Johnny gosh dang Football.
Last week, I questioned why I follow college football but stubbornly decided -- despite all evidence not to do so -- to maintain a positive outlook on this weird, weird sport. My reward? D-D-D-*DOWN* goes Alabama.
It left me in a happy daze, like Frank The Tank himself.
"I think I see Blue... he looks glorious"
Johnny Manziel played the perfect game. Texas A&M's redshirt freshman signal caller made me fall in love with college football again. Because when a team of no-fun lames takes a stranglehold -- and believe me, until LSU showed flaws, that's what it was -- on the whole sport, things get a lot less fun, don't they? Alabama gave us no reason to think they wouldn't go undefeated and win the national title by some awful margin of victory like 12.
But Manziel, man. His runs, his throws, his... agitations. It was the perfect game. And he played it. More importantly, A.J. McCarron didn't. Alabama had "THEYUHR CHAYUNCE"... but it didn't matter. Was not to be.
In the aftermath, we have two super fun teams in the Top 2 with Notre Dame knocking on the door. Fresh, new blood, and, definitely most importantly, we're facing the prospect of a no-SEC title game.
Pinch me. No, poke me in the face. No, punch me in the mouth.
This is all we've ever dreamed.
Selective Hits On The BCS Top 25
1) Kansas State: The good news is you're No. 1 in the nation and no one seems to hate you. The bad news? I'm kinda out on Collin Klein. A little tall and boring for my tastes. I'm a Johnny Football man now (more on the homie JF below).
2) Oregon: Well Oregon, you won our hearts with offense, consistency, running up the score, and general creativity. What's your encore? Oh, potentially moving one of your most dynamic weapons to the defensive side of the ball?
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3
3) Notre Dame: Can't even be mad at ya, brah. Not this week.
4) Alabama: Presented without any introduction.
It might rival Ricky's Rant (caution: horrible racism) as the best Alabama fan freakout vid the world has ever seen.
5) Georgia: Georgia is second in a stretch of teams No. 4 through No. 9 in the Top 10 being exclusively SEC. This is much easier to marvel at and respect when none of 'em are occupying the top two spots.
8) Texas A&M: Last Saturday, when pro-SEC Everything/sometimes troll Clay Travis wrote this about Johnny Manziel, I thought he was kinda crazy.
Tonight Johnny Manziel won the Heisman trophy.
If you vote for anyone else, you're blind, deaf, and stupid.
Seriously? Calling the race for him after one mega-awesome game? He wasn't even in the Top 3 the previous week.
But then when Deadspin followed it up with a really good (seriously, read this word for word) piece on Johnny Football, I was more convinced. First, it had more info from Clay Travis' piece.
Tebow put up 3970 total offensive yards when he won the Heisman trophy as a sophomore. It was a season's performance I thought I'd never see the equal of and Manziel has already rushed for more yards than Tebow did in that year. He's going to throw for more yards as well. And Manziel's win on the road at Alabama dwarfs any win that Tebow had as a sophomore, when his Gators went 9-3 in the regular season.
Deadspin also added this.
In 10 games so far, Manziel has thrown for 2,780 yards and rushed for 1,014—he's averaging over 100 yards on the ground per game—with 18 TDs through the air and 15 on the ground. If he were a running back, his rushing totals would make him the 23rd best in the country, and he'd have a better yards per carry average than all but two of the backs ahead of him. He's currently the leading rusher in the SEC. He has the 20th most passing yards in the country—again, with fewer attempts than many of those ahead of him—and let's not forget: the Aggies have the second highest strength of schedule in the FBS. Manziel isn't just impressing fans and analysts—he's going into places like Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn and Alabama, and just ruining seasons.
Dudes, this might be his to lose. And we have to all be OK with that. I know I am. The article has some short video clips breaking down his brilliance on the field. Seriously, watch them and read the whole damn thing.
* * *
As for Johnny Football's off the field issues I didn't knew existed? Well, he got into a fight earlier this year which probably involved booze and *definitely* involved him taking a shirtless mugshot later that night. I can't knock that, I'm sorry. Plus Chris Rix said this about him on Twitter:
Sources have told me that Manziel is a 'ticking time bomb' and will eventually blow up off of the field...
Plus plus plus.... Scooby-Doo!
Give that man the damn trophy. Shit, he's up to No. 2 on Yahoo's Heisman Watch.
9) South Carolina
10) Florida State: /facepalm ... This is why no one likes you, Florida State.
11) Clemson: Clemson Tom, what say you?
