Football Follies: NCAA Football 2013 – Week 7



Sooner All-American WR Mark Clayton, who caught for 190 yards in the 2003 OU victory over Texas (Sooners 65-Horns 13), which TOC viewed from the Persian Gulf on SS Nimitz
Sooner All-American WR Mark Clayton, who caught for 190 yards in the 2003 OU victory over Texas (Sooners 65-Horns 13), which TOC viewed from the Persian Gulf on USS Nimitz

For those who don’t live in the Greater Los Angeles viewing area, we’ll get to Lane Kiffin.  First, some Football That Matters.

Tulsa, which may suck this year but which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010 (and yes, Obamacare had already been passed back then, it just hadn’t started kicking in yet), will be in El Paso Saturday evening for its annual date with the UTEP Miners, a C-USA West foe.  The 1-4 Miners are so bad that even the 1-4 Golden Hurricane gives 10 going in. (Tulsa has mostly lost to a better quality of team so far.)

Hurricane has a shot at winning this one.  Here’s a tip on El Paso:  don’t go, if you can help it.  I love me my Texas, but could do without the actual “El Paso” part.  Emblem of the El Paso problem:  you’re approaching from the east on I-10 and there’s an awesome 80 mph speed limit, until you get to El Paso County, where it drops to, like, 70.  You’re approaching from the west, and you have to go through a stupid Border Patrol checkpoint, just as if you were in southern California or something.  You see my point.

El Paso does have this redeeming feature.  At least for now.

Can’t promise real good football in this one, but it will be aired on FS1.

Meanwhile, the Red River Shootout (aka, The Game) is ALWAYS good football – usually great football – and it kicks off on Saturday at 11:00 AM Central on ABC, which wimpishly refers to it as the “Red River Rivalry,” as if it were an altar-dressing contest between high-nosed church ladies.  Granted, the Horns have been Short this year, and the #12 Sooners are pretty healthy and head to Dallas giving 13.  But they’d give more if Texas didn’t always play them harder than they play anyone else – even A&M back in their Storied Rivalry Days of Yesteryear.  Aw, sniff.  Don’t watch, TOC is having a nostalgia moment here.  Good times.  You can’t ruin fall: it has the Red River Shootout in October.

Sunny and 80s in the Cotton Bowl for the kickoff, with PM thunderstorms as the front moves in.

Texas great, Heisman winner Earl Campbell, who ran for the only TD in Texas' 1977 victory over OU (Longhorns 13-Sooners 6). Image courtesy of
Texas great, Heisman winner Earl Campbell, who ran for the only TD in Texas’ 1977 victory over OU (Longhorns 13-Sooners 6). Image courtesy of


Oklahoma State sits out this weekend at #22, and will play TCU on the 19th.

Navy will be at Duke on Saturday, where the Mids are a 3-point dog.  Probably about right.  For all the good it will do our servicemen and women overseas, who won’t be able to see the game.  Army hosts Eastern Michigan, and we’re proud to point out that the 1-4 Eagles are so terrible, Army is giving 7.  (Air Force fell last night to San Diego State, which is cutting quite a swath through the Mountain West.)

We are even prouder to observe that the Hokies of Virginia Tech have mounted into the Top 25 this week, debuting at #24 in the AP Poll (#25 in the USA Today Poll).  They’re giving 8 to visiting Pitt, with whom they kick off at noon EDT on Saturday.  (Quite the viewing conflict for your Football Commentary Service.)  Pitt comes in 3-1, with a loss to #6 Florida State that wasn’t completely disgraceful.  Frankly, we’d close that point spread up a bit, while still giving VT the edge.  The Panthers are comparatively run-challenged, and D-deficient in multiple ways.  Could be a pretty good game, though, as they tend to play the Hokies tough.

Nevada has the week off, but will be at Boise State (grrrr!), on the 19th, followed quickly by the annual grudge-fest with lice-ridden UNLV on the 26th.  So get ready, Wolf Pack, and healthy that young Fajardo up.

Illinois has the week off, coming back next week to play Wisconsin.

Wyoming hosts New Mexico on Saturday, after the week off following that unmentionable event with Texas State on the 28th.  Pokes give 16 or so, and for good reason.  The Lobos will be feeling feisty, however, after shellacking NM State in the Rio Grande Rivalry 66-17 last week.

Around the Top 10, #1 Alabama gives 27 visiting Kentucky, while #2 Oregon gives 13 at #16 Washington.  The latter is an official “rivalry” game, but no pieces of old junk change hands.  Don’t count the Huskies out.  If they can mess with Mariota’s head, they’ve got a shot.  This one’s got some potential.

Overranked #3 Clemson hosts Boston College – playing for the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy (talk about your Jim Webb-ready cultural events) – and gives 24 in that endeavor.  The Tigers will play Florida State next week, and we’ll be glad to see that real test of mettle for them.  We’ll see if we can drop the “overranked” at that point.  Until then, we’re sticking to our guns.

Ohio State (#4) is off this week, coming back next week to meet Iowa.  #5 Stanford will travel to Utah for a meeting with the Youths, who do own the Beehive Boot in 2013, but who lost to #11 UCLA last week.  Cerise Crush gives 8.  #6 Florida State is also off until the meet next week with Clemson.

Vying for game of the week is another one that starts at 11 AM CDT/noon EDT: #7 Georgia hosting #25 (AP) Mizzou.  ‘Dogs need to really put this one away to stay in contention down the road, but the Tigers bring a very respectable D, and Georgia looked offensively ratty in last week’s goofy cliffhanger with Tennessee.  That said, Mizzou has built the 5-0 record on a succession of much weaker teams.  So tomorrow’s game will be a real test for both programs.  Bulldogs give 7.

#8 Louisville advanced last night to 6-0 in a workmanlike, if not overpowering, 24-10 win over Rutgers.  #9 Texas A&M can’t vault past Louisville except by utterly destroying OIe Miss, which is unlikely.  JohnnyAgs give 6, and while we’d take those points, we wouldn’t take a lot more.  #10 LSU hosts #17 Florida for their long-running rivalry (if there’s bric-a-brac, we’re not aware of it), another potential game of the week, but also unlikely to change the ranking significantly.  Tigers give 7; Florida has descended in the rankings to date, but was convincing over Arkansas last week.

In other notables, we are gratified to observe that Indiana will play Michigan State for the Old Brass Spittoon, which as bric-a-brac goes isn’t the most colossally stupid artifact out there.  Spartans seem to be giving 9 or so.  We’d take the points.

#18 Michigan will be at Penn State for one of those Storied Games of Yesteryear that lately haven’t had quite the same cachet.  Wolverines give 2-ish.  Huh.

Virginia will head up the road to Maryland for their longstanding rivalry weekend, with the Yahoos a 7-point dog to the Terps, who are probably still weeping inside their shells after last week’s drubbing by the Seminoles. 

It’s actually a kind of old-junk-poor weekend, all things considered.  In Div III, Rose-Hulman is coming off a 2-game winning streak and heads to Bluffton U. (OH) for a Saturday afternoon HCAC game.  The 1-4 Beavers have beaten only garbage-sucking Earlham so far, so the Engineers have a good shot.  Conditions look good for the kickoff of 1:30 PM CDT – mid-70s and starting to cloud up – with the front moving in later in the day.

Christopher Newport is still licking its wounds after the loss to Methodist last week, but gets to be at home for Saturday’s USA South conference game with North Carolina Wesleyan (Rocky Mount, NC).  The Battling Bishops (yes, and we love ‘em for it) come in 1-4, and we certainly give the Captains the edge in this one, even if they have dropped out of the Top 25.  Serious fan weather in POMOCO Stadium Saturday night: 60s and raining – and if you’ve been in Hampton Roads in the fall, you know that’s a bone-chilling combination in a football stadium.

Deer Creek heads to Guymon to meet the 5A rival Tigers, who suck badly this year (0-5 to date) and look eminently beatable in the dry, low-60s conditions.

Putnam City (The Original) hosts 5-0 Westmoore in Pirate Stadium this evening, probably for a loss.  PC North, however, advanced to 2-4 with an unexpected win over Midwest City last night, 21-20 in OT.

You didn't seriously think there would NOT be a photo of Kiffin at the Manhattan Beach 10K.  Give us a little credit here.  It's Tinseltown.
You didn’t seriously think there would NOT be a photo of Kiffin at the Manhattan Beach 10K. Give us a little credit here. It’s Tinseltown.


We can’t find any middle school scores, so it’s finally time to talk about Mr. Kiffin and The Team He Was Recently Fired From.  We understand Lane will be on ESPN College Game Day tomorrow, so Kiffin-watchers can be on the lookout for that.  Kiffin also ran the Manhattan Beach 10K on the 5th.  The run normally gets somewhere around 0.0 interest from local news cameras, but go figure, this year they were all there to cover Kiffin, who reportedly came in 168th in a field of 210 in his age group.  Just what you need when you tune in all unawares to the local news on a Saturday evening.  No further word on the status of his university-backed mortgage.

We’re really pretty much over Lane Kiffin here, but not so much that we care what happened to The Team He Was Recently Fired From.  We hear there’s a new coach and that there was a game last night.  Apparently the Arizona Wildcats were involved.  Whatever.

43 thoughts on “Football Follies: NCAA Football 2013 – Week 7”

  1. I always end up in Barstow or Blanding,
    Utah. I go around EP at all costs.
    I have a story about the Worlds Best homemade strawberry pie and a waitress with a black eye in Blanding. Her dazzling red hair matched the fresh strawberries.
    The OU fans around here,including radio and TV types are acting like OSU fans etc before the West Virginia game.
    Nimitz stories always appreciated! There has to be some really good gossip. Just send it in a brown paper bag.

  2. OU fans, God love ’em. Don’t get cocky, Sooners. Countdown closing in… crimson and cream apparel ON, TVs ON, tasty morsels ON (and it’s still full-on breakfast time here)…


  3. There is a Border Patrol checkpoint in I-10 eastbound from El Paso several miles away from the Rio Grande and the speed limit may be 85 now since the highway speed limits have been raised from 70 to 75, which doesn’t really matter because everyone seemed to be clipping along at 90 mph or above the times I have driven through there (2003 & 2005). BTW, driving to El Paso after dark from the east is rather eery. The opposite side of the border (Rio Grande) reminds me of some giant Roman army encampment with many legions right out of a 1950’s/60’s movie.

  4. My FCS 9th ranked McNeese Cowboys are off this week with an anticipated war with Marcus Luttrell’s alma mater, 2nd ranked Sam Houston State. Old joke in Houston was that Sam Houston changed its name from Sam Houston Institute of Technology because of the resulting acronym.

    1. That’s a very fine joke, ckla. You’re right about approaching El Paso at night, too. It reminds me of heading south toward Tijuana at night.

      Speed limit was 80 (coming from the east on I-10) until you got to the El Paso County line, when I was through there in January.

      I normally prefer the shorter I-40 route, but there just comes a time in life when you recognize the value of avoiding a winter storm on a road trip. Creeping along in blinding snow for hours, with thousands of new road buddies on I-40 in New Mexico, is not my idea of a good time.

      1. Plus, I love driving through the wide-open spaces in west Texas anyway. All excuse to do so are regularly invoked.

        1. There there is the 10 mile stretch of nothing but wind turbines on either side with 50% or less turning.

          I took the route driving from Baton Rouge headed to a now gone Phelps Dodge copper smelting plant south of Playas, NM. That valley is a “Galt’s Gulch” with a large aquifer just a few dozen feet below the desert soil. The former plant manager leased a fair amount of land from Phelps Dodge and remained to become a rancher and local sheriff. He turned a 1000 or so acres from acres per cow to cows per acre back in the early 2000’s. Playas was a company town “sold” to a NM State to become an anti-terrorist training center. It had begun to be used as such the last time I was there. I sold the small oxygen plant to be used by someone else, in the spring of 2006.

          1. See, I didn’t know that about Playas. Always learning something new.

            I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wind farm as big as the one in Coachella Valley on I-10 in SoCal. (Heading west out of Palm Springs.) It goes on for 25 miles. I’ve driven it often enough to pick a starting point and count. San Gorgonio peak brooding to the north, San Jacinto looming to the south. Wind turbines running all over the hills in between. Most of them usually sitting idle, although the wind is always howling through the valley. The wind farm supplies something like .02% of the area’s electrical power. Abattoir for the birds, of course.

            I saw one in northern Spain in the 1990s that was maybe half as big.

  5. Horns have found Bell’s pressure point. Ugh. Sooners behaving stupidly.

      1. Funny, I saw something on TV a couple of years back about the Saban compound. On an island? Big lake or something? It seems like it was for sale. Don’t know if they ever sold it. Or why they wanted to.

