I definitely promised puppies in a teaser last week, so let's get that out of the way.
Puppies. (via us.123rf.com)
Last week was rainy, a lot of teams held serve, and Notre Dame is still celebrating Christmas in October. Speaking of gifts, we have our first batch of BCS rankings out, so say goodbye to the AP and hello to the AI.
(Was that reaching?)
Selective Hits On The
AP BCS Top 25
1) Alabama: Remember, Teams Who Run The Dangerous Spread, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is all about safety in football. Seriously: hypocrites, unite. That's not to say Mizzou didn't get a hit* of their own in. For the record, Alabama has since apologized. Though it got annoying because the apology cut off all outrage at the pass and created this weird swing of pro-Saban propaganda where it was all like "Wow, Saban made him write a handwritten apology after he almost KILLED A GUY... so classy!"
And here's something that'll piss us all off more.
If you ever before questioned Nick Saban's contention that he's not a stats guy, he just asked me what a TFL is.
The actual good news is A.J. McCarron is doing his best to get back on our good sides.
(* - theirs was legal, is the difference)
2) Florida: Chomp, chomp, chomp -- all the way up to No. 2. I'm almost, like, proud of the Gators at this point. Seriously: No. 2. If the season ended today, they'd be in the national title. Haha, Florida-'Bama. Man, that would suck.
3) Oregon: A rare off week for the Ducks. First, they don't play a game (booo). Then this stupid spork video surfaces (laaaaame). Then they get a decommit from that mega-dope high school recruit who ran for 643 yards and 10 touchdowns a few weeks ago (sad).
4) Kansas State
5) Notre Dame
6) LSU: "That was Death Valley. That was the place where opponents' dreams go to die. It was spectacular."
That's from Les Miles (who else?), and ain't that somethin'?
I got some reader mail in regards to LSU after they beat South Carolina:
I couldn't help but to notice how much trash you spoke about LSU.
Did you actually think LSU would lose at home in a night game at Death Valley?
I follow your articles pretty closely and it disgusts me on how much you talk down to LSU.
I think you should make an apology in your next article and recognize LSU for the team that it is... I understand they can take breaks from playing in the BCS bowl game every year and have bad seasons but that is in no way a reason to call them overrated.
He's probably right. The Tiges have racked up some nice wins this year, and though their style of play will never be my forte, I tip my hat to them after taking it to the Cocks this week.
7) South Carolina: Sure, you lost a very winnable game to LSU, but dudes: you can totally beat Florida this week and redeem this immediately. Plus, any week where you get irrationally accused of having "gay techno glow-stick music" can't be all bad, right? Seriously, watch this Cocks pre-game video; South Carolina games look -- sorry, Clemson Tom -- pretty awesome.
8) Oregon State: No. 8! Loved everything about this past week for Hybrid super playas. After QB1 went down with an injury, they ran a half page ad in the student paper just to tell QB2 "hey man, we believe in you." Then, they pulled out a somewhat tight game against BYU with a totally lucky touchdown catch off a pass deflection followed by a somewhat flukey -- but mega awesome -- pick-six. Backup QB Cody Vaz threw for 332 yards and 3 TDs against the No. 5 defense in the country.
How cool is that?
9) Oklahoma: The Sooners are still washing Texas blood off their wagon wheels.
12) Mississippi State
13) West Virginia: Watch this GIF, and tell me this isn't Eli Manning.
That about sums up last week for Geno and Co. So the dream is over. It was hard to truly -- truly -- fathom the dream being realized. It's not like the West Virginia defense *wasn't* putrid every step of the way. But in the irony of ironies, it was the vaunted offense that also sputtered in the loss to Texas Tech. I suppose you can't always go point for point.
Silver lining: Geno didn't throw a pick and is -- according to insiders -- still the leading man for the Heisman trophy. Though the gap between him and the field has obviously closed considerably.
Brown lining: Texas Tech said this about you.
Tech LB Blake Dees on fans rushing field: "It was crazy. I'm pretty sure the fans hit me harder than any West Virginia players did."— Nick Kosmider (@AJ_NickKosmider) October 14, 2012
Oof. Probably even worse because Texas Tech used to have a Charmin soft reputation back in the Mike Leach era. Local H would rate West Virginia's last game as NF.
14) Florida State
15) Rutgers: Undefeated.
16) Louisville: Undefeated.
17) Texas Tech
18) Texas A&M
19) Clemson: The man himself, Clemson Tom, checks in.
This weekend my beloved Clemson Tigers face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies. For most of America, who probably don't know what a Hokie is, let me explain: a Hokie is a castrated turkey. Yes, you read that correctly.
Virginia Tech, nice mascot! I really don't understand how a university can have such a disgrace for a mascot. A turkey with no testicles? If you haven't watched a Virginia Tech game this season, don't worry you haven't missed anything but a debacle. They are so bad, they moved their starting tight end to quarterback, and he plays about as great as a tight end could play quarterback.
I'm sure this week Foster, their defensive coordinator, has gotten zero sleep thinking about Clemson offense. Who can blame him? We have the two most dynamic wide receivers in college football and an elite quarterback. Oh yeah, also the best tight end in the country. And he does not play quarterback. We also have this running back name Andre Ellington. He's pretty decent, probably the best running back in the ACC.
I don't expect a lot of you to watch the Clemson vs. Virginia Tech game, let's face it it's going to be a blow out. You can count on me eating turkey at my tailgate and washing it down with ice cold beer.
21) Cincinnati: Undefeated. Haha. It's a shame this trio of undefeated Big East teams will eventually have to play each other.
22) Boise State: Whoa these black helmets!!!
