All Hail The Great Gods adidasususus, Under Armourus, and, of course, Nike, Zeus’s wing gal.
Anyway, back to gray. Which is how I felt when UVa allowed a backup Tar Heel QB, a fellow in good academic standing we’re so sure, and in for his one and only snap of the tussle, to throw the winning TD on a 3d & 15. UVa affirmed its intent to lose with an illegal substitution penalty, thwarting a last opportunity to win. One would think the student athletes at such an august and respected institution of higher learning could count to 11.
Then there was the situation during which Minnesota’s not so Golden Goooophers jerrykilled their chances to beat the Fighting Illini as they were supposed to, when their best running back fumbled away the pigskin and a last chance for a W.
Sooooooo, with victories by LSU, Western Ky and Mississippi State, as predicted, I was a most gray 3-2 on the weekend. The season stands 28-17, with plenty of time to still qualify for the playoff.
Which brings me to this week’s winners:
TCU @ West Virginia. I daresay the name Tony Gibson means bumpas to you. Actually, Dick Bumpas. The former is the D Coordinator for the Mountaineers; the latter, his Horned Frog counterpart. Of all the members of the football fraternity, looking forward to another pigskin Saturday, this duo is not. The Morgantowners are averaging 37 ppg, 23d highest in the country. Not bad. Except that the Fort Worth gang is hangin’ 50+ on its foes, best in Texas and everywhere else. They scored 58, and still lost at Baylor, a team the Mountaineers conquered. Last week, TCU tallied 82 against the Red Raiders. The home team won both of last year’s hardwood battles between the league rivals, 74-69 away and 81-59 at home. An average of 141 1/2 total points. Could the over/ under on this pigskin shootout be much lower? Needless to say, but I shall anyway, this should be the most entertaining game of the day. Last team with the ball wins. Cue The Doors (or José Feliciano, if you prefer), and make sure your fire extinguishers are full up, Morgantowners, it’s gonna be a rip snortin’, fire settin’ Saturday night.
Arizona @ UCLA. This game interests me for a number of reasons. Most of all, because it might impact the playoff hopes of my dearly beloved Phil Knight University Quack. Oregon lost to the Wildcats, and conquered the Bruins. So, I’m trying to figure out which team to root for in this La La Land battle? Rich Rod’s squad still has a legit chance to make the playoff if it wins out. Top 20 teams Utah and Arizona State are on their future slate. While the Bruins have Southern Cal and Stanford, two underperformers. Meaning the visitors this weekend should be more fired up. Which they weren’t several weeks back when the Trojans came a callin’. The Bruins have been up and down, and mostly unimpressive. Can they spoil Rodriguez’s resurgence? Yes, they can. But they won’t. Arizona will win and stay in the conversation for a playoff spot. At least for everybody who doesn’t answer to the name Paul Finebaum.
Auburn @ Ole Miss. My guess is the Johnny Rebs’ Hugh Freeze isn’t all that popular these days with the cocktail dress crowd. I mean he hung QB hunk Bo Wallace out to dry for that late pick in last week’s L in the bayou. Way to stand by your man through thick and thin, coach. While that game discussed two graphs above will be the most entertaining of the weekend, this is surely the most fascinating. I mean, this is the Elimination Round, right? Two losses means relegation, right? The Grove Gang is certainly ready for prime time when it comes to the paaaartay. Are they ready for the same on the gridiron? Auburn, on the other hand, has been there, done that. This one’s a veritable, if not literal, toss up. In most of which situations, including this one, I tend to take the home team. Come on, ye Chi O sisters, sing your song.
Kentucky @ Missouri. Okay, if Mizzou doesn’t choke against IU, it’s one of the 78 teams still in the playoff hunt. Oh, alright, perhaps that L at home to Georgia, when the Tigers gave up 34 and couldn’t get off the schneid, was the real eliminator. Yet, they’re still in the hunt for that coveted SEC championship game slot from the East. Which should give them something to play for. Because upcoming battles on the road against the Aggies and Vols are formidable, despite those school’s woes. UK is also battling for something that’s been elusive in recent times, bowl eligibility. The Cats are underdogs this weekend, as they’ll probably be in each of their remaining games. Are the youngsters in blue (Or gray and blue if Nike says so.) ready to seal the post season deal? Gary Pinkel has proven he can win battles that matter. This one does. So he does.
Florida State @ Louisville. We all remember where we were and how we discarded our drenched, dye-depleted garb, and which part of the goal post we grabbed, after that ’02 Cardinal W over the visiting #4 Seminoles. It was memorable for any number of reasons. One of which is that it broke a 12 game losing streak in the series, five of which were shutouts. The question now is whether this year’s Cardinal team, one that still hasn’t clicked as expected with the ball, is ready for such a lofty, season-defining performance? You want some hope-inducing stats? The Cards are 8-3 in the last four years after a bye. Last season, the Cards were 4-1 in games contested on a day other than traditional college football Saturday. Which number mean nada, even if it’s Thursday on The World Wide Leader. What may matter is if the visitors are without their star running back? Or, even Infamous Jameis himself? Which possible scenarios are on the nation’s mind, if not the fans at home. A loyal reader tipped me that the Tallahassee Democrat has a bunch of coverage, but nary a mention of any of those controversies. Several times a day, I am asked, can the Cards beat Florida State? My answer always is, “Yes, they can.” And, if for karma’s sake alone, I say they shall.
— Seedy K