What in the name of Sun Belt Conference officiating was going on last weekend? Refereeing, or lack thereof, had major implications in two games that could play a big part in determining BCS bowl bids at the end of the regular season. Some things never change in college football, much like another Notre Dame beatdown from a Top 25 opponent. For another glorious recap of Saturday's action, check out Every Day Should Be Saturday. They busted out an A-Z of football watching similar to my recap of the tOSU-UT matchup. On with the show.
Western Michigan took down Virginia in Charlottesville. Not looking good for Al Groh. ... North Carolina State lost by 20 to Southern Miss. NCSU fans have clearly had enough and are calling for the athletic director to chuck Chuck. Perhaps Coach ManBoobs could go back to Florida State when they retire Coach Bowden.
The Jeffy Bowden nepotism experiment continues in Tallahassee. Bobby's Seminoles fell to Tommy's Clemson Tigers in what I will charitably call a sloppy football game. Clemson's special teams made FSU's well-document kicking mishaps pale by comparison. Didn't matter in the end, though, as the Tigers punched it into the end zone for a last second touchdown to seal the 27-20 win. Jenn Sterger was notably distraught. Perhaps she is feeling the pressure of having to compete with another harlot for the ACC Attention Whore crown.
A guy walks into a bar with a dachshund under his arm. The dog is wearing a Fighting Illini football jersey and helmet and is festooned with Illini pom-poms. The bartender says, "Hey! No pets allowed! You'll have to leave." The guy begs him, "Look, I'm desperate! We're both big fans, the TV's broken at home, and this is the only place around where we can see the game." After securing a promise that the dog will behave and warning him that he and the dog will be thrown out if there's any trouble, the bartender relents and allows them to stay in the bar and watch the game. The big game begins with the Illini receiving the kickoff. They march down field, get stopped at the 30, and kick a field goal. Suddenly, the dog jumps up on the bar and begins walking up and down the bar giving high-fives to everyone. The bartender says, "Wow, that's the most amazing thing I've ever seen! What does the dog do if they score a touchdown?" The owner replies, "I don't know, I've only had him for three years."
And that, my friends, sums up Illinois football. Ron Zook's "noise in the system" is starting to look/sound a lot like monkeys fucking a football. The Illini managed to lose this week to a team (Syracuse) that had lost 11 straight to Division 1-A teams (a dubious distinction that now belongs to Illinois). Sigh. On the plus side, I'm quickly becoming an expert in badly played football. If you want an expert opinion on whether or not your team is playing like mierda, I'm your man.
The big game (how far would you go to get tickets?) in Big 10 country took place in South Bend. I would like to take this opportunity to step up on the pulpit to remind Notre Dame fans that Charlie Weis has the same record as Ty Willingham after 15 games as head coach of the Irish. Both had a win and a loss in their first two tries against Michigan. So somebody explain to me how Chuck is the genius and Ty is a scapegoat. Bonus points for not using the phrases "racism", "Super Bowl", "Tom Brady", or "Patriots". The Victors were precise, nay, surgeon-like on offense, and the defense looked impressive while holding Brady (kiss your Heisman hopes goodbye) Quinn in check. Congratulations to oyd Carr (we'll add the "L"'s as the season progresses). Up next for Michigan is Wisconsin. If things go well the Wolverines could roll into Columbus in November with the Big Ten title and a national championship berth on the line. As one might expect, tOSU fans are a little jumpy about the situation (link below courtesy of The M Zone).
Cincinnati hung around before the Buckeyes pulled away for the victory. ... Temple posted a goose egg in a 62-0 loss to Minnesota. Great scheduling, Glen. We all await your traditional October collapse. ... Penn State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Purdon't were all victorious. Indiana lost to Southern Illinois (Go Directional U!). ... Turns out Iowa isn't a Cyclone state. The Hawkeyes outlasted Iowa State in Iowa City. The Squawks have a bye week @ Illinois this Saturday.
Only games worth mentioning are in the other sections. *Note* - Even though it is a Top 25 matchup, Texas Tech vs. TCU doesn't deserve discussion. Unless, of course, the cheerleaders from said teams start shedding clothing or the Go Raiders! Guy or the Bell Ringer make another appearance.
