COUCH POTATO: Crummy day of football watching, but still slightly better than a sharp stick in the eye: Notre Dame, Stanford; Ohio State, Penn State; South Carolina, Kentucky

This edition of Couch Potato is a little late – it’s already game day – but I had a hard time getting motivated to write a column for free this week.

College ball on TV today is like a low-carb, keto-friendly faux German Chocolate cake made with almond flour and avocados compared to a slice of the kind your mama made with the good shit: hand-flaked Baker’s 90-percent cocoa chocolate with four pounds of with cane sugar flown in from New Orleans and that icing she spent all day making out of condensed milk, hand-grated fresh coconut (you crack the shell in the oven) and pecans from the tree in grandma’s yard.

My Type 2 diabetic blood sugar just went to 350 writing that sentence – goddamn it, pancreas, why did you of all organs have to crap out on me? But it tumbles to normal ranges talking about football on TV today – there are three halfway games and they all kick off at the same time. Jeez.

The three decent games are Ohio State at Penn State, Stanford at Notre Dame and South Carolina at Kentucky (yeah, that’s the hottest game in the SEC today.) They all start at 7:30 p.m. ET, the cruelest hour.

Ohio State at Penn State, 7:30 p.m.

Ohio State is a really good football team, transcending the onus of the Big Ten, home of overrated, slowass football teams. The unlikeable Urban Meyer, who has served his wrist slap for allegedly aiding and abetting sexual violence against the wife of one of his assistant coaches and, by inference all women, is back in full flourish on the Buckeye sideline.

I don’t really know how good Penn State is because they did everything but lose to Happy Appy State and then have nothing but stomp shitty teams.

Ohio State showed a few holes in their ugly win over TCU, which is recognizable as an actual football team but nothing to write home about.

Penn State Coach James Franklin, when he was at Vanderbilt and some of his players gang-raped an unconscious woman in a dorm room, seemed to be distressed by the incident and did kick the guys off the team.

I’ll go with Penn State. See why I wasn’t stoked to write this?

Stanford at Notre Dame, 7: 30 p.m.

Stanford looked really stalwart last week, getting pushed around pretty bad by the homestanding Oregon Ducks before mounting a damned impressive comeback.

Look, I’ve said it before, I’m not sold on Notre Dame. I think Stanford is a good football team – not as talented as some, but they do play together and don’t quit.

So yeah, I’ll go with the Trees.

South Carolina at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m.

South Carolina was the preseason darling to contend in the SEC East, and possibly give the hegemonic Georgia Bulldogs a run for their money. Well, nah. In the early season collision of the two, Georgia won 41-17 and made South Carolina like it.

Kentucky has gotten just a little bit better year after year during coach Mark Stoops’ reign. He’s been at Kentucky for six years, which comparatively speaking, is like a dog living about 30 years.

He’s 36-30 in Lexington, which doesn’t look as good as it is – it’s a positive percentage, which is a hard thing to do at a school where fans would rather watch basketball practice than go to the homecoming game.

The Wildcats are off to a 4-0 start, which is different from previous early hot streaks because they have beaten two real football teams – Florida and Mississippi State. Each of them is probably at least as good as South Carolina.

Kentucky continues its march to a national championship with a hard-fought victory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Couch Potato: Week 4, Saturday morning update – Mississippi State at Kentucky; Florida at Tennessee

Mississippi State at Kentucky, 7 p.m. ESPN2

In an ordinary year, the only people who would have an interest in this game would be Russian hackers trying to make Americans lose all hope and embrace oligarchy.

But this year, Kentucky doesn’t suck as much as usual, and Mississippi State doesn’t suck at all.

They both run that zip-a-dee-dah, dink and dunk, pass gas offense I used to hate but have to like now that Alabama runs the fuck out of it.

This could be a fun game to watch provided you start drinking about an hour before kickoff.

Florida at Tennesssee, 7 p.m., ESPN

Many years ago, this was a key game on which much depended and all eyes were focused. Nowadays, not.

But this could be Florida’s best chance to get an SEC win and I’m not joking. A loss here followed by gut-stomps at State and against LSU in Gainesville, and this team could be so shot in the ass that it’ll lose to Vandy before the Cocktail Party, where it stands to become Georgia’s human sacrifice to vile gods to beg victory over Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

Tennessee is horrible. They look like poor Jeremy Pruitt had to put the names of all UT on-campus full-time male students in a hat and pull out enough to have a football team.

