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28 Sep 2006

Seventh Day Adventure: Going Blogging

by Vinny Gauri and Russell Levine

Russell: Well Vin, missed you in Ann Arbor last week. You missed a lot of rain, one kinda-dull football game, some unbelievable BBQ off the smoker at the postgame party, and the priceless looks on the faces of the Michigan State fans watching their team implode against Notre Dame Saturday night at the sports bar.

Vinny: What about the tribute to Michael Jackson by the Michigan Marching Band, complete with simulated moonwalks? Have they no shame? It's really just a matter of time before the Ode to The Human League...

Russell: Well I guess that's not all you missed ... there was couple months of liver damage packed into a single weekend, and a Sunday morning recovery sandwich from the Maize and Blue. My choice: the "Where's Bo?" Fried egg and pastrami. Mmmm.

Vinny: Way to twist the knife, Russ. As I've mentioned before in this space, I never liked you.

#2 Auburn (-13.5) at South Carolina, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: Steve Spurrier and his Gamecocks are back on Thursday Night Football, where they opened their season with a road shutout of Mississippi State. The competition's a little tougher this time around.

Vinny: Columbia should be rocking this evening. I actually spent a good deal of time there this summer for work, and while it's a fairly dumpy town (especially for a state capital), you can get a great Southern-style meal at Mr. Friendly's.

Russell: Do you get a free side of grits with that plug, Vin? Auburn hammered South Carolina last season, 48-7, so you figure Spurrier should have no trouble getting his troops fired up for this one. I'm not sure it's going to matter. Auburn is coming off a "meh" 38-7 win over Buffalo and knows it could use a woodshed job on national TV to make its case to hold onto its no. 2 ranking.

Vinny: It's been strange to watch the Ol' Ball Coach become Lou Holtz. The cockiness he had in Gainesville is long gone. You can set your watch to his weekly presser quotes about how his Gamecocks are overmatched.

Russell: Kenny Irons should be back at tailback for the Tigers. He'll have a big night and Auburn's defense will throw a blanket over quarterback Syvelle Newton and receiver Sidney Rice, who hooked up for five scoring passes last week. The Tigers win big.

Vinny: Irons -- who transferred from South Carolina -- is the only Auburn player to have played in Williams-Brice Stadium, which is underrated as far as home field advantages (and noise) go. Auburn's other Irons, cornerback David, will draw the duties of shadowing Rice around the field. This is a tough call, but I'm not sold on Brandon Cox in tough road environments. I'll take South Carolina and the points.

#22 Boise State (+4) at Utah, 3 p.m. ET, Versus (formerly OLN)

Russell: Boise State is venturing away from the blue turf of Bronco Stadium to take on Utah of the Mountain West, a league Boise State has never lost to (11-0 all-time). I'm not sure this Boise team is as strong as some recent editions, especially not after struggling with Hawaii at home last week.

Vinny: Boise State back Ian Johnson kept right on rolling against the Warriors though, with 178 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.

Russell: Utah was pretty much forgotten in the mid-major BCS bowl conversation after opening with a loss to UCLA, but the Utes are on a roll since then, posting three straight routs. Believe it or not, some people think with the new rules, Utah could still sneak into a BCS game at 11-1. Either way, this game is critical for both teams.

Vinny: Yep, with Utah taking on TCU next Saturday night, this is kind of the start of an elimination round-robin for the mid-majors hoping to make a BCS game. And we can't talk about Utah without mentioning cornerback Eric Weddle, who had three interceptions, three touchdowns, and half a sack in the Utes' 38-7 rout of San Diego State. I know that's the equivalent of going up against Chico's Bail Bonds, but still...

Russell: I saw a bit of Boise on the road against Wyoming a few weeks ago, and I was not impressed. Quarterback Jared Zabransky is probably good for a few turnovers in Salt Lake City. I'm taking the Utes.

Vinny: I know the Broncos are a different (read: noticeably worse) team on the road, but I think it will be close, so I'll take the points. Boise State covers.

Alabama (+13.5) at #5 Florida, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Russell: There are plenty of hard feelings leftover from Alabama's 31-3 humbling of the Gators last year in Tuscaloosa. One need look further than the college football blogosphere for many examples. In the interests of equal time, and of plugging a couple of great blogs, we've invited Warren St. John, diehard Alabama fan and author of the fantastic Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer and the blog of the same name, and Orson Swindle, Florida fan and author of the hilarious Every Day Should Be Saturday for their opinions on this one.

Orson and Warren engaged in a much longer exchange on this game on their respective sites. Check here and here.

Warren St. John: Should Florida beat Alabama this weekend? Considering the much improved Florida defensive line and the very much improved play of Chris Leak and the Gators running game, the answer is a resounding yes. Will Florida beat Alabama this weekend? Nope.

Silly homer, you're probably thinking. Okay, guilty as charged. But before you dismiss my optimism out of hand, consider: Alabama leads the nation in the not insignificant statistic of time of possession. The Tide held the ball for 40 minutes against the Hogs in last Saturday's loss. The last time Bama held such commanding leads in TOP was in 1999, when they beat the Gators twice and won the SEC championship.

But about Arkansas, you say: you guys lost. Sad but true. You can't miss three field goals and an extra point on the road in the S.E.C. and hope to win. But look for the recovering Christensen to kick this weekend; the same Christensen who beat Tennessee, Ole Miss and Texas Tech last year on last-second kicks. And look for the Tide to patiently chew up the clock with Kenneth Darby and Jimmy Johns, while unleashing the heave to Keith Brown and DJ Hall on the inevitable 3rd-and -7s, which so far this year haven't caused QB John Parker Wilson to flinch.

Last year in this space, I think I remarked on the purported supernatural powers of Urban Meyer. Perhaps this is the year Urban Meyer gets the circuit board in his magic wand working properly -- his second year is historically his best, as I recall. But methinks he wants this one too badly. If his Gators fall behind early, and then can't get on the field to get their spread-groove on, look for Alabama Man to have a swell time in Gainesville.

Orson Swindle: If you're dwelling in the murky mythos-filled world of message board as a Florida fan right now, you're likely entertaining visions of massive, total, and bloody revenge. Pits of fire ... serpents ... kind of like that really badass Marines recruiting commercial from a few years ago. The difference is in this fantasy scenario, the CGI dragon is Florida, and the hapless recruit (Alabama) is eaten alive in quick but gory snaps of our mighty jaws. In fantasy terms, a reversal of 31-3, just with the good guys walking away covered in glory and the entrails of the vanquished team.

That would be fiction. Florida has not blown a good team out without the benefit of shameless turnovers, special teams miracles, or other bolts of circumstantial lighting in years. Alabama is built to play close games, running the ball even when it doesn't work, passing effectively when they have to, and wrestling the game to the mat and making it a grappling bout of field position, turnovers, and grinding drives. In other words, what every NFL team seeks to do, which is exactly where Shula nabbed his philosophy whole sale form -- that's modern-day Alabama football, and looks and sounds a whole lot like what Bear Bryant preached.

Meyer has no problem with this, having won a similar game against a very similar team with an almost identical philosophy in the Tennessee game. The chief threat to Florida from Alabama will be the passing game, where they will get the majority of their scoring. Florida's corners aren't weak, but playing man-to-man they will give up a few plays. (Though if they give up another 70-yard slant, we will eat a whole plastic souvenir Swamp cup in two bites. Don't make us do that, Coach Strong. It won't be pretty.)

Florida will contain defensively in a close game that will satisfy only on the scoreboard, 24-20, with Leak slipping into managerial mode behind plenty of two-TE sets just as Florida did in the UT game. They'll misfire, they'll stutter, they'll make us scream oaths in strange tongues against Leak ... but in the end they'll win by attrition in a 24-20 kind of bout.

One absolute certainty: both teams will go for it on fourth down, since the kickers of both teams seem to have contracted simultaneous neuromuscular infections. The team that leans on their kicker falls in the mythic pit of fire we were talking about earlier.

Russell: If you're scoring at home, that's two picks for Alabama, plus the 13.5.

Vinny: Wow, how am I supposed to compete with that? I'll try. Umm, the Gators are supposed to don some 1966 throwback jerseys for this one. For their sake, I hope it works better than when Notre Dame breaks out their green unis.

Russell: You know Florida is still smarting from the beat-down it took last year. This season, the Gators appear to have the superior team, but they can't afford to take the Tide lightly with the meat of the SEC schedule yet to come. This will by far the toughest test for 'Bama on the season, and I'm not sure I believe the Tide can move the ball consistently against the Florida defense, ranked eighth overall in the nation.

