Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's just a jump to the left...

Saturday's game at Purdue felt so much like something out of the mid-90s that I almost checked at halftime to make sure I had a tape in the VCR recording the game: Maddening offense that alternated between effective, and bleech; defense that looked adequate against a Purdue offense that couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat; bad weather that chased most of the normally sparse Boilermaker crowd; a gaggle of turnovers for both teams; and just enough points to win an ugly, ugly game. It was definitely not a thing of beauty, but given the way the last three years have gone, we'll take any win we can get.
- It was nice to see the defense play well, but I'm not sure we can read anything into this game, it looked like Purdue shot itself in the foot time and time again. I'm not sure they had a QB on the roster who could throw the ball more than 20 yards. The next two(three) offenses will face will bear no resemblance to this one.
-Denard is continuing to make bad decisions in the passing game. It's funny that a guy who is such a good runner seems unwilling to tuck it and run instead of trying to force a pass.
-Had an interesting conversation with my 8-year old son during the game. After Michigan scored late to go up 11, he announced, "We can't lose this game now, we're gonna win." Being a grizzled college football I get superstitious about things like that, so I said, "I wish you hadn't said that"
"Why Not?"
"Because you could jinx us"
"But we're still going to win aren't we?"
"Well, you never know what's going to happen, so you don't announce that we're going to win until it's a sure thing"
"But I'm sure we're going to win."

I guess he's just have to suffer some sort of catastrophic loss to understand the superstition of a veteran fan.
-Weird day in the Pac Ten - Cal almost beats Oregon, ASU almost beat Stanford, and Washington State wins their first conference road game since 2007.
-There is probably gonna be a few people who will get unfairly punished in the whole Cam Newton saga. None of them are from Auburn. Based on what we've heard, I tend to think that Newton was probably bought and paid for. I don't think Miss. State would've reported any of this if they didn't feel they had to protect their interests. That suggests that some, if not all of what they are reporting is true. I don't buy the idea that Newton (or his dad, or a representative for his family) would have asked MSU for money, and not Auburn. Even if they didn't ask Auburn for money, there is no way that Auburn would have taken a kid kicked out of Florida (how bad do you have to fuck up to get kicked off a Gator team that is considering replacing their defensive coordinator with a defense counsel?) without learning absolutely everything about him. Auburn probably knew Newton was looking for a handout and knew that would make him ineligible. They probably knew about his academic cheating episodes at UF. That alone would have made him untouchable at any school where the idea of a student athlete is not a joke. They choose to take him anyway, and probably paid to do so. They and Newton deserve any punishment they get.
-Another interesting item about the Newton thing is the reports of the FBI being involved. I don't think the FBI would get involved unless there were some more serious crimes involved. The FBI was involved in the Michigan basketball thing ten years ago because the main figure in the whole affair was running an illegal numbers scam at an area Ford plant. I wonder if Auburn uber-booster / trustee Bobby Lowder is being investigated for something more serious. If so, Cam Newton's eligibility might be the least of Auburn's worries.
-Gotta admire the consistency of the Grambling Tigers. Their last five games they've scored 38, 35, 35, 35, and 34 points. Unfortunately in that last game they gave up 41 to Texas Southern, which cost them the SWAC title.
-The FCS playoffs expanded to 20 teams this year. There are 123 FCS teams, and several leagues (SWAC, Pioneer, Ivy) that don't participate in the playoffs. There are 120 FBS teams. If the NCAA were to sponsor a playoff for the top division of college football, the likelihood that it would be limited to four, eight or 12 teams seem slim. Just like the basketball tournament, it would eventually expand to the max allowable size.