One great day, the Gator and the Vol will ascend again to the heights from which they so ignominiously tumbled.

But not today. Not today.

 

 

Couch Potato: Nobody reads this shit, but for the few who do, here’s Texas A&M going to Alabama; Notre Dame at Wake Forest; Nebraska at Michigan; Clemson at Georgia Tech; Arkansas at Auburn; Stanford at Oregon

Well, I’m down to getting abut 100 hits a week on this column, and while I appreciate all those who read the damn thing, I’m considering shifting to a conference call. You could ask questions and I could say, “Shut up, I’m talking.”

Think about it.

Texas A&M at Alabama 3:30 p.m. ET

So Jimbo Fisher and the East Texas School of Petroleum Engineering go to Tuscaloosa to see if they can face doom with manhood and courage, like those half-naked soldiers in that gay-not-gay movie about the 300 Spartans who held off a 10-foot-tall Persian who floats in the air and a few million soldiers dressed like Arabs.

Alabama has nothing in common with Arabs but the end result will probably be the same.

It won’t strike all the psychosexual-paranoiac chords in the post-9/11 paranoid American mindframe that “300” did, but all the Spartans died in a pile.

TAMU lost a close game to Clemson a few weeks back despite Clemson doing everything possible to lose, several times.

So this game will be compared that that game about 2,000 times and here’s what I think about that: Alabama always starts off ahead of everybody else and Clemson starts off like a diesel engine on a frosty morning. I still think Alabama’s better than Clemson this year, and am beginning to think Virginia Tech might even win that shitty league this year.

And you know, that’s about all there is to say. I’m falling asleep thinking about it.

Notre Dame at Wake Forest, Noon ET

This piece of shit will be over before Alabama begins ritual evisceration of The Aggie. But it bears mentioning only in that we are talking about it and Notre Dame is ranked No. 8 and a lot of people think Wake Forest has a chance.

Prediction: It will be a low-scoring ugly game and Notre Dame will win and they’ll make the playoffs if they can continue to do this the rest of the season.

Nebraska at No. 19 Michigan, Noon

A clash of two heralded coaches paid colossal sums to return their broke-dick alma maters to their previous grandeur. Michigan lost to Notre Dame in the opening game and Nebraska got its ass kicked at home by Troy last week.

Troy would beat Notre Dame right now. So this should be a pretty good game.

Clemson at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m. ET

Whoo, Georgia Tech is bad. Great God Almighty, they are bad. They are a 16-point home dog to Clemson, and that doesn’t even interest me.

Here’s what I think: Clemson will start playing that kid who looks like Sunshine in “Remember the Titans” and start scoring 70 points a game with a suddenly electric offense triggered by pinpoint passing.

Otherwise, I’m going to clean the gutters this week.

Arkansas at No. 9 Auburn, 7:30 p.m.

Why is Auburn still in the Top 10. Because they aren’t totally awful and everybody else is that bad is my best guess.

Arkansas is horrible. Auburn will probably be able to run the score up on them and keep the illusion of near-competence alive another week.

No. 7 Stanford at No. 20 Oregon, 8 p.m. ET

This has a half a chance to be a decent game. Stanford is overrated, but I like that, because I WANT the best academic school in America to have a top-10 football team. Kiss my ass, Harvard, with your half-assed, slow teams and illuminati alumni pretending to care what happens against Darnell or Kingston or whoever plays in that horse-shit league. Stanford has pretty girls, drunk frat boys, tall pine trees (It’s right there in the name of the town) and can kick your ass in ball or robotics. Go Trees.

Oregon is probably better than No. 20, because there are a lot of teams that are not very good at football. It’s the Pac-12, so they’ll zip up and down the field like a video game. It’s a cool school, too. But those fucking uniforms suck, man. I’m still not on that train.

Lousiana Tech at LSU

In a stunning upset, Louisiana Tech defeats LSU. There, Brian Tynes. Stop.

