September 21, 2006
1. Its only the third week of the season and we've already seen some highly ranked favorites drop out of national championship contention. Preseason favorite Cal dropped to #21 after a loss and a pair of underwhelming victories. Who's your pick as the next NC contender to take a fall?
Florida is the easy pick. Their schedule is murder. So lets go with the team that is in the NC hunt but won't be very, very soon and that choice is Michigan. You can't win every game on emotion and the Wolverines did score a ton of points on Irish miscues.
2. By that same token there are several schools hanging around without a loss that all of a sudden look like surprise contenders. There are also a few one loss teams with a legit shot at getting back into it. Looking at the rankings who's the team no one's talking about with the best shot at crashing the party?
Texas needed Oklahoma to beat Oregon. (By the way, Stoops and OU, STOP THE FREAKING DUCKS FROM GETTING DOWN THE FIELD AFTER THE KICK!) They'll suffer because of the OU defensive lapse and will not enter back into the title game even if they run the table from here on out. I mean, come on folks, who is winning that North division?
To answer the question, I say watch for USC. We ALL have done everything in our power to write off the Trojans. Take a peek at their schedule again. This team gets everyone in L.A.
3. Every team has their quicksand away game. You know. That place you should win but somehow find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory or at least scare the &*%^ out of you every year. Did you know that over the last 21 years Kentucky wasn't won once in Knoxville? Where is your team's yearly sandtrap?
Notre Dame going to Los Angeles used to be a fun game when I was an adolescent. Lately its been the 31-point beatdown palace. I don't like the Irish chances any better this year. Maybe not 31 points, but I never saw a win when I glanced at the schedule for 2006 right after the Fiesta Bowl.
4. Now that you've looked into the darkest place in your football soul, free Escalades aside, turn and look into your crystal ball. Conference play is either just starting or a single game in. Based on what you've seen so far, give the order of finish in your conference, and if you've got a Conference Championship game tell us who the winner will be. Independents must predict the remainder of their schedule. The results your predictions will be held against you at the end of the season.
The SEC - I love the SEC.
4. South Carolina
6. Mississippi State
Auburn defeats Florida in a rematch from a close Tiger win on the Plains.
However, Notre Dame is my team, so...
Michigan State - W
Purdue - W
Stanford - W
UCLA - W
Navy - W
North Carolina - W
Air Force - W
Army - W
USC - L
10-2 and let the nation rail about the Irish going back to the BCS. I love it.
5. In keeping with the spirit of Maize n Brew, name your beverage of choice on game days and why. It need not be alcoholic, as there are some of us who choose not to imbibe on game day. Further, it need not be limited to a single brand/type/category. If you enjoy drinking PBR and Kraft Turkey Gravy at the same time (which I have personally witnessed), please, elaborate. Finally, if you should feel so inclined, and this is not a requirement, add an anecdote involving said beverage choice.
Milk. But really, food is the bigger thing for me. Downing a Hardee's Thick Burger is the best way to go while watching some afternoon football. Oh wait, I don't get an afternoon of uninterrupted football until October 28th.
BONUS: What gridiron memory sears you so deeply, down to your appropriately-colored veins, that a simple acknowledgement, a "sorry" from the proper source - even if it didn't change the outcome - would lift a burden and cleanse a scarred corner of the soul? What injustice do you still carry, and want officially recognized?
1993 poll voters to finally come clean and admit they were going to do any dadgum thing to get Bobby the national title.
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