        Not nearly as fascinating, of course, as the Kiffin Mortgage Situation. (Seriously, if you’re familiar with the LA area, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that there are people who sit around in Westwood obsessing over that stuff.)

        1. He did well with local developer Tommy Spinoza for almost a decade, but as the projects became larger, cost overruns and litigation increased dramatically with bankruptcies and near bankruptcies of each investment. Perkins Rower and Rouzan in Baton Rouge have been big losers. Key Bank was finally able to foreclose on Perkins Rowe after a 2 year court battle. It was recently auctioned even though occupancy of the commercial, office and residential sections is very high, but still lots of ongoing lawsuits. Rouzan was always problematic. NIMBY crowd (my neighborhood) had strong opposition and delays from both the academic homeowners but also the conservative professionals nearby. Our local sewer system is busting a gut to keep up with present waste streams, though for our home no problems at all, thus the conservatives problems with it. The academics don’t like that the middle of town farm is being developed. The main contractor already had a lien and has purchased the mortgage from the bank as it finally gets underway.

          FYI, one of my academic neighbors likes Rouzan if it drives his property value higher. He’s an environmental scientist specializing in rainforest and savannahs, specifically flora and more specifically soils.

            1. Separate entity from Perkins Rowe development was the chilled water plant for the entire place. Lots of lawsuits on price gouging and looks like a rival plant is going to be built cutting them out and investment down the tubes. This was the only entity that Spinoza/Saban kept out of the bankruptcy yet it may go that route.

              Could be that the only way for him to stay out of personal bankruptcy is to increase his income.

  6. So. What Sooner fan did NOT see this coming?

    When I die I’ll be a Sooner dead. May be soon.

  7. Yeah, was not expecting to see Mizzou running over Georgia. That said, the ‘Dogs were really lackluster last week. The Vols are seriously mediocre, at most.

    Sludge settling to the bottom? We’ll see if Georgia can rally in the 2nd half.

    Keep in mind, the narrow victory over Georgia in week 1 was Clemson’s “quality” win to date.

    VT looking about right over Pitt. Can we switch Logan Thomas for Blake Bell for a quarter? OU offensive line looking plumb flum-doozled. Not sure why they’re not trying to punch the run harder. Taking nothing away from Texas, I don’t see the Sooners pushing it.

    1. OK, now OU at work on the run. Gotta force it. Wear ’em down.

      Opening Miller up — man coverage, beaten; pure respect-the-run open field. Only way to do it. Horns aren’t going to hand them anything.

  8. Whoa, Army up 29-18 on Eastern Michigan.

    Navy, sadly, down 14-7 to Duke, pretty much as expected.

    Sooner D seems awake now.

  9. Lord have mercy, Army 43-18 over Eastern Michigan. Still 3Q.

    Another ill-judged throw from Bell. He’s getting smarter about the throwing but lacks that key instinct. You can just tell he has to learn some rote responses for “covered receiver” situations, rather than having the instinct.

    1. No, they are a very bad team. OU players obviously thought they could just show up.
      Bob can go back to his really big house.
      Coaching staff and players look like fools.
      As the great philosopher Barry Switzer
      always said”Humility is only 7 days away.”
      Praise be to the humble.

      1. Well, soberly, Texas doesn’t look “very bad” to me. They look like a middling, non-Top 25 team playing to the very top of its game today. Pick one — Texas Tech, Arizona State, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech; the mediocre and Top 25 lurkers — and this Texas team could make a game of it. There are some good tools and bursts of execution. You can see they’re well coached in some ways.

        That said, yep, the Sooners seem to have thought they could mail this one in. Really annoying.

  10. Army hangs half a hundred on Eastern Michigan, 50-25 final.

    Navy down 35-7 to Duke in the 4Q.

    Mizzou still with 8 points on Georgia as the clock ticks down.

    Sooners cruising to a loss.

  11. No question: Sooners were outplayed. Texas deserved the win today.

    Meant to mention VT did prevail over Pitt, as expected. Not a real high-scoring bout, but it all worked out.

    On to LSU and Florida.

    1. LSU’s defense is terrible this year with two DE’s making plenty mental errors at key moments, and a secondary which is far from their usual excellence.

      1. I wasn’t going to say “terrible,” but I certainly agree on the deficiencies.

        Tiger momentum interrupted by the quarter break at a particularly bad time here.

