Roger’s Ramblings – A Look Around the College Football Landscape (Week 9)

What a time to be alive!!! Am I right? Mark Jones thinks so.

This is now 2 weeks in a row that truly absurd shit has happened on a special teams play that was also the final play of the game. That’s not something you see every year. So maybe it is a great time to be alive. It sure is for the Jackets!

It might not be so great for Baylor fans, though. Art Briles and Baylor looked destined for the final four that they were shutout of last year. Oklahoma is good, but they wouldn’t keep up with Baylor. TCU is good too, but they might have given up 80 to Baylor. And then….. BAM! This happened. It remains to be seen just how this will alter the course of Baylor’s season (backup Jarrett Stidham is no joke with a 255.7 QB rating in mop up time), but surely it’s going to have some impact. It’s also likely going to impact my projected final four from last week. I don’t see the Bears navigating the upcoming November gauntlet unscathed with a true freshman at QB. You know what that means? It means I’m a huge Stanford Cardinal fan because I’m starting to get very worried about the enemy in South Bend.

In other news, Alabama continued to look mediocre with another nailbiter against an unranked opponent. What’s annoying about this is not that Alabama wins close games against mediocre teams, but it’s how they are rewarded for winning close games against mediocre teams. Let me remind everyone that, at this point in the season, Alabama has played 1 game against a ranked opponent. That game was against Ole Miss. It was a loss…. at home. So why are they the top ranked 1 loss team in the polls? Why does someone have the audacity to give them a #1 vote this week in the AP poll and pretty much discredit the existence of any poll? Oh…. because Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has a vote in the AP poll. That’s right, this clown has Alabama ranked as the #1 team in the country. Wins and losses must not mean much to Jon. Thanks for sabotaging the polls, though!

Lastly, let’s give a big shout out to Meg-O. Last Thursday, Meg-O suggested that I was trolling her by stating my confidence in the BuckNuts. Well, I wasn’t trolling her, but I was glad to hear that she is one 7 weekly readers (shout to Marcel as well). As such, she was rewarded with OSU’s big, giant shellacking of Rutgers on Saturday night. The BuckNuts have the potential to be a well oiled machine by season’s end. Karma is on Meg-O’s side as long as she continues to read.

That’s a good summary from last week because, all in all, it was a pretty uneventful weekend on the field. Off the field…… not so much.

What the hell is going on off the field with coaches getting sacked and/or resigning? We have to be setting some sort of record this year for the most Power 5 jobs available in midseason. AfterAl Golden was canned and Kill resigned over health concerns, we now have midseason openings at USC (Sarkisian), the other USC (Spurrier), Illinois (Beckman), Illinois (Edsall), Miami (Golden), Minnetonka (Kill), UCF (O’Leary), and North Texas (McCarney).

I ask this of you…. for those coaches canned (not retired/resigned) midseason, what in the hell do those programs think they’re accomplishing? What good does it do to sack Randy Edsall at this point? or Al Golden? Is your season going magically turn around? Are all the recruits that you couldn’t get in the first place going to come to College Park or Coral Gables now because you have no coach in the middle of the year? No….. they aren’t. So, suck it up and wait for the opportune time to make a change. And if you’re wondering, that’s not in the middle of the f*cking season.

I digress….

What game should we play this week? Hmmm…..

 

Let’s play “Your Team is an Absolute Underachieving Joke this Year”

1. Auburn – Not a lot to say here. Auburn is in serious jeopardy of missing out on a bowl game…. and they were predicted by many to win the SEC West and compete for a spot in the Playoffs. Yikes. Malzahn might want to look for a real estate agent. This shit doesn’t fly down there.

2. Nebraska – This isn’t nearly as bad as Auburn, but Nebraska is in really serious jeopardy of missing a bowl game. After the ‘Cats handed them their 5th loss over the weekend, Nebraska is in full on train wreck mode. I still think Riley is/was a good hire, but keep in mind Pelini never won less than 9 games. Riley officially has 0 chance of reaching that mark now.

