Monthly Archives: November 2010

Recap week 13

Wow!!  Who needs a playoff?

 What we experienced this Black Friday weekend was a virtual elimination tournament. 

Just ask the faithful in Boise, Auburn, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Stillwater, Fayetteville, Eugene, and Baton Rouge. 

And in Miami, the votes are in, (doesn’t that sound familiar,) and Randy Shannon, head coach of the U (28-22 in four seasons) is out (fired) after another disappointing 7-5 season.

We’ll begin in Reno, on Friday night, where the game of the year, a Nevada 34-31 shocker over undefeated and BCS Buster Boise State took place.

Boise, winners of 24 in a row, jumped out to a 17-0 lead, and held a seemingly insurmountable 24-7 advantage at the half.  Things seemed to be in cruise control for anther blowout for the Monsters of the Blue Turf.

But to quote Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friends.”  The Wolf Pack, to its credit, came storming out in the second half, and with 13 ticks left on the clock, Nevada’s QB Colin Kaepernick found wideout Rishard Matthews for a 13 yard touchdown pass to knot the game at 31-31.  WOW!!

But Boise and its Heisman Trophy contending QB, Kellen Moore (38-2 as a starter) weren’t quite finished. 

After the kickoff, Moore took over on about his own 33 yard line, and with nine seconds left on the clock, uncorked a bomb to his favorite target Titus Young.  The starry wideout made a spectacular perpendicular 53 yard grab, and with two lonely seconds remaining, the Broncos lined up for a 26 yard chip shot field goal, to escape with its season and dreams intact.

But, as you no doubt now know, Bosie’s field goal kicker Kyle Brontzman kicked it wide.  The kid missed a second on in the first overtime, and Nevada converted its try for the victory.

With that missed field goal; BCS birth gone, Rose Bowl birth gone, and national championship hopes gone, and the sneering murmurs from the “Big Boys,” “We told you they didn’t belong,” got a lot loud bolder and louder.  Amazing!!

On Friday, in Tuscaloosa, – in the Game of the Year 2 – the Bama faithful witnessed something never before seen in the annals of Tide Football; Alabama losing a game after holding a 24 point lead.  And not just any Alabama team, one coached by defensive guru Nick Saban!

It was also a Heisman afternoon for Auburn’s “Mr. Everything,” QB Cam Newton, who led the 28-27 comeback, by standing tall, and firing three touchdown passes for the improbable victory.  It was also a stout second half performance by the much maligned Auburn D, who as of late has been playing much better.

A tell-tale sign that something was in the Crimson air occurred; when the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram, who was heading toward the end zone for a virtual knock out blow, had the ball stripped for a touchback.  It was only the second lost fumble in 613 touches by the starry tailback, and it saved Auburn’s remarkable season!!  WOW!!

In the 104th edition of the Backyard Brawl, West Virginia embarrassed Dave Wannstedt’s Panthers 35-10, ending Pitts hopes for the Big East crown, dropping the Panthers to 6-5, and very possibly ending Wanny’s the 6 year tenure at Pitt.

It’s one thing to lose to your rival, it’s another when you look totally unprepared, which is precisely how the Panthers played.  YIKES!

What’s in the cheese in Madison?  A couple of week ago, Wisconsin, maybe the best one loss team in the land, hung an 83 spot on Indiana, only to come out this week and hang 70 on Northwestern in a 70-23 shellacking (Obama’s favorite word) on the Wildcats.  It was the third time this season that the Badgers have rung up 70 or more.  Double Yikes!!  It appears Wiscy will be going to the Rose Bowl for the first time since (41)Old Man Bush, George H.W., occupied the White House in 1990.

Congrats to the Green from Eugene, for capturing its second consecutive PAC-10 crown, and with a win next week in the Civil War in Corvallis, will play for the national championship.  And to think, less than 5 years ago, head coach Chip Kelly was the offensive coordinator for UNH.  That’s a better ride than Neil Armstrong!

In Columbus it was a tale of two teams. 

Coach Jim Tressel Ohio State Buckeyes took down the Maize and Blue for the seventh consecutive time and earned his 9th victory in 10 tries against its arch-rival, while capturing a share of Ohio State’s sixth consecutive Big Ten Title.

The 37-7 domination may have also ended the Ann Arbor employment of Coach $Rich Rod, who fell to 7-5, and 3-5 in the Big Ten.  In his short three year tenure, Coach Rod has yet to defeat a Big Ten team with a winning record!  Double Yikes!!  Can you say; Stanford Coach, and former Michigan QB, Jim Harbaugh?

In Knoxville, kudos to Vince’s kid; Coach Derek Dooley and his Tennessee Volunteers, for winning its fourth in a row, a 24-14 defeat against the Kentucky Wildcats. 

The victory was the Vols 26 consecutive over the Cats, and made the Rocky Top eleven bowl eligible, as they finished with an undefeated month (4-0) of November.  Tennessee has a lot of young players and future looks very bright for Dooley and the Vols.

In the old friend department, Tom O’Brien’s Wolfpack needed a victory over Maryland to punch its ticket into the ACC Championship Game.  Alas it was not to be, as the Terps passing game slashed the NC State defense for over 400 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-31 shootout.  Congrats to both O’Brien, and Ralph Friedgen for their very successful 8-4 seasons.

In the; who cares category: in the rain in Southern California (somehow the weather was appropriate for this pair of afterthoughts) Notre Dame defeated USC: 20-16, as the Irish defeated the Trojans for the first time in eight tries.  Yawn.

In the last 40 seconds of the game, a wide open, and all alone USC receiver dropped a sure touchdown pass, as both teams finished with a ho-hum 7-5 season.  It will get better for ND, can’t say the same for the Trojans.

In the Bedlam Game, it was pure bedlam, as Oklahoma hung on for a wild 47-41 victory over OK State.  It was the eighth consecutive victory for the Sooners over the Cowboys, in a game in which the teams combined for 355 yards and 40 points in the fourth quarter!!

In Little Rock, the “Mad Hatter,” aka LSU is no longer the best one loss team in America, as Arkansas and his rifle arm QB Ryan Mallet sliced the Bayou Bengals 31-23, more than  likely sending Arkansas to the Sugar Bowl.

What happened to the Iowa Hawkeyes?!  Iowa once touted as a national contender, lost its third straight, this time to a woeful Minnesota Gopher team 31-23, to finish with a very disappointing 7-5 record.  It could have easily been 6-6 if a wide open Indiana receiver in the Hoosiers 18-13 loss, didn’t drop a game ending touchdown pass. YIKES!

Finally congrats to a pair of local entries: In Storrs, Connecticut,  Coach Jim Edsall’s Huskies have won four in a row, and are now one win away (South Florida) from capturing its first Big East Title and a birth in a BCS game. 

