Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | September 30, 2011

Life trucks along (or, NCAA Football, Week 5)

Finally!  Tulsa gets to relax a little and neither play nor be preparing for a Top 10 opponent.  After a manful performance that, in retrospect, could have been worse, against Boise State, the Golden Hurricane will host the 1-3 Mean Green of North Texas on Saturday.  The game even starts at the reasonable hour of 6:00 PM CDT.  QB Kinne is still favoring his injured knee according to the Tulsa sportsbabblers, but the Tulsa O’s strong and improving running game gives him something of a break, and should be effective against North Texas.  The Mean Green got their one win against Indiana, which in many years wouldn’t be too shabby.  But the Hoosiers are pretty bad this year.

Oklahoma, now #1 or #2 depending on which poll you favor, hosts Ball State Saturday at 6:00.  The Sooners are giving away stacks of points at the gate, and you might as well take ‘em.  The Cardinals will be a minor speed bump on the way to the Red River Shootout with Texas on the 8th.  The #17 Longhorns, for their part, have their work cut out for them up in Ames, where they will meet a 3-0 Cyclone squad coming off a bye week preceded by a narrow win over UConn.  Texas gives 9, but Iowa State has a good shot at covering.

#5 OK-State has a bye this weekend and will prepare to meet a floundering Kansas on 8 October.  Meanwhile, Navy hosts Air Force to kick off the Commander-in-Chief trophy series for this season.  The Falcon D, decimated by injuries, will have a challenge keeping up with Navy’s polished triple option, and big losses on the Air Force defensive line may give Kriss Proctor that extra second he needs to work himself up to the occasional throw.  Navy gives 3, which is probably about right.  Look for the gamebabblers to talk incessantly about whether Navy is going to move to the Big East.  Saturday; noon; Annapolis.  Army gives only 7 in a home game against Tulane, but will probably cover and more.

#11 VA Tech is favored by 7 over #13 Clemson in Blacksburg, and it ought to be a good game.  The Tigers have been playing quality opponents tough; Tech has been spotty but good enough, and with flashes of brilliance.  The Clemson match-up kicks off the Hokies’ ACC schedule.

Nevada hits the Smurf Turf in Boise as the Broncos’ next victim, after losing the heartbreaker to Texas Tech last week.  We’re not sure the Wolf Pack won’t cover the 27-point give by Boise State, but we are sure this year’s Pack won’t repeat last year’s wild OT victory.  Too many of the  seasoned players from 2010 termed out.

In other action, Houston had a surprising amount of trouble with UTEP in a C-USA bout on Thursday, finally downing the Miners 49-42.  Pitt stomped soon-to-no-longer-be-#16 South Florida 44-17, which we think is too bad.  (TOC was stationed in Tampa and follows the Bulls with a benign interest.)

BYU hosts Utah State Friday night in one of those games Utahans think are important.  On Saturday, #1/#2 LSU should have no trouble at home with Kentucky.  The big SEC game will see #12 Florida hosting #3 Alabama.  We like the Tide for this one and are not convinced the Gators will remain at #12 after it, but of course anything can happen.

The Big 10 affords a marquee match-up this weekend with #8 Nebraska traveling to #7 Wisconsin.  This will be the Huskers’ first Big 10 game as a conference member.  Bo Pelini’s squad are runnin’ fools, putting up a mean triple option, but the Badgers on the other side aren’t doing three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust these days.  Half of their high-scoring offense comes from QB Russell Wilson’s arm, which is starting to generate Heisman buzz.  The oddsquad favors Wisconsin by 10; the sportsbabblers are excited about a real, meaningful game with absolutely no teams from the SEC, PAC-12, or Big 12 in it.

The #6 Stanford Candy Pink is favored by (at least) 21 over the hapless (and getting haplesser) Bruins.  Cal’s off this week, preparing to lose to the #9 Ducks in Eugene on Thursday, 6 October.

In the first-time meet-ups column, the Cavaliers of Virginia host Idaho’s unfortunate Vandals.  Yahoos give 16 in their fourth game ever against a WAC opponent.  In a separate sub-column, Ole Miss will play its first game ever in the state of California when the Rebels meet Fresno State on Saturday night.

In Div II, Southwestern Oklahoma State travels to Durant to meet Southeastern Oklahoma State on Saturday evening.  The Savage Storm is 2-1 to the Bulldogs’ 3-1.  We note for FOOTSIE’s benefit that Jets head coach Rex Ryan is a SWOSU alum, and recently donated the use of his personal suite at the Jets-Patriots game for auction at an athletics fund-raising event in Weatherford.

The NWOSU Rangers host their homecoming game Saturday against Missouri University of Science and Technology.  Those who frequent I-44 have at least heard of Rolla, MO, even if they aren’t familiar with the Miners or the Great Lakes Football Conference.  Missouri S&T comes in 2-2 and will give the 1-3 Rangers a challenge.

