Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Week 9: Yes

The main story this week is that Michigan has arrived undefeated after the perilous stretch of its schedule and looks prepared to march into Columbus at 11-0 and take on a worthy Ohio State team for the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the National Championship game. If you subscribe to the theory that these are the two best teams in the country, and that the opponent of the winner of this game will roll over like a two bit whore in the Nat’l Championship game for a Big Ten ass pounding, November 18 in C’bus figures to be game, set and match point for this year’s edition of NCAA football. After all, it should be BCS #1 vs. BCS #2.

But then we could also follow the crazy advice of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon who said recently on PTI that if The Game comes down to the wire and is won by an act of improbability in the waning seconds, that they should let The Game be more than the de facto National Championship game, and make it a precursor to a rematch of the two best teams in the country again, for the actual National Championship a month later.

There’s an idea. And for now I don’t completely reject it because the way these two teams are playing, neither deserves to lose. And if a one-loss team has to go to the National Championship game, it might as well be one of these two should the cards play out that way. There's also an outside chance the BCS computers in their curious mix of insouciance and digitized wisdom could come to the same conclusion, maintaining a #1 and #2 ranking for Ohio State and Michigan even after The Game. This is of course contingent on some other teams losing, but I think we'll get there and live through some strange days in BCS land.

Next I've got to hand it to Boise State. With four games left in their season they are 8-0 with the darkest of dark horse Heisman candidates in Ian Johnson and sitting pretty at #15 in the BCS standings. They only have to move up three more spots to #12 and they are guaranteed a BCS berth (in a loophole only a little less fair than Notre Dame's BCS agreement). The remaining schedule is about as soft in the middle as a cream puff, and so ESPN has projected the Broncos to win out and meet up with Texas in the Fiesta Bowl. Here Boise State would get the crack at a true national power for the first time since its program-rattling loss at Georgia back in September 2005. Meanwhile, ESPN is projecting the fallen Hurricanes of Miami, who, like Texas, have won a National Championship this decade, to take State’s obligatory spot in the MPC Bowl. Remember this used to be the Humanitarian Bowl, but for Miami to show up in mid-winter in Boise, I think the Humiliation Bowl would be a more appropriate name and a fitting end to the kind of season they’ve had.

Speaking of wayward Floridian former powerhouses, I think Florida State’s choice of uniform this past weekend was comically bad PR. A lot has been made of the black color of the uniforms, but I focused more on the details. particularly the choice of a cheeseball slogan reading ‘Unconquered’ adorning the thigh. At 2-3 and in sole possession of last place in the ACC’s coastal division, ‘conquered’ the Seminoles certainly are. It was a bad time to draw unnecessary, and sort of saucy, attention to themselves. Now the FSU Alumni Machine is calling for Bowden’s senile head. He is three years spryer than Joe Pa, but the state of mind is clearly day to day for anyone born in the 1920s and the young alums are putting Bowden on notice.

Quick Shots (Betting Edition)

*Ugh. My call on Vanderbilt could not have been further off. I blame Stewart Mandel, who called them an upset candidate. I agreed because I thought they’d taken some better SEC teams to the wire, and beat Georgia. I was overlooking the fact that they are Vanderbilt. And then they got rocked.

*For the second week, Boise State failed to cover the spread, and I can’t blame the offense, so I’ll rag for the second week in a row in neophyte DC Justin Wilcox . Your soft scheming antics may cut it in the WAC, but you’re making me worried for the Bowl Game, especially if it’s a Texas or worse in a BCS Bowl.

*Michigan, covering their spread again by 1 point, came through for the seventh week in a row. The only game they haven’t covered this year was the opener against Vanderbilt. I never used to bet on Michigan because of their conservative approach, particularly in the fourth quarter. But this season they’ve been a cash cow. I don’t have any finger nails left, but my wallet’s full.

*On Sunday my mom asked me if I have a gambling problem. I had to think about it, but finally I said, yeah, I didn’t buy points on Clemson this weekend. Let’s see if that drubbing of Georgia Tech gives my friend anymore confidence next time I ask him for insight on his team. Virginia Tech is coming up on Thursday and at and that looks like the next good spread for Clemson at -4.5.

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