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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Manti Te'o haunts my dreams, stick to your guns, of Cyclones and Chiziks, and Tulane Watch 2012 celebrates

I like the guy on the left. Not Manti Te'o, further to the left.
He's really happy. Te'o looks like he might eat small children
Notre Dame. They don't have great statistical fundamentals, and they are yet to beat a top tier team, but they keep winning, and ultimately that's what matters. Going forward, Pitt, Wake Forest and Boston College are terrible (gotta love the ACC). BYU looks less threatening now after Taysom Hill went down and Oregon State scored 42 against a previously stingy defense. That leaves games against Oklahoma and USC. Neither matchup is great, but USC is more than beatable. That gives Notre Dame a 10% chance of going undefeated and a 50% chance of playing for the MNC if they do. Not bad.

Stick to your guns: I called Tech/WVU my trap game of the week. I was wrong. That wasn't a trap. It was a good ole fashion beat down. Getting ready for the Tech/OU game I looked at the fundamentals and concluded that Texas Tech was a very good football team. I even picked them to beat the Sooners. I was wrong. Oklahoma took them behind the woodshed and did to Texas Tech whatever it is that my coaches were implying people did to other people behind woodsheds (at Tech they just stick people in the sheds). Then Oklahoma destroyed Texas and I said a little pray in my heart that WVU fans had some idea what was about to happen to them. So I was wrong about the trap game, but right about Texas Tech. Oklahoma has now turned the corner and is the team I thought they would be from the beginning of the season. (P.S. I know it's not original analysis, but Texas couldn't tackle a one-legged dog.)

Staying in the Big 12, the AP story tells me that Kansas State "stave[d] off an upset bid" by Iowa State. I'm not exactly sure what staving off an upset bid looks like, and watching the game won't help. What happened in that game is exactly what should have happened - there was no staving or bidding. Kansas State won 27-21, the model predicted 30-24. What the AP story missed is that Iowa State is a good team - just ask TCU, who is not that good themselves. Only two teams have held Tech under 44, Iowa State and Oklahoma. They will beat Kansas and I personally like their chances against Baylor, Texas and West Virginia. Despite getting staved by Kansas State they could potentially get to seven wins. Given they have the nation's 7th toughest schedule for bowl eligibility, that would be quite the accomplishment. Much better than a former Iowa State coach is doing. Speaking of which . . .

Confetti for Tulane, no confetti for Auburn
Salt on a Chizik: I have one rule when it comes criticizing a coach and demanding that they be fired - when you demand to be paid millions of dollars for performing a job then you have lost any right to patience from your employers or the consumers if you fail to perform your job; you have lost the right to not get booed at work; you have lost the right to excuses when things go poorly. I don't know if Auburn should or should not fire Chizik, and I don't really care, but those that do care have every right to demand his job given his performance this season. Auburn managed 213 yards against Ole Miss. Ole Miss was allowing more rushing and passing yards per game before Saturday - that is, 213 rushing yards and more than 213 passing yards per game. And Ole Miss rushed for 200 yards in getting their first conference win since the iPhone 3GS was new.

Tulane Watch 2012: Confetti, confetti, confetti. It could only have been better if MVP Carlos Santos (2/2 on the night) would have kicked the game winner from 79 yards out. Instead, he puts away the game winning extra point. Tulane gets 9.4 yards per pass and a whopping 2.5 yards per carry. Sure, they were outgained by 130 yards, had the ball for only a third of the game, blew a two touchdown lead, and were lucky SMU didn't have the guts to try to put the game away late, but a win's and win.

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