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The Week That Were: 10.16.10

Yup, it was a difficult weekend… but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a spot of fun, right?

Not a good Saturday around the old Casa Del Mali, which started when Nebraska found out that the option doesn’t work against a defense with speed. This would normally be the part where I pointed out that having a freshman quarterback as your starter is never a good idea, but I really like not sleeping on the couch. What was particularly surprising was the successes that the Longhorns had against the Blackshirts- and this is a rebuilding year for Mack Brown’s team.

The missus was able to keep her sense of humor throughout, though, commenting that she wished that there were three more Acho brothers playing so there could be Acho Cinco. Your humble correspondent is grateful that his internal filter kept the “Nebraska can’t block the two that do exist” comment inside his head.

Wait- I just typed that. Crap. Well, the couch is closer to the TV…

Also in LaLa land, Southern Cal absolutely destroyed Cal. Bears, are you sure you want to cut baseball and your national champion rugby program to save this? I’d love to see the Trojans back into a conference title, which would make the bowl ban that much sweeter. Although, I’m sure that we’d see some “undefeated in bowl play” t-shirts around the beaches and traffic jams.

Speaking of memorabilia, I wonder if any Gator fans are interested in a “Three-peat” shirt after their loss to Mississippi State? I’m not following any of the Florida bulletin boards- are there any threads about “Urban’s not still retired, is he?” EDSBS has an interesting theory on what’s going on in Gainsville. Well, we all know what happened the last time Urban’s squadron lost to a team from the Magnolia state, right? I’m not thinking any repeat is probable.

Alabama rebounded to hold off Mississippi and Jeremiah Masoli. I tried to figure out how he could play for the Rebels without sitting out a year, but I guess I don’t have the right computers. Hey, Mississippi fans- congrats on the new mascot. Proud moment, I’m sure.

Undefeated against Spurrier. Seriously.

Kentucky upset the Old Ball Coach in front of whatever crowd had hung around campus after Big Blue Madness the night before. Nice to see Brian Hartline’s brother doing so well, and Spurrier returning to irrelevance. Kentucky fans should be aware that first year coach Joker Phillips is doing pretty well this season- as a refresher, it’s that sport that will be impacted for no reason when your basketball coach gets the athletic program in trouble.

Also on ESECPN, we were honored with a prestigious look at the reason this conference continues to win championships- quality defense. This week’s testimony to truth; Arkansas 42, Auburn 65. In regulation. I’m sure we’ll get some spin about the “high powered offenses”, but my vote is still firmly in the “Really? You think tackling someone might help a bit?” camp.

When was the last time Nebraska, Florida, and Ohio State all lost on the same weekend? I’d add Michigan to that mix, but Rich Rod has skewed the numbers so badly that a Wolverine loss isn’t that much of a statistical anomaly.

This week in Wolverine football- it was homecoming, so festivities abounded. Iowa looked a little pedestrian, especially given that their competition was the injury depleted and chronically inept Michigan defense. On offense, Denard ended up injured and out of the game, as the oracle foresaw. Tate came in and ended up winning the game for Iowa by throwing an interception. It’s nice to see that his time on the bench hasn’t negatively impacted his game whatsoever. Mich1gAAn fans are hopeful for a bowl game this season, and are pointing to one more win against Penn State/Illinois/Purdue to make that a reality. I appreciate their optimism, but wouldn’t be making any long term plans just yet- none of those teams are a pushover especially if the entirety of their offense continues to have injury problems.

Well, the coaching carousel officially warms up the calliope music: Tim Brewster- we hardly knew thee. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by the offensive coordinator- was the offense really doing all that well? Something to watch for- later this week, we’ll ask the cold-hearted Purdue bloggers about how it feels to end a man’s career.

As a public service (should count toward our mandatory hours), here are tBBC’s candidates for his replacement:

  • Mike Leach- Would increase the BTN’s ratings just for the post game interviews. Plus, it’s gotta be easy to find storage sheds in Minnesota, and pirates love lakes.
  • Mark Mangino- According to some, he’s a top candidate. Invest in Minneapolis area eateries accordingly.
  • Glen Mason- Savor the irony.
  • Bill Callahan- Since that’s the model for what Minnesota did when they canned Mason, might as well bring in the prototype.
  • Ty Willingham- Just look what Cholly did with TeeDub’s players in the first three seasons at South Bend, and what Sark is doing at UW with Ty’s guys.
  • Ron Prince- If only to make Spencer Hall happy.
  • Mike Belotti- Anything to get his butt out of the broadcast booth. We’d also get to see how good of a coach he is when he doesn’t have bucketloads of Nike cash to spend.
  • Lane Kiffin- I’m surprised he’s been at Southern Cal as long as he has.
  • Pete Carroll- Might make the jump back if he were frustrated by the NFL salary cap.
  • Lou Holtz/Mark May- Lou has Gopher ties, and it would be great to see these two put their expertise  to use. I’m sure Trev Alberts is available to be a coordinator or something.
  • Tony Dungy- Since we’re talking pipe dreams, he is an alum.

Elsewheres in the Top 25- Air Force also lost and everyone’s other favorite “BCS Buster” team, Nevada, fell to Hawaii. I still hold that the Wolfpack was only ranked as highly as they were in order to give Boise State a chance at another  “quality win”. Since we’re speaking about teams that I can’t figure out how they’re ranked, Oregon State lost to UW in double overtime. At least the Beavers had the guts to go for two.

The ineptitude files: LSU holds off McNeese State (seriously), and Indiana works like everything to beat Arkansas State.  Sure makes that Ohio State win last week (ah, the good old days) look a bit less impressive, doesn’t it? For comparison, the Red Wolves allowed 495 yards of total offense- the Wolverines allowed 480 yards passing alone.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Rutgers’ Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed from the neck down in this week’s win over Army.

Over in the world of smaller schools, Friends beat Peru 38-13.  Luckily the Bobcats band kept their spirits up after the loss.  Also, a BIG “Happy Birthday” to Rob, who got the gift that every coach wants with ODU’s first win of the season; a 20-10 victory over Findlay.

Is there a problem with the rankings, Dave?

The polls are out, and Ohio State has fallen to 11 in the AP and 10 in the Coaches’ poll- in the latter they’re still ranked ahead of Wisconsin somehow.  Interesting to see a 9/10 position drop, although LeCharles Bentley pointe this out last night. I’ll only add this- #1 Alabama loses, and it’s a sign of how solid the SEC is from top to bottom (although the team that beat them went on to lose to Kentucky). #1 Ohio State loses, and it’s a sign of how overrated they are (although the team that beat them has one loss- to an undefeated team).

For the sake of argument: Let’s say that Nebraska bounces back and beats Mizzou and then Oklahoma in the Big 12-2 championship, that Southern Cal figures out how to beat Oregon at home, and that the SEC East works itself out and is won by Alabama.  You ready for TCU versus Southern Idaho State in the BCS Championship? Whee. For more on the “wonder” that is SIS, check out our friend Joe’s post over at Say It Ain’t So, Joe.  Good stuff.

We are all Hawkeyes- Ohio State needs losses by Wisconsin and MSU to have any BCS hopes. Both have yet to play at Iowa; should they lose, the game in Iowa City in November might be for the Big Ten Title. Remember, all of this goes away next season with a conference championship game; the days of “well, we just don’t have them on our schedule this year” are gone. Sometimes change is a good thing.

Coming Attractions: The big game next week is the “Heartland Trophy” clash between Iowa and Wisconsin. Again, go Hawkeyes- although something about that trophy makes me a bit uncomfortable. Nebraska travels to Stillwater to match up against T. Boone Pickens U and their mature coach… the Cowboys are currently undefeated as well. Two undefeated contests this week- Oklahoma and Mizzou as well as Auburn and LSU. Michigan and Florida are guaranteed not to lose, while the Buckeyes look to get revenge for last year’s debacle in West Lafayette. We’ll obviously be talking more about this game over the coming week- let’s remember that the Boilers (like Illinois) always play Ohio State tough, no matter the venue.

Since we started this out with a dose of British silliness, it’s only fitting that we turn to the original BBC to wrap things up:

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Questions & Answers (3)
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  1. Question

    The answer to your question, oh esteemed leader, was 10/9/2004. That was the middle of that 3 game losing streak for the Buckeyes (specifically, Wisconsin…hey, how ’bout that!) Florida lost to LSU that day 24-21 (en route to a 7-5 season) and Nebraska lost 70-10 to Texas Tech (5-6 season record).

  2. Question

    Mali, very appropriate post for this Whacky Weekend. A good friend of mine is an avid Husker fan, I know he’s a little disjointed now, but it can’t be anything like in the Mali Household. Condolences..

    Re the SEC humjob by espn. Oh yeah, this Arkansas-Auburn game will be cast as The Clash of Two Titanic Offenses, no doubt. LCBentley nailed with his comment about media perceptions; ‘Bama just his a speed bump in their Road to Excellence. OSU just got hammered by by a slow, 1-loss midwestern team.

    The more I think about it, a MNC game between TCU and SIS would be sweet irony. I just hope their is something good on PBS or Discovery Channel that night.

    And yes, prayers for a full recovery to Eric LeGrand.

  3. Question

    truly splendid, indeed!


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