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Stomping the Jags leaves Washington No. 2 behind only Denver. But what can we really learn from one big win early in the season, before we are applying opponent adjustments?

27 Oct 2005

Seventh Day Adventure: No Crying in Football

by Vinny Gauri and Russell Levine

Russell: No time for silly pre-picks banter this week, Vin, since we're doing the Thursday night game. Besides, I've run out of material to make fun of myself.

Vinny: You should have told me, I have plenty. Although you know it's bad when my record is starting to look respectable.

Russell: Let's just get to the picks.

#14 Boston College (+13) at #3 Virginia Tech, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: While the college football world debates USC vs. Texas this week, you can almost hear the complaining from Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech is undefeated and largely unloved. Why is it that the Hokies can't seem to get serious consideration as national-title contenders? Maybe it's because they're playing on Thursday night for the second straight week. Yes, the Thursday-nighter gives them a rare national TV date, but it also seems somewhat beneath an elite program.

Vinny: Actually, you can hear it. Frank Beamer actually addressed the Hokies' plight to the media this week, outlining how he thinks they can crack the top two spots in the BCS rankings. Bulletin board material is often overrated, but you know the Hokies' remaining opponents (including Boston College) took notice of Beamer's remarks.

Russell: Meanwhile, Virginia Tech's offense and Marcus Vick did everything possible to try and make last week's game with Maryland close for a while, turning the ball over on consecutive second-half possessions. But the defense wouldn't allow the Terps to make a game of it.

Vinny: The Eagles' 6-1 start is the program's best since 1992. They have definitely shown a toughness that they've lacked in recent seasons, with a 16-13 overtime win at Clemson and a 35-30 comeback over Wake Forest. But after getting dominated by Florida State's defense at home, the Eagles have to come up big against Virginia Tech if they want to be taken seriously as a contender in the ACC. The last time these teams faced off in Blacksburg, Boston College left town with a 34-27 victory two years ago. Both of these teams are much better than their respective 2003 versions.

Russell: The Hokies have to be thrilled with the play of Marcus (a.k.a. "New Mexico") this season. He's sixth in pass efficiency (one spot ahead of Matt Leinart) and the three INTs vs. Maryland were definitely an aberration. Boston College might be without its premier pass-rusher, Mathias Kiwanuka. Uh oh. I see the Eagles hanging tough into the second half, but VaTech wins this one going away (and covers).

Vinny: Kiwanuka missed the Wake Forest contest last week, and hasn't had much success this year (3.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss) with teams focusing on him. The Eagles could use some stability at quarterback between Matt Ryan and Quinton Porter. I don't think either will find any rhythm against the VaTech defense. The Hokies prevail by a couple touchdowns.

Russell: Well at least you know the BCS officials are happy we both picked VaTech.

Oklahoma (-1) at Nebraska, 12 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: Seeing this game on the schedule without either team ranked is just depressing. For about 25 years, this was one of those games that you (a) never missed and (b) always took a rooting interest in, even if you had no ties to either school. I was always a Nebraska guy.

Vinny: I was an Oklahoma guy -- for my money (and probably his, in unmarked bills), nobody ran the option better than Jamelle Holieway.

Russell: I did love Holieway -- nobody pitched the ball 30 yards down the field like that guy. I have to hand it to Nebraska fans, they're showing incredible patience with Bill Callahan. If he's made any progress in rebuilding Nebraska into a west coast passing offense, it's being measured in millimeters. At most other schools, they'd be hanging the guy in effigy by now. And really, is there anything better in sports than fans hanging somebody in effigy? How is there's a national uproar over the pink visiting locker room at Iowa, but not a peep about hanging a likeness of a coach from a noose?

Vinny: I've never been to Memorial Stadium, but Nebraska fans are considered by many to be among the best in the college football, often applauding opposing teams and even their own team after a loss. Maybe that explains some of it.

Russell: It's tough to take Oklahoma on the road here, no matter how mediocre Nebraska has been at home the last couple of years. Nebraska's 4-2 against the number this season and 3-1 ATS at home (yes, I was back on the degenerate gambling sites this week). Oklahoma's 2-5 against the spread and 1-2 on the road. Good enough for me. I'll take the Huskers.

Vinny: Subbing for Adrian Peterson last week, Jacob Gutierrez and Allen Patrick rolled up over 200 yards rushing in the Sooners' overtime win over Baylor. Peterson is still iffy for this one. And while Rhett Bomar isn't exactly Brad Smith, he can continue the headaches for the Husker defense. I like the Sooners.

#13 Ohio State (-3) at #20 Minnesota, 12 p.m. ET, ABC

Vinny: The nation's best rushing offense (Minnesota) faces the nation's best rushing defense (Ohio State) up in the Hefty Dome. Everyone knows about Laurence Maroney, but Gary Russell is also making a name for himself as a very good running back.

Russell: If only the Minnesota fans were talking about their rushing offense, life would be good. But something tells me not everyone has gotten over the last game two weeks ago -- when the Gophers lost to Wisconsin by virtue of a blocked punt in the last 30 seconds.

Vinny: Ohio State seemingly romped 41-10 over Indiana last week, but it was another sloppy performance by the Buckeyes, with a rash of penalties plus a couple turnovers. In fact, Ohio State is now 101st in the nation in turnover margin. Yikes.

Russell: Ohio State has made a habit of winning sloppy games in recent years, and it's still tough to take Minnesota seriously in a big game, despite the win over (gulp) Michigan a few weeks back.

Vinny: Glen Mason will probably spend half the game staring a hole of envy right through Senator Tressell, since the Buckeye job is the one he's always dreamed of (and interviewed for). I think this is where the Gophers start their annual late-season slide. The Fighting Sweatervests (Buckeyes) roll. OSU is my Fred Edelstein lock.

Russell: I like Ohio State's defense in the matchup vs. Minnesota's offense, and on the other side of the ball, I think Troy Smith could be in for a big day scrambling against the Gophers, who've no doubt spent a lot of time watching the tape of what Penn State's Michael Robinson did to them earlier this year. Ohio State covers.

North Carolina (+19.5) at #7 Miami (Florida), 12 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Vinny: This game has been moved up in the day since the light standards at the Orange Bowl were damaged by Hurricane Wilma. Many Hurricane players and coaches are still without power and water in their homes, but you have to believe they're pretty used to this stuff.

Russell: Yeah, they've only dealt with about 73 hurricanes already this season. But global warming doesn't exist.

Vinny: Shh. There's no politics in football. Miami QB Kyle Wright has been struggling ever since the opener against Florida State, but he always has plenty of help each week from Tyrone Moss, Greg Olson and and Ryan Moore.

Russell: I flipped on the news Thursday morning and saw they were handing using the Orange Bowl as a staging area for relief supplies. What happens to those people on Saturday at noon? They could probably play this game at a high school field for all the people that are going to show up. But those that do are going to see a Miami team in revenge mode.

Vinny: You're right. I think most of this Miami team still bitterly remembers their 31-28 loss in Chapel Hill last year. I just don't see how North Carolina is going to move the ball against an outstanding Miami defense. In fact, I'm surprised that none of the Hurricane defenders (like Baraka Atkins or Brandon Merriweather) have become household names yet. The 'Canes cover at home.

Russell: North Carolina did reward the oddsmakers' faith last week by beating Virginia as a surprise favorite. The final score was 7-5. Must have been thrilling. I don't see the Heels moving the ball this week either. I think Miami will put this one away by halftime. I'll lay the big number with the 'Canes.

Central Florida (+2.5) at East Carolina, 2 p.m. ET

Russell: The game we originally wanted to do for the Regional Special was 5-1 Penn at 5-1 Brown for first place in the Ivy League, but unfortunately they don't publish lines on Ivy League games. By request of Aaron and the other Brown alumni at Football Outsiders, we're both taking Penn and the nonexistent points.

Vinny: Speak for yourself. I was going to tease Brown, Columbia and the under on Friday's closing Dow Jones Industrial Average. But we digress. After going 0-11 last year, Central Florida is only two wins from assuring a winning season. George O'Leary is working his magic (no, I'm not talking about embellishing resumes). He's been rotating running backs Kevin Smith, Jason Peters and Dontavius Wilscox with some success.

