Posted: Wednesday November 23, 2005 5:13PM; Updated: Saturday November 26, 2005 6:05PM
It happens every year around Thanksgiving. Your local TV news crew does the turkey bowling story ("They're rolling frozen turkeys down the aisle at Albertson's, but it's all for a good cause!") and the anchors act as if they've never seen it before, and some BCS bowl-bound team gets the stuffing knocked out of it by an underdog. Last year it was Boston College -- squandering a Fiesta Bowl invite with a home loss to Syracuse -- and a few years earlier it was Nebraska, getting its corn creamed with a 62-36 blowout loss at Colorado. Who will it be this year? Notre Dame in Palo Alto? The Mountaineers at home?
I've already seen the obligatory turkey bowling piece (a local Phoenix station aired one on Tuesday morning). But I don't see West Virginia, Texas, LSU or the Irish playing like turkeys this weekend.
Whatever happened to all those Sunshine State playmakers? The state's big
three schools are all average on offense, and the Hurricanes are the most average of them all. Miami will bounce back from last week's stunning home loss to Georgia Tech, but that will be due to the studliest defensive line in the nation. The Canes will score at least one defensive TD and the Cavaliers, who packed it in early a week ago against Virginia Tech, will do the same at the Orange Bowl.
Odd. Two schools having disappointing seasons despite both having taken
care of business in their biggest games of the year thus far. The Seminoles
beat Miami and won at Boston College, while Urban Meyer has assuaged Gator growlers with victories against Georgia and Tennessee. This game, always
entertaining, has been especially so the past two years, with the visitors
winning both times. That little streak ends this weekend. It won't be a romp
in the Swamp, but the Gators, behind the rushing of Markus Manson, will win.
The question is simple: Where are the Bulldogs' heads? If they're still
having nightmares about Reggie Bush -- and it's almost cruel that the return route from Los Angeles to Fresno includes a good hour's drive on I-5 -- then
the Wolfpack will give them a game. However, Pat Hill's squad is loaded with leadership from seniors such as quarterback Paul Pinegar, tailback Wendell Mathis and defensive lineman Garrett McIntyre. The Bulldogs will own this dogfight.
Maybe the "GT" on the helmet stands for "Good Travelers." The Yellow
Jackets, winners of this season's Willie Nelson memorial "I-can't-wait-to-get-back-on-the-road-again" award for their victories at
Auburn and Miami, might actually fare better if this one were played between
the hedges. If Tech QB Reggie Ball can throw an accurate ball and locate wideouts Calvin Johnson and his Tolkienesque teammate, Damarius Bilbo, the Yellow Jackets have a chance for their third impressive upset of 2005.
Remember, the Fighting Irish are not in a conference. A loss Saturday night in Palo
Alto would eliminate them from a BCS bowl and cost the school oh, about (pinky to edge of lip for this), $12 million. That's more money than Charlie Weis makes in one year ... in years in which he does not extend his contract. The Cardinal lost QB Trent Edwards last week at Cal (I mean, they know where he is, he's just injured). Expect Irish wideout Maurice Stovall to be good for at least one ridiculous leaping end zone grab as the leprechaun dons a sombrero.