UConn’s junior tailback tailback Jordan Todman is having an All-America season, and we wonder, could a phone call for Edsall, be coming if the Wolverines pull the plug on Rodriguez?

A big slap on the back to the Eagles and Coach Spaz, for winning their fifth in a row; as BC defeated the Cuse 16-7, with another display of stifling D.

 

(Material from other reports was used in compiling this report.)

We’ll be up and running Wednesday night for the final analysis of the season.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.

Handicapping Week 13

We begin this Thanksgiving week with a ticket to ride.

North Dakota State football Coach Craig Bohl has been tapped by the Fargo Police Department to be its new traffic safety pitchman.

In a radio ad that began running this week, Bohl speaks about a recent string of crashes in Fargo, which resulted in five fatalities.  The ad continues, stating that the police will be especially targeting; repeat traffic offenders.

The problem: Coach Bohl has been ticketed for at least 18 traffic offenses since his hiring in 2003, including 10 speeding violations in the past three years. 

Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes, who isn’t pulling the ad, said, “If officials had known about his driving record, he wouldn’t have been tapped to be the traffic safety spokesman.”  Really!!

This weekend, let’s see which teams play so poorly, it’s faithful demands a ticket refund, and which display such blinding speed, it leaves its followers saying, “Now, that’s the ticket.”

No. 2 Auburn at No. 9 Alabama (Friday, Ch. 4, 2:30 p.m.) To paraphrase former President George W. Bush, the Iron Bowl could be the “decider.”  This Tuscaloosan tussle carries more anticipation than a Bristol Palin dance. 

Auburn, the nation’s fifth highest scoring eleven (42 pts. a game), has a simple mission, win and advance.  Coach Gene Chizik’s Tigers, who have done a remarkable job staying focused on the prize, are guided by its “Mr. Everything” QB, Cam Newton, the overwhelming leader for the Heisman Trophy.

The Gibraltar-sized glider (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) (21 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions) is ninth nationally in rushing (17-TDs), 2nd in pass efficiency, and is the first player in the history of the SEC to rush for over a 1,000 and throw for over 2,000 yards.  The maestro is assisted by tailbacks; Onterio McCalebb, Michael Dyer, and wideouts Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery.                                     .

The D, led by Nagurski finalist, tackle Nick Fairley, and backers Josh Bynes, and Craig Stevens, stones runners, but defends the pass (100th) about as well as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defends the TSA’s new regulations on pat-down screening

This is Alabama’s Super Bowl.

The reigning national champs are drooling at the prospect, of knocking its intra-state rival from its title chasing perch.

These Sons of Bear Bryant, who average 35 points a game, and have won 20 in a row at home (Groucho’s favorite town), are directed by “Mr. Steady,” QB Greg McElroy (17 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions), with assists from the tailback tandem of Mark Ingram, and Trent Richardson (knee – expected back) and All-America wideout Julio Jones.

The nation’s third stingiest D (12.82 pts.), is pure Saban, ranking seventh overall, leading the country in interceptions (21), and stifling the run and the pass with equal fervor.

In a game that will have more hits than Ichiro Suzuki, we think Alabama wins its super bowl, and knocks Auburn from its perch.

No. 3 Boise State at No. 19 Nevada (Friday, ESPN, 10:15 p.m.)  The college football power brokers have trouble annunciating the following: Boise State is the best team in America.  No longer; “the little engine that could,” the Broncos are elite.

The undisputed leader of the nation’s second highest scoring (47 pts. a game) team, is All-America QB, and Heisman Trophy contender Kellen Moore (28 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions- 71% completions), who is also tops in pass efficiency. 

This laser tosser is assisted by tailbacks; Doug Martin and Jeremy Avery, and a pair of Velcro handed wideouts; Titus Young, and Austin Pettis, who are as reliable, as an Elvis sighting in Vegas.

The country’s second stingiest D (11.5 pts.), and second overall, has accumulated 15 sacks in its last 3 games, and attacks behind end Shea McClellin, and backers J.C. Percy and Hunter White.  This wrecking crew is tops in stuffing the run, 7th in disrupting the pass, and has surrendered a Fort Knoxian cumulative total of 38 first half points.

In Reno, Nevada’s pistol offense had been smoking.

The nation’s fourth highest scoring (44 pts. a game) eleven, motors on the legs of the 7th ranked rusher, Vai Taua (1241 yards), who averages 124 yards a game, and has compiled a career total of 24; 100 yard plus games.

The pistol’s triggerman is the Wolf Pack’s dynamic dual threat QB, Colin Kaepernick (19 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions), who has also rushed 16 TDs.  This touchdown maker also has the luxury of focusing on a pair of quality wideouts; Richard Matthews and Brandon Wimberly, and a high quality tight end, Virgil Green.

As the Reno faithful are well aware, the D, led by end Dontay Moch, tackle Brett Roy and backer Kevin Grimes, is 17th from the bottom defending the pass, which isn’t an award winning recipe against Boise.

The Broncos, who have only lost a mind boggling total of 4 WAC games in 10 years, also own a nation’s best 24 game winning streak; make it 25; as Boise State states it’s final case for playing one of the “big boys,” in the big game.

No. 20 Arizona at No. 1 Oregon (Friday, ESPN, 7 p.m.) After digesting its Thanksgiving meal, the Cats would delight in feasting on some Duck.

These descendants of the “Desert Swarm,” are commanded by its starry junior QB Nick Foles, (13 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions – 70% completions), who operates the 10th best passing offense in the country. [Note: fill in starter Matt Scott should be available] The dart thrower is assisted by his target of choice; Juron Criner, while the running game, in Tuscon, ranked 78th is simply an afterthought.

The Wildcats D, the nation’s 12th stingiest (18 pts.), led by end Ricky Elmore, and backer Paul Vassallo, is a plus 11 in turnover margin, and the backbone of these Desert Fighters.

The Ducks feeding frenzy (50 pts a game) continues to put stress on the country’s scoreboard operators.  In fact, the Green from Eugene can score faster than patronage king, Tom Petrolati, can add another constituent to the state payroll.

These roadrunners can downshift with the nation’s leading rusher, All-America LaMichael James (17 TDs, – ankle expected to play) who is averaging eye-popping 158 yards a game.

The pit crew consists of dual threat QB Darron Thomas (23 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions), and wideout Jeff Maehl, who has hauled in 11 TDs. [Note: starting wideout Lavasier Tuinei is out; cracked shoulder blade.]

America’s 11th stingiest D (17 pts.), who has allowed a jaw-dropping total of 7 fourth quarter points, has 15 interceptions, and attacks with backers; Casey Matthews, Spencer Paysinger and end Kenny Rowe. 

