Starting 11: Boise State's Schedule Is Tougher Than Nebraska's
How bad are things at Georgia? To hell with Mark Richt's future, the Georgia bulldog mascot is on the hot seat right damn now.
About the time that Arkansas wide receiver Greg Childs streaked 40 yards down the sideline with a winning touchdown catch, Russ the stand-in bulldog, who is serving while Uga VIII receives the requisite seasoning, better have retained a food taster. That's because Georgia is 1-2 overall (0-2 in the SEC) and the rest of the schedule looks loaded with landmines. Beginning with Mississippi State on Saturday night in Starkville, one team is going to leave 0-3 in the SEC.
And if it's Russ, he may not make the trip back to Athens.
It's been 17 years since the Bulldogs started off a season 0-2 in the SEC and Uga VIII isn't supposed to be ready until Oct. 16. Why the mascot can be ready then and not for the opener to the season remains a modern-day canine mystery. But by the time Uga VIII takes the field for his coronation, it's possible Russ will have become the first bulldog in history to run up a losing record. Right now he's 3-3 and has already lost an athletic director.
Uneasy lies the studded black collar on the throat.
On to the rest of the Starting 11"
1. For all the heat Boise State takes for playing two top 25 teams, how many do Texas and Nebraska play this year?
Texas plays two: Oklahoma and Nebraska. (Granted the Big 12 title game could add one more.)
Look at Texas' schedule. Are you telling me that Boise wouldn't definitely beat: Rice, Wyoming, Texas Tech, UCLA, Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Florida Atlantic and Texas A&M?
Boise would get 10 wins guaranteed with Texas's schedule. It has already beaten Wyoming much worse than Texas did. And it might well go 12-0 in the regular season. But no one questions Texas.
And Texas plays a murderer's row compared to Nebraska's crap schedule.
Nebraska plays one top 25 team -- Texas, at home. Otherwise this is its "competition:" Western Kentucky, Idaho, Washington, South Dakota State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas, Texas A&M and Colorado.
It's downright possible that Nebraska will play three teams all season that finish with a winning record.
Write this down and underline it: Boise State's schedule is tougher than Nebraska's.
Yet I haven't heard that mentioned anywhere before now.
2. Going from one kid under three to two kids under three eliminates the zone defense from the parental repertoire.
I can't believe how much more work two kids is than one. This was the first weekend we've had both back inside the house and it was an absolute circus. With one kid, two parents can pretty much handle things while still maintaining a semblance of normalcy. The schedule isn't that complex, the day doesn't drain by minute by minute. Basically, you can employ the zone defense and make him work hard to beat both of you.
With two kids?
You're back to man-to-man and it's much more than 40 minutes of hell.
In theory, going from one kid to two kids should be twice as much work. In actual practice, it's about 1,000 times as much work.
3. Best sign of the college football day, "Yes We Cam," in the Auburn student section.
Cam Newton has already become the SEC's most enigmatic signal caller. He can score on any play or he can incorrectly instruct his team's wide receivers to line up as four running backs spaced at five-yard intervals behind him. The entire Cam experience was on display Saturday night. A first half where he couldn't hit the broad side of a building and the second half when he turned into William Tell.
By the way, question for Auburn fans: why don't Auburn football players ever get arrested? This is an honest question. The Tigers are recruiting the same players who show up on other big SEC campuses and immediately get arrested. Yet, show up on the Plains and you never hear of anyone getting arrested for anything.
I've previously called Morgantown, W.Va., Deadwood, but I'm starting to reconsider. Right now Auburn is definitely the SEC's own Deadwood.
4. Mark Jones and Bob Davie's late-night telecast has become an exercise in the sublimely ridiculous.
It began with the mildly acid-influenced decision to make Davie-Jones' locker a significant part of the telecast. Is there a more obscure reference in sports today than this? A sailor's term for death that originated in 1751 that is mixed with college football each week?
Seriously, this idea happened?
It has continued this year with a late-night game in Hawaii and then a late-night game in Arizona. Everything that happens during this telecast is a bit off kilter, and every college football fan secretly wonders whether it's just them -- too many beers, too many hours of games in a row, did I really hear that?
Yes, you did.
And it's not just you.
It's Davie and Jones.
Jones's go-to announcing move appears to be based on opening a thesaurus in his hotel room, finding the biggest word he can and then tossing that word amidst a bunch of little ones: "What a serendipitous move!" "The conflagration is on!" "A mellifluous touchdown!" -- all of these sound exactly like Jones' calls.
You get the sense that he's a bit weird, an eccentric dork, who at the same time is desperately trying to put on the facade of coolness. For instance, on Saturday Jones brought back the short-sleeve shirt and tie combo made popular by Milton from "Office Space." That was outstanding. It begged a multitude of questions: Was he able to better call the game without his forearms hindered by fabric? Would he have overheated otherwise? Doesn't that act demand discussion?
