Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Cynic’s Guide to College Football, Week 12

Coming up is some of the greatest football of the year. No, I don’t necessarily mean good football (although the Texas Tech/Oklahoma game this weekend could fit the bill, especially if you like lots of offense and five hour games). I mean rivalry week—that one time of the year when, no matter how lousy your team is this year, you can claim “you can throw the records out the window” and still talk smack about your least favorite opponent. And speaking of which . . .

1. The Cynic’s Game of the Year is Here

Every team has that group of fans who claim, “We don’t care if we go 1-11, as long as that one is against insert name of rival school here.” Well, Washington fans are going to get a chance to prove it. Exactly how bad do you have to be to be an 8 ½ point underdog at home to an 0-10 team with a lame-duck coach? That’s exactly the situation for the deplorable 1-9 Washington State Huskies as they enter this week’s game against Washington and Tyrone Willingham.

And courtesy of a really screwed up TV contract, the entire country (yes, that means you) will be subjected able to watch this piece of garbage epic rivalry game.

Even the most ardent Apple Cup fans will find this one hard to swallow.

2. I’d Hate to See What the Losers Get

As I write this, Ball State just defeated Central Michigan 31-24. The Cardinals are now two games away from an undefeated season. Their likely reward? The Motor City Bowl.

On the plus side, between the Lions and the US auto industry, this may be the closest Detroit gets to seeing a winner for a looooooong time.

GM is a 22 ½ point underdog. I’d still give the points.

3. No Pressure Here

If Utah wins this week’s game against BYU, they are a near lock for a BCS bowl game.

Lose, and they’re likely headed to the Poinsettia Bowl.

The difference in payout? $17 million vs. $750,000.

That whimpering sound you hear coming from Provo is Utah’s athletic director curled up in a ball under his desk.

4. Steve Kragthorpe is a Godless Heathen

Picking a fight when the other team jumps on or otherwise disrespects your team logo at midfield is one thing. Picking a fight because the other team holds a pre-game prayer at midfield? Whole different ballgame.

God bless those pagans.

5. Living and Dying on Tulsa Time

Earlier in the season, I was extolling the virtues of Tulsa’s seemingly unstoppable offense and pondering their potential as a BCS buster. Yeah, I kinda got ahead of myself there. Two weeks ago, the Golden Hurricane lost to Arkansas (no real shame in a CUSA team losing to an SEC team, even with the whole Gus Malzahn subplot). But then this week they go and lose by 40 to Houston. Sure, the offense put up 501 yards (and I did learn they have a WR named Slick Shelley.) But they also had five turnovers. And TU’s defense? Um, yeah. The Cougars were up 42-17 at half and scored TDs on their first three possessions of the second before Houston coach Kevin Sumlin took his foot off the pedal (the Cougars only scored one offensive TD in the last quarter-and-a-half).

So let’s examine the timeline:

2008: UH beats TU by 40.

1988: UH hangs 82 on Tulsa in an 82-28 win.

1968: UH sets an FBS record for points against a major college opponent with 100-3 win over Tulsa in 1968.

Note to self: go to Vegas in 2028 and bet the farm on Houston.

6. I’ll Take “Message Board Posts I Wish I’d Written” for $1000, Alex

Bad football can sometimes lead to some really good writing (this blog may or may not be an example of that). This week saw one of the most inspired pieces of sports message board writing I’ve seen in some time. A Baylor fan posted a note on a Texas A&M message board letting Aggie fans know how to act now that they have replaced the Bears at the bottom of the Big 12 South hierarchy (side note: how bad do you have to be when you’re getting smack talked by Baylor? Yeesh.)

At any rate, the message was quickly deleted by the Aggie board admins but, thanks to the miracle of Google cache, a Houston blogger was able to repost the guide to being in last place. This is some good, good stuff and could be useful for lots of your various smack talk needs over the next couple of weeks.

Chapter 3: How ‘bout that Aggie lacrosse team?

1 comment:

Thomas Roberts said...

C'mon, a little respect for my Washington State team. At least get the mascot right -- they are the Cougars. UW are the Huskies.

The first ever meeting in Pac-10 history of 10-loss teams -- this will be an epic battle for the history books.