Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | September 23, 2011

La vie en rose (or, NCAA football Week 4)

We Big 12 fans may be living la vie en rose for the foreseeable future, and traditionalist Sooner fans may finally have something to thank Texas for, if the TV network deal holds the conference together.  Mizzou is still having second and third thoughts and flirting with the SEC.  Chuck Neinas is being recycled from the Big 8 as interim Big 12 commissioner.  And beyond that, we don’t know from nothin’, but we do find this all very irritating.  We want football!  We want football!

The real reason for the vie en rose is, of course, the Sooners’ win over the Seminoles last week.  This week ponies up some fine matches, starting with Tulsa manning up to another drubbing, this one on the Blue Field of Death at #4 Boise State.  The Golden Hurricane faces Saturday without QB G.J. Kinne, who was injured in the Midnight Bowl against OK-State, and sparkplug Damaris Johnson, still suspended over embezzlement charges.  TU basically has no chance, so take whatever points you can find on offer.  After a ridiculous September playing #1, #4, and #7 Tulsa will settle down next week for a nice little outing against North Texas.  Have we mentioned that TU beat Notre Dame last year?

The Sooners host Missouri Saturday evening, in what has been a grudge match for the last few years.  The Tigers aren’t bringing what they had during the Chase Daniel heyday, but they’ve got some stuff, and will play the Sooners tough, as always.  Of course the sportsbabblers are harping on the Mizzou-knocking-off-#1-Sooners theme from last year, but while the 19 points OU is giving in the betting line may be excessive, it’s probably not by much.

OSU will be at College Station to take on the turncoat Aggies, who are giving 4 points although they’re ranked #8 to the Cowboys’ #7.  The Pokes did give up a LOT of rushing yards to Tulsa in the Midnight Bowl.  But on offense, the Weeden-Blackmon duo is healthy and hitting on all 12 cylinders, and the Cowboys have three other productive backs to mix things up with.  A&M brings heat of their own with RB Cyrus Gray.

Navy has a bye this week and will meet Air Force on 1 October in Annapolis.  Army is slightly favored over Ball State, whose 2-1 Cardinals don’t entirely suck.

Virginia Tech, hanging in at #13, gives 20 in a bout with Marshall in the Thundering Herd’s house.  The Hokies will be missing receiver Jarrett Boykin, out with an injury, but since they aren’t all obsessive about offense anyway, who cares, right?  Actually, they’ve still got reasonable depth in the ball-catching corps, and Logan Thomas can give the other receivers a workout.  They should have little difficulty with Marshall.

A rebuilding Nevada heads to Lubbock to give Texas Tech its first real test of the season.  The Red Raiders are substantially favored – understandably, after the Wolf Pack’s underwhelming performance at San Jose State.  But Texas Tech hasn’t had a real challenge yet, having so far thumped only FCS Independent Texas State and New Mexico, routinely the cellar-dweller of the Mountain West.

Tonight sees C-USA’s Central Florida at Brigham Young in what could be a pretty good match.  Cincinnati downed North Carolina State (motto:  “They have a football team”?) on Thursday night, 44-14, while most folks were watching the GOP debate.

In big-name match-ups, of course, #14 Arkansas at #3 Alabama gets high billing.  Florida State, now #11, meets #21 Clemson, and the Pawprints can give the ‘Noles some grief if they play like they did against Auburn last week.  #16 West Virginia, on the climb after knocking off the Terps, hosts #2 LSU.  We’d keep an eye on Clemson, but the overdogs should win in these bouts.  Cal meets Washington, with the Huskies slightly favored, and has a good chance of bagging another win.  Arizona State is favored ever so slightly over USC.  (Hee.)

In Div II, Southwestern Oklahoma State hits the road to take on the 0-3 Bronchos of the University of Central Oklahoma, whose suckage is pretty well established this season.    The Bronchos have shown some style and spirit but just can’t seem to close the deal.  We note that the Bulldogs run out at the start of each game from under the sharp teeth of a giant inflatable bulldog.  Just one of the color-commentary services offered here at TOC.

The Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers will be in Tyler, Texas for a meet with the Steers of Texas College, a Central States Football League rival.  The Steers have been put through the industrial crusher in their first three outings, turning in their best performance in a 49-6 loss to Texas Southern last week.  So even the 0-3 Rangers look to have a shot at posting a win.

In Div III, Christopher Newport is off this week, but will take on the Methodist University Monarchs in Fayetteville, NC next Saturday.  Rose-Hulman, hosting the 1-2 Panthers of conference rival Hanover College, will be looking for the first win of the season.




  2. Sorry, FOOTSIE, this went to the spam queue. Just rescued it. Don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel!

  3. Well, maybe I should take FOOTSIE’s advice. Texas A&M just scored on their first (second?) play from scrimmage against OSU. Gack.

    Come on, Cowboys!!!

  4. I hate fall Saturdays. Texas A&M/OSU*, Bama/Ar Kansas/, FSU/Clemson, all at the same time. I know you can sorta watch all 3 at the same time (especially with those little squares in the screen) but its still agonizing. (Later LSU/WV, OU/Missouri – will have to miss most of it but then USC/ASU AU/Or).

    *BTW, I don’t know how closely acquainted you are with T. Boone Pickens but can you tell him to cancel those hideous gray uniforms OSU seems to be favoring this year? While you’re at it please ask him to stop sucking up the tax $ for *Green Jobs* and go back to doing something useful for society like drilling for oil (and raiding corporations – though I guess Chinese are doing this now – as well as selling naive, enviro-deluded westerners cheaply produced, government subsidized solar panels). I mean one can why someone would take the free $ from the gov’t and the accompanying lavish praise rather than fight same government and be roundly condemned for trying to produce cheap, useful energy but he’s rich enough and he should “give back”.

    • Would that I could. Those neon-gray jerseys make my stomach hurt. Black, white, and orange, Cowboys. What, are they trying to camouflage themselves or something? Mess with their opponents’ brain waves?

      At least they’re wearing white today.

      Don’t forget Tulsa at #4 Boise State on CBS SN. 7:00 PM CDT. Should be a fine rout, what with the Golden H playing a redshirt frosh QB with 3.5 quarters of NCAA ball under his belt.

      • A&m and OSU are overrated. Blackmon should be made to wear a t-shirt with showboat on the front and possible idiot on the back. Fla State trapped in Death Valley. Cal just couldn’t make that 4th down play inside the 5 with time running out for a chance at 2 to tie Washington. (at Washington)
        Please watch the replay of Syracuse stealing one from Toledo. The replay official and game official are idiots.
        ESPN is having a field day with the missed call. How can you miss a field goal call?????
        Reminds me of the PAC 10 Replay official at the OU/Oregon game a few years ago.
        He was quoted as saying he went home for dinner and
        felt bad about it.
        I love football!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Regards to everyone.

  5. That was OU-Oregon State, of course. Replay official needed to have some frontier justice administered to him. One of the worst blown calls ever.

    HEARTACHE for Nevada in Lubbock. That one was back and forth and tightened up like a move script at the end. Except the wrong team won, at least in terms of the TOC Favorites Roster. Offensive duel for sure.

    Was glad to see OSU pull it out, although I could have done without the Smart Football in the last 5 seconds. I’m sure taking the safety was the right thing to do, but eee-yeeuw. Some dumb, dumb, dumb mistakes made by the Cowboys, but they really pulled it together. Different team in the second half.

    Tulsa losing painfully to Boise State, although they’ve added another TD to make it not quite so ugly. 34-14 early in the 4Q. G.J. Kinne is in — not expected by a single fan, I think — and has been staggering around unable to run and off his throwing game. Well, OK, he did the little run to get inside the 5 and set up the first TD. New nickname: Lurch.

