To begin with let us all pray for our French brothers in arms who have experienced unimaginable tragedy this weekend. My hope is God gives them the strength to do what must be done. Enough said.
This time in the season is a very dangerous time indeed for teams in the hunt. You've played a good few games. Other coaches have the film, they know what you like to do and how you like to do it. Your guys are a little banged up at this stage. They're a little tired. They find it hard to get up for a team they know is inferior. If you make it through next week, two weeks from now is rivalry week. This week and next week is where upsets can and will happen. So, you've got to keep your kids focused on some 5-5 team and to not think about the 4-6 RIVAL (if you're lucky they're 4-6, they could be 9-1) you've got after that which will give you every last thing they've got so as to screw up your championship run...well, needless to say it's a tall order. I can tell you this though, there will be surprises the next two weeks. Somebody will go down HARD! If, let's say South Carolina takes down Clemson (I am in NO WAY predicting this) would anybody be shocked? Hell no! So there you go.
Alright, who got a scare yesterday and who screwed the pooch? Well number one on the scare list has to be Oklahoma State followed close behind by Iowa. Mini-soda played Iowa tough, probably their best game since the opening loss to TCU. However no shame there, Iowa is damn good football team. They've got a well balanced, potent offense and defensively they've solid. I'm starting to like this team. However Oklahoma State should have lost yesterday. They dicked around most of the game as is per usual. Look, these dudes can ring that cash register and against a vastly inferior team like Iowa State they should have hung 70 points on the Cyclones. But they like to sleepwalk through most of the game and then do the old John Elway thing in the 4th quarter. Ok fine. But they got a one loss Baylor and the Oklahoma Sooners coming up. Let's see how that strategy works for the Cowboys. Look for them to get mauled!
Speaking of losing... Baylor. Oklahoma shut down their running game and rattled the Bears freshman QB who replaced starter Seth Russell after he got his neck broke (or some shit) a couple of weeks ago. The Sooners are one of those teams that lost early (Texas) but just doesn't have the mojo to make it into the playoff even if they do win out against Ok. State and TCU. Oh well, somebody get Chuck Fairbanks on the phone. Is he still alive?
Well let's talk about the best of the rest. Who are the best teams right now that haven't a hope in hell of making the playoff?
1. Arkansas. I know, they got a shitty record, but these guys are bangers. They couldn't win a championship if you held a gun to their heads but they can beat anybody on any given Saturday. Ask LSU.
2. Florida. The Gators are a year away but even still, when they get into the SEC Championship game against the Tide, Saban better have his boys ready. Florida has something to prove.
3. Michigan State. They fuqued up, that's all I gotta say.
4. North Carolina. It disgusts me to say this but Carolina can play with anybody. They're the second best team in the ACC and without doubt if they hadn't lost to South Carolina first game they'd be ranked 5 or 6. This is one of the best offensives they've ever had and certainly the best since Dick Crum's 1980 team (Amos Lawrence, homeboy Ron Wooten, Lawrence Taylor) that went 11-1. I wasn't around for "Choo Choo" Justice so my frame of reference is limited but currently they're in the midst of their longest winning streak since 1914. One can only hope everybody on campus gets indicted for corruption but that appears unlikely. UNC has spent 11.5 million dollars in legal and other fees (PR firms etc.) with people like the New York City law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft (founded 1792) to make this NOT happen. By the way, these guys are GOOD! They got me out of a indecent exposure charge a few years ago (hey, I had to piss ok!?) for which I am forever grateful. Of course I am permanently banned from all Applebees but that's ok.
Well that's all I got. The next two weeks should be a lot of fun.
Viva la France!