Greg Davis is supernatural. At the very least, he has training and access to powers arcane. And with his sly cunning, he has woven the tendrils of his magical spells so subtly that none have noticed that the man has been working towards an insurmountable goal that would make Sisyphus spit, curse, shake his head in wonderment, and then release.
Greg Davis has successfully united the Longhorn fan-base into one collective (at least the online fan-base). We have put down our sundry weapons and petty disputes to unite behind one banner. It's a banner of people who would rather set themselves on fire and perform an act of self-defenestration than see another play action pass backed up to our end zone, with time expiring, down in points. I'm not kidding, I have problems walking past high windows these days, and unlike the rest of my life, I no longer feel like I'm falsely projecting across the rest of my fan base. This time, it's for realz.
In all seriousness, pause for a second and consider that feat. For years this man has been wreaking havoc on the sanity of intelligent Longhorn fans, but at best those that were suffering seemed a minority voice of opposition. Greg Davis apologists, defenders, sycophants, pedants, and amalgams of all of the above were legion and everywhere to defend the endless and constant diarrhea running down his legs and onto our offensive game-plans. But with last week's hilarious performance against Kansas State, Davis has actually performed an act of unification that has always made peace in the Middle East look like something easily accomplished over a few beers and a couple of hookers. He's united the fans, and even if it's against him and to a lesser extent Mack Brown, it's still quite an impressive feat. Which makes it even more pathetic and unfathomably idiotic that that magical blockhead found it too difficult to mix in a few slant patterns over the years. It's like Moses parting the Red Sea, but struggling put on his smock in the morning.
The only defenders left are guys who's handle includes things that go well paired with wine and a bunch of ragged lunatics who still believe challenging people to fights on the Internet is perfectly natural behavior. But this newly adopted position is still fresh and scary for many fans, who continue to get their unsteady legs under them like a newborn fawn. So with baby steps this week's Viewing Guide is dedicated to welcoming you to the proverbial Darkside of Texas fandom. Come on in. Don't get any blood on the carpet.
Pitt at Connecticut (ESPN):
If you wanted to know why no one respects the Big East except for basketball, lacrosse, and co-ed badminton enthusiasts, look no further than this game right here. Pitt is in the clear driver's seat in the Big East, being 3-0, but they're 2-3 in the rest of their slate. With the "meat" of their schedule remaining against the murderer's row of South Florida, West Virginia, and Cincinnati. Are you fucking kidding me? That's pathetic. When I saw a soundbite on ESPN talking about Pitt seeking a spot in the BCS, I involuntarily punched my wall and vomited at the same time. And you know the best part? Wannstedt loves losing games like tonight's against UConn more than he loves combing that mustache and applying it with whale fat (for softness). The best team in the Big East is probably going to drop this game somehow, or one just like it, and still end up in a BCS bowl. And I will die just a little bit on the inside.
ed. note: I wrote this before the game.
ed. note: I am a prognosticating genius
#4 Boise St. at Idaho (ESPN): Things I'd rather watch than this game:
#13 Iowa at Northwestern (ESPN): Northwestern is a good team, and they've beaten everyone they're supposed to beat this season. Except Purdue. A team fielded solely of asian nail salon employees and a handful of eunuchs could beat Purdue. But anyway, Northwestern is solid, and their coach is a stud. But Iowa is probably better, despite the fact that if there was any justice in the world they'd have lost to Indiana last week. They'll probably try and beat up on Northwestern to prove that they are, in fact, good. It's a football metaphor to the guy who pleads that "this never happens to me" as a chick gives him the finger, strolling out of his place with eyes rolled. That guy (Iowa) then takes a fistful of viagra and slams the nearest hog he can find. You da man, Iowa. Come to think of it might be as apt a description of Big 10 football as I've made all year.
Miami at Ga. Tech (ESPN3/Gameplan/BelowMe): Speaking of last second miracles to avoid losses of Texas Level Humiliation, Miami, come on down. That last second 40 yard touchdown pass to save a game against Mouth Friedgen and his turtles last week was absurd and completely undeserved. Still, I'm pretty sure it's just the eye of Hurricane Meltdown. Georgia St has been less pathetic lately, and Miami still has looked worse than Courtney Love after a 10 day bender without makeup with makeup. Even if their new QB looks like he might have some game, the rest of the team is playing like crap while he gets his feet under himself. But as far as morning games go, we could do a lot worse. But we could also do a lot better.
