Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | October 7, 2011

It’s a hard-knock life (or, NCAA football, Week 6)

We hear there’s some baseball going on out there, but since it doesn’t involve the Reds or the Dodgers, we really don’t care.  (Oh, OK, OK.  The Arizona-Milwaukee game is on the tube, and we think the Phillies are going to go all the way again, and we’re OK with that.  But that’s as much as we care to say on a relatively unimportant topic.)

The big news this weekend is, of course, the Red River shootout in Dallas.  Oh, Cal lost to #9 Oregon as expected last night, 43-15 (hey, the Ducks had home field advantage, all right?), and #5 Boise State invades Fresno State here in a few hours, looking for more scalps.  But the game that matters, the Game of Games, the Game to End All Games will take place in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday at 11:00 AM CDT.

#1/#3 OU is favored by 11 over #11 Texas, but we think that’s optimistic and we urge the Sooners not to get cocky.  Both teams will be loaded for bear, and Texas has been improving rapidly in the last few weeks while Oklahoma has been treading water and fiddling around.  Landry Jones will need to minimize the interceptions; the Longhorn secondary hasn’t been spectacular this season, but with 6 interceptions so far, it’s getting the job done.  Jones can’t throw stupid against it.  The Sooners have plenty of running talent to tie down the defense with, and if the Sooner D will play the way it did against the Seminoles, Oklahoma should win the day.

#6 OK-State should have no trouble with Kansas.  The Jayhawks walloped McNeese State and Northern Illinois, but lost ignominiously to Georgia Tech and Texas Tech, neither of which is All That this year.  The Cowboys have lost a half-step in the secondary with Devin Hedgepeth out for the season, but they’re generally healthy otherwise.  (For the four people who haven’t seen it, a brief video clip of the Mike Gundy postgame dance after the win over Texas A&M is here.)

Tulsa has a bye this week and will meet conference foe U Alabama-Birmingham on the 15th.  Navy hosts Southern Mississippi and is favored by 1.  That may sell the Golden Eagles short; they’ve already beat Louisiana Tech (motto:  “What the heck are we doing in the WAC?”) and Virginia this year, which aren’t the toughest teams in the FBS but aren’t creampuffs either.  We wish Navy numerous trips to the checkerboard, however.  Army gives 2 at Miami (Ohio), but we’re expecting better than that for Army, since the 0-4 Redhawks are terrible.  In a lesser-of-two-evils bout, Air Force visits Notre Dame.  Pick yours.

In spite of their graceless swan dive last week against Clemson, the #21 Hokies are giving 7 in the home stand against Miami (Da U) on Saturday.  We feel sure Coach Beamer has got them in a better frame of mind, even if “offense” is still against his religion.  The Hurricanes are coming off a big win over Bethune-Cookman’s intrepid Wildcats, but they’re basically not very good this year, and VA Tech should, frankly, kick their tails.

Nevada hosts an annual rivalry this weekend with the UNLV Rebels.  The Rebels stink, and the Wolf Pack is handing out points in the parking lot (21 at last count).  When I say stink, I mean the Rebels really smell:  as far as I can tell, Nevada hasn’t settled yet on a starting QB for the Saturday night game, and still the Pack is giving 21.  We say take ‘em.

In Other News:  #1/#2 LSU hosts #17 Florida in what is unlikely to be a tight game.  #2/#3 Alabama is scheduled to slaughter Vanderbilt.  There should be some speed and flair on display as #15 Auburn heads for #10 Arkansas, but it would take cataclysmic events for the SEC to come down to anyone but LSU and Alabama at this point.  The #4/#7 Stanford Sparkly Garnet plays host to Colorado (motto:  “We take a pounding!”), and is being downright stingy with the points, giving only 29.  #14 Nebraska takes on its next Big 10 opponent, the rapidly receding Buckeyes.  (Wisconsin has a bye.)

In Div II, the SWOSU Bulldogs head to Weatherford to take on East Central University’s Tigers in a Great American Conference match.  The Tigers don’t seem to be very good, having lost to Central Oklahoma last week, and Ouachita Baptist earlier in the season.  SWOSU edged past Southeastern Oklahoma State last week, 23-20.

NWOSU’s Rangers knocked off Missouri S&T last week 22-17, and host the Crimson Storm of Southern Nazarene University in a Central States Football League bout on Saturday.  We have no idea if the Crimson Storm is any good or not, but TOC can vouch for the antique shopping across 39th Street from the SNU campus in Bethany.

