Let’s give a resounding round of applause to Peter for graciously filling in on last week’s edition of Straight Shots. I was absent, and no, I couldn’t get out of it. I didn’t forget about you or wasn’t too drunk to type.
But I’m back. And lucky for you, I spent all of Saturday glued to my couch watching college football – which had primetime matchups all over the place in Week 7.
Doubling back on a few past Straight Shots topics, America’s favorite team —the Houston Cougars—won and covered the spread again. I can’t get enough of this team.
Unfortunately, that toot of the old horn was nothing more than a cheap transition so I can start College Football Week 7 by talking about another American Athletic Conference powerhouse.
With that, meet John Calipa..er, I mean, Justin Fuente.
The Memphis Tigers beat the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday. In football.
When you think about the University of Memphis, Tigers football is what, 10th on the list of the things that come to mind? I’ll be honest, I used to confuse Memphis’ football team with Middle Tennessee State. Like all the time. Hell, how many people even realize there’s more to that University than the ghosts of John Calipari and healthy Derrick Rose?
But become acquainted with Justin Fuente and the Memphis Tigers football team. Sitting at 6-0, the Tigers are making everyone shit their pants with an aerial attack that few teams in the country boast.
Their defense isn’t too shabby, either — holding a Rebels team that hung 43 on Alabama and 70-plus two times this season to just 24 points.
Between Temple, Houston, and the Tigers it’s going to be a fun finish in the AAC. Yes, it felt weird saying that.
Speaking of Ole Miss…
Ole Miss Still Controls The SEC West, Somehow
Here’s something funny to savor after seven weeks of football.
Ole Miss lost to American Athletic Conference Memphis and got housed by Florida in the same three-week stretch – yet they still control their own destiny in the vaunted SEC West.
That’s right, the Rebs are in the driver’s seat to go to the SEC Championship because of their win over Alabama. If all goes well against Texas A&M this week, a home tilt with LSU will determine the West title on November 21st.
This is the college football world we live in. A magical place where you can slot the best defensive player in the nation as a tailback, lose him to a concussion, eventually lose the game to the Memphis Tigers, and still potentially find yourself playing for the conference championship in the nation’s most infamous gauntlet.
What a fucking world, man.
What the fuck was that Michigan-Michigan State ending?
Can. Not. Stop. Watching.
I’ve spent hours now thinking about how to write about this play and the only thing I can muster is those four words.
Historic chaos aside, I do know that single play sets the table for November 21st, 2015 – when Michigan State travels to Ohio State. Ergo, that single play will likely decide what Big Ten team represents the conference (undeservedly) in the CFB Playoff.
That is unless this team has anything to say about it.
The Buzz Saw That Is The…Iowa Hawkeyes?
Color me pissed off. Yes, pissed off. I hate the Iowa Hawkeyes like children hate their vegetables. Every single person who knows me knows I hate Iowa football. This is honestly the one team in the country (over Kansas, and I went to Mizzou) that I can not stand to give praise to.
I’m an unabashed hater.
And all of that means you need to savor this moment, Hawkeye Nation. It is honestly not going to happen again.
This is the one time I will bite the bullet and give you some love.
Iowa is winning the Big Ten West. If we’re being honest, they pretty much already have. Injuries notwithstanding, the toughest remaining game on the Hawkeyes’ schedule is at Nebraska on Nov. 27th — a game they will (should) head into 11-0 with the division already locked up.
I’m a gambling man, and you can bet that my savings account is already on the Hawkeyes for a trip to Indianapolis. They’ll see either Ohio State (more about them soon) or Michigan State.
And guess what? They legitimately might beat either.
I can’t believe I’m giving this much attention to the Big Ten. Shame on me.
Urban Meyer wanted to have his cake and eat it too.
Though I’m not sure cake is good for old Urban’s heart, you get the point. There should no longer be a quarterback controversy in Columbus, OH.
It’s J.T. Barrett’s gig. Has to be. Cardale Jones was cute for a while, especially during that whole national championship thing they did last season. But this is 2015, and if not for their high school schedule – Urban’s little two-QB carousel would have buried this team already.
But nonetheless, here we are. Undefeated but less-than-impressive Ohio State is somehow still sitting a No. 1 in the polls.
Here’s my (not so) bold prediction. Ohio State drops at least one of their final two games to the Michigan schools and misses out on the playoffs. Opening a spot for…
Utah is really boring but really good.
And that stems from their head coach, Kyle Whittingham. With Whittingham, (hello USC vacancy) it’s not usually pretty but it’s damn effective.
Utah just keeps beating good teams. Now, they’re sitting at 3-0 in the conference without a ranked team left on their schedule. At this point, the No. 3 Utes are on a collision course with Stanford for the Pac 12 championship and the fourth spot in the CFB Playoff.
All that, despite doing shit like this.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 18, 2015
I’ve watched enough of Utah this year to know that they won’t become flashy or explosive.
They’re just a really damn good football team.
I fell for Northwestern’s shit again.
I literally fall for it every freaking year and I’m so mad at myself for doing it again. I’m so sick of Northwestern’s shit.
The Wildcats start off the season blazing hot, get to 4-0 or 5-0, and we all hop on the bandwagon like robots.
“It’s the Wildcats’ year!”
“Pat Fitzgerald is a good coach.”
“Rose Bowl here we come!”
And then a team like Michigan, or Iowa, comes around and kicks the shit out of Northwestern. End scene.
This year felt different, though. It really did. But guess what, we’ve been here before. Pat Fitzgerald is certainly not a bad coach, but two straight blowouts make 2012 – Fitzgerald’s only 10-win season and only bowl win – seem really far away.