Seems like just yesterday we were shvitzin’ like pig on on a spit, waiting for autumn and college football. And here we are at Buckeye/ Wolverine weekend and wonder what’s happened to the glamor and excitement? Yawn.
The slumbering finale of last week’s Iowa/ Ohio State game was the season in microcosm. Tis a campaign that surely has Ara Parseghian smiling. In ’66, he had his Not So Fighting Irish play for a tie in that decade’s Game of the Century against Michigan State. And they succeeded. Wonder what Biggie Munn would have done, were he on the other sideline? (Which former Michigan State and Syracuse mentor I mention only because his is such a great name. Something also missing these days in sports.)
Who knew that Kirk Ferentz is as self contained as Mr. Vest Jim Tressel? In a tight game with the clock running down, both schools eschewed going for the win in regulation to play for a tie and overtime. Even the latter was B*O*R*I*N*G.
Which is, like I said, how nap inducing this season has been.
But I digress. I notched another 3-2 Saturday last week, thanks to the locals and the suddenly ferocious Pitt Panthers. Which puts the season tally at 32-23.
Louisville @ South Florida. Stop laughing. This one is far from a gimme. The Bulls looked like a squad ready for some time off last week at Rutgers. 0-31. Jim Leavitt’s teams know how to fall apart mid season. And thus they have trended that way again. You know things are bad at PJ’s when Coach Krack Me Up Kragthorpe’s press conferences are more exciting than his offense on the field. Despite the woes, there’s a part of me that has believed the Cards will pull it all together for one surprise. Truth: It ain’t gonna happen. Bulls survive in a snorefest that will have you heading out to Freedom Hall for tipoff sooner than you figured.
Oregon @ Arizona. Did my Quack look B*A*D in black last weekend or what? The Ducks know no haberdasherial bounds. They play as good as they look. Except against Boise and flavor of the month Stanford. This battle actually means something in terms of who plays in Pasadena. Mike Stoops’ Wildcats did themselves no favor, falling to roller coaster Cal last week. But they remain in the hunt. Which makes this perhaps Saturday’s spiciest match up. I have learned this lesson: Don’t Deny the Duck. Go Quack.
Stanford @ California. Speaking of The Cardinal, Harbaugh’s surging Pine Trees play their rivalry game this week away from home. One hopes the coach’s preparation isn’t clouded by visions of roaming the Papa John’s sideline next season. It could make for a rough afternoon. The Golden Bears have underachieved, but remain a test. I see a comeuppance and sad bus trip back to Palo Alto for Stanford. They’ll win the battle of the bands though.
Purdue @ Indiana. Danny Hope’s Boilermakers certainly have a better resume. They did beat the Buckeyes after all. The Hoosiers have been a tease all season, playing significantly better squads tough. But if ever there was a close but no cigar contingent, it’s the boys from Bloomington. This one’s just for the trophy. These teams be goin’ home after the game until spring practice. Well, break out the biscuits and apple butter in Brown County, Indiana will prevail.
Cleveland @ Detroit. I know, this is a pro game. At least the players get paid, even if these teams couldn’t crack college football’s Top 25. For someone born in Motown and who grew up idolizing Bobby Layne and Night Train Lane, and Otto Graham and Marion Motley on TV, it’s sad to see what’s happened to these franchises. These affairs used to be bloodbaths in the snow and cold. Now they’re yawners of little consequence, played indoors on carpet. Sigh. My man Jimmy Brown, an inveterate Cleveland fan, has been pointing to this one all season. As a Lions fan, frankly, I’ve been trying to look away. Sorry Jimmy. Detroit wins for their 2d W of the season.
– Seedy K