Roger’s Ramblings – A Look Around the College Football Landscape (Week 8)

Remember how I said more shit happened last week than in the previous 6 weeks combined? Well, lucky for us, the absurdity continued on Saturday.

In what can only be rivaled by the Cal vs. Stanford Band play, I present to you this:

Yea. I don’t know what to say either.

I told several of you after the fact – if that happened to Northwestern (let me take a breath), the property destruction in 1980 on St. Simon’s Island would pale in comparison to what would be going on in the West Lot. I can’t even think about that anymore. Let’s move on…..

I try to avoid talking about NU here (as I like to save that for my predictions), but I’m going to truly ramble here for a second. Just to preface though, this has been several years in the making. Actually, it has been about a decade in the making. I’ve had enough. I’ve lost it. I can’t deal with it anymore.

As a die hard Northwestern fan, I hate seeing us lose. I really hate seeing us get blown out. But, I absolutely DESPISE seeing us get exploited. I point this out only because, as I talked with Pops to review the game, something was said: by his recollection (and now mine), Pat Fitzgerald’s NU teams have never once….. NOT ONCE…. exploited the other team. No no. On the contrary, if there’s any exploiting being done, we’re the one getting exploited. In a big f*cking way. Sure, we’ve had great games. Big wins. Nice game plans. Executed well. All that shit. But, we never seem to key in on an element of the game where we can take advantage and expose the shit out the other team. Yet, that happens routinely to us. It’s like f*cking clockwork. Once a unit has been exposed, we simply cannot adjust.

This is probably what was going through Ferentz’s head on Saturday – “Oh, you think your defense is good? Well, that Walker is great when he plays with his head down and runs to the ball, but watch us run a little misdirection action – just like Michigan – and get him totally out of f*cking position because you haven’t coached him to react to scheme properly after 2 years in the program. While we’re at it, we’ll crack your DB’s because we saw Michigan do that sporadically with great success last week and we know that there’s a zero percent chance you’ve addressed that or coached it up.”

Simply put, if a weakness is found, it’s game over. It’s apparent at this point. This team has not, will not and CANNOT adjust to anything unconventional or unexpected. It starts at the top and it’s not changing.

Moving on…..

Let’s play a little something I like to call “Playoffs???“.

If the season ended today, here’s who I would have in my Final Four (in no particular order).

Final Four as of Today

  • Ohio State – Last season’s champ. They’ve looked shaky in some appearances, but who gives a shit? What do they need to prove at this point? They just need to win and move on and they have done that quite well. They’re in.
  • Baylor – Good God! Could the Denver Broncos stop Baylor’s offense? This is a well oiled machine and Briles may finally prove that you can win without defense. They’re definitely in.
  • Utah – Even at this point, I’m not sure they are for real. But, they are definitely well coached. Additionally, Utah doesn’t have any significant weaknesses and they have arguably the best resume of the bunch. They’re in.
  • Clemson – I said that I’m not ranking these teams, but Clemson would be my #4… and LSU is right on their ass. This is totally subjective and I don’t have a lot to say other than LSU, in my opinion, had a bit more of an advantage in their one marquee game this year. They played Go Gata immediately following the Grier suspension. At least ND had a little more time to adjust to life without Zaire before playing Clemson.

Alas though, the season doesn’t end today. So, here’s who I’m predicting to be in the playoffs at the midway point:

Projected Final Four

  • Ohio State – I’ve got them winning out. They just keep winning. Going full time with JT will help as well.
  • Baylor – See above. They will score 80 on TCU. I’d be more worried about the Oklahoma game than the TCU game.
  • LSU – LSU will lose to Bama, end the season with 1 loss and back their way into the playoff despite 1 loss Clemson winning their conference title.
  • Bama – Bama will beat LSU and win out. SEC champs. 1 loss. Off they go.

That was fun. Let’s see how we did last week.

  • 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 CLOSE! We had a cover, OSU looked legit, but PSU scored 10.
  • 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. WINNER! Lots of defensive scores here. Bama rolled.
  • 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. UH… NO. Minnesota is not good.
  • 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. WRONG AGAIN. Surprisingly, someone finally scored on BC.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. NO. Yikes, Cubs, Yikes! Arrieta ended up not throwing game 1 anyways.

Ask and you shall receive. Wild predictions for the week ahead:

  • Memphis (-10.5) @ Tulsa – Riding high after last week’s win against Land Shark Lager defense, Memphis goes down here as they sleep walk through the first half.
  • Utah @ (-3.5) USC – Not sure if you can call this an upset, but Utah by 2 scores. Their defense is legitimate and USC has had trouble with the pass rush (see Washington).
  • Ohio State (-21) @ Rutgers – A scare! Rutgers leads this one DEEP into the game. Perhaps until the final drive. OSU pulls it out though.
  • Washington @ Stanford (no line yet) – Washington pulls off the upset. Stanford’s title chances are shot.
  • Western Kentucky @ LSU (-17) – Western Kentucky isn’t god awful, thus LSU will have to keep their foot on the gas. The result? Fournette for 250+.

See you next week, friends.

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