 7 yds. a carry – 9 TDs) one of only two active signal callers to defeat Nick Saban’s Tide.

Texas A&M QB Trevor Knight Texas A&M QB Trevor Knight

The dual-threat anvil-hardened leader, who attacks a defense with the same fearless élan as that of Jean Claude Kiley attacking a mountain, is assisted by his blue-ribbon t-freshman tailback Trayveon Williams (8 yds. a pop – 5 TDs), and a pair of quality receivers; Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds.
But the Aggies Achilles Heel is its D, led by safety Justin Evans, end Daeshon Hall (9 tfls-3.5 sacks) and backer Shaan Washington (4.5 tfls -2 sacks), that ranks 98th overall, and cracks more often than a bag of Diamond Walnuts on Thanksgiving.
[Note: All-America end Myles Garrett is back healthy which holds as much anticipation as Johnny Carson returning to the “Tonight Show” after a two-week vacation.]
In Tuscaloosa, the Sir Lancelot of college football, aka St. Nick, has his “Sons of Joe Namath” on a 19 -game winning streak (10 consecutive at home) that even King Arthur would find impressive.
Alabama has also successfully maneuvered through the first two legs of its 4-game gantlet (both on the road and with relative ease), so the friendly confines of “Title Town” should be as comforting as the loving arms of Queen Guinevere.

Alabama t-freshman QB Jalen Hurts Alabama t-freshman QB Jalen Hurts

Dual-threat t-freshman QB Jalen Hurts (9 Tds-3 ints-63% -8 rushing TDs) is the commander of the country’s sixth highest scoring eleven (45) who, with apologies to John Mellencamp, “Hurts’ the opposition So Good,” in piloting the Tide’s dominating battleship.
The kid, who has plays with the poise of Sandy Koufax, is assisted by a pair of show ponies; Damien Harris (8 yds. a carry), and Josh Jacobs (8 yds. a pop), the principle road-runners on the nation’s tenth best rushing attack.
When the wunderkind takes to the Alabama skies, future Sunday performers; Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart, and tight end O.J. Howard are “Linus-blanket” targets.
But if the Tide’s offense is a five-star feast, its D serves a menu of Michelin 3-star perfection.
The nation’s eighth stingiest group (15), anchored by All-Americas; backer Reuben Foster, and tackle Jonathan Allen (5.5 tfls-5 sacks), and mixed with fellow backer Shaun-dion Hamilton (7.5 tfls), is tops in rushing yards allowed (63 yds.) and is more disruptive than “Lady Gaga” going country.
The Aggies had an extra week to prepare for this game, they could have taken a month, it wouldn’t have mattered, as the Tide’s streak rolls to a Barry Sanders 20. Roll Tide!
No. 23 Mississippi at No. 25 LSU (ESPN, 9 p.m.) The Rebels are the best 3-3 team in America.
But as the Oxford faithful are well aware, if it could only hold onto a lead, ‘Ole Miss would be securely perched inside the Top-10.
These “Sons of Charlie Conerly” (fought in the Battle of Guam), are directed by another guy with a Sunday future, QB Chad Kelly (14 TDs-5-ints-62%) who, like his HOF uncle Jim, is tougher than Elizabeth Warren excoriating the now former CEO of Wells Fargo; John Stumpf.
The battle hardened marksman is assisted by tailback Akeem Judd, who has run like Wynonna (Mississippi 85th in rushing), and a trio of field-stretchers; All-America caliber tight end Evan Engram (15 yds. catch – 9 TDs) and receivers Damore’es Stringfellow, and Van Jefferson.
And just like the shanties of the delta, Mississippi’s D has more holes than the aliases of that shady sleazebag, and now missing Quincy realtor; Scot Wolas or whatever his name is.
[Note: Wolas is the guy who absconded with $1.5 million of investor’s dough on a phony scam that involved the closed Beachcomber Club on Wollaston Beach.]
These defensive matadors, featuring safety Zedrick Woods, backer DeMarcus Gates, and end Marquis Haynes (6-tfls-4 sacks) are a bottom feeding 104th in both; total defense, and run stopping, and surrender points (30) at a faster clip than Donald Trump tweets about a “rigged election.”
In Baton Rouge, “The king is dead, long live the king.”

LSU new head man Ed Orgeron aka Coach O LSU’s new coach Ed Orgeron  aka Coach O

Ed Orgeron is the head that now wears the crown, and the lovefest toward the first Louisianan to lead the Tigers since Jerry Stovall (1980-83), has a vibe that is Woodstock worthy.
The Death Valley newbie, who exudes more energy than an “Eversource” power plant, has also removed the offensive shackles, and the early returns have, to stay with the political parlance of the day; a landslide.
The keys to the Caddy are now in the hands of Purdue transfer QB Danny Etling (6 TDs-2 Ints – 58%) with assists from a dynamic turf churning duo; Derrius Guice (9 yds. a pop – 6 TDs) and his partner Darrel Williams, along with a pair of defense stressing wideouts; Malachi Dupree, and Travin Dural, who’ll keep any defense from stacking the box.
But LSU’s pearl in the oyster is its D led by backers Kendell Beckwith, Arden Key (7.5 tfls – 7 sacks), and All-America safety Jamal Adams.
The country’s fourth tightest (14) eleven is tougher to penetrate than the security around Kayne and Kim, and will ultimately determine the length, and future employment of LSU’s newly crowned leader.
We think the lovefest expresses the intensity of Bogart and Bergman in “Casablanca” as the Tigers crown the Rebels and climb in the raknings.
TCU at No. 12 West Virginia (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.) As “Sylvester the Cat” might incredulously ask; “What in ‘sufferin succotash’ in going on in Fort Worth?
Coach Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs, like Jason Bourne, have lost its defensive identity, and have morphed into all the rest of the Big-12 interchangeable colanders.

