Syracuse @ #7 Penn State
Holly: Greg Paulus IS Number 5 IN Short Circuit. No, he really, really is. Goofy-looking, endearing yet annoying, probably struck by lightning at some point. Penn State beat Akron last week, which tells us precisely ZIP. (seewhatIdidthere) Syracuse lost in overtime to Minnesota, which...tells us more about Syracuse than we think they'd be comfortable with. No disassemble, JoePa! (Whether that refers to Coach Brontosaurus' ailing joints or the job Penn State is about to do on the wee Orange, we leave to you to decide.)
Orson: Greg Paulus IS Ed Norton IN The Score. Maybe you don't remember this movie, but you might remember the most memorable line from its turbulent making when Marlon Brando, his cheeks stuffed with raw ground beef and Fritos, told Frank Oz "I bet you wish I was a puppet so you could stick your hand up my ass and make me do what I want." Doug Marrone certainly wishes this were true of Paulus, who will be starting his second game after fleeing his puppeteers and going disastrously freelance with an overtime pick against Minnesota. Marrone would even forgo the sterile sleeve and just shove his hand right up the old chow-slough--for that personal touch--if it meant a risk-averse performance from Paulus/Norton, but even that and another solid performance by Syracuse's suddenly feisty defense can't prevent Paterno/DeNiro from using the youngster's worst instincts to his advantage. Like the movie, the old man hoodwinks Syracuse out of a close victory. The similarities don't end there, either, as both movie and game will suck just a little bit to watch.
Fresno State @ Wisconsin
Holly: Bret Bielema IS Ray Nicolette IN Out of Sight. This game will feature, in no particular order: Offensive ineptitude, defensive ineptitude, fratty assholes in law enforcement shirts, and probably won't end without somebody's ass getting locked in a trunk. Wisconsin is favored by 8.5 here, which is awfully generous for a team that had to "rally" to "beat" "Northern Illinois". Calling the upset today: Methheads West over Methheads Midwest. The real winner? Whoever's showing a game on a competing network.
Orson: Pat Hill IS Clive Owen IN Closer. Oh, it may be ugly. You might go flirt with someone else for a while, victory, but ultimately you'll outfox the younger, more privileged contender for your affections and bring you back on your knees, both because you don't care how ugly it looks as long as you win. Now touch your toes to the floor, bitch, and do it in front of 70,000 blind-drunk Wisconsin fans.
Yeaaaah, that's how Pat Hill likes it. Bret Bielema realizes at the end that the girl he was chasing all along was never really his all along, and by that we mean the Wisconsin program will dye its hair and move to New York City to become a high-class call girl to the stars WHAA--
Iowa @ Iowa State
Holly: Kirk Ferentz IS Melanie Wilkes IN Gone with the Wind. Everybody thinks you're soooo gorgeous and delicately boned, Ferentz, when you're really just a sickly layabout with a bitch mentality. Hey, remember that time you needed two blocked field goals to beat Northern Iowa? Because it was LAST WEEK, and surpassed only by the Navy-Ohio State game for irritating and undeserved finishes that left the Big Ten at 10-1. What the hell, let's call an upset here too. Like the Hawkeye staff putting a gameplan together, we'll just think about it tomorrow.
Orson: Austen Arnaud IS John Candy in SUMMER RENTAL. No physical similarities except for their sparkling eyes and large calves. The semantic similarities, however, are there: forever under pressure trying to control factors beyond his control, Arnaud has one chance to snatch a victory away from life before returning to the reality of a Big 12 schedule that will, in all likelihood, be the end of his soul. This also puts Kirk Ferentz in the role of Jack Pelley, Richard Crenna's despicable local captain. We can see him screaming "Are these your shorts TA-TA-TA-TA-TA," and so can you, you filthy liars.
Ferentz has been in this town 30 years, and every few years a new coach comes along at Iowa State who just thinks he can take over the town! After last week's performance versus UNI, that is an accurate assumption made by new renter Paul Rhodes, who flies his pants to victory over the black and gold Incisor with first mate Arnaud in support.
#18 Notre Dame @ Michigan
Holly: Harrison Smith IS Elliot Moore IN The Happening. This game is being hyped to the ends of the earth as the be-all, end-all for a pair of alleged geniuses who left their best work behind them years ago. And if there's any justice in the world, the very trees of the earth will rise up, rustle their leaves, and make a whole lot of people bash their own heads in. (Please?) Lou Holtz sees you eyein' his lemon-drink, but I'm taking "catastrophic meteor strike" and the points.
Orson: Michigan are THE PENGUINS from MADAGASCAR. Undersized, crafty, and climbing the ropes when you're not looking. Underestimated underdogs moving at the speed of Barwis past your blitzers and obvious deep passes. Sure, you're the captain at the ship of state with the ranking, and since last year Michigan have been relegated to flightless birds. You wouldn't worry about just one of them, but in multiple waves and formations suddenly you're the one hornswaggled out of the goods and they're the ones sailing the high seas in your ride. An elegant swindle for Michigan in this game. Afterwards, you'll have to see it on film to figure out how they did it with such speed and ease.
UCLA @ Tennessee
Orson: Rick Neuheisel IS Christina Ricci IN Black Snake Moan. At the hands of Tennessee's defense, Rick Neuheisel will realize that not only does he like being chained to a radiator and told what to do by an old man (Monte Kifin), he craves it like nothing else.
