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Cavalcade Of Whimsy: Coming Up Short After Week 3


Coming up short of the goal line, in games, and in the officiating with yet another controversy in the latest Cavalcade of Whimsy.


Week 3 Cavalcade of Whimsy

Contact/Follow @PeteFiutak

Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …

When it starts to get really bad, the quarters will be changed to 12 minutes to spare everyone any further embarrassment.

It’s a shame Louisville and Florida State didn’t have the same deal

Awwwwww, no, you hopelessly overmatched FCSers. We’re not doing the shorten-second-halves-of-blowouts thing anymore like Clemson and South Carolina State agreed to, and it stops now.

I don’t care how bad the score is. If I’m paying you $300,000 to come to my house for the sole purpose of beating you up and blowing you out by a bajillion points, I’m getting my money’s worth and I’m not shortening the game for a nanosecond.

I don’t care if you have to suit up the waterboys and training staff once your depth chart is crushed. I’m scheduling you specifically to get all the live action possible for my backups in a time-restricted NCAA practice world.

Oh yeah, I’m using the full 60 minutes to squeeze out every single sadistic rep I can for my bloodthirsty fans who came to see a show.

You don’t like it, cash-strapped athletic departments? Two words: bake sale.

Let the fools have their tar-tar sauce with a ranking in one of the polls. That gets you a cup cozy.

You can’t start a sentence with, “I know the college football rankings don’t mean anything anymore …,” and then work yourself into a frenzied snit about them.

Oh no … this team jumped up, and this team went down, and this team is out of the top 25, and this team should be higher, and they must have been crazy to put this team 11th, and preseason rankings are wrong, and this team should be No. 1, and …

They … don’t … matter … now.

The rankings did three years ago, and if this was 2013 we’d all be going apespit over the idea of Louisville possibly being left out of the BCS Championship if Alabama and Ohio State ran the table. That’s why the CFP thing works. Win your Power 5 championship, do it with one loss or go unbeaten, and especially this year, everything will be fine.

Rankings are snapshots. They’re a fun exercise – that’s it. They’re interesting, but now the college football rankings are the same as the college basketball polls – they’re a measurement, not a determining factor.

Paging Jeff Fisher. Mr. Fisher, your unnecessary contract extension is waiting for you …

If you’re looking for the answer to the question many are starting to ask about Brian Kelly after Notre Dame’s for-all-intents-and-purposes season-ending loss at home to Michigan State, 1) the Tyrone Willingham buyout was $6.9 million, and ole Chuck Weis ended up getting about $19 mildo after he was launched. In January, Kelly signed an extension taking him through the 2021 season. Even for Notre Dame, it sucks to give away money to ex-coaches.

2) Despite his unremarkable 56-25 record, Kelly had the Irish two plays away from being your No. 1 seed in the 2016 College Football Playoff.

”I’d love to find time to do some volunteer work. Just the other day I saw a golden retriever, he had like a gimp, ya know I just wish I could have done something.”

I know, this really isn’t the place for this, and anything that doesn’t help sick or needy kids, cure cancer, assist the poor and needy, or save lives in some way – human lives – is probably a waste of desperately needed funding.

However, if you’ll indulge me for a moment, I implore you to not only help me in my noble and brave battle, but to please pass the word, and pass the hat, to help stamp out a horrible, crippling affliction that can be so easily eradicated with just the slightest of efforts.

I know times are tough. We’re all pinching pennies and cutting back wherever we can. Fortunately, with the spare change in your couch cushions, you can do something that’ll not only help end the needless suffering, but yeah, I said it, will make yourself feel good, too.

So won’t you please join us, as we take up our swords and fight to ensure that – finally – every college football broadcast is able to put a camera on the goal line.

We live in a GoPro world where people actually believe their dopey nature hike is interesting enough to broadcast to the world.

There’s a camera on every street corner, every phone, every elevator, bedroom, dressing room and public bathroom.

At this very moment, I can type in the words Timbuktu live stream, and I can see Timbuktu.

There’s a camera shooting video of boring fricking Mars from 34 fricking million miles away, but we can’t get the correct shot to know whether or not California’s Vic Enwere actually broke the plane of the goal line in what should’ve been a game-sealing touchdown over Texas.

I still have no idea if the ball actually crossed or not. It looks like it didn’t, but the views shown were hardly definitive and certainly didn’t pass the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard of replay reversal.

The fact that officials overturned the call doesn’t matter in my cause.

I asked around why putting cameras on the goal line is such a difficult concept that isn’t universally embraced, and no one seems to have an idea other than it’s just not a thought. You have to ask the NCAA for permission to do it, but apparently that’s absolutely no big deal.

So in the coming days when some clean-cut young whipper-snapper in a white short-sleeved shirt and snazzy tie rings your doorbell, it’s okay. He’s raising money so these giant media conglomerates can get the necessary funds to finally right this wrong once and for all.

It’s this simple: donate, or you’re a bad person.

It’s not like the world wasn’t still buzzing over Stillwater, or anything

The joke of a finish in the Texas-Cal fiasco comes down to the only rational explanation I can come up with: the officials were sleepy, and they wanted to go home.

After Enwere dropped the ball, Texas safety Dylan Haines nonchalantly picked it up, but he didn’t take off with it. And that’s the problem.

Had Haines been more aggressive, grabbed it, and made a beeline to the Longhorn end zone, it would’ve been a fumble and Texas ball. But since there wasn’t an “immediate” recovery or action – according to the NCAA rule book – everyone just sort of stopped, Cal got the ball back, won, and the officials repaired to the locker room for tea and strumpets.

