Paul said:

My sights are set on becoming a world champion, and now I have a chance to prove myself against the greatest heavyweight champion ever, the baddest man on the planet and the most dangerous boxer of all time.”

I suppose he might not have stood a chance against prime Tyson, but Iron Mike is 57 and hasn’t fought in about two decades, so that might make it interesting. Or not. As of yesterday, Odds Shark listed Paul as a -500 favorite.

The Dallas Cowboys won their division and were playing at home, where they had not lost a game all year, building their home winning streak to 16 consecutive regular-season games. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers had made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth after a 3-6 start. Five teams with the same 9-8 record did NOT make it. The Pack had a losing record on the road. Dallas was a heavy favorite.

Things didn’t turn out as the Cowboys planned. The Pack started with a shocking 27-0 lead and never looked back, eventually piling up 48 points.

Good times in Wisconsin!

First it was the world’s largest gummy bear mosaic, and now this in the same week. It’s a round of cheese for everyone, on the house!

The game was close through three quarters, but Michigan pulled away at the end to finish the season undefeated, the only FBS team to do so.

It was only the second championship for the Big 10 in the playoff era, but I guess they were covered either way, since both teams will be in the Big 10 next year, along with fellow powerhouses Oregon, Penn State and Ohio State. Based on Sagarin’s final computer rankings, those five are all among the nation’s top ten teams. Similarly, the newly expanded SEC has four of the top ten. No other conference has any. The tenth team is Notre Dame, an independent. With so many powerhouses crammed into those two conferences, we may have seen the last of the undefeated seasons.


The Michigan victory represented the first time they were the undisputed national champions since 1948. That’s a helluva drought! Scarcely a man alive can remember that championship.

They earned a share of the championship in 1997 when there was no official champion, meaning that the top team was selected by polls that did not agree. Michigan topped the 1997 AP poll and Nebraska topped the coaches’ poll. The coaches didn’t leapfrog Nebraska over Michigan until after the bowl games. I guess the coaches’ logic was that Nebraska slaughtered the #3 team in the Orange Bowl, while Michigan struggled to defeat an also-ran in the Rose Bowl. The AP voters didn’t buy that reasoning and chose Michigan by an overwhelming margin. The official NCAA page considers them co-champions.

As far as 1948 goes, even that was complicated. There was no coaches’ poll at the time, and the AP poll was conducted at the end of the regular season, so there were times in that era when the AP “national champion” would get slaughtered in a bowl game. Fortunately for Michigan, that didn’t happen in 1948. It couldn’t have, because Michigan didn’t even play in a bowl! The (rather foolish) rules at the time forbade a team from playing in the Rose Bowl in consecutive years, and Michigan had represented the Big Nine (as it was then callled) the year before, so Northwestern (second in the conference, seventh in the nation) took on Cal in Pasadena. Because of that curious rule, the Wolverines’ undefeated status held, and they were the unofficial national champions.

TRIVIA: 1948 was the last year of the Big Nine conference. Michigan State joined as the tenth team the following year.

TRIVIA: There was actually a bowl game called the Salad Bowl in 1948, and another called the Fruit Bowl.

TRIVIA: Speaking of the Rose Bowl, Cal’s star that year was Jackie Jensen, who eschewed pro football to sign with baseball’s New York Yankees, and later to earn an MVP award with the Boston Red Sox. Jensen and Mickey Mantle were both in the outfield for the 1951 Yankees, though neither was yet a regular starter. The Yankees traded Jensen away and got little in return, whereupon Jensen went on to lead the AL in RBI three times, a feat Mickey could only accomplish once.

Two undefeated teams, Michigan and Washington, will battle for the college football championship, and there were two excellent semi-final games that went down to the last play. Moreover, the two teams in the finals were the #1 and #2 teams during the regular season, and the bookies think the teams are quite evenly matched.

So that’s all good.

Since the inception of the playoff system, there has been only one other occasion when an undefeated #1 team faced an undefeated #2 team in the finals. That was at the end of the 2018-2019 season, when #1 Alabama and #2 Clemson brought 14-0 records into the game. That one did not turn out to be a thriller. Clemson ran away with a 44-16 victory.

