Sunday, October 02, 2005

football past and present (ok, just this week and next week)

Alright, I'm sure you all watched your respective teams play. A good day on all counts, with blowouts dealt by Tech, Texas, and ND. Glad to see Tech can play against conference opponents this year (I have to admit, I kinda sweated that one). On my side of the Mississippi, the Irish cleaned Purdue's clocks 49-28. And I feel confirmed now in scoffing at hearing the commentators talking up Missouri's chances for an upset. What's it gonna take for the 'Horns to get their due respect?

I'll tell you what: next week. Oklahoma is Texas' nemesis; no matter how well Texas is doing, for the last 5 seasons they've walked into the Cotton Bowl and played like they were still drunk from the night before. Texas doesn't have to beat the Sooners this year; they have to abosolutely destroy them. If they do that, then sports commentators and coaches and everyone else will start to realize the truth that should've been proven undeniable in Columbus, Ohio: Texas is the best team in the country. They can post points as fast as USC, but they don't have to spend the entire first half gaining their rhythm, and they have the all-important defense.

Speaking of the Trojans, next week they will have what is quite possibly their most difficult regular season game: they come to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. 61% of ESPN respondents said this will be the Trojans' toughest game, and it makes sense. Anyone who watched us play Purdue yesterday knows that this ain't last year's Irish, and anyone who watched them play Arizona State yesterday knows that, frankly, they ain't last year's Trojans (in fact, I'm of the opinion that there are at least 3 superior teams: Texas, Virginia Tech, and Ohio State). If USC is gonna choke this year, chances are it's gonna happen here. That being said, I'd put my money on USC, no doubt about it they're a better team, but if ND holds them within a TD or 2, and Texas does to OK what I think they're gonna do, there should be no more doubt as to who's the best team in the country.

As for Tech, next week is their season maker, too. They took a huge step yesterday towards making people confident in their abilities, but if they beat a resurgent Nebraska next week, their chances of scoring a sweet bowl game will be hightened significantly. I know, Nebraska's not even ranked, but I stand by this: footballers always pay attention to you when you beat teams like Nebraska, even in their off years. Besides, they beat a ranked Iowa State team yesterday. Their other big game is OK: they can do it this year. If they do, they'll take a giant leap toward being considered one of the big dogs in the big 12, and in my opinion, would all but guarantee a decent bowl game.

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