3. Virginia Tech – VT suffered some bad luck with an injury to their starting QB against the BuckNuts in week 1, but underachieving is becoming a recurring theme in Blacksburg. Now sitting at 3-5, at least VT was able to beat Purdue, right?

4. Oregon – At least the Ducks are not in full on train wreck mode like some others, but this is clearly a huge letdown from seasons past. We’re used to Nike (read Oregon) reloading on an annual basis and competing for championships. That didn’t happen this year. Something looked off in Week 1 against Eastern Washington and it has carried through the entire season. At 4-3, the Ducks are just hoping they don’t get matched up with the ‘Cats in the Holiday Bowl or the Foster Farms Bowl.

Ok.. Let’s see how we did last week.

  • 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. NOPE. Memphis kept scoring…..
  • 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). OYE… NO WAY. Utah looked bad.
  • Ohio State (-21) @ Rutgers – A scare! Rutgers leads this one DEEP into the game. Perhaps until the final drive. OSU pulls it out though. NOPE…. not even remotely close. It was 49-0 OSU late in the 4th though.
  • Washington @ Stanford (no line yet) – Washington pulls off the upset. Stanford’s title chances are shot. WRONG AGAIN! Stannies looks really good.
  • 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+. NAH. 0 for 5. This one was directionally accurate. 

What’s that? You want some predictions for this week? Fine…. here they are:

  • West Virginia @ TCU (-13) – TCU goes down. Notre Dame inches closer to the Playoff. Help us, Stanford (or Temple… or anyone else playing ND)!!!!
  • Oregon @ Arizona State (65 O/U) – At least 90 points are scored in this late evening affair in the desert.
  • Illinois @ Penn State (-4.5) – The Illini make mincemeat of PSU’s O line, record 6+ sacks and win the game
  • Clemson (-10.5) @ NC State – They have to pull a Clemson at some point, right? Not here. But, NC State leads going into the 4th.
  • Georgia @ Florida (-3) – The Cocktail Party – Ejections, ejections and more ejections! In what is a huge rivalry game, look for some quality brawls in the Ville.

As they say in China, au revoir!

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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.

Roger’s Ramblings – A Look Around The College Football Landscape (Week 7)

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…..

Roger’s Ramblings – A Look Around the College Football Landscape (Week 6)

Let’s start out with a shout out to the ‘Cats. Nobody thought they were going to be worth a shit back in August. Everyone thought the Stanford win was a fluke. Nobody thought they would beat Duke. People are starting to come around on them, but it’s still more of a “how’s this one going to fall apart?” kind of situation. Based on our track record, it’s hard to disagree with that, but our merry group of tailgaters is going to enjoy the shit out of the national attention we’re getting. Even if it’s just for a point in time.

Godspeed ‘Cats. Remember ’95 at the Big House (20 years ago today).

Now, to something that really has my ass chapped this week – Advanced Stats. More specifically, the use of advanced stats in football this early in a season. From my perspective, the use of advanced stats for sports is only legitimate in baseball where you have a sample size as big as a SKU count at a grocery store. We don’t have that in football. Most importantly, we sure as shit don’t have that through 5 games in football. But, what we do have are blowhards using rankings like the S&P+ to try to prove a point. Let’s take a look at these rankings and discuss the absolute f*cking stupidity with them. As you’ll see, Michigan is ranked #2…. ahead of the undefeated team to whom they lost. Nice reasoning. But, from a ‘Cats fan’s perspective, that’s not the most egregious bastardization of “stats” that we have here. 5-0 Northwestern is ranked #28 just behind Western Kentucky. Fine. Whatever. Nobody wants to give us any credit. But, which noteworthy teams are ranked ahead of us? Let’s see…… Stanford at 10. Beat them 16-6. Duke at 11. Beat them on the road 19-10. And even Minnesota at 24! Just waxed that ass 27-0. So…. what have we learned here? Well, for one, we’ve learned that the S&P+ ratings are a giant crock of shit and don’t appear close to sorting themselves out. But, we’ve also learned that results, elementary logic and a simple eye test should trump all. Maybe stats really are for losers….

