Sunday, September 24, 2006

NCAA recap, September 23

Happy birthday, Peebs!

It was an interesting day in college football ...

Minnesota 21 at Purdue 27: For 30 minutes, it looked like Joe Tiller had stepped into the WABAC machine and pulled out a Purdue defense from the days when they actually had one. Fortunately, by the time they reverted to their current level of mediocrity, they had enough points to survive. The ESPN producer, in his finite wisdom, had Linda Cohn describing Purdue's start as their first 4-0 start since 2004. Um ...

Indiana State 14 at Northern Illinois 48: Didn't have to watch too much of this one. All you need to know is that a) that Wolfe kid is pretty good and b) Indiana State is a below-average I-AA team. So how did they get 35 on Purdue? Let's not think about that.

Rice 7 at Florida State 55: Caught just enough of this game to hear the announcers singing FSU's praises. The running game is fine, Weatherford is fine, blah blah blah. Uh, guys, it's Rice.

Connecticut 14 at Indiana 7: I'll never get those three hours of my life back. This was a bad game. Terry Hoeppner still has a lot of work to do in Bloomington. Over half their players are true freshmen or redshirt freshmen, so he's just starting to get his recruits into the system, but he's going to need a little bit more than talent. I'm not sure the wide-open offense he wants to run is going to work down there. Then again, it worked in West Lafayette ...

I heard the announcers mention that they're putting $55 million into the athletic complex down there, which is nice, but the crazy thing is that they're going to enclose one end of the stadium (to make a horseshoe). Why on earth would they do that? When was the last time tickets were hard to get in Bloomington? 1988? The only thing worse than playing in a half-full concrete sandbox is playing in a third-full concrete sandbox. Good luck with that. (Before you send the hate mail, my folks had season tickets to IU games for quite some time, so I've seen a lot of games there, and yes, it really does suck. At least the campus is nice, and the tailgating was good before they cracked down on it.)

Notre Dame 40 at Michigan State 37: Do you think Louisville is happy about John L. Smith leaving for the Michigan State job? I'd say so. Wow. What a choke job. I don't think there was a way to lose the game at the end that the Spartans didn't try. Naturally, all the Irish fans around here were delirious, at least the ones that were still out at 11:30 (any chance the NCAA would try cutting down on commercials instead of plays?).

You do have to give Notre Dame credit for sticking with their game plan and chipping away at the Michigan State lead, but I can't help but think that John L. saw the tapes of the Michigan game and thought "Hey, if we get a halftime lead, I'm going into a shell in the second half." That only works if you have a solid defense and a QB who doesn't make many mistakes.

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