Going Into Week 13, Guns Up

leachinthechairIt’s hard to comp this together, especially considering that I won’t be able to watch a whole lot of these games (well, the ones at night anyway) due to outside events putting me in Los Angeles this weekend. But let’s just say that now and next week are where it gets interesting.

  1. Texas Tech – after watching Alabama look just kind of pedestrian, the Red Raiders have to be #1 as they go into Norman. If they aren’t #1 in all the polls and the BCS if they win on Saturday, you can all justifiably call it a fix.
  2. Alabama – Merely avoiding a Crooming isn’t good enough. Saban and his crew have done an admirable job, pulling performances out of the team when he needs them, and let’s not think that Auburn is any particular challenge in two weeks.
  3. Florida – Should scare the ever-loving shit out of anyone they come across.  I don’t want to buy into the suggestion that losing when you should not have makes you better — but is there any doubt that Urban Meyer would have unleashed the speed of Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey had the regular “bash Tebow up the middle when he’s not throwing” approach worked better than it did against Ole Miss?
  4. Texas – No Orakpo, but the offense is still reliably consistent and they’re through the gauntlet. Will likely be the primary beneficiary if the Sooners fuck up Tech’s shit.
  5. Oklahoma – Needs to beat Tech and needs Texas to not have runaway wins.
  6. Penn State – Gunshot in the gut wounded you once against Iowa, JoePa. Don’t let the fake rivalry with Sparta be the one that delivers the slug to the heart.
  7. Utah – Brian Johnson is the Machine and the Utes keep pulling wins out of their asses.  With chaos in mind, and loathing of Mormon institutions in my heart, go forth and plow over those fuckers from Provo this weekend.
  8. USC – Irrationally placed here because how good can you look when you can only get 17 points against both Cal and Arizona — also, the whole “Oregon State is actually in the driver’s seat here” factor matters. Can you say with a straight face that the majority of the Pac-10 programs are of that much higher a caliber than the Mountain West?
  9. Boise State – We can safely say that about the WAC, but let’s not let that ruin our fun.  Kellen Moore has been a revelation for Chris Petersen at QB, and the hero of the Fiesta Bowl, Ian Johnson, is merely another solid running and blocking cog in the Potato State’s machine.
  10. Ohio State – If any year merits a wacky, improbable loss to Michigan to tell us how bad the Big 10 can be, it’s this one. Please, oh please, ye gods of the prolate spheroid, make it come to pass. Of course, it shall not, and Rich Rod will spend the whole game trying not to stare at Terrelle Pryor, lest he be on the verge of tears.

There are stwo match-ups on the table that are directed at your senses of schadenfreude and tolerance for mediocrity.  This week’s Car Wreck Bowls include:

  • Syracuse-Notre Dame: I do not envy the NBC Sports flack who had to produce the promo for this.  Gerg, the Condemned Man, comes to South Bend with his head already cut off, to face Fat Charlie, who should note that while they may not be ready to can him, there are fans willing to sharpen the guillotine personally.
  • Washington-Washington State: This year’s Apple Cup is spectacularly rotten, with the only win between the two teams being a win over a I-AA squad by Wazzu. For only the hardcore and those who get kicks out of laughing at teenagers.  (I will be watching if it’s on at noon on my mom’s cable system.)

Other notes: this is one of the two geographic rivalry weeks, which gives us these games worth at least viewing. Some of them do not apply, but I’m too lazy to give them another category:

  • Mississippi-LSU: This is rather tragic because each team shows flashes of competent football frequently — and then the Tigers have to go put the ball in the hands of Jarrett Lee from time to time; the Rebels remember that they are Ole Miss, and commit turnovers on top of turnovers.
  • Michigan-Ohio State: Again, will feature plenty of sobbing from Rich Rod — or at least, I can only hope.
  • Illinois-Northwestern: Ron Zooks pissing intensity hasn’t quite rubbed off on Juice Williams, and Evanston’s legendary underwhelming should make for a potent environment (sarcasm!) Regardless of that, do the Illini actually put a decent stop to Mike Kafka?
  • N.C. State-North Carolina: For ACC junkies only, but still of merit since the Heels need Miami to lose to get their shot back at the conference championship.
  • Stanford-Cal: Despite the early Jeff Tedford Collapse, worth viewing to see if another nerd school can crack the bowl eligible burden again.

