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08 Sep 2005

Seventh Day Adventure: To the Big House

by Vinny Gauri and Russell Levine

Russell: Well Vin, after besting you in the season-long competition last year, I decided to throw a 2-6 mark on the board last week just to keep things fair this season. You're welcome.

Vinny: Russ, I never liked you. But I'm still going to let you buy rounds in Ann Arbor this weekend.

Russell: Speaking of which ...

#20 Notre Dame (+7) at #3 Michigan, 12 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: If I were a betting man (and based on my success rate since we started this column, I thank goodness every day that I'm not), I wouldn't touch this line. I'd rather stand between Charlie Weis and a Dairy Queen counter than lay a touchdown on Michigan against a quality opponent after the Wolverine defensive performance last week.

Vinny: Michigan was sticking with a "vanilla" defense last week (typical in an opener), but that's no excuse for the shoddy tackling and putrid pursuit angles. Meanwhile, the Irish certainly looked impressive on offense last week, scoring touchdowns on six of their first seven possessions against Pitt. I've never seen Brady Quinn look that confident -- he knew exactly where he was going with the ball on the last step of every drop. And the Irish offensive line dominated to the point where Darius Walker and Rashon Powers-Neal were often in the secondary before a defender laid a hand on them.

Russell: Vin, you know I'm a Lloyd Carr guy. He may not be the best coach in America, but about 98% of schools would take his results at Michigan any day. Still, why do I have the feeling that Weis will have some offensive schemes cooked up to befuddle our Wolverines this week?

Vinny: Are you saying that Thornton Mellon will outcoach the Michigan staff? The Wolverines have allowed opponents 400+ yards of offense in five straight games (going back to last season). I haven't seen anything this bad since Blues Brothers 2000. You would think Michigan defensive coordinator Jim Hermann would be on the hot seat by now. He better break out the "neopolitan" approach this weekend.

Russell: We might be looking at the most cardiac arrest-inducing Michigan season on record, as I expect the Wolverines are going to have to win a lot of track meets, maybe starting with this one. It'll be back and forth, but I see Chad Henne leading Michigan to a come from behind win in the end. Still, I can't lay the seven. Give me Notre Dame and the points. And yes, I hate myself for saying that.

Vinny: No argument here. This game will probably come down to the last possession. I really don't know who'll win, but the Irish will cover. By the way, there are some rumblings about a serious injury to Michigan TE Tim Massaquoi this week. Fort Schembechler keeps a tight lid on such things, which only fuels the speculation.

#16 California (-8.5) at Washington, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC (regional)

Russell: Here's why even games against designated stepping stones can be dangerous: Cal lost starting quarterback Nate Longshore to a broken leg in last week's win over Sacramento State. And the theory that Cal would be fine with backup Joseph Ayoob (who barely lost out on the starting job in fall camp) took a serious hit when Ayoob begain 0-for-10 in relief and was yanked by Jeff Tedford.

Vinny: At least Joseph can't tell if fans are chanting his last name or booing. His nickname should be "The Walrus"? Koo-koo-Ayoob!

Russell: I could be the Walrus. I'd still stink at picking college football games. Looks like Tedford is going to go with Ayoob against Washington, hoping that a week of practice with the first unit gives him some confidence. Luckily for Cal, Washington is coming off a 1-10 season and didn't exactly look renewed in a season-opening loss to Air Force. Nice effort by the Washington fans, by the way, leaving about two-thirds of the seats at Seattle's Qwest Field empty last week.

Vinny: I really don't know what happened to the Husky program. The Jim Lambright, Rick Neuheisel, and Keith Gilbertson Eras haven't been much fun. And the fan base has already lost faith in Willingham. Don James, where have you gone?

Russell: I think Don's still bitter that the Pac-10 slapped down his program just because somebody gave Billy Joe Hobert $50,000. I can't imagine there will be much of a home-field edge as Husky Stadium this week either. Washington was competitive against a good Air Force team, but I look for Cal to rebound this week. It's a good thing the line dropped from the opening number of 10, or I'd have been tempted to go with the first double-digit home dog (DDHD) of the season. But at -8.5, I'm riding with the Bears.

Vinny: Huskies QB Isaiah Washington looked decent last week, but he was one of the few bright spots. Washington hasn't won a game since beating San Jose State on October 9, 2004. Ouch. I'll give the points and take Cal as well. Bears RB Marshawn Lynch should continue his rise to stardom.

South Carolina (+17) at #9 Georgia, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: I have a feeling that Steve Spurrier is licking his chops at the chance to take on Georgia as a huge underdog. Spurrier absolutely owned Georgia when he coached Florida, which, granted, doesn't have a lot to do with this game, but I bet he's happy that UGA destroyed Boise last week while the Gamecocks struggled with Central Florida in the second half.

Vinny: Maybe Boise State stinks this year, but at first blush it appears that Georgia's defense hasn't skipped a beat. And they're doing it without David Pollack, Odell Thurman and Thomas Davis. Even defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder left for the NFL.

Russell: Spurrier has had a couple extra days to cook up an offensive gameplan for the 'Dawgs after opening on a Thursday night. He managed to make Blake Mitchell look like a poor man's Danny Wuerffel -- or at least Terry Dean ... can I get a Noah Brindise? -- in the opener. Plus, the sun will still be out in the first half, meaning Spurrier will definitely go with the visor. If he'd gone visor instead of baseball cap with the 'Skins, he might still be coaching in the NFL. Well, maybe not.

Vinny: South Carolina obviously can't afford a sloppy second half this week like it could against Central Florida. And it might be a good idea for the Gamecocks to improve upon their total of 32 rushing yards in that opener. Ugh. Big number here, but I still like Georgia.

Russell: D.J. Shockley put up some huge numbers against Boise, with five touchdowns, and the Georgia defense forced a complete meltdown by Boise QB Jared Zabransky, who was responsible for six turnovers. I think Georgia is coming into this game very high on itself, and that's a dangerous placed to be, at least from a handicapping perspective. I'll take South Carolina and the points.

Stanford (-3) at Navy, 6 p.m. ET, CSTV

Russell: You might wonder why we're picking this game instead of, say, Maryland-Clemson. We're adding a new feature this week, the "A Guy Named Gal" game, named in honor of the blogger who suggested the idea. The idea is to pick one game a week that's a little off the beaten path or maybe just has a really interesting line. Personally, I think Gal was just trying to get some love for his alma mater, Rutgers.

