A few times a week, I go to a corner cafe for breakfast. I enjoy a bagel and tea, my wife enjoys a gallon of coffee. Sometimes we meet a friend, others, we just chat with people at neighboring tables.
Yesterday, was a sit and chat with another table day, and the conversation turned from mutual sympathy for our soon to be golfing baseball teams to Notre Dame-Michigan State. Our friend at the other table went to Illinois. While he has a deep dislike for most of the rest of the Big Ten, we share a special place of dislike for Notre Dame.
As I sipped my cup of English Breakfast tea, (I live in New England, we ARE provincial) he said, "I hope Michigan State wins, 41-40." I laughed and nodded in agreement, and forgot it.
Flash forward to this morning. Imagine my surprise on page three of the sports section had a little grey box saying Notre Dame 41 Michigan State 37.
I woke up rather quickly after that. You see, I shut off the television at halftime. 31-14 Spartans.
I had already watched two and 3/4 games yesterday, non-stop since noon. I watched, rather happily I might add, Michigan beat Wisconsin. I ate homemade chili and watched with awe as Ohio State eventually dismember Penn State. And, I feel bad for Alabama's kicker, missing a field goal and an extra point in their overtime thriller to Arkansas.
Sometime between 5:30 and 6 Central time at Doak Campbell Stadium, one could see Bobby Bowden wince lightly as Alabama's kicks sailed, you guessed it, wide right. Bobby shook it off, they won 55-7.
So as 9:30 crept across my office television and as the Spartans were racing down field like Dale Earnhardt Jr., I said to myself enough and hit the off button. I read a couple non sports things online and was asleep by 11.
(Blasphemy, to be in bed before midnight on a Saturday. Someday, you, my reader, will be married and be asleep by 11 mostly every night.)
So I missed the great comeback of the season. The virtual role reversal of Drew Stanton and Brady Quinn. I think I remember having a nightmare involving Brent Musberger around 11:30, but my cat was probably meowing over something and they sound similar.
ABC's Kirk Herbstreit was quite happy that Charlie Weis had gone to the no huddle in the second quarter. ND scored both times, and I'm sure he used it the rest of the game.
Am I sorry that I missed it? No, I'm sure it will run as a continuous loop on ESPN Classic between episodes of Stump the Schwab and the 1946 World Series of Poker all week. I'll watch then.
At least it will give my literate friend and I something to talk about over coffee.
My top 10 ballot is due tomorrow, and here is how I'll probably vote.
No change at #1. Ohio State is the best team in the country. The rain and big conference opener was going to make the game close. Yes, the Buckeyes were not crisp on offense, but they did not beat themselves and came through when needed.
#2 will change for me from Auburn to USC. Southern Cal held Arizona to 3, four points better than Auburn. The computers have Southern Cal between 1 and 2. Wasn't this supposed to be a rebuilding year?
#3 will be Auburn. They slip because they struggled with Buffalo. Buffalo is in the bottom 5 of I-A. 10-0 at half is inexcusable when the talent level is supposed to be an ocean apart.
#4 should be Louisville. I think they have answered their critics about toughness. With two Heisman pre-season candidates gone long term, they continue to roll. They have a very good shot of running the regular season table.
#5 will be Florida. They enjoyed yesterday's 'Dawg game more in Gainsville than in Boulder.
#6 will be Michigan. They win despite some horrid game calling. When it is 3rd and five, throwing a 3 yard pass in the flat doesn't get you first downs. If you are resigned to punt, then run, or throw a six yard pattern.
#7 should be West Virginia. They shouldn't be struggling with East Carolina on the road. Pat White is probably the best player not on most people's Heisman lists.
#8 Oregon had a bye.
#9 should be 1-loss Texas. They breezed through Iowa State after a while an they are simply a very poised team.
#10 is New Hampshire. The #1 team in I-AA destroyed in state rival Dartmouth, and Vermont kid, David Ball, will hold the record for most career touchdown receptions in both levels of Division I with his next score.
Hope you enjoyed yesterday.