In the climactic scene of the magnum opus The Cannonball Run, a once in a generation tour de force of cinema, Burt Reynold's J.J. McClure is at his wit's end.
With overwhelming dramatic tension, McClure expresses his justified frustration with his partner (no homo) Victor and the dichotomy of Victor's alter-ego, Captain Chaos. While sitting in the director's chair of Victor's psyche, Chaos can unleash hell upon the road, in a brawl, and presumably toilet hoops everywhere. The problem however, as J.J. laments, is that when you don't want him [Chaos] around, he's around. When you want him around, he's not around. Like loose women and day laborers.
DA DA DUM! Also an apt metaphor for game expectations/results to date.
I feel like we've had a similar kind of dis-congruity the past couple weekends of college football, if not the entire season. When the games on tap look like a weekend for the ages, the actual games and outcomes end up being more boring and psychologically excruciating than a marathon reading of the works of Sylvia Plath.
Then, when we're served up what can only be described as steaming mountain of liquefied zebra shit with a side of testicular cancer, we get a handful of upsets, competitive games, and general football glory. It's more puzzling than Geoff Ketchum's subscription base. However, since by all appearances this weekend's competition looks lean, lets hope that trend continues and we get some great games. Either way, lets attack this slate with the vigor Scipio displays trolling for dates at Greenpeace rallies.
All games in Central time.
UCLA at #2 Oregon (ESPN) - On the surface, this looks like a great Thursday night matchup between two name programs with good public recognition. Particularly if this was 1998 and Cade McNown was throwing to Hollywood Freddie Mitchell for UCLA. But since that isn't going to happen, it's safe to say that Oregon's going to shove their foot 2 feet down UCLA's throat, leave it there, and then commandeer their hands and spend 10 minutes telling the Bruins to stop punching themselves. After that Oregon will ransack the silver cupboard on the way out the door to pay for their shoe shine. This is a UCLA team that just finished getting violated 35-7 by a Cal team that was most recently seen playing the role of cum dumpster to USC to the tune of 48-14. LANE FUCKING KIFFIN! That's like a guy being told by that rotund mastodon from Precious that you've got a weight problem and are too hideous to deserve even a pity date. And THAT chump is STILL Morton's Steakhouse to UCLA's Golden Corral. Oregon could lose LeMichael James, Darron Thomas, their equipment bus and their will to live and still beat UCLA by 14, Bruin bye week be damned. Neuheisel parlays The Over with Oregon minus the points.
That's her, right? Anyway, UCLA makes her look smokin'.
South Florida at Cincinnati (ESPN): It seems like South Florida has popped up on these weekly lists enough at this point that I should know a thing or two about their team other than their head coach and general location of their college (somewhere in Southern Florida). In an effort to remedy my general insouciance in this matter, I looked up their record to date. Jesus, have these mooks taken a step back this year. New coach or no, these guys have shown up (debatable) and gotten their teeth kicked in by every decent opponent they've played this year. And I'm playing it fast and loose with the usage of the term "decent", similar to Oklahoma's measures on educational success. How long before the whole assaulting-a-student-thing blows over and South Florida can fire Skippy Holtz and bring back Jim Leavitt? Meanwhile, Cincinnatti has at least looked competitive in all of their losses and they've beaten the teams they're supposed to beat. So what does that mean? South Florida sucks, Cincy will probably win, and no one is going to watch this game because it's on a Friday night and even if you're a complete shut-in, World of Warcraft or Second Life are more attractive options. Contest: Name which Barking Carnival writer's Second Life persona is a men's fashion designer who specializes in mesh apparel? Surprising Hint: It's not HenryJames. Tote Bag to the winner.
Listen, these games are all so worthless that I feel almost obligated to apologize to all of you on behalf of College Football, decency, and the ever-present desire to roll over and go back to bed.