Vinny: This is Stanford's opener and the beginning of the Walt Harris Era. Trent Edwards reclaimed the Cardinal quarterback job after dueling with T.C. Ostrander in training camp. You would think someone of Harris' offensive credentials could improve Edwards' completion percentage (54% in 2004) and TD/INT ratio (9/11).

Russell: I actually watched the fourth quarter of Navy's season-opening loss to Maryland last week. Yes, I'm the type of college fan who plunks down the extra $12 a month on my DirecTV subscription to add CSTV and ESPNU just so I can watch games like that one. Navy lost on a late Maryland touchdown, but it was worth watching just to see them execute the wishbone with 265-pound linemen.

Vinny: I can't claim to have seen that one, even though I've become something of a bandwagon Navy fan after taking in the 2003 Army-Navy game in Philly. Still, I like Stanford to cover here.

Russell: Show me a road favorite on a 3,000-mile trip and I'm going to be tempted to take the underdog, no matter the matchup, even before considering that it's Stanford opener while the Middies played last week. I like Navy and QB Lamar Owens (122 yards rushing vs. Maryland) to keep this one close for about three quarters, but the Stanford talent advantage will win out in the end. Stanford will cover, but it won't be easy.

Wake Forest (+7.5) at Nebraska, 7 p.m. ET, TBS

Russell: It's getting ugly in Lincoln after the Huskers struggled offensively with Division I-AA Maine in a 25-7 win last week. I think even Tommy Lee was booing. At this rate, Bill Callahan is about a half-season away from begging Al Davis for another job.

Vinny: One of the few bright spots for Wake in its 24-20 loss to Vanderbilt last week was RB Micah Andrews. The sophomore racked up 254 rushing yards on 34 carries. If they want to be bowl eligible, the Deacons need to win this week and next (East Carolina) before beginning a pretty tough ACC slate.

Russell: If I had even an ounce of faith in Nebraska, I'd lay the points without hesitation. The problem is, last week's Huskers looked about as awful on offense as the 2004 edition, with Zac Taylor starring in the role of Joe Dailey by spraying incompletions and interceptions all over the field. Taylor is a Wake Forest transfer who's going to be geared up for this game, but I'm not sure if that's a good thing.

Vinny: This could be an ugly game -- I would almost rather watch a Mad About You marathon. Still, I like Callahan's crew to eke out a win (and a cover) here.

Russell: There's only one thing about Nebraska that's Nebraska-like these days -- the Black Shirts appear to be back. This is going to be a low-scoring affair, and I think Wake Forest can keep it close enough to cover.

Vanderbilt (+11) at Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET

Vinny: Jay Cutler is considered one of the best senior QBs available in the 2006 NFL Draft. He's big, mobile, accurate, and has a good arm. What's not to like? Oh yeah, he plays for Vandy.

Russell: Vin, that's the "Big V" you're talking about. They're undefeated! Hey, it's more than Oklahoma can say.

Vinny: Arkansas feasted 49-17 on Division I-AA Missouri State last week. Hogs RBs Peyton Hillis and Felix Jones each went over the 100-yard mark while QB/Blues man Robert Johnson got his first start under his belt.

Russell: I'm not sure how anyone from Vandy could be rated that high, but then again, the 2002 Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers did have not one, not two, but three Vandy guys on the roster (Shelton Quarrles, Jamie Duncan, and Todd Yoder).

Vinny: This is a very winnable game for the 'Dores. I'll probably live to regret this, but I'll take Vandy and the points.

Russell: Vin, have you lost your mind? You do know you just took Vandy in a road SEC game, right? To channel Allen Iverson, I mean, we're talkin' 'bout Vandy. Not Tennessee. Vandy. I think the Bugles are getting to you. Either that or you've been spending too much time with our friend the good Dr. Browning. Give me Arkansas and make them my Fred Edelstein lock, too.

#2 Texas (Pick 'em) at #4 Ohio State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: Vin, I know you're concerned that Senator Tressel says he has two starting QBs. Justin Zwick looked pretty decent against Miami (Ohio) last week, but I don't think Tressel or the Buckeye fans have forgotten just how much the offense struggled when he started last year. If things don't go well early, I expect to see plenty of Troy Smith under center.

Vinny: Smith is returning from a two-game suspension for accepting cash from a booster. He helped jumpstart a muddling Buckeye offense last year (with some help from Ted Ginn), but I wonder if he's the second coming of Maurice Clarett. I mean, as much as he's helped Ohio State win, he's summoned for sit-downs with NCAA investigators fairly often. But Sweater Vest Nation has regained its trust in Zwick after the Alamo Bowl and last week's opener.

Russell: Funny thing about this game. I think Texas might be the better team, and will probably end up having the better year, but I have a hard time imagining them winning in the atmosphere at Columbus. The 'shoe is likely to be jacked up to Michigan-on-steroids like levels for this one.

Vinny: Texas earns my early-season nomination for Biggest Fraud on the Public Since One-Hour Martinizing. Vince Young bailed out the 'Horns suspect defense and special teams in the Rose Bowl, but he won't be able to do it again in Columbus. Tressel's wide-open offense (what's gotten into him?) plus Ginn's returns will gash Texas for plenty of points. The Buckeyes will not only cover, but they will hammer Texas. This is my Freddy Edelstein Lock.

Russell: If you were going to create a defense to contain a guy like Vince Young, you'd probably end up with a unit that looks a lot like Ohio State's, with speed and tackling ability all over the back seven. Why doesn't Michigan have guys like that back there? But I digress. The crowd noise will be good for a turnover, and that'll be enough to make the difference. The Buckeyes win.

#5 LSU (-7) at #15 Arizona State, 8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: This was supposed to be LSU's second game, and second home game of the season. Instead, the Tigers and new coach Les Miles will open on the road in Tempe, although they'll serve as the home team. You have to wonder if getting out of Baton Rouge, with its constant reminders of the nearby New Orleans catastrophe, might be the best thing for LSU.

Vinny: LSU QB JaMarcus Russell was hosting a bunch of family members and friends displaced by Hurricane Katrina in his Baton Rouge apartment last week. Among those he was hosting was music legend Fats Domino! Very cool.

