Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What a Weird Football Saturday

This accidentaly got posted down below ... re-posting to the top. Pick Six update is at the end of this post. --Ed.

I'm glad I spent this one on the couch, in front of two TVs, because so much stuff happened I didn't believe it til I listed it all out (see below).

But first, a little MAC-tasticness. (Yeah I just made up that word.) The Ohio Bobcats played a nationally televised game last Thursday night. OK, it was ESPNU, but still, pretty good for the MAC. As much as I rip on the Alleged World Wide Leader for sucking at the one thing--sports--they are supposed to be good at, I will give credit where due. And ESPNU rolled out this fall a new set of school-specific graphics, playing off the channel's standard block "U."

You can see examples in the first few seconds of the sizzle reel from the agency (called National) that created the logos. Of course, the examples I've seen on air are the heavyweights with well-known characteristics: Alabama, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Georgia, Penn State. So how surprising was it to see...


...during the game. This version doesn't have sound, but the Ohio "U" even snarled a bit upon spinning!

Okay, trying to recap Saturday's action. Well:
  • The No. 6 team lost by 40 points. At home. I would be amazed if that has happened ever, maybe in any sport, much less football.
  • These college football teams were bowl eligible at the start of action Saturday: Central Florida, Maryland (went 2-10 last year), Syracuse (no bowl since 2004), Baylor, Hawaii, San Diego State (4-8 last year, no bowl since 1998). And from the MAC: Temple, Toledo, Northern Illinois and Ohio (had six before the Thursday win).
  • And these schools were not bowl eligible at the start of the day: Texas, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee. (Italics means they got the sixth win on Saturday.)
  • Michigan beat Illinois 67-65 in three overtimes. Each team scored as many points in the first half (31) as Iowa and Illinois did combined, in their entire game. This game hit the over ... in the first half. This game had more points than the last time they played in basketball. The two teams had 1,237 yards of offense. That's 0.7 of a mile.
Other weirdness:
  • Mississippi State is fifth (second from last) in the SEC West, but if they were in the East, they'd be in first.
  • Speaking of the Bulldogs and the SEC: Alabama plays MSU this weekend and is only ranked six spots higher. Alabama, everyone's preseason No. 1, the team prematurely coronated as a shoo-in to get back to the championship game, is barely higher than a team that before two weeks ago was last ranked in 2001.
  • The "other" MSU, Sparty, jumped six spots for beating a team without a coach.
  • The Big East has zero teams ranked. The Almost Competent Conference (ACC) has one. Compare that to those two conferences I can never tell apart, the Western Mountain WACky Whatever, which have four between them (Boise, Nevada, TCU, Utah).
  • Let's end on this pinnacle of WTF-ality. (You damn right I just made up another word.) Colorado jumped out to a nice big lead over Kansas. It was 14-3 after one, 35-10 at the half, and 38-17 at the end of the third quarter. I was feeling pretty good about my pick of Colorado to win by 8.5 points. A Buffs TD made it 45-17, then Kansas scored 35 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for the 52-45 win. That about summarizes my picks lately, and not suprisingly, Dan Hawkins was fired.
Okay, I know I need to update the Pick Six, especially with so many people benefitting from LSU and the Mad Hatter taking down Bama. I'm watching Northern Illinois destroy Toledo and wondering how either Temple or Ohio could take these guys in the conference championship game, and then realizing how much I've learned about MAC football in the last few years.

....okay okay, the spreadsheet is updated. Analysis later, if I can bear it (hint: find my name way down on the list, and draw your own conclusions).

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