Quick guide to coaching searches, KSU's desperation and more (cont.)
Day man! Master of karate and friendship for every-one.
Why would you want it out of your head, Pete? It's only the single greatest musical number in the history of television sitcoms.
Pete is referring to Day Man, the cult classic song from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. (YouTube is cluttered with videos of other bands covering what is basically a 30-second song.) Day Man first appeared during last season's episode "Sweet Dee is Dating A Retarded Person," but made its dramatic return in last week's season finale, when the cast -- including the ever-lovely Kaitlin Olson -- turned it into a full-scale musical. See for yourself.
And just for the record, the full lyrics (since Pete abridged them) -- and these are literally the entire lyrics of the song -- are ...
I went back to Week 1 to check a theory of mine that if an ACC team is ranked in the top 25, they will lose. So far this year, teams in the ACC have a record of 10-16 while playing as a top 25 team, including 3-13 since week eight. What is going on?
The main reason: In conference games where one team is ranked and the other is not, the unranked teams have gone 13-4. I know -- it's absurd.
Obviously, the first observation I'd make is that we, the pollsters, clearly have no idea which ACC teams should be ranked and which one should not. Nine of the league's 12 teams have made an appearance in the polls at some point, but never more than three in the same week. Take it from me: As you soon as you put an ACC team on your ballot, you invariably end up having to drop it back out the following week.
Here's what it comes down to: The conference is as tightly bunched as any I've ever seen. There are no elite teams, and there are no particularly awful teams either. (Even NC State has won three straight games to get to within one game of .500, and Duke, while 4-7, has been mostly competitive.) It's like what they say about the NFL. Take away about four elite teams at the top and four truly awful teams at the bottom, and it's basically just one big league full of 8-8 teams that, with a fortuitous bounce here or an injury there, move a game or two up or down the ladder.
That's what this year's ACC is: A whole bunch of teams with amazingly similar talent levels and the kind of youth that breeds inconsistency. Therefore, pretty much any matchup of any two teams can go either way on any given week. The sad byproduct of this is that we're a week away from possibly seeing a rematch of last year's Virginia Tech-Boston College title game even though neither team is nearly as good as they were in 2007. Of course, if the recent trend continues, No. 20 BC will lose this week to unranked Maryland, and 5-6 Virginia, for no logical reason, will knock off 7-4 Virginia Tech, to produce a much more compelling Georgia Tech-Florida State title game.
After looking back at your list of three potential sleepers and busts from this summer, I think it's odd that almost all of your choices are either dead-on correct or dead wrong, with only one up for debate. Don't you find this weird?
What you may describe as "weird," I prefer to describe as "prophetic genius."
The specific categories were: "Three [unranked] teams that could end up in the top 15" and "Three that could plummet out of the rankings." My answers to the first one: Alabama (now No. 1), Utah (now No. 8) and ... Rutgers. My answers to the second part: Wisconsin (preseason No. 13; now unranked), West Virginia (preseason No. 8, now unranked) and ... Texas Tech.
In other words: Two out of three in both.
In Monday night's episode of the increasingly clever How I Met Your Mother, we were introduced to the concept of "The Naked Man," a last-resort ploy if you're on a date and running out of hope for sealing the deal. Basically, you come out of the bathroom stark naked and hope for the best. The character who introduces the gang to the concept claims it works "two out of every three times." Sure enough, three of them try it. Two, Ted and Lilly, succeed, and the third, Barney, fails miserably.
I'd say that's exactly what I pulled off: The football prognostication equivalent to "The Naked Man."
Stewart Mandel's book Bowls, Polls and Tattered Souls: Tackling the Chaos and Controversy that Reign Over College Football, is now available in paperback.