Revenge tour starts this week and ends next week. The first butt kicking will be against North Carolina State in Death Valley, this Saturday. Last year, the Wolfpack almost upset our ACC championship hopes, but we won anyways.A few things to notice on game day: LB Spencer Shuay -- the kid is a bull shark. The head coach for the Wolfpack, Tom O'Brien, when he smiles, look at his teeth -- he has one good tooth. Also pay attention to the Wolfpack's hand signals, it looks like they're trying to give you hand gestures -- WCW's NWO "Wolf Pack".I'm predicting we hang at least 40 to 50 points on the Wolfpack because this is a revenge game and we are playing like shocked cats. I'm gonna be there, getting loud, crazy, and wearing orange. It's a revenge game and I might headbutt a kangaroo!!
Also, please watch him run amok on the NC State campus ("We park 'em all over the county!").
14) Nebraska: Let's complain. Though I like Nebraska and find them the most entertaining (non-sanctioned) team in the dumb conference they play in, two things about last week were stupid.
a. Here's Penn State getting jobbed on a touchdown. Normally, I wouldn't care about this at all, except it *significantly* impacts Michigan's chances to get to the Big Ten title game (M and Nebraska have the same record, but the Huskers have the tiebreaker). Not saying PSU wins this game if they get that TD, but I'd like to think it maybe coulda happened. Total bummer.
b. And, from our friends at ESPN, we get easily one of the lamest Big Ten headlines of the year: "Nebraska in Top 14, Michigan back in BCS"
Top 14?? *Top* 14?!?!? Want to guess what Nebraska is ranked? They're No. 14! Top 14. Unbelievable. Have you ever heard *anyone*, *ever* use the expression Top 14 to categorize anything? Such a Big Ten headline. "Big Ten gets a team BACK into the Top 14 -- and another one ranked!"
Those teams are just a speck in the SEC ocean. Have you seen the Top 10? I know you have, you had to see it just to get here. Scroll back up and admire the brilliance.
15) Texas: The Longhorns have *returned* to the Top 15! How did lameduck Texas become so consistently likable, funny, and just straight up *there*? I don't know, but the glory continued this week after that one old coach died and Mack Brown vowed to run Texas' first play out of the wishbone. The result? Well, this.
How damn perfect was that? You tribute the formation, then pass out of it after your opponent prepared to defend it because you *told* them you were going to do exactly that. I bet Chip Kelly approves. And isn't that what football's all about?
16) Oregon State
20) Louisiana Tech: Here's Louisiana Tech doing cool offense stuff.
21) Michigan: Project 17 (my pre-season belief that, regardless of the ebbs and flows of being overrated then unranked, Michigan would finish No. 17 at the end of this season) lives! From just last week, Michigan goes from being unranked to a mere three spots separating them from No. 17. And all it took was a bogus win over just Northwestern? Too easy!
Yes, the Hail Mary/OT comeback over the Wildcats was pretty great, but it seemed to drive Michigan blogger Brian Cook a little insane. Here's some cool stuff he wrote.
I mean, what can you say when your glorious victory is so clearly a gift from the cosmic random number generator? I have seen many things in my time as a sports fan. None of them have been an opposing safety taking a pass that is about to sail into the turf 10, 20 yards further downfield and flailing at it in such a way as to send it into the arms of the Michigan receiver he'd battered to the ground, gently. Feather-like. After all of that… easy.
Meanwhile, that event had been immediately preceded by a Northwestern fourth-and-one conversion on which the ref had to make sure every chain was ramrod straight and get his nose down to the field level before awarding the Wildcats a first down they probably didn't get but could not be overturned from above. Fitzgerald Toussaint's only decent run of the day ended with a bizarre pop-up fumble. [Northwestern backup QB] Trevor Siemian came in and tore Michigan's secondary to shreds.
I like it better when the randomness is under a nice ol' narrative. When it's in your face so spectacularly, it's like the gods of math are taunting you for daring to care about anything they have their fickle fingers in. Go home, get a pen, and root for Fibonacci psuedo-randomness, they are saying. What you are doing is the equivalent of rooting for 3, they say. The number. The literal number. Woo 3. Go 3. You are so much more prime than 4. That's so 3! Oh god those people who like 4 are just animals. They poop in coolers, you know, and drive trucks. They're so… divisible.
If that passage doesn't make at least a *little* sense to you, it's likely you don't aggressively follow a specific college football team.
23) Texas Tech: Take a position on Tommy Tuberville slapping that dude. He already apologized, but he also did the thing where he was like "I'm sorry I did it, but also, I didn't do it, I was trying to keep him off the field" or something bogus like that. I'mma have to throw the b.s. flag on that one.
