A is for Avaricious Cheap, stingy, recession-style football reigns in 2009. USC/Ohio State went the Costco route by keeping points to a minimum at an 18-15 sale price, Washington used a series of factory rebates in earning a 16-13 victory over USC, Iowa upset Penn State in a parsimonious 21-10, matchup, and Oklahoma/Miami came at a reasonably priced 21-20. The Year of the Under continued with Florida and LSU splitting a 16 pack of points in Baton Rouge (13-3) and Ole Miss and Bama keeping it to a tasteful 25 points in Oxford (22-3) in accordance with SEC conference guidelines regarding point restrictions. (These rules were violated by Arkansas and Tennessee, who will be fined and deal with accordingly by SEC commissioner Mike Slive.)
B is for Boot. Sometimes you wake up with a beam of sunshine across your face and the birds chirping. Then, you realize the sunbeam is actually the light from the flames of an onrushing meteor about to obliterate your entire city, and the birds chirping are actually vultures clucking outside your door. This metaphor is brought to you by Arizona football 2009, and the interception that popped from the foot of Delashaun Dean and into the hands of Huskies DB Mason Foster, who discourteously took the ball for a go-ahead TD. Watch if you're cruel (and you are:)
Washington refuses to play a game not decided in the last four minutes, making them the procrastinator's team of the year. Jake Locker hasn't been consistent--12/23, 3/1 for 140 yards and 92 yards rushing with one TD--but he has been productive, and has all the prerequisites for making the NFL:
a. Over 6'2"
b. Can show up in shape to combine
c. Can take snap from under center
d. Can throw ball through human being
If you do not believe this is the complete list of requirements for becoming an NFL quarterback and at the very least receiving a signing bonus of large size, please see Jamarcus Russell. (We know, we know.)
C is for Cutcliffe. Duke beat NC State. Giggle. Titter. Point. By 21 points. Fall on floor. Laugh till you pee a little. Thaddeus Lewis threw 5 TDs. Now begin to howl and pound floor with open hand laughing.
D is for Downer. Hey, let's check Huskers.com after the big comeback win over Mizzou, since we're sure there's all kinds of...
OH FOR CHRISSAKES--
Rex Plock died Sunday. He came out of a six day coma on Wednesday. In between, the 89 year old watched the Nebraska/Mizzou game, and proved himself to be as tough an old bastard as one can be by not dying in the process of watching the first three quarters of horrible Nebraska offense bailed out by Ndamukong Suh's career line of six tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and an interception from the defensive tackle spot. Nebraska scored 27 points in the 4th quarter, and if Mizzou can recover from a collapse that epic good for them but they won't so there, because losing a game that big deflates a football erection like nothing else save for a group of Russian tourists changing in broad daylight on a Florida beach. (It's the miserable looking undies and corpse-white flesh that does it.)
Related announcement: if you have awakened from a coma yourself, you see sunlight and breathe oxygen only because Ndamukong Suh has mercy on your mortal soul. Thank him, and he may allow you to live another day.
E is for Economizing. The West Virginia turnover watch is happy to report that the formerly sloppy Mountaineers only failed the most fundamental challenge of football three times this week, fumbling three times, losing one, and earning bonus points by throwing no interceptions against Syracuse. The Mountaineers thereby improve to 105th in the nation in turnovers lost, moving ahead of Georgia, who is doing just fine playing their freewheelin' brand of football just the way it is. (It's so much more delicious to crush them when they have some sense of hope, and have forgotten their Maginot Line of a secondary. If you need to communicate with any members of the Georgia secondary, they will be running in circles chasing the long ribbon we tied to their shoelaces last night. #georgiaishorrible
(P.S. Ginger Ninja rules apply: Joe Cox is winless in day games.)
F is for Flair (LSU TAILGATE SCENE ONE.) Around 4 o'clock at the Tony Joiner Memorial Tailgate and Auto Auction in Baton Rouge, Joshua passes out with his mouth open. Witnesses assume the LSU fan has passed out in a boudin ball/Jim Beam-induced coma, and is a casualty of the very long endurance match consisting of a day's festivities in Red Stick.
5:00 p.m: Au contraire:
WOOOO!!! LSU Ric Flair appears. He launches into full mic mode in a pitch-perfect Nature Boy impression.
Wally Cosgrove, the great wrestling promoter, said me 'NAITCH! Your credential are unlimited. I know you have a website, Spencer Hall, I know you have literally tens, sometimes hundreds of people a month who read your writing, but lemme tell you something. I GOT A BIG HOUSE ON THE BIG SIDE A TOWN! I GOT A LONG LIMOUSINE FULL OF PRETTY WOMEN JUST DYING TO TAKE A RIDE ON SPACE MOUNTAIN--"
--at this point, several children have congregated around him, and women are randomly approaching to have pictures taken with him--
"--AND I GOT SOMETHING YOU NEVER GONNA HAVE. This belt right here. TO BE THE MAN, YOU GOTTA BEAT THE MAN, cause everywhere I go the ladies and the fans got one thing to say to me, and that is--"
The long and slow "woo," done for emphasizing a point so obvious the Nature Boy won't even break out the big "WOO," because you have to conserve those.
