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The College Football Czar: Week 1
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press ^ | August 26, 2014 | Daniel Clark

Posted on 08/26/2014 7:01:46 PM PDT by Daniel Clark

The College Football Czar: Week 1

If you're reading the College Football Czar’s week one picks, that must mean that yet another long summer of terrible TV is about to come to a merciful end. So – if you’ve been keeping a football around the house to talk to, with a face drawn on it like Wilson from Cast Away ... If you’ve gone to an empty football stadium during the offseason, sat there for hours, and told yourself that the reason there was no scoring was that Boston College was playing ... If a genie recently granted you whatever you wished, and all you could think to ask for was that the kicking team be allowed to advance a muff, because you’ve always thought it was really stupid that it can’t – then do not despair, for another exciting, fun-filled season of college football has arrived, not a moment too soon.

Sadly, the anti-football forces are still gaining momentum, as they conspire to destroy the greatest game in the world for no better reason than they hate the fact that we like it. On the legal front, Clinton-appointed judge Claudia Wilken ruled against the NCAA in the O’Bannon case, partly deservedly so, but in such a vague and disjointed way as to leave the future of college sports hopelessly murky. The Czar has a hard time believing this is unintentional.

It’s totally reasonable that the NCAA should be prohibited from selling players’ names and images without those players being compensated, as it had been doing with its EA Sports video games. Suggesting that college players should be paid for the broadcasts of their games, on the other hand, is loony. The benefit that college football players get from television is exposure, which they stand to lose if the televising of their games is made less profitable.

Although Wilken angrily denies every attempt by the NCAA to classify college athletes as amateurs, she perversely agrees with the organization that allowing students to profit from endorsements would be “commercial exploitation” of the sort that every good Commie judge must guard against. If they’re not amateurs, then there’s no basis for denying them any source of revenue the free market may provide. If they are amateurs (and they are), they should be allowed to make money from sources not directly involving their athletic events, like endorsements, but should not get any of the take from those events. Wheaties did not “exploit” Bruce Jenner, for example, any more than the IOC had to give him any of its TV revenues from the 1976 Olympics.

Wilken capriciously decided that schools could set a cap on the annual amount of compensation given to their athletes, at a minimum of $5,000 per athlete per year, to be held in a trust fund until the athlete’s NCAA eligibility is expired. If upon reading that, you smelled an unshaven feminist rat, you’re right.

Imagine that these funds have been set up for those athletes in revenue sports (i.e., football and men’s basketball) to which the lawsuit applies, and then the women’s field hockey team demands equal compensation. Title IX says, in part, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex … be denied the benefits of … any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” If their case came before Wilken, is there any doubt she’d rule that the female athletes were being denied the benefits of the athletic program? Moreover, is there any doubt she’d already taken that into consideration before handing down the O’Bannon decision?

If universities must begin compensating female athletes, the numbers of women’s athletes will be reduced through the elimination of men’s non-revenue sports. Having dramatically reduced its number of men's roster spots, a school may then eliminate some women’s sports and still be Title IX compliant. That way, a school might maintain a football and men’s basketball team, and just enough women’s teams to counterbalance the number of men’s roster spots, and no more. Other sports – including baseball, hockey and lacrosse – will have been rendered unaffordable.

On the other hand, there would be no need to set up trust funds for female athletes if there were no men’s revenue sports in the first place. This realization could lead some schools to drop football and men’s basketball, or at least eliminate them as revenue sports by downgrading to a lower division. Either way, college athletes and college sports fans will get the shaft, and feminists will never manage to be happy anyway.

For what it’s worth, the NCAA is appealing Wilken’s decision to the infamously dingbatty “Ninth Circus Court,” which will probably rule that football is mean, and a stop must be put to it right away!

Sorry, that’s not a very upbeat introduction to the new college football season. At least for the time being, we’ll be treated to a five-day binge of Labor Day weekend games, for which the College Football Czar produces his most extensive volume of picks of the regular season. So, without further ado …

Aug. 28

Texas A&M at South Carolina

One of these programs is the one that produced Johnny Manziel, and amazingly, it’s not the Cocks. Instead, it’s the Conjunction Boys who must learn to function with a new QB, sophomore Kenny Hill.

