Order in the court, maybe, but not in the weekly ranking. This topsy-turvy season is starting to look like a Three Stooges food fight. We can’t keep anyone in the same place for more than five minutes. Auburn was our favorite team one week, then Oklahoma and now it’s…oh, that surprise is for nickel-a-day members only. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....Read More
Author: Chris Dufresne
An irreverent look at all things said, considered, tweeted, posted, played and otherwise gone amuck in college football News flash: The University of Arizona bused 317 miles to El Paso for last Friday night’s football game: Reaction: That sounds like high school, all right, except this was a Pac 12 team going Greyhound. Wait a minute. The conference signed a $3 billion deal with ESPN and FOX. The Pac 12 commissioner makes $4 million annually and Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez earns $2.2. That worked out to almost $1 million per win, last year, for Rich Rod. Arizona made the move to save a little money. Somehow, the athletic department is on the road to seeing red, so taking the bus to UTEP last Friday made fiscal sense. I also guarantee you this story will be clipped, saved and shared by other Pac 12 schools as a recruiting tool. Oregon might have tried this, but the players would have had their own personal limos and a ride-along nutritionist. From a sportswriter’s standpoint, however, the U of A made the right move. We on the college football traveling circuit long had a “three-hour” rule on road trips: The rule was: if you could drive the trip in less than three hours, rent a car. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....Read More
Every Sunday, we steam-shovel Pac 12 game data into a giant computer named “Larry,” a third-cousin to “Watson,” second-cousin to “Hal” and distant relative to “Cousin Itt.” The numbers are churned, crunched, gurgled and analyzed to produce a weekly “Pac Power” index. The latest results, frankly, are shocking: 1: San Diego State. (3-0) What? The Aztecs are not even members, yet lead the conference with a 2-0 record. No other Pac team is better than 1-0 in league play. San Diego State has already posted wins over Arizona State and Stanford. Rocky Long’s team has now won three straight games against the Pac 12 and the school is 4-4 in its last eight tries. Yet, when the Pac was seriously exploring expansion in 2011, the University of Tijuana had a better chance of getting into the Pac 16. Maybe that’s what inspires the Aztecs every time they line up against League Superior. Or maybe SD State isn’t worthy because, unlike Motel 6, it can’t keep the lights on for an entire game. Last Saturday, hosting Stanford, the lights went dark for 20 minutes before San Diego State finished off Stanford. “I hope we didn’t take them lightly,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. Someone, though, now needs to shine a light on what’s going on in Palo Alto. 2: California (3-0, 0-0) Ok, stop this. Cal? The defense that...Read More
LOS ANGELES—It wasn’t revenge, but it was riveting and even sent half-a- shiver down an old writer’s spine. USC over Texas, in double overtime, was 16 tons of gears and levers grinding against each other on a cool summer, Saturday evening. What’s not to like about a game that featured a score at 0:00 three times: at the end first half, the end of the second and the end of the second OT? Count me in for any game in which a freshman kicker badly misses his first college attempt, but then makes the game-winner to push home a life-affirming, season-saving, 27-24 win. “Obviously, it felt amazing,” Chase McGrath, our hero kicker, said in the Coliseum tunnel afterward as he eyed a hero sandwich in the post-game buffet. Yeah, it was good stuff, with a lot of back-and-forth detail we highly recommend you check out in the Associated Press capsule summary. The gist of it was this: This year’s Texas took the lead on this year’s USC with 45 seconds left. Actor Matthew McConaughey, the Longhorns’ lead cheerleader, wearing the coolest brown-leather jacket you’ll ever see, back slapped the fellas as he raced up and down the sideline. But then USC quarterback Sam Darnold, who hadn’t played up to par up to then, led his team down for a game-tying field goal. That led to overtime, a score for...Read More
This is bounce-back week on TMG (the media gamblers) Network as Lassie tries to save Tommy from a deep, dark degenerate well of emotional hunches on name-brand programs. The bright spot to last week was my tab on UNLV, an eight-point dog at Idaho’s Kibbie Dome. The Joggin’ Rebels were coming off the worst loss in point-spread history, losing as 45-point home favorites to Howard. Not only did the Rebs cover the 8 in Moscow, they went through Idaho like Putin through Crimea. The moral of this story, in a bookmaker’s biblical sense, is to seek out the mustard seed among the tall weeds. A wise friend of mine from Las Vegas sat me down, on a bench, the way Andy used to do with Opie, and warned me about sucker bets. He liked my UNLV tab and encouraged me to play more little ball. Think about how Gene Mauch used to manage the Angels. Take one for the team to get on base, bunt the runner over and try to score on a bloop single. Also: forget the playoff collapses in 1982 and 1986. And definitely don’t take Mike Witt out of a game when he is about to win the pennant. Anyway, this COULD be my strategy the rest of the way. This week’s touts feature no teams ranked in the top 25. Iowa State giving...Read More
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