Of course, but Bob Davie is too busy bouncing around inside his own head of declarative statements. Say what you will about him, but Davie is not afraid to take a stand. He's like Patton ... if Patton had lost to the Germans. He's a man who should be full of doubts who remains blissfully doubtless.
I'm going to ask you guys to start keeping track with me, but Davie makes more declarative statements than anyone I know save Bill Walton.Only Walton always made statements like "Dennis Rodman is the eighth-best rebounder in the history of basketball," that sound ridiculous, but are rooted in some basis of truth. That is, if you asked Walton to name the other seven rebounders better than Rodman, he could.
Davie makes at least five declarative statements, not always relating to football, with no basis in reality. To whit: During one replay review on Saturday, Davie confidently informed us that it was impossible for the back of the hand to touch the ground without the forearm also touching. He said it so definitely, in fact, that I got up off my couch and put my hand backward onto the ground.
My forearm was nowhere near touching.
Needless to say, I'm DVR'ing every game these guys call just to confirm that what I thought they said, they actually said.
5. Is there a bigger choke move in football than missing the extra point that would give you the lead or tie late in the game?
I don't think so.
This weekend we saw this twice in Big Ten vs. Pac 10 contests. First, Arizona State missed a tying extra point at Wisconsin. The Sun Devils went on to lose, 20-19. Then, late that evening, Iowa flipped the script, missing an extra point that would have given the Hawkeyes their first lead of the game at 28-27. Psychologically that point would have loomed even larger. coming, as it would have, as the 21st consecutive unanswered point after Iowa went down 27-7 early.
You can e-mail me arguments to the contrary, but I'm convinced these missed extra points personify choking more than any other single play.
6. Guaranteed fan shot move for southern football games in September and October when co-eds are shown on television cheering on their teams: the reflective check to see if my boob fell out while I was cheering.
Keep track of this on fan shots from now on. It's uncanny. I counted five different boob checks during Arkansas-Georgia. This isn't surprising since Athens is the Cleavage Capital of America, but you know what's going to happen, don't you? A boob is going to come out sometime soon and the Internet is going to break.
I mean, literally, break.
Katie Couric is going to begin the "CBS Evening News" by saying, "The Internet shut down in America today, costing American business $25.6 billion in lost productivity after a Georgia co-ed's breast was exposed while she was cheering in Athens."
The co-ed will then parlay this fame into a Playboy cover shot, a "Dancing with the Stars" appearance and a reality television show.
Again, this sounds like satire, but it's going to happen.
7. Oregon has outscored its opponents 189-13.
I feel confident that no team has ever amassed a 176-point positive point differential three games into a season.
So this means I agree with my colleague John Walters that Oregon should be ranked higher.
8. Immediately after Clemson missed a chip-shot field goal in overtime, Gene Chizik told Erin Andrews why Auburn won: "This is a God thing tonight," Chizik said.
Of course, if God is favoring Auburn, that means He hates Clemson.
So ... sounds about right.
9. Remember when Stanford was criticized because Jim Harbaugh's private bathroom cost too much?
A donor gave Harbaugh his own private bathroom so it would, in Harbaugh's words, "cut down on drag."
The bathroom cost between $50-70,000 and became a minor scandal. In the wake of Harbaugh's Stanford team outscoring opponents 155-31, including a 35-0 pasting of UCLA, and a current top 10 recruiting class might it be time to call this private bathroom the greatest expenditure in Stanford athletics history?
If Harbaugh takes the Cardinal to the Rose Bowl. he ought to demand a remodeling of the bathroom and have donors drop a million on the chamber. Or Michigan ought to go ahead and start building the Biltmore of bathroom chambers.
You know, just to be safe.
10. Larry Sparks gave an interview about the Ole Miss mascot selection during the Vanderbilt game.
Vanderbilt had just scored to go up 21-14. Quoth Sparky: "If mascots could tackle, we could use one today."
I think that sentence defines Ole Miss football this season. But congrats to turkey inseminator Robbie Caldwell on his first career win. There is no head coach in the SEC who is remotely as entertaining to talk with as Caldwell.
Everyone should be rooting for him. On Saturday, he gobbled the Rebels' season.
11. Michigan State's winning fake field goal came after the game clock had already counted down to zero.
I know because I'm like a Ninja when it comes to working my DVR. I slowed down my DVR to the slowest possible speed and pinpointed the millisecond when the clock hit zero and the ball hadn't been snapped. How did I develop these ninja like DVR skills?
By scanning cheering coeds in super slow-motion to see if their boobs fell out.
Follow Clay Travis on Twitter here. With All That and a Bag of Mail returning for the football season, you can e-mail him questions at Clay.Travis@gmail.com