Russell: Meanwhile, remember when Steve Logan was the hot mid-major coach around the country? He turned down a bunch of better jobs to stay at ECU. Then he got fired and was last seen coaching in NFL Europe. The lesson? Don't say no when the big schools come calling. Meanwhile, Steve, Eddie Fogler is on the white courtesy phone.

Vinny: East Carolina can't run the ball (105 yards per game) or stop the run (225 yards per game). That's a recipe for heartache, kind of like following Burger King's French Toast Sticks with an order of their Chicken Fries. The Golden Knights (Central Florida) swab the deck with the Pirates.

Russell: Nice analogy, that was downright Corso-esque. ECU has actually shown some signs of turning things around under first-year head coach Skip "to my Lou" Holtz, who had to figure he'd be coaching South Carolina this season. Vin, I've actually been to Greenville. My brother used to live there. Nice town, nice folks. I'm going with ECU.

#4 Georgia (+4) vs. #19 Florida (at Jacksonville), 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Russell: Bad timing for Georgia, losing quarterback D.J. Shockley to a knee injury going into the Cocktail Party against Florida.

Vinny: Joe Tereshinksi III takes the reins from Shockley this week. He sounds like the heir to a hardware store empire. Actually, his grandfather, father and uncle have all played football on great Georgia teams. Is Joe III (I like to call him "Trey") next? He's a fourth-year junior who hadn't attempted a pass until the opener this year against Boise State. For the season, he is 13 of 23 passing for 207 yards and one interception. I think it's safe to say Thomas Brown and Danny Ware will get a few more carries than usual.

Russell: Meanwhile, is there a more maligned 5-2 team than Florida? The Urban Meyer bandwagon cleared off in a big hurry after losses to Alabama and LSU. Give the man a chance to get his type of players in there. Chris Leak is clearly not the best fit for this offense.

Vinny: Leak has had some issues with a sore right shoulder. And when your head coach is crying in his post-game press conferences, like Meyer has, you're going to get your fair share of abuse. I mean, what is this -- Terms of Endearment or a football game?

Russell: I guess it's safe to assume that you're not offended by the pink locker room at Iowa. Even with the injury to Shockley, I'm still a little surprised that Florida is favored. It may seem like a sucker's bet (and God knows, I'm a sucker), but I really feel Georgia is still the better team, and it's hard to ignore the four points. I'll take the 'dog, make that the 'Dawgs.

Vinny: Florida's defense (5th nationally in total defense and scoring defense) will prove too stiff a test for my man Trey. The Gators are the pick.

Navy (+6.5) at Rutgers, 3:30 p.m. ET

Russell: Shhh. Don't look now, but Rutgers is one win away from bowl eligibility. With the Red Sox winning last year's World Series and the White Sox doing the same this year, I'm thinking Rutgers in a bowl game might be the final sign of the approaching Apocalypse. When's the Hale-Bopp comet coming back around, anyway?

Vinny: Right about the time Fisher DeBerry gets hired as a sensitivity trainer for the ACLU.

Russell: No, Rutgers hasn't beaten anybody even halfway decent. But they're learning to take care of business on the road, and they hung in for a while against West Virginia at home. Plus, fullback Brian Leonard, a mauler with some wiggle in the Mike Alstott mode, is worth the price of admission.

Vinny: By the way, for the second straight year, Navy will have tryouts for the "12th Mid" on Monday. Unlike Texas A&M's tradition, only one senior is selected for the coverage team on the first kickoff in a particular game -- this year it's Temple (nice choice) in a few weeks. Roger Staubach has even given his blessing for the lucky senior to wear his old No. 12. Cool stuff.

Russell: If this were a noon kickoff, I might have to take a trip down the Turnpike with my buddy Gal to take in the atmo at Rutgers stadium. But alas, the 3:30 kickoff would jeopardize my return in time for the Michigan game at 7. And I don't want to miss a minute of those four hours of torture live. As it is, I'll be keeping a close eye on RU (make that a close ear, the game's not on TV until an 11:30 p.m. tape delay). As a proud New Jerseyan (exit 15W!) it's my duty to pick Rutgers. The Knights go bowling after dispatching the Middies by a touchdown. In fact, I'm making this my Fred Edelstein lock.

Vinny: OK, you're really going to make me talk about this game? The Middies nearly upset both Maryland and Stanford this season. Good enough for me, especially since I learned my lesson the last time I picked the Scarlet Knights (they were crushed by West Virginia). Navy wins outright.

#25 Michigan (-3.5) at #21 Northwestern, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: Vin, I take it you'll be in attendance Saturday evening at Ryan Field?

Vinny: Yes, although I'm looking forward to this game about as much as a Stevie Nicks concert. I'm hoping this doesn't do as much damage to my heart and liver as last weekend (wedding in Baltimore Friday night, stayed up all night, got on a 6 a.m. flight out of BWI, arrive at O'Hare at 7 a.m., then drive with a college buddy to Iowa City in time for an 11 a.m. kickoff, and that doesn't include another coronary-inducing game).

Russell: I'm not sure why you want to do that to yourself. You know this one is going to be torturous, perhaps even along the lines of the 54-51 debacle in 2000. Northwestern's offense (5th nationally in total offense) is frightening. They run those delay counters and bubble screens with the best of them. Michigan, meanwhile hasn't shown any signs of stopping either play anytime in the past five years or so.

Vinny: Brett Basanez might be the best quarterback in the Big Ten this year (although Drew Tate is right there). And RB Tyrell Sutton may be the best freshman in the land. If you can't disrupt the Wildcats' offense with your front four and trust your linebackers to not over-pursue, you're usually in for a long day. We'll see if Wolverine LBs David Harris, John Thompson and Prescott Burgess (not to mention Michigan defensive coordinator Jim Hermann) are up to the task.

Russell: Northwestern's defense is also frightening -- for Northwestern. The Wildcats are dead last in the nation in yards allowed. I'm just worried about Michigan's ability to stay aggressive in a road game enough to take advantage. I have a real dilemma here -- do I pick with my heart and take Michigan, even though I'm terrified of this game? Or do I go with Northwestern and hope the reverse hex prevails? I have to go with my heart. Michigan will find a way to get it done on the road.

Vinny: Well, I'm going with my head. Mike Hart has to be healthy and Chad Henne has to be sharp for Michigan to pull this out. Michigan is generally a very good underdog but a very poor favorite. Northwestern will at least cover.

Russell: Wow, if I switch my pick, wouldn't that almost guarantee a Michigan win? I'm not sure the football Gods would recognize that as a sincere effort, though. I'll stick with the Wolverines. Shame on you for having no faith.

The Picks
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" in bold)
Game Vinny says Russell says
#14 Boston College (+13) at #3 Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Oklahoma (-1) at Nebraska Oklahoma Nebraska
#13 Ohio State (-3) at #20 Minnesota Ohio State Ohio State
North Carolina (+19.5) at #7 Miami (Florida) Miami Miami
Central Florida (+2.5) at East Carolina Central Florida East Carolina
#4 Georgia (+5.5) vs. #19 Florida Florida Georgia
Navy (+6.5) at Rutgers Navy Rutgers
#25 Michigan (-4) at #21 Northwestern Northwestern Michigan
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Vinny 2-4-1 (0-1) 25-36-2 (2-6)
Russell 2-4-1 (0-1) 19-42-2 (4-4)

Posted by: on 27 Oct 2005

127 comments, Last at 02 Nov 2005, 9:10pm by Pat

Comments

1
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 5:51pm

I can just envision Trogdor's reaction when he sees this article...

T.

2
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 6:00pm

So let's see. Michigan is 4-3, ranked #25. Northwestern is #21, with a better record, and an offense that is in the top-5 in the nation, playing at home.

And Northwestern is giving points? Someone must know something. I know Michigan has been few plays away from undefeated this year, but they've also been a few plays away from, well, um, defeated.

As for other games of the weekend...UCLA is away at Stanford. In recent years, no matter how bad they've been, Stanford has had UCLA's number. I can't see UCLA losing this one, though. They're too strong this year.

