Monthly Archives: October 2015

At Michigan, Coach Harbaugh coaches up the trick or treaters!!

We begin this Halloween weekend with a costume, a plan to double dip, and a spooky coach.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, a man who “lives on the edge,” offered these bon-mots of advice for the urchins who will be trick or treating on Saturday night.

“I’d advise them to get two costumes.  To be go getters,” said the Maize and Blue head man.

“You can hit the neighborhood in one costume, and run from one house to the other and get more candy than anybody else.  Then come home, make a quick change into a second costume, and go hit the same houses again,” he said.

“It’s constant hustle, hustling at all times,” said the coach.

With Michigan’s great start to the season, I bet there will be a lot of kids in Ann Arbor wearing Khakis and blue M sweatshirts.

This weekend let’s see which teams hustle all over the field, gorging itself on the sweet taste of victory, and which try to slink out of the stadium hoping to disguise its identity.

No.9 Notre Dame at No.21 Temple (Ch. 5. 8 p.m.) When the Notre Dame scheduled was announced, the Irish faithful automatically chiseled a W next to the Temple game.

Well, with apologies to Stephen Sondheim, “A funny thing happened on the way to the forum.”

Temple is far from “Charmin” soft.

The Owls have screeched into the rankings for the first time since the last days of Jimmy Carter – 1979 – and sit 7-0 for the first time in its history.

In South Bend, the Sons of George Gipp, under the steady guidance of Brian Kelly, have strung together a nice season.

Its peppermint cool sophomore QB DeShone Kizer (10 TDs-4 INTs – 65%) directs the top-twenty scoring eleven (38), with assists from his ironsides tailback C.J. Prosise (922 yds.-7 yds. a pop-11TDs), and a game breaking wideout Will Fuller – 21 yards a catch and 8 TDs.

On D, the Domers, led by All-America backer Jaylon Smith, his partner Joe Schmidt, and corner KeiVarae, struggles like a Hungarian border guard (83rd) in slowing the rush.

In Philadelphia, maybe only an Owl could have seen this coming.

For the moment, cherry and white has become the new black in the City of Brotherly Love, and Temple’s head man, Matt Rhule is a leading candidate for Coach of the Year honors.

The Sons of Pop Warner have reached those heights with a defense modeled after the Israeli Army.

The nation’s eighth stingiest eleven (14), stones runners behind a pair of backers Tyler Matakevich (7 TFLs-4 sacks), his partner Jarred Alwan, and tackle Matt Ioannidis (7.5 TFLs-3.5 sacks) and together have been more opportunistic than the employees of a brothel in Sweden.

Despite possessing Volkswagen-esque offensive numbers (108th), the descendants of Hall and Oates (‘69, ’70)  are directed by its hit making QB P. J. Walker (9 Tds-3 INTs- 59%) with assists from receivers Robby Anderson, and Ventell Bryant.

On the ground, the Boys from Philly’s chief road grader is tailback tailback Jahad Thomas (12 TDs) who is also a receiving threat coming out of the backfield.

It’s been a “hoot” of a run for the Owls, but on Halloween night, Temple’s golden carriage morphs into a pumpkin of nightmarish proportions, as the Irish paint the town green.

No.8 Stanford at Washington State (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.) Stanford has better balance than Philippe Petit.

Since its season opening defeat, the Cardinal has simply colored over its opponents.

The Sons of Jim Plunkett are directed by one of the nation’s best; QB Kevin Hogan (14 TDs-4 INTs-66%) who hits a target with the deadly accuracy of a Donald Trump barb.

“Handsome Boy,” which is how my wife Carol refers to the Palo Alto gunslinger, is boosted by his All-World tailback/receiver/kick returner Christian McCaffrey, who is making a hard run toward the Heisman.

The son of former alum and NFL star Ed, leads the team in rushing (136 a game), and receiving (21-yards a catch), and tops the nation in all-purpose yards; averaging a jaw-dropping 259 per game.

The Farm’s dart thrower can also rely on a stable of targets; led by tight end Austin Hooper, and receivers Devon Cajuste, and Michael Rector.

The aggressive turbo-charged defensive descendants of John Brodie are led by backers Blake Martinez, Peter Kalambayi, and safety Kodi Whitfield, and are solid in all phases.

In Pullman, Coach Mike Leach, the “Mad Scientist” of the Palouse, has created a winning formula.

And unlike the visitors from the south, the Cougars offense is as unbalanced as Charlie Manson.

It sinks to third from the bottom in rushing (125th), but soars to third in passing, riding the arm of QB Luke Falk (26 TDs-4 INTs-72%) who plays in the same obscurity as; Gummo Marx.

The “Gumby” armed signal caller also has the luxury of focusing on a trio of prime targets: Gabe Marks, Dom Williams, and River CraCraft; who have combined for 139 receptions and 19 TDs.

When the Cougs go off script tailbacks Gerald Wicks, and Keith Harrington, provide adequate ground support.

But as the Cougar faithful are well aware, it’s “scientist” has yet to discover the antidote for a defense led by backers Peyton Pelluer and Jeremiah Allison, which has more holes than the Yawkey Way “swindle” between the Boston BRA and the Boston Red Sox.

We think that the Sons of Herbert Hoover, who once famously said, “A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus,” continues its Bela Lugosi coffin climb toward a possible playoff invite.

Georgia vs. No.11 Florida – Jacksonville, Fla. (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) The fizz is lacking for this year’s “Biggest cocktail party in the world,” as the Bulldogs, have once again disappointed its uber-impatient zealots.

And the Dawgs bite seemed to disappear, when it lost its All-America, and Heisman candidate Nick Chubb (knee) for the season.

The Sons of Mike Bobo directed by Virginia transfer QB Greyson Lambert (9TDs-2 INTS-64%) has been as inconsistent at Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

When the QB’s GPS is in working order, Malcolm Mitchell and Terry Goodwin are quality targets, while the tailback committee; Brendan Douglas, Sony Michel, and Keith Marshall can motor with anyone.

The Dawgs D led by the linebacking trio; Jordan Jenkins, Jake Ganus, and Tim Kimbrough is high quality “Milk-Bone.”

In Gainesville, there hasn’t been this much excitement since Anita Bryant was squeezing oranges for Minute Maid.

And the boffo debut by Coach Jim McElwain has reenergized the Swamp faithful.

QB Treon Harris (4 TDs-0 INTs-61%) (Because of the suspension for a calendar year of starter Will Grier) has been handed the keys to the wagon, and the newest “Swamp Fox” has delivered better than Domino’s.

The Gators mundane ground attack is led by tailback Kelvin Taylor (less 4 yds. a carry), but Florida’s three-pack of receivers; Demarcus Robinson, Brandon Powell, and tight end Jake McGee are capable game changers.

But the backbone of the Sons of Jack Youngblood is a defense that that brings the faithful’s “blood” to a boil.

These stout thoroughbred disruptors featuring backers Antonio Morrison (7 TFLs), his partner Jarred Davis (7 TFLs), end Jonathan Bullard (10 TFLs), and All-America corner Vernon Hargreaves, possess enough speed to chase down Secretariat.

Late Saturday afternoon, we think the Gators celebrate victory with fresh-squeezed screwdrivers all around.

No. 12 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.) T. Boone Pickens U, aka Oklahoma State, is attempting to start 8-0 for the third time in school history.

[Note: Pickens has contributed $235 million to his alma mater including the magnificent football stadium named for its benefactor.]

With apologies to Bob Seeger, these “Cowboys ride, with the wind.”

The Sons of Jerry Adair (Impossible Dream season – 1967), the nation’s eleventh highest scoring eleven (40), flies on the arm of QB Mason Rudolph (10 TDS-7 INTs -64%), and his dart tossing backup J.W. Walsh, who has thrown for a mind boggling 7-touchdowns on just 14-completions.

(Note: Playing against Kansas helps.)

The Pokes gunslingers select from a sampler of wideouts: David Glidden, James Washington, and Marcell Ateman, who have combined for 82 grabs and 8 TDs.

When the bombardiers grow arm weary, tailbacks Rennie Childs, and Chris Carson provide quality changeups.

In years past, a defensive sighting in Stillwater was rarer than a Boone Pickens dry-well, but that has completely changed this season.