Now, the other games you might actually care about:

  • Miami-Georgia Tech: The U heads to the Beehive. Massively sick defensive line and linebacking talent goes up against flexbone. Watch the bodies fly tomorrow night.
  • BYU-Utah: Since I love BCS busters like fat kids love cake, still pulling for the Utes to Tabernacle the Cougars.
  • Florida State-Maryland: Because the Terps going to the ACC Championship Game mean the most righteous fall of the ACC as a conference. Utter hilarity.
  • Pitt-Cincinnati: Yes, you might actually want to look at this, because this is probably your BCS entry from the Big East right here, as Brian Kelly auditions for a few head coaching vacancies that pay more money and Dave Wannstedt continues to make his journey to competency.
  • Texas Tech-Oklahoma: Um, duh. (And I’ll be missing it for a wedding.)

The Shakedown: All Hail West Texas!

Because that’s where all the action will be this Saturday, with all eyes on Lubbock, as Colt McCoy takes the Longhorns into the heart of Mike Leach’s Pirate Academy, better known as Texas Tech’s Jones AT&T Stadium.

Week 10’s Top 10:

  1. Texas – Deconstructing Missouri and holding on against Oklahoma State keeps you on top, and it helps to have a quarterback completing 85% of his passes. It’s like Chad Pennington with deep ball skills here. Lordy.  If they get out of Lubbock with a win they run the table. I know it means playing Kansas and probably Mizzou again in a Big 12 Championship game, but Tech is the most loaded of these teams.
  2. Alabama – I actually feel good about keeping them at #2 now, because Nick Saban and his running game invaded Neyland and destroyed what little confidence Tennessee fans had left in any part of the Vols season that didn’t involve Eric Berry.  The Tide finally owned a second half.
  3. Penn State – It was Ohio State, but it was by a 13-6 margin, not exactly the domination it probably should have been.  I don’t want to hate on Joe Paterno, and I admire the work his staff has done with the offense, but if all of the top three win out and the Nittany Lions are left out, I don’t think anyone outside the Big 10 will be crying foul.
  4. Texas Tech – Ripping up a can of 60+ point whoopass on Kansas while holding them to less than 40 is a hell of an accomplishment, and given the offenses in conference, that’s a good defense Tech has to go with the Graham Harrell-to-Michael Crabtree connection.
  5. Georgia – OK, Matthew Stafford, I see you can throw and deconstruct a what was considered a good defense in LSU. I bet you can do it again this week too.
  6. Oklahoma – If you’re going to run up 55 pointts in the first half against Kansas State and allow them to sniff a three-score margin when you don’t play D, you could reassure us by getting more than three points in the second half.
  7. Florida – I may wind up eating this one come Saturday and the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, but I’m betting it ends for Florida here, despite all the offensive speed. Georgia can play ball control with its pro sets and keep Tim Tebow, Jeff Demps, and Percy Harvin off the field.
  8. USC – It’s not whether the Trojans will be in or out of the Top 10 come next week. I don’ t understand how the BCS computers have them fifth (it’s probably the whole not scheduling I-AA cupcakes thing), but it won’t be if they beat Washington. It’s whether they can match the 69 they put up on Wazzu two weeks ago instead of looking lost against Arizona.
  9. Oklahoma State – They just couldn’t keep up quite enough with Texas, and have to go for a bit of a fall. It’s a shame all the really good Big 12 teams are stuck in the South save Mizzou.
  10. Boise State – Kellen Moore has been better than expected at QB, and Chris Peterson has done this whole BCS crashing thing before, remember? It seems like the path for the Broncos is easier than the one for Utah. The Utes tend to have lapses at inopportune times, and why do I suspect their loss will come against BYU?