Vinny: The Swamp crowd has been pretty hard on Leak, who leads the nation with 12 touchdown tosses. Leak was even getting booed during the Kentucky game last week. That is, unless the crowd was saying "Boo-urns."

Russell: I like Florida in this game, but the spread's too rich for me. Alabama's defense will slow down the Gators enough. I'm taking 'Bama and the points.

Vinny: John Parker Wilson -- sounds like he should be a general in the Confederate Army or a molasses mogul from Memphis -- had a very solid game last week throwing to Hall and Keith Brown (arguably the best receiving tandem in the SEC). Still, I'm betting the Arkansas game took a lot out of the Tide. Last year's beatdown by 'Bama was the first time these schools had played each other since 1999, but I think this becomes more of a rivalry after Florida returns the favor with a home rout.

Texas Tech (+1.5) at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: Dennis Franchione is off to a good start as he tries to hang onto his job as head coach of Texas A&M. The Aggies are 4-0 in the creampuff portion of their schedule -- their best win coming over Army two weeks ago -- but close with Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas. After this game, they should have a better idea if they can actually compete in the Big 12.

Vinny: The Citadel, Army, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech ... is there anyone other than the military and Katrina sufferers that Franchione would like to kick while they're down? Did he turn down the offer of a home-and-home with the Des Moines School for the Deaf??

Russell: You know it's bad when Texas Tech has a tougher non-conference slate than you do. For A&M, Stephen McGee has been a pleasant surprise, taking over for longtime starting quarterback Reggie McNeal. McGee has yet to throw an interception (against six touchdown passes) and is also capable of a big day running the ball.

Vinny: Wait, first Stewart Mandel is on myspace, and now Mike Leach??? I am so afraid for America's youth. At least the aspiring lawyer turned run-and-shoot advocate likes it when it's raining mud.

Russell: On paper, A&M is much improved against the pass, but it's hard to judge what that means when the opposition so far has been the Citadel, Louisiana-Lafayette, Army, and Louisiana Tech. In other words, Texas Tech's spread offense will be their first real test. Tech failed its first tough test this year, falling at TCU. I don't like their chances in College Station. Franchione keeps the alums happy for another week. A&M wins.

Vinny: I don't know why I'm casting my lot with the Red Raiders after they were shut down and field-goaled to death by TCU a couple weeks back. Maybe because I look forward to hail, too.

#24 Georgia Tech (+9) at #11 Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: This game isn't getting nearly the attention of this weekend's other matchup of ranked teams (Ohio State-Iowa), but perhaps it should. Georgia Tech has hung tough since letting Notre Dame escape from Atlanta with a narrow win in the season opener. More importantly, the coaching staff has remembered to just throw the ball to Calvin Johnson, perhaps the nation's best player, period. If you haven't seen this guy play, make sure you tune in to watch #21 in white. He's big, fast, strong, and has amazing hands. He's also probably going to be a top-three pick in the next NFL draft if he comes out following his junior season.

Vinny: And he really should, although I'll agree to stop saying that if people stop saying that to Alan Branch...

Russell: I think college coaches are guilty of forgetting sometimes just how dominant a superstar can be at the college ranks. In the NFL, even the worst players were among the best collegiate athletes. But for Johnson, most weeks he's lining up across from guys who have no prayer of covering him. If I'm Georgia Tech, I'm throwing him the ball about 15 times a game, minimum.

Vinny: Reggie Ball still isn't the most accurate passer around (51 percent in 2006, about his career average), but he's cutting down on his picks so far this year (3 interceptions against 7 touchdowns). Of course, the Hokies will have the best defense he's played thus far, by far. On the other side, redshirt sophomore Sean Glennon's numbers are decent but he hasn't faced anything resembling John Tenuta's blitzkrieg defense yet. As you would expect, the Hokies would like to hand off to tailback Branden Ore early and often.

Russell: Virginia Tech, meanwhile is a quiet No. 11 in the polls. But disciplinary matters have reappeared in Hokie-ville, as coach Frank Beamer has suspended starting defensive end Chris Ellis and wide receiver Josh Morgan for this game. I don't think it'll matter, I simply don't trust Ball on the road. I'm taking VaTech.

Vinny: Morgan was reportedly punching a truck at around 2 a.m. Who does he think he is, Mongo? Ball is a senior, and I think he'll step up in the tough Blacksburg environment. Georgia Tech covers.

#14 Oregon (-1.5) at Arizona State, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: This is the most interesting line of the week, as all signs point to a comfortable Oregon victory. What do the sports books know that I don't (not that it's a short list)? Oregon has had a week off to rest and recover from its emotional, referee-aided win over Oklahoma, while Arizona State got waxed at Cal, 49-21.

Vinny: Oregon is 11-1 after bye weeks under Mike Bellotti. Meanwhile, junior weakside linebacker A.J. Tuitele, who's been all over the field in reserve duty, will get his first start for the Ducks. He's stepping in for senior Brent Haberly, who broke his arm in the first half against the Sooners.

Russell: Oregon's offense appears to be hitting its stride with quarterback Dennis Dixon and tailback Jonathan Stewart each enjoying big days against the Sooners. Arizona State's Dirk Koetter, meanwhile, has to be wondering if he picked the wrong quarterback in naming Rudy Carpenter the starter over the since-transferred Sam Keller. Carpenter was awful last week against Cal.

Vinny: It hasn't helped that the Sun Devils graduated (I hope) three experienced receivers in the prolific Derek Hagan, Matt Miller and Moey Mutz (no, I didn't make that up). It's not easy to throw some inexperienced receivers in there and expect Carpenter to have the same success this year. Still, Koetter has noted that Carpenter's mechanics are a bit off from last year (throwing off his back foot, etc.).

Russell: Unless there's cosmic-payback in store for the Ducks coming off the gift from the Pac-10 refs in the Oklahoma game, I can't see them losing here. I'm taking Oregon, and making this my Fred Edelstein Lock.

Vinny: Yeah, things are definitely going in opposite directions for these teams. The Ducks cover (also my Freddy of the Week).

#6 Michigan (-10) at Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: Having finally seen our Wolverines up close and in person last week, I can firmly say that I'm a believer in the new defense. Granted, nobody's going to confuse Wisconsin's offense with Louisville anytime soon, but Michigan didn't let the Badgers breathe in the second half, completing dominating the game until garbage time. Michigan is getting tremendous push up front, led by Alan Branch, is swarming to the ball, and appears to have cured the tackling woes of the past few years.

Vinny: Rumors that cornerback Morgan Trent broke his hand last week have been debunked, which is good for Michigan considering the Gophers come into this game more pass-happy than usual. Tight end Matt Spaeth and wideout Logan Payne are very capable targets for Bryan Cupito.

Russell: Michigan's run defense, which leads the nation at a ridiculous 18.5 yards per game (remember, in college, yards lost on sacks are counted in the rushing totals), will get a good test in the Metrodome. Minnesota no longer has a pair of NFL tailbacks, but they still have a good offensive line paving the way for Amir Pinnix.

Vinny: Michigan State's flag-planting in South Bend last year got a lot of play, but the Gophers did the same thing in Ann Arbor after reclaiming the Brown Jug for the first time in about 20 years. Apparently, the Jug has made its way around Minneapolis like the Stanley Cup, with people getting their picture taken with it and everything. I'm not sure if I'm annoyed or amused by this.

Russell: I'll go with (b) Amused. You have to like the Chad Henne/Mario Manningham combo going against the soft Minnesota pass defense, which was bombed by Cal. Manningham has 11 catches for 240 yards and five touchdowns the past two weeks. Those numbers will look even better after this one. Michigan gets a rare easy game against the Gophers and covers.

Vinny: Cal and Purdue also had big days on the ground against the Minnesota defense, which bodes well for Mike Hart. The Wolverines reclaim the Jug with a big win.

#1 Ohio State (-7) at #13 Iowa, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: Even though I just warned against it, you have to assume the Buckeyes will be 11-0 facing Michigan if they get by this game. Yes, there's the matter of a trip to Michigan State in a few weeks, but for all we know the Spartans will be well into their typical fetal position by then.

Vinny:. Like Williams-Brice, Kinnick Stadium is another underrated home field advantage. I was there last year for the first time and that's about as loud as I've ever heard a home crowd. And this is a night game against the top-ranked team in the country, the same team that crushed Iowa 31-6 last year. I think Hawkeye players and fans alike will be sufficiently motivated (and in the latter case, lubricated). Of course, the Buckeyes still remember the beating they took at Kinnick in 2004.

Russell: I haven't been overly impressed by Iowa this season. I only put them back on my BlogPoll ballot this week, and I still don't know if they're good enough to challenge a team like Ohio State. The answer to that question might have something to do with Drew Tate, who will give Ohio State a harder time than Texas's Colt McCoy or Penn State's Anthony Morelli.

