Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Week 7 in a Nutshell | by Dylan

Another week, another astounding display, and I'm not talking about Mark May's shirt/tie combo (kudos to Mark for restraining himself and not basing his wardrobe every week on Notre Dame's opponent's colors). At least, that's what I heard, as the NBC affiliate in Santa Barbara pre-empted the game in favor of the Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo / Montana grudge match. Good gravy. Thank God for internet radio. Given the choice between Tony Roberts and Tom Hammonds, I may never watch the NBC telecast ever again.

Weis and the Irish easily dispatched the Cougars with an aerial assault that irritated the Neo-Holtzians on the ND Nation Game Day board to the point of self-immolation, the cries of "Why aren't we running the ball?!?" burning in their throats as Brady Quinn threw for his fifth touchdown. It's astounding that, with seven games of impressive football submitted into evidence, including a fluky loss to the best team of the past three years, people on message boards think they have a better handle on the game than Charlie. It's like watching high school sophomores critiquing Chaucer, and it ain't pretty.

Tennessee and Alabama set the cause of civilized football back a couple of centuries in their 6-3 tilt, the likes of which hasn't been seen since the epic contests between the Colts and Jets in the early nineties. This was the ugliest battle to come out of the South in 140 years. All that was missing from this game was a letter from Sullivan Ballou.

Dearest Sarah,

We have crossed our 35 yard line, but have found the enemy determined and our will shaken. Our bellies are as empty as our barrels, yet we endeavor to persevere, despite the oppressive weight of the sheer averageness of our quarterbacks. I fear that, should our eyes lock once more in the depthless gaze of the infinite, I will have been exposed as a poor craftsman and shall have let you down once again. Oh, and Fulmer ate at least fifteen apple fritters at breakfast. I swear to freakin' God...
I'm not sure I can remember a season with so much, to overuse a made-up word, averageness. Which conference is down? All of 'em. Every week, a team confirms their "Not Ready for Prime Time" status. This week, the honors went to Texas Tech, who had spent the first seven weeks of their season staddling the pastry cart in the Lubbock Perkins squeezing Hershey's syrup directly into their gaping maws. That high-flyin' offense came crashing to earth in Austin. However, given the overall craptacular state of the Big 12, they'll likely finish in the top 15 this year having beaten no one. This year's Big 6 conferences in inverse order of their goodness:

1. The Big East
2. The Big 12
3. The Pac-10
4. The Big 1?
5. The ACC
6. The SEC

Four of those conferences have one or more very good teams. Four of them have one or no very good teams. What the hell is going on?

Michigan State, not to be outdone by Purdue in the “Good Start Wasted” contest, was humiliated on their home field by Northwestern. Television viewers got the chance to witness John L. Smith flip his lid after his team attempted a field goal sans blockers. It was awesome. If either AD has half a brain, the upcoming MSU-PU “Most Disappointing Bowl” will feature a halftime cage match between Smith and Joe Tiller.

North Carolina beat Virginia 7-5 behind 8 solid innings by Matt Baker, who scattered 6 hits and four earned runs.

UCLA’s offensive juggernaut rolled over Oregon State (remember them? Whatever happened to those guys?), scoring 51 points. Quarterback Drew (1 of 2) Olsen matched Brady Quinn with six touchdowns. The Bruins also got a lift from their dual-threat Heisman candidate, Eddie Gaedel.

The truth about Week 7, however, is that I didn’t really care. It was like a week of Colorado States versus New Mexicos. For the first time in my life, I have a rooting interest in the World Series. Go White Sox.