Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Intermission | by Dylan

What a difference a year makes. Were this year four of the Willingham era, the run-up to this past weekend would have been much different. Notre Dame alums and fans would have made plans to have fun with the family or to get some work done around the house, grateful for the respite from yet another atrocious performance by the team. Not so this year, as Irish fans generally paced restlessly around on Saturday murmuring "this sucks" and trying to catch a USC update, strangely urging the Men of Troy onward to victory in hopes of ensuring the Trojans' passage to South Bend under the mantle of the number one team in the land. Having a good team does weird things to our brain chemistry. Luckily for us, what should have been a pedestrian weekend was spiced up with a few interesting games and the eternal damnation of at least one soul, and you don't see that every day.

The damned soul, forfeited on the field at Boston College, belonged to Brad Butler of Virginia, cheap shot artist par excellence. There is nothing that can be said about this that EDSBS hasn't said already. All I have to add is "word."

Michigan, participating in the "holiday creep" that is marked by the pre-Halloween arrival of Christmas decorations in department stores, is graciously wrapping up, in golden foil with silky blue bow, the all-time winning percentage we lent them a while ago, apparently in an effort to get it back to us by Thanksgiving. I'm sure I speak for all Notre Dame fans when I say "thank you" to UM, although it is a bit of a "re-gift."

Minnesota ended the charade, finally, that was pre-season #4 Michigan by beating them (unfairly, I'm told) in Ann Arbor. Michigan sucks harder than a hole in a 747. The vaunted Henne-Hart-Breaston triumvirate propelled the Skunkbears to 249 total yards against the oh-so-average Gopher defense. "Three-loss" Lloyd may want to get on the horn to Norman and arrange a Florida scramble with Coach Stoops for the week after Thanksgiving, because they may be four months away from their next practice by then.

I want to apologize to all of you for giving bad information last week. Faithful readers know I predicted a 56-6 thumping of the Okies at the hands of Texas. In fact, the final score was a mere 45-12. I have dishonored you. I would grab my Hattori Hanso steel and make things right, but I have lent it to Mathias Kiwanuka of Boston College, a fellow Cathedral High School alum.

Georgia is inching its way out of the "enigma" list after their forced defenestration of Tennessee in Neyland Stadium, although the jury's still out as Tennessee was fool's g...uh, orange. I was actually pulling for the Vols in this game. I wanted the Dawgs to take a loss and for Tennessee to hit South Bend highly ranked. Alas, Tennessee sucks, and it's time for Vol fans to run up yonder into the holler and do tap hits off the still. Their schedule is brutal, with upcoming road tilts at Bama and ND. Fulmer is looking at 7-4, and I'm not talking about his circumference.

Joe Paterno's corpse was injected with a quart of nitro-glycerine on Saturday night, and he proceeded to spit the dust from his crumbling bones onto the collapsing carcass of Ohio State's '05 campaign. Is all that was old new again? Not exactly. While Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Penn State, Notre Dame, and LSU are all in the AP top ten this week, my money's on PSU for the team most likely to finish fifteen points lower than its current ranking. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. The next time Paterno kicks the bucket (he must be on his fourth life now), I hope he stays there. His ghost is tired. He needs sleep. He's tired of the living Joe haunting him.

Speaking of the polls, the AP, in its infinte lack of wisdom, has rewarded Louisville for needlessly running up the score against two awful teams by elevating them back into the top 20. I guess a huge blowout loss to South Florida isn't an abject humiliation after all. Look out BCS! If the Cards can navigate around the six-headed hydra of WVU, Cincinnati, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, and UConn, they could end up in the freaking Orange Bowl. Shameful.

At first, I couldn't figure out who was giving those few first-place votes to Texas. Now, I think Texas is better than USC. A lot better.

On to the biggest game in 12 years...

Go Irish.