#7 Michigan St. at Northwestern (ESPN): This looks like a dog, and looks probably aren't deceiving. That being said, Northwestern has been winning their games, although typically in white-knuckle-betting-on-the-come fashion. And they did just lose to Purdue, the Wilford Brimley of the Big 10. That being said, they're still 5-1, and while they haven't looked impressive, this is exactly the kind of game Michigan St. has made a habit of losing over the years. Yes, I have probably said that last statement 2 or 3 times already this season, but goddamnit it's fucking true and these jokers WILL lose a game they shouldn't at some point. Death, Taxes, The Tides, Female Mood Swings, Mack Brown Clappin', Reality Television Ratings, Smokin' Chicks Pokin' and both the summer AND winter solstices all operate on a less consistent plane of predictability than Sparty's inability to get out of their own way. Add to the fact that next week they play Iowa, and this is your classic trap game. Whooptie fuckin' do, someone pass me the crossword puzzle I've got to go take a dump.
Notre Dame at Navy (CBS...this can't be right? Weird): Brian Hippo and the Fighting Irish are back on the Viewing Guide to take on our maritime military in a game of matching helmets and general confusion. You people have NO idea how badly I wanted to make a Notre Dame is Hungry Hungy Hippo for a win joke here. You'd be surprised at just what a dearth of good Hungry Hungry Hippo images there are on the internet. But it didn't really fit. The Irish are 4-3, and winners of 3 straight after opening 1-3, of which one loss was a top notch fatality from Michigan State in overtime. And despite the fact that wins against Dave Wannstache shouldn't even legally be counted, I guess the people of South Bend are happy, and see potential and progress in this team. Whatever. That's about as nice I can be to Notre Dame, as just the general idea of them twists my lip in an instinctive sneer and makes the enamel on my teeth start to itch. You know what else there is a dearth of on the internet? Images of Marines or even men in camouflage blowing the brains out of a thousand pound Hippo with a Mossberg double barrel shotgun. Sure sure, I might have been coloring my Viewing Guide image shopping by my hope of the resulting outcome, but I don't give a rats ass, I'm the author. That pic still needs to happen, by the way. A Hippo or Brian Kelly being brained, I'm ambivalent as to which. The game, you ask? I don't care, I hope Notre Dame's players spontaneously combust at kick-off. Only terrorists root for Notre Dame.
Not sure Back to the Future 3 is the best place to research strategy, Brian.
Navy's armor is probably a bit more sophisticated
Iowa St. at #19 Texas (FSN): I'm still basking in the divine glow of victory over those ethanol and corn-syrup touting mouth-breathers. It feels glorious. And because we're going to pistol whip Iowa State this weekend, I decided to skip the game preview. Instead, I offer you this glorious composition which randomly came to me this week in a lightning strike of true genius. I'm certain all of you will agree that this is High Art, and in no way at all could be described as feckless. The Greg Davis, nay, the KANYE Davis anthem:
Offseason, Greg Davis had a dream that he could pass it sideways to heaven. When he woke, offense went a backwards direction. He finds it so hard to act reckless. UCLA arrests us, and he doesn't get the message. For OU, he ignored the pressure/facing more scrutiny. And what'd he do? Act more stupidly. Schemed more foolery, the fanbase couldn't get through to G. More drama...and people are boo'n D. You think the game-plan...should've changed, man? Let open staff meetings doors, Greg be yellin' "My offense, you stick to yours."
In the halls Greg be hummin' "La, La La La, wait till I get my offense right. La, La La La then you can't tell me nothin' right?"
HA HA! You can't tell me Nothin!
Rice at UCF (UHF): Haha, JUST KIDDING! See what I did there? Seriously, this game has less chance of being televised than a live broadcast of Japan gleefully shoving harpoons into Dolphins, or a show about Billie Jean King shaving her gash/dong/whatever. Trust me, you don't want a picture here.
Houston at SMU (UHF): Ha Ha! Still funny. Like Greg Davis, I use the same joke twice in a row! This game would actually be interesting, and I'm surprised it's not on television somewhere, at least in Texas. Maybe it's on 51 in Houston, and whatever the equivalent stations are for Dallas, San Antonio, and wherever. If Dallas isn't too big and important for local television programming, I mean. Look around if you're interested, or don't. But lets be realistic, this is the 2:30 slate of games. Are you really going to watch? It's this weekends football time slot equivalent to Naked Marissa Miller Begging For Action. That last part should increase google results and page views, Sailor. No need to thank me, just doing my part.