Carolina has a new starter too, but senior Dylan Thompson has seen plenty of playing time due to injuries, and has proven himself more than capable of handling the job permanently. In his career, Thompson has 14 touchdowns to only five picks, while orchestrating victories over East Carolina, Clemson, Central Florida and Missouri.

Anyone who thinks A&M’s greatest concern is on offense has got his amper in the sand. The Aggies’ defense was easily the worst in the SEC in 2013, yielding more than 32 points and 475 yards per game.

Whom do you suppose Manziel thought the “A” stood for? He must have been pretty ticked off about getting second billing.

South Carolina 38, Texas A&M 23

Boise State vs. Ole Miss

The Broncos, who went 8-5 last season, were only 2-5 on those dastardly green playing surfaces. That record had partly to do with the level of competition, but it doesn’t get any easier, facing an SEC team in a supposedly neutral-site game in Atlanta.

Over the past two seasons, including bowl games, the Rebels are 9-1 in nonconference games, their only loss coming in the home end of a two-game series with Texas, which they avenged in Austin early last season.

The latest politically manufactured team name controversy involves the U of M, and no, the offending moniker is not Rebels, but Ole Miss. The reason is that “Ole Miss” is supposedly a title used by slaves to address the plantation owners’ wife or mistress – a claim the Czar, for one, finds dubious, partly because you will not find the phrase being used that way anywhere in literature. This tale of the name’s origin comes from a 1939 issue of the student paper, written 60 years after the name was adopted. How trustworthy a source is that? Even if it proves to be true, nobody knew it, so use of the Ole Miss name today can’t possibly be racist. Nevertheless, the pinko faculty are offended.

In fact, it’s their foes from the Tater State who should be flagged by the sensitivity police, because the name “Boise” is “gender-exclusive.” Henceforth, they shall be known instead as “Personsie State.”

Ole Miss 40, Personsie State 31

Rutgers at Washington State

The Cougars blew a 22-point lead in a 48-45 loss to Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl, and it was no fluke. With only 53.4 rushing yards per game, they were incapable of controlling the clock, and therefore couldn’t hold onto a lead unless they continued to add to it.

To get an idea of just how pathetic that rushing average is, Rutgers rushed for an average of 76 yards a game more than WSU, and even they only finished #102 in the nation.

This is the first of this year’s Big Ten-Pac 12 matchups, although it’s not easily recognizable it as such. That’s because it’s the Scarlet Knights’ first game as a member of the Big Ten, a conference in which they seem to be an awkward fit both geographically and in terms of their football history.

For those who are unfamiliar with Rutgers’ football history, here is a slightly abridged version: In 1869, they defeated Princeton in the first-ever college football game. The Rutgers players wore red bandanas to distinguish themselves from their opponents, and thus were dubbed the Scarlet Knights. 126 years later, they were blown out by Penn State 59-34. During the postgame handshake, RU coach Doug Graber whined to Joe Paterno about running up the score, causing Paterno to burst into a Pesci-like geyser of expletives. The end.

Rutgers 34, Washington State 29

Tulane at Tulsa

Looking at this matchup on the marquee, you might think it was an Irish lullaby. That’s practically what it was last season in the Superdome, where the Green Wave prevailed in a 14-7 snooze.

This season, Tulane waves goodbye to the Superdome, as well as to Geraldo and Shepard Smith, who are probably still skulking around there somewhere. Before they unveil their new home stadium, however, they must open on the road at Skelly Field, which is still a serviceable facility after 85 years, although it is admittedly too old to play The Flying Nun anymore.

The Golden Hurricane would like to sandblast last season from their memory. Their 3-9 finish was the team’s worst since 2002. Bill Blankenship’s team has only four offensive starters returning, and maybe that’s a good thing.

Both of these schools have left Conference USA this year to join the American Athletic Conference instead. For the benefit of any of you Buchananites out there, America and the USA are one and the same. So you can stop writing those curmudgeonly letters to the editor about outsourcing our college football teams any time now.

Tulane 26, Tulsa 21

Aug. 29

Brigham Young at UConn

The Cougars begin a challenging 2014 road schedule that takes them to Texas, Central Florida, Boise State, Middle Tennessee and California. If they don’t win this opener, they’ll have a tough time improving on their 3-4 record away from Provo from each of the last two seasons.

