Tuesday, September 05, 2006

2006, Week 1 - Just a Dreadful Weekend of Football

Just awful.

It looked bleak going in, with only two games between ranked teams and virtually no conference play. But the college game abhors a vacuum, which meant surely something good would happen.

Oklahoma-TCU springs to mind. Northern Illinois-Maryland.

Nope. Nothing.

The only mildly interesting result was Montana State, a I-AA power, beating Colorado, an occasional I-A power, giving The Index an excuse to mention an update on Katie Blair, Ms. Teen Montana 2006 whose march to the Ms. Teen USA is chronicled below.

Used to touch underwear for money
Turns out, back in Billings, she worked in a Victoria’s Secret (bottom of the article). Does that count as interesting? Vaguely tawdry? I’m leaning toward no, but her forehead-to-the-eye move against Ms. North Carolina remains the hit of the year after this boring weekend.

So without a single quirky result to catch the attention, we’re left with two actually-pretty-friggin’-pedestrian Big Games.

One, later today, features the increasingly unwatchable antics of Miami-FSU. UPDATE: Man, did that suck. Again. I'm expecting Summer Redstone to make a public and embarrassing break with FSU-Miami any minute. When was their last entertaining game? 02? 97?

And the other, as it happened, featured me.

On to The Index....

On the weekend, more or less, of the Katrina anniversary, another stark reminder of the distance between...
The Haves and Have-Nots

20-0: Ranked teams-vs-unranked teams this weekend.
29.14: Avg Margin of victory in those non-upsets.

  • Outliers:
    4: ND margin over Georgia Tech (With an up-and-over from the refs. Try to imagine)
    7: OU margin over UAB
    48: Clemson margin over Florida Atlantic
    49: Texas margin over North Texas

Have Vs Have-Nots II
: BCS conference teams-vs-nonBCS teams.

  • ACC: 5-1
  • Big East: 4-0
  • Pac 10: 5-0
  • SEC: 5-0
  • Big 10: 10-0
  • Big 12: 10-2
  • Lessons: While the Pac 10, Big East and SEC went big, with only 14 games against defenseless teams between them, every single Big 12 team and every Big 10 team but one (Michigan) hit off a tee.

2: Victories, I-AA teams-VS-BCS teams - Montana State over Colorado; Richmond over OklaDuke.
1: Victories, all I-A non-BCS teams-VS-BCS teams, and that doesn’t even count since it was BCS-dreamer TCU, ranked No. 22, over BCS-subsidy-sponge Baylor.

The Big East: Now free of lightweights like Miami and BC, is Really Good.
: Big East vs rest of BCS
2-1: Big East vs ACC
Rutgers beat North Carolina and Pittsburgh stomped Virginia. Only lowly Wake’s win over lowlier Syracuse salvaged the weekend for the ACC.

Creampuff Scheduling: Is the Big 12 the new 'start calling from the bottom' SEC? Is the SEC the new 'anybody, anytime' WAC?
: I-AA opponents played this weekend by the Big 12. Pitiful.
0: BCS-conference opponents played by the Big 12.
1: I-AA opponents played by the SEC.
4: BCS opponents played by the SEC.

More SEC: Hitting the Heavy Bag Like It Grabbed His Ass In An Elevator
: 2005 conference champs on SEC non-conference schedule this weekend
60: Percent of all Rose Bowl participants since 2003 that SEC teams took on this weekend (USC, Washington State, Michigan. All of whom, to tie it in a bow, lost to Big 12 teams in those Rose Bowls) .

2: Additional games played by SEC teams against higher ranked teams (No. 9 Cal, No. 13 Louisville)

Big 12: Sure, they might schedule like cowards. But they actually suck.
: Big 12 losses this weekend to non-BCS teams, including I-AA Montana State.
2: End-of-game 2pt-Conversion attempts that failed against Big 12 teams, saving the conference from two more non-BCS losses – Iowa State 45-Toledo 43; Kansas State 24-I-AA Illinois State 23.

Sorry as that is for League Pride, they were pretty good games...
3:28: time remaining when I-AA Illinois State, a point down, went for two and the win at Kansas State.
70: Length of drive they’d just engineered for touchdown.
2: Years since Kansas State played in - and should have won - a BCS bowl.
0: Offensive TDs scored by KSU against Illinois State. In their first post-Bill Snyder-era game, the Wildcats got 3 FGS, a punt return and a fumble return on a muffed kickoff.

5: Overtime games in Iowa State history prior to this weekend.
0: Wins in those games.
2: In years, length of current streak of an overtime loss costing Iowa State a spot in the Big 12 title game.
3: Iowa State TDs in overtime to beat Toledo when Toledo failed to match Iowa State’s mandatory 2-pt conversion in the third OT.
367: Total passing yards for Toledo’s Clint Cochran.
99: Yards in first-half scoring drive for Toledo
2: Points scored by Toledo on the ensuing conversion of that drive, off of a blocked PAT kick (!)

Call down an Echo
: situation faced by Toledo, trailing by a TD, late in the fourth quarter.
30: Yards in ensuing completion
3: Yardline on which receiver was tackled by hometeam, leading to a QB-dive touchdown on next play.

No word on whether or not the running back pushed Cochran in. Or length of the grass.

And Now – Cal-Tennessee:

- VS -

This Was Never Going To Be Close

.13: estimated success rate, baton catches, of baton twirler in Cal band, according to two dumb-founded, Arthur Dent-like Cal fans as they watched the Tennessee band – with 7 astounding-in-every-respect baton twirlers - march down University into the stadium. It was a moment that culminated four hours of watching a small but resolute band of Cal fans wonder about the tank- and tube-top littered campus, slack jawed and wide-eyed at the Wonka-with-a-tan spectacle of an SEC gameday.
Come on in, boys. The water’s fine.
The Index cannot confirm that the Cal players spent the morning doing the same thing, but it’s a tempting rumor.

As for the Death Of Cal and the emergence of Tennessee as the New Economy of the ’06 season…
42, 80, 50, 43: Length of last four of five Tennessee touchdown plays between second and third quarter to runaway from Cal:

  • - blown tackle breakaway pass
    - blown tackle breakaway pass
    - blown tackle breakaway pass
    - blow tackle breakaway run

If that’s Tennessee’s secret weapon for the year, good luck in the SEC.
44: Cal passing attempts between two QBs.
20: Cal completions.
2: Interceptions
10: Minimum, Cal on-the-hands, openfield drops.

Tennessee played big in a home opener; Cal, with a new QB and laughably high expectations, did the little things wrong and got beat big for it.

But, unfortunately for Cal, they're going to take a full-marks bashing from everybody who saw it because, this weekend, everything else sucked.

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