Mississippi at Tennessee (CBS): Last place in the SEC East versus last place in the SEC West. THE MEGA POWERS COLLIDE! I actually have a hard time thinking that CBS couldn't come up with a better early game than this one other than the assume someone in the programming department is laughing at the SEC and giving them the finger. Speaking of fingers, the only reason I'm even listing this game is an excuse to post this savory LSUFreek gif from a couple weeks ago:
#24 Kansas St. at #17 Missouri (FSN?): I know what you're thinking. Finally, a morning game that should be great. Two competitive opponents, both ranked, slugging it out. Yeah, well, I hate to kick you in the belly and deflate your bladder, but that's not what you're getting with this game. Sure, Missouri is rocketing back to earth faster than Jeff Madden shot out of a rail gun from the international space station. But Kansas State is only ranked because pollsters and bookmakers can't seem to wrap their head around the fact that this year's Texas is absolutely horrible. One of these week's they're going to stop giving teams credit for beating us like Ike beats Tina. But apparently that isn't this week. So don't get too excited guys, this game might be interesting, but I'll wager that Missouri actually runs the ball on the worst run defense in college, and then murders them on play action. You know, common motherfucking sense.
1:30 p.m. and later
#14 Utah at Notre Dame (NBC): Notre Dame sucks, and I'd say that even if their general existence didn't offend nearly every fiber of my being. And while we saw Utah calmly sit indian style like a buddhist monk last week as TCU doused them with gasoline and lit a match, they're still going to violate Notre Dame with ribald glee. Their biggest difficulty will be to find an unsullied hole to perform their intrusion, because Notre Dame just got finished getting destroyed by...Tulsa? Yes, Tulsa. That's like getting beat at home by UCLA Iowa State Baylor...never mind. And they're still better off than they were with Charlie Weiss. Enjoy your sloppy sixths Utah. Irish, I'll be cheering for your messy and agonizing demise, as always.
Georgia at #2 Auburn (CBS): I'm sure there will be gaggles of people lining up to tell you how all the news that broke this week about Cameron Newton taking money from boosters to attend Auburn will be a huge distraction, and it will affect his play against Georgia, and blah blah blah. It's not going to happen. Even if Cam Newton weren't a completely amoral and self-centered sociopath that enjoys beating nuns and handicapped children, Georgia still doesn't have any form of defense whatsoever. Newton could have stage 4 cancer of the Everything and would still go for 300/100. And I'd argue that he has to showcase himself even more now, since he's about to be entering the NFL draft (if it happens) just ahead of his inevitable drop-kick out of the NCAA. Plus Georgia just had their heart ripped out in OT by a mediocre Florida team, so I doubt they've got much left in the tank to bounce back after an 0-4 start to the season. Auburn rolls, and Bobby Lowder sits somewhere in his throne of skulls drinking a goblet of unicorn blood.
Penn St at #9 Ohio State (ABC/ESPN): Oh yay, another "marquee" Big 10 matchup. If the definition of marquee was "boring mid-level event on par with the ribbon cutting ceremony of a jack-in-the-box franchise in Duluth." I have to admit, I take an inordinate amount of pleasure at the stumbles and failures of Ohio State. And in a season where my own team looks like Camrynn Manheim's acne'd ass cheeks hanging off a balcony rail, I have no choice but to cheer even more heartily for the bloody and horrific implosion of Ohio State and their unwashed, fire starting, mongoloid fans. Penn State is a decent but not great team, so this is entirely possible, although the fact that it's in Columbus doesn't give the Lions of Nittany much room for error. Joe Paterno death watch enters it's 14th year. Over/Under on Jim Tressel red zone field goals set at 5.
Texas Tech at #16 Oklahoma (ABC/ESPN3): Does anyone feel like last week's Tech victory over Missouri was just enough to tease us about their ability to beat Oklahoma? Or is it just my own black and twisted heart? OU is not good, but Tech has been a trainwreck to the degree that their victory last week was a literal pause-giving head-scratcher. Was a corner finally turned there and did their kids show some fight and have some things come together for them? Or was it a fluke? Probably more of the latter than the former. Meanwhile, Bob Stoops and those opposable thumb lacking group of future ditch diggers were humiliated by the Aggies last week, and I'm sure a loss to a bunch of beastiality enthusiasts will have him and his team motivated to win this week. Bob's got a tough row to hoe the rest of the way, with no real gimme's on the schedule. But I'm sure his reliance on twice daily warm water enemas and his penchant for stress eating will be enough to help him pull out a victory this weekend against Tech.
