Chilly Monday

Sometimes it’s important to remind yourself that, for the most part, half the teams lose each and every football weekend. Despite what some say about football fandom, most of us are likely to have a couple teams we like, especially between the college and professional levels and, given the number of games played on a weekly basis, we’re likely to have a few winners and a few losers. You see where this is headed.

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The Big Ten is struggling this season. None of their teams were in the top fifteen heading into Saturday, and they didn’t exactly respond well. Notre Dame completed a convincing conquest of the State of Michigan by taking down the Wolverines one week after they did the same to the Spartans, who unconvincingly defeated Eastern Michigan, possibly the worst team in Division I. Iowa lost in overtime to Central Michigan. Northwestern, Minnesota, and the ineligible Ohio State are 4-0. This conference is approaching Big East relegation level lows.

On the topic of relegation, Vanderbilt’s third defeat of the season, a 48-3 drubbing under the lights in Athens more about which later, has Commodore bloggers rising to defend their team’s membership in the SEC. That’s never good. The ACC had the game of the weekend though, in which Florida State defeated Clemson, clearing one of its final remaining obstacles on the path to national championship contention. That path may be clearing further, as LSU barely defeated Auburn. Oregon also started slow before completing a one-sided shutout of RichRod’s inoffensive Arizona Wildcats.

I missed most of the NFL games in transit back from Georgia on Sunday, but I understand the Lions went out with a whimper in an overtime loss in Nashville, the Falcons dominated the Chargers, Darrelle Revis is headed back to his Island after some variety of non-beard-related injury, Peyton Manning’s arm strength continues to be a question, and the scab officials are bad getting worse. (On their account, it also came out during the past week that at least some of them hold personal, financial stakes in the outcomes of the games, which adds a new element of excitement.)

In golf, Vanderbilt alum Brandt Snedeker won $11.4 million yesterday, and in the AL Central race, the White Sox lost once and the Tigers lost twice as part of a statistical phenomenon known as “regression to the mean (streets of Kansas City).”

It’s Monday in ALDLAND

We’re about a month into the college and professional football seasons, so there aren’t too many unknowns anymore. The media-fueled big matchup for Saturday, LSU goes to Morgantown, wasn’t close, and the outcome wasn’t surprising. LSU has been operating a professional-grade defense for years, and Jordan Jefferson (allegedly) curb-stomping a U.S. Marine may have been the best thing that could happen to their offense outside of alum Shaq O’Neil going in at fullback.

After Michigan State’s failure to board the bus and make any appearance whatsoever last week in South Bend, I put them on a one-week suspension and channeled my attention to Clemson, the MSU of the South. Those Tigers did not disappoint on what was a big day for the South Carolina schools. (Side note: I thought Vandy had a chance to at least play SC close given a 3-0 start and the schools’ dead even history over the last four games, but having more penalty yards than total offensive yards is going to make that difficult.) I imagine I’ll be keeping my eyes on the Clemson squad until they remember who they are (the Michigan State of the South) and totally blow it due to sheer lack of discipline.

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