Today’s theme is “Always Be Covering”, with a side of “Night At The Improv.” It was going to be “Don’t Be Afraid Of Internet Memes,” but Jameis Winston went and screwed that all up.
Anyway, the weekend’s shame, followed by degradation and small dollops of general misery, in order of when the hell we typed it.
1. TEXAS A&M (3-1 against the line): Give me no nonsense about strength of schedule. They score 54 points a game, and that’s a thing.
2. FLORIDA STATE (0-3 against the line): Ick. But at least they can spot their starting quarterback either on a table or on the sidelines.
3. ARIZONA (1-3 against the line): Listen, Jack, if you don’t think scoring 36 points in the fourth quarter and winning on a Hail Mary isn’t the highest form of comedy, then my name isn’t Eleanor Roosevelt. And if you can’t laugh at the Pac-12, you’re an undertaker.
4. OKLAHOMA (3-1 against the line): Won at West Virginia, and Bob Stoops is already explaining how the Southeastern Conference is Vladimir Putin’s choice to run a new eastern Ukraine.
5. MISSISSIPPI STATE (3-1 against the line): Beat LSU in Death Valley. Points taken off for not covering against Alabama Birmingham, for God’s sake.
6. UTAH (3-0 against the line): Beating Michigan at Michigan is a sign that Michigan fans want a new coach for Michigan. That alone is worthy of our attention, especially when Kyle Whittingham becomes the new frontrunner for the not-yet-vacant Michigan job.
7. EAST CAROLINA (4-0 against the line): Probably would like to revisit that South Carolina loss now that they’ve put 70 on North Carolina. Ruffin McNeill may not be Steve Spurrier for hoots, but he may be coaching against Spurrier again soon enough.
8. BAYLOR (3-0 against the line): You can’t cover if you don’t play. On the other hand, nobody can cover on you, either.
9. ALABAMA (1-3 against the line): Beating Florida is not a big deal; in fact, even when it was, it was a job that crushed even X-men like Urban Meyer who said 2009 “mentally broke” him. That year, the Gators lost to Alabama too, so expect Will Muschamp to get a case of shingles.
10. SOUTH CAROLINA (1-3 against the line): Beating Vanderbilt without covering is a great shame. At least it is here.
11. NEBRASKA (3-1 against the line): This is higher than most polls will have the Huskers, but they’d be higher still if not for Bo Pelini Face, which will be the principal pumpkin-carving meme of the Halloween season.
12. OREGON STATE (1-2 against the line): Currently the only Pacific 12 team other than Utah not doing standup comedy.
13. DUKE (3-1 against the line): David Cutcliffe gives almost no face at all, making him a massive underdog against Pelini. Or state governor Mike Krzyzewski, for that matter.
14. MISSISSIPPI (3-0 against the line): Had the week off to work on their tans. No blistering was reported.
15. INDIANA (1-2 against the line): The new prettiest girl in the Big 10. Let that gnaw its way through your cerebral cortex for awhile.
16. JAMEIS WINSTON (0-1 against the line): Maybe next time he should try Bobby Valentine’s fake mustache. But “because he loved his teammates.” Never forget that either.
17. PENN STATE (3-1 against the line): Taught Massachusetts a thing or two, if that’s your idea of a good time.
18. OREGON (1-3 against the line): 1-3 AGAINST THE LINE? WHAT’S THE POINT OF SCORING A LOT OF POINTS IF YOU CAN’T COVER BIG LINES? PHIL KNIGHT IS UTTERLY DISGUSTED! And believe me, I know. I have at least one of his shoes.
19. CONNOR HALLIDAY (16-11-1 against the line): Only threw 63 passes in loss to Oregon, 26 fewer than a year ago. Yeah, ol’ Take-A-Knee Halliday.
20. MICHIGAN STATE (2-1 against the line): Mark D’Antonio is Mister Happy Fun Guy, but he used more quarterbacks than Eastern Michigan had first downs, and the Spartans scored more points than the basketball team scored 17 times. Now that should bring an indistinct facial tic to his face.
21. STANFORD (2-1 against the line): Had the week off, and studied something.
22. FORDHAM (0-0 against the line): A guy I know who pours free wine went to Fordham. Shut up.
23. SOUTH FLORIDA (2-2 against the line): Won and covered in Friday’s Flemming Cup game against Connecticut. The cup, also known as The Phlegm Bucket, will be presented at year’s end to the team that disgraced itself least in games broadcast by Dave Flemming, who is just slumming with his Giants assignment until next week’s Fresno State-New Mexico hoedown. Flemming wanted Old Dominion-Middle Tennessee, but ESPN told him that was still a bit too center stage for him. P.S. UConn is 0-4 against the spread.
24. EASTERN MICHIGAN (1-3 against the line): Rolled up 134 yards of total offense in the last 19:18 of their game against highly regarded Michigan State. This is partly mitigated by the fact that the Eagles gained one yard in the first 39:42 and lost, 73-14.
25. MORGAN STATE (1-0 against the line): Lost to Eastern Michigan on Opening Weekend. Got 16 ½, lost by 3.