Games I’m Hoping to Watch That Don’t Involve the Above 10 Teams:

  • Northwestern @ Minnesota (-5.5) – For solidarity with my dad, the N’Western alum, but with injuries, they just might lose to Tim Brewster’s revival project in Minnesota. Would actually like to see how good the Gophers are on TV.
  • Kansas State (+11) @ Kansas – Hooray, shootout!
  • Pitt @ Notre Dame (-5.5) – The Wannstache visiting Fat Charlie. Worth it for mocking the coaches alone.
  • Florida State @ Georgia Tech (+1.5) – Because watching the flexbone is fun, and BEEEEEEEEEES. Also: because fuck FSU, that’s why.
  • Tennessee @ South Carolina (-6) – Which team can look more offensively inept? This will garner check-ins from games with competent teams on that factor (although not to the level that Auburn-Mississippi State did; nothing can match that.)

The Shakedown, Week 8

Back after a week off on this.

What’s Left To Make Up The Best:

  1. Texas – If you play in a power conference, beat the current #1, who is also in that conference, and you were high up to begin with, you’re gonna get #1 when everyone else falls apart. I don’t think Texas will be holding on to this spot for the rest of the season. They may still win the conference and might make the MNC game, but they’re not gonna do it without a mark in the loss column.
  2. Alabama – Taking on the dreaded opponent BYE is not exactly the best way to bump up, but it’s been done before. The problem is that Bama, despite whooping both Clemson and Georgia, has had weaker moments against teams like Tulane and Kentucky.
  3. Penn State – You’ll have to excuse me if I’m a bit bullish on the Nittany Lions, and think they might actually be able to keep up with an SEC team.  (Noted viewers will tell me Ohio State looked just as good and speedy with Troy Smith under center and still got whooped.)  Regardless of weariness with the Big Televen, it’s hard not to pull for Joe Paterno to make the MNC for the amusement.
  4. BYU – Despite last week’s close game against New Mexico and the vulnerability that comes with a Thursday night game against a very good TCU defense, I believe in the Cougars and the arm of Max Hall. Also, I’m not ready to put Oklahoma State this high, nor do I want to go to a one-loss team yet.
  5. Oklahoma State – He’s a man, he’s 41, and he knows how to coach an offense. Mike Gundy screwed uip a couple play calls against Mizzou (that fake punt, anyone?), but having a defense that disrupted a team so badly has to make the Cowboys a force in an already loaded Big 12.
  6. Oklahoma – this is about as far as they can fall; they’re the best of the one-loss teams, but if they have another rushing performance like they had against Texas, they’ll lose two more times.
  7. Florida – If they win out they’re going back to the championship game, because SEC teams with 1 loss have an advantage here as others fall by the wayside.  But they’re not gonna.
  8. Texas Tech – That wasn’t a typical Mike Leach game against Nebraska, and suggests Tech isn’t going to survive the gauntlet unscathed.
  9. USC – 6 is too high, 10 in this environment might be too low, Utah isn’t good enough yet to be higher, this is probably a slightly homerish pick.
  10. Utah – But Georgia hasn’t earned its way back in yet, so the Utes go  here despite playing some competition that isn’t as tough.

How Could You?

  • Mizzou – Wearing #25 sapped Chase Daniel’s mojo, and it only gets more difficult, heading to Austin. You can’t go home again, can you?
  • LSU – Well, I was wrong. Good quarterback play is necessary; even Les Miles can’t recruit enough star skill players to cover up Jarrett Lee’s deficiencies.
  • Arizona State – We knew the Sun Devils were in a slide. We just didn’t know how bad it could get. If you’re causing four turnovers at any point, you should at least score a point off them. Mark Sanchez was responsible for four SC turnovers, yet ASU still got shut out.
  • Vanderbilt and Northwestern – NERDS! NERDS! NERDS! We were all counting on you, but reality set back in.
  • West Virginia – Bill Stewart becomes the first coach to accuse Greg Robinson and Syracuse of doing a good job of coaching.
  • Clemson – The Bitch Mentality that is Tommy Bowden got fired, resigned, take your pick — but that was long overdue. Doesn’t mean Clemson’s gonna be any better in the future.