Sylvester the Cat Sylvester the Cat

QB Kenny Hill (12 TDs – 8 Ints- 63% -7 rushing TDs) is TCU’s bombardier with assists from a pair of game-breakers; wideouts Taj Williams (20 yds. a catch – 4 TDs) and his partner John Diarse (16 yds.) and when the Frogs call a pitchout, tailback Kyle Hicks is a turf turner with attitude.
But as the faithful have witnessed, the D of the “Sons of Bob Schieffer” is more frightening than anything that will be roaming the streets this Halloween, and that includes all the clowns.
These muckrakers, led by backers Ty Summers, Travin Howard, and safety Denzel Johnson, surrender 30 sieve-like points a game (85th), and opposing QB’s have sliced and diced them (103rd defending the pass) more than a Ron Popeil Veg-O-Matic.
In West Virginia, and with apologies to John Denver; it’s been a “Country Roads” of surprises belted out by these Mountaineers.
The “Sons of Don Nehlen” who are directed by QB Skyler Howard (8 TDs – 4 Ints – 66% – 3 rushing) and assisted by tailbacks Justin Crawford, Rushel Shell, and a trio of wideout stressors; Daikel Shorts, Shelton Gibson, and Ka’raun White have shown better overall balance than the Wallendas family.
But the biggest eye opener in Morgantown has been a D anchored by safety Jarrod Harper, backer Justin Arndt (4 tfls- 2 sacks), and corner Kyzir White, which despite surrendering tons of yardage, has managed to stiffen in the red-zone, allowing a more than respectable – 19 points a game.
We think the Morgantown magic continues as Coach Dana Holgorsen’s heroes continue to climb the charts.
No.17 Arkansas at No.21 Auburn (ESPN, 6 p.m.) The Hogs have been bringing home the bacon, or to paraphrase Golden Globe winner Ving Rhames the voice in the commercial for Arby’s; “Arkansas, they have the Meats!”

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema Arkansas coach Bret Bielema

The “Sons of Jerry Jones” are under the purview of its master butcher, QB Austin Allen (18 TDs-6 Ints-63%), who “Ginga” knifes a defense behind the nation’s eighth leading rusher Rawleigh Williams (785-yds. 5 TDs), and a quartet of receivers: Drew Morgan, Jared Cornelius, Keon Hatcher, and Jeremy Sprinkle.
Unfortunately the pork bellies D, led by backers; Brooks Ellis, Dre Greenlaw and Deatrich Wise, has slowed the opposition’s running attack (80th), about as often as Joe Biden regrets not running for President, or an incumbent Mayor of Boston loses re-election.
On the Plains, it was only a few weeks ago that the seat of Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn was hotter than the lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano.
But three consecutive victories has put the kibosh, at least temporarily, on the Mayflower moving vans.
The Tigers off week has also been fruitful allowing its starry tailbacks; Kerryon Johnson (ankle), and Kamryn Pettway, who have combined for 1043 yards and 10 TDs, to return like Ricard Nixon in 1968; “rested and ready.”
The director of the “Sons of Bo Jackson” is QB Sean White (6 TDs-2 Ints-69%) whose principle aerial sightings; Tony Stevens, and Ryan Davis, have big play capability.
The Tiger’s D, the nation’s 11th stingiest (16), featuring backers Tre’ Williams, Darrell Williams, and corner Johnathan Ford, has some issues slowing the run, but overall has been as surprising as Tito Francona’s Cleveland Indians, and will keep Auburn in every game. (How come we can’t get managers like that?!)
Ultimately, in a very tight game, we think the Hogs find a way to bring home the bacon.
North Carolina State at No. 7 Louisville (Ch.5, Noon) The Wolfpack has a dilemma the magnitude of the fractured Republican Party.
It not only has to power-wash away the sting of last week’s lost opportunity of monumental proportions, but it must regroup, go on the road and face the highest scoring band in the land. Ouch.
These “John Wayne” gritty “Sons of Phillip Rivers” are directed by its starry QB Ryan Finley (9TDs-2 – ints), who has shown an ability to take a hit with Ali bravado.
The “Raleigh Rifleman” is assisted by tailback Matt Dayes (5 yds. a carry – 4 TDs), and a pair of glue-fingered receivers; tight end Jaylen Samuels (4 Tds), and wideout Stephen Louis, who is averaging an eye-popping 22-yards a grab.
NC State’s D, behind backer Airius Moore (6.5 tfls), safety Josh Jones, and end Bradley Chubb (8.5 tfls – 5 sacks) has been as smooth as a puff of a Tar Heel State’s finely rolled stogie.
Louisville is flying higher than Richard Branson of Virgin Air, and has displayed better numbers than Elle Macpherson or Wilt Chamberlain.

Louisville QB and Heisman leader Lamar Jackson Louisville Qb and Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson

The descendants of “Johnny U” who are hanging more than a half-a-hundred (52) against its opponents are led by its “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” Heisman frontrunner, QB Lamar Jackson (15 TDs – 4 Ints – 15 rushing -4th in nation – 832 rushing yds.) who dances like Nureyev, and plays with a Sinatra-esque duende, that even the irascible and acerbic columnist George Frazier would begrudgingly admire.
The Louisville maestro behind tailbacks Brandon Radcliff (8 yds. a carry), his partner Jeremy Smith (10 yds.), and a trio of touchdown making receivers; James Quick (17 yds. – 4 TDs), Jamari Staples (19 yds.) and tight end Cole, has more weapons at his disposal than a Kurdish Peshmerga battalion pushing toward Mosul.
The D featuring backers Keith Kelsey, James Hearns, and corner Zykiesis Cannon isn’t as dominating, but does possess thoroughbred speed and is solid in all phases.
Sean O’Malley would approve of these Cardinals, and in a tip of the cap to the latest Nobel Prize winner for Literature, “You don’t need a weatherman, to tell which way the wind blows,” same goes for the scoreboard in Papa John’s Stadium on Saturday.
Last week: 4-1 Season Record: 20-15.
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

Harvard upset by Holy Cross, Ohio State wins overtime classic, Alabama rolls, Clemson survives in OT

We’ll begin with the streaks.

Holy Cross celebrated TD in its upset of Harvard: 27-17

Holy Cross celebrates TD in upset of Harvard: 27-17

On the local front, the “Sons of Veritas” aka the eleven of Harvard football suffered a “sweet-16” heartbreak afternoon.

Tim Murphy’s boys, down its starting QB, tailback, and best receiver, suffered its first loss of the season, falling 27-17 to the Crusaders of Holy Cross, and in doing so had its dual streaks of; 16-consecutive road wins, and 16-consecutive non-conference victories drain into the Charles.

Ironically, the last non-conference team to defeat the Crimson were these very same Crusaders in 2011.  There must be something in the water of Bob Cousy’s home town.


In Death Valley, the Clemson Tigers miraculously added to its impressive run of 20-in-a-row at home, and 45 W’s versus non-conference opponents courtesy of a missed regulation ending 33-yard field goal by Kyle Bambard, (he also had one

blocked, and missed another).