I guess North Carolina is destined to take Miami down again this year, given you both picked Miami to cover the ~20 point spread. No Edelstein, though, but then, Russell's Edelstein record is a respectable .500.

Frank Beamer is in a frustratingly terrible position. At the end of the year, they will likely have played the toughest schedule of USC, Texas, and Va. Tech, but Va. Tech isn't going to overtake the other two without divine intervention (or, barring that, Russell and Vinny performing the SDA curse on Texas). This is unlike last year, where every one of the computers rated Auburn's schedule the easiest - Auburn wasn't #1 or #2 in a single one of the BCS markers last year (they were #3 in both polls and in every computer) - Va. Tech will probably move up to the upper echelons of the computer rankings if they keep winning, yet have little to show for it in the end. We'll see what happens.

T.

3
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 6:32pm

As a Nebraska fan, I can say that Nebraska has made some progress on offense this year. No longer do I cringe everytime they throw the ball downfield.

That said, the O-Line needs work (and has for years), their top TE is out for the season, they have a stopgap quarterback, and don't have any top-flight WRs. Given those limitations, they are doing alright. With good recruiting, they should be fine in the next year or two.

4
by real freddie eddelstein (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 7:20pm

BC- we saw that young vick is actually un invinceable against Md. BC defense has the same type players on defense and an offense than can actually score from the red zone.

Nebraska at home against a less than stellar Oklahoma squad. Nebraska defense would love nothing more than to play run defense all day. Oklahoma cant throw and cant win on the road against a good D because of it.

Ohio St.- OSU defense = PSU defense...since Minny doesnt game plan and they just run zone plays we know that OSU will be able to stop the run somewhat. Like OSU here because of Ted Ginn ability to make a big play on the kid or force bad kicks.

North Carolina- I already agreed with vin and rus once. Thats enough.

Florida- just like Tennesse game at swamp. Low scoring with Ga. not being dynamic enough on O to score.

Northwestern getting points at home. Michigan off of what seem like 15 straight tough games this year. N'western is a more opportunistic version of Mich St. They take care of Michigan in a high scoring affair.

5
by Arkaein (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 8:26pm

Vinny, I can't thank you enough for not only picking Ohio State but making them your FE lock. I knew the Gophs had a chance.

6
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 8:29pm

In #2, I meant getting, not giving, points, for NW.

T.

7
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 8:37pm

OSU: OSU's defense is almost Penn State's defense, but PSU has a better defensive line and OSU has slightly better linebackers. So while I doubt Maroney will run for 200 yards, I think he'll pick up 3-5 yards more consistently than he did versus Penn State. I wouldn't be surprised to see Minnesota have some success running against Ohio State, but I think this might be the week where the Russell-Vinny Universe Changing Power (tm)! starts to fade.

8
by Russell Levine :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 9:16pm

Oh. My. God.

What in the wide world of sports in VaTech wearing tonight? Jerseys with each sleeve a different color? Thank you Nike for continuing to ruin college football.

Actually we should have known these were coming after all those Nike schools have been wearing undershirts with different color sleeves all season.

Was anybody surprised to hear that Nike made similar uniforms for Miami and Oregon? But USC? The Trojans have some of the best unis in all of sports... please tell me they're not going to take the field with different color sleeves!

9
by Michael David Smith :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 9:35pm

I guess I'm just not as impressed with Roy Mexico as everyone else is. He just seems like he can't find his second option. I really can't see him becoming a pro quarterback.

10
by Russell Levine :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 9:42pm

MDS, the ability to come off the first option is very tough to evaluate in a college player because so many of these guys are coached make one read and take off in college, especially if they have any kind of running ability as Marcus does.

I actually think he looks pretty good throwing the ball, he certainly looks like he prefers throwing from the pocket to scrambling. I do see him as an NFL player, maybe even a more polished, but less spectacular, one than his brother.

11
by Russell Levine :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 9:48pm

Re: 7

The RVUCP .... hmmm, I think you're onto something but we need a better acronym. Anyone have any suggestions?

12
by kite (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 10:08pm

Going off last week and this game against BC, Vick is really accurate inside the pocket but surprisingly for a guy with his athleticism, he's wildly inaccurate throwing on the run.

13
by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 11:00pm

Shouldn't that be a safety not a touchback? The BC player picked up the ball before it rolled into the endzone, then took a step back.

14
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 11:07pm

BTW, to revist a topic from a couple of weeks ago, Rutgers still has a better record than Michigan. As for this week's game, I really do think RU will win, but I'm not at all sure they'll cover. Mobile QBs are definitely an issue for them, and let's face it, it's Rutgers. Nothing's ever easy.

I do like Northwestern, though. Michigan hasn't exactly demonstrated consistency this year, and Northwestern is coming off a dominant performance. That line is dumb, but not surprising.

15
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 11:51pm

Yup, there's the RVUCP (how about Russell-Vinny Wonder Twin Power? Russell-Vinny Reality Distortion Field?) fading. Boston College was a push for a while, but that interception pretty much sealed it.

16
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 12:52am

Can we all just agree to call off the week right here? I'd be OK with that.

17
by Tom (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 12:52am

RE #13
I thought so, too, but apparently the refs didn't, or were just in a generous mood.

RE #9/10
I agree with Russell and don't think MDS gives enough credit. Maybe I'm just biased by the oft-atrocious state of college quarterbacking, but I think Vick's a pretty good pocket passer, and capable of delivering a good ball. VaTech doesn't seem to run a particularly demanding offense, at least when it comes to the quarterback; defense, special teams, running, and the occasional big pass play. Vick's propensity for spraying his passes on the run isn't what hurts them here, but instead what I don't see is a game-breaking receiver, or anywhere else on the offense for that matter. You need somebody to do that for you, and I'm not sure VaTech has the person. Next week's game against Miami should be interesting, though I must admit I haven't seen the 'Canes since the FSU game.

18
by Joey (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 1:10am

For the limited amount of time he's had (what did they say tonight, that this was his sixth game as a starter?) I think Vick looks pretty darn good. That doesn't mean he'll make it in the pros, but who knows? Like his brother, he's not very tall and he doesn't appear to be quite as good a runner.

19
by Joey (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 1:15am

Oh, about those ugly jerseys Tech was wearing...
At least we now know where the idea came for those undershirts USC and other teams have been wearing. The question is, did Nike do those to match Tech's jerseys or the other way around?

20
by peachy (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 1:24am

Is Oregon going to try the different sleeve gimmick? That uniform combination might actually destroy the earth...

21
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 1:37am

9-26-1. True Sign of the Apocalypse:

Russell and Vinny agreed on a favorite...and the favorite covered!!!

22
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 8:45am

"I can just envision Trogdor’s reaction when he sees this article…"

@#^%* @!&(!*$&% *$@#$$! Russell #&^$!(@ Vinny #^@%%(!) $@(*#&%_ #&$*)@&$^ #*&%)*%@$ #*&$*%@) #@(*%&@^! #^%$&!? #&%"# }*$@^| ^$*&!*$ ^%&()!)!&$ ^##$^(*! $&#^iing Michigan #%@&(*!)%^ %^@*!) Barbara Streisand $&*#^(@)^%& #&^!(*! &^(@) $&^%!!!11one!!!

Really, I'm not shocked they'd try it every week. And if they truly believe in the Russell/Vinny Suckiness Embiggening Power, I expect The Dreaded Double Edelstein on November 19th (even more frightening than The Dreaded Rear Admiral). Then again, maybe they know they'd be setting themselves up for a reverse jinx, as Russell alluded to in the UM/NW game. Plus, they occasionally do get one right, or as the ancient proverb says, sometimes the sun shines on a dog's ass.

I was also pleased to find out that hurricanes didn't exist before the proliferation of the internal combustion engine. Good to know. Now, I won't go through the chain o' assumptions necessary to make the case that we are causing more hurricanes, because I don't want to make this thread a political forum as all the others turn into. But I do have a serious question about global warming, and with the ridiculous wealth of knowledge available here, I figure someone might know.

