While Tampa police officers are still busy beating the hell out of USF fans for standing up in the stands and attempting to behave like football fans, we continue the hectic rundown of the weekend's activities.
"Doing the wave, huh? Is that what the hippies are calling it these days? ON THE GROUND, HIPPIE!"
--Oklahoma/Texas! 2002's hottest matchup played out pretty much according to punditry scripts. (Again we'd like to remind everyone that this was not the case in the LSU/Florida game, which everyone on the planet except Brandi the Wonder Dog and Lee Corso got wrong. Include us in this statement.) Texas proved too deep, Bob Stoops took one more step down the slippery slope of coaching middle age, and Paul Thompson proved once again that when you go to the stat sheet to pick games between two good teams, one side's impressive stats will melt beneath the other's.
Thompson was among the nation's leaders in passing efficiency coming into the game. This may have sounded odd to you, and should have: Thompson hadn't faced pressure and occluded passing lanes like he faced against Texas on Saturday. Oklahoma had been confounding defensive gameplans by not running Adrian Peterson 45 times a game, a stubborn insistence on balance despite Thompson's limitations as a passer. So they let Peterson eat within reason--109 yards on the ground--and let Thompson dig the Sooner's grave, pressuring without bringing a ton of blitzes and hitting the flesh off anyone who dared touch the ball.
Gene Chizik, call an estate planner. Your income will triple in the next year. Stoops must, somewhere in his soul, be rooting for Mike to get a pink slip at Arizona and return to his staff. Oklahoma's defense hasn't been the the same since hermano left the Sooners, leaving Stoops coughing up big games Oklahoma used to gut out with defense.
--CBS Gamenote: Tim Brando used the speech pattern "The Fighting ____s" four times in a single five minute segment on the Saturday. This merits some kind of sanction or rehab, we argue.
Call the WTO. We want a sanction.
--Spencer Tillman, however, no longer wears eyeliner. This is positive, since a light blush and soft eyes works a lot better on his complexion.
--Clemson wore the purple pants on Saturday, a color choice straight from the palette of Maxfield Parrish, and still managed to overcome Ugly Uniform Curse and allowing Wake Forest to get up 17-7 on them. Special teams plays don't just damage teams; they straight kill them, especially when they come as auspiciously timed as Gaines Adams' forced fumble and return on a flubbed field goal by Wake Forest. Gaines completed the single greatest one-man nutpunching of a team in a single play by doing the following on a single snap:
1. Rushing to the holder and nimbly recognizing the botched play, hesitating for a nanosecond. Gaines, for the record, weighs 260 pounds; what he did compares to running a traffic cone slalom with a loaded garbage truck.
2. Turning his full 260 pounds on the poor holder and separating his undoubtedly stunned body from the ball.
3. Picking up the wandering pigskin and running the length of the field for the TD that began the comeback.
The snapper looks pretty terrified. He should have been.
Adams every step reeked of another ten thousand on his signing bonus. Wake played over their head for the first half and simply ran out of belief juice despite baiting Will Proctor into three picks. Them making a bowl this year is all but assured, though, provided [NAME ALSO REDACTED] doesn't touch down in Winston-Salem on a connecting flight to East Lansing. That man is contagious.
--Linda Cohn prounonuces Pur-due as "Poor-due." Freudian slip, or Lahhngaiiiland accent? And what did she do to deserve the Saturday throwback bitch duty on ESPN? Badmouth ESPN Mobile publicly?
--We caught two things about USC's near-death experience with Washington. First, Washington almost beat them, something only our magic bloggerpundit glasses allow us to see as really, really bad for USC. Second, they also scored on a fake field goal, which is what offenses do when they're stalled and in need of a little pick-me-up to score. We know this since Urban Meyer went fake-happy last year when the spread option stalled. In fact, the fake punt was our finest play for a three week span culminating in the LSU debacle.
This means USC is good, but misfiring left and right and drawing on past credit. Where to put them in a poll? If you're a futures-trader type who votes without consideration of past performance, keeping them in the top three is inexcusable at this point, especially since their prime performance came against a Nebraska team operating, it seems, without a functional pair of testicles at this point. (Callahan's Trojan game plan was simply despicable coaching.) If you allow USC to coast on what you think they may be capable of, then you're drawing on last year. Judging from the results of this weekend, this is a dangerous assumption.
--Isiah Stanbach, according to someone on the broadcast, runs a 10.4 in the 100 yard dash.
--Gus Malzahn has the second most stylish pair of eyeglasses in D-1 football, a pair of wireless specs from the Mike Martz Collection. (Unlike Martz, he seems to believe in the run, calling 15 out of 16 plays on an Arkansas scoring drive on the ground against Auburn. It was like watching someone get beat to death with a shoe.)
Mark Trestman, NC State OC, still holds the crown with his fashionable art dealer specs: black frame without Buddy Holly, stylish but not femme. David Cutcliffe gets third for his grampa reading glasses, since they give him that owlish perfesser vibe we've always associated with him anyway.
--Another fake name alert: Sam Swank, Wake Forest punter.
Alternate reality job with a name like that: lead singer for mediocre college town ska band.
--Science is about shifting paradigms, and we may be on the verge of shift as the principle of Chan Gailey Equilibrium is in danger of being disproved. Georgia Tech, three quarters into the scheduled collapse to a mediocre Maryland team at home following a big loss, unshackled themselves and clawed their way back into a win thanks to defensive hustle, solid running by Tashard Choice, and competent, level-headed play by Reggie Ball, winning 27-24 in regulation. They didn't even need overtime! Or divine intervention!
Reggie Ball's fumble total may be the most serious threat to Chan Gailey Equilibrium: zero. None. The man who used to be a human Juggs machine under center hasn't unleashed a single fumble this season (or at least not on the books, at least--we just checked.) We'll watch the data to see if the theory holds true, if not this season, then at least for Gailey's career; it stands to reason that if Tech goes 10-2 this year, a 4-8 season would follow, at least according to script.
They do not, however, deserve to be ranked behind Georgia at this point, as the fucktarded USAToday poll has them. The paper written at a fifth grade level for a reason...