I've repeatedly admitted my lack of deep football knowledge, and I'll do it again now. I can remember tons of games I've seen, and who won what, but
I do not have a deep understanding of the game's fundamentals and cannot watch a team and recognize its vulnerabilities the way an expert can.
I think the USC-UCLA game is your best shot. I don't think Texas was ready for the kind of heart A&M brought with them, and for that reason a team
with a garbage defense and a QB who couldn't pass--but had a heart like Secretariat and ran & hit like a LB--pushed them hard. I think that was a
fluke caused by Texas's not being fully ready to play, which in turn was caused by Texas's not realizing the fire and brimstone A&M was bringing with
I expect Coach Brown has had a few words with his team since that game. Don't you? And don't you think Colorado will be facing a somewhat different
quality of Texas play? They could still lose, for sure, and you caught a big break when Iowa State blew their big chance and lost. But I don't like
your chances in that game.
As to USC, however....
They've been pushed quite a bit and are lucky to be undefeated. No one team has done to them what Cal did last year (or was it the year before?),
when USC absolutely deserved to lose and admitted they were lucky and unworthy to win. But USC has been pushed hard several times, and anyone who saw
the Fresno game can't be too impressed with the mighty Trojans.
Meanwhile, the Bruins have only one loss and have scored tons upon tons of points. Yeah, USC will score loads of points unless they make numerous
turnovers. UCLA has almost lost several games, gives up points by the bucketload, has a laughable defense, etc. But they have a helluva potent
offense and have risen from the dead in the fourth quarter repeatedly, coming from as far down as 21 points well into the 4th quarter. And don't
you just KNOW that UCLA has spent the last 3 weeks studying the Trojans' bad games, and the last 2 weeks poring over tapes of the Fresno game?
I know USC's defense can have great games, and their running game will probably be the big difference, and could keep UCLA's offense off the field for
long stints. But if this turns into a passing-game shootout a la the old Chargers teams (see my earlier post), 50 points may not be enough to win and
it may be a coin flip who prevails.
As I think back, it seems like a major upset occurs on this Saturday every year, doesn't it? I recall that Kansas State was the team getting
"screwed" by the system a few years ago, being undefeated but #3. Then UCLA, one of the top 2 undefeateds, lost their game to Miami, Fla, in a
colossal shootout--a game tainted by a terrible referee call near the end. And Kansas State's players, upon hearing the UCLA score, acted like they'd
just won the Super Bowl, thereby royally p.o.'ing their opponent in the Big 12 Title Game, which I believe was A&M. Kansas State proceeded to lose,
If you think back, I believe you'll recall a bunch of upsets on this Saturday over the years. As I said, if anyone wants to give me 5-2 odds, I'll
bet that one of the big two games this Saturday ends in an upset--without specifying which one.
And Gibbs, if all other lines of reasoning lose their appeal, just remember the darkest hours is just before dawn.