I don't know about you, but that was one weekend of college footbal which I wish never had to end. Florida lost and is fighting for bowl eligibility, Tennessee got beaten like they stole something, Georgia Tech was again reminded that they're Georgia Tech. And most importantly, Georgia gifted Auburn with an additional orifice where one previously had not existed. But all good things must come to an end. First, however, let's take a look at the loose ends that still need to be tied from the weekend that was in college football. Among other things, I still have to . . .
Pull for the UCLA Bruins. Why? Because I'm a friend of the common man and an ally of chaos. Amazingly, it is still possible that 5-5 UCLA could be representing the Pac-12 South in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game, despite the fact that they just got curb-stomped by Utah. Something tells me that when conference officials decided to expand this was not exactly what they had in mind. UCLA sits at 4-3 in the Pac-12 (which is really just a poor man's 12-Pac, by the way), and has hapless Colorado next week before finishing up at Southern Cal, which would represent the division if things ended today. But Kiffin's kids still have to face a physical Oregon squad that just got through beating up on Stanford. So an Oregon/UCLA championship matchup isn't necessarily likely, but it's possible. These are the times when college football is all about having the audacity to dream, sports fans. Because watching T.J. Simers and the rest of the southern California sports media clamor for Neuheisel's head despite the fact that he's playing for a conference championship is the kind of thing that allows us SEC fans to laugh at suggestions that we're the irrational ones.
Avert my gaze from what's going on at Ole Miss. As former Auburn athletic employee Charles Barkley would say, it's "just turr-ble." Holy hotty toddy, has any living human being seen a worse Ole Miss team than the one which lost by 20 to Louisiana Tech this weekend? I'm betting no. Louisiana Tech was actually bringing in the reserves in the second half. That's some tasty cajun-style trolling right there, the kind that goes well with a nice roumelade. Houston Nutt was still on the Ole Miss sideline for reasons which entirely defy explanation. At this point I just assume he and Pete Boone are going to set Vaught-Hemingway on fire and salt the earth in the Grove on the way out the door as a final NuttPunch to the assembled masses. Why the Rebels aren't playing under an interim coach of some type is beyond my understanding. Because when the mascot who nobody likes begins to no longer give a damn, things are really off the rails.
Give a shoutout to Carlton Thomas. There are two kinds of tailbacks, those who can create their own holes and those who can get through the holes created for them. Knowshon Moreno was the former, and Carlton Thomas is the latter. He's never going to get those tough-sledding yards, creating something out of nothing. But we saw on Saturday what the coaches have been seeing in practice for years: when you give him room to run he can get through the line quicker than canola oil through a goose. In the process he turns what should be 8 yards into a speedy 18, all while resisting the urge to jump up and welcome you to munchkin land. On several of those runs Saturday he was actually finishing runs by delivering contact to the tacklers. All of which may mean that Carlton Thomas is one mean little SOB with a football in his hands. I can dig that.
Play "Press Your Luck". Oops. Oregon already took care of this one. Andrew Luck finished 27 of 41 for 271 yards and 2 interceptions. But that doesn't really tell the whole story. Luck looked uncomfortable for most of the night in his Stanford team's 53-30 loss to the surging Ducks. He threw off his back foot, threw behind receivers, had a game-sealing fumble, a pick returned for a TD, and just generally looked nothing like a future #1 overall NFL Draft pick. If I were an NFL GM in the market for a quarterback I don't think the game would have dissuaded me from taking Luck. But it would give me some fodder to ask him about in the interview portion of the program.
Poo Poo The Oregon Rematch Contingent. Oregon's neat trimming of the Stanford tree has given voice to a contingent who argue that the Ducks, not the Crimson Tide, are the former LSU victims most deserving of another shot at the Bayou Bengals for the national title. To be fair, Alabama lost to LSU at home, while Oregon fell on a neutral site in Dallas. That's being said, no one who actually watched that Oregon/LSU matchup believes that Oregon is in LSU's league. The Ducks trailed 30-13 at the end of the 3rd quarter. They looked no faster than LSU and a lot less physical. Oregon had their shot at LSU and missed badly. 'Bama had theirs and missed by a hair. Either way, both missed.
Welcome our new Show Me State Overlords. In case you missed it Missouri beat Texas on the way out the Big XII door, after disrespecting all that "overrated Texas talent." Bill C. over at Rock M Nation points out that, all things considered, this Missouri team seems headed in the right direction and could make some waves over the next couple of seasons. While Bill doesn't mention it, I think Missouri stands to benefit handsomely from its move to the SEC. The team's national profile will be raised, and Missouri should be able to recruit more in Arkansas, the Independent State of Memphis (a constitutional anarchy wholly surrounded by the state of Tennessee), and Kentucky. This season Missouri would have been a match for Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt at a minimum. My guess is that they surprise some SEC fans when they join the east.
Let me hear your agenda items in the comments. Until later . . .