Connecticut has had to part with RB Lyle McCombs, for reasons they have not yet specified. McCombs’ off-field behavior had been a problem for the Huskies even as he led the team in rushing in each of the past three years. Nevertheless, first-year coach Bob Diaco suggests that the dismissal was based on performance, and not discipline.

Life as an Independent hasn’t gone as expected for BYU, but you can’t blame them for trying. If you had 55 wives like ol’ Brigham did, you’d want a little independence, too.

The College Football Czar wanted to get that gag out of the way in Week 1, because by the end of the season, the “polyamorous” might be a protected political class about whom jokes are forbidden. The Czar wishes he was being sarcastic about that.

Brigham Young 19, Uconn 10

Bowling Green at Western Kentucky

Bowling Green State University visits Bowling Green, Kentucky, to take on WKU. The Czar would nickname this game the Bowling Green Bowl, but that would be too predictable, so instead, he’ll just name it Larry.

The Hilltoppers are stepping up in competition, from the Sun Belt to Conference USA. That’ll make it difficult for them to repeat last year’s 8-4 record, but if they do, they won’t have to worry about being left out of the postseason again.

The Falcons held seven opponents to seven points or fewer in 2013, including four in a row to end the regular season. For the year, they allowed an average of just under 16 points per game.

What? Larry’s a nice name.

Bowling Green 27, Western Kentucky 14

Colorado vs. Colorado State

This annual cross-state clash at Denver’s Invesco Field features more horny, hairy critters than one of Silvio Berlusconi’s “bunga-bunga” parties.

Coach Jim McElwain won only six of his first 18 games with the Rams, before winning six more during the past eight, to finish 2014 with a record of 8-6 and the school’s first bowl victory since 2008.

The Buffaloes have gotten twounced in Pac 12 play since joining the conference in 2011, but they went 3-0 in nonconference games last year, including a 41-27 win over CSU. The other two were against Division I-AA competition, however, and McElwain’s team had not yet pulled itself together by the time these teams played. The 50.5 points per game that CU gave up in its first four league games were more indicative.

Everyone’s aware by now that marijuana is legal in Denver, but it’s less well known that it had previously been illegal in Bob Denver. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good at concealing it, as you’re aware if you remember seeing him in Dobie Gillis.

… And you probably thought that Berlusconi reference was dated.

Colorado State 45, Colorado 42

UTSA at Houston

The Roadrunners went 7-5 last year against all Division I-A competition, but were bowl-ineligible because of moronic NCAA rules for transitional I-A members. If you’re playing a big-league schedule and beating big-league teams, you should have the same chance to earn a postseason bid as they do.

UH ran the Runners out of their home dome a year ago, 59-28, thanks largely to four interceptions and the return of a blocked field goal. That game was tied at halftime, however, and within three points after three, before the Cougars rolled up a 28-0 advantage in the final frame.

This is the opening game for the Cougs’ new digs, a 40,000-seat facility on the same site where Robertson Stadium had stood. The new place is called TDECU Stadium, because the naming rights have been bought by the Texas Dow Employees’ Credit Union. The Czar does not believe such an entity exists. Instead, he suspects the sponsorship has been surreptitiously purchases by new conference rival East Carolina. Naming an opponent’s field TD-ECU Stadium will be almost like having two home fields.

Oh, yeah? Well, if it’s so insignificant, then how come the Yankees play in a ballpark called Yankee Stadium, but the Red Sox don’t? Coincidence? I think not!

Houston 35, UTSA 24

Aug. 30

Penn State vs. Central Florida

This neutral-site game in Dublin could be seen as a sort of homecoming for UCF coach George O’Leary, who landed in O’Lando in 2004 when Notre Dame reversed its decision to hire him, because his resume exceeded its blarney quota.

The Czar is surprised by how many people expect the Nittany Lions to have a 10-win season. Sure, they’ve got their starting QB and a pair of excellent running backs, but they’ve got to replace their O-line and receivers, and Bill O’Brien is no trivial loss, either. Since QB Blake Bortles has moved on to the NFL, the Knights must continue to bortle up opposing offenses. Their D, most of which returns after an outstanding 2013, should be up to the task.

