Thursday, October 06, 2005

Reflection Time

At different points in life, it's a good idea to just stop and catch your breath. The arrival of the Alabama bye week and the nearing of the halfway point of the 2005 college football season signals that this might be that time for me. So, this week's blog will be a little different. In this edition, I take a break from the verbose, unbiased, and accurate practice of predicting games. Instead, I invite you to reflect upon a few moments that have made the 1st half of the 2005 season so memorable and peek into a few others that could make this year's 2nd half even better. Also, since preseason polls are merely unfounded opinions with more negative than positive effects, it is my belief that rankings should not be released until at least October. So after over a month of silence, the Top 15 poll will make its debut this week, and I'm sure none of you will have any objections to how these rankings place the nation's teams...Without any further ado, let's get right to it.

Top 5 Choke Jobs

5. Ed Orgeron. This Cajun ex-con fits the historic, picturesque home of the Grove in Oxford, Mississippi, about as well as OJ's glove fit the acquitted killer. The only problem: Johnny Cochran isn't around to help him win.
4. Big 10 Title Contenders. With all of the pundits ready to crown the "Big 11" as the toughest conference in the nation because of the big 3 at the top, Ohio St., Michigan, and Iowa all fell on the same day just 2 weeks into the season.
3. Oklahoma. It's not like it's the 1st time Bob Stoops' club hasn't come through. Do the 2004 Sugar Bowl and 2005 Orange Bowl mean anything to you? So, we should've seen this one coming. However, it's usually after an undefeated regular season that the Sooners need the Heimlich Maneuver performed on them.
2. Les Miles 2nd half against the Vols . After serving and giving so generously of his time and resources to Hurricane Katrina refugees during the weeks leading up to this matchup, maybe he just mistook UT for other victims and decided to start giving to them as well.
1. Fran not going for 2 in Week 1. You don't have to be a math major to know that it doesn't help too terribly much to kick the extra point to go up 2 late in the 4th quarter after scoring the go-ahead touchdown. However, you must have to have a semblance of a backbone--something Coach "Hold the Rope" lost a long time ago-- to go for 2. By allowing Clemson the opportunity to win the game with a field goal, Fran gave A&M its 2nd consecutive 0-1 start.

Top 5 Moments

5. Tim Frisby's reception. Quite possibly, the only thing that Coach Superior will be able to take away from this season is that he provided "The Greatest Generation" with another glorious moment by having one of its own--a man known as "Pops"--make a catch in an actual game.
4. Dion Byrum's performance against Pitt. This cornerback for Ohio singlehandedly won the game for Frank Solich's team against Pittsburgh under the Friday Night Lights on September 9th by producing the only 2 touchdowns of the game (both interception returns) for the Bobcats--the 2nd coming in OT--as Ohio knocked off a ranked opponent for the 1st time in over 30 years.
3. Trev Alberts' firing . The only way this could've made me happier is if The Donald, himself, would've dismissed Alberts in his boardroom on national TV. Now, if we could just get rid of Stuart Scott and Screamin' A. Smith.
2. The Catch. You know which one I'm talking about. Since Tyrone Protho's miraculous play, the Tide has outscored its opponents 118-30 and has turned the corner on what could be a dream season. It's just too bad "Pro" won't be around to contribute in any more games.
1. LSU's comeback victory over Arizona St. The resilience displayed by the Bayou Bengals in the 4th quarter showed the rest of America that no matter how adverse its circumstances, Louisiana will make a comeback.

Top 5 Games So Far

5. Boston College 16, Clemson 13 (OT). For the 2nd consecutive week, Tommy Bowden found his Tigers facing overtime against a former Big East heavyweight. And for the 2nd consecutive week, he found his team losing. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to invite these guys to the ACC after all.
4. USC 38, Arizona St. 28. This was supposed to be the day the Trojans fell. Gameday was on site just in case. But in the end, all Chris, Lee, and Kirk got was another heroic performance by the USC backfield in a dramatic late come-from-behind victory. Coupling this with the LSU debacle might lead more coaches to urge their team to be losing at Sun Devil Stadium in the 4th quarter.
3. Michigan St. 44, Notre Dame 41 (OT). After starting with 2 wins over ranked teams on the road, the return of the Irish to South Bend to face a middle-of-the-road Big 10 team was supposed to be an easy win. The Spartans, however, had other plans. After digging a 21 point hole late in the 2nd half, Charlie Weis' men found a way to get back in it. But in extended play, it wasn't Drew Stanton's arm that won the game for Michigan St in overtime. It was Jason Teague's legs.
2. Texas 25, Ohio St. 22. The game that was hyped for 8 months completely lived up to its billing as 2 of the nation's elite fought for the entire 60 minutes. In the end though, it was the leadership and poise of Vince Young that led the Longhorns to victory and kept them on the road to Pasadena.
1. Tennessee 30, LSU 27 (OT). After waiting for almost 3 extra weeks to have a home-opener, Tiger fans were growing more impatient than the 40-year old virgin. But when the emotions died, there were still 2 quarters to play. Credit Phil Fulmer for not making the mistake of Mack Brown with Simms and Applewhite by replacing a talented QB with a winning one.

Top 5 Games to Come

5. Ole Miss @ Mississippi St, Nov. 26. While this game doesn't even register on anyone's calendar outside of the Magnolia State, it could be these 2 teams first chance to earn a conference win.
4. Miami @ Virginia Tech, Nov. 5. So this is how the ACC solves the problem of the Big East Bullies--by placing them in the same division so they have to play every year.
3. Oklahoma vs Texas @ Dallas, Oct. 8. Will this be the year that Mack Brown finally gets the OU monkey off of his back? It should be, but you just never know how things will turn out at the Texas State Fair.
2. USC @ Notre Dame, Oct. 15. Charlie Weis has 2 weeks to prepare for this one. The last time he had 2 weeks to prepare for a game: Patriots 24, Eagles 21. Go ahead and quote me on this one...Notre Dame by at least a touchdown.
1. Tennessee @ Alabama, Oct. 22. Last summer, Phil Fulmer was too scared to come to the State of Alabama for SEC Media Days. This year, it's probably an appointment with Demeco Ryans and friends that's making him a little hesitant. After the Tide rolls in this one, the Great Pumpkin will be wishing he was getting subpoenaed.

Top 5 Wish List

5. Joe Paterno's Retiring. The art of being a good guest is knowing when to leave. The art of being remembered as a good coach is knowing when to quit. Even with the Nittany Lions fast start, Joe Pa could still very easily split his team's 6 remaining games and finish 8-3 as Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa, and Wisconsin are all left on the schedule. However, a winning season will probably just make him hungrier for some more.
4. Vince Young winning the Heisman. It doesn't necessarily have to be Young. I'm not that picky. Anybody not from USC will suffice.
3. Coach "O" vs Coach Amato compete in a bodybuilding contest. Have there ever been 2 coaches with broader chests in NCAA history? These guys must be on the juice. They even have the weird voices to prove it.
2. USC Losing. Besides the fact that we'll never have to hear the annoying "3-Pete" Carroll nickname again, would it really be good for college football if a team from a lousy conference was able to do something that no other team had ever done by winning 3 in a row?
1. Protho back in time for the Rose Bowl. Hey, T.O. came back for the Super Bowl. And this is a "wish" list. Isn't it???

Now, what you've all been waiting for...

Top 15 Poll

1. USC (4-0)
2. Texas (4-0)
3. Virginia Tech (5-0)
4. Florida State (4-0)
5. Alabama (5-0)
6. Notre Dame (4-1)
7. Ohio St. (3-1)
8. Miami (3-1)
9. Georgia (4-0)
10. Tennessee (3-1)
11. Cal (5-0)
12. LSU (2-1)
13. Texas Tech (4-0)
14. Penn St. (5-0)
15. Florida (4-1)

Well, there you have it. Let me hear some of your Top 5's...I hope that this didn't mess up your routine too bad. Don't worry, I'll throw in a few picks on the way out for you to ponder. See you next week, and look for me on ABC at the Red River Shootout. Boomer Sooner!

Texas 28, Oklahoma 20.
Tennessee 20, Georgia 16.
Florida 45, Mississippi St. 9.
LSU 31, Vanderbilt 17.
Penn St. 35, Ohio St. 21.


Anonymous Jacob Batson said...

Well, here is my top 5.
1. VT
2. USC
3. Texas
4. Alabama
5. FSU

It's too bad that Kyle's favorite team has a week off before they play USC. I should have known he would take a break the same week as his beloved Irish. I really have nothing else to say except Louisiana-Monroe better give Arkansas a good warmup before the Barners come to Fayetteville.

Thursday, October 06, 2005 3:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

On your wish list, how can you not ask for an Alabama Nat'l Championship...I mean it is a wish list or for Coach O to lose every game for the rest of the season...also, VT is the best team in the country and no way the Irish is beating USC...The Irish may have 2 weeks to prepare but USC has all season since they play in the PAC-10...also, good call on the Trev Alberts firing, but your wish list should have also included the firing of Dave Rowe from JP...finally, what do you have against Stuart Scott...I'm out.

Thursday, October 06, 2005 5:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kyle learn how to spell prothro, since you are an alabama fan

Thursday, October 06, 2005 6:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#1 moment so far this season, charlie weiss keeping his promise to a dying notre dame fan. even if he was pinned down on his own 1 yard line.

Thursday, October 06, 2005 6:50:00 PM  
Anonymous James said...

One thing that we don't have to wish for is another Pontiac Game Changing Performance being awarded to an Alabama wide receiver. This week Tyrone Prothro garnered 87% of the vote for his 87 yard touchdown grab to set the stage for the beating of Florida.
Ok, Texas Tech does not deserve to sniff the top 15 at this point in the season. Florida International, Sam Houston State and Indiana State has to be the lamest out of conference schedule in the history of competitive sports. Either Wisconsin or UCLA should be in the lower portion of the top 15.

Thursday, October 06, 2005 6:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

I agree with anonymous about weiss having the number one least in the top are giving props to some 40 year old who made an easy catch over the story that caused your brother Josh to weep

Thursday, October 06, 2005 8:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Russell said...

Nick Im with you on the catch. while i do agree its a great story, i could have caught that ball and according to most, pitchers aren't athletes. Oh and neither are runners!

Friday, October 07, 2005 1:58:00 AM  
Blogger Josh Manley said...

Nothing wrong with weeping about the Weiss story. I am willing to bet there were alot of men doing everything they could to hide their emotions after their story. I congratulate my younger brother on what was the best, most unbiased blog yet. I wish you would have added to the wish list that Mike Gottfied come back to ESPN Saturday night football. Does anybody have a clue where he is or what happened there?

Friday, October 07, 2005 6:46:00 AM  
Anonymous russell said...

What a bunch of cocky pricks playing two games in one day.

Monday, October 10, 2005 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Alabama will begin kicking off the second half of their season with a trip to Oxford, MS to face the Ole Miss Rebels.
As everyone knows by now, wide receiver/returner Tyrone Prothro is out for the season with a broken leg. Some players that needs to step up is sophomore wide receiver Ezekiel Knight. In my opinion, he has the most potential of any player on offense and even of any player on the team. If he can gain a little confidence by hanging on to some catchable and maybe scoring a touchdown, he can be a dynamic option in the Alabama offense.
A few things that you should look for in the Fighting Orgeron offense this weekend. The coaches like to utilize Michael Spurlock's ability to run by getting him out on the corners via a straight roll out or a roll out off play action. Their other bread and butter pass play is the quick slant.
The most pathetic stat for Ole Miss is scoring only 19 first half points including a grand total of 1 touchdown and 0 second quarter points all year.
I would expect Mike Shula to keep things close to the vest in terms of play-calling.

My call:
Alabama 31
Fighting Orgerons 7

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:15:00 PM  

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