24) Iowa State: How ah-BOUT them Clones?! Man, Iowa State is so cool. Special thanks to Iowa State alum Paul Shirley for linking Iowa State alum Kelvin Cato's coolest dunk ever this week. Also, this happened.
25) Texas: Haha, this is my favorite ranking of the week. It's as if the BCS was like "Oh, you respect our rankings? TEXAS TWENTY-FIVE, SON!" ... Texas could have been undefeated going into the OU bloodbath, and it *still* would feel weird to have them ranked. Two losses, and they still here.
In very related news, have to love Texas’ first half summed up by one play: OU’s Millard hurdles two defenders, then official runs over Case McCoy on sideline headline/clip over at Yahoo!
Teams Not Ranked I Wanted To Discuss Anyway
Michigan: Project 17 took a big hit this week. The Wolverines are not ranked despite being No. 23 in the AP because computers don't care about colors, helmets, or traditions. This is a good thing. That said, fantastic win over bad Illinois, and safety Jordan Kovacs killed it on Twitter last week.
Heard we're wearing pink this weekend in support of breast cancer awareness #GoBlue #LeadersAndBreasts— Jordan Kovacs (@JKovacs32) October 11, 2012
Leaders and Breasts.
Ohio: Where the hell are you? I heavily anticipated you being here. Hell, the AP has you at 25, but the computers loathe you. Ah, but it's no matter. You're undefeated. And your QB caught a touchdown last week.
Also, did I mention I love Frank Solich? Totally raw deal at Nebraska, plus that GHB/DUI story remains one of the craziest things to have ever happened.
Northwestern: Can't give Oregon props for the funny sideline play call signs without giving some to Northwestern, but, I mean, like... Oregon *had* to have been doing that first, right?
Tennessee: Not that Dooley in any way deserves his job, but man, coaching in the SEC would suck.
Michigan State: Your stadium was decidedly not in the bottom third of the Big Ten, and you played a million hip-hop songs. Though it was raining (not your fault) and cold (somewhat your fault [Michigan]) the whole time, it was a very good time. Plus, you played this "300" clip on, like, every other defensive possession. Haha, great times.
Any Sweet Games This Weekend?
Oregon (3) at Arizona State: Wait, Oregon plays tonight? And not at, like, 2 a.m. on Saturday like usual? Such an off, off week for the Ducks. Be leery of the Thursday night road game, sirs. You'd prefer your first real road test to not be in a situation like this, though they are coming off the bye week, so it should help.
Friday Night Lights
LSU (6) at Texas A&M (18): I know we just went through the rankings -- and literally said nothing about them -- but damn, A&M is ranked pretty high, ain't they?
Rutgers (15) at Temple: Unbeaten and on the road!
(/looks away uncomfortably)
South Carolina (7) at Florida (2): Seriously, not even 5% used to seeing that "(2)" next to Florida. Oh, and: Game of the Week. This should be a somewhat fun game. Hopefully going on the road against LSU's D will give South Carolina an idea of what to expect in a similar situation against Florida
Brigham Young at Notre Dame (5): A lot of ND fans are doing the "Yeah, I'm nervous about Oklahoma, but this BYU team is solid."
You're in the Top 5 (!!!) playing an unranked team with a backup QB at home. The spread is two touchdowns. Check yourself.
South Florida at Louisville (16): Undefeated at home!
(/stands up from chair)
Michigan State at Michigan: Whata bunch of unranked duds. This game feels weird because Michigan has lost the last, like, four in a row to MSU, but the Spartans are so crappy this year that they're somehow double-digit underdogs. Truly remarkable. Michigan State is coming off two straight games of full desperation mode where they've had to show everything in their playbook. Michigan is off a bye and two laughers. They've been doing nothing but boring runs and defense. This may seem like nothing, but in a rivalry marked by Michigan State's great preparation and gameplan diversity, this might be the year Michigan finally makes that their strength.
Alabama (1) at Tennessee: Meh.
Kansas State (4) at West Virginia (13): Heart's with West Virginia, but the head should be with K-State. We need a Big 12 team to not lose and keep our non all-SEC BCS dreams alive. You can't even really call this game a win-win. The Wildcats have to get it done. But... but... Genooooooo!
Middle Tennessee State at Mississippi State (12): Mississippi State is still undefeated! Damn, they are under-the-radar as it gets. And a home game against a non-BCS team should make that trend continue next week. Are they going to be in the Top 10 three days from now?
Cincinnati (21) at Toledo: Unbeaten and on the road!
(/walks out of the room)
Baylor at Texas (25): About 11% over this great Texas ranking...
Penn State at Iowa: I was at the Iowa-MSU game last week, and it may have gone down as one of the worst coached road victories I've ever seen. It's as if Iowa and MSU were like "Oh, you wanna run a 7-yard out on 3rd and 9? Well here's a TWO-yard out on 3rd and 11!!!!!" ... It made you not want to tell people who don't know about football how cool it is. That said, victories just erase all evil sentiment, don't they? (Well, maybe not every time, but certainly in this case.)
Utah at Oregon State (8): With a 9:30 p.m. (CST) kickoff, Oregon State has truly seized the moment this week. Come on, Beavs. Keep that perfect season alive. How truly amazing would it be to have an undefeated Civil War? Then, if it was close, we could re-match it in the national title game. Actually wait, no, it'd be pretty stupid to have two teams from the same conference re-match in the national title, right SEC?
Random Picture I Came Across While Googling Stuff For This Post
Wrapping It Up...
Best of luck to my alma mater, Neuqua Valley High School, as they go for a perfect 9-0 regular season this Friday against Bartlett on Senior Night.
Let's all read this article about Russell Wilson and call it a week.
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to SBN Chicago. he can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy.