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The College Football Czar: Week 3
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press ^ | September 11, 2014 | Daniel Clark

Posted on 09/11/2014 4:15:29 PM PDT by Daniel Clark

The College Football Czar: Week 3

Week two in review: The Delta House defense has won, as the NCAA has ended the Penn State bowl ban after two seasons. So it’s official, then. A four-year postseason ban is too severe a punishment for knowingly allowing a child-rapist to operate on campus for a decade after his acts are made known to campus police.

A good argument can be made that because all parties involved in the scandal have departed, it makes no sense to continue to punish those who are there today. In hindsight, the program really should have been given the death penalty back when Spanier, Curley and Paterno were still in charge. Back in 2000, the University of Vermont hockey team suffered the death penalty as the result of a perverted hazing scandal which, ugly as it was, cannot compare with what went on at PSU.

But then, Vermont’s penalty was self-imposed, rather than being handed down by the NCAA. Penn State’s idea of a self-imposed punishment was to throw a celebration in honor of itself prior to the 2011 Nebraska game, under the flimsy guise of an awareness rally for Jerry Sandusky’s victims.

Ultimately, allowing the Nittany Lions to be bowl eligible this season has nothing to do with the punishment being too harsh, or being meted out against the wrong people. The fact of the matter is that the NCAA has added three more bowl games this year, meaning that it must somehow be contrived that 76 of 128 teams become bowl-eligible. About a month before the season, a review of UNLV’s bowl ban for failure to meet academic standards found, conveniently, that the Rebels were eligible after all. Penn State, which only has to go 4-6 the rest of the way to qualify, is now reinstated for the same reason.

Elsewhere, in USC’s 13-10 win over Stanford, Trojan athletic director Pat Haden left his box, and went down onto the field to argue a penalty call. The Pac 12 has fined Haden, so one might consider the issue closed, but two troubling elements remain. First, coach Steve Sarkisian had reportedly requested Haden’s intervention. Can a head coach not fight his own battles on the field anymore? Perhaps not, now that we’ve entered the Era of Wussy.

Even more unsettling is the fact that Haden is on the 13-member playoff selection committee, which is not required to use any objective criteria in choosing the four participants. Okay, so he would have to recuse himself if USC were being considered for the playoffs, but can’t his bias just as easily affect other teams? Let’s say that Oregon is on the bubble at the end of the season. Does Haden vote them in, for the benefit of his conference, or does he try to block them, because of their rivalry with his own team? The appearance of either could potentially taint this year’s championship.

Still think the BCS was the worst invention since Frank ‘N Stuff? The College Football Czar, for one, does not.

It was a bit of a rough week for the Czar, but not nearly as rough as it was for the Big Ten. Michigan State gave a good account of itself in its loss to Oregon, but Michigan humiliated itself in its final meeting with Notre Dame, Ohio State fell to Virginia Tech, and Nebraska needed a last-minute miracle to avoid overtime against Division I-AA McNeese State. Good thing they changed the division names this year, because there’s nary a leader or legend to be found.

The Czar went 13-9 for the week, giving him a season record of 31-17, and a .646 winning percentage. He did come within one point on two different games, though, barely missing Tennessee’s 34-19 win over Arkansas State (predicted score 34-20), and Oregon State’s 38-30 shootout at Hawaii (37-30).

Sept. 12

Toledo at Cincinnati

You’d think a team that’s just now playing its opener must have had a game postponed, but the Bearcats simply did not schedule a game in Weeks 1 and 2. Now that their season is finally getting underway, they will not have an idle week until November.

On the other hand, the late start has given coach Tommy Tuberville two more weeks to solidify his quarterbacking situation. Unsurprisingly, Notre Dame transfer Gunner Kiel will get the start. However, his counterpart, Rocket QB Phillip Ely, suffered a season-ending ACL tear in last week’s 49-24 loss to Missouri. His replacement, sophomore Logan Woodside, will try to prove more durable.

Whenever the hometowns of Skyline and Tony Packo’s collide, it’s chili dogs all around! Kind of like the invention of the Reese’s cup, except that you don’t need some creep to wander through town carrying an open jar of peanut butter.

Cincinnati 34, Toledo 17

Sept. 13

Pitt at Florida International

The International Men of Mystery opened the season against two consecutive Division I-AA opponents. They can only count one of those games toward bowl eligibility, so they saw no need to defeat Bethune-Cookman in Week 1. How’s that for spin?

FIU head coach Ron Turner briefly served as Pitt’s QB coach way back in 1983 and ’84. If coaching the quarterbacks who had to follow Dan Marino made him look bad, it was nothing compared to his 44-73 head coaching record, most of which was compiled at Illinois during the late 90s and early aughts.

