Labor Day weekend is nice because you essentially get five (six if you include Georgia State/Abilene Christian this year) days of FBS football in some way, shape or form, which is almost overkill. Because the Tuesday and Wednesday after? TORTURE. Its not quite the 231 days that preceded last Wednesday after the Auburn/Florida State game, but its a struggle. We had a taste, now we want more. This is how heroin addictions get started.
Arizona at UT-San Antonio, 8pm, FS1. This game has intrigue to me for three reasons:
1) Arizona has a chance to be a decent football team and darkhorse in the Pac-12 South.
2) Thursday night road games are where claims such as 1 go to die.
3) Larry Coker- still a corpse that coaches football.
This game really doesn’t intrigue me at all.
Pitt at Boston College, 8pm, ESPN: Two teams who will win 5-7 games and play in pre-Christmas bowls. If you haven’t seen Pitt WR Tyler Boyd yet, then maybe it tickles your fancy.
Washington State at Nevada, 10:30, ESPN: Man, the standard is so much lower for Thu/Fri games. This one should at least feature a LOT of points (O/U is set at 65.5, I’m banging the over) and the world’s favorite coach.
Saturday: The Noon Swoon
Lord, this is a pitiful slate. There are three SEC games, with #2 Alabama hosting FAU and Tennessee hosting Arkansas State, somehow both on the SEC Network. #24 Missouri travels to Toledo (that is not a typo) and is the ESPN game for noon (also not a typo). What a world.
On ABC, you get a chance to see #4 Oklahoma, as they travel to Tulsa. And beyond that, in no particular order, #20 K-State in a conference game at Iowa State on FS1, Penn State/Akron on ESPN2, and #23 Clemson’s lack of a run defense against South Carolina State on your local ACC Network affiliate.
3:30- The Football Gods Give Us One
I’d be kinda pissed if I lived on the West Coast and this was a nooner for me, but #14 USC travels to Palo Alto to take on perpetually immovable object #13 Stanford on ABC. USC ran 102 plays in their week 1 win over Fresno State, and Stanford always ruins hurry-up extraordinaire Oregon’s season. CONSIDER ME COMPELLED.
Beyond that, its uglier than the noons. Kentucky will have a competitive game at Ohio on the Collegiate ESPN network, Florida debuts against EMU at 4 on the SEC, and #15 Ole Miss and Vandy come at you from LP Field at 4:30 on ESPN.
Saturday Saturday Saaaaaturday, Saturday Saturday Saaaaaturday, Saturday Saturday Saaaaaturday Night’s Alright
#7 Michigan State at #3 Oregon. 6:30pm. FOX. Be there or be square.
Reeling #21 South Carolina hosts possible-best-team-in-North-Carolina East Carolina on ESPNU at 7 in a game where ECU QB Shane Carden is out to throw the ball more than Kenny Trill’s 60 attempts.
The #5 Barners get a tune-up against San Jose State at 7 on ESPN2. We get to see round 2 of senor Trill as Lamar visits #9 Texas A&M on the SEC Network at 7. Texas gets to try to hold BYU under 500 rushing yards at the same time on FS1. What I’m saying is this: you should have your rotational trigger finger ready to go by now, its week 2.
At 7:30, our favorite game that has no bearing on any titles at all takes place, as #16 Notre Dame hosts Michigan on NBC. So, that’s 6 games to keep an eye on. For #7, how about Virginia Tech at #8 Ohio State on ESPN at 8?
Let’s rank them in order of what you should have on your ‘favorites’ list to flip through:
1) FOX. Sparty/Ducks.
2) NBC, I guess, for you purists out there.
3) ESPNU, because S.C. could seriously be 0-2 with Georgia on deck.
4) ABC. Nobody likes seeing Urban Meyer win anything, even if it means Frank Beamer wins instead.
5-7) Up to you, man. I don’t own you.
Enjoy the games, folks!
The Sugar Bowl:
I tweetered about this last night to the point of exasperation, but here are a few bullet points on Florida’s loss to Louisville:
- I’m really, really glad that Charlie Strong didn’t come to Tennessee.
