So Michigan's done. My college football season is over. I'd dissect the Michigan-Michigan State game if it was worth dissecting, but it really wasn't. Michigan was outplayed and questionably coached. While Michigan State played fierce and deserved to win, I do think some of their penalties and personal fouls crossed the line. These things happen when you amass 100+ yards in violations. Man.
The two that really set me off...
1) The Denard helmet twist (I was horrified and speechless, like a mom watching "Sopranos"-type violence)
:28 second mark
2) The last late hit (I wanted to jump into the TV at the bar, to kill)
I can't find video of it. But summary: dude grabbed Denard and basically body-slammed him to the ground like a total asshole. Denard never played in the game again. I hate everything about everything.
To Michigan's credit, they completely ducked all provoking questions regarding MSU's penalties in such a uniform way that the only explanation is Brady Hoke put a gag order on all talk in the locker room. So I guess there's that.
In conclusion, Spartan Bob Ross.
1) LSU: I think I heard they are about to lose guys? God, I hope so.
2) Alabama: ROLL DAMN TIDE.
4) Oklahoma State: Just how close are they with OU? I think close.
5) Boise State: Big East, eh? Maybe?
6) Wisconsin: Don't change, Wisconsin fans. Related: did anyone find out if they actually stopped the chant last week? Words can't describe how offended my mom was by the chant when we went up for the game a few weeks ago. She, like, took it personally. It was great.
7) Clemson: Great Climpson video coming in the Bandwagon.
8) Stanford: Great Stanford video coming in the Bandwagon.
11) Kansas State
12) Virginia Tech
13) Nebraska: Sweet bye week, duders. You ready to come back to your stupid conference now?
14) South Carolina
15) West Virginia
16) Michigan State: MSU has beaten Michigan four years in a row. Combine that with Ohio State's 389 game-winning streak, and, outside of Notre Dame, Michigan has not beaten a rival in 393 years. By my count.
17) Texas A&M
18) Michigan: Just leave the polls. I hate you.
19) Houston: Nineteen?! Screw this dumb team!
20) Auburn: Dig this ranking.
21) Penn State: Penn State is the worst. Truly. I cannot wait till they play a good team again and lose and look dismal in doing so. Great defense paired with crappy offense, is anything worse than that? Why yes: merely good defense and crappy offense. Welcome to Penn State.
22) Georgia Tech
23) Illinois: Boys. What happened? What the hell happened? When Michigan lost, I was ready to roll with Illinois harder than I'd ever rolled with Illinois, and they similarly fell just hours later. Dreams die, man. They do.
24) Texas: Peh.
25) Washington: Zeh
Dropped from rankings*, sponsored by "Don't Mess With Texas": Baylor (...), Texas (But not the BCS!!!)
* - last week's AP rankings
Man, I don't know. I guess this.
Did you know Arkansas State played Florida International on Tuesday this week? I know, weird.
West Virginia (15) at Syracuse: Just can't get up for this one. Too crappy. Can't even include the "Friday Night Lights" tag.
But there's a picture to make up for it. While we're at it, I think I'm going to include a "FNL" television pic anytime we have a Friday Night Lights game in this section.
Oklahoma State (4) at Missouri: Guess.
North Carolina at Clemson (7): In. I love North Carolina.
Kansas State (11) at Kansas: MEH.
Illinois (23) at Purdue: HOW DID YOU LOSE TO OHIO STATE.
Indiana at Iowa: Iowa participates in its first F- Big Ten game this year. First of many, I'd assume.
Arkansas (9) at Ole Miss: No.
Auburn (20) at LSU (1): Since it's not the Hybrid Game of the Week, I don't hate it as much as I would if it was the No. 1 choice. We'll see what Auburn can do.
Air Force at Boise State (5): Can Air Force bomb the Broncos?
Nebraska (13) at Minnesota: Oh man. Ohhhhhh man. When I said Nebraska was coming back to the bad Big Ten after a bye week (whoof, lotta b's), I didn't know it'd be this bad. This is about as bad as it gets. Bad.
[skipping Oklahoma and Alabama's "meh" games]
Wisconsin (6) at Michigan State (16): Hell yeah, Big Ten! I don't know who always hates on you, but you just served up the Game of the Week. I'm extremely excited for this game. We all know Wisconsin's offense should be imprisoned at this point, it's so criminal. But MSU has played a lotta great D this year. If Wisconsin lights them up, they really should be taken seriously as a national title contender, if they could play in the game, but they can't, because their schedule sucks, and their conference is worse, you see. Seriously, though: Game of the Week.
Washington (25) at Stanford: I'm in! I am! The No. 25 spot by Washington is what did it. God, I'm such a sucker.
Every year, once my actual favorite teams (Michigan, Iowa, Washington State) have been eliminated from the national title picture (by, you know, losing just one game), my buddy Ryan and I create what we call the "College Football Bandwagon" which mostly consists of a list of all the undefeated BCS conference teams minus Notre Dame (and sometimes others). The goal of the CFB is to fake feel good about yourself when your "team" makes the national title game. Plus it provides invested, fake rooting interests.