These intimidators behind ends Jimmy Bean (10.5 TFLs-5.5 sacks), and Emmanuel Ogbah (11.5 TFLs-8 sacks), have combined for the most sacks by any duo in America, and are equally lethal defending the run or the pass.

In Lubbock, the hometown of Buddy Holly, and with apologies to Don McClean, not only did the music die, so did any semblance of defense on the Texas Tech gridiron.

The Red Raiders are so leaky, (think Depends convention), it has increasingly warmed the coaching chair of Kliff Kingsbury.

The Sons of E.J. Holub led by backers Micah Awe, and Dakota Allen, have Plainridge Park Casino numbers and sit next to last in total D, while allowing a jaw dropping 562 yards per game.

These matador- poster boys are third from the bottom in stopping the run, while surrendering an average of 40 points per game.  YIKES!!

On the offensive side, TT’s offense scores quicker than drug dealer on the Common.

The nation’s fifth highest scoring powerhouse (46), ignites under the direction of QB Patrick Mahomes (21 TDs-10 INTs-64%), with assists from a pair of chain moving receivers; Jakeem Grant, and Reginald Davis, who have combined for 82 catches and 10 TDs.

When the Mask Riders decide to road grade, tailback DeAndre Washington (6.7 yds. a carry – 8 TDs) is a dangerous yardage churner.

On Saturday in Lubbock there will be no victory music for the home side, as the Boone Pickens visitors remain perfect.

No.3 Clemson at North Carolina State (ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.) Who Knew??!!

If the Tigers win out, it punches its ticket into the playoff.    

And unlike “Dabo” teams of Clemson past, these Sons of Jeff Bostic have done it with a defense that even O.J. would appreciate.        

The nation’s seventh stingiest (14), and fourth overall, is led by its provocateurs; end Shaq Lawson (12.5 TFLs-5.5 sacks), his partner Kevin Dodd (9TFLs-4.5 sacks), and backer Ben Boulware, who gobble the pass and the run with the same voracity as Pac-Man.

The offense is directed by its dual-threat magic-man, QB Deshaun Watson (15 TDs-7 INTs-69% and second in rushing), who dances like the second coming of Fred Astaire.

The “Bambi” strider is assisted by his downhill tailback Wayne Gallman, and a trio of quality targets; Artavis Scott, Ray-Ray McCloud, and a touchdown (6) making tight end; Jordan Legett.

The Wolfpack have also thrived with a defense that leaves its faithful in a full throated howl.

These Sons of Bill Cowher, the nation’s eleventh tightest (16) attack from all angles behind tackle BJ Hill, backer Airius Moore, and safety Josh Jones.

QB Jacoby Brissett (10 TDs-1 INT -67%), a Florida transfer, is the commander of the Raleigh eleven, with assists from a pair of multi-talented tailbacks; Matt Dayes (12 TDs), and Jayles Samuels, who are equally dangerous running and catching.

Clemson is like an Irish curse.

There is always a sense of dread when the Tigers are expected to carry the day.  But on Saturday we think the mission driven descendants of Refrigerator Perry carry the day.

We forgot to report our record from two weeks ago:  4-1.

Last week 4-1.                                                         Season record: 24-16.

That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our recap by noon on Sunday.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

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UMass humbled, Miami crushed, BC loses, Undefeated Harvard, Dartmouth meet Friday at Stadium

It a week in which the schedule was softer than the Charmin, and with Halloween just around the corner, we begin with a pair of “horror shows.”

Holy Toledo!

The first took place in our own backyard at the “friendly” confines of Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, where the Minutemen (1-6, 0-3), is a season that has turned worse than the “mouse” sandwich at Subway, fell to a talented, and nationally ranked bunch of Rockets from Toledo: 51-35.

But it’s the way Coach Mark Whipple’s team lost this game, blowing another big lead, which is most disconcerting.

“The Belles of Amherst” whose psyche is indeed softer than the Charmin, led 28-10 at the half and appeared as if it was ready to spring a huge, and must needed, season changing upset.

But after the break the Rockets exploded, outscoring the “Sad Sacks” from the Home of Emily Dickerson: 41-7.  OUCH!!!

As the faithful (12,000) are well aware, there was nothing poetic about this loss.

“We’re still looking to play a complete game,” said Whipple.  Whose deflated squad must now run the table in order to achieve its stated preseason goal of going bowling.

There is about as much chance of that happening, as the water gushing into the walls of the Big Dig Tunnels, drying up.

The other nightmare occurred in Coral Gables, Florida, where the Hurricanes aren’t even a Small Craft warning.

With apologies to Mel Brooks from “Blazing Saddles” the mantra for the beleaguered squad that was wearing uniforms that read: Miami was; “We don’t need no stinking defense.”

Miami was Veg-O-Matic-ed: crushed, sliced, and diced by the Tigers of Clemson 58-0; the worst drubbing in the 90-year history of Hurricane football. TRIPLE YIKES!!

How bad was it?

Try 42-0 at the half, as Clemson scored touchdowns in five of its first six possessions, and outgained the Hurricanes overall: 567-146.  OUCH!!!

Until yesterday, the standard bearer for Miami ineptitude happened over 7-decades ago, a 70-14 shellacking by Texas A&M on December 8th, 1944; back when FDR occupied the White House.

But yesterday’s no-show left no doubt that the 5-year tenure of Coach Al Golden is over.  It’s now just a matter of whether he’ll serve out the season.

But with a limited amount of funds to pay a coach – rumored to be $3 million – it will be difficult to attract a “name” coach to a place that has a weak, front running fan base, and whose home games are played off campus, 40 miles away in an often half-empty pro stadium.

Now back on the Homefront:

The Teammates; Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth, and Tim Murphy of Harvard will meet in what may be a Friday night classic at the Stadium, with the winner owning the keys to the Cadillac in the drive for the Ivy League Championship.

Both teams come into the game on a roll:

“The Green Bay Packers of the Charles” have won 20 in a row, dispatching Princeton 42-7, while the Big Green of Dartmouth in a penalty filled mess beat Columbia 13-9, and are riding a 9-game winning streak, which is its best start since Bill Clinton was chasing Barbara Streisand around the piano in: 1997.

Up at the Heights it was the same old recipe; Great D, no offense, as the Eagles of Boston College (3-5, 0-5) in another gritty performance fell to Louisville; 17-14.

To show how unbalanced the BC eleven are; the Sons of Doug Flutie were outgained 365-79.  YIKES!!

Where are the Hasselbecks when you need them??!!

And now BC must run the table in order to go bowling for the third consecutive year, and the odds of that area worse than Martin O’Malley wining the Democratic nomination for president.

Hail the “Smart Kids,” as Duke and Northwestern both won and are both bowl eligible.  And Coach David Cutcliffe’s (one of our favs) Dukies, have remarkably won 12 of its last 13 on the road, and remain undefeated (3-0) in the ACC race.

Not to be outdone, the “Harvard” of the West, Stanford (6-1) has emerged as the “Beast of the West” and has played its way into the playoff conversation.

How wide is the smile on Bo Pelini’s face??!!

After 7-seasons (62-27) as the head man of Nebraska, (which dropped to 3-5 with yesterday’s loss to Northwestern), Coach Bo, who never fell below 9 wins, and was canned last year after a 9-3 season, must have a Cheshire Cat knowing smile on his proboscis mug.

Proving once again, that the grass is not always greener!!

In Austin, the mob pointing six-shooters at the head of head coach Charlie Strong has at least temporarily stuffed themn back into the holsters, as the “Fighting Strong’s” won again: knocking off Kansas State; 23-9.  Good for Charlie.

Very quietly, there is a nice story taking place in Pittsburgh as Pat Narduzzi’s top-25 Panthers defeated Syracuse; 23-20 on a last second field goal to climb to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the ACC.  Good for them.

In Sooner Land, maybe we wrote off Oklahoma too soon, as the Norman invaders have been rolling since its embarrassing hiccup against Texas.

And and with a back loaded schedule, the Sons of Bud Wilkerson may have a lot to say about who gets invited into the playoff of four- and that includes Bob Stoops’s troops if it runs the table.

And out in the Palouse there is life, as Mike Leach’s Washington Cougars (5-2), behind a starry QB that nobody knows in Luke Falk, have inserted itself into the Pac-12 conversation with its 45-42 victory over Arizona.  WOW!!!