Vinny: Tate seems to have shown no ill effects after missing the Syracuse game with an abdominal strain. Regardless, I don't think Iowa's defense can slow down Antonio Pittman, who racked up over 170 yards in Ohio State's rout in Columbus last year.

Russell: Don't let the final score of the Penn State game fool you. Ohio State was in a battle late into the game last week before Morelli started passing out interceptions and handed the Buckeyes, and their fans, the ultimate back-door cover. The Buckeyes need to play much better this week, and that includes Troy Smith who was pedestrian other than one highlight-reel touchdown against Penn State. I think Iowa puts together a complete game Saturday night. I'm not saying the Hawkeyes win, but I'll take Iowa and the touchdown.

Vinny: This is right about the time of the year when the Buckeye offense usually gets untracked. Ohio State covers.

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Vinny Says Russell Says
Auburn -13.5 South Carolina South Carolina Auburn
Boise State +4 Utah Boise State Utah
Alabama +13.5 Florida Florida Alabama
Texas Tech +1.5 Texas A&M Texas Tech Texas A&M
Georgia Tech +9 Virginia Tech Georgia Tech Virginia Tech
Oregon -1.5 Airzona State Oregon* Oregon*
Michigan -10 Minnesota Michigan Michigan
Ohio State -7 Iowa Ohio State Iowa
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Vinny 3-5-0 (1-0-0) 14-18-0 (3-1-0)
Russell 4-4-0 (0-1-0) 18-14-0 (1-3-0)

Posted by: on 28 Sep 2006

154 comments, Last at 04 Oct 2006, 5:08pm by Travis


by Derek (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 8:46pm

I think the key to the Iowa-OSU game will be whether the Hawkeye running game can finally break out. The team is only averaging 4.1 ypc so far this season. Most of the teams early in the schedule loaded up against the run in order to force Drew Tate to throw to his young receivers...the top guy (non-TE division) has been a 20-year old true freshman, Dominique Douglas. If the Buckeyes can make Iowa one-dimensional, I think it will put too much pressure on the Hawkeye passing attack.

Kinnick stadium should help. Iowa has won 25 of the last 26 at home with the only loss coming in overtime against Michigan last year. As an Iowa fan, I wish this game was 2 weeks later since Ferentz's teams always get better as the season goes on.

by jebmak (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 8:53pm

I'm not too sure about your locks. My rule is that whenever I see a line that makes me think, "No one in their right mind could possibly bet on that team," you bet on that team.

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 9:30pm

I'm still ticked about the final score of the OSU/PSU game last week. I don't think I've ever been so completely right about a game - I said early in the thread last week that it'd be a low-scoring, ground-it-out game due to the rain and wind - and yet still I ended up being wrong about the prediction.

It was really creepy, too. The rain didn't start until exactly the time of the game. And I mean exactly. Just spooky.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 9:30pm

Jeb - If you've been reading our picks the last few years, you would always have doubts about our locks...

by Russell Levine :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 9:35pm

Re: 2

If Arizona State wins that game, it would certainly qualify as a "line too good to be true" game. I just can't see it happening in this case.

by Russell Levine :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 9:37pm

Anyone who has VS (the former OLN), BYU is up two touchdowns on mid-major darling TCU early in the 4th.

It's channel 608 for you DirecTV people.

by Michael David Smith :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 9:44pm

I'm watching the two games right now and losing faith in two of my favorite offensive coaches, Steve Spurrier and Mike Leach.

Spurrier's Gamecocks aren't moving the ball at all against Auburn -- that's not a shock; Auburn's got a great defense. But they're not even looking competent. Different players look like they're operating out of a different playbook.

As for Mike Leach, maybe it's unfair of me to lose faith in him when his team isn't even playing tonight, but TCU's defense totally shut down Leach's offense, and tonight a mediocre BYU team is having no trouble at all moving the ball against the same TCU defense.

by Derek (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 10:28pm

Quick question for Vinny...why would you describe Iowa as banged up on defense? As I understand it, only two players from the two-deep (Kanellis and Moylan, both of whom are backups) are expected to miss the game.

Depth is definitely scarce but I'm more worried about how the starting secondary will hold up.

by Fourth (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 10:29pm

Re: 7
They're moving the ball now

Re: Chris Leak
The "crowd" did not boo Leak last week, a vocal minority of 10-20% were booing because Timmy Tebow came in and ran for about 70 yards in 3 plays, then Urban put Leak back in in the red zone. The problem was the crowd wanted Tebow to be given the chance to finish what he started on that drive. Later in the game a pretty good chant for "Leak for Heisman!" got going. I was glad, Leak deserves some love from the fans...our O-line and running game have let him down, he and the receivers carry this offense.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 10:45pm

After Illinois covered vs Iowa last week I'm 3-1 on this board so far this season.

This week I'm taking Utah to beat and cover vs Boise State.

As an aside, I would not be at all shocked if Iowa shocked Ohio State, or if Houston made Miami sweat.

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 10:46pm

What the heck? Rutgers makes the top 25 for the first time in 30 years and you don't pick their game? Not that I have much of a clue what they're going to do either, but still.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:10pm

11- I would not be surprised to see USF beat Rutgers tomorrow night. That's a long trip after Friday classes, and let's face it- Rutgers is "hot" right now in NY / NJ- a gambling mecca.

Hot teams cool off quickly.

by jebmak (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:14pm

Re #4

LOL Fair enough Vinny.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:22pm

Derek - You're right; I read comments by Ferentz about defensive players being banged up, but it is only those two.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:34pm

I'm not sure how much of Spurrier's offensive struggles is Syvelle Newton as opposed to the offense. He looks, well, like a mobile college QB: not a consistent or polished passer but one capable of making the occasional play, plus his feet can be a dangerous weapon.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:38pm

Re #7
I think I mentioned this in the game thread at the time, but Harrell v. TCU gave a good example of why Leach has started 5th year seniors. Harrell seemed to have trouble with the offense and reading the defense at times, and could use better accuracy. His receivers also weren't helping him out, either. Plus, whoever said Taurean Henderson would be a bigger loss than people expected was absolutely right.

by Fourth (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:43pm

Don't look now...South Carolina driving for the tying score, 3 minutes to go. Bets? I say Auburn comes up with another big turnover. Also, how amazing was that 3rd quarter time of possession? 15 minutes to zero for Auburn. And as I type this, SC drops a wide open touchdown.

by Fourth (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:44pm

First down at the 25 after a qb scramble, and to clarify that time of possession, 15 minutes for Auburn and zero for SC in the 3rd quarter.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:49pm

It's so funny to watch Spurrier get so emotional when things go wrong (bad sack taken by Newton).

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:49pm

Wow that was the most obvious blitz ever. Auburn didn't even bother hiding the fact that they were going to blitz, yet they still got the sack. Amazing.

by Fourth (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:50pm

Another big 4th down...qb draw? Another blitz if you're Auburn?

by Fourth (not verified) :: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:54pm

Bad call Spurrier, fade to Rice was picked once, it wasn't an accident then and the double coverage was all over it. Wonder if the polls will punish Auburn for this..

by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 12:05am

I think this game is a good illustration of why it's unlikely a SEC team runs the table. USC's a decent enough team, but nothing special (UGA shut them out)...and they took the #2 team in the country to the final minute. Winning on the road in the SEC is hard. I think teams are distracted by the large number of hot girls in the crowd. :) I should have gone to an SEC school.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 1:01am

Rocco - I think many of us have those thoughts about wondering if attending an SEC school would have been more fun. But we got better educations, right? That's what I tell myself anyway.

by Sam! (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 9:04am

Chris Leak would be considered a great quarterback.. if he were a freshman or sophomore. But he still makes too many mistakes, throws too many picks, misses too many wide-open receivers, and takes too many sacks for a freakin' senior quarterback. Against Tennessee he scrambled out of the pocket, then slid to protect himself. Only he was 2 yards short of the first down AND THERE WAS NOBODY ABOUT TO HIT HIM.

I cannot wait until he graduates, gets drafted in the 6th round, makes some teams practice squad, and UF can move on. Any "star" recruit who came to play in Ron Zook's offense can't be too bright and I think Leak has proved that.

by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 9:19am

Maybe I was wrong about being wrong about Spurrier. As soon as I clicked "say it" the offense started moving.

"That’s a long trip after Friday classes."

Oh, come on. You don't really think the Rutgers football players are going to class today, do you?

by Russell Levine :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 9:53am

Re: 26.

I'd be surprised if Rutgers players went to class yesterday before leaving.

