Rivalry Week 2020

If there was ever a year that you’d say a Hokie is a Turkey, it would be 2020. The only thing the Hokies have to be thankful for is that they don’t have to play Clemson until next week.

This week is normally one of the best weeks in college football. There’s nothing like rivalry week to bring out the best in teams. Alas, Covid-19 has claimed this weekend, with several traditional rivalry games not being played.

Typically, Thursday is for the NFL. Unfortunately, we’re getting the brussels sprouts (Houston versus Detroit) and lima bean casserole (Washington versus Dallas) of Thanksgiving games, with the stuffing (Ravens versus Steelers) relegated to Sunday leftovers. Thankfully, the NCAA has responded with University of New Mexico (0-4) versus Utah State University (0-4). Mmmm, creamed onions anyone?

Friday’s slate improves if you were looking for an excuse for not putting up the Christmas lights. ISU at Texas and ND at UNC should prove to be watchable. If you must get out of the house, there’s still tickets available for UMass at Liberty, although they are bit pricey.

Liberty is a dry campus but I hear that Falwell’s tailgate is jumping. Just ask for the signature drink, “The Pool Boy”.

ABC’s big game on noon EST is PSU at Michigan. Hmm, anyone up for Maryland versus Indiana? The Iron Bowl is still a thing this year, but does it count with Saban watching from his den? Well, maybe he can catch up on his Aflac paperwork. If your family Thanksgiving was cancelled, you still have a chance to get Covid-19 . There’s going to be a super spreader event at College Station this weekend as the Texas A&M hosts LSU. Wear those masks Aggie faithful.

 

Source as of 11/25, 4pm CST: Time.com

Enjoy the dark meat,

Tree

 

 

Week 7 Gig’d ‘Em

Last week’s games were pretty good, but it is clear that College Football is better with the BIG 10 and PAC 12 than without. Thankfully, there’s only one week to go until the BIG 10 season kicks off. It is hard to believe the PAC 12 doesn’t kick off until November 7. From the polls to the playoffs, this whole season should just carry a big asterisk. Look, this season is a welcome diversion but it is hard to consider it a valid one. The inconsistency in schedules and the high number of cancellations make it even more difficult to assess who the best teams are. It doesn’t make the eventual national championship meaningless, just diminished. With that, some random thoughts on last week games before I weigh in on this week’s slate.

Last week’s games:

  • I still don’t know if the Aggies are for real, but upsetting Florida is a step in the right direction.
  • I find Gus Johnson hard to listen to. He is constantly shouting, often trying to make drama where there is none. He also has a tendency latch on to one theme throughout the game. For a minute during the OU Texas game, Johnson almost had me convinced Ehlinger could walk on water. Look, Ehlinger had an inspired game, but the fairy tale ending that Johnson was crafting was ruined when the QB threw a game ending pick. And for once, Johnson was speechless. 
  • VT – UNC game mildly entertaining. Not sure how good UNC’s offense really is. Beating up 3rd string walk-on DBs isn’t exactly impressive. I should known since I was one.
  • You have to wonder if Orgeron at LSU is distracted with personal issues. The Tigers don’t look like themselves. Missouri beating LSU was certainly a surprise.
  • I have been keeping a close eye on the stands because I still hope to catch at least one game this year. In general, the adults have been social distancing but not the students. I wonder what that is going to look like in three weeks
  • Auburn got a gift on the fumble call on the clocking of the ball. Felipe Franks was something else for the Hogs. The Tigers were very lucky to win that game.
  • The rockhead move of the week was George Pickens from Georgia spraying water on the Tennessee QB on the sidelines. It wasn’t malevolent but it was stupid. 
  • And no, Miami is not back. They are better, but Clemson still handled them.

Week 7 Games

  • There’s already been two great Sun Belt games. The locations of the schools may not always be easy to get to, but the teams are entertaining. Trust me, I have been to both Arkansas State (pre Waterfall) and Troy. Still, the Sun Belt is the Fun Belt.
  • Even with Saban out with Covid-19, Georgia at Alabama should still be a great game. Finally a prime time game worth its slot.
  • Don’t complain LSU and Florida for having your game postponed. Houston plays BYU this weekend. It is their second game of the season.
  • The best game of the day may be Army at UTSA. If not for Covid, I would have strongly considered driving over to San Antonio to watch that game live.

Again, not the meatiest tray of games this weekend. Still, it is better than nothing.

Preparation and Planning

No game again this week which will allow me to catch up on some reviews (but maybe not yet the Ducks and Beavers) and do some planning for next week’s big game at Notre Dame. Before I go into my picks for this week, just a few thoughts on last week.