- Now I see why he stayed, that team is talented and most of the talent is coming back.
- I’ve said this before, but the Big East was underrated this year.
- Florida still doesn’t have an offense. Never have, at least not this year.
- Anybody who thinks this is an indictment against the SEC, please explain your logic after reading mine in the next three bullets.
- Last time I checked the winner of an automatically-qualifying BCS Conference beat the non-winner from another.
- Last time I checked Florida finished second in their division within the SEC.
- I’m not discrediting Louisville, they were the better team. But I’m making the point that it shouldn’t be so absurd that the best team in a BCS Conference beat the second best team in another conference’s (supposedly) weaker division by 10 points.
- The math said to take Louisville, as the Cardinals were getting 15 whole points.
An Interesting Thought on Gambling:
There have been eight bowl games thus far with double-digit point spreads. Four favorites (Cincinnati against Duke, Arizona State against Navy, Oklahoma State against Purdue, FSU against Northern Illinois) covered the spread and four underdogs (SMU against Fresno State, Minnesota against Texas Tech, Georgia Tech against Southern Cal, Louisville against Florida) covered the spread. That’s not surprising at all. In fact, by design it seems like a favorite should cover about 50% and the underdog should cover about 50%.
What stands out is that three of the four ten-digit underdogs who covered the spread (all except for Minnesota) also won the game outright. Fresno State was favored by 11.5, but SMU won 43-10. Southern Cal was favored by 10.5, but Georgia Tech won 21-7. Florida was favored by 15, but Louisville won 33-23. The combined gap between the spread and the actual score in those three games was 94 points. That’s huge. The odds of those things happening are slim.
Also of note: the DudeYouCrazy Normalized Scoring Model is 19-11 with five bowl games remaining. At worst it will close out with a 54.29% winning percentage. But I’m hoping I close out with five more wins to threaten 70%.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Aside from the fact that a brand of chips is sponsoring a bowl that Chip Kelly is coaching in, I’m really excited about the Party Bowl tonight. Kansas State and Oregon represent the dreams of mid-November that came crashing down when everyone lost – seemingly on purpose – to pave the way for another SEC National Championship. As for what you should expect? I’m not totally sure.
Oregon’s coach, Chip Kelly, seems NFL-bound as he’s being pursued by the Bills, Browns and Eagles for a head coaching gig (I’d love to see him coach the Eagles’ speed, for what it’s worth). Meanwhile Kansas State’s coach, Bill Snyder, seems bound for a bowl of jello and an early evening in a recliner at the age of 73. Something has to give.
I like watching Oregon play. There I said it. I rooted hard for Oregon against Auburn a few years ago. I said it. I even tweeted “War Duckle” a number of times. You mad, bro? Oregon is exciting. On the other hand, I can’t remember anything about Kansas State even though I watched them play three or four complete games this year. They’re that unimpressionable. But, perhaps that’s what you get when Calvin Klein is your quarterback and an old man is your coach.
Despite all of this, something tells me that old-man football just might win out again here. Oregon’s offense has a lot of moving parts, and as a physical Stanford team showed, when the timing is off the wheels roll in the wrong direction. I can’t help but think the long layoff and the distraction of Kelly’s potential departure might do some damage. But at the same time, don’t be surprised if nobody from the entire state of Kansas, let alone from Kansas State’s team, can physically keep up with the Ducks.
I’ll leave you with this: the math says Kansas State will narrowly cover the spread. Let’s see what the game says.
Enjoy it, I think it could be a good one.
That’s all I got/
Week Eight Recap
- The beautiful (no win over Florida can be called ugly) win over Florida.
- The beat-down Georgia Tech (now 3-5) got from BYU.
- And the 42-point loss that Auburn took at home.
But a lot of other things went down, so let’s get into it.