The Tiger finally clawed away from the grizzled NC State visitors on a Deshaun Watson TD pass in the first overtime possession, then stopped NC State with a winning interception in the end zone, to eke out the 24-17 victory. WOW!

“Lord have mercy, we’ve got to learn how to hold onto the football,” said Tigers Coach Dabo Swinney, who pallor was the color of alabaster.

Clemson had four turnovers in this game, but good teams simply find a way to create its own luck.  And Clemson is now 15-2 in games decided by 7-points or less since 2014.

In Madison, it was a classic scene between a pair of Big Ten heavyweights.

A jam-packed Camp Randall of over 80,000 red cladded Wisconsin zealots, a game stuffed with playoff implications between two top-10 teams, ferocious defense, agita-inducing turnovers, combined with Heisman caliber clutch plays, which ended in a thrilling 30-23 overtime victory by the Buckeyes of Ohio State.

Ohio State's Heisman contender QB J.T. Barrett

Ohio State’s Heisman contender QB J.T. Barrett

For my money, in my favorite conference, it was the best game of the year, and also showed that Wisconsin, under Coach Paul Chryst, is back amongst the elite.

And if Hollywood ever decided to recreate the “On the Road” movies that featured Bob Hope, and Bing Crosby, Urban Meyer is its man.

Under his leadership, Ohio State has won 20 in-a-row on the road, and is now an eye-popping 34-1 against Big Ten regular season opponents, and 14-3 against ranked teams since taking up residence in Columbus.

Now to the streaking “Title Towners.”

Groucho’s favorite team, the Tide of Alabama, stretched its overall winning streak to 19, while leaving no doubt as to its deserved ranking as the best team in the land with its; 40-10 obliteration of Tennessee.

Alabama true freshman QB Jalen Hurts performs like a seasoned senior

Alabama true freshman Qb Jalen Hurts performs like a seasoned captain

How bad was the beating, which was Bama’s 10-consecutive win against the “Sons of Archie?”

Well, it was the largest Crimson Tide margin of victory over the Volunteers since Teddy Roosevelt was twirling his mustache in the Oval Office – 1906.  That was a 51-0 whitewashing.  YIKES!

The Tide also had its most yards rushing 438, (8.9 yds. a pop on 49 carries) since the Ronald Reagan napping year of 1986, when it ran over – you guessed it – these very same Volunteers.

Before the game Payton Manning was serenaded by the Rocky Topper faithful, but not even the combination of Payton, Eli, and Archie could have slowed the Alabama onslaught.

St. Nick also tweaked Tennessee’s nose when he said after the game, “When you play really good teams, the runs aren’t going to be so easy.”   OUCH!

The Tide’s D and special teams also scored its 11th non-offensive touchdown, and for the 10th consecutive game the defense has scored a TD.  Amazing.

There is now an overstock of items in the “Suffering Succotash;” what the heck happened department; The Bruins of UCLA fell to Washington State 27-21 to slide to 3-4, while the one proud Spartans of Michigan State, have lost an unprecedented 4-in-a-row under Mark Dantonio, but what is even more shocking is a defense that looks like it is sponsored by Colander as it surrendered 54 to Northwestern in its embarrassing 54-40 undressing by the Wildcats.

It’s no less disastrous in South Bend where “Captain Queeg,” aka Brian Kelly, the head man of the now (2-5) Irish got into a heated argument with the strength coach of Stanford who supposedly said, “Bye, bye” to it beleaguered coach.


ND's beleaguered coach Brian Kelly and his 2-5 Irish

ND’s bleeagured coach Brian Kelly and his 2-5 Irish

A note to Mr. Kelly, instead of blaming everyone else including Donald Trump, for the ND nose-dive, maybe a long hard look into the shaving mirror is in order.

I say, well if the shoe fits….”   Notre Dame would love to part company with it irascible head man, but doesn’t have the stomach to fire him, and he’s not walking away without receiving a huge buyout.

They were already burnt once by our friend Charlie Weis.

Moving down the road a bit to SUNJ, or when they are good, and it’s been awhile, Rutgers University, who have lost four in a row, its last three by the jaw-dropping aggregate of: 160-7.

Whenever Rutgers scores, be it field-goal, or touchdown, they have a costumed soul dressed as “Harry Rutgers,” who was in Washington’s Army, in charge of firing the cannon.

Well, like the repairman in the Maytag commercials, he has become the loneliest and quietest man in America.

Amazingly Boston College has a chance to top that ineptitude, but it would have to lose 60-0 next week to Syracuse.  If that happened BC’s three-game tally would read: 161-7.  Painful.

Speaking of the Orangemen of Syracuse, congrats on its 31-17 victory over Virginia Tech, its first win over a ranked team since it joined the ACC, and if you get a chance check out the locker room post-game speech by Coach Dino Babers.

Unfortunately in Emily Dickinson’s town the “Belles of Amherst” football team once again went down in flames, this time in a smoldering 56-28 beat-down by Louisiana Tech, dropping the Minutemen to a woeful 1-6.

Many consider the “Fighting Whipple’s” the worst team in big-time college football, and the potential that the administration at season’s end might pull the plug on the entire program which is hemorrhaging money is stronger than Marty Walsh winning a second term as the Mayor of Boston.

As always, we end with the irrelevant Kansas football program (1-5) which is the last team that the “bloviating gasbag” Charlie Weis “fixed,” who were stomped once again, this time by the Bears of Baylor: 49-7.  Bring on basketball season.  Sorry Charlie.

Our gas bag bloviating pal Charlie Weis

Our gas bag bloviating pal – Charlie Weis

That’s it from cyber-space.  We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 8 Wednesday night.  Until then, Peace and listen to the music.  pk

Alabama tested by Tennessee, Ohio State visits Wisconsin, Western Michigan tries to remain perfect

Diners wait outside Ruth's Chris steak house in Ann Arbor to take advantage of Wolverines discount deal based on 78-0 blowout of Rutgers

We begin this week with a high end steakhouse, a home team blowout, and a discount that even a coach could love.

Last week Buzz Goebel, the general manager of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Ann Arbor, posted the following promotion on its Facebook page.

All diners who made a reservation for the following week, would be given a discount based on the percentage of the Wolverines victory over Rutgers on Saturday.

Smartly, at the last moment, Goebel, whose grandfather was a captain on the 1920 Michigan team decided to cap the discount at 50 percent.  The final score: 78-0 Wolverines.