Finally, we close as always with our “Star-Kist” smooch to the pompous gasbag Charlie Weis, whose spirit continues to stew in the bowls of the Kansas Football Program (0-7), arguably the nation’s worst, which once again was slaughtered, this time by Oklahoma State 58-10!!   Sorry Charlie!!!

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

At Clemson, if you can’t make it to the game, the band will come to you!!

Addison Grace Bolt with her new friends in the Clemson band. (NCAA.com)

Addison Grace Bolt with her new friends in the Clemson band. (NCAA.com)

We begin this week with a 10-month old little girl, the Clemson Tiger, a pep band, a man from Pennsylvania, and a fatal disease.

Jonathan and Stephanie Bolt’s daughter Addison Grace has been diagnosed with Krabbe disease, a rare and fatal illness for which there is no cure.

It attacks the nervous system, and most kids don’t live beyond their second birthday.

Even with the diagnosis, her parents had hoped to bring Addie, as she is known, to a Clemson game this season, but because she has taken a turn for the worse, unable to breathe, eat, or hold her head up on her own, those plans were canceled.

But that’s when John Neal of Pennsylvania, who lost a daughter to the Krabbe, and has become an advocate, raising money and awareness for a cure, heard about the Bolt’s wishes and put a plan into action.

He contacted Clemson Band Director Dr. Mark Spede, and they agreed, if Addie couldn’t go to the game, they would take the game, so-to-speak, to Addie.

On a Sunday afternoon, unbeknown to her parents, the Clemson Pep Band, its cheerleaders, and Clemson Tiger mascot came marching down the Bolt’s street stopping in front of their house and serenading Addie, who was cradled in her mother’s arms, with “Clemson, All Hail!

“It just filled my heart,” said the teary-eyed mother.

This weekend, let’s temporarily put the games aside, and hope the teams, alums, and fans take a moment to reflect and appreciate what is really important in life.

Video

More photos from the rally 

Princeton at Harvard (Noon, 94.5 FM) Every season there is one “Mr. Softie,” a week when the “big boys” are either on a bye, or fattening up on cupcakes, and this fourth Saturday in October fits the bill.

So in that spirit, we decided to dip into the Ivy League and feature our home town heroes; the mighty Crimson of Harvard, or as we like to refer to them: “The Green Bay Packers on the Charles,” who just might be the best football team in New England.

The Sons of JFK have won a eye-popping 19-in a row, (its last loss coming at the hands of Princeton six games into the 2013 season), 13 straight on the road, and are pulverizing teams, like, well, like the Packers of old.

Its future Hall of Fame Coach, Tim Murphy, (who should be patrolling the sideline at BC, but that’s a story for another day), said it simply; “We’re a good football team.”

We’ll begin, with what the engineers of the Big Dig Tunnels can only aspire, the Crimson’s “watertight” D.

The FCS’s second stingiest (8 pts.) eleven anchored by a threesome of backers; Jacob Lindsey, Matt Koran, and Eric Medes, has written a better chapter than its Pulitzer winning alum David Halberstram, and is harder to penetrate than the hideout of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman.

On the offensive side, Harvard can score almost as quickly as another of its “luminaries”, Alan Dershowitz files a law suit.

The nation’s fourth highest scoring squad (44) is directed by sharpshooter (is that word allowed in Cambridge?) QB Scott Hoch (10 TDs –1 INT-58%) who is assisted by his tailback slasher Paul Stanton (99 yds. a game, 7 TDs) and a high caliber freshman; Noah Reimers.

When “Mr. Veritas” takes to the Cambridge skies, tight end Ben Braunecker (4 TDs), along with wideouts Seitu Smith, and Justice (great Harvard name) Shelton-Mosley, are dependable chain moving targets.

On the visitor’s side, the Sons of James Madison, the Father of the US Constitution, are as dangerous as walking down the street in Tel Aviv.

The balanced descendants of Dick Kazmaier (Heisman ’51) downshift behind QB Chad Kanoff (4 TDs-3 INTs -57%), with assists from tailback Joe Rhattigan, and a trio of wideouts; John Lovett, Isaiah Barnes, and Trevor Osborne.

But as the Tigers faithful are well aware, its tattered and battered D, (103 rd against the pass) featuring corner Dorian Williams, backer Rohan Hylton, and safety John Hill, is leakier than the soon to be shuttered Pilgrim Nuclear Power plant in Plymouth

In a game that may present some challenges for the “Packers of the Ivy” we ultimately think the streak climbs to 20, with the long shadow of Dartmouth coming to town for a classic showdown next Friday night.

No.6 Clemson at Miami (Ch.5, Noon) These are not our father’s Clemson Tigers.

The Sons of James Dickey (“Deliverance” –attended 1-year) who in past years, have sported a defense softer than a stick of butter on the Fourth of July, have completely reformed its culture.

Now Dabo’s disruptors led by end Shaq Lawson (10 TFLs-3.5 sacks) and a pair of equally aggressive backers; Ben Boulware, and B.J. Goodson, punish people behind a top-ten rated D, that surrenders a miniscule 16-points a game.

On the offensive side, QB Deshaun (14 TDs-7 INTS-68%) Watson showcases better moves than Tina Turner.

The Tigers maestro is assisted by his bell-cow tailback Wayne Gillman, while a committee of receivers; Artanis Scott, Ray-Ray McCloud, Deon Cain, and Jordan Leggett, gives its “Private Dancer” more choices than the meat aisle at Wegmans.

In Miami, these have not been golden days for the U’s Al Golden.

The offense of the Sons of George Mira displays about as much diversity as the library at the University of Dublin.

It can light the high fashion Miami skies with its sophomore sensation, QB Brad Kaaya (10 TDs-1 INT-61%) and a pair of chain moving targets; Rashwan Scott and Herb Waters, but not even John Deere himself could rescue the Canes moribund rushing (102) attack.  Where’s former Hurricane Chuck Foreman when u need him?!

Miami’s D, featuring backer Jermaine Grace, and end Trent Harris, is a small craft warning compared to the Hurricane flag raisers of glory days gone past.

Simply stated, Clemson “storms” out of Sun Life Stadium with the W inching closer to a playoff invitation.

No.3 Utah at USC (FOX, 7:30 p.m.) With apologies to Jimmy Reed; do the bright lights and big city go to the Utes head?

For the Boys from Salt Lake City the stage and stakes (playoff) are higher than the fed’s inquiry into FanDuel and DraftKings, or Hilary’s testimony about Benghazi.

Again, with a tip of the hat to Aerosmith, the Sons of Bob Trumpy have been “living on the edge,” but remain the last man standing in the Pac-12 Conference.

QB Travis Wilson (7 TDs-3 INTs-67%) is the Utes dual-threat gunslinger, but the offensive igniter is tailback Devontae Booker, who punishes the opposition the same way the shoe pounding Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev punished the UN podium, while shouting; “We will bury you,” in October of 1961.  Ah, the good old days!

When Utah takes to the skies, Britain Covey, Kenneth Scott, [note: tight end Siale Fakailoatonga out for season] are his rather pedestrian targets.

Here’s the hat-hanger for the USC faithful.

The last seven Trojan coaches have won their Coliseum debut, and interim coach Clay Helton is intent on increasing that number to eight.

On paper, the Sons of Anthony Davis have as much talent as the runway of a Victoria Secret fashion show, yet have been as inconsistent as the foreign policy of the United States.

QB Cody Kessler (17 TDs-5 INTs-68%), the nation’s ninth most efficient passer, is one of those Men of Troy game changers, with assists from a passel of tailbacks, Ronald Jones, Tre Madden, and Justin Davis who average over 6-yards a pop.

The Trojan signal caller also has a Linus-blanket target in and one of the country’s best; All-America JuJu Smith-Schuster – 20-yards a grab, and 7 TDs.

But in addition to USC’s nightmarish coaching carousel, its Trojan Horse has been a D anchored by backer Su’a Cravens, backer Cameron Smith and tackle Delvon Simmons that has been as disappointing as the campaign of Jeb Bush.

We think the noise, traffic, and “brown LA haze” as Jimmy Buffet once wrote, prove too much for the Salt Lake visitors, as Coach Helton grabs an eye-catching victory.

Texas Tech at No.17 Oklahoma (ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.) The gridiron descendants of Buddy Holly (Lubbock, Texas) score faster than a client visiting the Bunny Ranch.

