Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Cynic's Guide to College Football, Week 3

With only a handful of remotely interesting games last Saturday, we'll keep it short this week. But I'll be participating in what should be an interesting football atmosphere this weekend, so I will have much more fascinating material next week.

Bring Back the Fridge

Last week I wondered which Ralph Friedgen would show up this season: the jolly fat Santa Claus-type one who delivered bowl games for Christmas. Or the new skinny (well, skinnier) version who struggled to beat James Madison in OT. Well, that question may have been answered this week as Maryland lost to Middle Tennessee State--for the second straight year. With upcoming games against Rutgers and Clemson, not to mention November tilts against Virginia Tech and Florida State, the five wins the Terps will need to get bowl eligible are
looking harder and harder to come by.

Bring back the original!

A Sucker for Charity Cases

If Jim Tressel and Bob Stoops get criticized every year with chants of “can’t win the big one,” isn’t it about time that Pete Carroll gets similar criticism for seemingly making an annual choke against a lesser team? Carroll rightfully gets credit as a master motivator for getting his teams up for big games (with a little help from one-trick pony comedians and 1960s songwriters). But his self-help routine apparently falls flat when trying to get his teams up to play the unwashed masses of the Pac-10. Is Washington improved this year under Steve Sarkisian? Undoubtedly. But let’s not forget that the Huskies, prior to last Saturday, hadn’t won a game in 672 days. So it’s not like they suddenly became a top-10 team overnight. A team like USC shouldn’t lose games like this. And yet they seem to do it every year. At some point, blame has to go to the top.

Trick or treat.

Bee-CS Busted

Losing is never easy. Losing to end your 16-game winning streak is bad. Losing to end your winning streak when the other team has four turnovers and their QB goes 4-of-16 with a pick? Well, now that just ain’t fun. But that’s the situation for Utah following their 31-24 loss to Oregon. Between that and Florida State’s beatdown of BYU, the BCS-buster title belt won’t be coming back to the Beehive State (that’s Utah’s nickname--who knew?) this year.

Yes, that’s a beehive under the eagle on their state seal and flag. Now I’m wondering who would win between an eagle and a swarm of angry honeybees. Do you think Spike TV could hook that up for a new episode of “Deadliest Warrior?”

Better luck next week.

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