Monthly Archives: September 2006

Looking Over the Slate

I immensely enjoyed our game last night. I had not seen us beat UVA since I got here, so seeing us destroy them was great. Even better was seeing Calvin Johnson hit in-strike over the middle…wow. I also liked the 70’s unis. What a night. The only thing better would be a win at VPI next week, giving us our best win so far and putting us in the driver’s seat for the division.

Poor Virginia, though. I don’t think they’re the best oppenent we’ve beaten this year – I think Troy could probably take them by a touchdown or two. Did you see their “passing offense”? That guy made Reggie look positively awesome (Reggie’s never been as bad as that guy was). I think my brother summed it up best: “These guys couldn’t score against air.” The UVA QB threw everywhere but at his receivers, and in the off chance he actually got it to them, I think they were so surprised they just dropped it.

Our receivers are okay this year – we’re lining up playmaker Rashaun Grant in the slot and have shown depth behind Calvin. Our running game could use some work, though – I like that we’re trying to use the option, but Reggie pitches too soon and Choice seems to have trouble turning the corner and running upfield.

Our kickoff coverage still sucks, but it’s getting better.

I’ll now try to sum up all of Saturday’s games that will be on TV, since for the first time I’ll actually be able to watch them all. Onward!
Noon games:

  • UNC @ Clemson (ACC regional): Watch one of the many trainwreck ACC teams this year get destroyed by Clemson.
  • Colorado @ UGA (SEC regional): About the only way Colarado wins is if Ralphie gets loose and tramples the entire UGA team. Additionally, as a Tech fan, I’m conflicted by who to root for here, by which I mean, should I root against UGA (and for CU), or just not watch it all. The latter seems a better option.
  • Cincinatti @ VPI&SU (ESPNU): Virginia Tech wins again. Over/under on unsportsman like penalties in this game is approximately 15 for both teams.
  • Wisconsin @ UMich (ESPN): Michigan cruises again. Man, the games today suck, but I think I already elaborated on that.
  • Minnesota @ Purdue (ESPN2): I always enjoy rooting for Purdue. They’re the Big Ten’s version of Georgia Tech: an engineering school focused on academics. Tech has a better football history, of course, but hey.
  • Louisville @ Kansas St. (FSN): Petrino-ball continues.

3:30 games:

  • Penn St. @ Ohio St. (ABC): Is this really the best game available at this time slot for ABC? Since the alternative is another likely blowout (ISU @ Texas), probably.
  • Alabama @ Arkansas (CBS): Go Razorbacks!
  • Rice @ FSU (ESNPU): Why? Maybe FSU’s offense will look good for the first time this year.
  • Arizona St. @ Cal (FSN): The game isn’t at ASU, so there probably won’t be much to look at here. Cal probably wins.

Everything else:

  • WVU @ Eastern Carolina (4:30, ESPN2): Yarr! ECU loses, though. At least WVU’s offense is fun to watch.
  • UCLA @ Washington (7:00, TBS): UCLA dares to find out if it is indeed harder to “push across” U-Dub’s “line than to pass the Dardenelles.” And yes, I know where and what the Darndenelles are.
  • Miami (OH) @ Syracuse (7:00, ESPNU): Everyone hates it, but I think Otto the Orange is an awesome mascot.
  • USF @ Kansas (7:00, FSN): FSN continues on their parade of crappy Big 12 teams against Big East oppenents. Neither KSU or KU will win, likely.
  • UK @ UF (7:45, ESPN): I’d be a lot more interested if this were a contest between each schools’ basketball team.
  • ND @ Mich. St. (8:00, ABC): I’d prefer Notre Dame lose most of the time, and I still sorta do. But if they build up another winning streak, they’ll a) make us look better and b) build up some momentum heading into Los Angeles. I think they’re the ones with a chance of beating USC this year.
  • NCSU @ BC (8:00, ESPN2): Watch Chuck Amato continue his quest to get fired!

