Monthly Archives: November 2016

Ohio State knocks off Michigan in double OT, BC wins becoming bowl eligible

Ohio State celebration in the Horseshoe

There is only one place to begin, and that is in Columbus, Ohio.
The stakes for the 113th renewal of this storied and classic rivalry were Himalayan high and dripping with playoff implications. And “The game of the year,” and one for the ages, delivered on its marquee billing, as Ohio State knocked off Michigan 30-27 in a double overtime thriller.
In a contest that had more twists and turns (missed chip-shot field goals, an interception return for a touchdown, goal line fumbles, a critical fourth down OT conversion which needed a review, missed penalty calls) than a Shakespearean tragedy left the 110,00 Buckeye zealots in a state of permanent hyperventilation.
The Bucks winning play came after Ohio State converted, by a whisker, a fourth and one, then Curtis Samuel swept in for a 15-yard game winning touchdown as Ohio State beat is rival for the fourteenth time in the last sixteen meetings. WOW!
It was a game that nobody wanted to see end, and was filled with more drama than the meeting between Donald Trump and Mitt Romney.
Now the “Sons of Woody Hayes” must sit and wait for its fate to be decided, because Penn State, by virtue of its victory over the Buckeyes, will be representing the East in the Big Ten Conference Championship game.
And how about those Nittany Lions.

Penn State celebrates huge win over Michigan State

The warriors of Happy Valley, who toyed with the Spartans of Michigan State 45-12, have won eight in-a-row, making them one of the surprises of the season.
This is the best Penn State team since the days of Joe Paterno, and if the ‘Nits win the Big Ten Championship next weekend, against an equally talented Wisconsin team, it will have a resume worthy of earning an invite into the four team playoff.
In addition, its Coach James Franklin, who at one point was perched on a rather warm seat, is now a serious candidate for Coach of the Year honors.
On the local front the Eagles of Boston College are going bowling.
The Eagles (6-6) journeyed down to Winston Salem, North Carolina, and took care of business, defeating the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest 17-14. It makes the “Sons of Mike Holovak” bowl eligible for the third time in the four tries under the tenure of its often embattled coach; Steve Addazio.
Afterwards, in a scene straight out of “Knute Rockne,” Addazio said he wanted to let his seniors know that each of them would be getting a game ball with the word “Grit” etched into it.

Ed Orgeron new man at LSU

“I just wanted my feet on the grass,” said the new head man. It’s going to be a lot of fun in Baton Rouge, and the kids and its faithful love the hire.
In Tuscaloosa, Groucho’s favorite team secured its first undefeated regular season since 2009, finishing as the only unblemished eleven of the power-five conferences, as it knocked off its intrastate rival Auburn; 30-12.
It was the first time a team has won three straight Iron Bowls, since George Herbert Walker Bush was in the final days of his Administration 1992.
The Tide, who are riding a winning streak that has grown to two-dozen, hasn’t surrendered a touchdown since October 22, a jaw-dropping; four and a half games ago.
To put that into perspective: the last time anyone crossed the goal line against the defending national champs, Hillary Clinton was favored to be the next President of the United States, and a cartoonish wax-dripping image of Donald Trump graced the cover of Time with headline; “Meltdown.” WOW!
Speaking of meltdowns that capsulizes the sorry season in South Bend, as the Irish (losers of 5 of its last 7) were rolled by the Trojans of USC: 45-27 to finish its season a woeful 4-8.
You have to all the way back to the darkened days of Charlie Weis 2007, to find the last losing season for the Irish.
And the rumors emanating from the land of the Golden Domers is that coach Brian Kelly has had enough in Touchdown Jesus country, and has instructed his agent to inquire as to any potential openings in the college football landscape.
And trust me the feeling amongst the legion of Irish loyalists is as mutual as a high paying bond.
One potential landing spot may be Eugene, where the speculation is that head coach Mark Helfrich is on his way out of town, after the Ducks disastrous 4-8 season, its worst since a 1991 (3-8) campaign.
It probably won’t happen, but another vacancy sign should be being posted in Knoxville, where the “Tin Men,” aka the Tennessee Volunteers, were embarrassed by the Commodores of Vanderbilt: 45-34, prompting Vandy’s coach Derek Mason to proclaim: “This is our state.”

Vandy Coach Derek Mason

How bad of a loss was it for the Vols?
Well, it was the most points scored by Vandy against an SEC opponent since the Viet Name War (1971), and the most scored by the “Sons of Billy Wade” against the Volunteers since Massachusetts’ own Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge was occupying the Oval Office – 1923. YIKES!
We say, it’s time for Butch Jones to polish the resume. Where’s Lane Kiffin, and Phil Fulmer, or Johnny Majors when you need him?
And kudos to our choice for Coach of the Year Mike MacIntyre, and his Colorado Buffalos who finished 10-2 with its 27-22 victory over Utah, and punched its ticket into next Friday night’s Pac-12 Championship game.

Our gas-bag pal Charlie Weis

And finally, for the last time this season, we close with our bloviating gas-bag pal Charlie Weis, and the Kansas Jayhawks the last program that Weis “fixed.”
KU, which is ranked 118th in scoring (20 pts.), 113th in points allowed (37), and last amongst all 128 teams in giveaways with 36, closed out its season in typical fashion with a 34 – 19 loss to its intrastate rival Kansas State to finish its season; 2-10. Although there is some hope for better days at KU.
As they used to say in the “Star-Kist” commercial; “Sorry Charlie.” See you next season.
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 14 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. PK

Michigan visits Ohio State in Game of Year, Alabama hopes to finish regular season unbeaten, Washington visits Washington State in Apple Cup

55-year old Joe Thomas carried off the field by his South Carolina State teammates

55-year old Joe Thomas carried off the field by his South Carolina State teammates

We begin this week with the old speed limit – 55, a three-yard gain, and a senior, in more ways than one, who finally got to play in a game on Senior Day.

Last week, South Carolina State’s Joe Thomas Sr. became the oldest player at age 55, to ever play in a Division 1 college football game, when he carried for a three yard game in the only game he ever played in his four years with the team.

Thomas, who was a high-school star, never had a chance to go to college, but when he son was recruited Joe Sr. also enrolled, thinking it would be cool to play on the same team as his son, who is now a member of the Green Bay Packers, playing linebacker.

Joe Sr. played on the scout team for four years, and finally got his chance to take the field on Senior Day when plunged his way for a three-yard gain.

After the game the “old man” who is 13-years older than his number of 42, was carried off the field by his teammates.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, let’s give thanks to our health, and perseverance as a nation, and celebrate with family and friends watching the great game of college football.

No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State (Ch. 5, Noon) Welcome to the “latest annual” Game of the Century, this time the location is: Columbus, Ohio.

Michigan and Ohio State have met 112-times, the first in 1897 when William McKinley was occupying the Oval Office, but seldom, if ever, have the stakes been taller.

Ohio State's Urban Meyer - Michigan's Jim Harbaugh Ohio State’s Urban Meyer – Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh

This is college football’s version of; Ali-Frazier, Vidal-Buckley, MacArthur-Truman, Sunnis-Shia, Trump-Clinton, and now Meyer-Harbaugh baked into a high-noon, delectable, 60-minute casserole of chaotic animosity.

If the Maize and Blue, who have outscored its opponents in the first half by the jaw-dropping aggregate 277-53, (but have lost 11 of the last 12 to the Bucks, including Harbaugh’s debut last year), knock off the Buckeyes, its punches its ticket to the Big Ten Championship game.

But the question looming over the “Big House” visitors, is whether starting QB Wilton Speight (15 TDs – 4 Ints – 62%) can go.  He has an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, and if he’s out John O’Korn, a transfer from Houston, who has only attempted 34 passes, will be the next man up.

Whoever is the director of the nation’s eleventh highest (42) scoring eleven, he’ll rely heavily on Michigan’s top-20 rushing attack, which is anchored by its plow horse; De’Veon (5.2 yds. – 10 TDs) Smith.

And when the “Sons of Bo” take to the “Big Blue” skies, All-America tight end Jake Butt, and wideouts Amara Darboh, and Jehu Chesson, are quality chain moving targets.

But it’s Meeeechigaan’s D, (coordinated by Massachusetts native Don Brown, a Frank Broyles Award finalist, and former head man at Northeastern and UMass), that has carried the Wolverines to its Himalayan heights earning it a bold print headliner at the top of the marquee.

These Tony nominees, led by its trio of backers; Jabril “Mr. Everything” Peppers (6 rushing TDs), Ben Gedeon (13.5 tfls-3.5 sacks), and Mike McCray (11.5 tfls-3.5 sacks), rank first overall, are the nation’s stingiest (10), and tougher to penetrate than the inner workings of the Clinton Foundation.

