AMATEUR HOUR(S) – WEEK 7

It was another one of those weeks, meaning that I hit the road and traveled the 10+ minutes to watch the Washington Huskies welcome the Colorado Buffaloes to Husky Stadium for their inaugural Pac-12 clash:

I got to the stadium about 90 minutes before kickoff. It’s just easier to avoid traffic and get there before the majority of the crowd does, plus, I’m known for arriving early (so to speak). I snapped this shot pretty early on, highlighted by a little person doing his best Hulk Hogan on the jumbo tron:

Remember those early-90s battles between Colorado and Washington, when both were national powerhouses? Well, this wasn’t one of those. Washington was a 15-point favorite going in, and easily covered the spread with a 52-24 beating. Colorado hasn’t won a game on the road in 4 YEARS and just doesn’t have the talent. The Huskies, on the other hand, have a pretty potent, multi-dimensional offense that can light it up. The defensive effort was good, too, but the secondary is still shaky and has problems with speed and a well-versed passing attack. Teams like Stanford and Oregon could really shred them… which is great because Stanford and Oregon are both on the schedule within the next three weeks. Still, UW probably gets close to the top 25 after this effort, so that’s neat.

Incidentally, I go to about 3 games a year, and every year, I just happen to be in attendance for HIGH SCHOOL CHEER SQUAD DAY. Schools from across the state bring their cheerleaders, who descend upon the field like rabid animals at halftime to perform a number with the Husky Marching Band. Here is a little of the aftermath, as the band and choir finished off a version of Toto’s “Africa” (I’m serious):

I figure, to anyone actually paying attention, I might come off as some sort of pedophile, but come on… that’s not the case. I’m 30 years old and haven’t lusted after a high school-aged girl for at least a few years now. With that said, here are some of the notes from WEEK 7:

– TIME FOR THE BCS RANKINGS TO PISS EVERYBODY OFF

The first-round of BCS rankings will be revealed tonight, and some are projecting Oklahoma to occupy the #1 slot. Look, I know there’s half of a season left and it really doesn’t matter right now, but WHAT?

LSU and Alabama dissected their opponents this weekend, yet again. Conversely, Oklahoma struggled with Kansas. Don’t let the final score of that game fool you – they pulled away late, but the Sooners played a “meh” game for a good while. I don’t care that Ryan Broyles is now the NCAA career reception leader, or that Landry Jones threw for 300 and 3. Oklahoma’s a fine team, but I just can’t be convinced that they’re better than the two beasts from the SEC.

People always talk about an SEC-bias, but how about a little bit of a “tradition-bias?” Specifically, I’m talking about Texas and their role in this. Oklahoma trashed Texas, and Oklahoma State handled them yesterday, as well. Both schools are/will benefit from this, as Texas will continued to be ranked and overrated. Here’s what the Longhorns have done this year:

1) Defeated Rice
2) Defeated BYU
3) Defeated UCLA
4) Defeated Iowa State

If anyone with a brain were to give those teams academic grades, they likely wouldn’t get out of “D” territory. Yet, because they’re Texas, there’s a certain weight that comes with it. I don’t think Texas is awful or anything, but this is clearly a down year.

LSU and Alabama are barely letting teams get to double digits. LSU beat Oregon, silenced Mississippi State (on the road), busted up West Virginia (on the road), and has killed everyone else. Alabama hasn’t allowed an opponent more than 14 points, and that was to Arkansas, who is the real deal. What does Oklahoma have? That win over Florida State, which looks less impressive with each week, and the Texas win.

Again, I think Oklahoma is excellent, but less excellent than the other two. The argument now seems to be whether the Big-12 is on par with the SEC. The Big-12 has a ton of ranked teams, but Christ, I don’t know about ANY of them. Kansas State is the new surprise team, who defeated Baylor (a former surprise team), who got murdered by Texas A&M, who is, well, A&M. So, I don’t know, but looking at the schedules, it’ll probably sort itself out. God, I hope it sorts itself out.

– ELIMINATION TIME

We can at least bid farewell to a few schools who had a lot of people thinking bigger than they probably should have been. Michigan, Illinois, and Georgia Tech all got handed their first losses of the season. I never bought Michigan as a legitimate contender, just as I’m not buying Denard Robinson as a legitimate Heisman contender. I will give them credit for doing what they’ve done, though, and they are definitely going in the right direction. Same type of credit goes to Illinois, as well. Georgia Tech was a team that I liked due to their dynamic offense, but they can kiss any chance of a Cinderella-run goodbye.

We nearly saw the complete demise of the ACC, but damn it, Dabo did it again. Clemson triumphed in a terrific shootout against Maryland, so their story continues. Sammy Watkins might not be on most people’s minds, but it’s tough to find a more exciting player in the nation, as the true freshman is an impact player in every sense.

– THE DOOM OF THE RUNNING BACK

Last week, Oregon’s LaMichael James was sidelined with a dislocated elbow. This week, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore hobbled out on crutches after an apparent knee injury (author’s note – following the the publishing of this article, it was confirmed that Lattimore suffered ligament damage and is out for the year). NO BACK IS SAFE.

Fortunately, Trent Richardson appears to be indestructible, and you’ve got guys like Miami’s Lamar Miller running like machines. Still, it’s unfortunate to see guys like James and Lattimore go down because, if nothing else, they’re amongst the best at what they do. Also, in the case of Lattimore, a team has lost the most steady piece and could be in some trouble now. Call it the “Curse of Releasing Stephen Garcia…”

Next week is likely headlined by Wisconsin heading into East Lansing to face Michigan State, some prime-time action for Stanford (against WASHINGTON), and the yearly clash between USC and Notre Dame. My pick for game of the week? Georgia Tech at Miami. That should be offensive (in a good way).

– Wes Lilliman

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