Thursday, November 17, 2005

Rivalry Week(s)

Cain vs Able...North vs South...Democrats vs Republicans...Coyote vs Roadrunner...Rocky vs the Russian...Great Taste vs Less Filling...the list goes on. Why can't we all just get along? It seems that this question has been asked ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. So, it should come as no surprise that in every aspect of society, we see rivalries form. What is surprising, though, is that the rivalries between old foes seems to be most intense in the college football arena. You don't believe me? When was the last time you turned off your phone after your side lost an election? Better still, when was the last time that you hugged a random stranger because Saddam Hussein was removed from power? As illogical and bizarre as it may seem, it's true: we care more about how our favorite team performs on Saturday than about something that might actually have a real effect on the world. But, for the true fan, there is nothing that has a greater effect on "your world." Therefore, when someone who just doesn't get it tries to tell you that "it's just a game" when your team meets its arch nemesis these next 2 weeks, don't let them make you begin to question your state of mind. Instead, pity them because they'll never know the full satisfaction that comes with aligning with the better team for the next 365 days. So now, let's see which side will spend the next year boasting and which one will spend it roasting when the annual grudge match is said and done...

(Note: In an effort to relax during my holiday next week as much as the next guy, I had originally decided to take a break from making picks. However, when I noticed that there were 2 great opportunities to rip on a couple of coaches for whom no Bama fan has any fond feelings (Fran and Croom), I decided that I should compromise. For this reason, I will still pick 5 games for each week, but I will only write up half of the 10 total: 3 this week and 2 early next week, which will be alluded to at the end, thereby explaining the optional plural ending to "Week" in the title. So, if this doesn't mess up any of the OCD types out there too much, I'll proceed as such.)

Alabama 22, The Other School 13. Not even 24 hours after Alabama suffered its 1st loss of the season, people across the nation who had hopped on the Bama bandwagon were jumping ship so fast that they made Jonah look like he was scared of water. But the Tide faithful, along with the actual team, still believe that a BCS birth and a fitting end to this dream season is not out of the picture. There's just one minor detail that needs to be taken care of: BEAT AU*#$N. Heading into the most anticipated Iron Bowl in over a decade (1994 was the last time the 2 teams' combined record was better), the field has never seemed more level. In fact, if the Tide was to look at the Tigers, or vice versa, they might swear that they were looking in the mirror. Both teams have a defense that rivals the Third Reich. Both teams' starting running backs have the same 1st name. Both teams' quarterbacks have the same initials. And both have only 1 loss in conference, which, not surprisingly, was a 3-point one dealt by LSU in OT. But, there is a difference: the other school has lost twice while the Tide has only been outscored once. And in both losses for the other school, 5 seemed to be the unlucky number. In the Georgia Tech game, Brandon Cox committed 5 turnovers (4 INT's and 1 fumble), and John Vaughn missed 5 field goals down in Baton Rouge. So, this weekend, maybe Kenny Irons will have 5 fumbles or 5 yards rushing or maybe their offensive line will have all 5 starters to go down with injuries. Or maybe none of this will happen, and Bama will just prove that it's a better team straight up. In any case, the Tide will Roll and begin to work on its wishlist of new toys to buy when it collects its BCS payout.

Ohio St. 30, Michigan 24. The Maize and Blue vs the Scarlet and Gray. When the Buckeyes travel up to the Big House this weekend to kick it off for the 102nd time against the Wolverines, it'll be the same ol' story as once again, as a share of the Big 11 title is at stake. Although Michigan holds a 19 game lead in the overall series, the last 54 games have been split right down the middle with each team having 26 wins (2 games ended in a tie). And it appears that the 2 teams are equal again this season. While neither squad has quite lived up to preseason expectations of competing in the Rose Bowl, either one of these 2 perennial powers would put up a valiant fight against the Trojans or Longhorns now that they've found their groove. After suffering some early losses to quality teams, Ohio St. enters this weekend with a 5-game winning streak, and Michigan has won its last 4. So, which team will break the 26-26 tie over the last half century and carry a winning streak into the bowl season? You gotta go with the Buckeyes and not just because they have the best-dressed coach in football. No, expect Jim Tressl's team to pull out the victory because the veterans A.J. Hawk & Troy Smith won't be shown up by a couple of young guys (Chad Henne & Mike Hart) suffering through a sophomore slump.

Harvard: Checkmate. For the 5th year in a row, the Crimson outwits the Bulldogs by cornering the Blue King with their Queen and Rook, forcing him into an immovable position whilst lying in check...Oops, wrong game...Even though the 2 most prestigious universities in the world aren't usually heralded as any type of athletic juggernaut, the contest between them to end each football season is a rivalry that is unparalleled in all of sports. "The Game," as it is simply known, may not showcase the most athletic talent, but it does offer spectators the opportunity to see their future bosses, world leaders, their best in the heat of battle. And a battle it will be. Despite the Ivy League's refusal to allow its members to participate in the postseason in football, a victory in this rivalry is much more fulfilling than any NCAA championship could ever be. At stake for the 2 teams this year is a possible "Ancient 8" championship. If Columbia falls to Brown this Saturday, there could be a rare 3-way tie atop this STUDENT-athlete league between Columbia, Princeton, and the winner. However, this is highly unlikely (I'm sure you could hit up one of the players to find an exact probability), so this year's version of The Game will be all about pride. And like I said above, the Crimson will win for the 5th consecutive time. Score: Harvard (3+7*4), Yale (5 ^2 - 2^2), or 31-21 for those of you who, unlike these guys, took college algebra at community college in the summer.

In other action:

LSU 24, Ole Miss 10.

Vanderbilt 24, Tennessee 23.

Well, that'll do it for the 1st edition of rivalry weeks. When watching the Iron Bowl this weekend, just remember that no matter how bad the Tigers are getting beat, Tommy Tuberville's wife still thinks he looks good in those glasses. Be sure to look below for next week's games...

Round 2:

Texas 45, Texas A&M 16. When Dennis Franchione pulled the "Bear Reversal" 3 years ago by leaving the Tide for the Aggies, everyone just knew that College Station would be the home of championship ball teams early and often. And after last season's run to the Cotton Bowl, those assumptions were seemingly on their way to being fulfilled. Well, we all know what they say happens when you assume. Despite Fran's ability to quickly earn 10-win seasons at both of his former stops (TCU & Alabama), the only thing he's been able to do quickly while leading the Corps of Cadets is end 2 more seasons in 3 years with a losing record than his predecessor R.C. Slocum did in his entire 14. Even more, both the Horned Frogs and the Crimson Tide are proving that maybe he wasn't the reason for their success as they're both back to their winning ways. While this game should be all about Vince Young and the Longhorns ending the regular season in position to make it to Pasadena, it's more fun to view it as the Aggies' ending the regular season out of position to go bowling.

Ole Miss 31, Mississippi St. 7. Another intrastate rivlary featuring a coach with Alabama ties will be taking place this weekend a couple of states east of the Lone Star State. However, this one has no postseason implications whatsoever. In fact, with the direction the Rebels and Bulldogs are headed, the Egg Bowl may not have postseason repercussions for years on down the line, which may explain why this "highly" respected rivalry is not even televised any longer. But television or not, the show will go on. Only the 20,000 fans on hand will be able to see it, though. However, don't think that these pitiful souls won't be getting their money's worth because they'll get to witness a coach earn his 1st victory in this annual struggle for the Golden Egg. It's just not going to be the one who's giving it his 2nd try. I'm sorry State fans, but the man who was supposed to return the Bullies to their once glorious middle-of-the-West status has only been able to return them to their dominance over 1AA and hurricane-ravaged opponents. (For all of those who really wanted to see all of the O's capitalized, it's just not worth the effort anymore. By now, I think everyone has gotten the point that Rebel fans made way too much of a fuss over Orgeron.)

And Finally:

Florida 24, Florida St. 20.

Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 21.

As the SEC exhibits its superiority to the ACC.

Notre Dame 42, Stanford 17.

And that's really it this time. Enjoy the break, and don't forget that as hard as it may be to make small talk with your relatives this Thursday, you could be having to listen to Bob Davie dramatically over enunciate every word that comes from his mouth...Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving.


Blogger AnnaDuggan said...


Thursday, November 17, 2005 3:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Bunge said...

Go to hell, State! Go to hell!

Thursday, November 17, 2005 5:08:00 PM  
Anonymous the O zone said...

kyle stop letting girls make posts. how about them tigers rolling into T-town and kicking butt. they completely dominated the game. why wasnt that game played in memphis, can anyone tell me that? on futher note has anyone heard about "the photo" floating around ole miss.

Friday, November 18, 2005 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 and 1 for the first round-good to see you rebound on the picks

Monday, November 21, 2005 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger AnnaDuggan said...

I refuse to believe that we will lose.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kyle!
I'm impressed that you can make football interesting even to an apathetic Bama fan like me. It makes me wonder why you decided to do Math rather than some kind of journalism or reporting. Oh well, maybe you can combine the two someday. What topic will you pick next once the football season is over?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 2:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Russell said...

He'll pick college basketball, but if he's smart he'll abandon the lil east and accept the ACC's superiority in College basketball!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 9:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

My prediction for the Egg Bowl... State 3 - Ole Miss 0 in 3 OT's. That or something like 4-2 or 2-0. They are both excellent at getting safeties.

Oh and that Ole Miss picture floating around is pretty funny. Check it out if you can find it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 5:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear me! As interesting as the write ups are, I doubt seriously I'll be intrigued if basketball is the next topic. But I guess that would be the logical choice. Is baseball an option?

Sunday, November 27, 2005 2:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Go to hell Ole Miss!! One of the best and loudest crowds at Scott Field ever. 2nd largest crowd ever at State.

Norwood is a stud.

Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:51:00 PM  
Anonymous the O zone said...

hey kyle need i remind you that Coach O is playing with the talent Coach Dave left to blame O on the offense not knowing how to move the ball down the field and throwing back to back picks is a little much, you have watched all of about 2 maybe 3 games all year, good Call, and i know we suck im not trying to say we dont

Monday, November 28, 2005 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous mitchell said...


Thursday, December 01, 2005 12:51:00 PM  

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