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SPIKE FACTOR, WEEK 10

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Screw your garbage time touchdown, Washington State.

Doug Pensinger

Pile the offenses high at Lexington and Iowa City.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the Spike; I cover all.

And pile them high at College Park
And pile them high at Raleigh and Auburn.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two seasons, ten seasons, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we PAWWWWL?

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I don't even know why I bother with Kentucky. I see they get blown out at home by Vanderbilt and think, "well, surely they must win the Spike Factor this week. Surely they can't keep avoiding the pinnacle of humiliation." And once again, I am wrong. 32 of 66 plays gives the Wildcats a 48% this week. Is that terrible? Yes. Is it terrible enough to win? Of course not. You're some real assholes, Kentucky.

To top it off, I got to revisit Florida-Missouri, where the Gators only ran 55 plays and 20 of those didn't gain yardage. So basically I'm rooting for Notre Dame without Tommy Rees. HOW DELIGHTFUL HEY LOOK FUN NUMBERS TO DISTRACT YOU!

COMPETITION IS A HEALTHY THING, EXCEPT WHEN IT ISN'T

The losing team in Gainesville looked plenty Spike-y itself, of course. On the one hand, 86 plays is a lot to run against a defense as stout as Florida's. On the other, 42 of those yielded no positive yardage. Forty. Two. It seems counterintuitive that a team can stay on the field while not moving down it, but this is the Sunshine State we're talking about. Take your 48% Spike Factor and just be glad you don't have a bite full of spider eggs, Missouri. (You totally have a bite full of spider eggs.)

Along those lines, let's give a hand to the Miami Hurricanes, who only ran 32 successful plays out of 58 (44% Spike Factor) and still throttled Virginia Tech. SPIDER EGGS FOR EVERYBODY!

Special mention of a different sort should also be paid to Mississippi State, not for their offense, which was ineffective but not extraordinarily so, but for their defense. Texas A&M ran 96 plays on Saturday, and only 16 went for no gain or worse. Turnstile is not the accurate metaphor to use here, because a turnstile at least slows you down a little.

RUNNERS UP GET PARTICIPATION MEDALS (MADE OF SPOILED LUNCH MEAT)

Several teams tried real, REAL hard to win the Tetanus Spike this week. Minnesota gave it a real shot with a Spike Factor of 44% (30/68), including three straight drives with five or more spikenificent plays. NC State matched that with a 44% of their own (31/69), and victorious Nebraska even managed to break the 40% mark, going 32/76.

But nobody gave it a more vomit-inducing effort than Washington State on the road against Utah. Mike Leach's offense was sitting pretty, with a Spike Factor of 55% going into their last drive. And then disaster struck - a thirteen play series ending in a touchdown with only three plays that didn't gain yardage, dropping the final total to 49%. Fail to the final whistle next time, Wazzu.

THE LONG OVERDUE TETANUS SPIKE GOES TO

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Colorado! Nobody does incompetence quite like the Buffs this year, who produced a 53% Spike Factor on only 43 offensive plays. That's efficiency you won't find anywhere else, and we appreciate it. The Earth only has so many sacks and fumbles left, and we have to conserve them by getting off the field as quickly and fruitlessly as possible. Way to be green, Colorado.