Late last Saturday night, my Oregon Ducks made a breathless run — literally — but fell thanks to yet another college pigskin wide right. The Quack’s O is fast break football like none other. Bam. Bam. Bam. TDs in a matter of seconds. But . . . an L is an L is an L.
Vandy also let me down, coughing up a possible W over the Vols in OT.
But Louisville, Georgia and Rutgers came through. Which gives me a season tally of 37-23, heading into rivalry week.
Set ‘em up and let’s roll.
Arkansas @ LSU. Does the Friday after Turkey Day offer up anything better than this? Well, it did in ’84 when Doug Flutie flung that football into Gerard Phelan’s hands on the game’s final play for an amazing 47-45 W. If Friday’s swamp fight even approaches that, fans are in for the proverbial dandy. Unstoppable force — Bobby Petrino’s O — versus and Immovable Object — Les Miles’ D. Hey, pick your own metaphor. There are those BCS ramifications. (In a proper world, both schools would be slated for a post season playdown, but, hey, don’t get me started.) I know the Razorbacks were throttled in Tuscaloosa, but, still, should they really be a 12 1/2 point dog? I certainly don’t think so. LSU nonetheless is a mighty force. Especially on its own turf. Praise the Lord, pass the turducken and laissez les bon temps roulez!
Ohio State @ Michigan. Didn’t this game used to mean something? I mean really have national stature beyond these adjoining Rust Belt states? Yes, it did. But Bo and Woody aren’t roamin’ those sidelines anymore. Brady Hoke has brought the Wolverines back to the brink of respectability. Heck, with Blue’s alumni base, they’re liable to get a BCS nod. Meanwhile Luke Fickell is about to become an easily forgotten footnote in Buckeye lore. Strange things happen in these games. That said, Ohio State, awaiting the arrival of savoir Pope Urban, is less itself these days, while Michigan has made a turn. Hail to the Victors.
Purdue @ Indiana. If you’re asking yourself, is this the first time I’ve considered a Hoosier pigskin encounter here, the correct answer would be, “Why, yes, it is.” If there’s a less relevant sports program in these parts than IU football, you are going to have to show me. Okay, Atherton Rebel football, but other than that. The Boilermaker program is also in disarray. Neither Len Dawson nor Bob Griese is going to be under center for this one. But Purdue has won three Big 10,11,12 games and would meet the magic mark of bowl eligibility, should it prevail in this one. IU hasn’t won since there were leaves on the trees and humidity in the air, i.e. September. And they won’t win this one either.
Tennessee @ Kentucky. UK actually showed some life last week between the hedges. Something they haven’t done in this rivalry game since Abe Lincoln was rocking in his mama’s cradle in that cabin on Knob Creek Farm. Should the Cats lose yet again, it is legit to ask whether Joker’s job is as safe for the time being as his boss indicated a few weeks ago? Tennessee’s not very good now, but still had enough to pull one out against Vandy in OT last week on a pick 6. I’ve checked, and the last time these teams played at Commonwealth, I predicted UK would break this most embarrassing losing streak. Am I going to make the same mistake twice? Perhaps. We’ll see. Cats will win and Joker, it will be okay to be answering the phone after this one’s over.
Louisville @ South Florida. There are three prerequisites for U of L to qualify for an improbable BCS bid to the Orange Bowl. Pitt needs to lose, and it is a 7 point dog at West Virginia. Cincinnati needs to lose, either this week at Syracuse, or next week against UConn. And U of L needs to beat South Florida, for the first time ever in the Sunshine State. It won’t take long for us to know if the Cards do their part. They kick off at 11:00 on Friday, before the tryptophan toxicity has worn off. I’m not sure I really believe it’s going to happen. But I can’t do anything to aid bad karma. Thus I pick the Cards to beat the Bulls. (If the Cards do that, I believe the other cards will fall in place and we can spend New Year’s in Miami.)
– Seedy K