Patterico's Pontifications


College Football, Week 4

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 8:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Week 4 brings news and more upsets — Tebow was injured and Oregon upset Cal, Virginia Tech beat Miami, Florida State lost to South Florida, and Iowa is leading Penn State in the 4th — but nothing beats last year’s Coach of the Year, Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach, as he walked off the field at halftime of the Tech-Houston game explaining how Tech “ignited” its running game:
(Note: This may not be verbatim but it’s close.)

ESPN reporter: Specifically what did you do to ignite the running game?

Coach Leach: “Just ran it, you know. Yeah, it’s not that hard. Sometimes when you run the ball it ignites things a little bit.”

This is an open thread on Week 4.


43 Responses to “College Football, Week 4”

  1. Bobby Bowden: “They’re a whole lot better than I thought.”

    No kidding….so is Washington, Oregon, South Carolina, Iowa, Stanford (beating Washington)….

    The list will go on and on this year….could be another year where everone loses, and the champions end up where they are by default….

    LSU however, won again, and winning ugly is always better than losing ugly….

    reff (502473)

  2. Let’s keep Frank Drachman in moderation so we don’t have to hear him run his mouth about the very overrated SEC. The penalty for his awful comment last night ought to be that he doesn’t get to participate in this thread.

    Notre Dame is playing like they want to keep Charlie Weis around another year. Who woulda thunk it?

    JVW (d1215a)

  3. Very overrated SEC????

    reff (502473)

  4. Frank is entitled to his opinions on football but his comments will remain subject to moderation for the foreseeable future because of his Klebold/Harris comment.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  5. Gotta love Mike Leach – he keeps it simple and effective. And he’s sticking with that strategy now in the third quarter.

    Mike LaRoche (82fa1f)

  6. Sorry reff. Florida is a legitimate number one right now, but the aforementioned “gentlemen” poisoned everyone against the SEC the first couple of weeks by being overbearing and obnoxious.

    LSU, as you said, won ugly but managed to win. Based upon the parity this year, I guess they have as good a chance as anyone.

    JVW (d1215a)

  7. Should have been “gentleman,” the singular version when talking about Drachman.

    JVW (d1215a)

  8. And DRJ, you are right that Drachman is entitled to his opinions on football, but he comes in with the purpose of being obnoxious and overbearing, not to actually discuss the merits of the various teams or the results of the week’s games. It’s your call, but I think we can do without his malarkey tonight.

    JVW (d1215a)

  9. Anyone who says the SEC is overrated and seriously believes so shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Mike LaRoche (82fa1f)

  10. JVW,

    The SEC is looking strong this year so he may not come by.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  11. Again, Mike, it helps understand my statement if you have the context of the previous weeks’ comments. Based upon Frank Drachman’s opinion of the SEC, it is fiendlishly overrated. Based upon other evaluators, maybe not.

    Let me mention that the announcers on the Cal-Oregon game earlier made the point that it is the Pac-10, not the SEC, that has the best record against BCS teams outside their conference over the last 10 years. If true (and I have not verified it) that qualifies as fact, not opinion.

    JVW (d1215a)

  12. Sorry about the SEC abuse from anywhere….there is a tendency to get riled up about how tough the conference is to play in….another week which shows exactly that….and when all you do is listen to the talking heads tell us how great Penn State is, or that Miami is back, or that Ohio State is so special….

    I do believe than in your league it is harder to win than outside, because your league sees you much more often….even when your league is “weaker” on the national front, such as the Big 10 proved again this weekend….

    (But, I’d love to play Iowa, Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois, and either PSU or OSU as my “conference” schedule…)

    reff (502473)

  13. Last night, at high school football game, I told my fellow fans that Houston would give Texas Tech a run for their money. Right now, it’s 21-20, Tech leading in the third quarter.

    Tech probably will win, but I think I was right.

    Plus, my blessed Aggies won against another hapless team. Sorry UAB.

    I fear they won’t do so well when faced with the formidable Big 12 South.

    A80 (592691)

  14. I got to witness another arse-beating of my beloved Illini. Fire Ron Zook.

    JD (8d3f8f)

  15. As I typed that last comment, Tech scored. Alas.

    A80 (592691)

  16. And, of course, I’m Ag80, not A80. Farmers fight.

    Ag80 (592691)

  17. JVW…I don’t doubt the stat, but, I would love to see the list of wins (who beat who) so that I could see that the Pac-10 teams beat real competition, as opposed to….to what?