Global warming is based on an increase of 'greenhouse gases'. My question is, what makes things like carbon dioxide 'greenhouse'? Does it actually trap more heat than oxygen/nitrogen (i.e. an entirely CO2 atmosphere would make the planet warmer than an O2/N2/CO2 blend, and as the CO2 share increases it gets warmer)? Or is it because, with fuel burning releasing CO2/CO/H2O, there is more gas in the atmosphere, making the atmosphere thicker? Or is there some other possibility I haven't thought of?

23
by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 9:38am

I'm far from an expert, but the atmospheric gases (N2 and O2) are not greenhouse gases because, as I understand it, molecules with one nucleus and two atoms (N2, O2, H2, etc.) do not absorb in the infrared. On the other hand, molecules like water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ozone do absorb in the infrared, causing the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is just a fact of the earth -- not good or bad. But human activity has increased the amount of carbon dioxide (and methane, although there's a lot less of that) in the atmosphere, which is making the earth hotter.

24
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 9:58am

9-26-1. True Sign of the Apocalypse:

Russell and Vinny agreed on a favorite…and the favorite covered!!!

yeah, but they had to pay off the BC quarterback to launch that duck

if you look in the dictionary under "ill-advised", there's a picture of that pass

25
by MikeT (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 10:05am

No love for La Salle in their homecoming matchup against Kean?

Two predictions: 1) The Explorers win by double digits and 2) I will not be sober for kickoff.

(and if this becomes a global warming thread I will scream. I would bet that there are plenty of websites to look up the science of global warming.)

26
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 10:07am

if this becomes a global warming thread I will scream

the BCS causes global warming

27
by T. Diddy (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 10:26am

Peyton Manning causes global warming while racking up meaningless statistics in the regular season. Meanwhile, Tom Brady, as a true team player, personally fills in the ozone layer over the Antarctic every time he completes a play in clutch time during the playoffs.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

28
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 10:30am

My question is, what makes things like carbon dioxide ‘greenhouse’?

A "greenhouse gas" is one that reflects in the infrared. Earth receives most of its light in the optical - visible wavelengths - (from, uh, the Sun) and reradiates in the infrared. A greenhouse gas reflecting that infrared back to the Earth warms things up.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled football discussion.

29
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 10:33am

(hitting self in head)

must ... never ... make ... bad ... pseudo-political ... jokes ... again ...

In other news, to quote Jules Winnfield... "check out the brains on MDS!"

30
by T. Diddy (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 10:52am

Come on Russell, this is the Internet! You should know that you can't make any sort of statement or joke even vaguely related to politics without it dominating whatever discussion it happens to come in, no matter how tangential the relationship is.

I mean, that's as obvious as the fact that Karl Rove should be indicted for his role in the Valerie Plame scandal...

In actual football news, did anybody actually think that BC was the 13th-best team in the country? It seems like they just got put up there because the teams above them lost. In the 20s, where I assume they'll be next week, is more appropriate. They're a good team, but they've been pummelled by the two elite teams they've actually faced.

31
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 11:13am

I wouldn't say BC was pummelled by FSU, they actually whethered an early storm in that game and took the lead in the second half if I recall. I'm not sure if 13 was too high. It gets awful tough to separate teams past that 4-5 at the top. Personally, I think there's a big dropoff after #3.

32
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 11:30am

Well, a fair number of the computer rankings had BC at roughly 13-17. They had a decent resume: no one's going to mistake Clemson or Virginia as a powerhouse, but those two teams are more legitimate than, say, Pitt and Washington.

But that was one of the easy "this team could be a fraud" warnings for me, yah. BC actually was quite strange. Usually when a team hasn't played anyone in the human Top 25 polls, they're ranked lower than the computer rankings. TCU, for instance. But BC was pretty much equivalently ranked.

Incidentally, I'm amazed that people are blowing up and criticizing the BCS standings because Texas took the #1 spot. Did anyone actually look at the ratings? USC and Texas are actually tied, both with 0.976. And that's gotta be the first time the BCS actually got something right.

33
by Domer (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 3:11pm

Pat, keep bringing the ND love. That must mean SoCal isn't very good, right?

34
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 3:36pm

Well, you won't get any Notre Dame love from me, as I have no idea how ND constantly gets ranked in the Top 10 for losing a close game to USC. A top 25 team should play the #1 team tight. That's why they're ranked there - because they're better than something like 90 other teams.

I will agree that USC shouldn't be ranked first right now, simply because they've played such a completely cream puff schedule so far.

One thing that I'm amazed that people aren't realizing is that the computer rankings don't include any information about future schedules. Texas being first right now is completely pointless: they just played their last top 25 team. Virginia Tech, if they win out, will sit on top of most computer rankings. This won't be enough to win them the number 2 spot in the BCS, but it'll kick Texas down to #2.

35
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 4:36pm

You had to figure that one was going to evoke a response.

What, exactly, is it that you want from a team before you call a schedule more than "creampuff"? This is actually what annoys me more than anything else about college football - every single fan seems to believe that every team but their own is playing the easiest schedule ever. It's like TMQ says about the NFL - every coach claims to have a difficult schedule because then when the season ends, they can blame the schedule. A corollary would be to claim everyone else is playing an easy schedule, that way you have an excuse if they do better than you do.

Texas, Virginia Tech, and USC have all played to date two teams that are currently ranked in the top-25. Texas with Ohio State and Texas Tech. USC with Notre Dame and Oregon. Virginia Tech with Boston College and West Virginia. Sagarin rates Va. Tech's schedule to date as the worst of the three teams.

If Va. Tech wins out, they most definitely will have played the most difficult schedule, but claiming that the other teams have played nobody makes you simply sound like a fanboy, Pat. You're above that.

T.

36
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 4:41pm

I agree with T. USC's schedule hardly qualifies as creampuff. They've already played five road games. ... at Arizona State, which only fell apart after the USC game, at Oregon and at Notre Dame among them. They've got a non-conference date with Fresno left, and undefeated UCLA still to come.

They also play 12 games because of the Hawaii trip. Any school with a non-conference schedule of Notre Dame, Arkansas, Fresno and Hawaii does not need to apologize. Yes, Arkansas is not good this year, but they're not exactly Sam Houston State either. Hawaii has been a bowl team and is always tricky out in the islands. Fresno is one of the best mid-majors of the last five years. And ND, well they're decent every no and again too.

37
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 4:41pm

Some games I like:

Nebraska (+2)
Northwestern (+3.5)
Minnesota (+4)
Utah State (+34)
Oregon State (-10)
Oklahoma State (+38)

Not very confident this week, though. I'm 5-2 thus far. 3-0 2 weeks ago, and 2-2 last week.

38
by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 4:43pm

Count me among those impressed with Marcus Vick - he is way ahead of where his brother was as a passer at this stage. He's not as quick, but Marcus is still quicker than 25 or so starting QBs in the NFL.

39
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 5:30pm

What, exactly, is it that you want from a team before you call a schedule more than “creampuff�?

Well, to be fair, I think USC, Texas, and VA Tech all have relatively weak schedules, although VA Tech's clearly the hardest (when all is said and done).

Not really their fault, though. It's just that it's tough to gauge relative strength when you've got conferences like the ACC and the Big Ten where almost every game is a struggle to survive.

Note that a creampuff schedule in my mind is if your opponents have a significant combined losing record.

they most definitely will have played the most difficult schedule, but claiming that the other teams have played nobody makes you simply sound like a fanboy, Pat

Texas has played the most difficult schedule currently. Of Texas, USC, and VA Tech, they're the only one of the three whose opponents have a combined winning record (Texas: 24-21, USC: 19-28, VA Tech (before BC): 19-25).

Texas, Virginia Tech, and USC have all played to date two teams that are currently ranked in the top-25. Texas with Ohio State and Texas Tech.

Yup. But Colorado is a better "third" win than USC or VA Tech's. Colorado's just barely off of the human polls (28th or so), and high up on computer polls, ending 22nd in BCS standings. USC just has Oregon and Notre Dame, and after that, the next best is Arizona State. Texas played Missouri also, who is just barely off the schedule.