 

 

Couch Potato: OK, a frog is an amphibian; mea culpa and please forgive me, TCU fans

In a previous post I described the Horned Frog TCU mascot as a “poisonous reptile.” Some of you have pointed out to me that a frog is an amphibian because it breathes through its skin and lays its eggs underwater.

Well, guess what, know-it-alls? A horned toad isn’t a frog or a toad, but a lizard. It looks like a frog but it’s not. So it is a goddamned lizard. I have no idea where it lays its eggs and don’t care.

They are not, in the strictest sense, poisonous. But they do, when attacked, shoot blood out of their eyes. They are slow and easy to catch, but that blood-shooting eyeball thing has run off many a coyote, I bet.

Why the hell would you name your football team that? I guess it’s cool in a way because it’s so different. But it’s so different because nobody else wants to do it.

I hope they beat Ohio State, but they won’t. Have a nice day.

 

 

 

 

Couch Potato: Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, LSU, God, Man, Birth, Death, Infinity

Troy at Nebraska

Noon, BTN, whatever the hell that is

Things have gone downhill for Nebraska’s new coach Scott Frost, who parlayed last year’s undefeated fake national championship at UCF into a job at his broke-down alma mater. First, he got his house robbed of about $150,000 worth of Nebraska memorabilia by some girl, then got rained out against Akron right before Colorado handed him his ass. Can Troy catch the Shuckers looking ahead to next week’s big game with Michigan, which sucks as much as they do? YES! In the Upset! Troy … covers the 11 point line, which is an embarrassment enough.

Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson

Clemson looked like shit last week beating Texas A&M, but should rebound to stomp the Eagles’ guts out to energize the fan base like a Trump tweet into the vain belief that blasting through the rest of the shitty ACC for the rest of the season will be an indication of something worthwhile.

Vanderbilt at Notre Dame

Notre Dame, an average school, claims to be an academic powerhouse like Vanderbilt, which is really an average school whose sports teams consistently suck, creating the illusion of high SAT scores. The Irish are well on the way to another solid overrated season against shitty midwestern teams and maybe even another beatdown in the national championship game by a real team. We can hope.

Tulane vs. UAB

Who fucking cares?

No. 11 LSU vs. No. 7 Auburn

LSU was expected to be bad this year because coach Ed Orgeron talks like he has a mouth full of boudin and bourbon, but though he is unintelligible, he can actually do something that resembles coaching on occasion. LSU looked pretty good against Miami, but Miami is godawful, so who knows? Nevertheless, Auburn’s offense looked horrible against Washington, which is a fake good team because it’s in the PAC-12, which sucks, but Auburn’s offense probably really is awful in real life except for the quarterback, who is going to get killed sooner or later behind that awful OL. LSU’s defense looked good against Miami until the third quarter when they all got tired and wanted to go home and get a sno-cone. LSU’s quarterback, what’s his name, the transfer from Ohio State or something, looked like he has actually played football before, unlike any LSU quarterback since Slingin’ Sammy Baugh, who went to TCU, not LSU. Those goddamn initial schools always confuse me. So I think LSU will cover the 9.5 points because I’m not sure Auburn can score that many, though I think there’s a good chance the War Eagle defense, which is actually good, can shut out the Swamp Tigers.

No. 1 Alabama vs Ole Miss

ESPN propaganda is producing rhetoric that this will be a close game which is bullshit. Ole Miss is horrible and has managed to score a bunch of points against two teams that were easier to run through than a barn with the doors open on both ends. Alabama’s defense is having some breakdowns but has still managed to destroy the hopes and dreams of young men on two shitty teams. And for Christ’s sake, this is Ole Miss, known for sucking in ways most teams can’t imagine, especially on defense, which is slightly better than being imaginary. Tua may throw for so many yards it causes a black hole to form and tear the fabric of the universe, creating an outlet to realities as yet unexplored. What a fucking joke.

No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 15 TCU

It’s Urban Meyer’s last wrist-slap punishment sit-out for being too busy to realize an assistant coach was beating up his pregnant wife with impunity and taking pictures of his pecker at the White House. It’s interesting to think about a team that wears purple and is named for a poisonous reptile being able to beat a team that is named for a nut on a tree in the midwest, but it’s not going to happen, unless this is the game OSU farts up and loses this year because they do it at least once every season. Probably not.

