Boom. Roasted. -- The Monday Morning College Football Roast
Boom. Roast time
Through the first few weeks of the football season, I had been combining my foremost thoughts and remembrances of the weekend that was in football -- Texans, college, and general NFL -- into the ever popular "4 Winners, 4 Losers" post.
However, now we've got three weeks of college football in the books. Conference games become the main course next weekend (as opposed to the sporadic appetizers we get the first three weeks). Dreams are being shattered, legacies forming on the college gridiron every Saturday. And "4 Winners, 4 Losers" just isn't big enough to contain my college and pro football musings anymore.
So much like WWE splitting its roster into the then-separate Raw and Smackdown brands a decade ago, I am doing a brand extension of my own. Going forward, "4 Winners, 4 Losers" will be my NFL-only weekly post.
We will give college football its own post. In honor of Michael Scott (goddamn, does The Office miss you, MGS), I give you "Boom. Roasted. -- The Monday Morning College Football Roast," a post where cynicism and negativity will flourish, and where even positivity will be shrouded in a veil of cynicism and negativity.
It's how we do in 2012!
So let's get you pumped up with a little Michael Scott...
...and let's get the MMR started, shall we? Six people, places, or things to whom the college football gods gave an atomic wedgie this past weekend:
6. My "University of Houston OVER 9 1/2 wins +160" ticket I don't have any statistical backup for this, but I'm going to guess that the elimination of the mathematical possibility of winning a futures wager after the first three fucking weeks of the season has got to be some kind of record. And who fired on that bet? Who backed the Coogs? THESE Coogs? These rookie head coach-led, no-Case-Keenum-having, defensively challenged, no-tackling Coogs.
The moral of the story: I am a goddamned idiot.
5. The Big Ten's BCS title picture relevance Maybe I can spring for a double funeral -- my Houston OVER 9/12 wins ticket and the Big Ten's national title hopes. With Notre Dame's 20-3 manhandling of Michigan State in East Lansing Saturday night, the Big Ten's last hope at some modicum of relevance in the BCS title chase went out the window with a whimper.
Behold the Big Ten's representation in the coaches' poll that came out on Sunday:
17. Michigan (2-1) 20. Michigan State (2-1) 22. Nebraska (2-1) 24. Wisconsin (2-1...more on this in a second)
(NOTE: Not that they're all that tutti frutti either, but Ohio State is 3-0 but ineligible for the postseason. They barely beat a Cal team that lost to Nevada at home in Week One, for what it's worth.)
To me, the most embarrassing footage for the Big Ten is the final minute or so of this highlight reel of Wisconsin's last-second win at home over Utah State, where the Badgers celebrate an Aggie missed field goal like they just won the Rose Bowl:
Apparently, former Badger offensive coordinator Paul Chryst took his magical "plow through shitty opponents like a tank through shrubbery" recipe book with him when he left for Pitt (and until yesterday's Pitt-Virginia Tech game, it appeared the movers had misplaced it).
4. Coaches poll tomfoolery Speaking of Wisconsin, somehow their body of work is considered by the 59 coaches who vote in the USA Today poll to be good enough to be ranked 24th in the nation -- THIS body of work:
* 26-21 win at home over Northern Iowa * 10-7 loss at Oregon State * 16-14 close shave win at home over Utah State
So 2-0 against an FCS school and a WAC (I think?) school by a combined total of seven points, and a loss to a Pac-12 school that went 3-9 last season -- that's good enough for 24th.
Houston head coach Tony Levine is one of the coaches who votes in the USA Today poll. He was in studio with John Granato and me during the offseason, and I asked him point blank a) whether he fills out the ballot himself (the dirty little not-so-secret is that SID's at many schools handle the voting duties) and b) if he puts a lot of thought into it. He maintains that a) he does fill out his own ballot and b) he takes it very seriously.
While I don't doubt that Levine is being truthful on both counts (and this rant is not meant to pick on Levine), how is it functionally possible for him or any coach to put any time into truly evaluating a small fraction of the relevant teams, let alone all of the relevant teams, in time to submit their ballot for tabulation Sunday morning?
For example, Levine finished up coaching his team to a 37-6 loss to UCLA at about one in the morning Eastern Time last night. At least half the teams that matter were playing between the time his team left the hotel for the stadium and the time they finished their game.
Now, I'm going to make a couple of assumptions here, and tell me if I'm off base:
1. I'm going to assume that Levine was unable to watch highlights of other teams' games (nor cared to) on the flight home 2. I'm going to assume that he didn't watch highlights as soon as he got back to Houston at about six in the morning.