So…. what happened in Week 5?

Brian Kelly happened…. again. Oh, Brian Kelly. When will you learn that the PAT is not the time to play video game football? For those who don’t remember, Brian pretty much lost a game for the Irish last season (against the ‘Cats no less) by inexplicably going for 2 when Notre Dame scored to take an 11 point lead (take a look at the box score). The conversion failed. What did that do? Well, it allowed the ‘Cats to tie the game with a TD, a 2 point conversion and a last second FG rather than having to score 2 TD’s. Nice move, Brian.

What happened this week for Brian and team? He pulled a similar move in the deluge that was Death Valley (maybe he was singin’ in the rain and not paying attention to the score). At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Irish scored to get within 12 (check the box score). Conventional, rational and intelligent wisdom would tell you to kick the PAT and continue to eat away at the margin with the safe bet. Why? Because there were still 14 minutes left and maybe, just maybe, Clemson might get a field goal somewhere along the way making that PAT ever so important. Well, Brian didn’t take the sure points. Brian went for 2. The result? Fail. Clemson subsequently kicked a field goal to take a 15 point lead rather than a 14 point lead. The rest is history. The failed and unnecessarily attempted 2 point conversion cost ND the game (or at least a shot in OT). We’ll be sending an abacus to the football offices at ND.

Let’s move out west. Apparently I spoke too soon last week when writing off the state of Arizona. That was definitely accurate for Rich Rod’s team (way to keep plugging away Stanford), who got throttled at Stanford on Saturday night, but the Sun Devils pulled off a big surprise at the Rose Bowl. ASU raced out to a big lead early, but presumably out of the blue, things got interesting in the 4th quarter with ASU up 19 and cruising. The funny thing is that this wasn’t out of the blue. This was the law of Gus Johnson. Gus was on the call Saturday night and when Gus and UCLA get together, truly great things are bound to happen. This one got wild as UCLA narrowed the gap to 6 before ASU hung on for dear life. As always, thanks for the entertainment Gus.

Now that we’re 5 weeks deep into this glorious season, let’s circle the wagon and point out 5 things we know:

  1. Advanced Stats Are Horseshit

See above for more details….

  1. Ohio State IS NOT Unbeatable

In fact, Ohio State is looking very beatable. When we started the season, several columnists were asking whether OSU had a chance to be the greatest team ever this year. Going undefeated and securing the #1 seed for the playoffs was an afterthought. Well, I would suggest that now there’s a greater likelihood that they won’t be in the playoffs come New Year’s Eve. They still have a very favorable schedule, but the loss of 2014 OC Tom Herman to Houston is impacting the BuckNut offense more than people expected.

  1. The Big8/10/12 Doesn’t Play Defense

A week after 105 points were scored in TCU’s miracle win over Texas Tech, we saw a 90.5 point O/U (the highest in a quarter century) in the Baylor v. Texas Tech game. Guess what? Baylor and Tech hit the over in that one…. by more than one score. Some of the ridiculous scores in this conference are due to the pace of play (the average team in the Big8/10/12 runs more plays per game than the average team in any other conference), but at some point it would be nice to see at least some semblance of defense. It’s hard to win a national title without an above average defense. It just doesn’t happen. So, I won’t be taking anyone from the Big8/10/12 to win one this year.

  1. The Transitive Property Still Doesn’t Apply

If A beats B and B beats C, then A will beat C, right? No. Why? Pretty simple….. just because A beat B doesn’t mean they are consistently better than B. Also, shit happens…. like injuries. This has already played out several times this season, but are you excited to see a great example of it this Saturday? Look no further than Georgia Tech’s game @ Clemson. Let’s recap. Clemson beat ND. ND beat Georgia Tech. But, Georgia Tech WILL beat Clemson. Remember… don’t ever use the transitive property when comparing teams. It’s almost as dumb as the S&P+ rankings.

