by WCT, The Ship of Fools
Lucky week 13, and we as fans are the ones that are truly lucky. The week we have all been waiting for is here. Finally, we have reached the eve of November 22nd, the date that we have had circled on our calendars for weeks. Our college football questions will finally be answered as two teams we have been following very closely for most of the season will finally strap-up, share the field, and get after it.
Also, I guess Texas Tech and Oklahoma play each other Saturday? Who knew? Hadn't really been paying attention to them.
Anyway, its rivalry week, and I will try my best to produce a preview for the other, less important matchups. I will feign interest in the undercard, while we all know that the eyes of the college football world will be on the Palouse.
Michigan at #10 Ohio State (-20.5) - Noon - I was about to completely omit this year's installment of the sport's greatest rivalry, then Rich Rodriguez went and said something stupid, telling UM fans to "get a life" and "focus on the economy" instead of complaining about his 3-8 Wolverine football team. Two things 1) how bad do things have to get with your football team that the economy looks rosy by comparison? 2) if I were a Michigan fan... hold on... I just threw up in my own mouth there, sorry. Anyway, if I were, how pissed would I be with Rodriguez at this point? He has distanced himself from Michigan tradition at every opportunity, right down to eliminating the #1 WR tradition and downplaying the school's biggest game. What's next? Is he going to get rid of the winged helmets next year?
Citadel at #4 Florida (- Lots and lots of points) - 1:30pm - Don't get me wrong, Florida is really, really good, but nobody does out-of-conference cupcakes quite like SEC teams, huh? Citadel. That's right Citadel. Never understood why the got rid of the "the" in "the Citadel," but whether they have a definite article in front of their name or not, God help them in this game.
#15 Michigan State at #8 Penn State (-14.5) - 3:30pm - To me, the most annoying new trend in college football is referring to Michigan State as if they are a single person named "Sparty." I.e., "Sparty is a 14.5 point underdog to Penn State this weekend." I don't know who started it, I think it was either Rece Davis or Chris Fowler, but it has to stop. In any event, I think the spread here is a little too high. I think "Nittany" wins, but by less than the experts think.
#20 Pittsburgh at #19 Cincinnati (-5) - 7:15pm - Believe it or not, this dog-and-pony show will go a long way towards deciding a BCS automatic bid. Honestly, I have seen both of these teams play in several random Thursday night snooze-fests. Neither of them has really blown my skirt up, but I make it a point to always bet against Dave Wannstedt when I get the opportunity. I'll take the Bearcats.
Florida State at #25 Maryland (-1) - 7:45pm - I have it on good authority that Maryland is planning a "Blackout" for this game. If this season has taught us anything, its that blackouts always work, as do greenouts. I usually bet against a team in the ACC and Big East once they enter the top 25 after being unranked the previous week, and that strategy has treated me well this season, but I don't know if Florida State will have enough eligible players to field a complete roster. I'll take the Terps.
#2 Texas Tech at #5 Oklahoma(-6.5) - 8pm - Ok, this has to be the end of the line for Texas Tech, right? Oklahoma is something like 59-2 in Norman under Bob Stoops, and they get the Red Raiders at home, at night. Texas Tech has gotten through a gauntlet of the best the Big 12 has to offer, but they have played all their tough games in Lubbock. I have been picking against Tech all year, and I have been wrong all year, this is where the party ends. Plus, if we are to have the BCS chaos that we all want, we need OU to win the game, and create a vicious cycle of "I beat you but lost to you" between Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma. Let's go Sooners.
Washington (-7.5) at Washington State - 3pm - Finally, its here. The game we have been waiting all season for. As you know, I usually go in chronological order for these previews, but break tradition on rare occasions for especially big games. This game definitely warrants that. I wonder which team is more surprised coming into this game: Washington, for finally being a favorite, or Washington State, for finally being an underdog of less than 30 points. If you are just joining this college football season in week 13, it is very difficult to overstate how utterly and completely horrible these two teams are. Washington State has scored 3 or fewer points 5 times this season (in 11 games. That's nearly half the time) and in October went two consecutive weeks without scoring a single point. Washington has not won a game this year, and lost 33-7 to Notre Dame on October 25th. On November 1st, the two teams were outscored by a combined margin of 114-0. This season these two have lost to USC 69-0 and 56-0 respectively (way to keep it within 9 touchdowns Huskies!). And the best part is, they are both in the same state, drawing from the same "talent" pool of recruits. It would be difficult to imagine that these two programs have ever seen worse teams than the '08 Cougars and '08 Huskies. But the thing that makes this game so special is the fact that we will have this much suckitude concentrated on one single gridiron. I honestly don't even know which way to go. I think that for once, I won't even bet on this game. I will just pop some popcorn, find a comfortable place, and enjoy a truly special afternoon of football. And some day, we will all tell our grandchildren we were there, on November 22nd, 2008, when the single worst game of football at any level, was played in an empty stadium in Pullman, Washington.
by WCT, The Ship of Fools