Still watching Washington-UCLA at this point (and Stanford is coming back on Oregon), but here’s the rest of the day attached to the TV screen for college football, with an hour break during the early afternoon games for a beer run. This will be updated as it plays out, as Jake Locker is running like a beast.
9 AM Games: If you’re going to be forced to watch blowouts, the least we can get are entertaining ones, and both ECU vs. West Fuckin’ Virginia and UNC vs. South Florida count — watching Matt Grothe slug it downfield is fun, and everyone loves watching the speedsters WVU can get the ball to. What was remarkable to watch with those particular televised games was the Mountaineers’ secondary showing up for once this season, and shutting the Pirates out until garbage time.
Speaking of questionable secondaries, does anyone want to ask just what happened to Louisville in the off-season that made them this horrific on defense? The 42 given up to Middle Tennessee State was one clue; losing to a high-powered Kentucky team isn’t a total shame, but losing the way they did to the dregs of the Big East that is Syracuse is a complete embarrassment. It’s a lesson in tempering expectations with a new head coach; the Cardinals should never have been talking national championship in the first place — there are too many variables with a change at the top, never mind the loss of players.
Noon Games: Shame on Michigan State for being the first team to allow a Notre Dame offensive touchdown. While the Domers did get another one after that, they still looked outclassed by a Big 10 team where the use of “streaky” is an understatement. The real question is whether or not the Irish will be 0-8 by the time they roll into L.A. to face the Trojans.
Regarding Northwestern-OSU, I’ll simply refer to my phone conversations with my dad, a Wildcat alum:
dad: “What do you think about THE game?”
me: “You all don’t stand a chance.”
dad: “I’m not exactly happy with your lack of faith here.”
me: “Call me back midway through the first quarter.”
(45 minutes pass)
me: “Hi. You stopped watching, didn’t you?”
Eventually Lloyd Carr is going to wreck the future of Mike Hart by rushing his knees into oblivion Larry Johnson-style. He has no choice until Chad Henne comes back for Michigan, but 44 rushes for 157 yards, while productive, is overkill. Penn State was underwhelming in the various ways that Anthony Morelli looked completely out of his element as a quarterback.
LSU got their toughest test yet (well, when you play Mississippi State, Va Tech, and a couple of no-names, South Carolina is your toughest opponent so far), and largely passed, especially with that very nice “fuck you” to the OBC that was the fake FG flip by Matt Flynn to kicker Colt David. Not as impressive on offense as before, but looking at the way Florida let Ole Miss back in late, still the favorite to dominate the conference (which means Les Miles will find a way to fuck it up.)
Afternoon Games: In the pro game last week, we got the insanity that was Bengals vs. Browns, this week, we get the college equivalent in Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State — Graham Harrell throws for over 600 yards and 5 TDs, and it’s the drop by Michael Crabtree (who had an outstanding game) that everyone will remember, as it cost the Red Raiders the game.
Mike Stoops won’t be in Tucson after this season is over. Not like Arizona’s going to provide any sort of real threat against Cal, but at some point, he was supposed to make them at least reliably mid-level in the Pac-10.
Fayetteville wants Houston Nutt’s gonads on a string tonight. Not only is Boss Hawg double fucked by having Darren McFadden and Felix Jones under the weather, but Casey Dick’s receivers couldn’t help him even if he threw well. Nutt needs to Krazy-Glue the wideouts’ gloves, and maybe reinforce some tackling down there. Kentucky made it work with Andre Woodson, whose Heisman case and NFL Draft status keeps rising while the Wildcats have to run out second and third-string backs behind him due to injury. As for the Hawgs, dumb penalties and dumber offensive execution cost them.
All I needed to know about Rice-Texas was that it was 41-0 at the half.
Night Shift Games: UGA pulls the win out of Matthew Stafford’s ass as he air-mails it on the first play of the Dawgs’ shot in OT for six, thus saving Mark Richt from a face-destroying loss to the Saban. John Parker Wilson had walked it in for six and the tie as Bama came back from two scores down to send the game to OT with a missed Coutu FG. Mike Patrick wins the “Stupid Announcer Tricks” prize of this season early on with a complete non sequitur about Britney Spears in overtime as Stafford hurls his winning pass to the end zone.
Wisconsin continues to skate by opponents they should beat with a bit more ease by the skin of their teeth. This time, the victim happens to be playmaker-challenged Iowa, which actually coughed up a lead on the Badgers. Being in USC country, I didn’t get this game on TV — I watched the Trojans run up the score on the boys from Pullman, WA for about two and a half quarters instead, and USC’s severe domination will move them back into #2 on my list after Florida’s defensive issues today.
Purdue looks like Michigan State: undefeated for now, bound for mediocrity — especially if they’re letting the awful Gophers in Minnesota make a game of it.
I hope you put money on Washington and the +6 being offered against UCLA today. That bet looks really good right now; Patrick Cowan doesn’t exactly inspire offensive confidence, but it’s a 10-10 tie at the half.
Losing to Stanford will bring you shame, Ducks.
Photo: AP/Alex Brandon