We begin this week with a twist on the term “laundry game.”
It is defined the following way: A team, let’s say the vintage Green Bay Packers, has already won the game, by simply walking off the bus. The opposition, staring at the names on those Packer jerseys, instantly knows, it has no chance, hence the term; “laundry game.” Our college laundry poster boy is; Georgia’s All-America receiver A.J. Green. A.J. sold his 2009 Independence Bowl jersey for $1000 to an individual, deemed by the NCAA, to be an agent. It cost Green a four game suspension, the team its star receiver, and who knows how many victories, not to mention, potentially millions of dollars in the NFL draft. Nice going A.J. This weekend, let see which teams play like they aren’t worthy to put on its jersey, and which play so well, its highly prized jersey hardly gets touched.
No.6 Texas at Texas Tech (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) Fresh off its annual two week Cupcake U binge, the Horns are ready to sample from the entrée. It is said that everything is bigger in Texas, well then, try these numbers on for size. During the Mack Brown era, the Longhorns are a jaw-dropping 130 – 27, and in the month of September, Mack’s boys are 37-3. When the Sons of Bevo out rush an opponent, it is virtually unbeatable (108-3); which is why Brown is desperate to settle on a primary tailback. Unfortunately for the Austin Assassins, the search continues, as Texas is starting its third different tailback, giving this week’s nod to junior Fozzy Whittaker. The Burnt Orange is directed by sophomore quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who is assisted by a pair of quality targets; freshman Mike Davis and senior John Chiles. One of the main reasons for that unsettled backfield situation is the fissures and cracks shown in the Horns offensive line. Overall, these Lone Star cowpokes, have sputtered like the corruption crack-down of the Karzai Administration. On the other side of the ball, the D, led by a trio of disruptors; All-America end Sam Acho, his partner Eddie Jones and corner Curtis Brown, is as smooth as George Clooney sipping from a glass of bourbon.
New Red Raiders coach, Tommy Tuberville is about to get his first dose of Big 12 football. The scoreboard lighting Lubbock eleven, is commanded by touchdown maker; QB Taylor Potts (7 touchdowns – 0 interceptions), with assists from tailbacks Baron Batch, Erick Stephens and the wideout tandem of seniors, Lyle Leong and Defron Lewis. The D, led by safety Cody Davis and a pair of backers Brian Duncan and Bront Bird, has improved, particularly in pressuring the quarterback, but can have lapses almost as egregious as the Congressional testimony of another Texas alum; Roger Clemens. In the home of the Big Bopper, “who knows what you like,” on Tuberville’s birthday, we think the Red Raiders, in a close one, enjoy a piece of celebratory victory cake.
No.9 Iowa at No.24 Arizona (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.) The Hawkeyes faithful received an early Christmas present, when the Iowa administration locked up its highly respected and highly sought-after head coach, Kirk Ferentz through the 2020 season. These Children of the Corn attack on the arm of senior QB Ricky Stanzi, who is as tough as a $10 steak, but can be erratic, often throwing one too many to the opposition. The QB is aided by a corn-popping tailback, Adam Robinson, and a trio of quality receivers, tight end Allen Reisner, and wideouts Marvin McNutt and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. The D, behind its All-America end Adrian Clayborn, and tackles Karl Klug and Mike Daniels, is as ornery as Naomi Campbell dealing with her maid.
The last time Arizona hosted a game between ranked teams, Bill Clinton was deep into his second term – 1998. The Wildcats offensive fireworks, light the sky better than a Tuscon sunset. One of the main reasons for this desert optimism, Coach Mike Stoops Cats returns ten offensive starters. This group is highlighted by an experienced offensive line, and led by starry junior quarterback Nick Foles, with help from tailback Nic Grigsby, and glue-fingered wideout Juron Criner. The D, featuring All-America corner Trevin Wade, tackle Justin Washington and backer Paul Vassalo, lost seven starters to graduation, and at times, appears weaker than the presidential campaign of its hometown US Senator, John McCain. The Zona faithful has called for a Red Out Saturday night, but we think it’s the Boys of the Corn, who leave the Tuscon faithful with red rimmed eyes.
