NCAA Week 8: Good Snark, Bad Snark
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There but for the grace of fate went Clemson.
Penn State was in nut-whacking mode at Happy Valley, where an inspired performance, a bit of luck, and one of those days for Urban Meyer's offense combined to show yet again how difficult it is for any team to run the table in college football.
The Nittany Lions stuffed Ohio State's road winning streak at 20 games:
Now, there are only nine unbeaten teams remaining in the FBS ranks:
|Alabama ...||8-0||Clemson ...||7-0||Washington ...||7-0|
|Western Michigan ...||8-0||Michigan ...||7-0||Baylor ...||6-0|
|Boise State ...||7-0||Nebraska ...||7-0||West Virginia ...||6-0|
What with head-to-heads, backloaded schedules, and/or land-mine matchups on the horizon, expect those ranks to seriously diminish before all is done and dusted in December.
And that's fine. Winning their conference titles are hard enough, which is why Ohio State, especially, and Louisville are still in the hunt for a playoff spot -- or should be -- despite a ding or two.
Good Snark: Steve Prefontaine woulda been proud, sorta ... Oregon's late distance runner was the inspiration for Nike, and the California Golden Bears paid homage in Eugene by running a record 118 plays -- and combining with the Ducks to run 203 in total -- in the latest Pac-12 assault on offensive sensibilities in a 47-44, double-overtime pointfest:
Bad Snark: Trading headsets ... Top Quacker Mark Helfrich has clearly joined Texas' Charlie Strong in the race to become a broadcast analyst for the 2017 season. Maybe their top recruiting priority should now be for a personality.
Good Snark: Climate change on turf ... Whatever happened to those blustery fall days in the Southwest that had coaches trying any ground-game trend -- wishbone, veer, etc -- that came along? No longer. In what could be definitive proof of global warming, the Big XII has adapted to current conditions better than the polar bears have.
In fact, Oklahoma and Texas Tech could've just provided the tipping point:
Bad Snark: Maybe it's just the Russians ... Does Arizona State hack play calls? Mike Leach has bought into the accusation and wasn't shy about saying so. The Sun Devils' Paul Graham invoked the Putin maneuver ...
... but that doesn't mean he cares to hear about it from one of his peers:
Where's CrowdStrike when you need them?
But, to quote Lou Reed in Sweet Jane, those were different times. Dude's got this interim coaching thing sorted, and he's making his strongest case yet for another shot at a longer contract.
That includes sticking it to the Rebs, thanks to a healthy helping of No 7:
Orgeron's future in Death Valley could be secured in Week 10, when Alabama pays a visit.
Bad Snark: Break up the AAC ... Damn. No wonder Houston wanted to change conferences. They can handle the Big XII -- defense, anyone? -- but as if the likes of Navy wasn't trouble enough, now SMU's taken them down. Just like they did North Texas and Liberty.
Snarkalicious: Cavalier attitude ... It'll take time for Bronco Mendenhall to whip Virginia into shape, if ever. Until then, dude may as well keep thumbing through the appendix of his playbook for entertaining little gems like this:
In a weekend of records, the Wahoos might've just tied one for most TD catches in a game by a center.