We're getting detailed, passionate, and spiteful this week, like all lovers should.
So let's begin.
Selective Hits On The AP Top 25
1) Alabama (60)*: OK, alright: the time has come to fully turn on Nick Saban. Sure, we *could* have turned on him after he sort screwed over the Dolphins, or after he sucked the fun out of college football by being a no-fun scrooge, or after he over-signed all those dudes and gave 'Bama an unfair competitive advantage... but nah, those things were cool.
But this week, he took a shot at who I am and what I stand for -- the no-huddle offense.
"I think that the way people are going no-huddle right now, that at some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety," Saban said on today's SEC teleconference. "The team gets in the same formation group, you can't substitute defensive players, you go on a 14-, 16-, 18-play drive and they're snapping the ball as fast as you can go and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can't even get lined up. That's when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt when they're not ready to play.
"I think that's something that can be looked at. It's obviously created a tremendous advantage for the offense when teams are scoring 70 points and we're averaging 49.5 points a game. With people that do those kinds of things. More and more people are going to do it.["]
Translation: my team just so happens to boa constrictor our opponents by strangling their necks until their heads pop off. Once that happens, we power run the ball, intercept every other pass they throw, and go home after running 30 plays total. The spread is annoying, I don't like it, let's get rid of it.
I also love how he attests these no huddle drives have 18 plays, as if that happens all the time. Oh, and you're not going to win over casual fans by harping on offensive advantages, Sabes. Yahoo! painted this as Saban's "get off my lawn!" moment, but I think he's too deliberate and hate-filled to be senile like that. Just trying to get every advantage possible, like all
good great coaches should.
(* - damn, all the first place votes)
2) Oregon: The bad news, as it relates to my casual love interest in the Oregon Ducks, is I think I've seen enough of Oregon to say I don't think they will win the national title. Making it might also be in question. This was an observation spawned after watching Oregon sputter against Washington State before pulling away in the second half. Redshirt freshman QB Marcus Mariota was *just then* starting his first career road game. And that 'road game' was on a neutral site, closer to the Oregon campus than Washington State's. Ultimately, I think it's pretty tough to win the title without some really big play at the QB position (unless you're Alabama). And while I'm by no means writing off Mariota's career, I just don't think he's there yet. Oregon is A+ at many things, but I just don't think they're well rounded enough to compete with Alabama yet. I hope I'm way wrong.
3) Florida State: To a lesser extent, the same can be said for FSU. Like Oregon, they just have so much *there*. Immense talent at key positions, legitimate stars. In FSU's case, there's no reason to think QB EJ Manuel can't be the elite of elite at his position. But Alabama just crushes *everyone*. There's no warm up for the ringer that is the Tide. I'm afraid they'd chew him up and spit him out.
Are there upsides here? Sure. The FSU logo got the troll face treatment earlier this week on Reddit (via With Leather).
4) LSU: Speaking of SEC maniacs, I owe LSU an apology. Last week, I harped on them for playing Towson, totally forgetting they'd played and beat noted Stanford killers, Washington. I am sorry, LSU. You've done your part this year. But I'll be god damned if you don't always play your least interesting games at the most interesting times. It's downright aggravating.
5) Georgia: Quite sure I heard they lost their WR1 for the season earlier this week.
6) South Carolina: That'll make it four of the top six teams from the SEC.
7) Kansas State: /legitimatley found out QB Collin Klein was white *this* week
/I've watched Klien play before this week
8) West Virginia: Before we break down West Virgina's greatest game of everything, let's start with our one and only grievance.
The anti-couch burning video.
Here's some free advice, WVU: couch burning is one of your greatest traditions. Are you really gonna let the *man* tell you what to do? I say continue to burn couches and continue to burn couches proudly. Seriously, who in college has anything on y'all? No one... no one.
Anyway: West Virginia's game against Baylor last week -- so transcendent, it deserves its own Top 7 banner.
The Seven Greatest Things About West F'ng Virgina's Victory Over Baylor
1. Produced a catch so good, you could know nothing about the team and think "Damn, that QB and WR alone should be enough to maybe win the national title."
2. Created this phenomenal headline at Sunday Morning QB: Two defenses confirmed dead in West Virginia-Baylor explosion
3. Inspired this tweet from WV's mascot.
I might need more gun powder for this game— Jon Kimble, Mtnr (@WVUMascot) September 29, 2012
4. Thrust QB Geno Smith to the unarguable No. 1 spot in the Heisman race. This is his line for the season: 20 TDs, 0 INTs, 83.4% completions, 1,728 yards, 99 rushing yards, and 1 rushing TD.
Good lord. He could sit out the rest of the season and *still* compete for the Heisman. How is his completion percentage still in the 80s?!
