Sunday Afternoon QB: Maximum Pigskin Punditry

At the outset, I feel compelled to advise that I’m blogging while wearing, for the first time, my Strom Thurmond High School long sleeve t-shirt. It was given to me by a friend who has moved to that vicinity near South Carolina. I trust I’m the only one on my block with such an item of apparel.

The school’s nickname is, as you have surely guessed, the Rebels. And we’re talking Confederate Rebels. (Unlike my alma mater, J.M. Atherton H.S., whose Rebels were in fact Confederate Rebels during my matriculation decades ago. But, somewhere along the way, during a fit of political correctitude, JMA’s Rebel became a Revolutionary War Rebel, a conflagration about which I shall make no further comment.)

Anyway, be advised that SHHS’s Rebels stand 4-0 on the season after Friday’s 42-14 shellacking of Silver Bluff. As for Atherton’s Rebels, well . . . it’s time to move on to more serious pigskin observations.

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Okay, one more parenthetical before I regale you with observations of Saturday’s action.

As I write, I am savoring the wonderfulness that is the NFL Red Zone. Thank you Time Warner and NFL Network for cutting the deal. I shall not disparage big time corporata and the greed attendant thereto for at least the rest of this day.

This NFL Network feature is, simply stated, the greatest development for football fans since the invention of pizza delivery not DeGiorno. All the action. None of the commercials. Non stop football on Sundays from 1:00 until the afternoon games are complete.

It’s especially marvelous for people like me, who don’t have such an allegiance to one team, that we need to see the entirety of a particular game. It might be an anathema for purists who need to observe the ebb and flow of a particular game — you know who you are, Ron Jaworski. And, perhaps, those who revel in dissecting one on one matchups along the line as a game progresses.

In this household, autumn Sundays are all about Red Zone. When it comes to the pros, I’m a highlight kind o’ guy.

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I must mention the Big MAC Attack.

Yesterday, coming from all directions, Midwestern Athletic Confernce members — Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Ball State — continued the league’s stellar autumn performance against the big boys. The Cardinals continued South Florida’s woes. Skip Holtz is now on the Dead Man Walking list, after his Bulls lost 27-31. The Huskies beat Rock Chalk Charlie Weis, 30-23. The Chippewas slipped past Iowa, 32-31. The Broncos bested UConn, 30-24.

Just to remind you of previous work by league members: Ohio 24, Penn State 14. Ball State 41, Indiana 39.

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Willie Taggert is now obviously Flavor of the Month.

Other than against the nation’s two best teams, Bama and LSU, his Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have been unbeatable since the middle of last season.

Yesterday with Family Harbaugh in the house, the Toppers battered Southern Mississippi, 42-17.

I gotta ask: How long will his heart be in Bowling Green?

By the by,’s Power Poll has the Toppers ranked 17th in the nation. (U of L, ranked 10th after beating UK, are not on the list.)

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The flip side is Joker Phillips.

That his offense didn’t have a QB ready to play against Florida is — there’s no other descriptor — inexcusable.

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How the power has shifted in the Big Ten.

The numerically challenged league’s two best teams appear to be newcomer Nebraska and . . . Northwestern. Undefeated Northwestern.

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It appears as if those ugly rumors about Bob Stoops are true.

The Boomer Sooner mentor has misplaced his ability to win big games. Yesterday Oklahoma lost at home to the nation’s most underrated team, Kansas State’s undefeated Wildcats.

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Oregon continues to prove that there’s no end to the imagination of Phil Knight’s uniform design department. The always sartorially resplendent Quack remain the haberdashers’ favorite team. And a mighty fine one on the field, as well as in the dressing room.

Yesterday’s victim, to the tune of 49-0, Arizona’s Rich Rods. The Ducks, by the by, have leapfrogged LSU, and now sit second in the two major polls.

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Yo, John L, how’s that job you gave up at Weber State lookin’ now?

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Louisiana Tech is a really glossy 3-0. The Bulldogs, who only in the contemporary world of cockamamie college confederations would be members of the Western Athletic Conference, have scored 50+ in their three wins.

Yesterday, La Tech tallied 52, holding Illinois to just 24.

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A couple of TV notes.

I still don’t understand the deal with ESPN3. The World Wide Leader has many exclusives it chooses to run on computers and mobile devices exclusively. Like last night’s U of L vs. FIU encounter.

During these games, which I believe are being shown nowhere else, they take the usual absurd number of commercial timeouts. Yet, no commercials are shown during the game. They now run trivia questions on the screen during the delays in play.

I certainly am not going to complain about the lack of ads. But . . . why the delays in the game?

I’m also dismayed by the increasing number of big games being shown against each other on Saturday night. Last evening there was Florida State/ Clemson on one network, Notre Dame/ Michigan on another and Kansas State/ Oklahoma with Gus Johnson and Erin Andrews on another.

Yo, network poobahs, we junkies watch games before sundown too.

One Comment

  1. Wildcat
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    The Silver Bluff which was lit up by Strom Thurmond was named that by none other than a guy named DeSoto who I think owned a defunct car company back in the fifties.

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