Georgia Tech at Clemson (ESPN): Huh. Did you know Georgia Tech is 5-2? I naturally and justifiably wrote them off after they lost to fucking Kansas. And Clemson is better than their record of 3-3, although it might just be that I like their lilliputian running back, Ellington. But you know what happens when I waste two paragraphs on games that aren't even televised and that no one cares about except me, just so I can make a UHF joke that isn't even funny? You guys don't get commentary on this, an actual game that might be interesting. Tough tamales, boys.
I regret nothing. Carnival readers lose this spin.
#13 Wisconsin at #15 Iowa (ESPN): Oh look, another Big 10 game. Forecast calls for Excessive Fullback Dives and Gale Force Punting. Along with a 70% chance that I won't even expend the energy to tick my head 2 or 3 degrees to actually check on the score at any point during the afternoon. Although, to be as fair as I'm willing to be about this game, Iowa has shown in the past at some ability to actually pass the ball downfield. This game might actually be pretty good, ranked opponents, Big 10 championship implications, close game, etc. Can't believe I said that. Does Wisconsin continue their grind from respectability to upper echelon status after their win last week against the Buckeyes? Who knows, who cares, outside of the effect of the polls and the shaping of the BCS game picture.
#16 Nebraska at #14 Oklahoma State (ABC):Well well, if we don't get the opportunity to check back with this year's whiniest and most baselessly entitled fanbase...your Nebraska Cornhuskers, ladies and gentlemen! #16 in the polls, but #1 in our toilet bowls. In case it wasn't outrageously apparent, I'm cheering for Oklahoma State to absolutely add insult to injury to those hand-wringing , delusional assholes in Lincoln. The only problem here is that I really don't think Oklahoma State is that good...like at all. And perhaps I'm mistaken and allowing a really close game against those mewling jellyfish from College Station to improperly paint my estimation of their talent. But more likely is that Oklahoma State sucks more than premature ejaculation. The only two teams they've played are aTm and Tech, both who have pretty effectively been exposed as complete frauds this season. And a team coached by Bo Pelini doesn't seem the sort to allow itself to sink into a spiral of shame and failure. Other than pissing your pants, right Bo? Team Building 101, taught by Billy Madison, imo. I wonder who wrote the coach's bio in their media guide? Clearly it should have been yours truly. TOO INTENSE TO USE LATRINES! TOO TERSE TO COMPLETE SENTENCES! TOO UGLY TO PROCREATE! BO PELINI! If you think my write-up closely resembles the introduction you'd hear to the freak-show at county fair, well, now you're beginning to understand the microscope through which I view Nebraska, and why Peilini is a perfect fit.
All the cool kids piss their pants
#6 LSU at #4 Auburn (CBS): Listen, I'm so excited for this game that I literally ran around in circles in my living room like a dog that knew they were about to get taken for a walk. Then, when I was done vomiting, I did the Howard Dean scream repeatedly for a solid five minutes. Are you fucking kidding me? Lester Miles, Emperor of the Doofus People (doofi?) in the biggest game of the weekend, and quite possibly the SEC game of the year. Someone PLEASE explain to me how this isn't the CBS night game? Lester Miles on the big stage, with a chance to get out of the shadow of Saban, shut up his critics, and put himself in the driver's seat for the SEC Championship game. It defies logic that this dipshit dropout who couldn't even complete his special needs GED has managed to bumble his way into this position. He struggled with McNeese State last week! And now he has to face Auburn, undefeated, rolling, with a wizard of an OC and the Heisman front runner at Quarterback. And that doesn't even take into account the havoc Chinzik's gravitational field is going to wreak on the already excessive water crammed into Miles' skull. Yeah, that's not going to effect his already baffling decision making process AT ALL. If LSU is down at halftime, Mile's motivational speech is going to consist of him running around the locker room wearing nothing but an adult diaper and a chef's hat, hopping from foot to foot in some crude facsimile of a Native American rain dance and trying to snap his own ass with a wet rat's tail. If they lose, I absolutely expect Lester to rip his shirt off like Hulk Hogan, bellow a challenge to Chizik across the field and charge, brandishing only a down marker stick and his own cretinism as weapons. Watch. This. Game.
6-6 :30 p.m.
#8 Alabama at Tennessee (ESPN): I was going to write about this game, but fuck that. Any notion of Tennessee playing better or being improved went right out the window after they were beaten like a red-headed step-child...by GEORGIA! Getting the shit beaten out of you by the cast of Gossip Girl would be about 500 times less emasculating. Sorry Rocky Top, no soup for you.