“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing.  I’m thinking, I guess I’m not getting my day off (Sunday),” he said.

Because the promotion did not include alcohol the GM still figures to make a profit on the deal.

“I love this,” Goebel said.  “It’s kind of scary, but you can’t buy this kind of advertising.  If we execute perfectly, we’re in good shape.”

Jim Harbaugh who loves his steak, and was tickled by the promotion, is taking his wife Sarah and thanked the general manager for squeezing them in to the sold out restaurant.

This weekend, let see which teams cap off another huge victory, by celebrating over a giant porterhouse, and which season ticket holding alums demand a discount, or at least dinner on the coach after sitting through and enduring another monumental loss.

No. 1 Alabama at No. 9 Tennessee (Ch. 4, 3:30 p.m.) Groucho’s favorite team, “We tried to remove the tusks.  But they were so firmly embedded we couldn’t budge them.  Of course in Alabama, the Tuscaloosa,” Captain Spaulding from “Animal Crackers,” has won 18 in a row, and have been, with apologies to Joni Mitchell, as steady and reliable as the North Star.

The “Sons of Bart Starr” (note the celestial reference) are under the direction of t-freshman QB Jalen Hurts (9 TDs-2 Ints -63%) who despite his tender age, has played with the composure of Tchaikovsky at the piano working on “Swan Lake,” in guiding the nation’s sixth (44) highest scoring eleven.

Alabama freshman QB Jalen Hurts - first freshman to start for the Tide since the Orwellian year of 1984

The dual-threat “Title-Town” prodigy is assisted by tailbacks Damien Harris, and Joshua Jacobs (both average over 8-yards a pop), while his All-America receiver, and future Sunday performer Calvin Ridley (4 TDs) is as comforting as a roaring fire during a nor’easter, or a censor on a bus with Donald Trump.

Alabama’s D, the eleventh stingiest (15 pts) featuring the All-America pairing of backer Reuben Foster (4.5 tfls-4.5 sacks), end Jonathan Allen (4.5 tfls-4 sacks) and stellar linebacker Ryan Anderson (7.5 tfls-4.5 sacks) is as disruptive as the Galaxy Note 7, while pulverizing runners (tops in nation – 69 yds) with the intensity of a Russian aerial attack on a humanitarian aid convoy.

The last time these teams met as ranked opponents, W was cutting brush at the ranch – 2005.

The cardiac “Tin Men” from Knoxville finally ran out of WD-40, mainly due to an offense that produces more turnovers (97th) than the late, lamented, and legendary Sudan or Avenue Bakery.  (Was there anything better than doughnuts out the back door at 5 a.m. after an all-nighter?)

The Rocky Top faithful have been frustrated by the Vols inexplicable ability to stitch together two consecutive haves of winning football.

In five of its last six game, the “Sons of Johnny Majors” have been behind by double digits, then reawaken like Curley in a Stooges episode as if they are listening to Larry play “Pop Goes the Weasel” on the violin.

The pilot of those comebacks is its peppermint cool, and resilient dual-threat QB Josh Dobbs (14 TDs – 8 Ints – 58%) who exudes a confidence not seen since John Wayne was winning the hand of Maureen O’Hara and brawling in the “Quiet Man.”

Tennessee QB Josh Dobbs - the comeback kid

The silent on is assisted by a pair of pedestrian turf movers Alvin Kamara, and Jalen Hurd (nicked up), and a trio of chain movers; Josh Malone (20 yds.), Jauan Jennings (16 yds.) and Tyler Byrd.

The UT D featuring All-America end Derek Barnett (9.5 tfls – 5 sacks) and fellow backer Colton Jumper has struggled stopping the run (86th) which is not a winning formula against the Tide.

(Note: backer Jalen Reeves-Maybin is out, and Darrin Kirkland game time decision.)

Alabama has won nine-in-a-row against the Rocky Toppers; make it ten, as the streak climbs to a “Johnny U” 19 beautifully illumed by the North Star.

No. 2 Ohio State at No. 8 Wisconsin (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) Even Vladimir Putin would be impressed.

The Buckeyes have rolled through the opposition with the same precision as the Russian Military parading through Red Square during its annual Moscow Victory Day Parade.

[Note: The parade commemorates Russia’s 1945 Eastern Front victory over Hitler’s Germany.]

Buckeyes Heisman contending QB J.T. Barrett

These “Sons of Archie Griffith,” who score almost as often as Taylor Swift (3rd in the nation; 53 pts.) are commanded by its Heisman contending QB J.T. Barrett (15 TDs-3 Ints-64%-4 rushing TDs), whose offensive arsenal might well be the envy of the Kremlin.

Ohio State's ground assault is like running with the bulls

The dual-threat Columbus commander is assisted by a Pamplona-esque ground assault (3rd in nation – rumbling with an average of 323-yards a game) behind road graders Mike Weber (6.8 a carry), his rocket propelled partner Curtis Samuel (8.2), and a solid dose of Mr. Barrett (342 yds.), who have combined for an eye-popping: 1318 yards, and 11-TDs.

When the starry co-captain takes to the “Scarlet and Grey” skies he luxuriates by choosing from a menu that features a trio of game breakers; the aforementioned Samuel, Donte Wilson, and Noah Brown.

On the other side of the ball, the Buckeyes D (second stingiest 10), anchored by the backing threesome; Raekwon McMillan, Chris Worley, and Jerome Baker surrenders less than 100-yards on the ground, and displays better overall numbers than the portfolio of Warren Buffet, or Sophia Loren in a full splendor strut in; “El Cid.”

In Cheese Country, the “Sons of Elmer ‘Crazylegs’ Hirsch” have been a bigger surprise than Al Roker going after Billy Bush on the Today Show over his defense of that nitwit US Olympic swimmer; Ryan Lochte.

Wisconsin disrupter linebackerT.J. Watt

Coach Paul Chryst’s Badgers have cheddared its opposition by utilizing the nation’s 4th tightest (12) defense led by backers; T.J. Watt (7.5 tfls-5.5 sacks – J.J.’s brother), Jack Cichy, and T.J. Edwards.

This Badger bunch is as feisty and ornery as the owner of the corner variety working the penny candy counter suddenly flooded with kids from St. Margaret’s Grammar School on a Friday afternoon.

Unfortunately for the Mad-Town faithful, the offense sputters more than the Johnson/Weld Libertarian Presidential campaign.