How do you explain to people in another country what a Nittany Lion is? They’re liable to think it’s something akin to a Sock Monkey. Then again, the Czar doesn’t know for sure that it isn’t.

Central Florida 13, Penn State 12

Alabama vs. West Virginia

If QB Clint Trickett’s shoulder isn’t feeling better, WVU’s offense might need a big year from RB Rushel Shell, the extremely unreliable former Pitt Panther who had instead planned to transfer to UCLA, but then realized that Los Angeles and Pittsburgh are kind of far apart.

Looking at the Crimson Tide’s schedule, they probably don’t need to settle on a starting quarterback until a Week 6 meeting with Ole Miss. Until then, expect Florida State transfer Jacob Coker to split time with senior scrambler Blake Sims.

This neutral-site game is being played in Atlanta, which is not near L.A., either. Can you imagine trying to convince Shell of that, if the Braves and Falcons were still in their respective leagues’ West divisions?

Alabama 27, West Virginia 3

Clemson at Georgia

Last year’s opening 38-35 win was a great result for the Tigers, but it helped that they were at home, and that UGA lost RB Todd Gurley and WR Malcolm Mitchell during that game.

The Bulldogs may have gotten a break when defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was hired away by Louisville. Mark Richt responded by tabbing Florida State assistant Jeremy Pruitt as his replacement. Pruitt takes over a unit that should probably do a lot better than last season, when it yielded an average of 29 points per game, and didn’t hold a single Division I-A opponent under 17.

Tiger QB Cole Stoudt is the son of Cliff Stoudt, the former Pittsburgh Steeler and Birmingham Stallion quarterback, perhaps best remembered for breaking his hand on a barroom punching bag machine. Hopefully, he’s warned Cole not to swing so hard while whaling on Division I-AA punching bag South Carolina State in Week 2.

Georgia 38, Clemson 28

Florida State vs. Oklahoma State

In yet another of those too-familiar indoor neutral-site games, the Noles and Pokes meet in Arlington, where interesting nonconference matchups go to die.

Cowboy coach Mike Gundy the Man is among boys this season, with a very large and talented senior class having departed. Don’t expect OSU to lead the Big XII in scoring defense as they did a year ago, with only four starters returning on that side of the ball.

The Seminoles have released an “updated” version of their hostile and abusive Indian logo, which the College Football Czar perceives as a roundabout wussy effort to eliminate it altogether. For starters, why “update” it, has the Seminole image changed that dramatically in recent years? Furthermore, even if you did want to “update” the Seminole logo, it’s hard to be much less up to date than making him look like the lead singer of Kajagoogoo. Obviously, the intention is to incite a fan uprising, which will end with a compromise to switch to a more passive, less Indiany logo. A few years from now, they’ll probably be known as the Florida State Red Wombats, or some such thing.

Florida State 52, Oklahoma State 26

LSU vs. Wisconsin

Fewer Miles and his Bayou Bengals have played only four true nonconference road games in the past decade, and they won’t add to that total this season. In addition to three home games, they challenge the cheeseheads in this neutral-site contest in Houston, which is conveniently close to home.

The Badgers are transitioning to a smaller, speedier defense, but how will they handle the mighty Tiger offensive line, an experienced group that is arguably the best in the SEC? If the answer to that question is negative, the tactical shift could become a source of controversy for the rest of the year.

Louisiana State fans once tried to create their own version of the cheeseheads, but they could only wear them for one game before having to throw them away. Catfish doesn’t age nearly as well as cheese, you know.

LSU 22, Wisconsin 7

Ohio State vs. Navy

The lumpy nuts will have to rumble along without QB Braxton Miller, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury. That wouldn’t have been such bad news a year ago, when they still had a very reliable backup in Kenny Guiton, but now, they must break in redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, behind an inexperienced O-line, and without last year’s leading rusher and receiver.

Quarterback is one area where the Midshipmen’s offense remains in good hands. Gritty junior Keenan Reynolds returns from an outstanding season, in which his team went 7-0 in home and neutral-site games. He even persisted through multiple eye-gougings in an Armed Forces Bowl victory over Middle Tennessee.

