Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Hunt for Mr. October

In the 1977 and 1978 World Series, Reggie Jackson indelibly stamped his signature on this imprecisely named 10th month of the calendar year. In 2005, another Reggie (Sanders) is doing his best to leave his mark on baseball's postseason by producing 2 homeruns and 12 RBI's in the Cardinals' 1st 4 playoff games. While October may not provide college football athletes with such an opportunity to make memorable championship moments, the lineup of games with championship-type hype in this month does offer the occasion for these athletic anomalies to accomplish unforgettable feats. So, will the NCAA's Mr. October be another Reggie (Bush) or a Brodie? A Vince or a Vick? There's no way to be certain quite yet which one of these stars will lead their team into the season's final month with a chance of playing for it all, so I guess we'll just have to watch the games and see.

Alabama 28, Ole Miss 6. (Note: Since I tend to view this as an Alabama game and not an Ole Miss game, the "O's" will not be capitalized througout so as to not disrespect the pride of the SEC.) A statement win over a Top 5 team is all the Tide needed to get back into the national championship conversations again. But after the dust has settled and "Rammer Jammer" has ended, Bama fans may be wondering if all of this chatter may be a little presumptious. Well, Sports Illustrated certainly doesn't believe so. After making Bama's win over Florida last week's cover story, the premiere sports periodical has singled out the Tide as 1 of 3 teams with a viable chance of knocking off USC in the Rose Bowl in this week's issue. So, will Mike Shula's team continue to climb the ladder, or do they now just have further to fall? With games against Tennessee, LSU, and Auburn all still on the schedule, much remains to be seen. However, this Saturday's contest against a team that produced 3 1st half points and 2 offensive touchdowns over a 1AA team a week ago in their starting QB's "breakout" game shouldn't be much to worry about. (By the way, the 6 by Ole Miss is my prediction for number of 1st downs, not points.)

Penn St. 24, Michigan 14. Before the season kicked off, if someone would've said that Joe Paterno's team would be undefeated and Lloyd Carr's team would have a losing record after this game, he probably would've been about as believable as umpire Doug Edding's claim that he was purely going through his normal 3rd strike mechanic in Wednesday's bizarre "not 3rd out" call in the ALCS. But, if the Nittany Lions take care of business in Ann Arbor on Saturday, that will be the case. Even though it was the Wolverines who spoiled Penn State's season the last time they started 6-0 or better back in 1997, history will not repeat itself this time around for one primary reason: in 2005, losing streaks stop at 5. Over the last 2 weeks, 2 major 5-game losing streaks have ended. It was Alabama's streak against Top 5 teams in Tuscaloosa that ended October 1, and it was Mack Brown's 5 game sputter against Bob Stoops becoming old news last week. So, when Penn State heads to the Big House this weekend, their 5-game skid against Michigan will come to a halt as well. Don't hesitate, though, if you need to borrow Joe Pa's glasses to believe what you're seeing.

Texas 28, Colorado 27. After the past few tumultuous years, the Colorado football program has for the 1st time this season been able to actually focus on football for a change. The result has been a 4-1 record and a top spot in the Big 12 North. On tap for the Buffaloes this week, though, is a team from the Lone Star State for the 2nd week in a row. But, unfortunately for Gary Barnett, this one isn't against a Dennis Franchione coached team. While the Bufs might have originally planned on sneaking up on the Longhorns after they finally earned a big win over OU, beating a team that starts 12 freshmen isn't a big win. Just don't tell Mack Brown that. It might take a while for UT to get back in stride for this game after the Red River hangover, but they should come through in the end as Vince Young takes Texas to 6-0 for the 1st time since 1983, a year in which they went 11-0. But Buffalo fans shouldn't despair as they'll probably get another chance in the conference championship.

Notre Dame 35, USC 24. USC is #1 in total offense, #2 in scoring offense, undefeated, and the reigning national champs. Notre Dame is one option pitch away from being undefeated, has won more games away from home than any other team in America, and has the "Weisest" coach in NCAA history. But for some reason, there seems to be more people questioning the legitimacy of the Trojans and the Irish than Senators who are questioning the legitimacy of Harriet Miers. This Saturday, though, the truth will out: Notre Dame is legit, and USC is...well, not legit. Look for the Irish to mix up the pace by running both ball-control and hurry-up offenses to keep the vulnerable USC defense off balance as the Golden Domers end another school's era of dominance yet again.