Texas aTm at Kansas The Ghost Of Being Televised (FSN): I've noticed that this game has been mislabeled on all of the major websites, as well as Texas aTm's own athletic site, so I corrected it in the Viewing Guide. Kansas, who failed to score more than 3 points in a loss to Division Suxxor South Dakota State, is so bad that I don't think they'd be able to win games if they were granted a waiver to play with 14 men on the field. Meanwhile, Texas aTm is in the middle of a 3 game losing streak, and I say the middle because if they don't win this game, there's a better than average chance that the Fightin' Texas Nut Squeezers might finish their football season losing NINE straight. And the BAD news, you ask? This game is televised, where aTm has shown less of an ability to show up and stand at attention than Liberace's dick at a bikini contest. CARL TORBUSH KNOWS THE AGGIE'S SECRETS. Just kidding, that guy doesn't even know his own last name. Bon appetit, viewers.
North Carolina at Miami (6:30 ESPN2): Ah, the Butch Davis bowl. Well, Butch has to be happy to know that Randy Shannon isn't looking like much of an impediment to getting his old job back after North Carolina runs that sleaze out of town like a child molester. Funny what happens when a school that actually cares about academics and their reputation catches you cheating. As for the general disgruntlement of all 400 of Miami's active fans, well, it's a funny thing what showing up with your pants around your ankles against Florida State will do to change opinions and satisfaction levels with their team. Not whipping the fuck out of Duke didn't exactly help matters. Meanwhile, North Carlina has won 4 straight against MOSTLY warm bodies. Virginia is actually in an advanced stage of rigamortis. So...who knows what to expect. Probably something close. Ish. Maybe. Depends on the general arcing of J. Harris's lobs on Saturday. Anything less than the shape of the St. Louis arch means a promising evening.
Aww, he thinks he's an NFL QB. How cute. Good taste in teams, too.
#1 Oklahoma at #11 Missouri (ABC): The second best game of the day, and baffling enough, the only game at all worth even half a shit in the night slot. Did college football decide to bow out of the evening to give the mlb playoffs a less contested slate of competition? There's only 6 games on at 7 or after. Anyway, this game is pretty much life or death for anyone who doesn't want to see those uneducated and unwashed troglodytes above the red river head off to another Big 12 Championship game and likely BCS berth. After Missouri, the only reasonable stumbling blocks for the Sooners are the Bedlam game and potentially whoever they face in the title game, everything else is a long shot. The good news is that Blaine Gabbert is every bit the stud Missouri hoped he would be, almost certainly the best Quarterback in the Big 12. He carved up an improved aTm defense last week with several broken ribs and a flaming case of whooping cough. The guy has a cannon. And it's at Columbia. So...I'm sayin' there's a chance. Also, it's at night, so everyone can be treated to the glory of both Stoops and Pinkel completely failing to grasp the redundancy of wearing a visor at night. Missouri's defense has some holes, but Stoops doesn't have a family member on the Tiger's defensive staff, so it shouldn't be a walk in the park. Expect multiple temper tantrums, wild gesticulations, and the general sense of annoyed prickishness that his team actually has to play the game from Stoops. So, basically, like every other day of his fucking life when he's not actively gluing strips of other people's skin to the underside of his mandible, Buffalo Bill style. What a fucking goon. If the Sooners win, we're all probably going to have to watch another pasting handed to them in a BCS bowl and listen to Bob Stoops complain. If they lose, we'll have to listen to Bob Stoops complain. Also in both instances he'll still sound like he just smoked 4 packs of Lucky's and got off a 5 hour stint at the nearest truck stop gloryhole. Come on Missouri. For more information on Mizzou's team and their chances, I'm sure Phenomenal Smith, JR Slim, Gene Claude and company have something up at Atomic Teeth.
Bob also failed the citizenship test in-between chin spackling.
Washington at #18 Arizona (ESPN): I'm not previewing this game either. This puppy is already almost 3,500 words, and I'm cutting it off here. Plus Nick Foles is still injured, if I'm not mistaken. So whatever.
Spelling, Grammar, Games I Missed, How Dare I, etc. in the comments section below.
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