The feeding frenzy continues, as Oregon, wins the PAC 10 Title, and gets ready for next week’s Civil War against Oregon State, by moving one step closer to punching its ticket into the national championship game.

No. 14 Oklahoma at No. 10 Oklahoma State (Sat. Ch. 5, 8 p.m.) Is it still a rivalry if one team, in this case Oklahoma, has won 7 straight, and “owns” an 80-17-7 series record advantage?

But fear not, Ok State faithful, these are not your father’s Sooners, or even Coach Bob Stoops for that matter, they struggle mightily on defense.

The Invaders from Norman feature an aerial assault that is the envy of fly boys from Boeing. 

OU’s wing man is its talented sophomore QB Landry Jones, (30 touchdown passes – 10 interceptions), the ace of the fourth leading passing offense, with assists from All-America wideout Ryan Broyles (12-TDs), the nation’s leading receiver in catches per game (9.64), and a punishing tailback Demarco Murray, who has crossed the goal line 14 times.  [Note: freshman Roy Finch is inching into the running rotation]

The D does have some quality in the All-America tandem; end Jeremy Beal, backer Travis Lewis along with fellow backer Tim Wort, but its porous 62nd overall ranking, has made it a Boomer Sooner bust.

The Boys from Boone Pickens University, otherwise known as Oklahoma State, have won 10 regular season games, for the first time in school history.

Coach Mike Gundy’s Cowboys, the nation’s top ranked offense, and third highest scoring (45 pts. a game) team, can fire more offensive bullets than a John Wayne retrospective. 

It begins with its sharp shooting QB, Brandon Weeden (30 touchdown passes – 10 interceptions), with huge assists from a pair of All-Americas; wideout Justin Blackmon (17 TDs), who has ten consecutive games with over 100 yards receiving and at least 1 touchdown catch, and finishes with elusive tailback Kendall Hunter and  his 16 TDs.

Unfortunately, the D, led by backers Orie Lemon, Justin Gent, and end Jamie Blatnick is weaker; (78th overall, and 12th from the bottom defending the pass), than the world’s response to North Korea aggression.

In the 105th edition of the Bedlam Series, we think the Boys from Stillwater run deep, breaking its losing streak, and earning its first spot in the Big 12 title game

Michigan at No. 8 Ohio State (Sat. Ch. 5, Noon) Baring an upset, Coach $Rich Rod’s Maize and Blue will be losers of five of its last seven, finish 3-5 in the Big Ten, and once again raise doubts about the security of his Ann Arbor employment.  Is a phone call to Stanford Coach and Michigan alum Jim Harbaugh in the offing?

The Wolverines are led by Mr. Robinson, its All-World QB, Denard (16 touchdown passes – 10 interceptions), who became the first player in NCAA Division 1 history; to rush and pass for at least 1,500 yards, while also establishing a new rushing record for quarterbacks. 

The top ten rushing offense and 5th rated overall gets contributions from tailback Vincent Smith and a pair of big play wideouts Roy Roundtree and Darryl Stonum. 

But as the Big House faithful are painfully aware, it’s the other Robinson, defensive coordinator Greg, who has been a poster boy for Pepcid AC. 

This group, featuring backer Jonas Mouton and safety Jordan Kouacs, causes more heartache, and heartbreak, than Bergman and Bogart in Casablanca.  It ranks a bottom feeding 99th in points allowed (33 pts. a game), 9th from the bottom defending the pass, and 8th worst in total D.

The Buckeyes, who are searching for its sixth consecutive Big Ten Title, are the first Big Ten team in history to have six consecutive ten win seasons.  They are also attempting to extend its winning streak over Michigan to six in a row, and eight of the last nine.

The nation’s ninth highest scoring team (39 pts. a game) is directed by its dual threat All-America QB Terrelle Pryor (23 touchdown passes – 10 interceptions), with assists from tailback Dan Herron and a pair of field stretching wideouts; Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey.

The D, led by All-America end Cameron Heyward and backers Brian Rolle and Ross Homan, has 17 interceptions and is harder to penetrate than Afghan President Ahmed Karzai’s bank account.

These Horseshoe hitters, who are 43-5 in its last 48 Big Ten games, rank 3rd in total D, 5th against the pass, and 3rd in stoning runners, while operating as the nation’s fifth stingiest, allowing less than 14 points a game. 

In the 107th meeting, it’s “Goodbye Columbus” to the Boys from Ann Arbor, as Coach Jim Tressel’s Bucks, who are 17-1 in its last 18 November contests, plays its way into another BCS game.

 

(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)

Last week’s record: 5-0.                                            Season record: 40-20.

Make sure to read our weekend recap, which will be up and running on our blog by noon on Sunday.

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving, and remember to be thankful. 

Recap week 12

While the top two heavy hitters had the day off, we’ll begin with some local flavor.

Congrats to the Boys from the Heights, as Coach Spaz’s Eagles won its fourth in a row, a 17-13 victory over Virginia, making BC bowl eligible for the twelfth consecutive season.

In that game, BC’s All-America (All-World) backer Luke Kuechly, a Nagurski finalist, as one of the nation’s best defensive players, had his 20th consecutive game with double digit (15) tackles.  Remarkable!

Up in Hanover, New Hampshire, congrats to Big Green Coach Buddy Teevens, (Silver Lake Regional High School) who led Dartmouth to a 31-0 shellacking (President Obama’s favorite word) of the woeful Tigers of Princeton, giving the Big D, its first winning season in 13 years.

Across the River, in the 127th meeting of Harvard/Yale, Crimson Coach Tim Murphy (also Silver Lake Regional High alum), and a boy hood friend of Teevens, led the Johns to a 28-21 win over the Eli, for his fifth consecutive victory over the Boys from New Haven.

Yours truly was in the stands, and in a very windy stadium, I spotted our Senior Senator John Kerry, and despite the mini-gale, every hair remained in place. With apologies to Warren Zevon – “Werewolves of London,” – “his hair was perfect,” that might have been the most remarkable aspect to the entire game!!

In another old friend category: Tom O’Brien and his NC State Wolfpack won its 8th game (8-3, 5-2), a 29-25 victory over intra-state rival North Carolina.  The victory keeps O’Brien’s Boys on track to capture the Atlantic Division Title – a win over Maryland Saturday – and NC State plays for the ACC Title and a BCS birth.  That is the reason the Pack hired Mr. O’Brien.

In the best game of the day, Ohio State defeated Iowa 20-17, in a contest that wasn’t decided until Ohio State scored with 1:47 left to play. 

The game saving play came on a fourth down and 14, when Buckeyes QB Terrelle Pryor scampered the fourteen yards for the first down to keep the game and OSU’s title hopes alive.