According to every interpretation of the rules, there was indisputable video evidence of the Texas player recovering the ball, but it’s UT’s own dumb fault for not being able to run well enough against a team Adrian Peterson’s injured leg could’ve hung a buck 25 on.

Because knowing every little tidbit of your current coach’s life is a whole lot better

What happens if Arkansas doesn’t ditch Bobby Petrino?

If that whole “scandal” happened now – considering Penn State just honored that guy and Art Briles is soon going to be coaching again – Petrino wouldn’t be fired. Instead, he’d get nothing more than a time out without his phone after committing the crime against humanity of being caught with a beautiful young blonde on the back of his motorcycle.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, so she got a job she probably wasn’t supposed to have because of her “friendship” with Petrino, but as I said at the time, most of the working world operates in nepotism – Mike Stoops on line two.

When Petrino was let go, the Hogs were coming off an 11-2 season and looked ready to make a huge splash, and in entered John L. Smith and out came a 4-8 campaign.

Bret Bielema took over and has been okay – going 21-20 in his first three-plus years – but he’s not Petrino.

And now look at what’s happening. Unlike some other current legends on top of the polls, Petrino currently has a 73% lifetime college winning percentage at three schools – with two stints at Louisville wrapped around Arkansas and a season at Western Kentucky – that aren’t Alabama, Florida, Michigan State, LSU or Ohio State. He has the most interesting team in the world, he has the midseason Heisman winner, and he has people arguing over whether or not Louisville should be No. 1.

Meanwhile, Arkansas is almost a touchdown dog to Texas A&M this week.

77 words on whether or not Art Briles should be a college football head coach again for these thoughtful and provocative times

Hell no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

Big, big, giant thank you to the Tuscaloosa Red Elephant Club for having me come speak last week. I told you Ole Miss wouldn’t be a problem … yeeeeeesh.

For those of you who missed the thrilling Alabama win over Ole Miss, here’s the entire Crimson Tide offense over the last three quarters played in 24 seconds.

Next week … halftime marching bands!

I’m a dispassionate, cranky, cold and calculated college football analyst. Any and all personal feelings never, ever matter in any prediction – unless I spend seven months pumping up Louisville as the 2016 Big Thing and pick it to win last week over Florida State, even though it would’ve been revealed under hot lights and two shots of sodium thiopental that I thought the Seminoles would probably pull it off.

I just want to see greatness, and I’m more than happy to sit there and take it if and when I’m ever dead-on wrong. So I’m confessing to you, the American public, that I’m doing my best to get through my denial and shame when it comes to finally accepting certain college football realities.

With that in mind, the three key things I need to get over in this week’s version of FIIIIIIIINE, You Win …

… Houston is pretty good

Maybe Oklahoma sucks. Maybe last year’s Florida State team just didn’t want to be there. Maybe I can’t shake the image of Houston gagging away its 2015 season in a total clunker against UConn. I’ll probably keep picking against the Cougars until I’m right, but I’ll also accept the slings and arrows from the I-told-you-so Houston fans all year when they go 13-0 and off to the College Football Playoff.

Greg Ward and the offense rocks, but give me the Cougar defense. Steven Taylor and that bunch turned it up on Baker Mayfield in the opener and in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati last week. So … FIIIIIIIINE, You Win.

… Christian McCaffrey is one of the best players in college football

All-purpose, schmall-purpose. I watched the Rose Bowl, too. I know I’m supposed to care about return yards in the mix, and I do when it comes to Jabrill Peppers, but McCaffrey’s a Stanford running back.

Toby Gerhart was fine. Stepfan Taylor was fine. Tyler Gaffney was fine. But this is an okay and rebuilding Cardinal team that got by Kansas State and USC to start the season, mainly because McCaffrey was fantastic. He’s bailing out a mediocre passing game, so … FIIIIIIIINE, You Win.

… North Dakota State is a killer and deserves more respect

Yeah, yeah, the Bison just won their sixth game in a row over an FBS team. Alabama just won its seventh. Talk to me, FCSer, when you beat a Northwestern and Illinois like a proper MAC team. But you held the Hawkeyes to 34 yards on 25 carries and rumbled for 239 yards on your way to the victory over the No. 13 in the nation, so … FIIIIIIIINE, You Win.

This week’s reason why the Big 12 should consider me for expansion …

Unlike any of the current Big 12 conference members, I’m going to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and College Football Playoff National Championship this season.

The sure-thing, 100%, rock-solid lock, sell the house, sell the kids, no doubt about it picks of the century for this week

You’re right, and I apologize. I missed the Oregon pick ATS two weeks ago and my record isn’t quite as good as I had down. I’m also sorry for Arizona State being that bad against UTSA, but I hit Kentucky over NMSU and Miami – EASILY – over Appalachian State.

Straight Up: 8-1, Against the Spread: 5-4

1. Army -14 over Buffalo
2. Florida State -6 over USF
3. LSU -3.5 over Auburn

C.O.W. shameless gimmick item …

The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world

1) Overrated: Tom Brady Day
Underrated: Arizona’s Pearl Harbor U.S.S. Arizona uniforms vs. Hawaii

2) Overrated: Lamar Jackson (but only in the context of …)
Underrated: Michael Vick

3) Overrated: Veteran leadership
Underrated: Ole Miss playing against a freshman QB for the third time in four games

4) Overrated: Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
Underrated: Ahmaad Harris, South Carolina State

5) Overrated: Air-Raid Offense
Underrated: “Basic Defense”

Sorry if this column sucked, I wasn’t my fault …

Next time, Rice fans, please refrain from shooting lasers onto the field.