Russell: It's hard to believe that LSU's preparations haven't been affected by what they've seen on their campus the last 10 days or so. But I think they'll be focused, and very anxious to play. It won't be an easy task, but LSU's defense should be able to slow down Sam Keller, Derek Hagan and the boys more than Temple did a week ago.

Vinny: I think that's a safe assumption. But I don't know if safety LaRon Landry and the Tiger defense can shut down the ASU passing game without letting Devils freshman RB Keegan Herring run wild. I like the Devils to cover.

Russell: I still don't trust Russell, at least not until he gets that completion percentage well above 50. But even without injured Alley Broussard, LSU has too much talent to lose this game. Even with all the distractions, LSU covers.

The Picks
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" in bold)
Game Vinny says Russell says
#20 Notre Dame (+7) at #3 Michigan Notre Dame Notre Dame
#16 California (-8.5) at Washington California California
South Carolina (+17) at #9 Georgia Georgia South Carolina
Stanford (-3) at Navy Stanford Stanford
Wake Forest (+7.5) at Nebraska Nebraska Wake Forest
Vanderbilt (+11) at Arkansas Vanderbilt Arkansas
#2 Texas (Pick 'em) at #4 Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State
#5 LSU (-7) at #15 Arizona State Arizona State LSU
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Vinny 4-4 (0-1) 4-4 (0-1)
Russell 2-6 (0-1) 2-6 (0-1)

Posted by: on 08 Sep 2005

72 comments, Last at 13 Sep 2005, 10:58am by DaveW

Comments

1
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 11:47pm

Not infrequently you guys only differ on one or two games. This week it's a veritable smorgasbord with 4 games you've chosen differently!

For the record, I like Notre Dame (sigh), Ohio State, and ASU for the weekend's big games. Or I would have. Since tOSU is a Fred Edelstein Lock, it's an almost guaranteed Texas win...but I'll still take tOSU.

Here's a question I think I've always wanted to ask - what makes you choose the games you do, for Seventh Day Adventue? You of course always have whatever the biggest game of the week is, but you also seem to have really random ones in there (Stanford/Navy?).

T.

2
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 2:02am

2-6. Wow. I can't believe you did that well. Way to make steady improvement over last year's suckfest.

Speaking of which, thank you both so very much for picking OSU. I think the only shock is that you didn't both Edelstein them, doing everything to suck them into your vortex of failure. Nice try, but it won't work. Besides, I got the jump on jinxing by picking UM, 138-6. So there.

Sorry, it's been a rough night. Replacing the garage door opener, and it hasn't been fun. The last thing I needed was to see two freaking Michigan grads with not-quite-mediocre records both picking the Buckeyes, and throwing an Edelstein in on top of it. OK, I think I can be reasonable now. This is what I see happening in the biggest games:

1) OSU/Texas: I think this will be the type of game where OSU is clearly better, it will have the feel of a 30-point win, yet they'll only actually be winning by 10-13. It will be one of those semi-close games that is never really in doubt. I see them stuffing the Texas run game, forcing Young to pass, and being able to do enough on offense or special teams (read: Ginn/Holmes score a couple long ones) to put up some points. Take into account the big-game records of the respective coaches, both of whom succeeded John Cooper (Tressel at OSU, Brown as the guy who gets the least out of his incredibly talented teams against his archrival), and I like the Bucks in this one by, I dunno, 17?

2) ND/Michigan: Yeah, Notre Dame sure looked great last weekend. And I thought they had about the same talent as an average North Dakota high school team. But what difference does coaching really make?

Anyway, I try to flee from the bandwagon whenever possible, and the overwhelming nature of the rush to hop on ND's really scares me here. All I need is a few more talking heads or radio guys asking if there's any conceivable way ND can lose this weekend. I mean, last year these same guys were on the whole no-talent, they need better athletes crusade, and after whooping up on Pitt, suddenly they're a threat to run the table, and will beat USC and Michigan by 75 each.

So I'm actually going with Michigan in this one. They have a crazy sick awesome offense, and as much as I rip on them I find it hard to believe their defense is truly that horrible. OK, maybe it is, but they'll figure something out, or one of their guys will make a big play, or something will just happen for them, and it'll be enough. I just have a feeling Michigan wins this one, and talk show hosts everywhere can break out last year's Notre Dame stories again.

3) LSU/ASU: I have absolutely no idea. Seriously, I have no clue what either team will be like this year, and especially how LSU will start out. So let's go with LSU being extra-motivated, working out their frustrations on the field, and putting a good ol' 28-point whoopin' on the Sun Devils. Yep, that's the kind of in-depth analysis you come here for, folks. The kind you could previously only get from ESPN's Trev Alberts... nevermind...

OK, I gotta get to bed. See ya.

3
by Gal (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 8:57am

Thanks for the shout.

I can't believe you picked ND after I mowed an "M" (and alternating parallel lines) into my brother in-law's lawn in time for his Michigan party tomorrow. There's no way they can lose now...a freakin' "M"!

As for Rutgers, don't discount them. They're in the megadangerous position of unexpected spoiler to any team's easy win. Cover a Rutgers game and we'll go tailgate Jersey style.

4
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 9:06am

Wow, I must've been in a bad mood last night. That last comment sounds kinda cranky, even for me.

So, on a more positive note, let me talk real quick about OSU/Texas, and why I'm hoping it will spawn more big-time non-conference games like it. There is so much buzz about this game, that at this point it's clear that two teams control their own destinies: USC, and the winner of OSU/Texas. These teams can be confident that, if they win out, they are going to the Rose Bowl no matter what anyone else does. They will basically be the Oklahomas to everyone else's Auburn. (OK, there may be a team that can sneak in there and grab a spot from OSU/Texas, but they are facing a hugely uphill battle. It would take someone with a much harder schedule, and they'd have to win every game by a lot while hoping the other really struggles)

So here's hoping that other teams see this the same way I do, and start trying to schedule big games like this. Why not get the big early-season non-conference game, knowing that if you win, you're in the driver's seat all year? Why not schedule against Texas (05/06), USC (08/09), or Miami (10/11), as OSU has? If you're serious about being a BCS contender, games like this give a big-time advantage.