 In the play previous play, Pryor lofted a perfect pass into the end zone waiting arms of his receiver DeVier Posey, who, you guessed it, had it slide threw his arms. 

It was the Buckeyes 12th win in 13 tries against Iowa, and makes them 18-1 in its last 19 in the month of November under Tressell. 

It’s been a frustrating season for the Iowa City faithful, as the Hawkeyes four losses have all come in the last four minutes, in which they had the lead.  Ouch!

The Big Ten, always our favorite, remains the most fascinating conference race in the land.  Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State remain tied atop the standings with one game remaining for each.

If all three win, the tie would be broken by the BCS standings, which right now has Wisconsin at No. 7, Ohio State 9th, and Michigan State 12th.  But if Ohio State should stumble, and the others win, the tie break belongs to Michigan State who defeated Wisconsin in a head to head match-up. 

Staying with Wisconsin, The Badgers, who ran all over the hapless Wolverines D, smacked Michigan 48-28.  It was Wisconsin’s first victory in Ann Arbor since 1994, and it dropped Coach $Rich Rod’s Wolverines to 7-4, 3-4, with Ohio State in Columbus remaining on the docket. A 7-5, 3-5 finish might make it a bit dicey for the embattled Maize and Blue coach.  The victory also keeps Wiscy’s chances for its first Big Ten Title since 1999, very much on track.

More importantly in that game, Michigan’s magical QB Denard Robinson set a couple of NCAA Division 1 records.  He became the first player in history to rush for 1,500 yards and throw for 1,500 yards.  He also set the single season rushing record for a quarterback, (he currently stands at: 1538) surpassing Beau Morgan of the Air Force Academy. 

Congrats to the Boys from Blacksburg, as Coach Frank Beamer and his VaTech Hokies won its 9th straight, defeating a disappointing Miami Hurricane team (7-4), 31-17. 

The last tine Beamer’s troops reeled of 9 in a row; Bill Clinton was in the last year (1999) of his Presidency.  That victory also clinched a spot in the ACC Title game.  Right now, nobody, wants to play Virginia Tech.

We may have been in error last week.  We buried one of of our favorites; Illinois coach Ron Zook, after the Illini’s horrendous loss to a woeful Minnesota Gopher team.  But yesterday’s 48-27 victory over Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago, makes Illinois bowl eligible, (6-5, 4-4), and may indeed have saved the “Fighting Zooker’s” job.  In that game Illini tailback Michael LeShore ran for a school record 330 yards (surpassing Red Grange), in 33 carries, for an eye-popping 10 yard average!! 

Kudos to Boise State; arguably the best, or most complete team, in the land.  On Friday night its All-America QB and Heisman Trophy candidate Kellen Moore (28 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions) dissected, and destroyed a very good Fresno State team; 51-0. 

It was the first time Fresno had been whitewashed in 12 years, and like VaTech, nobody, but nobody, wants to play Boise State and that includes Auburn and Oregon.

Thumbs up to Colorado!  The Buffs, under interim coach Brian Cabral, won its second straight, a 44-36 victory over Kansas State, and need an upset victory in Lincoln, Nebraska to become bowl eligible.  If that should ever happen, the Colorado Administration should look no further than its sideline, for its new coach.

In Baton Rouge, the “Mad Hatter,” Coach Les Miles’s and his LSU Tigers, pulled out another close one, a 43-36 offensive show against Ole Miss, ending the Rebels hopes for bowl game.  LSU, 10-1, 6-1, remains very much in consideration for an at large BCS game.

The Boys from Palo-Alto put the hammer down, as Stanford crushed its rival; the Cal Bears, 48-14 in the; Big Game.  All-America QB and Heisman Trophy candidate, Andrew Luck led the Cardinal to scores on all eight possessions.  It was the biggest point differential since the Administration of Herbert Hoover (ironically a Stanford grad) – 1930!  Double Yikes!  It also keeps Stanford – 10-1, 7-1, – very much on track for an at large BCS birth.

Finally, salutes to Mike Sherman and his Texas A&M Aggies (8-3, 5 in a row) for its signature victory, a 9-3 smasher against Nebraska.  In that game, Husker’s coach Bo Pelini was a wild man on the sidelines berating his starting QB Taylor Martinez, while his Big Red was flagged for 16 penalties, as the home field Aggies only drew a pair!

Best sign of the day came from a fan in the wrong end zone at Wrigley Field.  Because of the proximity of one of the end zone walls, it was decided that both teams only worked toward the open end zone for the entire game.  The home made sign read simply, Wrong Way.  Ah the beauty of simplicity.

 

(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)

Be sure to read or analysis of week 13, which will be up and running Wednesday night.

Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.

Handicapping Week 12

We begin this week; “The Game” weekend, with a flash back to the last great presidential candidate of American politics.

The year was 1947, and with the returning WWII soldiers on the GI Bill, the Harvard football team was loaded.  But a scrawny 5-foot-10, 155 pound senior end, named Bobby Kennedy, had earned a starting role.  “You’d have had to kill him to make him quit,” said his freshman coach Henry Lamar.

In that opening game of ’47, Kennedy, who had already earned a varsity letter as a junior, scored his only collegiate touchdown.  Several days later, he broke his leg in practice, virtually ending his football career at Harvard; or, so he thought.

When the Harvard/Yale game rolled around, Kennedy’s leg was still in a cast.  But Harvard coach Dick Harlow, who admired Kennedy’s ferocity, sent in the future U.S. Attorney General, and U.S. Senator, cast and all, for the game’s final play.  It earned Kennedy, his second varsity letter.  “It was one of the high points of my life,” said the man who might have changed the course of American history.

This weekend, let’s see which teams get cast as quitters, and which continue to battle, even if it means; playing on one leg.

No. 8 Ohio State at No. 21 Iowa (Ch. 5, 3:30 p.m.) The Bucks remain alive for its sixth consecutive Big Ten Championship.

The country’s sixth highest scoring eleven (41 pts,), is directed by its Hancock-sized (6-foot-6, 240 pound) dual threat QB Terrelle Pryor (22 touchdown passes – 8 interceptions), who also motors as the nation’s fifth most efficient passer.

The starry conductor, who has a bigger offensive arsenal than, “Call To Duty, Black Ops,” is assisted by the quality tailback tandem: Dan Herron (13 TDs), Brandon Saine, and wideouts Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey.

The D causes more disruptions than a Nancy Pelosi sighting at a Sarah Palin rally. 

These Columbus Colliders, featuring All-America end Cameron Heyward, and backers Brian Rolle and Ross Homan, are the country’s fifth stingiest (13.6 pts. – 17 interceptions), rank second overall, and hit with more ferocity than a can of four loko.

