And, in case you were wondering, that’s not a misspelling of the original “Beamer Ball”.
Also, and as is the case every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.
The other Beemer Ball
Never really heard of Gary Beemer, right? On a Saturday when mostly forgettable match-ups were the storyline du jour, it’s more than apropos, then, that W&L’s leadoff hitter is someone known only to his family and the most diehard of Gator Nation. Late in the fourth quarter of Florida’s easy win over Div. 1-AA power Appalachian State, the Gators put the defensive lineman onto the field on a first and goal from the four — in the backfield. Three carries later, Beemer had himself his first touchdown since “never ago“. A walk-on, Beemer had played in only three games prior to today in what was an otherwise undistinguished UF career. And the walk-on gets a walk-off touchdown in his final game as a player at The Swamp? Move over, Rudy; you have company. I don’t know whose idea it was to reward the senior for all of his hard work — I suspect his name rhymes with “Urban Meyer” — but this “meaningless” touchdown in a blowout is one of the best stories of the year, and yet another reason that, despite all of the other crap that goes on, this is still the greatest game The Big Fan Upstairs ever invented.
For as much crap as I will give this weekend’s slate of games, that was one helluva football game there in Starkville. A double-overtime win for the Razorbacks that featured a Bulldogs fumble out of the end zone; a very makeable field goal missed by the Hogs on the ensuing possession; Ryan Mallett being… well… Ryan Mallett; Chris Relf having the uncanny inability to grasp the concept of a successful forward pass on the last-gasp possession for the home team. And that was just the four possessions in the two overtime periods. You can debate the greatness of the SEC all you want, but there’s no denying the entertainment value the conference brings on a weekly basis.
How do ya like me now, suckers????????
Clock management snafus? Pfffttt. One year ago against Ole Miss, Les Miles was responsible for one of the stunning misuses of clock management that the college football world had witnessed. Thank God for a short memory. With a 43-36 win over Ole Miss today, LSU is 10-1 and could make an argument for best one-loss team in the country — if not the most health detrimental. In the win, Miles confidently drained the clock on the Tigers’ final drive until Stevan Ridley scored the game-winning touchdown with under a minute left in the game. I’m not sure if it’s luck, good ol’ fashioned Louisiana Voodoo or what, but Miles continues to win and we’re just not exactly sure how.
Even given his unceremonious — but well-deserved — dismissal as Colorado’s head coach earlier this month, Coach Hawk walked his son, starting quarterback Cody Hawkins, onto the field for the Buffaloes’ Senior Day festivities. There are those who rightfully doubt Hawkins’ ability to lead a Div. 1-A football program, but there’s little doubt that he’s first-class when it comes to his role as a father. And, in the end, that’s all that really matters and trumps everything and anything that happens on Saturdays on that 100-yard piece of turf. Also, while we’re here, a sincere pat on the back to the CU fans, who took what could’ve been an awkward and nasty situation and turned it into what was the loudest ovation of all the seniors introduced. Classy all the way around, Buff Nation. Very, very classy.
For the second straight week, Wisconsin was without their leading rusher John Clay. And, for the second straight week, it didn’t matter one bit. A week after combining for 314 rushing yards, Montee Ball and James White combined for 355 yards in the Badgers’ 48-28 romp over Michigan. So, yeah, it’s the system, stupid.
12th Man indeed
A 9-6 final score screams very loudly that the Nebraska-Texas A&M game was butt ugly (it was), but there was never a prettier win for Mike Sherman in his three seasons in College Station. 10-15 entering this season, Sherman’s Aggies now sit at 8-3, with an in-state showdown looming against Texas that could be a springboard toward a New Year’s bowl bid. As an aside, and apropos of nothing, I would swear that the Pelini and Stoops brothers are related by blood based solely on the veins in their foreheads/neck popping out during particularly nail-biting portions of games.
I don’t know who will take home the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year award — I get the feeling the name Michigan State’s Greg Jones has created in his outstanding career will trump all — but I know who should. As we said on Twitter, Ryan Kerrigan is simply a beast with no “off” switch. The Purdue defensive lineman isn’t exactly a “name” player, and he plays for a below-average team, but he’s been the best player on that side of the ball in the conference whether people recognize him or not.
The Illinois running back dude ran for 330 yards at Wrigley Field. I don’t think much else needs to be said about that particular performance.
For the first time in — if you can believe it — over a month, the Texas Longhorns won a football game. Granted, it was against Florida Atlantic, but just getting one in the ole “W” column has to feel good for Mack Brown and his team. Texas did exactly what they were expected — and needed — to do in beating up on the Owls 51-17. Their final game of the season against Texas A&M won’t be a cakewalk, but at least now the seniors on this vastly underachieving team have something for which to play: a bowl bid and a chance at a winning season.