    OU just scored. Looking good but not dominating, although the momentum has definitely been drained off from Mizzou’s early excitement. Broyles and Whaley just setting fire to the field. Sooners having their way with the sideline pass for 10 or 15. Defense is speeding back up in the second half.

    VT rolled over Marshall, 30-10. We got the game here due to Fox now carrying C-USA games, and I have to say, I saw some good stuff but I’m worried about the Hokies meeting Clemson next week. Some very good talent on offense, and an offensive line that acts like they’ve had some coaching. But little in the way of an “attack” — and VT just keeps taking a splintery board to its own head with the turnovers and penalties.

    Clemson did knock off a fading FSU, which suffered from QB Manuel still being sidelined. LSU taking care of WVU. What a defense. Too bad they don’t have any running backs. (OK, OK, it’s not that bad. But it’s not great.) ‘Bama took care of Arkansas as expected.

    Ball State kicked Army around pretty good, 48-21. So much for favorites.

    SWOSU Bulldogs beat the UCO Bronchos 27-20. The Bulldogs lost 3 turnovers and piled up 59 penalty yards, but UCO topped them big time, with 5 turnovers and a whopping 148 penalty yards. Sounds like both of them need to be slapped upside the head.

    NWOSU beat the Texas College Steers 44-7 for the Rangers’ first win.

    Rose-Hulman, we are happy to report, defeated Hanover 31-20 to rack up the Engineers’ first win of the season.

    • Nevada had Texas Tech by 10 in the 4th Q, but couldn’t hold them, Having been 21 point underdogs going into Lubbock is not going to be much consolation for the Wolf Pack.

      Nevada appears to be on a path to alternating between two quarterbacks. Kind of a two-headed alpha dog. Cerberus, anyone?

    • Has been a while since I have watched OU sleepwalk through a game at home. Human nature after Fla. State.
      Missouri has tremendous team speed, but they are a Popcorn Football team also. They should wear sparklers on their helmets.
      The replay debacle in 2006 was OU/Oregon. The PAC 10 officials made two horrendous bad calls in the last 1:12 of the game to give the game to the Ducks.
      Best Regards.

      • Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking. It was indeed OU-Oregon. Oy to the veh with the aging brain.

        So your story is that the Sooners were sleepwalking last night? OK, I’ll take that.

        The Sun Devils did a number on USC, 43-22. Enjoying that will never get old.

        • J.E., I forgot the pure option Missouri ran on OU in the second half. Pitch every time, OU had no clue. I think it was 3 or 4 plays. If you don’t see the true option very often, it will cause defensive backs to run away from the ball. That happened last night. It was fun to watch.
          Switzer talked about that very point in the 80s.
          That is my story about OU. If Oklahoma had played Missouri away, they may have had Fla. State/Clemson evening. When the defense was interested (2nd/3rd qtrs), they were dominate. The D took the 4th quarter off.
          Coach Stoops was VERY disappointed in the game. He felt the starters were a bit more mature. Not so.
          A prediction: ( I have a large crow hanging up side down

          just in case) Oklahoma will drill Texas A&M in Norman.

        • That is almost as much fun as watching Notre Dame losing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          I wonder if the Irish will make it to Shreveport this year. LOL!!!!

    • I am concerned about Clemson, but not “worried”. Clemson has beaten nobody in particular up to this point. FSU is NOT. Florida State is and was overrated by a very long shot. The sports media types all have serious -shall we say – LOVE affectations – with Flower-duh teams… Face it sports media types are road warriors who party hard… and well the partying is best in the sub-tropics…

      Clemson is not to be taken lightly. Tech must bring its A+ game and Lane Stadium will have to crank it up to maximum volume… (to those not aware, the 66,000 screaming Hokies at Lane stadium is about the loudest 12th man in college football, and it starts with “Enter Sandman” and rolls from there…) I am not going to predict anything, but Tech is much better than FSU this season… Especially because Bud Foster conducted a revival meeting this past summer… the Defense is Back.. with a vengeance…

      The Offense is a worry. I agree, there doesn’t seem to be a “plan” in the pipe. The offensive scheme, such as it is, doesn’t seem to have adjusted too much to what it CAN do with Logan Thomas, versus what it would love to do with Cam Newton…

      Good things from this last game:

      3 running TD’s from inside the 10, one being Logan Thomas finally realizing that HE can put the ball in from 4 yards out… personally….

