I’m inclined to open this weekly endeavor with lyrics.
So, last week, after the Thundering Herd failed midweek to thunder against undefeated James Madison — the upstart BCS foe recently added to U of L’s ’25 schedule — and Pennsylvania State got in touch with their inner ineffectual Iowa Hawkeye offensively on the banks of the Olentangy, here’s where I was going.
. . . baby better come back later next week/ ’cause you see I’m on losing streak/ I can’t get no/ I can’t get no
But then came the Bounce. Not the 3d Ward in beloved New Orleans but 3d Q at Seedy K HQ. Sang it Ms. Big Freedia:
Bounce, bounce, bounce yeah/ No doubt about it going up to 3rd Ward bounce/ Bounce, bounce, bounce yeah/ 3rd Ward bounce (uh oh)
For those of you longer in the tooth, who probably don’t get the reference, there’s Bobby Vee.
But like a rubber ball/ I come bouncing back to you
But I serially digress.
Miami, Air Force and Kansas State all came through for me.
Uh oh indeed. Twerk that ye naysayers, the kid bounced back.
Much needed after going 1-4 the week before, then starting off 0-2.
So 3-2, back on track, and up to 28-17 on the season.
This week’s winners:
Oregon @ Utah. How simply dumbfoundingly ironic that the PAC 12 in its final year of existence, after a long period of football futility, is the deepest and best pigskin confederation in all the land. The Quack, a long time fave of mine, have but one blemish, an understandable close L at UDub. The Utes defeat to the Beavers is their only blemish. Plus they still own the Heisman winner, Caleb Whatsisname. Another similarity. Both these solid programs have found a way to lose one they shouldn’t in recent years, deepsixing their dreams of CFP. Losing this one will not be a disgrace either way, but a serious disappointment. And derailment. I am waffling. Thus I have pulled out a coin. Literally. The flip. Heads: Utah.
Purdue @ Nebraska. I am ever fascinated by Nebraska. Despite years, decades of mediocrity since they stupidly fired Frank Solich, there’s never an empty seat in Memorial Stadium. The Huskers are the paradigm of a “football school.” Early returns indicate Matt Rhule might be the guy to do what favorite home boy Scott Frost infamously could not. Make Nebraska relevant again. They stand 4-3, and a cut above other Big 10 mediocritites. After Ws over Illinois and Northwestern. They’ll continue their winning streak against the Boilermakers, now irrelevant after their coach left to move back home.
Houston @ Kansas State. There is one reason and one reason only why I’m weighing in on this Big 12 clash. To opine how egregiously the Cougars were fucked over last week against Texas. A Houston ball carrier clearly and obviously — even to all the residents at the Blind School down the street from me — made the line to gain for what should have been a 1st Down late in the Red Zone. The zebras blew it. Longhorns hung on. Listen, Dana Holgorsen is one of those coaches who just grates. But what’s fair should be fair. That said, this week they won’t come that close in the Little Apple.
Tennessee @ Kentucky. Didn’t this used to be a season ending rivalry game? Why yes, yes it did. But, ya know, tradition doesn’t mean as much as it used to. Duh. Both these “rivals” are 5-2 overall. 2-2 in the SEC. And enigmatic. The Vols lost in Tuscaloosa. It happens. But also in Gainesville. Not what was expected. The Cats L to Georgia was expected, though the ease with which the Bulldogs prevailed struck fear in the hearts of the BBN. Losing to Mizzou, a feisty surprise, wouldn’t be so bad, except that it was at home . . . by 17 points. This one has me stumped. But a Wildcat week off to retrench has me thinkin’ UK somehow pulls it out.
Duke @ Louisville. The Cards got the week off. To stew in the bitter juices of defeat in Steel City. But also to rest, rejuvenate, rejigger, and generally regain focus. Meanwhile the Blue Devils got a comeuppance from the ACC power Seminoles. Though they remain formidable under coaching Flavor of the Month Mike Elko. Traction returns for the good guys. Cards win, take aim on the league title game.
— c d kaplan