This week: WTF, Stanford? WTF, Baylor and WVU defenses? WTF, Manny Diaz? And some other stuff.
WTF, Stanford? Clearly I left a team or two out of my list of "teams that are either overrated or downright suck" bit from last week. Everybody, please give a warm welcome to Stanford, joining us this week from the Pac-12. In an upset I don't remember anybody picking, Washington (3-1) picked off then-#8 Stanford (3-1) 17-13 on Thursday night. Stanford had a grand total of 65 rushing yards; but at least they made up for it by slinging it all over the field to the tune of...170 passing yards. Nunes looked totally lost most of the night. Congrats to the Huskies on a great win.
I have to say, I find it extremely irritating that USC is ranked ahead of Stanford despite, you'll recall, losing to Stanford just two weeks ago. So now, genius sportswriters from around the land have decided that, while Stanford was deserving of a top-10 ranking after beating USC - who themselves had beaten exactly no one - they are now not as good as USC - who has beaten exactly no one AND lost to Stanford. I love polls.
WTF, Baylor and WVU defenses? Seriously? There were four touchdowns in each of the slow quarters (1st and 3rd); when things were rolling, there were five (4th) or six (2nd) TDs. This game featured a total of 67 first downs, nearly 1,250 passing yards, over 1,500 yards of total offense, and apparently no defensive backs or safeties. The frequency with which each team repeatedly had receivers running free and clear downfield was just comical. Personally, I don' think either team is as good as the media spent the rest of the weekend making them out to be (I'm looking at you, Eddie George). Geno Smith throws a pretty ball when he has 30 seconds in the pocket to survey and destroy. But he's slow when he has to move, and he's scared to death of getting hit. I can't wait for Kenny V. to introduce himself. As an added bonus, none of our defensive backs will be required to actually tackle Smith; merely running into him will actually be sufficient to end the play on the spot. Perhaps this is what we've been practicing all year.
Speaking of tackling...WTF, Manny Diaz? I've been saying this for a couple of weeks now, and I'd like to repeat it here in lieu of saying "I told you so." Why do people continue to believe that "the tackling problems are fixable, and Manny will get them fixed" ? That's obviously an amalgam of comments seen all over the interwebs over the last few weeks, but the meme is there: Manny is an evil genius, this is a coachable problem, he'll get it fixed next week. So, people have been saying that for four straight weeks, and for three straight weeks I've said, what makes you think he'll get it fixed? What have you seen so far that leads you to believe that a) he recognizes there's a problem, 2) he's identified the problems, and D) he'll take steps to fix the problem? Because I personally have seen no evidence that any of those things are happening. We are now 4-0, thankfully, and for the fourth time in a row, the loudest complaint after the game is the god-awful tackling our defense displays.
I think it's time to come to grips with the notion that the problem ain't getting fixed. Luckily, it hasn't cost us a game yet. Based on what I saw of WVU Saturday, I'm not terrified of them - in fact, I think we likely win that game - but the WVU receivers are shifty little dudes and I think it's almost guaranteed that they make our defense look stupid a few times this week. Overall, though, I expect us to run the ball, play keep-away, and try to put the wood to Smith. Curious to see how WVU responds to a significantly higher level of competition, in what should be a hostile environment. I'm not predicting a final score, but I think I'm calling for a win for the good guys.
WTF, UT special teams? What the hell were we thinking on the pooch kick on Saturday night in Stillwater? That may be the most retarded thing I've seen us do all year. Frankly, I almost find it hard to believe we called that play on purpose, and I wonder if perhaps it was just a botched kick. That might actually make me feel better.
WTF, UGA and [the other] UT? You guys are going to lose your SEC decoder rings if you continue to mock the "We Play Defense" meme espoused by your conference brethren (well, except for aggie and Mizzou). Over 1,000 yards of offense and 95 points scored is NOT SEC-style ball. Knock that shit off.
Finally: WTF, Nebraska and Wisconsin? Were those the two ugliest uniforms your schools could collectively come up with? Since Oregon is never on TV, I have no idea how ugly their uniforms have gotten - but they couldn't possibly be any uglier than what I saw in Lincoln on Saturday night.
What say you, Longhorn Nation? Add your two cents' worth on the topics above, or anything else from this weekend's action.