The new poll is revealed around lunchtime on Sunday, so if I'm right about the assumptions above, presumably Levine's ballot (and that of every other coach who played in the evening) HAS to be a miss mosh of checking scores, seeing who in the top 25 won, holding those teams in place (or if they beat a team above them actually IN the Top 25, maybe moving them up a few notches, a la Stanford and Notre Dame this week), dropping everyone who lost by seven to ten spots, and hitting SEND.
The system is as broken as broken gets, and thankfully it is on its death bed. You suck, system!
3. Tyler Wilson's grade in public speaking Remember Tim Tebow's "promise speech" in 2008? Florida had just sustained an early season loss to Ole Miss, and in an effort to inspire his teammates and foster accountability, Tebow put himself and his teammates out there. It was national title or bust. And it worked. Remember?
So have you ever wondered what the exact opposite of Tebow's promise speech would sound like? Well, wonder no more! I give you Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson who, on Saturday, after having to sit through a 52-0 shellacking at the hands of Alabama on the sideline with a shoulder injury, got off this season-smothering gem in the post game:
"It's my responsibility as a leader to keep everybody in this organization, on this team, in that locker room TOGETHER." YES! Bridge-burning speeches that throw your teammates under the bus are always the best way to accomplish that!
And if you're wondering who put him up to it...
...it was ME, Arkansas! It was ME all along! BWAHAHAHA!!
Which reminds me.... 2. Some unsuspecting motorcycle and volleyball at an SEC school to be named later (a/k/a schools who are sending a fruit basket to Bobby Petrino to begin courtship) Harley Davidson dealers, blonde volleyball players, and real estate agents in the following markets, start putting your Petrino proposals together:
- KNOXVILLE, TN: The Vols allowed 24 unanswered points in the second half of a 37-20 home loss to Florida in the first game that the Vols had entered as a ranked team since 2008.
- LEXINGTON, KY: Kentucky staked claim to the title of "third best team in Kentucky" by losing in overtime to Western Kentucky 32-31 at home.
- AUBURN, AL: Gene Chizik barely escaped the embarrassment of an 0-3 start by downing Louisiana-Monroe in overtime, preventing UL-M from moving to a 2-0 record in de facto SEC West play. And finally....
- FAYETTEVILLE, AR: After the aforementioned 52-0 loss to Alabama, I don't think I can put it any better than Clay Travis of outkickthecoverage.com:
How many Arkansas fans right now would allow Bobby Petrino to sleep with their own wives to get him back?
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) September 15, 2012
1. The Big East 2013-ACC 2013 "arms race" For those of you wondering why the ACC cut Notre Dame the "all-in on Olympic sports/quasi-football partnership" deal that they did (and seriously, if any of you have to wonder about this, I hope for your kids' sakes that a complete lack of common sense is a recessive gene), perhaps one of many
unadmitted reasons was to distract the television networks and general public from the fact that the ACC is almost as shitty football-wise as the Big East.
Yeah, you have Florida State and Clemson, both of whom we actually still know very little about (Save your "We beat Auburn" crap, Clemson. Auburn blows.), but consider that in head-to-head match ups with the Big East this past weekend, here's how it went for the ACC:
- Louisville smoked North Carolina 39-34 in a game where Louisville was up by three touchdowns for most of the day.
- Connecticut exacted revenge on former Husky head coach Randy Edsall by defeating Maryland 24-21 (and then leaving town without saying goodbye to him).
- Pittsburgh dominated Virginia Tech from wire to wire 35-17. ACC saving grace of this game? Pitt is moving to the ACC next season. Reality check on Pitt? The Big East's Cincinnati slapped them around like a Pop Warner team ten days ago.
By the way, the ACC's being proud of Pitt and Syracuse joining their conference for football next season is very funny to me. From a qualitative standpoint, ACC fans (assuming there are such a thing) puffing their chests about thieving Big East teams is like White Castle bragging about stealing recipes from Long John Silver's.
The Big East might even be able to puff its own chest out for a few days, have a brief moment in the sun, savor the weekend...until you look at these results from some of their future members on Saturday:
- UCLA 37, Houston 6 - Texas A&M 48, SMU 3 - Middle Tennessee State 48, Memphis 30 - Penn State 34, Navy 7 - San Diego State 49, North Dakota 41 (may as well be a loss)
Seriously, for 2013, the Big East should have just picked up Boise State as a football partner and been done with it. With shitty football, teams like Houston and SMU bring nothing to the table. Oh wait, sorry...they bring big television markets in which nobody watches them.
That apparently matters in 2012.
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.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.
- Game Control: Just How Overwhelmed Have The 2015 Houston Texans Been?
- Report: Antiabortion Law Leads to Longer Wait Times at Clinics
- Harden 2.0: How James Harden Became Houston’s Biggest Crossover Sports Celebrity