        1. They began to play better, but still too many mental errors in the young defense. Interesting that the game plan was to stick it to FL on the ground most of the game. Offensive line playing better.

          However, you have to look at the teams FL played previously which is not that strong a schedule.

  12. JE, you are my friend and my Hostess, but Texas did not become a better team overnight just because OU laid down and played like crap.
    We made a 2nd string zero QB that plays behind a very poor starter look like a 1st round draft pick.
    No one on that team was ready to play.
    North Dakota State would have beaten OU today.
    Cheer up, we could be Democrats trying to make the Kenyan look good.

  13. Well the Hokies produced just enough offense to win behind what is close to the best defense in the country right now. Next week… we’lll see, but right now, the Virginia Tech Hokie defense is lights out… 8 Sacks… actually 9 sacks, but because of some stupid statistical scoring nonsense the strip sack of Pitt’s QB Stevens on the 2 point conversion attempt didn’t count. Stupid rule.

    The sour note in the win is that Tech left 33 points on the field – I’ll give it a more civil 24… but the Offense continues to hit a brick wall of unimaginative and unaggressive play calling when in the red zone… Loeffler is still calling plays that he’d LIKE to work, instead of plays that DO work.

    Duke and BC are next in line. Duke isn’t a gimme… and BC is defending Chestnut Hill. One note though, Tech has a complete 2 week bye… which should give them some serious work time… If they can pull in wins with Duke (should but Tech’s been beBlueDeviled over the years) and BC… (there is always BC in the rain on a Thursday night to remember) the Offense better be 100% better to face down Miami.

    On a better note for the CNU Captains… They won 20-8 in a rain soaked (all of Virginia is soggy and rainy right now) game that just running well and not turning the ball over was going to be a critical combination that they pulled off.

    And Army ringing up 50? Wowsers… 50? Hope that doesn’t put a complete whammy on the football karma for the remainder of the weekend…


    1. Oh? The Pitt QB was named SAVAGE… ok… I could only see the S… the rest was all dirrty from being hit so much… >_<

  14. Yeah, Tulsa definitely did something big there, beating a team whose only win this season has been over New Mexico State.

    The marginally good news for the Golden H is that both divisions of C-USA are still wide open. There’s no one really dominating. Not holding out hope for another Tulsa championship, mind you, but a division title, or at least a winning season and a Booger bowl, are still possibilities.

    Hokies are a bit more interesting; starting to feel real. It’s not like a Beamer team has ever been an offensive powerhouse. But plenty of them have toted off the Coastal Division title, at least. Miami on the 9th could be very interesting.

    Congrats to the Captains for the win over the Battling Bishops. Rose-Hulman was down 20-0 at the half, but came back to beat Bluffton 34-26. The Fightin’ Engineers are perched, for a brief shining moment, atop the HCAC, with their 4-0 in-conference record. They have next weekend off, but will meet Franklin (Div III #22) on the 26th, and their (tougher) rival Mt. St. Joe the weekend after that. Fortunately, both games are in Terre Haute.

    Putnam City lost, as expected, to Westmoore, but did hold the Jaguars to a narrow, 16-14 victory.

    Deer Creek caged the Guymon Tigers in a 48-0 win on the road on Friday evening. Guymon is one of our all-time most favorite places in Oklahoma. Wind comes sweeping down the plain. Way built up since the first time we were through there, more than 30 years ago.

    It would have been hard to compete, of course, with community anticipation for the Oktoberfest at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, which had had to be rescheduled to Saturday (the 12th) due to weather.

    But on the other hand, Friday night football is one of the biggest deals going, in God’s country.

    Other goings-on, from Guymon’s Year 2012:

  15. Forgot to mention Wyoming prevailing over New Mexico 38-31. Good job, Pokes!

    In the ranks of Other Pokes, Dallas takes the field in the Jerry Dome with the Redskins this evening. It being a Sunday Night Football game, everyone will get to see Dallas’ ragged, (Monte) Kiffin-tuned D at work. Yippee.

    Votes on whether DeMarcus is best utilized at DE? I’m not convinced.

    1. Wyoming fan here still keeping a low profile.
      Maybe OU vs Wyoming in the Bowl !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Romo, just good enough not to lose too badly.
      Jerry reminds me of Al Davis in his later years. Al did know football in his earlier days.

  16. Surprised UCLA isn’t getting more love – undefeated, but not many people talking about them.

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