Thursday, October 20, 2005

Fighting for "W's"

We've all heard it said that "a win is a win." Sometimes, though, a win feels like a loss and vice versa. But at the end of the day, all that matters is what's written on the scoreboard. Take, for instance, 2 games from just last weekend that almost caused spectators to have a Dick Cheney size heart attack. Heading into its game against Ole Miss, Alabama was ranked 6th in the nation and a 14 point favorite. So, it would've been safe to assume that the Tide would roll to a comfortable victory. In South Bend, the top ranked Trojans were also double digit favorites and on a winning streak spanning more than 2 full seasons. However, both teams needed every second of the 60 minutes to earn the victory and keep their record unblemished. While Rebel fans were happy to keep it close, Charlie Weis emphatically declared that he will never deem any defeat as a "good loss." It appears that the man who holds possibly the most revered parachurch position in the Catholic faith understands one simple but profound truth: if you fall short, it doesn't matter by how little. So, in this era of undefeated teams being left out of championship games and nonsensical methods of determining a champion, don't succumb to the mindset of our friends from Oxford because no matter how satisfying it is, a moral victory will always register as an "L." Instead, realize that in order to have a chance for a title, take a "W" anyway you can...With that said, let's see who will earn the "W's" this week.

Alabama 20, Tennessee 13. While it's not the 3rd Saturday in October, it is the 3rd Saturday this October that Alabama and Tennessee are teeing it up when the 2 teams meet in Tuscaloosa this weekend. Even though this year's battle will not be waged on its traditional date, the heated rivalry may be more intense than ever as Bama Nation has been waiting for the Secret Witness to return to Bryant-Denny for quite a while. Due to the fact that Fulmer avoided the entire state of Alabama last year for safety concerns by skipping SEC Media Days and that the world's most powerful Alabama fan (Condoleezza Rice) will be in attendance, security will be at an all-time high for this year's matchup. However, there won't be any security to protect the Vols from Alabama's actual team unless, of course, Fat Phil gets the officials to work for him like he usually does. But even that might not be enough to protect UT from THEMSELVES. By continuing to feed the 2-headed QB monster, the Tennessee offense will fail to produce yet again. Add in the loss of Jason Allen in the Volunteer Secondary, and Bama won't need Prothro to make big plays--they'll just happen. Expect the Tide to answer the call again as it earns its 3rd impressive win in as many tries on CBS primetime.

LSU 24, Auburn 21. After playing their 1st 5 games at home, the Auburn Tigers have hit the road the last 2 weeks traveling from the Nutt House last Saturday to the Valley of Death (aka Death Valley) this weekend. This is the logical progression, though, of anybody who has come face-to-face with the realization that their best just isn't good enough as was the case with the Tigers a year ago. New season, same story. Despite boasting just 1 loss and an undefeated conference record, the Barners still have the respect of no one outside of Lee County, Alabama. And after LSU exposes them this weekend in a game featuring the previous 2 SEC champions (sorry Ole Miss, but you didn't win the West in 2003 no matter what your stadium banner says), Tuberville's boys will still have not turned any heads. Don't worry, though. They'll surely be able to find someone who will make up a nice consolation title for them.

Georgia 28, Arkansas 13. Between the hedges in Athens, Mark Richt is putting together another certain 10 win season for the 4th straight time since he's been the Top Dawg. While it remains to be seen if the quietest top 5 team in the nation can make this a championship season, having a relaxed Satuday afternoon barbeque this weekend against the Hogs will help DJ Shockley and the rest of the guys get ready for their Cocktail Party with the Gators next Saturday. While this game would appear to be a blowout waiting to happen, Arkansas has a little experience playing a team on the road in that JP slot the week before a showdown with Florida. Houston Nutt's team more than held their own against a flat Alabama team in the same scenario at the end of September. But in the end, Arkansas was Arkansas and found a way to lose. Don't expect things to be too much different this Saturday as the Bulldogs stay perfect and begin to make plans for a trip to Atlanta the 1st weekend of December.

