There are no file photos available for Kent State's game Friday, which says it all. - Kirk Irwin
This week, Jon absolutely tears into every single team in the top 25 for being worthless dreck. Also, poll silliness.
This weekend just flat pissed me off, people. Every single thing that could possibly go against Kansas State did. Nobody above K-State in the BCS standings managed to lose, Oklahoma State completely choked away a chance to clinch the Big 12 for the Wildcats (which in the process would have allowed the team to enter the Texas game without unnecessary pressure and would have allowed the team to really enjoy Senior Day), and we don't even get to beat up on a nine-win team on Saturday now.
There's only one thing a sane man can do under these circumstances: eviscerate absolutely everyone without mercy or apology. Nobody is spared. This, then, is the Bile, Spite, and Snark edition of the weekly blitz, in which you are going to be offended no matter who you root for:
#1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Just imagine if Matt Barkley hadn't been up on blocks on the sideline having his chassis repaired. The Irish go unbeaten, primarily because a rematch with either Navy or BYU in the Independent Conference Championship Game next week would have just caused us all to commit ritual suicide. Now we get the thrill of spending six weeks or so having the national media fellate the Irish (including Rick Reilly fulfilling his promise to go to South Bend and personally "polish their helmets", and this really needs to happen), which will only manage to cause us all to remember that nobody other than millions of people who didn't actually pay to go to Notre Dame likes them even a little bit.
Notre Dame 22, Southern California 13
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide: An abjectly incompetent performance by the Tide, who somehow managed to only score seven points in the second half against the worst Auburn squad in recorded human history. That's an embarrassment which simply can't be borne, and everyone involved with the program should be immediately fired. (If you don't think there aren't Gumps out there saying this very thing you don't know Gumps very well.)
Alabama 49, Auburn 0
#3 Georgia Bulldogs: Georgia obliterated their most hated rival, and it doesn't matter because they're just going to Georgia things up next week and end up in the Capital One Bowl anyway. This game got rolling when Georgia Tech busted a big gain for a sure touchdown and some guy named Rambo drew First Blood by stealing the ball like a common street criminal. This sort of behavior just can't be rewarded. Neither should clubbing ACC teams like baby seals.
Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10
#4 Florida Gators: Again, beating ACC teams doesn't count. The fact that Florida -- FLORIDA -- scored 37 points in a game of American gridiron football should be ample evidence of this. Wait, are we sure this was a football score? Does Florida's offense correlate to their basketball team? If so, 37 points sounds just about right. What was awesome, though, was the cacophony of wails from the Twitter feeds of massed Gatordom at the end of the third quarter, when Florida was, you know, losing.
Florida 37, Florida State 26
#5 Oregon Ducks: Yeah, great, whatever. You routed Oregon State. You still didn't even win your division, and now you're probably looking at having to play a team you ducked out of playing last year just so that you could launch another team's national title run. The question now is whether you'll be doing so with an interim head coach.
Oregon 48, Oregon State 24
#6 Kansas State Wildcats: At this juncture, I would like to remind the audience that this team's most recent contest was a drubbing at the hands of a team which only just yesterday finally became eligible to play in some other conference's bottom-rung bowl game. (What, you thought I was going to spare my own team from this exercise?)
#7 Louisiana State Tigers: Let's make sure we understand this perfectly. Arkansas is very bad. I mean, they lost to Rutgers. They fired their coach after the game. Had Houston just made a field goal three weeks ago, Arkansas would be the only former Southwest Conference team not going to a bowl. And LSU managed to beat them by a touchdown? I mean, their offense was half as effective against Arkansas as a certain other Louisiana team's was at the start of the season. Well, Geaux Tigers!
Louisiana State 20, Arkansas 13
#8 Stanford Cardinal: Stanford scored five goals in the away leg of their crucial Pacific Cup tie with the Bruins of Los Angeles while holding University Club de Los Angeles to a mere two. That means that UCLA will have to beat Stanford by four goals on the return leg in order to advance on the away goal rule, otherwise Stanford will move on to the Champions League in fine fashion.
Stanford 35, Cal-Los Angeles 17
#9 Texas A&M Aggies: You know what Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Kentucky have in common? They're the only FBS teams to allow Missouri to score 28 points in a game all year. So I suppose that excuses leaving Johnny Manziel in the game until A&M was up 59-23 (even after he'd previously been injured when A&M already led 21-0), because for the Aggies, no lead is safe. But, hey, Heisman stats! Woohoo! (10 of Manziel's 43 touchdowns-responsible-for have come in the last two weeks against hapless Missouri and Sam Houston State, who you may note is an FCS team with 22 fewer players on scholarship than the mighty Aggies.)
