Monthly Archives: October 2012

Recap Week 9

Wake up the Echo’s!!  What a weekend!

This is the reason we love college football, as five undefeated teams fell.

We’ll begin with the shocker in Norman.

Nobody, not even the Pope, thought Notre Dame would win this game.

But the Irish, in a landmark victory, its first against a top ten team since 1996, stunned Oklahoma, and the college football world, in a dominating 30-13 victory.

The Irish, an amazing 8-0, held the Sooners to 15 yards rushing, while gashing the OU D for 215 yards.

But it was the maturity of r-shirt freshman QB, Everett Golson, who played a mistake free game, highlighted by a icing, late fourth quarter, 51 yard completion, which set up the game clinching touchdown.

The victory over “Big Game Bob,” Stoops (can we officially bury that moniker), squad, moves the Irish into the legitimate discussion as; national title contenders.  WOW!!

When the season started, and based on ND’s daunting schedule, most penciled in; that a 7-5 season would be remarkable.

No one, not even the Touchdown Jesus, thought Notre Dame would stand undefeated going into the first weekend in November.

But there is some danger. 

Instead of being the hunted, ND will be prohibitive favorites in its next three games.

So the equation shifts.

The Irish must protect against all the noise, and slaps on the back, from the growing numbers of band wagon jumpers, and simply focus on the task at hand.

And, if all goes to plan; that task, will be an end of season date with the Trojans of Southern California, and a chance for a perfect season.  Amazing!!

It reminds old timers, like me, of the USC/ND glory days of; the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

On a sour note; for the second consecutive season, one of the college football’s best tailbacks, and better people, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore, suffered a devastating knee injury in the Gamecocks; 38-35 victory over Tennessee.

It has put his sure fire NFL career in serious jeopardy.

Finally, there is a bounce in the football offices in Chestnut Hill.

BC (2-6) came from behind to defeat Maryland 20-17, snapping a five game losing streak and earning the Eagles its first victory over a Division 1 opponent.

In the Old Friend Department:

In Chapel Hill it was heartache for NC State (and former BC) Coach Tom O’Brien.

He watched helplessly; as his five game winning streak against intra-state rival North Carolina, in a 35-35 game, came to a crashing halt, on a stunning 73 yard, last second punt return by Carolina’s Gio Bernard (who is deserving of Heisman consideration).

The starry tailback is third in the nation in rushing, 138 yards a game, while averaging over 7 yards a carry.  Wake up Heisman voters!!

In Hanover, New Hampshire, best friends, and Silver Lake Regional teammates, Tim Murphy of Harvard, and Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth faced off with the outcome; a 31-14 Harvard victory, following the expected script.

The Crimson has won nine in a row over the Big Green, and 15 of the last 16 meetings. YIKES!

The victory, coupled with the loss by Princeton moves Harvard into a three-way tie for first in the Ancient Eight standings.

In Piscataway, New Jersey, the undefeated Scarlet Knights are no more.

In a stunning loss, the visiting Golden Flashers of Kent State (7-1) marched into New Jersey, 0-22 when playing a ranked team.

Make that 1-22! 

The Flashers stunned Rutgers 35-23, on the strength of its opportunistic D, as its picked off 6 of QB Gary Nova’s passes.

Yikes!  Maybe Nova should have his eyes checked for color blindness.

Our Boy, QB Collin Klein of Kansas State, once again did his thing, 4 touchdowns, in Kansas State’s 55-24 beat-down of Texas Tech.

If there was any doubt, as to whom the Heisman front runner is, it was erased yesterday in the Little Apple, as KState climbed to 8-0, and in control of the Big 12 race.

In the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party,” Georgia, who has lost 18 of its last 22 to Florida, held the Gators to zero touchdowns for the first time since 1988, in its 17-9 win.

It gives the Bulldogs control of its SEC East destiny, and a clear path to the SEC Championship.

But despite all the Saturday chaos, the one constant to the day, and the one constant in the season, has been the performance from the team from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

(Groucho’s favorite team, “When hunting in Africa it is rather difficult to remove the tusks, but of course in Alabama, the Tuscaloosa!)

The Tide rolled over an undefeated Mississippi State team; 38-7, and in its last 11 victories, nobody has been closer than 19 points.  Talk about domination.

It also sets up next week’s Armageddon 3 game with LSU.

One more thing, the Tides QB, A.J. McCarron (18 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions) is deserving of serious Heisman consideration.

Finally here is the list of candidates who need resume polishing:

Paul Johnson – Georgia Tech; (3-5), Frank Spaziani – Boston College (2-6), Jeff Tedford – California (3-6), Gene Chizik – Auburn (1-7), and Derek Dooley – Tennessee (3-5).

Coaches who may be on the move: Dave Doeren of Northern Illinois, and Darrell Hazell of Kent State.  MAC coaches are the real deal. 

That’s it from cyber space, we’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 10 Wednesday night, until then, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

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Week 9 Analysis

We begin this week with a song of tribute.

In honor of Duke (the smart kids) becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 1994, we have chosen the song; “A Little Ditty Bout Jack and Diane.”

The reason; one of the members of the Duke Football team, is a 165 walk-on defensive back, by the name of; Hud Mellencamp. (Hud must be a Paul Newman reference.)

Yeah, he’s the son of rocker John.

The kid may be small, but this is not a charity case. 

It turns out the Bloomington, Indiana native, is a 2-time Gold Gloves boxing champ, and isn’t afraid to get his nose bloody.

Or as the song says; “Jackie’s gonna be a football star….”

This weekend, let’s see which alums leave the stadium singing; “Ain’t that America…” in celebration of a well earned victory, and which straggle out, listening to different Mellencamp tune; “Life is Hard.”

No.3 Florida vs. No.12 Georgia (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) – Jacksonville, Fla.  In the 2012 version of; “The World’s Largest Cocktail Party,” (a term first used in the 50’s, coined by Florida Times-Union Sports Editor, Bill Kastelz), the surprise team is; Florida.

The identity of Will Muschamp’s Gators is a searing defense, worthy of Clarence Darrow. 

It has made Florida a legitimate national championship contender, and a Gator victory punches its ticket into the SEC Championship Game.

The lockjaw D anchored by backer Jonathan Bostic, and end Shariff Floyd, has corralled 8 interceptions, surrenders a Twiggy-like 12 points a game, and hits with the same ferocity of the ICU against Lance “The Fraud” Armstrong.

But on offense, the Boys from the Swamp are a different animal.

Florida’s pedestrian attack, (54th in scoring – 30 pts. a game), is directed by its dual threat QB, Jeff (8 touchdown passes – 1 interception) Driskel.

The kid leans heavily on his plow horse tailback, Mike Gillislee, while tight end Jordan Reed, and wideout Quinton Dunbar, are principle targets.

In Athens, ever since its humiliating 28 point loss to South Carolina, the Bulldogs have played like it’s chained to the doghouse of its mascot; UGA IX.

But if Georgia wins, a tall order, it regains control, of its, SEC East destiny.

The Dawgs are directed by its starry QB Aaron Murray (16 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions), who remains burdened with the reputation, of pulling a Houdini, in big games.

The rocket armed, senior QB, is assisted by a pair of scintillating freshmen tailbacks; Todd Gurley, and Keith Marshall, whose moniker is; “Gurshall,” in honor of Herschel.

And when these Sons of Vince Dooley take to the air, Tavarres King, and Michael Bennett are sure handed safety nets.

But as the Red and Black clad faithful are well aware, the Dawgs run D, has been shredded more often, than a block of cheddar, in a Kraft factory.