The Hawkeyes have been clipped.

Despite the fact that senior QB Ricky Stanzi (the nation’s third most efficient thrower) is having an All-America season (22 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions), Iowa’s offense has unexplainably become as productive as a Midwest cornfield in January.

These Iowa City farm boys, plow behind tailback Adam Robinson, (averaging over 100 yards a game), and a trio of chain moving targets: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Marvin McNutt and tight end Allen Reisner, who display better hands than a TSA airport screener.

The country’s seventh stingiest D (15 pts. a game) is led by a pair of All-Americas; end Adrian Clayborn, safety Tyler Sash, and fellow tackle Mike Daniels.  These Hawks stone runners, but despite its 15 interceptions, has moments of sloppiness defending against the pass.

Fully aware of the difficulty of winning in Kinnick Stadium, we think the Buckeyes, who have won 11 of its last 12 against the Sons of Nile Kinnick, and are 17-1 in its last 18 in November under Tressel, continue on its title mission.

No. 6 Wisconsin at Michigan (ESPN, Noon.) All season long the Boys from Mad-Town have punctured opponents with its six legged monster.

It begins with All-America tailback John Clay (sprained knee- possible), followed closely by James White (ankle) and finishes with the equally gifted Monte Ball.  These yardage haulers have combined for over 2,100 yards, and an eye popping 33 touchdowns.

The driver of these Road Ragers is senior QB Scott Tolzien (12 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions), who, courtesy of targets Lance Kendricks and Nick Toon, is completing an astounding 72 percent of his passes.

The D, led by backers; Culmer St. Jean, Blake Sorensen, and sack master end, J.J. Watt, surrenders less than 20 points a game, and is equally disruptive against both the run and pass.

In Ann Arbor, it’s been a season-long showing of Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood.

The Wolverines dual-threat magician, QB Denard Robinson (14 touchdown passes – 9 interceptions) is third in the nation in rushing (1417 yards – 12 TDs) and averaging a jaw dropping 141 yards a game.

The other neighbors of the nation’s 14th highest scoring eleven (37 pts.) include; tailback Vincent Shaw and a Linus-blanket wideout, Roy Roundtree.

On the other side of the tracks, the Blue and Maize D, coached by another Robison, Greg has been an Ann Arbor aberration. 

This colander bunch, “led” by backers Jonas Mouton and Obi Ezeh, ranks 100th overall, is 93rd in points allowed (32), and has caused the Big House faithful more cringes than Rosie O’Donnell screeching out the National Anthem.

Wiscy still has its sights on the Big Ten title, and utilizes the formula of simply driving through, and around, Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood.

No. 9 Nebraska at No. 18 Texas A@M (Ch. 5, 8 p.m.) In Lincoln, the Big Red moves faster than a November turkey staring at a butcher’s knife.

The leader of the nation’s seventh best rushing attack is its mercury-winged freshman QB, Taylor “T-Magic,” Martinez, who is just shy of 1,000 yards, with a dozen TDs, and an pupil-widening average of; nearly 8 yards a carry.

This NASCAR challenger (9 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions) is assisted by a pair of game breaking tailbacks; Roy Helu and Rex Burkhead, and a pair of receivers Niles Paul and Brandon Kinnie who will never make it as poster boys for All-State Insurance.

The country’s tenth stingiest D (17 pts.), ranks sixth overall, and attacks behind a pair of All-Americas; tackle Jared Crick, corner Prince Amukamara and their partner backer LaVonte David.

A four game winning streak has brought a resurgence of optimism to College Station.

It began, when Coach Mike Sherman switched to QB Ryan Tannehill (10 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions – 69% completions), and the results have been explosive.

The Kyle Field gunslinger is assisted by tailback Cyrus Gray, and a pair of big play wideouts; Jeff Fuller (11TDs – 15 yards a catch) and Ryan Swope.

Although the D, behind a linebacking trio; All-America Von Miller, Michael Hodges and Garrick Williams, won’t remind anyone of the “Wrecking Crew,” era, it is vastly improved, courtesy of a new set of defensive coordinators.

We think Coach Mike Sherman’s Aggie’s continue on its rejuvenating ride, as A&M gallops toward its Thanksgiving battle with the Horns.

No. 14 Virginia Tech at No. 24 Miami (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.) It can be argued that the best coaching job of the season has occurred in Blacksburg, Virginia.

After an 0-2 start, including an inexplicable loss to 1AA James Madison, Coach Frank Beamer’s Hokies have reeled off eight straight, and are in a good position for its seventh consecutive 10 win season.

The catalyst of the Hokies revival and its top twenty scoring attack (35 pts a game) is dual-threat senior QB, Tyrod Taylor (18 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions), with strong assists from tailback Darren Evans and a trio of receivers: Jarret Boykin, Dyrell Roberts and Danny Coale, who are as reliable as the Pops at Christmas.

Defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s attack, featuring backers Bruce Taylor, Lyndell Gibson and Steven Friday isn’t Blacksburg frightful, (they struggle against the run), but overall it remains sturdy, surrendering less than 20 points a game.

The winds from Miami still haven’t reached Hurricane force.  The Canes have yet to win more than two in a row, and its season, which overall, has been a disappointment, has added some warmth to the coaching seat of Randy Shannon.

The U has also made a QB switch, to freshman Stephen Morris, (in this case due to injury Jacory Harris concussion), and the move has sparked the Sons of George Mira.

The kid is mightily assisted by a pounding ground assault led by tailbacks: Damien Berry and Lamar Miller, as well as the aerial targets; Leonard Hankerson and Travis Benjamin, who average17 yards a catch.

The nation’s fifteenth stingiest D (18 pts.), featuring a pair All-Americas; end Allen Bailey, corner Brandon Harris and swarming backer Sean Spence, swat passes (3rd overall) but struggle mightily against the run (77th) which is not a good recipe against the Hokies.

Beamer Ball continues on its roll, moving one notch closer to win number 10.

No. 7 Stanford at California (FSN, 3:30 p.m.) The last time Stanford stood 9-1, its nickname was the Indians, and Harry Truman (1951) occupied the Oval Office.

With apologies to the late, great, columnist George Frazier, Stanford’s QB, Andrew Luck (22 touchdowns – 7 interceptions) is the duende commander of the nation’s ninth highest (39 pts.) scoring attack.

The Heisman Trophy contender is assisted by the powerful running of tailback Stepfan Taylor (11 TDs), and a pair of Elmer-fingered targets; Doug Baldwin and Ryan Whalen.

The D led by backers Shayne Skov, Owen Marecic, and ends Chase Thomas and Thomas Keiser are solid in all phases.

