Hate Week Looms
Yes, your journey into hate week begins this weekend, when a similar under-performing former superpower pays a visit to your humble home. I’m sure it’s not just me, but I am getting the feeling that that over-abundance of pride and hope has sprung a gigantic leak in the face of recent thoughts that begin with: “You know, if we play hard and keep it close, I think we can pull out 8 or 9 wins from this season.” Oh sure, some of you are out of your mind predicting 10 win seasons still...but for the most part, fear and apprehension are as much a part of your world now as combines and camouflaged trucker caps.
Truth be told, this is no different than what I told you in July…or what I told you in May or what I even told you right after your season ended so mercifully on the front-range of the Rocky Mountains last November; You simply are not that good, no matter how much harder your boys “try”. Oh sure, they had nice double-digit wins over a mid-level MAC team this season as well as a couple of wins over two WAC doormats…but now we enter that fun time of year, where reality peeks from behind that curtain and yells “SURPRISE” at the top of it’s lungs.
For the moment, I'm going to do the admirable thing and withhold a lot of the true hate and anger that you’ve grown to love within the walls of this blog...because as you know...like the eerie calm before the hurricane comes ashore, Hate Week is looming on the horizon, now only a few days away.
So with that, an abbreviated commentary and a couple of notes prior to the best week of the year :
- Yes, I’m going to be in Lincoln to witness Hate Week first hand and take the fight directly to all 85,000 of you. For those of you who don’t know, I swore off trips to Lincoln in the early 2000’s, when I grew tired of watching my team get punked in new and exciting ways by refs, thugs, criminals and yes..my own coach. At the time, I just figured it was best for all of us that I simply let you have your Saturday afternoons, and I keep my commentary confined to my own four walls. But with history turned upside down, you can make no mistake that I will NOT miss a chance to give my best pity wave to your thousands of fans as they head for the exits after a “hard fought” game that left them “just short.” I’ve waited a long time for this…and I expect to make every second count. More details during hate week.
- I’m not sure about you…but good for Baylor for finally pulling themselves out of the giant lake of crap they've wallowed in since the inception of the Big 12. I don’t think people realize just how good this Baylor team may be. But then again…Vandy is in the top 25, and Florida State struggled to score single digits at home against a mediocre conference opponent. Hell, even North Carolina somehow got decent over the past few years.
- What the hell happened to Rutgers? Didn’t they have a pretty good year a few seasons ago? Now granted, they lost their best player…but props to them for doing their very best Corby and Larry Smith (R.I.P) impressions. Yeesh.
- USC will not go undefeated. Mark it down…put it in blood. If you recall, I told you this last year.
- Why do you people hate Notre Dame so much? Granted, their fans are whiney douchebags just as much as the next group of fans…but as we’ve seen in these parts for decades…the world needs evil empires to keep sports fun. I’ll never be called a Notre Dame fan pretty much ever...but it’s like watching that mean old dog from down the street, hobble on three legs and wallow in it’s own misery day after day. After a while, you just wish somebody would put a slug in that program and either make them disband or at the very least, start all over again. It’s getting pathetic. And no, I don’t see them winning 8 games this year, I don’t care how easy you think their schedule is. (Ok, after finding this picture..it's a little funny.)
1) Missouri (4-0) Idle – Nice to know the Tigers can have an “off” week against mighty Buffalo and still run up 600 yards and double the opposing team’s score. Mizzou won’t be making any BCS reservations dropping so many balls in enemy territory, but if that’s your biggest problem…one bad half against Buffalo where you still roll…things are going well.
2) Colorado (3-0) at Florida State – Did I or did I not tell you that Colorado would be better than people thought? A win an pathetic Florida State this weekend and the Buffs are sitting pretty at 4-0 heading into a gigantic game with Texas. I’m not predicting anything crazy like a 5-0 Colorado start…but they did beat an even better south power about this time last year. As any Dan Hawkins team, this team could go south at any time for any duration…but the defense is looking good and the offense is learning how to win. Told ya…s…..
3) Kansas State (2-1) vs. La-Lafayette – Perhaps I saw a different game than everybody else against Louisville last week, but I didn’t think KSU was THAT awful. Oh sure, their defense looked flat, and Josh Freeman was pressing..but isn’t it very Wildcat-like to come out flat like that one week, and then turn around a week or two later and knock somebody upside the head? After a ho-hum appetizer against the Rajun Cajuns…Mike Leach and company come to town. Hmmmmmm.
4) Kansas (3-1) Idle – KU takes on one of their toughest non-conference opponents in years.
5) Nebraska (3-0) vs. Virginia Tech – I would not be shocked if Nebraska comes out of this pillow fight on top…nor would I be surprised if Va Tech knocked the Hicks right upside the head. My brain says Nebraska’s home crowd and Bo-mopia will pull NU through against a sluggish team that will be way out of their element. But my heart knows that this Husker team sucks, and VT is head and shoulders above any team Nebraska has played in quite some time…let alone beaten. We’ll see how I feel later this week.
6) Iowa State (2-2) Idle – Sucks for ISU that their comeback against UNLV fell short. Just as we suspected, the Clones are short on talent, but they’re learning how to fight. Perhaps this “trying harder” thing will become contagious and other teams around the conference will start doing it? Nahhhh. ISU may take somebody out along the way..but they simply don’t have the horses to finish in the pack of this race…even with a feeble old mare past his prime right in front of them.
1) Oklahoma (3-0) vs. TCU – OU is smashing everything in sight…but there’s something about this team that tells me a letdown is coming. (As it usually does for one or two weeks a year for every Bob Stoops team.) Not sure when it will happen..but I feel like it’s coming…not sure why.
2) Texas (3-0) vs. Arkansas – Crushing crappy opponents left and right, Mack Brown’s team is slowly rising onto the national radar….just in time for OU to kick them in the junk and sending them to yet another boring 8-9 win season with more talent on their roster than most NFL teams. (In the case of the Chiefs..I mean this quite literally).
3) Oklahoma State (3-0) vs. Troy – I thought this game was taking place about 4 weeks ago…but Troy finally comes back to Stillwater to pay for their victory in Alabama last year. OSU is steadily putting the wood to teams…although that 26 point win over a horrible Washington State team on the road is looking less and less impressive. Still looks like an act of God will be the only thing keeping the Pokes from a 5-0 record heading to Columbia on October 11th.
4) Texas Tech (4-0) Idle – I’m guessing Mike Leach will spend the off-week looking through the 1-AA directories, looking for more dates to fill in upcoming schedules. Regardless, the Red Raider schedule…barring a letdown in Manhattan appears to be an absolute joke all the way to a road clash in Lawrence on 10/25. Should be interesting to see where Tech stands in early November when they play Texas, OSU and OU in back to back to back weeks. Good luck with that.
5) Baylor (2-2) Idle – Damn they looked pretty good the other night against a better-than-you-think Uconn team. Nebraska has to go to Waco next season…breaking in a brand new QB in the process. Let this be your first record of me calling the upset nearly 13 months in advance. Then again...will it REALLY be that big of an upset by that time?
6) Texas A&M (1-2) vs. Army – How on earth can you play in that stadium…with that fan support, surrounded by that much high school talent and still suck as bad as the Aggies do? Easy…you have to be led by one really crappy coach. I got to meet A&M fans in Columbia a few years ago, and they are a smart and proud bunch. I realize three games is a little early to press the panic button…but just looking at this train-wreck would make me want to strike the match and get the pot of oil boiling with one hand on the big bag of chicken feathers.