Most college football players try to avoid scheduling Friday classes altogether in the Fall semester because they're going to miss them a lot of weeks.

by BC Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 10:28am

question unrelated to the general discussion:

is it really worth the effort to haul myself over to BC to watch them pound Maine? do people usually go to their team's cupcake games?

by Derek (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 10:32am

It is weird how much Florida fans dislike Chris Leak these days. I remember when Leak was a high school phenom in 2003, deciding between Florida and Iowa and both fan bases were crazy about him.

Leak picked the Gators, Drew Tate backed out on a verbal to Texas A&M when Franchione was hired (not a bad decision in hindsight) and chose Iowa. Now the Hawkeye fans love Tate (perhaps partially because he plays with emotion) and the Gator fans seem to despise Leak (because he doesn't play with passion).

by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 11:13am

I'm a Gator -- have been since I knew what football was. And I don't dislike Leak. I've accepted the fact that he's an above average QB who is going to make 2-3 AWFUL decisions per game and I just hope those awful decisions/throws don't become turnovers.

I think you have to cut Leak a little slack in light of the fact that he's had 3 different offensive coordinators in 4 seasons AND he’s playing in an offensive scheme that couldn’t highlight his talents any less. Think about it…if Leak were a senior in high school right now, Leak would not choose to play for Meyer b/c he doesn’t fit this offense.

Leak has had some very big wins as a Gator (@ LSU in 2003, 2 wins vs Georgia, 2 wins vs Florida St including the first win in Tallahassee since 1986 & 2 wins vs Tennessee). I, for one, am not ready to give up on Leak. Fans are calling for Tebow, but have you seen this guy pass? It’s not pretty. If he were to play on a regular basis, defenses would pack 8 in the box and fans would start booing Tebow.

Leak might not be living up to the hype he had coming out of high school, but all things considered, he’s a pretty darn good QB and he still has a chance to do something special this season.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 11:14am

Vinny- according to US News' rankings, my alma mater outranks all the SEC schools except Vandy. I guess that makes me feel a little better. Ok, not really. I think I need to go get an MBA now so I have an excuse to go back to school.

by Derek (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 12:07pm


I shouldn't have made such a sweeping generalization because I know there are definitely some Leak fans in the Florida crowd. Just noting a trend I've seen.

The hype that surrounds the recruiting process creates unrealistic expectations. I wonder if Tebow might be a similar disappointment to the Florida fans that think he can do no wrong?

To this point in his career, Leak has been a 61% passer with 77 TDs and 33 interceptions...all stats that compare favorably with those of Brady Quinn. Leak should finish with more than 40 career starts so the FO projection system would love him if he gets picked in the first 2 rounds (although his height will probably prevent that). I wonder if Leak's consistency has hurt the perception of his performance. Unlike Quinn, who sucked initially and has gotten progressively better, Leak hasn't shown a great deal of improvement because he started off pretty well.

by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 12:41pm

Re:32 -- I think last season really killed Leak. He showed tremendous improvement from his freshman season to his sophomore season, but took a giant step backwards last season, wholly in part to Meyer's offensive scheme. He looks better this year, but I really think last season stunted any real development, which is why he doesn't also play like a 4th-year starting senior should play.

by Duck in MA (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 1:17pm

Double Lock?!? #&%%@(*&^! Why? Why do this?

by kal (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 7:09pm

#34: Yeah, I saw that and immediately became terrified. Curse you, Seven Day! Curse yooooooou!

(though seriously, I don't see it being that problematic).

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 7:43pm

Re #34/35
Of the games selected, it'd be my Edelstein Lock, too.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 9:38pm

I agree with Griff on Leak; he gets something of a free pass with all the coordinators/systems he's had to deal with in 4 years. But that doesn't excuse everything, esp. since this is his 2nd year in the system.

Some of this should also lie at the feet of Urban Meyer though; he can't fit a square peg in a round hole. I think he's been a little better about it over time with Leak, but it's obvious he wants a Tebow/Alex Smith type in his offense.

Some of the Ducks fans can comment on this (it may distract them from the dreaded Double Freddy on their team tomorrow) better then me, but I think Bellotti has done a good job with Dennis Dixon, b/c it seems like he's simplified the offense for him. It doesn't look as pro-style/complex as the one Fife/Clemens/etc. ran for years. I saw that towards the end last night with Spurrier and Newton, with Spurrier practically drawing up plays in the dirt for Newton and Rice. Of course, it helped that Auburn was playing a soft prevent for most of the 4th quarter until that last drive.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 9:44pm

Chris Fowler used the drawing plays up in the dirt analogy as Spurrier was talking to Newton on the sideline in the 4th quarter, and it was pretty apt: you could see Spurrier using hand gestures to call for a quick out/semi-hitch pattern, and that's exactly what Rice ran to convert on a 4th down late in the game. Pretty fun to watch. I can't think of another time I've seen that with my own eyes with any other football coach. Combine that with his completely transparent emotions, and that's why Spurrier is great for the college game.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 12:11am

Just flipped on the end of this Rutgers/USF game. Even though they're justified calls, I really hate it when a team marches down the field late in a game on penalties

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 12:31am

Hey, I've seen Rutgers' defense when they're trying to protect a lead at the end of the game and playing that soft zone lots of times. They were marching down the field anyway. But that late hit was unbelivably stupid. Nice play on the 2-point conversion, though.

Anyway, good to see RU beat a halfway decent team. I only saw the second half due to work, but Teel looked better, if still not good enough to carry the team if the running game ever gets shut down. And Ray Rice is frickin' awesome.

Bye next week, so that's 2 more weeks in the top 25.

by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 1:11am

Alabama at 16 point underdogs is a joke. I think the last time Bama lost in Gainesville was 1990 (of course its not an every year event either...)

Not sure if Bama wins (need the RB to actually produce, instead of something we don't do on 3rd and medium.)

Watch for Keith Brown, Andre Smith, and LeRon McClain on offense
Defense: Hopefully Terrence Jones is back and healthy...and I love Jeffery Dukes. Plus Jeremy Clark.
Alabama absolutely flummoxed Leak in last year's game...of course that was the loudest I have ever heard Bryant-Denny...I bet the Swamp gets as loud this Saturday as well.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:47am

I don't get all of the Meyer / Leak bashing. So far under Meyer, UF is 13 - 3. If Florida fans have a problem with that, they're just not being realistic.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 12:33pm

Re #42
GatorGriff got it right in #30, I think. Leak's pretty good, but he makes a couple stupid decisions every game. Just think of the ridiculous Tennesee game.

by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 2:00pm

Are we still allowed to make the "I can't wait to see Calvin Johnson in a Detroit Lions uniform" jokes, or is too stale by now?

My pick of the day is to take Notre Dame and give the points against Purdue. As Vinny alluded to last week, Purdue is now the worst 4-0 team in the country, and this will be their first road game of the year. Plus Purdue's secondary is really bad, and the Notre Dame passing attack...

Long day for my Boilermakers.

by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 2:02pm

Oh one other thing. When announcing the starting lineups in Illinois at Michigan State, the play-by-play guy mentioned that Illinois wide receiver Luke Hudson has deceptive speed. Two guesses what race Mr. Hudson is, and the first one doesn't count.

by chris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 2:06pm

Puerto Rican?

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 2:23pm

There are letdowns, and then there are major letdowns, and then there's losing to Illinois. If Michigan State doesn't turn things around in the second half, I say they just change the locks on John L. Smith's office today.

by Nate (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 2:26pm

Kyle (not Luke) Hudson's also a 7' high jumper. Not bad for a skinny little white kid.
And Illinois' freshman quarterback has already set the Illiniois career record for most 65+ yard touchdown completions. This is his second start.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 2:36pm

#44- Purdue looked like a talented team coming into the season. Their first three games were really shaky, but they seem to be putting it together.

by Nate (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 2:43pm

MDS (47) - I agree - The writing could very well be on the wall if JLS loses this one. That said, I haven't seen an Illini team play this well in a while, and the defense in forever**. We are actually, you know, forcing fumbles and sacking the quarterback. If I weren't a Bears fan, I wouldn't know what those things were.
** That's actually a pretty sad statement considering that the Illini are only up by 7 over a not-great team.

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 3:11pm

Everyone please watch the highlight of the Illinois touchdown off the halfback pass and tell me how the celebration afterward merited a 15-yard penalty. The referee's explanation was "unsportsmanlike conduct for spiking the ball." So that's where we are with the state of rules in college football: Spiking the ball gets you the exact same penalty as grabbing an opponent's facemask and twisting his neck, or drilling him after the play is over.

by chris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 3:26pm

It happens every weekend. In one game, a player can get away with a TO/Chad Johnson display. In another, a player gets flagged for a high-five in the end zone.

To take biases out of the equation, my modest proposal would be to allow players 5-10 seconds for "unsportsmanlike conduct" before they have to head back to the sideline. After that window, teams are subject to 20-yard penalties.

by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:03pm

Why don't they just make excessive celebration after a touchdown a delay of game five yard penalty? It seems appropriate to me.

by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:10pm

Change those locks baby!

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:11pm

Generally speaking, I don't believe in firing coaches in mid-season. But if the Illinois / MSU score holds up I can't see Smith coaching MSU in 2007.

Smith's record at MSU isn't that far out of line with with Perles or Saban (throwing out Saban's big 1999 season). Is it unrealistic to paraphrase Bill Parcells and say to MSU that "you are what you are", that being a middle of the pack Big-10 team?

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:12pm

I never thought I would type these words as long as Ron Zook was the coach, but Illinois won in large part because they out-coached the opposition.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:16pm

Is it me, or does CUSA and the MAC really suck this year?

by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:17pm

Smith is done. Start looking for a replacement. I wouldn't be shocked if he got canned this week.

Is there anything more pathetic that Illinois planting its flag on anyone? Or than Michigan State "defending its turf"?

I hope the Big Ten levies suspensions for the flag-planting nonsense after it was specifically outlawed following MSU's act at Notre Dame last year and Minnesota's doing the same thing at Michigan.

Both these programs are a joke, but MSU even moreso. How predictable was today's meltdown? My goodness.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:17pm

Isn't this just exactly how the MSU season is scripted to go? If they have a below-average team, they bumble along to a 5-6 record, and if they have an above-average team they start strong, have either a big upset win or blow a late lead that would have given them a big upset, and then within two weeks get badly upset themselves, leading to a meltdown and a 7-5 record, with the timing of the meltdown indicating just how far above average they are (the later, the better; weeks 4/5 means "decent, but nothing special".)

And congratulations to the Zooker - thank heavens he's on someone else's sidelines these days...

by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:29pm

When does college basketball start? MSU looks like they're going to be pretty average in the hoops department this year though.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:34pm

Oh yeah - like those Florida throwbacks.

by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:51pm

Score one for my theory about Calvin Johnson. There's nobody in college football that can cover that guy reliably. 7-0 Georgia Tech. Good thing I picked VaTech.

by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 4:57pm

Uh, score two for my theory about Johnson. 14-0, Georgia Tech. Again, nice pick by me.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 5:07pm

We want Tebow

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 6:08pm

Ya know, if Tebow ever learns to throw, that could really open up some lanes for him and he could be successful running the ball.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 6:15pm

After seeing the replay review at the end of the ASU-Oregon 1st half, I understand why the NFL installed the rule on a player maintaining possession while hitting the ground.

Oregon player makes a leaping catch and as he hits the ground the ball pops into the air and a ASU player keeps it alive and grabs it for the int. It was ruled an interception on the field, but on replay it was clear the ground caused the fumble, and he had gotten a foot down as well.

In the NFL that same play would've been an interception.

Oh, and doesn't everyone know that Tebow is going to run a stupid QB draw from the shotgun?

by DMP (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 6:36pm

Wow. I've been trying to write something about MSU, but I can't even come up with words to describe this anymore. If they don't fire Jonh L this week, I think I might start rooting exclusively for Grand Valley State in protest until they do.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 6:40pm

Sure looks like the officials just blew a FG call in the Florida-Bama game.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 7:01pm

What would be the point in firing Smith this week? They wouldn't be able to bring in someone from another staff- do MSU fans have that much faith in one of the MSU assistants? And what happens if that assistant does just well enough to make an argument that he deserves to run the team next year, even if he's not the guy the team really wants?

I just don't see the point in canning Smith now.

by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 7:06pm

Kevin11 you raise a good point about the problem if an interim guy does a good job and you get stuck with him. On the other side of the argument is that if it's very obvious to everyone that the coach is going to get fired, it can start to affect this year's recruiting.

MSU has an awful history of going into the tank as soon as things turn south. It certainly looked like that's what happened today.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 7:45pm

Let's not forget the brewing collapse in Arizona State - can Koetter survive if ASU doesn't make a dramatic recovery? (Over the course of the season, that is, not the game - even MSU couldn't choke this one away.)

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 7:45pm

Houston giving 'da U a game early

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 7:47pm

Speaking of coaches getting fired in the middle of the season, Miami and Houston are tied in the second quarter. Should Greg Schiano just save everyone the trouble and leave Rutgers for Miami now?

by chris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 7:57pm

Not sure that a mid-season dumping does much for recruiting. The same question will remain -- "Who's gonna be my coach?"

The only exception would be if you're able to hire a marquee guy for 2007, while letting an assistant take over for Smith until the end of 2006.

Glad that someone mentioned Koettner as another coach working hard to get fired.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 7:58pm

JP Wilson had been playing so well, but then here comes his Morelli Moment (tm). He'll be a fine QB in the future - I'm glad UF won't have to face him again, barring an SEC title matchup some year.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 8:07pm

God, I hope that Morelli starts getting a clue. Think he's latching on to one receiver a bit too much? Morelli, 288 yards passing. Deon Butler, 217 yards receiving. Jeez.

Morelli's got one of the best receiving corps in the Big Ten, and he keeps firing into double and triple coverage, when there are fantastic playmakers wide freaking open.

Anyone who criticized Michael Robinson as a quarterback can leave now. What I wouldn't give to have him back this year.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 8:25pm

Not sure that a mid-season dumping does much for recruiting. The same question will remain — “Who’s gonna be my coach?�

Still, though, better to answer "we don't know" than answer "John L. Smith."

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 8:27pm

I like the way that in the ACC promo, they have Duke coach Ted Roof saying "respectability." Almost as good as the Boise State promo where they say something like "When you see blue, think 'the largest university in Idaho.'" Every time I see the Windows task bar, I think Boise State.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 8:30pm

And to think it was less than a week ago I was watching Florida play Kentucky because it was closer than MSU's lead of Notre Dame. Has any team/coach ever fallen off a cliff as fast as MSU and JLS have?

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 8:31pm

OK, seriously, if Houston beats Miami, Coker should be in even more trouble than Smith. The talent gap between Miami and Houston is a lot bigger than the talent gap between Michigan State and Illinois.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 8:50pm


Houston has actually looked good all year. Not that they should beat Miami or anything, but I think it'll be closer than people think.

I said that ealier in the thread, while I was bypassing taking Houston to cover over taking Utah to beat Bosie State by 4. Bleech.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 8:55pm

Has any team/coach ever fallen off a cliff as fast as MSU and JLS have?

Maybe not! Only a week ago MSU was blowing out Notre Dame, at least in the beginning. MSU would have been ranked in the Top 15.

I'd say Houston fell off a cliff between 1990 and 1991. They came into the Orange Bowl as FAVORITES AGAINST MIAMI, and got killed. The program then went into a freefall and by 1994 they were as bad as Temple is now.

by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:02pm

More reasons why I don't gamble. A) I stink (1-5 so far today, and how about Vin off to the 6-0 start) and B) the back door covers. Florida got one with a late pick six vs. Alabama. And I was looking good for Texas A&M before a late bomb for a touchdown. Ugh. At least we were both right about Oregon, and if I end up right about Michigan, I won't care.

by chris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:06pm

Didn't Houston also have to deal with their share of probation during that time? Basically had two Heisman finalists that no one ever saw on TV, if I remember correctly.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:11pm

Houston was on probation and lost scholarships. Andre Ware won the Heisman in a year he was never on TV.

Basically UH was probably a more flagrant violator of NCAA rules than SMU, but the NCAA didn't (and does not) want to issue another "death penalty".

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:13pm

Re #82
Are you sure Houston was favored? I'd be quite surprised if the AP#3 team was really the underdog to the #10 team... Miami was the first serious non-conference test for a team with a gimmick scheme that had largely thrived on weak non-conference opponents and a conference slate with few formidable opponents. But, yes, they did suffer a fall from grace starting with the Miami game.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:16pm


It was even until the day of the game, when the lines changed and UH was favored by a point and a half. I only remember it because it blew me away.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:18pm

Wow, that's an even crazier line than Tennessee being favored by 17 against Memphis last year. I guess that's what happens when nobody ever sees you play.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:20pm

Anyone see what Northern Iowa is doing to Iowa State?

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:28pm

It was even until the day of the game, when the lines changed and UH was favored by a point and a half. I only remember it because it blew me away.

