“Telegram! Singing telegram for Coach Kyle Whittingham!”
“I’m your man. I’m Coach Whittingham. What’s up, my man?”
“I have a singing telegram for you, Coach, from Puddles in Eugene. Without further adieu, this is for you and your team, too.”
[To the tune of “See You In September?”]
Will I see Ute in December?
Will I see Ute when the season’s through?
Here we are, dreaming of Santa Clara
And not of Santa; if he only knew.
Have a good time, but remember
There is danger in the games to come.
Will I see Ute in December?
Will I see Ute for a Roses run?’
‘Thanks, son, but that voice of yours? … There will be no tip.”
“Puddles does have a tip for you, coach.”
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“It’s easy to see that Ute best be ready to score more than three!”
“Gladly. But coach, there’s something I’d like you to know.”
“Get lost, will you!”
“You tip like you played in the second half of the bowl game against Northwestern! Adios.”
How very un-Pac-12-like. Two top-10 teams played on the road in November, in stadiums where wins aren’t easy to come by. Both stumbled and bumbled early on and fell behind. Yet, both managed to not only win their respective games, but they even made a select few happy by covering the point spreads.
Here’s an interesting stat: In the first half of their game against USC, the Ducks had 113 yards of offense and 112 penalty yards … and they were ahead 28-17! Holy John McKay! This is USC? Kedon Slovis set an ‘SC record with 57 pass attempts. Student body (go deep) right? The game was not a Breeze, but what a road win against a team that hadn’t lost at home this season.
Another Cristobal-coached gut check.
And in Seattle, Utah looked like it left its offense and mojo in Salt Lake City. But behind the Poly Punishers — as good a D-line as there is in college football — and like Puddles, playing guts-ball on the road, the Utes battled back.
How about a top-10 battle in the Pac-12 champ game? Puddles, have a nice nappy, but don’t let up against the Stumblin’ Sumlins, an ASU team that will be looking to Herminate the win streak and a Beavers team putting the “O” in Corvallis.
The Other Guy Blinked
An “existential crisis!”
The NCAA Board of Governor’s — at the speed of Doc Emmert’s Back to the Future, fluxed-up Avanti (rather than the bumbling, bureaucratic, bozo speed we’re accustomed to seeing from Emmert) — essentially ratified the recently passed California law. Come 2021, student-athletes will own and have the right to market their own likeness. Of course, the devil will be in the NCAA details. But the Board obviously saw the writing on and the wall and that the NCAA’s back was firmly against the wall.
The danger here is that the schools with deep-pocket boosters will dominate recruiting. And if this happens, only a handful of schools will be in the mix for a CFB playoff title, right?
Around the Country
Before reviewing this past weekend’s results and taking a guess at what will be the CFB Playoff Committee’s first ranking will be, let’s consider where the Professors of Pigskin dropped the ball in their pre-season prognostications.
You Should Have Punted
ACC: Yes, Virginia, there is an ACC conference, and it stinks. Other than to take an “L” in the ACC Champ Game, what can Dabo do to stop this season’s Orange Bowl from being the Pitts, or from becoming a Wake? This conference is a disaster; it’s far worse than even the Pac-12. But in this BCS 2.0 era, you only need one big-time Tiger pulling the sled.
Miami: The Canes did beat down the Woeful Willies this Saturday. Yawn. The mayor’s son has returned the U to Richt’s, but not riches.
Nebraska: What the Husk? Scotty’s team didn’t heat up; they’re colder than Frosty the Snowman.
Notre Dame: Shame! Get thee to a conference!
Stanford: Just because you’re intelligent, doesn’t mean you’ll play smartly. Right, Northwestern?
Syracuse: There’s no ex-Cuse-ing this.
Texas: Should have shorted these Longhorns.
Texas A&M: $75M for 7-5? The Aggies must know my broker.
TCU: It is Texas, after all. But a pat-down of these Frogs finds no D.
Washington: For Pete’s sake!
Wisconsin: Should have been “Off” and not “On” Wisconsin.
Upon Further Review
Baylor: Holy Fixer Upper! Sorry, Chip and Joanna, but this remodel Ruhle’s Waco.
LSU: Coach O goes with a new O, and perhaps Saint Nick says “uh-oh!”
Minnesota: Stiff-armed by GameDay, will the offense be “Penned up” and the Gophers run de-Fleck-ed?
Only three games that were worth a whip in November? Really?
Gimme Group of Five: Our Boise buddies aren’t blue about what happened to App State and SMU. But, in them old Cotton fields back home, Elvis has yet to leave the building.
Auburn: It was close, but the Tigers did not MISS.
Chippers: Is there a bowl game Bruin? When you play the Poly Punishers, you best be Salty.
Clemson: The Tigers waxed Wofford … in November. Does anybody else think everyone should play nine conference games?
Cocktails? It was too big a Trask, and the last call for the Gators.
Puddles, please put your web feet up and Tua-in to see if Coach O can find a “W” in Tuscaloosa. And also, see if Minny-Ha-Ha can Possibly Stay Undefeated.
Projecting the First Grapevine Guru Rankings
No. 1 LSU: With wins at Texas and at home against Florida and Auburn, I think the Tigers will be ranked ahead of what I consider to be a better Buckeyes team.
No. 2 Ohio State: With LSU tripping to Bama, Bucks could be moving on up.
No. 3 Alabama: Its schedule is a joke but hey, it’s Bama.
No. 4 Penn State: Will the Committee do the right thing? The Nittany Lions have the second-ranked Strength of Record. Arguably, PSU should be even higher.
No. 5 Clemson: The Tigers’ schedule omits a rank and foul odor. But they’ve won every game …
No. 6 Oregon: But will the Ducks get the “SEC treatment?”
No. 7 Georgia: See above.
No. 8 Utah: Okay, the Committee could say later Utes and hello Sooners.
No. 9 Oklahoma: How forgivable is the KO at K-State?
No. 10 Baylor: The Bears get both OU and UT in Waco. Things are setting up nicely for Baylor to be a major spoiler.
No. 11 Minnesota: Proof in the Penn State pudding?
No. 12 Florida: The Gators have that win over Auburn.
No. 13 Auburn: Puddles says: “Come On Tigers!”
No. 14 Michigan: The Wolverines are finally getting Gattis.
No. 15 Memphis: The Tigers left SMU singing the blues.
This is as low as I’m going to go. The rest of the rankings are irrelevant anyway, but hey, we have to debate something!
Yours truly is on the road the next couple of weeks, but I’ll do my best to keep you updated on the CFB happenings, regardless. That is, depending on how many Martins get in the way.
Great road win; Go Ducks!
Georgetown, TexasTop Photo by Eugene Johnson
Chris Brouilette, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a current student at the University of Oregon from Sterling, Illinois.
Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now a resident of Aiken South Carolina, Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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