The Red Raiders, the nation’s third highest scoring eleven (49), are directed by its dart tossing dual-threat impresario, QB Pat Mahomes (20 TDs-6 INTs-63%), who averages a jaw-dropping 374 yards through the air.

The high cotton (Lubbock is the largest contiguous cotton growing region in the world) maestro is assisted by a pair of field-stretchers; Jakeem Grant (49 catches-4 TDs), and his partner Devin Lauderdale – 17 yards a grab.

And when the TT director calls in the ground troops, tailback DeAndre Washington (7 yds carry -7 TDs) is a quality road grader.

But as the faithful of the Sons of Donny Anderson are painfully aware, Tech’s defense has more holes than a rumpled suit on Barney Frank.

This bottom-feeding eleven, featuring end Pete Robertson (8.5 TFLs, 2 sacks), backers Dakota Allen, and Micah Awe, have numbers worse than Volkswagen; resting 5th from the bottom in total and rushing D, 114th in passing defense, while allowing 36 points a game which is 14th spots above dead last.

The wind hasn’t even begun to start “whipping down the plain,” yet the Sons of Bud Wilkerson have, more-than-likely, played itself out of the national championship conversation.

The invaders from Norman, the 13th highest scoring band in the land (40), are commanded by TT transfer Baker Mayfield (19 TDs-3 INTs-67%), the nation’s fourth most efficient passer.

The former walk-on is assisted by tailbacks; Samaje Perine, and Joe Mixon, while wideout Sterling Shepard is open more than a Store 24, making grabs with hands that should be modeling for Elmers.

Its once porous D has significantly tightened thanks to its All-America backer Eric Striker (10 TFLs-4.5 sacks) and his partners Dominique Alexander and Jordan Evans.

How things change.  There once was a time when a Sooners loss in Norman was rarer than a Loch Ness sighting.  Nevertheless on Saturday, we believe the descendants of Chuck Fairbanks stroll out of Memorial Stadium on Saturday with a hard earned W.

Washington State at Arizona (Pac-12 network, 4 p.m.) The resurrection in Pullman has taken longer than expected, as “The Mad-Scientist” coach Mike Leach continues to experiment for just the right mixture of antidote.

But the Sons of Drew Bledsoe have certainly found its heir in QB Luke Falk (21 TDs-4 INTs-72%), who directs of the nation’s fourth best passing attack.

The bombardier is assisted by a trio of tasty targets; Gabe Marks, Dom Williams and River Cracraft who have combined for 118 catches and 15 TDs, and when the aerial artist rests his wing, tailback Gerard Wicks has the ability to scratch out some quality yards.

But seemingly inbred into the Palouse is a D, featuring backers Peyton Pelluser, Jeremiah Allison, and safety Shalom Luani that remains leakier (85th) than the pre-Katerina levees of New Orleans.

In Tempe, Coach Rich$ Rod’s name continues to surface regarding some of the openings, and expected openings around the country – USC, South Carolina, and possibly VaTech to name three.

The high-flying Cats, eighth in total offense (542 yards), and ninth in scoring (41), have done much of its damage on the ground, as tailbacks; Nick Wilson (foot), Jared Baker, and Orlando Bradford, are sixth best overall rambling for; 297 yards a game.

QB Anu Solomon (13 TDs-0 INTs) is the leader of the desert eleven, and selects from a sampler of wideouts; Cayleb Jones, Nate Phillips, David Richards, and Johnny Jackson who have combined for; 98 catches and 11 TDs.

But like its visitors, and with apologies to Mel Brooks in “Blazing Saddles;” “We don’t need to stinking defense!!”

The Cats D behind safeties Will Parks, Jamar Allah, and backer Jake Matthews, sit 92nd overall, 90th in points allowed (30), and has more holes than a Palestinian home in the West Bank.

In a game in which points should pile up quicker than the “scoring” at a Louisville basketball fraternity party, we think Rich Rod’$ Cats have a bit more firepower.

That’s it from cyber-space.  We’ll be up and running with our week-8 recap on Sunday by Noon.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

Michigan State wins one for the ages!, Harvard, Dartmouth win, BC, UMass lose, Irish defeat USC

Where’s Jim McKay when you need him.

Halloween arrived early in Ann Arbor yesterday, as the Big House, in a matter of ten skinny seconds, was transformed from a House of Joy into a House of Horrors.

On fourth down, with ten seconds left on the clock, and nursing a 2-point lead, all Michigan needed to do was punt away the football to seal one of its biggest victories in nearly a decade.

It would also have sent a message to the college football world that Jim Harbaugh’s Maize and Blue was indeed a force to be reckoned with.

But that’s when the unimaginable happened.

Michigan’s rugby style punter Blake O’Neil dropped the perfect snap, then, as he tried to kick it, fumbled it into the waiting arms of Michigan State safety Jalen Watts-Jackson, who with an escort of teammates dashed 38-yards along the left sideline before tumbling into the end zone for one of the most improbable victories in the history of college football; 27-23.  AMAZING!!

It left the Big House faithful silent and slack-jawed, with the echoes of McKay reverberating in their heads: “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.”

On the local front the “Teammates” Tim Murphy of Harvard, and Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth continued toward their October 30th collision course at the Stadium with a pair of convincing victories.

The Crimson whitewashed Lafayette; 42-0, for its nineteenth win in a row, and its thirteenth consecutive road victory, while the Big Green bowled over Central Connecticut; 34-7 for its eighth straight victory.

In Amherst, and Chestnut Hill, it was “Deja-vu all over again” as Mark Whipple’s “Belles of Amherst” (1-5) fell to a mediocre bunch of “Golden Flashers” from Kent State 15-10, while BC (3-4) lost to a high quality undefeated squad from Clemson; 34-17.

In Amherst there remains more questions than answers, as a season that once held such promise has fully unraveled (1-5, 0-2).

And in order for the Minutemen to reach its bowl game goal, it must win 5 of its remaining 6 games. DOUBLE YIKES!@!

I don’t want to say that’s an impossible task, but the Lincoln Chaffee has a better chance of winning the presidency.  OUCH!!

On the Heights, BC now sits (3-4, 0-4), losers of four of its last five, and also in need of a Chafee-like miracle to go bowling this year, especially because it needs 7-victories after opening the season against a pair of 1AA teams.  For the Eagles; it’s that Boston mantra; “Wait till next year!!”

Back onto the national scene, Alabama strengthened its case as a playoff contender knocking off the 9th ranked Aggies of Texas A@M; 41-23.

The Tide scored 21–points on a school-record three “pick sixes,” while its All-America tailback Derrick Henry ran for a career high: 236 yards.

It was the Coach Nick Saban’s sixth victory over a top-10 team, which ties him with Bear Bryant.  WOW!

In Baton Rouge, the “Mad Hatter,” struck again as LSU (7-0) defeated the previously unblemished Florida Gators: 35-28.

But it was the way the Bayou Bengals did it that warms the hearts of the “Hatter” faithful everywhere.

Tied at 28 early in the fourth quarter, the Tigers set up for a 28 yard field-goal, when Miles brilliantly called for a fake.  It was perfectly executed as kicker Trent Dominique, who bobbled the ball several times, calmly rumbled into the left side of the end zone for the winning score.  AMAZING!!!

Mobbed by his behemoth teammates, the 170-pound kicker looked like a tooth pick amongst Redwoods as he clutched the touchdown ball tighter than Richard Burton clutched a glass of scotch.  Good for him!!

In South Bend, the Irish defeated a dysfunctional, yet talented bunch of USC Trojans: 41-31.

But this wasn’t just another Irish victory, there is a certain Zen-like calmness and resolve amongst Brian Kelly’s troops.

And it was on full display under the lights at South Bend.

After coughing up a 14-point lead, and trailing by 7, the Irish (6-1) behind the passing of r-shirt freshman DeShone Kizer, and the running of C J. Prosise, convincingly and impressively scored 17-unanswered fourth quarter points, edging Notre Dame into the playoff conversation.

In order to receive that invite, the Irish need two things to happen: Clemson must finish undefeated, and Stanford must continue its domination.  ND and the Cardinal meet at season’s end

If those two happen: let the games/arguments/ hatred begin!!

In Iowa City a coaching seat that was once as warm at the ocean around the Plymouth’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, has cooled like a seat at the Ice Bar at Faneuil Hall, as Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz watched his Hawkeyes blow-out a good Northwestern team on the road; 40-10.