As for the Boys from Columbus, the last time the “Sons of Woody” lost to Michigan in the Horseshoe, New York’s Twin Towers were still standing – 2000.

The Bucks, who have also scorched its first half opponents, outclassing them by a 265-89 aggregate are under the command of it battle-hardened QB, J.T. Barrett (24 TDs – 4 Ints – 63% – 722 yds. rushing – 8 TDs), who, when the pressure is on, is as calm and reliable as VP-elect Mike Pence.

When the All-America marksman, of the nation’s fifth (43) highest scoring squad, takes to the Ohioan skies, his “Road Runner” target, wideout Curtis Samuel (61-catches – 7 TDs) has the ability to zoom past any defender, while tailback Mike Webber (1046 yds. – 8 TDs) plows the earth with the same intensity as a John Deere tilling a field of soybeans.

And like its opponent the “School from the North” the Buckeye’s D, the nation’s third (13) tightest, anchored by bakers; Raekwon McMillan, Jerome Baker, and safety Malik Hooker, ranks fourth overall, and like John D. Rockefeller Jr. is worthy of a Park Avenue penthouse residency.

Urban Meyer said it best; “It officially rivalry week.  Our eyes are forward, and let’s go.”

Come noon Saturday, the eyes of the college football world will be lasered on Columbus, Ohio and we think the Buckeye faithful, (two of whom will be Ohio State grads; Keith Mills, and his son Cosmo.  Keith is the proprietor of Milton’s wine emporium: “Esprit du Vin.”) will be serenading its Ann Arbor visitors, with a throaty and blustery version of “Goodbye Columbus,” in what should be a Big Ten Classic, in a game almost as important as the choice of the next Secretary of State.

No. 6 Washington at No. 23 Washington State (FOX, 3:30 p.m.) – Friday  The winner of the 110th edition of the Apple Cup, which has both combatants ranked for the first time since Stanley Kubrick’s “Space Odyssey” year – 2001, punches its ticket into the Pac-12 Championship game.

The Huskies, the nation’s fourth highest scoring (44) squad, are directed by its Heisman contending QB Jake Browning (37 TDs-7 Ints – 64%), who hits a target better than a ballistic missile fired by North Korean’s stability and reality challenged dictator; Kim Jong-un.

Washington's Jake Browning

Washington’s QB Jake Browning

The Seattle rifleman, whose offense is as balanced as the Wallenda family, is assisted by a pair of dynamic game changing receivers: John Ross (64 catches -15 TDs), who has more speed than an Appalachian meth-lab, and his equally dangerous sidecar partner Dante Pettis, who has 12 TDs on 46 catches.

These “Sons of Hugh McElhenny” are capable of running with the bulls, led by tailbacks Myles Gaskins, and Lavon Coleman, who have combined for 1783-yards – 13 TDs.

The country’s tenth (17) stoutest D, featuring All-America safety Budda Baker (7-tfls), who hits like a Smitty pounding a shoe, along with backer Keishawn Bierria, have been more disruptive than the cast of Hamilton preaching at the Vice-President elect.

In Pullman, it’s been a tale of two seasons for the “Sons of Drew Bledsoe,” the former New England Patriot QB, who owns a highly rated Washington State vineyard “Doubleback,” located in Walla Walla.

After stumbling and bumbling to an 0-2 start, which included a loss to sub-division Eastern Washington, Wazzu Coach Mike Leach called out his Cougars, who responded by capturing 8 in-a-row before losing last weekend to Colorado.

Wazzu coach Mike Leach

Wazzu coach Mike Leach

The Cougs, the nation’s tenth highest (42) scoring bunch, mobilizes behind the nation’s second most prolific passing attack, but is a near-bottom feeding (114th ) running the ball which makes Wazzu more unbalanced than Jeffrey Dahmer

QB Luke Falk (36 TDs – 7 Ints -71%) is the chief bombardier of Leach’s “Air Raid” creation, with a big assist from a pair of touchdown makers; All-America caliber Gabe Marks -74 catches – 12 TDs, and his partner Tavares Martin, 57-grabs and 7 touchdowns.

But the WSU D, led by backer Peyton Pelluer, corner Darrien Molton, and end Hercules Mata’afa (12 tfls- 4 sacks), struggles mightily defending the pass which is the wrong recipe against the Huskies.

In an Apple Cup for the ages, we think the visitors from UDub drink heartily from a victorious Cup of Apple, as it moves on to the Pac-12 title game.

No. 21 Utah at No. 9 Colorado (FOX, 7:30 p.m.) Utah can spoil an awful lot of holiday plans.

If the “Sons of Marv Fleming” knock off the Buffs, it will send the Trojans of USC into the Pac-12 title game for the second consecutive year.  If it loses, USC stays home, and Colorado will be the one traveling to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Utah tailback Joe Williams

Utah tailback Joe Williams

The engine that drives Coach Kyle Whittingham’s Utes is its bulldozing tailback Joe Williams, (he returned to the team after a temporary retirement), who in just seven games, has accumulated yards, (nearly 1100 yards and 9 TDs), almost as fast as Donald Trump has acquired a bunch of “new best friends.”

The director of this Salt Lake City operation is QB Troy Williams (14 Tds-5 Ints-55%), with assists from a pair of steady receivers; Tim Patrick, and Rawlon Singleton, but overall this group is as dynamic as a Keith Lockhart Pops concert.

Utah, which has some serious fissures defending the pass, is anchored by a pair of ends; Hunter Dimick (19 Tfls-14 sacks), and Pita Taumoepenu (9 Tfls-7 sacks), who are more disruptive than a mal-functioning Takata airbag.

In Colorado, Coach Mike MacIntyre’s Buffaloes have been more surprising than the olive branch tossed by the President-elect Trump toward his harshest critic; Willard Mitt Romney, who may ultimately be named the next Secretary of State.

And just like the man who now dominates Trump Tower, Colorado has shown the ability to close the deal, having surrendered a miniscule seasonal total of 40 fourth-quarter points.

Buffs QB Sefo Liufau

Buffs QB Sefo Liuau

The director of this stunning Boulder revival is QB Sefo Liufau (10 TDs-3 Ints-67%-6 rushing), who plays with the grit of Rooster Cogburn, and the leadership of John Wayne.

The leather-tough senior is assisted by tailback Phillip Lindsay (1081-yards – 15 TDs), and a trio of field-stretchers: Shay Fields (17 yds. a grab – 8 TDs), his partner Devin Ross (5 TDs), and if he can go (foot) Bryce Bobo.

But it’s been the CU D, the nation’s thirteenth (18) stingiest, which has roamed all over its opponents.

This marauding band anchored by backer Kenneth Olugbode, safety Tedric Thompson, and corner Afolabi Laguda, attacks from all angles, and hits with the force of a Ken Norton right hand.

In Boulder we think the Buffs magical season continues to smoke, as the “Sons of Cliff Branch” punches its ticket in the Pac-12 Championship game, and Mike MacIntyre is as sure of a lock as Rocky Marciano;

for the Coach of the Year.

No. 16 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama – Iron Bowl (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) After starting its season with a pair of losses in its first three games, the direction of Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn was decidedly pointing toward the door.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn

But a funny thing happened on the way to the unemployment line; a six-game winning streak that produced more smiles, and glad-handing on the Auburn Plains than Donald J. Trump’s election night.

The turnaround was spearheaded by the combination of the Tigers D, and its top-five rushing attack which comes at you with more Waves than the WW II Navy.

It remains uncertain if battered QB Sean White (9 TDs – 3 Ints – 65%) will be able to go, if not, Jeremy Johnson is expected to get the nod, over John Franklin III, although both are equal on the depth chart.

Regardless, the Tigers tone setters are a ground assault (Auburn runs 70% of the time) led by the return (leg) of Kam Pettway (over 1100 yards, 7 TDs in seven games), along with Kerryon Johnson (11 TDs), and Kam Martin, which rolls with more speed and conviction than the “Desert Storm” operation of Gulf War I.

Auburn, the nation’s seventh (14) stingiest D, anchored by end Carl Lawson (12.5 tfls – 9 sacks), tackle Montavius Adams (8.5 tfls – 4.5 sacks), and backer Tre ‘Williams, attacks with the same intensity as the Morton County Sheriff’s Department toward the protesting Standing Rock Sioux Indians of North Dakota.

Alabama coach Nick Saban

Alabama coach Nick Saban

In “Title Town,” aka Tuscaloosa, Groucho’s favorite team is surfing a wave of 23 in-a-row, and if St. Nick secures the victory number twenty-four, he will notch Alabama’s first undefeated regular season since Barak Obama was still getting adjusted this his Oval Office chair – 2009.