 

 

 

Couch Potato: Week 2 TV; Georgia goes to South Carolina; USC goes to Stanford; Clemson goes to Texas A&M; stay home and watch on the Vizio

It’s not a great weekend for college ball on TV – most of the games feature big-names giving a big check to mysterious schools you couldn’t find on a map with a global positioning system and a bird dog.  The big boys are favored by lines that look like how much weight I need to lose before I’d fit into the jeans I wore in college. That would be “a lot.”

There’s always the chance of a world-shocker, but the sad truth is, when it comes to football, the race is to the swift and the battle to the strong. The only real question is, can the swift and strong cover 36.5 points?

But here are a few games that have a fighting chance to be somewhat competitive and provide insights into what the future holds for the great game.

They’re listed by broadcast times.

No. 18 Mississippi State (-9.5) at Kansas State; Noon, ESPN

This is the early test of whether Mississippi State is ready for relevance or pulls a Mississippi State. If you don’t know what that means, stop reading now.

The Bulldogs have a boy-dog quarterback in Nick Fitzgerald, and now-Florida coach Dan Mullen left the cupboard pretty full for new coach Joe Moorhead, who has a distinguished silver beard and looks more like the dean of the Mississippi State history department than the head football coach. He talks like a history prof too. There’s a measured calmness about him, even when he’s issuing polysyllabic insults to the media.

If he ever lashed out at an ESPN sideline reporter in the post-game walkup interview, it would take two dictionaries and a thesaurus before anybody realized it.

But he’s going up against the king of measured calmness, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, who just signed a five-year contract extension at the age of 78. Most people of my generation will still be working at that age, but only so they won’t have to live under bridges and catch fish for food. I digress.

Snyder’s teams are always well disciplined, play with control and efficiency, and lose to visiting SEC teams but cover the line. I think that’s probably what we’re looking at here.

Arkansas State at No. 1 Alabama (-36.5); 3:30 p.m. ESPN2

The only reason I even mentioned this game is because Arkansas State gave up about 250 yards per game passing last year and 133 rushing, which could allow Tua Tagovioloa to pad his Heisman reel. You can watch Bryce Love, another Heisman hopeful, at 8:30 p.m. on FOX.

No. 3 Georgia (-9.5) at No. 24 South Carolina, 3:30 p.m. CBS

The fake news enemies of the people have been flooding the internet and airways with screeds about South Carolina being ready to rise from ignominy and once again take its place at the front rung of the college football elite. Yeah, I’ve heard that song on vinyl before.

Georgia’s got a great OL, Jake Fromm is a great quarterback, and D’andre Swift has the best name for a running back ever and is about that good at toting the tater.

The defense is young, but Kirby Smart is the head coach and defense is his jam.

I’ll take Georgia to cover, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they run away with it. But I’d be happy if South Carolina lost pretty or even won. I have no idea why.

See what this game does to you?

No. 2 Clemson (-12.5) at Texas A&M, 7 p.m., ESPN

Here’s a chance to see the apparent ACC Champion against a somewhat good team with a good new coach making $75 million over the next 10 years.

There’s no doubt Jimbo Fisher is happy to be in College Station rather than Tallahassee after watching Florida State lay a carton of jumbo eggs last week. He may not be so happy shortly after kickoff.

One day, he may turn the Aggies into holy terrors, but now? Nah.

Give the points and pray.

No. 17 USC at No. 10 Stanford (-3.5), 7:30 p.m. on FOX

As mentioned above, running beast Bryce Love is a legit Heisman candidate and this will be our first opportunity to see what the lad’s got in his senior season. USC is a really good team by Pac-12 standards that nevertheless gave up 308 rushing yards last week to Nevada Las Vegas, which hasn’t been much good since Colin Kaepernick graduated.

Whatever happened to him? I haven’t heard a peep out of old Kap lately. Har har.

Stanford has revenge working in its favor after getting beat twice by the Trojans last year, in the regular season and league championship game.

USC’s freshman quarterback JT Daniels who may be the real deal, but he is 18 years old playing in Stanford Stadium in front of maniacal – and very smart – fans, and  JT never saw anything like that last year playing for Mater Dei High School. We have some mighty fine maters here in the South, but we never named a high school for them. No wonder California’s salsa is so awesome.

