Monday, November 05, 2012


That was entertaining: Wow. I mean ... like ... wow. I don't even know what else to say. LSU was 1:34 and 72 yards from beating Alabama for the second straight year and third time in the last four years (!) but got A.J. McCarron'd. What a freakin' drive: 18-yard laser, 15-yard laser, 11-yard laser, perfectly thrown fade that would've been a touchdown if the receiver hadn't gotten tripped, touchdown. And what a freakin' playcall with LSU bringing seven:

Wow. Prior to that possession, McCarron had gone 10 for 22 for 93 yards and had zero passing yards in the second half (yeesh). That said, it wouldn't have mattered if Zach Mettenberger hadn't figured out how to play quarterback at a super-convenient time, going 24 for 35 for a season-high (by a lot) 298 yards with a touchdown and no picks against Ala-freakin'-bama. Why is that guy hanging out around 100th nationally in pass efficiency (against a bunch of teams other than Alabama) if he can do that against Alabama? Really, LSU probably should have won; they had a 435-331 advantage in total yards and had three drives end inside the Alabama 30 that produced a total of zero points. Alabama also probably should have won easily since a 14-10 lead could've been 21-10 late in the third quarter if not for a weird botched handoff at the LSU 10 that turned into an 89-yard LSU touchdown drive; I'd consider that somewhat of an aberration if LSU hadn't put up 240 yards on five full second-half drives. So I dunno. If Mettenberger had been playing like that all year, LSU would've been unbeaten coming in; he obviously hadn't, and whether that ridiculousness was a development or something that will never be duplicated is unknowable at this point. What I do know is that Alabama still could've won easily and actually did win -- at one of the hardest places in the country to win -- despite Mettenberger going ham. I'd still take Bama against anybody on a neutral field (or any field, really) and feel pretty good about it. As for LSU, Les Miles is Les Miles and therefore had to meet a quota of about five ridiculously ballsy decisions; those just didn't work out very well, especially the fake field goal (three more points would've made the drive at the end of the game slightly more manageable). He'll probably regret that when LSU is playing in the Capital One Bowl rather than maybe the national title game but will change nothing since Les Miles is Les Miles (and I can't even really criticize him since LSU is apparently the only team in the country that can regularly play with Bama).

Lol punting: Oregon + USC + Gus Johnson = awesome. Also awesome: Oregon's offense. Holy Lord. Know this: Oregon didn't have to punt until running out the clock with about three minutes left in the game. There was never a point at which USC even came close to stopping Oregon from doing anything. I mean, Oregon fumbled a snap once and missed a field goal (the combination of which allowed USC to get within three right after the half); the other eight drives before the aforementioned punt all ended in touchdowns. Oregon had 426 rushing yards (!) and 730 total yards (!!!) and averaged 8.8 yards a play. Marcus Mariota went 20 for 23 for 304 yards with four touchdowns and no picks. Kenjon Barner went for 325 yards (hahahahaha) and five touchdowns at 8.4 yards a carry. Against USC! I know! Exclamation points! Matt Barkley threw for 484 yards and five touchdowns yet really had no chance of producing enough points to win since Oregon would've just scored more. BTW, speaking of ridiculous stats, Marqise Lee went for his typical 12 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Meh. What's even more ridiculous is that Robert Woods might be the best receiver in the country and is barely getting the ball because Lee is so hilariously fast that nobody can touch him. Anyway, Oregon: There are three games left (at Cal, Stanford, at Oregon State). All three are potentially losable but should be wins assuming nothing totally insane, in which case Oregon will most likely get the winner of the USC/UCLA game for the Pac-12 title and probably a spot in the national title game. Like I said last week, Oregon's gonna finish second in both polls, and with Oregon State potentially going into the Civil War 10-1 and Stanford approaching the top 10 in the BCS, the computer rankings are gonna get enough of a boost that I just don't see any possible way Oregon doesn't finish second. K-State and Notre Dame are gonna have to hope everybody in the Pac-12 implodes down the stretch.

Player of the Week: Kenjon Barner lol wwwhheeeee! In the Not Oregon Category: Tyler Bray, who went 29 for 47 for 529 yards and five touchdowns, all of which were necessary for Tennessee to beat Troy since Tennessee has opted not to play defense this season.

Great googly moogly: So Notre Dame lost to Pitt. I mean, not really, but really. Brian Kelly apparently has an unlimited number of horseshoes available to be pulled from his ass. It probably should've been over when Everett Golson threw an incompletion on fourth-and-4 when it was 20-6 Pitt with about 13 minutes left; a terrible pass-interference call gave ND a first down and resulted in a touchdown that totally changed the course of the game. It probably should've been over when Davonte Neal muffed a punt at the Notre Dame 33 with just under two minutes left; it bounced right back to him via the most fortunate bounce in the history of bounces. It definitely should've been over when Pitt recovered a weird goal-line fumble in the second overtime; a crappy snap and similarly crappy kick (that should've been negated but wasn't because of an egregious missed call) gave ND a third overtime. And so on and so forth.