Games To Hope You Can See On TV And/Or Bet On:

  • Hawaii (+24) over Boise State — put a $20 on the money and make Friday night interesting. It’s not like it won’t be a blowout on the Smurf Turf.
  • Texas Tech (-21) over Texas A&M – The Aggies are bad. Tech could hit the Over by itself. This is the game to watch early; it’s better than one of the ESPN offerings. Hope you get the proper FSN channel.
  • Georgia Tech (-2) @ Clemson – BEEEEEEEEEEES.  I like watching the triple option; my attention will likely be here at 9 AM.
  • Ole Miss (+14) @ Alabama – Houston Nutt’s teams are capable of shocking some big ranked team and then lapsing the week after. I don’t think they’ll be beating Alabama, but if they do……whoo boy, it’ll be a ruckus.
  • Ohio State @ Michigan State (+3) – I’ll be making calls on this one. Spartans for the upset!
  • Michigan @ Penn State (-23) – Taste the fail of Rich Rodriguez as he enters Beaver Stadium.
  • LSU (-2) @ South Carolina – Mostly because I’ve not seen reliable QB play from anyone on Steve Spurrier’s roster.
  • Mizzou (+5.5) @ Texas – Don’t want to say so long to the Longhorns after a week at number one, but why do I think Chase Daniel will come home with a vengeance after losing last week?

The Shakedown, Week 6

After last week’s carnage, we’re left with a bunch of chaos in the top 10 this week, and truly unquestioned dominance by the SEC and Big 12.

Ten Best:

  1. Oklahoma – The Tde may have played better teams, but after watching both the Sooners and Alabama, I still think Oklahoma is the better team at this point and time, and I don’t think too many people out there would argue with Sam Bradford being generally better than John Parker Wilson.
  2. Alabama – Not that I’m not impressed with Nick Saban’s work; he has constructed some thoroughly scary D and O lines in Tuscaloosa.  But I know that the JPW breakdown is coming; we just don’t know when.
  3. Texas – Colt McCoy is doing Vince Young-like things while looking twice as gawky doing them.
  4. LSU – Survived a surprising bout of offense from FC Croom State last weekend, still laden with studs at so many positions that Jarrett Lee can be kind of a fuck-up at QB and no one will notice.
  5. Mizzou – Really, really itching to see what they do against actual conference competition.  Chase Daniel has to suffer despite all those passing records because he hasn’t played anyone yet.
  6. Penn State – If Derrick Williams can pull off the rushing, receiving, and return touchdown trifecta on a regular basis….oh my. But that won’t happen. I’m sure Joe Paterno would take two of three every Saturday.
  7. BYU – Of the firm belief that the Cougars are essentially in good shape to run the table here; the only real obstacle is the showdown with Utah at the end of the season.
  8. Texas Tech – Ack, ack, ack…..play somebody, guys! We need conference play with the Red Raiders to really suss out where they are.
  9. South Florida – Matt Grothe will lapse into one of those three-pick games in conference and blow a shot at the MNC, but considering how bad the Big East is, not earning its BCS berth should be a disappointment for the Bulls.
  10. Utah – Because I don’t want to put Georgia, USC, Florida, Auburn, or Ohio State here — and it’s a placeholder for Vandy if they beat Auburn this week (please, please, please make it so.)  The Utes are bound to fuck this up even if it’s not to BYU because the offense just has too many stop-and-start moments, but they’re the best of what’s left. Expect Northwestern and Vandy to make runs at this spot if either of them can stay undefeated.

So Many Dreams, Shattered:

USC – Look, I referred to these troubles last Friday, but it’s time to re-assess the program’s attitude. There’s now way Pete Carroll can brush this off as “well, conference play is tough.”

Florida – Gator fans are still cursing Dan Mullen’s play calling, but Urban Meyer could also use a course in how to use a running back. I know he has them.

Georgia – Losing line guys to ACL injuries will come back to fuck you.

Auburn – The Tigers are that bipolar kid you know who’s on a new medication and is suffering some side effects. One day you get normal, the next really bummed, and then overly peppy. This is the spread offense that even the head coach admits isn’t quite working right now.

Tennessee – If Auburn is bi-polar on offense, the Vols are manic-depressives, and the Xanax isn’t settling Jonathan Crompton or the fanbase down much.

Wake Forest: How is this team at #25 in the polls and Northwestern is out? The Deacons lost to Navy, for Christ’s sake.

UConn – Scary team and deserves its #24 ranking with Donald Brown in the backfield. Only legit threat to South Florida for conference supremacy right now.

