Commentary

Hooray for the BCS contenders!

Originally Published: September 10, 2010
By DJ Gallo | Page 2

It's Week 2 of the college football season!

Half the teams in the country already have a loss and are essentially out of contention for the national title. And a good majority of the 1-0 teams don't have a shot because they're not in BCS conferences. And a good portion of the remaining teams don't have a shot because they weren't ranked high enough to start the season.

So I guess we're down to, like, seven or eight teams with a realistic shot at winning the championship. Wow. The season goes by so fast. Let's tailgate!

    

Game of the Week

No. 12 Miami at No. 2 Ohio State: 3:40 p.m. ET on ESPN


This game starts at 3:40, but you'll want to tune in for the pregame show. And I don't say that just to shill for ESPN. I say that because up until kickoff, there still could be some more late penalties called from the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.

    

Another Game of the Week

No. 17 Florida State at No. 10 Oklahoma: 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC


Oklahoma needs to make a quick improvement over last week, when the Sooners struggled to beat Utah State, if it's going to beat the Seminoles. Florida State looked dominant in its opening game, a 59-6 victory over Samford, proving that handing the program over to this year Jimbo Fisher was the way to go.

I bet Bobby Bowden would have only won that game 56-9. Sad.

    

Yet Another Game of the Week

No. 22 Georgia at No. 24 South Carolina: Noon ET on ESPN2


The Bulldogs will play in this big SEC battle without two suspended receivers, including star wideout A.J. Green, who has been suspended for three more games for selling his jersey.

But Green will still be part of the game in spirit, thanks to all the Georgia fans who will no doubt be wearing his No. 8 jersey -- which they would have purchased in any number of colors or styles from the official Georgia Bulldogs online store.

Super job as always, NCAA!


Cupcake of the Week


Presbyterian College: After opening the college football season last Thursday with a 53-13 loss to Wake Forest, the Blue Hose (yes, that's really their name) continue their trek through the ACC with a trip to Clemson (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3). Hopefully they have some cool, new trick plays for this game. Or, barring that, hopefully Clemson's check clears.

By the way, Presbyterian College has 1,200 students. And 92 football players. So that's a 1:13 football player to regular student ratio. At most Division I schools that's just the player to girlfriend ratio.

    

Rivalry Game of the Week

Michigan at Notre Dame: 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC


Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist and Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson both looked very good in their teams' opening wins. But Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez says Robinson might have to start tying his shoes soon if defenders keep knocking them off, as UConn did repeatedly last week. Robinson, who hasn't tied his shoes since he was 6, doesn't want to ever tie them.

Let's just hope Rodriguez never recruits a player who grew up in a nudist colony. "Look, Jimmy, if you keep getting tackled by that thing, I'm going to have to ask you to wear some pants."

    

Another Rivalry Game of the Week

Iowa State at No. 9 Iowa: 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC


Iowa State hasn't scored a touchdown against its rivals since 2006. However, the Cyclones did win the 2007 game on five field goals, 15-13. Considering Iowa's defense is as good as ever, Iowa State might want to shoot for something like an 8-6 safety battle.


Heisman Candidate in the Crosshairs


Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State: Ohio State plays four nonconference games to open its schedule; only one is not against a cupcake: this one. So Pryor needs to play well to help his Heisman résumé. Of course, if Miami could pull the (very unlikely) upset, Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris could insert himself into the Heisman picture. And I think we'd all like to see if Harris would dress as stylishly for the Heisman ceremony as he does for class.


Mascot Fact of the Week


The Alabama Crimson Tide's mascot elephant traces its roots to 1930. Everett Strupper, a writer for the Atlanta Journal, wrote about the size of Alabama's players versus those of Ole Miss: "At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity."

So that's where the elephant started.

Strupper continued in his story: "It was the first time that I had seen it and the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold, men that I had seen play last year looking like they had nearly doubled in size."

Ahh, the 1930s. A simpler time. When seeing athletes double in size raised no suspicions. Today if that happened a fan would yell: "Hold your horses, the giant, roided-out freaks are coming!"

You know, the Giant Roided-Out Freak would kind of be an awesome mascot.

Tailgate Tip of the Week

Choose your football wisely: A tailgate is not complete without tossing a football around. But remember, the reason you're at a tailgate and not in the stadium playing is because you're no good at football. (Really. No, come on. Knock it off. That fourth-grade knee injury has nothing to do with your athletic failings. You stink.)

