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The College Football Czar: Week 4
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press ^ | September 19, 2013 | Daniel Clark

Posted on 09/19/2013 6:39:59 PM PDT by Daniel Clark

The College Football Czar: Week 4

Week three in review: Everybody is convinced that the Pac 12 officials were at fault in last week’s Arizona State-Wisconsin fiasco, but nobody seems to know what they should have done differently. The strange scenario began when Badger QB Joel Stave grazed the turf with his knee, then popped back up and placed the ball on the ground with 15 seconds to play. One of the Sun Devil defenders, unable to see Stave’s knee touch the ground, jumped on what he thought was a live ball as the clock continued to run. By the time the officials got the ball ready for play, the clock had run out.

Taking a knee is simply a rushing play, so there’s no reason for the clock to have stopped. That’s why Stave should have held onto the ball until he could hand it to an official, to get it spotted immediately. Instead, he left it out in the open, where the Sun Devils pounced on it. It was perfectly understandable that they thought that the ball had been fumbled, so there could have been no penalty for delay of game. When the officials finally got their hands on the ball, only four seconds remained. Stave could have saved eight or nine seconds by giving it to them directly. By the time they spotted it, and the Badgers snapped it, time had expired.

The offensive team is responsible for its own clock management. If instead it had been ASU that left the ball lying around like that, and the officials found some excuse to stop the clock for them, Badger A.D. and well-established Pac 12 officiating conspiracy wacko Barry Alvarez would have blown his top. The officials are not obligated to assist the offense during the waning moments of the game.

Try paying attention during this week’s games to the amount of time that elapses between the second a runner is downed and the moment that the ball is marked ready for play. When the officials have to retrieve the ball for themselves, 15 seconds is not the least bit unusual. If you can’t spare that kind of time, and you’re out of timeouts, then you can’t just put the ball down and walk away.

The Pac 12 has officially reprimanded the officiating crew, and is promising additional punishment, still without saying exactly what they did wrong. The reason for this is that the Pac 12 is the only conference that insists on having its own officials work its home interconference games. Other conferences let the visiting team bring a crew from its league, or else bring in officials from a neutral third conference. By sacrificing these particular officials, the Pac 12 is hoping to prevent its policy from becoming the controversy instead.

Elsewhere, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has all but ensured the demise of his coaching tenure in Lincoln. First, his team – while wearing black shirts, no less – was routed for 38 consecutive points to end a 41-21 loss to UCLA. Then, he let himself be goaded into a public spat with former Cornhusker QB Tommie Frazier. The Czar sees nothing wrong with what Pelini said in that case, but it was not well received.

Then, audio of a rant Pelini threw in 2011 was posted online, in which he angrily and repeatedly cursed the Husker fans for leaving a game early. In a remarkably flimsy apology, the coach said, “These comments are in no way indicative of my true feelings.” Really? Here’s a transcript of those un-indicative remarks, edited so that each of the vulgarities is replaced with the word “Bo.”

“It took everything in my power not to say, [Bo] you, fans. [Bo] all of you. [Bo] ‘em … What a bunch of [Bo]ing fair-weather, [Bo]ing – They can all kiss my [Bo]ing [Bo] out the [Bo]ing door. ‘Cause the day is [Bo]ing coming now. We’ll see what they do when I’m [Bo]ing gone. I’m so [Bo]ing [Bo]ed off!”

It sounds to the Czar like he meant it.

The College Football Czar went 16-2 in week three, dropping only the Central Florida-Penn State and USC-Boston College games. For the season, his record stands at 53-13, for an .803 winning percentage.

Sept. 20

Boise State at Fresno State

The Bulldogs’ game at Colorado was washed out last week, due to the torrential flooding in Boulder. Looking at the teams’ schedules, there is no common idle week between them when they could get together. They could try tentatively rescheduling for the first week in December, but that would have to be contingent on FSU not making it to the Mountain West championship game.

If the Dogs were thinking of waging a Derek Carr for Heisman campaign, losing an opportunity against as cooperative a defense as CU’s would be damaging. No matter whom he’s playing, though, he’s going to have to start completing passes deeper downfield. The 661 yards he’s taken 74 completions to compile so far isn’t good enough.

