Thursday, October 01, 2009

Week 4 Review/Week 5 Preview

Week 4 Review: Rainy Day Football

Location: Knoxville, Tenn.

Games watched, at least partially: Ole Miss-South Carolina; Michigan-Indiana (snippets); LSU-Mississippi State; Ohio-Tennessee (live); Iowa-Penn State (last 18 seconds or so).



We left Neyland Stadium and headed for a bar to catch the end of the late games. We were halfway there when I told Miller (who has a relative who is a lifelong employee and fan of Penn State) that Iowa had returned a blocked kick for a TD. Our pace picked up. Walking through the Old City, I looked through a bar window and saw an Iowa player intercept a pass and take a safe slide. That usually means the game is nearly wrapped up.

By the time we got to Manhattan's (a bar I highly recommend: great staff, cheap drinks, all around good times), I saw Iowa kick the field goal that iced it. What an amazing win. I wish I would have called it. Instead I will say:

For anyone my age or older, I'll translate: this means that Iowa has beaten Penn State several times recently, we have Penn State's number despite their generally being the better team, we "own" them.

So yeah, Iowa beat Penn State. But I still love Joe Pa. Check this out:

ND: We got occasional score updates via text message (thanks to Mom, Dad, Steve and Sarah for their efforts) and it seemed like things were going fine ... 17-7 ND in the third. But once at Manhattan's, the bottom line said Purdue 21-17. A bit later we saw the final plays. Danny Hope's call was just baffling. That is the kind of thing I'd expect from the Zooker or the Wannstache. You could chalk it up to a rookie mistake, but Hope was head coach for 5 years at Eastern Kentucky University before last year's apprenticeship under Coach Brimley. ND continues to win, close and unimpressive. A blowout win over a significantly worse team would look good right about now.

Pick Six: I bounced back from a crummy Week 3 with a dominating performance. All 5 teams in action (UCLA had a bye) won big ... Georgia Tech had the smallest margin of victory at 17. I didn't get a huge bounce in the polls, though: only 6 points. The Ole Miss and Cal losses hurt Quigley and TM, respectively, though TM's was offset by the re-emergence of Oregon. And suddenly a third of the way in, we have ourselves a ballgame: TM 54, Quigley 54, MPF 51.

National Roundup: The Ohio/UT experience deserves its own post, which it got. Penn State wasn't the only top team to go down ... Cal, Ole Miss, and Miami all did a swandive.

This guy from Cleveland Plain Dealer is my favoritest sports writer/AP poll voter in America right now. Not for putting Iowa at No. 5, but for his rational methodology that puts Iowa at No. 5. (For example, Boise at 2 is clearly apeshit, but at least there's logic.)

Coach of the Week: Kirk Ferentz, for beating Penn Sccchhhhhate. Runner-up: Technophobe Mike Leach for banning Twitter.

Week 5 Preview: Couch Time

This is going to feel like a bye week after all the activity of the first month, especially with my teams having relatively easy games. Iowa hosts Arkansas State, a Sun Belt (barely I-A) school. As long as they stay focused on the game at hand, they should win by 15-18 or more. ND hosts Washington, who scored the annual Pete Carroll upset, got ranked for it, then came crashing to the ground. With Clausen and Allen healthy/healthier, I expect a 42-17 type game. (If not at full strength, expect another Purdue or MSU, down-to-the-wire type game.)

Elsewhere: Ohio gets into MAC play at Bowling Green, which is Orange actually. Three exciting top 25 matchups: LSU @ Gowja, Oklahoma @ Real Miami, Southern Cal @ Entire Cal. So of course College Gameday is going to Florida State @ BC. Yawn.

I'm intrigued by Michigan having to go on the road for the first time, to Michigan State, who took out years of frustration on the Skunkbears last year. Will Sparty channel their anger of a 1-3 record into a beatdown? (I hope yes.)

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