It's worth noting that Pitt is 4-5 with a loss to Youngstown State this year and isn't particularly good at anything statistically. That's a team Oregon would beat by seven touchdowns; Notre Dame needed three overtimes and now has four wins of the relatively miraculous variety, with three of those against Pitt, BYU and a terrible version of Purdue (cumulative record: 11-15). The Oklahoma win was legitimately impressive but has to be taken in context, and the context is indicative of a team only slightly better than Stanford/Michigan/Pitt/BYU/Stanford. Seriously: Notre Dame hasn't scored more than 20 points against a not-totally-terrible defense this season (Bob Diaco FTW). That said, Notre Dame is obviously 2002 Ohio State, which means an inexplicable double-overtime win over Alabama in the national title game is basically guaranteed.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week: Boise State hadn't trailed by more than seven points since 2007 (!!!) until San Diego State went ahead by eight in the third quarter Saturday. That's so ridiculous. BTW, that eight-point lead -- which was the result of a missed Boise State two-point conversion, a kick return for a touchdown and a touchdown off a blocked punt -- ended up being enough since Boise State got stopped at the 1 on a two-point play in the fourth quarter that would've tied it. And with that, Boise's ridiculous run of 12-win seasons (four straight) is over. Same goes for Boise and any shot at getting into the BCS, which probably would've had to take an 11-1 Boise team as a conference champ in the top 14 but now will be free to take ... umm ... Clemson? Louisiana Tech? I don't even know. At least Boise's total lack of kicking game hasn't been very costly the last three years, amirite?

Ballsy call of the week: This is TCU (which got a 94-yard touchdown pass with about a minute left in regulation to tie it) going for two and the win in overtime:

BOOM BOYKIN'D/BOYCE'D. BTW, the first overtime featured zero points; the second overtime featured all of two plays from scrimmage, both of which were touchdowns (and one of which was a double-reverse pass). Woo. Not so woo: West Virginia has now lost three straight by an average score of 48-22 and plays at Oklahoma State and at home against Oklahoma the next two weeks. Amazingly, 5-5 looks entirely within the realm of plausibility.

More stupidity of the universe: So Collin Klein left in the third quarter the other night and might have a concussion. That's bad. Kansas State had minimal trouble with Oklahoma State but has to play TCU next, and TCU (while wildly inconsistent) can unquestionably score sufficiently to beat a hypothetical K-State team playing without the guy who provides a large majority of the offense. It probably won't matter since he "seems fine," according to Bill Snyder; it'd be pretty lame if it did, which I'm sure is what TCU and Notre Dame (and maybe Oregon) are hoping for.

Sparty no (seriously, no): Sigh. Michigan State: always a disappointment, even in defeat. Of course, it wouldn't have been a defeat if not for the six personal fouls, one of which came way behind the play on a 97-yard pick six that would've effectually ended the game by giving Sparty a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter. Instead, Michigan State punted three plays later, Nebraska scored a touchdown, etc. Alas. When Chris Speilman says "that's not Mark Dantonio football," what he means is "that is the manifestation of Mark Dantonio football." That said, the game would've at least gone to OT if Nebraska hadn't gotten a flat-out awful pass-interference call on a third-and-10 jump ball from the Sparty 20 in the final seconds. The replay showed the cornerback (a) looking back for the ball and (b) making no contact whatsoever other than some incidental arm bumping. Is he required to move out of the way? Come on, refs. I guess it's tough to get calls when you're intentionally murdering people all day. Anyway, Sparty has to win at least one of the next two games (Northwestern at home and at Minnesota) to go to the Meaningless Bowl; Nebraska is probably going to the Big Ten title game and thus the Rose Bowl barring a loss to Penn State, which would give Michigan the outright division lead.

Settle down, A&M: Kevin Sumlin is crushing fools right now. I mean, Mississippi State was probably overrated but was in the top 40 in total defense and the top 20 in scoring defense before getting absolutely trucked by A&M. Some numbers: 693 total yards (!), 361 rushing yards, 311 passing yards, 36 first downs, 7.14 yards a play. And Johnny Manziel went 30 for 36 at 8.6 yards an attempt and had 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns. How all that produced only 38 points I have no idea; it should've been much worse. Anyway, A&M leads the SEC in almost every relevant offensive category despite starting a redshirt freshman quarterback getting generally mediocre play from the running backs, and that's after having played both Florida and LSU. I don't think they really have a chance against Alabama but wouldn't be shocked by something similar to the LSU game, which was a five-point loss mostly due to Manziel turnovers and despite 400-plus total yards. And even with a loss to Bama, A&M probably still finishes 9-3 in what was supposed to be a transition year from both a coaching and conference standpoint. Kevin Sumlin FTW?

Of course: Texas went on the road and beat Texas Tech by nine as the defense allowed a total of two touchdowns and David Ash went 11 for 19 for 264 yards with three touchdowns and no picks against the top pass-efficiency defense in the country. Taking into account last week's awfulness against Kansas, it's apparent that Texas can both beat anybody and lose to anybody. The next three games are against Iowa State at home, TCU at home and at Kansas State; your guess is as good as mine. Amazingly enough, a BCS game is still possible if Texas wins all those games, which isn't likely but probably isn't any less likely than looking infinitely better against Texas Tech than against Kansas.