This leaky group, led by its All-America backer Jarvis Jones (ankle – will play), and his compadres; Amarlo Herrera and Michael Gillard, must find a way to plug those holes.

We think the imbibing gets more celebratory on the Florida side, as the Gators, who have won 18 of the last 22 Cocktail Parties, once again muzzle the Dawgs, keeping its title hopes on track.

No.5 Notre Dame at No.8 Oklahoma (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) Even the Pope will be clearing his schedule to watch this game.

This is the biggest game in over a decade for the Irish, and by far, it sternest test of the season.

The Domer’s success lies in its defensive foundation. 

The nation’s second stingiest (9 pts a game) eleven, surrenders a touchdown (6), about as often as His Holiness misses Mass.

This steel enforced front seven, led by its ubiquitous All-America backer Manti Te’o, end Stephon Tuitt, and safety Zeke Motta, plays with the same burning animosity that Boston Mayor Tom Menino holds, towards his predecessor, Ray Flynn.

But it’s the sputtering offense, 76th in scoring (25 pts. a game), that causes the greatest angst amongst the Touchdown Jesus faithful.

The Irish are directed by its dual-threat, learning curve QB, Everett Golson (4 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), with assists from tailbacks; Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick.

And as always, waiting in the “bullpen” is the “Black Hand’s” favorite; Tommy Rees.

When the QB goes aerial, wideout T.J. Jones, and All-America tight end Tyler Eifert, are comforting bailouts.

In Norman, since the arrival of Coach Bob Stoops, 14 plus seasons ago, Oklahoma is a jaw dropping 79-4 at home, and 139-34 overall.

Stoops is also 14-1 against ranked teams when playing at Memorial Stadium.  Ouch!

And what is even more worrisome for the South Bend zealots, these Sons of Bud Wilkerson have regained its swagger.

 

The nation’s fifth highest scoring team (44 points a game), is commanded by QB Landry Jones (12 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), with assists from tailbacks; Brennan Clay, Damien Williams and receivers; Kenny Stills and Justin Brown.

The country’s 12th tightest D (15 pts a game), featuring backer Tom Wort, and end Chuka Ndule, is playing with a disruptive nastiness.

A large measure of that improved defense, eliminating the big play, can be attributed to the return of coordinator, and brother; Mike Stoops,

In Norman, OU already had its stumble against Kansas State.  It won’t happen twice in the same season, as the Sooners boomer the Irish carriage, back into a pumpkin.

No. 9 Ohio State at Penn State (ESPN, 5:30 p.m.) In Columbus, the Urban renewal project is ahead of schedule.

The lynchpin, for the unblemished Buckeyes, (the nation’s 10th best rushing attack) is its dual threat QB, Braxton (11 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions – 959 yards rushing – 10 TDs) “The Bulldozer,” Miller.

[Note; if the OSU maestro can’t play – neck – junior QB Kenny Guiton is a solid backup].

The Columbus Colossus, and Heisman candidate, is assisted by tailback Carlos Hyde, and when he connects (Bucks are 101st in passing), Corey Brown, and Devin Smith are comforting targets.

But as the Horseshoe faithful are well aware, the banged-up D, led by backer Ryan Shazier, and end John Simon, has been gashed more than a Big Dig tunnel.

JoePa, who?

Newly minted Coach Bill O’Brien, and his Nittany Lions, has impressively won five in a row, while distancing themselves, from the disgraced shadow, of Joe Paterno.

In fact, Penn State may be the best team in the BIG.

A key factor, has been the reclamation of QB Matt McGloin (14 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions), who went from Paterno’s scrap heap, to OB’s penthouse.

In the Nits no-huddle, NASCAR approach, the QB has been flawless, assisted by tight end Kyle Carter, wideout Allen Robinson, and tailback Zach Zwinak.

The nation’s 13th stingiest D (15 pts. a game), fires behind its All-America caliber backer Michael Manti, fellow backer Gerald Hodges, and tackle Jordan Hill.

This group has been the glue to the unexpected Penn State success.

In a very close game, we think the magic continues in Happy Valley, as the legend of Bill O’Brien begins to grow.

No. 15 Texas Tech vs. No. 4 Kansas State (Fox, 3:30 p.m.) In Lubbock, it’s “Guns Up,” for the TT pairing; Coach Tommy Tuberville, and Texas Tech football.

The only aerial show, better than the Red Raiders air raid display (4th in nation), takes place in New York Harbor on the Fourth of July.

TT’s pyrotechnic director, is QB sharp shooter Seth (28 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions – 70% completions) Doege, who leads the nation’s 10th highest scoring (42 pts. a game) eleven.

The gunslinger is assisted by a trio of tailbacks: Kenny Williams, Eric Stephens, and SaDale Foster, who have combined for over 1000 yards, and 8 touchdowns.

And when the sky writing show is in full bloom, receivers; Darrin Moore, Eric Ward, and tight end Jace Amaro are the main ball catchers.

But it’s the 7th ranked D, featuring safety Cody Davis, and tackle Kerry Hyde, which has the Lubbock faithful giddy over the real possibility of an upset.

The only person on a better roll than KState Coach Bill Snyder, and QB Collin Klein, is Mitt Romney.

The fundamentally perfect Purple Cats, have become; “The Little Engine That Could,” and have scratched its way, for a chance, to play for the national title.

The fuel empowering that engine, is its Heisman leader; “Mr. Everything,” QB Collin (10 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions – 70% completions – 14 rushing TDs) Klein.

The steel hardened QB endures a weekly pounding, similar to a light house in a New England Northeaster.

The Cats, who average 42 points a game, claw teams behind tailback, John Hubert (8TDs), and quality wideouts; Chris Harper, and Tyler Lockett.

The D, led by backer Arthur Brown, ends Adam Davis, and Mesak Williams, stones runners, is a plus 12 in turnover margin, while surrendering less than 17 points a game.

In Manhattan the mantra is; “The show must go on!” but in the “Little Apple,” the Wildcats engine keeps chugging, as Coach Bill Snyder’s Boys continue to wow the critics.

No. 11 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.) The last time these teams met undefeated; Hitler was storming through Europe, while Churchill, and Roosevelt, were playing poker, and sipping whiskey in the White House; 1942.

Coach Dan Mullen’s hard working Bulldogs, winners of 9 straight, should be sponsored by Work n’ Gear.

The Starkville yardage grinders, directed by QB Tyler Russell (15 touchdown passes – 1 interception), with assists from tailback LaDarius Perkins, and receivers; Chad Bumphis and Chris Smith, are about as flashy as; Pops Director Keith Lockhart.

On the other side, the nation’s ninth stingiest D, featuring backer Deontae Skinner, play with the bone rattling exuberance, of a Flamenco dancer.

The Titans from Tuscaloosa, in search of its second consecutive national championship, and third in four years, have received more accolades than Nelson Mandela.

It begins with a D, that sports numbers, almost as impressive as; a share of Apple stock, or Elle McPherson from a Sports Illustrated swim suit cover.

These ferocious disruptors, led by backers C.J. Mosley, and Trey Depriest, are tops in total D, run D (allowing less than 2 yards a carry), scoring D (8 pts. a game), and second in pass D.

In addition, St. Nick’s Boys, who have won 11 straight, are third in turnover margin- plus 14 – while corralling 13 interceptions. 

The Defense Aficionados from the Pentagon should inspect the Tide’s blueprint.

Alabama’s offense isn’t as flashy, but still a cut of prime quality.

