Last Saturday, I didn't leave the house all day long. Good thing too, cause I saw this:
The Irish played flat and lethargic in a game BC always gets up for. The defense gave up only 10 points. That should be good enough for a win, if your offense and special teams hold up their end. But that didn't happen, and now we sit at 5-4.
By the way, ignore all the noise in the press about Charlie ... it's a slow week and they need something to talk about. Wins against Navy and Syracuse (doable) and a loss to Southern California (count on it) means 7-5. And 7-5 with a bowl game, after 3-9 last year, is improvement I can live with.
Pick Six: Quigley followed up his great week with a crappy one, with losses by Clemson, Kansas, Illinois and Penn State (WOOO!). But his one win (Cincy) bumped the Bearcats back into the Top 25. I had four wins but the loss was Cal, who drops out of the rankings. TM was undefeated blah blah blah. The bottom line is that the cat has edged into second place. Let's go to the numbers:
Moving on ....
Hey, Michigan won. Congratulations, Meech, you have three wins, the same as Notre Dame last year.
Also last week, the Big Ten came through on this promise:
Week 12 Preview: Who to Root Against on Saturday
As for this Saturday, Matt Hinton, the original Sunday Morning Quarterback (now blogging for money at Yahoo) pegged it accurately:
The only matchup of ranked teams is Florida against barely ranked South Carolina. So let's focus on the Big Ten, and how the Hawkeyes can improve themselves after that big win.
With only two games left, it is acceptable to look at the bowl picture and root for conference rivals to lose based on positioning reasons. This week's schedule clarifies good and evil pretty clearly:
- Indiana at No. 8 Penn State: don't care. It will be a big PSU win and it doesn't affect us.
- No. 11 Ohio State at Illinois: Illinois beat us (who knows how) and they're struggling. An OSU win boosts their chance of getting a BCS at-large bid. That would mean everyone in the Big Ten moves up a slot in the pecking order. Go Bucks!
Technically my support this week comes from my Iowa half, not Notre Dame half. However, this is way too funny not to post.
- Northwestern at Michigan: As much as dislike I Meechigan, the hate will subside for three hours or so on Saturday. A Northwestern loss hurts their conference/bowl standing, whereas Michigan will continue to suck and be bowl-less win or lose.
- Minnesota at Wisconsin: Minny is way too high in the standings. A beatdown from Bucky will bring them back down to earth, and fill them with existential doubt heading into the finale with Iowa in the Humpty Dome.
- Michigan State: idle. Fine, don't play, see if I care.
Jay at Blue Gray Sky has already said his goodbyes for Joe Tiller. Good stuff. Purdue is sleepwalking through the year, they can't decide between Siller and Painter, and they haven't beaten anybody good this year. If Iowa plays like they did against Wisconsin and Penn State, we'll be fine. If they play like they did against Northwestern and Illinois, the fingernails will be nubs.
Notre Dame plays Navy in Baltimore.
Last year was a perfect storm of bad coaching (Weis), great coaching (Paul Johnson, now at Georgia Tech), a team that had quit (ND), a team that had everything to play for (the Navy seniors who recognized they had the chance of a lifetime), and other factors. And STILL it came down to a boneheaded decision by Weis to not kick a field goal for the win at the end of game. Instead, this happened: (not for the weak of heart, Irish fans)
And the game STILL went to three overtimes. This year, the normal order is restored. (There is a reason ND won 43 years in a row, and it's not luck or coincidence.) As of right now, I'm planning to watch this at the official ND Gamewatch here in Chicago. If you're around, stop on by!