Are you sure? This article from the day of the game has the line at Houston +8. Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/12/1991:

Today's Game No. 10 Houston (plus 8) at No. 2 Miami _ At this stage, most of the money has been on Miami. The Hurricanes have won 38 straight at the Orange Bowl. I don't care. I'll take David Klingler, the top quarterback in the country, and the points. Choice: Houston.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:36pm

Same day, Omaha World-Herald:

David Klingler's Heisman hopes and Miami's 38-game winning streak at the Orange Bowl will both be on the line tonight when 10th-ranked Houston meets the No. 2 Hurricanes.

Like Ty Detmer last year, Klingler could become the clear Heisman front-runner by leading his team to an upset of Miami. But if he plays poorly and Houston loses the nationally televised game, Klingler will have a hard time winning the Heisman no matter how many touchdown passes he throws the rest of the season.

The key to stopping Houston's run-and-shoot is pressuring the quarterback, something Texas did when it handed the Cougars their only loss last season. Miami, an eight-point favorite, will also bring John Jenkins' space-age offense down to earth. . . Miami 42-21.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 9:39pm

Houston goes for it on 4th and 2 on their own 28 at the start of the 4th quarter, down one against Miami, and make it.

And a Houston receiver just dropped a long pass that landed right in his hands.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 10:13pm

That looks more like the Ohio State defense Buckeye fans were worried about coming into the season. Oh, and in case anybody is buying into the media hype about James Laurinaitis being the next 733t tOSU linebacker, try watching him play.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 10:17pm

Travis, I have an old yearbook in front of me, which lists point spreads from five years back (it's the 1994 edition).

This has the game listed as even, but I remember seeing the Houston as a 1.5 point favorite the day of the game (was it a Thursday nighter?) in USA Today- the real lines, not the Sagarins :)

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 10:35pm

Re: 94

It was a Thursday nighter, broadcast to the country on ESPN.

I don't doubt that the yearbook shows the spread as even, but it sounds like a misprint/mistake. It wouldn't make sense at all to have Houston favored AT MIAMI when Miami was ranked higher, and two different papers (including one in Las Vegas) explicitly refer to Miami as an 8-point favorite.

I don't have access to the USA Today print edition (which would contain the spreads, etc.) at the moment, but I will check when I can. FWIW, the Sagarin ratings as of 9/10/1991, after Houston beat Louisiana Tech 73-3 (Miami beat Arkansas by a paltry 31-3):

Schedule No. Team Rating Record strength
1 Houston 109.64 1-0-0 45.77
2 Washington 100.70 1-0-0 69.17
3 Iowa 98.78 1-0-0 70.31
4 Miami (Fla.) 96.92 1-0-0 69.48

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 10:47pm

This article has more details on the Houston-Miami game. Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/9/1991:

It could be the most intriguing college football matchup of the year, and it's only days away.

No, it is not Colgate against Army.

It's Houston against Miami. The game, which will be shown on ESPN Thursday at 5 p.m., could become the most heavily bet Thursday night college football game.

Both the Stardust and Las Vegas Hilton opened the game with Miami as a 6-point home favorite.

The Sands opened Miami as a 9-point favorite. The bettors flattened that down to 7 1/2. Bally's opened Miami 8 1/2. The Hurricanes are down to 7 1/2 at Bally's.

An over and under total on the game will come out later in the week.

FWIW, a later article says the over/under was set at 66-1/2. Miami won, 40-10.

by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 10:49pm

Well, I guess I was wrong. Iowa has run the ball effectively (5.2 ypc) and is still trailing by 11. Tate has been pretty shaky (5.1 ypa and two easy picks...OSU only got one of them). Fortunately the Hawkeyes tend to play better in the second half. They haven't gotten turnovers all year though and I fear that Ginn's recovery of his own fumble on the first OSU drive is a bad omen. At least as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I just assume the other team automatically gets to keep any fumble.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 10:52pm

Kevin, would you mind listing a few other spreads from the same week, as given by the yearbook? I'm interested in seeing how they compare to what I've come across.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 10:54pm

In USC/Washington State, which WSU has been keeping close, USC just ran a play for a first down. A flag came out and USC was called for holding, but the officals conferenced and then waved off the flag, saying other officials said there was no holding.

I don't think I've ever seen that before (the announcers mentioned the same).

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 10:57pm

UH was seen as a powerhouse coming into 1991. They went 10 - 1 and scored 511 points the previous year. David Klingler would have been the #1 pick in the 1991 Draft had he come out, but he returned for his senior season. Many thought John Jenkins was an offensive genius and a future NFL coach.

On the other hand, Miami was strong but coming off a 1991 Cotton Bowl where they openly mocked the Texas players and the refs, amassing over 200 yards in penalties. Dennis Erickson had to crack the whip, and IIRC they had to replace QB Craig Erickson and a bunch other players.

It seems weird now, but a nation of fans spent the summer waiting to see Houston vs Miami.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 10:59pm

What's surprised me about tOSU-Iowa is how much more effective the Buckeyes have been running the football. Contra Aaron's NFL insight, after the first drive, this has been much more the Buckeyes running to win, rather than winning to run.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:08pm

Re #100
Yeah, but Miami beat Texas 46-3 DESPITE 202 yards in penalties. The same Texas team that had beaten Houston 45-24. I know the transitive property doesn't apply, but there were strong reasons to suspect precisely the result that happened. Miami favored by 8 makes sense; Houston favored, not so much.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:09pm

Gotta love "Deceptively Speedy" Gonzalez.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:19pm

UH was seen as a powerhouse coming into 1991. They went 10 - 1 and scored 511 points the previous year. David Klingler would have been the #1 pick in the 1991 Draft had he come out, but he returned for his senior season. Many thought John Jenkins was an offensive genius and a future NFL coach.

All true, but Houston lost 45-24 at Texas late in the 1990 season, and played only 1 other ranked opponent that year (Texas A&M, a 36-31 home win). It's unlikely that they would be seen as better than Miami, who beat that same Texas team 46-3 in 1990, had won its opener easily, was ranked #2 to Houston's #10, and was playing at home, where they had won 38 straight games.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:23pm

USC is up 6 vs. Washington State, Washington State has the ball, 1:10 to go, on theri own 24.

Upset in the making? (I hope not)

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:29pm

Note to Auburn: you might want to check out USC's defense this last drive against Washington State for how to defend a team trying to drive the length of the field in the last minute, just in case you have to do that again. Hint: does not include guys wide open at the sidelines 15 yards downfield.

Hail Mary time now, 3 seconds, 40 yards out. And it's picked at the goal line.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:29pm

One last play for Washington State. 3 seconds left, on the USC 40, down by 6.


USC...barely...survives. Man both USC and Auburn were down to the last play against inferior competition this week.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:35pm

Oh, I love announcers. On the review of the pass to Ginn which was ruled incomplete, the announcers spent all their time saying "he hits the ground, and then the ball comes out. That's a catch." Completely not paying attention to the fact that the ball moved when it hit the ground, which is why it was ruled not a catch.

(At least, that's assuming the rules for a catch are the same in college... I think they are.)

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:45pm

Wow. What a horrible replay. Ginn clearly caught the ball and was down. Then an Iowa defender came in and hit him, when he was already down with possession, and jarred the ball loose. Obviously, this is an incomplete pass.

I didn't get to see MSU/Illinois earlier, but I was listening to it on the MSU broadcast. Apparently, there was a controversial replay where Illinois caused an MSU fumble, but the QB might possibly have had his arm moving slightly forward at some point. You know it's bad when the announcers for the team that would benefit from the reversal are saying how it's too close to call, there's no way you could possibly overturn on that, etc. But then the replay drags on and on, and they start speculating about if the official is trying to talk himself into overturning it... Honestly, why is there not a solid time limit on replays? If you can't tell within a minute, it's not obvious enough either way to overturn, so let it go and move on. I'm sure MDS loved that part of the game...

You learn some great things listening to the radio broadcast. For example, during Miami's futile last 1st half drive, when they got closer to a safety than a field goal, the pbp guy let out "I'm just going to have to bite my tongue here. No, wait, this is just horrible." It's been obvious that Coker is in trouble (deservedly, which I hate to say because he's a genuinely good guy), but when even the team's homer announcers are burying you, it's over.

Iowa's announcers are fun. Their pbp guy is about as bad at arithmetic as anyone I've ever heard. He also can't tell which yard line the ball is on. These things combine to give some tremendous calls where neither the beginning nor the end of the play are right, nor is the yardage gained. Also, he thinks OSU's freshman tailback is Chris Simms.