We’ll begin with the Tide’s D, which has better numbers than Ann-Margaret and Elle Macpherson combined, and may in fact be Saban’s best ever.

These men of steel, who rank second overall, and first in pulverizing runners (less 70-yards a game), are anchored by its All-America end Jonathan Allen (9.5 tfls – 7 sacks), backers Reuben Foster, Tim Williams (14 tfls – 8 sacks), its heat-seeking safety Ronnie Harrison, and are more ornery than Elizabeth Warren toward any republican, and tougher to break through than bridge cable.

On offense, these “Sons of George Wallace ’42,” (who flew B-29 missions over Japan in 1945, serving under the command of General Curtis LeMay) are also of high-cotton caliber.

Bama’s wunderkind t-freshman QB Jalen Hurts (18 TDs -7 Ints -64% – 803 rushing yards – 11 TDs), who in addition to receiving some Heisman love, seems to have seanced the spirit of Joe Willie, as he operates as smoothly as Paul Newman in the: “The Sting.”

The talented kid is surrounded by a trio of game-breaking tailbacks; Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, and Bo Scarbrough, while wideouts Calvin Ridley (7 TDs), ArDarius Stewart (6 TDs), and All-America tight end O.J. Howard, are more comforting than the blanket of Linus.

In a rivalry game of this magnitude, danger lurks everywhere.  In fact St. Nick has referred to this year’s game as: “The legacy of the season.”

We don’t think Groucho’s Boys will let him down, as he struts ever closer to his Ahab-like quest of tying (6), and ultimately surpassing the national championship record of Tuscaloosa’s other secular saint: “The Bear of Bryant.”

Minnesota at No. 5 Wisconsin (BTN, 3:30 p.m.) The Paul Bunyan Axe, which is the trophy awarded to the winner of the 126th edition of the most played rivalry in the FBS, is close to earning Badger State citizenship, having resided in Madison for the past dozen years.

But in Minneapolis, the “Sons of Bud Grant ‘49” are intent on an Axe relocation program that includes a homecoming, as the Golden Gophers, under the guidance of Coach Tracy Claeys, have been one of year’s bigger surprises.

 

UM is led by i

Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner

Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner

ts gritty senior junk-yard dog, QB Mitch Leidner, (who has thrown 2 more interceptions (8), than touchdowns, while rushing for nine.  The diamond-hard leader, who epitomizes the resiliency of these Gophers, whose mantra is: whatever it takes, is assisted by his bell-cow tailback; Rodney Smith (1039 yards – 15 TDs), and a solid wideout in Drew Wolitarsky, whose surname somehow perfectly captures the Gophers lunch-pail philosophy.

Its agitated D, which has lassoed thirty-three opposing QB’s is anchored by tackle Steven Richardson (11 tfls-7 sacks), backer Jonathan Celestin, and safety Damarius Travis, and can cause more disruption than a Nor’easter icing the Red Line’s third rail.

In “Cheese-land,” if Coach Paul Chryst’s disciplined (second fewest penalties 3.27 a game) Badgers once again capture the Axe, it not only punches its ticket into the conference championship game, but has a solid chance to earn a spot in the four-team playoff.

The Mad-Town D, the nation’s fifth (13) stingiest, has been the foundation, cornerstone, and main beam for these “Sons of Alan ‘The Horse’ Ameche.”

Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt

Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt

This wrecking crew, led by backers T.J. Watt (11.5 tfls-8 sacks), T.J. Edwards, and safety Leo Musso, stones runners, and deflates passes with the same zeal as Alec Baldwin spoofing Donald Trump, and are harder to penetrate than the inner circle of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After sputtering for most of the year, the offense (70th in scoring) is beginning to find its stride courtesy of the rejuvenated legs of its starry tailback Corey Clement (over 100 yards – 11 TDs), while its feisty QB Alex Hornibrook (8 TDs – 7 Ints -58%) and a trio of receivers; Jazz Peavy, Troy Fumagali and Robert Wheelwright have done just enough to keep its magical season flowing.

We think Mr. Bunyan celebrates another Thanksgiving in his adopted home of Madison, as Wiscy moves on to the Big Ten Championship game, and a shot at a playoff invite.

Last week; 2-3                               Season record; 36-24

That’s it from cyber-space.  We’ll be up and running with our recap by 2 p.m. on Sunday.  Until then, Happy Thanksgiving, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

Yale students really get behind its team in upset of Harvard, BC win keeps chances for bowl alive, Kansas stuns Kansas virtually ending tenure of Horns coach Charlie Strong

Yale students really get BEHIND its team

Yale students really get BEHIND its team

After nine consecutive losses, it’s a headline that hasn’t been seen in a decade, and long waited for in New Haven: Yale upsets Harvard; 21-14.
And with some degree of accuracy, we can blame the result on the presidential election; after all, everybody else is!
Going into the 133-edition of “The Game,” the Elis, during a year when America chooses its next Commander-in-Chief, it holds a 19-12-1 edge over the “Veritas Boys,” of Harvard.
And in years when a republican captures the White House, that win total climbs to an eye-popping: 14-5.
Well that mark now moves up a notch reading: 15-5, as the visiting Blue of Yale crushed Harvard’s dream of at least a share of a fourth consecutive Ivy League title, (an achievement done only once before; Penn 1982-86) by utilizing more “trickeration,” and sleight of hand, than David Copperfield.

It took a c

Yale upsets Harvard 21-14

ombination of a fake field goal, and a first-down pass by the holder, a momentum changing onside kick and recovery to begin the second half, leading to a 14-7 Yale lead, coupled by a missed fourth-quarter Harvard field goal, which would have given the Crimson the lead, to push Yale to the upset win.
“When we think we have an opportunity to gain an advantage, we do it – no matter if we’re playing Harvard, or if we’re playing anybody else,” said Yale coach Tony Reno, a Worcester State graduate.
With the game tied at 14 midway through the fourth quarter, Harvard’s Jake McIntyre missed a 35-yard field goal attempt, and Yale, and its fans seized on that energy.
In fact, some of the supporters on the Yale sideline were so energized, that a group of male students stripped down to their all-seeing birthday suits (a school tradition), and danced on the top of the wall of the ancient stadium, flashing their behinds to the Harvard faithful, while rooting on their beloved Bulldogs to its victory. (Although they never got to see Yale’s winning touchdown, having been escorted out of the stadium after their “Banned in Boston” bare bottom display.)
After waiting a decade, we say; whatever it takes!
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy, the “Lombardi of the Charles” said, “It’s heartbreaking. You realize you worked all 320 days a year, you only get 10 opportunities, and it culminates in the Harvard-Yale game. I just feel terrible for our kids.”
On the winning side Yale’s Reno said, “What we saw today was all the hard work these kids have put in all season long.” Nice win coach.
Staying with the local scene, the Eagles of Boston College (5-6) kept its bowl hopes alive with its dominating white washing against an overmatched, and in all honesty, woeful bunch of Connecticut (3-8) Huskies; 30-0.
But BC will take a win wherever it can find one. The football season on the Heights is best summarized by a line by Bette Davis in the 1950 movie classic; “All About Eve,” “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

The Eagles, who have one of the worst offenses in America, close out its season on the road, travelling to Winston, Salem to take on a solid, well coached, and gritty Wake Forest (6-5) squad of Demon Deacons.

BC shuts out UConn 30-0

If it earns the win it accomplishes two goals: it puts the “Sons of Mike Holovak” in a bowl, which in turn, guarantees the continued employment of Mr. A, and his $2.5 million dollar salary. As Donald Trump no doubt knows: what a country!
Moving to the national scene: Hail the Academies! as it was another stellar day for the best and the brightest: as Air Force (8-3), Navy (8-3), and most importantly Army (6-5), (bowl eligible for the first time in 6-years), soared to impressive wins.
It also makes the annual Army/Navy game on December 10th, the most competitive in over a dozen years. Cheers to all three.
Bring on the 18-wheelers!
A call has also been put out for a convoy of moving vans to head to two locations: Austin, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as Christmas coaching changes are on the way.
In Austin it is now a fait-accompli on the tenure of Texas Coach Charlie Strong, whose Longhorns were stunned by the Jayhawks of Kansas in overtime: 24-21.
It was KU’s first conference victory, (who were down double digits in the fourth quarter) in two-years. OUCH!
And it fans celebrated in style, tearing down the goal posts, and carrying them out of the stadium. It was also the first time the Jayhawks have lassoed Texas since FDR was trying to save a nation from the ravages of the Great Depression: 1938. WOW!