Around the SEC
Unfortunately Kentucky was unable to live up to my upset bid against Missouri this past weekend. Undoubtedly some excitement is being drummed up by my two favorite Mizzou storylines. I’m sure Sheldon Richardson has taken the thrill of a first conference win (it only took five tries!) and turned it into a guarantee of victory against Florida in Gainesville this weekend. If anybody has the link to that story that I’m sure exists please send it to me. And, Dorial Green-Beckham (you know the guy whose name sounds like a cigarette brand and who I compared to Randy Moss – in an off-the-field capacity) returned from suspension to catch seven passes. That’s a lot of balls. Ignore the fact that he only had 25 yards receiving. DGB was a huge recruit – or so Missouri told us. His impact has been felt to the tune of 18 offensive touches and 172 yards and one touchdown in 6 games. That’s impressive. He’s even less noticeable in conference play where he has 9 touches for 61 yards and 0 TDs. I’ll continue to pile on the kid because I never know when to quit, and say that his average SEC game (which he only is eligible to play in 60% of the time) he’s putting up 3 catches for 20 yards. Baller.
South Carolina pushed through a Tennessee squad that became the first team not named “Vanderbilt” to start three consecutive SEC seasons 0-5 in conference play. But, the real story was the sad situation surrounding Marcus Lattimore’s knee. I’m working on a piece that should be up sometime tomorrow regarding his injury, but for now send some thoughts and more importantly some prayers his way. From what I understand the young man is turning 21 today and undoubtedly looking for some answers. He is looking to return to football in 2014. I’ll look forward to seeing him gracing the field once again.
Ole Miss held on to knock off Arkansas and moved to 5-3 (2-2 in the SEC) with just one win separating the Rebs from bowl eligibility. I am continually surprised by the Ole Miss football team and thoroughly impressed. They aren’t winning games by chance or beating up on depleted programs (Auburn) any more (although Arkansas is clearly down as well), they’re just winning games. Let’s hope the Dawgs can postpone the Rebels 6th win for another week.
Vanderbilt beat UMass…Whatever.
Texas A&M is quietly having a really good season while Auburn is very loudly and very publicly getting their Tiger tail whipped. So lost in the 63-21 massacre is the fact that A&M is now 6-2 with its only two losses coming to two top-seven BCS teams. Not lost in the massacre is the fact that Auburn is now 1-7 and has clinched at least a tie for last place in the SEC West while being outscored 185-81 in six SEC games. That’s an average score of 31-14. LOL.
As expected Mississippi State’s dream season came crashing down in a fairly substantial way against Alabama. The Bulldogs lost by 31 in a game that had a 24-point spread which seems to go a long way in supporting my theory that their perfect 7-0 record was fraudulent. Dan Mullen’s boys only slid from 11th to 15th in the BCS Poll following the loss, but they take on 16th ranked Texas A&M this week and could soon slide out of the top-25 if that proves to be a loss and is followed by a loss to 5th ranked LSU. And, for what it’s worth I don’t know if the Bulldogs will be decidedly favored in any of their remaining four games (with Arkansas at home and Ole Miss on the road closing out the season). It was a good run MSU, it was a good run.
Add, “Notre Dame looked really good against Oklahoma,” to your file of things you never thought DudeYouCrazy would say without any hint of sarcasm. It’s true. Notre Dame looked good. I still think they’re beatable and nothing would make me happier than USC bursting their bubble in a few weeks. If Georgia were to win out I’d certainly be begging for that.
Kansas State rolled over Texas Tech and launched itself to the second spot in the latest BCS Poll. I haven’t watched the Wildcats play a full game, but I find it hard to believe they’re the nation’s second best team. And given that I’m a pretty close follower of college football, shouldn’t the fact that I don’t have much of an interest in the Cats in Purple be somewhat indicative of their status? I’m not saying that I think the “Who DudeYouCrazy Wants to Watch” poll is in anyway reflected in the BCS formula – but it probably should be. I have an interest in watching all of the following teams any and every week from here on out or until they drop out of National Championship contention: Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Florida State and Clemson. I am and always have been pro-SEC, but the fact that I included Notre Dame, a Pac-12 school and two ACC teams in my eight-team short list of “worth watching” squads is equally sickening to me and accurate. I couldn’t care less about Kansas State.
That’s all I got/