If you win.

5
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 10:44am

Some teams (or coaches) look for those big games, some don't.

Oklahoma did a home-and-home with UCLA, has USC coming up, and is negotiating with Miami.
OSU has the games you mentioned and they are looking for more.
Michigan has ND on the schedule each year and has said they're looking for some additional good nonconference games.
Nebraska is on a down year but has USC coming up.
Miami usually seeks out some good ones as well.
USC did Kansas State (when they were better), Auburn, Virginia Tech, and Arkansas, and in the next few years has OU, tOSU, Nebraska (while Nebraska sucks, I'll give them credit due to scheduling them years ago when Nebraska was good), and is negotiating with Miami (and has ND every year).

There are teams out there looking for games that can catapult them forward.

At the same time there's the opposite - Kansas State, please pick up the white courtesy phone (they did schedule USC a few years ago, but the games were scheduled when USC was in a severe slump, and Snyder, despite winning the series, has openly regretted scheduling them).

Additionally, did anyone catch the Mack Brown press conference where he openly regretted ever scheduling a home-and-home with tOSU, saying that the Big 12 is "hard enough", and that it was only scheduled back when Texas thought they needed additional revenue/ticket sales, which they don't anymore?

T.

6
by MDS (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 11:06am

I remember Fred Akers once suggesting that Texas, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Alabama (at the time the four winningest teams in the history of college football, although I believe Nebraska and Ohio State have now both passed Alabama) should play each other in a non-conference round-robin every year. That'll never happen, but can you imagine how awesome it would be? I actually put a lot of the blame for the cream puff schedules on the idiots who vote in the polls. Teams drop when they lose early games against good teams and rise when they win early games against bad teams. If a team schedules USC, Florida State, and Tennessee as its three non-conference games and starts 0-3, I could still see putting that team in the Top 10 if the games are competitive. But most voters would drop any 0-3 team right out of the Top 25.

7
by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 11:35am

When the BCS started, all you heard was coaches talking about how playing tough non-conference schedules was silly and had little upside. So I've been surprised (and impressed) lately to see some of the bold scheduling by Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, et al. over the next 5-6 years. It's great for the sport.

8
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 11:54am

Well, we also all note that Auburn's nonconference schedule was essentially what kept them out of the running last year - while they were a close #3 to OU in the polls, in the computers, they were a distant #3. The fact that the SEC was fairly strong didn't help them much, because many of the BCS computers rank nonconference games (i.e. the games in which the schools choose their opponents) more heavily (w.r.t. schedule strength) than conference games (which the schools have no control over).

And many of the BCS computers put even greater weight on nonconference SoS after the BCS took SoS out of the overall formula.

So it becomes an interesting quandary - you have a better chance of going undefeated if you schedule all nonconference cupcakes, but if there are multiple undefeated (or 1-loss) teams, you put yourself at the back of the pack in the computers (not the polls, since they just go by inertia as we know) by doing so.

I also think that recently, the pollsters have become a little (little) more forgiving on teams that lose games (especially nonconference ones) against respectable opponents, if they are competitive. Cal lost to USC last year in a respectable game and dropped only one spot, and remained in the running for a BCS slot until the final weekend, Virginia Tech lost to USC last year in a competitive game and had essentially the same number of poll points after the game as before. If Texas/tOSU is competitive, while I expect the loser to drop, I wouldn't expect them to drop that far, and they could even remain in the title hunt.

Should Texas win, it's unfortunate for them that USC has a bye this weekend. Pollsters are usually loath to drop a team that didn't play. If USC was playing Arkansas this weekend, and just won an average game while Texas beat tOSU, Texas could steal many poll points away and start to close the gape. But since USC doesn't play, many voters will say "How can I drop USC if they didn't play?" and of course, once next weekend comes, this week is a memory.

T.

9
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 12:21pm

just out of curiosity--is Fat Freddy out of the slammer yet? It's been a couple of years since he was sentenced

10
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 12:28pm

WOW! Vinny and Russ both committing Sacrilegious acts in the name of Football Outsiders by actually picking Notre Dame to cover in the Big House. I want a prediction out of you Vinny! I'm going with Michigan by 10. I think ND is a fraud. There is no other team in the country that could beat a mediocre Pitt team and all of the sudden their program is revived and the good old days are back. Give me a break. (And by the way, I am not an ND Hater, I just think this team is suspect, and beating a mediocre Pitt team didn't do anything to change my opinion, that's all).

As for Ohio State, I like the prediction and I hope you are right. Texas could run the table if the beat OSU b/c the Big 12 might be a little down this year.

Waiting for that prediction Vinny...

11
by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 1:58pm

GatorGriff,

I think the problem isn't whether Notre Dame is a fraud. It's whether Michigan is a fraud, too...

12
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 2:11pm

Fair point Warehall, but the reason I singled out ND is b/c the national press jumped on the Irish bandwagon after their win at Pitt. No one, as of yet, is jumping on or off Michigan's bandwagon.

That being said, as noted by Russ and Vinny, Michigan's defense is suspect and if they don't show up on Saturday, we will be having this 'fraud' conversation next week about the Wolverines.

13
by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 3:11pm

Until proven otherwise, the Wolverine defense is very suspect (and the AP/coaches ranking Michigan No. 3 in the country is fraudulent based on the defense's lack of performance over its last 5 games). I agree with Russ that this will probably be a track meet, so I'm going to say 38-37 Michigan (familiar score to UM and Texas fans) but that might be more optimism than homerism. However, I've learned that, in UM-ND games, the opposite of what you expect usually happens. So under the Constanza Rule, it would be 13-10 Notre Dame. There, that covers all the bases.

14
by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 3:14pm

Princeton73 (love the Hoagie Haven) - I think Fred Edelstein should have been released from the federal clink in May 2004, and maybe earlier for good behavior (which probably doesn't include distributing his insider tip sheet to fellow inmates).

15
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 4:29pm

I don't know if ND will win, but I don't think they're a "fraud". I think there's a non-zero chance they will win.

Why? Because this Notre Dame team doesn't at all look or feel like ones from the past few years. I'm not talking about talent, but rather attitude. They ran onto the field. They played with enthusiasm. Yes, they had some holes, but at least they looked like they cared. Under Willingham, sometimes even in victory they looked like it was simply work they were doing.