The Golden Panthers fell to the just plain Panthers 44-17 on a 2010 visit to Heinz Field. It was a close game most of the way, though, 16-10 through three quarters.

This rematch is being played at the Florida International House of Pancakes, which only holds 20,000. That’s hardly enough to handle all the busloads of people redeeming their AARP discounts.

Pitt 49, Florida International 13

Penn State at Rutgers

Last week, PSU president Eric Barron made a public plea to members of “the Penn State community” to be polite, at least to each other. Nice thought, but a little late, considering that the inhabitants of ironically named Happy Valley have spent decades cultivating their reputation as the Alec Baldwins of the football-watching world.

This should be one of the most exciting games of the week, for the simple reason that the ball will be put in the air recklessly and often. RU’s Gary Nova has actually been the far more accurate of the two QBs so far, throwing six TDs and only one interception, while Christian Hackenberg has had four scores and just as many INTs. Those stats are somewhat distorted, however, by the fact that Nova nuked I-AA Howard last week, whereas the Nittany Lions have faced two legitimate opponents.

The Scarlet Knights have removed all photos of alumnus Ray Rice from their stadium, since new video of the running back assaulting his fiancee emerged this past Tuesday. The photos are the least of the problems for Rice, who has been dismissed from the Baltimore Ravens, indefinitely suspended by the NFL, and dropped by sponsor Nike. But wait a minute – we’ve been seeing video of Rice dragging the unconscious woman from an elevator for months now, and everyone already knew what caused her to become unconscious. As brutal as the new video is, it really doesn’t provide us with any new information, and yet the NFL, the Ravens, the Scarlet Knights, and Rice’s sponsors are just now coming down on him with both feet. Does the truth not matter until it’s posted on YouTube?

Penn State 30, Rutgers 27

West Virginia at Maryland

The Terrapins terred the Mountaineers a new one last season in Baltimore, 37-0. The Eers fumbled four times that day, while gaining only 2.8 yards per carry. They expect to do better than that with Rushel Shell, who has gained 4.5 per carry, and 11 yards per catch, through two games.

It was the Terps who turned the ball over six times a week ago. Luckily, they were playing against the plodding South Florida Bulls, who could only amass a three-point lead from all those opportunities. A blocked fourth-quarter punt put the shellbacks on their feet, and they walked home to a 24-17 victory.

A week after giving Alabama a scrap in a 33-23 loss, WVU trounced Towson 54-0. In trying to keep his intensity up between games, QB Clint Trickett declared Towson to be “the Alabama of I-AA.” That’s kind of like the ad that ran on WKRP in Cincinnati for Red Wigglers, whose slogan was “The Cadillac of Worms.”

West Virginia 22, Maryland 16

UCLA vs. Texas

Yuck! The only thing that could make this game any worse would be if they decided to play it indoors in Arlington. Oh, they are? Then, there’s nothing that could make this game any worse.

Bruin fans were concerned that their offense only scored one TD in their opener against Virginia. They ought to be more worried about a defense that allowed 20 points to UVa, and another 35 in a 7-point scare at home against Memphis.

In the absence of QB David Ash, the Longhorns leaned heavily on their defense against BYU, and it withstood the pressure through one half. The dam finally burst in the third quarter, when a 6-0 deficit became 34-0, in just about ten minutes of game time. When nobody was watching anymore, Tyrone Swoopes threw his first career touchdown pass, to salvage something from a 41-7 steamrolling.

Last year, soon-to-be former coach Mack Brown absurdly awarded his moo-men with momentum rings, for having won the previous year’s Alamo Bowl. If he were still there this season, perhaps he’d have to lower the bar, and give them inertia anklets instead. He could probably drive over to Dallas and borrow some from Mark Cuban.

UCLA 29, Texas 23

Georgia at South Carolina

The Czar will spare you any more lame bits about one of the toughest players in the game being named Gurley. Instead he has decided, after seeing the Bulldog running back in a postgame interview, to nickname him Gurley Vanurley.

Gurley Vanurley was not lacking in positive energy in an opening 45-20 romp over rival Clemson, during which he rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns, and added a fourth TD on a 100-yard kickoff return.

Gamecock RB Mike Davis provided some cause for optimism himself, when he returned quickly from a rib injury to rush for 101 yards and two TDs, in a 33-23 win over East Carolina.

Milli Vanilli claimed that their name meant “positive energy” in Turkish, when in reality, it was Latin for “vanilla divided by a thousand.” Pretty bland stuff, really.

Georgia 40, South Carolina 24

Illinois at Washington

Both teams are 2-0, but the only good performance among those four games has been the Fighting Illini’s 42-34 victory over Western Kentucky last Saturday. Their offense was one-dimensional in that game, with QB Wes Lunt throwing for 456 of their 520 total yards, but the Huskies, who eked past I-AA Eastern Washington 59-52, probably aren’t eager to get involved in another air war.

Former Boise State skipper Chris Petersen is having his share of problems in taking over for Steve Sarkisian, starting with a 17-16 escape in Hawaii. At least Petersen hasn’t had to call in the athletic director for backup, though, like a collegiate pipsqueak calling somebody out while standing behind his fraternity brothers.

It’s a little-known fact that “Illini” is Turkish for “Illinois.” Actually, it’s kind of surprising that they’d bother having their own word for it over there.

Illinois 44, Washington 35

Arkansas at Texas Tech

Red Raider coach Kliff Kingsbury had the fleece scared off him last week in El Paso, where his team barely held off UTEP, 30-26. Tech had a big advantage in total yardage (504-393), but they committed the game’s only turnover, and once turned the ball over on downs as well.

The Razorbacks looked like they had Auburn in a tough scrape when they tied their opener 21-21 shortly before halftime. Only once did they reach the Tiger 49-yard-line in the second half, however, as they lost in a 45-21 runaway.

When Kingsbury is fleeced, it turns out that he and Penn State coach James Franklin are the same person (you know, kind of like Mario Van Peebles and Adam Ant). The two coaches are never seen together, because Tech and PSU aren’t scheduled to play each other. Coincidence? I think not!

Arkansas 45, Texas Tech 40

Central Florida at Missouri

In their 26-24 loss to Penn State in Dublin, the Knights inexplicably stuck with petrified freshman quarterback Pete DiNovo through the opening series of the second half. In more than half a game, DiNovo threw for only 18 yards, whereas Justin Holman passed for 204 in a relief appearance, while almost rallying the team to victory.

Gary Pinkel’s Tigers made a Mauk-ery of their visit to his old school, Toledo, where sophomore QB Maty Mauk tossed five TDs in a 49-24 trouncing. He has already got eight touchdownss in two games, while completing 64.2 percent of his passes.

UCF is 2-13 all-time against the SEC, including a 21-16 home loss to the Tigers in 2012, their first year in the league. Surprisingly, the only Knight victories among those have been a 2000 upset of Alabama, and a 2010 Liberty Bowl win over Georgia.

The boys from Disney World expected to be warmly greeted at Mizzou, only to be told to make Donald Duck put on some pants. So much for the Show-Me State.

Missouri 30, Central Florida 21

Tennessee at Oklahoma

If the Sooners had circled a game on their schedule against an orange and white team beginning with “T,” maybe it should have been this one. To add an element of tradition, they’ll try to turn the Volunteers’ color to burnt orange before it’s over.

OU is among the small minority of teams that faces only Division I-A competition this season, which means they’ve played two legitimate games so far, and outscored their opponents (Louisiana Tech and Tulsa) by a combined total of 100-23.

Butch Jones’ Volunteers are also 2-0 against respectable opposition, in spite of the fact that they’re gaining a meager average of 3.3 yards per carry. Freshman Jalen Hurd has rounded up a modest total of 112 yards to lead the team, on 34 rushing attempts.

The Vols are in for a dose of their own medicine when they visit Norman. After an entire weekend of “Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner (repeat until stupid),” maybe they’ll think twice next time before mercilessly pummeling their opponents with “Rocky Top.”

Oklahoma 33, Tennessee 16

Minnesota at TCU

The radiant rodents almost burned out too soon last week against Middle Tennessee, when they scorched the MT-heads like matchsticks to take a 28-0 halftime lead, but only wound up winning by a final of 35-24.

The Horned Frogs’ only game so far has been against I-AA Samford. Naturally, they put up lots of impressive-looking numbers, but that means as little as if their opponent had been Sam, in a Ford.

Gary Patterson’s perennial “BCS busters” from Fort Worth are only 12-14 since joining one of the conferences now known as the “Autonomous Five” – a title that calls to mind the 1963 sci-fi movie The Crawling Hand. Considering how the Frogs have fared in the Big XII ought to sober up any selection committee members who start considering a small conference team among the final four.

If some of you younger readers don’t know what matchsticks are, you can learn all about them by going to the nearest pay phone, and dialing 976-MSTICKS.

TCU 29, Minnesota 27

East Carolina at Virginia Tech

The Gobblers’ 35-21 victory at Ohio State was very close in almost every regard, including their three turnovers apiece. The difference is that OSU had no return yards on their takeaways, whereas Tech returned their three interceptions for a total of 98 yards and a touchdown.

The Pirates played South Carolina a statically even game in last week’s 33-23 defeat, with the exception of a blocked field goal, and an interception in SC territory. The other significant difference, and one that could prove critical against Tech, is that their defense was unable to get off the field in the fourth quarter, when they let the Gamecocks take ten and a half minutes to strut their way downfield to put the game away.

Formerly corpulent ECU coach Ruffin McNeill, who weighs less than half as much as he did a few years ago, is the Gobblers’ natural enemy. You know, kind of like the overzealous ex-smoker who makes furball-hacking noises whenever he’s within one city block of a lit cigarette.

East Carolina 28, Virginia Tech 24

UTSA at Oklahoma State

For a young Roadrunner program trying to establish its brand, it probably wasn’t a good idea to wear completely different uniforms for their first two nationally televised games. In their opener at Houston, they wore their all-white road unis with white helmets, adorned with the Ravens-like Roadrunner logo. A week later, at home against Arizona, they were in orange jerseys and pants, with no detectably similar markings, and blue helmets with the letters “UTSA” overlapping the state of Texas. If you saw the two next to each other, you’d have no way of guessing they were the same team.

One of the many problems with games against lower-division teams is that key injuries sustained in them need never have happened. Cowboy quarterback J.W. Walsh left last week’s win over I-AA Missouri State with a foot injury, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. His replacement, Daxx Garman, is elusive in the pocket, partly because when a would-be sacker draws near, Garman shouts, “Turn left,” and he instinctively obeys.

A roadrunner is at a natural disadvantage against a cowboy, which is why you never see one match wits with Yosemite Sam. He’s secretly smarter than Wile E. Coyote, you know. It’s just that he’s a lot more humble about it.

Oklahoma State 34, UTSA 18

Mississippi State at South Alabama

The Bulldogs have just defeated one small-conference Alabama school, but it wasn’t easy. Dan Mullen’s defense was burned for 548 total yards by UAB, before putting away their Conference USA foes, 47-34.

Tailback Jay Jones rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns as the Ferocious Q-Tips won their opener at Kent State. All right, so their real nickname is the Jaguars, but who is going to know that, as long as they’re using a Ferocious Q-Tip as their logo?

Oh, sure, it sounds dumb, but if some bunch of geeks made a computer-animated superhero movie called The Ferocious Q-Tips, you’d say it was cool. No worse than that talking raccoon thing, anyway.

Mississippi State 32, South Alabama 21

Nevada at Arizona

The Wildcats will start Anu, knowing that the freshman QB is their man in spite of a nervous showing last Thursday in San Antonio. Anu Solomon appeared rattled in his first college road game, but a week earlier in Tucson, he had bombarded UNLV for 425 yards and four touchdowns. He may be a little green yet, but he beats having to use one of those old Solomons that’s been clanking around the locker room.

Against Washington State, the Wolf Pack scored 1:18 into the game, and never trailed, as they put a cork in the Cougar offense, 24-13. UNR quarterback Cody Fajardo only passed for 110 yards, but also rushed for an even 100 on 16 carries.

The Pack ranked fourth-worst in the nation last year in rushing defense, a weakness upon which WSU was unequipped to capitalize. That’s why they go by “UNR” – which is “run” in pig Latin. That way, the other team doesn’t catch on.

Arizona 47, Nevada 33

Arkansas State at Miami

The Hurricanes were so weak when they went to Louisville, they didn’t even overturn a single trailer. In the 31-13 defeat, they only managed 244 total yards, while converting just 1 of 13 third downs. Now, there’s so little reason to fear the Canes that the trailers are coming to them, all the way from Jonesboro, where the Red Wolves boast three consecutive Sun Belt Conference titles.

ASU’s 34-19 loss last week was due mostly to Tennessee’s avoidance of miscues. The Vols only committed two penalties that day, while turning the ball over just once. Don’t expect “The U” – for “Undisciplined” – to be able to replicate that performance.

It’s a good thing there’s no anti-defamation league for rednecks. But it’s only a matter of time.

Arkansas State 23, Miami 20

Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech

These intrastate foes may have similar styles, but they’re about as familiar as Tennessee Williams is to Tennessee Tuxedo. The Ramblin Wreck has not been averse to lower-division opposition, but it had never faced its neighbors from Statesboro while they were still a I-AA program.

Willie Fitz’s spread-Eagles seem to be transitioning smoothly from the wishbone offense that GSU had run for so many years. They rolled up 438 total yards in a tough 24-23 loss to Nc State, and then returned to the ranks of I-AA to slam Savannah State 83-9, while rushing for 564 yards and going 6-for-6 on third-down conversions.

Tech spoiled Tulane’s home opener in its new stadium last week, 38-21, mostly by converting three interceptions and a blocked punt into 28 points. A third win to start the season would bring them halfway toward bowl eligibility, which is significant, since they must end the season with consecutive games against Clemson and Georgia.

If Tennessee Tuxedo wants to learn about Tennessee Williams, he’ll have to go see Phineas J. Whoopee. Not because the 3D-BB knows all, but just because Phineas is kind of a snob.

Georgia Tech 26, Georgia Southern 18

Navy at Texas State

The Midshipmen’s schedule is a lot tougher than it may look, starting with last week’s 31-24 road victory against Temple. Not only is TSU better than advertised, but so are future foes Western Kentucky and South Alabama.

The Bobcats might be developing a little expansion team envy, by watching Texas-San Antonio establish itself almost overnight. A big win over the Middies might put San Marcos on the college football map as well. That’s not likely to happen, however, with a whole new defensive line trying to contain Keenan Reynolds.

It’s a little-known fact that TSU used to be known as West Texas State University, until Adam West decided not to renew his contract for the naming rights.

Navy 45, Texas State 34

Tulsa at Florida Atlantic

The team from Backward Sandra Fluke University might have to go to Congress and demand free pills, to soothe the pain from the 52-7 stomping they took from cross-state foe Oklahoma.

FAU received a little more mercy in their 41-0 loss to Alabama, which was prematurely ended midway through the fourth quarter, due to a relentless lightning delay.

The Burrowing Owls have been anything but an underground success so far, which only stands to reason, given the level of competition to this point. There may not be any light at the end of the tunnel, though, because Conference USA appears to be a far more solid league than expected.

The Golden Hurricane has left C-USA for the American Athletic Conference this season, and has had the foresight to bring Tulane along with it. Bill Blankenship’s team held off the Green Wave on the season’s opening Thursday, 38-31 in double-overtime.

Gee, if the College Football Czar had advertisers, they might now put on a cowardly display of feigned outrage over that Sandra Fluke remark.

Tulsa 37, Florida Atlantic 26

Western Michigan at Idaho

Idaho, I-de-hi, they’re not gonna get them a piece of the sky at Vandal home games for the foreseeable future. The tiny, 16,000-seat Kibbie Dome is in the middle of a series of renovations, which will eventually add a few thousand seats by lowering the playing surface. As long as they’re making an investment to improve the facility for football, that means they’re not about to move out, which means they’re not going to get any nonconference home games against big-league opponents.

The IU football team was first crammed into the multi-purpose indoor venue as a cost-cutting move, which must have made perfect sense when it was a lower-division program. It doesn’t make sense for a Division I-A school to play in a building where they have trouble finding room to mount the goal posts. Defenders of the dome say it’s an architectural marvel. Fine. Let it remain an architecturally marvelous basketball arena, and find someplace on the Palouse to build a nice football stadium.

The Broncos’ 43-34 loss to Purdue didn’t look so bad, until those same Boilermakers were beaten 38-17 a week later by Central Michigan. WMU has lost 14 of its last 15 games, salvaging only a 31-30 win over Umass late last season. The Vandals have lost 18 of 19 themselves, but they made a good showing in their belated season opener, a 38-31 defeat at Louisiana-Monroe.

Palouse is not the name of a French Impressionist, although some of the Vandal players probably claim it is, in weak attempts to impress the coeds. Actually, there’s not even anything impressive about being a French Impressionist. All you have to do is exhale through your nose while speaking, and you’ll sound like practically everyone in the whole country.

Idaho 49, Western Michigan 42

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

1 posted on 09/11/2014 4:15:30 PM PDT by Daniel Clark
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To: Daniel Clark
We drove 400 miles up to the Farm to see the USC Trojans battle the Stanford Indians, but it was worth the effort. That game had its humorous moments, as when the Stanford band mocked the Trojan Marching Band as part of its halftime show as well as its moments of high drama, such as the 53-yard field goal by Andre Heidari that eventually won the game and that fourth-quarter fumble by Stanford.

Hearing the Trojan Marching Band play Tusk at the conclusion of the game was especially joyful.

We celebrated the Trojan victory at the Taragon restaurant in Sunnyvale.

Fight on and beat the Eagles!

2 posted on 09/11/2014 4:59:30 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Fiji Hill

Go Hawks.
Beat Iowa State !

3 posted on 09/11/2014 7:13:01 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: Daniel Clark

Go UAB Blazers

4 posted on 09/12/2014 11:33:59 PM PDT by political1 (Love your neighbors)
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