Bama’s Philharmonic maestro, QB Chris McCarron (16 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions – who is riding a streak of 239 passes without a pick), is steadier than a Wallenda walking a high wire.

The junior is one of only two Division 1 signal callers, not to have thrown a pick.

The nation’s 14 highest scoring team (41 pts. a game), operates behind the tailback duo; Eddie Lacy, and T.J. Yeldon (over 1000 yards combined), and wideouts; Amari Cooper, and Kevin Norwood.

The Tide remains unblemished, setting up next week’s Armageddon (3) meeting, in Baton Rouge, against LSU.

Last week:  5-0                                               Season record: 29-11.

Be sure to read our recap, which will be up and running by noon Sunday.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.   PK

Recap week 8

There are a lot of places we could begin.

We could start in; Ann Arbor, South Bend, Morgantown, Columbus, Gainesville, Iowa City, Princeton, Kent, Corvallis, or Atlanta.

But we’ll begin in Durham, North Carolina, home of Duke Football! 

That’s right; Duke Football, where the smart kids play.

The Dukies scored a thrilling, last second, fourth down, game winning -33-30 – touchdown against its arch-rival; the Tar Heels of North Carolina. 

It was Duke’s sixth win of the season. 

For many a “big-time,” program, that is no big milestone, but for a team that has won a total of 6 games, the previous two seasons, that victory is a big deal.

It makes the smart kids, bowl eligible for the first time, since Bill Clinton was parading around  in the Rose Garden; 1994.  Good for them.

It also puts Coach Dave Cutcliffe, in the discussion; with Bill Snyder, and Mike Riley for Coach of the Year consideration.

Now to the Mountaineers, of West Virginia, the biggest frauds this side of Bernie Madoff, or, Lance Armstrong.

In Morgantown, in what was billed as a bounce back game, turned into a country road rout, as the Purple Cats, of Kansas State, demolished West Virginia; 55 -17.  YIKES!!

This was also billed as a Heisman duel between KState’s Collin Klein and WV’s Geno Smith.  It was also a merciless mismatch.

 Klein, (19-21; 323 yards), who may be the leader on everyone’s ballot; ran for four touchdowns, and passed for another three, while Smith, was held to no TDs, while throwing his first two interceptions of the season. 

After the last two weeks, it’s bye, bye Heisman for Geno.

Word is that there’s a cheese company in Switzerland interested in sponsoring the Mountaineer defense, after KState sliced through it, scoring on eight straight possessions, including seven consecutive touchdowns.

In its last two games, the West Virginia “D,” which lays down more than a sunning sea lion, has surrendered a total of 104 points.  Yikes!!

Welcome to the BIG 12 boys.

In Corvallis, Oregon State, after its 21-7 victory over Utah, is 6-0, for the first time in over a century, or, since Teddy Roosevelt was occupying the Oval Office in 1905!!  WOW!!

Coach Mike Riley, whose Beavers were 3-9 last season, may be the leader in the clubhouse for Coach of the Year.

And unlike the blowhard residing in Kansas, Coach Charlie Weis, Mike Riley is class, and proof, that you don’t have to be a dictatorial abuser, to win at the highest level.

In Ann Arbor, it was victory number 900 for Michigan, the nation’s winningest college football program.

It came on a last second, 38 yard field goal, giving the Wolverines a 12-10 win over its rival from East Lansing.

But for Michigan, it was more than just a milestone victory.

It gave its starry QB, Denard Robinson, his first victory over rival Michigan State, ending a four game losing streak against Sparty.

But more importantly, it was sweet payback.

After the Maize and Blue’s season opening embarrassment, a 41-14 loss to Alabama, the Sparty players were tweeting, that they couldn’t wait, to do the same to Robinson and Michigan in October.

Ah, revenge is sweet! 

And this is from a 4-4 team, who said it had bigger goals than “just” playing in the Rose Bowl.  Can you say; “Toilet Bowl.”

In the Old Friend Department;

It was a mixed day for the alums of Silver Lake Regional;

In Princeton, New Jersey, Coach Tim Murphy’s Harvard Crimson held a 34-10 fourth quarter lead, but watched helplessly, as the Tigers stormed back with 29 unanswered points, to win an improbable; 39-34 victory, on a last second touchdown.  WOW!!

It had shades of the famous; Harvard wins 29-29 Yale game of 1968.

It also ended the nation’s longest 1AA winning streak – 14 games – and puts Harvard in a difficult spot to capture another outright Ivy League Title.

But in New York, Coach Buddy Teevens and his Big Green of Dartmouth are; 4-2 and tied for second (2-1) in the league, after its come from behind 21-16 win against the Lions of Columbia.  Good for Buddy.

It sets up a showdown game next week in Hanover, New Hampshire between the good friends, and former Silver Lake teammates.

In Iowa City, the Penn State football season is no longer just a good story, it’s a great story, after the Nits overwhelmed Iowa, in Iowa city; 38-14.

Coach Bill O’Brien, the former Pats offensive coordinator, has now won five in a row, and may have the best, and most complete team, in the Big Ten.  Amazing!!

It’s been a remarkable transformation.  JoePa who??!!

Up at the Heights it’s more of the same, as BC was once again outclassed 37-17 by an, at best, mediocre Georgia Tech football team.

The Eagles are now a woeful; 1-6, (0-4 in the conference), with its lone victory coming against 1AA Maine!   Double Yikes. 

The last time things were this ugly in Chestnut Hill; George H. W. Bush (1988) occupied the Oval Office.

We’ll keep writing it: BC should look no further than across the river; Tim Murphy of Harvard, for its next coach.

The SEC continues to shine as the BIG 3; Florida, Alabama, and LSU all won, and guess what, are you listening in Morgantown, and Austin, they won with defense. 

What a concept!!

How far have things slipped for the bullies from Lincoln?

When Nebraska (5-2) took over, after a fourth down stop, to ice its 29-28 come from behind victory over Northwestern, Bo “The Bully” Pelini shot his hands up in celebration.

In the old days, or when Nebraska was a power, a game against the Wildcats would have been over at the half.

Finally; in Boise State’s 32-7 victory over UNLV, the Boys from the Blue Turf have now won 46 in a row in the month of October.  WHEW!!

And in Kent, Ohio, kudos to the Golden Flashers of Kent State (6-1), who are now bowl eligible, and will end the second longest bowless streak in the nation. 

New Mexico State has stayed home since 1960.

One has to go back to the days when George McGovern – who passed away today – was the Democrat standard bearer, 1972 – to find the last time the Flashers played in the post season.

And next Saturday night in Norman, even the Pope will be clearing his schedule for the Saturday showdown; as undefeated Notre Dame goes marching into Norman, Oklahoma.  It will be quite a scene.

 

That’s it from cyber space.  We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 9 Wednesday night.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

Week 8 Analysis

We begin this week with a tribute to one of our favs; the legendary college football historian, and iconoclast, Beano Cook, who passed away last week, at the age of 81.

As we all know, the true characters of the world are going the way of the dinosaurs.

Everybody is PC’d to the max, with their heads buried into their I-phones.

Just take a look at the local news (if you dare), everybody looks exactly the same.

Don Henley from the Eagles sang it best in the classic; “Dirty Laundry.”

“The bubble-headed-beach-blond who comes on at five, she can tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye … Give us dirty laundry.”

But Beano was different. 

He was a raconteur, from a much different era. 

His was a time, when a bar, was a real bar. A place where you could still get a beer for $1.25, and maybe play a game of pinball or make a bet with the bookie, who sat in the corner, or call a friend from a pay-phone booth.