Emotion and "caring" matters in college football - just ask Oklahoma, a team that looked almost "bored" to be playing TCU last Saturday, until a severe 2nd half wake-up call, by which it was too late.

T.

16
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 6:13pm

Ohh, ohh. Russ picks ND over Michigan in the Big House. It's so sweet, it's like swimming naked in a pool of chocolate and showgirls. I'm not ashamed to say I've pleasured myself twice -- make that three times -- to that pick.

17
by Domer (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 6:15pm

Gator: Did you watch the ND game? Try to get some perspective on ND from a source other than ESPN commentators. Sure I'm biased, but I thought UGA and ND came out firing on all cylinders last week. No guarantee on the Michigan game, but nice to see some respect from the FO experts.

Tarrant nailed it. I think T. understands what's happening (at least what I hope is happening) at ND because he saw rapid changes at SoCal a few years ago. Yes, it was only one game, but the team has a different identity.

18
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 10:34pm

Um, Pitt is bad.

Really bad.

I'm watching Pitt vs. Ohio here. Ohio. Not Ohio State. Ohio. Frank Solich-coached Ohio, but Ohio nonetheless. They of 2 bowls in the last 109 seasons. They whose first five drives today netted a total of one first down. And it's 7-7 in the 2nd quarter, with Pitt's points coming on a return of the opening kickoff, and Ohio driving (they got a field goal).

I'm sorry, but any BCS conference team worth its salt should be able to ride roughshod over Ohio.

Maybe Pitt will come back and have a great second half and trounce them, but from this first half, wow, so sad.

T.

19
by MDS (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 11:11pm

I'm watching too. I guess this should be a lesson to us never to allow one game to change our minds about a team. We thought Notre Dame was good because we thought Pittsburgh was at least decent. If Pittsburgh is as bad as it's looking midway through the third quarter, Notre Dame isn't very good after all. I wonder how much action the Vegas books have gotten on Michigan in the last hour or so.

20
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 11:18pm

Or maybe my alma mater is a burgeoning football powerhouse . . . nah, Pitt's garbage.

21
by Steve Sandvik (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 12:17am

Re: Cal v Washington:

1) The game last week was officially a home game for Air Force. Further, UW, being a quarter school rather than a semester school, is short a lot of student section support in the early season. Expect a better fan performance because it's actually a home game and the season ticket holders don't have to add on to their $500 that they already spent to see this game.

2) His name's Isaiah Stanback, not Isaiah Washington. Good Lord, at least *try* a little.

3) Not all the fans have given up on Willingham. It's just that once you've gotten used to winning those games, it's pretty depressing to lose one that way (for all Neuheisel may not have been the most popular guy in Seattle, he had a way of winning the cardiac arrest games.)

22
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 12:21am

OK. So your defense has been holding Pitt to nothing all game...and so on the final drive, you decide, instead of using what's worked the whole game, let's switch to a soft defense and let them eat up 8-10 yards at a time, which gets them to field goal range.

Great idea!

T.

23
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 12:36am

Clearly it was all part of Solich's brilliant strategy. In other news, ESPN announces that Wanny is replacing Trev Alberts next week.

Damn, I wish I was in Athens. There won't be a sober co-ed in the whole town tonight.

24
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 12:38am

The Dave Wannstedt Watch is officially on. I think Tyler Palko is pretty close to locking up the Brad Smith "Now Seemingly Inexplicable Preseason Hype Award."

25
by Kurt (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 11:32am

yay! My alma mater officially sucks!

And I wonder how Pitt got rated #23 pre-season even in the first place. Offense manages *1* scoring drive (a figgie) vs. Ohio U. Defense holds OU to a figgie as well - but two INT returns for TDs hands Pitt a monster loss and makes them the laughingstock of college football.

26
by Fiver (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 1:54pm

As a Ravens fan, I can say to all Pitt alumni that the answer to all of your questions is "Matt Cavanaugh".

27
by Adam (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 3:06pm

Wisconsin is beating Temple 51-0. At halftime.

Someone please put this program out of its misery and into a nice I-AA conference with Villanova and Delaware.

28
by MDS (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 3:26pm

I don't even know how to describe how bad the clock management was for both teams at the end of Kansas State-Marshall. Kansas State was up 21-19 with two minutes left with first and goal and managed through a series of terrible decisions to give Marshall the ball back at the 20 without even forcing Marshall to use all its timeouts. Then Marshall drives into field goal range with eight seconds left. They've got the game in the bag. But for some bizarre reason they run one more play, and throw an interception. Amazing.

Oklahoma is only beating Tulsa 7-6. I knew Oklahoma lost a lot of talent, but this is ridiculous. I don't know how they'll win a Big 12 game all year, although I'm sure they'll somehow figure out a way to beat Texas.

29
by MDS (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 4:25pm

Bob Griese is such a moron I can't believe my ears. ABC showed that replay of Michigan fumbling at the goal line several times, and every time Griese said there was nothing there to make the referee reverse the call. Then the referee reverses the call and Griese says he was right to reverse it.

30
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 4:50pm

The Michigan faithful are going to be livid for a long time over those two replay reversals toward the end, though both looked correct.

31
by Domer (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 6:09pm

#30 you may be correct. But I trust the classy UM fans, like Vinny and Russell, will not rely on the usual UM excuses. Both replay calls were correct.

By the way, the UM fans throwing trash on the field had better arm action than Henne. He had 5 or 6 passes blocked or tipped with the trademark UM low release. Do they teach these guys that way intentionally?

3 out of the last 4...

32
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 6:26pm

Cincinnati @ PSU:

King and Williams had another monster game, with King catching a 59-yard touchdown pass and Williams with a 41-yard completion to the 6.

Yes, it's Cincinnati, and it's not like their defense is even remotely in the Big Ten class, but I'm not sure previous PSU offenses could even complete a 40+ yard pass.

Cincinnati did manage to put up more than 20 points against the Penn State defense, but that happened in the final 2 minutes or so, and Penn State's starters were out.

I know it's just Cincinnati, but it's a very good showing. I think the only problem with Penn State and the polls this year is that they don't play a serious opponent until Ohio State, and Ohio State could be a top-10 team. I'd say Michigan is too, but I think that changed after today's game.