Many fans wonder why the Naval Academy mascot is a goat, although that’s something about which the Czar is content not to know. If they want to compete with OSU in that department, they could represent their team with a character who has a navy bean for a head.

No, that’d be silly. Wouldn’t it, Brutus?

Ohio State 17, Navy 16

Rice at Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish have lost four players to an academic scandal, just as QB Everett Golson returns from a year-long suspension for similar behavior. Golson says the current scandal has brought him and the other players closer together. Coach Brian Kelly ought to consider that statement as alarming as any news he’s gotten all offseason.

The Owls went 10-4 last season, but rarely won easily. In fact, they needed overtime to down C-USA doormats Tulsa and UAB. Twice they faced competition comparable to the Irish, getting trampled by Texas A&M 52-31, and mulched by Mississippi State 44-7 in the Liberty Bowl. No wonder the student athletes in South Bend don’t see the need to be on the level anymore, since their team has decided to start playing on a phony field. This will be the first-ever game hosted in Notre Dame Stadium on artificial turf, which is sort of like the O’Doul’s of football playing surfaces.

Notre Dame 33, Rice 21

Arkansas at Auburn

According to pro-pot martyrdom lore, somebody who’s caught with a small amount of marijuana in his car would routinely be sent up the river for 20 years. In fact, it’s a common misperception that our prisons are bursting with such low-level offenders. In Tiger QB Nick Marshall’s case, the police didn’t even arrest him, but only administered a fine. That can only seem severe in comparison with the penalty handed down by coach Gus Malzahn, who suspended Marshall for Media Day, and will bench him for the opening series of this SEC opener.

The Hogs opened 2013 with a very good 34-14 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, but after easing out to a 3-0 start, they slopped their way through a nine-game losing streak to end the season. That slump included a 35-17 loss to AU, which was statistically close apart from a minus-3 turnover margin.

The reason for Bret Bielema’s move to Fayetteville last year, for which he left a secure and prestigious position at Wisconsin, remains a mystery. Perhaps hearing “Jump Around” at every Badger home game had a subliminal effect.

Auburn 42, Arkansas 16

Fresno State at USC

These teams meet for the second time in as many games, after the Trojans trumped FSU in the Las Vegas Bowl, 45-20. In that game, FSU’s two-dimensional spread offense was unable to find ways around the speedy and disciplined Trojan defense. It may be able to open some holes this time, by using the newfound versatility of Duke transfer QB Brandon “The Phantom” Connette.

Steve Sarkisian makes his debut as Trojan head coach, after a successful stint with conference rival Washington. An opening victory would help quiet critics who had wanted interim coach Ed Orgeron to get the job for good.

That trip to Vegas couldn’t have gone worse for the Bulldogs if they’d lost their life savings, gotten drunkenly married to circus freaks, and been given free tickets to Rod Stewart’s feeble lounge act.

USC 28, Fresno State 16

North Texas at Texas

The Mean Green’s 9-4 record last season was due largely to their plus-11 turnover margin, which itself was due largely to their veteran roster, which they no longer have.

Pointy cows’ QB David Ash doesn’t want to wind up on the heap of history, but within the last year he’s suffered a concussion and a broken foot. He may have a tough time withstanding a rugged early schedule that consists of UNT, Brigham Young and UCLA.

If new head coach Charlie Strong wants to ingratiate himself to the fans in Austin, he’ll go back to the traditional, simple helmets, without those gigantic numbers trouncing on those poor steers’ heads. After all, the team is named the Longhorns, not the Fighting Gargantuan Numerals.

The Mean Green are not the inmates from The Longest Yard. You can tell because they’re, by default, a lot funnier than the guys in that atrocious Adam Sandler remake.

Texas 24, North Texas 6

Appalachian State at Michigan

The Mountaineers make their Division I-A debut at the site of their historic 34-32 upset to open the 2007 season. The most significant thing about that game was the U of M’s extreme overreaction to it, which led them to abandon traditional Wolverine football and adopt a spread offense similar the one that had so humiliated them. They’ve since abandoned that experiment, but not until after changing their offensive personnel to conform to it.