These bottom feeders (106th) led by r-s freshman apprentice Alex Hornibrook (4 TDs-5 Ints -55%), and assisted by tailbacks Corey Clement, Dare Ogunbowale and receivers; Robert Wheelwright, Jazz Peavy, and tight end Troy Fumagalli, have been drier than a cranberry field in Southeastern, Mass.

This is another measuring stick for Urban’s usurpers and we think the Buckeyes measure up with the victory in a hard fought old-school defensive battle.

No. 12 Mississippi at No. 22 Arkansas (ESPN, 7 p.m.) For the Razorback faithful, the words of Jesse Winchester’s 1977 classic; “Mississippi, You’re on My Mind,” will be resonating until the final gun.

'Ole Miss gunslinger Chad Kelly

The Wallenda flying Rebels (41 pts. a game) are led by its gun-slinging senior QB Chad Kelly (13 Tds-4 Ints-66%) who inherits his pedigree from his leather-tough HOF uncle; Jim.  (Although he does have a tendency to force a throw every now and then.)

The nation’s tenth most efficient dart thrower is assisted by a trio of field stretchers: Evan Engram (16-yds. catch- 4 TDs), Van Jefferson, and Damore’ea Stringfellow (15 yds.-2 TDs).

But the “Sons of William Faulkner” have been hamstrung by a running attack featuring Akeem Judd, and Eugene Brazley, that has been stopped more often than a rush hour commuter on Morrissey Boulevard.

Unfortunately for the Oxford faithful, the Rebels D, led by backers Terry Caldwell, his partner DeMarcus Gates, and safety Zedrick Woods, has more holes (102nd overall) than a hotel in the city of Aleppo.

In Fayetteville the menu is limited.

If the Hogs don’t bring home the bacon, its tenuous perch in the top-25 rankings is headed directly to the slaughterhouse.

Fortunately, the “Sons of Jimmy Johnson” have a master butcher in QB Austin Allen (15 TDs-5 Ints – 63%) who can skin defense faster than Jim Bowie knifed a foe.

The rocket-armed QB is assisted by a talented tailback Rawleigh Williams (605 yds-5 TDs) the nation’s 13th leading rusher, and a trio of big play receivers: Jared Cornelius (21 yds.-4 TDs), Keon Hatcher (17 yds.-5 TDs), and Drew Morgan.

The Razorback D, led by backers Brooks Ellis, Dre Greenlaw, and end Deatrich Wise is as a bland as a Sunday brunch minus the bacon, ranking 83rd in stopping the run.

We’ll go with the spirit of, as Trump might say, “the late, great” Winchester, a Williams College graduate, who in 1967 moved to Montreal to avoid the draft, and whose songs were recorded by Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, Elvis Costello, and the Everly Brothers to keep Mississippi on the mind of the pollsters.

No. 10 Nebraska at Indiana (ESPN2, 3:30 pm) The last time Nebraska cracked the AP-Top 10 Donald Trump was still hosting the “Apprentice” – 2011.  Isn’t that a pleasant thought?

But Coach Mike Riley’s unblemished Huskers have the Lincoln (Where’s the ‘late, great’ Abe when you need him?”) faithful dreaming of a conference championship, which hasn’t happened since “Prince” wanted to party like it was -1999.

The “Sons of Tom Osborne” are under the guidance of its senior QB Tommy Armstrong (9 TDs-2 Ints – 58% – 5 rushing) who at times has shown flashes of; “Jack Armstrong.”

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong

The dual-threat pinball wizard is assisted by tailback Terrell Newby, Devine Ozigibo, and a pair of game breaking wideouts: Jordan Westerkamp (17 yds. a catch – 4 TDs), and his sideman Alonzo Moore (25 yds.-2 TDS).

The Black Shirt’s D anchored by end Ross Dzuris (7 tfls-3.5 sacks), safety Nate Gerry, and backer Josh Banderas, isn’t championship vintage, but has been as stout as “Ken Bone” in defending its goal line surrendering a winning hand of; 17-points a game.

In Bloomington, this is the 104th Homecoming for the “Sons of Kevin Kline,” and the days of penciling in an automatic W next to the name of Indiana Football are as obsolete as a push mower.

Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle USMC

In search of its first MAC Championship since Ronald Reagan was sneaking an extra afternoon nap at the White House (1988), WMU, the country’s sixth highest (44) scoring eleven, is directed by the nation’s third most efficient spinner, QB Zach Terrell (15 TDS-0 Ints-70% – 3 rushing TDs) who hits the opposition the same way Ernie Terrell flicked a stinging left jab.

The WMU marksman also lasers on a future Sunday performer, his touchdown making target Corey Davis (8 TDs), along with his equally dangerous partner; Michael Henry.

When the QB shifts gears, tailbacks Jamauri Bogan, and Jarvion Franklin, are the principle components on the nation’s 15th best (246 yds. a game) running attack.

The D, anchored by backers Robert Spillane, Caleb Bailey, and safety Asantay Brown (5.5 tfls-2.5 sacks), isn’t as flashy, but solid in all aspects.

When Coach Terry Bowden, the son of Bobby, set up shop in Akron in 2012 he was only able to secure a single victory, but since then, the Zips have been on a skyward shooting trajectory.

His unbalanced offense (111th in rushing) is directed by QB Tra’Von Chapman (5 TDs-2 Ints 47%) who does as much, if not more damage, with his legs.  [Note: Chapman has started last two games.]

The erratic one is assisted by the tailback tandem of Manny Morgan and Van Edwards, but when his radar is in proper working order, he zeroes on a pair of touchdown makers; JoJo Natson (7-TDs), and his partner Jerome Lane – 3 TDs.

We don’t want to say that the Zips D (109th overall, 117th in pass defense, 101st in points -33 surrendered) featuring backer Ulysses Gilbert (they could have used Grant), and his partner Brain Bell is atrocious, but let’s just say it makes the anemic offensive performance by the Red Sox against the Indians look like the ’27 Yankees.

The Broncos gallop back to Kalamazoo with victory number 7, move a couple of notches up in the polls, and one step closer to a New Year’s Day dream reservation.

Last week: 3-2                                           Season record: 16-14

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

Navy sinks Houston, Clemson shellacs BC, A&M stays unbeaten

Navy sinks and shocks Houston 46-40, ending Cougars playoff dreams

Anchors aweigh!
We’ll start with the Cougars of Houston, where indeed; they do have a problem.
The Midshipmen of Navy, playing at Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, torpedoed Houston’s playoff dreams by executing its triple-option to military perfection, shredding the nation’s top-ranked rush D for over 300-yards in its 46-40 stunning victory.
It was the Middies first win over a top ten team since Nancy Reagan was purchasing patterns of china and planning White House State dinners in: 1984.
The victory also puts the Middies in full control of West Division of the AAC Conference.

