Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | December 6, 2013

Football Follies: NCAA Football 2013 – Week 15 (AKA “Ice Bowl Week”)

It'll be a little colder for this and other handshakes tomorrow...

It’ll be a little colder for this and other handshakes tomorrow…

As usual, we’re starting out behind with the Football Commentary, #19 Louisville and Cincinnati already having played their somewhat pointless The American match last night.  In The American’s weirdly evolving way, with no playoff, #16 UCF had already locked up the conference, having defeated Louisville earlier in the season.  The Golden Knights still have SMU to play tomorrow, but they can lose and still hold the conference title.  So, like, whatever.  (I very much doubt they’ll lose, BTW.  They’re giving 11 in the line, and that should probably be more, except that they played worse than they have all season in the game with South Florida last week.)

But all things decently and in order.  Tomorrow is the Big Game.  Well, two, actually.  Oklahoma and Texas will, in effect, be holding separate Big 12 playoffs, in the New Big 12’s own weird, playoff-less way.  #17 Oklahoma will be at #6 Oklahoma State for the long-awaited Bedlam! Rivalry, and boy, is it going to be cold in Boone Pickens Stadium.  Ice having settled on Oklahoma with Winter Storm Cleon, they’re expecting a high of around 18 degrees in Stillwater tomorrow.  The Cowboys give 10, as befits the team with the better record and much greater heart-and-grit factor, at least this season.  That said, both young quarterbacks get their job done through being mobile and slippery, and tomorrow’s field won’t be all that conducive to the slippery-QB model.  OSU’s natural advantages from keep-‘em-guessing dynamism may or may not come into play as they would if it were at least 20 degrees warmer.  Sooners a bit injured on defense; could be a factor.  Should be quite a game.

The same is true for #25 Texas at #9 Baylor, both of which are still potentially in the Big 12 hunt, depending on what OU and OSU do.  It will be in the 20s in Waco tomorrow for the 2:30 PM CST kickoff.  The oddsquad has the Bears giving 15, but seriously, Texas is going to play them tougher than that.  Bryce Petty and his band of merry men held off TCU by only 3 points last week, and the Longhorns are a better team.  Both games should be really good ones.  Even without a championship playoff, we can look forward to the Big 12 champ deserving its top spot.

Our other TOC Nation Favorites in the FBS are out of the running, at this point, save for Navy and Army, which play next week.  But of course, there’s quality conference play to buckle up for.  The ACC championship game will feature #20 Duke at #1 Florida State, although of course no one gives the Blue Devils much of a shot.  The ‘Noles give 29, playing in upper 60s and rain Saturday night, which is right up their alley.

Marshall heads to Rice for a most interesting C-USA playoff.  (Marshall and Rice?  Who knew?)  The Thundering Herd gives 6, even playing a long way from home, and that’s probably reasonable.  11 AM CST kickoff; strangely 40-ish, with clouds and showers developing in the afternoon.  Not their fathers’ Houston weather for the Owls.

#5 Mizzou at #3 Auburn, of course, will be Game of the Week for a lot of folks.  Not sure how many would have foreseen this match-up in the SEC championship game, back at the beginning of September.  It’s practically a pick-em in the line, and that’s about right.  If Missouri were playing Alabama, the spread would be wider and everyone would agree with that too.  Uncharacteristically 50-ish, with rain, for the afternoon game start.

Pretty cold for #2 Ohio State at #10 Michigan State in the Big 10 title game.  Should be in the teens for the 7:15 PM CST kickoff.  Buckeyes give 6, but everyone expects the Spartans to play them tough.  I don’t know of any Buckeye fans who think they’ve got a gimme coming tomorrow night.  As with the game in Stillwater, a cold, slick field will put a damper on offensive speed and agility.

#7 Stanford may not have home field advantage in the PAC-12-off with the #11 Sun Devils, but it’s going to have better weather in Phoenix than it would in Palo Alto.  The Heathered Mauve find themselves, oddly enough, on the short end of 3, heading into 50s and dry in Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday evening.  We knew there was something funny about those Stanford bettors (seriously, they can’t back a give for this one?).  In any case, it would be raining and in the 40s back home, so they’re making out like bandits.

We’d be remiss not to mention that Bowling Green will be at #14 Northern Illinois to play off for the MAC tonight.  The Huskies give only 3, possibly because it’s supposed to be in the single digits in DeKalb.  It’s one night I’d kind of dread being the winning coach.  Anything but a Gatorade attack!

