Holy shit…. where do we start?
Thus far, Week 7 has seen 1 game (Arkansas State’s 49-31 win over South Alabama on Tuesday night), but quite possibly more noteworthy activity than the rest of the season combined.
We are going to largely forget about Week 6 (until we review our predictions) because it was not pleasant for the ‘Cats or yours truly.
Let’s start with USC.
Wait…. which USC? Southern Cal? or South Carolina? It doesn’t really matter. Just know that they are both without a coach right now.
The left coast USC is back in the news for all the wrong reasons. For those who don’t remember, Steve Sarkisian brought some attention to the Trojans back in August when he was belligerently drunk at the annual Salute to Troy donor event. That was funny…. until it wasn’t. What we learned shortly thereafter was that this wasn’t a case of Steve going after it too hard for one evening, but it was a case of a man going with an addiction compounded by issues in his personal life. This is where Pat Haden – the same Pat Haden who, between football, basketball and baseball, has now fired 4 coaches mid-season – really dropped the ball. There were deep rooted issues here that suggested Sarkisian needed immediate help and an immediate leave of absence, but…. winning is more important in Troy. The result is obviously not pretty. USC let Sarkisian hit the proverbial “rock bottom” with the entire country watching. Haden and the USC administrative staff are as much to blame here as anyone. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks that. So, Pat, I bid thee adieu. It’s your turn to be fired mid-season.
Enough unfortunate news. Let’s head south to the armpit of Florida before we address the situation at the other USC.
Ladies and gentlemen, Go Gata! For the 3 (shout out to Marcel) people who read this and don’t really know me, I despise the Florida Gators. I really hoped that Zook would be a permanent fixture at UF because, well, that was fun. Unfortunately, Legendary Corch Irving Mayas took over and brought with him the rec unit from the state penitentiary. Florida led the nation in arrests and off the field trouble on an annual basis while Herb was at the helm. Muschamp brought some discipline, but couldn’t get it done on the field. Well, good news everyone. It looks like the rogue Gators have returned. This story is awful, but combined with the Will Grier incident (more on that below), it seems like McElwain has brought with him the type of off field discipline that the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes sought.
As mentioned, also on the Florida front, PED’s there is great news here! With Grier coming into form now with a real offensive gameplan in Gainesville, I was starting to get seriously worried that Florida was on their way to being back in the national title conversation. To be clear, they still are (Treon Harris is definitely capable), but they definitely have an uphill battle with LSU, Georgia, Florida State and a potential SEC title game on their hands without Grier behind center. As for Grier, are you shitting me right now with that excuse? Give me something better than the “I took the OTC supplement and didn’t realize what was in it” excuse. That’s horseshit. He knows it’s horseshit. And he knows that we know it’s horseshit. Enjoy your time off, Will. I hope you got that fertility issue fixed.
While we’re on the subject of Florida quarterbacks, we might as well talk about the east coast USC and Steve Spurrier. Steve, despite just completely bailing on the season, I truly do bid you a fond farewell. As much as I despise Florida, and as much as Spurrier contributed to that contempt in the 90’s, I’ve grown to like Head Ball Coach in his aging years at South Carolina so I’ll miss him now that he’s playing more golf. If nothing else, he’s had much of the SEC East’s number (including Florida’s) while coaching for a school I care about less than a Tuesday night MACtion game. None of his hilarious quotes were at all amusing when he was coaching Florida and torturing the shit out of me on a weekly basis, but it’s hard not to look back and chuckle at his jabs.
Ok…… I know what you’re thinking. “Enough of this off the field shit. Can we talk about football now, Roger?”
Yes. The time has come. We’re going to mix it up a bit this week. I’ll give my usual wild predictions (I know you can’t go on without them), but I’m going provide some deeper commentary on what I see to be 2 games that could go a long way in determining the Final Four. I’m staying out of the SEC despite the big matchups there (Florida vs. LSU and Alabama vs. Texas A&M) and I’m looking towards two playoff games to get into the playoffs:
UCLA @ Stanford – Thursday, 9:30pm CST
Each of these teams has a loss (Stanford out of conference and UCLA in conference). So, the loser of this game is in real trouble when it comes to the national conversation. But, the winner of this game could be poised for a deep run. It will be very hard to keep the Pac12 champion out of the playoff conversation. It will be impossible to keep a 1 loss Pac12 champion out of the playoff conversation. Each team still has losable games, but probably not until 11/21. There’s a very real chance that the winner of this game wins out (at least until the Pac12 Championship game). But, the losing team will be out.
This is Playoff Game #1
Michigan State @ Michigan – Saturday, 2:30pm CST
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Harbaugh is turning Michigan into a bonafide contender a lot quicker than people realize. Dating back to the end of the first quarter in week 2 against Oregon State, Michigan has given up a grand total of 7 points. Those 7 points came in garbage time against UNLV. On top of that, Blue is riding a 3 game shutout streak that includes dismantling 2 ranked opponents. They’re good.
Meanwhile, Sparty has looked asleep at the wheel since beating Baylor 10 months ago. Sure, MSU beat Oregon. But guess what? This isn’t Chip Kelly’s Oregon. This Oregon is trash. They just lost at home to Washington State…. who lost at home to an FCS school. So, Oregon lost at home to an FCS school through the transitive property (#math). Sparty definitely has the potential with a proven senior quarterback and a bevy of playmakers. But, nothing leads me to believe they are ever going to show that potential because they certainly haven’t to date
If Sparty plays like they have so far, they’ll lose this game by at least 3 scores. If they play the way they are capable of playing, then we’ll have a gem on our hands. Not only that, but the winner should be able to set sail until their respective date with the Buckeye in late November. At that point, all the marbles will be on the line. The loser? Well…. have fun in the Holiday Bowl.
This is Playoff Game #2
That’s the week ahead. Let’s now rewind to see how we did in Week 6.
- LSU (-13.5) @ South Carolina – Fournette is held under 100. SC wins. NO. Just no…. on all accounts. To be fair, I made this call before the game got moved to LSU.
- Indiana @ Penn State (-8) – IU wins in State College for the first time in ages. Franklin is really feeling the heat under his ass. NO. Wrongo…. Indiana was forced to play with QB #3.
- Wake Forest @ BC (O/U 37) – Less than 20 points scored cumulatively in this game. BC wins. YAHTZEE (kinda)…. This game had a whopping 3 points scored!!!! Wake won though.
- Cubs (-128) @ Pirates – NL Wild Card Game – Cubs by 3+. Arrieta has a no-no going past 5. YESSIR! Cubs win (and beat the Cards). Jake had a 1 hitter though 5 in this one.
- USA vs. Mexico – Confederations Cup Playoff Game (Saturday night in the Rose Bowl) – USA 2 Mexico 1. Goals from Deuce and Altidore in this one. Klinsmann keeps his job. BIGGEST MISS YET… Not only did the US lose, they then lost again to Costa Rica. Jurgen’s seat is hot.
Ok…. so we had some trouble last week. So did the ‘Cats.
What wild shit do we have in store for week 7?
- Penn State @ (-17) Ohio State – The Buckeyes finally look like the #1 team in the land while covering the spread and holding PSU to single digits
- Alabama (-4) @ Texas A&M – This game will get ugly. We know very little about A&M aside from a “nice showing” against ASU in the season opener, yet somehow they find themselves in the top 10. Bama by 3 scores.
- Nebraska @ (-2) Minnesota – Every Nebraska loss this season has come on the other team’s final offensive play. Expect that trend to continue here. Tonka with a late win. The corn people are getting pissed.
- BC @ (-15.5) Clemson – BC hasn’t given up 15 points in a single game this season. They’ll lose, but they’ll cover and this stays under the 36.5 O/U.
- Cubs @ TBD (Saturday night) – Arrieta will be throwing. The ace for the other team will not be throwing. Cubs take the lead in the NLCS 1-0.
Until next week, friends…..