Iowa climbs to a jaw-dropping 7-0, and takes a stranglehold on the Big Ten West Division.

When asked how good his Hawkeyes are; Ferentz answered: “I have no idea.  But I do know we play with a lot of guts.”  Iowa is a very good team.  Period!!

In one of the season’s feel-good stories, and there are a bunch this season, the Memphis Tigers are 6-0 for the first time since JFK was chasing Marylyn around the Oval Office – 1961.

They have a terrific QB in Paxton Lynch, and an even better coach; Justin Fuente, whose phone should be ringing with either Maryland or Rutgers on the other end.

Another hot coach is Matt Campbell of the Toledo Rockets (6-0), which continues to maul its opponents, and like Fuente should be on speed dial of the two previously mentioned schools.

Finally we would be remiss without ending with our “Star-Kist” kiss to the spirit of Charlie Weis and the Kansas Jayhawks, who actually played tough against the Texas Teck Red Raiders losing 30-20 and falling to 0-6.

KU remains one of the worst programs in college football sitting 120th in scoring (19), and 123 in total D, allowing 42 points a game.  Sorry Charlie!!

That’s it from cyber-space.  We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 7, until then Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

At Alabama, the “Italian Stallion” always ate well!!

We begin this week with white tablecloths, waiters, steak, and an ethnic nickname.

When he played at Alabama, 1969-71, Johnny Musso, better known as the “Italian Stallion,” recalled that there was a class-system in the Alabama cafeteria.

“If Coach Bryant deemed that you played well, you would sit at a table, covered by a white tablecloth and a waiter would serve steak.  If not, you stood in line with everyone else, holding a tray, and ate whatever slop was on the menu,” said one of the Tides greatest running backs.

Musso’s moniker came courtesy of team publicist Charlie Thornton.

“When he came up with the “Italian Stallion,” I was embarrassed at first.  But over the years as I’ve spoken at Italian American clubs for fathers and sons, and I found out that it was a great source of pride for a lot of people,” Musso recalled.

The All-America grew up in Birmingham, and watched his first Alabama game The Iron Bowl at the age of 11, and from then on, wanted to play only for the Tide.  And play he did, leading the SEC in rushing his junior and senior years.

This weekend, let’s teams play so well that they, along with its faithful, celebrate over a prime steak dinner, and which, end the day starved for victory, and saddled with the nickname; loser.

No. 7 Michigan State at No. 12 Michigan (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) There hasn’t been this much excitement in East Lansing since its iconic coach; Hugh Duffy Daugherty won the 1956 Rose Bowl.

But despite having won ten in a row, eleven consecutive Big Ten road games, and 32 of its last 35, (only Alabama and Florida have won more since 2013) Sparty has sputtered like the stock of EMC.

It has won five straight, and six of its last seven against its “big brother,” but marches into Ann Arbor, decimated by injuries, the latest being its All-America center Jack Allen (doubtful) and principle road grinder Madre London.

The Sons of Bubba Smith are directed by its senior QB Connor Cook (12 TDs-2 INTs-59%) whose leadership abilities, are better than anything the Republicans have to offer in its search for the next Speaker of the House.

Unfortunately, the Spartans mundane offense (72nd overall) assisted by tailback L.J. Scott (6Tds), and wideout Aaron Burbridge performs more like the Helots working the farm.

Sparty’s highly touted D, led by third generation backer Riley Bullough, his partner Jon Reschke, and All-America end Shilique Calhoun, has been as disappointing Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign, and is particularly susceptible defending the pass.

The biggest question in Ann Arbor remains; when does the first batch of “Harbaugh for President” bumper stickers begin to appear?

Even Vladimir Putin would be impressed.

Channeling the spirt of Bo Schembelcher, the Sons of Red Berenson have whitewashed three consecutive opponents for the first time since the last days of Jimmy Carter – 1980.

Harbaugh’s metaphor for his team is a callous; “Building a callous” symbolic of toughness of his Big Blue squad.

The Maize and Blue’s Fort Knoxian D, the nation’s stingiest (6 pts. a game) and second overall, attacks with backer Joe Bolden, Desmond Morgan, and safety Jabrill Peppers, and has allowed a jaw-dropping total of 7-points in its last 19 quarters of play.

It makes this group harder to penetrate than the inner circle of Tom Brady.

If the defense is Broadway worthy, the Meeechigan offense is like a Big Mac at a high end steak joint.

Iowa grad-student transfer, QB Jake Rudock (5 TDs-6 INTs-62%) is the classic game manager, while its committee of road graders featuring; De’Veon Smith, Ty Isaac, and Derrick Green is as dynamic as Lincoln Chafee on a debate stage.

When the traffic cop goes aerial, Amara Darbough, and tight end Jake Butt – (yes! tight end Butt) – are the principle safety nets.

On Saturday, we think the callous gets harder, as the Maize and Blue, under its Bo reincarnate, moves deeply into the playoff conversation.

No.10 Alabama at No. 9 Texas A&M (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) With apologies to Blondie, “The Tide is high …. I’m going to be your number one.”

Saddled by an early season loss, Groucho’s favorite team has been forced into full playoff mode.

And if, as Blondie sang, Bama is going to be your number one, or at least a playoff team, it cannot stumble again.

The backbone of the Sons of Johnny Musso is a smothering D that’s more disruptive than a lunch between Mayor Marty Walsh and casino magnate Steve Wynn.

These eleven angry men are led by its one man wrecking crew, All-America backer Reggie Ragland, with assists from end Jarran Reed, and safety Geno Mathias-Smith.

But as the title-town faithful are well aware, Bama’s offense is more like a tuna sandwich, not exactly bland, but certainly not a prosciutto, Swiss, and provolone, with pickles and tomato, slathered with natural mustard on thick hand cut Polish rye.

Florida State transfer, senior QB Jake Coker (11 TDs-6 INTs-59%) is a steady game manager, who leans heavily on his All-America tailback; Derick Henry – 10 TDs.

The Tide has also found its game-changing wideout Calvin Ridley, who helps open up the running lanes for Henry and company.

In Aggieland this year’s “12th Man” is its newly hired Gandalf-like defensive wizard John Chavis, who ventured over from L$U to stabilize and toughen A@M’s matador defense.

Now the biggest concern for the Sons of John David Crow is whether USC comes a calling for its coach Kevin Sumlin, and if so, will he’ll listen?

These Lee Roy Caffrey descendants are directed by the latest College Station gunslinger; QB Kyle Allen (13 TDs-2 INTs -64%) who can hit a target better than an Israeli sniper pointing at the head of a Palestinian.

The sharpshooter is assisted by a trio of field-stretchers; Christina Kirk (16 yards a grab), Josh Reynolds (21), and Ricky Seals-Jones, while Tra Carson in the principle road-churner.

The improving D, which plays with the same anger that the Clinton’s harbor toward Barak Obama is anchored by a disruptive pair of ends; Myles Garret (9.5 TFLs -7.5 sacks) and Daeshon Hall (6.5 TFLs -5 sacks).

But as long as St. Nick continues to patrol its sideline, we’ll always take the desperate eleven from Tuscaloosa.

No.11 Florida at No. 5 LSU (ESPN, 7 p.m.) As the legendary Dinah Washington once sang, “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes, twenty-four little hours……”

That is exactly the sentiment that enveloped the Gators football office, when it learned that its starting QB Will Grier, has been suspended by the NCAA for an entire calendar year for taking an over-the counter supplement that contained a PED substance.  (Coach Jim McElwain said the football program will appeal the decision.)

The QB shift dramatically alters the Sons of Steven Stills (dropped out after a year), who will now turn to its sophomore QB; Treon Harris, who has experience, but not the leadership of Grier.

The new kid on the block will lean on his leather tough tailback Kelvin Taylor (7TDs), while a three-pack of receivers: wideout Demarcus Robinson, Brandon Powell, and tight end Jake McGee are solid chain movers.

But the guile behind these Swamp monsters is a D (eleventh stingiest 14 pts.), anchored by All-America corner Vernon Hargreaves, end Jonathan Bullard, and backer Jarrad Davis, which plays rougher than Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, gang tackling the CEO of Goldman Sachs.

This season the L in LSU stands for; Leonard.

Tailback Leonard Fournette, the Tigers Heisman frontrunner, is having a better year than Michael Dell.

