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The College Football Czar: Week 10
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press ^ | November 1, 2012 | Daniel Clark

Posted on 11/01/2012 7:51:15 PM PDT by Daniel Clark

The College Football Czar

Week 10

Week nine in review: As this issue goes to print, there remain massive power outages on the Eastern seaboard due to Hurricane Sandy. Naturally, this poses the potential for some of this weekend’s games to be postponed or canceled, although there is no known instance of such at this time.

Honestly, the College Football Czar had fully intended to pick Oklahoma over Notre Dame, and he has no idea what possessed him to type in Notre Dame as the winner, but the published pick is the published pick, and the clairvoyant Broward County canvassing board has no say in the matter. Ergo, the Irish victory goes in the Czar’s W-column. Furthermore, the Czar is now convinced that the Fighting Irish are as great as Lou Holtz says they are, and that their offense doesn’t stink, but is instead “gritty.” In conclusion, Manti Te’o’s game-clinching interception was perfectly legitimate, and the replay officials have again proven themselves to be an invaluable asset to college football.

Overall, the Czar went 11-6 in week nine, while correctly predicting a pair of Pac 12 upsets, Arizona over #9 USC, and Washington over #8 Oregon State. For the season, his record stands at 117-56, for a .676 winning percentage. In addition to the Beavers, the other previously undefeated teams that got tripped up were Florida, Rutgers and Ohio. The only remaining unbeatens are Alabama, Kansas State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Louisville. Among these, OSU is ineligible for the postseason, and you can eliminate Louisville from the national title hunt based on schedule strength.

Nov. 2

Washington at California

Jeff Tedford, in his eleventh year in Berkeley, is the longest-tenured head coach in the conference. Don’t get too impressed with his staying power, though, because if he can’t reverse the Golden Bears’ fortunes this season, he may soon be told to Pac his bags.

Cal was a-salt-ed last week in Utah, 49-27, dropping them one more loss away from bowl ineligibility. After hosting UW this Friday, they finish the season against both Oregon schools. To make matters worse, Bears’ leading receiver Keenan Allen will miss this Friday’s game with a knee injury.

The Huskies (4-4, 2-3) have endured some ugly losses this year, but they upended previously undefeated Oregon State last week 20-17, to go along with an earlier upset of Stanford. Their remaining schedule consists of the bottom two teams in each division, with a combined Pac 12 record of 4-17.

Washington has lost seven straight road games, and many of those badly, but that will be irrelevant this week. That’s because it’s a little-known fact that Seattle and Berkeley are actually the same place. The Husky players will think they’re taking a long bus trip, when in reality, they’re just going into a Starbucks, and coming back out many hours later.

Washington 29, California 27

Nov. 3

Pitt at Notre Dame

These teams square off for the fifth year in a row, with the Irish having won the last two games, and the Panthers the two before that, and none of those contests being decided by more than six points.

Pitt QB Tino Sunseri completed 20 of 28 against Temple, for 321 yards and three touchdowns with no picks. Like his predecessor, Bill Stull, Sunseri is playing far better in his senior year than ever before, partly because the new offensive coordinator – in this case Joe Rudolph – is putting him in positions where he’s more comfortable throwing the ball. The Fighting Irish front seven will try to knock him all the way back into last season, and force him into some of his old mistakes.

The third-ranked, 8-0 Golden Domers scored an enormous victory last week at Oklahoma, 30-13, but they haven’t fared nearly as well in their own stadium. In four games in South Bend, they’ve eked out a 20-17 win over a surprisingly weak Purdue team, failed to take advantage of countless Michigan miscues before prevailing 13-6, defeated Stanford 20-13 in overtime, after a Cardinal touchdown in OT was wrongly disallowed, and trudged past a pedestrian BYU team 17-14.

Even Jesus signaled that the Stanford touchdown was good. Just who do those replay officials think they are?

Notre Dame 21, Pitt 16

Penn State at Purdue

The College Football Czar knew that the Boilermakers were going to surprise people this season. He just thought they’d do it in a good way. PU has stunk up the joint in their first four Big Ten games, including last week’s 44-28 mangling at Minnesota. At 3-5 overall, they’ve only been able to get past Marshall, Eastern Michigan, and Division I-AA Eastern Kentucky.