  • Both finalists were undefeated in 2019-2020, but they were the #1 and #3 seeds.
  • Both finalists were undefeated in the COVID year (2020-2021), but they were the #1 and #3 seeds, and Ohio State’s undefeated status was tainted by the fact that they only played five games before the conference championship! (More games were scheduled, but were cancelled because of positive COVID tests.)


Neither Michigan nor Washington has ever made the final game in the playoff years. Each has made it to the semi-finals once.

  • Michigan made the semis last year as the #2 seed, but the team then embarrassed itself by allowing TCU to score 51 points. As you probably remember, TCU went on to lose the final game 65-7.
  • Washington made the semis in 2016-2017 as the #4 seed, but they were able to score only 7 points against Alabama.


The final games have not been close in the past five years. The closest game was decided by 15 points, and the most lopsided was last year’s embarrassing 65-7 train wreck. Just prior to that period, the 2017-2018 game was an overtime thriller between Alabama and Georgia.

The Raiders scored no points last Sunday in a bizarre 3-0 game. That was a big zippity-do-dah on their home field. That was odd enough, since it was the lowest scoring game of the past 15 years, but that’s an insignificant part of the strange goings-on.

The Raiders played another game at home on Thursday, giving them less time than usual to recover from their injuries and weariness. This time they broke their all-time franchise scoring record with 63 points against the Chargers. In other words, the Raiders had the fewest points in team history followed by the most points in team history, all within five days.

Eight different Raiders scored TDs in Thursday’s game, tying an NFL record. Wide receiver Jacobi “Law Firm” Meyers, threw a touchdown pass and caught another one. The Raiders led 42-0 at halftime, which was surprisingly not the biggest halftime curb-stomping in NFL history. I had to look that one up. I didn’t remember that New England led Tennessee 45-0 at halftime on a snow-shrouded Foxborough field in 2009.

(The Pats didn’t make it to 63 or more. They “only” won that game 59-0. They scored on the first series of the second half to make the score 52-0, whereupon Mr. Brady found a seat on the bench and tried to stay warm. Brady’s back-up that day was Brian Hoyer, who is still playing now, the NFL’s perennial “back-up to the stars.”)

I hope you didn’t have the Chargers’ defense in your fantasy league. They also set a franchise record, because they had never given up that many points before. Few teams have. The Raiders’ total was the second-highest number of points scored by a team in a single game since the AFL-NFL merger. (Oddly, the highest was also this year. The Dolphins scored 70 on ten TDs against the Broncos back in September.)

That’s not the end of the odd stuff. The Raiders managed to score 63 despite accumulating fewer than 400 yards of offense from scrimmage, only 52 more yards than their opponents (378-326). What’s more amazing is that the net total yardage (yards from scrimmage plus runback yardage on kicks, punts and interceptions) was actually in the Chargers favor! Moreover, the Raiders were so sluggish that they had to punt six times! (For reference, the Dolphins amassed more than 700 yards from scrimmage in their 70-point game, and only had to punt once.)

So how the hell can you score 63 when you have to punt the ball away six times? The Raiders dominated the turnover battle. They had five take-aways and no give-aways. The Chargers handed them the ball five times, and they obviously knew what to do with it.

My least favorite thing about professional sports is that the rich teams like the Dodgers and Yankees can win with their checkbooks. But good on ya, Ohtani. You’re a great guy and a great player and you deserve the big contract. (And I’m glad you’re not a Yankee.)

In all of MLB history, he is the only player to be a unanimous MVP selection more than once. He was just as impressive in the year between those two (9.6 WAR, compared to an average of 9.5 in his unanimous MVP years), but was upstaged by the brilliant year from Aaron Judge, who broke the AL home run record.

Sho-Time led the league in OBP, slugging pct. and homers this year. Before his injury he went 10-5 on the mound, where he is capable of firing a 102-MPH four-seam fastball and an assortment of other pitches. That repertoire allows him to strike out more than 11 batters per 9 innings.

He is not expected to pitch in 2024, but intends to resume the following year.

That’s a blockbuster. He’s only 25, but is already a major star with plenty of black ink in his resume. He has 30+ homer power, a lifetime OBP of .421, and is one of the most patient hitters in the game (he has 130+ walks in each of the past three seasons, leading the league each time). In 2021 he finished second in the MVP balloting at the tender age of 22, finishing that season with a .999 OBP, including a very impressive. 465 OBP.