  1. There’s A Good Chance A QB Doesn’t Win the Heisman

The last time a non-QB won the Heisman was 2009 (Mark Ingram). For the most part, the rise of dynamite offenses have been anchored by stellar QB play. That doesn’t apply this year. QB play in the SEC is a well documented hot mess. Meanwhile, we have absolutely garbage QB play in the B1G as well, where a combo of Barrett/Jones and Cook were supposed to carry the conference. Out west, we’ve seen really inconsistent QB play (on paper, Cody Kessler still has remarkable numbers). Then, we have the Big 8/10/12 where it’s hard to truly assess what’s going on because of #3 above. My money is on a running back this year (shout out to Josh Doctson who gets no respect in the race).

Let’s go back to last week’s wild predictions and see how we did…..

  • Notre Dame (-1) @ Clemson – Because this is becoming an unavoidable trend, ND loses another starter for the season. TBD. ND had a lineman go down, but I’m not sure of his status and I don’t care enough to look it up.
  • Mississippi State @ Texas A&M (-7) – A&M by 3 scores. CLOSE. A&M by 2 scores. Mississippi State has been feisty thus far. Just feisty enough to get beat.
  • Oregon (-7.5) @ Colorado – Oregon covers by a lot (20+). They may be fragile now, but Colorado is a joke. (note to the gamblers: this is one of the more bizarre lines I’ve seen recently) DING DING! Oregon won easily…. covered that spread. What was going on in Vegas with this one?
  • Hawaii @ Boise State (-24.5) – Excited to finally kick off after 5am Hawaii time, Hawaii leads this one deep into the 2nd half. UH…… NOT EVEN CLOSE. 49-0 Boise State at halftime. This is the worst miss of the year.
  • Ole Miss (-7) @ Florida – Florida wins. Go gata! oh…. take the under here too (50.5). WINNER X2. Gata won and we hit the under…. just barely (48).

For the record, we’re pacing pretty well on the season with these wild predictions. We’re definitely under .500, but the predictions are always wild so .500 would be a home run (Go Cubs).

For the week ahead, here are some wild and crazy predictions:

  • LSU (-13.5) @ South Carolina – Fournette is held under 100. SC wins.
  • Indiana @ Penn State (-8) – IU wins in State College for the first time in ages. Franklin is really feeling the heat under his ass.
  • Wake Forest @ BC (O/U 37) – Less than 20 points scored cumulatively in this game. BC wins.
  • Cubs (-128) @ Pirates – NL Wild Card Game – Cubs by 3+. Arrieta has a no-no going past 5.
  • 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.

Roger’s Ramblings – A Look Around the College Football Landscape (Week 5)

Let’s start this week by recapping some of the crazier endings in the afternoon contests (we’re not going to cover the plethora of rumors coming out of Tuscaloosa earlier last week because, well, the internet had that covered pretty well)….

Did everyone see the end of the TCU vs. Texas Tech game? Good. Did anyone else have flashbacks to Matt Davison and the 1997 Nebraska @ Missouri game? Good. The end of that game was absurd. Easily the most absurd thing we’ve seen thus far through 4 weeks (it almost got more absurd with Texas Tech trying to lateral their way to victory at the end).

While we’re on the subject of absurd, let’s talk about the ridiculousness that was the “Te” schools (Tennessee and Texas) on Saturday afternoon. These two can commiserate with each other after perfecting the art of shitting their pants (no, George, not literally shitting their pants).

Texas and Tennessee managed to find the most obscene ways to lose a game almost simultaneously (my sources tell me these feats were accomplished within 7 minutes of each other).

First, Texas was headed for overtime when their punter demonstrated his lack of interest in said extra time. Have a look (side note: calm down, Mike Gundy. Beating Texas is no feat these days).