In Div III, Rose-Hulman upended Manchester 26-20 last week.  Saturday will see the season’s toughest opponent arrive in Terre Haute, as the Franklin College Grizzlies, perched atop the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and ranked #25 in the D3 poll, take the field against the Engineers.

Christopher Newport is coming off a win at Methodist University, 26-14, and will host a game under the lights again in Newport News on Saturday night.  The visiting team is the Hornets of Shenandoah U, a USA South Conference rival coming in with a 2-2 record to match the Captains’.

Minnesota’s Yovani Gallardo has been striking Diamondbacks out right and left in an otherwise sluggish 1-1 match.  We leave them in the bottom of the 6th.



  1. Nozzo fast on the Phillies. The Cardinals’ Chris Carpenter pitched a complete game three-hit shutout, and the Cardinals’ bats responded with the minimum necessary run support in the first inning. ANY complete game is a thing of wonder nowadays, but this was exceptional under the circumstances.

    The Wolf Pack QB situation is sketchy. Most fans have lost faith in the senior QB Lantrip; don’t know about the team. The redshirt freshman Fajardo showed some promise, but he picked up a shoulder injury in the Texas Tech game. He’d probably be ready to start against UNLV but may need some additional time to heal from the injuries when his coach threw him under the bus after the Boise State game — a game in which Fajardo did not play. Coach said the kid didn’t try very hard to get ready to play in that game. Third QB Magleby got some yards and a score late against Boise State. Well, keep the scurvy Rebels guessing.

    • No kidding. Spoke too soon on the Phillies. I guess I can root for the Cards, but it won’t be much fun.

      We’ve also heard around these parts that Fajardo was maxing out his SIQ chit, at least as the coach saw it, but we don’t know from those nasty rumors. My guess would be Lantrip starts, especially considering the, er, caliber of the opponent. But we’ll see. Down the Rebels.

      • The Nevada defense pitched a shutout against the Rebels, 37-0. Tyler Lantrip came on as QB after Fajardo was ineffective as a starter, and accumulated 3 passing TDs. Meanwhile, the Rebels managed to complete only one pass for the entire game.

        And how about those Hogs? Arkansas over Auburn, 38-14.

        • P.S. In the Phillies-Cardinals game, Ryan Howard made the final out on a weak ground ball. To add injury to insult, he ruptured an achilles tendon trying to run to first. He had a worse day than the UNLV QB.

  2. CSU-Pueblo 23/Colorado School of Mines 6. Yes I watched the game on and off. Many Mines alumni around Oklahoma in the oil business. Mines crushed NWO a few weeks back.
    I was going to give the Solyndra/Taxpayers score but never mind.
    Did you say someone was playing baseball? George Will loves baseball. I read George Will. That is my connection to baseball.
    Okay, OU/texas: look for the ex-tater tot OC to pull every popcorn football trick play, razzle dazzle,hum-dinger, cotton candy swirl,triple reverse whatcha ma call it,pull a rabbit out of a hat, dipsy doodle,OMG they threw it to the quarterback play selection right from the get go.
    DC Diaz will play every combination of stunt, blitz, stunt and blitz,
    cover 2 and rush 13, hide a safety behind the Sooner offensive line sort of thing.
    The early part of the game could be irritating. Texas is outmanned.
    All the trick stuff (to cover many weaknesses) will start to wear thin). OU by 13.
    A sad note. As a greedy businessman trying to enrich myself at the expense of others, my company will be working today. We do however have many radios!

  3. Whoa, that IS a sad note. You can’t be expecting much business between 11:00 and 2:30.

    I find trick plays extremely annoying. (They rarely work, and then it’s just embarrassing.) In fact, back in the day, I had great appreciation for the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust style of play.

    Go SOONERS!!!!!!!

    • That depends. When physically inferior teams need to deep dig into their playbooks to defeat unmotivated opponents in overtime in glorified exhibition games, then lack of enthusiasm in understandable.

      When talented teams go to clever and gutsy devices to gain an advantage (e.g. a half dozen LSU plays the last few years) than thats a completely different kettle of fish.

