I don’t know that I’ve ever done this before — well, maybe once or twice — but I’m going to utilize a reader’s comment in a post. Specifically, an unnamed reader’s comment in the post from yesterday on Mark Dantonio‘s reaction to Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller‘s season-ending shoulder injury:
The real question would be Hoke’s reaction to this. I’m sure he wouldn’t take the high road about the injury.
Of course, that was, even for one of our readers, an absurd assumption to make. Head coaches simply don’t and wouldn’t do that, especially publicly. In fact, in my experience, the vast majority of coaches care about players and their well-being whether they’re on their own team or on the opposing sideline.
Case in point? The object of the commenter’s attempted barb, Brady Hoke.
“I feel terrible for Braxton Miller and his family,” the Michigan head coach said during a radio interview Friday morning by way of mlive.com. “He’s been a class act any time I’ve been around him.
“You never want a kid to get hurt.”
In other words, Hoke is a human being and reacted the exact way everyone — well, most everyone — thought he would: with class and genuine empathy. One of the greatest rivalries on the field, The Game more times than not gives way to humanity off of it.
Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.
As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.
“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”
“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”
Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.
“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”
With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.
The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.
Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.
And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.
That group breaks down as follows:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:
- Ohio State
- Boise State
Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.
None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.