Six games on this week’s slate have been postponed or cancelled. Including a trio in the Southeastern Conference. I’ll be surprised if there aren’t more between now and kickoffs.
Strange times, these. In case your mind has been elsewhere and haven’t taken notice.
As for events actually on the gridiron, last week proved yet again that the Greek God of Pigskin BroncoNagurskius giveth, and he taketh away.
The Trojans of Southern California needed to come back with two TDs in the final three minutes plus to survive. More important, to get my day off correctly.
What goes around, comes around. Notre Dame prevailed in 2OT, thereby bookending the day with my only miscue.
In between, IU continued its improbably successful season. Florida upset Georgia. Louisville at Virginia was a DNP.
3-1-1 moves my numbers for the whole campaign to 30-20-4.
Praying no more games get postponed or cancelled, here are this week’s winners:
Penn State @ Nebraska. Think about the flame/ heat retardant britches that one of these men will have to don Sunday morning. Husker coach Scott Frost, 0-2 on the season, 9-17 in his stint, coaching his alma mammy. Or, Nittany Lion leader James Franklin, 0-3 for the campaign, coming off an indecipherable beatdown at home from the Maryland Terrapins. Ladies and Gents, this is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Loser Leaves Town Bowl. Bring in Rowdy Roddy Piper to be ref. The visitors are a slight fave in Vegas. It ain’t gonna happen. Frost survives. Franklin returns to State College in disguise.
Notre Dame @ Boston College. Because Notre Dame remains, despite decades of but modest success, the leading brand in college football, exuberance prevails. The Fighting Irish’s BIG W came over a depleted Clemson squad, playing with a rookie QB, without the odds on Heisman signal caller, and without several stalwarts on D. The Golden Domers vaulted to #2 in the polls. This is the same team that barely survived Louisville. Now, flush with victory, they travel to Chestnut Hill for a fascinating week after tussle with Jeff Hafley’s feisty BC Eagles. An Eagles squad which not only gifted Joe Tessitore his grandest moment as a dad, but gave Dabo’s gang all it could handle. Is it wishful thinking that I sense a trap game here, that I’m smelling an upset? Probably so, wishful that is. But I feel it nonetheless. Irish go down.
Indiana @ Michigan State. The Hoosiers from just up the road are not only relevant, but Top Ten. Let that sink in for a moment. So, I feel compelled as long as that situation stands, to include them weekly, and eschew my usual dismissal about their football fortunes, by snarkly pointing out that fans across the state are pulling out their candystripped pants for hoops. Despite its delightful defeat of the Wolverines, Sparty remains mediocre. At best. But will still be a test for the Hoosiers in East Lansing. Crimson and Cream.
Vanderbilt @ Kentucky. It always makes me smile when pundits declare that Vandy should step away from the SEC, given the Commodores ineptitude on the gridiron and hardwood. Play somebody their own size, the wags opinionate. Here’s why it ain’t gonna happen. $44.6 million, the average payout last year to each conference member. Eases considerable pain administratively, while dealing with L after L after L. Not so long ago, the Commodores were sort of a nemesis to UK in the autumn. No more. Wildcats.
Louisville @ Virginia. Scott Satterfield confirmed that, because of protocols, positive tests, whatever, U of L will again be undermanned, as the Cards were against the Hokies. Especially on defense. Because this game was postponed a week, I’m getting a Mulligan. Hating to go there, I loathe picking against the Cardinals. But I do it again anyway, expressing fervent hopes I’m wrong.
— c d kaplan