The Common Man’s approach to CFB, brought to you by the most normal person on any team.
You thought the tagline would be about Tech, huh? NOPE. It’s me. In the words of Drizzy Drake, “better late than never, but never late is better.” Yea, it’s Wednesday when you’re reading this. I’m sorry. Homecoming weekend took a toll on me that could only be cured by a Sunday free of computer screens. That, and a lovely dinner last night with none other than the admirable Aaron Solender, one of the faces of the three-headed monster that is ballcontroloffense.com. They run a great column called Kickin’ It, in which they interview the true backbone of each football team; their punter. Check them out when you get a chance, and if you hate your life, following my gambling advice on their weekly pick ‘em column. (3-4 last week ATS and expected to go 6-1 this week)
Without further adieu, let’s get it...
1) Weird... You can’t really watch football when you have night games...
I don’t know why I didn’t plan ahead, have an unlimited data plan, or something, because outside of the first quarter of TTU/ISU and some middle part of IU@MSU, I barely watched any football on Saturday. But, as a consolidation prize, I got to sit in the end zone box seats thanks to my neighbor (shoutout Mr. Smith). It was nice to be able to recapture the student section view of the offense while also having free beer. I couldn’t imagine having a night game every week like a team that truly deserves to play Samford at 6:30pm cough cough georgia cough cough, because I’m pretty sure it’s going to throw my sleep schedule until at least the time you read this.
2) MY MAN’S HAS ARRIVED
Derrius Guice ladies and gentlemen. 22 carries, 276 yards and brought back Death in the Afternoon (Ole Miss stadium joke). First game over 125 this season, and I really hope we see more of this in the coming weeks. Call me old school, but I love watching LSU line up, tell you they’re going to run the football, then pat you on the head as the sidestep you on their way to 393 yards running power.
3) Did anyone outside of the fans of the respective programs enjoy the marquee games this weekend?
So, in review:
- Penn State 42 - Michigan 13
- Oklahoma State 13 - Texas 10 (OT) - it sucked. don’t lie. there needed to be 75 points.
- Notre Dame 49 - USC 14
Your precious time was better spent at noon with Florida State-Louisville, UCF-Navy at 3:30, then Arizona-Cal to end the day. I know you can cherry-pick these games in hind sight, and the 3 Big Games would have probably been better 8 times out of 10, but I think I’m officially off Big Games this season. I could probably count on one hand the marquee games I’ll pay attention to for the rest of the season. I’m just tired of watching one team run away with the game and then coast in a Top 15 matchup. I want more Fun Belt in my P5. Sue me.
Things I Think I Know
1) UCF and USF are going to vie for a place in the Playoff conversation...
Remember when they said the G5 would be almost automatically excluded from the playoff conversation? They didn’t plan on this... UCF and USF play in the Thanksgiving Family Feud Spectacular. The winner will full [Fat Joe-ing] slingshot themselves after that game simply because they will beat a team that is likely their immediate neighbor in the CFP rankings.
2) IT’S WORSE THAN WE COULD HAVE IMAGINED
As I write this sentence, my jaw is resting on the table. I somewhat joked about it last week, but then it really hit me, Bowling Army isn’t even their final form... They essentially DOUBLED their season passing stats in a 31-28 OT thriller on the banks of the Lusk Reservoir at Michie Stadium. Not only have they discovered they can pass, they have a 25% chance to end the season at 9-3... Could you imagine 10-2 Army joining the G5 conversation as well to end the season? They would have rattled off 8 straight wins culminating with Air Force, Duke, North Texas, and Navy. Not saying expect it, but watch out for Monken’s squad, you know they’ve still got a couple of good hands left in them.
3) Fresno State is a quality win for Alabama and Washington
In an incredibly weird turn of events, after playing Bama and Washington in back-to-back weeks, the one true FSU has held a 100% Win Expectancy in 4 of their 5 wins. They are currently the fourth best team on Bama’s schedule, and the third best on Washington’s. Teams they are ahead of? Glad you asked:
Colorado, Oregon, UCLA, Utah, F$U, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU
This season I claim to know nothing about sports, and I contend that I’m not mad about it.
Top 5 Top 5
1. Alabama 2. Penn State 3. TCU 4. Notre Dame 5. georgia
ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn please can we make this happen? I don’t care about the implications of the ACC. I never cared about the Big 12 or Pac 12. I want Notre Dame to eek out georgia for the fifth spot by the nature of their quality loss to georgia. Nothing would make me happier. I don’t know how to make it happen, but my best guess is Notre Dame would have to blow torch everyone on the rest of their schedule, and by all-seeing eyes of Touchdown Jesus I want this to become a reality.
TARVTSBR - Georgia Tech
But first, let’s talk more UK. Last week’s TARVTSBR winner needed some more investigation. This column pooped on them for not winning by more in their games. I failed to realize they only had a >50% Win Expectancy in 2 of those 5 wins... 6% AGAINST SOUTHERN MISS AND 17% AGAINST EMU. [Foreigner] Kentucky.
But back to this week’s winner. I know it’s been said, but Tech is 2 plays from undefeated, and it irks me that we have 5 votes in the AP poll. We’re behind SDSU. The same SDSU that just lost 2 straight by a combined 41 points. We’re better than that.
