Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Week 2 Review/Week 3 Preview

Week 2 Review: Hate Week Satisfaction Down 50%

Location: Steve's place for ND-Mich; my couch for everything else.

Games watched, at least partially: Georgia Tech-Clemson; Colorado-Toledo; Iowa-ISU; ND-Michigan; Ohio State-USC; snippets of UCLA-Tennessee.

Iowa: The first half was nerve-wracking, and I felt like we were in for a repeat of Week 1: Iowa's first half drives ended INT, punt, punt, TD, INT, punt, TD (short field off INT), end of half. Yeesh. But the second half: TD, TD, punt, TD, run out the clock/victory formation. (That drive chart is wrong, by the way. Worldwide Leader My Ass.)

I'm not sure this ever gets old.

And if you thought LOLcats were funny, you will crack up at LOLclones. (courtesy BHGP of course)

Interesting stat of the day: Iowa's leading interceptor (Tyler Sash) had more INT return yards than ISU's leading rusher (M. Hamilton) had rush yards.

Annual photo (hopefully) of Hawkeyes defeating Cyclones and claiming the ugly, unnecessary trophy. (AP photo by Charlie Neibergall)

Notre Dame: A lot of people wanted to ask me about the end of the ND game. I don't remember the end of the game too well, because there was drinking and shouting, and that combination tends to fuzzy-up my short-term memory. (It's also why I don't have the FaceSpace or the Tweeter thing or any last names on this blog, so that I can continue to say unprofessional things like that in quasi-anonymity.)

I'll say this. I'm not as pessimistic as Dylan at BGS and I'm not as upbeat as Joshua Vowles of Subway Domer. But I'm leaning towards Dylan. Over the winter, when asked about Weis, I said that he's finally learning that being a college head coach is different from being an NFL offensive coordinator. But it took him FOUR FULL YEARS to figure that out. Now it seems maybe he still hasn't learned, based on the playcalling at the end of the game.

And the fact remains that Weis still has not beaten a team he shouldn't have beaten. There have been plenty of maddening, unexpected losses, but he still can't point to a season-defining or career-defining or upset victory. Michigan appears to have gotten a lot better in just one offseason. Wow. But I'll reserve judgment til they go on the road.

Speaking of Subway Domer, he gets the award for best description of the outcome: "The loss to Michigan (is) sitting there like a festering wound on our ass cheeks."

Pick Six: Everyone has announced their picks. The first two weeks were good for MPF and Kitty, who slowly ticked up on the strength of BYU (me) and Nebraska (both). Tina hit a rough patch with the Oregon Ducks losing out of the gate and the Irish temporarily out of the Top 25. My only loss this week was Ohio State, but they only slipped three spots. Quigley went 6-for-6 and Tina lost with ND and OSU. Her Pick Sixth, Central Mitten, did pull a MAC Attack on Mitten State. (Frequent commenter and Friend of the Blog 83F is allegedly playing too but teams are unknown.) Scores: MPF 77, Quigley 77, TM 58.

National Roundup: Starting with my Pick Sixth: Losing a QB is bad of course, but this appears weather-able. (Eat it Skilling ... I just made up a weather-related word before you could think of it.) The next two opponents are awful K-State and bye. UCLA has a good looking (albeit true) freshman named Richard Brehaut who could step in and manage a game or two until Prince gets healthy.

Yes it's early ... but Gene Chizik has a better record than Iowa State.

Congrats to the Ty-less Huskies, who picked up their first win since Nov. 17, 2007. For context: I'd just moved back to Chicago six weeks earlier.

Back on Opening Day I wrote: "I have never believed in Okie State … I think they are the Kansas of the Big 12 South (ie, totally a mirage)." Thanks Cowpokes for living up to your reputation by losing to unranked and unheralded Houston.

Finally, I'm no fan of Western Kentucky. Their mascot is a scary blob and they denied my alma mater their first and probably only chance at an NCAA basketball tournament win in my lifetime. But I gotta give them credit for this video, particularly the :47 mark. (Thanks to Matt Hinton for finding.)

Week 3 Preview: Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame

This Saturday we'll be in the stands for the first of our two ND games. Both teams are coming off tough losses, and I think this is one of those gut-check moments where we'll see what the Irish are made of. The opponent, well ...

I guess getting rid of John L. Smith isn't a fool-proof plan for mental collapses. And speaking of mental collapse, it's time for the annual listening of Mike Valenti's Total Fucking Meltdown (the MVTFM for insiders). Crank the volume (not at work) and check it out.

Seeing ND live means I'll miss Iowa's most exciting September matchup, vs. Arizona. Whenever you see two non-rival, geographically distant programs play each other, you should wonder what the connection is that brings them together. In this case, it's obvious: their coach is ex-Hawkeye Mike Stoops. In fact the whole family is Hawkeye.

Arizona hasn't appeared too impressive yet, but they do have the No. 2 rusher in the country, Herb Grisgby. Generally we do a good job of shutting down the run, but this year's version needs to prove they can stop top-tier talent like in the King and Kroul years.

Nationally, it appears to be a good Saturday to be away from the TV, since there is only one matchup of nationally ranked teams. And while it's Nebraska-Virginia Tech, it doesn't strike me as a barnburner. (Sorry Kelly.)

Elsewhere: Ohio hosts California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, a school that really needs a shortened name, and an asskicking in the making so obvious that Vegas refuses to publish a line. (Just kidding, they do that with all I-A vs. I-AA matchups.) Meanwhile, Tennessee is favored to get slaughtered by Florida, meaning that if all holds, 2-1 Ohio would visit 1-2 UT next week. Woo!

Even if your team lost last week, you gotta Stay Positive.

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