(10 points for the first person to get that reference)
Notre Dame and Iowa won on the same day for the first time since Sept. 13 (satisfying wins over rivals Meech and Iowa State). But both had supremely unsatisfying wins in Week 12.
I was at the official Notre Dame Alumni Association Gamewatch ... and it was pathetic. At kickoff there were maybe a dozen fans there. Yes I know it was early, it was Navy, ND had lost two in a row, etc. As my buddy Steve pointed out, you could've watched it from the comfort of your couch. But still. I remember being at McFadden's in New York, and there were so many people you could barely breathe. Maybe that's the difference between 2005 optimism in Manhattan vs. 2008 pessimism 100 miles from campus, but I expected more of the fanbase.
The game itself was sickening. So much crap happened in the last three minutes (the onside kicks, the "illegal batting," shoddy defense, Navy's fourth timeout) that it's best we just record the "W" and move on. Pat of Blue Gray Sky had the best wrap up and perspective on this game, which you can read if you're so inclined.
Meanwhile, I didn't see Iowa beat Purdue, but Shonn Greene ran for 211 yards and we only scored 22 points? That's not good enough against an awful Purdue team. I expect more this Saturday.
Pick Six: Yawn. Plenty of losses (Auburn, Kansas, South Florida, Illinois, Wake, Cal) but only one change in the rankings: Cincy ticks up a couple spots.
Week 13 Preview: Hate and Sympathy
The HATE is for Minnesota, obviously. This week they are dead to me, all those cool bands the state has produced. Here's my favorite (didn't say best) Minnesota joke:
Q: What does it say at the top of Minnesota ladders?
A win over Minnesota improves our bowl seeding and confirmed that their 8-1 start was a joke, build on a house of cards like a four-point home win over Northern Illinois and scoring a combined 33 points against the dreadful Indiana/Purdue combo (for context, we had triple that, literally). Once again, the fine fellows at BHGP host the HQ of hate.
The sympathy is for Syracuse, where another once-proud program is in shambles.
That man is Greg "Gerg" Robinson, the soon-to-be-former coach of Syracuse. What is it about ND coming to town that makes a program fire their shitty coach? As Feinstein and many others know, I used to be a big 'Cuse fan. There was no rationale other than hating Bobby Knight and hoping 'Cuse would beat Indiana in the 1987 NCAA basketball championships. Plus, they have a cool mascot:
Poor Otto. I'm surprised he hasn't taken up drinking.
I remember this version of Syracuse:
I was sitting in my apartment in Omaha, watching that game, and was laughing so hard in amazement. McNabb had vomited on the sideline a little before that play. You can watch a longer version, showing how they got into the long third and goal, right here. (I just now watched the whole thing, and oh man, it's cool.)
But lately they've been this version:
Let's just get a solid win, go get killed by Southern Cal, and be happy with 7-5.
Pick Six: Ohio State (MPF/Cat) vs. The Flaming Heap of Dung That Used to Be Michigan. Penn State (Cat) vs. Michigan State should be cool, and Cincy (Cat again) faces Pitt. Everyone else either isn't ranked or won't break a sweat (bye or functional bye).
Nationally, we've got Oklahoma vs. Mike Leach's merry band of pirates. We've got the sorriest excuse for a Division I-A game, the 2008 Apple Cup. I made a totally irrational pick of Pitt over Cincy this week. This might as well be an ACC game--the Wannstache beat both my favorite teams, he might as well mess up my picks too.
Think! Use your head!! Never pick the Wannstache!!!