Sunday Morning QB: Cats Roar(k), Cards in Limbo, PAC 12 Punked

There is no more heartwarming pigskin story in these parts this autumn than that of instant UK football legend Matt Roark.

Anybody who ever played sports at any time in his/ her life, who toiled at right guard but longed to be the QB, or donned the tools of ignorance but longed to be the other battery mate and take the mound, or was one of the pine time sitting seven and desired to have the ball in his/ her hands at crunch time, is loving the story of Matt Roark.

The wide receiver, benched earlier in the season for lack of production and execution, took the reigns of the Wildcats’ simplified offense and beat Tennessee for the first time since, well, it seems like since “Rocky Top” was penned by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and recorded by the Osborne Brothers and adopted as anthem in Big Orange Country. Read: Kentucky hasn’t beaten Tennessee for a long, long, long time.

Thanks to Matt Roark, and an offensive line that stepped up big, the monkey is off their backs.

UK apparently entered the game with a simplified playbook, one less sophisticated than your basic Toy Bowl contender. But the team executed on both sides of the ball, though it did seem like Vol QB Tyler Bray had all day to throw the ball. That was of no matter. As pigskin deity Vince Lombardi always pontificated, it’s about execution. Run a few plays, but run ‘em well.

That’s what Kentucky did. That’s why the Cats won, 10-7.

Joker Phillips and his staff came up with a game plan, convinced their squad to keep its collective mouth shut and stole one from arch rival Tennessee. It was a disappointing year for Kentucky. But a boffo finale.

Good for them.

* * * * *

Thanks for nothing Syracuse.

If the Orangemen had won, they’d be bowl eligible. If they hadn’t blown an early lead yesterday at home against Cincinnati, Louisville would be headed to the Orange Bowl.

Instead, the injury-depleted Bearcats stayed strong, winning easily 30-13.

Now the Red & Black Nation has to become a major supporter of the UConn Huskies, who venture to Cincy this coming Saturday. A W by the carpetbaggers and Louisville still heads to F-L-A for the New Year. Should Cincy win, and West Virginia lose, the Cards are shit out of luck. The Bearcats hold the tiebreaker. Should the Mountaineers also prevail, Louisville would surely be one of the odd men out and headed somewhere other than South Beach. If the Cards can’t go, let’s hope it’s Cincinnati. At least the league will be represented by a league member.

All that contemplation aside, who among us would have thought that the Louisville Cardinals would have legit BCS hopes as December dawned?

* * * * *

The Big East has had its face smothered in egg all season. The league has been pilfered. The football played on the gridiron has been less than upper echelon. It doesn’t have a member anywhere in the BCS standings.

Yet, the conference everybody likes to diss might not be sending the least worthy contender to a big time bowl game.

Consider this. UCLA, which was thrashed last night by arch rival Southern Cal, 0-50 (That’s right, the Bruins were bashed 50 zed.), could play in the Rose Bowl. At 5-4 in the league, 6-6 overall, Rick Neuheisel’s mediocre squad qualified for the PAC-12 title game against Oregon. Should they somehow muster the ability to upset the Ducks, UCLA would be Rose Bowl bound.

Just when you think the BCS can’t get any more ridiculous, it proves it can. Season after season after season.

So, let me once again call for a 16 team playoff. (Skip to the next paragraph if you think you’ve read this before.) The winners of all the FBS leagues, plus enough at large spots to satisfy Mike Slive and his SEC cohorts.

This is such a no brainer, the mind boggles that there are entrenched forces that have held off what should be an inevitability for so long. Even the tobacco lobby should be jealous.

* * * * *

Speaking of absurd, back to the Big East for a moment.

The league’s best non-BCS bowl tie in is the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, this year to be played early in the evening of December 29.

Ah, but no Big East football member will participate. The bowl will surely choose, as it can by contract, that deity known as the University of Notre Dame.

The current Big East commish — I can’t even remember the fool’s name — deserves to be thrown overboard. But he can’t be blamed for this bowl situation. Somewhere along the way, one of his predecessors thought it a good idea to give away significant bowl berths to the Fighting Irish. And get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in return.

It reminds me of those insufferable commercials where the adults talk like babies and the guy in the office gives away his sandwiches for no reason whatsoever, because some comely co-workers coo at him.

* * * * *

Step up to the Podium of Shame, Cornelius Douglas.

The Texas Tech DB delivered far and away the dirtiest hit of the season.

At the end of a run last night, heralded Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, a legit Heisman candidate, was sliding, as QB’s do, at the end of an end run. At which point, Douglas lowered his head and aimed for Griffin’s. Unable to get low enough for a helmet to helmet smash, he, hurling himself with full force, forearmed Griffin’s head into the turf.

Were it my call, I’d say the junior, by his actions, had forfeited his upcoming senior season, meaning the rest of his collegiate career would be over.

* * * * *

Just wondering. What if Urban Meyer says no to Ohio State, and chooses to build the program at Memphis State?

Okay, just joking.

* * * * *

While I’ve said early and often that the whole BCS set up is BS, I have no problem with Alabama and LSU meeting again.

The Tide is actually benefiting at this juncture by its loss to the Tigers. Bama doesn’t have to play Georgia this week to secure that “national title” shot.

While I admire what Mark Richt and Georgia have done this season, I’d like to see the rematch. It happens all the time in the pros, why not in college? The two SEC schools do appear, flaws and all, the best of this year’s collegiate football crop.

Unless Okie State bashes the Sooners big this coming week. Now that would cause some bedlam.

* * * * *

How seriously amusing to watch Bobby Petrino, his Razorbacks drawn and quartered by LSU after holding a 14 nothing lead, point his finger at Les Miles across the field after a late LSU score.

Petrino, a great offensive mind and head coach, but a nasty man, never let up on the throttle that I recall.

This what he gets for choosing to coach Arkansas. His team may be the 3d best in all the land. It remains also the 3d best in its division of the SEC. But he will soon have Texas A & M and/ or Missouri to beat up on. So he’s got that goin’ for him. Which is good.

– Seedy K

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