Beano was unvarnished, irreverent, funny, but had a heart of gold, as well as an encyclopedic knowledge of the game of college football.

In tribute to his passing we’ve included four of his many gems:

Once on ABC Sports College Football Scoreboard Show, host Jim Lampley showed a clip of Doug Flutie throwing his “Hail Mary,” Heisman winning, and game winning, touchdown pass against Miami.

After the clip, Lampley turned to Cook, and asked, “Is Doug Flutie too small to play professional football?”

Without missing a beat, Beano said, “They also said that about Napoleon.”

When the United States hostages were released from Iran in January of 1981, former Baseball Commissioner, Bowie Kuhn, announced that baseball would give to each, a lifetime pass to all games.

When Beano heard about the gesture he gasped; “Haven’t they suffered enough?!”

One night in the late 80’s, he was in his favorite New York haunt, Runyon’s and a bunch of the young CBS television executives were discussing rock and roll bands.

One of them finally asked Beano, “Hey old man, what’s your favorite band?”

Beano replied, without looking back, “Ohio State!”  Beautiful.

Finally, this is what he had to say about night football at LSU’s Death Valley, a place, and time, where the Tigers have won over 75% of its games.

“Dracula, and LSU football, are at their best, when the sun goes down.” 

God-speed, Beano, and instead of dirty laundry; give me, more characters!

This weekend, let’s see which teams rakishly strut off the field, in a larger than life victory, and which, sulk to the locker room, tweeting the reasons for the loss; #losers!

No. 9 South Carolina at No. 3 Florida (Ch. 4, 3:30 p.m.) This is the final leg, of a three game gantlet, for Coach Steve Spurrier’s suddenly, banged up, Gamecocks.

But the rewards of a victory are stratospheric.

The winner gains control of its SEC East destiny.

The Cocks pedestrian offense, is directed by its dual-threat QB Connor Shaw (9 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions – 69% completions), with assists from starry tailback Marcus Lattimore (10 TDs – hip may not play), and his Linus blanket receiver, and return man, Ace Sanders.

But it’s the defense, which is the foundation of the football revival in Columbia.

The nation’s fifth stingiest D (12 points), is anchored by its sack master (6.5) end Jadeveon Clowney (foot), and backer Shaq Wilson, hits harder than a Sunday morning, whiskey hangover.

Florida has been one of the season’s surprises.

The Men of the Swamp, chomp behind its dynamic, dual-threat, Tebow-esque, sophomore QB, Jeff Driskel (4 touchdown passes – 1 interception), who does most of his damage with his legs.

The magic man, who engineers the country’s 14th best rushing attack, is assisted by his senior, All-America caliber, tailback, Mike Gillislee, (averaging over 100 yards a game), who can find a hole, better than a pack of gophers.

The nation’s sixth tightest eleven (12 points), featuring backer Jonathan Bostic, and end Shariff Floyd, are of championship caliber.

In a game that will have more hits than a Beatles convention, we think the Gators, in Gainesville, have a bit more firepower, and happily stick it to the Ole Ball Coach.

No. 4 Kansas State at No. 17 West Virginia (Fox, 7 p.m.) To the amazement of many, septuagenarian Coach, Bill Snyder, has his Purple Cats, once again, scratching at the elite rankings of the college football world.

The team from the “Little Apple,” Manhattan, Kansas is led by its Pied Piper, Heisman Trophy contending QB, Collin Klein (7 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions – 10 TDs rushing), who is tougher than a $10 steak.

Klein is a valuable to his team, as former chemist Annie Dookin was, to a bogus drug conviction in Massachusetts.

The fiery field general, who commands the 15th highest scoring (40 pts. a game) eleven, is assisted by tailback John Hubert (6 yds. a carry), and a threesome of quality receivers: Tramaine Thompson, Chris Harper, and Tyler Lockett.

The Cats opportunistic D (+10 turnover margin) claws opponents, and stones runners, behind backer Arthur Brown, and end Adam Davis, and allows a miniscule 17 points a game.

In Morgantown, West Virginia, there is only one fraud, bigger than the one masquerading as the Mountaineer’s defense; Lance Armstrong.

These Ole’ Masters, led by backers Isaiah Bruce, and Terrance Garvin, are second from the bottom defending the pass, sixth lowest in total D, while allowing a coal mining; 37 points a game.

Its performance is uglier, than the head clubbing scenes at the 1968 Democrat Convention.

On the other side of the ball, the WV offense, (except last week), has floated like Swan Lake.

The nation’s seventh highest scoring (45 pts. a game) team, is directed by its Heisman contending QB, Geno (25 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions – 75% completions) Smith.

The Country Road dart thrower, is assisted by a trio of mercury infused wideouts: Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey (leg- questionable), and J.D. Woods, while the ground attack is capably handled by Andrew Buie and Shawnie Alston.

In a game of contrasting styles, and coaching philosophies, we’re going with the senior member of AARP. 

That may not play in the Big Apple, but it works just fine in Manhattan, Kansas.

 

No. 18 Texas Tech at TCU (Ch. 5, 3:30 p.m.) The Boys from Lubbock, Texas, the home of Buddy Holly, are climbing up the charts.

The Red Raiders are rocking behind its hit making QB, Seth (21 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions – 70% completions), Doege.

The touchdown maker, who operates with the precision of a diamond cutter, is assisted by a three-pack of quality wideouts; Darrin Moore, Eric Ward, and tight end Jace Amaro (questionable).

When the air raid goes underground, tailbacks; Kenny Williams, Eric Stephens, and SaDale Foster are equal partners.

But for the Lubbock faithful, the stellar performance of TT’s fourth overall rated D is about as unexpected, as seeing Senator John Kerry, without, every hair in place.

This group, led by tackle Kerry Hyder, and backer Will Smith, is playing at a level (16 pts. a game) not seen in Lubbock, since Holly himself, was taking the stage.

In Fort Worth, TCU’s starry starting QB, Casey Pachall, has signed himself into rehab.

So the keys to the car have been handed to a dual-threat r-shirt freshman; Trevone Boykin.

The new kid will lean heavily on a pair of tailbacks; B.J. Catalon, and Andre Dean, and when he goes aerial, wideouts Josh Boyce, and Cam White, provide comforting targets.

But as always with Gary Patterson teams, it will be the Horned Frogs eleventh toughest (14 pts. a game) D, led by end Devonte Fields, and backer Kenny Cain, which will determine the direction of the TCU season.

It always dangerous to take the Red Raiders after an upset win, (remember last season; Oklahoma), Tech didn’t win a game the rest of the season.

But for some reason, we think Coach Tommy Tuberville has TT poised for a big year.

No.6 LSU at No. 20 Texas A&M (ESPN, Noon) Back in the title hunt, the Tigers have a renewed gleam in its eye.

LSU may have also discovered its next great tailback; true freshman Jeremy Hill.

But as the Bayou Bengal faithful are well aware, QB Zach Mettenberger (6 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions – 59 % completions) isn’t ready for prime time.

When the erratic QB takes to the air, (LSU ranks 100th in passing) Odell Beckham, and Jarvis Landry, are primary targets.

The Sons of Billy Cannon will rely on its bevy of plow horses; Hill, along with Kenny Hilliard, and Michael Ford, to carry the load.

Defense is the signature of any Les Miles coached team, and these Boys from the Bayou, (14 points a game), are as reliable, as enjoying bourbon on ice, at a Southern pre-game tailgate gathering, and will determine the fate of the LSU season.

This bone jarring group, led by its All-America end Sam Montgomery, tackle Anthony Johnson, and backer Kevin Minter, squashes the run, and corrals the pass, with the same evil intent of a Barak Obama – Mitt Romney debate.

