Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Cynic’s Guide to College Football: Week 2

I must start off with some sad news. As you may have noticed, there was no Week One wrapup posted last week. This is because I was hiding out and waiting for the investigation to blow over while I planned how to spend all the blogger money that nice guy from Nigeria tells me should be here any day now. But unfortunately, it looks like that’s not how it’s going to go down. So, it is with deep regret, I am announcing that I will be returning the “Participant” ribbon I earned during my third grade field day. I apologize for any embarrassment I may have caused to my fellow classmates and the fine instructors at Benjamin Franklin Elementary.

Wow, feels good to get that off my chest. Now, moving on to our cynical view of the first two weeks of college football . . .

You Be the Judge
Take a guess: 70’s porn star or 2010 college football player? (answer below)

Call It Like It Is
I know we all get sick of the coaches’ pregame press conferences before the national contender vs. weak sisters of the poor games, where they talk about how much respect they have for their opponent, how the other team has a lot of great athletes, blah blah blah. Well, kudos to Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops for finally telling like it is. Several OU fan friends of mine reported that, late in a struggling 31-24 win over Utah State, Bob Stoops could be heard yelling at his struggling secondary, “This is UTAH STATE we’re playing!” Yes, it was an unscripted moment, but kudos to Stoops for at least appealing to his players’ pride and pointing out that the game shouldn’t have been within 5 touchdowns by that point. (I’ve since heard the audio for myself, but have yet to find a link online. If anyone knows somewhere I can get it, please send it my way.)

C'mon, Bob. Tell us how you really feel.

The Biggest Loser
We’re only two weeks into the season, and we can already nominate the biggest loser of the season. And it’s a team that might not actually lose a game. A week ago, the talk was how Boise State, fresh off their win over Virginia Tech, could become the first non-BCS AQ school to play in the championship game. Then it happened. And by it, I mean Viriginia Tech pissing down their leg in a loss to in-state rival James Madison. And when I say rival, I mean they reside in the same state, but the similarity and competition pretty much ends there. Now, instead of Boise supporters pointing to that big signature regular season win they’d been lacking on their resume, the detractors now have ample evidence that Boise isn’t that good. You’re known by the company you keep. And if Boise’s best win is a last-minute victory over a team that loses at home to James Madison, fair or not, that doesn’t really speak well for Boise’s body of work.

I hear Tempe’s nice that time of year. But then you already knew that, didn’t you?

I Don’t Want to See A Replay of This
Last week, new Tennessee coach Derek Dooley had to give his players lessons in showering and proper hygiene after a handful of Vols players came down with staph infections. This is how low UT sunk under Lane Kiffin—the players had lost the ability to bathe themselves.

Maybe they hired the wrong guy.

Keeping Chiropractors in Business Since . . . Last Week
Don’t be surprised if a lot of folks in the stands at Kansas’ next home game are wearing neck braces. It’s hard to imagine a bigger case of whiplash than the one Jayhawks fans just experienced. KU started off the season with a debacle, losing 6-3 to I-AA (I still can’t get used to calling it FCS) North Dakota State. And one game in to his career, the seat was already getting pretty warm under new coach Turner Gill. But, one week later, the Jayhawks did a complete turnaround, upsetting #15 Georgia Tech. It’s hard to imagine a bigger one-week turnaround taking place. And with a very winnable schedule (only one ranked team--#8 Nebraska—left this year and no Texas or Oklahoma), all the hope that seemed to be lost after week one may slowly be returning to Lawrence.

“Excuse me, but does this come in blue?”

War Damn (Bye) Eagle
I don’t know who does the SEC scheduling, but I’m pretty sure he’s an Auburn alum. In looking at Alabama’s schedule, I noticed something—each of Bama’s last seven opponents have a bye the week before they have to face the Tide.

Be Careful What You Wish For
Speaking of scheduling, Nebraska may be second-guessing it’s decision to join the Big 10 next year. With the new divisions and schedules being announced recently, Nebraska’s conference schedule next season includes home games with Ohio State and Iowa, along with road tilts against Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan. Throw in nonconference games against Fresno State and Washington and, as one Lincoln writer put it, “The only thing missing from Nebraska's 2011, 2012 schedule is a cigarette and a blindfold.”

The Big 10’s version of rookie hazing.

Oh, and the answer to the photo question above: That’s Nebraska sophomore DE Cameron Meredith rocking the sweet ‘stache.

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