Other than, that is, the cream is starting to rise to the top, other than fanbases are trying to figure out how their faves can capture that magic number of six victories and whether they want to and can afford to pack up the camper and drive all the way to the Great Northern Plains during snow season to watch their teams battle on blue turf in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, other than I’m truly grateful that Scott Satterfield is the coach of my school.
I learned that Mizzou’s terrible loss in NashVegas to Vandy was no fluke. They were blistered by the Cats. I learned that Scott Frost isn’t quite the pigskin prestidigitator the Husker Nation thought he’d be. At least yet. Also that Mack Brown can still coach.
SMU, North Carolina and Louisville were victorious as I predicted. Nebraska and Missouri were not.
3-2 on the weekend pushed me to 31-16 for the season. Which brings us to a curious Week X, during which the following noteworthies will not be playing: Louisville, Kentucky, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota and Oklahoma.
It just seems odd, doesn’t it, that all those schools — and I’m sure there are others I’ve missed — are taking the same Saturday off at the beginning of November?
But there will be battles, and I’m here to advise which teams shall prevail.
Kansas State @ Kansas. It is the cockamamie nature of the sport that this 117th edition of the Sunflower Showdown kind of all of a sudden has a bit of luster to it. At least pour moi, and I’m the one sitting at the keyboard. It’s not 1987 anymore — Tell me about it — for that’s the year KU entered at 0-8, and K State at 1-7. Rock Chalk Jayhawk has been inarguably the worst P5 team in the sport for years now. Maybe decades. Oh for the halcyon days of program breaker extraordinaire Charlie Weis. Then along came Grass Eatin’ Les Miles, whose charges won at Boston College, almost beat the Longhorns, and bested Texas Tech last weekend in a battle of b-ball powers, young and old. Cranky ol’ Bill Snyder finally stepped down in the Other Manhattan, in somewhat of a snit since the school didn’t name his offspring to replace him. Instead the powers that be wisely selected four time FCS champ at North Dakota State Chris Kleiman, who already has a Sooner scalp on his totem pole of Ws in his first season in purple. Despite a post upset Oklahoma letdown, the gang dressed Princely wins.
Virginia @ North Carolina. Is the much chattered about ACC Coastal now a meme? I don’t know. I’m not really sure what a meme is, other than something millennials talk about all the time. I’m a lot of things, but no millennial. What that conference division is though is this: C R A Z Y. Two schools are 3-2 in the conglomeration, two are 2-2 and two are 2-3. Only Georgia Tech seems a non contender. I even read somewhere how a wag spent a bunch of time figuring out how the six could end up in a tie. All of which wackamundo is why I’ve put this otherwise mediocre battle on the board, Preseason favorite UVa has lost three of four and has a hobbled QB and star defender who will sit the first half. Mac Brown’s Tar Heels famously bested South Carolina and Miami to open the season, then fell thrice in a row, and have won 2 of their last 3, beating rival Duke last time out. The game’s at Kenan Memorial in Chapel Hill, allegedly one of the most bucolic venues in the land. Baby Blue becomes bowl eligible with a W.
SMU @ Memphis State. I am so so very sure that, by the end of Game Day, which will be broadcasting, I suppose, from Beale Street, we will have had plenty enough of Rendezvous rib adulation, shots of Sun Studio and, of course, the gratuitous reverence for Elvis. (If they’re really cool, they’ll set up at Graceland. Or, inside 706 Union Avenue.) The over/under on mentions of Colonel Tom Parker is 2. Take the under. Then, making a day of it, ABC Prime Time will be televising the AAC battle from the Liberty Bowl. Herbie won’t even have to fly to get there. SMU, as we know, remains among the nation’s undefeated. The Tigers have dropped only one, but barely escaped Tulsa last time out. Looking ahead, were ya, M State? It’s frankly hard to pick against the home team in what will surely be a tight game. But the image of Dana Kirk still gives me the creeps. The Tigers pull a Darius Washington at the end, missing a FG to lose. (Forgive the hoops references, simply can’t help myself.)
Oregon @ Southern Cal. How dysfunctional must it be in the offices of the Athletics Department at the University of O.J. Simpson? Plenty, it would appear. Coach Clay Helton was atop the Dead Man Walking list to start the season. His Trojans are 5-3 overall, but a heady 4-1 in league play and tied at the top of the South with the Utes. (Who themselves have a big one this weekend at UDub.) Helton is still believed to be a goner after the season. Unless, one must surmise, he guides his troops to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. After that opening L to Auburn, the Quack have not been bested, though last weekend they escaped because Washington State’s Mike Leach appeared to have left his meds back at the team hotel. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a Duck fan. It’s too late to stop now.
Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville). Does it get any more SECish than this annual neutral site brouhaha? The World’s Larges Outdoor Cocktail Party. (Guess they’ve never been to the Kentucky Derby.) UGA XXXXXXXXVVIII. Gator Chomp. #6 in the land vs. #8 in the land. I swear, Brad Nessler’s going to sound like Verne Lundquist. Or Lindsay Nelson. It’s Bronconagurskius’s game day decision. Florida’s only blemish: LSU. Geogia’s only loss: South Carolina. Ouch. Kirby Smart’s made some not very smart in game decisions. Dan Mullen still has his detractors, though this year’s contingent has “overachieved.” Now with but one L apiece in the conference’s Eastern Division, the winner becomes the fave to play the Bayou Bengals or Crimson Tide for league crown. Will the fans be rabid? Nah, game doesn’t really mean much. Yuk, yuk. Gators.
— Seedy K