Kansas and fans celebrate shocker over Texas

Kansas had lost 19-consecutive Big-12 contests, and this was supposed to be a stroll in the park for the 24-point favorite Longhorns (5-6) who, like BC, have yet to reach bowl eligibility, which is why there are searching for a new coach.
University of Houston Coach Tom Herman is now on the speed dial of the Texas boosters, who want Strong gone, almost as much as Elizabeth Warren would like to see the disappearance of our President-elect.
The other relocation move is in Baton Rouge, where a mere 3-feet ultimately changed the employment address of native Louisianan, and LSU’s interim head man; Ed Orgeron.
It is rumored that Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher is on speed dial of the Bayou Bengals big hitters.
This game was supposed to be played in Gainesville on October 8, th but was postponed by a Hurricane named Matthew, and when the Gators, who had more injures than a Aleppo mash unit, made a stand for the ages stopping LSU’s tailback Derrius Guice on a fourth and goal game ending leap, Florida captured its second consecutive SEC East title nipping the Tigers: 16-10.
Afterwards, an emotional Gator Coach Jim McElwain said, “We won a home game on the road, and Florida won the SEC East for the second year in-a-row. How about that!” Good for you coach!
Continuing to bounce around, how about the Buffs of Colorado, who have gone from a feel-good story, to a legitimate Pac-12 Conference championship threat.
CU defeated a high quality eleven of Cougars in Washington State, who had won 8 in-a-row; 38-24, and if the Buffalos defeat Utah in Boulder next weekend, it will punch its ticket into the conference championship game. WOW!

Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre

Can you say; Coach of the Year for Mike MacIntyre?! Amazing! It’s been 15-years since CU has gone to a major bowl.
Speaking of amazing, how about the Irish of Notre Dame.
Once thought to be a longshot threat for a playoff spot, the Golden Domers (4-7) will be staying home for the holidays after coughing up a 17-point lead at home, falling to the Hokies of Virginia Tech: 34-31.
If Irish coach Brian Kelly is smoked by USC Saturday night, (a real possibility) falling to 4-8, there might be a cacophony of “Off with his head” cries coming out of South Bend. Stay tuned.
VaTech’s new man Justin Fuente stood on Notre Dame Stadium’s historic field as chants of; “Let’s Go Hokies” showered down on the snowy night in South Bend. What a scene.
And if the Hokies beat its rival Virginia next weekend, it will capture the ACC Central Division, and earn a date with Clemson in the ACC championship game. VaTech will be a very dangerous opponent.
Another team of high rejuvenation is the Trojans of Southern Cal, who went out yesterday and rolled a pair of sevens.
After its disastrous 1-3 start, The Men of Troy have now won seventh straight, and defeated its cross-town rival UCLA, (in the 86th edition of this classic), for the seventh consecutive time: 36-14.

USC QB Sam Darnold

USC also has a star in the making in freshman QB Sam Darnold, (whose father was one of the four models used for the Marlboro Man) and since being given the keys to the Garnet and Gold caddy, the Trojans have responded like the state of Wisconsin on election night.
There is also a lot of noise emanating from our least favorite league, the Big-12, aka the “We don’t need no stinking defense” conference, as Oklahoma, and its rival Oklahoma State, have a shot to sneak its way into the playoff.
And how about some Heisman love for Stanford’s All-Everything tailback/receiver Christian McCaffrey, who obliterated the Cardinal rushing record by garnering 284-yards, leads the nation in total offense, while tying for the longest win streak (7) in the “Big Game” by throttling Cal: 45-31.
As always, we close with our pal, the bloviating gas-bag himself, Charlie Weis and the Kansas Jayhawks the last team that Charlie “fixed.”

<img class=”” src=”http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/images/photos/003/517/574/hi-res-e65b8fe7e9ebbb52b2e064af10499d8c_crop_north.jpg?w=630&h=420&q=75&#8243; alt=”Our bloviating gas-bag pal: Charlie Weis” width=”630″ height=”100%”

But instead of coming to bury the lowly KU program, we come to paraphrase Shakespeare, to praise them for its emotional victory over Texas. For one week at least – we won’t be doing our “Star –Kist” Sorry Charlie rant, and handing out kudos to the “Fighting Jayhawks.” What a win!
That’s it from cyber-space, we’ll be up and running with week 13 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. PK

Harvard/Yale “The Game” for the 133rd time, Undefeated Western New England begins Division III playoffs, Oklahoma visits West Virginia

Harvard Red Flag tradition Harvard Red Flag tradition

We begin this week with a tradition, an old supporting alum, and a red-letter day.

Paul Lee, Harvard ’46 will be attending the Harvard-Yale game, aka “The Game,” for a record breaking seventy-fourth time, busting the previous attendance record set in 1969 by Allen Rice ’02, and equaled by Dick Bennink ’38.

The tradition: the alum who has attended the most H/Y game is given the honor of waving a small red (Harvard – crimson) flag, as he enters the stadium, which made by Frederick Plummer ‘1888, in 1884.  Just another cool tradition associated with the game of college football.

This weekend, let’s see which alums proudly wave its colors over another big victory, and which wave a white flag in surrender over another desultory performance by the alma-mater.

Yale at Harvard – “The Game” (CNBC, 12:30 p.m.) Are there more important contests on this week’s agenda than the 133rd (Yale: 65, Harvard: 59 – 8 ties) playing of this classic, the third most played rivalry in college history?

To paraphrase Sarah Palin; “You betcha!”  [Note: during US Presidential election years; Yale is: 19-12-1 against Harvard, and an even more impressive 14-5 when a republican captures the White House.]

But if you love the tradition that makes college ball special, then there is no better place to be on Saturday afternoon; than Harvard Stadium.

In New Haven, the “Sons of Calvin Hill” (2-7), who have lost 9-in-a-row to the Crimson, have been struggling more than Hillary Clinton post-election.

Yale Coach Tony Reno Yale Coach Tony Reno

It has also been difficult for Yale’s fifth-year Coach Tony Reno (23-26, 14-20 in Ivy League), a Worcester State grad, who has endured the Shakespearean cries of King Richard III; “Off with his head” regarding his continued employment in New Haven.

The Bulldogs, whose offense is more dysfunctional than Congress (105th overall, and 99th in scoring), have decided to focus on the future, by giving t-freshman QB Kurt Rawlings (3 TDs – 3 Ints -48%), the keys to the gates of the Yale Bowl.

The kid is assisted by tailbacks Alan Lamar, Dale Harris, and if his radar can lock on Reed Klubnik, J P Shohfi, and Myles Gaines are comforting targets.

But as the faithful are painfully aware, the Elis seem to find the end zone about as often as this Yale man; Secretary of State John Kerry ’66, refuses a Botox treatment.

The Bulldogs D, featuring defensive backs; Hayden Carlson, Foyesade Olukun, and Jason Alessi, has more holes than a DNC server, and surrenders a jaw dropping average of nearly 40-points per game, which is a recipe for an extra-long afternoon against “The Johns.”

In Cambridge, a victory by the “Sons of Dick Button ’52,” and the Crimson will have secured that rarest of Ivy League feats: a “Four-peat” championship, which would be a first in school history.

But these “Veritas Boys,” who lose a game about as often as the Harlem Globetrotters, are not one of Coach Tim Murphy’s usual offensive juggernauts.

Harvard Coach Tim Murphy Harvard Coach Tim Murphy

The Crimson, who are 17-5 in “The Game” under Murphy, and rank fiftieth in scoring (27), are under the command of its scrappy QB, Joe Viviano (14 TDs – 8 Ints – 61% – 5 rushing), who is assisted by a pair of tailbacks; Charlie Booker, Semar Smith (7TDs), and a trio of chain-moving receivers: Anthony Firsker (7 TDs), Justice Shelton-Mosley, and Adam Scott.

The D, featuring the backing trio: Luke Hutton, Jordan Hill, and Anthony Camargo has been the anima (translation: soul, for you non-classical language scholars) of this Cambridge eleven, and has been harder to penetrate than the Trump Tower penthouse suite of our President-elect.

In this 133 renewal, the refrains of: “Ten thousand men of Harvard, want vict’ry today…” will reverberate often throughout Harvard Stadium, as Coach Murph ties Yale legend Carm Cozza with his 10th Ivy League title.

P.S. Wouldn’t Murphy look good prowling the BC sideline?

No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 10 West Virginia (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) After two early season stumbles, it’s been a Rogers and Hammerstein; “Ooooklaaaahooooma” revival in Norman.

The Sooners, who have won seven straight, are also riding a wave of 14-consecutive conference victories, the longest such streak since Texas lassoed 20 – straight between 2004 and 06.

The run has put OU back into the playoff conversation, and with another apocalyptic Saturday like the last, anything is possible.