The virtuoso, with a future Sunday pedigree, has already surpassed the 1000-yard mark, averaging a jaw-dropping 8.6 yards a carry, and more than 200 yards-a-game.

But there is cause for concern in Death Valley, as the Sons of Billy Cannon are as multi-dimensional as Deval Patrick.

QB Brandon Harris (4 TDs-0 INTs-57%) slim resume includes a total of 89-attempts, and the LSU passing attack sits a bottom feeding 122nd nationally.

When the Tigers signal caller makes a connection, he has a pair of tall-cotton receivers; Travin Dural and Malachi Dupree who have the ability to make a big play.

As always with a Les Miles coached team, its strength is with a D, featuring backers Kendell Beckwith, Deion Jones, and safety Rickey Jefferson, who hit with the intensity and power of a Ronda Rousey right cross.

On Saturday, in a game in which both teams will have more welts than a bee-keeper, it will be Leonard left, Leonard right, Leonard straight ahead, as LSU edges its visitors and continues lurking just outside the playoff circle.

USC at No. 14 Note Dame (Ch.7, 7:30 p.m.) The season for the Sons of Neil Armstrong is as dysfunctional as the campaign of Jeb Bush.

Steve Sarkisian is out, and interim Shawn Elliott is in.  It will be the fourth different USC coach in the last four years to coach in this game.

(Where’s Ed Orgeron when you need him?  But that is a story for another day.  Right Pat Haden??!!)

But weep not for the Trojans.  Its brand is revered.  It just needs to recover from the; Pete Carroll/Reggie Bush/Snoop et al mess, after Petey bolted one step ahead of the posse for Seattle.

But the underachieving Men of Troy, remain dangerous (39 pts a game) especially under the command of its stellar dart-thrower Cody Kellser (15 TDs-3 INTs-69%) who targets one of the country’s best; JuJu Smith-Schuster – 6 TDs – almost 19 yards a grab.

This Trojans ground attack will never be confused with “Tailback U” as Tre Madden, and Ronald Jones are as ordinary as dandelions dotting the outfield of a neighborhood ballfield.

USC’s D (64th overall) featuring backer Su’a Cravens, tackle Delvon Simmons, and backer Cameron Smith are as undisciplined as a Kardashian preening for the camera.

In order to garner a playoff invite, the Sons of George Gipp are going to need more than an intercession by “Touchdown Jesus.”

The Irish must run the table, and hope that Clemson, and Stanford, whom they play at seasons’ end, do the same.

The Domers balanced attack is under the command of its dual-threat r-shirt freshman QB DeShone Kizer (8 TDs-4 INTs-65%) who plays with the steady maturity of John Wayne in “Rio Bravo.”

The ‘bright-lights’ kid focuses on a touchdown making target Will Fuller (7 TDS-19 yards a catch), while tailback C.J. Prosise (7 yds-9 TDs) rumbles as the nation’s seventh best chain mover.

The D is led by its All-America disruptor, backer Jaylon Smith, his partner Joe Schmidt, and corner KeiVarae Russell struggle mightily (84th) stopping the run.

In what has potential to be a classic, despite all the controversy, we think “Touchdown Jesus” stretches his arms a little higher as Notre Dame takes out USC.

Arizona State at No.4 Utah (ESPN, 10 p.m.) Todd “The Texter” Graham’s desert visitors have dusted up a “win” storm of 11 consecutive victories against the Utes.

But number 12 would be a season changer.

The Sons of Curley Culp are directed by its rocket-armed QB Mike Bercovici (14 TDs-4 INTs-60%), who has the luxury of targeting a passel of receivers; D.J. Foster, Devin Lucien, and Tim White, while the chief road runner is tailback; Demario Richard.

The D, led by safety Jordan Simone, and backers Salamo Fiso (10.5 TFLs), and Antonio Longino, has been as bland and uninspiring as democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb.

Utah is the last man standing!

Amazingly Utah, that’s right, Utah, is the lone remaining unblemished eleven in the Pac-12.

But the concern amongst the Salt Lake City faithful isn’t whether the carriage turns into a pumpkin, but whether its coach, Kyle Whittingham, gets a clarion call from USC.

We think he’d be the perfect choice.

The Sons of Marv Fleming double shift behind dual-threat QB Travis Wilson (5 TDs-3 INTs-66%) who does more damage with his “pins,” averaging 7.1 yards-a-carry, and its Norm Boulash-esque wall busting tailback Devontae Booker, who is averaging 133 yards per game.

But the key to the Utes resurgence is its opportunistic D, that ranks second in the country in forced turnovers with seventeen, led by backers Gionni Paul, Jared Norris, and safety Tevin Carter.

In what will be a very close game, we think Utah clouds the Sun Devils streak.                                               .

Last week: 4-1                            Season record: 16-14

That’s it from cyber-space.  We’ll be up and running with our recap by noon on Sunday.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

Texas shocks Oklahoma, Harvard, Dartmouth, UConn win, BC stumbles, Michigan rolls, Columbia end 24-game losing streak

If this was a movie, the call from the Governor would have come in at the last minute, Stop the execution!!  We have new evidence!!

(In fact, Texas Governor Greg Abbot was in attendance.)

In the real world of “big-boy” football Texas coach Charlie Strong (8-11) lives for another day, after his Longhorns shocked the Sooners of Oklahoma; 24-17.

Texas mascot, Bevo XIV, stricken by a life threatening illness was not have been able to leave Austin and travel to the Cotton Bowl, but the Texas football eleven showed up, and in a dominating “Win one for Charlie” performance, punched it arch-rival, the tenth ranked Oklahoma Sooners all over the field.  WOW!!

Was it a game changer for Strong, who knows, but it at least for the moment, it quieted the piercing white noise that was emanating out of Austin,

It was also another desultory performance by “Big Game Bob” – OU coach Bob Stoops – whose moniker we will officially bury from these pages, as his team bullied from the opening whistle as the Horns imposed its will.

How important was the UT win?

At games end the (2-4) Sons of Darrell Royal dunked its coach with Gatorade, as the entire team body surfed its victorious coach who displayed a smile wider than the Grand Canyon.

At the post-game press conference Strong told the gathered media: “I knew you guys didn’t think so.”

Well said Charlie.

In a startlingly contrast, we move onto the Heights of Chestnut Hill, where the Eagles of Boston College (3-3, 0-3) in an offensive display of mindboggling ineptitude, that not even BO or Woody would appreciate, fell to the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest; 3-0.   Yikes!!!

That’s right this was a football game.

The dispiriting loss, dotted with missed field-goals, fumbles, abysmal clock mismanagement, and negligible passing yards, makes the odds of the Eagles going bowling, because of its pair of season opening 1AA games, longer than Mayor Marty Walsh and Steve Wynn having Thanksgiving dinner.

BC must garner 7-wins to become bowl eligible.

That means it must find a way scratch-out 4 wins from its remaining six which includes road games at Clemson, Louisville, and visits from Notre Dame (away-game), Virginia Tech, and NC State.

Good Luck.

Not even Houdini could get find his way out if that!!

The Eagles offense is more inept than the Iraqi Army, having scored a total of 7-points in its last two games – both losses – while its stellar nation’s best ranked D, has surrendered at total of 12.   WOW!!

Just imagine if Mark Whipple was patrolling the sidelines as the Eagles head coach, with d-coordinator Don Brown by his side??!!   But that is a story for another day.

Staying on the local front a pair of teammates: Silver Lake’s Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth, and Tim Murphy of Harvard, both crushed its opponents remaining undefeated and on its collision course for the October 30th night game at the Stadium which might decide the Ivy League Champion.

The “Green Bay Packers” of Cambridge have run its winning streak to 18 in a row!!  WOW!! Imagine if Timmy Murphy was patrolling the sidelines at BC??!!  Oh well, that’s another story for another day!!

Speaking of streaks, our pal Al Bagnoli, the newly minted Coach at Columbia lanced the Lions 24-game losing streak boil which had stretched back to November 10, 2012, defeating Wagner 26-3.

Trust us, it will be the first of many for the Lions under the leadership of Bagnoli.

Staying on the local scene, it was another loss (1-4) for the Minutemen of UMass who were throttled by the Falcons of Bowling Green: 62-38.  OUCH!!!

Mark Whipple’s “Belles of Amherst” can score with the best of them, but has a defense with more holes than a cheese factory in Switzerland.

