As I type this, I'm sitting in the Reliant Stadium press box after the Texans' 38-14 win over the Titans on Sunday afternoon, and admittedly it's incredibly difficult to focus on writing about college football -- partially because of the four television screens showing the late games and partially because my mind is racing thinking about how special a football season this is becoming.
Two quick thoughts on those Houston Texans and then I'll get down to roasting a few college football thoughts:
1. How good is this Texans team? Well, they won 38-14 and it feels like they have more than enough to correct in practice this week. (And if you want me to come up with one for each area how about interior run defense, short-yardage situations on offense, and trying to bust Trindon Holliday loose for a big return on special teams.)
2. After each game, the media schedules Gary Kubiak and typically four Texan players (whichever four figured most prominently into the game) to meet with the media in the team's amphitheater one at a time. Today, there was Kubiak, and then just two players -- Matt Schaub and J.J. Watt. That was it. While it was probably coincidental, I thought it was appropriate because this is their team now -- Schaub's team on offense, Watt's team on defense. Those are the two most valuable, most indispensable, and flat-out best players for the Texans on either side of the ball. Period.
Okay, a few leftovers from the college football weekend...
Replacement refs, good job, good effort... Wait, I lied. One more NFL-related note. How excited are teams to have the regular referees back in the fold? Well, for the first time ever in the Texans press box we were handed a one-pager listing all of the officials assigned to the game. I had never seen this happen before. Maybe it's new standard procedure, but I'd like to take it for what I really think it is -- the equivalent of a "welcome back", ticker tape parade in about as buttoned-down a place as there is on the planet, the Texans' press box.
Check out our Texans slideshow.
Okay, NOW onto some college football....
Edit-gate The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated a reeling Michigan Spartan squad 17-16 in East Lansing, sending them spinning out of the top 25 and keeping alive the very real possibility that the Big Ten's best team in 2012 will be done with their season in late November because of probation. But the big story coming out of this game was Michigan State's defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi claiming that Ohio State edited the game film it was required to send in advance of the game so Michigan State could prepare for the Buckeyes. Narduzzi contends that the Buckeyes' crack videography staff removed all the shifts and motions from the offensive film, leaving behind only the portions from the snap and the actual play. On top of that, the Spartans purportedly had to contact other programs who'd played the Buckeyes to get correct film.
It's my contention, by the way, that this is exactly how soap operas are pieced together. I think every soap opera is really just a porno movie with the actual porno scenes edited out, leaving behind the horrific amateur acting, flimsy story lines, and dimestore cinematography.
As for the Spartans, I'm fairly certain that the Buckeyes' defense could have informed the MSU offense exactly which defensive schemes they were running before each play and the Spartans would STILL only score 16 points.
Boom. Roasted. Sportsbooks love the top 10 this past weekend It's widely accepted that the general public tends to bet on favorites, especially "square" (fun gambling word for "amateur" or "amateur-like") bettors. With so many teams in college football, the tendency for wagerers is to gravitate toward what they know, and they tend to "know" the top teams. The public got fat on this trend last season, when favorites in the top ten were covering at an ungodly rate. Sportsbooks couldn't make the lines high enough.
Well, if you bet that way this weekend, you flat out got destroyed. Observe:
1. Alabama, beat Ole Miss 33-14 (favored by 31) 2. Oregon, beat Washington State, 51-26 (favored by 31) 3. LSU, beat Towson, 38-22 (favored by the amount of the national debt) 4. Florida State, beat South Florida 30-17 (favored by 17) 5. Georgia, beat Tennessee 51-44 (favored by 14) 6. South Carolina, beat Kentucky 38-17 (favored by 20) 7. Kansas State, IDLE 8. Stanford, lost to Washington 17-13 (favored by 8) 9. West Virginia, beat Baylor 70-63 (favored by 12) 10. Notre Dame, IDLE
That's 1-7 against the spread, but 7-1 straight up! So, other than Stanford, they were all kind enough to win their games straight up, but not kind enough to help you bettors who showed supreme confidence in them in the most clarifying way possible, with your money. And that's just plain selfish, I say!
Arkansas... So Razorback fans....jeez, what can I even say? Anything more now would be piling on. Is it possible to fire an interim head coach? Is it possible that the preseason number eight team in the country will lose to either Kentucky (who had a pulse for three quarters against South Carolina) or Ole Miss (who tussled with Bama for a while Saturday)? Seriously, if your life depended on Arkansas sweeping Kentucky and Ole Miss at home in a couple weeks, how much additional life insurance would you be purchasing?
Arkansas, you're just so fucking terrible. Boom. Roasted.
West Virginia I remember this past February at the combine (or maybe it was at his personal workout for pro scouts in March), everyone was making a big to-do over the fact that Andrew Luck completed 46 of 50 passes against nobody. Against air. (You'd think pro scouts would have learned their lesson when the Detroit Pistons fell in love with Darko Milicic after watching him work out against a bunch of chairs. Yes, chairs.) Well, West Virginia's Geno Smith completed 45 of 51 for 656 yards on Saturday in an actual game. Granted, it was against Baylor's defense, which is one step above "air," but still impressive any way you slice it.
Now, the Mountaineers head to Austin in what will probably be a much more "Welcome to the Big 12, boys" kind of environment than the cushy lair of their own home field against Baylor's defense. The Mountaineers, to their credit, seem to realize that they have some things they need to fix post haste. Said safety Darwin Cook: "I felt like [we were] Clemson's defense or something."
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Um...boom. Roasted, Clemson.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.