Football Follies: NCAA Football 2013 – Week 13

Fight on.

The NCAA season is starting to near the end of the tunnel.  But there’s still a lot of football to be played.  So let’s dive right in.

Tulsa hits the turf tomorrow evening in Ruston (LA) to take on C-USA foe Louisiana Tech (motto: “Finally in a conference that makes sense!”).  The 4-6 Bulldogs got whomped by Rice last week, but could still pull off a bowl-eligible season (if not actually bag a bowl bid).  So they’ll be playing as tough as they can on their home field.  Tulsa, at 2-8, is pretty much a lost cause this year.  We Tulsa fans haven’t been used to losing in recent years (having, among other things, beaten Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010), and we don’t take it well.  Whine, whine, grouse, grouse.

We do note that Trey Watts (J.C.’s son), high-performing Tulsa running back, has over 1,000 yards for a second season in a row, and is a semi-finalist for the 2013 Burlsworth Trophy, which goes to “college football’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.”  Good going, Trey!  Watts will be on the field Saturday evening to help the Golden Hurricane make it respectable.  TU gives 3, but that sounds awfully optimistic in November 2013.

#20 Oklahoma will be in Manhattan to take on Kansas State, a meeting fraught with peril for the Sooners, who suffer at random from Sudden Worthlessness Syndrome.  It’s more than the 2013 problems of settling on a quarterback and keeping the defense healthy.  It’s an institutional thing: a paralyzing lackadaisicalness that sets in whenever OU has achieved something mildly positive like one lousy freaking offensive touchdown.  At any rate, we understand Blake Bell is out with his concussion, and Trevor Knight will start behind center for the Sooners tomorrow.  The jumpy offensive line will have its work cut out for it.  The Wildcats actually give 4 in the line, but we don’t advise taking any points.  Sooners could always win this one, if they play like it matters to them.  Weather starting to be a factor in much of the country: high around 30 and partly cloudy in Manhattan for the 11:00 AM CST kickoff.

Humongous game for the Big 12 in Stillwater on Saturday, vying for Game of the Week.  The #4 Baylor Bears will lumber in to face off with #10 Oklahoma State.  Baylor and OSU are 1 and 2 in the Big 12, respectively, and of course, the Cowboys have the opportunity not only to nab the pole slot themselves, but to knock Baylor out of the national-title conversation.  Baylor gives 9, but no one, least of all your TOC Football Commentary Service, is counting the Okie Pokes out.  We don’t know yet if Baylor backs Seastrunk and Martin will get to play; we do know QB Bryce Petty won’t have O-line stalwart Spencer Drango, or reliable receiver Tevin Reese, to count on.  30s and windy for the prime-time 7:00 PM CST slot in Boone Pickens Stadium.

Navy will shortly enliven our Friday in a bout with San Jose State, where it promises to be dry and in the 40s this evening.  Navy rolls in 6-4, eligible, 1st in the Independents standings, and bound to get a Booger Bowl anyway, since neither Army nor Air Force is a bowl-slot rival this year.  Spartans, giving 2, are 5-5 and 3rd in Mountain West, coming off their loss last week to Nevada.

Air Force dropped hard to louse-ridden UNLV, 41-21, in a chilly Colorado Springs last night.  Army is off until the meet with Hawaii on the 30th.

The annoying Hokies of Virginia Tech have the week off to contemplate the novel value of having an “offense,” before next week’s annual rivalry bout with the Yahoos of Virginia.  (The Yahoos will be down in Miami this weekend, on the short end of 20.)  Creepy Duke, perched atop the ACC Coastal, can actually hurt itself with a loss to Wake Forest, as long as Georgia Tech, in 2nd, beats FCS’s Alabama A&M (Yellow Jacket give: 51).  Typically for the Coastal Division, it may all come down to the final week, when Duke plays North Carolina and Georgia Tech meets Georgia for Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.

Nevada has the week off, and will be preparing for the season-ender against BYU next week.

TCU is 4-7 and out of bowl contention.  The Horned Frogs have the week off to prepare for their clash with Baylor on the 30th.

Illinois will be at Purdue to play for the Cannon, which is the kind of trophy we always give a big thumbs-up to.  Purdue has custody of the Cannon, and gives 7 for tomorrow’s game, although both teams are 0-6 conference, and the Illini have the edge – 3-7 – in overall record (Purdue is 1-9).   We think Illinois can take ‘em.

The new Paniolo Trophy, its base suitably emblazoned with UW victories.
The new Paniolo Trophy, its base suitably emblazoned with UW victories.


Finally!  It’s time for the Paniolo Trophy, a rivalry prize we’ve been waiting for all season.  A diabolical Wyoming has arranged to host this year’s match with Hawaii, and the gloomy, 20-ish conditions for the afternoon game won’t disappoint Poke fans.  The two teams haven’t played for the Paniolo (“Cowboy”) trophy since 1997, just before the sideways slide/break-up of the WAC.  It turns out, in fact, that Wyoming, which last won the trophy, lost, er, accountability on it, sometime between 1997 and now, which frankly sounds like a personal problem to us.  In any case, Hawaii’s entry into the Mountain West has resurrected the rivalry opportunity for the two teams, and an inspired group of Hawaii fans came up with a lovely new Paniolo Trophy and presented it to UW in preparation for tomorrow’s game.  Pokes give 6, and we just wish this one were going to be broadcast somewhere.