    The Rose Bowl, in the last 10 games played by a Big 10 rep: 3 wins, in ’98, ’99, ’00…so, yes, the Pac-10 would be doing well there…but, doesn’t that also reflect the “weakness” of an opponent???

    And, I do remember that the SEC didn’t fare well against USC either….of course, LSU didn’t get their shot against them, neither did Auburn, when LSU beat Oklahoma and Auburn was 13-0….

    Oh, and USC beats up on Notre Dame on an annual basis…that also counts as a BCS win….

    reff (502473)

  18. JD, were you saying that a year ago???

    I condemn you for your hyprocracy….

    reff (502473)

  19. I said it a year ago. Great recruiter, sh*tbag of a coach.

    JD (8d3f8f)

  20. #11 – JVW

    Point taken.

    Mike LaRoche (82fa1f)

  21. I added a Sixty Minutes segment on Mike Leach at the “Coach of the Year” link. I highly recommend it if you like football.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  22. Reff, I follow your point about the level of competition the Big 10 provides for USC in the Rose Bowl, but let’s be honest and admit that Florida and LSU have been lucky to go up against some weak Ohio State and Oklahoma teams in the BCS title game. Oklahoma is an especially weird case of a team that plays well in the regular season, but apart from one time in 2001 they are unable to prepare adequately for a meaningful post-season game.

    My main complaint with the SEC is that they try to use the perceived strength of their conference as an excuse for scheduling cupcakes in the nonconference games. Florida would point out that they have to play Florida State every year, but FSU ain’t what it used to be and UF then adds schools like the Citadel, Charleston Southern, Troy, and Appalachian State. I mean come on, Division 1-AA schools? LSU has stepped up and played Washington, but they like to bring in in-state powerhouses like Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Tulane, and then they find room for a Troy, North Texas, and Appy State. Georgia scheduled a series with Arizona State and Oklahoma State, and they annually play Georgia Tech, but they also find room for the Georgia Southerns and Tennessee Techs of the world. Alabama’s nonconference opponents this year are Virginia Tech (formidable) along with Florida International (ehhh), North Texas (uhhh), and Chattanooga (no). See what I mean?

    Contrast this with USC who every year plays Notre Dame and in recent years has had series with Nebraska, Ohio State, Arkansas, Virginia, Hawaii (in the June Jones days), Fresno State (back when they were a Top 20 team), and even a one-off with Auburn. All of whom, it should be said, they beat. UCLA has scheduled Notre Dame, Tennessee, BYU, Fresno State, and Kansas State. Oregon has played Boise State, Utah, and Purdue.

    Here is the rule I would have for BCS schools with a 12 game schedule:

    9 conference games
    1 game against a decent in-state rival
    1 game against a weak in-state school
    1 game against a team from another BCS school
    no games against Division 1-AA schools

    I think mandating a schedule like this would go a long way towards helping fans determine a true national champion even in the absence of a playoff system.

    JVW (d1215a)

  23. I would agree with you if these other conferences had “in-house” competition that was as tough. But, when you have conference teams with 1, 2, or 3 total wins, you have the same easy wins as the weak non-conference wins….I agree that Ohio State is weak, but, remember this, WE KNOW THAT but the powers-that-be put them in the #1 or #2 spot every time they’re 11-0 or 10-1….that appears to be changing….I sure hope so….Oklahoma/Texas to me have the same advantage, that the media loves them, so they get high rankings early….

    As for Notre Dame….well, yes, USC plays them every year, and crushes them every year….well, when ND goes on to face a real team, what happens? They get crushed there too….

    In the end, the difference boils down to how they compete when it matters: Pac-10 was 5=0 in bowl games last year, SEC 5-2. Notice the first difference? Two more schools. Notice the next difference? Who played who? Which conference had a tougher schedule? Alabama’s loss to Utah comes to a great Utah team in the game after Alabama is one drive short of playing for the National Championship….Ole Miss kills a one-time wonder media darling Texas Tech, and LSU kills the second best team in the ACC….only USC represented the Pac-10 against a quality opponent, and yes, they won….Year before was a bit different, when the Pac-10 only one 2 of 5 bowls, SEC 4 of 7….

    As for scheduling, money talks, and it speaks loud…LSU gets a home game against a ULL team that beats a Big-12 team the week before, and it only costs $200K….They dropped Tulane this week in favor of North Carolina….

    But, who the heck does the rest of the Pac-10 play? Who does ANYONE play in non-conference???