William Marcy former US Senator from New York who coined the phrase:

In the spirit of New York Senator William L. Marcy who in 1828, when Andrew Jackson won the presidency first coined: “To the victors belong the spoils,” Academy Superintendent Vice-Admiral Walter E. Ted Carter Jr. in a similar gesture victorious glee, extended the Columbus Day holiday by cancelling Academy classes on Tuesday. Good for the Vice.
(Note: Marcy, who went on to become Secretary of State, was born in Southbridge, Mass.)
In this space we are big believers in bad karma.
And in Chestnut Hill it took less than a week for that payback to hit the Eagles right in the snoze.

Clemson's Mike Williams grabs TD pass in 56-10 embarrassment of Eagles

Clemson’s Mike Williams grabs TD pass in 56-10 embarrassment of Eagles

In last Saturday’s game against an overmatched 1AA bunch of Seahawks from Wagner, the Eagles were in full control, leading 28-3 with 14-seconds left on the clock.
But that’s when the Eagles Coach Steve Addazio decided to run it in from the three-yard line to puff the score to a meaningless: 35-3.
Any coach with a scintilla of class would take a knee, shake hands, and call it a day. It is simply bad karma which eventually comes back to bite you.
Welcome to Friday Night Frights at the Heights; where the karma bite was bigger than anything from Steven Spielberg’s: “Jaws.”
The “Sad Sack Addazio’s” were shellacked once again, this time by the Tigers of Clemson in a 56-10 debacle that fell into the “Ishtar” category of unwatchable.
BC has now lost 11-in-a-row to ACC opponents, and are a woeful 1-18 against its last 19 ranked opponents. Yikes!
Can you say; IRREVELANT.
The football program is in such an abyss, it makes the Trump Presidential campaign seem like a Russian military operation, and the time has come for “Mr. A” to begin polishing up his resume.
Another CV in need of updating is that of Texas Coach Charlie Strong, who once again watched helplessly (he does that a lot) as his Horns D was shredded (surrendering plays of: 71,42,47) for a total of 672-yards, as the ‘Burnt Orange lost its third straight, this time to the Sooners of Oklahoma; 45-40 in the Red River Rivalry.
This week Strong grabbed control of the defensive reins, but the results were worse than the evidence room of the Braintree Police Department, or the crime lab of state chemist Annie Dookhan.
We feel Charlie is in his last roundup as the Horns head man, and the powers in Austin have Houston Cougar head Coach Tom Herman on speed dial. Sorry Charlie!
On the local front, our pal Tim Murphy and his Crimson of Harvard (4-0, 2-0 Ivy) continue to roll knocking off Cornell: 29-13.

Harvard coach Tim Murphy continues his wining ways

Too bad BC never could find its way across the river and knock on Murphy’s door, but that’s a story for another time.
In College Station, the can of WD-40 finally ran dry for the Volunteers of Tennessee (7-turnovers) who for the fourth time this season fell behind by double digits (21), then stormed all the way back to tie: 35-35, only to lose in double overtime to a surprising and undefeated (6-0) bunch of Aggies; 45-38.
We’re happy for Oklahoma graduate transfer QB Trevor Knight, whose performance justified A@M coach Kevin Sumlin’s open arm welcoming him to “Aggieland” in the same emphatic way Hillary expresses a bug-eyed stare when someone shows her a simple chocolate chip cookie.
In Eugene, rumor is Phil Knight University, aka Oregon, is considering switching allegiance from Nike to Adidas, as the Ducks (2-4), who have lost 4-straight, were shredded by a very good group of Huskies (6-0) from Washington: 70-21. Yikes!
Where’s Chip Kelly when you need him?
And continuing in the can we start the season over department: the Irish of Notre Dame check in at a disappointing 2-4, while appearing clueless as to how to stop the bleeding experiencing its worst start since; 2007.
While the Cardinal of Stanford have now suffered consecutive defeats for the first time in 6-seasons, enduring its worst home loss, (a 42-16 loss to Washington State), since W was about to begin his last year mispronouncing the word nuclear as the Commander-in-Chief.
And in East Lansing, what in the name of Duffy Daugherty is going on?
The Spartans of Michigan State, whose offense is trending toward Eagle-esque awful, have lost three-straight under Mark Dantonio for the first time since 2009. WOW!
In Miami, newbie head coach Mark Richt got his first taste of the Noles/Canes intra-state rivalry, and unfortunately for the ex-pat from Athens, it was strong and bitter to the palate.
In a throwback to another era, the Seminoles of Florida State, on a blocked extra point by end Marcus Walker with 1:38 left on the clock, fought back to beat the Hurricanes; 20-19.
Michael Badgley the Canes kicker had made 72-in-a row, and the irony of the miss was not lost on the faithful.

FSU's DeMarcus Walker blocks Canes extra point to win game of Seminoles

It occurred on the day that Miami honored its 1991 National Championship; “Wide Right 1” team. The chip-shot miss cost Richt’s team a chance for its biggest victory in years and a solidified spot in the top-ten. Too bad for good guy Richt.
In Blacksburg good things are brewing, as Justin Fuente and his VaTech Hokies (4-1) smoked the Heels of Carolina 34-3, and continued to cement its place in the rankings.
As always, we close with Kansas football, who have lost its last 13 Big 12 games.
KU, the last team that our pal, the bloviating gasbag Charlie Weis “fixed” almost won its biggest game in a gazillion years, before falling to TCU 24-23. The Jayhawks, 30-point dogs, led 23-14 into the fourth quarter, but missed several field goal attempts, but the team and its new QB showed some renewed fight. Good for them. Sorry Charlie!
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 7 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace and listen to the music. PK

Tennessee visits A&M, Alabama takes on Arkansas, Fla.State plays the Hurricanes

Sparty sheds a tear over the loss of 350 year old white oak tree


We begin this week with an ancient oak, an ode to Joyce Kilmer, and the East Lansing campus of the Michigan State Spartans.
Joyce Kilmer wrote these words in 1913 in her iconic poem: Trees; “I think that I shall never see A poem as lovely as a tree.”
And that is how the alumni of MSU felt, when the news spread that its great white oak, estimated to be nearly 350-years old, was felled by a July 8th storm.
“Every person to ever visit the campus could have walked by it,” said Frank Telewski, a plant biology professor at MSU, who counted 347 rings on the beloved tree. “It could have first sprouted before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620.”
The remaining wood will be turned over to the school’s Shadows program, which turns upended trees into wood products such as cutting boards, and furniture, with half the proceeds going toward replanting trees across campus.
This weekend let’s see which teams come out of the shadows and stand Spartan tall by carving a W into the opposition, and which fall silently in defeat, like a hollowed out oak.
No. 9 Tennessee at No. 8 Texas A&M (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) If Tennessee’s head man Butch Jones is indeed in possession of nine lives, he’s used five of them so far this season guiding his cardiac “Tin Men” to its 5-0 start.