Cal has been victorious in seven of the last eight “Big Games” all under the guidance of Bears Coach; Jeff Tedford.

The Boys from Berkeley, who need one more victory to go bowling for the 8th consecutive year, will rely heavily on the clock grinding legs of starry tailback, Shane Vereen, (the nation’s 19th runner, 2 yards shy of 1,000), who averages 5.2 yards a carry.

Freshman QB Brock Mansion will be making just his third start, (starting senior is Kevin Riley is out for the season) which is not a good recipe against the Boys from the Farm.

If the Golden Bears, who are “Monsters of Memorial Stadium,” are to prevail, it will be the tenth rated D, led by backers Mike Mohamed, Mychal Kendricks and end Cameron Jordan, who will lead the charge.  These guys protect its goal line, better than Coke protects its secret formula.

In the 113th edition of the Big Game, and fully aware of how dangerous it is to go against the Golden Bears at home, we think Stanford grabs victory number ten, and remains the best one loss team in America.

 

(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)

Last week’s record: 4-1.                                          Season record: 35-20.

Recap Week 11

What distractions!

Despite the cacophony “pay to play,” rumors and innuendo, Auburn’s quarterback Cam Newton, the overwhelming Heisman Trophy leader, had another gravity defying performance (4 touchdowns – 151 yards rushing, 30 carries) leading Auburn to a crushing 49-31 defeat of Georgia. 

In doing so, the Tigers punched its ticket into the SEC Championship game, and remains on track, with two significant hurdles (Alabama, and South Carolina) to play for the national title.

Newton also became the first player in SEC history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in a season.  As the song says, “Don’t tug on superman cape.”

Congrats to the Academies: All three became bowl eligible for the first time since the Clinton Administration 1996

Fraud alert:  Two weeks ago Utah was ranked the fifth best team in the nation.  Since it has lost two in a row by the combined score of: 75-10!  Including a 28-3 beat down by Notre Dame which is the first time (2006) in eleven tries, that the Irish have defeated a ranked team.

Congrats to our neighbors to the south.  On Thursday night, Randy Edsall and his UConn Huskies kept its Big East and bowl hopes alive storming back from a 10 point deficit to defeat Pitt 30-28. 

The key play; fourth and one inside their own twenty with less than three minutes to play, and Edsall didn’t hesitate giving it to his plow horse; Jordan Todman (37 carries – 222 yards)  first down, game over.  That is why everyone respects the job Edsall does.

A nod to the smart kids:  Pat Fitzgerald and his Northwestern Huskies knocked off 13th ranked Iowa 21-17 for its seventh win and will be going bowling for its third consecutive season, a feat the “little school that could,” has never done before.

Unfortunately, its leader, junior quarterback Dan Persa, tore his Achilles late in the game, and is gone for the season.

Up at the Heights, Coach Spaz and his Eagles won its third straight, a 21-16 victory over Duke, and is now one win away from its 12th consecutive bowl invite. 

While another old friend Tom O’Brien and his NC State Wolfpack won its seventh game, a 38-3 blowout of Wake Forest, and remain one game back of Florida State in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.

But the Beast of the ACC remains Virginia Tech, which won its eighth in a row; a 26-10 victory over North Carolina.  After losing its first two games, including a stunner to 1AA James Madison, Coach Frank Beamer has done a remarkable job keeping his team together and focused with a great chance for another 10 win season.

In Champaign, Illinois, we think the bottle was finally corked on one of our favorites, Coach Ron Zook, as Illinois a 21 point favorite, lost to a woeful Minnesota team (now 2-9) 38-34.  How bad was it?  The Golden Gophers had lost nine in a row, and the victory was its first in the conference.  Zooker it was nice knowing you!

Kudos to Derek Dooley, son of legendary Vince, as his Tennessee Volunteers crushed Mississippi 52-14.  It was his first conference win, and the Boys from Rocky Top have now won two in a row.

In the grass is not always greener category: Oregon graduate and transfer QB Jeremiah Masoli, who needed a place to land, and whom Mississippi Coach Houston Nutt welcomed with opened arms, some say at the expense of the team, and now sits 4-6, needing to win its next two to become bowl eligible.  With it remaining schedule, at LSU and Mississippi State, that reality is highly unlikely

In Columbus it was a tale of two halves.

In the first, Penn State’s walk-on QB Matt McGloin was sensational, 13-16, 141 yards and 2 TDs staking the Nits to a 14-3 halftime lead as boos rained down upon the beloved Scarlet and Grey. 

But in the second half the carriage turned into a pumpkin, as the former walk-on played the part; as he went: 2-14 for 18 yards, including a pair of pick sixes which iced the game for the overrated Bucks; 38-14.

Congrats to our neighbors to the north, as Syracuse defeated Rutgers on a late game field goal 13-10, making the Cuse bowl eligible for the first time since the end of George W’s first Administration 2004.

Also, thumbs up to Washington State which broke a 16 game conference losing streak in its 31-14 beat down of a decent Oregon State team.  While in Boulder, QB Cody Hawkins, son of recently fired coach Dan, led the Buffs (4-6) to a scintillating 34-14 rout of Iowa State, keeping its slim bowl hopes alive.

Thomas Wolfe was wrong, the Head Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier proved you can go home again, as his South Carolina Gamecocks did what no Cocks team had ever done, win a game in Gainesville, as it crushed an inept Florida team 36-14. 

Freshman sensation tailback Marcus Lattimore (40 carries – 212 yards) who runs like Willie Galimore, led the way as South Carolina captured its first SEC East crown, and punched its ticked to Atlanta, for the SEC Championship Game.  Even the Head Ball coach was impressed.

Once again the Longhorns of “Lostin,” lost again, a 33-16 destruction by Oklahoma State.  Texas, who last year played in the national championship game, has lost sixth of its last seven!  Yikes!  We hear BEVO is refusing to go the games.

 

(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)

We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 12, Wednesday night.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.)

Handicapping Week 11

We begin this week, the weakest card of the season, with a pair of initials.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the University of South Carolina as to who owns the rights to the initials: “SC.”  Thankfully, the highest court in the land, felt it had more important business to adjudicate.

South Carolina wanted to trademark a baseball cap with the “SC” logo, but the Trojans of USC already have the trademark on a version of the letters, and has sold millions of dollars of apparel with the said trademark lettering.  Lower courts, on numerous occasions, have rejected South Carolina’s trademark request.

This weekend, let’s see which teams add the initial “L” for loser, and which proudly waves its alma-mater’s hat on high, in celebration of another “V” – victory.

No. 22 South Carolina at No. 24 Florida (ESPN, 7:15 p.m.) “To the victor belong the spoils.”  Those words were uttered by New York Senator William Learned Marcy, on the US Senate floor, on January, 25, 1932, hence the coining of the term; “spoils system.”

