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O FORTUNA...

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Ironic that during the Ohio State Texas game, one of the bands kept playing "O Fortuna," the riff from Karl Orff's Carmina Burana, a heart-stopping choral piece used in movie previews, fundraising drives by local symphonies, and in Counterstrike 2 highlight videos. (Karl would have been thrilled with that, we imagine. "BOOM, HEADSHOT!")

The choice snuck out of the background as oddly appropriate. The lyrics, translated from the late Latin:

O Fortune,
velut luna like the moon
statu variabilis, you are changeable,
semper crescis ever waxing
aut decrescis; and waning;
vita detestabilis hateful life
nunc obdurat first oppresses
et tunc curat and then soothes
ludo mentis aciem, as fancy takes it;
egestatem, poverty
potestatem and power
dissolvit ut glaciem. it melts them like ice.

The internet can make you look, like, sooooo smart.

We're pretty sure that what the people who wrote this are trying to tell you that tomorrow ain't promised today, and that sooner or later the reaper catches up not just with you, but with everything. And in case you were still living in last year, or even last week, then Fortuna's wheel just made you turn your bare back to its whip this weekend. Nothing was easy. Nothing was predictable. All assumption--all right, most all assumption--wilted in the face of Fate and its cruel whimsy.

--Texas fans, you have a freshman at quarterback, and no amount of joy-hopping Matthew McConoughey can change that. (We're certain the actor smelled like the apholstery of Snoop Dogg's tour bus--he looked wayyyy high. Difficult to search for intoxicants you smuggle in your bloodstream.) Bare your back to fortune.

--NC State fans, the rest of the nation now knows just what you've been complaining about, since losing to "the Zips" would mean flatline coaching prospects anywhere in the nation.

--FSU, you cannot run the ball; give up and turn Drew Weatherford into the next David Klingler, since you will never convince Bobby Bowden his son is an unqualified amateur with an unhealthy fixation on the jump ball. No amount of scantily clad catcher's mitts cheering in the stand will change that.

--Texas Tech, you had to win a game with the man who hits the ball with his foot. For some reason, the powers-that-be award you three points for this. Vikings aren't supposed to mess with the yellow forks they stick in the endzones.

--Tennessee, you may count on nothing except the continued possession of Erick Ainge's body by the spirit of a long-dead great quarterback. John Chavis lamented that the reason Air Force ran for nearly 300 yards on the Vols was that the Vol defenders were "too fast." If this equation holds, Chris Leak may resemble the second coming of Major Harris next week. (Don't worry--it won't.)

--Penn State showed exactly what a mobile quarterback can do that a pocket passer cannot: do things almost entirely unabetted to change the course of a game. Notre Dame showed what happens when everyone understands precisely where they're supposed to be on the field. To not mention the superb job the offensive line did in this game would be criminal, since the much-ballyhooed ass-whipping of Brady Quinn never materialized in what a casual viewer would call the weekend's least fulfilling marquee game--a blowout that had us watching the endless brainwashing of Yamaha ATV ads during the Vandy-Bama game instead of the Big Game on NBC. Tom Hammond, you still frighten us with your powdery white visage and oddly wet lips.

--Arizona dies against LSU. Washington loses to an Oklahoma team with the collective rhythm of an Iowa wedding party performing the Electric Slide. Boise crowbars Oregon State. Must be our East Coast bias, but if one does not take the L.A. clique into account, the Pac-10 is getting hammered in marquee games. Again, it's because we're all the way down here in Bumpkinville that we think that. Perhaps if we shooed the donkeys out of the house and took it easy on the antifreeze for a while, we'd see things a little bit clearer.

--Oh, and Illinois? You're getting better and better! You're seeing improvement! It's correctable!

--Chuck Amato, R.I.P. We will miss those sweet bazongas, baby.