  • Why did Washington get called for unsportsmanlike for hiding the return man on the kickoff? Terrible
  • Va Tech UNC finish was not great football but was still a blast to watch. I really like the two point conversion rule. 
    • And with that result, the ACC Coastal is officially a mess.
  • Texas escapes. I am not sure if they are as good as they think they are.
  • Vandy upsets Missouri – I knew the Tigers were overrated
  • Baylor exorcised some demons against Oklahoma State. Maybe they are legit.
  • Even though the Ducks won against the Huskies, Oregon’s defense laid an egg.
  • Gophers still undefeated and with the Terps coming to town they will probably stay that way.
  • South Carolina’s Coach, Will Muschamp, was completely right when he went off on the officials after their game with Florida. I can give a pass on the missed holding call given the angle of the official, but missing the offsides was inexcusable.

I finally had a good week with my picks. I went three and one with Appalachian State and Virginia rolling coupled with the upset by Vanderbilt. It was only a lackluster performance by ODU’s offense that kept me from four and oh. This week I like Tulane getting four against Navy. The Green Wave is having a good year. Even though they are home and have the same record as UCF at 5 – 2, Temple is still getting 11 points. Admittedly, I don’t feel great about it but I am taking the Owls. I do feel good about Boston College getting 35 against Clemson. The Tigers are shaky. I am taking the Utes over the Cal Bears on the transitive property. I saw Utah beat Oregon State by 45 two weeks ago in Corvallis and then last week the Beavers beat Bears. How can Utah not crush Cal?

Some other thoughts on Week Nine.

  • It will be interesting to see which Badgers show up at the Horseshoe. Will it be the team that smoked Michigan or the one that choked against Illinois?
  • App State should stay undefeated with an easy win against South Alabama.
  • Do they Scarlet Knights of Rutgers have any pride? Liberty comes to town at 5-2 but it would still be an embarrassing loss for the Big Ten.
  • Can I call Penn State’s contest against Michigan State a trap game with a looming game against a likely undefeated Minnesota?
  • LSU should handle Auburn.
  • Bargain of the week. UVA at Louisville tickets going for $2.
  • Not a bargain at any price: 1 – 6 UConn at 1 – 6 UMass.

 

Enjoy the games,

 

Tree

Just do it?

The week started off great thanks to the South Alabama Jags. While they did lose the game against Georgia Southern, they still covered. It was also a very entertaining game to see live. South Alabama’s going to get a good review. Friday night was not nearly as satisfying as UCF lost to the Bearcats of Cincinnati. The Knights are dead to me and the New Year’s Day bowl selection committees. Saturday was a mixed bag. I really thought Troy was going to score enough against Mizzou to cover, but it was another loss. My UAB experience was dismal but at least the Blazers put it together enough in the second half to cover against Rice in the rain. It was about the only redeeming feature of my UAB experience. So once again, average reigns supreme at somanystadiums, where I went 2 -2 for the week.

Other observations on last week.

  • Big win by Florida, looking to the LSU game to provide some clarity in the top 10.
  • SMU wins in triple OT. Definitely trying to find a way to get to Ford Field this year.
  • Some good looking teams in the Big 10: Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin all dominate. And don’t forget Minnesota at 5 – 0 ?!?
  • Gotta give San Jose State some love. They win again to go 3 – 2 even it was against New Mexico
  • Oklahoma State just doesn’t seem to like success. Just when they crack the top 25, they get upset by Texas Tech
  • The ACC is a mess. Pitt beats Duke and Hokies upset the ‘Canes in Miami. Just nuts.
  • Whew: Michigan, Nebraska both escaped with close wins.
  • What, still undefeated? Baylor, Boise State, Memphis all still trucking.

I didn’t like the options for Thursday night, but I have to pick someone. I am going with the Bobcats of Texas State to cover at home against the ULL Warhawks. Friday night, it is an emotional hedge. I’d prefer a good game since I will be seeing it live in Eugene, but if it is a blowout, at least I get the win. Saturday is the same as I go with the Beavers to keep it close at home against the Utes. My other pick is Texas. I figure the Longhorns to keep it close in the Red River Shootout.

Other observations for Week 7:

  • I don’t think the Cavaliers will sneak up on the ‘Canes like the Hokies did. However, I don’t think it will matter either. Virginia wins.
  • Undefeated Memphis heads to one-loss Temple. I am pulling for the Owls because that will set up a great game against SMU the next week.
  • I would like to see Texas A&M give Alabama a good game, but that doesn’t mean I think that will happen
  • First real for Penn State as they visit Iowa. Some of the luster is gone after the Wolverines beat the Hawkeyes last week.
  • So how many times do you think ESPN will show an alligator grilling at a LSU tailgate. The answer is too many. I like the Tigers in this one.
  • Lastly, UNLV at Vanderbilt tickets going as low as $2, so if you are in Nashville this weekend…

Roll Damn Tide – for real!