    I just wish that the rankings would not be considered until all teams have played at least 6 games, regardless of who they play. Rankings limit what happens to a team when they win or lose…if there were no rankings till about the second weekend of October, we would already know that it’s possible Ole Miss is not as good as we thought, neither is Ohio State, that USC isn’t….by mid-October we’d know a lot more….

    reff (502473)

  24. How ’bout those Cougars??? 44 seconds left…one hell of a drive…

    reff (502473)

  25. Houston wins. Sorry, Tech.

    Gig’em Aggies

    Ag80 (592691)

  26. Tebow reportedly has a “bad concussion.”

    DRJ (b008f8)

  27. Agreed that Notre Dame hasn’t been exactly stellar the last few years (perhaps it is different this year), but keep in mind that they set their schedule years and years in advance, so when a Stanford or Washington or Washington State (three more Pac-10 teams that ND is playing) picks up a series with Notre Dame they can only assume that the Irish will have a Top 25 teams four or five years down the road when the game is actually played. When you schedule the Citadel or Charleston Southern, you probably aren’t expecting them to be world beaters by the time you meet them on the field.

    I have no reason of knowing this for sure, but I would guess that USC would be happy to schedule a series with Florida. That it doesn’t get done indicates to me that it is UF that has no interest in the competition. I have listed the litany of nonconference teams that USC has played, and I hear that they are trying to schedule a home-and-home with Alabama for 2014 and 2015 or 2016.

    And finally, you are right that preseason rankings are inherently stupid and give an unfair advantage to teams who are media darlings (note how many times in the last few years Notre Dame was a preseason Top 25). I would agree with your idea that rankings should not be issued until later in the season, but only if it is coupled with my idea that the BCS conferences need to start dictating to teams the quality of their nonconference opponents.

    Based upon whom I have seen this year, here is my Top 10 in this screwy, screwy year:
    1. Florida
    2. Texas
    3. Alabama
    4. LSU
    5. USC
    5. Boise State
    6. Virginia Tech
    7. Oregon
    8. Ohio State
    9. Oklahoma
    10. Penn State

    But there’s a lot of football left to play.

    JVW (d1215a)

  28. Here’s something to chew on, and a peek at my convoluted mind (sorry bout yer luck):

    I am a Buckeye fan, through and through. I would never complain if the Buckeyes were always listed in the top-two of any sport. But in recent years the Buckeyes were ranked number one or number two, I did not feel they were good enough for that ranking. I also did not feel, in recent years, ANY college team was good enough to be ranked number one.

    Sidenote: re: Pac-10 v Big 10 Rose Bowl (as it should always be, forever and a day): For UCLA or USC, it is a home game. I cannot remember if the home team gets 3 or 7 points on gambling ledgers. Other Pac-10 teams, it is almost a home game, but still neutral site (sorta). All Big-10 teams, it is an away game in a hostile arena.

    I am not whinging or claiming a Rose Bowl every year in the “shoe” would make all Pac-10 teams lose. But I am adding some context and a pov not examined.

    Ohio State has a long history of superior defense, going back to Woody and beyond. Not necessarily supreme, but superior. And the offense has, many times, been superior. But the offense, while showing signs of greatness, has of late lacked the superiority of an Orlando Pace type front line. The O line has been too soft for a while now. And the Buckeye bruiser-back has been missing.

    I really believe an offense, with “in your face” line and “crush your chest” backs, like the “Big 2 and little 8” has a history of, and a defense, with the same history, will eat the delicate scat-back type schools 9 times out of 10.

    But we haven’t seen teams like that in college in a long time. The Blitzburgh Steelers are like that and have done great things, but they’re not college.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  29. Whoops! That’s eleven. I am starting to wonder if USC isn’t more like number 8 or 9, but we’ll know a lot more next week when they play up in Berkeley. Rank them behind Boise State in the number 6 slot right now, just ahead of VaTech.

    JVW (d1215a)

  30. John Hitchcock (10:23 pm), I am not sure if I agree that smash-mouth football can still get the job done in this day and age. College kids today are too big, strong, and, most importantly, fast. You need speed nowadays, the kind of speed that you see at Florida, LSU, Texas, USC, and other top flight programs. I think Terrelle Pryor is the most promising player the Bucks have had since Eddie George, but he needs a better line — one that is not necessarily bigger, but quicker off the ball.

    JVW (d1215a)

  31. That ex-Buckeye felon number 13 was very promising as a bruiser-back, but he got stingers too easily and he was dead from the neck up. Too bad. If he had 3 brain cells, we could’ve seen some real smash-mouth football for years, even after he graduated, I think.