Ironically, the maize and blue recovered to finish that year 9-4, with a victory over Florida in the Capital One Bowl. They’ve only exceeded that mark once between then and now.

Despite being in a lower division, the Eers were a better team in ‘07 than they are today. In 2013, they only went 4-8, with losses to the likes of NC A&T and Charleston Southern.

ASU has for years been known informally as App State – you know, as in a computer app. Silicon Valley has got nothing on Appalachia, apparently. You can tell how technology has taken root in Boone, NC because as you drive through town, you see old Blackberries on cinder blocks in everyone’s front yard.

Michigan 55, Appalachian State 10

California at Northwestern

One wonders why Kain Colter has even bothered, considering that his team had already gone on a Wildcat strike last season, when they refused to show up for seven games in a row.

The Golden Bears, on the other paw, have lost their last ten, and haven’t won in their last 16 games against Division I-A competition. They opened last season with a 44-30 home loss to the Cats.

If the NU players think their scholarships constitute payment, and thus make them employees of the university, then maybe, since they’re so smart, they’ve figured out how much they owe in income tax.

Northwestern 29, California 17

Georgia Southern at Nc State

Just as the Eagles are making the jump to Division I-A, they’re scrapping their widely feared wishbone attack in favor of a run-based spread option, in a switch much like the one that has proven unsuccessful upstate at Georgia Tech. This wasn’t a premeditated change, however. It came about when head coach Jeff Monken was hired away by Army, and GSU replaced him with former Sam Houston State skipper Willie Fitz.

By rule, you can only count one victory against a lower-division opponent toward bowl eligibility. The Wolfpack are satisfying that quota by scheduling a game against the Division I-AA Presbyterian Blue Hose. In addition, they take on GSU and Old Dominion, both Division I-A newcomers. It’s as if they’ve adopted football’s version of the Greg Brady “exact words” defense.

Whatever Greg’s exact words to Carol were, we don’t even want to find out.

Nc State 30, Georgia Southern 13

Western Michigan at Purdue

Fittingly, PU unveiled new helmets last year that featured a railroad track pattern over the middle – all the more convenient for opponents to run them over. The only thing that stood between the Boilermakers and a winless 2013 was a 20-14 win over the I-AA Indiana State Sycamores.

The Broncos are also coming off a 1-11 season, but at least their win was against conference opponent Umass. They’ve dropped their last 12 against the Big Ten, including a 37-32 loss to Purdue in the 2011 Little Caesars Bowl.

WMU coach P.J. Fleck really overdid his lame “Row the Boat” motivational device last season. Unfortunately, many of his players took him literally, so they paddled their way up the Kalamazoo River and escaped.

Purdue 32, Western Michigan 20

Troy at UAB

Right when things couldn’t have gotten much worse for the Blazers, they ended last season by snapping rival Southern Miss’ 23-game losing streak, in a gruesome 62-27 blowout loss. That was more than reason enough for them to give Garrick McGee the gate, and introduce former Jacksonville State coach Bill Clark.

The Trojans face their first test without four-time, 3,000-yard passer Corey Robinson. Even with his leadership, TSU has had three consecutive non-winning seasons.

Everyone knows that the big Alabama schools play in a rivalry game called the Iron Bowl, but these teams compete for their own miniature version, which uses as its iron trophy the discontinued monopoly piece. It’s still in mint condition, of course, since nobody has ever used it.

UAB 19, Troy 16

Aug. 31

Utah State at Tennessee

If you look at the Aggies’ first-string offensive lineup, you’ll only find two returning starters. It’s not nearly that bad, though, because QB Chuckie Keeton and RB Joe Hill are back this year, having previously lost their starting jobs due to injury. Thus, they do not appear as returning starters, yet they have been starters, and they have returned.

The Volunteers could use a few good men on defense, where they ranked second-worst in the SEC against both the pass and the run in 2013. The wholesale turnover for this year’s squad should be an improvement, but even so, a fifth straight seven-loss season is all but a foregone conclusion.

Not that the Vols are living in the past, but rumor has it that their promotion for this game will be Pog Night.

Utah State 35, Tennessee 31

SMU at Baylor

The Waco Kids threaten to splode these Ponies like the ones that went airborne in the fake Rock Ridge (which they’ll think is the real Rock Ridge, but we’ll know it’s the … aw, skip it).