All three of the top teams have played really light schedules, in general. Texas's looks better to me right now, but the future part is really weak. Virginia Tech's was weak last week, but after Boston College, it's a little better. USC's is the weakest of the three after this week, but they'll end up higher than Texas in the end, since they'll face USC.

at Arizona State, which only fell apart after the USC game

I dunno. Is this really true? I mean, they beat Northwestern, but I think that might say more about Northwestern than AZ State.

Hawaii has been a bowl team

C'mon, in a couple of years you'll be able to say that about Rutgers, and it doesn't mean they're a good team. Total number of wins by the teams Hawaii has beaten this year: 1.

Oddly enough, that's also the total number of Harris Poll voters who voted for any team that Hawaii has beaten. :)

40
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 5:42pm

Oh, and the reason Sagarin's ratings currently put USC's strength of schedule higher than Texas is because Sagarin's ratings include non-Division IA wins, which elevates USC's win over Oregon.

If you want an excellent, excellent example of why Sagarin's combined ratings are flawed, note that PAC10 teams are elevated relative to human polls (high offense is good for the PREDICTOR stat) and the ACC teams are pushed down due to the lower scoring games (Georgia at #10, Alabama at #16). Hence the reason why I'm glad only the pure-wins stuff is allowed.

The strength of schedule, though, is computed from the combined rankings, so it's a little biased in favor of the Tecmo Bowl offenses in the PAC10.

41
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 5:45pm

Hello to stupid me. Please substitute SEC for ACC above. Color me stupid.

42
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 5:47pm

Is Joe III (I like to call him “Trey�) next?

What does that mean?

Anyway, shame on you, Russell, for trying to play with fate. ;) The football gods responded by having Va Tech win. :D

43
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 6:08pm

In college football, I don't believe one can simply take combined records of opponents and use it to equate strength of schedule, because the conferences are quite different. SoS really would have to be computerized.

Playing a team that is 6-1, say, out of the Sun Belt vs. playing a team that is 3-4 out of the SEC may be of equal difficulty. Certainly one team playing a team that is 6-1 from the Big Team and another playing a team that is 6-1 from the MWC are not the same, but is considered the same in that scenario.

It also degrades any conference that tries to play a decent nonconference schedule - in essence, Texas is rewarded for Texas Tech playing teams that some high schools could beat.

Going strictly by opponent records leads to the best strategy being "Find the absolute worst conference you can find, then play the best team in it."

T.

44
by Tom W (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 6:18pm

Everybody keeps kind of ignoring Northwestern, but they were one play from beating Penn State and being undefeated in Big Ten Play. It'll be interesting to see how they finish against Mich., OSU, and Iowa. Having witnessed 1st hand the devastation they inflicted on Wisconsin, I really don't believe there's a defense in the country capable of shutting down that offense.

45
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 6:43pm

Re: 39

Still, when Hawaii is the worst team on your non-conference schedule, you don't need to apologize for that.

46
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 6:58pm

In college football, I don’t believe one can simply take combined records of opponents and use it to equate strength of schedule

Eh, it's a gauge, just like anything else. There are going to be things that bias it, there are going to be things that average out.

See above for criticisms of the Sagarin rating's biases. You can see another ranking here - if you compare the two, you can see where the criticisms I'm mentioning come from.

47
by chris (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 1:34am

Here's a comparison of CVs among the top 3 in the BCS...

Group A -- Ohio State, Notre Dame, Boston College...
Group B -- Texas Tech, Oregon, Georgia Tech...
Group C -- Colorado, Arizona State, West Virginia...

I'll agree that ASU's choke jobs began well before USC came to town (see LSU), and the Stanford loss is unbelievable. That said, I'd take the Sun Devils over Colorado or West Virginia. Perhaps eyewitness accounts get us in trouble in the first place, but anyone who's seen all three teams would not pick ASU as an opponent over CU or WVU...

To settle the debate over what Hawaii has or has not done recently, they've gone to three bowls since 2000 and they've been 14 games over .500. Not exactly Murderer's Row, but the program is still better than the one at Rutgers...

Was ND's effort against USC overrated, since any Top 25 team should hang with the No. 1 team? Well, there have been 19 games with the top-ranked team playing an opponent in the Top 25 at the time. Twice, the No. 1 team lost. Four other times, the No. 1 team struggled to win. One -- Miami's 56-45 win over VT in 2002 -- I have no idea what to make of. The other 12 matchups between No. 1s and the rest of the Top 25 were dominated by the team with the higher ranking (The average score was roughly 38-10.)...

Now, I didn't take a gander at what happened with other Top 5 teams against other teams ranked at the time, but I think it's safe to say that Notre Dame's showing against USC was anything but garden-variety.

48
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:03am

LSU over North Texas is my Jim Donnan Upset of the Week.

49
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 1:18pm

To settle the debate over what Hawaii has or has not done recently, they’ve gone to three bowls since 2000 and they’ve been 14 games over .500.

Oh, c'mon. I could've said this same thing about Penn State in 2001, and they stunk that year. Just look at this year - the only teams they've beaten have 0, 1, and 0 wins on the year so far.

I'll agree that Hawaii isn't a bad team for your easiest team on the nonconference schedule, so kudos to the USC scheduling, but that doesn't make them a better team this year.

I still don't know about Arizona State. They didn't look particularly good in the victory over Northwestern - NW's defense just looked awful.

chris:

Regarding Top 25 vs. #1 teams (or close to #1 teams) - try looking at teams that ended up in the top 25 at the end of the season, not ones that were in the Top 25 at the time they played. If a Top 25 team gets blown out by a #1 team, they're probably way overranked.

50
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 1:29pm

Man, those are some ridiculous uniforms Miami is wearing right now. Turn to ESPN2 at your own risk, folks.

51
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 1:38pm

LSU over North Texas is my Jim Donnan Upset of the Week.

I picked Bama over Utah St

52
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 1:58pm

Re: 50, I'll take Miami wearing throwbacks over the court-jester outfits VaTech had on the other night (and which Florida will wear later today). At least Pete Carroll had the good sense to say "no" to Nike on those.

The Miami throwbacks are actually quite a bit better looking than their current unis, IMHO.

53
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 2:44pm

I hate ESPN. That stupid report about the 10-year Weis contract extension is driving me insane. If you know anyone who honestly believes that Weis will still be working for Notre Dame in 2015 under the terms of a contract signed in 2005, please introduce him to me so I can give him a nice Logan Mankins/Damione Lewis punch in the nuts.

54
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 2:53pm

Re: 52
At least the VaTech uniforms actually keep the VaTech colors. Miami, well, might as well be some random Big Sky team except for those stupid signal flag helmets. If I were a 'Cane player, I'd want to win the UNC game as big as possible, and with as few big plays as possible, just to keep me off the highlight reel in that getup.

And what in the name of Mike Leach is up with Bryan Cupito and the Golden Gopher passing game today? It actually looks ... good.

54
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 2:53pm

Illinois is down 20-10 at halftime and the announcers are just falling all over themselves praising the Illini for hanging tough. And that, my friends, is what is known as the soft bigotry of low expectations.

56
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 3:09pm

Tom:

The bigger surprise to me is how well the Gophers running game is doing. I had thought that Ohio State would be easily able to shut down Minnesota's rushing game, but 140 rushing yards in the first half? Maybe Penn State's defensive line is even better than I thought.

57
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 3:20pm

If I were the parent of an Illinois football player I'd be advocating for the No Player Left Behind Act, which would allow players on failing football teams to transfer to a better team.

Is Brad Nessler done telling that stupid story about Glen Mason bringing the Little Brown Jug to dinner with him? I think listening to that took 10 years off my life.

58
by chris (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 3:24pm

Re #54: Oh, that's where Mike Leach is? Texas Tech isn't looking good at all against Baylor with a half to go.

Re #49: I checked collegebcs.com to see what top-ranked teams did against teams that ended the regular season in the Top 25. Once again, the blowouts outnumber the nail-biters and upsets by a healthy margin.

Are these challengers overrated? As a guy who thinks any rankings past 10 are just guesses, I believe there's a good chance that some of them have been overrated. But any way you slice it, a close game between a No. 1 and another Top 25 team is nothing to take for granted.

