Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | October 14, 2011

Obla-di, obla-da (or, NCAA Football, Week 7)

Ever notice how much Nick Saban and Rick Perry resemble each other?

Just getting your attention.  It’s Overdogs’ Choice this week, for sure.  Even Tulsa, which defeated Notre Dame in their first-ever meeting last year, is a heavily-favored overdog, hosting winless conference rival U Alabama-Birmingham.  UAB gained a brief and weird notoriety in August, when alert US researchers reported that a Chinese TV news spot had featured an IP address associated with the school as the target of a notional cyber-attack.  Just one of the many examples of cosmopolitan engagement by the Conference-USA fraternity.

#1/#3 Oklahoma should have no trouble with hapless Kansas, which has allowed its last three opponents to score 181 points.  Even McNeese State scored 24 points on the Jayhawks.  Basically, if you suit up an offense and send it out there, it’s going to score on Kansas.  Oklahoma needs to keep fluffing its feathers and strutting for the BCS computer, so a 4-quarter pile-on is to be expected in Lawrence on Saturday.  The Sooners might even try running the ball.

#6/#7 OK-State visits #22 Texas, and is a lesser but still solid overdog.  Navy will be at Rutgers, and breaks the overdog streak for the TOC slate with the Scarlet Knights giving 3.  Navy has a good shot at this one, and we always like to see the Midshipmen kick Commie Red tail.  But the Knights got it done against Pitt last week and won’t be a pushover.  The line looks about right on this one.  Army is off this week. (Chair Force lost to San Diego State Thursday night.)

The Hokies give 6 in their bout with Wake Forest, which may or may not be on target.  The Demon Deacons knocked off Florida State last week, but the, er, growing suspicion is that the ‘Noles were way overhyped at the beginning of the season.  Frankly, VT, which has slipped to #19 in the AP, brings more than Wake Forest does, even in Wake’s house.  The question will be whether the Hokies can avoid shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties.

After pounding the flea-bitten Rebels of UNLV last week, Nevada is a solid 29-point overdog hosting New Mexico in a Battle of the Wolves.  Lantrip got the win as relief QB last week, but we hear the youngster Fajardo will start again on Saturday.  The Wolf Pack can afford to play quarterback shuttle and give Fajardo field time against weak opponents, and can probably even afford another five turnovers.  But we urge them to forego the latter.

There are a few overdogs who might get a good workout from their opponents.  A resurgent #11 Michigan at #23 Michigan State, in their annual classic, may be the best bet in that regard.  But #18 Arizona State at #9 Oregon is one to watch: we think the Ducks will take the day, but the Sun Devils have shown awful feisty so far. The key for the Ducks will, as always, be starting to actually play football before midway through the 2Q.  As a random comment, we consider Clemson overranked at #8, although the Turtle, which has had real gettin’-started problems this year, is not the opponent to prove that.

#1/#2 LSU should roll over Tennessee without breaking much of a sweat.  #2/#3 Alabama, if true to form, will start slow on offense at Ole Miss, but steamroll the Rebels with the Tide’s relentless D.  #4 Wisconsin, hosting Indiana, and #5 Boise State, visiting Colorado State, have little to worry about.  #5/#7 Stanford’s Candy Pink will blast easily through Washington State.

We are sorry to report that Cal lost badly to the Trojans, 30-9, on Thursday night.  Boy, was that game ever not worth watching.

In Div II, SWOSU’s Bulldogs lost to East Central last week, 29-12.  They have a chance to redeem themselves in their homecoming bout with Ouachita Baptist on Saturday.  The 3-2 OBU Tigers beat East Central in their first game of the season, but have lost the last two matches to schools no one has ever heard of.  We feel sure the Bulldogs – who will be able to take the field through the fang-toothed mouth of their inflatable bulldog – have a fine shot at this one.

The NWOSU Rangers defeated Southern Nazarene nicely last week, and head to Muskogee Saturday for a match with conference rival Bacone College.  The 2-5 Warriors are coming off of an impressive win over Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, in which they scored 41 points in the final 20 minutes of play to upend the SAGU Lions 44-38.  It will be a bit warm in Muskogee, 85F at game time, but the fall foliage of Eastern Oklahoma should be coming into its own.

