Just a tip, don’t ever try and take a baby into Neyland Stadium. No matter how old the kid (ours is less than nine months old and was sleeping in a baby bjorn on his mom’s chest). Babies have to have tickets to Neyland too. I have no idea why the University of Tennessee would have this policy. Especially since two of the most money grubbing entities on earth, the airlines and the NFL allow infants to accompany their parents without tickets. But not the Vols. I understand the need for an age limit, but if a kid can't walk, he's probably not sitting in his own seat. Just so stupid. Anyway like five of the strongest Scotty Hopson shots in succession (a sweet concoction of Kentucky bourbon and orange juice to honor the Vols top basketball recruit from Kentucky),Eric Berry helped to erase the pain of my son's first trip to Neyland. On to 12 observations from Saturday’s games.1. Texas eliminated Missouri from the national stage on Saturday. The Horns were up 35-3 at the half and all those Missouri fans who were convinced that Texas might have a figurative hangover after Oklahoma were busy wondering if Chase Daniel was literally hungover. Three weeks ago I anointed Daniel the Heisman Trophy winner. Maybe that was a bit premature. Now everyone knows Colt McCoy is going to win it. Which probably means he won’t. The void in the Heisman race this year is gargantuan. 2. Maryland beat Wake Forest 26-0. If there is a less consistent team in America than Maryland, I haven’t seen them play all year. Lose to UVA by 31 when you’re favored by 14, beat a top 25 Cal team that you’re double digit underdogs to, lose to Middle Tennessee State by 10, and now bounce back from being shutout to shutout the top team in the ACC. There are no words. I’m picturing a bleary-eyed Ralph Friedgen sitting in front of film from this season’s games,Twinkies flying over his shoulder at warp speed, saying over and over again, “If I just watch long enough it will all make sense.” No, it won’t Coach. It never will. 3. With 6:46 remaining in the third quarter Penn State was tied at 17 with Michigan. Nittany Lions fans were starting to wonder if they were going to find a way to lose to the worst Michigan football team in the history of the university and then they scored 29 consecutive points and covered the huge spread. Am I the only person who pictures Joe Pa giving the Russell Crowe Gladiator speech during a television commercial break? Via the sideline phone no less. How much would you pay to hear Joe Pa say, “At my signal, unleash hell.”
(It takes a while but the best single line of moviedom in the past ten years will come up eventually. Damn copyright lawyers ruining clips for the rest of us.) 4. Georgia outlasts Vandy 24-14. This game was ugly. And I know because I was nauseous and attempting to take a nap while watching this game from my car on Saturday afternoon. Earlier I’d spent the day touring the Thomas Wolfe home in Asheville. Don’t ask. But isn’t it amazing how teams can drop off the national radar so fast? Georgia is number 7 in the BCS standings and you’d think they’ve lost three games already. That will probably change beginning this weekend at LSU, but still, how have they disappeared so quickly? In case you're wondering how the Gators are getting ready for the Cocktail Party, here's a rap about the awesomeness of beards from Gainesville. Every time I want to hate Florida fans, they go and pull off something amazing like this. Work your way through the opening half-minute and wait for the rap to begin. It's truly outstanding. As an added bonus watch for Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Taurean Green to make cameos. Seriously.
5. On Friday Boise State beat Hawaii 32-7 to get to 6-0. Remember Boise State head coach Chris Petersen? You should. He’s about to become the hottest commodity among young head coaches in the country. Their only win by less than 13 was over Oregon at Oregon. They’re #15 in the country and will be favored to get to 12-0. Can they crash the BCS again? Oklahoma hopes not. 6. Texas Tech is 7-0 and still has played no one. Why can’t my team ever get a starting schedule like this to artificially inflate our expectations? But that’s all about to change. Starting this week Tech goes to Kansas (where they’ve opened as an early underdog), then they get Texas and Oklahoma State at home before a nice road trip to Oklahoma. Christ, is the negative karma from going to law school finally catching up with Mike Leach? 7. LSU proved they can win a big night game on the road. Unfortunately for them, this win means their home game against Georgia will now be an afternoon game for CBS. Somehow Les Miles will find a way to blame Matthew Stafford for this insult to the honor of the Bengal Tigers. Meaning I'm glad I'm not Matthew Stafford. 8. Remember how USC was favored by 43 on the road? Yeah, they covered by 26. 69-0 was the final. Washington State’s really clicking on all cylinders now. Can you imagine being a Washington State fan, putting money on your team, and then having to watch this debacle? As if that weren't bad enough, word is the entire Washington State dance team fled Pullman to become Mark Sanchez's harem. Only Sanchez dropped them off in Sacramento because they weren't hot enough for LA.
9. Oklahoma's Sam Bradford threw for 468 yards against Kansas. What’s more, the Sooners put up 674 yards of total offense. How is that even possible with the new clock rules? Seriously, 674 yards. You’re thinking, they must have thrown the ball on every play. You’d be wrong. They passed 56 times, but they also ran the ball 44 times. Meaning they managed to run 100 offensive plays. The average team in college football is averaging about 64 this year. How did this happen? Especially because Kansas ran 72 plays themselves. It wasn’t like they turned the ball over on the first play every time. I have no idea how this game featured 172 plays. Anyway, Oklahoma won 45-31. 10. Ohio State eviscerated Michigan State. Meaning it might well be another twenty years before Michigan State gets to go back to the Rose Bowl. But they can still beat Michigan this weekend, right? State fans are kicking dirt clods outside their UP Winnebagos. Right? Meanwhile, Ohio State and Penn State decides the Rose Bowl for the Big Ten before November is even here. 11. UVA upset North Carolina in overtime. What if Al Groh won the ACC this year? Your world is spinning in reverse right now, isn’t it? UVA is now 2-1 in conference and has a chance to take over the Coastal Division lead with a game at Georgia Tech this weekend. 12. The first BCS standings are out. Texas and Alabama are in the top spots. Not for long. I personally guarantee a loss for Alabama this weekend in Knoxville. It’s happening. Write it down and remember who told you first. In fact, wager your life savings on the Alabama favored by 6 line. That worked very well for everyone who took my advice on Texas Tech-Nebraska. As a consolation prize in advance, this lovely Alabama girl has lost her top. Oh my. She must be cold.