What a great game! You couldn't expect a much better game than the Ohio State Michigan "instant classic" on Saturday. However, I think you could ask for a better game; for instance, wasn't the Texas-USC Rose Bowl better? Multiple lead changes and in doubt to the last play. A person could argue that if you took away two Buckeye bad center snaps that Michigan wouldn't have been in the game. So, my interest in a possible rematch is more academic (could we bring ourselves to allow that?) than personal. Not to be defensive about my (stupid) rankings (it's not my fault), but I do think that USC offers the best hope for a strong championship game, if they can get by Notre Dame and UCLA. I actually thought their win over Cal was impressive; they didn't score 40 points, but they shut down a very good and highly motivated offense.
With all the stories of Bo versus Woody over the weekend, I thought I'd share one that is not well known. In 1978, my second year at Clemson, the Tigers went 10-1 with the only loss being an early season road game at Georgia. The reward was a Gator Bowl appearance against the Buckeyes of Woody Hayes. A close Clemson win (17-15, not enough to cover the spread, as my Clemson roommate still regrets) is not remembered nearly as well as Woody's attack on Charlie Bauman, the Clemson defender who made a late interception to seal the win and unfortunately was tackled near Ohio State's angry coach. What I can add is that the following year Woody was the guest speaker at the Clemson athletic banquet. I wasn't there, but the campus newspaper had glowing reports of a charming and humble man who truly loved coaching football and working with young men. If you do some Googling on this, you can read that Woody never apologized to Bauman. That's wrong. He did so at the banquet. Sadly, I couldn't find any evidence of the banquet on the internet.
This is part deux of Rivalry Week. Aside from the Ohio State game last week, I think this week is the more interesting. There's the cockfight in Clemson (I hope not quite so literally as two years ago). The Virginias, the Floridas, the Georgias and the Oklahomas have the spoiler versus heavy favorite angle. The Mississippis are both 3-8, the Oregons are both 7-4 and the Arizonas are both 6-5 as they head into the Egg Bowl, the Civil War and whatever Arizona has renamed what was the Territorial Championship Cup when they played in 1899. BYU tries to run the table after a 1-2 start with a tough game at Utah, Boise tries to go 12-0 and get a BCS bowl with a win at Nevada, Wake and Maryland have shots at the ACC Championship Game, and Troy and Middle Tennessee play for the Sun Belt title and a bowl bid.
The following predictions are straight from the ratings with 4 points added for home field. Enjoy the games and the turkey!Clemson over South Carolina by 8 (it's been awhile since the Chickens won; that's fine by me)
|106||New Mexico St||26.45|
|108||San Diego St||25.42|