The Aggies are the mirror opposite, from its Bayou visitors.

The nation’s fifth highest scoring eleven (47 pts.a game), is directed by its scintillating r-shirt freshman QB, “Johnny Football,” otherwise know as Johnny Manziel (14 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions, 67% completions, 10 rushing TDs), who also leads the team in rushing, while getting some early Heisman love.

The kid is the best thing to appear in College Station since Bear Bryant was prowling its sideline, and John David Crow was running his way to the 1957 Heisman Trophy.

The mercury infused dynamo, is assisted by tailback Ben Malena, and a pair of glue fingered receivers; Mike Evans, and Ryan Swope.

Unfortunately, the Aggies Twelfth Man might not even be enough to plug some of the holes in the A&M defense.

This group, which features sack master (8.5) Damontre Moore, and backer Jonathan Stewart, has more holes, than a rat infested Blue Hill Ave, three-decker.

In an early morning kick, 11 a.m. central, we think Miles Men, and its D, keeps its Armageddon game with Alabama in perfect alignment.

No. 1 Alabama at Tennessee (ESPN, 7 p.m.) Once again, it’s St. Nick’s Boys, (also known as Alabama), and everyone else.

That is especially true on the defensive side.

These Tuscaloosan Titans, led by backer C.J. Mosely, Nico Johnson, and All-America safety Robert Lester, is deadlier, than a batch of steroids, from the New England Compounding Center.

They are tougher than a bouncer at old Triple O’s, having allowed a penurious season total of 6 touchdowns, and 45 points.

This sledge hammer eleven, would bring a crease of a smile onto the scowling, nicotine crusted visage of Tuscaloosa’s other secular saint; Bear Bryant.

The offense isn’t as dynamic, but is directed by the surgical proficiency of its junior QB, A.J. McCarron, who has yet to toss an interception, against 12 touchdown passes.

The unflappable leader is assisted by a pair of bulldozing tailbacks; Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, both of whom average 6 yards a pop.

When the quiet Heisman contender, goes aerial, freshman Amari Cooper, and Kevin Norwood, are primary targets.

In Knoxville, the only seat hotter than that of Volunteer Coach Derek Dooley is the one located in the football offices of Chestnut Hill.

And in both locations, it’s going to get even hotter.

UT hasn’t beaten a #1 ranked team, since Ronald Reagan was munching jelly beans, while watching reruns of himself in “Death Valley Days,” at the White House in; 1985.

The Vols are commanded by its rocket armed QB Tyler Bray (16 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions), with assists by a pair of dynamic, big play targets; Justin Hunter, and Cordarrelle Patterson.

When Tennessee runs, tailback Rajion Neal is the principal yardage maker.

But as the Rocky Top faithful are well aware, its easily breached D, featuring backers A.J. Johnson, and Herman Lathers, stops the opposition (31 pts. a game) about as often as a politician utters the word Christmas in December. Happy Holidays!!

Well, it will feel like Christmas in one town late Saturday, as the Tide continues on its November 3rd march, toward Baton Rouge, and LSU.

 

Last week’s record:  4-1                                                   Season record: 24-11

We’ll be up and running with our recap by noon on Sunday, until then; Peace, and listen to the music.   PK

Recap Week 7

Now we know, why it’s called; the Cotton Bowl!

For the Oklahoma Sooners, in its “Booming,” 63-21 rout of rival Texas, it was just like munching on Cotton Candy at the Texas State Fair.

How bad are things in Austin?

Put it this way, not even the Pentagon could fix the Texas defense, which before the season started was considered: elite!!  PLEASE!!!

OU stormed all over the Sons of Bevo, for 677 total yards, averaging an eye-popping 7.5 yards a play.

It was so dominating that the; Sons of Bud Wilkerson, compiled an astounding 314 yards to UT’s 14 in the first twenty minutes.  DOUBLE YIKES!!

In its last two Red River Rivalry games, or Red River Routs; the Horns have been outscored; 118-38!!  SOS!!

If that’s elite; let make a reservation for some fine dining at McDonalds.

Texas has now lost 9 in a row to ranked teams, by the average score of 17 points, and although he’s made a lot of staff changes, the one constant in this run of mediocrity has been; Coach Mack Brown.

It may be time for the avuncular Mack to say good-bye, before the Texas program becomes totally irrelevant.

In the Little Apple, Manhattan, Kansas, Kansas State just keeps rolling along (6-0) after its 27-21 hard fought road victory over Iowa State.

It’s one two punch of; Coach of the Year candidate Bill Snyder, and Heisman contending QB Collin Klein, who don’t make mistakes, and tackle and punish with equal fervor, follow the simple philosophy of the late Raiders President Al Davis, “Just win baby.”

And after the Texas Tech destruction of the frauds from Morgantown, who lost to Oklahoma the previous week, it makes KState’s victory against the Sooners in Norman, all the more impressive.

Speaking of Morgantown, the house of cards came a-tumbling down in the hometown of Buddy Holly, Lubbock, Texas; as Texas Tech crushed the “unstoppable,” Mountaineers of West Virginia;  49-14.

Tech QB Seth Doege played roll reversal with WV QB Geno Smith (whose Heisman chances were severely damaged) passing for 6 touchdowns, and a season high 499 yards.

On the other side, Smith amazingly, failed to pass for a touchdown.

It was also TT’s most lopsided victory over a team ranked in the top five, and a strong indication that Coach Tommy Tuberville is finally putting the Red Raiders pieces back together.

Across the river, in Cambridge, it was win number 14 in a row, (a 35 -7 domination of Bucknell) for Coach Tim Murphy and his Harvard, Crimson football eleven.

That’s the longest wining streak in Division 1AA.

As we have written before, the first, and only, call we would make in hiring the next football coach at Boston College would be; Murph.

He’s a proven winner.  Coached at Cincinnati before coming to Harvard, understand the balance between football and academics, and more importantly, would be a class addition to a school that could use a lot more. 

Don’t believe me?  Ask the season ticket holders what they think.

Up at the Heights its more of the same, as BC was schooled by the Seminoles of Florida State; 51-7. 

The Eagles are now 1-5, with its only win against 1AA Maine.  YIKES!!

And in the remaining 6 games on its schedule, only Wake Forest appears to be a winnable game.

It’s now safe to say, that Coach Frank Spaziani’s future employment will go the way of Bobby Valentine.

In the Smart Kids Category:

Northwestern (6-1) defeated Minnesota; 21-13; and in doing so; is bowl eligible.  Good for them. 

If it’s not Murphy, BC needs a coach like Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald.

While in Durham, the Dukies (5-2), who are trying to go bowling for the first time since 1994, stormed out to a 20-0 lead, only to watch, as the Bullies from Blacksburg, Virginia Tech, peeled off the next 41 points to win 41-20.

The Blue Devils need to squeeze one more win to achieve that goal, and we are betting that Coach Dave Cutcliffe will pull it off.

And one more thing, this isn’t a one hit wonder.

Duke has 22 true, or r-shirt, freshmen on its roster, which bodes well for good things to continue in Durham.

Think Ole Miss would like Mr. Cutcliffe back??!!!

When is a touchdown, not a touchdown?

Answer; in South Bend, Indiana, with Touchdown Jesus lording over the proceedings!

Notre Dame remained undefeated (6-0) as the Irish D, which hasn’t surrendered a touchdown since September 8, made overtime, goal line stand, against the Cardinal of Stanford, hanging on for a come from behind 20-13 victory.