59
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 3:55pm

RE #56

Pat,
I think what that really tells us is that Minnesota does have a pretty good offensive line, Ohio State does not have a dominating defensive line, and Maroney is capable of gashing a defense for big plays, and I was pretty sure about all of those. Cupito's 19/25 for 322 yards, and if anybody wants to claim they predicted that would happen, I've got a bridge to sell you.

60
by Domer (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 4:45pm

MDS - if people were seriously considering Adam Schefter's rumors about Weis leaving, then this is merely an answer to them. And to recruits, of course. Will he be under the same contract in 2015? Of course not; he'll be on his 6th extension here by then.

But he'll be here.

61
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 4:55pm

Re #52/54

I don't take back what I said about Miami, but I will admit that Florida in those uniforms looks worse.

62
by admin :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 4:59pm

OK. It is actually snowing in Boston, so I'm gonna hang out with my daughter and watch the World's Largest Cocktail Party. And then ... the orange sleeves are back! Which sportswear company is responsible for this nonsense? I'm begging you, stop the madness.

63
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 5:13pm

#12 for Penn State seems like a great candidate for "Running QB most likely to end up as an NFL #2 WR."

64
by admin :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 5:36pm

OK, see, I knew these Florida uniforms were a problem. Apparently, their sheer ugliness has damaged my eyes to such an extent that the bottom-line ticker seems to show Alabama playing some team called "Utah State." That's a misprint, right?

By the way, Brown 34, Penn 20. First place, baby!

65
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 5:37pm

watch the World’s Largest Cocktail Party. And then … the orange sleeves are back! Which sportswear company is responsible for this nonsense?

so you're telling me there ISN'T anything wrong with my TV?? I've been trying to adjust the color for the last 20 minutes

66
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 5:41pm

Florida-Georgia is the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. What I've always wanted to know is, why do they feel the need to say "Outdoor"? Is there an indoor cocktail party somewhere that draws more people?

Memo to Florida's center: When it's fourth-and-2 and an opponent jumps into the neutral zone, snap the damn ball before he can get back.

67
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 5:48pm

Maybe the Florida uniforms were inspired by the stormtrooper outfits on Tatooine in the original Star Wars which had those little orange panels on the shoulder... (the undersleeves I cannot account for, however. Ugh.)

68
by admin :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 6:12pm

OK, sorry, I have to ask one more question. Joe Cohen, DE, Florida. Does anyone know the story about the last name there? He doesn't really look like a Cohen.

69
by kite (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 6:24pm

Can anyone explain why the Florida-Georgia game is called the a Cocktail Party?

70
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 7:53pm

Well, if that's how my boys play with the orange shoulder patches, then I say - orange shoulder patches for everyone!

71
by Ferg (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 8:09pm

Orange shoulders this weekend: 2-0 in football, 0-2 in fashion.

72
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 8:44pm

Fnor:

#12 for Penn State seems like a great candidate for “Running QB most likely to end up as an NFL #2 WR.�

Absolutely. Robinson doesn't have the skills to be an NFL QB - he's a great option QB, he's got a strong arm, but he doesn't have the accuracy to hit throws in the middle of the field - but he's fast enough, big enough, and strong enough to easily be a WR. Especially as a slot receiver - across the middle, slants, etc.

Helps that he played for a year as a WR, too. So scouts have a bit more to look at than just "potential."

Speaking of Robinson: Well, I'm sure MFC Central Freak will take that game as proof that Robinson still sucks. Definitely not a good start for him, although after the first quarter-and-a-half or so, he started to recover. Another game where the running game is picking up 6-7 yards when working, and so they called a whole, whole lot of 1st and 10 deep throws, so his completion percentage is a little lower than it should be.

First quarter, though, he looked like he used to in 2003. Penn State's just doing a great job of teaching Robinson to play to his strengths (QB draws, options, screens, and a few deep throws) and avoid his weaknesses (no crossing routes, no passes into the seams). Great for a college QB.

73
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 8:50pm

Tom:

I think what that really tells us is that Minnesota does have a pretty good offensive line, Ohio State does not have a dominating defensive line, and Maroney is capable of gashing a defense for big plays, and I was pretty sure about all of those.

Yah, that's what I thought, too. If you go back to the thread on Ohio State-Penn State, the one thing I said then (which just gets more and more true) is that if you compare the two teams, Ohio State's got slightly better linebackers, but Penn State's got a better defensive line, and better corners.

Unfortunately for Ohio State, this ends their "best run defense in the country" ranking, which I always believed was a complete fraud. Not that they're a bad run defense, but they're not the best.

74
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:06pm

Hello to stupid me. Please substitute SEC for ACC above. Color me stupid.

Also UCLA rather than USC. ;)

BTW, when computing SoS, it's only fair to remove the actual games from it. If USC beats a team, that win should not count as a loss to make the SoS weaker. That's rather ridiculous.

75
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:16pm

RE: 68

I'd like to know the story behind PSU graduate Yaacov Yisrael. Click my name.

76
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:30pm

Well, despite a couple of shaky moments, Rutgers stayed focused and pulled out the win. The atmosphere was great, especially late in the 4th quarter, and despite their lack of experience, the ground crew collapsed the goalposts very efficiently. (OK, running onto the field to celebrate bowl eligibility is lame, but it hasn't happened in quite a while.)

Two odd little notes:
1)Every play, the Navy center ran from the huddle to the ball. But since everyone else was walking to the line, it looked a little odd.

2)Rutgers missed a field goal, but the ball hit the little wind flag on top of the post. Don't think I've ever seen that happen before.

77
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:32pm

Wow. Vince Young is having a terrible game - a pick, a fumble on the 30 yard line, and OSU is up 28-9 before halftime.

Of course, one can't forget that last year, OSU was up like 35-7 on Texas and lost, but it's been an amazing game so far.

T.

78
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:35pm

I have no problem with a team that hasn't been to a bowl in decades taking the field to celebrate bowl eligibility. To schools like that, just making a bowl is as big as a conference championship or BCS appearance is to everyone else.

Frankly, Schiano deserves a lot of credit for getting Rutgers to where they are.

79
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:38pm

Re #64

Aaron,
Playing Utah State the last weekend of October is what's known as "a bye week, with revenue."

80
by Ferg (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:39pm

Re 77: The Oklahoma State University has two orange shoulders. The orange shoulders are invincible.

81
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:45pm

Re #73

Agreed on the relative merits of PSU and OSU, including OSU not really deserving the #1 rushing defense in the country mark. They did, though, manage to hold the Gophers to about 40 yards rushing in the 2nd half. Any thoughts on Troy Smith's NFL future?

Re #77

The thing that's surprised me so far is how easily OSU has gashed the Texas defense. Granted, I haven't seen much of the Cowboys this year, but they haven't come highly advertised.

82
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:51pm

Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria.

3-0 on games for which Russell and Vinny agreed.

T.

83
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 9:58pm

T: Your math is a little off on the Miami game. We're 2-1.

84
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:05pm

Yowch... what is up with UCLA? There are no orange shoulders in that game...

85
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:06pm

What does it say about the Rutgers schedule that it couldn't beat Illinois but has won six games?

Georgia lost, UCLA and Texas are in serious trouble. Wow. Stanford is doing a great job against Maurice Jones-Drew. (Weird, just after I wrote that the announcer said it, although he left off the "Jones." I believe Maurice wants to be called "Jones-Drew" now.)

I think any NFL scout who watched Texas in the first half is going to sit down with Vince Young at the combine and say, "If you want to be a wide receiver, you're a Top 10 pick. If you want to be a quarterback, you're a second-day pick."

86
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:06pm

You're right. For some reason I thought it was 2 touchdowns. OK good. I like living, and would rather the world not end quite yet.

T.

87
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:12pm

Of course, Texas was down like 35-7 just last year to this same Oklahoma State team, and came back to win, albeit at home.

But Young is having a terrible game. And having that touchdown on the final drive called back by holding was a dagger.

But Texas is Texas, and Oklahoma State is, well, Oklahoma State, so it ain't over until it's over.