In a season that started with so much promise (again) and has since devolved into more talk of Rich Rodriguez being on the hot seat, the sophomore quarterback has been one of the few and far between bright spots for Michigan. In the third quarter of what would become the Wolverines’ fourth loss in six games, Robinson became the first QB at the Div. 1-A level to rush for more than 1,500 yards in a single season (he finished the game with 1,593). Earlier, he had broken the QB rushing record of 1,494 yards set by Air Force’s Beau Morgan. There may be a lot wrong with the Michigan football program, but Robinson ain’t one of ’em.
Wow, that was some craptistic action all across the Saturday board for a sport whose BcS apologists cling to their cult-like mantra of “every game counts” in shooting down a playoff system. Duds as far as the eye could see all across the collegiate landscape, with a sprinkling of Ohio State-Iowa and Ole Miss-LSU and Arkansas-Mississippi State and a small handful of others keeping this weekend’s “action” from being an uber-snoozefest.
Big 12’s credibility
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Try dealing with a conference scorned, as Nebraska had to do Saturday night. Get a tape of the game, pop it in and watch it; you’ll understand exactly what went on at Kyle Field. And exactly why nearly every vein in Bo Pelini’s body was ready to burst.
The Domers became bowl eligible with their Yankee Stadium win over Army. It’s categorically loser-ish that a Notre Dame team becoming bowl eligible is somehow noteworthy and deserving of recognition. The fact that this will be a “big deal” in some circles tells you everything you need to know about the current state of the Irish.
Yes, the Cowboys clinched at least a tie for the Big 12 South title even as this was thought to be a massive rebuilding project for T. Boone’s boys. Yes, they won ten games for the first time in school history with at least two and possibly three games remaining. So, why the losers designation? OSU put up nearly 50 points and almost 600 yards of total offense yet again to go just over their season averages, and they remain one of the most explosive offenses in the country. And, if any school with a coaching vacancy and in possession of half a brain — looking at you, Colorado — they’ll look to offensive coordinator/Mike Gundy’s job savior Dana Holgorsen to come in and turn their program around. The more Holgorsen’s offense drives a stunning Stillwater turnaround of preseason expectations, the more apparent it is that the coordinator will be ready sooner rather than later for a shot at a turnaround of his own program. And a one-and-done for Holgorsen would be the absolute worst thing that could happen to Gundy right now.
What a dope. Or another, stronger pejorative for less family-friendly websites if you’re so inclined. The Ole Miss wide receiver is on his way to the end zone for what could be the game-winning score against No. 5 LSU and, as a card-carrying member of the look-at-me personalities that drive sports these days, decided to go Mary Lou Retton and do a flip across the goal line. The TD counted — it won’t next year, incidentally — and gave the Rebels a 36-35 lead with just under five minutes left. Thanks to that selfish celebration penalty, it also gave the Tigers 15 yards of field position on their next drive, which started just short of the 50-yard line. Of course, LSU scored less than four minutes later to win the game. No, Summers’ gymnastics routine didn’t cost the Rebels an upset win. But, it sure as hell didn’t help the cause on the road.
Bad Luck of the draw
For whatever reason — mainly because of geography, we ‘d assume — Andrew Luck has played on the periphery of the Heisman race this season. His stats — completing just over 70 percent of his passes for 2,746 yards, 24 touchdowns and seven picks — along with his team’s 10-1 record and No. 7 ranking says that the Stanford quarterback should be under consideration; this play alone screams it. I would not pitch a fit if Luck didn’t win the stiff-armed trophy. I would if he weren’t at least invited to New York for the ceremony.
Family is family, as we noted above. But, business is also business. And, in the business of college football, the ledger shows that the Buffaloes were 3-6 with Coach Hawk in charge of the sidelines, 2-0 without him. Coincidence? Possibly, but we’ve heard from too many people who we respect that the talent on that team is better than the record indicates. Based on the past two games, that would be the correct assessment of the current state of the roster.
Why one of the frontrunners for Coach of the Year honors coming off another decisive win and has his team in prime position for a Big Ten title? There’s just something about the Wisconsin head coach that bugs the hell out of me. Can’t put a finger on it, can’t explain it with words; dude just annoys the living spit out of me. Would love to have him coach my team, though. As long as I didn’t have to see or hear him, of course.
(Writer’s note: much thanks to Ben “Ben” Kercheval for his help on this week’s winners & losers. I’d say I couldn’t have done it without him, but that would be a lie.)