SLAYER’S SPORTS AND STUFF!
Hi everybody! Welcome to another edition of Slayer’s College Football and Stuff! The college football year is living up to hype again with upsets, surprises, and in some cases, the usual expectations. Just the bare bones this week, but I make up for it next week with a SUPER column. Not as super as the bowl column or the tournament columns, no, no, no. But sort of super..kind of…..anyway, let’s get to….
SCORES OF THE WEEK!
LOUISIANA ST. 27
Many of you probably missed this Monday night spectacular due to MNF and the Pennant chase, but many of you probably caught it as well as it became the most highly rated program in ESPN2 history. If you missed it, the recap was the Vols were down by 21 points, made an unanswered comeback and then won the game in overtime. You want something more detailed, you know the places to go for that. What this game does, is put another one loss championship contender on the map. And don’t be surprised if these two teams meet again in the SEC championship game. There are only a few legitimate undefeated contenders left now, and one of them happens to be….
VIRGINIA TECH 51
GEORGIA TECH 7
First, let’s talk about the Jackets real quick. Like I said in the preview, every year the Jackets seem to almost make the jump to the next level and then they don’t. It’s looking like another “win against the bad teams; loose to the good teams” season. Which is fine, and most schools would love to have consistent seasons like that. But when you’ve been doing it since 1997, it gets a bit old. As for the Hokies, this was a “PAY ATTENTION TO ME!” game and now all the media robots are. In fact, many of them are now saying it will be THEM that makes the championship game. They are a contender, but we got ways to go.
SOUTH FLORIDA 45
The Cardinals were supposed to go undefeated and make a BCS game. No one expected a Rose Bowl, their NCS was too weak. But a Big East championship was supposed to be theirs for the taking. Maybe the Cardinals believed in their own media hype, who knows? What I do know is that now they are like everyone else in the Big East. Say what you want about the conference, but it’s gonna be a fun two months over there.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 45
The Ducks were actually up for awhile. This is was a good test for the Trojans. Many were wondering how they would react once a team decided to smack them in nose and give them an eye rake. Well, Oregon was up 13-0, the whole college football world went “here it comes..USC’s loss!” and USC scored 45 points and to quote Patrick, laid a tea bag. USC is still the #1 team in the land until proven otherwise.
MIAMI (FL) 23
A game that proved two things: The Hurricanes aren’t as bad as most were thinking (hoping) they were and the Buffaloes aren’t as good as most were thinking (hoping) they were. The three points came in the fourth quarter; this was a smack-around. It’s also showing how bad the Big 12 North really is.
Both these teams were at a crossroads at their season and this was a “winner gets back in the Top 25” game. To be honest, neither looked so great. Even though Boston won, they didn’t score in the final 41 minutes of the game and in college football… that’s like seven hours.
NOTRE DAME 36
This score really has no business being in this section, but it was so over-hyped I might as well. Listen, nothing spectacular happened here. Notre Dame is a good team, Washington is a bad team. This was the result.
THE BIG TEN
PENN ST. 34 NORTHWESTERN 29
MINNESOTA 42 PURDUE 35
OHIO ST. 31 IOWA 6
MICHIGAN ST. 61 ILLINOIS 14
WISCONSIN 23 MICHIGAN 20
The Big Ten as it has been since the beginning of college football time is the most exciting conference in college football. Not a lot of national championships, to many good teams in the middle, but dam it’s fun. And no letters about Midwest Bias, I’ve never even laid foot in the Midwest. Unless you consider Buffalo the Midwest which some do and a one hour connection stop in Cincinnati. Anyway, Penn St. is undefeated and they lost the last two times to the Cats so this could be a good sign, Minnesota is undefeated too, but so what, they are every time this year. Ohio St. is not going to have the bust season people thought they would have, Michigan State is no paper tiger this year, and Wisconsin is also undefeated and Barry Alvarez finally beat Lloyd Carr which he had never done. Also, Michigan is not ranked in either poll for the first time since October 18th, 1998. Iowa isn’t as good as some people thought (including me) and expect Purdue to take revenge in the next couple weeks. Gonna be a rough 8 weeks for these teams.
Let’s look at this week’s games. (Rankings are averaged from both polls)
GAME OF THE WEEK!
1) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA vs. 14) ARIZONA ST. ABC-Regional
The next test for USC comes this Saturday in what just may be one of their toughest games in the Pacific Ten. Will the Sun Devils give them a game? USC may be so high and above the rest, maybe not. But, even though Arizona St. can score with the best of them, they probably can’t keep up with the Trojans. For them to score the upset, they are going to have to make some defensive stops and even perhaps use their defense and special teams to score some points.
