Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

The most shocking image of the college football weekend occurred in the second half of Missouri-Nebraska. And it had nothing to do with the fact that Missouri hung 52 on Nebraska before the third quarter ended. It was finding out that Missouri’s chubby and short quarterback who will win the Heisman Trophy is boyz with Warren Buffett, the sage of Omaha. As if that weren’t enough, they posed for photos with one another. Well, of course they did. And of course the two regularly exchange email messages as well. Does Warren Buffett use emoticons? I swear to god if he does, I’m going to be crushed. You wouldn’t expect anything less though after seeing them pose back-to-back with a smug, “I just bought See’s Candy, bitch,” look on their faces. Ten other things that stuck out this weekend: 1. Does anyone else feel like the Terrelle Pryor run with one minute left against Wisconsin was the first of many such plays that will leave opposing Big Ten fans ripping out the hair on their "bad-ass" goatees? Pryor scored at half speed. The most dangerous thing about Pryor right now? He never seems to be in a hurry. The game is already slow enough for him that he can control the pace. Witness Wisconsin’s rushing defenders who have to move slower because they’re worried about rushing past him and giving up a big play. Yep, he's a true freshman and he’s already dictating the speed of the game. It’s uncanny. There are 80,000 opposing fans screaming at him, his team has to have a touchdown on a final drive, and he trots into the end zone on a quarterback keeper without being touched. It’s Vince Young-ian—before Vince Young went crazy. Also, and this is key, VY was a redshirt freshman by the time he started playing significant minutes and he didn’t start outright until his redshirt sophomore season. Pryor’s already there and he’s a true freshman. It’s enough to make Ohio State fans want to burn incense in Maurice Clarrett’s honor because thanks to his getting shot down by challenging the NFL’s three-year draft rule, the Buckeyes are guaranteed three years with Pryor. Hell, maybe by the time he leaves they'll have done the impossible...beaten a single SEC team.


2. Alabama doesn’t walk on water. At least not when they play Kentucky. If Kentucky’s quarterback doesn’t drop the ball in the end zone, Alabama might lose at home to Kentucky for the first time in the history of the two football programs. Instead they managed to hang on for a 17-14 win. On the papyrus scrolls bearing images of his victories that must be lain down before He takes a single step, in the Book of Saban this win will be called, "The Immortal Conquest of the Bluegrass." 3. Penn State survived their first of four consecutive tests to determine whether Joe Pa can become the first senile BCS Champion with a workmanlike 20-6 win over Purdue. The offense wasn’t as impressive as they had been but the defense was even better. Can they win on the road at Wisconsin this weekend? Joe Pa thinks so. Of course Joe Pa thinks Wisconsin is actually in Florida, so that's a bit of a geographic challenge. 4.Tennessee beat a sub-par MAC team 13-9 en route to rolling up 225 yards of total offense. What’s the worst thing about this? On the drive back from the game, I found myself thinking, “We played pretty well.” And we beat a MAC team by 4 at home. Awesome. 5. Virginia beats Maryland 31-0 even though Maryland was favored by 14 points. That’s a 45 point swing vs. the spread. College football—making oddsmakers jump off buildings since 1895. If anyone knows of a website that lists the largest swings in outcome every year, I’d love to see it. For instance a few years ago Louisville went down to South Florida favored by 28 and lost by like 40. The difference between the spread and the result was over 60 points. This would be a superb and cautionary ad for the NCAA to put together to try and discourage people from gambling on their games. 6. FSU triumphed over Miami after almost blowing a 24 point lead and Illinois came into the Big House, went down 14-3 and then outscored Michigan 42-6 in the final three quarters. Long live the Zooker. Death to the Zooker. In somewhat related news, Chris Weinke just had sex with his 4,000,032nd Florida State undergrad.

7. USC bounced back to crush Oregon. In the process of destroying Oregon in the fourth quarter, USC ensured that they are the only Pac-10 team ranked in the top 25. Lending further credence to my suggestion that the Mountain West Conference take out newspaper ads proclaiming their eventual conference champion the Pac-10 champ as well. 8. The Big 12 demonstrated there’s a severe gap between their top 4 and everyone else. Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas went on the road for conference games and won by 30, 32, 35, and 24 respectively. And these aren’t deceptive margins. None of these games was ever close. 9. Chase Daniel is going to win the Heisman unless he gets injured. Go ahead and write this in stone. It’s the gospel truth. Daniel looks like he’s playing a video game. And, be honest, if he showed up to play in a weekly football game with your buddies, no one would pick him for at least the first ten picks. Then, you’d probably put him on the line and tell him to run five-yard outs while your accountant friend got to play quarterback. Eventually you’d give him one snap at quarterback and he’d throw a 70 yard touchdown pass without even taking a step. Then, at halftime he’d disappear for ten minutes and when he came back your accountant’s girlfriend would be pregnant. 10. Vanderbilt beat Auburn for the first time since 1955 on Saturday. Auburn played their usual, choke you out football, going up 13-0 and then refusing to adopt such modern offensive plays as the “forward pass” and the “toss sweep.” Instead, they were content to wait for Vanderbilt to self-destruct and give them the win. And it almost worked. Play of the game? Vanderbilt back-up quarterback Mackenzi Adams is on a second down quarterback sneak and has just broken into the open field. If he keeps going and gets the first down all Vanderbilt will have to do is take a knee. Instead, and inexplicably, he drops the football. It bounces behind him and lays tantalizingly on the field. Then, he runs back and covers it. In the past five decades, that ball would have been scooped up and returned for a touchdown. But not this year and not on Saturday. As the second best College Gameday sign said, “The Geeks shall inherit the turf.” Although, to be fair, the best sign of the day (in an otherwise weak class) was, “My butler went to Auburn.” Succinct, arrogant, devastating and self-mocking (I’m sure the student’s butler really went to Miss. State). Well played Vandy, well played.

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