      The starting secondary is “Shut down” close out… even when Jayron got beaten, he punched the ball out (on purpose) and recovered the fumble. Exum with a pick… Whitley and Hill were impressive…

      As you point out. The defensive line is also “shut down” good. Marshall had no running game -1 yard at the half, and few blitzes where needed to put pressure on the quarterback.

      On the offense. Danny Coale is gold. Platinum even. Thomas has a laser cannon for an arm. The offensive line was run blocking well and its pass protection was nearly perfect. David Wilson was a 4.4 yard per carry power house. Along with that the added treat of Josh Oglesby becoming the freight train, “I will not be denied” sort of power halfback that he always was but never got the chance to be…

      These are things that FSU doesn’t currently have and something that Clemson hasn’t faced.

      On the minus side of things:

      The backups in the defensive secondary are still behind the power curve. The Marshall touchdown at the end of the 1st half, was scored on the backups… the points weren’t as bothersome as the quick nature in which they were scored. Bud needs to work on his depth chart performance. On the less worrisome side, the backup defensive line and line backers were pretty good.

      We have a serious kicking problem. Journell is a better kicker than what he is showing so far. Fixing his “issues” might not necessarily be a “football” thing. Frank needs to figure out what mental-mechanical issue is bothering him, and get it sorted out for the conference run. Plus, we need a new punter. I hate firing people (not that you can “fire” a college student athlete) but Demler is not getting the job done under less than pressure filled conditions. in 4 games he has kicked with at best mediocre results. Danny Coale is the backup and was used on two punts (which were better than Demler’s) but Coale isn’t the answer.

      Frank, its time to head to the soccer fields…

      um… now for the real worry:

      A- Fumbles. David Wilson stopped a scoring drive with a really dicey fumble. Yes, Tech had won the game, and the score was extra stuff… but there was a problem. Wilson carries the ball too low on his arm. When he gets into traffic he is not tucking it up under his arm pit and covering it with the free arm (football running back fundamentals taught from Pop Warner on up…) He was stood up and stripped… again a Pop Warner sort of thing… That must be fixed ASAP,

      B- Late garbage time slackosis from Logan Thomas. He is great and focused under pressure (though sometimes a little tunnel visioned- more about that in C) but when the reins are loose and the going a bit less pressured, he takes bad chances with inaccurately thrown down field balls. (under thrown, to the inside of the receiver = pick-off). Ok folks.. that stuff ends now. Overconfidence is as crippling as not enough.

      C- The offensive “scheme” or plan is WRONG… there are no two ways about it but the offense is not being adapted to its talent, and the limitations of its players. Logan Thomas has that sort of “tunnel vision between the seams” problem that most rookie QB’s have. He is great at the trap shot… but leading a receiver on more than a skinny post is a real problem. He is also missing open receivers under the zone. He is so tall that he is missing open men 10 yards off the line of scrimmage… FIX THAT NOW Stiney.

      No more 1 back offense. EVER… NEVER… put either a fullback and Wilson/Obglesby in OR put both Wilson and Oglesby in. They are admirably unselfish players and WILL block for each other.. having both of them in the back field gives your two extra flankers.. and what defense is going to figure out which one of them is going to carry the ball on any play? USE YOUR BLESSINGS!!!!!