Texas A&M 59, Missouri 29
#10 Florida State Seminoles: (Insert Nelson "NYAH-hah" laugh.) See what happens when you finally play a real team, Florida State? And look what you did. If not for bribery, divine intervention, and Lane Kiffin we'd be staring at another all-SEC title game, and it would have been all your fault.
#11 Clemson Tigers; #12(a) South Carolina Gamecocks: Well, congratulations, Clemson. You managed to lose to a team starting its backup quarterback and running back, and in the process your seniors graduate without ever beating your arch-rival. And South Carolina? You beat an ACC team. You want a freakin' cookie?
South Carolina 27, Clemson 17
#12(b) Ohio State Buckeyes: I decided not to ignore the Buckeyes anymore, because I can't spew venom at them if I'm ignoring them. This is where they'd be ranked in the BCS standings if their spot in the AP poll replaced their exclusion from the Harris, while they still get no credit for the Coaches' poll. The Buckeyes slogged their way to a win over Michigan by shutting the Wolverines down in the second half, and will live out their dotage with memories of an unbeaten season in the worst Big Ten configuration in recorded history with nothing to show for it but Gator Bowl t-shirts. Huzzah!
Ohio State 26, Michigan 21
#13 Oklahoma Sooners: Bad Landry Jones showed up for two quarters, and The Other Landry Jones showed up for the other two. Oklahoma's defense was a sieve, but so was State's; ultimately, the Cowboys completely choked down the stretch and completely blew the opportunity to allow the Fiesta Bowl to concern themselves with who they were going to invite to play Kansas State. Sure, maybe it was a fun game to watch, but in the end it was sort of like having unprotected sex with a crack addict.
Oklahoma 51, Oklahoma State 48
#14 Nebraska Cornhuskers: Nebraska, you beat Iowa 13-7. Any commentary beyond that on my part would just be redundant, don't you think? Even Woody Hayes thinks this game sucked.
Nebraska 13, Iowa 7
#15 Oregon State Beavers: And here we thought you played defense. Apparently something about you losing by 24 points at home impressed AP voters so much that you didn't even drop a spot in the poll, so you have that going for you. Now you get to go to the Holiday Bowl, which was cool a decade ago but isn't now.
#16 Texas Longhorns: You know you should be 6-5 right now, yes? And now you have to go play your eternal nemesis on the road, and they're pissed off, and your coach is crapping his Depends. Oh, and you still don't know which quarterback to use. Finally, you lost to TCU in Austin for the first time since Rece Davis was crapping in his diapers. Clearly this is what a $300 million television contract buys you. The worst part? If you'd just played Texas A&M Thursday, you probably would have scored 50.
Texas Christian 20, Texas 13
#17 Cal-Los Angeles Bruins: Look, if you're going to get mauled on your home field, you can't really expect to come back and beat the same team on their home field a week later. You've been mildly entertaining this year, Bruins, but now you're just wasting valuable television time which could be better used by having Notre Dame play Army instead of ducking them in an unbalanced conference schedule.
#18 Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Next Saturday, a team which scored a combined 35 points against Cincinnati, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh will play a single game for the right to play in a BCS bowl. This, clearly, is a team ready to compete in the Big Ten. Hey, remember when Rutgers beat Tulane 24-12 and then beat a weak FCS team 26-0? Yeah, that's a BCS team by most standards.
Pittsburgh 27, Rutgers 6
#19 Michigan Wolverines: Way to show up for the second half when the entire nation, with the exception of certain mentally-challenged individuals on food stamps who live in trailers and graduated from MAC schools, was counting on you. A truly Herculean effort worthy of memorialization; very Detroit-like.
#20 Louisville Cardinals: As horrible as Rutgers is, Louisville, you take the cake. Thanks to you, we're facing the spectre of Connecticut playing in a bowl game. Losing to Syracuse and Connecticut back-to-back should be grounds for demotion to Conference USA, and yet here you are trying to move up to the ACC. Wait a minute: I just realized, you're trying to move UP to the ACC. Well, that about says it all right there.
Connecticut 23, Louisville 20 (3OT)
#21 Oklahoma St. Cowboys: You've got three quarterbacks and a running back who could start for most Big 12 teams, and you still suck. You might want to look into that and try to figure out where the problem is, although I can tell you in one word if you'll just provide a small six-figure consulting fee.
#22 Boise State Broncos: Sat on their asses doing nothing; will probably move up between five and seven spots in the BCS standings as a result, which is a perfectly typical Boise thing to do. Always being handed gifts they didn't earn.
#23 Kent State Golden Flashes: Congratulations. You knocked off the most disappointing team in college football not named Southern Something, and your reward is a MAC Championship Game in which the winner will probably somehow stumble into a massive payout in the Orange Bowl. Just remember, no matter what happens, you still managed to lose to Kentucky by 33 points.