33
by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 6:31pm

The refs were horrible in that game. Fortunately, for Notre Dame fans (unfortunatly for me) replay showed its value... Though, why did it take two minutes to see that Brady Quinn was down?

Domer, don't get too high on your team, though. The talent gap was very obvious. I hope you beat USC, but I wouldn't be surprised, if they hang half a hundred on ND...

Being a UM fan is like being a Yankee fan. Why can't games be decided by who has the most "talent"?

34
by Domer (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 6:54pm

If that's the case then I'll take coaching over talent. How in the hell did we ever win 2 of 3 with Willingham at the helm and less talent?

35
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 8:09pm

Bob Griese is indeed an idiot. I remember enjoying him with Keith Jackson; I don't know if that means my memory is faulty, or if he's gone downhill the past decade. At least they let Lynn Swann be a sort of uber-sideline guy, but I'd like to see them try him in the booth.

The hierarchy of college football is normally that superior talent is enough to win most games, but good talent with superior coaching is sometimes able to beat better talent with inferior coaching. See, e.g., ND today v. Michigan, the latest in a lengthy list of Big Blue reversals since '97. Against too big of a talent gap, though, or with bad luck, or a smaller coaching disparity, the worse talent doesn't stand a chance. I have visions of the Oregon State Fiesta Bowl loss here, and premonitions of the USC game this year, too.

K-State-Marshall: Atrocious clock management by both teams, as noted earlier. Marshall had a time out, but they shouldn't have, because Snyder was an idiot. Running two plays to pick up three yards in 30 seconds when you get the ball with 58 seconds left 75 or so yards away from goal is also a brilliant move. Still, fumbling twice within 5 yards of goal is sufficient cause to lose any game.

Iowa is also looking pretty bad. Tate got knocked out, so Manson's in. He throws like he plays for Florida State, but at least he can run with the ball. The D-line... well, they're getting pushed back by the Cyclones. Throw in 5 TO's, and you end up down three TD's with 3 minutes to play.

36
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 8:15pm

Uh... okay, so before the season, we had

Ohio State
Michigan
Iowa
Purdue

in the top 25. Of those 4, Purdue and Ohio State are there, but the other two lost. Ohio State might lose in a few hours, so that would leave what, 1 unbeaten Big Ten team in the top 25?

So much for the "year of the Big Ten."

37
by Mukaikubo (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 9:41pm

GT defeats UNC to go 2-0(1-0) despite the coach attempting to win the Mike Martz Memorial Game Management award by throwing 9 times in a row while ahead with under 5 minutes to go. Despite having PJ Daniels one of the better RBs in the ACC. Gah.

38
by Shane S. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 9:45pm

I like the somewhat more overhead view that they have shown on some of the snaps for the ohio state-texas game. You can see what more of the players are doing on the play.

39
by vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 10:20pm

Well, I didn't expect the defenses to control the game like that. Chad Henne played his worst game at Michigan, but his O-line was dominated by ND's D-line in passing situations. The injuries at RT for Michigan didn't help - Rueben Riley got abused all day long. Regardless, ND's offense capitalized in the red zone while Michigan's choked. You have to give Charlie Weis and his players their due. I'm at the bar with Russell now as we watch UT-OSU.

40
by MDS (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 10:25pm

Vince Young, you just convinced every NFL scout that you'll be a fine wide receiver.

41
by MDS (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 10:31pm

Talk about a gutsy call by LSU. I don't know if I've ever seen a punter throw from his own end zone on a fake.

42
by Russell (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 10:37pm

I'm more bitter than my good friend Vin. Replay sucks!

43
by Steve Sandvik (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 11:51pm

I should have clarified, when I was complaining about the treatment of Washington in the main body of the article...I would have picked Cal, also, to cover, I just thought the things said about UW weren't entirely accurate.

Now, if the spread had been 20? I'd probably have picked the Dawgs and regretted it, but the things we do for our alma maters, right?

44
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 12:37am

Wow!

One had to figure tOSU might be able to head down the field for the score...but the almost-fumble on the runback, then the fumble on the first play. Wow.

The game has, at the minimum, lived up to expectations. A bit ugly at times, but fun nonetheless.

T.

45
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 12:45am

Heh.

I didn't know that if you were outside the pylon when the ball crosses the plane, it's not a touchdown. They always talk about crossing the plane and how it's a TD the instant it crosses no matter what, that I didn't think about being out of bounds.

But on the ensuing play...you have to throw the ball away, dude!

Good game. Last year, one could say Mack Brown won a big game against Michigan, but this is a REAL big game.

T.

46
by Fiver (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 12:54am

Tressel wanted to establish a new OSU record for FG kicking really, really badly, huh?

The risk/reward was just way out of whack there. The options were 1) punt it deep and force the Texas offense to prove it could drive the length of the field for a TD, which it hadn't done all day, or 2) attempt a Field Goal from 50 yards.

As soon as he sent the kicker out, I accurately predicted the final score. I know everyone will be jumping on this tomorrow, so I just wanted to get my jabs in first.

47
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 12:57am

Oh, and...

Trogdor wrote:

Speaking of which, thank you both so very much for picking OSU. I think the only shock is that you didn’t both Edelstein them, doing everything to suck them into your vortex of failure.

Is this the new SI cover jinx? Could this be more powerful than the Madden jinx? Stay tuned!

(On a side note, I love the word "vortex")

T.

48
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 1:02am

Just to twist the knife a little bit: The last two times ND beat Michigan, the Wolverines later lost to Ohio State. In '03, Michigan beat ND and Ohio State. Drink up, Russ. Hyuk, yuk, yuk.

49
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 1:03am

As soon as he sent the kicker out, I accurately predicted the final score.

Methinks you might've missed the last-minute safety. :)

50
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 1:06am

I will reserve further comment until I calm down a little. For now all I'll say is, if you get four freaking turnovers inside their territory and don't get a single freaking TD out of any of them, you deserve to lose.

I'm sure there will be a lot of people second-guessing the QB switching. The thing they will fail to mention is, if you consistently take over the ball inside their 40 and fail to drive it more than 14 yards then settle for a FG, you're not doing your job as a QB. Maybe they would have been a little better with more consistency, but how many golden opportunities can you royally screw up before you're replaced? A TD on one - JUST ONE!!! - of those, and OSU is ranked 1 or 2 until they lose, with a clear shot at the title game. SONOFABITCH!!!!!!