FSU hasn’t beaten Boise since 2005. Then again, that’s the last time that the Broncos weren’t any better than they are right now. The only thing that prevented the Broncs from replicating their 0-2 start from that year was the fact that their second game of this season was against Division I-AA Tennessee-Martin. Last Friday, they led a mediocre Air Force team 21-17 at the end of three, before pulling away to a 42-20 final. Jay Ajayi led the charge by rushing for 125 yards and four TDs.

If Jay Ajayi became a two-sport athlete, his second sport would have to be jai alai, just to really bug people.

Fresno State 31, Boise State 28

Sept. 21

Pitt at Duke

Blue Devil coach David Cutcliffe was excited to have a dual-threat quarterback like Anthony Boone, but he soon saw why that can also be a drawback. Boone suffered a broken collarbone during a rushing attempt in the first half of a win over Memphis. In his place is a triple-option threat, in Brandon Connette, who has played QB in the wildcat formation, and has also played running back and tight end.

Connette’s nickname among his teammates is Phantom, because he didn’t appear on the two-deep roster, since nobody knew just where he would go. It doesn’t quite rank up there with the Galloping Ghost, but it sure beats the crap out of “C-Dawg” or “BC One,” or whatever other unclevernesses they’re coming up with these days.

Naturally, the Panthers looked a lot better against New Mexico than they had against Florida State, but there were other factors aside from the level of competition. Junior tailback Isaac Bennett, who had been playing through a knee injury, and freshman RB James Conner, who’s been recovering from an injured shoulder, took on tacklers in a way that they were unable to do a week earlier.

This will be the first time these teams have met since the Panthers’ national championship year of 1976, when the Devils put up a pretty good scrap before yielding by a score of 44-31. Former Duke two-sport athlete Dick Groat, who played shortstop for the Pirates and is now a commentator for Pitt basketball games, will celebrate the occasion with a beer. Just a guess.

Pitt 35, Duke 13

Kent State at Penn State

It’s not a shock that PSU was upset by an underrated Central Florida team, but one would have expected it to be a low-scoring slugfest. The fact that both the Lions’ run and pass defense were bullied in the 34-31 defeat has got to have coach Bill O’Brien baffled.

The Golden Flashes’ 45-13 loss at LSU was entirely expected, but what may be surprising is that it was their fourth consecutive loss against Division I-A opposition, going back to last year’s MAC championship game. Their only win in the meantime has been against I-AA Liberty.

If Penn State is in Pennsylvania, then why isn’t Kent State in Kentucky? Did the folks from the Bluegrass State lose it at the track?

Penn State 27, Kent State 10

West Virginia at Maryland

Mountaineer coach Dana Holgorsen surprised many fans with his quarterback selection last week, not because he benched Paul Millard, but because he promoted redshirt freshman Ford Childress over experienced Florida State transfer Clint Trickett. The decision paid off, but then, it almost had to, since they were only playing Georgia State. Childress threw for 359 yards against the dismal Division I-A debutantes, in an easy 41-7 victory.

Randy Edsall got a win against his old team last week, when his Terrapins topped Uconn 32-21. Quarterback C.J. Brown ran for 122 yards and a touchdown, to go along with 277 and another score through the air.

This is officially a neutral-site game being played in Baltimore. The Terps convinced WVU that it was neutral because Baltimore is in a different Maryland than College Park is, much like the Washington Redskins and Washington Huskies are from different Washingtons.

In West Virginia, the winner of the geography bee is the one who knows which adult video store is closest to the tanning salon.

Maryland 19, West Virginia 13

Arizona State at Stanford

The Cardinal had the Pac 12’s leading defense last year, but that’s partly because they didn’t face the league’s most productive passing attack, from ASU. The Sun Devils ended last season by pelting Navy 62-28 in the Food Fight Bowl, which increased their scoring average to 38.4 points per game.

The Devils prevailed last week 32-30, when Wisconsin failed to get off a last-second field-goal attempt, by letting the clock expire while trying to center the ball for their kicker. Coach Todd Graham must be patting himself on the back for having drawn it up that way.

That stroke of brilliance has earned Graham a contract extension, to keep him in Tempe through the 2018 season. And to think that, just over two years ago, he agreed to remain at Pitt through the 2015 season. Talk about commitment!

Arizona State 38, Stanford 28

Michigan State at Notre Dame

It was in this game a year ago that the Fighting Irish defense set the tone for the rest of its regular season, by smothering the ususpecting Spartans, 20-3. The mighty MSU running game was held to 50 yards that day. As ND coach Brian Kelly lardheadedly put it, while employing one of the Czar’s most hated cliches, “It was a signature win.” Yeah, coach. That was the game that put Notre Dame football on the map.