In Div III, Rose-Hulman lost, as expected, to a ranked Franklin last week, 55-24.  Tomorrow’s bout is the annual match with the Engineers’ archrival Mount St Joseph, which comes in 3-2 (to RHIT’s 2-3), and having held Franklin to 35 points in a respectable loss on the 1st.  The Fightin’ Engineers host the Cincinnati-based Lions in Terre Haute, where it’s supposed to be sunny and 68 at game time.  (Sigh.)

Christopher Newport, 3-2 after a 27-20 OT victory over Shenandoah, heads though the ridiculous autumn scenery to Danville, VA on Saturday, to take on conference rival Averett U.  The Cougars come in at 2-3.


  1. I took my Cal cap out of the closet and gave it to our dogs. They wouldn’t touch it.
    I hope the Cal quarterback gets his degree and does post graduate work in some field that does not require hand/eye co-ordination or spotting flow patterns or anticipating the corners have enough sense to watch your eyes when you are putting a laser stare on one receiver in triple coverage.
    Perhaps a doctorate in philosophy for the young man.
    Smarty pants football players.

    • hey! say what you will about QBs but don’t monkey with Doctors of Philosophy or your existence is in for some harsh questioning.

      We have enhanced techniques

      • To throw or not to throw………..

        • we must consider that there are no more than three things, Horatio, that can happen when you throw……

          • And above all: seek to avoid foreign entaglements (corners and safeties).
            Embrace like minded fellow travelers (receivers).
            Depart on time and look to several alternatives before commiting to one destination. (Especially if the flats are tight and Cover Two approaches the long valley).
            Moral: Freshman smarty pants quarterbacks suck.
            Gregory Peck aced Horatio.

  2. Just back from Newport News, picking up son #2 for Fall Break (we never got a fall break… just a dead sprint until Thanksgiving, for which we were treated to sweating over mid-term studies, and writing a danged paper…)

    Yes, the leaves are now starting to change. The mountains more so, but you can see the green dropping very quickly as most of our nights are in the mid-40’s… If we actually got a frost, it might be worth a trip through Thoroughfare Gap to head for Front Royal.

    We will see which team shows up, but the game will be good, and the Hokies should win it. I have no feeling for CNU’s chances since I have never seen the Cougars, but if the Captains can avoid that stupid Fullback Lead, Half-back ISO… for -1 yards… well that will be beneficial.

    Mid Season…. almost Halloween!!!


    • Well that’s 38-17 Hokies over The Demon Deacons…. Somebody woke the Gobblers up mid way through the second quarter… and notified them that they were playing the same dumb offense that dumb high school coaches call, and quickly corrected the problem. From a 10 – 0 deficit in the beginning of the 2nd quarter.. to a much larger than then 38-17 margin at the end of the game.

      Logan Thomas shook off that game after a great game sort of pit some young quarterbacks get into… and rose up and thumped ’em good.

      Even David Wilson ran out of his shoe and still gained another 30 yards on the play. All in all a very satisfying outing for the Hokies.

      In other family football news, those Captains of Christopher Newport came away from Danville, Virginia with a big W in their back pockets courtesy of a 23-14 2nd half comeback.

      Thus the rule stands.. Play the game all the way to the end, full tilt, no holds barred…. worry about rest after you have left everything on the field.

      But alas football Karma only goes so far, and the Redskins have been treated to the text book example of multiple personallity disorder schizophrenia — Sexy Rexy didn’t show today… just his evil twin brother. Beck looks better every minute of every day. And that is sad, because who the heck is Beck?

      — TMF

  3. I also think the ASU – Oregon game to be a great one.

    Nebraska gets a chance to catch their breath and realize the Big Ten isn’t 9 yards and a cloud of dust anymore. I am not sure they will win their division at this point as I don’t think they can beat either Michigan or Mich St. That game by the way will be huge in the midwest – Michigan is hungry. The intriguing game is OSU vs Illinois, can the Buckeyes actually recover from their epic collapse last week to team Wisconsin just destroyed? If not, OSU is done for the season. And Illinois would make a statement about getting a decent Bowl Bid – no MSU or Nebraska on their schedule.

    I do think Clemson is for real, but they are waming up for a couple of tough road games later – at Georgia Tech and at South Carolina.

    And with regards to the SEC – it is without fail the most boring football to watch right now – we are all waiting for LSU – Alabama because no one else is close to them – everything else is boring. So watch Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and even ACC first – then watch the only SEC game that matters all year to see one of the national finalists. Who will probably then win another national championship. Why does A&M want to go there again?