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

These “Sons of Lee Roy Selmon,” the nation’s ninth highest scoring (44) eleven, have galvanized around its dart-throwing All-America QB Baker Mayfield (33 TDs – 7 Ints -72%), who hits his target with more accuracy than an Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

The nation’s pass efficiency leader, is assisted by arguably the country’s most dominating receiver; Dede Westbrook (68 catches – 1254 yards – 14 TDs) who is also second with 125 receiving yards per game, while the tailback tandem of; Joe Mixon, and Samaje Perine, have also been destructive combining for: 1512-yards, and 14 TDs.

But if the OU offense is worthy of a Fifth Avenue residency, its D is as embarrassing as Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, surrendering a sieve-like average of 30-points a game, and often appearing clueless and seemingly homeless.

These matadors, led by backers Jordan Evans (8 tfls), Ogbonia Okoronkwo (8.5 tfls – 7 sacks), and Emmanuel Beal, are 81st overall, and defend the skies (121st) about as well as Saddam Hussain in the Gulf War II.

Gators swarming defense

But the tensile strength of these “Sons of Jack Youngblood” is its D, the nation’s fifth stingiest (13), which features safety Nick Washington, end Jordan Sherit, and corner Marcell Harris, and has kept the Gators chomping in every game.

In the “old days” a show bound for Broadway, would go on the road to work out the kinks, listen to the critics, and sharpen all its edges before its opening night on the; “Great White Way.”

LSU interim Coach Ed Orgeron

In that spirit, this is another tryout for Louisianan native Ed Orgeron, who has won the raves of the out of town critics, but has yet to sign for a permanent parking spot in Death Valley.

And in this bombs-away era of “Air-raid” offense, LSU has done it like “Smith Barney” “the old fashioned way;” bowling over the opposition.

In fact, outside of Baton Rouge, the only place with better runners than Derrius Guice, and Leonard Fournette (1684 combined yards – 17 TDs), is Kenya’s Rift Valley.

But the passing attack (112th) led by another Boiler Maker transfer, QB Danny Etling (7 TDs – 4 Ints – 58%), with solid assists from Malachi Dupree, and Travin Dural is seemingly out of the Jurassic era.

As always in Baton Rouge, the signature of the “Sons of Jim Taylor” is the nation’s sixth stingiest (13.9) D, led by a group of anvil pounding harasses: featuring backers Kendell Beckwith (6 tfls), Duke Riley (8 tfls), and All-America safety Jamal Adams, who are more disruptive than an Elton John meet and greet with Donald Trump.

Coach O’s performance continues to get Tony Award reviews, and if he is able to put on another captivating performance, and we think he will, this Bayou native just may earn a “marquee” Death Valley parking spot.

No. 20 Washington State at No. 12 Colorado (FOX, 3:30 p.m.) Not even Nostradamus could have predicted that this would be a game of such high-cotton significance.

On the Palouse, Coach Mike Leach’s unbalanced (2nd passing – 112th rushing) Cougars are the antitheses of the Wallendas.  It constantly attacks behind its signature “Air-Raid” offense, a Leach creation that is the envy of Vladimir Putin.

The triggerman of the nation’s eighth highest (44) scoring eleven, is QB Luke Falk (33 TDs – 6 Ints – 73%), who averages a nation’s second best; 361 passing yards a game.

Wazzu QB Luke Falk

The Wazzu gunslinger gets a huge assist from a trio of dynamic receivers (now minus one) in Gabe Marks (12 TDs), Tavares Martin (7 TDs), but will be without River Cracraft (5 TDs), who tore his ACL and is out for the season.

When the “Sons of Drew Bledsoe” decide to rotor-till, which is about as often as the appearance of a Supermoon, tailbacks James Williams, and Jamal Morrow, who average 6-yards a carry, have decisively answered the call.

WSU’s D led by backer Peyton Pelluer (6.5 tfls), corner Darrein Molton, and end Hercules Mata’afa (11 tfls – 3 sacks) has had Herculean issues attempting to defend the pass, but like a good meringue, has managed to stiffen in the red-zone.

How dry has it been in Boulder?

Colorado Coach Mike MacIntyre

Well coach Mike MacIntyre’s Buffaloes have now captured as many conference victories (6), as Colorado has had in totality since joining the Pac-12.

And if the “Sons of Dick Anderson” are able to win out, the Buffs will amazingly earn a spot in the Pac-12 conference championship game.

Colorado, which hasn’t been to a major bowl since W was just settling into the White House (2001), is directed by QB Sefo Liufau (10 TDs – 4s ), with assists from tailback Phillip Lindsay (13 TDs), and a trio of chain movers: Devin Ross, Byrce Bobo, and Shay Fields, who have combined for 112-catches and 13-TDs.

In addition to the legalized weed, the Buffs revitalized D has also been smoking in Boulder.

The nation’s ninth stingiest (17) eleven, led by backers Kenneth Olugubode, Rick Gamboa, and safety Tedric Thompson, stones runners, and shoots down passes with the same disdain of Rudy Giuliano toward Hillary Clinton.

In a game that is hard to get a handle, we’ll go with the Buffs to light up a “smoking” victory, its biggest in fifteen long and very dry years.

With a slate that is less than Himalayan, we thought we give some love to the local scene, Division III to be precise, where a lot of good football, hear that BC, is being played.

Husson College at Western New England University Round one of 32-team Division III playoff – Noon

The Eagles of Husson (9-1) have soared down from Bangor on the wings of a defense that has been so impenetrable, it has caught the eye of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu.

These shutdown shakers, who hit more often than Lizzie Borden, are tops in the division, anchored by backer Ellis Throckmorton (10.5 tfls – 4.5 sacks), end Luke Washburn (12 sacks – 17.5 tfls), and safety Logan Steward.

These disruptors attack an offense with the ferocity of Attila sacking the Balkans, allowing a jaw-dropping, microscopic 29 rushing yards, while surrendering an eye-popping average of 152-yards of offense per game.

It’s the twenty-first century version of the: ’85 Bears, or Bashar al-Assad sacking Aleppo.

On the offensive side, Pembroke sophomore QB Cory Brandon (23 TDs – 10 Ints -60%) is the director of the Eagles attack, which leans heavily on its thoroughbred tailback John Smith (1715 yards -17 TDs – 3 200-yard plus games), who gallops with the same intensity that Jared Kushner flashes toward Chris Christie.

When the visitors from Maine take to the crystal-clear skies,  wideouts Deon Wiggins, and Kadeem Edge, have squeezed the most out of their combined 51-catches; scoring 14 TDs.

In the central part of Massachusetts, Springfield’s Western New England University has displayed more firepower than a hometown made; “Springfield Model 1903” rifle.

Western New England Coach Keith Emery

And just like a swim suited fishnet Christie Brinkley, the Golden Bears are a perfect 10-0 for the second consecutive regular season.

The commander of this unblemished eleven, is QB Anthony Service (22 TDs – 2 Ints – 62% – 6 rushing) with assists from a pair of agribusiness earth movers: Nick Connell, and Dante Aiken, who have combined for: 1570 yards, and 17 TDs.

WNE’s sniper also has a trio touchdown makers: Mark Dietrich, Mohamed Camara, and Trent Vasey, who have collectively corralled 17 scoring grabs.

The D, led by safety Sam Olsson, and backers Kurtis Jolicoeur, and Tim Huffam deflates the pass (18th) better than the New England Patriots, and is solid in all areas allowing an undefeated average of: 17-points a game.

As much as we’d like to see the Boys from the Bay State carry the day, we think the bangers from Bangor and its DeSalvo-like D heads back to the Pine Tree State with a victorious ornament.

Last week;   2-3                                                                            Season record: 34-21

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

Clemson, Michigan, Washington stunned as No.s 2,3,4 fall on the same day for the first time since 1985,

Supermoon - biggest and brightest since 1948 Supermoon – biggest and brightest since 1948

Maybe it was the results of the presidential election, or maybe it’s the eve of the “super-moon,” (the closest and brightest full-moon since -1948, when Dinah Shore’s “Buttons and Bows” was the number one song) but for the first time since Ronald Reagan was in the first year of his second term (1985), the numbers: 2, 3, and 4 ranked teams, all fell in the same day, creating a delicious stew of what we lovingly call: “College Football Chaos.”
We’ll begin in Clemson, where the unranked Panthers of Pitt stunned the Tigers of Clemson 43-42 on the strength of a 48-yard field-goal with six seconds remaining.