No.12 Arkansas at Georgia (ESPN, Noon) In an aerial attack worthy of the Flying Wallendas, the Razorbacks slice opponents on the dart-throwing arm of its All-America skyscraper, quarterback Ryan Mallett. The maestro of Coach Bobby Petrino’s “go-go” offense has the luxury of choosing from a batch of receivers, but focuses on All-America tight end D.J. Williams, and wideouts Greg Childs and Joe Adams. When the Hogs do decide to plow some earth, tailbacks Broderick Green and Knile Davis are capable of churning up yardage. But as Hog nation is well aware, it will be the D, behind backers Jerry Franklin, and Anthony Leon, that will determine the level of success for Arkansas. If this group can measure up, it could be a very special year for the Fayetteville faithful.
These are desperate times, full of agita, for the Athens faithful. Another loss and Bulldog Nation’s beloved Dawgs, in only week three, will be out of the SEC race. If that should happen, the seat of Coach Mark Richt will be hotter than a ticket to a Justin Bieber concert. So far, the Georgia offense, without its All-America receiver A.J. Green, is like looking at Lady Gaga in a black cocktail dress, it’s just not the same. Richt has entrusted his future to red-shirt freshman QB Aaron Murray, who has the luxury of relying on a trio of quality backs; Washaun Ealey, Caleb King (shoulder) and Carlton Thomas, along with wideouts; Kris Durham and Marlon Brown, who although not in Green’s class, can still cause damage. The Georgia D, led by a threesome of backers; Justin Houston, Akeem Dent and Cornelius Washington, are fast, smart, but after last week’s performance, there is a lingering question about its physicality. In a game of desperation, with a heavy dose of Pepto-Bismol, we think, somehow the Dawgs, between the hedges, gets the job done, keeping its season off the ventilator.
Clemson at No.16 Auburn (ESPN, 7 p.m.) Last week Clemson, who is searching for its first ACC Championship since 1992, played Presbyterian. This week, Coach Dabo Sweeney’s Tigers ride into Jordan-Hare Stadium, on the Plains of Auburn, into a much more hostile cauldron. QB Kyle Parker is director of these Sons of John Heisman. The signal caller is cocooned by an experienced offensive line, a pair of backs; Andre Ellington and Jaime Harper, meshed with the pass catching ability of tight end Dwayne Allen, and wideout Terrance Ashe. The D, behind All-America safety DeAndre McDaniel, tackle Jarvis Jenkins, and end Da’Quon Bowers is tested and stout.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik has the faithful in a revival mode. The Tigers, who have won 13 in a row at home against Clemson, are commanded by former Gator, and dual-threat quarterback, Cameron Newton. The flashy QB has better moves than; Tony Manero of “Saturday Night Fever,” and is perfectly tailored to direct offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s spread attack. The dynamic leader is assisted by the tailback duo of freshman Michael Dyer, Onterio McCalebb and a pair of chain-moving receivers Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery. The D’s strength is its front seven, featuring backers Josh Bynes, Eltoro Freeman, tackle Nick Fairy and end Antoine Carter, all of whom have a soft spot for attacking quarterbacks. We think the Auburn revival tent continues to expand as the Tigers pass the basket after a win over the Orange from Clemson.
UConn at Temple (Noon – regional TV) In most cases, when speculation revolves around the home team’s football coach changing his address, the letter L (losing) is usually the culprit. But in this situation; UConn’s Randy Edsall, and Temple’s Al Golden the letter W (wins) is more appropriate. At season’s end, both coaches will be on the very short list of some very interesting available jobs.
The Huskies attack is led by its steady senior quarterback Zach Frazer with a big assist from its downhill runner, Jordan Todman, and receivers Michael Smith and Kashif Moore. The D, featuring All-America backer Lawrence Wilson, fellow backer Scott Lutrus and end Greg Lloyd are almost as relentless in its pursuit of the quarterback, as a Tea Party candidate, in bashing the establishment in Washington, D.C.
Resplendent in his throw-back crisp white shirt and red tie, Temple coach Al Golden hooted his Owls, (who were kicked out of the Big East Conference,) into its first winning season since the George W. Bush Administration 1990. These Philadelphia flyers, who return 21 starters, power behind its starry sophomore tailback Bernard Pierce (hand), his running mate Matt Brown, junior quarterback Chester (fumble) Stewart, and a pair of wideouts; Michael Campbell and Rod Streater. The D, led by safety Jaiquawn Jarrett, backer Stephen Johnson, and end Adrian Robinson, has been harder to penetrate than the boardroom of Goldman Sachs. In a very close game, we think the resume of UConn’s Randy Edsall will be the game changer.
Last week’s record: 5-0 Season record: 9-1
(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)
Make sure to read my weekend recap – which will be up and running by noon on Sunday.
Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.