Sunday, October 5
"There is nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others, is there?"
That was one of Randall's more eloquent quotes from the first "Clerks" movie -- and with Georgia on a merciful bye this weekend, I got to do plenty of that. Here's how my Saturday went:
10-11:30 a.m.: "College Gameday" live from Nashville. I was very curious to see if the student-body-slash-fan-base of Vanderbilt University would know what to do with themselves with "Gameday" live on campus, and they didn't disappoint me. They had a big crowd waiting for Fowler, Herbstreit, and Corso, and some of the cleverer signs I've seen on that show recently. There were topical signs like the one that asked "Which is worse, Auburn's offense or the economy," the ones that made fun of their own reputation as the smart kids of the SEC ("You people are blocking the library"), and they even went so far as to trash-talk other teams they weren't even playing that day ("Phil Fulmer ate my other sign"), but the best one overall was "The geeks shall inherit the turf," which even Brent Musberger mentioned at the end of the game broadcast. They didn't forget to include the just-plain-inexplicable, either -- maybe someone can explain what "Chris Todd Loves Old Gregg's Mangina" is supposed to mean, or maybe you can decipher this:
Yes, I know what it means, let's see if you're smart enough to figure it out.
11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.-ish: Florida at Arkansas. This one wasn't quite the immediate blowout I had expected, with Florida holding "only" a 14-0 lead at halftime and just 17-7 through three quarters -- the first of what I'm sure will be many moral victories Razorback fans will be having to take solace in this year. But the Gators eventually wore down the Hogs in the fourth quarter, busting off a couple of those 60-yard touchdown runs that have become a staple of the Arkansas defense in '08, and scored enough to firmly make good on my Dr. Saturday prediction of Florida covering twenty-four and a half.
2:30-5:00 p.m.: Kentucky at Alabama. This was a weird game, and one I'm kicking myself for not including in this week's Dr. Saturday bit, 'cause between Alabama's vulnerability to a post-Georgia letdown and Kentucky's good-for-the-first-time-in-a-generation defense, there weren't no way the Tide was gonna cover sixteen and a half. The legs of Glen Coffee, if nothing else, managed to keep Bama in front the entire game, but as a Georgia fan I still spent a whole lot of time being frustrated that Kentucky managed to play Bama so much closer than we did. Such is life.
5-8:30 p.m.: Auburn at Vanderbilt. Wow. Just wow. Vanderbilt, evidently, is the real deal, still all alone in first place at the top of the SEC East and ranked #14 in the country this morning, while Auburn . . . Supposedly this was the week that Tuberville said "enough is enough" and shelved Tony Franklin's sputtering "Spread Eagle" in favor of a more traditional form of run-it-up-the-gut Auburn football, but after rushing for 106 yards in the first half on their way to a 13-7 lead, Auburn inexplicably turned to its witheringly ineffective passing game in the second half, with predictable results (Chris Todd 4-10 for 25 yards and a pick, sacked three times; Kodi Burns 2-4 for 27 yards, sacked once). And once Vandy finally took the lead in the third quarter, Auburn went so pass-happy you would've thought they were down by three touchdowns instead of only a single point. I'm not the first person to propose this, certainly, but Tony Franklin doesn't seem to have the slightest clue what to do with the roster of players he's presently got to work with; somewhere, Al Borges is laughing his ass off.
8:30-9 p.m. or thereabouts: Maryland at Virginia. The ACC championship trophy must have become infected with herpes; that's the only explanation I can find for Maryland, which had just knocked off ranked California and Clemson teams, losing 31-0 to a Virginia team coming off of a manhandling by Duke. Oh, well, good show, Wahoos! You'll earn that Congressional Bowl bid yet.
Other games I caught bits 'n' pieces of:
Georgia Tech 27, Duke 0. Obviously, I was really hoping for a Duke win here, and with Tech holding a slim 3-0 lead at halftime, it looked like it might happen. But the Blue Devils never figured out how to cover the one guy who caught any passes for the Jackets all afternoon long and got blown out. Oh, Duke, it's just never going to happen for you guys, is it? And it's got to be killing you to see what's going on at Vandy and Northwestern right now.
Missouri 52, Nebraska 17. In Nebraska's stadium. Did you know Mizzou hasn't had a three-and-out on offense all year long, not even with their bench players in? Woe be unto anyone who has to figure out how to stop those guys.
Southern Cal 44, Oregon 10. USC's good again Pac-10 blah blah who cares.
We might as well also go through the extracurriculars --
· UAB Blazers watch: On Thursday night the Blazers led for about a half before succumbing to Memphis, 33-30. Still, that's the closest we've played anyone in D-IA all year long. Still, we might figure this "football" thing out before too long. I'll bet there's a second win in this team yet!
· Wofford Terriers watch: The Terriers, like the Bulldogs, had a bye this week. And they tore the shit out of it.
· Cheerleader Curse watch: This week's cursee was North Carolina, alma mater of Lauren Joyner (above), but despite having 10 fewer first downs than #24 UConn, despite being outgained by more than 100 yards, despite holding the ball for fewer than 24 minutes the entire game, the Tarheels still won. So I think we can declare the Cheerleader Curse defunct until further notice, though I'll let you know if it rears its ugly head at any point over the remainder of the season.
· Oh, and the Redskins: 4-1, baby. Jim Zorn knows where you sleep.