College Football

Week 9 College Football Recap – Sponsored by the refs doing the Ohio State-Penn State game

They just called me for pass interference on an onside kick…despite the fact I’m in my living room eating leftover chicken teriyaki.

See for the most part, I think the refs do a fantastic and difficult job.  It cannot be easy being a referee, especially in college football.  And even when one of them makes a bad call, it’s usually not anything that affects the game.  However, when a ref makes a call that pretty much changes the outcome, something has to be done.  The incomplete pass that was called an interception was pretty bad but the play clock running out at least TWO SECONDS before Ohio State kicked a field goal to go up by 10 is egregious and completely asinine.  And still, if the Buckeyes had gone on to blow the Nittany Lions out of the water, we would have no issues with it.  Instead, Penn State rallies to tie the game and send it to OT, where they ultimately lost.  If those two calls are made properly, maybe regulation time doesn’t end with the two teams tied.  We will never know.  I don’t personally know how to fix the problem, but something has to be done.

Other notes and crapola and garbage that are non-referee related

  • Yes Rutgers and Maryland are both one win away from being bowl-eligible.  Good for them.  The thing is though they are still light years away from competing in the Big Ten.  The beatings they took (Maryland as a whole and Rutgers as in Gary Nova) were thorough and resounding.  At least now, despite the conference beatings they’ve taken, picking them as the 13th and 14th teams of the Big Ten doesn’t look as bad as it did when they were invited.
  • Hey, grey uniforms work!  Illinois changed their uniforms to grey.  I guess it was in honour of Red Grange, the Grey Ghost or something like that.  Like Tim Beckman cares.  All he cares about is they upset Minnesota and played quite well doing it.  Hot seat a little cooler although the last stretch of games is pretty brutal and should lead to his demise.
  • Bret Bielema REALLY needed that UAB game on the schedule at that exact moment.  With a horrific ending stretch of games, they will need divine intervention to go to a bowl this season.  But hey, at least we had Big Man Touchdown Pass.  I am sure that was the highest combined weight for a passer-receiver combo in football history.  Also, Jared Lorenzen, an actual quarterback, loses his record for biggest man to throw an FBS touchdown pass.  Good for him I guess?
  • Just when I think North Carolina is on its way to being home for the holidays, they come back and beat a game Wahoos team.  I especially love that onside kick call near the end after going up by one.  Senor Fedora, you sir have some big balls.
  • Melvin Gordon and Ameer Abdullah (or Amer Aboula according to Joey Galloway) are making a case for a running back to win the Heisman.  Basically Dak Prescott and Marcus Mariota (and I guess Jameis Winston) have to play well the rest of the way or they allow these two to close the gap.
  • Saw a few tweets with pictures from the Northern Illinois-Eastern Michigan game.  The stands looked EMPTY…ok it looked like a couple hundred.  Then I check the boxscore and it says over 19,000 fans saw the game.  Who is kidding who?  What a joke.  If I had to choose a team to drop to FCS it would be them just for the fact that they have been mostly pathetic for 30 years now and the fans and students and alumni obviously don’t give a crap either.
  • OK this is getting ridiculous.  Keeping Brady Hoke (despite the fact all Spartan fans want that to happen) is stupid at this point.  It’s a distraction.  The team stinks.  I do feel bad for Devin Funchess as he seems to be one of the lone bright spots on a team with very little talent.  I guess part of the issue has to lie at the feet of RichRod and his lack of recruiting skills but he was improving the team at least until he was let go.  Fire Hoke and let one of the coordinators finish out the season and pray that Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh, or one of the other 94 candidates takes the job.  It’s not like they’re going bowling this season.
  • On-air talent is a sticky situation to address.  I mean they have to be talented to have got to that point.  Not everyone likes every announcer and I get that.  But the ACC Network halftime show was pretty cut-and-dry.  Whoever thought it would be a good idea to put Bryn Renner on should be fired immediately.  He was the very definition of deer in the headlights.  I’m surprised he didn’t break out “Boom goes the dynamite.”
  • Charlie Strong is going to have a loooooooooooong off-season.  Not totally his fault since it’s not like cupboard was chock-full of goodies for him to play with.  Saying that, Longhorn fans are not familiar with merely being an average team.  Ask Mack Brown.
  • Mississippi State at Kentucky.  On CBS.  At 3:30.  Yes, this season has officially jumped the shark.
  • Missouri should have wiped the floor with Vandy.  Worst 6-2 team in the land by a country mile.
  • I’m surprised Paul Chryst didn’t crawl underneath the turf at Heinz Field during the first quarter.  I don’t think you could have scripted a worse start to a football game.  Five fumbles!  Cumberland grads were salivating at the thought.
  • Stanford probably could have beaten Oregon State by a lot more.  The game just seemed boring to me.  Like “Yawn.  Another ho hum Cardinal victory over a middle-of-the-road Pac-12 team.”  Then again, in the end, it all comes to winning.  You continue to win you have a better chance of going to a better bowl, style points be damned.
  • FOX better thank their lucky stars that TCU decided to go crazy and put up 82 on hapless Texas Tech.  The fact that of all the games that they could have put on their national broadcast they were stuck with that one.  Tells me FOX is still a DISTANT second place to ESPN.  Really, when they get a big game, it’s mostly luck.  Sad but true.
  • Lane Kiffin got his revenge, kind of, on all the Vols fans who wanted revenge on him, sort of.  I don’t know.  I’m just amazed how hot Lane’s wife is.  Pays to be a dick I guess.
  • In all seriousness, getting back to the Mississippi State-Kentucky game, either this was the day the Wildcats showed they are ready to compete in the SEC or the Bulldogs aren’t quite as good as everyone makes them out to be.  I hate to say I am leaning towards the latter, but I am.
  • Drunk Uncle Dana is bowl eligible!  Break out the champagne (and some vodka for later)!  Honestly, I am surprised how good the Mountaineers have been.  Credit Holgorsen for getting them to this point because if they missed the post-season again, his ass was as good as gone.
  • This week, like every week, outlines why only two or three kickers are drafted every year by NFL teams.  Some of the kicking is horrific really.
  • Michigan State going for a TD when they were up 17 with less than a minute to go in the game reflects the fact that no one respects Michigan now.  No one.
  • Ole Miss-LSU was great if you like defensive football and/or mediocre offense.  I had a funny feeling Ole Miss wouldn’t come into Death Valley on a Saturday night and come out unscathed.  And by the way, what in the blue hell was Hugh Freeze thinking at the end there?  I could understand maybe a 5 to 10 yard pass along the sidelines to get them closer but that toss to the end zone was dreadful.
  • The Head Ball Coach was oh so close to pulling off a masterful upset of Auburn.  His coaching acumen was on display.  It’s too bad he doesn’t have the horses to compete in the SEC this year.  I thought this was the year they would put it all together.  Boy was I wrong.
  • Clemson looked positively average against Syracuse.  Another case of a good team not putting away a much poorer team early on and letting them hang around for too long.  The worst part is that because Florida State will probably end up in the College Football Playoff, the second-best ACC team automatically gets the Orange Bowl spot.  At this point, either Clemson or Duke and the Fighting Cutcliffes seem to have the edge at this point.
  • Arizona State and Washington was a nice way to end the college football day (for all us unlucky Canadians who don’t get FOX Sports One and missed an awesome finish in Salt Lake City).  No matter the QB, the Sun Devils just keep getting it done.  And if you had told me the three-team race for the Pac-12 South title would consist of ASU, Arizona, and Utah I would have thought you were drunk or high or both.
  • Note to James Franklin: Don’t send Sam Ficken out for the overtime coin toss next time.  It’s like he didn’t even know where he was.  The ref was so close to just slapping him in the face and telling him to shut the fuck up and stop confusing everyone.
  • On a more sombre note, a fan died last night immediately after the Ole Miss-LSU game ended.  Sounds like a heart attack.  Puts everything in perspective.  Yes college football is fun to watch and important to many in terms of their livelihoods, but in the end it is a game.  An extremely fun game but a game nevertheless.