Oh, and when did QBs lose the ability to slide? I know everyone wants to be the big scrambler, and make things happen with their legs, but what happened to just getting what you can, going down, and regrouping?

I'm not sure what the biggest play of the game was. Was it the shoulda-been safety when they missed two easy tackles on the return guy in the endzone, then allowed him to get to the 35? Was it the TD pass where Hamby was so wide open he had time to miss the catch twice, knock the ball 17 feet in the air, then not catch it again before any defender was close to him? Was it the great pass by Smith that should have been intercepted, but was deflected to the RB who should have dropped it, but instead caught it for a 5-yard loss (enough to miss the FG that would have put them up by a comfortable 9), then the next play where Hall was open for at least 15 and possibly the first but Smith missed him badly so they had to try from 50 instead of 35?

I tell you who does not get any blame: the OSU defense. They did about as well as anyone could have asked. They allowed a few big plays, but after the first two drives they made great adjustments and made life miserable for Young. If only they had been protecting a 31-10 lead instead of 19-10... HOW CAN YOU NOT GET ONE SINGLE TOUCHDOWN OFF OF 4 TURNOVERS IN OPPOSING TERRITORY?!?!?! Yes, I'm a little ticked now, could you tell?

Another thing that upsets me slightly - when teams have a 'playmaker' and draw up silly plays just to let him touch it more. Isn't it more effective to get him the ball when there are actual other threats possible, so the entire defense doesn't know immediately that it's going to him? And when they do throw it to him on a contrived bubble screen, would it be too much to ask of Ginn to catch the freaking ball when it hits him in the hands?

And I know I like the spread-out, more wide-open offense. But when you're running the ball well (over 5 ypc for Pittman), would it be too much to ask the Ohio State University to maybe ram the ball down their throats instead of getting cute all the time? And if you're going to "open it up", would it hurt to actually throw it downfield once in a while? I know the coverage looked good on a lot of plays, but if they're that worried about your QB scrambling that they're spying, there HAS to be somewhere to throw down the field. 5 yard routes to the TE won't get it done. You have "playmakers" at WR, and have them isolated in man coverage. Do you think they're good receivers or not?

OK, maybe I should listen to my own advice and stop posting now, and try to get to bed without breaking stuff.

51
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 1:07am

Hey, ASU.

Might want to work on that special teams line.

Blocked FG returned for TD, and a completely broken, fumbled fake punt returned for a TD?

Suddenly the game went from ASU over LSU, 17-7, to 21-7 in a matter of about 1 minute.

T.

52
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 1:14am

Are you kidding? You have a shot at a 50-yarder (for someone who has made 4 from 40+ already, all dead center and with plenty of distance) to likely put the game out of reach, and you would punt it for a gain of what, 23 yards of field position (assuming they down it at the 10), giving Young a chance to drive the length of the field (which they hadn't done since *both of their first TWO possessions*) against a defense that was great but probably tired and couldn't hold forever? If this was a suckass school with no offense and no QB, maybe. But with the talent on Texas, and their big play ability (all it takes is one mistake, one missed tackle, one CB jumping on a pump fake), you can't believe your defense is going to stop them indefinitely.

They had a chance to pretty much ice it. They tried. It barely missed. I have no qualms about that decision.

Now, how do you get so many turnovers without scoring a single freaking TD? That's where the real issue lies...

53
by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 1:18am

Don't worry Tarrant...

I'm picking USC as the National Champs... Jinx! Jinx! Jinx!

54
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 1:37am

How could the referee standing RIGHT THERE not call pass interference on that play?

What more would he have to have done to make it qualify as interference?

T.

55
by MDS (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 7:40am

How did they not review the LSU game-winning touchdown? One of the things I hate about replay is that they use it inconsistently. Sometimes they'll delay the game for several days to review a call that was obviously right on the field; other times they'll decline to review a huge, game-deciding call when it was clearly questionable.

I really shouldn't be awake right now.

56
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 10:49am

How is Vince Young the only Heisman Trophy candidate coming out of that game? He had a decent day, but A.J. Hawk is a freakin' beast. 10+ tackles, two sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception. If that's not tough enough to be at least a candidate, what is?

57
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 12:49pm

I’m not sure what the biggest play of the game was. Was it the shoulda-been safety when they missed two easy tackles on the return guy in the endzone

Ding ding. Watch the game again - a lot of the guys on the coverage team slowed up when he held up at the goal line, thinking he was going to stay in. That hesitation pretty much cost them the game.

You never slow up in coverage until you punch the return guy in the face. Never.

58
by Fiver (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 1:34pm

Re: #52

You make a good point that the kicker was on a roll, but I still punt it down there. Why? Because the defense was winning the game for them. Tressel should have given his D better chances to continue doing just that by choosing field position over betting his kicker could make a 6th consecutive Field Goal.

An extra 20+ yards of field could have required Texas to convert two more first downs under pressure, on the road, with their offense playing poorly, against AJ Hawk and friends.

59
by apocalipstick (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 7:40pm

re #56

Play offense.

60
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 9:16pm

Regarding Pat's comment earlier (#36), I was at the Purdue-Akron game and the Boilers did not play like a top 15 team. Their front seven was OK, but the secondary is below average. The offense worked against Akron, but I have serious questions about it working against good defensive teams. To put things in perspective, their QB didn't line up under center one time all game. (Can you say, "junky college spread?" I knew you could.) The QB this year (Kirsch) is more athletic than Orton but not nearly as accurate.

The best hope is that the team "makes the most improvement between games 1 and 2."

61
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 10:23pm

Once Ohio State started playing well (late in the 1st quarter), I thought they were on their way to an easy victory. I had no idea that Vince Young could actually pass the football. Kudos to Young, he played a heluva game in a hostile environment. With the Big 12 being a bit down this year, Texas might be the only team that can beat Texas between now and the Rose Bowl. If they don't beat themselves against a below-average Big 12 schedule, they should be undefeated when the head to College Station in late November.

Also, kudos to ND...I talked to trash about them earlier in the postings, so hats off to Charlie Weis and their defense. However, if Chad Henne plays an average game, they win going away. But it doesn't matter now, ND is undefeated and finally gets a home game.