Then, Tennessee did a Tennessee… becoming the first team this season to blow multiple double digit fourth quarter leads. Let’s give a big shout out to Mick Hubert on the call. Mick is the definition of a homer. He’s been calling shit like this for years and he’s beyond obnoxious. He’s the college football version of Hawk Harrelson. Oh My!

Anyways, I know what you’re thinking. That’s great, Roger, but what happened out west? Why doesn’t the left coast get any pub?

That’s a fair point. But, let’s make sure we exclude the state of Arizona from any conversation moving forward because they sufficiently demonstrated on Saturday night that their college football programs are frauds. Meanwhile, Utah……. whoa! I love my Ducks, but clearly it’s time for a new sheriff out west (note: don’t sleep on Stanford).

That’s enough for the big picture stuff. Let’s move on…..

A new play this week…. Things I Liked. Things I Didn’t Like. Things I Didn’t/Don’t Care About.

Things I Liked

  • Leonard Fournette – I’ll eat crow here. This guy is the real deal (note quite Darnell Autry real deal though). Watching him run is like watching Bo Jackson meets Herschel Walker meets Ricky Williams. This guy is good.
  • Arkansas Losing Again – Sadly, for Ryan Gosling (who had his own things to cry about at the end of his game against TCU), Arkansas didn’t get their proverbially asses whipped again. But, they did lose. And Bielema continues to lay claim to the title of biggest joke in the country.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Florida Icing Tennessee’s Kicker – Did I not warn everyone about this last week? Icing the kicker only works if you actually ice the kicker…. not if you give the kicker a chance to warm up. As is customary, McElwain called timeout immediately before the first snap, so UT’s kicker got to go through with his warm up kick. It wasn’t close. He adjusted. He damn near made the second one from 55.
  • Referee Calling Ohio’s Kicker for a Delay of Game – Did you read the Florida scenario above? Well, the exact same thing played out in the Minnesota – Ohio game. Only this time the officials flagged Ohio’s kicker for going through with the practice kick. Ohio was backed up 5 yards and forced to try a Hail Mary on the next play…. game over. That’s a bunch of horse shit if you ask me.

Things I Didn’t/Don’t Care About

  • TCU’s Depleted Defense – Yes. TCU has been bit by the injury bug. But you know what? C’est la vie, baby! Next man up! I don’t care who is out there. If you’re giving up beaucoup points to unranked teams, then you shouldn’t be in the playoff conversation. Get your 4-2-5 figured out, Gary. You aren’t going to survive the gauntlet at the end of the year with this defense.
  • West Virginia – So…. Maryland is a joke. Sure, West Virginia waxed that ass (45-6), but Maryland got waxed by Bowling Green…. at home. West Virginia is now getting some pub and being mentioned as a dark horse in the Big8/10/12. Calm down…. wins against Georgia Southern, Liberty and Maryland do not warrant praise.

Let’s take a look back at last week and see how we did with our wild predictions

Georgia Tech (-9.5) @ Duke – Duke wins. Northwestern looks even better. Tech’s defense has trouble with Sirk and a vertical passing game. YUP!!!! On a Tuesdayyyyyyy! Roger was right here.

UCF @ South Carolina (-14.5) – UCF gets shut out. Nada. Zip. Zero. No points. NOT QUITE. In fact, UCF led this game for a bit. They did end up losing convincingly. 

Indiana @ Wake Forest (no line yet) – Indiana goes on the road and wins convincingly. Easily the worst 4-0 team in the country. KIND OF. IU got the W and covered the spread. But, it was close.

Tennessee @ Florida (-1.5) – In the words of the sage poet, Biggie, “blows was thrown and a f*cking fight broke out!”. Look for a fight and some ejections in this one. NO.. I DON’T THINK. But, Butch looked like he wanted to fight after his premature celebration

TCU (-7) @ Texas Tech – TCU doubles up Tech. Tech gets blown out. This time, Kingsbury gets his ass kicked, but the feud with Bielema continues with some ridiculous post game commentary. UH….. YIKES! This was way off and this game is currently the leading contender for Game of the Year. 