In Div III, Christopher Newport heads to Fayetteville, NC for the first USA South conference game of the season against Methodist University.  The Captains and Monarchs both hit the turf 1-2 on Saturday at 1:00 PM.

Rose-Hulman travels for a conference match with Manchester, in North Manchester, IN.  The 2-1 Spartans, coming off a bye week, aren’t half bad.  We wish the Fightin’ Engineers luck in their bid for a second victory.

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Responses

  1. Love the start of conference play. That the expanded Big Ten gets a preview of what everyone thinks is the Big Ten championship game is great. I think a spread of 10 is about right because I am not convinced Nebraska can pass the ball well enough to keep Wisconsin from attacking Nebraska’s running game in the hostile confines of Madison. During commercials in the midwest you can flip and watch Purdue and ND play.

    The other interesting game in the Big Ten is Northwestern at Illinois – last year in Wrigley field Illinois ran for over 500 yards – yes 500. They got almost 300 last week but barely won the game. Illinois is ranked on the strength of beating ASU a few weeks ago – otherwise a tough Western Mich squad pushed them to the edge. Northwestern is a good team – with a good passing game which is Illinois’ weakness. In addition they have rolled up the rush yards too – which is not an Ilinois weakness. They are in the top 10 in rush yards allowed. Is Ron Zook really doing something, and deserving of the top 25 ranking, or does Illinois come back to reality after a not too difficult pre-conference schedule.

    The SEC gives us Alabama at Florida – and in the ACC Va Tech hosts surprising Clemson. A few more games to whet your whistle. Welcome to October, when college football starts to get really crazy and fun to watch. Please do not institute a playoff – please!!

  2. I admit, I’m not necessarily in favor of playoffs.

    BYU and Utah State slugging it out. Cougars just got back in it.

    • The beauty of the current system is that now every weekend is a playoff game. You have to perform every week or else you drop out and are done. The less good your conference or your schedule, the less margin for error you have, thus creating a defacto weighting in favor of strong conference teams, almost like a handicap system in golf in reverse.

      In a playoff, the best team doesn’t always win, it sometimes is just the team that got hot at the right time – ignoring a whole season of superior play.

      Keep it just like it is. Except Iwould really love if Jan 1 would have 8 or 9 games again!!

  3. PCO beat Del City 56-34. Midwest City crushed PCN.
    LSU and Alabama are probably one step above OU right now. The Alabama defense is strong and brutal. Trying to find room to run on Alabama is like looking for white truffels. Good Luck. They do play each other.
    This just in: Predator 1 Awlaki 0.
    Regards to everyone. I love football.

    • Go Pirates! Sorry to hear about North though.

      LSU-Kentucky was boring. Possibly more boring than OU-Ball State will be. (It better be boring.) ‘Bama-Florida may afford more interest.

      • I did not pay the fee for the pay for view OU/BS. What a joke.
        Iowa State turns the ball over 3 times in the first quarter. Nerves?
        Disappointed in South Carolina. I am a big “Old Ball Coach” Fan. Anyone that can win big at Duke ages ago has to be okay. He helped bring Bob to OU.
        A modest prediction. Wisconsin may give the Huskers a warm welcome to the Big Ten.
        Last, but not least: How about those out of shape A&M Aggies. Intramural sports may be the answer!

        • A&M is in Norman this year. Yum Yum eatum up!

          • Sooners opened it further against Ball State last I saw. 38-6. Yeah, kill the Aggies. Munch, chomp. Gotta take care of the Longhorns first. They won’t be a walkover. They’re steamrolling the Cyclones right now. I see a ranking jump in their future.

  4. I have a competition with a friend of mine. He picks a college game and I pick a pro game each week. It lasts until the college regular season ends. He has Nebraska getting 10 today. We’ll see if the Huskers can cover. Go Badgers – by 11 or more!!!

  5. Some crazy games – Arkansas comes back on Texas A&M – who cannot finish. Enjoy going to the SEC where you will get destroyed unless you grow some.

    Illinois – Northwestern went completely different. Persa is a hell fo a QB for Northwestern but they couldn’t hold an 18 point lead. Illinois rushed for less than 100 yards but Scheelhaas from Illinois throws for almost 400 yards. And how is this for a receiver’s line – 12 for 269 and 3 TDs.

    It’s not even 4 o’clock in the east side of the midwest today. I might not make it to the end of the day. Big ACC game as a warmup to Neb-Wisc and Ala-Fla at 8PM.

    Love it love it.

  6. Yeah, some wild stuff. Doesn’t quite qualify as unexpected, like some of the big upset weekends of the past. But we’ve got SMU up on TCU in the struggle for the Iron Skillet, and Auburn up on the Gamecocks (and in the RZ again), so there’s definitely some interest going on.

    Navy came back from a big deficit and then lost in OT to Chair Force. Pain.

    Poor MInnesota was simply destroyed by Michigan. I think Goldie the Golden Gopher was seen slinking into his gopher hole with a salty tear dripping off his little gopher nose. 58-0, Wolverines.

    Nevada taking a pounding on the Blue Field of Death. How many sacks is that on Lantrip now? (Cousin Vinnie no doubt knows, but we won’t ask him.)

    On to the later line-up. We feel the game of the day here will — to JEM’s delight — be Nebraska-Wisconsin.

  7. Oh, I wasn’t calling them upsets as much as they were games with wild momentum swings. Gamecocks go ahead – Latimore with a beastly run. And yes – TCU is in a world of hurt. That is a surprise indeed.

  8. Cousin Vinnie lost count of both the sacks on Lantrip and how many beers were consumed during gametime. Nevada’s O-line does not look like it is up to the task. But it was a lot easier with Kaepernick taking the snaps last year. He could often run away from or run over the pass rushers. Despite the drubbing, the Broncos did not cover the spread.

    Rough loss for Navy after an absolutely incredible 4th Q comeback to tie. The Black Knights trounced Tulane at their homecoming game at Michie Stadium.

  9. And now crazy finishes at KState and TCU – two upsets, especially TCU in OT after a furious comeback. I don’t see much KState. Anyone know more about them?

    And to start off the evening a Florida bomb to strike first.

    • K-State hung on to prevail 36-35 over Baylor. Saw the last of it here, basically anticlimax after the interception and the go-ahead FG with 3 minutes or so left in the game.

      Some ranked teams going down today, for sure.

  10. Badgers already jumping around like they’re up by 13 in the 4Q. Nebraska clearly coached to the Badger running game. We’ll see if they can keep up.

    WOE to the Hokies. Their incorrigible penchant for turnovers is catching up with them today. 17-3 Clemson, and getting harder to watch. Hokie D pretty stalwart.

    Hilarious scoring fest in the Coliseum earlier. 48-41, USC over Arizona. Recruit some D, guys.

    OU pulling away from Ball State, 24-6 in the 2Q… Tulsa up on North Texas 21-3 with a minute and change to the half… Texas whuppin up on Iowa State 20-0… and yes, SMU tops TCU 40-33. Wow.

    And for Cousin Vinnie — hah! Indeed. The Wolf Pack covered.

    • I think Clemson is the real deal. And I have not been sold on VaTech all year. This DE for Clemson is just a monster.

      FLA-ALA and NEB-WISC are just busy thowing haymakers at one another. Quite enjoyable to watch.

  11. Oh, and K-State beat Miami last game out. Not that everyone isn’t beating Da U this year. The Wildcat running game has been punched up a bit, but I haven’t been paying that much attention. Their big challenges are yet to come, of course, with OU, OSU, and Texas all still lurking out there for them.

    Huskers strike first.

  12. One note and one note only be given to Frank Beamer:

    Dear Frank,

    Fire Stinespring.

    Angrily,

    Hokie Nation

    The story of the Virginia Tech – Clemson game of October 1, 2011 is that Tajh Boyd is stoppable… but Clemson isn’t if your offense doesn’t exist.

    Virginia Tech has no offense. Period. NONE. I am now completely convinced that the only reason the Hokies won when Tyrod Taylor was in the line-up is because Tyrod frustrated the hell out of Stinespring. Tyrod wrote his own offensive ticket because he scrambled and moved around… As a reminder of the “stork in a bag” past I offer up Sean Glennon; who was a sack target because Stinespring was and is awful.

    Frank either finds a new offensive coaching crew.. with a fully capable Quarterback Coach and an Offensive Coordinator with a play calling clue.. or this is going to become standard fare for a team and program that is way better than that.

    Prediction: Hokies go 6-4 this year… at this pace… and struggle to win a booger bowl. Maybe no 10 win season will shake frank out of his torpor… maybe not… It was a “no expectations” season for me… I was hoping the team would prove me wrong…

    Disappointed and angry in the Hokie Nation….TMF

    • BTW: That is 8-4, never type when that angry… fingers are too clenched… eyes too glazed over…

      >:

  13. Dear Nebraska,

    It was so nice to see you last evening. After hearing so much about your background we were so pleased to host you last evening for our nice quiet get together with 80,000 of our closest friends. Please do feel free to come back any tuime the schedule makers suggest it. Oh, and next time please feel free to bring your football team along with you.

    Warmest Regards,

    The Badgers

  14. I’m starting to think that the opticon is right and that the Giants do have something going on.


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