Sunday, September 10, 2006

Upon Further Review, Week Two | by Dylan

Well, that was certainly more enjoyable than last week. I'll leave the game breakdown for the other guys, but I'll make two observations. First, as much as I like the defense, I have this nagging feeling that the linebacking situation is going to bite us in the ass. Do other great defensive teams, championship caliber teams, play eighty percent nickel? Maybe. I don't know. Second, Joe Paterno was about as involved in that game as was my four-year-old son, who spent much of the second half decorating the kitchen wall with chocolate ice cream. I got the feeling that those random smears were not too unlike the game plan running through Paterno's head. How many times did the Howitzer-armed Morelli line up at wide-out?

Week two featured another go-round on the confectioner's carousel, with West Virginia (Eastern Washington), Wisconsin (Western Illinois), Florida (Central Florida), Miami (Florida A&M), Nebraska (Nicholls State), TCU (UC-Davis), Michigan (Central Michigan), and Michigan State (Eastern Michigan), putting off dinner until after the donuts. I was unable to find box scores for the other Michigan compass-point schools (North-Northwestern Michigan?), but I'm sure they fared equally well against their Big 1? opponents. Shameful and cowardly. Last week's installment of Attack of the Killer Gelatos almost produced a sequel in Tallahassee. Oh, man, that was gonna be great! Alas, Free Shoes U managed to hit it past the ladies' tees and therefore avoids having to play Clemson with their pants down. The Seminoles shook off the rushing malaise that dogged them in the Miami game (1 yard on 26 carries) and exploded for 45 yards on 28 attempts. At least they got that sorted out.

Purdue, in a display of Spackian brilliance, limited would-be cupcake Miami (OH) to 481 yards of offense and 28 second-half points in their cagey ploy to lure the Red Hawks into overtime before finishing them off. Tiller is one crafty sumbitch. Wear 'em down and beat 'em in the fifth quarter. When asked about the game lengthening strategy, Tiller replied "We won't get old, and we won't ever die." ND might score 100 points on them, and should not require overtime to do it.

Georgia Tech, whose tenacious D dropped ND in the polls, may ultimately end up as one of ND's more impressive victories this year. Granted, after the opening loss the Yellow Jackets licked their wounds against Samford, but they showed that the Irish defensive effort in Atlanta was no fait accompli. The Wreck scored 35 first half points on their way to a 38-6 romp. Georgia Tech affirmed what a great coach Bob Davie is. They I just vurped when I wrote that.

A great headline that should have been: Air Force Shoots Down Tennessee! Damn. Tennessee cements its "enigma" status, becoming heroes only after the Academy's failed game-ending act of valor.

This week's TCB in a flash teams are OSU, ND, Auburn, and LSU. That's it. Next week's games will help shake the list out further, especially Nebraska-USC, Florida-Tennessee, and Auburn-LSU. Joining Tennessee on the enigma list are Georgia, Louisville, FSU, and Oklahoma. Alone in the "We'll probably never know because they play a schedule that would embarrass a freak-show geek" is West Virginia.

Georgia beat South Carolina 18-0. Sure, an upset would have been more interesting, but I can't get enough of that face.

It was a bad week to be a former coach at Florida, as Galen Hall, Spurrier, and Ron Zook will attest. The first two have job security. Zook is eyeing Kurt Warner's old job after losing to Rutgers 33-0. Yikes.

San Jose State, whose inclusion on BGS' ballot for last week's blogpoll (long story; see SMQ for sort of what we were thinking) got us kicked out of the poll by Brian at Mgoblog, did what most of the top 25 did not do. They beat a school in a BCS conference, the second one they've played in as many weeks. Mgoblog threw out our ballot because he thought we were not taking the poll seriously enough and that we were screaming for attention with our unconventional Week 1 approach in which we rewarded teams that played well in week one, regardless of reputation or previous years' performance. Well, whatever. Mgoblog's preseason #2 (five spots ahead of Ohio State) and current #5 (one spot ahead of Ohio State) Iowa somehow managed to derail Syracuse (1-10 in 2005) in overtime. Mgoblog PRESEASON #2 IOWA scored 10 points in regulation against the Orangemen, who have won 1 of their past 13 games. They're just that daggone good.

Six days until Michigan. Six days until Chad Henne throws balls into our linemen's elbows, until Lloyd Carr goes conservative halfway through the second quarter, until those Princeton-designed helmets crash into the gleaming golden domes of our warrior poets, until Michigan fans bemoan the patent unfairness of it all and, somehow, insist to claim victory in defeat. I love it.

Go Irish.