Friday, October 31, 2014


Game Day

The man’s a poet

12/4/2013

FIRST DOWN

You might choose to remember Johnny Football pointing to the scoreboard and making “mo money” signs with his fingers. Or the chaos that ended the Auburn-Alabama game. Or the continued ability of Pac-12 referees to seemingly make up the rules of organized football as they go.

But us?

We’re going to remember 2013 for Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, and immortalize his words in Haiku form:

Our crowd, what a bunch

DM Art Center

F—ing fair-weather f—ing

Can all kiss my ass

Hey, we don’t care what you say. The man’s a poet.

 

2013 BOWL PROJECTIONS:

BIG 12

BCS/Fiesta Bowl (Big 12 No. 1 vs. TBD, Jan. 1): Oklahoma State vs. Northern Illinois

Cotton Bowl (Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC No. 3, Jan. 3): Baylor vs. LSU

Alamo Bowl (Big 12 No. 3 vs. Pac-12 No. 2, Dec. 30): Oklahoma vs. Oregon

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Big 12 No. 4 vs. Big Ten No. 4, Dec. 28): Texas vs. Nebraska

Holiday Bowl (Big 12 No. 5 vs. Pac-12 No. 2, Dec. 30): Kansas State vs. Arizona State

Texas Bowl (Big 12 No. 6 vs. Big Ten No. 6): Texas Tech vs. Minnesota

 

BIG TEN

BCS/National Championship (Jan. 6): Ohio State vs. Florida State

BCS/Rose Bowl (Big Ten No. 1 or 2 vs. Pac-12 No. 1, Jan. 1): Michigan State vs. Stanford

Capital One Bowl (Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2, Jan. 1): Wisconsin vs. Auburn

Outback Bowl (Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC No. 4, Jan. 1): Iowa vs. South Carolina

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Big Ten No. 4 vs. Big 12 No. 4, Dec. 28): Nebraska vs. Texas

Gator Bowl (Big Ten No. 5 vs. SEC No. 6): Michigan vs. Georgia

Texas Bowl (Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12 No. 6): Minnesota vs. Texas Tech

 

THE BIG EIGHT

Ranking the best eight teams in the Big 12 and Big Ten, one through eight…

TEAM (RECORD) / UP NEXT

1. Ohio State (12-0) / vs. Michigan State, B1G Championship game, Indianapolis

2. Oklahoma State (10-1) / vs. Oklahoma

3. Baylor (10-1) / vs. Texas

4. Michigan State (11-1) / vs. Ohio St., B1G Championship game, Indianapolis

5. Oklahoma (9-2) / at Okla. St.

6. Texas (8-3) / at Baylor

7. Wisconsin (9-3) / Bowl game

8. Iowa (8-4) / Bowl game

 

ONE MAN’S RUNNING HEISMAN BALLOT:

1. Moses Harry Horwitz, Kicker, No. H2O2, Boulder Dam

2. Louis Feinberg, Holder, No. ½, Boulder Dam

3. Jerome Lester Horwitz, Tee, No. ?, Boulder Dam

 

SET YOUR TIVO:

The games you won’t want to miss…

1. Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, ABC, 11 a.m.: Bedlam, anyone? Part One of the Big 12’s attempt to settle its wild title chase. And for once, it’s the Sooners who’ll be playing the role of spoilers.

2. Texas at Baylor, FOX, 2:30 p.m.: Part Two the Big 12 title bout. Winner could claim a share of the crown, regardless of what happens to Oklahoma State earlier in the day. Longhorns coach Mack Brown could very well be coaching to save his job — for the 106th straight week.

3. Missouri vs. Auburn, CBS, 3 p.m.: Upstart Tigers versus Upstart Tigers for all the SEC marbles, and not a Saban to be found. And to think: A year ago, these two schools were a combined 2-14 in the league.

4. Stanford at Arizona State, ESPN, 6:45 p.m.: No national title stakes here, but there’s some interesting provincial history at play: The Sun Devils haven’t played in a Rose Bowl since 1997, when ASU had Jake Plummer and Pat Tillman setting the pace.

5. Duke vs. Florida State, ABC, 7 p.m.: Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe has always been regarded as a borderline offensive genius. If he can keep the Dookies within a touchdown of the ‘Noles, he’ll be regarded as a miracle worker, too.

6. Ohio State vs. Michigan State, FOX, 7:17 p.m.: Pretty simple: If the Buckeyes win, they’re in. Which means 80 percent of America — and fans of Alabama, Auburn and Mizzou — will be rooting like crazy for Sparty to shock the freaking world.

 

THE HOT SEAT: DANA HOLGERSEN, WEST VIRGINIA

 Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse for our man Dana, it got … much worse. Iowa State turned up in Morgantown last weekend and gutted out a 52-44 win in three overtimes that saw the host Mountaineers gag away a 31-7 first-half lead. The Cyclones racked up 575 yards and their first Big 12 road win of the season. It was the sixth straight game in which West Virginia had blown a second-half advantage.

The Fighting Holgorsens opened Big 12 play with an upset of Oklahoma State at home, then finished league play at 2-7 in the conference, 4-8 overall, and out of bowl contention for the first time since 2001. And only a substantial buyout — reportedly $11.3 million — is expected to keep the West Virginia coach’s head above the water line.

“I thought we made progress in the last year,” Holgorsen, who’s 6-14 in his last 20 games, told the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette. “The record doesn’t show it, and ultimately that’s what I’m going to be judged on. I understand that. But what we’ve done in the last year, we’re going to crank it up and do it a little bit harder.”

Dana? Don’t take this the wrong way, but ya might want to think about doing it a little bit better, too. CV

Sean Keeler is a columnist/blogger with FOX Sports Kansas City and FOXSports.com. From 2002-2011, Keeler was on the staff of The Des Moines Register, where he was named one of the Top 10 sports columnists in the nation by the Associated Press Sports Editors. You can read him at FoxSportsKansasCity.com and at FoxSportsMidwest.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@seankeeler) and through his Tumblr blog: seankeeler.tumblr.com.

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