Welcome to the CM Tailgate, an exercise in making sense of a sport that doesn’t. CM Tailgate HQ is buzzing these days as we get into the thick of conference play and football fever even makes its way into the baseball world, evidenced by Chase Utley’s brutal takeout slide Saturday night.
CRAP GAME YOU SAW
Michigan 38, Northwestern 0
The Wildcats (What team?) came into this B1G showdown riding high at 5-0 with impressive wins against Stanford and Duke, but they could not get their heads in the game against “Michigan Man” Jim Harbaugh, who had the Wolverines ready from the start. Jehu Chesson returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown and Michigan jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead that only continued to grow. Michigan, whose only loss came in the season opener at fifth-ranked Utah, will be tested at home next week when fourth-ranked rival Michigan State comes into the Big House to try to retain ownership of the mitten.
GREAT GAME YOU MISSED
Washington State 45, Oregon 38
With Oregon reeling and out of the national spotlight, this matchup with Washington State, a team that has had more than its fair share of struggles in recent years, was not exactly a highlight on the college football slate this weekend. But Luke Falk and the Cougs made it more than entertaining. Falk threw for 505 yards and five touchdowns, including one in the final seconds to send the game to overtime. As for the 15.5 point favorites who came out with special “Lewis and Clark” helmets, the only thing the Ducks seem to be exploring this season is the loss column.
A REVOLUTION AGAINST EXCITEMENT
Wake Forest 3, Boston College 0
Boston College has harnessed its city’s spirit of revolution in revolting against all things good and exciting about football. Mike Weaver kicked a 25 yard field goal in the third quarter to put Wake Forest up 3-0 on BC, and that score actually held for the rest of the game. Boston College’s offense, otherwise known as The Departed, has accounted for a total of seven points in three of the Eagles’ last four games. Expect another shutout next week as BC travels to Death Valley to play unbeaten Clemson.
ESCAPE OF THE WEEK
Michigan State 31, Rutgers 24
The Scarlet Knights had this New Jerseyan tuned in and hopeful for an upset Saturday night with the ball inside Michigan State’s 10 yard line and just over four minutes on the clock. Rutgers missed an opportunity to take a go-ahead touchdown and had to settle for a field goal to tie the game. The Spartans followed with a game-winning drive down the field and scored a touchdown with under a minute to play. The game ended in the most Rutgers way possible, with the Knights’ quarterback spiking the ball to stop the clock on fourth down, resulting in the biggest Spartan escape since Piraeus.
HAS KANSAS WON YET?…No.
Baylor 66, Kansas 7
The third-ranked Baylor Bears were the latest squad to make it pretty black-and-white that Kansas is one of the worst Power 5 conference teams in history by virtue of a 52-7 halftime lead against the Jayhawks. Although KU hosted the Bears, the Jayhawks have shown there are plenty of places like home, as they have been pummeled in and away from Lawrence this season. It’ll be hard for Kansas to find heart and courage going forward, as the Big 12 schedule will not get any easier for Kansas with the likes of Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Oklahoma ready to devour the Jayhawks on a yellow brick platter.
ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN
Iowa 29, Illinois 20
Here come the Iowa Hawkeyes, 6-0 for the first time since 2009 and taking the Big Ten by storm. Jordan Canzeri carried the ball a school record 43 times for 256 yards and a touchdown as the Hawkeyes held off Illinois in Iowa City. Perhaps the best news for the Hawkeye hype is Iowa’s winnable schedule the rest of the way; after a tough test at Northwestern next weekend, their toughest games will be at Indiana and home to Minnesota.
DILLON PANTHERS COMEBACK OF THE WEEK
Tennessee 38, Georgia 31
After being down 24-3 at home to Georgia in the closing minutes of the first half, Tennessee scored 28 unanswered points to take a 31-24 lead over the Bulldogs and went on to win the game and improve to 3-3 on the year in a way that would make Coach Taylor proud. Joshua Dobbs played the role of Matt Saracen as he accounted for five touchdowns and threw for a career-high 312 yards in erasing the deficit to earn the SEC win.
SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT DUMB OLD TEXAS
Texas 24, Oklahoma 17
The Longhorns do indeed have a pulse as Texas defeated tenth-ranked Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry by a score of 24-17. Quarterbacks Jerrod Heard and Tyrone Swoopes both scored touchdowns in a combined effort to stun the undefeated Sooners at the Cotton Bowl. If last week’s pummeling at the hands of TCU was rock bottom for Charlie Strong’s tenure at Texas, the upset proved that the stars are starting to show signs of brightness for the Longhorns.
ADD IT TO YOUR GAMEDAY PLAYLIST
As a rivalry weekend comes upon the college football schedule next weekend, the CM Tailgate sees a need for a pump-up jam to get the adrenaline flowing. Try “Can’t Be Touched” by Roy Jones Jr.
CUPCAKES OF THE WEEK
New Mexico State
Fresh off a loss to in-state rival New Mexico, the Aggies brought their 0-4 record to Oxford, Mississippi to receive a courtly 52-3 spanking from the Ole Miss Rebels. New Mexico State is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico and boasts alum Paul Wilber Klipsch, an engineer and audio pioneer who developed a high-efficiency folded horn loudspeaker.
For our first cupcake of the week, the tailgate goes classic. Tough to beat that tried and true cream cheese frosting over moist red cake, colors that resemble those of New Mexico State.
NEXT WEEK’S TAILGATE
Alabama at Texas A&M
The hype may be a bit subdued once again as it still recovers from the presence of Jonathan Football, but a matchup between these two crimson-clad schools is always entertaining television.
USC at Notre Dame
College football’s greatest intersectional rivalry comes to South Bend on Saturday night, where the disappointing Trojans will try to spoil the playoff hopes of the Irish, who must win out. It will be an interesting revenge game for ND, who got destroyed in Los Angeles last November. Plus, the ghosts of Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart still haunt Notre Dame Stadium’s south end zone.
UCLA at Stanford
Josh Rosen looks to recover from the Bruins’ loss to Arizona State and Stanford tries to prove its contention in an intriguing and important Pac-12 game between two one-loss teams. Both must win out to keep their playoff hopes alive.