Side note: I will be taking in tonight’s Pats-Eagles contest from a Hollywood sports bar, but the SNF live blog will likely still go down at Awful Announcing with the News Team’s fearless leader stepping in for me.
Clearly, no one who reaches the top of the BCS rankings is particularly interested in making the BCS title game as Bizarro College Football Season* rolls on unimpeded by such things as legitimate title contenders with undefeated records. Missouri owned the first half of the Border War and managed to hold on despite a fierce attempt at a comeback by Kansas. I could have sworn Gary Pinkel was going to blow it in a Pinkel-like moment after using his final second-half time-out with over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter; however, crucial penalties against the Jayhawks’ D and turnovers for the Tigers assisted in the defeat. Kansas’ kicker has to be busting himself hard for missing two field goals, as the margin of victory was six points. This will likely take Mizzou to #1 come tomorrow afternoon. (Officiating note: there was a late hit called on a Mizzou defender literally right after Todd Reesing had thrown a completed pass downfield. If we are going to be that hair-trigger about flags, then let’s put the QB in a dress and get on with it.)
West Fuckin’ Virginia will become the latest contender to step up to the roulette table and hope not to be the seventh #2 ranked team this year to roll snake eyes. Rolling over UConn in convincing fashion (thanks for not showing this on the West Coast, ESPN!) with Pat White tearing it up and a Pitt team defining mediocre with the Wannstache in charge the only thing left in the Mountaineers’ way would damn near ensure a spot in the BCS title game, but, this is Bizarro College Football Season, and as such, I will not eliminate the possibility of Rich Rodriguez getting smacked around by the whiskers until the ‘Eers are up by at least 20. (However, watching highlights of Matt Grothe and South Florida just beat up on the Panthers with little in the way of mercy does nothing to help them. Unless the opposing QB is Pat White, he should not be beating your defense to the end zone on an improvised draw play.)
Rich Brooks thinks his team’s play in the 2nd OT was bullshit. Commendations must go to Kentucky and Andre’ Woodson for coming back from three touchdowns down in the second half, but when you get a pick and don’t take advantage for the win (allowing the Vols to block a Lones Seiber field goal attempt) in OT, that’s just asking to lose. Woodson should have no complaints — he will be cashing some nice checks on Sundays next year, and Brooks is building a better program. All credit to the Vols, who look less and less like sacrificial lambs for LSU — hopefully they’ll bring it to Atlanta, although a chastened LSU must fear the Vols as much as they would have feared the Georgia Bulldogs had Tennessee faltered. The Dawgs had no problem with another Chan Gailey-led team of Rambling Wrecks that can’t get the ball downfield, but they’ll have to be content with knowing that they can do some damage next year.
(Another telecast note: ESPN, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in California outside of Fresno who gives a shit about the K-State Power Towels and Pat Hill’s Mustache Riders at this point in the season. Please have the decency to show UGA-Georgia Tech next year on the West Coast instead.)
Hi there, Bama fans. Meet the new Tide coach, same crap record as the old Tide coach. Tommy Tuberville owns your ass and you better hope Auburn’s dumb enough to run him off into the arms of College Station after bowl season.
Tim Tebow is getting slurped so hard for the Heisman that it’s almost Favre-like. Problem is that he keeps justifying a lot of the damned hype by tearing apart teams like Florida State, which apparently only gets decent performances out of its quarterbacks when the back-up is hurt. Tebow threw for three scores and rushed for two more, and basically made it a three-man race between him, Arkansas’ Darren McFadden, and Missouri’s Chase Daniel (more on the actual choice in an upcoming post.)
Oklahoma will meet Missouri next week in the Big 12 Championship after bitch-slapping OK State, and has the ultimate ability to really fuck it up. Ohio State will be pulling for you, Sooners. Don’t worry about Mike Gundy — he’s a man; he’s 40; he can take it.
I was pulling for Virginia so damned hard this morning in order to avoid a second consecutive Boston College-VA Tech ACC championship game, but the two-QB system seems to be working for Frank Beamer right now, and Tyrod Taylor and Branden Ore just gashed the UVA defense in the second half. Sean Glennon got into it with 2 TD passes of his own. BC dispatched a Miami team that had its own miracle by scoring a couple of offensive touchdowns.
The Oregon-UCLA tilt was a disgrace to offensive-minded football. Bruin starting QB Osaar Rashaan went 0-7 passing in the first half with a pick, and was replaced by Ben Olson, the original starter, who threw 4-10 with a pick of his own (but was apparently good enough to get a non-injured RB close enough to score an offensive touchdown.) I considered the odds damn high for UCLA to take out a hobbled, Brady Leaf-led Ducks team, but when Leaf was taken out of the game down 6-0, I had a TMQ moment and said “this fucker’s done”under my breath. The worst part of this is that UCLA can still somehow go to the Rose Bowl if they beat USC at the Coliseum next Saturday and Arizona State loses to Arizona. Trojans, you must dispatch the Bruins not only out of vengeance for last season, but for the sakes of all Pac-10 supporters who do not wish to become laughingstocks with a 7-5 team going to a BCS bowl. On the other hand, watching Dorrell go to the Rose Bowl and, even less plausibly, win said bowl game to save his job would cause such an enjoyable amount of buttlock among the rabid Bruins calling for his head.
Notre Dame-Stanford was going to be a questionable offensive tilt with the smug front in Palo Alto being large enough to consume the entire Bay Area. Notre Dame fumbled three times in Stanford territory on offense and the Cardinal kicker missed four field goals (useful points in a game won by a touchdown.) A Domer linebacker put a hit on Stanford QB Tavita Pritchard that should have been another personal foul on top of all the 15-yard flags thrown in the damn game (most of them lousy calls.) Irish fans can at least say they avoided double-digit losses, as if that is much of a consolation; Stanford’s coaching staff will need to answer why Pritchard was put back in the game for a series in the fourth quarter after taking that vicious hit.
Maybe we ought to start asking if Ty Willingham is as mediocre as Karl Dorrell. Wazzu QB Alex Brink’s talent has largely been wasted in Pullman — partially because it’s hard to get West Coast blue-chippers to a place like Pullman (I visited, I like the area all right) and because Bill Doba has outlived his usefulness. He’s somewhere closer to Drew Bledsoe than Ryan Leaf, and might get more than a look when NFL draft time comes around. Brink turned in a 399-yard passing performance along with five touchdowns as Wazzu took the Apple Cup from U-Dub. Jake Locker rushed for two touchdowns and threw for two more to keep the Huskies in it, but Willingham is going to have to address the defense immediately, or risk being out on his ass in a season or two like Doba probably will be come Monday.
It’s probably not a good sign when your first pass is picked. That’s how it went for South Carolina QB Blake Mitchell against Clemson. He actually led the Cocks back after the Tigers jumped out to a lead and had them up 21-20 late, but Clemson nailed the usual game-winning field goal to hand Steve Spurrier his sixth straight loss and probably help Terry Bowden keep his job for another season (it’ll be ACC championship or bust next year, with Cullen Harper back and hopefully both James Davis and C.J. Spiller around too.)
I finish with the sole memorable moment from Maryland’s 37-0 drubbing of N.C. State, courtesy of the Brothers Mottram at Mister Irrelevant: a Wolfpack player getting a personal foul for what ref Ron Cherry described as “giving him the business”:
Photo: AP/Orlin Wagner