Because of its overtime rules, one team always wins in college football, and one team always loses. It’s the essence of the game. (Don’t get me started on the NFL’s stupid and illogical OT process.)
But there are teams and coaches that not only lose -- or every so often prevail -- which still have regrettable weekends.
Like Chip Kelly, one time offensive savant, who has gone from Quackus Maximus in Eugene to Bruinius Minimus in Westwood. His offensive prowess has been apparently lost along the way and his punchless UCLA squad fell for the first time in forever to San Diego State.
Like Louisiana Monroe’s placekicker, who shall remain nameless, who missed that conversion in OT that would have kept the Warhawks alive against Florida State. And, for that matter, the peripatetic Willie Taggert -- three schools in the last four years -- who may very well be on the move yet again if his Seminoles keep blowing big leads. Keep the moving vans on speed dial, dude, your old office at South Florida might be vacant soon.
Like the under-suicide-watch whole sovereign state of Rocky Top, which has turned Felice and Boudleaux Bryant’s bluegrass classic into the most incessant and reviled fight song in sports.
And, like yours truly, whose picks of Texas (So much for turning off the visitor’s locker room AC), and Nebraska (Perhaps Scott Frost should never have claimed that national crown at UCF), and Syracuse (Is Maryland the yang to Tennessee’s yin, or vice versa?), all were ill advised.
(And, to those negatitudinists who contacted me personally for besmirchment -- I’m talking about you Badger Billy and Doppelgänger Boris -- let’s see how all this plays out over the season.)
But the locals came through as predicted. 2-3 for the weekend, leaving me on the plus side for the season at 7-5.
This week’s winners:
TCU @ Purdue. Back in yesteryore, in the days of my youth, when, if we were lucky, there’d be one game to watch on our B/W 13” TV, which would be followed by a Scoreboard Show, displaying the results of what were to me then exotic sounding, faraway schools. Like Texas Christian and Southern Methodist. Well, the Horned Frogs are now, in contemporary nomenclature, known as TCU. And, have been pretty consistently good under Gary Patterson in the last half decade, though they had to whip Cal in the Cheez-It Bowl last year to go 7-6. A 39-7 W over Arkansas Pine Bluff doesn’t tell us much. While Boilermaker QB Elijah Sindelar proved worthy of calling signals at Drew Brees U. with a 5 TD, 509 yard air raid over Vandy. But, he’s being monitored with a “slight” concussion, as if there is such a creature. Who is willing to bet he doesn’t play? Not me. Purdue may again score a lot of points, thank you Rondale, but Nick Holt’s oft porous D will give up more.
Florida State @ UVa. I almost went to a UVa football game once. I was matriculating at university down the road, and ended up with a bunch of pals and a blind date driving to Charlottesville for the day. Instead of heading to watch football, I was in some frat house where nobody knew who we were but didn’t kick us out anyway, trying to bust a move on the young lady from Mary Baldwin. The question is whether the Seminoles will show up at Scott Stadium? If so, will it be for the entire game, unlike their first two? The Cavaliers W at Pitt was one of the more impressive victories of Week I. Bronco Mendenhall’s tenure at Thomas Jefferson U. has been a steady uptick, from 2-10 > 6-7 > 8-5 and a shutout of the Gamecocks in the Belk Bowl. One team’s rising, one ain’t. Has Monticello ever been toilet papered?
North Carolina @ Wake Forest. Let’s clear up something before we get to this suddenly intriguing ACC battle, albeit officially “non-conference.” Reliable sources both in Chapel Hill and in the entertainment biz have confirmed that, contrary to rumors otherwise, Mac Brown has not been contacted by Dancing with the Stars, and will not resigning his coaching position after his seriously surprising 2-0 second coming at the helm of the Tar Heels, and the attendant post-game shuffles, to go swirling and whirling on ABC. Beating Will Muschamp hasn’t proved to be very difficult. And Manny Diaz, it turns out, might prove the same. But the Tar Heels were 2-9 last season, so opening Ws over South Carolina and Miami, with a real frosh QB in the baby blues, are legitimately impressive. Despite year in and year out mediocrity, the Demon Deacons have won three bowl games in a row, and stand 2-0 after a couple of intersectional conquests. In honor of my old runnin’ podner, Johnny C, who played TE end for WF back in the day, I’m going with the Demon Deacons.
Florida @ Kentucky. What we have here is the first indicator whether the magic that had been percolating in Mark Stoops first five campaigns in the Bluegrass, and burst forth last year with a 10-3 year and W over the Nittany Lions in the Citrus Bowl, will continue? Or was it an aberration? Reality: Josh Allen will not be taking the field against the Gators. Nor will Benny Snell. Nor starting QB Terry Wilson, injured and out for the year. Come on down Sawyer Smith, it’s your time to play. Will the Troy transfer be up to the task in his first start for the Cats at Kroger Field? Reality: UK lost 31 in a row to Florida before last season’s win. Last time UK beat Saturday’s visitors twice in a row was ‘76 and ‘77. Gators QB Feleipe Franks isn’t in the same conversation as any of his Heisman predecessors. Far from it. But he should have enough support to carry the day.
Louisville vs. Western Kentucky (Nashville). With due diligence and exhaustive research, I was able to confirm earlier this week that this Hilltopper home game (even though it’s in NashVegas) will be available to watch by streaming on the interweb for those not heading to Music City. At watchstadium.com. So, there’s your public service announcement for the day. (Though, frankly, providing you with these sure winners on a weekly basis is a public service unto itself.) Louisville’s 1-1 start, with a solid performance against Notre Dame and undermanned EKU, has both the team and the Cardinal community invigorated. Scott Satterfield has proven to be more than just a breath of fresh air. Despite some flaws, especially the passing game, U of L has shown grit and guts. Along with speed and innovation. Saturday’s battle is the Cards to lose. They won’t.
-- Seedy K