Louisiana-Lafayette will be at South Alabama for the Sun Belt playoff on Saturday (Jaguars give 3), and of course, Utah State will be at #23 Fresno State to duke it out for the Mountain West in the late game tomorrow night.  40s and raining in Fresno, but it would be in the single digits with snow and ice if the Aggies were playing at home, so no one’s likely to complain that much.  Bulldogs give a reasonable 2.

Some other miscellaneous The American teams will still be out there playing each other tomorrow, but who can keep up with that?  Meanwhile, in FCS action, McNeese State will host Jacksonville State on Saturday evening in the second round of the playoffs.  Jacksonville State (3rd, Ohio Valley Conference) comes in 10-3, having knocked off Samford in round 1.  The Cowboys are ranked #5 or #6 in all three polls, but they’ll have their work cut out for them on Saturday night, when it will be colder than normal even down in Lake Charles.  Dropping into the 30s, with intermittent rain likely, for the evening game.



  1. It’s a shame that Southeastern & Sam Houston are playing so early in bracket. I expect Southeastern to crush once again. As a Cowboy alum, SE really dominated every game in the conference and should be ranked higher. Credit given where earned, in spite of my bias. BTW, Southeastern has a LOT of Oregon cast off transfers. Some likely with a second chance after doing something against Oregon team rules. I don’t know enough about McNeese’s opponent. For warmth the fans will be clad mostly in duck hunting garb, as this is the only cold/wet weather gear most in the area own. Even though the field is below sea level, there is not much to block a wind from the due north direction, not even the scoreboard at the southern end of the field. It will feel much colder than it is due the humidity factor. Many will have faux Faulk trophy duck calls which are in fact flasks. Lord, did I have more than one game there with a fifth in my belly by halftime as frosh (two seasons in a row!) in the student section. Things were looser in the early 70’s.

    I’m not sure how the Mizzou-Auburn game is going to turn out, the SEC West was NOT as dominant this year as in recent years.

    BTW, Mettenberger’s college QB career is over due torn ACL vs. Arkansas. He should be able to throw for Pro Day, but not much else by then.

  2. In other football news, LSU coach, Les Miles, has a son playing for the state championship as QB of University High in Baton Rouge. He’s had a stellar year rolling up some big numbers in the passing game.

    • Good on the young Miles. Speaking of high school ball, Jenks and Union will meet on the 12th for the Oklahoma 6A title.

      McAlester will be at Deer Creek’s Nemesis, Guthrie, on the 14th for the 5A championship.

      • Not the big schools but historically Class 3A top teams have been able to compete if not route most of the top class, 5A, over the last couple of decades. However, there this year, parochial, private and charter schools while in the same classes and districts as public schools have been forced into their own playoff brackets. University, because it is the laboratory school for LSU’s teacher ed program ends up in the “non”-public school bracket.

  3. Yeah, sad news for Mettenberger. We did hear about that in these parts, although of course all The Noos has been about Sarkisian at USC, and Petersen finally making the jump from Boys Estate to Washington. Possibly another weird move by the Trojans; not like Sarkisian was exactly rewriting the record books for Washington.

    Everybody stay warm.

    • Yep. Raw deal for Mettenberger.
      And a stiff arm to Coach Orgeron from the Trojans. Maybe he can end up coaching the Ducks or the Beavers, since he’s already got all the letters he needs for the job.

    • It is a balmy 4F this morning in OKC. Stillwater is a searing 8F. (8:30 AM Central). Should be about 16F at Gametime, but clear skies.
      It will be nice not to hear all about Northern Illinois and their BCS Bowl again. Rematch with Arkansas State? What is 17 millon anyway?
      Looks like the boys in Westwood might be able to get a leg up on the Trojans for a bit. Maybe.
      Quick everyone, name a Boise State coach that went on to fame and glory at a better program.
      I haven’t seen my Cal cap in 2 years.

      • No kidding on N. Ill. I never thought they deserved to be so far up in the polls. Moronic BCS. (That said, I did think they’d show better against BGSU.)

        Y’all keep the warm-up juice handy. It’s a terrifying 42 or something here. Rain on the way. Winter holocaust, SOCAL style.

  4. Well, there you go.

    Oh noes…….!!!! Holding penalty calls back the huge, game-changing TD run for OSU.

  5. OK, everybody listen for the band instruments to go out of tune by the second half. They’re not meant to keep functioning at 100% in temps so far south of freezing.

    • Yep. Your reeds and valves could freeze right up. Need to keep them somewhere warm. The drums should still work if the drummers can hold on to their sticks. (rimshot)

      • Ba-dump-bump.



    • First blood OSU

  6. Golly, Rice up 14-0 on Marshall. I’m calling this one the “Who Knew?” Bowl.

  7. Sooner D line looking slack-jawed, slovenly against the run.

  8. Is it due the cold has stiffened the band’s cowboy hats or are those cowboy shaped hardhats (yes, a fully OSHA approved cowboy shaped hardhat does exist)

    • Good question, ckla. Ask me about Tulsa apparel and rooting gear — I keep up with that. Just a part-time Poke fan (and not on Bedlam day), given family ties to Stillwater.

  9. Second blood, Saunders.

    If only the Sooners could just keep the special teams on the field instead of having to run offense or defense.

  10. A holding call here, a punt return for TD there. Trying to steal one.

    • OSU O line clearly dominate.

  11. It is so cold, I don’t know my name. Nice little goal line stand there.
    OSU OC a little hard headed on 4th down call.

    • Didn’t make that mistake twice though.

      • We just had a strong earth quake. Long lasting.

        • Whoa. Don’t let that happen again.

  12. Hey, Rice 21 Marshall 10.

    Huh? Huh?

  13. Sure don’t want to play in weather like this much past the age of about 32.

    Heck, I remember running the PRT in Adak, AK when I was only 24, 25. I felt about 65 after the run. (Nothing like charging into a 40 knot wind with snow and sleet driving into your eyes.)

    • 4.5 quake. 5 miles NW of Jones.

    • Wow! My short Army stint was always hot and humid.

    • Patrol duty in Bering Strait in ’44 is what caused dad to never complain about heat in Louisiana ever again, not even 100% humidity and 100+ Deg F.

      • LOL — naahh, I’d still complain about humidity in Louisiana. That’s half a sailor’s life, complaining about weather. 🙂

        (Which incidentally makes San Diego kind of a unique bubble, since there’s never any weather to complain about there. But don’t get a sailor started about Norfolk. Humidity, hurricanes, AND snow and ice! Too much good stuff.)

  14. Saunders again.

    • Tied at the half. How about that!!!!!

      • Shocked, shocked.

        • What happened to Belldozer?

          • Knight’s been the starter since Bell was out with a concussion in the Iowa State game. At this point it looks like the Sooners are committed to Knight. I hear there’s talk about Bell packing his bags for a senior season elsewhere.

  15. OK, I think Jones, OK is cute as a bug’s ear, but maybe it’s time to decertify it as a township or something. Just too much of an earthquake hazard.

  16. Darn good thing the Sooners have safeties and corners. What exactly is the line out there for again?

    • OU has gotten from what they were doing in the 1st half. Let the line do the work and hand the ball off.
      The coaching staff has panicked by putting Thompson in and asking him to do everything.

      • Saunders and then WOW!!!

        • Bell in. Kitchen sink warming up.

          • Bell did land a nice one a few plays back. He’s a good kid. Love for him to do his senior season at Tulsa. Evans just ain’t cuttin’ it.

  17. The special-team trick play was fun. Now we’re back to offense and defense for OU. Less fun. More calories. Sigh.

  18. Thundering Herd getting trampled by Owls.

    • Noticed that. Nice. Don’t get to see Rice on top very often these days.

      • Used to be drinking buddies with a couple of ex-Owls in late 80’s. Fun guys but from their bravado regarding Rice, you’d swear that they had been the perennial No. 1 in the nation. One had moved on to play rugby after a stint in the NFL as a DE for LA Rams.

  19. I’ll take that. When he holds onto the ball, Shepard is a darn worthwhile receiver.

  20. Talk about having to acclimatize. Coast Carolina visiting Montana and up by 7

    • Woot!

    • A sunny 1 deg.

  21. It was fun while it lasted. Can’t we have a special teams play now?

    • The Drive!

  22. Bell throws Scuds when what we need is Exocets. Bless his heart.

    But he’s getting it done. This is ridiculous.

  23. UN-believable.

  24. They’re breaking out the bubbly in Waco.

    • Sooners Steal One !!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Total honesty: did not expect the Sooners to pull this one out.

    • Thank you! No, Thank YOU!!!!!

  26. Oh, that had to hurt for Poke fans. Sooner faithful too frozen to rush the field.

    • There is no joy in Stillwater. (Of course it’s still, the water’s frozen.)

      Entertaining game, though.

  27. Ambivalence here. Much as I admire and respect our Texas confreres, I would have liked to keep the conference title in Oklahoma. Now it’s booger bowls for both OU and OSU.

    • Bears, the shorthorns give me gas. So, both teams playing in Waco beat OU. OSU beat both teams. Break out the antacid in Stillwater.
      The last OU touchdown had to be insulting!

  28. Ah, well. On to some two-fisted game monitoring. Texas-Baylor, Mizzou-Auburn, the hits just keep on coming…

  29. Well, Baylor will really, really want that call reversed, but it doesn’t look like they can reverse it by the replay.

  30. Are the Baptists beginning to pull away from the Horns?

    • Da Bears

    • They are…even as the Show-Me Tigers close it up on the Yellowhammer Tigers at the half. Fine drive by Mizzou just now. Took ’em long enough.

      • I thought Auburn would wear Missouri down.
        Auburn playing plain vanilla run it down your throat offense.

  31. Looks like Baylor has sealed the deal.

    Auburn still struggling to hold off Mizzou.

    • No celebration on 6th St. tonight.

  32. See that Jacksonville State popped one off promptly on McNeese.

    • SEC defenses huh.

      • 494 rushing yards for Auburn at the end of 3.

        • There hasn’t been all year though UF did, but without an offense.

  33. No stopping Auburn, at least not if you’re the Mizzou D today. They just have to hope they can keep scoring themselves.

  34. Diehard SEC partisans would sniff that Mizzou isn’t “real” SEC. Still has a whiff of Big 12 lingering about it.

    • It smells sickly sweet with just a hint of decay……….just like ObamaCare.

    • Come on now that was one heck of a defensive struggle with offenses unable to score more than a combined 101 points and 1200 yards.

      • Technically, I think “SEC defenses” is an expression referring to 3 or 4 specific SEC defenses from the last couple of decades.

        Torch to the tinder. Let the SEC partisan alibis commence.

        • Over the last 10 years, SEC defense really meant having both size and pro-speed, especially D line. Apparently SEC O’s have learned to adapt.

          • BTW, word here in Baton Rouge is that cream of recruiting crop is on extended visit on LSU’s campus beginning today. One is a real beast of a running back from St. Augustine of New Orleans. It’s an all black school where students protested the banning of use of paddles by teachers. The kid’s already been taking some engineering classes. Everybody in SEC is after him.

            • Oh, their marching band drills for about 5 hours per day.

  35. Ohhh… you gotta be quicker than that…

  36. Still 11 minutes left. Looks like this one will go to the end. And we still have to see what the Buckeyes have to show us.

    As imbecilic as the BCS is, I predict that folks are going to be just as fed up with the playoff hybrid, if not more so.

    • Missouri D is exhausted.

      • Auburn had the better 1600 meter relay team today, MO is unbeatable in the 400 & 800 meter relays.

  37. Or… nope, time to stick the fork. Auburn it is.

    • Looks like nice weather for the Eggheads in the Valley of the Sun.Up by 7 in the 1st.

      • Pulling for the East Coast Eggheads no matter what.

  38. Buckeyes finally find their groove?

  39. FSU could be more dominant, seems to me.

    Stanford kicking ASU around pretty hard.

  40. The poisonous nuts are not doing too good.

  41. What’s up with McNeese State? Down 24-3 in the 4Q. Things aren’t looking too good at this point.

    • O line and D line sieves.

      • McNeese Pokes are out.

        Looks like Sam Houston and SELA have a real barnburner going.

        • Two early turnovers turned into TD’s hurt Southeastern in 1st Qtr.

          • Looks like Southeastern pulled it out with a by the book drive for a TD in 1 minute and SH turns it over on downs.

            • 50% of the FCS teams with byes lost today.

            • Wow, photo finish. Congrats to Southeastern.

  42. Was there ever an official signal on that Buckeye TD?

    Not that it wasn’t one. Never saw a signal though. Weird.

  43. Duke finally scores!

  44. Mountain West contest just really not very interesting unless you’re a Bulldog fan.

  45. O-M-G.

    Did the Spartans just put it away?

  46. Stick of Fork in the Poisonous Nuts.

    • Yep, Buckeyes now just ragged, falling apart. They’re not a come-from-behind 4Q team.

  47. Are they torching cars in Auburn yet?

    • Rolling Toomer’s Corner though, a bit old fashioned in today’s world.

  48. Maybe they don’t do that there. It’s a Los Angeles thing…

  49. All she writ for Ohio State.

    • Urban will have to go to the hospital.

      • So, we upset OSU and ” the powers at be” want to drop an angry, resentful, Alabama on us in the Sugar. Thanks.
        Saban is a master at pin pointing tendencies of opposing teams when he has lots of time. The good news is we have no tendencies. We are just staggering from QB to QB and game to game and, my friends, no one knows what to expect. (maybe the hook and ladder 1st play from scrimmage, followed by the flea flicker, triple reverse and fumblerooski.) After that, Bob will have to really start gambling. Can we Fed Ex the ball?
        20F this am, going all the way up to 26F.
        I dreamed I was living in Wyoming.

        • You can argue the point that Bama has not faced this kind of defense since Virginia Tech.

  50. Some excellent bowls for TOC Nation. Big 12 cleaned up, in spite of (because of?) its peculiar finish.

    Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Baylor v. UCF (most lopsided match-up?)

    Allstate Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma v. Alabama (OOOOOHHHHH, doggies, what a game!)

    AT&T Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State v. Missouri (another awesome match-up!)

    Valero Alamo Bowl: Texas v. Oregon (OMG, ANOTHER awesome match-up!!)

    Then we have another excellent bowl with an actual pedigree:

    Hyundai Sun Bowl: Virginia Tech v. UCLA (yet ANOTHER awesome match-up!)


    Outback Bowl: LSU v. Iowa (OK, so not quite as awesome a match-up, but very respectable)

    And not to forget:

    Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Navy v. Middle Tennessee (motto: “Because there is one”)

    We are sorry to report that our favorite new bowl, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, will feature Notre Dame and Rutgers. Hey, you can’t win ’em all.

    More on these and other exciting bowl developments as the season progresses.

    • And all this time I thought that the Arsh would be in the Tidy Bowl.

      I was watching some old Texas youtubes from back in its “wishbone” era. I had to laugh that both the offense & defense linemen were about 205 to 210 lbs Texas didn’t have corn fed lineman like those in Big Ten & Arsh, who in those days were not so mobile & pro linemen were considered monsters above 250. My how times have changed.

      Remember the days when military base teams played against small college teams? I remember that McNeese used to schedule Pensacola Naval Base annually, and Staubach was its QB (while serving active duty after graduating from Annapolis). My now deceased ex-father in law played for Camp Lejeune in the early 50’s and was the only starter who had not been an All American in college or become All Pro after the Marines. BTW, he entered bootcamp at 190 and finished at 205. Life on the farm was not a way to have any fat back then.

  51. Now for some good old fashioned football fan taunting and not the PC variety.

    FYI, my name is Kermit Hoffpauir so I’ve had my fair share my entire life. Water of a duck’s back and was great in the good old days in sales without phone mail. Laughing about my name (either Froggy or Horsepower) was an almost sure way to get receptionists and secretaries to put me through to the right decision makers.

    BTW, when one of your high school football coaches calls you Froggy one day, it sticks beyond high school.

  52. Heh, good stuff, ckla. That’s an excellent name, BTW. You’ll have to explain the etymology of Hoffpauir to us sometime.

    I do indeed know about the Old Yore days when base football teams played the local colleges. More about that at a later date. I’ll be out of town the next few days (hence pretty unresponsive here at the blog). But Saturday will be The Game, and of course there will be major bowl action to opine-ify about, so expect an update from your Football Commentary Service on Friday.

    Meanwhile, Cowboys, Dallas-type, draw first blood at Chicago. We’ll see if that sticks.

    • Hoffbauer and I think Irish priests translated from German (Bavarian) to French in 1760’s Louisiana, or some such screw up. BTW, Hoffpauir is pronounced Hoffpower.

      • Hoffpower sounds like a fine quality, old style ale. Try Hoffpower Dark or even The Reserve.

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