In general, radio sideline reporters gather useful information. Injury updates better than the TV guys give, plus details of conversations about busted plays and such. Why oh why do TV broadcasts instruct their broadcast teams to suck?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:46pm

And now we see the difference between fan and anti-fan perspectives.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:49pm

Halftime score: Mississippi 3, Georgia 0. The teams have combined for 36 net yards passing - Ole Miss has been sacked 5 of the 8 times its attempted to pass.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:50pm

Psst, Trogdor: OSU's not my primary fan school, but I do go there. I do want them to win that game (it's last week's I didn't want them to win). But that's not a catch in the NFL. I don't know if there's a difference between possession rules in the NFL/NCAA, but that ball moved when it hit the ground = not a catch.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:54pm

I didn't think the ball hit the ground. I thought his hand was under the end of the ball, and it moved when his hand hit the ground, but he still had possession.

Maybe in the NFL it wouldn't have been a catch because he wouldn't have been down until hit, but in college if he had it at any point while lying on the ground, he should've been down then.

Hey - Gonzalez is sure-handed. Whod've thunk?

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:55pm

Re: 108, 112

I'm not sure if the NCAA and NFL rules are the same (the NFL, of course, doesn't make its rulebook widely available), but would guess that "firm possession" wouldn't include a situation where the ball moved after it hit the ground.

The relevant NCAA rule - Section 2, Article 7:

ARTICLE 7. A catch is an act of firmly establishing player possession of a live ball in flight.


c. To catch, intercept or recover a ball, a player who leaves his feet to
make a catch, interception or recovery must have the ball firmly in his
possession when he first returns to the ground inbounds with any part of his body or is so held that the dead-ball provisions of Rule 4-1-3-p apply
(A.R. 2-2-7-I-V and A.R. 7-3-6-IV).


2. Loss of ball simultaneous to returning to the ground is not a catch,
interception or recovery.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 11:56pm

I left off this:

e. When in question, the catch, recovery or interception is not completed.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:01am

I didn’t think the ball hit the ground. I thought his hand was under the end of the ball, and it moved when his hand hit the ground, but he still had possession.

Oh, no, it clearly hit the ground. That was obvious from the one angle - he had the ball with both hands, but when he went down, the ball hit the ground directly - and it moved. And that's not a catch.

Probably would've been easier to see if the announcers hadn't been babbling about other games or about what happened after he hit the ground when the review happened.

And I think it's official: I am absolutely, positively, getting the hell out of Columbus for the Michigan/OSU game if it ends up like I think it'll end up, with both Michigan and OSU being undefeated. I'll have to fear for my house being burned down, though. :)

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:02am

102- The game was a blowout, and Miami was showing off after the game was already decided.

Other Miami spreads listed for 1991:

-21 1/2 at Arkansas
-30 at Tulsa (Miami goes to Tulsa?)
-31 vs Oklahoma State
-3 vs Penn State
No line vs Cal State-Long Beach
-28 1/2 at Arizona

There is such a thing as a "false memory", so I could be wrong about the spread. But I'd swear in court I remember 1 1/2. :)

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:05am

See, I'd be the kind of person who'd stick around and fan the flames! Heck, I'm thinking of making the trip to Morgantown for their next home game against Pitt, throw a little fuel on them fires...

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:05am

For the second time tonight, once in USC/WSU, and now in Ole Miss/Georgia, the officials called a holding penalty, then had a neverending conference (a minute or two), then waved off the penalty, saying there was actually no holding.

And now, a takedown that wouldn't have looked out of place in the World Wrestling Federation, and that was out of bounds to boot, takes place directly in front of an official, and no flag.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:07am

Re #116
On the initial showing, I thought it hit the ground and wasn't a catch. After the replays, I thought it was a catch because Ginn had possession and maintained possession as he went to the ground, then lost possession of the ball when he was hit by the Iowa player after his knee hit the ground.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:12am

Thank to ESPN's Scoreboard, I see that slightly over 6 minutes into the second half, Brent Schaeffer has the most passing yards in the UGA/Ole Miss game. With 24.

TD Brian Robiskie. What a great throw by Troy Smith, putting the ball the only place it could possibly have been completed. Thanks to the Buckeye players for countering Jim Tressel's Ridiculously Conservative Coaching In The 4th Quarter With A Lead.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:15am

Three things:

1. Two posters here have suggested that Miami would be favored based on the polls. Who here REALLY things Vegas oddmakers sit there and say "gee, the sportswriters and coaches think Miami is better one week into the season...we'd better create our lines based on that".

2. Iowa was my pre-season sleeper for the national championship. I overrated them.

3. I thought they were overblown coming into the season, but Ohio State is for real. For the sake of everyone's sanity, we need either the Florida / Auburn winner, the Ohio State / Michigan winner, or Southern Cal to lose one game.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:21am

#120: It had nothing to do with him losing the ball afterwards. It's the fact that the ball moved when it hit the ground. That means that he didn't have full possession when he was down, which means it isn't a catch.

The fact that he lost the ball afterwards when the Iowa player hit him just served as a nice distraction to the announcers.

Regarding Iowa/OSU:

Why was Iowa believed to be a good team? It looks like they have a good offense, but their defense looked terrible. Tackling was absolutely horrible - I don't think I saw one even semi-effective open field tackle.

OSU will, without a doubt, walk through the entire Big Ten up until the Michigan game. There isn't a competent defense left in the conference for them to face.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:25am

1. Two posters here have suggested that Miami would be favored based on the polls. Who here REALLY things Vegas oddmakers sit there and say “gee, the sportswriters and coaches think Miami is better one week into the season…we’d better create our lines based on that�.

Not just the polls, but the 38-game home winning streak, the previous year's Texas games - it all adds up. As the article I posted in #96 said, Las Vegas casinos established Miami anywhere from a 6 to 9 point favorite, and the line settled somewhere around 8 points. I have no reason to doubt that and the other articles I posted.

The only possible reason anyone could think Houston was better would be the Sagarin ratings I posted in #95, which were based on one week of blowouts.

Unfortunately, the database I got the articles and spreads from just went down for maintenance until tomorrow morning, so I can't check the spreads you posted in #117 until then.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:31am

Re #122 and The Effect of Polls on Odds
This wasn't clear when I cited polls as a reason for why Miami should have been favored over Texas (as in #86), but it's not because it necessarily means the #3 team is better than the #10 team. Rather, it's because the #3 team is likely viewed to be better than the #10 team. This is quite relevant to sports book odds, because it likely provides an indicator as to which team the betting public thinks is better. Sports books try to make money for the casino, not predict games. They tend to do well at predicting games when there are relatively equal number of biased observers, and less well at predicting when there are a large number of bettors who are probably seeing things through rose-colored glasses (see, e.g., the Tennesee-Memphis line from last year).

by Derek (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:33am


Iowa was believed to be a good team beacuse they are 3rd or 4th best in the Big Ten. However, it seems like one of those years in which Michigan and OSU are a good distance ahead of #3.

This game came down to turnovers. OSU recovered every fumble (including one by Ginn and one by Smith...both drives eventually ended in touchdowns). Iowa gave up on the running game in the second half because they were trailing and Tate started throwing the ball up late in the game. OSU looked good and, more importantly, mistake free.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:34am

Re: 123 and others discussing the Ginn catch
Sounds like something similar to the play in post 66 I was commenting on. I don't think college has the same rule where a player has to keep possession after hitting the ground.

Re: 109 (MSU/Illini)
Part of the confusion was that the QB was bringing his arm back when he got hit on the arm, and then tried to throw or tuck the ball. I thought incomplete was the correct call, because even though he gets hit on the arm, it's still possible for him to move his arm forward. Whoever was doing the game on TV wasn't sure you could take a hit on the arm and then throw the ball forward... it was the great Kelly Stoufer.

On both replays I got the feeling these TV guys don't watch as much football as us football geeks. Maybe that's also one of the problems with officiating. They only study their own game, and don't watch 5 game on a Saturday and then another 10 NFL games during the week.

by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:38am

122 - Aw, we could have undefeated tOSU/Michigan, USC/Oregon, Florida/Auburn/UGA, UL/WVU/Rutgers... toss in Boise, and it will be great fun.

(I have zero confidence in Mizzou running the table.)

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:47am

Re: 127

Also Wake Forest, the only remaining unbeaten ACC team. 5-0, but ranked about #35 in both polls, so I don't think anyone expects them to stay unbeaten.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:53am

This game came down to turnovers.

In the first half, maybe. But in the second half? No way. Iowa's defense gave away that game in the second half. The only reason they got the ball back on the last few drives for those interceptions was due to Tressel's playcalling becoming passive (big surprise).

If OSU ever needed to score points, they could've just tossed the ball to Ginn/Gonzalez on a screen, and watched either waltz around the first defender and pick up 8 yards a pop.