That’s all, folks. Also, Tito, I hope the Harris Poll voters thing the same way the AP guys do. And if your schedule is better, then the computers will help you out. If those two things happen, then you’ll be ahead of USC in 2 of the 3 polls. Also, while USC may play more ranked teams than you guys, if you beat both UGA and UF you should gain ground in the coach’s poll, and you’re only down by 60 votes to begin with. (Hopefully, that will also be UF’s only loss – I’d, of course, like to see UGA lose at every oppruntunity.)

The Love Affair Continues

This morning, my roommate and I watched SportsCenter. Lou Holtz and Mark May both had the audacity to claim that USC is the second-best college football team in the nation (Ohio State being the first). While Mark May gave Auburn credit as the third-best team, Lou Holtz didn’t even seem to have Auburn in his top five. He was very critical of their offensive production against LSU. ESPN always touts LSU as having one of the best defenses in the country, and rightfully so. The Tigers have held nearly all of their opponents in recent years to low scores (see the 2006 Peach Bowl). This in mind, how can they fault Auburn for only putting up 180-something yards against LSU?

In additon, they touted USC’s schedule as something difficult. Cal was dominated by Tennessee, who lost to Florida by one point. If Auburn beats Florida and USC beats Cal, which team has more proved their dominance? Also, one of the sportscasters made the claim that USC would play more ranked teams by the end of the year. In that time, Auburn will have played LSU, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama away. USC will have played Cal, Arizona State, and Notre Dame at home. I’ll give them Notre Dame, but that still doesn’t compare to our lineup. Sure, their nonconference schedule is tougher than ours, but is there really that much of a difference between playing Arkansas and Nebraska and Washington State and Tulane? Is there much of a difference between Arizona and Buffalo? Not enough of one to rank USC above Auburn.

Speaking of Buffalo, I’m predicting a 117-0 victory for the Tigers over the Bulls. I’m sporting my sombrero to the game, due to the ridiculous nature of our scheduling such an opponent. Tune in Sunday to see if Laura watched any of the Notre Dame vs. Michigan State game and to read more griping about USC’s place of privilege with the voters.

Not Exactly Last Saturday

Last Saturday featured several high-profile, intense matchups. I missed some of them (like most of the AU-LSU game) because I was at our game against Troy.

We play on Thursday this week against Virginia, an opponent we haven’t beaten since I’ve been here. The Hoos probably aren’t half as good as they were last year, and they weren’t exactly national champions. Additionally, they will probably start a freshman QB – if you want to know how well first time QBs (much less freshmen) fare against our defense, well, just ask Brandon Cox and Kyle Wright. Also, we’ll be in retro Old Gold jerseys with white helmets (although I’m forced to think that back then, we probably still wore white at home, but I don’t know this for sure). (And to be really out of date, they’d need some sleeves.)

I’ll have a full writeup Friday, but some of the games this weekend are rediciulous. Check out Colorado @ UGA: The Buffs will bring their buffalo, but they could probably forget to bring the team and do just as well as CU is 26.5 point underdogs. (Nonetheless, I’ll be watching and hoping for a miracle.)

ABC will have Iowa St. @ Texas and Penn St. @ Ohio St. I have no idea which they’re going to show here, but neither contest should be close. Also at 3:30 on ESPNU: Rice @ FSU. Are you kidding me? Rice is a 30 point ‘dog. 7:00 is the “watch Sun Belt teams get owned by Big 12 teams” hour, as Troy goes to Nebraska and MTSU goes to Oklahoma. (I hope they both win, though.)

Due to the lack of a nationally appealing game, ABC also has a split 8:00 telecast: ND @ Mich. St. and USC @ Arizona. The former should be the better game, though only the latter will have any Song Girls present. Meanwhile, on the other Disney networks, you can watch Florida dismantle Kentucky on ESPN and watch as Chuck “Clown Boy” Amato continues to try to get fired at Boston College on ESPN2.

The SEC matchups were so bad this week CBS scraped up Alabama @ Arkansas. Right now Arkansas is a one point favorite, so this may end up being one of the best games of the day. I’ll like it the best if Alabama loses, that’s for sure.

Now that the Smoke Has Cleared…

First, let me thank Nick for inviting me to share my misinformed thoughts on college football this season. Hopefully, I will at least give people something to laugh about (my commentary, that is). I guess I’ll start this week’s post by discussing the only game I actually watched: LSU at Auburn.

