The bitterness fades with each bite of jambalaya. This version comes from a seventh-generation and self-described coonass from Slidell. He throws in some outrageous venison sausage—the herd’s got to be thinned out right?—and I washed it down appropriately. I’ve already lost one bet to the Florida fan in attendance: Alabama plus ten losing by eleven equals Jones minus one fifth divided by whatever friends the winner invites over to imbibe away my largesse. Get all of that?
I’m now watching the Oklahoma Sooners slowly torture Chase Daniel and Wazzu. Check that, Mizzou, although it is hard to tell the difference. How about you Show Me something else Missouri? Defense, perhaps.
With the score 41-7, we loaded up the kids and I predicted the 62-21 final as we left the house, complete with garbage time touchdowns. Easy prognostication, Bob Stoops has become addicted to scoring 60; that’s what he does, just like Kilgore from "Apocalypse Now" drops playing cards on the vanquished. I love the smell of computer algorithms in the morning.
Almost 30,000 came to Jacksonville for the Big East title game. Tough economic times, I guess (of course no one came to last year’s ACC title game either, or the one before that now that you mention it). Virginia Tech walked home with the hardware in a 30-12 dismantling of Boston College, ending the strangest conference race I’ve ever seen.
Va Tech will play Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl. Had the Bearcats had any inkling that they would win the Big East this year, there would have been no way that the athletics department would schedule an end-of-season trip to Hawaii. Cincy came back from a 24-10 fourth-quarter deficit to the Warriors the old fashioned way: pick six, field goal, safety, 70-yard touchdown, eat a little poi, get on the plane.
Whatever is old is new again. Proust, right? Anyway, East Carolina came full circle by upsetting Tulsa and winning Conference USA.
Southern Cal and UCLA both played in their home jerseys, the way the rivalry was meant to be played. The Trojans had to give up a time-out as penance for violating the NCAA uniform policy. In a class move, UCLA immediately burned a first-half timeout to even the ledger, to great applause. So the setting was beautiful; the football not so much. USC 28, UCLA 7.
West Virginia also defied the NCAA by wearing white at home in honor of the sublime career of Pat White. Actually, the NCAA gave them permission, which I am guessing resulted from successful completion of the NCAA’s 86-page "Intent to Alter Standard Wardrobe Configuration Waiver." You know, it ought to work like this:
West Virginia AD: "Hey, we are going to wear white on Saturday, you guys bring your dark jerseys."
South Florida AD: "OK"
But life is no longer that simple. West Virginia 13, South Florida 7.
Navy thrashed Army, 34-0. Ram Vela, he of the famous Kato-like leaping quarterback takedown at Notre Dame last season, returned an interception 68 yards to cap yet another great season for the Midshipmen.
Ball State suffered through four fumbles and lost both their undefeated season and the MAC title to Buffalo, 42-24, on Friday night. Buffalo just won a conference championship. Buffalo. Turner Gill, to my knowledge, has no job offers. Huh.
Back to Florida/Alabama…the Crimson Tide played out the perfect "How to Beat Florida for Dummies" guidebook for three full quarters, before being overwhelmed in the fourth by a better football team, playing impressively without Percy Harvin. The silver lining for Alabama was Julio Jones’s coming out party; the kid looks like next year’s Michael Crabtree. But it will be Florida advancing.
Oklahoma will meet them in Miami.
Yes, I am still pissed about that.
Impressive Showing of the Week: Virginia Tech
1. Texas, me and six AP voters
7. Penn State
8. Texas Tech
Stay tuned for the Jones Top Ten Bowl Preview, timed to reach your inbox at the exact moment you can no longer stand to look at whatever moronic quarterly report is on your desktop. Ahhhhhhhh…
Rose Bowl Dreams: A Memoir of Faith Family and Football is the new book by Adam Jones.