It is apropos for this game, because the winner punches its ticket into the SEC Championship Game.

The Head Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, with his Gamecocks in tow, heads back to the “Swamp,” intent on capturing those “spoils” for the first time in the program’s history.

The Cocks offense, which lately has been frozen in reverse (73rd overall), is directed by error prone (14 touchdown passes – 9 interceptions) QB Stephen Garcia, with assists from his dynamic freshman tailback Marcus Lattimore (bruised knee), and a pair of chain moving targets: All-America Alshon Jeffrey and Tori Gurley.

 

 

The D, featuring ends Devin Taylor, Cliff Matthews, and backer Antonio Allen stones runners, but is as effective as Larry Summers at a NOW conference (109th), defending the pass. [Note: starting Corner C.C. Whitlock most likely out: concussion.]

The Gators are alive.

Despite an earlier three game losing streak, Urban Meyer’s crew has righted the ship.

In his quest for some offense, Meyer has installed a no-huddle shotgun attack, in which he utilizes a pair of QBs, one featuring a Cam Newton clone, Jordan Reed (6-foot-3, 240 pounds) who also gives Florida a serious running threat, the other drop back passer and starter, John Brantley.  Both are assisted by tailback Jeffrey Demps (limited – foot), and wideouts; Deonte Thompson and Carl Moore, and prodigal son, Chris Rainey.

The D, led by safety Ahmad Black and ends Duke Lemmens and Justin Trattou is seventh overall, hits harder than a spam dinner on the disabled cruise ship, Carnival Splendor, and has been the backbone of the Gators season.

Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home again,” as Florida “spoils” its way into the SEC Championship Game.

Georgia at No. 2 Auburn (Ch. 4, 3:30 p.m.) In the 114th meeting of the South’s oldest rivalry, (Georgia leads: 53-52-8) the stakes have never been higher.

In a season that has put Coach Mark Richt’s job on alert; the Boys from Athens (5-5) need a victory in one of its next two games to simply become bowl eligible.

The Dawgs, who, lately have been barking louder, are directed by its maturing freshman QB Aaron Murray (18 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions), with assists from All-America wideout A.J. Green, and a committee of tailbacks; Washaun Ealey, Carlton Thomas and Caleb King.

The D, fires behind a trio of backers: Justin Houston (9 sacks), Akeem Dent and Marcus Dowtin, and has been the main beam of the Bulldogs season.

All season, the Cam Newton show has dazzled the faithful on the Plains.

The Tigers Goliathan (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) QB, and overwhelming Heisman Trophy favorite, is; tenth in rushing, second in pass efficiency and has accounted for an eye popping 34 touchdowns.

For Coach Gene Chizik’s Cinderella team, it was all systems go, until a nasty allegation surfaced last week about a $200,000 payment for the quarterback to sign with another SEC school.  Auburn, Newton, and his father are vehemently denying the allegations, and hopefully there is nothing there.  But the story is spiraling out of control, and as I write this, the game is off the board in Vegas.

“Mr. Everything,” is assisted by a shifty pair of tailbacks; Onterio McCalebb and Michael Dyer, and two glue fingered receivers; Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery.

The D led by tackle Nick Fairley – who is having an All-America season- backer Josh Bynes and end Antoine Carter stone runners, but are as weak as a Barney Frank smile (95th), defending the pass.

Despite the distractions, the Tigers, (as long as Newton plays) in a close, high scoring affair, earns its ticket to the SEC Championship Game, and moves one step closer to a shot at the national title.

Penn State at No. 8 Ohio State (Ch. 5, 3:30 p.m.) In Columbus, JoePa sets sail for victory number: 401.

The Nits have settled on a new leader, former walk-on sophomore QB Matt McGloin (7 touchdown passes – 1 interception), who has earned the starting role, after coming off the bench to deliver three consecutive victories.  The Happy Valley gunslinger, who has dramatically sparked the Lions offensive output, is assisted by tailbacks Evan Royster, Silas Redd, and wideouts; Derek Moye and Brett Brackett.

The D, featuring backers Chris Colasanti, Michael Manti and tackle Devon Still, struggles stopping the run, and overall hasn’t performed to vintage Paterno standards.

When the November leaves are off the trees, the Boys from Columbus, under the guidance of Coach Jim Tressel, are; 26-4 overall, and 15-1 since 2007.

The leader of this year’s “Goodbye Columbus,” November victory drive, is its dual-threat Heisman Trophy contender, QB Terelle Pryor.

The commander of the nation’s seventh highest scoring (42 points a game) eleven, has thrown 20 TD passes, and is assisted by tailback Dan Herron, and the receiving tandem of; Dane Sanzendacher and DeVier Posey, who have combined for 13 touchdown receptions.

The D, which leads the nation in turnover margin, has been vintage Scarlet and Grey.

These Horseshoe hitters, the country’s third stingiest (13.3 points a game), and third overall with 15 interceptions, attack behind backers; Brian Rolle, Ross Homan (expected back), and All-America end Cameron Heyward.

Number 401 will have to wait another day, as the Sons of Hopalong Cassady bid a heartfelt “Goodbye Columbus,” to JoePa, possibly for the final time.

No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Alabama (ESPN2, 7:15 p.m.) In Starkville, Mississippi, Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs, winners of 6 straight, and bowl eligible (are you listening Texas, and Georgia?), are no longer an automatic victory pelt for the trophy case.

MSU, which averages 218 rushing yards, is led by its hulking (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) dual-threat QB Chris Relf (7 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions) with assists from a pounding tailback, Vick Balard (12 TDs) and favorite target Chad Bumphis.

The attacking D, featuring backers Chris White and K.J. Wright, struggles defending the pass, but holds strong in the red zone, operating as the ninth stingiest (17 points a game) team in the land.

Nick Saban is angry.  Of course, Nick Saban is always angry.

But this time he has good reason; his chances for a second consecutive SEC title, as well as to repeat as national champions are officially over.

The Tuscaloosan Titans are directed by dart-throwing QB, Greg McElroy (13 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions, 69% completions) with assists from reigning Heisman Trophy winner, tailback Mark Ingram and his partner Trent Richardson (leg).  The nation’s fourteenth most efficient passer also has a pair of game-changing targets; All-America Julio Jones and Marquis Maze.

The country’s fifth stingiest (13.7 points a game) D, assaults with a pair of All-Americas; safety Mark Barron and backer Dont’a Hightower, with help from fellow backer C.J. Mosley.

In what should be another close anvil smashing game, we think Saban’s anger channels onto the field, and another victory pelt for the Tide.

