Here’s what that means. While my normal routine essentially consists of waking up around 7:30 AM-8:00 AM (PST) on Saturdays, getting into my flow, and then watching the twists and turns of the national landscape for over 12 consecutive hours, I do deviate a handful of times per season. I have to watch the UW Huskies play live whenever I can. It keeps me in the trenches. I KEEPS IT TRUE.
Anyhow, when that happens, I tend to miss some games and only catch highlights of those misses. This past Saturday was one of those days. I seized the opportunity to watch Cal and Washington in the Pac-12 opener for both teams. The Huskies won, 31-23, in a back and forth affair on an oddly humid day for Seattle. Defensive schemes and the weather both had me sweating like a motherfucker, but a good time was had.
(note: that was two hours before the game – more people showed up. Also, that purple strip on “lane 3” of the track that says “HUSKYSTADIUM.COM” is where the seats will start after the venue is renovated next year – going for that right-on-top-of-the-action vibe)
Anyhow, during weeks like this, I feel more inclined to hit with some talking points, rather than go game by game. I didn’t experience them in real-time, so it’s not fair to you if I recap what is essentially someone else’s recap (i.e. ESPN’s) or something. If you want that type of breakdown, hell, go to the “Worldwide Leader” for it – I’m actually friends with Rece Davis so I’d like to him get the support in a roundabout way. Proof? Here’s our last text exchange:
Wes (9/24/11, 9:47 PM): Yo RD… still awake? Tigers look like monsters. SEC is a field full of landmines, ya dig?
Rece: (9/24/11, 9:51 PM): sleep is for pussies playa… no doubt re: SEC… walking through abunch of a diff type of landmines at this club right now, lol
Wes: (9/24/11, 9:58 PM): Lol. For sure. Maybe just call it a night and live to fight another day?
Rece: (9/24/11), 10:07 PM): should do that but im gonna get at somebodys ass… no shame… need it
Haven’t heard from him since.
– ITEM 1: OKLAHOMA, LSU, ALABAMA AT THE TOP
Call ’em whatever you want at this point. The numbers don’t really matter. It’s Week 4. Oklahoma, coming off the huge (and highly punishing) win over Florida State, got by Missouri in a game that where a let down was possible. Obviously, they don’t have an SEC schedule, but it’s no cakewalk. First and foremost, they’ve got BALL STATE next week. Down the line, they face Texas (away), A&M, Baylor (away), and, in a game that would be an absolutely monsterous matchup if it happened next week, Oklahoma State (away). It won’t be easy, but they most certainly have what it takes to do it.
Then, you have these SEC behemoths. This god-damned schools, I swear. It’s like watching grown-ass men amongst children sometimes. DEFENSES FROM HELL. Alabama took care of a really good Arkansas team, putting the clamps down on a high-powered offense. Tyler Wilson couldn’t get off. The Razorbacks also rushed for a grand-total of 17 yards. The Tide have the type of defense that can take a shot, regroup, adjust, and come back like it didn’t happen. Offensively, Trent Richardson is a dynamic threat, and although AJ McCarron is new to the spot, he seems alright.
As for LSU, well, that defense might be even more frightening. Full of hyper-athletic, shit-talking, murdering, machines of young men. Tyrann Mathieu is a complete motherfucker. Come on now… take a look at the dude:
I hate to judge a book, but HELL. Scariest part? He backs all that attitude up. He’s one of about 80 dudes on the team that will play at the next level. Combine that defense with Jarrett Lee’s solid and steady performances, multiple backs that can cause headaches for any team, and a coach that is the perfect hybrid of charisma and insincere asshole, and you’ve got a beast. The Tigers walked into Morgantown, took everything that West Virginia could muster up (which was a solid, gritty effort until it eventually got away from them), and walked out like kings.
I’d suggest leaving November 5th open if you’re making plans, as Alabama and LSU are set to collide on that day. Of course, it’s the SEC, so good luck to both. Florida gets consecutive cracks at the both of them, starting next week with ‘Bama. Two things are pretty clear: the Gators could knock either one of them off, and, no matter what happens, they’ll be hurting after this two-week run.
– ITEM 2: CONGRATULATIONS TO TEXAS A&M, BOTH FOR JOINING THE SEC AND BLOWING YOUR MOST RECENT GAME
Going into Saturday, I had Oklahoma State picked to win the showdown between the #7 and #8 teams in the nation. So, as I tracked the game live on my phone, I was disappointed to see that this might be another one of those rare instances in which I wrong (shockingly).
Then, A&M choked.
This is not to discredit the Cowboys. I think they have the top QB/WR combo in the country in Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon (not saying they’re the individual “best” at their positions [well, not with Weeden, at least], but the best connection). Accordingly, the two did their thing. Weeden threw for an all-time OSU best 438 yards and 2 TDs, and Blackmon has 120 yards, a TD, a numerous big plays (the guy draws the attention of the entire opposing defense).
Still, up 20-3 at halftime, at home, and the Aggies found a way to let it slide from their grasp. Not very becoming of the newest addition to the conference of powerhouses.
– ITEM 3: WISCONSIN AND NEBRASKA, FRESH OFF BEATINGS OF SHITTY TEAMS, SET TO FACE OFF
Neither the Badgers nor the Cornhuskers have played anyone of high-skill, so it’s about time that we found out what both have. Next Saturday night, expect a big, meaty matchup with a lot of red and white and a ton of white people in the stands, as Nebraska gets its first taste of Big Ten competition. Russell Wilson. Taylor Martinez. CALORIES. I’m getting hungr
y just thinking about it (no homo).
– ITEM 4: GOD DAMN YOU, SEMINOLES
I wanted Florida State to bounce back from the tough loss to the Sooners for two reasons:
1) I think it’s good for college football if FSU is at or near their previous position as a perennial, national contender.
2) I hate this Dabo Sweeney fellow.
Thus, I was disappointed when Clemson got the victory. More momentum for a school and a bunch of fans who seem content to rush the field every week, and more adversity for Florida State. That game last week was just too much. We got Clint Trickett, who most definitely has something but isn’t there yet and certainly isn’t E.J. Manuel, starting at QB again, and you can’t tell me that the violence of the previous weekend didn’t leave the Seminoles banged up across the board. Oh well.
– ITEM 5: THE PAC-12 IS ALL OVER THE PLACE
Of course, you have Stanford and Oregon at the top. After that, who knows? USC was outclassed by Arizona State, and I think those two will contend for best record in the Pac-12 South. After that, though, hell… flip a coin. I think UCLA, Oregon State, Washington State, and Colorado all suck, but they could all beat Washington, California, and Arizona on any given day, all of whom I think are middle of the pack but possibly capable of beating Utah, who I think is slightly better but not good enough to beat the teams at the top. I know… I’m not sure I get it either.
– ITEM 6: NOTRE DAME WINS
15-12 over Pitt in one ugly-ass game. 2 more turnovers for the Irish, but hey, a win is a win and Michael Floyd is incredible. Next weekend, it’s a prime-time battle against Purdue. Hopefully, it goes better for them than their last nighttime affair.
– ITEM 7: BETHUNE-COOKMAN DOWNS HAMPTON IN A MEAC CLASH OF THE TITANS
Jamarr Robinson for the Heisman.