#20 Virginia Tech at North Carolina (ABC/ESPN): Are you people ready to live in a world where a team that loses to James Madison makes it to a BCS bowl? Take the statements I made above about Pitt, paste it down here, and go ahead and give it a nice multiplier. The ACC is marginally better than the Big East, but that doesn't mean the quality of their product isn't still on par with C-Span while Shelia Jackson Lee has the floor. Both require heavy alcoholic medication to make it through, and both have the potential to leave you with permanent mental scarring.
6:15 p.m. and later
#19 Mississippi State at #12 Alabama (ESPN2): Dan Mullen continues to give more and more support to anyone who has claimed him to be a huge component to Urban Meyer's success. They're 7-2 this year, and their only losses are to the two best teams in the SEC. This week's game is basically to determine who is 3rd and 4th, respectively. Mississippi State looks to be building something solid in Starkville. Alabama is having a down year, but are still a great team. And this matchup has the potential to be the best game of the weekend. If Cam Newton didn't sell his services to the highest bidder and went with his old Offensive coordinator at Mississippi State, are the Bulldogs undefeated right now? Maybe. Does Nick Saban deserve to be hung from a flagpole by his underdeveloped testicles until dead? Yes. His crimes against taste and decency merit the death penalty. But that doesn't mean this game won't be enjoyable. Fortuna and her wheel will determine the outcome, as always. At least, that's what Mack Brown says in his press conferences.
#23 South Carolina at #22 Florida (ESPN): The top two Teams in the SEC East square off, but they're probably only the 5th and 6th best teams in the whole of the SEC. Without a strong Florida team, this shit is behaving like traditional Big 12 North/South distribution of power. I'd say Florida was really improving, but barely beating Georgia in overtime is hardly an indication of any kind of return to power. If they beat South Carolina solidly and turn in a 3 game winning street, I might revise my opinion. But probably not. This isn't Urban's year. If next year isn't Urban's year, the natives might start getting restless. Additionally, the whole "Spurrier returns to Gainsville" angle that will be shoved down our throat like a bulimic's fingers all morning and throughout the broadcast already has me on edge and considering braining myself with ball-pin hammer. Over/Under on the number of times it's mentioned by the ESPN crew? 15. Odds I get blackout drunk to preemptively excise the painful memories from my head? About 70%.
#10 Oklahoma State at Texas (ABC): I think I'm contractually obligated to review this game. But I honestly don't think I'm capable of doing it without it turning into a blinding rant against Greg Davis and the cultivated myopia of our head coach. So why fight the inevitable? Dana Holgerson is living proof that smart coordinators can do more with less, which seems diametrically opposed to Davis' stubborn insistence to do less with more. We're about to get kneecapped and curb stomped by an offensive coordinator with a skullet and things have gotten to the point with our team than I'm not even outraged as much as I'm just jealous of the competent play-calling. Add to the intrigue and morbid curiosity that comes from seeing if our staff can talk about getting DJ Monroe the ball, not quitting on the run and scoring in the red zone for 5 games straight and still make zero changes, and, well, best case scenario for this game is probably me being struck down early with a case of hysteria. Worst case? Complete mental break. And it doesn't take a professional to point out that there's a pretty fine line between those two things on the best of days. Things don't look great for Texas, and the Cowboys continue to steamroll their way to a potential Big 12 title game invite. Over/Under of Greg Davis red zone field goals: 7. Spread on my ability to stay out of jail: -14
Clemson at Florida State (ABC): Some people might want to watch this game. I am not one of those people. I can't even tell you why, really, just a complete lack of interest about on par with my desire to see Scipio's fire-glazed collection of glass carnival figurines. Do either of these teams even attempt to play defense? Nevermind, don't answer that, because I couldn't possibly care any less.
USC at #18 Arizona (ABC): I'm actually interested in watching this game. I'm just not interesting in writing about it, is all. Nick Foles is still solid, and the media still inexplicably wants to try and spin USC in a positive light in terms of improvement despite just barely knocking off the Sun Devils. In overtime. By one point. I'm not even sure to respond to that kind of behavior and continued media support. I'd understand it on some level if USC were actually owned by ESPN and they were attempting to protect their investment. But that's not technically possible. So the only real explanation for this continued support of Lane Kiffin and his perpetual thumb sucking is Madness. Or a coming apocalypse. Dogs and Cats, living together...Mass Hysteria!
As always, what did is miss? Spelling and grammar mistakes are probably legion, so have fun with that. I'd offer free tote bags to those that point them out, but there aren't enough (any) tote bags. YET.