Dorothy lubricates the Tin Man

We feel the “Wizard of OZ” reference meshes perfectly, because in four of those five game games, the Vols were down by double-digits, and looked creakier than the “Tin Man” before Dorothy came to the rescue with her can of WD-40.
Once properly lubricated, Tennessee transforms like “Curley” from the Stooges episode; “Punch Drunk”; where Larry plays “Pop Goes the Weasel” on his violin, magically inspiring Curley to a last second knockout victory.
These “Sons of Howard Baker” [“What did the President know, and when did he know it,”] are directed by its resilient QB Josh Dobbs (13 TDs-6 Nits – 57%, 5 rushing) who is cooler than the bottom of the Carlsbad Caverns.
The “quiet one” is assisted by tailback Jalen Hurd, and a trio of receivers; Josh Malone (20 yds.), his “Hail Mary” partner Jajuan Jennings (17 yds.), and Alvin Kamara, who like the newspaper guy in a snowstorm, delivers in the clutch.
The D, anchored by its All-America end Derek Barnett (8.5 TFLS – 4 sacks), safety Todd Kelly, and backer Colton Jumper, isn’t dominant, but has made all the crucial stops to keep its perfect season alive.
In College Station, the funeral plans for Aggies Coach Kevin Sumlin have been cancelled.
This is also the first time the “Sons of John David Crow” have started 5-0 for three consecutive seasons since FDR (1939-41) was jauntily puffing on a cigarette and making war invasion plans.
Oklahoma graduate transfer QB Trevor Knight (7 TDs-3 Ints. – 54%, 6 rushing- 7.8 a carry) is the director of the nation’s thirteenth rated offense, and is handsomely assisted by tailback slasher Trayvon Williams (9 yds. a carry), and a trio of game breaking receivers; Josh Reynolds (20 yds a catch), Christian Kirk, and Ricky Seals-Jones (17.5 yds.).
The D anchored by its All-America disruptor, end Myles Garrett, his partner Dayshon Hall, and backer Shan Washington is as ferocious as Donald Trump to a former Miss Universe, and surrenders points (15) as often as Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek allows a correction.
We think the 12th man drains the oil from the “Tin Men” as Sumlin’s Aggies keep climbing the polls.
No. 1 Alabama at No.16 Arkansas (ESPN, 7 p.m.) As it sets sail on its quest for a second consecutive national championship, a quote from Christopher Columbus perfectly captures the odyssey of Groucho’s favorite team.

Christopher Columbus

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination,” said the discoverer of the “New World.”
And if the Tide reaches the top of that Himalayan peak, it would be the fifth title in eight years in “Title Town,” and would tie St. Nick with the King of Tuscaloosa; Bear Bryant, as each would possess six extra shiny trophies.
These “Sons of Joe Namath,” who average a Henry Aaron 44-points a game, motor under the guidance of its duel-threat t-freshman QB, Jalen Hurts (7 TDs-1 Int -62% – 2nd in rushing) the first such youngster to start in Tuscaloosa since the Orwellian year of 1984.

The kid is assisted another t-freshman, tailback, Joshua Jacobs, and his talented partner Damien Harris (ankle) might also be able to go.
But the QB’s real Linus-blanket is All-America wideout, and future Sunday performer, Calvin Ridley (31-catches-3 TDs), who is a touchdown maker in the image of Alabama’s iconic receiver; Ray Perkins.
Bama’s D, anchored by All-America backer Reuben Foster, his sideman Shaun-dion Hamilton, and end Jonathan Allen (4-sacks, 17 for team), surrenders 13-points a game, pulverizes runners (68-yards a game), while moving with the speed of Bill Rodgers, and hitting with the force of a Ken Norton right to the jaw of Muhammed Ali.
In Fayetteville, the “Sons of Lance Alworth” continue to bring home the bacon.
Coach Bret Bielema’s Hogs are commanded by its steely junior QB Austin Allen (12 TDs-2 Ints-67%) (He backed up his brother for three years) with assists from starry tailback Rawleigh Williams (11th in nation), Devwah Whaley, and a trio of receiving chain-movers: Drew Morgan, Jeremy Sprinkle, and Keon Hatcher.
The D, led by backers Dre Greenlaw, Brooks Ellis, and end Deatrich Wise has struggled (73rd) like Jackie Gleason with a glass of whiskey at Toot Shor’s in stopping the run, which is the wrong cocktail shaker against Alabama.
It won’t be a stroll for the St. Nick’s Boys who have won nine straight against the Razorbacks, but ultimately the Tide, just like Columbus, sails off with a boat loaded with the spoils.
No. 23 Florida State at No. 10 Miami (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) Florida State’s D has been as inept as Inspector Cloussou or the Italian Royal Army during WW II. {Note: Hurricane Matthew may play havoc with this game.}
The shocking display of matador tackling by the “Sons of Bobby Bowden” – 125th surrendering nearly 7 yards per play – and 35 points per game – are numbers usually associated with the Jayhawks of Lawrence, Kansas.
In addition to needing a victory, Coach Jumbo Fisher’s other mission is to ensure that a rift between the offense and defense doesn’t envelop his locker room and tear his team apart.
The FSU’s offensive engine has zoomed along like the Orient Express (41-pts. a game) fueled by its All-America diesel, tailback Dalvin Cook (5th in the nation – 127 yds. a game – 7 TDs), who moves with the dashing disruptive speed of Maury Wills. (The great Dodger shortstop just celebrated his 84th birthday.)
The Seminoles “bell-cow” is assisted by talented r-s-freshman QB Deondre Francois (7 Tds-2 Ints.-62%) who is comforted by a trio of field-stretchers: Jesus Wilton, Travis Rudolph, and tight end Ryan Izzy.
But as we mentioned the stunning ineptitude of the D, featuring end DeMarcus Walker (7.5 TFLs-6.5 sacks), backer Matthew Thomas, and corner Trey Marshall, (92nd in stopping the run, 83rd defending the pass), is weaker than John Kerry’s short-lived negotiated Syrian cease-fire with Vladimir Putin regarding Aleppo.
It might be an omen, but Hurricane Matthew is scheduled to pay a close visit tomorrow to the “Sons of George Mira.”
The U’s new head man, Miami native Coach Mark Richt has, like the Zika mosquito, comfortably settled into his Gold Coast surroundings.

