Tag Archives: Wolverines

The Hlist – Rat Pac-10 and Buckeyes Black Eyes



Opening kickoff

“Success against weak Big Ten teams has not only been a means to a bad end in title games, but it might have created something of a mirage of football power. Rankings or no rankings, these failures now raise the question of whether OSU has ever truly been a top-five team the past three seasons.” — Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch after Ohio State’s 35-3 loss at Southern California

First downs

1. No. 1 and Only: When Southern California thrashed Iowa, 38-17, in the Orange Bowl six seasons ago, it was just the tip of the iceberg for what Pete Carroll’s program would do to future opponents in big games. The Trojans’ 35-3 savaging of Ohio State was a full-blown Titanic for the Buckeyes.

“We expected to dominate, and that’s what happened,” USC defensive tackle Fili Moala said. “If we come to play like this every week and stay humble, no one’s going to touch us.”

Way to stay humble, Fili.

2. Two Blowouts: First Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis had his knee blown out when he inadvertently got rolled up by Irish defensive tackle John Ryan. Then his team finished off a 35-17 rout of Michigan.

Weis tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee on the fluke collision.

“I feel like an athlete,” the rather rotund Weis said after the game. “First time in my life.”

“I feel terrible,” Ryan said after the game. “I apologized to him three or four times during the game. I feel awful. I won’t sleep at all tonight.”

Asked if he were still on scholarship, Ryan said, “I hope.”

3. Viva Nevada-Las Vegas: Iowa State may be fighting the odds in Las Vegas come Saturday night.

UNLV is on a roll. It went to 15th-ranked Arizona State as a 23-point underdog and came home with a 23-20 overtime win.

“Sometimes, it comes down to heart and desire over talent,” Rebels running back Frank Summers said. Mike Sanford’s first three UNLV teams won two games each. If the Rebels beat ISU in Vegas, they’ll be 3-1.

“The victory is great,” Sanford said. “We’re thankful and grateful for it. But if we go get blown out by Iowa State, nobody will remember it. This next game is as important or more than the one we just played.”

4. Mountain Do: “Most weekends, Vegas’ upset would rank as a highlight,” wrote Dave Curtis of Sportingnews.com. “Saturday, it was just decoration.”

See, the Mountain West Conference had its best football weekend in its 10-year existence. It went 7-1 against nonconference foes and 4-0 against the big, bad Pacific-10. Besides UNLV’s great win, TCU mauled Stanford, 41-17. New Mexico downed Arizona, 36-28. And Brigham Young brutalized UCLA, 59-0.

“That was probably one of the most fun games I’ve ever been a part of,” said BYU quarterback Max Hall after he threw seven touchdown passes against the Bruins. “It almost seemed at some points like my job was easy.”


1. Buckeye Black Eye: Ohio State is the Big Ten’s football ruler. Thus, Big Ten football is held in low national esteem today.

That 35-3 loss at USC was the latest of OSU’s flops in huge games. The Buckeyes bombed in the last two national title games. Don’t look for them to get a third straight chance.

“I can’t believe that we screwed up so badly,” OSU left tackle Alex Boone said. “I thought this team made it clear after the national championship game — all the gassers we ran, and all the running we did that we weren’t going to mess up anymore. Apparently, that wasn’t evident.”

Running is one thing. Keeping up with superior talent is another. Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register wrote this:

“It was supposed to be the Collision at the Coliseum, but it wasn’t. To have a collision, both objects must be moving.”

2. Black and Blue: Don’t bother yelling “Go Blue!” to Michigan’s football team this week. The Wolverines are blue enough after their debacle at Notre Dame.

Michigan, once a football program of note, fumbled seven times in South Bend, losing four. Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press summarized it neatly:

“The 35-17 loss to Notre Dame was a morass of missed opportunities, poor decisions and atrocious fundamentals.”

“We don’t have our heads down because we know who the better team was,” Michigan defensive back Steve Brown said. “They beat us today. It happens, but in our hearts we know we’re the better team.”

No, the better team would have scored 35 points, not 17.

The Hlist doesn’t believe in ghosts, but will stay out of Ann Arbor this week all the same. The spirit of Bo Schembechler, rest his soul, could be out and about with a fury.

3. Rat Pac: The Pac-10 has USC. Oregon’s pretty good, too.

That’s about it.

The league went 3-7 last weekend. UCLA, Washington and Lehman Brothers Holdings all had their worst week since 1929. UCLA’s 59-0 loss to BYU was its worst defeat since ’29, and Washington’s 55-14 loss to Oklahoma was its worst home loss since the year of the Great Depression.

Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes said Wildcats senior quarterback Willie Tuitama “played as bad as I’ve seen him play” in their loss at New Mexico.

Arizona State Coach Dennis Erickson’s reaction to losing at home to UNLV: “It’s sickening.”

4. No Offense, But …: Auburn 3, Mississippi State 2

“I am an old defensive coach so I was liking it a little bit but I wish we had scored a few more points,” Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville said.

“Coincidentally,” wrote Steve Hofstetter of Doghouseboxing.com, “3-2 are the odds that both teams will never score again.”

Final gun

“That’s the big problem, having to sort through those five big guys to find where he is. When they all come off at one time, they look like a herd of water buffalo stampeding at you and there’s a gazelle somewhere in behind them.” — Florida Atlantic Coach Howard Schnellenberger on Michigan State’s offensive line and running back Javon Ringer. Ringer carried 43 times for 282 yards in MSU’s 17-0 win over Schnellenberger’s Owls.


Sunday’s Seven: College Football Week 3

Seven things from the third Saturday of the college football season:

1. We’ll see if Iowa’s keel is even this week. After an emotional home triumph over Iowa State, the Hawkeyes go on the road for the first time. They still really don’t know who’s their quarterback. They play a Pittsburgh team with much to prove and two weeks to prepare for the Hawkeyes. Big game.

2. Arizona State did Iowa State no favors by losing at home to UNLV in overtime. Instead of rubbing out the Rebels, ASU gave UNLV a big lease on life. Now the Rebels come home to play Iowa State, and there may be some actual interest in the team in Las Vegas. Not a lot, but some.

3. Wisconsin earned some stripes by winning at Fresno State. Believe it or not, East Coast elitists, Fresno State is a really tough place to win. Good for the Badgers for trekking there for a real challenge, and good for the Badgers for leaving with a 13-10 victory.

4. Ohio State. Off you go. Try to settle for a Rose Bowl this year instead of stinking up the national-title game.

5. Michigan. No surprise that it lost at Notre Dame or is 1-2 or will go 6-6. Over the weekend, Coach Rich Rodriguez got the verbal commitment of another five-star guy, this one from New Jersey. Enjoy the Wolverines’ plight now, everyone. It won’t last forever.

6. Oklahoma and Missouri don’t play each other this year. Correction. They aren’t scheduled to play each other. But they’ll meet Dec. 6 in the Big 12 title game, both unbeaten. It will be the Game of the Year and then some.

7. USC looks fairly competent, wouldn’t you say?


Sunday’s Seven: College Football Weekend in Review

1. Some Northern Iowa fans were and are mad at the Hlog for a dumb, inaccurate post that was here for about a day last week saying Maine had been 1-0 vs. the state of Iowa in football. UNI routed Maine in an NCAA Division I-AA playoff game in 2001.

Well, the Hlog isn’t and has never been a UNI-hater. But I fully understand and appreciate Panther fans feeling like they get short-shrift in statewide coverage. They often do. If it’s any comfort, my mistakes are equal-opportunity employers.

UNI lost 41-17 at 16th-ranked Brigham Young Saturday, but represented itself a lot better than most FCS teams against FBS teams. UNI will be just fine this season. Again. I expect to cover an FCS playoff game in the UNI-Dome this year. Again.

2. Speaking of FBS-FCS, FBS (I-A) teams won 31 of 32 games against FCS teams in Week 1. The only FBS loser was Chuck Long’s San Diego State team, to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Not good, Chuck.

3. I watched a lot of the Illinois-Missouri game Saturday night. Mizzou is again really good. Illinois did well just to stay somewhat close to the Tigers. Illini quarterback Juice Williams, by the way, could be the Big Ten’s best offensive player.

4. Florida International, Iowa’s next “opponent,” gained all of 139 yards in its 40-10 loss at Kansas. The Jayhawks threw 52 passes in that game.

5. Utah rushed for only 36 yards at Michigan and still got a 25-23 win. Of course, Michigan also rushed for 36 yards. The Wolverines’ new spread offense has miles to go with their current personnel.

6. Ohio State kicked five field goals against Youngstown State in its 43-0 win. The last one was a 54-yarder in the fourth-quarter to close out the game’s scoring.

7. Watch out for Northwestern this season. The Wildcats mowed down Syracuse, 30-10 with a balanced offense (6.3 yards per carry, 6.1 yards per pass attempt) and sturdy defense. Syracuse isn’t good, but the Wildcats have terrific veterans at the skill positions on offense.