G is for Gimme. Mel Brooks: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger, and comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die." Florida State took another flail in their open, filthy gutter of a season by losing 49-44 to Georgia Tech, a team that donated 26 first downs, 539 yards offense, and a generous three fumbles on the ground to the Seminoles. The comedy came in Josh Nesbitt walking up to Nigel Carr, politely asking for a ball Roddy Jones had only just fumbled in the fourth quarter to Carr, and the two of them having a lovely spot of tea before agreeing that Mr. Nesbitt should indeed walk away from the exchange with the ball. Florida State is 0-3 in the ACC and has their worst start at 2-4 since 1976. Typing facts is sometimes more pleasing than the finest line of cocaine snorted off the sweetest ass in the universe.
H is for Hernandez. He missed a crucial goal-line catch by the scrape of ball against a few blades of grass, but the most puzzling and frustrating thing about the Gator offense 2009 is the refusal to get the ball across the middle or downfield in any consistent fashion to one Aaron Hernandez, a TE matched up against linebackers who cannot cover him on almost every play. Six catches for 70 yards is a fine start towards fully utilizing him, and a career high for Hernandez. Now do that again, and more, and harder, because it's hot and we like it and no one else is really catching the ball with any consistency for Florida, and Hernandez is a beastly task for any LB or DB to cover, especially on a jump ball.
I is for Io. The fiery, inhospitable moon of Jupiter honeycombed with volcanoes, pools of fire, and a veritable hellscape capable of incinerating anything unfortunate enough to actually touch the surface of the planet. See logical comparison of Texas Tech versus Kansas State: a 66-14 humiliation featuring 7 TDs thrown by Steven "Stick" Sheffield, who will team up with starter Taylor Potts to form a buddy movie about two undercover policemen who go undercover as college athletes to expose the secret piracy ring run by a college coach. This is of course not based on any actual people, and we would never imply Mike Leach's coaching career is a cover for a lucrative Mexican smuggling operation. (IT IS SHHHHHHHHHH.) Stick 'n Potts! Coming soon direct to your DVD player.
J is for Jambalaya. Best quote re: food from the weekend, courtesy of PodKatt: "If you're from north of I-10, you can't cook worth a fuck."
Please note the opinions expressed there are PodKatt's and PodKatt's alone: we had several different variations on jambalaya on Saturday, all of which made a delightful but insistent Long March through our alimentary canal over the course of the weekend. The New Iberia version in particular felt like a peppery New Orleans street sweeper was cleaning out the metaphorical Bourbon Street of our intestinal tract.
K is for Knights. Army matched their win total from the past three season on October 10th, 2009 in beating Vandy 16-13 in overtime. Huzzah to you, Black Knights, though you did have help from an expert in counterinsurgency warfare on hand for tactical advice.
L is for Levelling. The Al Groh Equalizing is occurring: Virginia beat Indiana 47-7, and is still tied (at 1-0) for the early lead in America's most meh-xcellent football division, the ACC Coastal. He has powers, and you cannot deny them on the way to 8-5, a Music City Bowl, and eventual extension of America's least charismatic reign of milquetoast coaching tyranny.
M is for Mantastic. Houston beat Mississippi State, but one battle won in a losing war went to Mississippi State on a burly run through the Cougars affectionate, playful defense. Look at 'em get huggy!
N is for Norris-esque. Oh, don't mind Todd Reesing. He's just over here passing for 442 yards (a career high) and 4 TDs in a thrilling shootout with Iowa State, a fact no one will notice because it's Kansas, and would only get national attention if Mark Mangino decided to coach the game shirtless, an occasion not only drawing hypothetical media attention, but also a wave of television-induced pregnancies with the mommies get a load of Marky M's plentiful, virile mountain of love. So, yes: Mark Mangino will coach shirtless in order to get Todd Reesing some national attention. If Kerry Meier catching 16 balls can't do it, nothing will. Racist NFL fans, take heed: both Eric Decker and Meier's jerseys will be available next year for your pleasure! (Remember, a fan is a fan, even if they're fond of mailing you Neo-Nazi literature in the mail.
O is for O-fer. Ole Miss had -1 yard of offense at the half against Alabama. At the Chimes in Baton Rouge, this bravura performance earned a sarcastic round of applause in the back room when Ole Miss scuttled off the field a broken mess of blue, red, and white looking for something, anything to cover their bare, exposed asses, since getting bullwhipped like that does have a way of wearing the fabric off even the sturdiest of pants.