Pitt's Chris Blewit - game wining field goal stuns Clemson

Pitt’s Chris Blewit – game winning field goal stuns Clemson

The kick was made by a kid who earlier in the game clanked an extra-point, and who has the best possible name for the magnitude of the moment: Chris Blewit.
The stunner ended a pair of streaks for the Tigers: its 21-game home winning streak fell by the wayside, but more amazingly, its 46-game victory run against non-ranked opponents also came to a crashing end. WOW!
The loss also crushed any Heisman chances for QB Shaun Watson, who threw an ill-advised pick (his third) on second and goal from the three- late in the fourth quarter which would have iced the game. Ouch!
Yet, Clemson still had one additional chance to close out these pesky, and now bowl (6-4) eligible Panthers.
On a fourth and one, from the Pitt 35, and leading by 2 with 58-seconds remaining, Coach Dabo Swinney eschewed a punt, and elected to try a pitch to his tailback Wayne Gallman who was stuffed, which allowed the Panthers to march down for the winning field-goal. Amazing!
It was Pittsburgh’s first victory over a top-5 team since the last year of W’s administration – 2007. Ah, those were the days!
But fear not you “Sons of Strom Thurmond;” if the Tigers win out, it captures the ACC title which “should” be enough to earn them a playoff invite; but it is a lot more precarious than it had been.
In Seattle, it was a story of dominance by the visitors of USC, who strolled into a hostile and ear-splitting Husky Stadium, and walked out with an impressive 26-13 victory.
The win accomplished two things: it ended Washington’s 12-game winning streak, but even more devastatingly, crushed almost all hopes of a playoff-invite for the champion of the Pac-12 conference which is almost as weak as the bench of the Democratic Party.

USC QB Sam Darnold USC QB – Sam Darnold

These resurgent Trojans, who have won 6-in-a-row, and are playing arguably some of the best football in the country, are like Donald Trump on early Wednesday morning, a changed team, since coach Clay Helton made the switch to giving the keys to the LALA land Caddy to r-shirt freshman QB Sam Darnold.
The swashbuckling marksman, who is tougher than a $5 dollar steak, has the Trojans in overdrive rolling over its opposition, and should it finish its season won an 8-game winning streak, a Rose Bowl invitation should be awaiting in the mail.
In Iowa City, the tears were filling the eyes of its victorious coach Kirk Ferentz, who just watched his resilient Hawkeyes, (who were embarrassed the week before by Penn State) in another classic Big-Ten defensive battle, knock off the “Big Bad Voodoo Daddy” Wolverines: 14-13, on a time expiring 33-yard field-goal by Keith Duncan. WOW!

Iowa teammates carry field goal kicker Keith Duncan off in victory Iowa teammates carry field goal Kicker Keith Duncan off in victory

The irony of that victory brings that 1985 year into play once more.
Thirty-one years ago, on that the same Kinnick Stadium field, Iowa, then ranked number one in the country knocked off number two ranked Michigan 12-10 on a last second field-goal.
But what makes the story even more remarkable is the fact that the QB for that Wolverine eleven, was none other than; Jim Harbaugh. Sort of a life imitating life. Amazing!
But fear not for the Boys from Ann Arbor; if it wins out, and captures the conference championship, Big Blue punches its ticket into the playoff. But things are certainly a lot murkier.
The Michigan loss also makes Penn State a player. If Ohio State beats Michigan in two weeks, then the Nittany Lions, who beat Ohio State, win the division and go to the Big Ten championship game, leaving a one loss Ohio State at the mercy of the playoff committee. YIKES!
Now to the Heights (a real misnomer for its football team), and our favorite (deservedly so) punching bag; the Eagles of Boston College.

Embattled Coach Steve Addazio Embattled BC coach Steve Addazio

Coach Steve Addazio’s “sad-sacks” were once again totally outclassed, throttled, shellacked, humiliated, embarrassed, stomped on, smoked, destroyed, crushed, thrashed, lambasted, flayed, drubbed, blasted, or walloped, (you pick the adjective); this time by the Seminoles of Florida State: 45-7.
BC is an eye-popping 1-14 in its last 15 ACC contests, and has lost to its four ranked opponents by the combined aggregate of: 202-24! As Fred Rogers used to say; “Can you say irrelevant?”
Yet if BC wins this Saturday at home against UConn (it should), and closes its season with a win over Wake Forest (no easy task) it will finish 6-6, and earn an invite to the “dog-food” bowl which more than likely means Mr. A returns for another $2.5 season. Oh the humanity! But what a country!
Here’s our hope: BC loses to UConn, is eliminated from bowl consideration, and the moving vans start heading for Addazio’s home.
Then the Eagles “brain-trust” gets together, and asks its former coach Tom Coughlin, the two-time Super Bowl winner of the NY Giants, )who molded BC into a top-ten program), to put together a list of 5 quality candidates to be the next head man of the Eagles.
BC entices of those candidate to come aboard, and even if the new guy uses it as a stepping stone, a-la Coughlin, it’s only a stepping stone if you win, that’s fine. What a concept; winning!
Something needs to be done, and soon, because the best football in New England is being played across the Charles, at a place called Harvard, where the best coach in New England is named: Tim Murphy.
On a different note; one of our favs, Coach O, LSU coach Ed Orgeron (4-1 since being installed), took another step closer to having his parking space permanently striped, as the Tigers ran all over the Razorbacks of Arkansas: 38-10.

LSU Coach Ed Orgeron LSU Coach Ed Orgeron

If LSU wins out, it will be very difficult for the Bayou Bengal Boosters to look elsewhere. Good for Mr. O.
One place the boosters will be looking for a replacement is Austin, as Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns lost to a resurgent bunch of Mountaineers from West Virginia 24-20, meaning the best Texas can hope for is a 7-5 season, which in Burnt Orange Country will get you fired. Sorry Charlie.
Speaking of Charlie, we finish as always with our bloviating, gas-bag pal Charlie Weis, and the last program he fixed; the Jayhawks of Kansas (1-9), who saw its last best hope of a Big-12 victory go by the wayside falling to Iowa State (2-8): 31-24.

Our favorite gas-bag bloviator: Charlie Weis Our favorite gas-bag bloviator; Charlie Weis

KU has now lost 19-consecutive Big-12 games, and its second year coach David Beaty is likely to end up 1-23 in his two years at the helm in Lawrence. YIKES!
Over its last 5-plus season; Kansas is a jaw-dropping 10-60, with more people attending its powerhouse basketball team 16,000 than a football game. As they used to say in the “Star-Kist” commercial: “Sorry Charlie.”
That’s it from cyberspace. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 12 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. PK

USC visits Washington, Harvard goes to Penn for Ivy League Showdown, LSU travels to Arkansas

Penn safety Sam Philippi

We begin this week with a sophomore safety, and a safety net for a Leukemia patient.
Each spring the football team of the University of Pennsylvania organizes a “Be the Match” Donor registration drive to help build a nationwide donor base for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).
One of those volunteers is UPenn sophomore safety Sam Philippi, who it turns out is a perfect match for a 30-year old Leukemia patient.
And on the first week of December, the Red and Blue Quaker will undergo a procedure to donate his marrow to that patient, in what may be a lifesaving gesture.
“Our program is all about family, and helping our student-athletes understand that sometimes family extends beyond the people you grew up with, and beyond the wall of our locker room,” said Penn coach Ray Priore.
This weekend, let’s see which teams celebrate another victory with immediate family and friends, and which, even with a safety net, has no shot of winning.
USC at No. 4 Washington (FOX, 7:30 p.m.) Coach Clay Helton’s Men of Troy are surfing on its first five-game winning streak since “President-Elect” Donald Trump was hosting; “The Apprentice,” – 2013.
The darlings of the City of Angels began its turnaround when the keys to the LA caddy were handed r-shirt freshman QB Sam (20 TDs – 4 Ints – 67%) Darnold.
The “groovy” signal caller, who plays with the élan of a motorcycle riding Steve McQueen, is assisted by tailback Ronald Jones (6.8 yds. – 7 TDs), a future Sunday performer in wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster (8 – TDs), and his partner Darreus Rogers.
The D, which earlier in the year could have been the spokesmen for Colander, featuring backer Cameron Smith, end Porter Gustin, and corner Adoree’ Jackson, and has become harder to penetrate than he inner circle of Trump Tower kitchen cabinet.
In Seattle, the Huskies, who have won twelve-in-a row, find themselves 9-0 for the first time since George Herbert Walker Bush was promising: “Read my lips, no new taxes,” – 1991.
The seeds of the UDub revival were planted with the hiring of Coach Chris Petersen, who has infused the “Sons of Warren Moon,” with the same magical potion he brewed often at Boise State.

