I’m not just talking about Notre Dame losing at home — again — to Duke. In football. Or that Les Miles didn’t even make it to October in Baton Rouge before the axe fell. (Is that Mitch Barnhart on his cellphone, dialing up Miles’ number? Or Bill Belichick?)
There’s this dumbfounding development. The Louisville Cardinals are a 2 to 2/12 point favorite, depending on which Vegas betting emporium you frequent, to beat Clemson in Death Valley. You tell me you saw that coming, even last week, and I’ll scream “Liar, liar, pants of fire.”
More about that in a bit. I’m also talking about Central Michigan. I picked the Chips to come out victorious in Charlottesville. When I first saw the score of the game on the scrawl, they were down 14. A few minutes later, the deficit had doubled to 28 nil. Then I started watching, and slowly CM came back, tying the score with four TDs and successful conversions unanswered. Only to falter at the end. Badly. Their L. My L.
Which was followed by the Hilltoppers, who were up 7 with less than two to play. Gave up a FG, then got it back. Meaning the game might go into OT, thereby delaying the switch to U of L’s game on CBSSN, invoking a personal Prilosec moment. Which the game did, with the Bowling Greeners surrendering a gimme score while playing matador D on the Dore’s final drive. When WKU scored in the opening round of extra time, to match the visitors who’d already tallied, they went for the deuce. A good thing because it meant the game would end right then, seconds before the Cards kickoff. Unfortunately, in a vice versa from last season, they failed to convert, falling to Vandy. Western Ky’s L. My L.
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, Stanford came up huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge late and smote the underwhelming Bruins, as I said would come about. Kentucky bested the South Carolina Muschamps. (Was that Gamecock AD with his phone to his ear calling Les Miles? Or the Ol’ Ball Coach?) And U of L took care of biz in Huntington over the big mouthed but little bite Thundering Herd.
Three up, two down for the weekend. I stand 13-7 for the season.
This week’s winners:
Texas at Oklahoma State. Restless Longhorn fatcats aren’t the only worry on Charlie Strong’s mind. Last week, his D gave up 50 to Cal in a game where the Burnt Orange led most of the way, gave it up, regained it at the beginning of the 4th Q, lost it, tied it up, then lost at the end. The money boyz not wanting Charlie’s head are calling for Vance Bedford to be the sacrificial lamb. But the DC and Strong go way way back. Then again so did Brian Kelly and Brian VanGorder, who now has “former” in front of his title as ND defensive coordinator. This year’s hoped for Texas turnaround was predicated on that opening W over the Irish, who it turns out aren’t worth a shite, even thought they tallied 47 against the Horns. Soooooo, Charlie finds himself scrambling for his job as he heads to Stillwater, where the H2O is more turbulent than still. That after the last second L to the aforementioned Chippewas has the Cowboy fans still banging their heads with those paddles. A loss at Baylor didn’t help. In a game where there shall be far far too much orange on display, that of the Longhorns shall be more burnt, and Charlie Strong ‘s name moves up on the Dead Man Walking list. (Is that Tom Herman the Texas AD is dialing up on his cell? Or Mack Brown?)
Tennessee @ Georgia. Speaking of too much orange, how about Rocky Top? Two weeks after accelerating past the Hokies in front of the biggest crowd in the history of the sport, and a week after surviving Ohio’s Bobcats, the Vols did what they hadn’t done in over a decade, and did it in style. Down 21 zip, Tennessee scored 38 straight, thereby beating the Gators, causing the plates to shift under Knoxville. They’re still burning couches in celebration four days later. Meanwhile Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs were suffering the same fate as Florida but in Oxfordtown, where nobody had their heads bowed down after Ole Miss throttled Georgia 45-14. Butch Jones’s minions can prove they’ve really turned the corner with a W this week between the hedges. Well, there is a bustle in the Athens’ hedgerow. And the Bulldogs should be alarmed. Methinks the Vols W last weekend has them thinking they’re on the Stairway to Heaven. (Forgive me, Lord, I couldn’t help myself.) Whether UT is a legit Final Four contenda is true or not, the Vols will win this one.
Wisconsin @ Michigan. It is not unreasonable to inquire if the muckety mucks in charge of the Big Ten have a bone to pick with Badger AD Barry Alvarez? Wisconsin’s league slate includes these five foes in succession. Michigan State. Michigan. Ohio State. Iowa. Nebraska. It’s simply not fair. So, with that smackdown of Sparty under their belts, the Badgers venture to the Big House to meet Coach Khaki’s Wolverines in a battle of unbeatens. Michigan by the by hasn’t left the environs of Ann Arbor yet. So, it’s fair to say the visitors are more tested, the home team more rested. I’ve not watched much of Michigan this year. Those who have are impressed. Harbaugh is an asshole, with no sense of humor (Reference: Colorado’s Depth Chart), but he can coach. And win. Which his Wolverines shall do this weekend.
Kentucky @ Alabama. You really think I’m going to waste words on this one?
Louisville @ Clemson. I’m not a gambler so I rarely pay attention to point spreads. Yet I am fascinated by the Vegas swing on this one. The Tigers were a couple of point faves to open, but the dice rollers across the land came in so big and so quickly on the Cards, that Louisville is now the betting choice. If you lived through the Gibson and Weber Eras, were present when the Murray States of the Pigskin Planet were leaving the AstroMud with Ws, you are as flabbergasted as I am of this year’s developments. U of L is the Team Flavor of the Month. Lamar Jackson is the Heisman Flav o’ Fave of the Month. More than a few Cardinal faithful are on a Thorazine drip, simply to calm down. Favorites in Death Valley? You kiddin’ me? Dabo’s Clemson is good. But I’m a believer. The Cardinals are gooder. (Really? You expected me to go the other way? Tsk. Tsk.)
— Seedy K