Miami's new head coach Mark Richt

His Canes have also lit the scoreboard (47) better than Edison, or David Mugar on the Fourth of July. Miami is also one of only two teams (Boise State), who has yet to play from behind.
The Hurricanes salsa under the leadership of its dart-throwing QB, Brad Kaya (8 TDs-3 Ints-66%), who hits more bullseyes than the Goetze’s Candy Company. (They produce bullseyes.)
The starry QB is assisted by a pair of earth movers Mark Walton (7.1 yds. – 8 TDs), his partner Joseph Yearby (7.3 yds.-5 TDs), while wideouts Stacy Coley, and freshman Ahmmon Richards, are defense stressers.
And if Seminoles D is sponsored by Colander, the opposite holds true for the Canes.
The nation’s second stingiest (11 pts.) eleven, anchored by backers Michael Pickney, Shaquille Quarterman, and end Demetrius Jackson, are fourth in sacks, and tops in TFLs, and should be in serious negotiations to represent a Fort called Knox.
Miami has lost six-straight to its intra-state rival, but we think the ‘new’ U will be the ones who raise the small craft warning flags over the visitors from Tallahassee.
No. 25 Virginia Tech at No. 17 North Carolina (ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.) With apologies to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Hokies are baaack.
After wandering in the wilderness of irrelevancy for the last 35-weeks, Virginia Tech has edged its way back into the land of the living, checking in with an AP ranking of 25.
The “Sons of Frank Beamer” also have a new sheriff in Blacksburg, Coach Justin Fuente, who has installed a much more up-tempo offensive attack.
The director of that system is JC transfer QB Jerod Evans (13 TDs-1 Int-67%), who percolates as the nation’s fourth most efficient passer, and plays with an élan not seen on campus since the glory days of Michael Vick.
The Texas native is assisted by a trio of field-stretchers; Isaiah Ford (4 TDs, his partner Cam Phillips, and his monstrous tight end (6-7, 245) Bucky Hodges (who is almost as big as the tax write off of Donald Trump), while tailbacks Mashawn Williams and Travon McMillan are solid turf slicers.
[Note: Butterfingers Candy might be interested in signing on as a Hokies sponsor, as VaTech leads the nation with nine lost fumbles.]
In Chapel Hill, basketball season is once again happily on hold, as the Heels football team is making some noise.
UNC has dazzled with its junior QB Mitch Trubisky (13 TDs-0 Ints-76%), the nation’s sixth most efficient passer, who hits a target better than the Pink Panther Jewel Thieves from Europe.
The Carolina diamond cutter is assisted by a quartet of game changers: Ryan Switzer (who has better hands than a sloth) and his partners Austin Proel, Bug Howard, and Mack Hollis, who have combined for: 97 catches – 10 TDs. On the ground UNC aerates the turf behind tailbacks: Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan.
But like a lot of places on the college football landscape, the UNC mantra remains: “My country for some defense.”
The “Sons of Andy Griffith” led by safety Donnie Miles, and backers Andre Smith, and Cole Holcomb are a bottom feeding 105th overall surrendering over 30 points a game.
This is a very difficult game to get a handle, but we’ll go with the home Boys from Tobacco Road, who, like Red Auerbach, fire up a rolled cigar to celebrate the victory.
Texas vs. No. 20 Oklahoma (FS1, Noon, – The Cotton Bowl) The traditional name for this classic is: “The Red River Rivalry.”
But with the sincerest apologies to “Dead Heads” everywhere (Bill Weld, our former Governor, and VP candidate of the Libertarian ticket, is an avowed member) it should be called; “The Charlie Strong ‘Fare Thee Well’ game.
We don’t want to say that the seat of the Texas coach is warm, but his new theme song is; “The Heat is On,” recorded by Glen Fry.

Embattled Texas Coach Charlie Strong

Last season it was an offensive drought that mired the fortunes of the Longhorns. This season it’s a D that is so porous D (38 points a game), it makes the evidence room of the Braintree Police Department look like the security detail of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
This moldy bunch, featuring backers Anthony Wheeler, Breckyn Hager, and Malik Jefferson is a muckraking 105th defending the pass, 87th overall, and has more holes than a rat-infested slope on the Southeast Expressway, and may ultimately be the downfall of Strong.
But the offense of the “Sons of Darrell Royal” has been as the groovy as Warren Beatty in; “Shampoo.”
The Horns output of 41-points a game, is initiated by freshman QB Shane Buechele (son of former major league third baseman Steve) with assists from tailbacks D’onta Freeman and Tyrone Swoops.
When the Austin gunslinger goes aerial, John Burt and Jacorey Warrick are dependable targets.
Last season OU’s only regular season blemish was to the upset to the Horns, and “Big Game” Bob Stoops has zero interest in a Deja-vu flashback.
These “Sons of Billy Sims” fly on an aerial display that rivals the Blue Angels.
OU’s All-America caliber QB, Baker Mayfield (9 TDs-2 Ints -67%, 355 yds. a game) hits a target better than a barrel bomb dropped from a Syrian copter, with assists from wideout Dede Westbrook, tight end Mark Andrews.
But mysteriously, the Sooners vaunted road assault, featuring tailbacks Joe Mixon (7.7 yds.), and Samaje Perine, has been grounded like a Fung Wah Bus.
And like it counterparts from Austin, Oklahoma’s D (98th), led by backers Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (5.5 TFLs, 4 sacks), Jordan Evans, and Emmanuel Beal has been as brittle as a Massachusetts corn field.
Deja-vu isn’t happening for the Sooners, and the moving van is starting to rev up as it makes its way to the driveway of Texas Coach Charlie Strong. As the slogan went in the StarKist tuna commercial; “Sorry, Charlie.”
Last week: 4-1 Season record: 13-12.
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our recap by noon on Sunday. Until then, Peach, and listen to the music. pk