We begin this week with a football player, worthy of a hand.
Five years ago, then freshman, Eddie Delaney, asked University of Albany football Coach Bob Ford, for a tryout.
All that Ford knew about the kid was; that he was born without a left hand.
He later discovered, that his now starry, 6-6, 250 pound defensive end, also has Type 1 diabetes.
“I guess 70 percent of the coaches in the nation might have said, ‘No, you can’t do it.’ But I’m glad I did, as he’s become a bonafide star,” said the appreciative coach.
Delaney also has a solid sense of humor regarding his “handicap.”
“Freshman year, for Halloween, he was Captain Hook, and two years ago, he was a shark attack victim,” said teammate, and roommate, Zach Gallo.
This weekend, let’s see which teams are deserving of a hand, and which should get the hook, for having its butt; handed to them.
No. 18 USC at No. 4 Oregon (Ch.5, 8 p.m. regional) The Trojans are back in L.A. vogue.
These Hollywood heroes are commanded by its blond matinee idol, QB Matt Barkley (29 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions), who is having an All-America caliber season.
The gunslinger is assisted by tailback Curtis McNeal, and arguably the best pass catch tandem west of the Rockies: All-America Robert Woods, and freshman partner, Maqise Lee, who have combined for an eye-popping; 114 catches and 19 TDs.
The D, led by backers; Nick Perry (11 tfls – 7.5 sacks), and Dion Bailey, stones runners, but is as shaky (100th) as Texas Governor Rick Perry in a debate, defending the pass.
The Ducks are honking loudly for a return to the national championship game.
The Quack attack ignites, behind the nation’s per game, yardage leader (150), All-America LaMichael James, who in Chip Kelly’s eyes, has the best pair of legs this side of Gisele B.
The nation’s fifth best run team (291), is directed by its dual threat QB, Darron Thomas (22 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions), with assists from tailback Kenjon Barner, and receivers; Lavasier Tuinei, and De’Anthony Thomas.
The D, led by backers Josh Kaddu, and Dewitt Stucky, has shown some fissures defending the pass, which is not a good recipe against USC.
In a high scoring affair, the Green from Eugene continues to make a strong case, for a championship return.
No. 17 Nebraska at No. 20 Michigan (ESPN, Noon) The Huskers are as one dimensional as; Tom Menino.
It has the thirteenth best run attack (232 yds. a game), but is nineteenth from the bottom throwing the ball.
Nebraska’s main husker, is its starry 1000 yard tailback Rex Burkhead (14 Tds), who is complemented nicely by its motoring QB, Taylor Martinez, who has scored 9 times on the ground.
When searching for a target, this Lincoln leader, (10 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions), has about as much accuracy, as an economist from the Fed, trying to predict GDP growth.
The D, behind its All-America backer Lavonte David, and end Cameron Meredith, has at times, been shredded, more than the reputation of Joe Paterno.
All is well in the Big House, as Big Blue, (who ironically, will be honoring former Michigan Man Lloyd Carr), is thriving behind its Michigan Man; Brady Hoke.
The nation’s eleventh best rushing eleven, is commanded by its dual threat, escape artist, QB Denard Robinson (13 touchdown passes – 13 interceptions – wrist – will play), who has compiled nearly1000 yards rushing, while scoring a dozen touchdowns.
The rest of Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood is assisted by emerging tailback; Fitzgerald Toussaint, and a pair of field stretching receivers; Junior Hemingway and Jeremy Gallon.
Although it can look shakier than an Occupy permit, the nation’s seventh stingiest D (16 pts. a game), which swarms behind tackle Mike Martin, and backer Kenny Demens, has been the biggest surprise in Ann Arbor.
We think the Michigan Man; gets another W, for Meeechigan.
No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 25 Baylor (Ch.5, 8 p.m. regional) The stakes for the Norman invaders are bigger than the filet special at an Oklahoma steer emporium.
Win out, and the “experts” predict, the Sooners (despite its inexplicable loss to TT), will punch its ticket into the national championship game.
Bobby Stoops’ wounded crew, the sixth highest (45) scoring team in the land, is directed by its All-America field general, and Heisman Trophy contender; Landry Jones (28 touchdown passes – 9 interceptions).
