Friday, September 21, 2007

Week 3 Praemium Terribilis

The trophies are polished and the red carpet is out.

It’s time for the Week 3 Suckie Awards!

And no, tempting though it might be, they won’t all be going to Notre Dame. For the Land of Suckie is not the sole domain of the Fainting Irish. There are Tigers and Cardinals there too.

The envelopes please…

The Cumberland Awardnamed in honor of the Cumberland team that took a 220-0 thrashing at the hands of Georgia Tech in 1916, this award honors the team that took the soundest beating of national significance in the past week.

Week 3 Winner – Notre Dame

I said they wouldn’t all be Notre Dame. But surely some must. And like their namesakes in this Award, the Irish managed a full fledged shut-out, losing by 38 points to a team that had itself previously lost to a Division I-AA team.

We'll have more on Notre Dame in a little bit.

Ron Powlus AwardGoes to the nationally anointed one and presumptive *Awardthatcannotbenamed* candidate that didn’t quite live up to his hype during the past week.

Week 3 Winner – Brandon Cox

No, Herr Cox isn’t really a candidate for that award that dare not mention its name. But he is a 13th year senior quarterback at program that began the year ranked 14th in the coaches’ poll.

Cox got benched after throwing his second interception in the *gulp*home loss to Mississippi State. Yes, the Gators have lost to MSU before. But never in Gainesville. And the last time it happened, we canned our coach promptly.

Let’s take a peek at Brandon’s box score before he got to ride the pine –

4 for 12 passing, for 42 yards with 2 interceptions.

If you think that stings, consider that Cox is now ranked 114th among Division I-A quarterbacks with a QB rating of 90.96.

Spot 115? Well that’s Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame, with a rating of 89.40. Good company there.

Auburn entered 2007 with hopes of at least contesting for an SEC title. Hopes now? Maybe that sweet bowl on the blue fields of Boise, Idaho.

Ron Zook AwardFor the coach who is “always getting better," even if that betterment is not discernable to the rest of us.

Week 3 Winner – Charlie Weis

This is a man who was given the mantle of “genius” before he had ever been a head coach. A man who was given a 10 year contract extension having never won a single significant college football game. A man who was a supposed savant of offensive football with the worst offense in all Division I-A.

Let us at Saurian Sagacity be the first to print these words that other’s dare not (yet) say –

Charlie Weis is a terrible football coach.

I don’t give a damn what talent left last year for the NFL. Talent leaves all college football programs at about the same rate over any 4 year period. Let’s look at the recruiting class ranks of the Irish for the past 3 years (per Scouts) –

2005 – 27th
2006 – 5th
2007 – 11th

Average Rank – 14.3

Now, the same ranks for the three teams ND has been blown out by –

Georgia Tech

2005 – 48th
2006 – 49th
2007 – 15th

Average Rank 37.3

Penn State

2005 - 28th
2006 – 6th
2007 – 19th

Average Rank 17.6


2005 – 2nd
2006 – 9th
2007 – 10th

Average Rank 7th

Of the only one of these teams that is appreciably better in recruiting (Michigan), ND still out recruited them in 2006, and essentially tied in 2007. One certainly wouldn't expect this mild difference to equal a 38 point shut out.

Weis can recruit, he just simply cannot develop talent. Meyer is also in his 3rd year, and Florida’s stars are virtually all underclassmen.

Weis now says he is “starting from scratch”, and “…everything is even steven, like it's the first day out there and everything's up for grabs."

So in Weis’ mind they get a do-over. We might just rename this the Charlie Weis award.

Prairie View Awardgiven each week to the specific squad (offense, defense, special teams or otherwise) that distinguishes itself for pure, unadulterated suckiness. The award is named in honor of the Prairie View Panther team that lost a college football record 80 consecutive games during the 1990’s.

Week 3 Winner – Notre Dame Offense.

Yeah, I know, Notre Dame again. Some might consider this piling on. But let’s look at the stats for the Massacre at Ann Arbor –

Further comment unnecessary, and perhaps even cruel.

The Blue AwardNamed after September 1, 2007, the date “everything changed”, this award commemorates the team that overcame enormous odds to their undying detriment, thus losing to a team that they ought to have easily handled.

Week 3 Winner - UCLA

The Bruins were touted as one of the primary reasons the Pac Ten was so much more challenging this year. After all, and for which we Gators are eternally grateful, they ruined USC’s BCS Title game hopes last year.

That’s what makes Utah 44 – UCLA 6 such a shock.

The Utes were 0-2 entering the contest, having lost to Oregon State 24-7, and Air Force 20-12. UCLA was a 14 point favorite. And while the box score looks disarmingly close, with Utah’s offense out gaining UCLA 386 to 373, the story was turnovers (The SMQ says it always is), as the Bruins threw 3 interceptions, and lost 2 fumbles.

However UCLA, you may feel free to beat USC again on December 1. Whether you are facilitating our championships in football or basketball (twice now!), we are ever appreciative.

The Roy Riegels AwardNamed in memory of Cal Bear Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels who while playing in the 1929 Rose Bowl picked up a Georgia Tech fumble and ran for 65 yards – the wrong direction, costing his team the game. This award honors the college football player who committed a blunder of such enormity that it perhaps single-handedly cost his team the game.

Week 3 Winner – Unnamed Player on Louisville’s Defensive Secondary

Somebody blew the coverage. So says Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe.
More like blew Louisville’s entire season.

With less than 30 seconds left in the game, someone on the Cardinals failed to notice Steve Johnson streaking unguarded down the sideline for what would become a 57 yard, game winning touchdown pass.

Says Kragthorpe, “We were in a zone coverage, that coverage should have had it handled.”

Well, I guess you will have to handle this Steve – that loss to your team’s archrival is going to cost you any shot at a BCS title when you play in the “Thursday Night” conference.

Applause, applause!

Congratulations to this week’s Suckie winners.

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