Here are some wild predictions for this week:

Notre Dame (-1) @ Clemson – Because this is becoming an unavoidable trend, ND loses another starter for the season.

Mississippi State @ Texas A&M (-7) – A&M by 3 scores.

Oregon (-7.5) @ Colorado – Oregon covers by a lot (20+). They may be fragile now, but Colorado is a joke. (note to the gamblers: this is one of the more bizarre lines I’ve seen recently)

Hawaii @ Boise State (-24.5) – Excited to finally kick off after 5am Hawaii time, Hawaii leads this one deep into the 2nd half.

Ole Miss (-7) @ Florida – Florida wins. The SEC is a mess! Go gata! oh…. take the under here too (50.5).

Roger’s Ramblings – A Look Around the College Football Landscape (Week 4)

This season is getting better every week! First, let’s toot our own horn and look back at the end of my NU game prediction from last week:

Despite the relatively close score, by the second half it becomes apparent what’s going down. The ‘Cats D is legit. NU controls the ball for 12 minutes in the 4th quarter and runs out the clock up by two scores. 

Later that evening, Stanford goes into the Coliseum and knocks off USC. Back in Evanston, Gangsta’s Paradise is blaring and locals are wondering if they’ve gone back in time 20 years. 

Nope. We didn’t go back in time. But the schedule looks favorable and this is starting to feel like ’95. 

Next up….. NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT GAME! Rest assured, the West Lot will be bumpin.

Well…. that was spot on. Yes, the West Lot will most certainly be bumpin’ this Saturday night and you can call me Rogerdamus if you please.

Before we move along to the good, the bad and the ugly (this week’s format), let’s talk about what is now becoming a recurring piece of humor: Brett Bielema and Arkansas. For those who don’t recall, Brett spent the entire past week cleaning egg of his face after losing to Toledo shortly after criticizing Ohio State’s schedule. This week, Bielema and team lost to Texas Tech at home. While this is slightly more respectable on paper, it still left Brett looking like a fool at the hands of Ryan Gosling (aka Kliff Kingsbury). Rest assured, A&M will, in fact, kick Bielema’s ass this week. But, at least Jerry Jones won’t be in the house again, or else Brett would likely get fired on the spot. Woo pig sooie!

Now, let’s get into the fun.

The Good

Kevin Hogan – There was certainly a lot of quality football being played on Saturday night, but yours truly had a watchful eye on the Stanford USC game (for obvious reasons). Boy, was that a treat. Not only did it help to validate NU and what is now the nation’s #1 scoring defense, but watching Hogan pick apart USC’s secondary was like watching Andrew Luck 2.0. Hogan is legit for those who think otherwise after watching him struggle against the ‘Cats. Let’s hope he can play this week and let’s hope that practicing with virtual reality (read the link) is sufficient preparation. Can the Stanford D school get some love for that? As Bag so eloquently put it, “that’s some Stanford shit.” It most certainly is.

Iowa’s Kicker – In case anyone missed it, Marshall Koehn buried a 57 yard field goal as time expired to give Iowa the win over Pitt on Saturday night. This was awesome, but it does beg the question: is icing the kicker counterproductive? Pat Narduzzi called timeout immediately prior to Koehn’s first attempt which gave him the opportunity to go through with the kick (as practice) anyway. The kick wasn’t woefully short, but I’m certainly not going to tell you I thought Koehn had any chance on the next one. He clearly corrected something because he buried it with ease. I bet Pat wishes he didn’t call that timeout. Chris Webber knows a thing or two about that.