The OU commander operates the controls of the country’s third best passing attack, with assists from tailback Roy Finch, and wideouts; Jaz Reynolds and Kenny Stills, but Ryan Broyles will be sorely missed.
The attacking D, led by a pair of d-end disruptors; Frank Alexander (13.5 tfls – 7.5 sacks) and Ronnell Lewis, shows some susceptibility defending the pass.
Baylor is going bowling for the second consecutive season.
The growling Bears are directed by its dart throwing QB, Robert Griffin III, (aka RG3), who possess a Heisman worthy resume: 29 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions – 74% completions.
This Waco Wonder is assisted by tailback Terrance Ganaway, and a trio of sure handed targets; Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams, and Tevin Reese, who have combined for a jaw dropping; 162 receptions and 23 touchdowns.
As its faithful are painfully aware, the D, led by backer Elliott Coffey, and safety Mike Hicks, has more holes, than Jerry Sandusky has alibis, allowing sieve like; 36 points a game.
The men from Norman get the W, and move one step closer to its Armageddon game against Ok State.
Virginia at No. 23 Florida State (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.) Virginia’s Coach Mike London is deserving of; Coach of The Year consideration.
The 7-3 Cavs aren’t flashy; in fact, a tie-less Mitt Romney is more effervescent, but they play solid, fundamental football.
The foundation of the Sons of George Welsh is a ground assault, which plows forward utilizing tailbacks; Perry Jones, and Kevin Parks, who have combined for 1550 yards, and 12 touchdowns.
Virginia has also been fortified by its improving sophomore QB, Mike Rocco (10 touchdown passes – 9 interceptions), with Kris Burd as a primary target.
The hard hitting D, led by tackle Matt Conrath, and backer Steve Greer, is reflective of its coach’s personality, stout in all phases.
The Seminoles have won five straight, but more was expected from these Sons of Bobby Bowden.
The Tallahassee identity is the nation’s sixth stingiest (16 pts.) D, which fires behind a pair of All-Americas; backer Nigel Bradham and end Brandon Jenkins.
This group, which swarms and inhales ball carriers (less than 3 yds a carry), is harder to penetrate than a Vegas vault, or a Kim Kardashian prenupt agreement.
On offense, dual threat QB, E.J. Manual (15 touchdown passes – 8 interceptions) sets the FSU tempo, with assists from a pair of chain movers; Rodney Smith and Rashad Green.
When the Seminoles attempt to run (96th), they utilize tailback combo; Devonta Freeman and Jermaine Thomas.
The Cavs will battle, but FSU has more replacements, and wins a very close game.
No. 21 Penn State at Ohio State (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.)The Nits should have cancelled its season.
And just like its Administration, and coaching staff, the Penn State offense (21 points a game – 18th from the bottom) is Neanderthal.
Its only real offensive spark is its starry tailback Silas Redd, while QB Matt McGloin (7 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), remains a work in progress, completing barely 50% of his passes.
It’s the nation’s third tightest D, (12pts.), led by tackle Devin Still (16.5 tfls), and backer Gerald Hodges (10 tfls), that has been the glue to the Penn State season.
Ohio State’s offense falls into the Cro-Magnon category.
Overall the Buckeyes search for points (25), has at times, been as fruitless as leaving the porch light on, waiting for Jimmy Hoffa to come home.
The Bucks future is its dual-threat freshman QB, Braxton Miller (8 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions – 50% completions), who is assisted by tailbacks; Carlos Hyde and Dan Herron.
But the Horseshoe aerial attack must improve, as primary targets; tight end Jake Stoneburner, and wideout Devin Smith, have combined for the mind boggling skinny total; 23 receptions.
Like its Happy Valley counterpart, the Buckeyes D, led by backer Andrew Sweat, and tackle John Simon (13.5 tfls – 6 sacks), allow less than 17 points a game, and has been the Scarlet and Grey season savior.
In his final Horseshoe appearance as the Buckeye’s head man, we think Luke Fickell goes out a winner.
Last week’s record: 3-2 Season record: 38-17.
Be sure to read our recap, which will be up and running by noon Sunday.
That’s it from cyber space, Peace, and listen to the music