Some teams got a harsh dose of reality after they stopped kicking the asses of jobbers.

  • Cal surrendered 45 points to #8 Washington … and then it was halftime. Ouch.
  • Only a meaningless fourth-quarter TD kept alleged #19 Colorado from being shut out by #10 Oregon. Final: 42-6.
  • Alleged #24 and formerly undefeated Iowa couldn’t even muster one of those meaningless scores once their schedule included a real team. They lost 31-0 to Penn State, managing only 76 yards from scrimmage. So complete was the domination that they were able to run only 33 plays from scrimmage, compared to 97 for Penn State.

Some teams didn’t get the memo that it was time to stop playing jobbers.

  • #23 Tennessee rolled up the score against UTSA
  • #20 Miami destroyed Temple
  • #18 Duke slaughtered winless UConn
  • #1 Georgia pummeled UAB
  • #25 Florida should have crushed Charlotte, but did not. They moved the ball, but not across the end zone, scoring only one TD, none after the first quarter, ultimately winning with defense and a shitload of field goals. On the bright side, one of their receivers came up with possibly the greatest catch ever – one handed, backhand, on a full run, both feet off the ground, with three or four guys covering him. I have no idea how he caught it, and even less idea how he hung on after two defenders immediately crushed him.

#3 Texas and #2 Michigan also romped over weak teams, but that was not a factor of Machiavellian scheduling. They just happened to play weak conference opponents.

And there were finally some good games between strong teams.

  • #9 Notre Dame lost a heartbreaker to #6 THE Ohio State University on basically a walk-off TD.
  • #4 Florida State needed OT to defeat the always tough Clemson Tigers, who were in the top 25 on the coaches poll and a near-miss #26 on the AP poll.
  • #11 Utah defeated #22 UCLA 14-7 by completely squashing their running game. UCLA finished the game with 9 rushing yards.
  • #13 Alabama beat formerly undefeated #15 Ole Miss 24-10 after Miss was up at the half.
  • #12 LSU had to go down to the wire to hold off Arkansas 34-31.
  • #21 Washington State built up a big lead against #14 Oregon State, but had to stave off a furious fourth quarter rally to eke out a 38-35 victory.

Some (vaguely) interesting developments outside the top 25:

  • Maryland stayed undefeated with a big 31-9 road win over Michigan State.
  • Syracuse stayed undefeated by grinding it out against Army.
  • Kentucky stayed undefeated, but they have yet to face a strong opponent.
  • Texas A&M handed Auburn their first loss.
  • Louisville stayed undefeated and atop the ACC with a 56-28 thumping of Boston College.

Don’t expect any of those teams to make the top 25 in the new poll, but they will pick up a smattering of votes.


4 thoughts on “College football recap

  1. In this context, what are jobbers? I do not follow sports. I realize I could Google it, but I have a cold right now, and would appreciate the favor.

    1. The origin of the term is in pro wrestling. In the classic wrestling formula, the weekly televised matches always pit headliners, both good and evil, against non-entities who get squashed in jig time. Those losers are guys whose entire job it is to make the headliners look good. They are “jobbers.”

      That way when the head honchos promote a big live match in a gigantic arena, with the top names finally facing off, they can market a good guy and a bad guy who both seem invincible, having made short work of all their TV opponents.

      Some of the legends from my time were:

      Iron Mike Sharpe (“Canada’s greatest athlete”) who made more noise than a pro tennis player. He had quite an assortment of grunts and groans.

      The “Duke of Dorchester,” Pete Doherty, who looked as little like a Duke as possible. He was basically toothless.

      Those two guys usually lost to good guys. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, who could never break through despite being the brother of a main-card headliner, got roughed up by baddies. He was also known at different times as “The Genius.” He’d come out wearing a mortarboard and tassel, quote some Keats or Churchill, recite one of his own poems, then get his ass summarily kicked by some half-human lug.

      Barry Horowitz – what an electrifying name for a wrestler! He was in shape, was good looking, and was probably a good amateur wrestler, but he had no charisma (as you can probably tell from his name) and developed no gimmick, so he never resonated with fans. He was an equal opportunity loser in that he got his ass kicked by both good and bad guys!

      I write about them every year during the first 3-4 weeka of college football. More info here

      1. Thank you! I think I would have found it difficult to find out about that and apply it to college football. I also learned that pro tennis players make a lot of noise!

        BTW, is it the same concept as “the bum of the month club” in boxing?

        1. Sorta.

          Except the bums of the month were trying to win. It wasn’t actually their job to lose and make the champ seem good, but they were definitely chosen by the champ’s manager in anticipation of that outcome.

          The wrestling jobbers, on the other hand, earned their modest weekly paychecks for doing exactly that – losing and making the opponent look good.

          If a boxing “bum of the month” had beaten an Ali, Marciano or Louis, they would have been toasted with champagne. If a wrestling jobber ignored the story line and pinned Hulk Hogan, he would have been fired for screwing up a multi-million dollar story line. In the occasional events where the Hulkster got really hurt in a match, or got tangled helplessly in the ropes or something like that, the baddie jobber would still have to find a creative way to lose. He was a jobber and that was his job.

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