Syracuse/Pittsburgh – Couldn’t they have worked it out so the losing coach got fired on live TV immediately aftewards?  Syracuse fans would have loved to get rid of Greg Robinson like that, and Dave Wannstedt should be ashamed of even having to mount a comeback on the rotten Orange.

The Shakedown, Week 5

Gonna be a blackout tonight…

The Terrific Ten:

  1. Oklahoma – Still riding that “DESTROY ALL OPPONENTS” margin. While not in conference play this week, TCU’s bitchin’ defensive assault should give us an idea where the Sooners stand with real opposition.
  2. Georgia – Wreaking havoc on an undermanned and overwhelmed ASU team is fine — but Nick Saban and Alabama are an entirely different manner. Official “Game of the Week” status; kill yourself if you miss it.
  3. USC – Normally I do not usually punish for bye weeks, but two in the first four weeks with a shitty conference does the Trojans no favors, much like the BCS will not if Oklahoma and an SEC team of your choosing end up undefeated along with Pete Carroll and crew.
  4. LSU – Les Miles runs a program with enough skill on both lines, in the defensive secondary, and at the offensive skill positions where it no longer matters if the quarterback is a stud. I italicize this for importance because it was evident against Auburn and goes against all nature of what we learn about football: the quarterback quality or pedigree is secondary when the rest of the skill players are that good on a perennial basis.
  5. Florida – After whupping up on Tennessee, the Gators get another lower-tier SEC opponent in Ole Miss. Still concerned about this offense being nothing but Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin.
  6. Missouri – Chase Daniel sets more records, Jeremy Maclin’s a stud, blah, blah, blah. Can these guys play somebody now?
  7. Alabama – Not quite buying it yet, but obviously this weekend’s tilt in Athens means a lot; Glen Coffee may not match Knowshon Moreno yard for yard or play for spectacular play, but he’s a very good back.
  8. BYU – Eight straight quarters without giving up a point deserves props.
  9. Wisconsin – Best looking of the Big 10 teams who’ve actually played someone.
  10. Penn State – More impressed with the defeats of the nobodies that the Nittany Lions have taken on than the ones that Texas Tech has finished off.

So Sorry, Thanks For Playing

  • West Virginia – Even a week later, it’s worth going over again: Bill Stewart is in over his head and wasting Pat White’s senior year.
  • East Carolina – Nothing good lasts forever, but N.C. State? Really?
  • Auburn – Valiant defeat to LSU, but alternating competent offensive drives with junior varsity BS isn’t going to work well. You can probably get away with that shit hosting Tennessee, though.
  • Oregon – victimized by the quarterback injury disease that claimed Dennis Dixon last year; now it claims anyone who dares to follow in his footsteps.

Getting Closer Looks:

  • UConn/Loovall – mostly because it’s on Friday night, the Big East is wide open, and because defensive end Rob Lunn is a good blogger. Also, because Louisville’s Steve Kragthorpe makes great faces when his team is losing.
  • Pitt/Syracuse – If only to torture myself and see who can look more incompetent between Dave Wannstedt and Greg Robinson.
  • UNC/Miami – Butch Davis returns to Coral Gables.
  • Arkansas/Texas – Mack Brown has the best smug look when he beats someone, and no one deserves to get that look more than Bobby Petrino.
  • Fresno State/UCLA – Because I love the idea of Pat Hill’s Mustache Riders riding into the Rose Bowl and scrubbing the floor with His Coachness‘ J.V. squad.
  • Illinois/Penn State – Let’s see how the Spread HD looks in conference.
  • Colorado/Florida State – Considering every crap QB the Seminoles have thrown in there, I will be very disappointed if Dan Hawkins does not come out of Tallahassee with a win. RUN, YOU MAJESTIC BUFFALO, RUN!