The Nittany Lions held Ohio State off the board until 34 seconds before halftime, at which point the game was tied 7-7. OSU returned an interception for a touchdown to take the lead early in the third quarter, and Bill O’Brien’s team never pulled even again, in a 35-23 setback. That INT was only Matt McGloin’s third of the season, during a game in which he passed for 327 yards. Instead, it was PSU’s ground game that let them down, gaining only 32 yards on 28 carries.

Everyone knows that Florida is the birthplace of Gatorade, but Ross-Ade Stadium is where they invented the mysterious beverage that causes people to vote for Ross Perot. It’s too bad those people aren’t free-traders, or else they could have exported the stuff to Venezuela, and made the world a safer, if no less loony, place.

Penn State 28, Purdue 20

TCU at West Virginia

The “access”-mongers should take note of the Horned Frogs’ 2-3 league record, now that they belong to a BCS-AQ conference. At 5-3 overall, there’s a good chance they’d be 8-0 at this point if they were still in the Mountain West. Then, we’d hear protests that they were just as good as Alabama, K-State and Oregon. Maybe they’d even beat one of those teams if it was their only big game in over a month. Having to be ready for a challenge on a weekly basis is another story.

The Mountaineers have had a week off to lick their wounds, following back-to-back blowout losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State. Now that Baylor is 0-4 in the Big XII, WVU’s conference-opening 70-63 shootout against them hardly seems like the colossal triumph it was portrayed to be at the time. Nevertheless, Geno Smith and his receivers still have that explosive potential, even considering their recent struggles.

Perhaps the Czar shouldn’t even mention licking wounds to the fans in Morgantown, because they’ll probably like it. Next thing you know, they’ll be serving up wound stew at the tailgate parties.

West Virginia 34, TCU 31

Alabama at LSU

A supreme lardhead might christen this the “Game of the Century III.” If a century passed by every time a football game was declared “Game of the Century,” we’d be living in the Zager & Evans song, In the Year 2525. The lyrics say, “in the year 5555, Your arms hangin’ limp at your sides, your legs got nothin’ to do, some machine’s doin’ that for you.” Good grief! The Czar’s already there!

Only once over the past two seasons have the Crimson Tide allowed more than 14 points in any single game, and that was when they were just going through the motions in a 45-21 tune-up last season against Division I-AA Georgia Southern. Moreover, GSU’s final touchdown in that game was scored on a kickoff return, so the Bama defense really hasn’t given up more than 14 since a 28-27 loss to unbeaten Auburn in 2010.

The 7-1 Tigers came up with a scrappy 23-21 win over South Carolina in week seven. They’ve had subpar performances in their other three SEC games, but these have all been on the road. Fewer Miles’ team hasn’t lost in Baton Rouge since falling to Florida in the middle of the 2009 season.

Last week, four former Tiger players, including QB Jordan Jefferson and cornerback Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu, were arrested for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. The arrest bolsters the case for Mathieu winning this season’s Lardhead of the Year Award, who was supposed to be on the Louisiana State roster this year, as a presumptive Heisman candidate, until being booted from the team for repeated substance abuse violations.

As bad as things had gotten for Mathieu, he could have transferred to a lower-division school and played ball this season, and almost definitely gotten some interest from somebody in the NFL. Instead, he decided to stay in town with his ex-mates and deal pot. During last year’s Heisman campaign, Mathieu’s slogan, based on a dopey internet video, was “Honey Badger don’t care.” But then, that’s been his whole problem all along, hasn’t it?

Alabama 27, LSU 6

Oregon at USC

This is widely presumed to be a preview of this year’s Pac 12 championship game, but maybe it won’t be. The Trojans’ 39-36 loss to Arizona drops them to 4-2 in the conference, half a game ahead of their next two opponents, Arizona State and UCLA.