The “vaunted” Men of Amherst allowed a Bowling Green to set a school-record of 725- offensive yards (519-passing) with the key play being another interception by UMass QB Blake Frohnapfel on a third and goal from the 8 early in the second quarter.

OUCH!! – It ended up being a 14-point turnaround.  Game-set- match for the Minutemen.

On the bright side it the UMass’ record braking receiver Tajae Sharpe had another spectacular day: 19 receptions for 256 yards and a touchdown.

Where’s Don Brown when you need him??!!  Another day story??!!

In Storrs, Coach Bob Diaco is slowly turning the battleship in mid-ocean, as UConn in impressive style improved to 3-3 with its 40-13 thrashing of Central Florida, as George O’Leary’s boys fall to a shocking 0-6.

Diaco’s Huskies have shown a lot of fight all season, giving its faithful hope that there are better days ahead for the “basketball” school.

Nationally, in a year without a clear number one, there are great stories playing out all over the country.

We’ll begin in Philadelphia where the Temple Owls are 5-0 for the first time since Richard Nixon was mired in Watergate – 1974, as it crushed a hapless bunch from Tulane: 49-10.  Good for them.

The Owls are for real, playing an aggressive style of D, and a real threat in the AAC- American Atlantic Conference.

In Ann-Arbor there are whispers of a playoff invite as Jim “Har-Bo” Harbaugh’s Maize and Blue shut out its third consecutive opponent, this time the undefeated Wildcats of Northwestern; 38-0.

It was the first triple whitewashing by a Michigan eleven since the last days of Jimmy Carter – 1980.  WOW!!  And in the stands as the clock wound down the Big House crowd chanted; “Defense! While clapping three times, in honor of the amazing triple.

“The fellas came out balling right from the start,” said Harbaugh its dynamic and eccentric coach.

Big Blue has announced that it is indeed a factor in the Big Ten race, and maybe the national championship picture.

We’ll know a great deal more after next week’s clash against Michigan State.

We move to Salt Lake City, and in a game with more flaws than an account run by Bernie Madoff, the Utes of Utah held off a late rally by the Golden Bears 30-24.

Cal who was attempting to defeat a top-5 ranked team on the road for the first time since the Truman Days of 1951, had 6-turnovers, including 5 interceptions by its starry QB Jared Goff.

In addition to a ferocious defensive attack that had Goff on the run all night, Utah’s Cookie Gilchrest-esque tailback Devontae Booker carried the evening for the undefeated Utes.

On the road the Florida Gators and its suffocating defense continued its surprising (6-0, 4-0) season with another “ho-hum” 21-3 victory over the Tigers of Missouri.  What a seasonal debut for Coach Jim McElwain!

While in Iowa City, these Hawkeyes who would bring a smile to M*A*S*H’s Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce, needed a record performance by its cannon-ball, rough riding tailback; Jordan Canzeri – 256 yards on school-record 43 caries –to hold off a much improved bunch of Illini; 29-20.

Iowa is 6-0 for just the second time in the 17-year tenure of coach Kirk Ferentz, and is now the team to beat in the Big Ten West.

In Knoxville, it was a tale of two halves as the Volunteers fell behind the Bulldogs of Georgia 24-3, before storming all the way back 38-31, as Coach Butch Jones got his “much needed” signature victory as the head man of Tennessee.

UT QB Joshua Dobbs accounted for 5-touchdonws and 430 yards of offense, while Georgia dropped to a disappointing 1-2 in the SEC, and also lost its All-America tailback Nick Chubb to a serious knee injury.  OUCH!!  Can you say hot-seat for Coach Mark Richt??!!

Finally we close with a gasbag, and a firing.

We would be remiss without mentioning the sorry “Star-Kist” state of Kansas Football, the last program that the pompous gasbag Charlie Weis ruined; as it was pummeled by Baylor; 66-7.

How bad was it?  Well the score isn’t indicative of the ineptitude of the Jayhawks.

The Sons of Charlie Weis trailed 52-7 at the half, and the Bears sat its star offensive players the entire second half.  OUCH and YIKES!!  Sorry Charlie!!

And our last piece revolves around the Mean Green of North Texas (0-5), who indeed were mean, and on homecoming no less, firing Coach Dan McCarney after its embarrassing Rout -66-7 destruction by Division 1AA Portland State.  DOUBLE YIKES!!!

That’s it from cyber-space.  We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 7 Wednesday night.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

At Minnesota a spinning gopher head, brings the plaudits!!

We begin this week with a gopher mascot and a twisting head.

It can happen at any point, and anywhere in the stands.

The mascot for the University of Minnesota is “Goldy Gopher.”   He wears an oversized gopher head that sports a huge pair of front teeth in a large overbite.

Goldy will pause in the stands for a photo when someone will inevitably shout; “spin you head!”

On cue, Goldy rotates his head halfway around, then reaches back and finishes the revolution with a flourish, leading to more photos and applause.

Ross Bernstein class ’91 takes credit for the spinning tradition.

Working the Minnesota hockey games, he was looking for a way to entertain the students who, between periods would dash out for a quick beer or two at the bar up the street.

The spinning tradition occurred almost out of necessity.

“I was trying to entertain 10,000 drunk people, just trying to do something to get some laughs.  Whenever I would do it the fans would go nuts,’ said Bernstein.  Hence a tradition was born.

This weekend let’s see which teams perform so brilliantly it makes your head spin, and which play so poorly, it leaves its alums burying its heads like a gopher.

No.23 California at No.5 Utah (ESPN, 10 p.m.) There’s hasn’t been this much excitement on Berkeley campus since the “Summer of Love” or the campus shutdown in 1970.

These High flying “Wallendas,” aka the Cal Bears, are directed by its Heisman candidate, QB Jared Goff (15 TDs-4 INTs-70%), who hits a target better than a Russian fighter pilot in Syria.

The future Sunday performer is assisted by a pair of road ramblers; Muhammad Khalfani, who is averaging a jaw-dropping 9 yards a pop, and his partner Vic Enwere.

When the successor to Joe Kapp takes to the golden skies, he focuses on a pair of game changers; touchdown maker Kenny Lawler (8TDs), and his field-stretching partner Bryce Treggs – 16 yards a grab.

Coach Sonny Dykes’ D led by backer Hardy Nickerson, and end Kyle Kragen is typically riddled with more holes than a late model BMW parked in Roxbury, but this season it has tightened like the eyes of an aging Hollywood starlet, making the Bears a very dangerous team.

Even Mitt Romney is excited.

In Utah, the Salt Lake City eleven are enjoying its highest regular season ranking since the re-election year of W – 2004.

The Sons of Larry Wilson, one of only three-unbeaten teams remaining in the Pac 12, are directed by its Prudential-sized (6-7, 233) Heisman candidate, QB Travis Wilson (4 Tds-1 INT- 68%), who does more damage with his legs, averaging 8.7 yards a scamper.

But overall, the Utes offense (76th) is about as dynamic as Barry Manilow.

Tailback Devonte Booker, with apologies to James Taylor runs like a steamroller, “bound to roll all over you,” while wideouts Britian Covey, and Kenneth Scott, provide dependable targets.

Coach Kyle Whittingham’s D, led backers Jarred Norris, Gionni Paul, and end Jason Fanaika, has had about as much trouble defending the pass, as well Hillary defending her email accounts, and that is not a good recipe against the Golden Bears.

Despite its lack of offensive spark, we think Utah is the real deal, and even Mitt ends up with a few strands of hair askance cheering on the victorious Utes.

No.13 Northwestern at No.18 Michigan (BTN, 3:30 p.m.) This is a game in which points will be scarcer than the supporters of Boston political gadfly; Althea Garrison.

In Evanston, Illinois “The Little Engine That Could,” is trying to climb to 6-0 for the first time since JFK was taking leisurely nude swims in the White House pool – 1962.  [Not always alone.]

During those “Cold War” days, Northwestern was coached by some guy named Ara Parseghian, who two years later would appear on the cover of Time Magazine (back when magazines mattered) celebrated as the man who restored football relevancy to Notre Dame.

These resurgent Sons of Brent Musburger have done it with a defense that is the envy of the Secret Service.

The Purple Cats anchored by backer Anthony Walker (20 TFLs), end Dean Lowry, and safety Traveon Henry are the nation’s stingiest, surrendering a miniscule 7-points-a-game, while not allowing an opponent to hit the 200 yard mark in either passing or rushing.

The Sons of Ann Margaret (she left after 1-year) are directed by its slashing dual-threat QB Clayton Thorson (4 TDs-3 INTs-56%) who does most of his damage with his legs, while starry tailback Justin Jackson is a first class road-grader, helping the Wildcats average nearly 250 yards a game.

The “Smart Kids” bottom feeding (118th) passing attack featuring Dante Vitale and Christian Jones makes a connection about as often as the T runs on schedule in the winter.

In Ann Arbor the echoes of “Bo” are reverberating throughout the campus.

It is as if the spirit of the iconic Maize and Blue coach has been channeled into Jim Harbaugh, the appointed “savior” of Meeeechigan Football.

The Big House faithful haven’t been this excited since Michigan played Michigan State in hockey, or Gerald Ford was named President of the United States.

And like the visitors from the Chicago area, the Sons of Tom Harmon have overwhelmed the opposition with a defense that is as proficient as the Israeli Army.

The Wolverines suffocating D, led by end Mario Ojemudia (career over torn Achilles), backers Desmond Morgan, and Joe Bolden, are the second stingiest (7.6) in the land.

But the offense, directed by Iowa grad transfer QB Jake Rudock (5 TDs-6 INTs), and a trio of tailbacks; De’Veon Smith, Ty Isaac, and Drake Johnson, has been as weak as the rollout of “Oreo Thins.”

When the ex-Hawkeye connects, Amara Darboa, and tight end Jake Butt (is there a better name for a tight end??!!) are primary targets.

In a game with huge conference, as well as national implications, we think the “Little Engine” finds a way to win in the House that Bo built, and Harbaugh is resurrecting.

Illinois at No.22 Iowa (ESPN, Noon) Not even the currently incarcerated former Illinois Governor, and Elvis impersonator, Rod Blagojevich could have foreseen this.

Illinois football was a mess.  In worse shape than Jeb Bush.

One week prior to the beginning of the season, the Administration fired head coach Tim Beckman for “influencing medical decisions, and forcing his kids to play hurt.”

Into the breach stepped offensive coordinator Bull Cubit, but it looked as if it would be another season in Champaign without tasting any bubbly, but the results are more surprising than the rise of Bernie Sanders.

The Sons of Dick Butkus are led by its talented Oklahoma State transfer QB Wes Lunt (8 TDs-2 INTs-58%) who relies on a receiving three-pack: Geronimo Allison (wonder if Liz Warren is a fan?!), Marchie Murdock, and Desmond Cain.

On the ground, starry tailback Josh Ferguson is out (shoulder), leaving t-freshman Ke’Shawn Vaughan as the principle plow driver.

The Illini’s ball hawking D anchored by a pair of backers: T.J. Neal, his partner Mason Manheim, and safety Clayton Fejedelem is stouter than a fresh poured Guinness.

Even M*A*S*H’s Colonel Pierce would appreciate these Hawkeyes.

In Iowa City, the last time the “Boys of the Corn” were accorded a place in the AP rankings, Barak Obama was halfway through his first term (2010), and Scott Brown was the Commonwealth’s other US Senator.

The Sons of Nile Kinnick (’39 Heisman winner, killed as an aviator in a training flight in WWII) have climbed the rankings on the foundation of its punishing D.

Kirk Ferentz’s crew is allowing a shade over two-touchdowns (15 pts.), while stoning runners behind backers Cole Fisher, Josey Jewell, and end Nate Meier.

The offensive attack directed by QB C.J. Beathard (7 TDs-2 INTs-64%) who leans heavily on his anvil pounding tailback Jordan Canzeri (8 TDs) and his partner LeShun Daniels is as pedestrian as the “car-free” days on the Champs-Elysses.

When the QB goes aerial, wideouts Matt VandeBerg (31-catches), and Tevaun Smith are primary targets.

In a game that will have more hits than a Motown Revue, we think the Sons of Hayden Fry, in a very close game, M*A*S*H the visitors from Champaign.

No.2 TCU at Kansas State (Fox, 7:30 p.m.) In Fort Worth the “Air-Raid” offense is scarier than the “blackout” days of WWII.

Heisman candidate QB Trevone Boykin (19 TDs-3 INTs – 63%) is the chief bombardier of an assault that is as relentless as the “Blitzkrieg.”

The dual-threat maestro of the nation’s second highest scoring (50) eleven has an exceptional “first-violin” in game breaker wideout Josh Doctson, who averages 17-yards a touch on an eye-popping 42 grabs, while hauling in 8-TDs.

When the Sons of Sammy Baugh change it up, tailback Aaron Green, a Nebraska transfer, averaging close to 6-yards a carry (6TDs), can slice any defense.

While the Fort Worth faithful are dreaming about a New Year’s Eve playoff invite, its D is what causes the nightmares.

This group, led by backers Montrel Wilson, and Travin Howard struggles defending both the pass and the run, while allowing an average of 24 points-a-game.

In the “Little Apple” Manhattan, Kansas, these are not your father’s Wildcats.

Bill Snyder, the man responsible for the greatest resurrection since Easter, had this response to the fans leaving early in the spring game; “As poorly as we played, I wanted to leave early too,” said the Septuagenarian.

The play of the opportunistic Cats is a reflection of the personality of its curmudgeon coach.

The Sons of Steve Grogan are directed by its rocket-armed QB Joe Hubener (4 TDs- 1INT) who, like Grogan, is equally dangerous on the run.

The signal caller, who would be a welcomed member of any iron-workers union, is assisted by a trio of receivers; Deante Burton, Dominique Heath, and Kody Rock, while Justin Silmon is the main mail carrier.

The Wildcats D featuring backer Eliah Lee, and tackle Will Geary stones runners, but is a bottom feeding 115th defending the pass which is suicidal against a surgeon like Boykin.

The Horned Frogs leap out of Manhattan with another W, moving one step closer to its end of the year showdowns with Oklahoma and Baylor.

Yale at Dartmouth (Fox College Sports, 1:30 p.m.) On Saturday afternoon just down the street from the Hanover Green, a pair of unbeatens; the Elis of Yale, and the Big Green of Dartmouth, will be banging noggins on the gridiron for the 99th time.

[Note: In a week in which the matchups are as weak as the Comet Khoutek, we thought we’d dip into the Ivy League, and visit our good pal, Coach Buddy Teevens, a Silver Lake Regional High grad, who epitomizes class, and whose team is very much an Ivy contender.)

The Sons of Carm Coza are directed by senior QB Morgan Roberts (7 Tds-2 INTs – 60%) who gets a big assist from sophomore power tailback DeShawn Salter – 94 yards-a-game.

When the New Haven maven goes aerial, Ross Drwal, Michael Siragusa, and tight end Stephen Buric, are reliable targets.

The Bulldogs attacking D, led by backer Matthew Oplinger (7.7 tackles a game), corner Spencer Rymiszewski, and fellow backer Victor Egu, has more tackles (8.7) than a Herring fisherman, and overall is tougher than a grad-class in Organic Chemistry.

The Big Green’s long slumber at “Sleepy Hollow” has been replaced by a long-awaited resurgence.

The Sons of Bob Blackman are under the command of its scintillating dual-threat Texan, senior QB Dalyn Williams (6 TDs-0 INTs-75%) who is a better leader than any of the candidates currently traipsing through the hinterlands of New Hampshire.

[Note: The Dartmouth QB is second all-time in school history for total yards, a mere 178 behind the leader Jay Fielder.  Why is it that every school in the country, except the one in Austin, is able to find a quality Lone Star State QB??!!]

Big D’s swaggering dart-thrower, is as accurate as Greenwich Mean Time, and lasers onto a Linus-blanket game changer; wideout Victor Williams – 28 grabs and 3 TDs, while tailback Ryder Stone has no issue with lowering his helmet.

Coach Buddy Teevens’ aggressive and disruptive D is anchored by a pair of backers Will McNamara, and Folarin Orimolade, with an added dash of corner Vernon Harris, and safety David Caldwell.

As the leaves begin to turn, we think by late Saturday afternoon, the Big Green marches one step closer toward its October 30th showdown against the “School on the Charles.”

Last week:  2-3                                                          Season record: 12-13

That’s it from cyber-space.  We’ll be up and running with our recap Sunday by Noon.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK