Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday Musings

Nothing like "Monday Musings" late on a Sunday night. First of all, I'm sorry I've been MIA the past few weeks. I know apologies are cheap, and I know the story is old and tired, but work has been brutal recently. In fact, I'm hopping a flight for Miami in a few hours, and given the fact that I would rather subject myself to Chinese water torture than fly, it's about to get more brutal. That being said, in the times we live, I feel fortunate to have a job that, at least for the moment, feels secure and is providing me with a lot to do. Stated differently, as much as I love writing in this space, if work gets in the way these days, that is a price I'm happy to pay. I'm sure you all understand.

Well, enough serious stuff. Although work did prevent me from watching any NFL games this weekend (with the glaring exception of the last 4 minutes of the Falcons game that featured the worst call of the NFL season not involved Ed Hockuley), I did manage to take Saturday off and take in the Tech v. UVA debacle, as well as some of Penn St. @ Ohio St. So, of course, I have some thoughts:

  • Of course I'm disappointed Tech lost at home Saturday. In fact, there were moments in the second half that my head almost exploded. That being said, whether I should or not, I trust Paul Johnson, and I trust we will be a better team next week than this week. I know that doesn't make up for the loss, but unlike years past, it does give the fans hope. I guess we'll see whether it is false hope or not.

  • I've bitched and moaned all season about the new clock rules, and Saturday, they really hurt the Jackets. I'm not sure how many total possessions we had, but I'm guessing it was between 8-10 (I'm pretty sure it was 4 in the first half). When you have so few opportunities with the football, you simply can't afford to piss them away with 3 and outs and turnovers. That's exactly what the Jackets did, and that is why they lost. Plain and simple. And yes, the clock rules must be changed after this season, and I hope that decision has already been made. To be fair, though, I have to admit that the same clock rules that killed us Saturday really helped us at BC, Va. Tech, and Clemson. That doesn't make them right, though.

  • Dawg Nation should be walking with a renewed strut this week, and you know what? They should. I didn't see any of the beat down in Baton Rouge, but I know enough about college football to know that only a great team goes down on the Bayou and puts up half a hundred. If UGA can go into Jacksonville next week and make it two in a row over UF, these two weeks will be the best back to back wins of Mark Richt's tenure. And, given the fact I think he has won something like 80% of his games at UGA, that is quite an accomplishment.

  • Speaking of Florida, 63 points? Really? Is there any doubt Urban Meyer is evil?

  • Texas Tech, 63 points? Really? Is there any doubt Mike Leach is a lawyer?

  • I've got to imagine College Gameday will be in Lubbock on Saturday. Have they ever covered the same team 3 times in the same month before? I can't imagine they have. Frankly, they probably should have been in Austin this past weekend, which begs the question has a Team ever played a four game stretch like Texas is about to complete? If you've read the "Team of the Week" section in the top right, you will see that the only thing I can remember on par with this was OU's "Hunt for Red October" back in '00. During that stretch, the Sooners, who were ranked #10 to start the month, knocked off #11 Texas 63-14 in the Cotton Bowl, #2 Kansas State 41-31 in Manhattan, then took a week off before knocking #1 Nebraska 31-14 in the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium in Norman. That was three remarkable wins in the span of 4 weeks. Now, in 2008, Texas has the chance to knock off the #1, 11, 6, and 7 teams in the country on 4 consecutive Saturdays. If this happens, Fite may set himself on fire and Bob Stoops may have Mack Brown killed. So, we have that to look forward to.

  • When Tommy Tubberville gets canned, what do we have to do to make sure he and Tommy Bowden get recurring roles as Coach Taylor's rivals on "Friday Night Lights"? Tubberville, of course, will be the raging a-hole that nobody likes or respects, and Bowden will play the great guy that it hurts to beat. Now that Smash is gone, we need something to add to the plot, and since these guys are/will be available, I don't see how this doesn't make sense.

  • Don't look now, but Greg Schiano might be fighting his way off the respirator. Sure, the Scarlet Knights are still only 3-5, but with a blow out over Pitt on Saturday, and with a thrilling 12-10 win over UConn the week before, Schiano may be doing enough to keep himself at the running at Penn State if Joe Pa: a) dies; or b) wins the national title and retires. With remaining games against Syracuse and Army, Rutgers will have at least 5 wins, and if they can steal one from South Florida or Louisville, they will finish 6-6. This won't get them to a bowl game because they had a I-AA team on the schedule (Morgan State), but let's not kid each other, 6-6 at Rutgers is still pretty decent, especially in the first post-Ray Rice season. If he can pull off 6-6 and get out of Rutgers in one piece, this will be the greatest escape act since the last time Al Groh saved his job. Oh god, I just threw up again.

Okay, I've got to pack and get ready to head to the home of the resurgent Dolphins. But, before I do, here's the updated WAD Top 7 (remember, I rank them based off who I think is better right now, i.e. if they played, who would win):

1) Texas

2) Oklahoma

3) Florida

4) USC

5) Alabama

6) Penn State

7) Oklahoma State

Others receiving votes: UGA, and of course, Va. Tech, UVA, and Gardner Webb

I'll check back in when time permits. Until then, have a great week.

One last note: The Locks of the Week records include this week's locks. Although I never posted your picks, the records take them into account. Say hello to your Mothers for me.