Kent State 28, Ohio 6
#24 Arizona Wildcats: Outscored by 17 points in fourth quarter to most hated rivals. Lost by a touchdown. Naturally, this is typical Arizona football, and once again results in a losing record in the Pac-12. But hey, at least it's marginally better than you did under Stoops!
Arizona State 41, Arizona 34
#25 Washington Huskies: Blew an 18-point lead to a 2-9 team. Lost in overtime because Washington State -- Washington State -- kept them from scoring. Worse, Huskies, the entire nation despises you because they now realize it's all your fault that Stanford's not in line for a rematch with Notre Dame where all wrongs may be put right. I hope you're happy with yourselves.
Washington State 31, Washington 28 (OT)
TIME TO REBRAND
There are three teams in FBS whose names begin with "Southern". One has become the first pre-season #1 to finish the season without even getting any votes in the AP poll. One got the death penalty once, and is now somehow going to go to a crappy bowl game because the best team in Conference USA was too busy looking ahead to next week. And the third? Well, the third has now managed to engineer the worst year-to-year collapse in the history of college football at any level, going from 12-2 last year to 0-12 this year.
It's time for you to change your names to the University of Los Angeles, Mockingbird University, and Hattiesburg State University. You have to shake off the curse, man.
EVISCERATING THE POLLS
So, I don't know what the AP is thinking. I really don't. There's nothing to talk about with the top of the poll other than the curious situation revolving around the Civil War. Notre Dame is the unanimous #1; Alabama is the unanimous #2, picking up the sole vote they didn't get last week. Georgia picked up 15 votes at the expense of teams below them, while Ohio State gained a couple.
But Florida somehow gained 91 votes while Oregon lost four. All of this was a clear result of Florida vaulting above teams well down-ballot, as the rest of the top 10 actually gained votes -- K-State picked up 15 for doing nothing, LSU gained eight votes yet dropped a spot, and Texas A&M also picked up 15. (The fact that Georgia, K-State, and Texas A&M all gained exactly 15 votes is... strange.) Stanford, of course, also picked up 70 votes in jumping up to the eighth slot.
Where'd all these extra votes come from? The ACC, naturally. Florida State and Clemson gave up 469 votes between them; South Carolina and Oklahoma, the teams the two ACC squads slipped behind, only gained 221. Obviously, a lot of voters had Florida State and Clemson ranked much higher than the norm, and a correction took place.
Here's the inexplicable thing with the AP, and I can't wrap my head around it. Oregon beat the #16 team in the country on the road by 24 points, and not only slipped a spot but are the only team this week to win a game yet lose votes. Obviously, this means the voters don't think beating Oregon State by 24 points in Corvallis is very meaningful. Yet Oregon State's punishment for getting beaten by 24 points at home is the loss of 71 points... and no loss of position in the poll at all. Also inexplicable is UCLA only dropping two spots after getting creamed at home.
The 17th slot in the AP poll was the dividing line for voters this week. Nobody above that line fell below it; nobody below rose above. With 18-22 all losing, everyone just moved up to fill the void, which is why we now have two MAC teams and a WAC team in the top twenty. Obviously, the AP doesn't matter for BCS purposes, but it's still a clear indication that we're dangerously close to a MAC team playing in a BCS bowl (which, let's be honest, is completely freakin' awesome).
In the coaches' poll, the top four are unchanged. Notre Dame still got 56 first-place votes and three third-place votes. (Wut?) Alabama still has two first place votes, and gained 12 points; Georgia has one, and lost seven. Oregon picked up 50 votes, solidifying their hold on fourth place. Below that, Florida State and Clemson plunged, and everyone just moved up to fill the spots, so the top 14 are still the top 14, just in a different order. However, 15-21 all lost, and that opened the floodgates. Boise State moves into the 15 slot, followed by UCLA and Oregon State (the coaches also inexplicably didn't punish those two teams, who were likewise 16-17 last week). Then you've got Northern Illinois and Kent State at 18-19.
If the Harris Poll hews to the coaches' and AP polls, we'll see something similar, which means that the three mid-majors will pull into line in the BCS standings in the 17-19 slots. Here's the catch: in last week's standings, Boise had a very narrow lead over Kent State due to a 4/3 spot advantage in the polls which was counterbalanced by not being ranked in the computers at all while Kent State was 22nd. Kent State should pull ahead of Boise this week as a result, because their won over Ohio will improve their computer ranking somewhat. This makes next week very interesting. Boise State plays 8-3 Nevada, so a win there will be somewhat impressive and could gain votes... but the winner of the MAC Championship game is going to get a huge boost in the computer rankings, and if Stanford repeats against UCLA they're going to be guaranteed a move up in the polls as well.
So hold onto your hats, kids. We could be on the verge of the MAC joining the BCS party for the first time.