Based on the color edict issued by Buckeye Coach Urban Meyer, Joni Mitchell the iconic folk-rock goddess of the sixties would not be a welcomed presence at the Horseshoe of Ohio State.
The title and cover color of her classic album “Blue” would be an anathema to Meyer’s senses.
The reason, the coach instituted a policy that brims with paranoia, he doesn’t allow “ANYONE” wearing the color blue, the colors of the “School up North” as the faithful of Ohio State refer to its arch-rival Michigan, to grace the OSU football complex. (UM by the way, is a superior academic school.)
The rule applies to fans, media members, and even scouts from the NFL. It must bring nodding approval from the Chinese government.
Earlier this year, a pair of unsuspecting NFL scouts had the temerity to walk into the Woody Hayes Athletic Center wearing the offending sartorial hue. As soon as they were spotted they were hooted upon by the Buckeye players, and staff members were instructed to give the scouts Ohio State shirts to cover the offending attire.
Amazingly the scouts didn’t give Meyer the big “How do you do,” but acquiesced by donning the shirts.
Others in attendance who witnessed the event, said it was truly embarrassing.
This weekend, let’s see which teams wear their shirts proudly, exhibiting a performance “As constant as a northern star,” and which perform like another Joni lyric, “Help me I think I’m falling…,” leaving its alums truly blue, or as Joni again sang, “I’ll be in the bar.”
No. 6 South Carolina at No. Georgia (ESPN, 4:30 p.m.) It’s very early, but a Gamecock victory and the “Head Ball Coach” Steve Spurrier, just might punch his ticket into the SEC Championship game.
The heart of the Cocks attack is its dual-threat senior QB Connor Shaw, who is as rugged and determined as Diana Nyad, while his throwing partner Dylan Thompson provides a nice classic QB combo for the coach.
South Carolina’s ground attack is energized by its powerful tailbacks Mike Davis, and Brandon Wilds, who pinball through a defense, while wideouts Shaq Roland, and Bruce Ellington, provide field-stretching targets.
The tensile strength of the Cocks is its D, anchored by All-World end Jadeveon Clowney, his bookend Chaz Sutton, and supported by safety T.J. Gurley. They will ultimately determine the destination of the South Carolina season.
In Athens there is already a sense of desperation, and despite losing its leading receiver Malcolm Mitchell to a season ending touchdown celebration, there remains plenty of firepower in the Bulldogs attack.
The Dawgs are directed by its highly touted QB Aaron Murray, with a huge assist from the tailback pairing; All-America Todd Gurley, and Keith Marshall. When the senior gunslinger takes to the air, receivers Michael Bennett and Chris Conley are inviting targets, and must make up for the loss of Mitchell.
The D which has issues with tackling, is bed rocked by its starry backer Amarlo Herrera and his partner Ramik Wilson.
In many ways this is the super-bowl for both teams, and even though the game is being played between the Hedges, we think the Cocks crow on Sunday morning sitting in the pole position of the SEC East.
No.14 Notre Dame at No. 17 Michigan (ESPN, 8 p.m.) So much for tradition. Despite meeting for the 41st time Brian Kelly (200-68-2), the newly extended head coach of the Irish doesn’t view the Michigan game as an historic rival of Notre Dame.
To any college football fan, the game is always much watch television. It is a hard fought, riveting game that often carries high drama. Maybe the 23-16-1 Wolverine advantage has something to do with it? Nah, couldn’t, right? Instead let’s bring on Temple, who 2-76 in its last 78 against is ranked opponents, everyone wants to watch that.
The Golden Domers are led by its classy senior QB Tommy Rees, with assists from tailback Amir Carlisle, George Atkinson III, and Cam McDaniel.
When the quiet leader goes aerial, TJ Jones, and DaVaris Daniels are comforting targets.
A pair of All-Americas and future Sunday performers, nose Louis Nix III, and end Stephon Tuitt, backbone the Iron Curtain D, that will be tested in Ann Arbor.
As much fun as it was watching Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood, (QB Denard Robinson), Meeechigan Coach Brady Hoke finally has his guy at the controls in Devin Gardner.
The talented senior captain is assisted by tailbacks Fitzgerald Toussaint, Derrick Green, field stretching wideout Jeremy Gallon, and monstrous tight end (6-5, 228) Devin Funchess.
The D led by backers Desmond Morgan, and Camer Gordon, will attack from all angles.
