RANDY EDSALL LOVES HIM SOME DAVID ROMER. Romer's paper on firms maximizing and going for it on fourth down was only read by Bill Belichick and the entire staff of FootballOutsiders.com, though accidental genius Les Miles instinctively lives the paper every week. We specifically remember John Gruden, in a piece in SI by Michael Lewis on fourth down, sneering something about "try doing that in a real game, perfesser," which THIS GUY thinks is still more evidence that anyone can win ten games as a head football coach in the NFL.*
Up 30-28 on 4th and 1 on the UConn 21, with 2:50 on the clock and the lead, Edsall did what Dave Wannstedt would never in a thousand realities in a thousand different alternate universes do: he went for it with Jordan Todman running the ball, made it, and then rode the ticking clock to victory against a Pitt team with no timeouts or ability to stop the Huskies' running game. UConn had been running the ball well all night, and by the numbers it makes sense, but still: testicularity is recognized and appreciated here.
Dave Wannstedt then peeled off in his car, screamed " NERDS," and just put on Night Ranger and let the rock soothe him all the way home. The rock will make him feel better about life, man, though it won't explain the damning fact that the longer Pitt has to prepare for an opponent, the worse they look. (Fun additional note: pass protection was outlawed last night in Connecticut, and both teams complied by allowing their qbs to take beatings railyard bosses wouldn't dish out to the surliest of hobos.)
*This is called the Dick Jauron Rule, because really life, Dick Jauron is going to get another job, and you'll be even more shocked than you were the last time.
FURTHER NEWTONISM. The elusive Bill Bell is on the record, per ESPN. The NCAA could ask him to sit, per Yahoo's Charles Robinson, which means he's not just reading the NCAA rules regarding eligibility and has likely spoken with someone there about the matter. (There's been a lot of pile-jumping in this story--COUGH COUGH JOE SCHAD--but Robinson's obviously talked to someone here.) The Times has their own synthesis of all this, as does Doc Saturday.
THE EASTERN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. As bad as it's been--excuse us, as MUCH AS THE PARITY OF THE DIVISION DEMONSTRATES THE STRENGTH OF EVERY TEAM*, the SEC East has to be won by someone, and this Saturday's South Carolina/Florida game might as well be the way to do it. Chris Rainey will be a huge factor for Florida, so you should refamiliarize yourself not only with his unique cellphone antics, but also with his horrendous backstory as the son of a former drug addict, and whose father is still in prison.
MACK BROWN IS A HARSH GRADER. Obviously a fan of the French "no one receives an A" system, but it's accurate in Texas' case this season.
SING TO THE TUNE OF "WE HAVE NO BANANAS TODAY." "We have nooooo O-linemen/ Todaaaaaaaaay."
WE'RE THIS CLOSE OMG. The New Mexico Bowl is just around the corner. BUY TICKETS NOW.