Awesomest Trick Play of the Week: Cincinnati has apparently reinvented the jump pass in a way that is totally and completely indefensible and awesome:

Watch it again and note that (a) the tight end kicks out a linebacker before releasing and (b) the right guard pulls so as to totally sell the linebackers on the Down G/Power O. Ridonkulous.

Fail-est Trick Play of the Week: No explanation necessary:


Uhh Virginia Tech? Virginia Tech has moved past "mediocrity" into "WTF" range. Scoring 12 points and losing by 18 to a blah Miami team that was giving up almost 34 points a game coming in? Yeesh. It's entirely possible that Va. Tech won't even make a bowl this year, which is barely even comprehensible after eight straight 10-win seasons (amazing). With five losses already record and another one extremely likely via the Florida State game this week, Va. Tech's realistic best-case scenario is 6-6, and that would require wins over both Boston College and Virginia, neither of which is good but both of which are comparable to this year's version of Virginia Tech. BTW, that Logan Thomas-for-Heisman stuff was probably a little premature.

Purdue is really bad: Kirk Herbstreit inexplicably picked Purdue to win the Big Ten the week before the Michigan game; since then, Purdue has lost five straight, with the last two losses coming by a combined 41 points in not-even-vaguely-competitive games against Minnesota (?!?) and Penn State. The Illinois game in two weeks is probably the only thing that'll keep this team from (a) going winless in conference play and (b) finishing with a historically awful conference point differential since Illinois's will be even worse. Danny Hope is so, so gone.

Illinois is downright terrible: Illinois has allowed 194 points and scored 60 in Big Ten play, with all five games thus far (including one against Indiana) being losses by 14 points or more. MGoBlog noted last year during GopherQuest that no Big Ten team has compiled a scoring ratio (points scored/total points) lower than 21 percent since the 1981 Northwestern team finished at amazingly awful 15 percent. This year's Illinois team is at 23.6 percent, which ... I mean ... yeah. BTW, Colorado is at 16.8 percent outside the one nonsensical win over Washington State, and that doesn't even take into account the loss to Fresno State that was 55-7 at the half and the loss to Sacramento State that requires no qualifiers.

Washington State wow: Wazzu lost to Utah, which was 1-4 in the Pac-12 coming in, by seven touchdowns and finished with -4 rushing yards and 255 total yards. Oddly enough for a team that lost to Colorado, it was by far Washington State's worst loss, which means either Utah is much better than expected (doubtful) or Washington State is showing no signs of improvement (probable). It's probably worth noting that Wazzu is currently averaging 29 rushing yards a game, which is both mind-bogglingly awful and the worst average in the country by a mile. Last year's team averaged 71 more yards a game and finished 111th in rushing, which provides some context for the aforementioned number. But it's the Mike Leach offense, so whatever. Speaking of which, I'm not sure why Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday have both been so terrible in an offense that got Kliff Kingsbury an NFL roster spot, but holy hell have they been terrible. I mean, 19 points a game? No. Just no. And things probably won't get any better without Marquess Wilson, who's legitimately one of the 10 best receivers in the country but has been suspended indefinitely for a super-specific violation of team rules heading into a three-game stretch against UCLA, ASU and Washington. Upshot: Wazzu is headed for 2-10, which is definitely not what I expected from a team with some decent (and seemingly improving) skill-position talent that hired Mike Leach.

Kentucky is the worst: Kentucky has a 20.3 percent scoring ratio in SEC play and is 0-7 in the conference after losing 40-0 to Vanderbilt (!) this week. Honestly, I'm not sure whether that or the 42-point loss to Arkansas was worse; I guess it doesn't really matter since the cumulative effect was to get Joker Phillips fired (deservingly) Sunday morning. I'm eagerly anticipating the ginormous Tennessee-Kentucky showdown in which one team (probably Tennessee) will end an SEC losing streak going on a full calendar year.

Hilarious Stiff-Arm of the Week: Ummm ... what the headline-type thing says:


Post-Week 10 top 10: So ... LSU. I dunno.What I do know is that dropping from fifth to ninth in the polls after largely outplaying the best team in the country and losing by four makes no sense whatsoever. I'm still giving Florida the benefit of the doubt based on what I saw when Florida and LSU played each other (although that's tenuous considering Jeff Driskel's regression) but can't justifiably put anybody else (other than the two obviously elite teams) higher. As for the bottom, there's a pretty substantial drop-off after Oklahoma; Georgia has no right being in the top five of the polls given everything other than the Florida game, which would've been a loss if not for Fumblegeddon. Getting obliterated by South Carolina, miraculously avoiding both LSU and Alabama and barely surviving against both Tennessee and Kentucky does not a national title contender make.

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida
4. LSU
5. Kansas State
6. Notre Dame
7. Florida State
8. Oklahoma
9. Ohio State
10. Georgia


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.