If this in fact is the end of, despite what Kelly says, of a great rivalry, Meeechigan hangs another W against the Irish in South Bend.
No. 12 Florida at Miami (ESPN, Noon) There remains a great deal of skepticism (Black Hand) regarding the validity of this Gator team, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.
The greatest doubt falls on the arm of QB Jeff Driskel and his ability to consistently deliver in a pressure situation.
But make no mistake, despite the long gone days of the Fun-n-Gun, the Gators do have talent.
Tailbacks Mack Brown and Matt Jones are a daunting duo, while wideouts Trey Burton, Quinton Dunbar, and Valdez Shivers can send shivers, and stretch the chains.
But the strength of the Gainesville eleven remains its swarming D, featuring tackles Dominique Easley, Leon Orr, and backer Michael Taylor.
Is this finally the year the Canes break through and win the ACC, and the year the NCAA finally finishes its investigation into violations by the Hurricanes?
Coach Al Golden’s Hurricanes are directed by its talented QB Stephen Harris, with a huge assist from his explosive tailback Duke Johnson, as well as a trio of receivers; Allen Hurns, Phillip Dorsett and tight end Clive Walford.
The D led by backer Denzel Perryman, Alex Figueron, and Jimmy Gaines, remains the biggest enigma since Crockett and Tubbs were solving crimes on the set of Miami Vice. But if they do jell, it could be a special season for the team from the Gold Coast.
In a highly anticipated, and significant game, we’ll take SEC speed as the Gators reduce the Hurricanes to small craft warnings.
No.15 Texas at BYU (ESPN2, 7 p.m.) Texas is journeying into Provo for only the second time in its history.
It is also hoping that the second time since 1988, the Horns won’t experience a similar car wreck when they were throttled 47-6.
This indeed will be a stern measuring stick for the “revitalized” Sons of Darrell Royal.
Dual-threat QB Davis Ash has been given the keys to the Austin machine, and he will be greatly assisted by a Wildebeest sized herd of tailbacks, led by Jalen Overstreet, and Joe Bergeron.
When the oft-erratic signal caller takes to the skies, wideouts Jaxon Shipley and John Harris provide comfy targets.
The much maligned D, is propelled by ends Jackson Jeffcoat, Cedric Reed, and backer Jordan Hicks who hope to shed last season’s Spanish “ole” tackling.
In his seven years as the head man in Provo, Coach Bronco Mendenhall (74-29) has never started a season 0-2.
The Cougs commander is QB Tayson Hill, who does more damage with his legs than his arm. He is assisted by his starry tailback Jamaal Williams, and wideouts JD Falslev, Ross Apo, and Skyler Ridley are inviting targets.
The swarming and hard hitting D, behind nose Eathyn Manumaleuna, backer Uani Unga, and its All-America backer Kyle Van Noy will keep BYU in every game.
We are still in a sell mode on Mr. Ash and the Horns, so we’ll take the Boys from the Latter Day Saints to claw out the victory.
No.2 Oregon at Virginia (Ch. 5, 3:30 p.m.) The Ducks have more speed than a meth-lab in Appalachia.
QB Marcus Mariota orchestrates the Eugene offense with the precision of a Swiss timepiece.
The supersonic signal caller chooses from a smorgasbord of weapons featuring lightening receiver\ tailback De’Anthony Thomas, receiver Josh Huff, and tight end Colt Lyerla.
The Ducks D, behind backer Taylor Hart, end Tony Washington, and tackle Ricky Havill-Heimuli is often overshadowed by the fly boys on offense, but is deserving of its own all-star billing.
In an effort to bolster his Jeffersonian offense, Virginia Coach Mike London hired three former head men to install some wattage, including old friend Tom O’Brien.
The Cavs are directed QB David Watford, with assists from tailback Kevin Parks and wideout Darius Jennings.
Virginia’s best hire might be D-coordinator Jon Tenuta, who will utilize safety Anthony Harris, backer Henry Coley, and end Eli Harold in very innovative and disruptive ways.
This is the highest ranked team to visit Charlottesville since USC came calling in 2008, (52-7) and unfortunately for the Cavalier faithful, it should be equally ugly in Scott Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Last week’s record 4-1 Season record: 4-1
That’s it from cyberspace. We’ll be back with our weekend recap on Sunday by noon.
Until then, Peace, and listen to the music! PK