On the fourth down play, the referee claimed that the whistle had blown, and that the runner, Stanford standout, Stepfan Taylor had his forward progress stopped.

After the replay, (it appeared to be a TD) it was determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call.  WOW!!

And the Irish, who have BYU, next week, remain on a collision course with game against mighty Oklahoma in Norman on the 20th.

Some side notes:  It appears that after muddling along for much of the early part of the season, Wisconsin has found its stride, while the Boys from Piscataway, New Jersey, Rutgers University, remained undefeated.

Alabama (6-0) remains above the fray, while another nod to the smart kids; Tulane won its first game of the season; a 27-26 victory over SMU.  Good for them.

And amazingly, three teams from the BIG East; Louisville, Rutgers, and Cincinnati, remained undefeated!  Bring on the SEC!!!!

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

Week 7 Analysis

We begin this week with that classic combo; a roll of toilet paper, and a dozen eggs.

After last Saturday’s 35-7 wood-shed beat down, by South Carolina, two of the Georgia Bulldogs, backer Christian Robinson, and QB Aaron Murray, returned to an unusual homecoming.

“Came home to a house that was egged, and rolled,” Tweeted Robinson. 

“It seems that people turn on you, when you’re not perfect.  I thought we were in this together.”

Coach Mark Richt said, “Sometimes it comes with the territory.”

Later that morning, Robinson sent out another tweet. 

“Still get to be a hero this morning, to the little kids at Athens Church.  There are more important things in life, than wins, and losses.”  Good for him.

But that doesn’t appear to be the case for some of the nitwits, who reside in the twisted culture of the SEC.

This weekend, let’s see which teams soufflé the opposition, by leaving it looking like a bunch of cracked eggs, and which leave the stadium walking on eggshells, after another disheartening loss.

No. 3 South Carolina at No. LSU (ESPN, 8 p.m.) The Head Ball Coach, “cocky” as ever, rolls into Baton Rouge riding a school record; 10 game winning streak.

And unlike his Fun n’ Gun days in Gainesville, the bedrock of the Mighty Gamecocks from Columbia; is its stifling D.

The nation’s fourth stingiest eleven (10.5 pts. a game), is anchored by a dominant, quarterback crunching end; Jadeveon Clowney, with assists from fellow end Kelcy Quarles, and  backers Shaq Wilson, and Quin Smith.

This havoc inducing bunch, stones runners, and hits harder, than Charlie Weis hits the dessert tray.

The SC offense is directed by its steady marksman, dual threat QB, Connor (7 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions – 75% completions) Shaw, who is equally dangerous on the run.

The talented, unassuming leader, is assisted by his All-America plow horse; Marcus Lattimore (9 touchdowns), and a trio of solid wideouts; led by Bruce Ellington, and Ace Sanders.

In Baton Rouge, the Sons of Billy Cannon have won an eye-popping 75% of its game under the lights.

Or to put it another way, a game in Death Valley, is about as hospitable for the visitors, as the zone around the Turkish – Syrian border.

But as the Purple and Gold Faithful are well aware, Coach Les Miles Tigers have a lot of issues on offense.  They have looked as one dimensional as; President Obama without a teleprompter.

QB Zach Mettenberger (6 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions) isn’t ready for prime time, which allows opposing defenses to load up against LSU’s trio of talented backs; Kenny Hilliard, Alfred Blue, and Michael Ford.

When Mettenberger does connect, wideouts Odell Beckham, and Jarvis Landry, are primary targets.

As the offense meanders, like the dead whale floating on the tides in Boston Harbor, it is left to the nation’s eighth stingiest D; (12.8 pts. a game), and third overall, to salvage the LSU season.

These steel-men, featuring All-America end Sam Montgomery, and backers; Kevin Minter and Lamin Barrow, are carrying a bigger burden, than the sensors on Jersey Girls.

Fully aware of the aforementioned risks, in taking South Carolina on a Saturday night in Baton Rouge, we think Spurrier’s Cocks are the better team, and somehow find a way to crow back to Gainesville with the victory.

No. 17 Stanford at No. 7 Notre Dame (Ch. 4, 3:30 p.m.)  The only person with at tougher gig, than QB Josh Nunes taking over for Andrew Luck, is Pope Benedict XVI, taking over for John Paul II.

Luckily, the new Stanford director, (8 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions – 54 % completions), can rely on one of the toughest, and most effective, (15th in rushing) tailbacks in the nation; Stepfan Taylor.

When the new man does take to the air, tight end Zach Ertz, and wideout Ty Montgomery, are solid targets.

The Cardinal D, led by its trio of active backers featuring; Shayne Skov, stones runners, but is a woeful 113th defending the pass.

It’s been so long, not even Touchdown Jesus remembers these stellar numbers.

Harry Truman was sitting in the Oval Office (1947), the last time the Irish played five games without being behind, which, coincidentally, was a national championship season.

And the last time the Domers surrendered a Demi Moore anorexic total of 39 points through its first five games; (1975), Dan Devine was roaming its sideline, and Gerry Ford was roaming the White House grounds.

This Irish resurgence is traced to the nation’s second stingiest D (7 pts a game), keyed by its ubiquitous, All-America backer Manti Te’o, and his partner Prince Shembo.

This suffocating group has allowed a nation leading total of only 3 touchdowns, while not allowing a goal line crossing in its last 12 quarters of football.

Those impressive numbers are usually reserved for such talents as; Raquel Welch, or Brigitte Bardot.  (I know!  I’m dating myself!!)

The offense led by its curve climbing QB, Everett Golson (3 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions – 60 %), with assists from a pair of battering ram tailbacks, Cierre Wood, and George Atkinson III, averages a late 20th century, 28 points a game.

This will be, by far, ND’s toughest test.

But there is something magical going on in South Bend, and wherever Brian Kelly’s has coached, the third year has been his breakout charm.

To paraphrase Chief Brody in “Jaws;” “We’re going to need a bigger wagon,” in order to accommodate all the “jumpers” back, onto, the Irish bandwagon.

As ND moves to a remarkable; 6-0.

No. 13 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 Texas (Ch.5, Noon) Dallas, Texas – Cotton Bowl  With both teams suffering a loss, this year’s Red River Rivalry, has lost some of its “fried Twinkie,” sizzle.

And the question that continues to echo in Norman: Does OU have its swagger back?

The Sooners are directed by its “once” highly touted, yet talented, mistake prone QB Landry Jones (5 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions), with assists from a pair of power tailbacks; the D and D Boys; Damien Williams and Dominique Whaley.

When the frustratingly erratic signal caller is on target, Kenny Stills, Justin Brown, and Sterling Shepard, are comforting, glue-fingered targets.

The Sooners D, the country’s 19th stingiest (16 pts. a game), led by backer Tom Wort, and end Chuka Ndule, shoots down the pass with the precision of an Israeli jetfighter, but is mediocre slowing the run, which is not the best State Fair recipe against Texas.

Texas is a defensive mess.

The Horns “elite” defense has been exposed, more than Paris Hilton.

It has become a major concern for Coach Mack Brown and the Austin Faithful, who still harbor dreams of a UT Renaissance.

This Ole’ matador-eleven, features a pair of disrupting ends; All-America Alex Okafor, and his partner Jackson Jeffcoat, but overall is a horn-splitting 83rd in stopping the run, 74th overall, and 64th in points allowed.

If that’s elite, then a bologna and cheese sandwich is a gourmet meal.

On the other hand, the offense has been Blue Ribbon worthy.