No. 1 Oregon at California (Versus, 7:30 p.m.)  The Ducks feeding frenzy is flying south; destination: Berkeley, California.

The Green from Eugene can light a scoreboard (54 points a game) faster than Meg Whitman spent campaign ($140 million) cash.

The top rated, Ferrari-quick, offense, which averages over 300 yards rushing, motors on the legs of Heisman Trophy contender, tailback LaMichael James (17 TDs), who leads the country in rushing with over 1300 yards.

The down-shifter of this exquisite machine is sophomore QB Darron Thomas (22 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions) who has a pair of engine protecting targets; Jeff Maehl and Lavasier Tuinei.

The swarming D, the nation’s 13th stingiest (17.6 points a game), led by backers, Spencer Paysinger, Casey Matthews and end Kenny Rowe, does have some fissures in the secondary.

There will be no protest in Berkeley this season.  Instead of the faithful’s annual disappointment, the Golden Bears have lived up to it expectations: pure mediocrity.

Cal’s offense, ranked 73rd overall, is directed by QB Kevin Riley (13 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions) with assists from tailback Shane Vereen (12TDs) and wideout Marvin Jones.

The Bears D, ranked 12th overall, has been a Berkeley beast, featuring end Cameron Jordan and backer Mychal Kendricks.

In realistic terms, a republican has a better chance of winning a Berkeley election, than the Bears have, of slowing down the Ducks. 

 

(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)

Last week’s record: 3-2.                                                   Season’s record: 31-19.

 

Make sure to read our weekend recap which will be up and running by noon on Sunday.

Recap Week 10

The best regular season in all of sport, continues to surprise, as another pair of pretenders Alabama and Utah, took its leave from the stage, leaving four challengers remaining in the hunt for the crown.

We begin in Happy Valley, where the “Old Gent,” Coach Joe Paterno and his Nittany Lions roared back from a 21 point deficit, defeating Northwestern University 35-21, giving the octogenarian (83) JoePa his historic 400th Division 1 victory.

 It is an achievement, like Cy Young’s 511 victories, that will never be broken by a D1 coach.  After briefly thanking the crowd, the Old Lion roared, “Now that the celebration is over, let’s go beat Ohio State.”  Classic Paterno.

What’s in the water in Ann Arbor?!

Illinois came into the Big House with the nation’s 15th ranked defense, and left in tatters, after Michigan defeated the fighting “Zookers” 67-65 in triple overtime.  It was the most combined points ever scored in the 130 years of Michigan football, and it may well have been a game with the fewest tackles ever recorded.

In the first half the teams combined for 62 points, and over 700 yards of offense!! Amazing. 

But the irony of this Maize and Blue bowl eligible victory – despite all the offensive fireworks, it was a play by the Wolverines much maligned defense, preventing Illini’s two point conversion, which saved the day.  The victory should also guarantee Coach $Rich Rod will return next year.

Hail the Academies!  Air Force defeated Army 42-22 to capture its first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since the George W. Bush Administration (2002).  While the Middies of Annapolis set a single game scoring record hanging an astounding 76 points on East Carolina in its 76-35 victory, which also once again made Navy bowl eligible.

In this game Navy completed only 6 passes for 75 yards, while running for an eye-popping 521 yards on the ground.  Congrats to both.

Its official, after another blowout loss, this time a 39-14 shellacking (borrowing a phrase from President Obama) by Kansas State, the Longhorns of Austin (4-5), losers of five of its last six, will now be known as the longhorns of “Lostin.” 

At one point the Horns were down 39-0, and some people feel Mack Brown has lost the team. With games remaining against Oklahoma State, Florida Atlantic and Texas A&M, Texas may not go bowling!  YIKES!

Kudos to the Boys from Forth Worth, after TCU, pounded its rival Utah 47-7, looking every bit the part of a national contender.  Senior quarterback Andy Dalton was superb, passing for a career high 355 yards and 3 TDs, in snapping Utah’s 21 game home winning streak.

In Baton Rouge, the “Mad Hatter,” LSU’s Les Miles was pulling some more magic out of his chapeau, faking a punt, calling a fourth and one reverse, which went for 23 yards, as the Tigers (8-1, 5-1) knocked Alabama 24-21, out of any title contention.

On the local level, the lads from the Heights have won two in a row, defeating Wake Forest 23-13, keeping its hopes for a 12th consecutive bowl invitation very much alive.

Up north in Hanover, New Hampshire, old friend Buddy Teevens (Silver Lake Regional High School) defeated Cornell 28-10, to climb to 5-3, giving the Green its best chance for a winning season in 13 years.

In Ames, Iowa, Nebraska hung on for a 31-30 overtime victory, when Cyclones holder Eric Hagg had his pass, on the fake extra point intercepted in the end zone by Eric Hagg.  If he hadn’t floated the ball, Iowa State would have won the game.

In Indianapolis, Iowa (7-2, 4-1) scored on a Ricky Stanzi 52 yard touchdown pass to Marvin McNutt with less than three minutes remaining, and then hung when IU wideout Demario Belcher belched (dropped) a sure touchdown pass in the end zone as the Hawkeyes got out of Dodge with an 18-13 victory over the Hoosiers.  WOW!

In Columbia, South Carolina, the Head Ball Coach suffered his worst home loss in five years, as the Razorbacks sliced the Gamecocks (6-3, 4-3) 41-20.  All is not lost for Spurrier’s Cocks, if they can somehow defeat Florida in the Swamp next week, they will play for the SEC Championship in Atlanta.

What a job Coach Butch Davis has done.  UNC defeated Florida State 37-35, and is bowl eligible (6-3), despite all the suspensions and allegations they have had to endure.  His QB T. J. Yates, (15 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions) the nation’s 20th most efficient passer, has quietly had himself a stellar season.

Out west, Stanford asserted itself as the second best in the Pac 10, by pounding the Boy s from the Desert, Arizona: 42-17.  It’s the best start for the Cardinal, since another old friend, Jim Plunkett, took Stanford to the Rose Bowl 40 years ago.

Talk about Jekyll and Hyde.  Oklahoma, which has won 35 in a row at home, lost its second in a row on the road, dropping a shocker to Texas A&M 33-19.  A&M, who is  now bowl eligible, stopped OU on the one yard line not once, not twice, but three times!!!  Yikes!

Finally, there can be no doubt that an employment opportunity will be available in Boulder next year.

Coach Dan Hawkins and his Colorado Buffaloes (3-6), blew a 28 point fourth quarter lead to a woeful Kansas team (3-6), who had lost its last four by the combined score of: 187-40, as the Jayhawks scored 35 unanswered points dropping the Buffs 52-45!!!!!!  Amazing. 

(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)

We will be up and running with our analysis of week 11, Wednesday night.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.