      Never run up the middle inside the 5. EVER… except when the defense might not think that you will and still maybe not even then. You have Oglesby, Wilson, Thomas at 6’6″ and 250… plus two good tight ends… nobody is going to beat that to the wide side… EVER… use it…

      Next week is the Test… study… work… give Wilson a ball and free tickets to whoever pulls it away from him… get a QB coach who can help Logan Thomas be the next Cam Newton…. and above all quit being predictable..

      Now… go out and BEAT CLEMSON.

      R-TMF – Class of ’81.

      • “The offensive line was run blocking well and its pass protection was nearly perfect.”

        I agree. I thought it was noticeable — not that Marshall was getting good pressure on the pass (the Hokies will have more trouble with Clemson), but the VT line was holding nicely, and was fast and disciplined on the run blocking.

        It’s like Beamer & Co are all over the tactics, but lack a campaign commander for the offense.

  6. The gray helmets and pants are still ugly. Not a good day for Texas A&M yesterday. And yes the last 5 seconds were absolutely excruciating.

  7. LSU looked about as bad as you can in defeating a Top 20 team on the road by almost 4 TDs, but they did, indeed, do precisely that and the consensus appears to be that based on resume and even form they are the clear number one at this point in the season. This seems a rather unexceptionable proposition.

    I’ll go a few steps further and suggest that at this juncture an LSU/Bama BCSCG should be contemplated. (Do the rules even allow that?). There is, obviously (and thankfully), a lot of football to play, but given the Sooners” rather pedestrian performance in all of their games and recent history, a one loss SEC team, especially if that loss is by LSU at an undefeated Alabama, would have a more than credible claim to one of the top 2 spots.

    Caveats abound, of course. Generally, one should take caution in one’s tone (Commander), when discussing the implications of style points. One need look no further than OU’s very stylish 2003 and 2008 outfits and Florida’s rather less elegant team from 2006. (I wanted to add OU from 2000, but while I can’t recall exactly, I think there were statistically formidable even if not quite at the level of the above mentioned OU teams. Both they and 2006 Florida were also defensive powerhouses). Certainly both Bama and LSU will have many pitfalls and, depending on their own form and the subsequent performance of A&M, Missouri and Texas, an undefeated winner of the OU/OSU tilt in Stillwater would have a powerful claim to a place in the BCSCG. My point is that as of now their place in that game would be automatically assured but that the matter must be examined much more closely and one hopes will be if the scenario comes to pass.

    • It’s hard to argue against LSU at the moment.

      One of the problems with the BCS is a lack of clarity on what the championship game is supposed to be. Is it a game to reward the teams that are able to grind out wins against stiff conference competition, or is it to match the two teams that are likely to be the best in one season-ending game? If the latter, they need to give more serious consideration to teams like the Boys Estate Broncos. If the former, they should stick to teams in the super conferences. In either case, it ends up a contest based on the BCS experts’ informed speculation.

      Playoff system, anyone?

  8. game ball to OC Kevin Gilbride

  9. Sure. But Vick broke his hand, so the Iggle fans can repeat that as a mantra.

    I’m not convinced the Giants don’t have something going this year.

    Now Cousin Vinnie puts a match to the tinder with the Xtreme terms “BCS” and “playoffs.” This thread may turn into one for the history books…

    • Almost as provocative as suggesting that we should lower the top tax rate for “The Rich” (like the Swiss), that teachers are overcompensated or that Israelis don’t actually serve sliced Palestinian children as orderves.

      • Luckily I don’t have time now but I’ll be back.

      • they don’t eat the children, just the stolen organs that don’t find buyers.

  10. the broken hand for Vick wasn’t really the problem for the Eagle O.

    because of what them insurance companies love to call a pre-existing condition, Vick wasn’t going to be allowed to run the ball or go on designed rolls much, or be able to take too many hits.

    without the head, the legs don’t work their usual magic and the D can get by without needing 12 1/2 men.

  11. Oh, now. Obviously you’re not an Iggles fan.

    The Cowboys, decked out in kevlar, will take on the ‘Skins tonight. Geez, does EVERYBODY have to be injured?

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