The offensive Sons of Bevo, the country’s sixth highest scoring squad (46), are commanded by the nation’s third most efficient passer; QB David (11 touchdown passes – 1 interception – 75% completions) Ash.

The Austin Automatic feeds a pair of wrecking ball tailbacks; Joe Bergeron (9TDs), and Johnathan Gray, while receivers, Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis are as sure handed as former Oriole shortstop, Mark Belanger. (Another old man reference).

In what is always a classic scene, regardless of records, we’ll take the Sooners in what promises to be, what else would you expect in Texas; a shootout.

No.6 Kansas State at Iowa State (FX, Noon) Once again the Wildcats septuagenarian Wizard, Coach Bill Snyder, is a formidable candidate for; Coach of the Year Honors.

Every year, the “experts” dismiss his Wildcats, and every year Snyder’s Boys to the delight of the Cat Faithful, confound the “experts.”

The Purple Cats from the “Little Apple,” Manhattan, Kansas are directed by its often bloodied dual-threat leader; Heisman candidate, QB Collin (7 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions – 7 rushing TDs) Klein.

The QB is the soul of the team, and he leaves more blood on the field, than a Friday night surgeon, in an inner city Emergency Room.

The rest of the Manhattan project, which is averaging 43 points a game, and 9th in rushing (263 yds. a game), features a pounding tailback John Hubert (7 yds. a carry), and a pair of Velcro handed wideouts; Chris Harper, and Tramaine Thompson.

The nation’s 16th tightest eleven (15 points a game), led by backer Arthur Brown, and end Adam Davis, is solid in all phases, and hits harder than a bodyguard, protecting Syrian Butcher, President al-Assad.

The only person who does more, with less, than Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads, is Boston Mayor, Tom Menino.

On offense, these Sons of Johnny Majors, are about as dynamic as the Boston City Council, or a post game Bill Belichick press conference.

The Cyclones, led by its senior QB, Steele Jantz (7 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions) with assists from tailbacks James White, Shontrelle Johnson, and wideouts; Josh Lenz and Aaron Horne, averages a Munchkin-like; 26 points a game.

On D, the Boys from Ames are punishers, allowing 15 points a game, and feature a pair of dynamic Big 12 backers, Jake Knott, and A.J. Klein.

This is a very dangerous game for the visitors from Manhattan, but in the end, Saturday Football’s favorite player, Collin “Old Blood and Guts” Klein prevails.

No.22 Texas A&M at No. 23 Louisiana Tech (ESPN, 9:15 p.m.)  This is the Hurricane Isaac rescheduled game, and for the Aggies, when it’s all over, they may very well feel they’ve been in a hurricane.

It is also a game that should have more scoring than a young Warren Beatty.

First year Coach Kevin Sumlin’s high octane attack (44 points a game), the eighth best in America, has been warmly received in College Station.

The Maestro of this point-a-thon is the Aggies mercury infused, dual-threat QB Johnny “Football” Manziel (11 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions – 69% completions), who has also run for seven scores.

Its charismatic leader is assisted by tailback Ben Malena, and a pair of chain-moving receivers; Ryan Swope and Mike Evans.

The nation’s 8th stingiest (14 pts. a game) D, led by backer Jonathan Stewart, and sacks master (7) Demonte Moore, isn’t vintage “Wrecking Crew,” but is much improved from the recent porous editions that have played on Kyle Field.

Like father, like son.

Sonny Dykes, the son of the legendary Texas Tech Coach, Spike, operates with the same high wire offensive act as his old man.

The Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech, are directed by its gunslinging QB, Colby Cameron (13 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions – 68% completions), who smoothly downshifts the country’s third highest scoring (53 points a game) machine.

The Ruston, Rifleman is assisted by tailbacks Kenneth Dixon, and Tevin King (combined 13 TDs), along with his starry wideout Quinton Patton.

But the D has more holes than a Syrian wall, after another “government” mass execution.

These sieve masters, featuring end IK Enemkpali, and backer Antonio Mitchum are a bottom sucking 1 from the bottom in pass defense, and total defense, while allowing an eye-popping average of; 35 points a game.

On the road, away from home, the Aggies won’t have its famed Twelfth Man.

They won’t need him, but they will need a bunch of points to prevail.

 

Last week: 3-2                                       Season record: 20-10.

Be sure to read our weekend recap, which will up and running by noon on Sunday.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

Week 6 analysis

We begin this week with a hazardous seat location.

Two weeks ago, 57 year old Patty Beljarano, of Las Cruces, New Mexico attended her first, and possibly last, college football game.

It was played at Aggie Memorial Stadium, on the campus of New Mexico State University.

She was sitting in the general admission section, munching on some candy, and enjoying the atmosphere, when she felt a sudden sting on her leg.

Reaching down, she touched her jeans, saw blood, and realized that she had been shot.

She was taken to the hospital, and released the next day.

Police theorize, that the bullet was probably fired outside the stadium, possibly in celebration of a touchdown, which in recent seasons, has become a rarity

“It’s ridiculous,” said Patty.  “You can’t even go out anywhere, anymore.”

This weekend, let’s see which teams, employing the shotgun, win in a shootout, and which play so poorly, it leaves their coach in the position of being fired.

No. 5 Georgia at No. 6 South Carolina (ESPN, 7 p.m.)  It took awhile, due to suspensions imposed by Coach Mark Richt, but finally, the Bulldogs have all its starting pieces lined up between the hedges.

The Dawgs chief walker is its All-American caliber QB, Aaron Murray (12 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions – 68 % completions) who operates as the nation’s third most efficient passer.

The country’s eleventh best rush attack (250 yds. a game), and eighth highest scoring team (48), motors with a Butch and Sundance, pair of freshmen sensations; tailbacks Todd Gurley, and Keith Marshall.

In Athens, this shoot-em-up duo, which averages, an eye-popping 8 yards a carry, has scored a combined; 14 touchdowns, and is affectionately known as; Gurshall, in honor of Georgia’s legendary tailback, Herschel Walker.

When the QB takes to the air, wideouts Michael Bennett (out season- knee), Marlon Brown, and Tavarres King, are field stretching targets.

The D, anchored by its All-America backer Jarvis Jones, and fellow backer Jordan Jenkins, isn’t of Bulldog, or SEC vintage, allowing an average of 22 points a game.

Hail Columbia!

This may be the biggest game in the history of South Carolina football, which has been fielding teams since; 1892.

The cock of the walk, for Coach Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks, is dual-threat QB, Connor Shaw (5 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions – 78% completions) Shaw.

The Gamecocks dart thrower, directs a grinding, glacial attack, by leaning heavily on his All-America tailback Marcus Lattimore (8 tds), and a trio of receivers; Ace Sanders, Bruce Ellington and Damiere Byrd.

But it’s the South Carolina D, led by end Jadeveon Clowney, tackle Kelcy Quarles, and backer Shaq Wilson, stones runners and allows a miniscule 11 points a game.

It will determine the heights that South Carolina will climb.

Hail Columbia indeed, as Spurrier’s Cocks bite the Dawgs, crowing its way toward an SEC East showdown against Florida.

No. 4 LSU at No. 10 Florida (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) One of the lines from the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic; “Born on the Bayou,” reads; “Wishin’ I were a fast freight train, Just chooglin’ down to New Orleans.”

It is that sense of intensity that, so far, seems to be missing from this year’s version of the Bayou Bengals.

And if this was a word association game; as Afghan President, Hamid Karzai is to corruption; LSU is to a ground attack.

Coach Les Miles’ signature top-twenty ground and pound assault, fires behind a trio of battering rams; Kenny Hilliard, Michael Ford, and Spencer Ware.