Almost everyone plays a weak schedule anymore, but Sparty has got to be the worst 3-0 team in America. Before blowing out I-AA Youngstown State, they won by mundane scores against awful opponents Western Michigan (26-13) and South Florida (21-6).

In that WMU game, Spartan safety Kurtis Drummond made an acrobatic one-handed interception that electrified the crowd, as well as the other players, who came rushing to congratulate him. Then, he ruined it, by pushing his teammates aside, and frantically swimming through them as if he was trying to escape from a burning night club. He did this so that he could have the spotlight to himself, in order to do that “me eat sketti” motion that is somehow all the rage these days. The resulting 15-yard penalty took them out of Bronco territory, and they were eventually forced to punt.

Didn’t that Mr. Drummond teach any of his kids how to behave?

Notre Dame 24, Michigan State 16

Utah at Brigham Young

Da Two Utes could have stood to bring nine more men with them on defense last week, when they lost their conference opener against Oregon State, 51-48 in overtime. UU might as well have added a GH! to its name, after going minus-3 in turnovers and getting pelted by the Beavers for 443 passing yards.

BYU has had a week off to let those puncture wounds in their feet heal, after running over the Texas Longhorns 40-21. They rushed for 550 yards that day, the most anybody has rolled up over the Horns in that team’s long and storied history.

Contrary to popular belief, Mormons are devious. Take the Cougars, who wear a “Y” on their helmets, which stands for “Young.” In reality, they have the oldest, most mature players in the NCAA. Thus, the “Y” gives their opponents a false sense of security. And if you think that’s sneaky, you ought to be at one of their frat parties, when they smuggle in a contraband barrel of Mr. Pibb. Then, it’s lampshade-on-the-head time.

Well, not a lampshade, actually, but a hat – which, by their standards, is wacky.

Brigham Young 44, Utah 36

San Jose State at Minnesota

Golden Gopher coach Jerry Kill is apparently okay after suffering another seizure at halftime of last week’s game against the Division I-AA Western Illinois Leathernecks. Leading only 7-6 at the time, his players didn’t let themselves become distracted, but marched on to a somewhat comfortable 29-12 win.

In reality, the 3-0 radiant rodents probably could have played all their games without their coach present, but that is about to change. Following this visit from presumptive Mountain West contender SJSU, Kill’s club faces a resurgent Iowa team, and then goes on the road to take on Michigan and Northwestern.

The Spartans’ 8-game winning streak was snapped two weeks ago by Stanford, 34-13. Since they upset the Cardinal in 2006, they’ve gone 0-13 against teams from BCS-AQ conferences.

Minneapolis is a long way for those Left Coasters to travel, just to get to TCF Bank Stadium. Just wait until you see the looks on their faces, when they find out that there’s no yogurt there.

Minnesota 33, San Jose State 29

Tennessee at Florida

It’s now a tradition for these teams to open their conference schedules against each other, which has usually meant an early exit from the conference title chase for the Volunteers. Actually, they did recover from a crushing 59-20 defeat at the hands of the Gators in 2007, and rallied their way into the SEC championship game by winning a tie-breaker with Georgia, but their last outright divisional title was also the last time they defeated their rivals from Gainesville, back in 2004.

The Vols gave up 471 passing yards in a blowout loss at Oregon, but what’s that supposed to mean to UF quarterback Jeff Driskel, who doesn’t have a 300-yard game in his career? Driskel did come close with 291 last game against Miami, but he also threw two interceptions and coughed up a fumble in a 21-16 giveaway.

The Gator offense ranked 12th in the SEC last season, in the first year for Brent Pease as offensive coordinator, and so far this year, it hasn’t gotten any better. All the Czar is saying is give Pease a little more time. What?

Florida 17, Tennessee 12

Missouri at Indiana

The College Football Czar was going to refer to this as a border rivalry, but then he realized that Indiana is the one state in America that does not border Missouri. That works out just fine for the Missourians, who could do without all those Hoosiers invading their state, and stinking up the apartment buildings with their smelly Hoosier cooking.

MU had a much tougher time against Toledo than their SEC East foes at Florida did a week earlier, but they managed to pull away late for a somewhat comfortable 38-23 victory. Offensively, the teams were statistically almost dead even, but a 70-yard interception return by speedy defensive end Markus Golden gave his Tigers the upperpaw.