Total Yards (Combined): 1,507.
Total Yards (West Virginia): 807.
Passing Yards (Combined): 1,237.
Passing Yards by Geno Smith: 656.
Geno Smith's Pass Efficiency Rating: 248.1.
First Downs (Combined): 67.
Plays Covering ≥20 Yards: 19.
Touchdowns (Combined): 19.
Touchdowns Covering ≥20 Yards: Nine.
Touchdown Receptions by Steadman Bailey: Five.
Non-Scoring Drives: Seven.
6. Got me to skim this Geno Smith profile in the New York Times. Did you know Geno is into painting and was, like, a prodigy at it? You do now! While we're at it, can someone think of a funny nickname for him involving art or a famous artist? And nobody say Curtis Painter.
7. Launched the stadium into some West Virginia song everyone was absolutely belting. It's damn good. So much unity and pride.
Hats off to you, West Virginia. You glorious, glorious bastards. The football team, too.
9) Notre Dame
10) Florida: Haha.
12) Ohio State: Hilarious win over Michigan State. The Buckeyes are definitely better, were probably worse in the game, and by no means deserved to win, but even when they ended up doing just that, it certainly didn't feel like they stole it. It's probably because MSU just sucks. Like, so bad.
14) Oregon State: Topped RichRod, stayed undefeated, and tight-roped sensitive racial lines. All in all, a great week for the Hybrid's Beavs.
(Haha, I also just realized the irony of Oregon and Oregon State being this column's random favorites)
15) Clemson: Clemson Tom hits us with his Georgia Tech preview.
So this weekend, the Honeybees… I mean Yellowjackets… Do they even know what their mascot is? Will it even matter?
Georgia Tech has to travel to Clemson this weekend for another epic beat down in Death Valley. Georgia Tech is coming off a Peter McNeely type butt kicking from the hands of the powerhouse football program, Middle Tennessee State. Yeah, it was that bad. I'll give Georgia Tech a chance in this game, a chance to get their butt kicked two weeks in a row.
Seriously, does head coach Paul Johnson really think his quadruple option attack is going to be successful in Division I football? True, he might have been successful last year, but this year's offense could screw up a wet dream. Think about that.
I expect Clemson to run down the hill, score a lot of points, and basically embarrass Georgia Tech this weekend. Not embarrass them that they'll cry, but more like their mamma's won't even claim them. "Does your son play for GT?" "Who me? Nope, that ain't my baby."
(Clemson Tom's spread option opinions do not necessarily reflect the option opinions of The Hybrid)
15) TCU: Set up two games with Ohio State in 2018 and 2019. Dan Shanoff has already called TCU sweeping the series, but, more intriguingly, said he expects Urban Meyer to be long gone by then.
20) Mississippi State
21) Nebraska: The (objectively) most likable team in the Big Ten strikes again. After going down double digits to a really uninspiring Wisconsin team last week, the Huskers charged back and completed one of those comebacks that felt so preordained, even casual fans could pop in for a few seconds and think "Yeah, no chance at all they lose this game even though they are currently losing this game." Can't imagine how excruciating that contest was for the Badger faithful. That was a loss that makes you swear off football for ten minutes.
24) Northwestern: HOW ABOUT THEM 'CATBOYS?! Welcome to the Top 25, Northwestern. You are so funny and so undefeated. That is so cool. Good job, good effort. Kain Colter, we've always loved you. Your game last week was Geno Smith, Jr.
Dropped from rankings:
Michigan State: Happy trails, dickheads. After losing to Ohio State, three things happened.
1) MSU accused Ohio State of sending them incomplete game films, which was one of those things where you know MSU was totally within their right to do it and Ohio State was probably semi-shady with their actions, but you still side with Ohio State anyway. Just because.
2) MSU *got* accused of eye-gouging. Pretty easy to allege that when you have, you know, hard video evidence.
3) Lastly, in a part that's less enraging and more just *sad*, they're continuing to maintain DE Will Gholston got the wind knocked out of him in a play where he looked, frankly, unconscious. I'll give mgoblog the scorn baton:
Mark Dantonio's presided over two mass player brawls, picked multiple players up from jail to drive them to practice, seen William Gholston treat Denard Robinson's head like a beer with a twist-off cap and punch Taylor Lewan without lifting a finger (the Big Ten levied the suspension, remember), had a public hissy fit after last week's EMU game, and he's just getting started.
...A film kerfuffle and eye-gouging incident have obscured the true WTF moment from that game.
Will Gholston laid motionless on top of Braxton Miller for a good 30 seconds after that hit, wobbled off the field, and then returned. The sideline reporter dutifully related that Gholston "had the wind knocked out of him."
