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The Week That Were: 10.22.11

There are lots of options for today’s soundtrack, but I’m going with this one for reasons that should be clear later.

Apologies for the tardiness of this week’s recap…  you say “bye week”, I say “rock climbing trip to the beach“. So, yeah… I didn’t get to see what might be the play of the season in the B1G. If you’re like me and have been living under or on a rock, a) I’m sorry and b) here’s how it went down:

The game was a great one for college football fans, and for the conference overall… for the national audience to see such a back and forth game between two top teams can’t help but counteract the “B1G And Slow” meme that seems to linger no matter the quality of the programs within the conference.The B1G also gave us the hit of the week, from Purdue of all places:


Granted, the Boiler game was a surprise overall- a once stalwart Illini team has dropped two in a row, and has a defense that has been shredded first by the run and then by the pass. It can’t be just the Zookster, can it? I mean… who ever would think that teams coached by El Rono would under perform as a season went along?

Staying in the midwest… Congratulations to coach Joe Paterno, as Penn State’s win against Northwestern tied him with Grambling’s Eddie Robinson as the winning-est coach in Division 1 history (behind only Coach Gagliardi at St. John’s in D3, who’s still active with over 470 victories). Given that Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin all loom on the schedule, it’s unknown if he will break the record, but there are reasons to believe that this is Coach Paterno’s last season. If it happens, you heard it here first… if not, I’m just as wrong as all the other people who’ve made similar predictions for the past 20 years.

New conference member Nebraska came back from it’s bye week to yet another bye week, this one in the form of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.  You know how a picture speaks a thousand words?  This is your game summary.

Not all the laffs were in Minneapolis during this past week’s slate of games- the battle for the awkwardly shaped trophy ended up with what’s being called the “biggest win of Lane Kiffin’s career“. Personally, I’d have held that distinction for the “nothing to see here” decision from the NCAA about his Tennessee tenure. Picture, thousand words, etc.:

Luck of the Irish

Also in the PAC-12, Thursday night’s game will forever be remembered for the “Streaker Brawl“, but in sticking with our “one play defines a game” theme, I’m picking this one as the moment that stands out. Actually, I take that back- that play pretty much defines the Rick Neuheisel era… remind me again how he has a job?

I know that this is Ohio State’s “Super awesome pro combat uniform week”, but you can count me amongst those who are ready for this trend to be over. This week’s evidence, Exhibit A and Exhibit B. And that doesn’t even count the wedding dress look that Oklahoma State pulled against Mizzou… although, they could literally be wearing bridesmaid dresses and still roll up the points- their big victory came with both of their top receivers missing time against the Tigers.

And they stand alone at the top of the Big Integer’s BCS slot, after “Big Game Bob” once again found himself on the wrong side of the scoreboard. This is no critique of the Red Raider program… I won’t dare anger the TTU gods, given what they can do. To be honest, this latest loss by the Sooners frustrates me; I was looking for a post-season with multiple undefeated teams: Wisconsin dropped the ball, and LSU/Alabama are guaranteed a loss; this sets up a possible soul crushing collapse by TBPU to hamper my “We need a playoff!” scheme.

Although… come to think about it- What if Oregon beats Stanford, MSU wins out, LSU wins against the Tide and falls in the conference championship game, TBPU loses the Bedlam Game , and South Carolina also derails state rival Clemson. You’d end up, quite possibly, with Boise and Houston undefeated and the following teams with one loss: LSU, Alabama, Michigan State, Clemson, Oregon, Stanford, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma . Wheeeeeee!

Of course, there are those that are hoping for LSU/Bama to win out and an Oklahoma State/Stanford loss, as this might lead to an all SEC matchup in the title game. Two questions about this, though- 1) Will the winning fans still spell “SEC! SEC!” when they win? and 2) Given that all fans present will be from that conference, who will help them spell it?

Small schools- Ohio Dominican won, while APU dropped their second game of the year in a collapse that might remind Buckeye fans of the game in Lincoln. Anderson’s Ravens still couldn’t find their second win of the season, and Pepperdine remains undefeated.

Big games coming up this week: The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party has lost some panache, but still has import to Gator and Bulldog fans. Nebraska hosts Michigan State in a battle that will determine the frontrunner of the Legends’ Division, while the Sooners look to rebound against the undefeated Kansas State Wildcats.  Cal and UCLA play for the rights for the fight song (seriously… same song), while Stanford and USC meet up to determine what’s the other guy’s deal.

And the Buckeyes? They are now the children of destiny and survivors of sorts (told you I’d come back to it). The season has started again… they hold their opportunities at winning yet another conference title in their hands, and it all starts with Homecoming against Wisconsin.

Let’s just hope that they make the most of their moment, rather than just being happy to be close.

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