The Bad

Minnesota’s Offense – Minnesota as a team gets a pass here because their defense is certainly stout as they demonstrated this in an impressive week 1 performance against TCU. But that offense…… woof. 10 points against Kent State? Kent State lost to Illinois 52-3 just 2 weeks earlier. They clearly aren’t any good. And they clearly don’t have a defense. Thus, Minnesota clearly doesn’t have an offense. Right? Right (warning: the transitive property is only to be used with serious caution and when absolutely warranted). The transitive property applies here for once.

Auburn – Can we get this team out of the coaches poll once and for all? They came damn close to losing to an FCS foe at home and then got absolutely stomped by LSU. All the while, Auburn literally made Leonard Fournette a Heisman candidate. Is Fournette good? Probably. Was he as good as he looked on Saturday? Probably not. But, that’s what happens when you tear up a team that is irrationally nationally ranked. At least Numberfire thinks they suck.

The Ugly

Texas’s Kicker This pretty much sums up the state of the Longhorn program right now. Someone get that guy a drink and then put some soap in Jared Goff’s mouth.

This Week’s Upcoming Kansas @ Rutgers Game – Are you kidding me with this one? The mess at Rutgers is well documented so I won’t get into that. But, the dominos here could not have fallen more perfectly in setting up one of the most wretched games of the decade. While Rutgers is a disaster, Kansas is a complete raging dumpster fire. We’re talking about one of the worst FBS teams of all time. They rival Francis Peay’s NU teams. Meanwhile, they are still paying Charlie the Hut (along with Notre Dame… which tickles me to death)!

Let’s look back at the week that was and assess how we did:

  • Georgia Tech (-2.5) @ Notre Dame – Another key ND player goes down for the season. Fans wonder if Rudy will have to suit up by season’s end. GREAT SUCCESS. We would never wish injury on someone, but it happened again….. while celebrating
  • Auburn @ LSU (-7) – Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson throws at least 2 more picks. LSU covers. KIND OF. Johnson only had 1 pick, but he had a 30.0 QBR and might as well have thrown 10. LSU won big.
  • Ole Miss @ Alabama (-6.5) – Per last week’s comment, Derrick Henry coughs up the ball at the wrong time because he can’t get his pad level down. Ole Miss wins and moves into the top 5.WINNER. Henry didn’t fumble, but Bama turned it over 5 times, Ole Miss won and moved into the top 5.
  • Illinois @ UNC (-10) – Illinois wins. Nobody has any clue if they are actually half decent. WAY OFF. Yikes…. what happened here?
  • Clemson (-6) @ Louisville – Louisville wins. This serves as a friendly reminder not to play the transitive property game. FAIL. I’m blaming this solely on Louisville’s freshman mistakes. They had this game on multiple occasions, but just weren’t interested enough to take it.

Here are some wild predictions for this week:

  • Georgia Tech (-9.5) @ Duke – Duke wins. Northwestern looks even better. Tech’s defense has trouble with Sirk and a vertical passing game.
  • UCF @ South Carolina (-14.5) – UCF gets shut out. Nada. Zip. Zero. No points.
  • Indiana @ Wake Forest (no line yet) – Indiana goes on the road and wins convincingly. Easily the worst 4-0 team in the country.
  • Tennessee @ Florida (-1.5) – In the words of the sage poet, Biggie, “blows was thrown and a f*cking fight broke out!”. Look for a fight and some ejections in this one.
  • TCU (-7) @ Texas Tech – TCU doubles up Tech. Tech gets blown out. This time, Kingsbury gets his ass kicked, but the feud with Bielema continues with some ridiculous post game commentary.

Roger’s Ramblings – A Look Around the College Football Landscape (Week 3)

Roger works to get the satellite dish up and running at EIU

Last week was a treat for yours truly. Yes, the weather was delightful in the West Lot (props to NGN for giving us some Facebook love). Yes, Auburn looked like a raging dumpster fire and almost lost to Jacksonville State (note: this is not the same Jacksonville that I rep wherever I go. Nor is it Young Cash’s Jacksonville). Yes, Florida is imploding from within and they’ve only played 2 games under the now apologetic Jim McElwain. Yes, Marco Rubio is the dumbest politician of all time for instigating interstate hostility and questioning the intelligence of a good amount of the voting population in his own state.

