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The College Football Czar: Week 6
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press ^ | October 4, 2012 | Daniel Clark

Posted on 10/04/2012 7:22:37 PM PDT by Daniel Clark

The College Football Czar Week 6

Week five in review: The College Football Czar declined to pad his record by including any of last week’s mismatches involving highly-ranked teams, but still managed to compile his best record to this point in the season, at 15-4. For the season, he is now 70-32, for a .686 winning percentage.

The Czar noticed several linemen around the country last week who were wearing very wide black belts that appeared to be some kind of protective device for their backs. The odd thing was that they were wearing them over their uniforms. If you guys think those things are necessary to protect yourselves, then by all means, wear them, but for heaven’s sake cover them up. Don’t walk around looking like you’ve borrowed Orson Welles’ cummerbund.

This is the first week of football games in October, so when you turn the games on and see everyone wearing pink, do not adjust your set. There’s something wrong with football, not with your television.

Oct. 5

Pitt at Syracuse

It’s a good thing the Panthers had a week off to let reality settle in, by watching the mighty Virginia Tech team they conquered go down in defeat again to Cincinnati.

The Carrier Dome has been good for the carriers from Pittsburgh in recent years, and this should be no exception, with senior Ray Graham and freshman Rushel Shell each having a 100-yard game against a Division I-A opponent this season.

Senior quarterback Ryan Nassib fumbled once and threw two interceptions for the Orange, in a 17-10 loss at Minnesota. SU needs a victory this Friday if they are to have any realistic chance of bowl-eligibility. Already at 1-3, they finish the season with four of their last five games on the road.

With so many traditions being broken up by realignment, these future ACC foes ought to come up with a trophy to play for. In the spirit of the Iowa-ISU Cy-Hawk Trophy, these two could play for the Or-Pan. The genius of this is that absolutely any object could suffice for the trophy. Every year, the prize for winning could be either the mystery object or a pan, except that it would never turn out to be the pan.

It takes a Pitt graduate to think of these things, you know.

Pitt 20, Syracuse 17

Utah State at Brigham Young

It was during this game last season that Riley Nelson took over as the Cougars’ quarterback, and led them to a 27-24 comeback victory. He started the next 12 games, until a back injury forced him to the sideline last Friday night against Hawaii. Starting tailback Michael Alisa joined him there, after suffering a broken right arm early in that game. In their stead, freshmen QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams led them on a 47-0 romp over the Warriors, but how will the offense hold up for the remainder of the season?

Only a two-point loss to Wisconsin stands between the Aggies and an unbeaten record right now. Last time they played a Friday game, they took the early lead over Utah on a blocked punt, and never trailed throughout the 27-20 overtime win. USU has more recently used future Mountain West rivals Colorado State (31-19) and UNLV (35-13).

This is the last Utah intrastate game of the season, and the College Football Czar is all out of Mormon jokes. For balance, he was going to make a wisecrack about President Obama’s religion instead, but he was afraid that Obama would blame the Czar for the next dead ambassador.

So, how about those Raelians. Are they some funny guys, or what?

Utah State 26, Brigham Young 21

Oct. 6 Northwestern at Penn State

The Nittany Lions tallied four score and seven in a 35-7 rout of Illinois, but they’re about to discover that the Land of Lincoln is a House Divided, with the Evanston faction having adopted the anti-crappy position.

The Wildcats have hardly faced a Murderer’s Row, but they’re still 5-0, with wins over Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Boston College and I-AA South Dakota, before dispatching Indiana in their Big Ten opener, 44-29. The Czar doesn’t much care for a two-QB system, but so far, NU is making it work. Against the Hoosiers, Trevor Siemian threw for 308 yards, and scrambler Kain Colter rushed for 161 yards and four TDs.

On PSU’s opening possession last week, kicker Sam Ficken drilled a bad-angle field goal right down the middle, only to have his own team take it away from him. The Illini had run into Ficken after the kick, for which the Lions took the three points off the board, and accepted a first and goal, leading to their first touchdown. The highly scrutinized sophomore eventually got another chance at an 18-yarder on the last play of the half, but it was blocked.

What makes people think murderers would necessarily make great athletes, anyway? Jeffrey Dahmer, for example, didn’t look like he possessed enough athletic prowess for a game of Gnip Gnop. On the other hand, there’s O.J., so it all sort of evens out.

Northwestern 33, Penn State 21

West Virginia at Texas

WVU’s 70-63 shootout with Baylor was fun to watch, but it certainly was no reason for Mountaineer fans to be encouraged. It’s true that QB Geno Smith played a nearly flawless game. Even considering the statistical inflation that results from the system, it was likely the best performance by any quarterback so far this season.

And yet they won by seven. At home. Against Baylor.

Now they travel to Austin for their first true road game of the season, before coming home and then turning right back around to play in Lubbock a week later. Most of their remaining opponents are at least as good as BU, and nobody can play that well at quarterback on a weekly basis.

It sure looked like Longhorn RB Joe Bergeron fumbled before he reached the goal line with the winning touchdown last week at Oklahoma State, but the only available camera angles made it so difficult to tell, there’s no way the replay official could have reversed the call. As long as instant replay is going to be used, there ought to be fixed cameras at both goal lines, so that the position of the ball in comparison to the plane of the goal can be plainly seen. At least for nationally broadcasts, the networks ought to be required to provide that vantage point, as a condition of their carrying the games.

Some of the students in Morgantown have finally graduated – from burning couches to burning cars, that is, as three vehicles went up in smoke in celebration of the big win over the Bears. It’s good to see those degrees in burnstuffology finally starting to pay off.

Texas 48, West Virginia 39

Georgia at South Carolina

The unbeaten Bulldogs won their shootout with Tennessee, 51-44, but in doing so they gave up more points than in any game since their 45-42 loss to this Carolina club early last season. UGA held a comfortable 27-10 lead late in the second quarter, when a pair of fumbles led to three Volunteer TDs in a span of three and a half minutes. Only a 50-yard Marshall Morgan field goal allowed the Dogs to go into the locker room tied, 30-30.

Leading Bulldogs’ receiver Michael Bennett, who caught two TD passes in that game, tore an ACL in practice on Tuesday, and is out for the season. While it’s true that the roster is deep at that position, his absences is bound to be felt if they find themselves in another close, high-scoring game.

The Gamecocks are already 3-0 against SEC East teams, following a sluggish 38-17 win over Kentucky. Steve Spurrier’s team trailed 17-7 at halftime, but dominated the second half, thanks largely to Marcus Lattimore’s 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Perhaps the Old Ball Coach was momentarily confused in the first half, when the balls were … you know … newer.

The Czar doesn’t see the need for a coach in Oldball, because old people seem to take to it pretty naturally without one. The rules are quite simple. First, you watch the man on TV remove the Oldballs from the machine, and then you compare the numbers on the balls to the ones on the tickets you’ve bought. When they don’t match, you complain that the drawing was fixed. Then, you put your tickets away someplace nice and safe, because you plan on checking the numbers again in the morning paper, just to see if they’ve changed since the night before.

South Carolina 38, Georgia 33

Nebraska at Ohio State

Former Buckeye player Bo Pelini returns to Columbus as head coach of the Huskers, but he insists the experience doesn’t really mean anything to him. That only makes sense, since things are so much different now than they were way back in his playing days. For starters, Pelini was a safety at OSU. If you watch his behavioral pyrotechnics on the sideline today, “safety” will be the least applicable word to him in the English language.

The lumpy nuts just kept bouncing along through another tough game, as they held off Michigan State, 17-16. The game did cost them their leading running back, Jordan Hall, who may miss this week’s meeting with the N-men due to a knee injury.

The Cornhuskers trailed 27-10 last week, but were able to come back because their run defense would not allow Wisconsin to work the clock. In the end, they prevailed 30-27, with a 259-56 advantage in rushing yards.

If you had trouble recognizing the Cornhuskers’ throwback uniforms, they were dressed as The Noid, the sinister character from the old Domino’s Pizza commercials. Now you know why the Badgers were so intimidated.

Nebraska 22, Ohio State 16

Miami vs. Notre Dame

These teams last met in the 2010 Sun Bowl, when the Hurricanes blew it, 33-17. Current Canes’ starting QB Stephen Morris was the backup to Jacory Harris at the time, when the two combined for four interceptions in the first half, compared to only eight completions to their own receivers. Morris is taking much better care of the ball this season, however. So far, he hasn’t been picked off more than once in any single game, and it’s not as if he hasn’t taken any chances. In a 42-36 overtime win over Georgia Tech, he passed for 436 yards, and in last week’s 44-37 shootout against Nc State, he threw for 566 yards and five TDs, including a decisive 62-yard bomb with 19 seconds remaining.

Remember in 2002, when the Fighting Irish were 8-0, and Tyrone Willingham broke out the green jerseys for a game against Boston College. The Eagles prevailed 14-7 that day, triggering a nationwide outpouring of anger at the coach for supposedly jinxing the team by changing their uniforms during a hot streak. What must the Irish fans be thinking today, with their team at 4-0, and preparing to take the field in uniforms that look like they were designed by the giggling overactors in Reefer Madness?

Just for fun, let’s see if the golden domers can beat someone outside of the Big Ten before we start speculating about them playing for a BCS championship. The fact that they only beat mopey Michigan 13-6 despite a plus-4 turnover margin cannot have convinced anyone that they’re for real – except for about 95 percent of the sports media, of course.

This game is being played in Chicago, and we all know that the Chicago Way is if he pulls a knife, you pull a gun. That’s why Miami wasn’t invited to a game like this back in the 80s, because they would have brought both knives and guns. The Irish, lacking any of that hardware, would have had only one weapon with which to defend themselves: beer muscles.

Miami 27, Notre Dame 23

Washington at Oregon

If the Fighting Ducks don’t challenge for the BCS title this year, we’ll know why by remembering last week’s 51-26 win in Seattle over Washington State. The Cougars’ aggressive defense kept them within four points of UO, in a first half that Duck fans must have found disturbingly similar to their team’s 2009 and 2010 postseason losses to Ohio State and Auburn. The opposing D swarmed the line of scrimmage to challenge Chip Kelly’s spread option attack, thus leaving itself vulnerable to the deep ball, which never came.

Kelly must figure his system was vindicated when it wore down WSU in the second half, but what happens when it faces an opponent that can keep up with it for 60 minutes? The Ducks would have been national champions two years ago if they’d taken a couple more shots downfield. But nope, it didn’t fit into the Kelly system, and isn’t that what’s really important?

The Huskies stifled Stanford 17-13 last Thursday, keeping the Cardinal offense out of the end zone for the entire game. Bishop Sankey dashed for 144 yards for UW, including a pivotal 61-yard touchdown run. It helps that he’s so aerodynamic, what with the pointy hat and all.

Oregon 40, Washington 28

LSU at Florida

Every year since 2004, the winner of this game has finished the season with 11 or more wins. Last year, of course, it was Louisiana State who lost the national championship game to finish 13-1, flogging UF 41-11 along the way.

Has the Tigers’ season started getting away from them, or have they just been lollygagging until their next big game? The defending SEC champs only edged Auburn 12-10 thanks to a muffed punt, and then wandered through a rudderless 38-22 win over Division I-AA Towson – a team that had been beaten far more decisively by Kent State in week one.

It’s been awhile since a statement like this was even thinkable, but the Gators are the surprise contenders in the SEC, at 4-0 with road wins over Texas A&M and Tennessee. Will Muschamp’s defense is holding the opposition to an average of 12.8 points per game, and that’s without the benefit of beating up on a lower-division opponent.

The Tigers call it a bayou, but the Gators call it a swamp. But neither of them calls it a “wetland,” and anybody who does is a wiener.

Florida 17, LSU 10

Oklahoma at Texas Tech

The Red Raiders are allowing fewer yards per game than Alabama so far. Not that they’re comparable, considering the difference in the quality of opposition they’ve faced, but they’re still a far cry from last year’s unit, which finished dead last in the nation in rushing yardage, while allowing over 39 points per game.

Sooner QB Landry Jones threw for a season-high 299 yards in a 24-19 loss to Kansas State two weeks ago. Until late last season, Jones had topped the 300-yard mark 16 times in 19 games, but he’s fallen short of it in each of six games since then.

Last time Tech was unbeaten when they faced OU was in 2008, when they’d gotten off to a 10-0 start, only to have their hopes of a championship season stomped by the Sooners, 65-21. The Raiders proceeded to finish the regular season with a lackluster win over 4-8 Baylor, and then get picked apart by Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl. If they lose to their rivals from Norman again, they’d better bounce back a little stronger this time, with four more ranked opponents in their immediate future.

They took the whole Red Raider nation, put them on this reservation, took away their ways of life, the tomahawk the bow and knife. No, wait a minute, that was the Colgate Red Raiders who were Indians. A Texas Tech Red Raider is kind of like a cross between Yosemite Sam and the Hamburglar. Or at least that’s their story, and they’re sticking to it.

Oklahoma 30, Texas Tech 19

Navy at Air Force

The glory days of 2010, when all three service academies played in bowl games, seem like an eternity away when you watch any of the three teams playing today. The Falcons, two-time defending winners of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, are only 2-2, with a win over I-AA Idaho State and a loss to lowly UNLV. The Midshipmen’s only victory so far has been against a lower-division team also. They’re now 0-3 in real games, after getting suffocated by San Jose State, 12-0.

This may be hard to believe, considering their style of play, but Falcon running back Cody Getz became the first player in AFA history to rush for over 100 yards in each of his first four games of the season. Getz wasn’t as excited by that feat, however, as he was concerned about his two fumbles, during a 222-yard performance against Colorado State.

You can tell that the Naval Academy is lacking its usual discipline when the quarterback starts barking out the signals, and you can hear the center shout back, “Whatever floats your boat.”

Air Force 45, Navy 31

Iowa State at TCU

Texas Christian quarterback Casey Pachall has been suspended indefinitely, following a recent DUI arrest. Freshman backup Treone Boykin has an excellent completion percentage, but he’s only thrown the ball ten times this year, including an 8-for-8 performance against I-AA Grambling.