(To put that in context, only two modern players finished their careers with an OBP higher than .465 – Ted Williams and Babe Ruth, the two greatest hitters in the history of the American League. Soto’s lifetime OBP is the 19th highest of all time, just ahead of Mickey Mantle. Soto’s lifetime OPS is .946, which is in the top 30 of all time, ahead of such familiar names as Willie Mays, Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron. In other words, this kid is good. Really good. The fuckin’ Yankees picked up a big-time star.)


It is difficult for the committee to drop an undefeated team from a major conference, but they manned up and did it. We can infer from the final rankings that the committee doesn’t respect the ACC, which may give Florida State and Clemson an incentive to try to sneak off into the Power Two eventually. For the record, the final computer rankings place FSU 12th (and Washington 10th, I might add – still four and a half points worse than a team they beat twice!).

The final rankings worked out perfectly for my Longhorns. They not only made the playoffs, but they got the softest opponent! I was thinking they might get the fourth seed and have to face Michigan right away. The opening line: Texas by 4.5 over Washington, Michigan by 1.5 over Alabama.

My only quarrel is that the committee still placed FSU ahead of Ohio State and Georgia on the full list. Really, guys? Is that really what you think? I doubt it. As long as you were recognizing reality, why not go all the way and drop FSU down where they belong? The good news about this ranking is that FSU will have a good chance to prove the committee wrong, because they will face Georgia in the Orange Bowl. (Georgia is favored by 12 in the opening line.)

Another interesting bowl match-up is undefeated Liberty against Oregon. A good showing for Liberty would be a vindication for the conferences outside the Power Group. Oregon will be favored by two touchdowns.


Here is the full bowl schedule

This year the Bad Boy Mowers Bowl will be in Yankee Stadium. I have no idea who’s in it. I just like the name.

Still no Ty-D Bowl.

Too many bowls?

To quote the wisest of wise men, or at least one wise enough not to give myrrh to a newborn:

When I was a fresh-faced lad, mankind had made almost no progress beyond fire. There were only four bowl games, and there was no cable TV nor streaming computers to view the action. Phones were decades away from becoming “smart.” We would sit by the telegraph with our hungover, racist uncles on New Year’s Day and listen for the short and long clicks that brought us news from the faraway Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Orange Bowls. Aunt Elsie would bring us body temperature milk she had just squeezed out of ol’ Bossy, and regale us with tales of how she had once seen the real Orange Bowl in a black and white postcard. Uncle Florian would take out his squeezebox and play some tunes for a private halftime show, often after he had emptied a pint of hooch into his glass of milk. It was difficult for those uncles to impart the proper racist attitudes toward “negroes” and “DPs,” because they only had a few minutes on a single day to share all of their wisdom, so they had to hold on to our sleeves and continue to mumble drunkenly as we stood in the doorway and tried to take our leave.

Today I can conveniently pass down that racism at a leisurely pace to my own nephews during 40 bowls on several weekends. It’s truly a tribute to mankind’s eternal progress.

I actually watched the entire Michigan / Ohio State game instead of channel surfing. As expected, the teams were evenly matched, and the result easily could have gone the other way. Michigan won because:

(1) They pulled off two critical interceptions;
(2) They are completely confident on 4th-and-short. They have a little cannonball of a short-yardage specialty running back, and they feel that he can gain one or two yards no matter what. They’ll run him even when the other team knows what’s coming. This essentially gives them an extra down to work with;
(3) They got a really lucky call on a TD that could just as easily have been ruled an Ohio State interception. Since the replay was considered inconclusive, the call on the field would have stood no matter which way it went. It went in Michigan’s favor. Reverse that call and Ohio State wins by one.

Georgia, Washington and Florida State remained undefeated, which means that THE Ohio State University will need a miracle to get back into the playoff since there are four undefeated teams. Florida State and Michigan seem to have clear paths to their conference championships and undefeated records. Georgia faces a tough test in Alabama, but even a Georgia loss would not guarantee a playoff re-entry for Ohio State, as the playoff committee may be loath to begin a playoff without a representative of the tough SEC. Ohio State’s best bet is for Washington to lose to Oregon, which seems like a realistic possibility since the opening line favors Oregon by 7.5. A Washington loss will not guarantee Ohio State a berth, but it would get the Buckeyes back into the conversation.