UW's Heisman contending QB Jake Browning

The nation’s second highest (48) scoring eleven, is under the command of its Heisman contending QB, Jake Browning (34 TDs-3 Ints -67%), the country’s pass efficiency leader, who possesses more weapons than the cache of an ISIS safe house.
The Seattle musher is assisted by a pair of high-voltage game-changing receivers: John Ross, and Dante Pettis, who have more speed than an Appalachian meth-lab, combining for an eye-popping: 81-catches, and 25 touchdowns.
And when these “Sons of Don Coryell” rotor-till the turf, tailbacks Myles Gaskins (leg), and Lavon Coleman, (1552 yards, and 11 TDs), cause more havoc than an IED on the road to Mosul.
The Huskies D, the nation’s eleventh stingiest (17), is tied for tops in turnover margin, and anchored by backer Azeem Victor, All-America safety Budda Baker, and backer/end Joe Mathis (7.5 tfls – 5 sacks) is more disruptive than a holiday family dinner with North Korean dictator; Kim Jong-un.

This will be the Huskies second real test.  If it passes, and we think it will, to paraphrase Bill Belichick; “We’re on to the Apple Cup against rival Washington State.
No. 19 LSU at Arkansas (ESPN, 7 p.m.) The LSU faithful are hoping that the “Alabama hangover” is like Virginia Senator Tim Kaine: over and done.
In the last two seasons, the week after its physically draining slugfest against the Tide, the Bayou Bengals have been manhandled by the Razorbacks of Arkansas.
If it happens again, Coach O’s (Ed Orgeron) Baton Rouge parking spot loses any hope of permanency, and the “Sons of Bert Jones” will also fade out of the top – 25.
But since the coaching change took root, the stripes of these Tigers have been showing a different design.

LSU tailback Leonard Fournette

LSU’s table-setter is its All-America tailback Leonard Fournette (7 yds. a carry), who steamrolls a defense with the same intensity of Paul Bunyan swinging his axe.
The Louisiana diesel gets an occasional blow from his talented partner Derrius Guice, while QB Danny Etling (7 TDs-4 Ints – 58%), along with wideouts Malachi Dupre, and Travin Dural have infused some turbo thrust into the previously moribund Death Valley offense.
But the signature of the “Descendants of Pete Maravich” is the nation’s sixth stingiest (14) D, anchored by backers Kendell Beckwith, Arden Key (9.5 tfls-8 sacks), and All-America safety Jamal Adams, who continuously hit with the force of a Russian bombing mission on an aid convey heading toward Aleppo.
In Fayetteville, just when the Hogs appear to be tied and ready to be shipped to slaughter, Arkansas manages to spring to life.

Razorback QB Austin Allen

These “Sons of Lance Alworth” are led by its diamond-hardened QB Austin Allen (19 TDs – 8 Ints – 61%) who can take a punch better than Vinny Pazienza, and, if given time, will butcher a defense with the skill of cutlery master.
The Razorback marksman is assisted by his road-grinding tailback Rawleigh Williams (955 yds.-7 Tds), and a quartet of field stretchers: Drew Morgan, Keon Hatcher, Jared Cornelius, and tight end Jeremy Sprinkle.
But the Hogs are hamstrung by its kryptonite defense (91st stopping the run), led by backer Brooks Ellis, end Deatrich Wise, and tackle Jeremiah Ledbetter, which is the wrong recipe against LSU.
We think the Alabama hangover disappears into the “Pepto” rear-view distance, as the spring-fresh Tigers, slice the Hogs with its demonizing ground attack.
No. 11 West Virginia at Texas (FS1, Noon) With apologies to John Denver, this game will determine as to which “Country Roads” these Mountaineers will be traveling.
These “Sons of Sam Huff” are directed by QB Skyler Howard (16 TDs -6 Ints – 65%) who can execute a play faster than an FBI computer washes hundreds of thousands of e-mails.
The field general is assisted by a threesome of field-stretchers; Daikiel Shorts, Shelton Gibson (20-yds. a catch), and Ka’raun White, who have combined for an eye-popping: 113-grabs and 12 TDs.
On the ground, tailbacks Justin Crawford, and Rushel Shell, provide a better change-up than the Indians Corey Kluber, combining for 1090-yards, and 9-touchdowns.
The ‘Neers D, which is as uninspiring as a flock of Cape Cod gulls, features backers Justin Arndt, Al-Rasheed Benton, and safety Jarrod Harper, and has been as stout as a finely poured Guinness in defending the red-zone, surrendering a mere 20-points a game.
In Austin, the moving vans approaching the abode of Coach Charlie Strong have been, at least temporally, dispatched to another location.
If the Horns embattled coach manages to win out, finishing 8-4, it’ll be just like our presidential election: a lot of people will be unhappy, but the show must go on.

Texas tailback D'Onta Foreman

These “revitalized” Longhorns have branded its W’s on the legs of its Burnt Orange bruiser; D’ Onta Foreman, (second in rushing 1146 yds. – 7 yds a carry – 13 TDs), who at (238 pounds) crushes a tackler the way Suffolk Construction’s John Fish stiffs another small contractor.
And finally, after a Diogenes-like search, these “Sons of Tommy Nobis” have located a QB; Shane Buechele (19 TDs-6 Ints -61%), who luxuriates by focusing on a pair of chain movers; Armanti Foreman, and Jake Oliver.
But Strong’s Waterloo remains a defense that belongs in the Cheese Society of the Swiss Hall of Fame.
This group, led by backer Malik Jefferson (6.5 tfls – 4.5 sacks), end/lb Breckyn Hager, and safety Jason Hall, ranks 113th overall, 86th in stopping the run, 108th defending the pass, and allows an eye-popping average of; 33 points a game.
This is a very difficult game on which to get a handle, but we’ll go with the desperados from Austin, to find a way to win one more for Charlie.
Tulsa at Navy (CBSSN, Noon) Not even “Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein” (“Casino”) could have predicted that this would be the showdown for the top-spot in the West Division of the American Athletic Conference.
In just his second year at the helm, Coach Phil Montgomery has the Golden Hurricanes swirling on a meteorological path toward a championship.
These “Sons of Steve Largent,” the nation’s eleventh highest scoring (42) eleven, are under the command of QB Dane Evans (18 TDs -8 Ints – 58%) who shoots with the same uncanny accuracy as Dale.
The Oklahoman dart-thrower is assisted by a pair of barnstorming tailbacks; D’Angelo Browner, and James Flanders, who have combined for a jaw-dropping; 2063-yards, and 19-TDs.
And when the senior QB goes aerial, wideouts Josh Atkinson, Keenan Lucas, and Justin Hobbs are defense stressors, combining for: 150-catches and 17 TDs.
But if the offense is a Category – 4, the D (85th overall) led by backers: Matt Linscott (7-tfls-3 sacks), Trent Martin, and Craig Suits allowing an average of 30-points a game, and isn’t worthy of a small craft warning flag.
In Annapolis, Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo is deserving of an Admiral’s badge, but he would never accept the pay-grade, it doesn’t match up!
These “Sons of Roger Staubach” are enjoying a glorious renaissance winning 23 of its last 28, (with three of those losses coming against ranked opponents), and over the last five years, when Navy wins the turnover battle, the Middies are a mind-blowing; 24-1.

Navy QB Will Worth

The country’s fourth best rushing eleven (299) is under the command of its triple-option magician: QB Will Worth (15 rushing TDs), with assists from fullback Chris High, and wideout Jamir Tillman (is there a better name for a Midshipman?), who despite his lowly total of 27-catches, averages nearly 15-yards a grab.
The Pentagon can’t be thrilled by a Navy’s defense, (86th overall), anchored by backers Micah Thomas, D.J. Palmore (8-tfls-5 sacks), and safety Alohi Gilman, that has more holes than the southeast expressway in after an unseasonably warm day in March.
On “Senior Day,” with a tip of the cap to “Sam Rothstein,” we think the Navy “Blue and Gold” in a shootout torpedoes Tulsa for the W.
No.24 Harvard at Penn (Friday NBCSN, 8 p.m.) If Harvard, who has won an Ivy League record 13-consecutive conference road games, prevails in the 87th meeting (48-36-2 Crimson) between these perennial powers, the “Boys of Veritas” will capture at least a share, of its fourth consecutive Ivy title.

