College Football Weekend Recap: “Won My Pool” Edition

Thanks to Tony Romo, I won my pick’em pool this week. Romo threw an interception late in last night’s Jets v. Cowboys game that not only gave the Jets a win, but me a win, too. I’m playing in a pool with 20ish people, organized by a friend of my dad’s, and after a second-place finish last weekend, I emerged victorious this time. Yes, I’m gloating. But I made lucky guesses on a bunch of NFL games (and somehow nailed all my college picks), so I’ll take it.

One of my correct picks: USC over Utah in the inaugural Pac-12 contest. Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times recapped several firsts for the conference, but acknowledges that a number bigger than “12” might follow “Pac” after this season. “Pac-12 football: Catch it while it lasts?” he asks, breaking down possible scenarios that could play out once Texas A&M becomes an official member of the SEC.

Rivals/Yahoo’s Tom Dienhart gave out his Week 2 “awards,” and they make for a pretty entertaining read. From the “Desperately seeking…anything” award (Mike Riley) to the “Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you didn’t” award (Iowa State) and several others in between (like Oregon’s “Dang, they’re good” honor), he offers a funny, quick look at the past week and near future in college football.

Don’t look now, but both of the Pac-12’s Washington teams have better records than its Oregon teams. The Huskies and lowly Cougars are both 2-0. Washington State leads the nation in scoring offense, for crying out loud. On ESPN’s Pac-12 blog, Ted Miller looks at the teams’ recent success but notes that they both play big road games next weekend.

As if a 2-0 Wazzu team isn’t frightening enough, we come to the most ridiculous item of the day. Addicted to Quack, a popular Duck blog, reported Sunday evening that Mike Pereira, the Pac-12’s new coordinator for officiating, says that players flashing the “O” after a score is bordering on unsportsmanlike conduct. Um, excuse me? Are the players thumping their chests? No. Are they jumping in to the stands? No. They’re making an “O” with their hands. Pereira’s video explanation is really what got me going. Apparently salutes are okay (he says it’s a tribute to the military; I’m not saying players and fans aren’t grateful for the sacrifice of servicemen and women, but I’m doubtful that every post-touchdown salute is made with the sole intention of honoring the military and not celebrating the score), as are points to the sky, thanking God. But flash a symbol with your hands that’s ripe with meaning for your team and its fans? Apparently, that’s a no-no. Ridiculous. (Video linked in this story by KVAL in Eugene, which was linked in the ATQ post.)

Editor’s Note: I’m not the first to make those arguments, and I’d say the same thing for any other team that came under fire for this; I’m not just trying to defend the Ducks. There is obvious unsportsmanlike conduct, and then there are harmless celebrations. Regardless of the team, this is harmless.

Hate to end on a sour note, but that’s just absurd. On a lighter note, there was the super-exciting end to Michigan v. Notre Dame. Really couldn’t care less about the teams, but you’ve got to love an electric finish to a game played in front of the largest crowd in college football history.

What were your favorite moments, stories or blog posts from the weekend?

College Football Weekend Recap: “The Pac-12 Sucks” Edition

Since there are so many people writing so many words about college football every weekend, I decided to aggregate some of my favorites in a handy little blog post (that I hope to publish every week this season). I’m doing this partly because I’d like to share what I found intriguing, but mostly because I’d like to hear from others about what articles or blog posts caught their eyes over the weekend.

One overarching theme: The Pac-12 sucks.

At least over the last few months, Pac-12 fans could point to Oregon’s appearance in the BCS title game as proof of our conference’s relevance, but when Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Colorado all lose (and Washington and USC barely win), our defense against SEC fans is flimsy. It hurt to read, but The Register-Guard‘s George Schroeder spoke the truth about how Oregon’s loss only widened the gap between the Ducks and the truly great college football programs.

“If only the Pac-12’s football teams would start playing at a level befitting the conference’s newfound status,” wrote Stewart Mandel of SI.com, contrasting the league’s poor play with its recent status as a “destination” conference for teams looking to realign. Bruce Feldman, now of CBS after leaving ESPN post-“Free Bruce” movement, made a similar argument, saying that “Phil Knight’s favorite team was short-circuited on a big national stage once again.” Ouch.

Something decidedly more awesome than my favorite conference getting trashed all over the internet (albeit with good reason)? Rice University’s “Marching Owl Band” and the shot it took at Texas A&M‘s intention to move to the SEC. Definitely gives Script Ohio a run for its money as far as creativity is concerned. (But according to Houston Chronicle columnist Richard Justice, Rice will receive a letter of reprimand from ESPN for the stunt.)

It’s not directly related to this weekend’s action, but here’s an interesting piece from Lindsay Schnell, an Oregon beat writer for The Oregonian here in Portland (I followed her on Twitter before I really started reading her stuff in the paper, so I almost typed “@LindsayRae19” instead of her real name). While in Texas for Oregon-LSU, she dug into the emerging pipeline between high school stars in the state (a HS football hotbed) and the UO, which first sprung up when LaMichael James and Darron Thomas committed in 2008.

Lastly, I’m not as on top of the realignment talks as a good fan should be, but I do think it’s interesting/funny/fascinating that Mark Cuban (best known, obviously, for his appearance as Saturday’s College GameDay guest picker) felt the need to weigh in on the topic. His latest Blog Maverick post implores Big 12 teams to “say no to super conferences” and makes a slightly awkward Big 12-AL East comparison. Best part: the commenter who turns a football-centric post into a chance to whine about being an Orioles fan. “…I basically think we are screwed in the AL East.” Well, good for you.

Those are a few things that caught my eye. I know there are dozens, if not hundreds more pieces out there that were great, so if you read a particularly intriguing piece of college football writing this weekend, please share!