First half, we went full tilt. RPM’s were rocketing as I saw the read option become last week’s screen. But I was encouraged by the most veteran part of our defense being set free. Press coverage looks so sexy in the Stormtrooper uniforms. Hell, it looks good in anything, please run more of it. It’s going to be the difference in the Clemson game, and will determine just uncomfortable we can make the hyper-screen offense of Clemson.
Second half, I was more relaxed, but didn’t like playing from behind to start. During a series of B-back gives up the middle, the person next to me questioned why we would continue to run the same play again and again and get 2-3 yards. I turned to him and said, “I’d take 3 yards on the same look every time, because it means someone is going to fall asleep.” Next play, Qua untouched to the Upper North. (It was #3 Jessie Bates III’s fault. He tried shadowing the lead blocker instead of the Pitch Man, not a great strategy Cotton.)
Kenny Trill Heisman of the Week
Not so fast Derrius Guice...
If you watch the Memphis @ Houston game, you saw the rarest of Trill forms. A full “Tim Byerly: Touchdown Hawk” performance was underway.
Enter one Patrick Taylor Jr. - RB - Memphis
14 carries. 39 yards. 4 TOUCHDOWNS. Take away his long of 11 yards (which he didn’t score on), and you’re left with 2.15 ypc and 4 touches. That my friends, is quintessential Trill. Oh, and lest we forget, he’s from Humble, TX. Is this the newly crowned touchdown hawk capital of the world? It only seems fitting that the most humble guy on the team hawk all the glory.
Tin Horn Team of the Week
Poor poor Tennessee....
Yardage difference of 604-108. Cry your lil’ smoky eyes out. It won’t save your soul. Think about it this way, despite beating UK 31 of the last 32 years, you’re +5.5 this weekend. And to put the cherry on top, half of your fan base is secretly hoping this will be your next head coach:
Favorite quote from this man? “Mike, have you ever seen the movie ‘Cast Away?’ In the movie, Tom Hanks’ only friend is a ball named Wilson. In this game, Russell Wilson’s only friend is a football.”
Are these two things sort of related by the word Wilson? Maybe? Are extended metaphors beyond the capabilities of Jon Gruden? Potentially? Is Spider 2 Y Banana an applicable play call before literally everything you do in your life? You bet your sweet [Abba] it is.
Does Tech Need a Tee [Boston]?
Wake had a female student assistant as their Tee person. Why can’t we have nice things? Maybe it would keep Brenton King from kicking the ball out of bounds if he wasn’t so distracted thinking about remembering to get the tee. Just thinking out loud.
Prop Bet of the Week
Last week’s bet: Points scored for the losing team - O/U 18.5
This hit the over this week, but it doesn’t matter, cus the money machine that is Tech ATS covered yet again. (more on this to come)
This week’s bet: O/U YPC for Travis Etienne - 8.7.
So with 51 carries and 446 yards, Etienne is sort of scary as a true freshman. As we saw during the 2015 FSU game, if you can stop a run game and make a team one dimensional, you have a legit chance at any game. Here’s hoping for the under.
The More You Know
I reallllly enjoyed this. I might be a PJ Fleck homer, or just might like a little competition in the B1G Legends Division. Never forget that the B1G did this. Ever.
(Eaux)de to the O
The ghosts of Orgeron’s past life we defeated when LSU rode Guice to a 40-24 win. Next up: Bama...
Further eliminated this past weekend: UVA, Kentucky (finally), and USC.
The Field: VT, Winner/Loser of UCF/USF, TCU, Ohio State, Notre Dame, NC State, Michigan State, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, uga, Miami, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Apple Cup Winner, Wisconsin.
And Crees sighed...
Hey ya'll. I'm no longer studying for that machine learning midterm (aced the [Spandau Ballet] out of it, nbd), so this should come off less rant-y than last week. Here's whats bothering me this week:
1) Remember how I had to miss the Wake game to be at my cousin's wedding? Real conversation that happened at my table:
me: *constantly refreshing the ESPN app* *shaking fist as Wake looks like a real offense in the first half*
girl I just met: "What are you doing?"
me: "Oh I'm checking the score of the Tech game"
girl: "every few seconds?"
girl: "you're one of those people that cares a lot about football aren't you?"
me: "hhhhhhhhhhhhhh (self-described sigh)... yes I do."
Okay Julia (or Juliette maybe? the DJ that looked like a grungy Justin Long was playing music preposterously loud during dinner and I could barely hear anyone) don't football shame. This old [Avett Brothers] hotel had no TVs, and I was forced to improvise.
2) I'm happy we're 4-2 and all, but its tough to not think about what could have been. I mean, we're one yard and one absurd 4th down catch away from being 6-0. Miami is #8 right now. That means had we beaten them and Tennessee, we'd be a top 10 team. Think about that for a second.
3) Not a sigh, but this is wild:
Only FBS teams to cover/push ATS every game: UCF, Fresno St, Ga Tech.— #DaHale (@DavidHaleESPN) October 24, 2017
Only teams not to cover ATS: Florida St, BYU & GaSo.
Good teams win, great teams cover. Right?
As always, thanks for reading, and hopefully next week I'll be bringing you all the column at its normal time, preferably on Monday, preferably in the morning. Just like the doctor ordered.