Stanford up 17-3 on UCLA, though. That's amazing. Man, ever since that UC Davis loss, Stanford has decided that it needed to prove it really deserved to be Division I-A. UCLA has always had a suspect run defense, and Stanford is gashing them over, and over, and over again on the ground.

Make that 24-3.

T.

88
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:16pm

That was an insanely good pump-fake. Of course, since it was past the line of scrimmage, the fact that the safety bit on it hook, line, and sinker probably wasn't good, but wow.

T.

89
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:18pm

Gee, after Michigan ran up the middle three straight times on first and goal from the seven and kicked a FG, it wasn't AT ALL predictable that Northwestern would go right down the field (6 plays, 80 yards, 47 seconds, no timeouts) for a touchdown. Suddenly, what could have been a 21-point lead is only 10 at halftime. Aaaaargh.

Looks like UCLA is done, but the Texas comeback is under way. Young just broke off a real long TD run. He'll be a first-day pick at some position. Too much athletic ability even if his throwing motion is horrible.

90
by T. Diddy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:26pm

And UCLA scores two touchdowns in what seemed like 15 seconds. Can they actually pull this off?

91
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:30pm

Wow. When it was 24-3 I thought UCLA was done, but in 2 minutes or so they scored 14 points to make it 24-17 with more than 4 minutes to go.

The OSU defense is playing much softer than they did the first half. Why is it that when teams (especially underdog teams) get a lead, they start playing soft and conservatively? That doesn't win you the game, you have to keep playing the way that got you the lead! (At least until it's run-out-the-clock time!).

T.

92
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:38pm

"False start, #61, orange."

Not offense. Orange. hahahaha.

T.

93
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:40pm

The Stanford-UCLA game seems like one of those first-round NCAA games where the underdog is leading late, and finally the favourite is like - oh, right, this is a real game we're playing here, and then things turn around in a hurry.

94
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:52pm

UCLA ties the score!

Amazing. Stanford continued to throw incomplete pass after incomplete pass, up 24-3, with 8 minutes left, in the 4th quarter. Guys, I may not be a Division I-A head coach, but you need to let the clock run a bit. Getting the ball back with a little more than 3 minutes left, Stanford ran once, incomplete pass, incomplete pass, punts with 2:45 left. That is just poor coaching.

T.

95
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:55pm

The Incredible Vince Young Mojo Running looks like it might be enough to offset the Mack Brown Loss Effect, at least tonight, though he may have to break LT's record for rush yards in a game to do it. 28-26 now, and let's see how OK State responds.

And all UCLA partisans can have some aspirin on me... 24-24, and it's in OT right now. Yeesh.

96
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:58pm

Young is averaging 14 yards a carry. He is just amazing. I agree with others that he may not be an NFL QB, but he'll be an NFL something. And OSU is not playing the same way on offense or defense. It's like they spent all their energy in the first half, now it's time for them to melt down.

T.

97
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 11:00pm

UCLA-Stanford is one of the all-time great games. That it won't be recognized as such is solely because it didn't get much pre-game hype and wasn't on a major network.

98
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 11:06pm

Strange, strange day. Looks like I'm headed for a 2-4 week (unless Northwestern stops turning the ball over). Ouch. My only 2 wins were taking the huge points versus Texas and Alabama.

99
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 11:08pm

Rats to Comcast Sportsnet in Chicago for giving us a replay of Toledo-C. Michigan instead of UCLA-Stanford. Rats to ESPN for giving us a "Priority Score Alert" and showing Stanford 27 - UCLA 24 F/OT, and then showing us UCLA's game-winning TD pass. And rats to OK State for falling apart, again.

100
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 11:22pm

Wow.

A Tennessee player running after a punt toward the end zone just slammed into a referee helmet first. Complete accident - the player was looking up at the football, and so was the referee, and the player ran into him.

However, the referee has no helmet, and he's been down for a few minutes now.

T.

101
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 11:43pm

Wow. Smoke must absolutely be coming out of Fulmer's ears right now...

102
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 12:04am

I flipped over to the Tennessee game just as SC scored to take the lead. Was there controversy?

CULA has now won 4 games this year in which they trailed by double digits in the fourth quarter. That's just stupid.

Oh, and a winning week for me!!!! If I go undefeated the next three weeks I'll be a couple games over .500...

103
by Tom (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 12:13am

#102
Russell, I didn't see any controversy, aside from SC taking 2 timeouts before the 3rd-and-goal play that resulted in the TD. As noted in #100, the game was delayed maybe close to 10 minutes by the injury to an official... looked painful, got head head-on by a play, while he was standing near a pylon. Totally innocent on the part of the player, but a complete absence of field awareness; a reinforcement lecture on "when you step out of bounds and then touch the football, we get a penalty" wouldn't go too far amiss. Anything that happened before that mishap, I'm clueless about.

104
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 12:16am

Russell, don't forget, I'm the one who said this week I thought you'd go .500 the rest of the way. I stand by that.

Bad clock management is amazing. Tarrant mentioned Stanford throwing incomplete passes while trying to hold a late lead. And what about Clemson, which used its last timeout at a time when the clock was already stopped. That's just dumb.

105
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 12:24am

I swear, in addition to the John L. Smith Trophy (formerly Mike Martz Award) in Junkie, Russell, you need a Herm Edwards Award for terrible clock and/or timeout management (I'm sure there are more worthy candidates to name the trophy after - Martz is one - but if I recall Edwards hired a clockologist and still couldn't manage the clock properly, so it was the first to come to mind...Martz would be better but I obviously eliminated him).

There was some terrible clock management today across the college football world. If I'm the Stanford players I'm sitting in the locker room after the game asking the coach (or offensive coordinator) why their heads were up their asses when it came down to play calling in crunch time (not to mention the decision to go "all prevent, all the time" for all three of UCLA's final three drives pretty much ensured that UCLA was going to be able to march down the field - terrible coaching on the defensive side of the football too). UCLA played great when it mattered, and as a Pac-10 person I'm glad the Pac-10 kept a highly-ranked team, but ugh that was ugly.

Bill Simmons could almost name a "face" after some of the scowls Fulmer was giving in this game. The fact that the South Carolina kicker bested his career record by 5 yards to make what became the game winner can't make him feel any better. But fumbles, dropped passes, and mistakes were the order of the day for Tennessee, as they have been in most of their losses (and most of their wins, for that matter).

T.

106
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 12:28am

Oh, and lest people think it's only the coaches, let me not be amiss in mentioning Stanford's two consecutive pass interference penalties on UCLA's final scoring drive in regulation, which not only gave up 26 yards in field position, but kept the clock stopped.

T.

107
by Tom (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 12:36am

I think you should look to UnderArmour to sponsor the John L. Smith Award, since their stupid commercial features what appears to be a toss-sweep on goal-to-go from the 10 on the last play of the game. Herm Edwards is a worthy recipient for poor clock management, I think, and while I'm on the awards kick, I'd like to create a Mark Richt Award for the uncanny ability to play your best football in opponents' stadiums and your worst everywhere else; if you'd like, you can think of it as an Anti-Michigan Award, and I'd like the first recipients to be Northwestern against Notre Dame, c. 1993-95 (close game at ND v. one-loss team, blowout loss in Chicago, surprise victory at ND).

108
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 6:02am

Pat:

You disappoint me. I specifically wrote that Robinson was a running back playing quarterback and that Joe Pa should be commended for playing to what few strengths he has.

I never wrote he "sucked".

I am surprised anyone here was thinking Northwestern was worth a tinker's darn. The Big Ten has ONE legitimately good defense, Penn State. Ohio State is solid and Michigan can be when it's awake and paying attention.

Michigan was fired up today and took it to the Mildcats.

Now folks will look at the numbers and the respective games played and predict a Penn State blowout versus Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's secondary is in shambles. Those kids continue to make the same mistakes they made against Bowling Green. Pretty dreadful performances week in and week out.

But supposedly the defensive line is getting healthier and Zalewski, their starting middle linebacker, is supposed to be back as well. Which is critical if UW has any hope to slow that option.

Can the Penn State defense stymie Wisconsin?

Absolutely. Purdue clogged the running lanes and forced Stocco to beat them and PSU is miles ahead of the Boilers.