  4. Now THAT uniform – black pants and helmet with white jersey has a nice crisp almost elegant look to it. I do hope they’ve burned those hideous gray things.

    • Meh. Didn’t like it that much. Has an odor of the 1970s Raiders about it. But you’re right that it’s an improvement over that headache-inducing neon gray.

  5. Big Ten Update – Both Michigan and Illinois were in top 15 but maybe hadn’t played anybody all the good. I would say neither were – Michigan found out, Illinois is learning the same lesson.

    Nebraska – MIchigan St will be for who gets to lose to WIsconsin.

    • Oh, and Texas really isn’t very good.

      • I maybe spoke too early?

        • OSU played average. Weeden played average. Texas played the same, but showed some back bone. Freshman quarterbacks are scary.
          OSU run defense is suspect. The shorthorn quarterback made the OSU corners look better than they really are.
          Dec 3rd. OU/OSU play their A Game: OU by 10.
          Texas will continue to fade. There was nothing wrong with the Texas co-ordinators they fired.
          They have a talent gap. All those top five recruiting classes the last three years are a mirage.
          Recruiting rankings have always been a joke.
          Clemson/Michigan/Georgia Tech bite the dust.
          Switzer always said “humility is only 7 days away”.

          • Dunno about recruiting rankings being mirage. No absolute correlation but generally performance tends to track quite closely over time.

            As for the Texas co-ordinators there was of course nothing wrong with will Muschampt but he left. Manny Diaz not as good but excellent nonetheless. Just consider what’s happening at MSU this year. Greg Davis was though to be a long time liability at Texas and their success often attributed to the excellent quarterbacking from Young and McCoy that was able to overcome the co-ordination deficit. Herseth should be an improvement but there is an issue of how much his success is attributable to the Boise machine. And don’t forget Benny Wylie for Strength and Conditioning. Texas will be a top 10 or top 5 team by 2013. Agree though that OU should probably win.

            Yes, a lot of the “unbeatens” were exposed as might have been expected. Clemson v. Maryland biggest surprise.

            • Washington State seems to have inherited OSU’s penchant for the hideous gray. It seems they were actually chosen by a fan pole. No accounting for bad taste. Obama approval still over 40.

              • Why is this in here. Mean to be a separate comment.

            • Obviously not every recruit pans out and there are always diamonds on the rough but generally there is a very close relationship between the talent as ranked by the services and teh performance on the field.

              Co-ordination is huge though. LSU loaded with offensive talent (some issues at QB, of course) yet quite abysmal on offense the last few years. This year, while hardly an offensive juggernut (wait till Mettenberger next year) they are playing to the their strength with better purpose, clarity and success.

        • Nope. Texas isn’t very good. OK-State handled ’em.

  6. …at least it was a fun weekend for most of our teams. Navy had to slink off the field after falling in a 21-20 heartbreaker to the Commie Reds of Rutgers.

    But as the Mighty One has outlined, the Hokies surged in fine fashion to finish off the Demon Deacons.

    OU and Tulsa were playing at much the same time, but remarkably, both games were being broadcast here on the Left Coast. Mom and I did the Simultaneous Watching thing, and frankly were very annoyed with the Sooners and their inconsistent, lackluster performance. Inconsistent and lackluster was good enough to crush Kansas 47-17, however. Tulsa pulled away from UAB at the end, 37-20. Kinne’s knee is back.

    Stanford looked kind of unproductive and half-asleep, winning only 44-14 against a sorry opponent.

    LSU and Alabama slew the pipsqueaks, as expected. Ho-hum. The ASU-Oregon game had some zing to it in the first half, but the Ducks, as usual, finally did start to play.

    Agree with cavalier on Clemson-Maryland. An unexpected game from multiple perspectives, not least of which was the heroic shoot-out scoring. 56-45? Who knew?

    Nevada’s Wolf Pack thundered over the Lobos 49-7, the only wonder being that they didn’t score any more than that.

    As noted by TMF, the CNU Captains carried the day against Averett. Rose-Hulman bagged a gratifying win against chief rival Mt St Joe, emerging from a 20-14 slugfest with an impressive 234 passing yards for QB Mitch Snyder. Good job, Engineers!

    The SWOSU Bulldogs piled up 497 yards of total offense — a new school record — but still lost their homecoming game to Ouachita Baptist. NWOSU lost to Bacone College in a tight 35-28 game that came down to the final minutes.

    • Slink the Navy!

      Moscow Knights of Rutgers!

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