Clausen gets it done on the field and in the classroom
Posted: Friday October 7, 2005 12:49AM; Updated: Saturday October 8, 2005 2:46AM
True story: The first bet I ever placed was for an NFL playoff game that took place on Dec. 23, 1972. I was six and I put a dime (an actual dime, not $1,000) on the Oakland Raiders. My dad took the Pittsburgh Steelers. You know what happened: Franco Harris and the Immaculate Reception.
So I'm no Matthew McConaughey when it comes to handicapping football. And, over my lifetime, I'm down a lot more than a dime to my dad. Especially when you factor in college tuition and meals. Which explains why he keeps threatening to bust my kneecaps.
You have to admire Rick Clausen for having faith in his talent when Nick Saban (at LSU) and then Tennessee's Phil Fulmer didn't believe in him. That said, the Vols QB was just named "Vols Scholar Athlete of the Week," even though he graduated last December and is currently taking grad courses in Recreation and Leisure Studies.
These two have more in common besides being California's other undefeated Pac-10 teams. There's the obvious ursine connection between the Golden Bears and the Bruins. Then there's both schools' unrelenting commitment to the cursive form, as the helmets bear (no pun intended) witness. No one outside of Berkeley or Westwood seriously thinks either of these two will be back in Pasadena come January, but I guarantee this game will be entertaining.
Nittany Lion quarterback Michael Robinson earned his advertising
and public relations degree last December, and I'm pegging him as my early favorite to become the next "Vols Scholar Athlete of the Week." If Robinson can move the ball against the nation's No. 1 rush defense, then Happy Valley will be upgraded to Giddy Valley.
Most humbled QB of last week? Former Dallas Cowboy and current Survivor: Guatemala cast member Gary Hogeboom, who must have seethed as host Jeff Probst described his Yaxha posse as being "the less athletic of the two tribes." Runner-up? Sun Devil Sam Keller, who tossed five picks in the loss to USC after throwing 131 passes in a row without an interception.
Here's the idea: After every Oklahoma touchdown, a fan in the Oklahoma student section turns his back toward the opposing team's fans, bends over and drops trou. And we shall call him the Sooner Mooner. Who's with me here?
Don: Hey, Napoleon. What did you do last summer again?
Napoleon Dynamite: I told you! I spent it with my uncle in Alaska, hunting wolverines!
Don: Did you shoot any?
Napoleon Dynamite: Yes, like 50 of 'em! They kept trying to attack my cousins. What the heck would you do in a situation like that?
Will the Golden Gophers enter the Big House with a Napoleon Dynamite Complex? Doubt it.
Now this is fun: The Red Raiders boast the nation's No. 1 scoring offense (57.25 points per game) while the Cornhuskers counter with the country's top scoring defense (9.0 ppg). That's a 48-point difference. You ain't gotta be Diane Keaton to realize that something's gotta give.
We interrupt this Weekend Pickoff to print the musings of reader Jason Wilborn of Chesapeake, Va.: The [exception to a rule] that gets me is intentional grounding unless you spike the ball to stop the clock. Why can't the quarterback who gets flagged for intentional grounding argue that he noticed the clock ticking and wanted to stop it? "The fact that the linebacker was about to sack me was pure happenstance!"
How to tell you are not a BCS conference: The showdown between your top two schools is not being televised. Too bad for the Mountain West Conference, as the Horned Frogs and Cowboys already have wins against BCS schools (Oklahoma and Ole Miss, respectively) this season.
Here's how to over-think a pick: 1) The Badgers have only played one road game, and it was a desultory 14-5 win in Chapel Hill, 2) the Wildcats had Penn State on the ropes and their win against Northern Illinois looks more and more impressive, 3) Northwestern is coming off a bye week while Wisconsin is playing its sixth game in as many Saturdays. I know I'll be sorry, but ...