The Shakedown, Week 4

Top 10:

  1. Oklahoma – Destroying teams by those margins allows a retaining of the #1 spot. Does this team have a weakness? I say no, but I’m still looking forward to the inevitable Bob Stoops BCS Bowl Collapse.
  2. USC – beating OSU would count for more, y’know, if everyone and their mother hadn’t expected the Trojans to beat up on OSU.
  3. Missouri – again, a drubbing of Nevada isn’t questioned on the offensive end, and the defense held pretty well in this game. I’m just concerned when they face actual Big 12 competition. I’m less likely to think this team beats Oklahoma in a championship game. Next ritual sacrifice: Turner Gill’s Buffalo squad.
  4. Georgia – Eventually the Dawgs will lose. It’s just not going to be this week, because if the Mountain West has already demonstrated anything, it’s that non-USC teams in the Pac-10 suck. Knowshon Moreno can still save the world; Matthew Stafford will be better. It’s the line play on both ends that raises concern thanks to injuries.
  5. Florida – For all of Urban Meyer’s efforts, this team is still all Tim Tebow, all the time. Not like this will be a problem against Tennessee this weekend.
  6. Wisconsin – Based somewhat on the “who you play” principle: beating Fresno State means more to me than the patsies LSU and Texas have beaten up on, regardless of the talent of those particular sides.
  7. LSU – considering Auburn’s offensive ineptitude, should be a lock for SEC West now. (Do not talk about Alabama. Alabama has to beat someone in conference convincingly first.)
  8. Texas – Really a shame that Oklahoma’s as good as it as again, but at least the Red River Shootout will be competitive for another year.
  9. BYU – For a thorough Tabernacling of UCLA, and also because I refuse to put Auburn anywhere near a top 10 right now.
  10. East Carolina – that was much, much closer than it needed to be, Pirates. Thanks! Now go back to beating up people by taking out N.C. State.

The Other MIscreants:

  • Ohio State – Please, please, please, do us all a favor and lose to Penn State in a few weeks so we don’t have to hear even a whisper about you any longer.
  • Penn State – Please live up to the scores you’ve run up against lesser opponents. That’s fun viewing, honestly, and if you don’t hang half a hundred on Temple this weekend, JoePa will eat all of your brains.
  • South Florida – MattGrothe is the Magic 8-ball of QBs: what you shake up and get in the end can be among one of about seven or eight qualities of play. That’s still better than anything else in the Big East not named Pat White.
  • Colorado – The time has come, mythical men of Boulder. The hillbillies from West Fuckin’ Virginia have come to your turf. It’s time to burn their fucking couches, because THIS IS DIVISION I FOOTBALL, BROTHERS!
  • Notre Dame – Sorry, you still suck and your coach is on crutches. Michigan just happens to stink worse. Brian Hoyer is quite possibly one of the lamer quarterbacks I’ve had the displeasure of watching, but Javon Ringer will run Irish ass into the ground.

Assorted Picks:

  • WFVU/Colorado – CU by a 3/4 point difference. FREE THE MAJESTIC BUFFALO.  We’ve still no clue what Bill Stewart is actually trying to do in Morgantown, and this is a road game of the caliber that a Big East school does not normally play.  (Trust me when I say I take no joy in watching Stewart look clueless, it’s a waste of White’s senior year.)
  • Alabama/Arkansas – Asshole Bowl I gets underway in Fayetteville with Nick Saban taking on Bobby Petrino.  Due to talent amassed, this is a Tide win by a touchdown, but let’s just say we’re rooting for both Casey Dick and John Parker Wilson to regress in ways only dreamed about.
  • Florida/Tennessee – This would be closer, but unfortunately, Phil Fulmer and Dave Clawson have shown absolutely no inclination to dispense the ball to Arian Foster and Monterio Hardesty when, y’know, that actually works better than having Jonathan Crompton throw more than 30 times a game. For an encore, Tebow will then circumcise Smokey on the sidelines.
  • Arizona/UCLA – If His Coachness Rick Neuheisel beats Mike Stoops, does he even make the plane trip back to Tucson?
  • Wake Forest/Florida State – Riley Skinner is a maddeningly efficient little thing of a quarterback, and the defense is stout enough to resist the Seminoles, who still have some digging out to do.
  • LSU/Auburn – I think this is the first time LSU has had to go on the road. I expect at least four chop blocks by Auburn and two ill-advised 2-point conversion tries by Les Miles. Advantage: the Tigers from Louisiana.
  • Georgia/Arizona State – There is no worse property of transiitive football STD than losing to a team that lost to UNLV.  Georgia should be able to 10+ point this if Dennis Erickson is having preparation lapses, but the idea of Mark Richt’s D-line stopping Keegan Harring and sacking Rudy Carpenter often enough to keep the score down is not exactly one I think we’ll see.