Horned Frogs are actually lizards, and not amphibians, which might help explain why they struggled so badly in the pouring rain against SMU. Their meager 156-yard offensive performance was salvaged only by a defense that picked off five Southern Methodist passes.

If a Steele Jantz doesn’t sound very comfortable, how much discomfort do you think Paul Rhoades must have felt while watching his senior QB throw seven interceptions through his first four games. Jantz’s three picks in last week’s 24-13 loss to Texas Tech gives him 18 INTs in his career, and 17 touchdowns.

It’s too bad these Frogs aren’t amphibious, because if they were, then Boykin would be able to throw with either hand.

Iowa State 18, TCU 14

La.-Monroe at Middle Tennessee

The Warhawks completed a demanding nonconference schedule at 2-2 with a 63-10 trouncing of Tulane, but now they must beware the Fresno Effect. This phenomenon is named for the Fresno State Bulldogs, who under Pat Hill had prided themselves on their ability to upset their major conference opponents. They were also notorious for letting down once they got into their WAC schedule, seemingly looking past their conference foes the same way they accused the big-leaguers of doing to them. ULM cannot afford to approach their Sun Belt games that same way, especially after the way the MT-heads mulched Georgia Tech last week.

MTSU running back Benny Cunningham trampled Tech for 217 yards and five touchdowns in the 49-28 runaway. The senior stomper is no relation to former Pittsburgh Steeler tight end Bennie Cunningham, which is too bad, because if he’d inherited his hair, he’d never have to worry about being sent off to comply with the new helmet rule.

You might be wondering why it’s Middle Tennessee instead of Central Tennessee. That’s cause the folks in Murfreesboro don’t cotton to all these new-fangled contraptions, like adjectives.

La.-Monroe 35, Middle Tennessee 24

Arizona at Stanford

Last week against Oregon State, the Wildcats showed up disguised as Navy, wearing spiffy new gold helmets to go along with their blue home uniforms. This served the purpose of making them inconspicuous losers as they sneaked out of the stadium after the 38-35 setback.

So far, the Cardinal have exhibited a ferocious defense but an inept offense, which tends to keep them in games so close that one big play could cause them to win or lose against practically anybody. Hence the loss to Washington ten days after toppling USC.

First-year Cats’ coach Rich Rodriguez goes by the nickname Rich Rod. That makes him sort of like the “J Lo” of college football. Well, really, there are no similarities between the two, other than the size of a certain anatomical feature that rhymes with schmosterior.

Arizona 23, Stanford 20

Michigan at Purdue

The Big Ten Leaders division is this year’s version of last year’s Pac 12 South. Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible for the postseason. Wisconsin has been woeful, Illinois has been blown out by three teams already, and is it even worth bothering to mention Indiana? The Boilermakers look like the division’s only hope (so to speak), and even they have yet to record a significant victory.

Michigan is known as the Big Mitten, and the Wolverines have played as if they’d been wearing them. During their 2-2 start, they’ve gone minus-7 in turnover margin, with eight Denard Robinson interceptions among their 11 turnovers.

How can you have an entire division comprised of “Leaders?” That’s kind of like those “everybody’s a winner” trophies they hand out to kids on Pop Warner teams that went 1-9. They might as well give a trophy just for beating Indiana, while they’re at it. I mean, what kind of a stupid tradition would that be?

Purdue 21, Michigan 20

Washington State at Oregon State

The Cougar defense actually matches up worse against the unbeaten Beavers than it did against #2 Oregon last week. That’s because Beavers are willing to go vertical on them, and force them into a more passive approach.

One fourth of the way through the regular season, OSU quarterback Sean Mannion is already over the 1,000-yard mark. Last week against Arizona, the sophomore slinger tossed two fourth-quarter TDs, while piling up a total of 443 passing yards, in the 38-35 victory.

This past February, WSU coach Mike Leach lost his wrongful termination suit against Texas Tech. It was an open-and-shut case. All Leach had to do was show his face in the courtroom, and anybody could see that he’s just a firable kind of guy. The next step could be the U.S. Supreme Court, which would be something of a treat for Leach, who has a law degree, and has been known to speak of his admiration for the justices.

His favorite is retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, not because of her judicial philosophy, but because NFL Hall-of-Famer John Riggins tells Leach she’s a real swinger.

Oregon State 63, Washington State 35

TOPICS: Humor; Society; Sports
KEYWORDS: analysis; collegefootball; predictions

1 posted on 10/04/2012 7:22:47 PM PDT by Daniel Clark
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To: Daniel Clark

Reasonably good analysis!

Thanks for posting.

Go Longhorns!

2 posted on 10/05/2012 1:19:05 AM PDT by octex
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