Sunday, October 02, 2005

Week 5 in a Nutshell | by Dylan

You couldn't have asked for a cleaner lab environment to test the hypothesis that Notre Dame had been, for the previous three years, a horribly coached football team. Last night, the same 22 guys (basically) squared off and last year's result was turned on its ear. Tiller and Spack went from steely-eyed geniuses to slack-jawed doofuses in two quarters. The next guy who asserts that Willingham was anything but an awful coach at Notre Dame will be seen gazing eastward, waiting for the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria to fall off the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

Brady Quinn might win the Heisman Trophy this year. Look at the numbers. Look at the schedule. If we beat USC, it's between him and Vince Young. If it's between him and Vince Young, Texas needs to win the National Championship to keep it out of Brady's hands. You can mark that sucker down. Some numbers to consider:

Leinart- 82/126 (65.1%), 1286 yards, 10 touchdowns, 2 INT
Young- 54/82 (65.9%), 780 yards, 7 touchdowns. 48 carries, 310 yards, 2 touchdowns, 5 INT.
Quinn - 124/190 (65.3%), 1621 yards, 13 touchdowns, 3 INT.

At this point, it's not really close, is it? If Reggie Bush and Lendale White were the same guy, he'd have a shot, but they're not.

Has there ever been a smaller 18 point lead in the history of college football? I've never seen a game where the team losing 21-10 had things under such control. USC can play very sloppy football (nine first half penalties?) and beat good teams on their home fields. Ho hum, another 35-point half. What happened in Tempe should give Irish fans pause, because USC can lay a turd like that and still blow us out of our own stadium. Beating the Trojans will not take a miracle, just a perfect game. There are two teams standing between USC and the MNC, and we're one of them. We are 24-4 all-time in post-bye games. We do rotten things to #1s in Notre Dame stadium. But playing this USC team makes "cautious optimism" ridiculous. Me? I'm only mildly fatalistic, which is about the best we can hope for. We have the proverbial "puncher's chance."

I'm kicking myself for leaving Florida off my "enigma" list last week. You'll have to take my word that I backspaced them out of the post. Sure enough, they showed that they haven't been entirely de-Zooked in their 31-3 pantsing at Alabama. Bama moves into their spot as highest profile enigma (joining stalwart Miami and upstart Penn State), a role compounded by the loss of Tyrone Prothro, gone for the year after his leg tried to form the letter "Q." Are the Tide any good? We may not know until the Rose Bowl.

Speaking of Ron Zook, his Illini are the recipients of this week's "AP Understatement of the Week":

Illinois (2-3, 0-2) struggled in the first half, in which two of its field goal attempts were blocked, a third was missed, and a pass was intercepted deep in Iowa territory.
Similarly, Ned Beatty struggled on a canoeing trip in Georgia.

Holy crap! Oklahoma threw a touchdown pass! With this new gadget in their playbook, they might be able to stay within four touchdowns of Texas next week. What's that you say? Adrian Peterson is hurt? 56-6.

I woke up this morning and it was 1982. Nebraska, 4-0. Penn State, 4-0. Go figure. What's Iowa Pre-Flight's record?

Reason #147 why it's not good to lose to Michigan State. You never look back and say it was a good loss.

Ball State allowed its 197th point in their fourth game (against 34 scored), completing some of the most incredible, self-sacrificing cupcakerie in memory. It was Boston College this week, handing them their second shut-out loss of the year. We need to get FEMA up to Muncie, ASAP. Come to think of it, they've probably been there since the Cardinals broke camp. Luckily for BSU, the conference schedule starts next week, and less than half their remaining opponents don't have "Northern", "Eastern", "Western", or "Central" in their names.