Anarchy! Anarchy! The SEC sees a coup d'etat in the East and West, Cal cheats by using sensory warfare and a Nobel Prize winner in defeating Oregon, Tennessee gets Spurrieresque in Athens, and last but not least on this blog at least, Florida beats LSU with blind luck, guile, a few well-timed turnovers, and a Create-A-Player quarterback straight off the hard drive of your X-Box.
--First, and most importantly: the made-up, fugitive-eluding-authorities-by-working-as-a-coach name of the week: Wake Forest Offensive Coordinator Steed Lobotzke. This is not this man's name. A future coaching gig under the alleged Bronco Mendenhall is inevitable.
--The new hottness in football chants has arrived, courtesy of the Oregon/Cal game:
Cosmologist George F. Smoot, who won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday, was introduced before the game to the cheering student section, which chanted ''Nobel Prize! Nobel Prize!''
Nobel Prize! Nobel Prize! Also helps Tedford with pass route construction and blocking schemes.
There's a cheap Auburn joke in here somewhere. Though we could see a faculty member winning something like the S. Truett Cathy "Small Restaurant Entrepreneur of the Year Award," though, so you've got that going for you. Which is nice. Smoot, by the way, won his Nobel for his work analyzing faint background radiation whose patterns provide strong evidence supporting the "Big Bang" Theory. Of interest to the football fan: among these ancient wavelengths, Smoot's team also managed to parse out a faint broadcast of a young Joe Paterno singing "Maisie, Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet Has Let Our Love Flower Once Yet Again," his hit phonograph record of the 1930s.
Nobel Prize! This should be Cal's battle cry for the rest of the season, since it worked large. Cal dipped into its magic bag of indefeatigable running backs after Marshawn Lynch left with an injury, plugged in Justin Forsett, and plowed Oregon 45-24. Again, the run game--or lack thereof--determined the ebb and flow of the game, with Jonathan Stewart struggling under piles of Cal defenders for the pitiable total of 25 yards on 18 carries.
Jeff Tedford has resurrected Cal in the short span of 6 games. Nobel Prize! Nobel Prize!
--SEC internecine warfare begain in earnest; noble heads rolled all day, most notably the silver-pated head of Tommy Tuberville and the Auburn Tigers. Arkansas' came in with a shocking game plan, deciding on doing something called "running" whenever and wherever they wanted to against Auburn. The Toeminator--Darren McFadden, the red-shifting dervish who busted toe ligaments in a club parking lot shortly before the season--did something that doesn't happen often, running mad and free through the Auburn defense without getting so much as a slap from a Tiger defender. Felix Jones backed up McFadden, with the two running for 104 and 145 yards, respectively.
The Houston Nutt Game: Not even an offerin' a them french-fried potaters will prevent it.
This again proves that there's little defense against the Houston Nutt Game, where an otherwise mild-mannered team with exactly three players of note comes to your house, turns into a werewolf, and eats you. You know you're suffering from a Houston Nutt game when a freshman quarterback heaves up a prayer on a blitz for what looks like a sure pick, gets a heroic effort from a power forward playing wideout (6'6" Marcus Monk,) and watches him sprint to the endzone for an early lead. Another clue is that Houston Nutt is bojangling around the sidelines ecstatic at the prospect of keeping his job another year.
--Karma's on Arkansas' side, too: Jacob Skinner, yogi punter, makes it so with his gloriously executed Sun Salutations prior to each punt. Namaste.
--The yogi punter isn't the only Pacific Rim influence on the Hogs' sideline. The costumed Arkansas mascot doesn't really resemble an intimidating Razorback Hog so much as "Matsuku, the Most Lucky Lunar Pumpkin Festival of Hokkaido Pig."
Most lucky pig.
--Tennessee spotted UGA a 17-point lead just for funsies, perhaps because they could not believe the sight of Joe Tereshinski throwing the ball effectively in the first half. How cute that was! Until Tennessee, down 24-7 at one point, constructed a hellacious comeback that morphed rapidly into a nearly record-setting assburn of the Dawgs. Willie Martinez's Georgia defense, hilariously inflated in the rankings prior to the game as the number one D in the nation, has that problem no more, as they sat comfortably in a cover 2 waiting for Tennessee receivers to catch the ball before courteously allowing their guests to gain yards after the catch before gently stopping the play.
The Jim Herrmann "Assistant Coach of Adhesive Shame" award goes to Martinez this year, who by all accounts is taking a shellacking on talk radio and on message boards for the priestly defense of the Bulldogs. (Read: very forgiving, not "drunk on sherry at 2 in the afternoon," or worse, you sick, sick person, you.)
--For a league perpetually concerned about its perceived reputation as being corrupt...is it a good idea for the SEC to have a referee named "Penn Wagers," who called the Arkansas/Auburn game Saturday? Or his partner, "Bookie McBribe?"
--On the announcing beat, is anyone else horrified and fascinated by the in-booth shots of Trevor Matich on ESPN? Has anyone ever seen him in the same place as Russian hormone freak Nikolay Valuev, the hirsute 7-foot tall boxer? And can he be legally hunted in the state of Maine?
Buckshot will only make him mad. Use slugs. Lots of 'em.
--Watching the ticker creep Indiana's score up over the course of the afternoon against Illinois, a nasty, sickening deja vu washed over us. As Illinois got "better and better" over the course of their game, slowly losing the lead it built by passing the ball by running the ball aimlessly into the middle of the defense three times and punting, we suddenly became an Illinois fan by proxy. You know, kind of like people who bond over getting hepatitis or both recovering from severe head trauma.
The Chicago Sun-Times Greg Couch regurgitates four-year old Mike Bianchi columns below:
Question: You're up by one with 3½ minutes left, and you get the ball at midfield. Your opponent has all its timeouts left. Why do you plunge up the middle, plunge up the middle, plunge up the middle, then punt?
''Plunging up the middle?'' offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said. ''We stuck with our game plan.''
The first-quarter game plan saw freshman quarterback Juice Williams successfully throwing the ball, not plunging.
''Look at our passing statistics,'' Locksley said. ''The success we had early was on play-action passes and trick plays.''
That makes no sense.
Question: You take a 13-7 lead early in the first quarter, then try a trick two-point conversion. Why not just kick?
''That had nothing to do with it,'' [NAME REDACTED] said. ''[Indiana] didn't line up against it on the first touchdown.''
That makes no sense.
Ahh, vintage stuff. You're getting better and better!