    And, yes, I believe that particular number 13 should never wear shoulder pads again.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  32. Yeah, I’m a Denver Broncos fan and I cringed when they wasted a fourth round draft choice on him.

    JVW (d1215a)

  33. Barkley looked awfully good with a sore shoulder tonight. The Cougars did better this year and show promise with that freshman QB and flanker. They are still very rough but they lose the equivalent of an all star team every year. I was shocked at how Oregon spanked Cal. Should be an interesting year.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  34. At the end of the USC-Washington State game they pointed out that leading the Pac-10 conference right now is none other than. . . Stanford. Next week’s USC-Cal game is a must win for both teams if they are to have any chance of winning the conference. The loser of that game probably has no shot at Pasadena, unless something crazy happens (which it probably will).

    JVW (d1215a)

  35. JVW, cringe even more. They wasted a 3rd round pick on him.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  36. USC continues to commit stupid penalties, turnovers and questionable play-calling.

    How on earth do you go for the TD when a field goal will put you up by more than three scores?

    The rest of the Pac-10 will not be shivering in their boots over the vaunted Trojan offense after watching the Cougars stuff them twice at the goal line.

    And Petro Papadakis needs to retire the term ‘Matt Barkley’s rocket arm’

    The only thing more ridiculous (than the SC game) I saw yesterday was a sick Tebow still in during the third qtr with a 31-7 lead. Hope Urban was happy watching him get flattened and then puking his guts out as they hauled him off the field.

    harkin (de9e88)

  37. Go Illini!!!!!! Ron Zook For President!!!!

    BT (78b929)

  38. Oh yeah, and that horrible home-cookin’ possession call at the end of the Mich-Ind game ruined what might have been a great ending.

    harkin (de9e88)

  39. harkin, I have watched undisciplined SC teams commit too many penalties for 53 years. It is stupid but they never seem to get it out of their system. However, refs often call them when they might not on another team. That roughing the kicker penalty deserved an Academy Award for the kicker. The SC player never touched him. That is another phenomenon I have watched for 50 years.

    One comment I read this morning on the game that sounded right was that the turnover in Carroll’s coaching staff has hurt him this year. Sarkisian took the nucleus of the staff with him to Seattle.

    One coach you won’t see leave unless he gets a head coaching offer is Ken Norton Jr.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  40. Harkin – IU shot themselves in the foot with all of those field goals.

    Teblow got rocked. I hope he is alright.

    JD (083e45)

  41. Below will be college, but since there is no pro thread… I want to hear somebody say that Brett Favre is over the hill and can’t throw and isn’t healthy enough to play. (Did you see him go down field and block a linebacker?)

    It seems to me that Ohio state split games with Texas not too many years ago.

    And all of the stuff about the Big Ten not having fast people… Ted Ginn, Chris Carter, David Boston, and a few others apparently weren’t fast.

    And when Wisconsin beat an Arkansas team that had beat the National Champ LSU team, by a Wis. cornerback running down McFadden (I think)from behind, that wasn’t speed either (Troy Vincent, All-pro cornerback, was from Wisconsin, BTW).

    As I said before, I think for the last several years the SEC has been the toughest top to bottom. But it wasn’t too many years ago that the Big Ten was 5-2 in bowl games.

    I think the main problem why the Big Ten does poorly in bowl games is the very long lay-off they have compared to other teams. Top SEC teams play at least two more weeks at the end of the regular season. And for some reason, it seems that Michigan and OSU are out-coached on game day at least as much as out-played, too conservative. Wisconsin and Penn State have done better in bowls, including against PAC-10 teams that had receivers that were “too big” and “too fast” for them to cover, and vven though Paterno has been too old to coach since the mid-80’s, (at least that is what they said before they rocked Miami for the National Championship).

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  42. I think part of the Big Ten’s poor showing in Bowls is the contracting. Big Ten #4 vs other conference #2 and suchlike. But, yeah, after the Buckeye-Wolverine Saturday, there are lots of games, just not in the Big Ten. And that hyper-extended layoff is difficult to overcome.

    And the first person to suggest a Big Ten championship game in football gets a preemptive THWAPPPP!!eleventy!!

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  43. I love LSU but No. 4? No way we are that good. Look at the stats and LSU get beaten by Wash and MSU. Our defense came through with the goal line stand at the end but it was ugly.

    Both Ga and Fla scare the hell out of me.

    Roux (09a786)

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