But as the Purple and Gold faithful are well aware, the Tigers aerial show is lacking serious pyrotechnics.

First time starter, QB Zach Mettenberger (6 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions) has been as effective, as Congressman John Tierney ludicrous “Casablanca” assertion, that he knew nothing, about his wife’s $7 million checking account.

Once again, the ultimate success of the Tigers rests with its fourth rated D, who locks up an offense better than Master.

This eleven, featuring All-America end Sam Montgomery, and backer Kevin Minter, surrenders a dozen points a game, and plays with a ferocity, that is only matched by the enmity Senator Scott Brown holds, toward his challenger, Professor Elizabeth Warren.

The Boys from the Swamp are on the rise.

But these are not your father’s “Fun and Gun” Gators of Steve Spurrier.

In fact the Florida passing attack, commanded by its dual-threat QB Jeff Driskel (4 touchdown passes – 1 interception), and assisted by wideouts Frankie Hammond and Trey Burton, ranks a swamp mucking 13th from the bottom.

In lieu of an aerial show, Florida’s top-twenty running game, led by its All-America caliber tailback Mike Gillislee, along with the improvisation of Driskel, has lifted the return to glory dreams of the Gainesville faithful.

The nation’s tenth stingiest D (12 points a game), featuring backer Jonathan Bostic, and tackle Omar Hunter, are the chief architects of this somewhat tenuous Swamp revival.

We think that the UF revival needs an infusion of citrus, as the boys “Born on the Bayou,” leave Gainesville with the W.

No. 8 West Virginia at No. 11 Texas (FOX, 7 p.m.) Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, there are no country roads, mountain mamas, or John Denver recordings, appearing in Austin.

Dana Holgorson, its “Mad Scientist,” coach, brings his high climbing Mountaineers, rolling into cattle country, as the third highest (53 pts. a game) scoring team in the land.

Heisman candidate, QB Geno Smith, the Morgantown rifleman (20 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions – 83% completions), leads the nation in pass efficiency, and can hit a target more accuracy than a Taliban rooftop sniper.

And what targets his has.

The marksman, has a trio glue fingered receivers; Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, and J.D. Woods, who have already combined for 19 touchdowns.

But the defense remains a mirage.

There is a rumor that the 2012 West Virginia eleven, 94th in points allowed (32), and second from the bottom in defending the pass, has a cheese maker in Switzerland, interested in becoming a major sponsor.

In Austin, the Horns newly minted starting QB, David Ash (10 touchdown passes – 1 interception, 78% completions), the country’s second most efficient spiral specialist, is quite capable of leaving that suspect WV secondary in ashes.

The Texas gunslinger has a pair of quality, Velcro fingered targets; Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis.

But if the Longhorn resurgence proves not to be Memorex, it will be done on the strength of his running attack which features the powerful tailback threesome; Joe Bergeron, Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray.

The Horns 63rd ranked D, once thought to be elite, and anchored by ends Jackson Jeffcoat, and All-America Alex Okafor, has sprung some serious, and troublesome fissures, particularly in stopping the run.

It has already surrendered five TDs of 44 yards or longer, while missing more tackles, than the Kardashians endorse products.

In a game in which the entire UT Math Department may be called upon to keep track of the scoring, we believe that Sons of Bevo play a bit more D, rattle Smith, and squeeze out the victory.

No. 9 Notre Dame vs. Miami (Ch.7, 7:30 p.m.) Soldiers Field, Chicago   For the Irish, this is indeed rarified air.

The last time the Sons of Knute Rockne were ranked in the AP Top-10 (2006), Barak Obama was an unknown Senator from Illinois, George H. W. Bush occupied the Oval Office, the American economy was full steam ahead, and Osama Bin Laden was alive.

And unlike Notre Dame Squads of recent vintage, this group is built around its Kryptonite defense, which is surrendering a flimsy Alabama-like; 9 points a game.

Its backbone is its ubiquitous, All-America backer, Manti TE’O, the leader of the nation’s fifteenth overall D.

But on the other side of the ball, the lifeless offense (76th scoring), is in dire need of some extra novenas, and a blessing from Touchdown Jesus.

Starting QB, Everett Golson (3 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions – 56% completions), remains, much like the hole in Downtown Crossing, very much a work in progress.

But if things are especially rough, Coach Brian Kelly has shown that he won’t hesitate to bring in his relief pitcher, junior quarterback, Tommy Rees. (This brings a marrow chill to the spine of Tommy “Black Hand,” Price.) 

Theo Riddick leads a ground game, which once showed promise, but now runs (84th) like a glue-factory nag at Suffolk Downs.

And when the Irish take to the air (85th), they wobble passes at receivers; TJ Jones and DaVaris Daniels.

The U has done it with mirrors.

It has all been on the arm, and heroics, of the nation’s 16th ranked passer, QB Stephen Morris (9 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions), whose principal targets are Phillip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott.

The Miami ground attack, led by the promising freshman Duke Johnson, and senior Mike James, remains at a meandering sea level-like; 84th overall.

But it’s the Hurricanes’ D which sends Category 2 worries to its “bandwagon jumping” faithful.

This group led by end Anthony Chickillo, and backer Eddie Johnson, has produced numbers; (8th from the bottom stopping the run, 91 in defending the pass, 98th in scoring, allowing a colander 33 points a game, and ranks 6th from the bottom overall), that not even a mother, could defend.

This is a game of great intrigue.

A victory is a huge step in the progress of both programs, but in Chicago at prime time, we think that the bars will be toasting the Irish victory into the weeest of Sunday morning hours.

No. 21 Nebraska at No. 12 Ohio State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.)  In Lincoln, the question continues to echo; will the once vaunted, and feared, “Black Shirt” D, ever resurface in Memorial Stadium?

If not, if will be another long, barren, winter, for the Big Red faithful.

The Huskers sturdy stalk, remains its dual-threat impresario, QB Taylor Martinez (11 touchdown passes – 1 interception – 67 % completions), whose legs, at least to Nebraska Nation, are just as dynamic as those of Faith Hill.

The starry road runner, who operates the nation’s fifth best rushing attack (305 yds. a game), is greatly assisted by a pair of road plowing tailbacks; Taylor Burkhead and Amer Abdullah.

And when the “Magic Man,” who has greatly improved his throwing mechanics, chucks it around, wideouts Kenny Bell, and Quincy Enunwa, are complimentary targets.

The aforementioned D, led by backer Will Compton, and tackle Baker Steinkuhler, has been gashed by the opposition’s tailbacks, more often, than the face of former heavyweight contender, “The Bayonne Bleeder,” Chuck Wepner.

In Columbus, the Urban Renewal project is ahead of schedule.

The Buckeyes principle architect is its bulldozing (6-2, 210 pounds) sophomore QB, Braxton Miller (8 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), who scoots as the nation’s 13th best runner, averaging; 115 yards a game.

Woody would love the Bucks approach.

Ohio State is 98th in passing, but averages over 200 yards on the ground with a big assist from tailback; Carlos Hyde.

The D, led by backers Ryan Shazier, Ettenne Sabino, and end John Simon, stones runners but is a flood gate 94th in defending the pass, leaving Urban Meyer well aware, that his team remains a work in progress.

In what will be a classic fall scene, Big Ten football, at night in the “Horseshoe,” we think it’s the Buckeyes, who add another building block to its foundation.

Last week: 3-2                                                 Season total: 17-8.

 

Be sure to read our recap which will be up and running by noon on Sunday.  Until then Peace, and listen to the music.    pk