That’s all great.

But, nothing – and maybe nothing for the rest of the year – will top the hilarity that occurred in Little Rock this past weekend. For those who weren’t aware, Arkansas went out and laid a big giant egg losing to Toledo on Saturday. That, in and of itself, is hilarious. But, what makes this even more entertaining is that SEC homers (and coaches) had spent the previous week berating Ohio State for playing a soft schedule. So, while we’re talking about laying eggs, let’s give Paul Finebaum credit for wiping the egg off his face while Brett Bielema does something with the f*cking omelette he has on his face. It’s no secret that Bielema is one of the genuine scumbags in college athletics, so nothing made me happier than seeing the Rockets embarrass the shit out of him.

There’s a simple lesson here – don’t worry about anything outside of your control until the season is over and done with. If you get left out of the College Football Playoff, then you can whine and complain like Baylor and proceed to invalidate your entire argument by losing your bowl game. But, until then, let me diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of the other guys.

Strength

  • The Top of the B1G – The rest of the conference might be as mediocre as it gets, but Sparty and the BuckNuts are bonafide title contenders.
  • BYU’s Hail Mary – Two weeks in a row? Are you kidding me? If they do this again this week I’m converting.
  • Florida’s Tackling – Last year the Gators put on a clinic blocking each other. This year, they’ve stepped it up a notch (note: the right play was to go down… not to tackle your teammate).

Weakness

  • Tennessee’s Ability to Close Games – Nothing new here. Good Ole Rocky Top!
  • Rutgers Staying Out of Trouble – Armed Robbery. Domestic Assault. You name it…. Kyle Flood is in trouble.
  • The Texas Longhorns – Uh….. whoa. What the hell happened here? This team was in the national title game 6 years ago. I’m concerned about your fans too.

Enough fun, let’s take a look back at our wild predictions from last week:

  • Oregon State @ Michigan (-16.5) – Harbaugh starts off 0-2. Everyone panics. FAIL. This looked dicey early, but Michigan’s D was stout. 
  • Miami (OH) @ Wisconsin (-32) – Wisconsin rushes for 400 yards. Everyone realizes how good Alabama’s run D is (as long as they aren’t playing Ohio State). KIND OF. I’m taking a pass here because Corey Clement ended up not playing and Wisconsin needed to do very little to win 58-0. The spirit of the prediction held true.
  • Hawaii @ Ohio State (-41) – A 4th OSU QB scores a TD in this one. Everyone suspects Meyer of cheating on the recruiting trail. FAIL. But, the punter did throw a pass. Does that count as a 4th OSU QB? How about a TD? 
  • Notre Dame (-13) @ Virginia – ND wins big. Everyone freaks out and wonders if ND is actually a contender. KIND OF. Again, I’m taking a pass given that Zaire went down for the season here. ND still won in typical miraculous fashion.
  • Oklahoma (-1) @ Tennessee – Oklahoma wins by double digits. Everyone on Rocky Top wishes it was still 1998. KIND OF. OU won in OT (not by double digits), but everyone certainly wishes it was still 1998 on Rocky Top.

Here are some wild predictions for this week:

  • Georgia Tech (-2.5) @ Notre Dame – Another key ND player goes down for the season. Fans wonder if Rudy will have to suit up by season’s end.
  • Auburn @ LSU (-7) – Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson throws at least 2 more picks. LSU covers.
  • Ole Miss @ Alabama (-6.5) – Per last week’s comment, Derrick Henry coughs up the ball at the wrong time because he can’t get his pad level down. Ole Miss wins and moves into the top 5.
  • Illinois @ UNC (-10) – Illinois wins. Nobody has any clue if they are actually half decent.
  • Clemson (-6) @ Louisville – Louisville wins. This serves as a friendly reminder not to play the transitive property game.