24) Oklahoma State
Unranked But Still Interesting
Washington State: The Mike Leach era is continuing its (hopefully only initial as a precursor to future greatness) downward spiral. This past week, junior WR Marquees Wilson -- probably the team's best player -- left the program and made a little noise on the way out. In a statement issued to the press, he spoke very unfavorably of the coaching staff and even threw out the word "abuse." Knowing nothing about the situation, all i can say is... damn, that is heavy. Not only factoring in the Penn State stuff (and we can only assume it's not on that level) but also factoring in Mike Leach's unceremonious end at Texas Tech, we can only hope the word was misused. Man, this is a sad situation.
The upside for Wazzu? Fireball guy.
Tennessee: Volunteers QB Tyler Bray wins my silver medal this week.
"I'm paid to win football games," Bray told media Tuesday.
After realizing what he said, Bray quickly tried to backtrack.
"I mean… my education. That's what the SEC likes to call 'getting paid,'" Bray said.
Michigan: Oh wait, they're ranked again. Moving on...
Any Sweet Games This Weekend?
Friday Night Lights
Western Carolina at Alabama (4): ESS-EE-SEE, ESS-EE-SEE, ESS-EE-SEE
Jacksonville State at Florida (6): ESS
Wofford at South Carolina (9): EE
Georgia Southern at Georgia (5): SEE
Wake Forest at Notre Dame (3): We're already to the mid-afternoon games, and this is legitimately our best game so far. Unless....
Sam Houston State at Texas A&M (8): ESS-EE-SEE!
*This* is the Aggies' encore after shocking the world and upping everyone's collective interest in their team? Man, the SEC is annoying. Instead of looking forward to bleh, let's again go back to the greatness of the Alabama victory with this headline from Deadspin: Deshazor Everett’s Name And His Interception To Beat Alabama Are Equally Fantastic.
Oh, also the A&M butt tattoo that didn't get addressed yet.
Ohio State at Wisconsin: If you hate the Big Ten, I don't blame you for not caring about Ohio State's undefeated season. But they are mega-fun to watch, and, at minimum, borderline must-see TV week in and week out. Because tOSU is banned from the Big Ten title game, this, essentially, *is* their Big Ten title game. After sputtering out the gate in 2012, Wisconsin fired their o-line coach, got things back on track, and are back to doing what they do best -- running up the score against mediocre competition. When Penn State and Ohio State got simultaneously sanctioned, everybody was like "Geez, Wisconsin is automatically in the title game now."
It's one of those things you feel strongly about at the time but still hold out hope it might not happen. Nope, it happened. So if we're going to have to watch Tamp-On Wisconsin play in a probably undeserved Big Ten title game, wouldn't it be way more fun if we first watched them lose to the superior team who *should* be in that game? I say yes.
Also: my college fantasy football league has our final four this week, and I, the 3-seed, need some big things from Braxton. I'm also playing against Montee Ball, so that just makes this whole thing doubly relevant.
Oklahoma (12) at West Virginia: Hmmmmmmmmmm, eh?
Kansas State (1) at Baylor: Dang, still not used to that "(1)" next to K-State. I kept expecting to see a "2" or "4" tacked on. I don't know why No. 1 K-State isn't as likable as No. 2 K-State, but it's definitely happened. Maybe if they just switch places with Oregon, we'd be alright. Also: is Baylor a test?
/looks up the spread
Wow, no. They're getting 13 points at home. Let's press on...
Stanford (13) at Oregon (2): Game of the Week. This is part two of Oregon's USC-Stanford-Oregon State-USC(?) swing. So far, so good, but if anyone is going to screw up our good time, it's the Cardinal. God, I hate typing it like that. Oregon's favored by 20.5, so that makes me feel better about not just this game, but my life in general.
California at Oregon State (16): Important the Beavs win this to keep a great looking ranking going into next week's rivalry game.
Mount Carmel High School (3) at Neuqua Valley High School (1): My alma mater hosts the IHSA 8A state semifinals game -- which is also the first one they've ever played in. Mount Carmel's mascot is "The Caravan"...so I guess that's a thing. Neuqua is undefeated, while Mount Carmel's only loss came against a super sick team in overtime. Winner advances to the state title game, played at the University of Illinois.
This should should be a muddy bloodbath.
Random Picture I Came Across While Googling Stuff For This Post
Wrapping It Up...
Big S/O to the SEC for all their cool games this week. If you're interested in any game outside the Top 3 and that one Big Ten game I mentioned (optional), you're crazy.
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to SBN Chicago. he can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy.