We’ll begin in Happy Valley where the Saturday night movie feature was the 1969 classic “Goodbye Columbus” as Penn State stunned the college football world, overcoming a 14-point fourth quarter deficit, shocking the second ranked Buckeyes Ohio State: 24-21.
It was the signature victory the faithful had been looking for since James Franklin took over the Nittany Lions helm three years ago, and it ended the Urban Meyer’s and Ohio State’s 21-game road winning streak.
It was also the first victory by an unranked Penn State squad against a Top-2 team, since LBJ was occupying the White House -1964. WOW! Can you say the Beatles and the British invasion?
And it happened quicker than Muhammad Ali’s fathom right to Sonny Liston’s jaw in their rematch in Lewiston, Maine.
Early in the fourth quarter the “Sons of JoePa” went on a 90-yard five-play scoring drive to cut the lead to seven (21-14), but Ohio State was still in control.
Then as quick as you can say, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” it was stunningly over.
Penn State’s Cam Brown blocked a Buckeye punt which turned into a 34-yard field goal cutting the lead to 21-17 with 9:33 left.
Then out came the “Et tu Brutus” dagger as PSU’s Marcus Allen blocked Ohio State’s long field goal attempt, which was scooped up by Grant Haley who rumbled 60 – “Goodbye Columbus” yards to seal the shocking upset, that sent shock waves through the college football world and sent the Buckeyes back to Columbus to regroup. Good for the Nits!
Ohio State is not out of the playoff picture. But it must run the table, which would include victories over Michigan, and more than likely Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game. Not an easy task.
From Happy Valley we’ll move to the Chestnut Hill Heights, which is a misnomer of major proportions when describing the condition of the irrelevant Boston College football program, which has fallen into the darkest of abyss’ after its 28-20 loss to a pedestrian bunch of Syracuse Orangemen.
BC (3-4) has now lost a jaw-dropping 12-consecutive ACC conference games.
And that streak of monumental ineptitude now stretches back a mind-numbing 692-days since it had its last taste of victory against an ACC opponent. BC also has a decent chance of going 0-2, meaning no conference victories for two consecutive seasons. YIKES!
The Eagles, who had a total of 64-net passing yards against the Cuse, must now somehow find a way to scratch out 3-wins from its final five games to become bowl eligible, a challenge which appears more daunting than Donald Trump’s presidential hopes.
And with season ticket sales at a record low, and fan interest ebbing like the support for the Boston Grandprix, it’s time for Coach Addazio to do two things; polish his resume, and check the schedule of the Mayflower Moving Company vans, he needs a new address, and everybody (including the administration) knows it.
Speaking of new addresses – it could also be moving day in Austin, and Eugene, very soon.
Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns (3-4, 1-3) suffered its fourth loss in its last five games, this time to the Wildcats of Kansas State; 24-21.
The Horns looks more like the old afternoon soap “The Days of Our Lives,” like the sand through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives….
And the sand has run out for Texas coach Charlie Strong.
The Longhorns head man is staring at his third consecutive losing season, and the feeling in Austin is that unless the Texas wins out, highly improbable, Mr. Strong will be on his way out.
How bad are things? Well, the “Sons of Darrell Royal” are currently eight in the 10-team Big-12 ahead of only Iowa State and woeful Kansas. OUCH! Sorry Charlie, but Houston coach Tom Herman is on the UT speed dial.
In Eugene, Phil Knight University, aka the Ducks of Oregon, has also fallen in the Boston College category of irrelevancy.
Coach Mark Helfrich’s Ducks (2-5) are winless (0-4) in the Pac-12, and surrender points, (an eye-popping average of 49.8) faster than Hillary Clinton nods her head and widens her eyes. It’s enough to give a colander a bad name.
We think “Mr. Nike” aka Phil Knight has Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin on his personal speed dial.
In Amherst, the “Belles of Amherst” football eleven went down for the fifth consecutive time, a 34-28 loss to the SEC’s South Carolina Gamecocks dropping to 1-7, with nary a victory on the horizon.
It will be interesting at season’s end if the powers-to-be pull the plug on the struggling program which continues to hemorrhage money and draw more seagulls than fans.
No.1 Alabama took care of business wining its 20th consecutive game, a hard-fought 33-14 victory over Texas A&M, but it better be on alert for a rejuvenated bunch of Auburn Tigers who will be a dangerous threat to the Tide in the season ending Iron Bowl.
In Morgantown, the undefeated Mountaineers (6-0) continue to impress with it 34-10 victory over TCU. And the last time WVU, who also have a stout D, were unblemished this late in the season, Rich Rod was coaching, and W had two more years left in his administration – 2006. Ah, those were the days!
And a note; keep your eye on West Virginia QB Skyler Howard who’s been as quietly effective as a Mosul sniper.
Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies are 7-0 for the first time since the last days of the George Herbert Walker Bush Administration (1992), and for the moment have secured one of the four playoff spots.
[Just a note: before the internet, when Newsweek magazine was still being published, it had the audacity to put a picture of Bush 41 on its cover in his campaign against Bill Clinton with the caption: “Wimp Factor.” A legitimate war hero, Ambassador to China, VP, successful businessman, and head of the CIA – really!! – no wonder the media is despised.]
Also on the rise are the Tigers of LSU, under the leadership of its interim headman and fellow Louisianan; Coach Ed O (Orgeron) who finally has a healthy tailback Leonard Fournette to unleash on the opposition.
The brutish road-runner is arguably the best player in America, just set an LSU single game record with 284 –yards on only a jaw-dropping16 carries – (that’s an average of 17-yds. a pop for those at home keeping score). WOW!
Alabama visits Baton Rouge in two weeks, and if the Tigers pull the upset, the interim tag may disappear from Coach O’s door.
In Kalamazoo, Coach P.J. Fleck’s Broncos of Western Michigan are 8-0 for the first time since FDR was making war preparations – 1941, while the boys who carry out those wars the Midshipmen of Navy (5-1) continued its winning ways with its 42-28 victory over Memphis – good for both.
On the local front the “Boys of Veritas” aka Harvard football (5-1, 3-0) won an overtime thriller against Princeton 23-20, to keep it on track with its late season showdown against the Quakers of Penn.
Finally, as always, we end with our tribute to our bloviating gas-bag pal Charlie Weis and Kansas Football (1-6, 0-4) the last program Charlie “fixed” who lost once again; 44-20 to Oklahoma State. As the “Star-Kist” commercial used to say: “Sorry Charlie!”
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. PK