Last year’s meeting ended the Fighting Ducks’ quest for the national championship, and although Alejandro Maldonado missed the last-second kick, the 38-35 defeat was all Chip Kelly’s fault. Kelly’s quackers were marching downfield with a chance to win the game, but the coach was so determined to stick with his fast-paced, no-huddle offense that he refused to use his time outs, allowing the clock to become a hindrance to the drive. Then, with second down at the Southern Cal 18, Kelly stopped trying to score a game-winning touchdown, and instead started timidly setting up the tying field goal attempt, putting the weight of the season on the shoulders of an extremely inexperienced backup kicker in the process.

For decades, the sports media tisk-tisked the fact that Gale Sayers had once been nicknamed “Black Magic,” and approvingly pointed out that it was eventually shortened to just plain “Magic.” Now, all of a sudden, otherwise politically correct sportscasters can hardly contain themselves when presented with the opportunity to say Duck RB DeAnthony Thomas’ nickname, “The Black Mamba.” They figure it’s okay for them to say this, because Thomas was given the name by rapper Snoop Dogg.

Got that? So, if you ever have any questions about what constitutes acceptable public discourse, just ask the expert, Snoop.

Oregon 34, USC 24

Oklahoma State at Kansas State

The Pokes came out of the gate slowly last week, spotting TCU a 14-0 lead, but dominated from the end of the first quarter on, in a 36-14 runaway. Perhaps one reason for the sluggish start was that quarterback Wes Lunt had returned from a knee injury, but he eventually loosened up well enough to throw for 324 yards.

8-0 K-State has tallied 55 points in each of its last two games, against ranked Big XII opponents West Virginia and Texas Tech. They were the fourth and fifth times that QB Collin Klein and company have topped the 50-point mark.

The College Football Czar has concluded that the Wildcats should not get to play for the national championship even if they go 12-0. That’s because they were originally supposed to play Oregon this year, but scrubbed the game. OU and KSU were supposed to have played a home-and-home in 2011 & 2012, but the Ducks asked to reschedule the first game so that they could schedule last year’s opener against LSU. Cats’ coach Bill Snyder’s answer was to take the opportunity to cancel the whole series. Supposedly, Snyder didn’t want to load up his nonconference schedule with two big games, the other being against Miami.

To summarize, the Fighting Ducks were trying to strengthen their schedule, while the Wildcats wanted to water theirs down. If Coach Snyder didn’t want to face Oregon, he shouldn’t get a shot at Alabama, either.

Kansas State 51, Oklahoma State 41

Nebraska at Michigan State

The Spartans avenged last year’s Big Ten title game with a 16-13 overtime victory at Wisconsin. LeVeon Bell rushed for a modest total of 77 yards, but that was more than Badger backs Montee Ball and James White combined.

Last week’s 23-9 win over Michigan gives the Cornhuskers the upperhand over the maize and blue, with whom they are now tied atop the Legends division at 3-1. While it’s true that the task was made easier by an injury to opposing QB Denard Robinson, the N-men already led 7-3 midway through the second quarter at the time that Robinson came out of the game.

MSU benefited more directly from the injury to Wisconsin quarterback Joel “Rico” Stave, who suffered a broken collarbone at the end of the first half. It was the Badgers who held a 7-3 lead at that point, but never reached the end zone again.

Since missing both attempts in the season opener against Southern Miss, Husker kicker Brett Maher has booted 12 of his last 15, with two of those three misses coming from over 50 yards away. Too bad they didn’t let him try nine more field goals against Ohio State, or else they might have pulled that one out.

Sure, that sounds implausible, but not to the College Football Czar, who has watched Gus so many times that he has all the lines memorized. Well, at least he’s memorized all of Gus’s lines, which are really what carry the story.

Nebraska 20, Michigan State 13

Arizona at UCLA

The Wildcats’ offensive outburst against USC was not unexpected, but the thought of the Bruins scoring 45 on a formidable opponent like Arizona State would have been unthinkable a year ago. For the season, Jim Mora’s men are averaging more than ten points per game more than they did in 2011.

Don’t look now, but the Cats, who began conference play 0-3, could win the Pac 12 South if they can run the table from this point, and that’s not as hard as it sounds. If they can prevail in Pasadena, they would be expected to beat Utah and Colorado, and might then face rival Arizona State with a conference title game berth on the line.