  4. OU-Texas definitely turning into a rout.


    • OU Defense 21 Shorthorn Tatter Tot Dipsey Doodle Offense 7.
      Remember John Maddens’ logical axiom. When you play two quarterbacks, you don’t have a quarterback.
      The OU run game was not good and the special team melt down ( a recurring problem) will haunt OU against a really strong team.
      Brandon Williams should have to walk home after that fumble to give Texas a very short field at the end.
      Fun game though!!!!!!!
      We work outside. Had to beat the coming rain to finish a project. We just made it. It is 5:30 central. It has been raining for an hour.
      Best regards to you. Martini anyone?

      • “The OU run game was not good.”

        What OU run game?

        Yeah, it was fun. My kind of OU-Texas game, for sure. At least on the scoreboard.

  5. Plus, one-time #5 FSU being stomped by … Wake Forest. So much for pre-season polls.

    • Demon Deacons !!!!!!! Small school, big hearts,great academics. It is very much like Tulsa.
      Their football coach has turned down several big money schools to stay there. He had them ranked several years in a row just a short time ago.
      Also a beautiful campus.
      My last sad note of the day: I have placed my Cal cap on the top shelf in my closet after the whipping they took. So much for intellectual smarty pants football players.

      • Well, there is Stanford.

  6. Incredible VT-Miami game. Awesome finish for the Hokies, even after Miami came alive in the 2nd half. The Logan Thomas keeper for the final TD was incredibly well executed. Main camera and the whole Hurricane D were suckered off by Wilson, and Thomas’ front four opened him a hole big enough to drive a truck through.

    What was the final score of the OSU-Kansas game? Gazillion to 20-ish? The Cowboys had 56 points by halftime. Yeesh.

    Navy took a hard, hard loss today. 63-35 Southern Miss. Ouch. Army was way up on Miami (Ohio), but the Redhawks surged back late to pull out a heartbreaker, 35-28. Air Force’s loss to Notre Dame completed a day of pain for the service academies.

    And how about that bogus unsportsmanlike conduct call on the LSU punter when he ran it in for a TD? Not that it mattered to the outcome, but that was just ridiculous. I mean, Trojan showboats turning front flips into the end zone merit a call like that, but the LSU punter? Give me a break.

    Alabama finally put a second TD on Vanderbilt as the half wound down. Auburn and Arkansas definitely having a more exciting game.

    Wake Forest. OU 63, Wake Forest 0. 1974. Steve Davis? Elvis Peacock? Dean Blevins? Huh? Good times.

    • And the Sun Devils of Arizona State stuck their pitchfork in Da Yoots of Utah, 35-14.

  7. In News from Newport News, the Captains of CNU blow a 20-0 lead in the fourth quarter, but come up lucky twice in OT to win the game 27-20.

    CNU’s problem is, once again, getting a big lead and then playing 3 play punt (Prevent offense, and not being careful with the ball when realizing that Prevent offense or defense means prevent me from winning the game.

    Two observations:

    1. Validation of my rule #1 of any football game. Play the game to win all the way to the end.

    2. If I never see a fullback lead, half-back ISO into a loaded box for -1 yards again, I will be a very satisfied fan.

    But the Captains pulled this one out in an OT period that should have never been….

    On the Hokies Beating archrival Miami…

    1. Looks like the venting from the fan base, probably combined with some serious head knocking of the play calling staff after last week’s fiasco… netted something that more than a few of us were saying last week. If Logan Thomas is the QB, LET THE KID DO THE JOB!!! Quit babying him, take off the training wheels and let him do his thing…..

    That worked… whatever Wheaties that he ate yesterday morning… find them and feed them to him every morning.

    2. The defense only broke down because of the very painful losses of James Gayle and JG-W… Hopefully they are playing next week because Wake Forest woke up and is playing serious football. Though beating a vastly over-rated Florida State team is not a particularly brilliant flash, Wake is playing well, and is going to be a very dangerous host.

    Logan Thomas’s quarterback rating for yesterday was: 235.8 or something like that… which is just short of perfect.

    Tech got no real love in the polls, but bumped up 2 in each. Wake is going to have to fall before people will begin to believe that the Hokies might actually be facing Clemson again, in the ACC Championship game.

    I still think that there is a potential for Tech to drop games to Wake and Georgia Tech – which would put them outside of the possibility of winning the conference. We shall see, they are still alive and fighting.



  8. Just when the opticon was opticonning me into thinking that the Giants had something going….it goes.

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