Holly: Lane Kiffin IS Chicklet Forrest IN Psycho Beach Party. "Guys only want one thing. I'm going to the snack bar, want a wiener?" Cute, pert in a little-sibling kinda way. Perky. Annoying as fuck-all and looks pretty harmless until he gets possessed with the spirit of some bent tiki god (Ed Orgeron in a star turn cameo) and starts killing folks left and right. He snaps tomorrow, just you watch. The last time I saw Rick Neuheisel he was wearing a sweater vest over a V-neck shirt, in southern California in September, and that kind of transgression just doesn't go unpunished. UCLA's going down like a sweet muffin. In the words of Mrs. Forrest, "I believe this is what you kids call a gang bang!"
South Carolina @ #21 Georgia
Holly: Steve Spurrier IS Howard Payne IN Speed. An explosion in the prime of Payne's career left him with fingers numbering nine, which is about how many points we can expect to see on the board in Sanford tomorrow when the clock hits 00:00. You may be smarter, OBC, but Mark Richt is taller.
Orson: Stephen Garcia IS Dwayne IN Little Miss Sunshine. He wants to fly jets, but realizes he can never play the part in the air show he wants to play so badly because he is colorblind. Dwayne realizes this in the movie when he cannot see different colored dots on a sheet of paper. Stephen Garcia will realize this when he throws his third pick of the night to someone in the wrong color jersey. Dwayne reacts to this by rising above the situation, and growing and maturing as a person. Garcia will react to this by throwing a fourth pick and pumping his fist in celebration.
Missy State @ Auburn
Holly: Dan Mullen IS Selma Jezkovz IN Dancer in the Dark. I will defy anyone to name a single redeeming or validating moment from this game as soon as it's over. It's got prestigious roots and you know you're supposed to be enjoying yourself, but really you're just so goddamn miserable you're too focused on wondering when the blasted thing will END END END END END to see anything happening on the field.
Is there hope for any of us? Sure there is. For Von Trier, it's pissing off people by the roomful at hoity-toity filmfess the world over. For me, it's getting to post this video one more time:
Orson: Gus Malzahn IS Phillip Seymour Hoffman IN Charlie Wilson's War. The operator moving behind the scenes to make the machine hum, turning disorganized Afghanis into an organized killing widget set on stun, Malzahn is going to make his boss--a politician who, like Charlie Wilson, isn't really sure what he's doing--look far better than he deserves to look. Auburn lights up Mississippi State here thanks to residual Tuberville defensive prowess and just enough Malzahnian innovation to bring the guys in red to their knees in the skeleton-filled wastes of a far-off and desperate land. (Southeastern Alabama, Afghanistan--it's really a bit of a push, especially if we're talking landmines per square foot, also known as "Terry Bowden's Charitable Donation to the School on Departure.)
Vanderbilt @ #11 LSU
***BULLET BULLET BULLET TOKEN DOC HOLLIDAY DEGENERATE GAMBLER PICK***
Holly: The entire Vanderbilt depth chart IS The Mercury Seven IN The Right Stuff. With a special appearance by the players, coaches, talent level, and fans of Baton Rouge as The Ground, The Sound Barrier, Faulty Parts, and Torrents Of Deadly Flame. Yet we're taking the 'Dores, against our reason and our character, because even sound barriers get broken, and jeezum crow did LSU look paltry last week against a team riding something like a 15-game losing streak. (Looking up numbers is for sissies.) Vandy, and damn the torpedoes. Torpedoes that are not in the water, but the air. *hic*
Orson: Vanderbilt IS Steven Seagal IN Executive Decision. They both get sucked into space and fall to their deaths sometime in the first fifteen minutes.
Kansas State @ Louisiana-Lafayette
Orson: Bill Snyder IS Laurence Fishburne IN Event Horizon. All I really want to mention here is that while Bill Snyder volunteering to dive into hell to save his crew by retaking an impossible job at K-State is frightening, it is still not as frightening as Event Horizon, which is the scariest fucking movie of the last fifteen years. It is a terrible movie, difficult to watch, a series of torpid expositional scenes interspersed with moments of unwatchable horror. Correction: this actually does describe K-State football this year perfectly, since the program has been to hell and back, and is now just sort of floating there filled with demons. They win this game, but not without scenes containing graphic scenes of violence, gore, and fantasy imagery of a disturbing nature.
Holly: Bill Snyder IS Ben Stone IN Knocked Up. Life is sorta hazy right now, and although there were moments here and there that made him happy, he really can't recall what led him to this operating room watching something truly gruesome unfold before his very eyes. Childbirth is not a miracle. Childbirth is gross. And hatching this new-old era at KState, if last week's near-miss at UMass is any indication, is going to be slimy and full of screaming. Ragin' Cajuns carry the day.
#3 USC @ #8 Ohio State
Holly: Ohio State Football IS Global Warming IN An Inconvenient Truth. (Because it's a MYTH AND ALSO THE EARTH IS FLAT GOOD NIGHT.)
Orson: USC Trojans ARE the crew in MOBY DICK. Because they're about to put a harpoon in Ohio State, and then take a Nantucket Sleighride for the entire second half.