That's appalling. Anyone who hits the video above can see the ref tapping Gholston in the back to get up; he does not get up. He's just taken a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit and lays there for 30 seconds. Does it matter if he's actually unconscious or just incapable of moving for 30 seconds? No. That guy is done for the day, unless you're Dantonio. The blatant lie about what happened to him is just the cherry on top.
Dantonio is shitty. The good news is the MSU students chanted "He's a pussy!" after Ohio State QB Braxton Miller got injured and went to the sidelines.
Boise State: Did they even lose?
Baylor: Baylor gets dropped from the rankings. Baylor's defense gets dropped off the face of the earth.
Any Sweet Games This Weekend?
USC (13) at Utah: I feel like I could be talked into this game if Utah *wasn't* in the Pac-12, but they are, so, for whatever reason, it interests me way less.
Friday Night Lights
Kansas at Kansas State (7): Rivalry game! Or something! Tune in to see K-State's white QB Collin Klein take on hated rival Kansas. Eh, this game probably sucks. Home test for the Wildcats.
Northwestern (24) at Penn State: Road test for the undefeated Wildcats.
Also: I will never get an interception at any level of football, let alone a pick-six opportunity. But I like to think if I *did* get such an opportunity, this is probably exactly what'd happen.
Michigan State at Indiana: This game, for whatever reason, has stuck out to me as particularly horrible.
Boise State at Southern Miss: A rare unranked-unranked game makes an appearance. But we know Boise is probably a Top 25 team, and hasn't Southern Miss been pretty feisty this year?
Mississippi State (20) at Kentucky: Mississippi State is undefeated? Cool!
Arizona at Stanford (18): RichRod at Stanford. God, he needs this one. His Arizona resume is already getting loaded with heart-breakers.
LSU (4) at Florida (10): First in our series of three awesome games. I dig this one hard. Call it jumping the gun, but I'm callin' this, objectively, our Game of the Week. LSU will command respect with a victory here. Florida will continue to troll me if they're able to come out on top.
Iowa State at TCU (15): Haha, TCU is in the Big 12.
Oklahoma (17) at Texas Tech: Shouldn't OU and regular Texas have played the Red River Shootout already? I feel like that was always in the Week 3/Week 4 zone. That one used to mean so much.
Washington State at Oregon State (14): Hybrid world beaters Oregon State take on an actual favorite of mine, Washington State. Here, Wazzu tries to not get swept by the state of Oregon.
Georgia (5) at South Carolina (6): On paper, this is the Game of the Week, especially if you add up the rankings to see which game has the lowest number (this one is 11). But... it just doesn't feel like Game of the Week material. Both teams are power programs, but they're not mega-elite super-interesting power programs. The ironic thing is the winner of this game becomes about 2.5x more interesting -- just in time for this game to already be in our rear-view. I guess the issue is it wouldn't really feel like an upset if either team won. Just a real step forward. And when is that ever interesting?
West Virginia (8) at Texas (11): Subjectively, the Game of the Week. One has to wonder, can WVU continue to rail the Big 12? Hope so. How shitty would it be to see them lose, after all we've been through this week? Get your paint, Geno -- we goin' to Taxus!
Miami (FL) vs. Notre Dame (9) [at Soldier Field]: This one makes a compelling case for this week's Top 3 games. Hell, we'll just include it and give it Top 4 billing. Can Miami stop the budding ND death train? Will Notre Dame walk through this easily? They're favored by 12.5, which seems high, no? We'll biasedly say Miami at least covers.
Florida State (3) at North Carolina State: Top 5 team playing a conference game on the road...
Nebraska (21) at Ohio State (12): Hate on the Big Ten all you want -- it does suck, after all -- but I'll be gosh darned if the conference hasn't produced a super interesting conference game every week so far*. Our second straight match up of 'red color** schools' is dynamic. Can Nebraska, the most battle-tested team in the conference, take their talents to Columbus and best the Bucks? Will Ohio State continue to lucky it up? Can Braxton Miller stay healthy? Will Rex Burkhead continue to be the world's most boring RB? I lean toward Nebraska here.
(* - yes, I know it's only the second week of conference play)
(** - "But we're scarlet, not red!" ... Shut up, netfaces)
Washington (21) at Oregon (2): Wow, yet another awesome game. This has to have been by far our best slate of the year. My favorite part about this season has been Oregon finding a way make itself a dandy night cap each week. The masses love you. I mean, was there any doubt this kick off would be at 10:30 (EST)? No.
While a win here would be nice, I'd really like to see them get out on the road and win one in a hostile environment. Though you can only win what you play, I s'pose.
Random Picture I Came Across While Googling Stuff For This Post
Wrapping It Up...
Woo, made it this whole time without force-feeding y'all Michigan-Purdue talk.