I arrived at Jordan-Hare Stadium around 10:30 AM CT, four hours before kickoff. The general vibe of the students outside the gates was optimistic nervousness. By 2:10 PM, pregame festivities had begun. The eagle who flies before each Auburn home football game did about three full laps around the student section, which I took as an omen from God that Auburn would win the game.

The game was pretty lacking as far as offensive excitement. Early in the first half, John Vaughn channeled himself from last year’s LSU game, hitting the left upright with a crappily-kicked football. Apparently, Vaughn is no longer in the good graces of Damon Duval, Auburn place-kicking demigod from years past. LSU called a timeout with seconds left and kicked a field goal to end the half 3-0. All was silent and apprehensive in Jordan-Hare.

During halftime, an interview of Tre’ Smith was shown on the big screen. For those of you who don’t know, Tre’ Smith is the white running back who beat Alabama three years ago and has done little since. In fact, Tre’ Smith’s sole mission on the Auburn football team last year appeared to be fumbling the ball and/or failing to make positive yardage on punt returns. During this year’s Washington State game, Tommy Tuberville gave Tre’ three consecutive downs to punch the football into the end zone. When Smith failed, Tuberville regained his senses and sent in Brad Lester to score on fourth down.

Anyway, one of the questions Tre’ answered in the interview was what three things he would bring with him if he were trapped on an island. Tre”s response was, “A helicopter, some fuel…and a trillion dollars.” Initially, I wondered, “What are you going to do with a trillion dollars on a deserted island?” Then, I realized the genius of it. You could fly the helicopter to land and spend the money on things! What kind of question is that, anyhow? If you were going to a deserted island with the knowledge that you would be stranded, of course you would bring things that would help you escape.

Apparently, Mississippi State isn’t the only school with hidden water fountains. I had some trouble finding them in Jordan-Hare this weekend, due to the incredible lines at the concession stands blocking all visibility. My friend Josh and I had to ask a policeman, who kindly pointed us towards some dispensers of lukewarm dihydrogen monoxide. There is nothing like tepid water to wash down contraband PBJs snuck into the stadium in one’s pockets.

Somewheres in the second half, the Auburn offense made their way down the field, and Brandon Cox thrust forward on a third-and-one for the touchdown. John Vaughn made the only kick necessary for Auburn to win (an extra point), because LSU was unable to score the needed touchdown in the fourth quarter. Even though Auburn’s secondary looked like Swiss cheese, JaMarcus Russell couldn’t put the ball in the end zone. It was pretty exciting when the clock finally read 0.00. I think I hugged two or three people in the frenzy.

Elsewhere in the nation, Notre Dame was destroyed by Michigan, ending another potential media favorite. As much as I detest the media’s obsession with USC, I think it would be even worse if they also fell in love with another overhyped school. Speaking of USC, Auburn is still significantly behind them in the coaches’ poll and barely ahead in the AP poll. Something is wrong with these voters. They seem to think beating a team that used to be good (Nebraska) by 18 points is better than beating a team that is currently good (LSU) by 4. They might be right, but I’m still going to be bitter about it.

Does anyone know what is up with Florida State or Miami? Both teams have fallen pretty far (though not as far as the aforementioned Nebraska). And the Mississippis are an embarrassment to the SEC. Mississippi State couldn’t even beat Tulane, despite scoring their first 29 points of the season. Ole Miss lost to Kentucky. That’s right, Kentucky. It looks like the SEC West has turned into the former SEC East, where only two teams are good.

Next week’s matchups are looking pretty lackluster. The only one I might watch is Penn State at Ohio State. An upset there would put Auburn squarely in the national title picture, assuming they win their next ten games (quite an assumption). Alabama goes to Arkansas to see if they (by “they”, I mean either team) can regain some dignity in the SEC. It’s now three weeks until Auburn plays Florida. Here’s hoping I can make it that far without going crazy.

Oh, one more bit of news. My girlfriend Laura watched most of the second half of the Michigan State/Pittsburgh game, which her school (MSU) won. I’m so proud! Tune in next week to see if she watched the Fighting Irish come to Spartan Stadium (or, better yet, if she attended the game in person)!