The I’s of Texas may not be upon Southern Methodist, but the O’s and D’s of Texas sure are. The Mustangs open with a rugged nonconference schedule that consists of Lone Star State foes BU, North Texas, Texas A&M and TCU. That would be daunting even if they had an established starting QB and tailback, which they don’t.

The Bears, by contrast, are loaded at what are often called “skill positions” on offense, although their inexperienced and injury-riddled offensive line presents a significant obstacle.

Who knew there were any positions on the football field that don’t require skill? Where does a czar go to sign up for that?

Baylor 37, SMU 24

Sept. 1

Miami at Louisville

For the second time this week, bowl opponents meet again in their season opener. In this case, it was the Cards, then from the American Athletic Conference, who dealt a lopsided defeat to their new ACC foes, 36-9.

The Cardinals would probably have preferred to join the conference last season, when they still had coach Charlie Strong, QB Teddy Bridgewater, and two veteran safeties. The leader of this year’s team figured to be WR Devante Parker, but the big, sure-handed senior has been sidelined indefinitely by a foot injury.

The Hurricanes have their share of rebuilding to do, also, but they welcome back dominant RB Duke Johnson, who led them to a 7-0 start last year before suffering a broken ankle against Florida State.

Louisville nicknames itself “The Ville,” although why anyone should find a small French township intimidating is a mystery. If Miami followed the same pattern, they would call themselves “The Mi,” as in “a name I call myself.” Come to think of it, it’s a wonder they haven’t thought of it yet.

Miami 26, Louisville 23

-- Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.

TOPICS: Humor; Society; Sports
KEYWORDS: analyses; collegefootball; predictions; preview

1 posted on 08/26/2014 7:01:46 PM PDT by Daniel Clark
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To: Daniel Clark


2 posted on 08/26/2014 7:09:02 PM PDT by political1 (Love your neighbors)
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To: Daniel Clark

Thanks to my Kansas City Royals for providing some summer relief, but it’s time for FOOTBALL!

3 posted on 08/26/2014 7:24:47 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: Daniel Clark

The Baylor - SMU game will not be that close.

4 posted on 08/26/2014 7:29:37 PM PDT by crusty old prospector
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To: Daniel Clark

I’ll be at the Coliseum cheering the Trojans against Cal State Fresno.

This will be the first time since 1917 that the Trojans have opened their season against the team they played in the final game of the previous season. And in both instances, the final game of the previous year was played out in the desert.

The Trojans kicked off the 1917 season with a 31-6 win over Arizona. The two teams had clashed in Phoenix the previous December, with the Trojans winning 20-7.

5 posted on 08/26/2014 7:29:48 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Fiji Hill

I’ll be watching Texas Tech hopefully pummel Arkansas State. Or it will be the beginning of a long season.

6 posted on 08/26/2014 7:34:01 PM PDT by crusty old prospector
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To: Daniel Clark

Go UConn, beat BYU!

7 posted on 08/26/2014 7:51:13 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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FReepers, Let's go!
Everyone needs to donate!

8 posted on 08/26/2014 8:03:01 PM PDT by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: crusty old prospector

I went to Baylor. We’ve got tickets to the OK State game in November. We had to get a room in Hillsboro because they were all sold out in Waco. In fact, we got the room in Hillsboro about five minutes before the price shot through the rood. A room at the La Quinta in Waco went from around a hundred bucks to over three hundred.

Now the problem is parking. There is none! They say you can park downtown and catch a shuttle. The problem is there will only be 7 shuttles. It could take ten hours to get from the stadium to downtown which is only a few miles. They haven’t thought this through.

I’m trying to talk La Quinta in Hillsboro into providing a shuttle service. For a charge, of course.

9 posted on 08/26/2014 9:29:10 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (Liberals were raised by women or wimps. And they're all stupid.)
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To: VerySadAmerican

Same story in Lubbock for home games. There is some free parking available about two miles from the stadium (I am too cheap to pay for parking.) The motels all know the schedule as soon as it is released and the price is doubled.

10 posted on 08/27/2014 6:23:39 AM PDT by crusty old prospector
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