October 17, 2005

Frinklin Football Wrap-up

College Version:
Just Coug It.

Back when I was matriculating at Washington State, that little phrase was devastating. To “Coug It” was to blow it. As in losing every non-Apple Cup game in November for what seemed like a decade-and-a-half. It was only the first six seasons of Mike Price’s tenure. To Coug It was to snatch defeat at the edge of victory, to stare out into the void only to have it bitch-slap you into next week. Ryan Leaf, and later Jason Gesser, changed that. To “Coug It” was a good thing. It meant to make that one play. It meant that in the end, the Cougar was the tough guy.

Well, after three straight Pac-10 losses, including two with leads of 17 and 21, we are most definitely back at the original definition. The Cougars rampaged over UCLA for most of the first three quarters of Saturday’s game; building leads of 21-0 and 28-7. Jerome Harrison ran for 260 yards and lost. Do you realize that Harrison, who leads the Pac-10 in rushing by a very healthy 240 yards, has rushed for 602 yards and 6 touchdowns in this losing streak? Having a tailback run for two bills and two scores every game and losing anyway has to break some sort of ancient football law.

At least they aren’t the Huskies. The UW, after a couple of heartening losses, just flat-out stunk against Oregon. The final was 45-21 and it wasn’t nearly that close. After taking a quick 7-point lead, the Huskies gave up 31 unanswered points. They couldn’t pass, they couldn’t run and goodness gracious, they can’t tackle at all. Tyrone Willingham has much more work to do than he figured. I still think this team will find itself and beat somebody, but that hope is dimming. Hey, they’re only 31-point underdogs to USC. Now the odds are good that USC will come in this week a little flat after their epic win over Notre Dame. Flat to the Trojans might mean they win by 35 instead of 70.

-Was the Irish-Trojan game the best college football game I’ve ever seen? Probably not, since I didn’t care a whit about either team; for sheer excitement though, it would be hard to beat. Matt Leinart and Pete Carroll must be the gutsiest QB-and-Coach team in the NCAA. Leinart’s audible to a max-protect deep ball on 4th and 9 is a Heisman-winning play, and faking the spike to sneak it was awesome.

-What was really amazing is that the ND-USC game wasn’t the only unbelievable game last week. If it weren’t for that game we’d all be talking about the Michigan-Penn State nailbiter or Wisconsin’s last-second win on a blocked punt or even UCLA’s impressive comeback over the Cougars. Maybe Oregon State’s win at Cal is the game of the day. Just a rough Saturday for college fans with heart conditions.

In the NFL, things weren’t nearly as exciting.

The hometown Hawks took on an awful Houston team on national TV and just killed them, like they should. Seattle rushes for a team-record 320 yards and by the end of it Mike Patrick, Joe Theisman and Paul Maguire fall over themselves over how good the Seahawks are.

Please… just please don’t do that. Let the Seahawks sneak up on people this year –or sink into obscurity as the case may be- this team isn’t that great. That being said, I’m as excited about the upcoming Cowboy game as I have been all season. I hear Dallas can be beaten deep.

-Jake Delhomme threw four touchdown passes in a six-minute stretch against Detroit. Two for the Panthers and two returned for TDs by the Lions. The most inexplicable thing I’ve ever heard of in football.

-LaDanian Tomlinson and the Chargers, even at .500, might be the second-best team in football right now. Funny thing, the Missus Frinklin is not a football fan, though like most San Diegans, she followed the Chargers when they were good. Now that we’ve moved, she wants to watch them all the damned time. Unfortunately we went with digital cable, so no NFL Sunday Ticket for us. She’s very displeased with the NFL.

-The Patriots have been doubted before, but they are hurting now. The defense suddenly looks old and infirmed and Corey Dillon may be done.

-Mike Tice is beyond Dead Coach Walking at this point. Bill Simmons asked the question last week about what this guy would have to do to get fired during the season. After Vikes Gone Wild, that is a good question. Maybe coach naked?

-About the Cowboys: the Giants game this week was about as ugly a game as I’ve seen. Eight turnovers by two ostensibly good teams?

Posted by Frinklin at October 17, 2005 08:27 PM | TrackBack

It is my belief that there is no such thing as a good NFL team any more. The whole league has been dragged down into a morass of mediocrity for years now. With the possible exception of the Patriots, every supposedly good team in the NFL since the mid-'90s has had a gaping hole of some sort. The NFL is lucky that football is so telegenic, because their product largely stinks.

Posted by: Mediocre Fred at October 18, 2005 09:13 PM
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