The Shakedown, Week 3

To get you in the proper state of mind for this Saturday’s OSU-USC tilt, we pass along the latest from Catlab:

Right. Now that you’re properly terrified at the acid-drenched mind necessary to come up wtih stuff like that, let’s get to it:

  1. Oklahoma – by evaluation of wins, I’m going to have to up the Sooners on beating a Big East foe handily that is not actually complete crap. Cincinnati is growing as a program, and that’s respectable — we can also expect the Sooners to go to Seattle and drive another nail in Ty Willingham’s coffin at Washington.
  2. USC – No one else’s 2nd week defeat was impressive enough, and if your local bookie is offering you a line of 10 or lower for this Saturday, take the Trojans big time. I expect this to be at least an 11 point margin.
  3. Georgia – Mark Richt & Co. beat a decent Central Michigan team soundly, so this moves them up. Might as well consider South Carolina frosting; it’s not like they’ve got anything resembling offensive production right now. Still concerned about Matthew Stafford unraveling at some point.
  4. Mizzou – Another thrashing of a cupcake. This week’s game against Nevada should be interesting — the Tigers’ spread against the Wolf Pack’s pistol formation.
  5. Florida – Looked vulnerable against Miami until the fourth quarter; is lucky the ‘Canes offense is completely non-existent.
  6. East Carolina – Beating VA Tech and West Fuckin’ Virginia will get you a Top 10 spot, easy. Let’s see if the PIrates can keep it up with their Conference USA schedule against Tulane this week.
  7. LSU – Victimized by Gustav. Sorry.
  8. Texas – the game with Arkansas is in flux thatnks to Hurricane Ike, which may rob me of the glee to watch Bobby Petrino get raked over the coals by Colt McCoy’s arm and Will Muschamp calling his offensive line all sorts of nasty names.
  9. Texas Tech – Process of elminiation. Still wondering where the defense is in Lubbock.
  10. Auburn – Goddamnit. They have a QB in Chris Todd, but it’s still all fits and starts for Tony Franklin’s offense. Wold rathre put them here than Alabama right now.

Piss Right Off, Will You?

  • West Fuckin’ Virginia: I said last bowl season that hiring Bill Stewart was a mistake. Last week, I got proof.
  • Notre Dame: Bad offensive line, poor defensive play despite Jon Tenuta in charge, and Jimmy Clausen now looks like even more of a douchebag, if that had been humanly possible before.  They now put me in the uncomfortable position of rooting for Michigan.
  • South Carolina (AGAIN): Steve Spurrier once reflected on his reasons to return to college football, adding that there are no Vanderbilts in the NFL. Well, if you can’t beat the actual Vanderbilt, what good are you and your squad?  Head Ball Coach won’t actually be fired — he’s the only thing that makes people outside of Columbia care about the ‘Cocks outside of easy, cheap dick jokes.

What I’m Hoping To Catch Glimpses Of That Isn’t OSU-USC:

  • UCLA-BYU: A much tougher test for Rick Neuheisel, Kevin Craft, and that patched together O-line, but after seeing Washington nearly pull off the upset, give the Bruins a bit more of a chance than you think, even though they’re heading to Provo.
  • Cal-Maryland: For no other reason than needing to see such ineptitude that leads one to lose to Middle Tennessee State on TV.
  • Wisconsin-Fresno State: I’m pulling for Pat Hill’s Mustache Riders here.
  • Kansas-USF: You can’t tell me Todd Reesing vs. Matt Grothe wouldn’t be fun.
  • Georgia-South Carolina: Yeah, the Cocks are gonna get fucked raw, but it’s on CBS, and that means the return of Uncle Verne and Psycho Cousin Gary to my home on Saturday afternoons.

Final note: I think this is one of the weeks where I’m running the Pam Ward Chronicles over at Awful Announcing, so make sure to zap over as I try to keep up with all the dumb shit our beloved play-by-play and color people will be spouting.