This week, I am off to “Bama to witness the execution of Ole Miss at the hands of the Crimson Tide. I know what you are thinking: Why not save “Bama for a big game? I have been trying to for years, but between the strength of the Tide, their steady diet of cupcakes, and a generally weak lower half of the SEC all combine to make finding a competitive home opponent for a ‘Bama game more difficult than Antonio Brown taking the high road.

Notes Games 4

It was a good week to watch a lot of college football. Tulane broke out those sweet light blue uniforms (would have been perfect if only they had included the angry wave helmet as well) for their upset of the Coogs. The exciting finish with the fake kneel down was a sign of more exciting things to come for Week Four. My only regret is going to bed and seeing it the morning after. That put me down one on my picks, but sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. It was sweet hook job by LA Tech on Friday night with an onside kick-off TD return to get me my cover. Unfortunately UConn was clearly not as good on the road as at home. Apparently, even the 27 points they were getting were not going to get me the win against Indiana. (I did find the UConn home game experience to be enjoyable. See the latest review here.) However, ND saved my bacon with their late touchdown against Georgia to put my picks at 2-2 for the week. 

Other thoughts for this weekend:  

  • ESPN’s Game Day feels like it needs a bit of a shake-up. The “you had one job” is getting stale. It is everything you have already seen on Twitter, Reddit, etc.from the previous week. Perhaps, some “On the road” feeds from lesser known stadiums would be a good feature. We, at somanystadiums are ready and willing. 
  • Despite not being selected to share my experience on the “150 Years of College Football”, I did love the Chocolate Labrador storming the field at Georgia story. I am a sucker for dog stories, especially ones with Labs. 
  • I thought Notre Dame played fairly well against Georgia. I am not a big Notre Dam fan, but their tight end Cole Kmet is a stud. I wouldn’t characterize the Dawgs as holding on though. The Irish were in full desperation mode at the end.
  • I would say the same about the Texas A&M and Oklahoma State near comebacks, more “a hope and a prayer” than anything else. And, while I loved the Pitt win, it did feel like UCF was the better team even though they lost.
  • But look, they were all certainly much more competitive than Michigan at Wisconsin. There’s nothing positive for the Wolverines to take away in that absolute beat down. It is beginning to feel the Harbaugh era will be one of good to very good, but never great. 
  • So ODU almost beats VA, Maybe Va Tech is better than I think? Furman did just pound Mercer and nearly beat Georgia State. And, didn’t Georgia State beat the SEC’s Tennessee. And well, beating an SEC team is something right? Wait, San Jose State beat Arkansas this week?!? Nevermind. Va. Tech is still clearly a wait and see proposition.
  • Pitt upsets UCF, Think about that statement, Pitt upsets UCF. I am not sure the AAC is comparable to the ACC, but it is getting much closer. Open the playoffs to eight teams and you may get some surprising answers.
  • UCLA vs. Washington St. – Again, I went to bed. The Bruins were getting boat-race and then a track meet broke out. UCLA roared back for the win. The tackling was atrocious in that game. The defenses were so bad, both teams covered the Over. 
  • Whew: Virginia over ODU, Cal over Ole Miss, Fla St. over Louisville
  • Doh: TCU loss to SMU, Washington St. loss to UCLA UNC loss to App. State. 

Lastly, it is a poke in my eye every time ESPN runs that ad for their new relationship with the ACC network, immediately followed by an ad for Xfinity, who has not yet picked up that network. My only satisfaction is that some poor bastard at ESPN is stuck serving the Comcast/Xfinity relationship.

Week 4 will be tough to match, but there are some good games on the slate this weekend. I am staying consistent with picking Thursday and Friday games. I really don’t like the Navy Memphis game because I don’t think we know enough about either team. Since I have to make a pick, I am going with Navy being able to at least keep it close. Friday night was easy. I think PSU will roll over Maryland despite the extra seats and fans. Saturday, I feel compelled to pick the Ole Miss Bama game since I will be there. The line is 38.5 which seems crazy high, but Ole Miss has looked pretty bad. For my last pick, I am going to keep riding the La. Tech Dawgs. Rice is just struggling.

Other thoughts on this week’s slate:

  • Pretty good slate for Friday night. Beyond PSU, the Duke vs Va Tech game should be a good one. I also think ASU can play with Cal. Will have to find a sports bar in Meridian, Mississippi for the night.
  • I am guessing Michigan will take out all their frustrations on poor Rutgers
  • Same for the Aggies against the Razorbacks
  • NIU could give the SEC another out of conference loss. Stay sharp Vanderbilt
  • Delaware at Pitt – A classic trap game, especially after Pitt upsets UCF
  • I can’t make heads or tails of the PAC12 – Maybe I will understand after USC vs Washington
  • Ark St. vs. Troy – A Sun Belt classic. Seriously, I could see myself watching that game
  • Bleh game of the week: 0-4 Akron at 0-4 UMass. I guess somebody has to win, but it won’t be the fans.

That’s all I got. Enjoy the games.