For those of you who emailed and asked whether the bearded guy in the orange shirt on the sideline at UT-Georgia was me. Yep, it was. There's a refined sense of pleasure in being a fan and watching your team suffer a drubbing from the sideline. I think I spoke about five words the entire game because I was afraid of getting in the way or getting leveled. Early on one of UT's student managers said, "Clay, keep your head on a swivel." So I was terrified of getting Weis'd and laying on the ground while my cell phone buzzed with text messages from friends making fun of how badly I got wrecked. Slow motion instant replays would not be my friend. I also didn't want to cheer too aggressively or really talk to the players too much for fear of them saying, "Who's the weird dude with the beard who just slapped me on the side of the helmet?" If you'll look closely at the above picture you can see that I've got a notepad so I can take notes for my book. Also, I'm not certain but I believe I became the first person to wear flip-flops on the sideline of a football game as well. All of this combined means I'm the biggest loser to be on the sideline for a major college football game since Bob Davie was still coaching. Anyway, here are 11 other things I noted during a week of carnage. 1. Texas is your new consensus number one. Which will surprise a lot of people who haven't been paying attention to the season thus far because Texas lept all the way from number five to claim the top spot. One Shakespeare, William memorably summed up the college football universe by stating "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." And in the current age of college football this is always applicable. But even more so for Texas. The Longhorns next three games? Missouri, Oklahoma State, and at Texas Tech. So in four consecutive weeks Texas plays the number 1 team (Oklahoma), the number 11 team in Missouri (who last week was number 3), the number 8 team in Oklahoma State, and the number 7 team in Texas Tech. What's that all mean? In one month, Texas plays 4 of the top 11 teams in the country. As if that weren't enough they still have number 16 Kansas hanging out there at the end of their schedule plus a Big 12 Title Game. If Texas wins all these games to get to 13-0 they shouldn't even have to play in the BCS Title Game.
2. What's even more important than losing? Everyone still thinking you're good after you've lost. That's the only way to explain how Florida is already back to number 5 in the country two weeks after a home loss to a below average SEC team in Ole Miss and how Oklahoma is still number 4 in the country after a loss to Texas on Saturday. Oklahoma's next four games are significantly easier than the schedule Texas faces. So if Texas loses one of these games does Oklahoma jump them in the polls or does Texas fall one or two slots only? Meanwhile, it's looking as if Florida and Georgia will play an elimination game at the Cocktail Party. But if you're a Georgia fan don't you have to scratch you head about the polls now? You were ranked higher than Florida prior to your losses and lost to the number 2 team in the country. Florida lost to an unranked team with no other SEC wins. Both were home losses. Yet Florida is number 5 now and Georgia is number 10? I've argued that Georgia was overrated early in the season, but I don't see how anyone can justify Florida jumping six places after a win over LSU. Basically the Ole Miss loss is already being tossed aside as if it didn't happen. Why? Because the pollsters are all convinced Florida is that good. Even if they lost. 3. Four of the top 11 teams in the country are now in the Big 12 South. Meaning, for at least a season, the Big 12 South has eclipsed the SEC East as the toughest single division in college football. Here's a mess for you, what if Texas wins the South via a tiebreak over Oklahoma then loses the Big 12 Title to a two-loss Missouri team. It could easily happen. Then Oklahoma doesn't win their own division title and leapfrogs not only the conference champion but also the division champion to play for the BCS Title? Yeah, absurd. 4. The fevered dream of Northwestern and Vandy in the BCS title game went down to an untimely defeat with the Dores loss at Mississippi State and Northwestern's loss at home to Michigan State. Sing a sad song with me. I suggest Wonderwall. 5. Overheard from a player on the UT-Georgia sideline, "At least we're not Michigan losing at home to Toledo." Fortunately Toledo is not on the UT schedule this season. 6. Some of you took my lock advice Friday and laid money on Texas Tech as a 20 point favorite. Yeah, that didn't work out so well. As Deadspinner Jason emailed late on Saturday night, "You, sir, make a lousy financial advisor. I'm going to hire Ferdinand Williams to break your kneecaps."
(For those of you who don't know, Ferd Williams was a GW basketball player in the 1996 and 1997 season. Judging from his career shooting percentage, it's very likely he'd swing a hammer to break my kneecaps and instead hit himself in the lower lumbar region.) 7. One month ago I got several emails from people who were racist against the state of Utah about how ridiculous my hyping of the BYU-Utah game was. Still feel that way? BYU is up to number 8 in the Harris Poll. Anyone looking at the top ten and betting on an undefeated team emerging from the Big 6 conferences is a fool (or a Penn State fan since they have by far the best shot). Could an undefeated BYU with a top ten win over Utah on the final week of the regular season really not get a sniff at the BCS Title Game? 8. Mike Gundy has Oklahoma State as a player on the national scene. I have no idea what's going to come of this but it can only be good things. Prior to this you'll recall that Gundy is A.) a man and B. 40. Now he's also in the top ten. Does anyone else get the feeling that the interview process for head coaches at Oklahoma State doesn't even include words? Head coaching candidates just walk into the room, pull down their pants, and throw their gigantic balls on the AD's desk. That's the only way to explain how a school can follow up hiring Les Miles with Mike Gundy.
(Because this never gets old.) 9. Ohio State is not going to play for the national championship no matter what they do the rest of the season. They're still pegged in at number 12. There are 5 one loss teams ahead of them and 6 undefeated teams. In the Harris Interactive poll (which is the one that counts in the BCS), Ohio State actually fell to 13. Consider this the retroactive punishment for 2007 and 2008 losses. Come hell (the return of or high water (an 11-1 finish), Ohio State is not playing for the BCS title. 10. Which team has lost the most based upon an upset loss to a mediocre team? How about Virginia Tech? Beat rapidly fading East Carolina (they've lost three in a row) and worst-case scenerio they're number 4 in the country now. Ouch. 11. Finally, in case you missed the Miami-Central Florida game (which, to be fair, we all did), Central Florida brought their own versions of the Ibis to the house. Miami managed to survive the double-fingered bird salute and triumphed 20-14.