The Hoosiers hammered a good Bowling Green team 42-10, behind a 335-yard performance by QB Nate Sudfeld. The sophomore slinger already has ten touchdowns on the season, to only two picks.

This is such a tough game to predict that the Czar will have to analyze it scientifically. Ergo, he has got to pick Indiana, because the people of that state pronounce both of its “I’s” correctly, whereas Missouri’s second “I” is commonly misspoken by its inhabitants. This is America, dammit! We don’t end words with schwas here!

Indiana 28, Missouri 26

Kansas State at Texas

So, how are those subscriptions to the Longhorn Network selling these days? Thanks to that bold moove by the pointy cows to their own channel which nobody has, people only know of their awfulness against BYU and Ole Miss by reputation. This week, they’re playing a regional, prime time ABC game against the defending Big XII champs.

Luckily for them, that’s a bit of a misnomer, because there aren’t that many Wildcats left from last year’s team to defend their title. K-State’s inexperience showed in an opening upset loss to Division I-AA champion North Dakota State. Thanks to Bill Snyder’s usual scheduling wizardry, they’ve been able to recover with easy wins over Louisiana-Lafayette and Umass. Even against weak competition, they have no running back who has reached the 200-yard mark through three games, which could make them just the opponent Mack Brown’s defense needs right now.

If you have digital cable or satellite TV, there’s a good chance that you have a channel identified as RT, which stands for “Russia Today.” Believe it or not, that’s where Larry King is these days. There are probably more Americans watching him on that channel than are watching the Longhorn Network – which itself is only slightly more than ever watched Larry King on CNN.

Texas 41, Kansas State 27

Auburn at LSU

Gus Malzahn’s Auburn Tigers will find out this week whether or not they’re ready to start contending again in the SEC West. So far so good, at 3-0, but those have all been at home. A week ago, they edged Mississippi State 24-20, despite going minus-3 in turnovers.

The Bayou Bengals play their third consecutive home game, following a neutral-site opener against TCU. Over the past two weeks, they’ve easily dispatched UAB (56-17) and Kent State (45-13). Their first game in enemy territory will be a week from now, at Georgia.

Louisiana State ripped its “Death Valley” moniker off Clemson years ago, so why not also steal the idea of having a big rock for the players to pat on their way onto the field? Instead of calling it something lame like “Howard’s Rock,” they could name it “Eye of the Tiger Rock.”

Why does nobody ever take the College Football Czar up on these suggestions? He doesn’t even charge anything for them!

LSU 25, Auburn 20

Houston vs. Rice

These crosstown foes traditionally play a neutral-site game at Reliant Stadium. What’s different this year is that Reliant Stadium is serving as the Cougars’ home field, while their new on-campus stadium is being constructed. Nevertheless, the Owls have been designated as the official home team for this meeting, and if that fools them, then they’re the most academically overrated school in America.

The Cougars must have felt good about their American Athletic Conference-opening 22-13 victory over Temple, but how must they feel about it after Temple turned around and lost to I-AA Fordham?

Todd Graham had signed a contract to coach at Rice through the 2012 season. That means he’s free to leave them at any time now.

Rice 45, Houston 35

Utah State at USC

Trojan QB Cody Kessler made coach Lane Kiffin look kind of smart last week, by completing 15 of 17 for 237 yards and two scores, in leading his team triumphantly past Boston College, 35-7. After a long and indecisive duel between Kessler and Max Wittek, Kiffin had picked the former to start last week, practically by pulling his name out of a hat.

The Aggies suffered a tough 30-26 loss to rival Utah on the opening Thursday of the season, but they’ve since climbed to 2-1. Not that it’s been hard. Air Force showed little wind resistance in a 52-20 blowout, and last week, USU beat up on Division I-AA Weber State, 70-6.

Weber State is pronounced with a long “e,” which means that it cannot have been named after Potsie. In fact, the band doesn’t even know “Splish Splash.”

USC 33, Utah State 24

Arkansas at Rutgers

So far this season, the SEC is failing to back up its teams’ contention that, because their conference is so tough, they’re justified in playing namby-pamby schedules that include lots of November games against I-AA opponents. Against the other BCS-AQ conferences, SEC teams have a record of 5-5. The Razorbacks hope to improve that mark by avenging last year’s 35-26 loss to Rutgers.