P is for Pitt. Not enough attention has been paid to the Big East, and especially to Pitt, the only team capable of challenging Cincinnati for pole position in the conference. We can't if this is a minor sign of the impending apocalypse, a sign that the Big East is even worse than we imagined this year, or that even Dave Wannstedt sometimes gets lucky and puts together a good team. The mere fact that we are saying this is proof of support for the first and second. Dion Lewis is quite the commando at running back, however, and deserves all praise as the 5th leading rusher in the nation at 123 yards a game as a freshman.
Q is for 'Quizz. Rodgers, who had a four touchdown day against Stanford and Toby Gerhart's previously unstoppable neck roll. Mike Riley: the kind of man who likes to drive his cars until they burst into flame around him, a fondness evidenced by him plowing backs like Rodgers into the opposition 33 times. The days of the workhorse back live on at Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Stanford, and Pitt.
R is for Really. Jonathan Crompton can throw a beautiful rollout pass, a fact akin to finding out your five foot three foot tall friend has a 12 inch penis. It's great and all, especially since he's got little else going for him and will probably squander even that considerable gift with his other core incompetencies. (Bad breath, insufficient lady-taming skills, fast trigger, etc.) But you cannot take that away from him: the man has one gift, and possibly only that one, since it is Georgia, and therefore a defense confused by stiff breezes, loud noises, and even the simplest of misdirections.
S is for Stagnant Terrelle Pryor went 5/13 for 87 yards with one TD and one interception, Ohio State only gained 184 yards total on the Wisconsin defense, and still surfaced from the mire with a 31-13 victory over Wisconsin thanks to two INTs returned for Buckeye TDs and Ray Small's kickoff return for a TD. Pryor appears to have stagnated in his progress towards becoming the monstrous, Vince Young-degree talent he was supposed to be coming out of high school, and is leveling off at a sort of "Jason Campbell" clone level, a tall, lanky guy with some suspect decision-making skills who nevertheless could flourish with the right tutelage. Say, who's the offensive coordinator for Ohio State? Jim Tressel? Ah, yes. Let's watch as he turns Terrelle Pryor into the black Todd Boeckman one game at a time.
The Buckeyes had eight first downs and won by three TDs while running only 40 plays to Wisconsin's 89. What. The. Hell.
T is for Tricho The Greek prefix meaning "hair," or what Miami caught up on this week after beating a hole into FAMU 48-16. Jordan Futch's game week adjustments included this:
Video over at the Seventh Floor. Get some.
U is for Unsung. A hero of the moment for Florida in the game against LSU: Brandon Spikes, who made nary a headline after ESPN, CBS, and everyone else in the known universe punted and chose the TEBOW TEBOW TEBOW headline. Spikes had 11 tackles and earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week, reminding you that the County Assessor is just doing his job, is not trespassing, and has determined that real estate in Tiger Stadium is out of your price range as long as he's around.
V is for Vondrell. Texas could play without Vondrell McGee and his backup Tre Newton against Oklahoma, leaving the Longhorns without running punch against a mostly operational Sam Bradford. We say mostly operational, since Baylor's season effectively snapped along with Robert Griffin's ACL, and the rest will be a series of scrimmages played against vastly superior competition without hope or the illusion that this will not all end with tears, misery, and switching to basketball enthusiastically as soon as the stroke of midnight on October 31st arrives.
Willy-Nilly. Gary Crowton is not the only person using the random number generator to come up with plays. Despite playing like an icy, blindfolded assassin shooting targets with precision in the fourth quarter, Tate Forcier rode the bench late against Iowa as Denard Robinson threw a game clinching pick to the Hawkeye defense. This episode is not without its lessons, however, since Michigan fans now know the Wolverines have two young signal-callers capable of throwing game ending interceptions when it counts.
(Note: apparently Forcier was concussed.)
X is for Xtended. The lifespan of Steve Kragthorpe, whose Louisville team barely survived Southern Miss 25-23.
Y is for Yalu. The river separating North Korea and China, the name synonymous with the longest retreat in United States military history, and a debacle caused by the flooding of thousands of red soldiers across the border, an apt way to envision what happened to Auburn, the undefeated team in this parallel (HA GET IT HUH) who rolled into enemy territory and got blitzed by a team wearing vermillion. Auburn had been walking a tightrope thanks to their defense, the same one who made Jonathan Crompton look competent well before Georgia decided to hop on the trend and really go all out with it. Match that up with Ryan Mallett looking to blast some holes in a secondary, and we're talking disaster on a stick in the making (which it was.) The bizarre thing was how well Arkansas' defense played after deplorable performances this year, allowing only 3 points in the first half before garbage time gimmes bled through for Auburn points. Numbers aside: what about a 5-0 Gene Chizik-coached football team with Chris Todd on the road didn't give you serious screaming nightmares?
Z is for Zoolander. The fashion warrior himself, who would have been an Oregon Duck if he could have been any college football team, since they both like many variations of a uniform, keep winning in the extremely deep Pac-10, and are just sitting there winning along with frappuccino in hand while the rest of the conference sets itself on fire in a big, giggly gas fight.