The dream is over. Long live the dream.
We now have painful, painful liftoff. For the first time ever, Ryan submitted his list to me without me even having to ask him. Going even *more* above and beyond, he submitted his entire list with YouTube links which I'm assuming are justifications for his picks. Also, last week he had ribs at his tailgate. Ryan is amazing. Without further adeiu, Ryan's e-mail -- simply titled "Bandwagon (bout fucking time)":
Roll Damn Tide
Suck 4 Luck
My darkhorse hopeful
I will consider LSU if you really want them.
Seriously, watch all of those links. Especially the Stanford one (I never knew about that Luck hit) and I guess the Kansas State one. My top pick is probably the Alabama one. Those people are maniacs' maniacs.
Because I overruled Ryan on several teams last year, I'll simply include LSU with that batch and we'll go with his list until further notice. I am really depressed.
Russell Wilson returned from bye week, and my guaranteed win came to fruition somewhat easily. During that win, amazing exchange while watching the Michigan-MSU game last week in Ryan's girlfriend's living room: Ryan had seen a highlight from the Wisconsin game which we all hadn't, and he walks in and goes...
Ryan: Passing touchdown, Wisconsin!
Ryan: ...thrown by Montee Ball. [this is a double-sting, because he has Ball on *his* fantasy team]
Me: DAMN IT.
Ryan: .......caught by Russell Wilson!
Check it here. I really, really like Russell Wilson.
This week: I start four combined Michigan and Ohio State players, and both teams are on bye week. I won't guarantee a loss, but it's probably likely. I still like my team, though. With Michigan and Ohio State absent from the slate and Wisco-MSU playing each other, that probably explains this week's absolutely boring Big Ten schedule. Explanations.
- Really wanted to talk about Occupy Herbstreit, but it seems about 40x more dated now than it did just six days ago. The perils of the 24-hour news cycle, I suppose. If you even had to ask, this one was my favorite:
- Hybrid reader and mentor Paige sent me this great Denard profile last Saturday. This was before the season went atomic. While my enjoyment of it will probably rival no one else's, I thought this excerpt was great. The set up: the author follows Denard on campus for class and lunch with QB2 Devin Gardner, among others:
The two dashed to the Dennison Building and snuck into the classroom three minutes after the 10:10 start. Robinson found an empty seat against the right wall of the packed classroom. Gardner sat in the middle among the other students, or "normies," as the players called them.
Professor Scott Ellsworth started by discussing a documentary called "Murder on a Sunday Morning," which explored a case of mistaken identity in Jacksonville, Fla. It resulted in 15-year old Brenton Butler, who was walking by to apply for a job at Blockbuster that morning, going to jail.
"Was Brenton Butler guilty of anything?" Ellsworth asked. Most of the white kids said no, but most of the black students disagreed. Wrong place, wrong time, they said.
Gardner raised his hand more than any other student during the 80-minute class. Robinson was usually content to take notes in his spiral notebook. He wrote in careful penmanship that leaned left--a sign of an introvert. By the end of the class, he had written a page and a half, a little more than the woman sitting next to him. Ellsworth told them to read Kafka's "The Trial," and let them go.
While Robinson packed his things to go, a female student slipped him a small, handwritten note, which he tucked away.
He walked with Gardner and receiver Kelvin Grady across campus for lunch. He peaked at the note: "For your eyes only," written in purple ink."You seem like a really nice guy and I think it'd be cool to hang out with you. And no, I'm not a creepy stalker! Text me some time."
Robinson grinned and shook his head. Grady demanded to see it, then started laughing. "Ahhhhh! Same note I got!" he said.
Robinson wanted to go to Wendy's in the Michigan Union basement, like usual, but Grady argued for Noodles & Co., a long block down State Street.
"Come on, man--I'm trying to expand your horizons!"
"I like Wendy's, man."
"But it's rivalry week!"
"Exactly why I don't want to change my routine."
Robinson got his favorite, a Wendy's spicy chicken No. 6 combo meal, then sat down with his friends and teammates. The woman at the next table, reading an anthropology textbook, asked, "How's your knee?"
"What? My knee's fine. Where'd you get that?"
"They said on TV..."
Next up, a one-hour meeting with a professor to discuss a paper. "I like writing papers," Robinson told me. "I don't like tests."
Robinson walked past a retail tent selling yellow T-shirts with "SHOE" at the top, "LACE" at the bottom, and an untied cleat in the middle. "Think they'd give me one?" he said, walking by unnoticed.
"Only if you want an NCAA violation," I replied.
"That's crazy," he said, smiling. Walking back across the street to Gardner's truck, a stranger walking toward us struck the Heisman "pose" (the arm-out, ball-tucked running pose of the Heisman Trophy, which goes to college football's top player), with no words spoken. Robinson smiled and shook his head. "That's crazy, too!"
Wrapping It Up...
Bobby Loesch is the assistant editor of Tremendous Upside Potential and weekly contributor to SB Nation Chicago. He can be reached at bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy. If you thought this week's column was written in a tone similar only to Owen Wilson's "Wedding Crashers" voicemail, then you were probably correct.