November 10, 2008
Mike: What happened? Clark fumbled on the first drive. Nothing new, he makes a mistake early in almost every game. Clark threw a pick in the 4th Quarter. The wind caught it. The Penn State defense in the 2nd half shut down Iowa on 1st and 2nd down only to give up 1st downs with ease on 3rd down. It looked like the defense of the past few seasons. Only Saturday they didn’t just bend the way they used to, they broke.
Evan: I flipped between this game and the Bama/LSU game. I wasn’t surprised with how Penn State’s offense played, especially on the road, in that weather. What did surprise me was the way their defense let Iowa march up and down the field. Mike put it best when he said they finally broke.
Ahad: I was afraid this would happen. The team dominated in the first half but was unable to put enough distance between them and Iowa. The weather played a factor with the passing game, but it shouldnâ€™t have come down to that. The offense failed to execute in the red zone and the defense wore down in the 2nd half. Maurice Evans has been almost invisible this season. He went from a first round pick to a guy that better stay in school. Who was in charge of calling time outs with Paterno in the booth? I bet it was McQuery. Why didnâ€™t they start taking time outs when Iowa was in field goal range? Looks like they will have to focus on the Rose Bowl and a possible matchup with USC.
Evan: A lot of hype surrounding this game. Bama is clearly the better team. LSU made a game of it by being at home and feeding off of the anti-Saban energy in the crowd. Bama/Florida should be a heck of an SEC championship game, but I will call it right now – John Parker Wilson has not impressed me, and the Gator defense he faces will be the best one he’s ever seen. Most of those Gators have been on the big stage before and they will take care of business.
Texas Tech/Oklahoma State
Evan: I was sure that TT would lose one of its last two games, now I’m not so sure. Their offense literally looks unstoppable, but I still have to wonder just how bad those Big 12 defenses are? It’s difficult to judge them based on limited cross-conference game action.
Ahad: I only saw the highlights of this game, but Texas Tech looked very impressive. I still say the Big 12 is the best conference in the NCAA.
Winning With Style
Mike: All week everything I heard about the PSU game was that they needed style points. I didn’t understand that. I don’t care if they win all their games 70-0 the rest of the way. If Alabama and Texas Tech win out, they will be #1 and #2. If one of them loses and PSU won out, being 12-0 would be style points enough. There was a gap between the top 2 teams and PSU. Who’s fault was that? Many are blaming PSU’s schedule, but in reality it is because of a weak Big Ten. When Illinois loses to Western Michigan, you know your conference is incredibly week. As for the schedule, PSU gets to schedule 4 non-conference games. They had 2 cupcakes: Coastal Carolina and Temple and 2 from major conferences: Oregon State and @ Syracuse. Both of those wound up being cupcakes. Turns out Oregon State was no cupcake, but no one knew it at the time. As for Syracuse, they have a solid history. When these games were scheduled there was no way knowing that Syracuse would be terrible and PSU would be great. Based on their status just a few years ago, the 2 programs could be swapped right now and no one would be all that surprised. Look down the road a bit and PSU has Alabama scheduled for 2 years. Looks like an amazing matchup right now. But what if one of the programs is really bad in 2 years. Will everyone be slamming one of the programs for scheduling such a weak opponent?
Evan: There’s not much you can do in the way of predicting how teams will be when you schedule them way in advance. UF played Hawaii this year, had they played them at the beginning of last year when they had Colt Brennan, the Gators still would have won, but it would have looked a whole lot better for their strength of schedule. The best thing you can do is root for your own conference. I’ve been saying for years that one of the differences that exists in the SEC as opposed to any other BCS conference, is that while there are rivalries, we all root for each other when we’re not playing each other. Not too long ago it was pointed out to me that Michigan and Ohio State fans could never root for each other, even in Bowl games. That kind of talk makes no sense to SEC fans. We understand that a rising tide raises all ships (no pun intended on that one).
Mike: First, Evan, how do you respond to this story about a couple shot to death after an argument about the Alabama/LSU game. When I first saw it, I immediately thought of your theory of conference harmony. Secondly, I forgot to mention about winning with style but your conference depends on your ability to win with style late in the season. You can win with style in Florida in November. What about the Big 10? You are just trying to make sure you keep all your digits.
Evan: I would be surprised if any of the people involved with that were actual alumni. Also, notice how I said that we root for each other when we’re not playing each other. During game weekends, the other team is our worst enemy, whether in conference or not. Cooler heads prevail during the week, when we see how our united strength is a benefit to all. You are correct about the big 10, you won’t get style points in November. Maybe give the receivers those hand warming gels to put underneath their gloves?
Ahad: I am not a big fan of this concept of winning with style points. It basically comes down to blowing out your opponent. Believe me, I am all for running up the score if the situation calls for it, but most of the time it is uncalled for. The risk of someone getting hurt increases drastically in a blowout. It shouldnâ€™t matter if you beat a team by 20 or by 3. A win is a win. Granted, there are degrees of how convincing the win was, but embarrassing the other team is too risky. The concept of conference harmony makes sense to me, but I canâ€™t see it happening. It is just my hateful side coming out.
|TCU @ Utah||TCU||Utah||TCU||Utah|
|Georgia Tech @ North Carolina||North Carolina||Georgia Tech||North Carolina||North Carolina|
|Alabama @ LSU||Alabama||Alabama||Alabama||LSU|
|Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech||Texas Tech||Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State||Texas Tech|
|Notre Dame @ Boston College||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Boston College|
|Record (This Week)||25-20 (3-2)||23-22 (2-3)||24-21 (2-3)||27-18 (4-1)|