62
by Domer (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 11:21am

It's amazing how much better our corners are when they aren't hung out to dry. The double coverage on Breaston and Avant seemed to confuse Henne. Even to the point where they stopped looking when opportunities may have been there, to wit:

I think it was early in the 3rd quarter when one of our CBs went out with an injury. We have little depth. The ABC camera even focused in on his replacement, who is really untested. Play call on what I believe was a 2nd and long? Grady up the gut leading to a 3 and out.

63
by Tex (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 3:03pm

Wow, OSU, way to take multiple gifts and still find a way to lose, at home. The Longhorns admire your ability to jump up and run from victory. But shouldn't there be some credit to the Texas defense? From what I'm reading here you'd conclude that Texas' D had nothing to do with all those field goals. From the special teams (why do the Longhorns kick off in bounds - seriously, I want to know) to the turnovers, they controlled a team that started on average at their own 45 pretty damn well. Ohio state and it's "explosive" offense my ass.

BTW all credit to Ohio state's linebackers - those mullet-sporting, IROC-with-gun-rack driving, Kid-Rock-Wannabes can play some football. (And If they couldn't, they'd make a great metal cover band.) Without those guys you'd have seen a lot of Big Vince disappearing into the middle distance.

Hook 'em.

64
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 4:05pm

Regarding Pat’s comment earlier (#36), I was at the Purdue-Akron game and the Boilers did not play like a top 15 team.

Allow me a quiet cheer, and a hope that Penn State might surprise a few people in October. Their defense is very, very good, and their offense is much better than last year. They could be a very difficult matchup for Michigan, for instance.

65
by buddha (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 4:23pm

"The Michigan faithful are going to be livid for a long time over those two replay reversals toward the end, though both looked correct."

We'll be livid that he fumbled, but we'll admit it was a fumble (paging Charles White...). We'll be even MORE livid that the touchdown on the play BEFORE the fumble wasn't called a touchdown. And even more livid that the OBVIOUS pass interference wasn't called.

All in a typical Michigan-ND game. Michigan plays their worst game of the season and ND gets all the big calls. Not a surprise.

For as bad as Henne and the beat up offense played, they still should have won the game.

Anybody else think Guttierez should be playing?

66
by Domer (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 4:57pm

buddha:

The Henne "scoring" play was dead before it started. ND had a dead ball foul for 12 men on the field - check the official stats, that play was over before it started. It was still 1st down afterward.

We got the calls? How about the no-call on delay of game for throwing trash on the field twice? (And on the UM recruits, inadvertantly). And the fumble call against Quinn? (which was correctly overturned). And the arguable incomplete call when McKnight got hurt after pulling down a pass? Please. We can argue those all day, but don't throw this one on the refs.

Both defenses showed up; we were just able to get the early scoring and then somewhat control the pace of the game. Ahead 17-3 at the beginning of the 4th quarter - that's when it got interesting to consider the tradeoff of keeping the clock ticking vs. using pass plays. A two-touchdown lead is usually enough, but man, it got nervewracking.

Henne is 1-3 in his last 4 games. I'd see what Guiterrez can do.

67
by buddha (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 7:30pm

I've seen plenty of plays continue if there are too many men on the field on the defense.

Throwing trash on the field as a delay of game? That would have been a stretch.

McKnight's play should have been a completion, but it was a close call.

They REVERSED the fumble call. Correctly. What are you complaining about that one for?

The pass interference was obvious. The "12 men on the field" thing is a cop-out if it ever even happened.

I'm not taking away anything from Notre Dame, but they got the calls that day. Michigan gets the calls on plenty of other days. On this particular Saturday it was ND.

68
by Domer (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 7:48pm

I should have been clearer on the Quinn call - it was corrected after the replay, but the refs on the field made the wrong call on what was pretty clearly not a fumble. It was intended to show that the initial calls were favoring UM, but were corrected. My point with the 12 men on the field call is that the play was dead - those are just the rules on a dead ball foul.

In any event, it's time for the Spartans. Always a brawl; at least it's at home.

69
by Vinny (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 8:02pm

I think the referees called illegal participation, so I think that was a play and not a dead ball foul. The final stats will never reflect a play taking place if a penalty is accepted. Regardless, Michigan had 1st and goal on the 1, 5, and first and 10 on the 18 and came away with 0 points on those 3 drives. Ballgame.

I wouldn't blame Henne for 2 of the 3 losses in his last four games. Any talk of replacing him is silly IMO.

70
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 8:35pm

Dear Tex,

Of course Texas' defense played pretty well. But if even the '85 Bears gave their opponent the ball on their 40 or closer on eight straight possessions, they couldn't keep a halfway competent offense out of the endzone every time. There is simply no defense so good that they can withstand such ridiculous starting field position, unless the opposing offense is completely inept.

In conclusion, when your average starting field position is the 45(!), and you manage one measly TD, your offense flat-out sucks. The opposing defense is good, of course, but anything other than an incredibly sucky offense will do significantly better than 12 points off 4 turnovers inside the 35. Therefore, I conclude that the only reason Texas won is that OSU's offense completely su-diddley-ucked.

Sincerely,
Trogdor

71
by Vinny (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 11:58pm

To continue on Henne, the kid is a surefire 1st round pick. He certainly didn't play like it on Sat but everybody has bad days. Watch the Rose Bowl tape and then tell me someone else should start. If you're going to judge a QB entirely on W-L record, do tou think Craig Krenzel should still be starting for the Bears? Didn't think so.

72
by DaveW (not verified) :: Tue, 09/13/2005 - 10:58am

Vinny: Kudos for seeing the light and picking Vandy. With respect to your gratuitous cheap shots at Vandy's expense in making those predictions - as a Vandy alum, all I can say is....well done, I enjoyed them! Goooooooo VANDY!!!!

And as a lifetime Penn Stater, I'm looking forward to your first PSU game preview and your gratuitous cheap shots at the Nittany Lions....Good Lord, how depressing is it for me that you could just copy your Vandy jabs from Week 2 and use them with appropriate effect for PSU. Actually, I think things are looking up for PSU, but based on what I've seen to this point, they've still got a ways to go on O before they can hang with the big boys.