Harvard coach Tim Murphy

“The Lombardi of the Charles,” aka Coach Tim Murphy, in his 23rd year as Harvard’s head man, has won at least 7-games for 16-consecutive seasons, and his 115 Ivy League victories, are second only to Yale’s Carm Cozza’s, who leads with a very reachable total of; 135.
(Wouldn’t Coach “Murph,” who has captured 9-Ivy League titles look good wearing maroon and gold while prowling the sideline of Boston College? But that’s a story for another time.).
These “Sons of John Dockery” are directed by its first time starter, senior QB Joe Viviano (13 TDs-5 Ints-62%- 5 rushing TDs), with assists from tailback Semar Smith (7 TDs), and a pair of glue-fingered wideouts; Justice Shelton-Mosley, and Anthony Firkser, who has 7-touchdown grabs.
But if the offense remains as muddled as Harvard Square one hour before the kickoff of “The Game,” the defense, led by backers Luke Hutton, Jordan Hill, and end D.J. Bailey, stones runners, surrendering 20-points a game, and is as finely tuned as; Yo-Yo (class ’76) Ma’s Cello.
In Philadelphia, when it comes to football, the Quakers are anything but pacifists.
And if the “Sons of Chuck Bednarik” are able to knock off the Crimson, Penn will be in position to capture at least a share of its second consecutive Ivy League crown.
The Boys from Philly are directed by its scintillating marksman, QB Alex Torgersen (14 TDs – 3 Ints -65%), who is assisted by tailback Tre Solomon (7 TDs), and a pair of game-changing receivers; Justin Watson, and Christian Pearson, who have combined for; 98 catches, and 12 TDs.
The D, featuring backers Colton Moskal, Nick Miller, and safety Sam Philippi, isn’t of the pedigree of Bednarik, but does have the ability to cause almost as much disruption as a tow truck operator on Newbury Street.
Since 2003, Harvard is an astounding 94-4 when leading at the half, the last time that equation failed to pass muster occurred last year, when the Quakers shockingly snared the Crimson, to earn a piece of the Ivy crown. It won’t happen twice in-a-row, as Harvard clinches at least a tie for the title.
Last week: 5-0 Season record; 32-18.
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our recap by one on Sunday. Until then, Peace and listen to the music. Pk

Alabama’s D stifles LSU, Mississippi State shocks A&M, BC shellacked by Louisville

With apologies to “Sonny and Cher,” the beat goes on in Tuscaloosa.

Sonny and Cher

No.1 ranked Alabama stretched its winning streak to 21, with a 10-0 victory over LSU in an old fashioned defensive battle, in which all of the scoring occurred in the fourth quarter.
The 10-point total is also the fewest points scored by a pair of AP top-15 teams since Nancy Reagan was rearranging White House china (1986), and its was the “Sons of Bart Starr’s” 13-straight win against a ranked opponent. WOW!
The anvil-pounding game which had more hits than a Beatles catalogue, featured a defense that as “John Houseman” used to say in the commercial for “Smith Barney;” “They did it the old fashioned way, they earrrrrned it.” (For u young’uns – you tube it.)
Some experts are saying this is the best defensive squad of St. Nick’s “Title Town” tenure.
This marauding bunch, stocking stuffed with NFL talent, attacks with the intensity of “Attila the Hun,” while strangling offenses better than Albert DeSalvo.
It held the Tiger’s all-world tailback Leonard Fournette to 35-yards rushing on 17-carries, surrendered a total of 125-yards of offense, and allowed two fewer first downs (6), than the “Sons of Billy Cannon” had punts (8). A show reminiscent of the ’85 Bears.

Alabama defense

“We’ve got some pretty hateful guys that play defense around here, that are pretty good competitors,” said Saban in an understatement for the ages. “When they get challenged … they usually respond, and I think they responded pretty well tonight.” Yeah Nick, I would agree.
The Tide are now two victories, (but one is the Iron Bowl at home against a suddenly dangerous Auburn eleven), away from winning the SEC West, and an invite to the SEC Championship game. Pen them into the four team playoff. It’s Alabama, and everyone else.
Speaking of everyone else, can we get anyone else to coach the Eagles of Boston College, who were throttled, and embarrassed by the Cardinals of Louisville: 52-7. How low are things at the Heights? BC has lost to its three ranked opponents by the combined aggregate: 157-17. YIKES!

Louisville's Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson throttles BC

In order to become bowl eligible, The “Sons of Doug Flutie” (4-5) must win two of its final 3 games.
That may be an order of Himalayan proportions, as the Eagles travel to Tallahassee to take on Florida State this Saturday, play UConn at home the following week, then close out its season on the road against a bowl eligible, and well coached Demon Deacon football team of; Wake Forest.
But yesterday it was the Lamar Jackson show, as the eye-popping Heisman frontrunner was a man amongst boys, responsible for 7-touchdowns – three rushing, and four passing – in his cakewalk afternoon at the Heights.
In all honesty, this contest was over by the third play of the game, when Mr. Jackson, who’s the closest thing to Michael Vick, since Michael Vick, scampered 69 virtually untouched yards, to give Louisville a 7-0 lead as the rout was on.
You know this is a great country when Coach Steve Addazio makes $2.5 million a year, and is signed until 2019.
BC needs to do two things, and do them in short order.

Harvard football coach Tim Murphy

First, make a phone call across the Charles to the Football Offices of Harvard University, and speak with Coach Tim Murphy. He probably wouldn’t leave, but I would certainly inquire to gage any interest.
If in fact the answer is no, then go out and find a young assistant from the staff of either Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, or Jim Harbaugh, and let that guy come in an use the Eagles as a stepping stone. It can’t be a stepping stone unless you win.
I would also consult with the Eagles former head man Tom Coughlin who built BC into a legitimate top-ten program before leaving for playing fields of the NFL.
Otherwise, the Eagles football program as it’s currently constituted, is going to be, if it hasn’t already, sentenced to a life of irrelevancy.
Onto a better note; the Midshipmen of Navy, for only the fourth-time, since the week after JFK was assassinated – 1963 – defeated Notre Dame; 28-27. Anchors Aweigh!

Navy beats Notre Dame

The victory makes the “Sons of Roger Staubach” bowl eligible for the thirteenth time in 14-years, and drops the Irish to a shocking 3-6, placing them in serious jeopardy of staying home for the holidays. WOW!
Staying with the Academies; Air Force’s 31-13 win over Army accomplished two things: it made the Boys from Colorado Springs bowl eligible, but most importantly, the Falcons captured outright the Commander-in-Chief Trophy which comes with an invite to the Oval Office, and a visit with the POTUS. Good for them.
But weep not for the Long Grey Line, who are one game away from earning a bowl invitation, it’s first since 2010.
On another disappointing note; what in the name of Duffy Daugherty is going on in East Lansing, as the Spartans of Michigan State lost its 7-straight game, this time to a lowly bunch of Illini (3-6) of Illinois: 31-27.
MSU’s lost season continues to unravel: as the “Sons of Bubba Smith” are now winless (0-6) in the Big Ten for the first time since joining the League in the first term of the Eisenhower Administration – 1953, and are enduring its worst losing streak since; Ronald Reagan was in the first year, of his first term; 1981.
Can you say – shocking?!
In Austin, the “Fighting Charlie Strong’s” of Texas continue its revival tour, as the Horns knocked off Texas Tech: 45-37 in a huge Big-12, aka “Flag Football” league contest. The leagues motto: “We don’t need no stinking defense!”
If the “Sons of Darrell Royal” win out, now a possibility, Mr. Strong will finish 8-4, and more than likely the embattled coach will hold onto his job.
In Madison, the Badgers of Wisconsin continue to impress, as the “Sons of Dale Chihuly” went into Evanston and walked out with a methodical 21-7 victory over Northwestern, its first win in Evanston since Prince was partying like it was; 1999.
Paul Chryst’s Badgers (7-2), have held eight of its nine opponents to 17-points or less, and if it wins out against a relatively light schedule, it will be ticketed for an invite to the Big Ten Championship game, and a long shot for the 4-team playoff.
In the shocker of the day, Texas A&M obviously couldn’t stand the prosperity of being ranked the number four team in the country, as the Aggies were run all over (365-yrds rushing) by the Bulldogs of Mississippi State: 35-28.
“We got whipped,” said A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Yes you did, and with it, A&M’s playoff hopes are like the Johnson/Weld Libertarian ticket, tossed into the dust bin of history.
On the local front Timmy Murphy’s “Veritas Boys,” aka Harvard Football (7-1), defeated a feisty bunch of Lions from Columbia; 28-21.
The win was the 115th for the “Vince Lombardi” of the Charles, and places Murphy in the second spot for the most wins in Ivy League history. Good for Coach Murph.
If the Crimson win out – at Penn next week, and the “The Game” with Yale at home to close out the season – it will capture the Ivy Tile for tenth time since Murphy took up his residency in Cambridge.
Are you listening BC? Probably not!
While his Silver Lake Regional teammate Buddy Teevens saw his Big Green of Dartmouth knock off Cornell: 17-13.
Finally, as always, we finish with the woeful Jayhawks of Kansas (1-8), 48-21 losers to West Virginia, the last team that our bloviating, gas-bag pal Charlie Weis fixed. As they used to say in the “Star-Kist” commercial. “Sorry Charlie.”

our bloviating gas-bag pal Charlie weis

That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 11 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace. Make sure you vote. And most importantly, listen to the music. pk