Alright, so here we are.  Four days before Halloween.  I have bought enough Halloween candy so let’s hope it doesn’t piss down rain like last Halloween.  My kids were drenched afterward (and they were among very few kids who even went out).  And in the college football landscape it is looking more and more like 2007 again, the year the FBS world imploded.   Two-loss LSU would win the title that year as everyone tried their best to leap out of the top-5 treehouse as fast as they could.  This year is rivaling it a bit.  We are down to three unbeaten teams.  Three.  And one is Marshall who, even if they run the table, needs help to get to a New Year’s Six bowl.  So really, we are looking at two Power Five conference teams left that are without a loss.  If they both win out they become two of the four CFP teams.  But you need four.  That’s how semi-finals usually work.  This will be extremely tough for The Committee to handle.  Chances are at least one of their picks will be scrutinized to no end.  Comes with the job I guess.

Saying that, I figured I’d take a stab at being a committee member.  Did things a little differently though than the 17,000 brackets compiled by ESPN talent every damn week.  I didn’t look at it as of now because that’s pointless.  I looked at it based on what I believe will happen the rest of the season.  This is what I came up with:

Sugar Bowl: Florida State vs. Ole Miss

Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Oregon

These are my top four picks.  Let me explain.  Florida State is an easy choice.  Sparty will run the table and win the Big Ten Championship.  Oregon does the same in the Pac-12.  Here’s where it gets hairy.  This is the inherent problem with the SEC.  Best conference in the land, but they are going to beat each other up.  No one will come out undefeated and only two teams will come out with one loss in my estimation.  The one that should end up at the top of the heap is Ole Miss.  I predict them to beat Mississippi State in the biggest Egg Bowl ever and win every other game as well, including the SEC Championship.  My New Year’s Six picks are as follows:

Cotton Bowl: Kansas State vs. Mississippi State

Orange Bowl: Duke vs. Auburn

Fiesta Bowl: Georgia vs. Marshall

Peach Bowl: Alabama vs. Notre Dame

See something familiar with all these games?  That’s right, an SEC team in every single one.  That’s how good the conference really is (and I am far from an SEC homer).  But when you beat each other up inside conference play, there is no way to put more than one of those teams in the CFP, regardless of all the chest-thumping they do down there.  Again, this is based on where I think things will end up, not where they are now since I think that’s pointless for the most part.  I’m sure by this coming Sunday at least two of these teams listed won’t be there.

No early-week games this week in the college football schedule.  It starts Thursday night with Florida State-Louisville and Troy-Georgia Southern.  I will put up the college football schedule, as per usual, on Wednesday.  NFL schedule to follow the next day.

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