LSU 27, Florida 17. It's highly doubtful that over the past few days Urban Meyer has been singing Willie Nelson's famed lyric of "I just can't wait to get on that road again." But on the road is where the Florida coach will find himself again this weekend. After the Gators displayed thorough incompetence to run their offense amidst crowd noise 2 weeks ago in Bryant-Denny, it might be a success if they can just get the snap off in a stadium whose noise once caused a minor earthquake. But maybe they have finally figured out the whole nonverbal communication thing and can actually use signals this game. If they have, the LSU secondary should allow Chad Jackson and the other Gator receivers to break open some big plays. However, the Gator defense has been known to give up a big play or 2 themselves. So, even with the inspired presence of a banged up Chris Leak on the field, Verne Lundquist may need to travel to Baton Rouge just so he can tell Urban Meyer once again that "this ain't Kentucky."

Well, that's all she wrote for this week. It's good to be back following the Tide after a week off...Be sure to check out the updated Top 15 on the sidebar...Have a good weekend, and try and stay away from boats with Minnesota Vikings on them...


Blogger mattkeathley said...

Kyle, you are giving Ole Miss way too much credit. 28-6 is a halftime score!

Thursday, October 13, 2005 2:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob Batson said...

Well, in case none have you have noticed, Kyle has once again shown that his true favorite team is actually one of Alabama's most hated rivals. I can just see the smile growing on his face as he wrote "as the Golden Domers end another school's era of dominance yet again." But that's okay this week, because if the Catholics win, it actually helps Alabama. Although I guess I will be forced to pull for ND, don't think I wouldn't love to see USC show that it has just been on cruise control for their first few games and come out and play their "real" game against the Irish. I say ND 42, USC 41. By the way, if Alabama goes undefeated this season along with two or more other teams, I have decided that it is a win-win situation for Bama. If we get to play in the Rose Bowl, well that's just dandy. If we don't, we can lord it over Auburn fans by saying we have 12 NC's so we're not going whine and make one up just to make us feel better about ourselves. If Alabama made up a national championship every time we MIGHT HAVE deserved one, we would have about 16 or 17 by this point. All you barners out there need to contemplate these things long and hard, and maybe the fog will be removed from your eyes, and you will see that Auburn will always be the second best team in the state of Alabama.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 5:28:00 PM  
Blogger Josh Manley said...

I am not sure I think the Irish have it in them. USC is not overrated and truly is the best football team in the nation at the moment. This actually looks like it could be the year that BCS faces a major catastrophe. 4 or 5 teams have legitimate shots to be undefeated at the end of the season. If we don't get a playoff promise after that scenario, my time as a college football fan may seriously come to an end.

Friday, October 14, 2005 7:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You got em all righ except for the Penn State game. They will go down for the first time this week in Ann Arbor.

Friday, October 14, 2005 1:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always =great stuff

Monday, October 17, 2005 8:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Payne said...

Wimp of the Week should have gone to the Alabama Crimson Tide

Monday, October 17, 2005 6:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Nick Manley said...

Pimp of the week should have been Jamie Christensen...Wimp of the week...the Penn State Cornerback who let the michigan reciever have a free inside route...and I hate to say this but Bama gets beat by 10 against Tenn.

Monday, October 17, 2005 7:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wimp of the week shula

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 6:01:00 AM  
Anonymous James said...

After escaping Lafayette County, MS with a win, the Alabama Crimson Tide comes home to a rivalry game full of pomp and circumstance.
The Tennessee offense has had more than their fair share of troubles this season. Both Rick Clausen and Eric Ainge have thrown 3 picks for the Volunteers. Clausen has shown the most accuracy among the quarterbacks by completing nearly 60 percent of his passes. They only have 5 TD tosses on the year. For the passing game to succeed, receivers like Jayson Swain, Bret Smith and Chris Hannon must come through with big catches.
With the loss of UT Defensive Back Jason Allen, Brodie Croyle will try to exploit the deep ball with Keith Brown and Ezekiel Knight. The key area for Alabama will be the ability of the offensive line to keep the Volunteer defense at bay by opening up holes for Ken Darby to run through.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 5:42:00 PM  
Anonymous the O Zone said...

kyle thats a weak wimp of the week!! i have to agree with nick on his pick... hey nick maybe you should think about taking over? on to more important stuff...hats off to the ole miss rebels for actually fielding a team, even though alabama didnt bring their A game at least it was competitive and thats all ole miss fans are allowed to hope for at this point. Big game this week against Kentucky, might win our first. im going out on a line and calling it a victory!! Coach 1-3 after saturday!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:03:00 PM  
Anonymous the O Zone said...

-Did you hear that our kicker for ole miss Robert Bass tried to commit suicide after the game. he tried to hang himself in the locker room. how crazy is that. he would have been successful but he couldnt kick the chair out from under him!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:12:00 PM  

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