Nonetheless, the nomadic Minutemen of UMass prevailed in Provo. I never saw it coming. Neither apparently did the Cougars.
Texas also seems to be improving under the tight rein of Tom Herman. Something else I didn’t figure on. Picking West Virginia was not smart.
But the Hilltoppers, UGa Bulldogs and surging Cardinals won.
3-2 for the weekend leaves me 37-28 for the campaign
And down the stretch they come. Welcome to Playoff Elimination time.
The Fighin’ Irish, Buckeyes and Tigers — Auburn and Clemson — sit in a precarious position. Ls shall seal their fate on the outside looking in.
And the winners, at least some of them, are:
Boise State @ Fresno State. In this era of league title games, there are ever present possibilities, nay probabilities, of a redux. It happens annually by schedule in the play for pay league, but used to never occur when the participants were student athletes. Except for the occasional snoozer like LSU/ Bama. Anyway the Broncos and these Cali Bulldogs meet in their regular season Mountain West finale in America’s Garden. Meaning not on a blue field. But a week later shall meet again in the conference title game. Which will be contested, if I discern matters correctly, on the turf — blue or green — of the victor of this battle. Something I like to call Ye Ol’ Back to Back. Former Cal coach Jeff Tedford has turned things around at Fresno. 1-11 last season to 8-3 so far this year. Boise, as usual, is on the doorstep of double figure Ws. The conference championship will be decided on artificial blue.
Ohio State @ Michigan. While the discerning voters in Roy Moore country will surely disagree, with vehemence, this midwest slugfest is generally regarded by folks in the other 49 and Puerto Rico as the most heated of college pigskin rivalries. Constant references to Bo and Woody are not by accident.
Let me interrupt this for a second for a total and absolute but necessary non sequitur. I’m writing this on Wednesday afternoon. The WKU/ Villanova game is on my TV. Dick Vitale is doing color. I can take it no longer. It’s way way way way way past time for him to be gone. Do the right thing, ESPN, cut him off before he does any more damage. I refuse to listen to him another second. He has been permanently muted in Seedy K Stadium. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Where was I? Oh yeah, Buckeyes and Wolverines. If the former win as they are expected to, they remain alive in the Final Four chase. If the Wolverines fashion the upset in the Big House, those murmurs of grumblings about Coach Khaki shall abate. O H I O takes care of biz. Meaning Wisconsin can really prove itself worthy next week in the B10 title smackdown.
Notre Dame @ Stanford. Let me repeat for about the thousanth time how much I loathe that the ACC let ND in for all sports but football, yet allows the South Benders to steal a prized bowl spot every year because . . . well, because they think Knute Rockne’s still in charge in South Bend. Oh my, does it get my craw. Whenever the Fighting Irish are above .500, they’re a contenda for the Final Four. What a friggin’ crock. So it remains this year, despite the acid reality that they were chain whipped in South Beach. The Cardinal, as they usually have done, continued to improve over the course of the season, winning 7 of the last 8. Make that 8 or their last 9.
Alabama @ Auburn. Welcome back, Crimson Tide, to the scene of the most egregious lack of coaching judgement in Nick Saban’s career. Which, of course, would be attempting a long, relatively meaningless FG on the final play of the Unlucky ’13 Iron Bowl. Tsk, tsk, Mr. Happy. Bama hasn’t lost to its rival since. Auburn is itchin’ for a W. Which would put them in the league title game. And a deja vu W over Georgia there means they might slip into, oh you know what. The Tide is unbeaten but hurtin’. Get it? It’s a double entendre. Injuries. QB. It’s wishful thinking, I suppose, but I’m looking for a toilet tissued Toomer’s Corner.
Louisville @ Kentucky. No, it’s not Wolverines vs. Buckeyes. Nor Tide vs. Tigers. Doesn’t have the tradition of Eli vs. Crimson. But this now season-ending gridiron grudge match is one of the two times each annum when Dark and Bloody Ground becomes a reality on the playing field. Need I mention the other? I, uh, don’t think so. This year’s battle should be more interesting than most. Louisville had the upper hand for years, then UK started to improve slowly but surely under Mark Stoops, and with fortitude, took advantage of a faltering Cardinal squad last season in an upset of consequence in the Commonwealth. The Wildcats remain a hard to comprehend outfit despite their bowl eligible +1 win total. Before its bye week, U of L looked like a team ready to pack it in for the winter. But the defense tightened up, Lamar Jackson remained Lamar Jackson, the running game kicked in and the opponents got less good. U of L has won two in a row. UK has lost two of its last three. Bobby Petrino doesn’t like to lose. He especially doesn’t like to lose to the Cats. Could it happen twice in a row? I. Don’t. Think. So.
— Seedy K