Now, OSU/PSU? There's a game that came down to turnovers.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:55am

Ole Miss really needed to call and run a 2-point play before that TD could be reviewed. Why don't coaches realize when plays are close, and with the funkiness of replay why even take the chance? They don't have a playcall they think can get 3 yards that they can rush in so the TD doesn't get turned into a touchback?

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:59am

Can anyone tell me why there aren't fixed goal line cameras for every televised game? They'd have the most useful angle for any play where there's a question about whether the ball crossed the goal line (see, for another example, the Champ Bailey fumble in the NE-DEN playoff game last year), yet they never seem to be used.

by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 1:06am

127 - Hm, Wake has beaten a 1-AA team (Liberty) and a team that was shut out at home by a 1-AA team (Duke). Shocking they aren't getting more respect. :)

by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 1:08am

Ole Miss down by 5 with 3:29 to play. Punt on the way. Even if Georgia wins this game, they have to drop after two close calls to inferior competition.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 1:12am

Not that it matters, but I'm pretty suprised he didn't get called for taunting for laying the ball on an Ole Miss player's chest

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 1:14am

Re: 132

Even worse:
Duke against Wake Forest: 13 points.
Duke in 3 other games: 0 points.

Including sacks as negative rushing yards, Duke ran for negative 21 yards today.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 2:06am

Who sucks more, Mark May or P.O.D.?

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 2:40am

I know they don't keep records of things like this, but how's this? Ray Rice is the #2 rusher of the week - by 150 yards! Garrett Wolfe is a beast and a half.

by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 9:17am

As I rue my 2-6 record this week, I'd just like to congratulate Vinny for the first 8-0 week in the history of this column. It's a lot harder than it sounds. Way to go, Vin.

by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 10:37am

Regarding the Stanton non-fumble, I honestly wouldn't have had a problem with it if it had been ruled incomplete on the field. But it was ruled a fumble on the field. There's no way you can tell me the replay is indisputable evidence that it was incomplete. If it were indisputable, there's no way it would have taken that long to overturn it, and there's no way the television announcers, several commentators I've seen after the game, and the MSU radio announcers Trogdor described would have thought it was a fumble. I'm just so sick of these stupid college rules and incompetent officials. And I'm just amazed that Illinois won in the Big Ten, on the road, even though a couple of big calls went against them.

by Derek (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 10:45am

The turnovers created the score differential that kept Iowa from running the ball in the second half. The first half was basically even but OSU was still up by 11 points because Ginn was able to recover his own fumble and Tate threw an interception that was turned into 7 points. If Iowa doesn't become one-dimensional, it would have been a much closer game. When Penn State had to pass at the end of last week's game, you saw the same poor results.

by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 11:02am

Re: 128

I respectfully disagree with my FO colleague MDS. The college standard for pass/fumble is the same as the pros. As soon as the arm starts forward, no matter the intent, it's a pass. I thought it was pretty obvious on replay that Stanton's arm had started forward on that play.

by Russell Levine :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 11:03am

Re: 130.

I can give you a reason: cost. Placing cameras just on the goal lines has been deemed to expensive for the NFL, which certainly makes it too expensive for college.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 11:08am

Other Miami spreads listed for 1991:

-21 1/2 at Arkansas
-30 at Tulsa (Miami goes to Tulsa?)
-31 vs Oklahoma State
-3 vs Penn State
-28 1/2 at Arizona

I think the book is wrong. The Arkansas spread is the same, but every single newspaper I've checked has Miami favored by 25 or 26 against Tulsa, 36 or 37 against Oklahoma State, 10 against Penn State, and 25 to 27 against Arizona.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 3:47pm

Thanks Russ, further proof that it's better to be lucky than good (which history clearly shows that I'm not). Helps make up for the quality time I spent the first half of yesterday driving between SF and Sacramento (Sacto!) visiting family. (Apparently, no one else has grasped Russ's concept of throwing children's birthday parties on Saturday mornings so as not to conflict with football).

Random observations:

Missing the early games while I was stuck in the car, I was forced to listen to either the ND-Purdue game on Westwood One (Don Criqui! Allen Pinkett! Makes you almost miss Paul Hornung) or Cal-Oregon State since those were the only offerings on AM radio. Criqui and Pinkett were amazed by Purdue WR Selwyn Lymon because he was lighting up the ND secondary for 238 yards yesterday. They called him the best receiver they had seen this year, by far. Apparently they haven't grasped just how bad ND's pass defense is (just as bad as last year, if not worse), because they could say that every week. And by the way, Calvin Johnson and Mario Manningham also played against ND this year, although the last few weeks are a further indictment of Chan Gailey's gameplan to use Johnson as a decoy in the 2nd half against ND in week 1. After the game, Charlie Weis effectively called Lymon's yards "garbage yards." Classy, Charlie. I just don't understand why people don't like Weis.

This just in: Glen Mason can coach up an offensive line. He loses Setterstrom and Eslinger, breaks in two new tailbacks, and his team can still run the ball pretty well against a very good defense until they fall behind and are forced to throw. And then his O-line doesn't let his QB get sacked or pressured by what has been a dominant pass rush this year.

I'm hoping to watch (via DVR) some of the other football I missed later today/tomorrow. Right now, I'm just rueing (sp?) not starting Terry Glenn on my fantasy team today. I'm an idiot.

by FJ (not verified) :: Mon, 10/02/2006 - 8:15am

Right now, I’m just rueing (sp?) not starting Terry Glenn on my fantasy team today. I’m an idiot.

It's ruing. On Glenn, it depends on who your other WR options were. Though, anyone vs. the Titans was really juicy. (They made Pennington and Rivers look awesome. Culpepper is just sucky this year.) So much so, that I finally started Glenn this week.

I'm also liking Glenn for the next 3 weeks vs. Philly (26th - yds pass def.), Houston (32nd - yds pass def.), and NYG (30th - yds pass def.).


by Brian McClafferty (not verified) :: Mon, 10/02/2006 - 12:41pm

Re 145:
"After the game, Charlie Weis effectively called Lymon’s yards “garbage yards.�"

What exactly does "effectively called" mean? If it means he didn't actually say that, then you obviously are someone who has a bias against Charlie Weis for some reason. I believe Charlie's point was that the final two Purdue scores came when the game was already well in hand. And also, he was expressing his displeasure at his team not finishing strong. He also expressed anger at the Irish allowing a score with two minutes left in the first half. Get a life, Vinny.

by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 10/02/2006 - 5:16pm

Thankfully, the double lock did not doom the Ducks. Whew.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Mon, 10/02/2006 - 6:40pm

So Weis was saying that the scores/yards came when the game was essentially over, and when his team had relaxed too much on defense. What, praytell, could possibly be a more perfect definition of "garbage yards"?

by Vinny (not verified) :: Mon, 10/02/2006 - 9:23pm

Hey, I'm a Michigan guy, so I don't dispute that I'm biased (or need a life, thanks though). Much of those yards (esp. Lymon's) came before the half when the outcome was in doubt (28-14). I just think it came off as disrespectful of the opponent. Maybe he was just annoyed by the question (it's been known to happen to Lloyd Carr). I do know ND fans and some of the media love his confidence, but at times he comes off as awfully arrogant (e.g. his infamous "X's and O's" comment) for a guy who hasn't won anything as a head coach.

by Brian McClafferty (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 12:42pm

Re: 150.
I believe that respecting an opponent is absolutely a top priority for any coach's program; and your gracious response, Vinny, is appreciated. Once again, though, Charlie was ticked at halftime because his team (leading 28-7 at the time) gave up a TD within the two minute mark. Unlike Lloyd Carr, whose "I don't have any imagination," comment really surprised me, CW actually seems to say what he's thinking. Imagine that! Anyway, a guy with a bunch of Super Bowl rings, head coach or not, obviously understands "X's and O's" probably better than most media types.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 2:56pm

Brian, fair enough. Weis definitely says what he's thinking, and I understand why that appeals to some fans and the media, since standard coach-speak (play 'em one at at time; somtimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains) gets very old. However, Weis's X and O's comment wasn't directed at the media, it was directed at other college coaches, and it was very arrogant. I'm sure a lot of coaches took notice of it. And I thought Lloyd Carr's "imagination" comment was pretty funny at the half of the Wisconsin game, especially given his reputation (rightly so) as a curmudgeon.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Tue, 10/03/2006 - 3:02pm

Wait, LC's "imagination" crack was at the half of the ND game. Anyway, he was poking fun at himself, so I think that's always a good thing.

by Travis (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 5:08pm

Re: 94

No one will read this, but:

USA Today, 9/12/1991