Cruising the Top 10, we note, in the Ho-Hum column, #1 Alabama hosting the (FCS) Chattanooga Mocs and giving 48.  #2 Florida State hosts Idaho for an inaugural bout between the two teams.  ‘Noles give 57.  Ohio State, #3, will meet Indiana at home, with the oddsdudes assigning the Buckeyes a 35-point give.  #5 Oregon heads to Tucson to take on Arizona, giving about 19 at last check.

#6 Auburn has the week off to prepare to host Alabama for the Iron Bowl next weekend.  #7 Clemson will host the Citadel (FCS) and give a parsimonious 40.  #8 Missouri will be at finally-ranked #24 Ole Miss for a very interesting Saturday night face-off.  We frankly think the Tigers are a tad overranked, and it seems the oddsquad agrees with us: they’ve got Mizzou giving only 2 in the line.  The Rebels can certainly beat them.  Should be a good one.


Lame-o tame-o: the Stanford Axe.
Lame-o tame-o: the Stanford Axe.

#9 Stanford hosts Cal in the annual dogfight for the Stanford Axe, a rivalry trophy that wouldn’t be that dumb, in the grand scheme of things, except that it’s just an axe blade, with part of a broken handle shaft, mounted on a wooden plaque.  LAME.  You couldn’t really hurt anybody with it.  Well, I guess you could clonk someone in the head with the wooden plaque.  Apparently, Cal stole the axe early on (in the 1890s) and broke the handle, and somebody dressed as a girl to sneak it away, and there were all kinds of other undergrad shenanigans going on.  At some point, a party-pooper stepped in and mounted the remainder of the axe to a wooden plaque.

Anyway, the Smoky Cerise has custody of the plaque, and with a 31-point advantage isn’t likely to lose it tomorrow.

In the best of the rest, #19 Wisconsin will be at #25 (LOL) Minnesota to duke it out for a real axe: one of our all-time favorite garage-sale trophies, Paul Bunyan’s Axe.  We’re pulling for Goldie in this one, but we fully expect the Badgers, giving 17, to retain custody of the axe and expel the Golden Gophers from the top 25, with a forthwith on top just for good measure.

Now, THAT's an axe.
Now, THAT’s an axe.


We of course can’t neglect to mention a game that ought to be a pretty darn good one (and which, believe it or not, is an accredited rivalry match going back to 1899): #12 Texas A&M at #22 LSU.  Alabama and Auburn will settle the fate of the SEC West at this point, but the Aggies and Tigers are still in the hunt for good bowl slots, and they both play top-tier ball.  The line has LSU giving 5.

Speaking of the SEC, if the West’s Ole Miss can knock off Mizzou, #11 South Carolina (motto: The Other USC), which is bound to crow last over the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (FCS, Big South) tomorrow, will be sitting pretty in the East.  The Gamecocks, you’ll remember, edged Mizzou out in that 27-24 OT nail-biter back in October.  The season may still hold a few surprises for us.

In FCS, McNeese State heads to Beaumont, TX for a confrontation with Southland Conference rival Lamar University.  McNeese State, 9-2, can’t be dislodged at this point from the 2nd-place spot in Southland, but obviously would like to post another resounding win and keep or better the Cowboys’ #6 FCS ranking, with the playoff selections on Sunday for the non-automatic qualifiers.  Lamar, we note, comes in 5-6 after edging Stephen F. Austin in an offensive shootout last week.  Uncharacteristically chilly for south Texas tomorrow evening: 50-ish, dropping into the 40s, with rain, for the 6:00 Central kickoff.  Moon waning gibbous.

Div III has wrapped up the regular season, and none of our TOC homeys will be advancing to the Div III playoffs.  MIT’s New England Football Conference doesn’t get a Div III berth.  Conference-wise, Heartland Collegiate’s Franklin will be at Washington U.-St. Louis tomorrow, at noon Central, for a first-round face-off.  USA South champ Maryville (TN) will host Hampden-Sydney for their first-round match.

The Div II playoffs start tomorrow as well, of course, although we don’t have any direct TOC Nation connections in that regard.  Best of luck to all the contestants.

45 thoughts on “Football Follies: NCAA Football 2013 – Week 13”

  1. Purdue and Illinois it seems to me shouldn’t be playing for a cannon today – a popgun might be more appropriate.

  2. OK, Oklahoma has scored the first TD. Time to go horizontal and snooze for a bit. A little tropical breeze, a little acoustic guitar…. palm trees… gently lapping surf…

  3. Kansas State isn’t Swiss cheese, they’re freaking cream cheese against the run. Sooners should be up 28-0 by now.

  4. OBTW — it took 3OT, but Navy finally prevailed 58-52 over San Jose State. Nice going, Mids.

      1. LOL — naaahh, I know ’em. If Kansas had played any kind of game today, the score would have been reversed.

  5. Hey, Fighting Illini dropkick Purdue, make off with the Cannon! 20-16 over the Boilermakers.

  6. Wyoming up on Hawaii 28-21 in the 2Q.

    Time for A&M’s trip to Death Valley.

    Oregon at Arizona.

    Wisconsin at Minnesota.

    Too much good stuff!

    1. I sold a truck to a Mr. Halverson. He is from Northern Minnasoooda!
      Bob lives in Dallas now. I guess the Swedes don’t waste money. He asked me to pick him up at the train station.
      I know right?
      He is a Gopher fan.

      1. Haha, that’s a good one. “Pick me up at the train station.” Like the train station is for something other than taking the kids on a trip to Fort Worth, one time in their entire lives, to see what that antiquated “train travel” thing is all about.

  7. There was a recruiting war between LSU and A&M in times past, Billy Cannon and later Johnny Hector, to name two players. There was somewhat of a rivalry in times past also with Rice. Oh, if the visiting team’s fans usually received trumped up traffic tickets right on the wrong side of the border for them.

    There is an old story about how Cannon was going to go to A&M but was arrested and had the choice of jail or play for LSU.

    BTW, LSU’s defense has finally showed up for the first time this season.

  8. LSU has made some boo-boos, but they’re playing some ball. JohnnyAgs look bumfoozled.

    Wyoming and Hawaii in a real shootout, paniolo-style. 49-48 Pokes last we saw.

    1. Pass coverage has been outstanding and for once the DE’s are containing.

      Interesting that Manziel was a huge fan of Matt Flynn & LSU and they never even contacted him about playing for them.

      1. After this decisive win, I wonder if LSU defense coordinator John Chavis was hitting the Chevas a little too much previously. Those two first time starting cornerbacks made a huge difference. Manziel had plenty of time to throw all night long, but no one open.

    1. The midget Pop Warner so called football ball team , with sparklers on their helmets, are Ducked again.
      Quack Quack, No Attack!

  9. Looks like everyone showed up at War Memorial Stadium to play today!
    Pokes pull it off in OT!
    Maybe they can keep a better eye on the Paniolo this year.

  10. I offer the following score only noting. the losing coach is a longhorn product.
    Georgia Southern. 26
    Florida 20

    1. Not sure which is worse, that score or Arizona 42-16 over Oregon.

      Tulsa up 17-7 on LAT.

      Okie Pokes shutting Baylor down right now.

      Mizzou taking care of Ole Miss,

      Congrats to LSU. That was some fine defendin’ going on out there.

  11. Good job to the Laramie Pokes, BTW. Photo finish in OT. Of course, now they’ll have to keep track of that pesky Paniolo Trophy again, at least until the next game.

  12. Good day for Arizona. The Wildcats plucked the Ducks, and the Sun Devils put a fork in the Powder Blue Bruins, 38-33. After a dominant first half, ASU had to hold on and find some defense at the end.

  13. OU/OSU: Bob will go to Stillwater as a heavy underdog. The ESPN guys will pick OSU.
    Reflection: When Baylor ran between the tackles, they had success. When they ran sweeps, they lost yardage. They ran sweeps time after time.When Baylor threw the underneath pass, they were successful. When they threw the long ball(which is their game) passes were blocked. Baylor stayed with the long ball. I was surprised when Baylor did not change up offense a bit. They really believed “their offense” would finally work if they just kept trying the same thing.
    OU ran between the tackles, threw the underneath ball all day against K State. Knight has just a tiny bit of experience now (confidence) and he is really mobile.
    Bob’s teams are excellent when they are underdogs with a chip on their shoulders.
    Look for a dogfight in Stillwater with OU stealing one.
    I would like to preempt any smarty pants post game comments in case OU loses big.
    I misspoke. I didn’t know. I saw it on TV. The video caused the loss. I am angrier than anyone. I find that offensive. Everyone will grow to love them in the future. I am putting the loss off until after the election. I am fundamentally changing the meaning of the word loss. Valerie said they would win. The Clintons can’t be trusted. Doggonnit I am two comtint. This loss promotes racism.

    1. As good a description as any of offense without Drango and Seastrunk, I guess. Drango is their battering ram for running between the tackles.

      I agree, Baylor looked really non-adaptive. It seemed they were determined to wear OSU down with repetition. (I mean, obviously, their receivers weren’t suddenly going to have a growth spurt and just outreach the Cowboy corners.)

      Didn’t work. Something I admire about Gundy is that he does look for ways to adapt. He doesn’t fall in love with his game plan or tactics. If they aren’t working, he’s ready to make a shift by the second quarter. Doesn’t take him eight games to figure out what isn’t working.

      We’ll see what we see when Bedlam breaks out. Either team could take it. OU has so much latent potential. But I have to say, I give the prep and coaching edge to OSU.

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