Calhoun is the best all-around offensive player in the conference. Take him away and force Stocco to win the game.

Wisconsin has good special teams. Their punter is outstanding, the kicker's pretty ok, and Brandon Williams is excellent on returns.

Just be forewarned Lions lovers that Barry does well as an underdog. Must be that Droopy Dog expression.

Penn State only loses this game if Robinson gacks (multiple turnovers). Wisconsin can lose this game several ways.

109
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 8:31am

Hey guys, where does one go to get a paternity test?

I'm just asking, because I really think that Florida is Georgia's daddy. Spurrier, Zook, Meyer, undefeated, one-loss, two-loss, three-loss... it never makes a bit of difference. That's 14 of the last 16 now.

The announcers made a great point during the broadcast that Meyer and Weis both took over new programs this season, and both have gone 5-2, but Meyer is seen as struggling while Weis is seen as a resounding success. I understand that Florida had more talent coming into the season... but they've also faced a much tougher schedule, too.

Also, has anyone else EVER heard of a defensive end leading his team in tackles 8 games into the season? That's ridiculous! And it's not like Florida doesn't have a good MLB. Brandon Siler's one of the best in the SEC. It just boggles my mind, I can't even understand how a DE winds up leading a team in tackles.

110
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 12:52pm

RE: 109

Then again, Notre Dame very nearly beat the consensus #1 team in the country. They had them beaten. That is an amazing tribute to them.
It wasn't like the whole country was bashing Meyer. It was the Florida faithful, who are hard on EVERY head coach. If you lose a game or two, they want to burn you at the stake, even if it's your first season.

111
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 1:32pm

I don't think it was just the Florida faithful. Columnists and such have been talking about Meyer in terms of being a disappointment and underperforming, despite admitting before the season that it would take time for him to get his system in place.

What they could, perhaps, criticize him for is insisting on using his offense when it is clear the personnel is not in place for it. A hybrid scheme might mean it takes longer to get his final system in place (like, a season more) but the "growing pains" effect would be lessened considerably. At a mid-major, fans are a lot more patient and willing to give time to "instill a system". But a "major power" making what is seemed to be a regression (particularly given Leak's talent) is always going to cause greater controversy.

T.

112
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 2:34pm

The Meyer-Weis comparison is interesting, but what puzzles me is the Weis end of it. Why is 5-2 worthy of a contract extension, but 7-0 wasn't when Tyrone Wilingham was there? Again, I don't buy for a minute that this 10-year extension is worth the paper it's printed on, but even making a public announcement along those lines is a lot more than they did for Wilingham.

113
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 2:38pm

You disappoint me. I specifically wrote that Robinson was a running back playing quarterback and that Joe Pa should be commended for playing to what few strengths he has.

I never wrote he “sucked�.

OK, I think it might be a difference of opinion as to what a "running back playing quarterback" is - I think you call a RB playing QB what I call a college option QB. I think "RB playing QB" is a little unfair - you couldn't stick an RB behind center and have them play as well as a good option QB.

Vince Young, for instance, is just Michael Robinson who has fewer days like yesterday. They're both ideal option QBs, though Young has slightly better accuracy and might be able to be turned into an NFL QB. Might.

114
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 3:07pm

That's a fascinating point re: Weis' contract extension, although many of Willingham's wins that first year were considered "lucky", which isn't being said about Weis.

However, we must also note that there was scant talk of an NFL team coming and taking Willingham away, while it was almost assured (given the low buyout) that an NFL team or two was going to go after Weis, given his NFL experience and oft-stated desire to be an NFL head coach.

I don't think Weis will be at ND for 10 years (he'll bolt for the NFL before then) but this will keep him there for a decent length of time.

T.

115
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 3:20pm

"Vince Young, for instance, is just Michael Robinson who has fewer days like yesterday."

What does that mean? Aren't days like yesterday important days to use when evaluating the two players?

My opinion is that both players will be NFL wide receivers. Assuming both tell teams they're ready and willing to play receiver, Young is a first-round pick and Robinson is somewhere in the fifth-round range.

116
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 3:28pm

MDS:

Well, I think it means that Young has fewer off days than Robinson. :)

What I was trying to say is that I think Young could try to make it in the NFL as a QB. He'd drop dramatically, for instance, but I think some team would still pick him up, simply because for almost all of his games, he rarely makes mistakes, and looks like a moderately accurate passer. Robinson would never get drafted or even get signed if he insists on staying as a QB.

Of course, I doubt either of them will actually do that, and they'll both play at WR.

117
by peachy (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 5:44pm

The UF defensive coordinators have generally let their linemen attack far more than last year - lots of plays are blown up at the line of scrimmage or behind it. The strategy does put more pressure on the backs, of course, who are often in man, but they've held up their end so far except against Bama.

118
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sun, 10/30/2005 - 6:11pm

I liked the Miami unis, especially the helmets. Maybe the throwback phenomenon will take over the college game as well ... Lloyd Carr had a few headscratchers on fourth down calls worthy of a Martz Award. Good thing the came didn't come down to the wire b/c they cost Michigan at least 3 points ... If Penn State plays with half the ferocity it brought to the Ohio State game, it will destroy Wisconsin. But I agree with NFCCF in #108 that Calhoun is great, and IMO should be player of the year in the conference ... For as rough a first year as Steve Spurrier has had (even though it was expected with South Carolina's lack of talent), he had to be grinning ear-to-ear for all 36 holes today. There are very few things he enjoys more than beating Phil Fulmer ... And if you ask me (I know, you didn't), Vince Young will win the Heisman.

119
by Domer (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:40am

MDS - did you see any of the Willingham wins during his 8-0 run? Please. There's no comparison. Knowledgeable fans were happier with Lou Holtz's 5-6 start in 1986 than Willingham's 8-0 start because you could see the improved fundamentals immediately with Holtz in all aspects of the game. With Ty you saw regression.

While we were certainly happy with wins at that point, there was a sinking feeling that it was all smoke and mirrors. And it was. The offensive productivity was horrible - going multiple games without offensive touchdowns.

120
by Russell Levine :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:37am

I agree with you Domer, but if some NFL team had been rumored to be interested in Willingham, he would have gotten a new deal too.

121
by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 11:59am

I think another big reason why Weis is getting the huge extension is Brady Quinn. In a couple of months, he went from a future undrafted free agent to the "#7 QB to Build Your NFL Team Around." If you are a potential recruit, I'd think that look mighty appealing...

122
by Vinny (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:03pm

Domer, I know a number of ND fans, and none of them had anything resembling a sinking feeling during Willingham's 8-0 run. In hindsight, maybe some of those things are evident now, but I don't recall anyone in ND Nation pointing out poor fundamentals or other warning signs during the run. And I can't say that's unusual -- you don't hear too many USC fans complaining about their defense (granted that's an extreme case since they're on a 30-game run).

123
by Sid (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:07pm

The Weis deal makes him the highest paid coach in college football. That's crazy.

124
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 2:26pm

I agree regarding Weis. I mean, he beat Michigan, and played USC close. I understand why some people remain impressed with Notre Dame, but this could all come rapidly crashing down to earth this week versus Tennessee.

I mean, is it just me, or would Notre Dame drop into the 20s if they lost to Tennessee? At that point, they start to have no real quality wins, and more than 1 loss to an unranked team. That's a 20-25 ranked team, at best, in my mind.

125
by buddha (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 3:10pm

Penn State beats Wisconsin but loses to MSU on the road.

Wisconsin loses to PSU and Iowa.

Michigan beats Indiana and Ohio State.

Michigan wins the Big Ten.

Whoo hoo! Dare to dream, Wolverines...

126
by Jake (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 11:34am

"I mean, is it just me, or would Notre Dame drop into the 20s if they lost to Tennessee?"
Probably, but thats because Tenn sucks. They beat LSU in a fluky game right after Katrina and have choked away everything else.

127
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 9:10pm

Jake:

But that's my point. Even if Texas had lost to Oklahoma State, they wouldn't have dropped down into the 20s. They would've dropped into the low top 10.

At this point, I don't think there should be any "fragile" rankings.