The Nation’s Worst Squash: Oklahoma vs. ISU

According to fanblogs.com, the most one-sided rivalry in big-time college football involves Iowa State, and not for the better.

The piece suggests Oklahoma’s .919 winning percentage (67-5-2) against the Cyclones is the worst of the worst. It’s hard to argue with that.

The Sooners have won their last 20 games against ISU. But let’s not dwell on the negative, and instead recall the Cyclones’ last victory over OU.

Entering the fourth quarter in their 1990 clash in Norman, Okla., the Sooners held a 31-20 lead over Iowa State and had knocked the Cyclones’ top runner, Blaise Bryant, out of the game with injured ribs.

But behind quarterback Chris Pederson, Iowa State scored 13 fourth-quarter points to shock the Sooners, 33-31. Pederson scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard sneak with 35 seconds left. He had a touchdown pass earlier, and rushed for 148 yards. Nice game.

That had been ISU’s first win in the series since 1961.

”’This is Oklahoma we’re talking about, where football was invented,” then-ISU Coach Jim Walden said. “I could die happy right now.”

Walden is still alive, though his 8-year era as the ISU football coach expired in 1994.

Oh, don’t get too many jollies from this, Iowa fans. Fanblogs.com says your team’s series with Michigan is the 14th-worst rivalry in the nation.

“Evidently in Iowa,” the piece goes, “they grow corn and bruises.”

Ouch. The Wolverines lead the Hawkeyes in their all-time series, 40-10-4. But Iowa did prevail against Michigan in 2002 and 2003.

Let’s close this on a high note for the state of Iowa: The Cyclones don’t play Oklahoma and the Hawkeyes don’t play Michigan this season. Although, if there was ever a time to catch the Wolverines, this season might be it since they have a new coach in Rich Rodriguez who is debuting a radically different offense than Michigan is used to running.

The link to the 15 worst rivalries among BCS conference teams:


Vegas says Iowa and ISU Will Win How Many Football Games???

College football teams play 12 games. Never mind, for a moment, how many you want your favorite team to win this fall (The popular pick would probably be 12). How many do you think Las Vegas thinks your team will win in the 2008 regular-season?

More accurately, how many do you think Las Vegas thinks will get equal action betting on both sides, over and under?

How many wins does Vegas say Iowa and Iowa State will win. Keep in mind that half-wins are used for some teams. Syracuse has the lowest projected win total by vegasinsier.com with 2.5 USC has the most with 10.5.

While you wait to see Iowa and Iowa State’s numbers, here are the other for the Big Ten and Big 12 teams:

Big Ten: Ohio State 10, Penn State 8.5, Wisconsin 8.5, Michigan 8, Illinois 8, Michigan State 7, Northwestern 6.5, Purdue 6.5, Indiana 5, Minnesota 4.5.

Big 12: Oklahoma 10, Missouri 9.5, Texas 9, Texas Tech 9, Kansas 8, Texas A&M 7, Oklahoma State 7, Nebraska 7, Kansas State 6.5, Colorado 5.5, Baylor 3.

Even though Iowa State opens the season with home games against South Dakota State and Kent State, the over/under number for the Cyclones is … 3.

Inexperienced team, brutal schedule. ISU’s conference home games are against Kansas, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Missouri. Win one of those four (A&M is the best bet), and the Cyclones get their three wins. That’s if they dispose of South Dakota State and Kent State, of course.

And, oh yeah, one might note Iowa State plays at Iowa, and the Hawkeyes haven’t exactly owned ISU over the last decade.

So I’d take ISU and 3 wins and figure no worse than a push.

Iowa bettors won’t get a push, because its number is 7.5. There are no ties in football. Not college football, anyhow.

So, how does 7.5 sound? Who knows? So many games seem iffy. At Pittsburgh (the Panthers’ projected win total is 6.5)? At Michigan State? At Indiana? At Illinois? Wisconsin and Penn State at home? At Minnesota to close the season, and to close the Metrodome forever as far as Gophers’ football is concerned?

Stay away from either side of this one. Instead, plunk your coin on Michigan under 8 wins. No way the Wolverines go 9-3 in their first year under Rich Rodriguez with his wacky offense that will seem so foreign in Ann Arbor.

Thank me in late November. Or not. You’re the one who’s doing the wagering. I say gambling is for suckers.

To see all the over/unders at vegasinsider.com, go to: http://www.vegasinsider.com/college-football/odds/futures/