Starting Razorback QB Brandon Allen injured a shoulder during a first-quarter touchdown run last week against Southern Miss, and is considered a game-time decision this Saturday. Backup A.J. Derby didn’t exactly come bolting out of the gates. The junior went only 4-of-6 for 36 yards, over three quarters of a 24-3 sleeper against a USM team that’s now lost 15 in a row.

The Scarlet Knights played a very similar game, against a pitiful opponent of their own. Starter Gary Nova went 4-for-4 before being taken out of the first quarter with a concussion. For the rest of the game, Chas Dodd completed 4 passes for 45 yards, on 9 attempts. Nevertheless, two long second-half TD runs by Paul James put away Eastern Michigan, 28-10.

In the season preview issue, the Czar wondered why first-year Hogs’ coach Bret Bielema would leave Wisconsin, and suggested that he may be allergic to cheese. On second thought, perhaps it’s not the cheese that drove him away, so much as the whine.

Rutgers 13, Arkansas 11

Tulane at Syracuse

Quarterback Drew Allen, the late Sooner who transferred to SU for his senior year, threw a combined total of six picks in losses to Penn State and Northwestern, while only passing for a single touchdown. In last week’s 54-0 cakewalk over woeful Division I-AA Wagner, sophomore Terrel Hunt took most of the snaps, with Allen only coming in late in the fourth quarter to toss a short TD pass. As a result, Hunt will see his first real competition this week, against Nick Montana and the Green Wave.

TU improved to 2-1 last Thursday, with a 24-15 win over Louisiana Tech. They hadn’t allowed so few points to a Division I-A team since a 17-14 win over Rutgers back in 2010. The one person most responsible for that outcome was first-year LTU coach Skip Holtz, who is already busily doing to that team’s offense what he had done to South Florida for the previous three years.

There’s really no such thing as a green wave, you know – at least not since Al Gore has been incapable of getting up out of his seat.

Syracuse 20, Tulane 17


The 1-2 Roadrunners won their opener at New Mexico, 21-13, and have since made respectable showings in losses to Oklahoma State and Arizona. UTSA went 8-4 in last year’s debut season in Division I-A, but four of those wins were against lower-division opponents. This year, all their games are legitimate. If they can capture this league opener in a watered-down Conference USA, a bowl game might soon sound like a real possibility.

The Miners evened their record at 1-1 by dusting New Mexico State, 42-21. They’d also beaten NMSU last year, though, and it proved to be their only win in their first seven games of the season.

UTEP ought to be ashamed of themselves for hatefully provoking those otherwise placid Muslim demonstrators in Benghazi last year. Oh … wait a minute. The Czar has just been informed that the alleged perpetrator of this insensitivity was on YouTube, not UTEP.

Is it too late to change the official story? Blaming the consulate attack on UTEP is actually more plausible. UTSA 52, UTEP 49

La.-Lafayette at Akron

The Zips caught Michigan during a letdown last week, and almost pulled a tremendous upset in Ann Arbor. After the 28-24 scare, Wolverine QB Devin Gardner moped, “We almost lost to Akron – no disrespect to Akron.” Why, of course not. That’s kind of like when somebody says, “Not to be rude, but …,” and then proceeds to call you a malodorous bag of pus. Not that the Czar has ever experienced that.

One thing for sure, however, is that the Ragin’ Cajuns won’t be taken by surprise by Terry Bowden’s team. ULL needs a win badly, after opening the season with consecutive road losses to Arkansas and Kansas State.

Akron is the subject of the Pretenders’ song, “My City Was Gone.” It wasn’t true, though, because the city was there all along. It’s just that its 200,000 residents were all hiding from Chrissie Hynde.

La.-Lafayette 37, Akron 33

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

1 posted on 09/19/2013 6:39:59 PM PDT by Daniel Clark
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To: Daniel Clark

The PAC reprimanded the ASU home boys in stripes for refusing to spot the ball, telling the Wisconsin guys to wait, allowing the clock to run out, and running away like they were robbing a bank. It was absolute larceny.

2 posted on 09/19/2013 6:56:07 PM PDT by Luke21
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To: Daniel Clark

I’ll be in the Coliseum on Saturday rooting for the USC Trojans to beat the Utah State Aggies. Fight on!

3 posted on 09/19/2013 7:59:40 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Daniel Clark
Go UAB Blazers!!!!
4 posted on 09/19/2013 9:08:28 PM PDT by political1 (Love your neighbors)
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