Saturday Rewind: Week 14
Saturday’s action kicked off at the obscene hour of 11:00 a.m., and the action concluded at the obscene hour of 3:00 a.m. In between the bore-me-to-drink more MAC Championship and the oh-so-predictable home field comeback of the Hawaii Warriors, there was plenty of high drama provided on the field and during hastily-called press conferences. Saturday, December 1st, was witness to a stunning BCS shakeup, two storied programs wondering just who would be wearing the headset and a crutch-wielding head coach leading his alma mater to a crazy upset of the number two team in the nation. In other words it was just business as usual in the wacky world of college football.
The Morgantown bars were ready. It wasn’t just another college town Saturday night comprised of spirits and 3:00 a.m. burritos. It was going to be a night for the ages, when their beloved squad, led by fantasy and real-life superstars Pat White and Steve Slaton would pummel their overmatched rival and the city would erupt in a celebration of shots and a discussion of “Things to do in Tempe in January when you’re playing for the national title.” Rich Rodriguez and Pat While would put the Mountaineers in a position to finish what Don Nehlen and Major Harris nearly did back in 1989 and the evening had couch fires written all over it.
And then the game began. Steve Slaton continued to struggle. LeSean McCoy ate up clock. Dave Wannstedt was using crutches. Dave Wannstedt wasn‘t using crutches. Then, at some point late in the first half, Rich Rodriguez began to look like a guy who knew he could lose this game, and Dave Wannstedt began to look like a guy who knew he could win this game. Pat White then had a big chunk of ice on his hand, Steve Slaton and Noel Devine could still find no room, and the panic button was pounded furiously. By the second half it was too late. Sure West Virginia had a chance late, but a team often mirrors the emotions of its fans. And one didn’t have to be watching a HD broadcast to see the look of anticipated dread on the faces of the West Virginia faithful.
At the same time Missouri’s fans had recognized that it was time to (with deference to Van Halen) dream another dream because their dream was over. There’s certainly no shame in being outclassed by the Sooners on a Saturday night in San Antonio, and while it may be hard for Mountaineer fans to believe, teams have lost more devastating games. However what bums this college football fan out most is that we lost out on a refreshing and exciting national championship tilt between two emerging powers, and we’ll likely be stuck with two “traditional” powers like Ohio State and LSU. Granted, both teams are deserving of a shot, however sometimes the usual suspects just get tiresome, and they give little hope to fans of traditionally good/but not great programs that they may enter the rare air.
Enough of that college football talk. Get back in your college fantasy football cave you poser…
-Steve Slaton may have ruined more of his own owners’ college fantasy football championship hopes than any other back. One looks at his great numbers: 1408 total yards and 17 scores and it seems crazy to think. However down the stretch, in his final four games of the year, Slaton ran for 74, 151, 65 and 20 yards, respectively. He averaged a score in each game, yet these are not Slaton-esque numbers and they likely cost many owners a shot at glory.
-Mizzou was clearly done once ABC showed that graphic that read the Tigers had scored at least 30 points in every one of their previous games. The jinx was in, and Chase Daniel, who had been remarkable down the stretch, just appeared like his teammates, to run out of gas.
-Not running out of gas was Central Florida's Kevin Smith who posted his fifth 200+ yard rushing game of the year on the way to a C-USA championship. Amidst all the deserved accolades awarded to Tim Tebow and Michael Crabtree it’s easy to overlook the remarkable fantasy season turned in by Central Florida’s Kevin Smith. 2678 yards from scrimmage and 30 touchdowns is incredible, and one of the greatest fantasy seasons ever turned in by a running back.
-LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux and USC running back Joe McKnight will be two players expected to make the leap to fantasy superstardom, and while I’m fans of both each will likely be overvalued on draft day. Just a hunch.
-Erik Ainge, he of the 29 touchdown passes, had a very nice under-the-radar senior season. Following his struggles as a sophomore, Ainge’s junior and senior seasons have been very impressive.
-If Tyrod Taylor had been healthy in October to play against B.C on that Thursday night the Hokies would be playing in its second national title game, and yes I realize that there are a bunch of other teams that could make that claim.
-I haven’t seen many college teams go from very good to very bad with the loss of one player, but that Oregon team I’ve seen the past few weeks isn’t even close to the Dennis Dixon-led Ducks from the first half of the season.
-It’s a shame the great Yvenson Bernard wasn’t able to play in this senior year Civil War.
-Nevada running back Luke Lippincott totaled 1675 yards from scrimmage along with 18 scores. Lippincott has already been deemed a top-five back by our crack research staff. That fact that his starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is only a freshman should make the Wolfpack a team to raid on draft day 2008.
-We’re going to miss your consistent ways (and your name) Omar Haugabook.
-This evening’s BCS bowl announcements is providing anticipation comparable that selection show in March. All the college football world needs is to take this hoops emulation one step further.
Bowl season is upon us, and the fantasy owner has to follow practice reports and then monitor who’s getting the snaps, carries and looks during this smorgasbord of college football action. The fantasy owner should view the bowl season as the beginning of the 2008 season. Coaches will join fans in looking ahead, and you can get a head start on owners by taking a few notes this college football bowl season. Or, you can just leave it to us, as we’ll be watching and reporting on everything fantasy related during this most wonderful time of the year. Hopefully some of this reporting will be done from a golf course while preparing to watch the alma mater in a nice little bowl game.
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