DJ Gallo's Varsity Tailgate, Week 9
It's Week 9 of the college football season. It's also Halloween. Print this column and hand it out to trick-or-treaters as a healthy snack.
Game of the Week
No. 3 Texas at No. 14 Oklahoma State -- 8 p.m. ET on ABC
People around the country are pumped for this game. Millions will dress up for Halloween as Dez Bryant. You know, in that they'll be at home in regular clothes watching this game on their couch. (For added realism, have a friend sit beside you dressed as Deion Sanders!)
One More Game of the Week
No. 5 USC at No. 10 Oregon -- 8 p.m. ET on ABC
The winner of this game has the inside track for the Pac-10 championship and will stay in the picture for the BCS title game. I'm actually going to pick Oregon in an upset. Think about it -- they wear ridiculous costumes every week, so they'll probably be especially pumped for Halloween.
Cupcake of the Week
New Mexico State
The Aggies are 3-5 overall, 1-3 in the WAC, and are headed to Columbus to take on No. 17 Ohio State (12 p.m. ET on Big 10 Network). By the way, this may not interest you, but I'm working with ad sales to make this weekly segment called "Cupcake of the Week, brought to you by the Big 10 Conference." Natural synergy, no?
Cupcake Recipe of the Week
It's Halloween. Come on. As though you haven't had enough sweets already. I think you can go one week without a new cupcake recipe, fatty.
Rivalry Game of the Week
No. 22 South Carolina at Tennessee -- 7:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
A lot of people got upset about Lane Kiffin's comments during the recruiting season, but look at this. The University of South Carolina's Department of Geological Sciences does "energy related research." Who's to say that's not pumping gas?
One More Rivalry Game of the Week
Georgia vs. No. 1 Florida -- 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
Florida-Georgia has been quite testy the past two years. But I doubt we'll see anything like that on Saturday. Georgia won't celebrate en masse after a touchdown like in 2007, because with their offense this year, it's very unlikely that they'll score a touchdown. And Urban Meyer isn't going to call timeouts to run up the score like in 2008, because with his offense this year, it's very unlikely that running up the score will be an option. So this should be a respectful game. Unless you find these teams' boring you to be disrespectful.
Heisman Candidate of the Week
Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas
Shipley would already have this thing locked up if Colt McCoy were having a better statistical season and getting him the ball more. Of course, then McCoy would be leading the Heisman race, because that's just how it works. Yeah, there's no way Jordan Shipley wins the Heisman, is there? Sorry, Jordan.
Tim Tebow Fact of the Week
Tim Tebow has inspired campus plaques after 16.6 percent of his losses in his collegiate career.
Mascot Fact of the Week
Since it's Halloween, I thought I'd let you know that premium mascot costumes retail for anywhere between $119.99 and $699.99. But realize that it takes years to get that authentic mascot smell of B.O., stale beer and scalp.
Tailgate Tip of the Week
Do not tailgate in costume
Say you imbibe too much and do something stupid. Unlawful, even. Do you think it will be harder for police to find "some jerk in a gray sweatshirt and white baseball hat"? Or "some jerk dressed as a sexy kangaroo"? Exactly.
Quote of the Week
"It doesn't matter to me. I've never been there. I heard it's crazy, but I say this every road game: It won't matter."
-- Matt Barkley, QB, USC, on the noise at Autzen Stadium
Matt Barkley is either incredibly composed for a freshman, or cocky. Or deaf. Or all of them. Whichever it is: admirable.
Stat of the Week
Terrelle Pryor has thrown for 200-plus yards in each of his last two games. He did that only twice in his previous 19 games. Well done, LeBron. Now you may want to mentor Shaquille O'Neal. That guy seems hopeless.
Charlie Weis Hot Seat Temperature
Another week, another narrow escape in a game that would have all but sealed his fate had Notre Dame not won. I will say this for Weis, though: Notre Dame games are plenty exciting this year. Since their opening 35-0 win over Nevada, every game has been decided by between three and seven points. Even if Notre Dame wants to fire him at the end of the season, NBC might ask them to keep him on. Fighting Irish football has become about the only thing worth watching on the entire network.
Lane Kiffin NCAA Violation of the Week
But Kiffin could still get in trouble. The SEC has announced much stiffer penalties for coaches who complain about officiating. What a brilliant way for the conference to take on their officiating problems! This is how we should fix health care, too. "Anyone have a problem with health care? Yes? Off to jail you go. Anyone else? Super. Problem fixed! I mean, I don't hear a single complaint."
Worst Game of the Week
North Carolina at No. 13 Virginia Tech
It was an entertaining game, but terrible for the ACC. So -- like most games for the ACC. I hope they just pull off to the side of the road soon so the Mountain West can get through. Beep! Beep! "Hey, ACC: the left lane is supposed to be for fast-moving, legitimate BCS conferences. Learn to drive, idiot!"
Name of the Week
Peter Fardon, P, Buffalo
As though it's not already tough enough for punters and kickers in the locker room.
Stone Cold Lock of the Week
Every SEC game will be called perfectly by the officials! (I'm saying that because I'm not sure yet if I'm allowed to criticize SEC officiating without penalty of death. Oh, and SEC, if you're reading this, I didn't write that last sentence. Someone else did. You guys are doing a great job. Really. Awesome work.)
DJ Gallo is the founder of and sole writer for the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.
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