During any game involving Rich Rodriguez, you’ll hear the announcers repeatedly saying “RichRod.” At first, the Czar found this eerie, but when he wrote the word on his door and looked at it in a mirror, it only said “Dorhcir.” Not only is that not very scary, but it didn’t require the Czar to see Shelley Duvall in bed, either.

Arizona 42, UCLA 39

Oklahoma at Iowa State

Big Game Bob did it again. Coach Stoops’ Sooners struggled until the fourth quarter to finally hit paydirt against Notre Dame, only to turn around and watch the Irish breeze downfield for what ended up being the game-winning touchdown. If they don’t bounce back with a win this week, that will have been their last big game for the remainder of the season.

Last time OU lost a game in this series was way back in the old Big 8 Conference, in 1990, when they were upset 33-31 in Norman. You’d have to go back 30 years more to find an ISU victory at home in Ames.

Steele Jantz got yet another chance to start at QB for the Cyclones, and he was anything but Steele the same, as he threw for 381 yards and five touchdowns to beat Baylor, 35-21. Despite the rotating quarterbacks, and the lack of a big-time running back, the Clones (5-3, 2-3) are a win away from bowl eligibility. The way things are going at Auburn, don’t be surprised if coach Paul Rhoads ends up replacing Gene Chizik for the second time in his young career.

Decades from now, when Stoops is asked why he was called Big Game Bob, he’ll probably make up some cock-and-bull story about shooting a rhinoceros.

Oklahoma 30, Iowa State 21

Michigan at Minnesota

The Gophers sip from the Little Brown Jug so seldom that they’re starting to see little green spiders. Their last victory in this series was in 2005, although it seems a lot longer ago after last year’s 58-0 flogging.

Have you noticed how many of these traditional game trophies are receptacles for unidentified fluids? Still, we can rest assured that the players wanted to win trophies like that for sentimental value. They like whiskey.

Wolverine QB Denard Robinson left last week’s loss to Nebraska with a severe funny bone injury that rendered him unable to grip a football. His coaches say he’ll be ready to play this Saturday, and they have every reason to wish that to be so, after second-stringer Russell Bellomy completed as many passes to the Cornhusker defenders as he did to his own receivers, in a dismal 3-for-16 showing.

The funny bone is not really a bone; it’s actually the ulnar nerve, located in the elbow joint. So why is it called the funny bone? Because “funny ulnar nerve” would go over about as well as a Richard Belzer stand-up bit.

Michigan 38, Minnesota 31

Boston College at Wake Forest

There’s not much at stake in this meeting between ACC bottom-feeders, other than finding out which one will do more damage to Notre Dame’s BCS rating. The Eagles (2-6, 1-4) face the Fighting Irish a week from Saturday, and the Demon Deacons (4-4, 2-4) take them on a week later.

BC notched its first victory against Division I-A competition last week, 20-17 over Maryland. Of course, it helped that they were facing the Terrapins’ fourth-string quarterback, who was making his first start.

The Eagles are the only team this season to have lost to Army, and they did it a week after the Cadets were slammed by I-AA Stony Brook by 20 points. Barring a dramatic turnaround, fourth-year coach Frank Spaziani is about to find himself roasting over an open fire on Chestnut Hill.

The boys from Beantown pay a visit to Winston-Salem, the cigarette capital of the world. The Czar doesn’t care what C. Everett Koop says, of the two of them, second-hand baked beans are far deadlier.

Wake Forest 17, Boston College 9

Arizona State at Oregon State

The name Mannion sounds like an ingredient in a Manwich, which might explain why the Beaver QB was so sloppy in his return from a knee injury. Coach Mike Riley has announced that Cody Vaz will get the start this week, after Sean Mannion’s four interceptions cost his team its unblemished record in a 20-17 loss at rival Washington. In his three previous starts, Vaz attempted 69 passes without having one picked off.

ASU (5-3, 3-2) has yet to defeat a Division I-A team with a non-losing record. Last week, they had a chance to take sole possession of the Pac 12 South lead, but lost to UCLA on a last-second field goal, 45-43. Coach Todd Graham followed a similar pattern last season at Pitt, where he went 6-6, without beating anyone better than 7-6 Louisville.