OTHER GAME OF THE WEEK!
5) FLORIDA vs. 16) ALABAMA 3:30/CBS
The last time both these teams faced each other undefeated was in 1964, and regardless of that stat, this is the first time these two old rivals are playing each other in SIX years! A good test for both of these teams. If Florida a real contender? Is Bama back in the elite? Lots of answers to lots of questions and maybe even a hell of a game too. I’m gonna say it will be based on law of averages since every game on CBS has been a dud.
MORE GAMES OF THE WEEK!
13) NOTRE DAME vs. 21) PURDUE 7:45/ESPN
Notre Dame’s September Tour of the Nation continues but this time just a few miles away. Irish fans better hold their breath as the Boilermakers are coming into the game angry after being bounced by the Gophers and a Top Ten ranking.
3) VIRGINIA TECH vs. WEST VIRGINIA NOON/ESPN
A game that has Upset Special written all over it. West Virginia has squashed a Virginia Tech undefeated record a few times, with the latest just a couple years ago. If the Hokies play their A-Game, they should be fine. If they play their B-Game, and the undefeated Mountaineers play their A-Game…..
MICHIGAN vs. 12) MICHIGAN ST. Noon/ABC-Regional
Are the Wolverines really just an average team? Are the Spartans really a good team? Many are favoring the Wolves due to anger and revenge, but the Spartans are angry too as they lost the last three times to their state rival, including a controversial ‘win by bad call’ in 2001 and losing a ten point lead last year.
19) MINNESOTA vs. PENN ST. 3:30/ABC-Regional
Believe it or not, the winner of this game gets a nice a little prize: A 5-0 record. The Gophers have had undefeated records before, this is nothing new. But the Lions haven’t been in this situation in a looooooooooong time. It seems long anyway,
RANKED TEAMS ON THE NATIONAL FEED
2) TEXAS vs. MISSOURI NOON/ABC-Regional
The Longhorns should cruise this one unless insanity happens.
SYRACUSE vs. 7) FLORIDA ST. 3:30/ ABC-Regional
Weathorford is looking alright, go figure. The Orangemen have a lot of issues right now as the players just aren’t there.
ARIZONA vs. 11) CALIFORNIA 7:00/TBS
Once again, the Golden Bears are building an undefeated record based on nothing. Arizona still does not have a win against a 1-A team.
INDIANA vs. 17) WISCONSIN NOON/ESPN2
The Hoosiers looked slightly improved a couple weeks ago, but they are up against what seems to be a magical season in the making for the Badgers.
24) IOWA ST. vs. NEBRASKA 3:30/(abc)
Another match-up between two undefeated teams. The results of this game will have lasting effects for the Big 12 North throughout the rest of the season.
UNRANKED DESCENT TEAMS ON THE NATIONAL FEED
BAYLOR vs. TEXAS A&M 12:30/FSN
Don’t look now, but Baylor is undefeated too! The Aggies are looking to get beck in the Top 25 after a stumbled start.
SOUTH CAROLINA vs. AUBURN 7:00/ESPN2
The Tigers have hovered around the 26/27/28 mark ever since they lost their first game, this win should get them back in the polls.
AND ALL THE OTHER GAMES ON THE NATIONAL FEED
CINCINNATI vs. MIAMI (OH) W7:00/ESPN2
So far, Miami’s season is a bust, and for them to make a bowl game they need to win their division. The Bearcats are just looking for 1-A wins right now.
AIR FORCE vs. COLORADO ST. R7:30/ESPN
Two teams that were supposed to be much better when ESPN signed this game into their primo Thursday slot.
PITTSBURGH vs. RUTGERS F8:00/ESPN2
Both teams really really really really need this win. Winner gets the prize of being only the second worst team in the Big East! YAY!
NEVADA vs. SAN JOSE ST. 7:00/ABC-Pacific
ABC’s contract with the WAC is once again biting them in the ass. A really bad team vs. a team that may be demoted to AA.
KANSAS ST. vs. OKLAHOMA 7:00/FSN
The Cats have built themselves the most unimpressive 3-0 record in college football. For whatever reason, disproportionate amounts of feedback I get are from Kansas St. fans. Beat the Sooners, then we can talk about them being a Top 25 team again.
As for the hundreds of games in your area that are on Gameplan, syndication or locally produced, you’re on your own..
Next week: New Format! New Sections! New Mistresses!