West Virginia pounded Maryland last Thursday night. They should run on cruise control until the November showdown with Louisville at Papa John's Stadium. I've got a whole list of food company jokes lined up - just waiting for the first Louisville loss. Those might have to wait awhile, though. Despite losing star QB Brian Brohm early in the game (plus running back Michael Bush for the season), the Cardinals walked all over a reeling Miami team by a final count of 31-7. Larry Coker better get some asbestos britches. The Hurricanes sealed their own fate by dancing on the Cardinal logo at midfield before the game. No one ever accused them of being bright (although they've been accused of just about everything else). ... Speaking of accused, Connecticut gained some street cred when safety Marvin Taylor was arrested and charged with larceny. ... We've already mentioned the Illinois-Syracuse debacle. The only other game of interest was Michigan State's victory over Pittsburgh. Coach Wannstache is proving he is equally capable at running college and NFL teams into the ground.
We must protect this ... cheese? The Gators finally played some physical football and beat a quality opponent. It's cupcake city this week before the revenge game against Alabama (41-7 winners over the UL-Monroe Rent-a-beatings) and then a brutal gauntlet of LSU, @ Auburn, and Georgia. Lesser men would soil themselves thinking about that schedule. Meanwhile, Tennessee QB Erik Ainge ponders his showboating performance, and Florida defensive tackle Marcus Thomas vows to never smoke weed with Willie again.
The Mitch Mustain era got off to a rousing start in Nashville as the freshman QB led his Arkansas team to a bumbling, stumbling victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores (the Northwestern of SEC football for the uninformed; Illinois is more analogous to Mississippi). ... Georgia shut out UAB and welcomes lowly Colorado to Sanford Stadium next weekend. The last time Buffs' head coach Dan Hawkins made a trip between the hedges (it's not a euphemism - get your mind out of the gutter), his Boise State team got shellacked 48-13. ... Kentucky defeated the Fighting Orgerons, and Mississippi State lost to Tulane. Might want to rethink that mortgage in Starkville, Sylvester. ... The real USC got a 27-20 scare from Wofford (Go Terriers!) in Columbia. I'll save my Cock-N'-Fire jokes for another post.
With apologies to Gators and Vols fans, the marquee matchup of the day in the SEC was the Tigers^2 game pitting LSU against Auburn. AU kicker John Vaughn doinked another field goal try off the upright, although it didn't cost Auburn the game like it did last year. Not to be outdone by Pac-10 officials, the SEC referees blew a pass interference call (I don't care what the league says). And I'm not just saying that because I lost points in the pool. :)
Only two games of consequence in this "conference" last Saturday. In the first one, Coach ThroatSlash and the 'Huskers got their asses handed to them by Southern Cal. Wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett lived up to his hype, thanks in big part to the performance of (first team All 3-Name Team) QB John David Booty. Apparently Southern California is rubbing off on JDB, as he appears to be picking up the surfer lingo. Perhaps he has been spending too much time in the sun and forgotten the old adage, loose lips sink ships.
In the second game (OU^2) Oregon defeated Oklahoma 34-33 after a few questionable calls in the 4th quarter. The first botched call involved pass interference on the Sooners that should have been nullified because the ball was tipped by the defense at the line of scrimmage. The second screwup was of Napoleon invading Russia in the winter proportions. A late onside kick by the Ducks gave Oregon possession even though (1) the Ducks were the first to touch the ball before the kick had travelled 10 yards, and (2) Oklahoma actually came out of the resulting pile with the football. I, you, God, and everybody saw it. Well, everybody except instant replay official Gordon Riese. Have a look for yourself.
Now I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but ol' Gordon just happened to referee the Cal-Stanford game in 1982. You know the one. The band wasn't even on the field for this one, yet he still blew the call. As always, Oklahoma boosters are staying classy. The officiating crew has been suspending for one game, the replay official is done for the year, and the Sooners are threatening to back out next year's game at Washington. At least there wasn't any couch burning (yes, I'm looking at you tOSU & WVU). And just to stir the pot a little more, it turns out one of the officials went to high school with Oregon head coach Mike Belotti. Since it's late and I'm too lazy to look up the link, you'll have to take me at my word. True dat.
This Saturday's action looks rather mundane, at least on paper. Buena suerte to all, and Go Illini!
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