The Sun Devils are eager to get to Corvallis, because they hear there’s a lot of damming going on up there. Boy, are they in for a letdown.

Oregon State 31, Arizona State 28

La.-Lafayette at La.-Monroe

The Ragin’ Cajuns have prevailed in the last four games in this series, each of the last two by a single point. Last year’s 36-35 victory, which sent them on to their first bowl game, was led by quarterback Blaine Gautier’s 355 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately, Gautier broke two bones in his throwing hand last month in a win over Florida International, and since then, ULL has fallen out of the Sun Belt title chase with two conference losses.

Todd Berry’s Warhawks have avoided the Fresno Effect, by showing their Sun Belt opponents enough respect not to overlook them, after an impressive showing in their early nonconference games. ULM is 4-0 in league play, after staving off a challenge from newcomer South Alabama, 38-24.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is the originator of the Monroe Doctrine, which is “Beat Middle Tennessee!” The Czar must admit that he has no idea why that’s supposed to be historically significant. It must have been a slow news century.

La.-Monroe 41, La.-Lafayette 26

Texas A&M at Mississippi State

Reality hit the Bulldogs like a Mississippi mud pie in the face last week, when they and their inflated 7-0 record went to Tuscaloosa to face #1 Alabama, the first really formidable opponent on their schedule. The 38-7 final was as predictable as it was ugly.

The Conjunction Boys’ offense is chugging along at an average of 45.5 points per game, which is third in the nation. Their two lowest outputs by far, however, have been against ranked SEC opponents Florida (20-17) and LSU (24-19).

Highly-touted freshman A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is known as Johnny Football, which has got to be the most clever sports nickname since Horace the Squash-Playin’ Guy.

Actually, there was no such person, but the Czar has copyrighted the nickname, in case anybody should try to use it in the future.

Texas A&M 27, Mississippi State 16

Air Force at Army

The other branches of the service tend to look at the flyboys as being a bit soft and pampered by comparison. Imagine how the Black Knights of the Hudson must have laughed at this week’s news that 27 men at the AFA (though not from the football team) were injured in a snowball fight. If you think that’s bad, just wait until you see the carnage next summer, when they break out the Slip-n’-Slide.

The Lightning Eleven climbed within half a game of the Mountain West Conference lead last week, by slobberknocking Nevada, 48-31. Troy Calhoun’s club piled up exactly 600 total yards in the game.

Rich Ellerson’s Knights were beaten by Ball State 30-22, to finish the season 0-4 against opponents from the MAC. At 1-7, the only way to salvage their season would be with a pair of respectable showings against the other military academies. The Falcons are looking to clinch the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, which they last won in 2009. They may or may not actually receive the trophy, depending on who’s Commander-in-Chief when it is awarded during the offseason. If President Obama is reelected, he may just keep the trophy, thinking it’s being awarded to him, for his potential to perhaps someday play football.

Well, why not? That’s the same rationale that was given by the Nobel committee, isn’t it?

Air Force 49, Army 28

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

1 posted on 11/01/2012 7:51:23 PM PDT by Daniel Clark
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To: Daniel Clark

Thanks for this. It reminds of the college thread/preview that MikeinOhio used to do. I agree with your take on the LSU-Alabama game. I think Alabama will win by 3 TD’s. Oregon-USC should be a good game as well.

2 posted on 11/01/2012 8:21:26 PM PDT by fkabuckeyesrule (Lets institute SARAH-ia law in America!)
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To: Daniel Clark

Alabam 21 (or 24), LSU 13 ...

3 posted on 11/01/2012 9:46:18 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Daniel Clark

LSU 29 - ALA 28

4 posted on 11/01/2012 9:54:23 PM PDT by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: eyedigress

Roll Tide! Alabama 21, L-ahchoo 17 ... yeah, that was a close one, too close in fact. I suspect Oregon or Kansas ST will be ranked higher Monday.

5 posted on 11/03/2012 9:26:56 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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I enjoyed this game. I had no dog in it but it was college football at its finest. Vegas lost a ton on that 10 point spread.

6 posted on 11/03/2012 10:05:05 PM PDT by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/?)
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