Since we've been ensconsed in the little house on the prarie here in Colorado, we've been catching up with family and weren't able to watch a whole lot of football but watched enough to have a few thoughts:
By Saturday night, it looked like USC picked the wrong week for a bye. The thinking being that the latest "beauty contest" on Saturday before the first BCS poll comes out would put LSU and maybe Oklahoma over USC because of their impressive performances against Virginia Tech and Miami respectively. Was not to be, however. USC remains atop the AP poll that came out on Sunday.
Michigan..... good Lord. Don't even know what to make of this spectacle. The conventional wisdom is that the game has passed Michigan and Lloyd Carr by..... the program has not recruited well enough to keep up with the speed and the spread offense that has become the rage of the college game. All that is plausible. We've been proponents of the theory that 'speed kills' for many years now, particularly at the college level. But c'mon.... this is Michigan, one of the winningest programs in the history of college football - despite the losses on defense and any shortcomings regarding recruiting philosophy, its not like they are suiting-up chumps out there. A 4-game losing streak is one thing but to be losing in the manner that Michigan is defies description.
(Need to amend post on college coaches winning a national championship within first 3 years and never winning it again. Carr, who won the championship in his 3rd season, would make that the 7th such occurrence in the past 19 years)
Which brings us of course to Notre Dame. These two programs, as a snap-shot in time, appear to be stuck in the same spot and stuck in the figurative mud of not keeping up with the changing face of the game. The situation is different, though, in that Notre Dame has hitched its wagon to Charlie Weiss for better or worse, winning season or losing while Michigan is not contractually bound, at least, to the same committment to Lloyd Carr. Here is the thing with the Domers, though. They ran Ty Willingham out of town after a 6-6 record in just his 3rd year. Record-wise, the Domers are probably going to fare worse this year. The time of the evening and length of the post will not allow us to get into the racial aspect of this.... that'll be saved for a later time. If not for Ty Willingham, then for Charlie Weiss, year 3 is still early and he has some lee-way to get things turned around but it is obvious that Notre Dame fell under the spell of having a former pro coach/coordinator (a la Pete Caroll at USC) come in as the quick fix and savior at the expense of a near-life time college guy. If Notre Dame's performances the past 2 games (4, if you count the gut kicks against USC and LSU last year) are any indication, then he isn't anywhere close. Thank Touchdown Jesus for 10 yr. contracts.
Speaking of 2 similar programs... Georgia and Auburn are identical twins. Two ball clubs led by two bright relatively young head coaches at the heads of powerhouse programs with an abundance of talent all over the field that have not quite got over the hump nationally. There is a sneaking suspicion of underachievement lately at these two schools. Also, both teams lost on Saturday as favorites.
Dumb commentator comment of the week: Commentator for the Oregon/Michigan game said that Oregon's thrashing of Michigan takes some of the luster off of App. State's win. Hardly. Even if Michigan goes winless, that victory will still stand apart as one of the greatest upsets in college football history if for nothing more than the names of the schools involved.
Back out on the road again tomorrow. B-Daddy has the con.