The weather has gotten decidedly crappier. The leaves are all mostly dead, the winds have turned bitter and hateful, and everywhere around the city, heaters are clicking on left and right, making that weird, burning smell they get the first time you use them for the year. Wait… your heater does that, right?
Oh shit. Am I going to die?
Well, if I am, I certainly hope God finds it in His compassionate heart to wait until after this weekend. There’s a lot of good football to be watched, and couches to be lounged upon. It may even be time for the first pot of chili. You heard me, chili.
And though one could be driven nuts trying to pare down what to watch, here are but a few ideas.
Miami Dolphins (0-7) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-3), 12pm CT, Sunday
Miami is really, really, really… really bad, right? I mean, 0-7. A rotating cast of Keystone quarterbacks (well, two, but you’ve gotta imagine that the recently signed JP Losman will make it into a game sooner or later, after Matt Moore throws three or four picks in a half, right?). A mostly terrible running game. This should be a cakewalk for the Chiefs, right?
Well, hold the phone, Dr. Frankenstein, (yeah, I don’t know what that means, either) because the lowly, worthless Fins are a better statistical team in a few respects: they’re a better passing team, they allow less rushing yards and although they give up 20 more yards per game through the air than Kansas City, they’re only averaging 8 less yards per game when they run the ball.
But football is much more than mere statistics, as Philip Rivers’ non-functional left hand will tell you. Football is about heart, desire and sometimes, who fucks up the least. And though it seems likely that they’re playing for head coach Tony Sparano’s job, the question is, do they care? Well, yeah, probably, but all of the drive in Schenectady can’t make up for such a colossal lack of ability.
Furthermore, if my crazy “2 games off, 3 games on” theory of Matt Cassel is any sort of indicator of his future performance (it’s not), then he’s due for a good start after two lousy ones.
Compounding the importance of this game is the fact that the San Diego Chargers are hosting the Green Bay Packers. Now the immediate response from a Chiefs’ fan might be, ‘um, hell yes?’ but there’s something in my gut that makes me not like this game. Anytime you’ve got a seemingly invincible team playing a team who’s been struggling mightily and is coming off of an embarrassing loss, and is back home in front of their fans, you’ve got the recipe for an upset. Hopefully, Rivers isn’t ready to stop sucking just yet and Eric Weddle is all intercepted-out.
#14 Kansas State (7-1) at #3 Oklahoma State (8-0), 7pm CT, Sat.
Oh, man. This doesn’t look good for K-State. Not. At. All.
The last time the Cats and the Cowboys tangled—October of last year—Oklahoma State dropped over half-a-thousand yards on the guys in purple. Ouch. Oh, and it gets worse: in the October 30th, 2010 matchup, OSU was without terrifying stud receiver Justin Blackmon. Blackmon—who’s coming off a career game against Baylor where he caught 13 passes for 172 yards and two TDs—was sitting it out after a little drinking and driving snafu.
Couple this with the fact that K-State is coming off of an absolute thrashing at the hands of Oklahoma – Cats gave up 690 yards of total offense, 505 of which were passing—and the astonishing offensive numbers being put up by the Cowboys—4th in the country in passing yards as well as total yards, 2nd in the nation with 49.9 (!!!) points scored per game—and this could be a violent rodeo of epic proportions.
It goes without saying that KSU head coach Bill Snyder has done a really remarkable job with his team, and they’re probably going to be able to finish the year strong en route to a nice bowl game. This weekend, however, down in Stillwater? I’d be surprised if the Cowboys didn’t make like that fat guy on the Travel Channel and feast on some roasted cat.
#1 LSU (8-0) at #2 Alabama (8-0) 7pm CT, Sat.
The biggest news in college football this weekend—and possibly this year—is the Saturday night showdown when LSU travels to Bryant-Denny Stadium in sexy Tuscaloosa to take on SEC foe Alabama. To say it’s a big game is, in the words of Crimson Tide left tackle Barrett Jones, “an underestimation.”
It’s the first time a 1 and 2 have met in the regular season since Ohio State and Michigan hooked up in 2006. It’s the first time ever that 1 and 2 ranked SEC teams have met under such circumstances.
Ladies and gentlemen, the entire southeastern United States may completely explode in a hail of boiled peanuts and fatback.
Although Alabama has shown the better offense statistically, neither they nor the Tigers have had trouble putting points on the board. In fact, they’re Even-Steven—Alabama’s scoring 39.4 points per, LSU 39.3. So it seems this game will come down to three different things: turnovers, defense and home field advantage.
While both defenses are astonishingly accomplished, a slight edge overall would go to Alabama, who have been decidedly stingier against the pass.
LSU, though, wins the turnover battle, and pretty easily. They’ve given the ball away a scant 3 times to Alabama’s 8. And have you seen Tide QB AJ McCarron? He’s a super chancy passer who at times makes reckless, sophomoric decisions in the pocket… perhaps because he’s a sophomore. His decisions could be more haunting than the Myrtle Plantation.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the crowd. Simply stated, there will be 100,000 people liquored up and wearing crimson, screaming, stomping and shouting from kickoff to kneel-down (or insane Hail Mary attempt, depending on how things shake out). The fans will be rowdy enough to shake stills from Tuscaloosa to… shit… name me another city in Alabama… MOBILE, that’s right—from Tuscaloosa to Mobile, and if you don’t believe that’ll make a difference, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Alabama to sell you.
(wait—what do you MEAN Alabama has oceanfront property? Are you sure? Check the map again. Christ, these interns are terrible).