Here’s a riddle for you: If the Milwaukee Brewers sweep a series over a team from the NL West but nobody cares about it, did it really happen?
The answer: I guess, technically, yeah it happened. But it was the Diamondbacks, so it’s not that impressive. And it brings the Crew within 14 games of the division lead. Oh.
Now that we’ve effectively wrapped up my baseball discussion for the day, we can move onto the second weekend of college football. As expected, there were few upsets found in this week’s slate of games. But there was still plenty of interesting football to go around.
Mizzou 27, Bowling Green 20. Well, that one almost made a giant mess of things in Mid-Missouri. BGSU almost pulled a shocker by frustrating the Tigers for the greater part of three quarters on Saturday night. MU QB Blaine Gabbert went a rather disgusting 10 of 21 for 44 yards in the first half and didn’t snap out of his funk until late in the third quarter. Tailback Derrick Washington went all beast mode on the Falcons with 123 yards rushing, but that it took so long to get him on track may spell doom for Mizzou as the opponents get better and the season progresses. I didn’t watch this game, so I can’t give you too much in-depth analysis beyond the box score, but these games happen early in the year, and that’s why you play crappy teams. So you can play like crap and still get the W. And scoring three straight late touchdowns to win by 7 is impressive no matter who it’s against. Still, Mizzou fell out of the AP rankings despite the win (still 26th), and that’s deserved. A proper ass-kicking of Furman on Saturday should restore the ranking.
Michigan 38, Notre Dame 34. Dumb. This game was dumb. It’s very easy to armchair quarterback after the game, especially when you had nothing to do with the outcome during the actual game, but Charlie Weis gave this one away. With 2:30 left and a 3-point lead, ND had a chance to seal the game with a first down. Instead of running the ball meekly, forcing Michigan to use its timeouts and punting it away with some time but no TOs left OR passing quick and short (to avoid the run-stuffing defense), while still forcing UM to use the TOs (Ed. Note: My preference in terms of game strategy in this situation.), Weis decided to call for a bomb down the left sideline on 2nd and 10. It didn’t work. On 3rd and 10, he went for a deep out to a freshman, and it also fell incomplete. Now ND didn’t kill the clock or Michigan’s stable of timeouts. Strategy FAIL. I realize that if you complete the bomb, it works out, but call a screen pass. Or hooks. Or something, anything, that will keep the clock running. Instead, Eric Maust launched a 29-yard punt and Michigan scored the winning TD with 11 seconds left. All that was left was some shady clockwork at the very end (the clock should have stopped with 1 second left after Golden Tate was tackled with a first down near midfield …) to seal the Wolverines’ win. Despite the brutal loss, Jimmy Clausen proved that the Nevada game was no fluke and Michael Floyd is not one to be fucked with. The Irish may not make the BCS this year, but they’ll be damn good – and even the most staunch Domer haters cannot disagree with that.
USC 18, Ohio State 15. The Bucks put up a much, much better showing than I and many anticipated, but nonetheless, a top-10 team should be able to hold serve at home against a true freshman making his first road start. Matt Barkley proved he has some major cojones in this one, leading the Trojans back from a 4th-quarter deficit and doing it all with a bum shoulder. OSU QB Terrelle Pryor rebounded from a hilariously bad pass on the first drive that led to USC’s first TD and kept it close until the very end. But to me, Pryor still just looks like a great athlete that isn’t ready to be a great quarterback. He’s still young, still learning, but Ohio State needs to watch out before Penn State reclaims status as permanent top dog in the Big 10. Another year of romping over the Northwesterns and Indianas of the world will make your record look all pretty, but it doesn’t mean dick if you can’t win the big ones. I’m glad they schedule strong non-conference games (i.e. the 2-game series with Texas and now USC), but they have to start winning.
The Other Interesting Shit
Houston 45, Oklahoma State 35. So that win over Georgia doesn’t do much for ya now, does it?
Central Michigan 29, Michigan State 27. FIRE UP CHIPS! One of the best endings I’ve seen in a while. CMU goes for 2 and the win, misses, gets the onside kick, misses the winning FG, gets a second chance after a MSU penalty, and then drills it for the winner. Cash.
Wisconsin 34, Fresno State 31 – 2 OT. Only matters because I like the Badgers. A few more performances like this and Bret Bielema will join me in watching UW from the bars and/or the couch.