Craziest stuff this week:

13th-ranked Oklahoma allowed 45 points – and still won by 24. Gotta love Big 12 football. Hope you took the over on that one.

10th-ranked Louisville will absolutely drop out of the top ten after an embarrassing home loss to Kentucky. Here’s a tip for you athletic directors: if you want to pad your record, don’t fill one of your non-conference weeks with an SEC team unless it’s Vanderbilt. Kidding aside, Louisville doesn’t really have much choice about scheduling that game because the intrastate rivalry is a big deal in Kentucky. That doesn’t work out well for Louisville since Kentucky, although only a mediocre team by SEC standards (3-5 conference record), kicks their asses pretty much every year.

As noted in the comments, Alabama pulled off a miraculous, do or die, 4th-and-31 TD to pull out the Iron Bowl in the final minute.


Shocker of the week: #15 Oklahoma State got absolutely drubbed (45-3) by UCF, which came into the game 4-5. Oklahoma State has had a roller coaster of a season. They ground out wins against major programs like Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma, but they got crushed today by UCF, and lost big (33-7) at home earlier in the season to South Alabama, a mediocre team in a mediocre conference.

Thriller of the week: North Carolina beat Duke 47-45 in double OT, thanks to Duke’s failure to nail a two-point conversion.

That’s what I get for praising Rutgers – they got shut out this week!

Just to show that last week was no fluke, formerly ranked Air Force again got trounced by a weak team. (Hawai’i came into the game 3-7.)

Otherwise, everything went pretty much as expected.


There’s not much to marvel at (or laugh at) this week.

A few notes:

The oddball story of the week: Rutgers was ahead of THE Ohio State University at halftime, and finished the game with 361 yards from scrimmage, compared to 328 from THE. What an upset that would have been! Of course the boys from THE finally remembered who they were and crushed those Rutgers dreams in the second half, but even so, it was a confirmation that the Rutgers program is legitimate at last.

  • In 2018 they were 1-11, losing their last 11, and every conference game.
  • In 2019 they improved to 2-10, again beating only two weak non-conference teams.
  • In 2020 they were 3-6, beating three conference opponents and taking mighty Michigan to overtime.
  • In 2021, they upped the W column to 5, including two conference games.
  • They backslid only a hair last year to 4-8.
  • This year they are 6-3 so far, and two of their losses were to the #1 and #3 teams in the country!


North Carolina played an FCS team so weak that the bookies wouldn’t set a line. (There’s no telling how a game like that will go, or whether the strong team will rest all of its stars.) I have never heard of the Campbell Camels, other than that I used to sell soup and cigarettes. I didn’t make up that name, and their logo is as cheesy as you might expect. It looks like it must have been designed by the coach’s kid, assuming he has kids younger than 10. I looked up the school and found that it is located on Main Street in beautiful downtown Buies Creek, North Carolina, an unincorporated area that I have also never heard of, population 3,000. Wikipedia calls it “a wooded hamlet.” You know an area is insignificant when the promotional material tells which “major” towns are nearby, and you never heard of them either! Expanding our way out a bit from small towns, the Wikipedia article says it is part of the “Dunn Metropolitan Area,” which really strains the definition of “metropolis.” (9,000 inhabitants, including Opie, Barney and Aunt Bee!) Anyway, you have to give their kids credit for lining up against a school with 20,000 undergraduates and a storied sports program. Kudos to them for holding tough through the first quarter, which ended 7-7. The rest of the game didn’t go as well. The Fightin’ Camels never scored again while the Tarheels added 52 more points.


The top eight teams all won. #9 Oklahoma lost a tough one to Oklahoma State. #15 Notre Dame lost to Clemson, which is unrated but always tough.


Formerly undefeated Air Force got exposed as a paper tiger. Although the flyboys came into the game rated #25, I don’t think any sensible observer thought they were really one of the nation’s top 25 teams, despite their resounding victories over mighty teams like Robert Morris. That fact was exposed in the most embarrassing way possible, as they were able to score only a single field goal against Army, which came into the game 2-6.


Liberty and James Madison remained undefeated. I wonder whether the committee will award one of them the honorary #25 slot vacated by Air Force.


Far from the beaten path, Memphis allowed 50 points – and won! If you bet on that game, I hope you had the “over.”


This week’s scoreboard

I think he is also the only player to win a series MVP for two different leagues. Gibson and Koufax won theirs in the NL, and Reggie won both of his in the AL. Seager won one for the NL Dodgers, and one for the AL Rangers. Good for Corey, and a tip o’ the cap to Adolis Garcia who set a bunch of RBI records this post-season, but to me one of the most interesting stories of the post-season was Nathan Eovaldi.

He came into this season with 67 wins and 68 losses in 11 years. That was a big improvement over his 15-35 career start, but he still wasn’t the guy who was expected to be a hero this year. Yet he led the Rangers in wins, had a winning percentage greater than .700 in the regular season, and was a perfect 5-0 in the post-season. What can ya say? “Horses for courses,” and Arlington is his course.

As for the D-Backs, they may be the most unlikely World Series team of all time. They were outscored by the opposition in the regular season. Counting the post-season, they were outscored for the year. They were outscored 30-21 by the Phillies in the NLCS, despite winning the series. Yet somehow they wended their way through that maze, won the pennant, and had a shot at the whole enchilada.

Great coach (900 wins), but here’s another case where it’s OK to speak ill of the dead, as some obits did. He was best summed up by a sportswriter who said he “was not just an asshole, but the asshole’s asshole.”

As former Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote said of Knight, “Bob is a self-made man. This relieves God of a tremendous responsibility. With his intelligence and charisma, Bob could have been anyone he wanted to be. Why he chose himself, that’s a great mystery.”

There are many great Bobby Knight stories, but I think my favorite is when he was ejected from a Pan-Am game by throwing a tantrum over some call while his team was ahead by 35 points. The crowd was chanting “Loco. Loco.” Before that tournament was over he had been arrested for assaulting a police officer. (He was eventually convicted, but was spared jail time.) You’ve heard of “The Ugly American”? Bobby was the template.

Predictably enough, they filled the top five spots with the five undefeated teams from major conferences, then filled most of the remaining spots with the one-loss teams from major conferences, followed by the top 6-2 teams. They reserved the 24th and 25th spots for Tulane and undefeated Air Force. They didn’t try to crowbar undefeated James Madison onto the list.

The committee has not been as impressed as the coaches and sportswriters with the achievements of Georgia. They ranked Georgia second behind THE Ohio State University.

Sagarin’s computer rankings are even less enthusiastic about Georgia. His choice for #1 is Michigan. He ranks Georgia 4th, behind Michigan, Ohio State and once-defeated Alabama. (The official committee places Alabama in the 8th slot.) Sagarin ranks undefeated Florida State 9th, and drops undefeated Washington all the way to 15th.

For what it’s worth, I agree with the committee’s decision to place THE OSU on the top. The Buckeyes have defeated two other teams that are currently in the top 15, while Michigan has not faced a ranked team all year, and Georgia’s only ranked opponent was Kentucky, which was #20 at the time, but has since dropped far off the leader board (Sagarin has them way down at #43). The Michigan / Ohio State dispute will get decided face-to-face on Thanksgiving weekend. Georgia, meanwhile, will now be tested. They face ranked teams the next three weeks, and even if they run that gauntlet undefeated, they will probably have to face off with mighty Alabama for the SEC championship.

If you read this page regularly, you probably know how much I love baseball, but I just can’t get excited about a World Series between a 90-72 team and an 84-78 team. The D-Backs were tied for the 12th best record in baseball, and actually gave up more runs than they scored this season. This is a new phenomenon since the playoff system began. The 1987 Minnesota Twins (85-77) were the first team to win the World Series after allowing more runs than they scored in the regular season.

The closest any team ever came before the playoff structure was in 1959, when the 88-68 Dodgers had a run differential of +35. That year was pretty crazy. Both the Braves and the Giants scored more runs per game than the Dodgers. The same two teams also allowed fewer runs per game than the Dodgers. If you were to replay the season with one of those statistically accurate computer games like APBA, the Dodgers would have almost no chance to win the NL pennant. But win they did. Everything went their way. They tied the Braves for first place in the regular season, won the tie-breaker against the Braves, then won the World Series against a White Sox aggregation so devoid of offense that they had finished sixth in the eight-team AL in runs scored. (That was the one and only year that the Yankees sucked in the period from 1947 to 1964!)

Back to 2023 …

The only thing that interests me about the 2023 D-Backs is that they have a rookie who may be a future superstar: Corbin Carroll hit 25 homers, stole 54 bases, scored 116 runs, and led the NL in triples, thereby demonstrating both power and speed. He certainly doesn’t look like a superstar, at an unprepossessing 5’10” and 165 pounds. If you met him at a party and he told you he hit 25 homers in major league baseball this season, you’d think he was kidding.

There was one real oddity in the ALCS this year, already known to you lovers of the game, but perhaps of interest to casual observers: the road team won every single game in the Rangers/Astros series. That has only happened twice in history in a seven-game post-season series, and in both cases the Astros were the losing team. The Astros had trouble at home during the 2023 regular season as well. (They were 39-42 at home, 51-30 on the road.)

A record that is increasing rapidly.

As of 1967, the single-season record for the most home runs by a batter hitting below .200 (and qualifying for the batting title at the modern pitching distance) was 4, set by Frankie Crosetti in 1940, when he batted .194.

Tom Tresh nearly tripled the record to 11 in 1968 when he batted .195.

Rob Deer shattered that record in 1991, when he swatted 25 homers while batting a puny .179. (This remains the record for the most home runs hit by a batter below .180.)

Deer’s sub-.200 record held nearly 20 years until Mark Reynolds smashed 32 homers in 2010 with a .198 batting average.

Joey Gallo pushed the mark up to 38 in 2021, when he batted .199.

And Kyle Schwarber raised the record again this year, when he hit 47 home runs while batting .197

So the record lasted 28 years, then 23, then 19, then 11, then 2. In the process, it grew from 4 to 47.

Some other similar records:

The lowest batting average for a 60+ homer season is Roger Maris’s .269 in 1961.

The lowest batting average for a 50+ homer season is Pete Alonso’s .260 in 2019. Schwarber should destroy this record if he can reach 50 dingers some year.

Chris Davis holds the record for the most homers by a batter hitting below .170. (16, while batting .168 in 2018)

Adam Duvall holds the record for the most homers by a player with an OBP below .300. (38, with a .281 OBP in 2021)

Only one player who qualified for the batting title at the modern pitching distance has hit even a single home run in a season with a batting average below .160 – and he went way below .160. That was the legendary Bill Bergen in his epic 1909 season when he batted .139 with that one home run. Of course there was not much competition for this record, since it is unlikely that a player hitting below .160 could get enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. There is only one other season that met the criteria at the modern pitching distance – and that was also a Bill Bergen season. He batted .159 in 1906, but he hit no homers at all that year.

Among players with long careers (3000 or more plate appearances), Bergen was easily the worst hitter in history. In 11 major league seasons, his lifetime average was .170 with two home runs and an OPS+ of 21. His season high in extra base hits was 11. The guy must have been a helluva catcher to last that long in the bigs with no stick.

If we drop the minimum number of plate appearances to 900 and exclude pitchers, Ray Oyler gives Bill Bergen a little competition. His lifetime batting average was .175 with an OPS+ of 48. Oyler is not from the distant past. He was a shortstop in the 1960s, mostly with the Tigers, and I can remember watching him play for the Syracuse Chiefs against my home town team, the Rochester Red Wings. I wish I had some colorful anecdotes about his ineptitude, but he actually seemed to know what he was doing at the plate in the AAA International League. In 1964 he batted a respectable .251 with a more-than-respectable 19 homers, which added up to a very solid year for a shortstop in that era, solid enough to get him promoted to the majors. Unfortunately for Ray, he reached his level of incompetence when he had to hit against major league pitchers.

If we include pitchers, then the worst hitter ever to get 900 plate appearances was Bob Buhl, who was a good pitcher for the Milwaukee Braves in their glory years. He was a solid third starter behind Spahn and Burdette, and led the entire National League in W-L percentage in the Braves’ championship season of 1957. Buhl’s athletic prowess did not extend to his stick work. The man simply could not hit. In 1962, as a regular starter with 216 innings pitched, Buhl’s hit total was a cool zero. He went 0-for-70 that season, part of his all-time record of 87 consecutive at-bats without a hit. In 15 years in the majors, he amassed two doubles, no triples, no homers, and batted .089 with a slugging average of .091. In 242 career road games, he never got a single extra base hit.

Buhl discussed the game when he finally broke his 0-for-87 streak: “I didn’t feel any pressure. Everybody knew I couldn’t hit. The infielder was backing up (for a weak pop-up), caught his spikes and fell down. The ball fell. They called time to give me the damn ball. I was embarrassed.”

In the best game of the week, undefeated #7 Washington defeated formerly undefeated #8 Oregon when Oregon missed a game-tying field goal in the final seconds. It was a rare match-up of evenly matched squads. Oregon gained more yards, but kept going for it on fourth down and failing. Two of those attempts were deep in Washington territory and would probably have resulted in field goals.

USC had been in the top ten with an undefeated record when they ran into a Notre Dame buzzsaw. Final score: 48-20. Ouch.

Louisville’s hope for an undefeated season came to a halt when it got crushed by lowly Pitt, which had not previously won a conference game. Louisville had a halftime lead, but was outscored 24-0 in the second half.

Speaking of second half collapses, the Colorado Buffaloes were up 29-0 at halftime – and lost …

… and Michigan State blew a 24-6 lead in the fourth quarter – against Rutgers, which is obviously no longer the joke of the Big 10.

Air Force remained undefeated and somehow made the Top 25

That’s not the strangest poll result of the week. Undefeated James Madison finished just out of the top 25 at #26. I’d like to meet the voters who think the James Madison Dukes are one of the top 26 teams in the nation. That said, their weak schedule could result in an undefeated season, and they might get into a good bowl game. It might be fun to see what they could do against a team like Alabama.


Lots of undefeated teams suffered a first loss.

#20 Kentucky was 5-0 coming into this weekend. Then they had to go on the road to play #1 Georgia. Oopsy! Georgia scored 34 in the first half.

Formerly undefeated #21 Missouri thought this might be their year, and it was encouraging when they went to the locker room at halftime with a 25-17 lead against an excellent #23 LSU team. Missouri then proceeded to allow 32 points in the second half, thus losing in a fashion that showed they are not yet the chosen ones.

The lads of #13 Washington State also had their undefeated dreams crushed. Like Missouri, they had a halftime lead and blew it.

#17 Miami also fell from the unbeaten ranks, dropping a 23-20 squeaker at home to unranked Georgia Tech in a heartbreaker (see the comments).

Fresno State was undefeated and somehow ranked in the top 25 (#24) in the AP poll. They lost. Everyone who voted for them presumably will never be allowed to vote again.

In a battle of undefeated teams, the #3 Texas Longhorns lost to #12 Oklahoma in their storied rivalry. This loss was a tough one for the ‘Horns. Texas had a 30-27 lead with about a minute remaining, but could not prevent Oklahoma from scoring. This is the last time they will meet in the regular season as Big 12 opponents. Both teams move to the SEC next year, making that conference even more formidable. Texas/OU weekend is the equivalent of Mardi Gras in Austin. When the Longhorns win, there is much celebratory drinking. When the Longhorns lose, Austin drinks away its sorrows. It basically works out the same either way.

Ohio State/Maryland was another match-up of undefeated teams, but Maryland was unranked because – well, basically because they are Maryland and nobody thought that streak would last. They played a very respectable first half against #4 THE Ohio State University, and went to the locker room tied, but eventually THE just had too much for ’em. Final score 37-17.


Other undefeated teams held their ground:

#9 USC stayed undefeated, but by the narrowest of margins, squeezing out a 43-41 victory over Arizona in triple overtime.

#25 Louisville showed that they are absolutely for real with a 33-20 win over #10 Notre Dame. Big props to their defense. They forced Sam Hartman, Notre Dame’s QB, to turn the ball over five times – three picks and two fumbles, and they also sacked him five times! It is not a day that Hartman will some day be recalling for his grandkids.

#14 North Carolina absolutely destroyed Syracuse. (It was 27-0 in the first half before they eased up.) They are undefeated for now, and will probably edge closer to the top ten.

#5 Florida State had a cakewalk over Virginia Tech and #2 Michigan pummeled Minnesota 52-10.