So if you start throwing around an official, regulation-size football, you're going to humiliate yourself. Because you can't throw a regulation-size football well, what with the you-stinking-at-football thing we covered earlier.

So bring a football along that's easy to throw. But don't go overboard and show up with one of those little kid footballs that makes noise or has a tail on it or glows or whatever. Because that's more humiliating than throwing regulation-size ducks. And you'll probably be asked to leave and never come back.


Quote of the Week


"I think the environment that we're going to play in Cedar Falls is going to be much more of a hostile environment than Memorial Stadium in Kansas. That was pretty docile. And the type of team that we're going to be playing is going to be a much more physical, aggressive football team than KU. And quite frankly I think we're going to be playing a better opponent. I know one school is in the Big 12 and the other one is in the Missouri Valley. I think that gives an indication on how we see Missouri Valley play and the respect we give Northern Iowa."
-- Craig Bohl, North Dakota State coach, coming off a 6-3 win at Kansas, talking about the difference between playing Kansas and playing Northern Iowa.

Ouch. Also: oww. And: oof.

New Kansas coach Turner Gill better grow thick skin and fast. (That was thick skin that Mark Mangino had, right?)


Another Quote of the Week


"I think the Alabama-Penn State game is a good game for us, even though I feel like we're outmanned because of age and maturity. ... That's why you come to places like Penn State, because you have opportunities to play in games like this. That doesn't mean a miracle's going to happen. We'll come home and we'll be better having played the game and we'll go on from there."
-- Joe Paterno.

"Win one for the Gi- ... ah, whatever. I'm tired. Let's just take our beating and get home, whaddaya say? Everyone come on in here and say 'Let's avoid getting hurt too bad' on three!"


Stat of the Week


31,698: That is the number of seats added to Bryant-Denny Stadium since Paterno last coached against Alabama in 1990. Whereas the Roman Colosseum has lost at least that many since Paterno first coached there in 112 A.D. (Get it? Because Joe Paterno is old. He is a very old man.)


Coach on the Hot Seat


Houston Nutt: Nutt brought in Jeremiah Masoli. OK, fine. Character issues aside, Ole Miss fans will deal with it if it results in some wins. Whoops. A Week 1 home loss to Jacksonville State. Now the Rebels go on the road to play Tulane. Vegas has set the line at: "I don't know. They lost to Jacksonville State, man. Anything could happen."

By the way, Rebels, since George Lucas wouldn't let you have Admiral Akbar as your mascot maybe you can get JarJar Binks. He's a better fit for your program right now.


Lane Kiffin NCAA Violation of the Week


None. But even if there were some Lane Kiffin NCAA violations this week, he wouldn't have time to focus on them. He's got more pressing problems. Football problems. USC gave up 588 total yards and 36 points in its opener against Hawaii, including three touchdown receptions by the Rainbows' Kealoha Pilares. I can just hear Kiffin watching the game tape this week: "Whoa! Triple Rainbow all the way across the goal line!"


Name of the Week


Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia:

Bacarri Rambo was born Bacarri Fudge. But he changed it to Bacarri Rambo when he was in grade school because Rambo sounds incredibly awesome and Fudge does not. Really. I'm not making that story up.

But if kids are allowed to change their names in grade school to something they like better, I'm afraid this means that in 15 years there will be a college football player named DeSean SpongeBob SquarePants. Wait ... did I say afraid? I meant excited and hopeful.

Stone Cold Lock of the Week

Alabama-Penn State won't be much of a game. So if you're looking for a tighter game Saturday night, head over to MTV2 for the 2010 season opener of the Lingerie Football League: Chicago Bliss vs. Dallas Desire!

I can't guarantee the quality of play will be any good. But if you'd watch a Kansas-Ole Miss game played by attractive women, then give this a shot.

DJ Gallo is the founder of SportsPickle.com. His first book, "The View from the Upper Deck," is available from only the finest bargain book retailers. His next book project will be released soon. You can follow him on Twitter at @DJGalloESPN.


Back to Page 2


• Philbrick: Page 2's Greatest Hits, 2000-2012
• Caple: Fond memories of a road warrior
• Snibbe: An illustrated history of Page 2
Philbrick, Gallo: Farewell podcast Listen