Michigan didn't play this week and probably spent a lot of practice time perfecting its seven offensive plays. I bet that the wide receiver screen is going to look really, really good against Indiana. And the run up the middle? Ooh wee! Throw in the screen pass, the two-yard bullet to a crossing WR or TE, the Antonio Bass "trick play" direct snap, the Jason Avant lock-on, and the Chad Henne interception and you have a well-oiled offensive disaster. Yes!
Despite (because of?) Michigan's absence from the schedule, I was able to watch a lot of football.
N.C. State vs. Florida State - Chuck Amato has the nicest rack in college football. Mark that down.
As for the game, it was one of those oddly entertaining bad ones. There were lots of mistakes and the offenses both looked pretty feeble, however the defenses were fun to watch. Also, it's always exciting when you think an upset is happening, so that lent the game some drama. I think it's fair to say that at this point, FSU misses Mark Richt and his offensive coordinating much more than he misses FSU and its defense. Honestly, can we definitively say that Georgia, in the last five years, has been the better program and looks to have the brighter future? FSU continues to recruit very well (just ask lying-ass, "I really want a good education" Myron Rolle), but it has lost the veneer of invincibility and that "brain trust" looks nothing better than good. Jeff Bowden takes it in the face and a kid like Xavier Lee should be farther along than where he is after almost two seasons in the program. Watching him throw was one of the best practical jokes I've seen this year. When Jeff Bowden takes over the program, ESPN should launch a reality show called "Bound for Gory."
Miami vs. Virginia Tech - What a complete beatdown. I was embarrassed for Virginia Tech.
After Miami lost to Florida State and everyone was piling on both teams for such inept offense, I maintained that Miami would be a better team (in general, of course, and in relation to FSU) by the end of the season. I felt that Miami deserved to remain highly ranked because its defense was really good and Kyle Wright showed and proved during the second half. I am not yet ready to call Miami a powerhouse since its offense still is, indeed, mercurial and seems to peak at good, but this is a championship-type team: its defense (particularly its defensive line) is lethal and the offense is good enough. Miami didn't have any problem getting the yards that it needed on the ground.
Maybe everyone will shut up about Marcus Vick now. I kept laughing throughout the week as he was getting hyped up because while he's been good, what else would you expect from a kid who's been in the system and had nothing to do last year while he was on probation for R. Kelly behavior? And so that I don't "sound" like a hypocrite, let me just say that I was a VaTech believer because I thought its defense was incredible. It may be, but obviously at least one other team is better.
Wisconsin vs. Penn State - What a boring-ass beatdown. Were Michigan not coached by Lloyd Carr and quarterbacked by a QB who seems totally lost, I'd write something like, "I can't believe Michigan lost to Wisconsin."
California vs. Oregon - No, it wasn't just you. Yes, Joseph Ayoob really did overthrow so many receivers. And--wait, hold on...Yeah, I think he just overthrew another one. I mean, wow. Cal could have won this game if Ayoob had connected with a number of receivers who seemed to have beaten DBs deep. I was one of the last holdouts who believed in Cal, but it looked fairly pedestrian against an Oregon team missing its best QB.
Tennessee vs. Notre Dame - Eat that, Phil. Literally. I almost feel bad for UT because they were never going to win this game after that first quarter--the second-half tie felt like fool's gold, didn't it? People didn't actually think that ND wasn't going to score again, did they?--and by scoring 21, it may have used up some of the points it will need to get bowl eligible. Who's gonna get fired/re-assigned this week? Also, isn't this a lot like the way that Majors went out in Knoxville? Four-game losing streak during his final season? Is that even a possibility with Fulmer? I can't stand him, so I'd be happy to see him go, but I'd also worry about local grocery stores were he to get fired. How would everyone else in the community get the food that they needed?
Vanderbilt vs. Florida - I was rooting for the upset. Sorry, Orson. Sorry Stranko. Next week's trip to OBC country should be a fun one...