Texas 41, Texas Tech 31. The winner of this Saturday's game in Royal-Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas might as well be crowned this year's Big 12 Champion since the competition and legitimacy of the rest of the teams in this once proud South Division is at an all-time low. How else could anyone explain the sudden rise of the Red Raiders as one of the elite teams of what used to be the one of the toughest conferences in all of college football. While Cody Hodges may be an outstanding quarterback and Tech's offensive system might be one of the most efficient and finely tuned in the nation, no one would've put up 59 against Kansas State or 34 against Nebraska (much less score in the last minute) a few years ago. Therefore, when Mike Leach takes his ball club to play a team this weekend that not only used to be good but actually is good now, don't expect the same results. Mack Brown not only has a team that can keep up with Texas Tech's scoring, but he has one that can stop their scoring as well. While this one could turn into a shootout, the Longhorns have the larger guns.

USC 38, Washington 7. After last week's game against Notre Dame, we know 2 things for sure: 1) USC is beatable & 2) God isn't Catholic. While we may have known the latter, the former won't be corroborated any further this weekend. During his 3 seasons as the head coach of the nation's premiere college football program, Ty Willingham lost by 31 points a game to Pete Carroll's sqaud each time, adding to the long list of reasons to oust him from South Bend. But, like they say, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." I'm pretty sure, though, that this adage suggests joining the team, not the conference. All Willingham has accomplished by taking over the Huskies is assure his streak of losing to Southern Cal every year by 31 points will continue. So, this week in Seattle, USC won't need the 2nd half heroic comeback that has characterized most of their games on this year's march to another championship.

And so goes another weekend of college football. It could be a fun one, but there's probably no way it'll be as dramatic or exciting as last week unless the UT players don't pass the security background check necessary to be so close to a member of the Bush Administration...Anyways, enjoy the games, and if anyone has any suggestions for an alternate route from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa about 2 hours before game time this weekend, PLEASE let me know--long story...


Anonymous Patrick said...

Mike Leach is nothing but a classless jerk who loves running the score up. He left Hodges and most of the first string in the game last week until nearly the end of the game. I hope Texas brings them back to reality.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:10:00 PM  
Anonymous PUDGE said...


Friday, October 21, 2005 2:19:00 PM  
Anonymous James said...

For this week's Pontiac Game Changing Performer, vote for Roman Harper's strip of Corey Anderson that saved the game for the Tide.

ESPN Game Changing Performer

Monday, October 24, 2005 6:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

roll tide roll.

Monday, October 24, 2005 6:56:00 AM  
Anonymous James said...

As Alabama basks in the glory of a thrilling win over rival Tennessee, the Tide gets a much deserved break as they face WAC cellar dweller Utah State.
The Aggies rank at the bottom of the WAC in passing offense and total offense. The few bright spots for Utah State have been quarterback Leon Jackson III. Jackson leads the team in passing yards and rushing yards and has accounted for 9 of Utah State's 14 offensive touchdowns this season. Tony Pennyman and Kevin Robinson are their main go to guys at receiver. They have caught 8 of the 9 touchdown passes thrown by Aggie quarterbacks. Expect a lot of roll outs, option and quarterback sweeps from Jackson.
As for Alabama, this should be a good week for the offense to regain some continuity. Brodie Croyle has not thrown an interception since the Southern Miss game or 154 pass attempts. I expect a lot of players to receive playing time.
It is also about time for the Bama defense to get a shutout. Barring a big play or multiple turnovers, I expect the defense to get their shutout.

My call:
Alabama 38
Utah State 0

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 3:52:00 PM  
Anonymous jeremy etress said...

interesting site...I'll keep up with it when I should add some type of picks five college games a week...

Jeremy Etress

Thursday, October 27, 2005 10:10:00 AM  

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