Stanford appears to have everything going for them in this game. That’s what scares me. JT Mater will have to handle the pressure if USC’s going to win.

No. 15 Michigan State (-6.5) at Arizona State, 10:45 p.m., ESPN

Michigan State had to come from behind to clip Utah State 38-31 last week. It was Utah State’s ninth straight loss in a one-possession game, and generally speaking, this is not a real good team.

Sparty is traveling from the fresh September weather of East Lansing, Michigan to play in a freakin’ desert where triple-digit temps are a regular thing. The forecast for game day predicts a 107-degree high, but the game is played at night, so it could be only about mid-80s with low humidity at kickoff, and it was 89 in East Lansing earlier this week. But who are we fooling here? It’s a freakin’ desert, with cactuses and scorpions and shit.

Arizona State lost six games last year, including a head-handing whipping by N.C. State in the Sun Bowl.  ASU is not a great team, but unless Mark Dantonio has masterfully adjusted the flakiness that manifested last week, the quality of the opponent doesn’t seem to matter.

I’ll be straight with you, I don’t know how to bet this game. You could tease Michigan State down to 3.5 and Clemson down to 9.5 and get $100 if you bet $110 – you could really lose your ass. They don’t call them teasers for nothing.

Fun fact: Over the past 30 years, the Vegas bookies have not had a single losing week. Advice: Save up and buy a casino.

 

 

 

 

Couch Potato: NEWS FLASH! Saban is a bastard, can we please stop talking about it, please?

Recap: On Saturday night, Nick Saban yelled at ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor after Alabama’s 51-14 deconstruction of Louisville, the world’s poorest excuse for a football team until Miami and Florida State unleashed their egregiousness on national TV in the following 48 hours.

In the contractually mandated walk-off interview that must be fulfilled before The SEC and The University of Alabama can receive ESPN checks for obscene amounts of money so they can afford to do shit like pay Saban $9.3 million a year, she asked about the quarterbacks. Fair question. The “quarterback controversy” after Tua Tagovailoa started and trampled out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored and Jalen struggled, was the only thing anybody the few people still watching this snoozer gave a shit about. But true to form, Nick lost it, “Why do you keep asking me questions that try to make me say I don’t respect one of them? I’m not gonna do it. So quit askin’!”

It’s Wednesday and we’re still talking about it. President Trump tweets, Coach Saban yells at reporters. You don’t have to like it, but it sure does feed the bulldog.

Good God, is there a person on earth who has not yet reached the conclusion that Nick Saban is a … prickly fellow. He’s quick to anger. He’s likely on the far end of several spectrums and has a compulsion to control everything around him. He even tries to control the questions sports journalists ask him. Yeah, lots of luck with that, Coach.

He was pissed off because his team made a billion mistakes, had 432 penalties and still beat the shit out of a team that really didn’t want to be there much to begin with and by the third quarter, many of the Louisville players looked as if they were praying for sweet death to free them.

Maria was the first person to talk to him after the game, and she had no idea she had wandered into the kill zone. She really handled it well. After he snapped, eyes wild cords in his neck standing out, voice cracking she said, “I hear you.” And asked the next question. Guuuurl.

He called Maria on the phone, got her name wrong and issued a half-assed apology in the third person plural. It would be funny if it weren’t a little sad, but that’s football, you know?

Then in his press conference on Monday, the first thing he did was announce that Tua Terrific, the Hawaiian Hammer, who has played in two games in his career, now is the 8-5 favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, will start for the Tide on Saturday against the Arkansas State Red Wolves. And the sun will rise in the east, and it’ll be hot as hell in Tuscaloosa, and if you don’t coat every square millimeter of your exposed skin with OFF Deep Woods, the skeeters will come buzzing in from the Black Warrior River and drink every drop of your blood.

And  before, during and after, Nick Saban will be pissed off about everything. It’s his modus operandi.

Alabama fans know that when Saban is pissed off after his team pounds an opponent into quivering goo, things are going to be all right, and their lust for crushing, serial victories will be slaked.

SO CAN YOU QUIT TALKING ABOUT IT, OK? I’M NOT GOING TO SAY ANOTHER WORD ABOUT IT!

Unless I change my mind.